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´╗┐Title: China
Author: Boulger, Demetrius Charles
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "China" ***

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CHINA

BY
DEMETRIUS CHARLES BOULGER

WITH A SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTER OF RECENT EVENTS
BY MAYO W. HAZELTINE

[Illustration: THE EMPEROR RECEIVING THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
_China Frontispiece_]



I DEDICATE THIS SHORT
HISTORY OF CHINA
TO
SIR HALLIDAY MACARTNEY, K.C.M.G.
AS A SLIGHT TRIBUTE OF PERSONAL RESPECT AND ADMIRATION FOR ONE WHO
HAS MAINTAINED THE RIGHT OF CHINA TO BE TREATED BY THE
GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE WITH THE DIGNITY AND
CONSIDERATION THAT BECOME A
GREAT EMPIRE.

IF TO LORD MACARTNEY WE OWE THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN
AUDIENCE OF THE EMPEROR OF CHINA ON THE SAME CONDITIONS
AS THOSE ON WHICH FOREIGN AMBASSADORS
ARE RECEIVED AT EUROPEAN COURTS, TO
SIR HALLIDAY MACARTNEY
A SCION OF THE SAME FAMILY
CHINA
OWES MUCH OF THE SUCCESS THAT HAS ATTENDED HER DIPLOMACY
IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES



CONTENTS

CHAP.

I. THE EARLY AGES

II. THE FIRST NATIONAL DYNASTY

III. A LONG PERIOD OF DISUNION

IV. THE SUNGS AND THE KINS

V. THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA

VI. KUBLAI AND THE MONGOL DYNASTY

VII. THE MING DYNASTY

VIII. THE DECLINE OF THE MINGS

IX. THE MANCHU CONQUEST OF CHINA

X. THE FIRST MANCHU RULER

XI. THE EMPEROR KANGHI

XII. A SHORT REIGN AND THE BEGINNING OF A LONG ONE

XIII. KEEN LUNG'S WARS AND CONQUESTS

XIV. THE COMMENCEMENT OF EUROPEAN INTERCOURSE

XV. THE DECLINE OF THE MANCHUS

XVI. THE EMPEROR TAOUKWANG

XVII. THE FIRST FOREIGN WAR

XVIII. TAOUKWANG AND HIS SUCCESSOR

XIX. THE SECOND FOREIGN WAR

XX. THE TAEPING REBELLION

XXI. THE REGENCY

XXII. THE REIGN OF KWANGSU

THE WAR WITH JAPAN AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

THE FUTURE OF CHINA



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

_Frontispiece_--The Emperor Receiving the Diplomatic Corps
Hong Kong
Canton--The Flower Pagoda
Kang, the Reformer



PREFACE


As China has now fairly taken her place in the family of nations, it is
unnecessary to elaborate an argument in support of even the humblest
attempt to elucidate her history. It is a subject to which we can no
longer remain indifferent, because circumstances are bringing every day
more clearly into view the important part China must play in the changes
that have become imminent in Asia, and that will affect the security of
our position and empire in that continent. A good understanding with China
should be the first article of our Eastern policy, for not only in Central
Asia, but also in Indo-China, where French ambition threatens to create a
fresh Egypt, her interests coincide with ours and furnish the sound basis
of a fruitful alliance.

This book, which I may be pardoned for saying is not an abridgment of my
original work, but entirely rewritten and rearranged with the view of
giving prominence to the modern history of the Chinese Empire, may appeal,
although they generally treat Asiatic subjects with regrettable
indifference, to that wider circle of English readers on whose opinion and
efforts the development of our political and commercial relations with the
greatest of Oriental States will mainly depend.

D. C. BOULGER, April 28, 1893.



CHAPTER I

THE EARLY AGES


The Chinese are unquestionably the oldest nation in the world, and their
history goes back to a period to which no prudent historian will attempt
to give a precise date. They speak the language and observe the same
social and political customs that they did several thousand years before
the Christian era, and they are the only living representatives to-day of
a people and government which were contemporary with the Egyptians, the
Assyrians, and the Jews. So far as our knowledge enables us to speak, the
Chinese of the present age are in all essential points identical with
those of the time of Confucius, and there is no reason to doubt that
before his time the Chinese national character had been thoroughly formed
in its present mold. The limits of the empire have varied from time to
time under circumstances of triumph or disunion, but the Middle Kingdom,
or China Proper, of the eighteen provinces has always possessed more or
less of its existing proportions. Another striking and peculiar feature
about China is the small amount of influence that the rest of the world
has exercised upon it. In fact, it is only during the present century that
that influence can be said to have existed at all. Up to that point China
had pursued a course of her own, carrying on her own struggles within a
definite limit, and completely indifferent to, and ignorant of, the
ceaseless competition and contests of mankind outside her orbit, which
make up the history of the rest of the Old World. The long struggles for
supremacy in Western Asia between Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian, the
triumphs of the Greek, followed by the absorption of what remained of the
Macedonian conquests in the Empire of Rome, even the appearance of Islam
and the Mohammedan conquerors, who changed the face of Southern Asia from
the Ganges to the Levant, and long threatened to overrun Europe, had no
significance for the people of China, and reacted as little on their
destiny as if they had happened in another planet. Whatever advantages the
Chinese may have derived from this isolation, it has entailed the penalty
that the early history of their country is devoid of interest for the lest
of the world, and it is only when the long independent courses of China
and Europe are brought into proximity by the Mongol conquests, the efforts
of the medieval travelers, the development of commerce, and the wars
carried on for the purpose of obtaining a secure position for foreigners
in China--four distinct phases covering the last seven centuries--that any
confidence can be felt in successfully attracting notice to the affairs of
China. Yet, as a curiosity in human existence, the earlier history of that
country may justly receive some notice. Even though the details are not
recited, the recollection of the antiquity of China's institutions must be
ever present with the student, as affording an indispensable clew to the
character of the Chinese people and the composition of their government.

The first Chinese are supposed to have been a nomad tribe in the province
of Shensi, which lies in the northwest of China, and among them at last
appeared a ruler, Fohi, whose name at least has been preserved. His deeds
and his person are mythical, but he is credited with having given his
country its first regular institutions. One of his successors was Hwangti
(which means Heavenly Emperor), who was the first to employ the imperial
style of Emperor, the earlier rulers having been content with the inferior
title of Wang, or prince. He adopted the convenient decimal division in
his administration as well as his coinage. His dominions were divided into
ten provinces, each of these into ten departments, these again into ten
districts, each of which held ten towns. He regulated the calendar,
originating the Chinese cycle of sixty years, and he encouraged commerce.
He seems to have been a wise prince and to have been the first of the
great emperors. His grandson, who was also emperor, continued his good
work and earned the reputation of being "the restorer or even founder of
true astronomy."

But the most famous of Hwangti's successors was his great-grandson Yao who
is still one of the most revered of all Chinese rulers. He was "diligent,
enlightened, polished and prudent," and if his words reflected his actions
he must have been most solicitous of the welfare of his people. He is
specially remarkable for his anxiety to discover the best man to succeed
him in the government, and during the last twenty-eight years of his reign
he associated the minister Chun with him for that purpose. On his death he
left the crown to him, and Chun, after some hesitation, accepted the
charge; but he in turn hastened to secure the co-operation of another
minister named Yu in the work of administration, just as he had been
associated with Yao. The period covered by the rule of this triumvirate is
considered one of the most brilliant and perfect in Chinese history, and
it bears a resemblance to the age of the Antonines. These rulers seem to
have passed their leisure from practical work in framing moral axioms, and
in carrying out a model scheme of government based on the purest ethics.
They considered that "a prince intrusted with the charge of a State has a
heavy task. The happiness of his subjects absolutely depends upon him. To
provide for everything is his duty; his ministers are only put in office
to assist him," and also that "a prince who wishes to fulfill his
obligations, and to long preserve his people in the ways of peace, ought
to watch without ceasing that the laws are observed with exactitude." They
were stanch upholders of temperance, and they banished the unlucky
discoverer of the fact that an intoxicating drink could be obtained from
rice. They also held fast to the theory that all government must be based
on the popular will. In fact, the reigns of Yao, Chun and Yu are the ideal
period of Chinese history, when all questions were decided by moral right
and justice, and even now Chinese philosophers are said to test their
maxims of morality by the degree of agreement they may have with the
conduct of those rulers.

With them passed away the practice of letting the most capable and
experienced minister rule the State. Such an impartial and reasonable mode
of selecting the head of a community can never be perpetuated. The rulers
themselves may see its advantages and may endeavor as honestly as these
three Chinese princes to carry out the arrangement, but the day must come
when the family of the able ruler will assert its rights to the
succession, and take advantage of its opportunities from its close
connection with the government to carry out its ends. The Emperor Yu, true
to the practice of his predecessors, nominated the president of the
council as his successor, but his son Tiki seized the throne, and became
the founder of the first Chinese dynasty, which was called the Hia, from
the name of the province first ruled by his father. This event is supposed
to have taken place in the year 2197 B.C., and the Hia dynasty, of which
there were seventeen emperors, ruled down to the year 1776 B.C. These Hia
princes present no features of interest, and the last of them, named Kia,
was deposed by one of his principal nobles, Ching Tang, Prince of Chang.

This prince was the founder of the second dynasty, known as Chang, which
held possession of the throne for 654 years, or down to 1122 B.C. With the
exception of the founder, who seems to have been an able man, this dynasty
of twenty-eight emperors did nothing very noteworthy. The public morality
deteriorated very much under this family, and it is said that when one of
the emperors wanted an honest man as minister he could only find one in
the person of a common laborer. At last, in the twelfth century before our
era, the enormities of the Chang rulers reached a climax in the person of
Chousin, who was deposed by a popular rising headed by Wou Wang, Prince of
Chow.

This successful soldier, whose name signifies the Warrior King, founded
the third Chinese dynasty of Chow, which governed the empire for the long
space of 867 years down to 266 B.C. During that protracted period there
were necessarily good and bad emperors, and the Chow dynasty was rendered
specially illustrious by the appearance of the great social and religious
reformers, Laoutse, Confucius and Mencius, during the existence of its
power. The founder of the dynasty instituted the necessary reforms to
prove that he was a national benefactor, and one of his successors, known
as the Magnificent King, extended the authority of his family over some of
the States of Turkestan. But, on the whole, the rulers of the Chow dynasty
were not particularly distinguished, and one of them in the eighth century
B.C. was weak enough to resign a portion of his sovereign rights to a
powerful vassal, Siangkong, the Prince of Tsin, in consideration of his
undertaking the defense of the frontier against the Tartars. At this
period the authority of the central government passed under a cloud. The
emperor's prerogative became the shadow of a name, and the last three
centuries of the rule of this family would not call for notice but for the
genius of Laoutse and Confucius, who were both great moral teachers and
religious reformers.

Laoutse, the founder of Taouism, was the first in point of time, and in
some respects he was the greatest of these reformers. He found his
countrymen sunk in a low state of moral indifference and religious
infidelity which corresponded with the corruption of the times and the
disunion in the kingdom. He at once set himself to work with energy and
devotion to repair the evils of his day, and to raise before his
countrymen a higher ideal of duty. He has been called the Chinese
Pythagoras, the most erudite of sinologues have pronounced his text
obscure, and the mysterious Taouism which he founded holds the smallest or
the least assignable part in what passes for the religion of the Chinese.
As a philosopher and minister Laoutse will always attract attention and
excite speculation, but as a practical reformer and politician he was far
surpassed by his younger and less theoretical contemporary Confucius.

Confucius was an official in the service of one of the great princes who
divided the governing power of China among themselves during the whole of
the seventh century before our era, which beheld the appearance of both of
these religious teachers and leaders. He was a trained administrator with
long experience when he urged upon his prince the necessity of reform, and
advocated a policy of union throughout the States. His exhortations were
in vain, and so far ill-timed that he was obliged to resign the service of
one prince after another. In his day the authority of the Chow emperor had
been reduced to the lowest point. Each prince was unto himself the supreme
authority. Yet one cardinal point of the policy of Confucius was
submission to the emperor, as implicit obedience to the head of the State
throughout the country as was paid to the father of every Chinese
household. Although he failed to find a prince after his own heart, his
example and precepts were not thrown away, for in a later generation his
reforms were executed, and down to the present day the best points in
Chinese government are based on his recommendations. If "no intelligent
monarch arose" in his time, the greatest emperors have since sought to
conform with his usages and to rule after the ideal of the great
philosopher. His name and his teachings were perpetuated by a band of
devoted disciples, and the book which contained the moral and
philosophical axioms of Confucius passed into the classic literature of
the country and stood in the place of a Bible for the Chinese. The list of
the great Chinese reformers is completed by the name of Mencius, who,
coming two centuries later, carried on with better opportunities the
reforming work of Confucius, and left behind him in his Sheking the most
popular book of Chinese poetry and a crowning tribute to the great Master.

From teachers we must again pass to the chronicle of kings, although few
of the later Chow emperors deserve their names to be rescued from
oblivion. One emperor suffered a severe defeat while attempting to
establish his authority over the troublesome tribes beyond the frontier;
of another it was written that "his good qualities merited a happier day,"
and the general character of the age may be inferred from its being
designated by the native chroniclers "The warlike period." At last, after
what seemed an interminable old age, marked by weakness and vice, the Chow
dynasty came to an end in the person of Nan Wang, who, although he reigned
for nearly sixty years, was deposed in ignominious fashion by one of his
great vassals, and reduced to a humble position. His conqueror became the
founder of the fourth Chinese dynasty.

During the period of internal strife which marked the last four centuries
of the Chow dynasty, one family had steadily waxed stronger and stronger
among the princes of China: the princes of Tsin, by a combination of
prudence and daring, gradually made themselves supreme among their
fellows. It was said of one of them that "like a wolf or a tiger he wished
to draw all the other princes into his claws, so that he might devour
them." Several of the later Tsin princes, and particularly one named Chow
Siang Wang, showed great capacity, and carried out a systematic policy for
their own aggrandizement. When Nan Wang was approaching the end of his
career, the Tsin princes had obtained everything of the supreme power
short of the name and the right to wear the imperial yellow robes. Ching
Wang, or, to give him his later name as emperor, Tsin Chi Hwangti, was the
reputed great-grandson of Chow Siang Wang, and under him the fame and
power of the Tsins reached their culminating point. This prince also
proved himself one of the greatest rulers who ever sat on the Dragon
throne of China.

The country had been so long distracted by internal strife, and the
authority of the emperor had been reduced to such a shadow, that peace was
welcomed under any ruler, and the hope was indulged that the Tsin princes,
who had succeeded in making themselves the most powerful feudatories of
the empire, might be able to restore to the central government something
of its ancient power and splendor. Nor was the expectation unreasonable or
ungratified. The Tsins had fairly earned by their ability the confidence
of the Chinese nation, and their principal representative showed no
diminution of energy on attaining the throne, and exhibited in a higher
post, and on a wider field, the martial and statesmanlike qualities his
ancestors had displayed when building up the fabric of their power as
princes of the empire. Their supremacy was not acquiesced in by the other
great feudatories without a struggle, and more than one campaign was
fought before all rivals were removed from their path, and their authority
passed unchallenged as occupants of the Imperial office.

It was in the middle of this final struggle, and when the result might
still be held doubtful, that Tsin Chi Hwangti began his eventful reign.
When he began to rule he was only thirteen years of age, but he quickly
showed that he possessed the instinct of a statesman, and the courage of a
born commander of armies. On the one hand he sowed dissension between the
most formidable of his opponents, and brought about by a stratagem the
disgrace of the ablest general in their service, and on the other he
increased his army in numbers and efficiency, until it became
unquestionably the most formidable fighting force in China. While he
endeavored thus to attain internal peace, he was also studious in
providing for the general security of the empire, and with this object he
began the construction of a fortified wall across the northern frontier to
serve as a defense against the troublesome Hiongnou tribes, who are
identified with the Huns of Attila. This wall, which he began in the first
years of his reign, was finished before his death, and still exists as the
Great Wall of China, which has been considered one of the wonders of the
world. He was careful in his many wars with the tribes of Mongolia not to
allow himself to be drawn far from his own border, and at the close of a
campaign he always withdrew his troops behind the Great Wall. Toward
Central Asia he was more enterprising, and one of his best generals,
Moungtien, crossed what is now the Gobi Desert, and made Hami the frontier
fortress of the empire.

In his civil administration Hwangti was aided by the minister Lisseh, who
seems to have been a man of rare ability, and to have entered heartily
into all his master's schemes for uniting the empire. While Hwangti sat on
the throne with a naked sword in his hand, as the emblem of his authority,
dispensing justice, arranging the details of his many campaigns, and
superintending the innumerable affairs of his government, his minister was
equally active in reorganizing the administration and in supporting his
sovereign in his bitter struggle with the literary classes who advocated
archaic principles, and whose animosity to the ruler was inflamed by the
contempt, not unmixed with ferocity, with which he treated them. The
empire was divided into thirty-six provinces, and he impressed upon the
governors the importance of improving communications within their
jurisdiction. Not content with this general precept, he issued a special
decree ordering that "roads shall be made in all directions throughout the
empire," and the origin of the main routes in China may be found with as
much certainty in his reign as that of the roads of Europe in the days of
Imperial Rome. When advised to assign some portion of his power to his
relatives and high officials in the provinces he refused to repeat the
blunders of his predecessors, and laid down the permanent truth that "good
government is impossible under a multiplicity of masters." He centralized
the power in his own hands, and he drew up an organization for the civil
service of the State which virtually exists at the present day. The two
salient features in that organization are the indisputable supremacy of
the emperor and the non-employment of the officials in their native
provinces, and the experience of two thousand years has proved their
practical value.

When he conquered his internal enemies he resolved to complete the
pacification of his country by effecting a general disarmament, and he
ordered that all weapons should be sent in to his capital at Hienyang.
This "skillful disarming of the provinces added daily to the wealth and
prosperity of the capital," which he proceeded to embellish. He built one
palace within the walls, and the Hall of Audience was ornamented with
twelve statues, each of which weighed twelve thousand pounds. But his
principal residence named the Palace of Delight, was without the walls,
and there he laid out magnificent gardens, and added building to building.
In one of the courts of this latter palace, it is said he could have drawn
up 10,000 soldiers. This eye to military requirements in even the building
of his residence showed the temper of his mind, and, in his efforts to
form a regular army, he had recourse to "those classes in the community
who were without any fixed profession, and who were possessed of
exceptional physical strength." He was thus the earliest possessor in
China of what might be called a regular standing army. With this force he
succeeded in establishing his power on a firm basis, and he may have hoped
also to insure permanence for his dynasty; but, alas! for the fallacy of
human expectations, the structure he erected fell with him.

Great as an administrator, and successful as a soldier, Hwangti was
unfortunate in one struggle that he provoked. At an early period of his
career, when success seemed uncertain, he found that his bitterest
opponents were men of letters, and that the literary class as a body was
hostile to his interests and person. Instead of ignoring this opposition
or seeking to overcome it by the same agency, Hwangti expressed his hatred
and contempt, not only of the literary class, but of literature itself,
and resorted to extreme measures of coercion. The writers took up the gage
of battle thrown down by the emperor, and Hwangti became the object of the
wit and abuse of every literate who could use a pencil. His birth was
aspersed. It was said that he was not a Tsin at all, that his origin was
of the humblest, and that he was a substituted child foisted on the last
of the Tsin princes. These personal attacks were accompanied by
unfavorable criticism of all his measures, and by censure where he felt
that he deserved praise. It would have been more prudent if he had shown
greater indifference and patience, for although he had the satisfaction of
triumphing by brute force over those who jeered at him, the triumph was
accomplished by an act of Vandalism, with which his name will be quite as
closely associated in history as any of the wise measures or great works
that he carried out. His vanquished opponents left behind them a legacy of
hostility and revenge of the whole literary class of China, which has
found expression in all the national histories.

The struggle, which had been in progress for some years, reached its
culminating point in the year 213 B.C., when a Grand Council of the empire
was summoned at Hienyang. At this council were present not only the
emperor's chief military and civil officers from the different provinces,
but also the large literary class, composed of aspirants to office and the
members of the academies and College of Censors. The opposing forces in
China were thus drawn up face to face, and it would have been surprising
if a collision had not occurred. On the one side were the supporters of
the man who had made China again an empire, believers in his person and
sharers in his glory; on the other were those who had no admiration for
this ruler, who detested his works, proclaimed his successes dangerous
innovations, and questioned his right to bear the royal name. The purpose
of the emperor may be detected when he called upon speakers in this
assembly of his friends and foes to express their opinions of his
administration, and when a member of his household rose to extol his work
and to declare that he had "surpassed the very greatest of his
predecessors." This courtier-like declaration, which would have been
excusable even if it had had a less basis of truth than it unquestionably
possessed in the case of Hwangti, was received with murmurs and marks of
dissent by the literati. One of them rose and denounced the speaker as "a
vile flatterer," and proceeded to expatiate on the superior merit of
several of the earlier rulers. Not content with this unseasonable eulogy,
he advocated the restoration of the empire to its old form of
principalities, and the consequent undoing of all that Hwangti had
accomplished. Hwangti interrupted this speaker and called upon his
favorite minister Lisseh to reply to him and explain his policy. Lisseh
began by stating what has often been said since, and in other countries,
that "men of letters are, as a rule, very little acquainted with what
concerns the government of a country, not that government of pure
speculation which is nothing more than a phantom, vanishing the nearer we
approached to it, but the practical government which consists in keeping
men within the sphere of their proper duties." He then proceeded to
denounce the literary class as being hostile to the State, and to
recommend the destruction of their works, declaring that "now is the time
or never to close the mouths of these secret enemies and to place a curb
on their audacity." The emperor at once from his throne ratified the
policy and ordered that no time should be lost in executing the necessary
measures. All books were proscribed, and orders were issued to burn every
work except those relating to medicine, agriculture, and such science as
then existed. The destruction of the national literature was carried out
with terrible completeness, and such works as were preserved are not free
from the suspicion of being garbled or incomplete versions of their
original text. The burning of the books was accompanied by the execution
of five hundred of the literati, and by the banishment of many thousands.
By this sweeping measure, to which no parallel is to be found in the
history of other countries, Hwangti silenced during the last few years of
his life the criticisms of his chief enemies, but in revenge his memory
has had to bear for two thousand years the sully of an inexcusable act of
tyranny and narrow-mindedness. The price will be pronounced too heavy for
what was a momentary gratification.

The reign of Hwangti was not prolonged many years after the burning of the
books. In 210 B.C. he was seized with a serious illness, to which he
succumbed, partly because he took no precautions, and partly, no doubt,
through the incompetence of his physicians. His funeral was magnificent,
and, like the Huns, his grave was dug in the bed of a river, and with him
were buried his wives and his treasure. This great ruler left behind him
an example of vigor such as is seldom found in the list of Chinese kings
of effete physique and apathetic life. He is the only Chinese emperor of
whom it is said that his favorite exercise was walking, and his vigor was
apparent in every department of State. On one occasion when he placed a
large army of, it is said, 600,000 men at the disposal of one of his
generals, the commander expressed some fear as to how this huge force was
to be fed. Hwangti at once replied, "Leave it to me. I will provide for
everything. There shall be want rather in my palace than in your camp." He
does not seem to have been a great general himself, but he knew how to
select the best commanders, and he was also so quick in discovering the
merits of the generals opposed to him, that some of his most notable
victories were obtained by his skill in detaching them from their service
or by ruining their reputation by some intrigue more astute than
honorable. Yet, all deductions made, Tsin Chi Hwangti stands forth as a
great ruler and remarkable man.

The Tsin dynasty only survived its founder a few years. Hwangti's son
Eulchi became emperor, but he reigned no more than three years. He was
foolish enough to get rid of the general Moungtien, who might have been
the buttress of his throne; and the minister Lisseh was poisoned, either
with or without his connivance. Eulchi himself shared the same fate, and
his successor, Ing Wang, reigned only six weeks, committing suicide after
losing a battle, and with him the Tsin dynasty came to an end. Its chief,
nay its only claim to distinction, arises from its having produced the
great ruler Hwangti, and its destiny was Napoleonic in its brilliance and
evanescence.

Looking back at the long period which connects the mythical age with what
may be considered the distinctly historical epoch of the Tsins, we find
that by the close of the third century before the Christian era China
possessed settled institutions, the most remarkable portion of its still
existing literature, and mighty rulers. It is hardly open to doubt that
the Chinese annalist finds in these remote ages as much interest and
instruction as we should in the record of more recent times, and proof of
this may be discovered in the fact that the history of the first four
dynasties, which we must dismiss in these few pages, occupies as much
space in the national history as the chronicle of events from Tsin Chi
Hwangti to the end of the Ming dynasty in 1644, at which date the official
history of China stops, because the history of the Manchu dynasty, which
has occupied the throne ever since, will only be given to the world after
it has ceased to rule. We must not be surprised at this discursiveness,
because the teachings of human experience are as clearly marked in those
early times as they have been since, and Chinese historians aim as much at
establishing moral and philosophical truths as at giving a complete record
of events. The consequences of human folly and incompetence are as patent
and conspicuous in those days as they are now. The ruling power is lost by
one family and transferred to another because the prince neglects his
business, gives himself over to the indulgence of pleasure, or fails to
see the signs of the times. Cowardice and corruption receive their due and
inevitable punishment. The founders of the dynasties are all brave and
successful warriors, who are superior to the cant of a hypercivilized
state of society, which covers declining vigor and marks the first phase
of effeteness, and who see that as long as there are human passions they
may be molded by genius to make the many serve the few and to build up an
autocracy. Nor are the lessons to be learned from history applicable only
to individuals. The faults of an emperor are felt in every household of
the community, and injure the State. Indifference and obtuseness at the
capital entailed weakness on the frontier and in the provincial capitals.
The barbarians grew defiant and aggressive, and defeated the imperial
forces. The provincial governors asserted their independence, and founded
ruling families. The empire became attenuated by external attack and
internal division. But, to use tho phrase of the Chinese historians,
"after long abiding disunion, union revived." The strong and capable man
always appears in one form or another, and the Chinese people, impressed
with a belief in both the divine mission of their emperor and also in the
value of union, welcome with acclaim the advent of the prince who will
restore their favorite and ideal system of one-man government. The time is
still hidden in a far-distant and undiscoverable future when it will be
otherwise, and when the Chinese will be drawn away from their consistent
and ancient practice to pursue the ignis fatuus of European politics that
seeks to combine human equality with good practical government and
national security. The Chinese have another and more attainable ideal, nor
is there any likelihood of their changing it. The fall of dynasties may,
needs must, continue in the ordinary course of nature, but in China it
will not pave the way to a republic. The imperial authority will rise
triumphant after every struggle above the storm.



CHAPTER II

THE FIRST NATIONAL DYNASTY


As the Chinese are still proud to call themselves the sons of Han, it will
be understood that the period covered by the Han rulers must be an
important epoch in their history, and in more than one respect they were
the first national dynasty, When the successors of Tsin Chi Hwangti proved
unable to keep the throne, the victorious general who profited by their
discomfiture was named Liu Pang. He had been a trusted official of the
Emperor Hwangti, but on finding that his descendants could not bear the
burden of government, he resolved to take his own measures, and he lost no
time in collecting troops and in making a bid for popularity by
endeavoring to save all the books that had not been burned. His career
bears some resemblance to that of Macbeth, for a soothsayer meeting him on
the road predicted, "by the expression of his features, that he was
destined to become emperor." He began his struggle for the throne by
defeating another general named Pawang, who was also disposed to make a
bid for supreme power. After this success Liu Pang was proclaimed emperor
as Kao Hwangti, meaning Lofty and August Emperor, which has been shortened
into Kaotsou. He named his dynasty the Han, after the small state in which
he was born.

Kaotsou began his reign by a public proclamation in favor of peace, and
deploring the evils which follow in the train of war. He called upon his
subjects to aid his efforts for their welfare by assisting in the
execution of many works of public utility, among which roads and bridges
occupied the foremost place. He removed his capital from Loyang in Honan
to Singanfoo in Shensi, and as Singan was difficult of access in those
days, he constructed a great highroad from the center of China to this
somewhat remote spot on the western frontier. This road still exists, and
has been described by several travelers in our time. It was constructed by
the labor of one hundred thousand men through the most difficult country,
crossing great mountain chains and broad rivers. The Chinese engineers
employed on the making of this road, which has excited the admiration of
all who have traversed it, first discovered and carried into execution the
suspension bridge, which in Europe is quite a modern invention. One of
these "flying bridges," as the Chinese called them, is one hundred and
fifty yards across a valley five hundred feet below, and is still in use.
At regular intervals along this road Kaotsou constructed rest-houses for
travelers, and postal-stations for his couriers. No Chinese ruler has done
anything more useful or remarkable than this admirable road from Loyang to
Singanfoo. He embellished his new capital with many fine buildings, among
which was a large palace, the grandeur of which was intended to correspond
with the extent of his power.

The reign of Kaotsou was, however, far from being one of uncheckered
prosperity. Among his own subjects his popularity was great because he
promoted commerce and improved the administration of justice. He also
encouraged literature, and was the first ruler to recognize the claims of
Confucius, at whose tomb he performed an elaborate ceremony. He thus
acquired a reputation which induced the King of Nanhai--a state composed
of the southern provinces of China, with its capital at or near the modern
Canton--to tender his allegiance. But he was destined to receive many
slights and injuries at the hands of a foreign enemy, who at this time
began a course of active aggression that entailed serious consequences for
both China and Europe.

Reference has been made to the Hiongnou or Hun tribes, against whom Tsin
Hwangti built the Great Wall. In the interval between the death of that
ruler and the consolidation of the power of Kaotsou, a remarkable chief
named Meha, or Meta, had established his supremacy among the disunited
clans of the Mongolian Desert, and had succeeded in combining for purposes
of war the whole fighting force of what had been a disjointed and
barbarous confederacy. The Chinese rulers had succeeded in keeping back
this threatening torrent from overflowing the fertile plains of their
country, as much by sowing dissension among these clans and by bribing one
chief to fight another, as by superior arms. But Meha's success rendered
this system of defense no longer possible, and the desert chieftain,
realizing the opportunity of spoil and conquest, determined to make his
position secure by invading China. If the enterprise had failed, there
would have been an end to the paramounce of Meha, but his rapid success
convinced the Huns that their proper and most profitable policy was to
carry on implacable war with their weak and wealthy neighbors. Meha's
success was so great that in a single campaign he recovered all the
districts taken from the Tartars by the general Moungtien. He turned the
western angle of the Great Wall, and brought down his frontier to the
river Hoangho. His light cavalry raided past the Chinese capital into the
province of Szchuen, and returned laden with the spoil of countless
cities. These successes were crowned by a signal victory over the emperor
in person. Kaotsou was drawn into an ambuscade in which his troops had no
chance with their more active adversaries, and, to save himself from
capture, Kaotsou had no alternative but to take refuge in the town of
Pingching, where he was closely beleaguered. It was impossible to defend
the town for any length of time, and the capture of Kaotsou seemed
inevitable, when recourse was had to a stratagem. The most beautiful
Chinese maiden was sent as a present to propitiate the conqueror, and
Meha, either mollified by the compliment, or deeming that nothing was to
be gained by driving the Chinese to desperation, acquiesced in a
convention which, while it sealed the ignominious defeat of the Chinese,
rescued their sovereign from his predicament.

This disaster, and his narrow personal escape, seem to have unnerved
Kaotsou, for when the Huns resumed their incursions in the very year
following the Pingching convention, he took no steps to oppose them, and
contented himself with denouncing in his palace Meha as "a wicked and
faithless man, who had risen to power by the murder of his father, and one
with whom oaths and treaties carried no weight." Notwithstanding this
opinion, Kaotsou proceeded to negotiate with Meha as an equal, and gave
this barbarian prince his own daughter in marriage as the price of his
abstaining from further attacks on the empire. Never, wrote a historian,
"was so great a shame inflicted on the Middle Kingdom, which then lost its
dignity and honor." Meha observed this peace during the life of Kaotsou,
who found that his reputation was much diminished by his coming to terms
with his uncivilized opponent, but although several of his generals
rebelled, until it was said that "the very name of revolt inspired Kaotsou
with apprehension," he succeeded in overcoming them all without serious
difficulty. His troubles probably shortened his life, for he died when he
was only fifty-three, leaving the crown to his son, Hoeiti, and
injunctions to his widow, Liuchi, as to the conduct of the administration.

The brief reign of Hoeiti is only remarkable for the rigor and terrible
acts of his mother, the Empress Liuchi, who is the first woman mentioned
in Chinese history as taking a supreme part in public affairs. Another of
Kaotsou's widows aspired to the throne for her son, and the chief
direction for herself. Liuchi nipped their plotting in the bud by
poisoning both of them. She marked out those who differed from her, or who
resented her taking the most prominent part in public ceremonies, as her
enemies, to be removed from her path by any means. At a banquet she
endeavored to poison one of the greatest princes of the empire, but her
plot was detected and baffled by her son. It is perhaps not surprising
that Hoeiti did not live long after this episode, and then Liuchi ruled in
her own name, and without filling up the vacancy on the throne, until the
public dissatisfaction warned her that she was going too far. She then
adopted a supposititious child as her grandson and governed as regent in
his name. The mother of this youth seems to have made inconvenient demands
on the empress, who promptly put her out of the way, and when the son
showed a disposition to resent this action, she caused him to be poisoned.
She again ruled without a puppet emperor, hoping to retain power by
placing her relatives in the principal offices; but the dissatisfaction
had now reached an acute point, and threatened to destroy her. It may be
doubted whether she would have surmounted these difficulties and dangers,
when death suddenly cut short her adventurous career. The popular legend
is that this Chinese Lucretia Borgia died of fright at seeing the
apparitions of her many victims, and there can be no doubt that her crimes
did not conduce to make woman government more popular in China.

It says much for the excellence of Kaotsou's work, and for the hold the
Han family had obtained on the Chinese people, that when it became
necessary to select an emperor after the death of Liuchi the choice should
have fallen unanimously on the Prince of Tai, who was the illegitimate son
of Kaotsou. On mounting the throne, he took the name of Wenti. He began
his reign by remitting taxes and by appointing able and honest governors
and judges. He ordered that all old men should be provided with corn, meat
and wine, besides silk and cotton for their garments. At the suggestion of
his ministers, who were alive to the dangers of a disputed succession, he
proclaimed his eldest son heir to the throne. He purified the
administration of justice by declaring that prince and peasant must be
equally subject to the law; he abolished the too common punishment of
mutilation, and had the satisfaction of seeing crime reduced to such low
proportions in the empire that the jails contained only four hundred
prisoners. Wenti was a strong advocate of peace, which was, indeed,
necessary to China, as it had not recovered from the effects of the last
Hun invasion. He succeeded by diplomacy in inducing the Prince at Canton,
who had shown a disposition to assert his independence, to recognize his
authority, and thus averted a civil war. In his relations with the Huns,
among whom the authority of Meha had passed to his son, Lao Chang, he
strove to preserve the peace, giving that chief one of his daughters in
marriage, and showing moderation in face of much provocation. When war was
forced upon him by their raids he did everything he could to mitigate its
terrors, but the ill success of his troops in their encounters with the
Tartars broke his confidence, and he died prematurely after a reign of
twenty-three years, which was remarkable as witnessing the consolidation
of the Hans. The good work of Wenti was continued during the peaceful
reign of sixteen years of his son Kingti.

The next emperor was Vouti, a younger son of Kingti, and one of his
earliest conquests was to add the difficult and inaccessible province of
Fuhkien to the empire. He also endeavored to propitiate the Huns by giving
their chief one of the princesses of his family as a wife, but the opinion
was gaining ground that it would be better to engage in a war for the
overthrow of the national enemy than to purchase a hollow peace. Wang Kua,
a general who had commanded on the frontier, and who knew the Hun mode of
warfare, represented that success would be certain, and at last gained the
emperor's ear. Vouti decided on war, and raised a large army for the
purpose. But the result was not auspicious. Wang Kua failed to bring the
Huns to an engagement, and the campaign which was to produce such great
results ended ingloriously. The unlucky general who had promised so much
anticipated his master's displeasure by committing suicide. Unfortunately
for himself, his idea of engaging in a mortal struggle with the Tartars
gained ground, and became in time the fixed policy of China.
Notwithstanding this check, the authority of Vouti continued to expand. He
annexed Szchuen, a province exceeding in size and population most European
states, and he received from the ruler of Manchuria a formal tender of
submission. In the last years of his reign the irrepressible Hun question
again came up for discussion, and the episode of the flight of the Yuchi
from Kansuh affords a break in the monotony of the struggle, and is the
first instance of that western movement which brought the tribes of the
Gobi Desert into Europe. The Yuchi are believed to have been allied with
the Jats of India, and there is little or no doubt that the Sacae, or
Scythians, were their descendants. They occupied a strip of territory in
Kansuh from Shachow to Lanchefoo, and after suffering much at the hands of
the Huns under Meha, they resolved to seek a fresh home in the unknown
regions of Western Asia. The Emperor Vouti wished to bring them back, and
he sent an envoy named Chang Keen to induce them to return. That officer
discovered them in the Oxus region, but all his arguments failed to
incline them to leave a quarter in which they had recovered power and
prosperity. Powerless against the Huns, they had more than held their own
against the Parthians and the Greek kingdom of Bactria. They retained
their predominant position in what is now Bokhara and Balkh, until they
were gathered up by the Huns in their western march, and hurled, in
conjunction with them, on the borders of the Roman Empire. Meantime, the
war with the Huns themselves entered upon a new phase. A general named Wei
Tsing obtained a signal victory over them, capturing 15,000 prisoners and
the spoil of the Tartar camp. This success restored long-lost confidence
to the Chinese troops, and it was followed by several other victories. One
Chinese expedition, composed entirely of cavalry, marched through the Hun
country to Soponomo on the Tian Shan, carrying everything before it and
returning laden with spoil, including some of the golden images of the Hun
religion. Encouraged by these successes, Vouti at last took the field in
person, and sent a formal summons to the Tartar king to make his
submission to China. His reply was to imprison the bearer of the message,
and to defy the emperor to do his worst. This boldness had the effect of
deterring the emperor from his enterprise. He employed his troops in
conquering Yunnan and Leaoutung instead of in waging another war with the
Huns. But he had only postponed, not abandoned, his intention of
overthrowing, once and for all, this most troublesome and formidable
national enemy. He raised an enormous force for the campaign, which might
have proved successful but for the mistake of intrusting the command to an
incompetent general. In an ill-advised moment, he gave his brother-in-law,
Li Kwangli, the supreme direction of the war. His incompetence entailed a
succession of disasters, and the only redeeming point amid them was that
Li Kwangli was taken prisoner and rendered incapable of further mischief.
Liling, the grandson of this general, was intrusted with a fresh army to
retrieve the fortunes of the war; but, although successful at first, he
was outmaneuvered, and reduced to the unpleasant pass of surrendering to
the enemy. Both Li Kwangli and Liling adapted themselves to circumstances,
and took service under the Tartar chief. As this conduct obtained the
approval of the historian Ssematsien, it is clear that our views of such a
proceeding would not be in harmony with the opinion in China of that day.
The long war which Vouti waged with the Huns for half a century, and which
was certainly carried on in a more honorable and successful manner than
any previous portion of that historic struggle, closed with discomfiture
and defeat, which dashed to the ground the emperor's hopes of a complete
triumph over the most formidable national enemy.

After a reign of fifty-four years, which must be pronounced glorious,
Vouti died, amid greater troubles and anxieties than any that had beset
him during his long reign. He was unquestionably a great ruler. He added
several provinces to his empire, and the success he met with over the Huns
was far from being inconsiderable. He was a Nimrod among the Chinese, and
his principal enjoyment was to chase the wildest animals without any
attendants. Like many other Chinese princes, Vouti was prone to believe in
the possibility of prolonging human life, or, as the Chinese put it, in
the draught of immortality. In connection with this weakness an anecdote
is preserved that will bear telling. A magician offered the emperor a
glass containing the pretended elixir of eternal life, and Vouti was about
to drink it when a courtier snatched it from his hand and drained the
goblet. The enraged monarch ordered him to prepare for instant death, but
the ready courtier at once replied, "How can I be executed, since I have
drunk the draught of immortality?" To so convincing an argument no reply
was possible, and Vouti lived to a considerable age without the aid of
magicians or quack medicines. Of him also it may be said that he added to
the stability of the Han dynasty, and he left the throne to Chaoti, the
youngest of his sons, a child of eight, for whom he appointed his two most
experienced ministers to act as governors. As these ministers were true to
their duty, the interregnum did not affect the fortunes of the State
adversely, and several claimants to the throne paid for their ambition
with their lives. The reign of Chaoti was prosperous and successful, but,
unfortunately, he died at the early age of thirty-one, and without leaving
an heir.

After some hesitation, Chaoti's uncle Liucho was proclaimed emperor, but
he proved to be a boor with low tastes, whose sole idea of power was the
license to indulge in coarse amusements. The chief minister, Ho Kwang,
took upon himself the responsibility of deposing him, and also of placing
on the throne Siuenti, who was the great-grandson, or, according to
another account, the grandson, of Vouti. The choice was a fortunate one,
and "Ho Kwang gave all his care to perfecting the new emperor in the
science of government." As a knowledge of his connection with the Imperial
family had been carefully kept from him, Siuenti was brought from a very
humble sphere to direct the destinies of the Chinese, and his greater
energy and more practical disposition were probably due to his not having
been bred in the enervating atmosphere of a palace. He, too, was brought
at an early stage of his career face to face with the Tartar question, and
he had what may be pronounced a unique experience in his wars with them.
He sent several armies under commanders of reputation to wage war on them,
and the generals duly returned, reporting decisive and easily obtained
victories. The truth soon leaked out. The victories were quite imaginary.
The generals had never ventured to face the Tartars, and they were given
no option by their enraged and disappointed master but to poison
themselves. Other generals were appointed, and the Tartars were induced to
sue for peace, partly from fear of the Chinese, and partly because they
were disunited among themselves. Such was the reputation of Siuenti for
justice that several of the Tartar chiefs carried their grievances to the
foot of his throne, and his army became known as "the troops of justice."
It is said that all the tribes and countries of Central Asia as far west
as the Caspian sent him tribute, and to celebrate the event he built a
kilin or pavilion, in which he placed statues of all the generals who had
contributed toward his triumph. Only one incident marred the tranquillity
of Siuenti's reign. The great statesman, Ho Kwang, had sunk quietly into
private life as soon as he found the emperor capable of governing for
himself; but his wife Hohien was more ambitious and less satisfied with
her position, although she had effected a marriage between her daughter
and Siuenti. This lady was only one of the queens of the ruler, and not
the empress. Hohien, to further her ends, determined to poison the
empress, and succeeded only too well. Her guilt would have been divulged
by the doctor she employed, but that Ho Kwang, by an exercise of his
authority, prevented the application of torture to him when thrown into
prison. This narrow escape from detection did not keep Hohien from crime.
She had the satisfaction of seeing her daughter proclaimed empress, but
her gratification was diminished by the son of the murdered Hiuchi being
selected as heir to the throne. Hohien resolved to poison this prince, but
her design was discovered, and she and all the members of her family were
ordered to take poison. The minister, Ho Kwang, had taken no part in these
plots, which, however, injured his reputation, and his statue in the
Imperial pavilion was left without a name.

Siuenti did not long survive these events, and Yuenti, the son of Hiuchi,
became emperor. His reign of sixteen years presents no features of
interest beyond the signal overthrow of the Tartar chief, Chichi, whose
head was sent by the victorious general to be hung on the walls of Singan.
Yuenti was succeeded by his son Chingti, who reigned twenty-six years, and
who gained the reputation of a Chinese Vitellius. His nephew Gaiti, who
was the next emperor, showed himself an able and well-intentioned prince,
but his reign of six years was too brief to allow of any permanent work
being accomplished. One measure of his was not without its influence on
the fate of his successors. He had disgraced and dismissed from the
service an official named Wang Mang, who had attained great power and
influence under Chingti. The ambition of this individual proved fatal to
the dynasty. On Gaiti's death he emerged from his retirement, and, in
conjunction with that prince's mother, seized the government. They placed
a child, grandson of Yuenti, on the throne, and gave him the name of
Pingti, or the Peaceful Emperor, but he never governed. Before Pingti was
fourteen, Wang Mang resolved to get rid of him, and he gave him the
poisoned cup with his own hands. This was not the only, or perhaps the
worst, crime that Wang Mang perpetrated to gain the throne. Pressed for
money to pay his troops, he committed the sacrilege of stripping the
graves of the princes of the Han family of the jewels deposited in them.
One more puppet prince was placed on the throne, but he was soon got rid
of, and Wang Mang proclaimed himself emperor. He also decreed that the Han
dynasty was extinct, and that his family should be known as the Sin.

Wang Mang the usurper was certainly a capable administrator, but in
seizing the throne he had attempted a task to which he was unequal. As
long as he was minister or regent, respect and regard for the Han family
prevented many from revolting against his tyranny, but when he seized the
throne he became the mark of popular indignation and official jealousy.
The Huns resumed their incursions, and, curiously enough, put forward a
proclamation demanding the restoration of the Hans. Internal enemies
sprang up on every side, and Wang Mang's attempt to terrify them by
severity and wholesale executions only aggravated the situation. It became
clear that the struggle was to be one to the death, but this fact did not
assist Wang Mang, who saw his resources gradually reduced and his enemies
more confident as the contest continued. After twelve years' fighting,
Wang Mang was besieged at Singan. The city was soon carried by storm, and
Wang Mang retired to the palace to put an end to his existence. But his
heart failed him, and he was cut down by the foe. His last exclamation and
the dirge of his short-lived dynasty, which is denied a place in Chinese
history, was, "If Heaven had given me courage, what could the family of
the Hans have done?"

The eldest of the surviving Han princes, Liu Hiuen, was placed on the
throne, and the capital was removed from Singan to Loyang, or Honan.
Nothing could have been more popular among the Chinese people than the
restoration of the Hans. It is said that the old men cried for joy when
they saw the banner of the Hans again waving over the palace and in the
field. But Liu Hiuen was not a good ruler, and there might have been
reason to regret the change if he had not wisely left the conduct of
affairs to his able cousin, Liu Sieou. At last the army declared that Liu
Sieou should be emperor, and when Liu Hiuen attempted to form a faction of
his own he was murdered by Fanchong, the leader of a confederacy known as
the Crimson Eyebrows, on whose co-operation he counted. The Crimson
Eyebrows were so called from the distinguishing mark which they had
adopted when first organized as a protest against the tyranny of Wang
Mang. At first they were patriots, but they soon became brigands. After
murdering the emperor, Fanchong, their leader, threw off all disguise, and
seizing Singan, gave it over to his followers to plunder. Liu Sieou, on
becoming emperor, took the style of Kwang Vouti, and his first task was to
overthrow the Crimson Eyebrows, who had become a public enemy. He
intrusted the command of the army he raised for this purpose to Fongy, who
justified his reputation as the most skillful Chinese general of his day
by gaining several victories over a more numerous adversary. Within two
years Kwang Vouti had the satisfaction of breaking up the formidable
faction known as the Crimson Eyebrows, and of holding its leader Fanchong
as a prisoner in his capital.

Kwang Vouti was engaged for many more years in subduing the numerous
potentates who had repudiated the imperial authority. His efforts were
invariably crowned with success, but he acquired so great a distaste for
war that it is said when his son asked him to explain how an army was set
in battle array he refused to reply. But the love of peace will not avert
war when a State has turbulent or ambitious neighbors who are resolved to
appeal to arms, and so Kwang Vouti was engaged in almost constant
hostilities to the end of his days. Chingtse, the Queen of Kaochi, which
may be identified with the modern Annam, defied the Chinese, and defeated
the first army sent to bring her to reason. This reverse necessitated a
still greater effort on the part of the Chinese ruler to bring his
neighbor to her senses. The occupant of the Dragon throne could not sit
down tamely under a defeat inflicted by a woman, and an experienced
general named Mayuen was sent to punish the Queen of Kaochi. The Boadicea
of Annam made a valiant defense, but she was overthrown, and glad to
purchase peace by making the humblest submission. The same general more
than held his own on the northern and northwest frontiers. When Kwang
Vouti died, in A.D. 57, after a brilliant reign of thirty-three years, he
had firmly established the Han dynasty, and he left behind him the
reputation of being both a brave and a just prince.

His son and successor, Mingti, was not unworthy of his father. His acts
were characterized by wisdom and clemency, and the country enjoyed a large
measure of peace through the policy of Mingti and his father. A general
named Panchow, who was perhaps the greatest military commander China ever
produced, began his long and remarkable career in this reign, and, without
the semblance of an effort, kept the Huns in order, and maintained the
imperial authority over them. Among other great and important works,
Mingti constructed a dike, thirty miles long, for the relief of the
Hoangho, and the French missionary and writer, Du Halde, states that so
long as this was kept in repair there were no floods. The most remarkable
event of Mingti's reign was undoubtedly the official introduction of
Buddhism into China. Some knowledge of the great Indian religion and of
the teacher Sakya Muni seems to have reached China through either Tibet,
or, more probably, Burma, but it was not until Mingti, in consequence of a
dream, sent envoys to India to study Buddhism, that its doctrine became
known in China. Under the direct patronage of the emperor it made rapid
progress, and although never unreservedly popular, it has held its ground
ever since its introduction in the first century of our era, and is now
inextricably intertwined with the religion of the Chinese state and
people. Mingti died after a successful reign of eighteen years in 75 A.D.
His son, Changti, with the aid of his mother, Machi, the daughter of the
general Mayuen, enjoyed a peaceful reign of thirteen years, and died at an
early age lamented by his sorrowing people.

After Changti came his son, Hoti, who was only ten at the time of his
accession, and who reigned for seventeen years. He was a virtuous and
well-intentioned prince, who instituted many internal reforms, and during
his reign a new writing paper was invented, which is supposed to have been
identical with the papyrus of Egypt. But the reign of Hoti is rendered
illustrious by the remarkable military achievements of Panchow. The
success of that general in his operations with the Huns has already been
referred to, and he at last formed a deliberate plan for driving them away
from the Chinese frontier. Although he enjoyed the confidence of his
successive sovereigns, the imperial sanction was long withheld from this
vast scheme, but during the life of Changti he began to put in operation
measures for the realization of this project that were only matured under
Hoti. He raised and trained a special army for frontier war. He enlisted
tribes who had never served the emperor before, and who were specially
qualified for desert warfare. He formed an alliance with the Sienpi tribes
of Manchuria, who were probably the ancestors of the present Manchus, and
thus arranged for a flank attack on the Huns. This systematic attack was
crowned with success. The pressure brought against them compelled the
Hiongnou to give way, and as they were ousted from their possessions, to
seek fresh homes further west. In this they were, no doubt, stimulated by
the example of their old opponents, the Yuchi, but Panchow's energy
supplied a still more convincing argument. He pursued them wherever they
went, across the Gobi Desert and beyond the Tian Shan range, taking up a
strong position at modern Kuldja and Kashgar, sending his expeditions on
to the Pamir, and preparing to complete his triumph by the invasion of the
countries of the Oxus and Jaxartes. When Hoti was still a youth, he
completed this programme by overrunning the region as far as the Caspian,
which was probably at that time connected with the Aral, and it may be
supposed that Khiva marked the limit of the Chinese general's triumphant
progress. It is affirmed with more or less show of truth that he came into
contact with the Roman empire or the great Thsin, as the Chinese called
it, and that he wished to establish commercial relations with it. But
however uncertain this may be, there can be no doubt that he inflicted a
most material injury on Rome, for before his legions fled the Huns, who,
less than four centuries later, debased the majesty of the imperial city,
and whose leader, Attila, may have been a descendant of that Meha at whose
hands the Chinese suffered so severely.

After this brilliant and memorable war, Panchow returned to China, where
he died at the great age of eighty. With him disappeared the good fortune
of the Han dynasty, and misfortunes fell rapidly on the family that had
governed China so long and so well. Hoti's infant son lived only a few
months, and then his brother, Ganti, became emperor. The real power rested
in the hands of the widow of Hoti, who was elevated to the post of regent.
Ganti was succeeded in A.D. 124 by his son, Chunti, in whose time several
rebellions occurred, threatening the extinction of the dynasty. Several
children were then elevated to the throne, and at last an ambitious noble
named Leangki, whose sister was one of the empresses, acquired the supreme
direction of affairs. He gave a great deal of trouble, but at last,
finding that his ambitious schemes did not prosper, he took poison, thus
anticipating a decree passed for his execution. Hwanti, the emperor who
had the courage to punish this powerful noble, was the last able ruler of
the Hans. His reign was, on the whole, a brilliant one, and the Sienpi
tribes, who had taken the place of the Hiongnou, were, after one arduous
campaign, defeated in a pitched battle. The Chinese were on the verge of
defeat when their general, Twan Kang, rushed to the front, exclaiming:
"Recall to your minds how often before you have beaten these same
opponents, and teach them again to-day that in you they have their
masters."

After Hwanti's death the decline of the Hans was rapid. They produced no
other ruler worthy of the throne. In the palace the eunuchs, always
numerous at the Chinese court, obtained the upper hand, and appointed
their own creatures to the great governing posts. Fortunately this
dissension at the capital was not attended by weakness on the frontier,
and the Sienpi were again defeated. The battle is chiefly memorable
because the Sienpi endeavored to frighten the Chinese general by
threatening to kill his mother, who was a prisoner in their hands, if he
attacked. Not deterred by this menace, Chow Pow attacked the enemy, and
gained a decisive victory, but at the cost of his mother's life, which so
affected him that he died of grief shortly afterward. After some time
dissensions rose in the Han family, and two half-brothers claimed the
throne. Pienti became emperor by the skillful support of his uncle,
General Hotsin, while his rival, Hienti, enjoyed the support of the
eunuchs. A deadly feud ensued between the two parties, which was
aggravated by the murder of Hotsin, who rashly entered the palace without
an escort. His soldiers avenged his death, carrying the palace by storm
and putting ten thousand eunuchs to the sword. After this the last
emperors possessed only the name of emperor. The practical authority was
disputed among several generals, of whom Tsow Tsow was the most
distinguished and successful; and he and his son Tsowpi founded a dynasty,
of which more will be heard hereafter. In A.D. 220 Hienti, the last Han
ruler, retired into private life, thus bringing to an end the famous Han
dynasty, which had governed China for four hundred and fifty years.

Among the families that have reigned in China none has obtained as high a
place in popular esteem as the Hans. They rendered excellent work in
consolidating the empire and in carrying out what may be called the
imperial mission of China. Yunnan and Leaoutung were made provinces for
the first time. Cochin China became a vassal state. The writ of the
emperor ran as far as the Pamir. The wealth and trade of the country
increased with the progress of its armies. Some of the greatest public
works, in the shape of roads, bridges, canals, and aqueducts, were
constructed during this period, and still remain to testify to the glory
of the Hans. As has been seen, the Hans produced several great rulers.
Their fame was not the creation of one man alone, and as a consequence the
dynasty enjoyed a lengthened existence equaled by few of its predecessors
or successors. No ruling family was ever more popular with the Chinese
than this, and it managed to retain the throne when less favored rulers
would have expiated their mistakes and shortcomings by the loss of the
empire. With the strong support of the people, the Hans overcame
innumerable difficulties, and even the natural process of decay; and when
they made their final exit from history it was in a graceful manner, and
without the execration of the masses. That this feeling retains its force
is shown in the pride with which the Chinese still proclaim themselves to
be the sons of Han.



CHAPTER III

A LONG PERIOD OF DISUNION


The ignominious failure of the usurper Wang Mang to found a dynasty was
too recent to encourage any one to take upon himself the heavy charge of
administering the whole of the Han empire, and so the state was split up
into three principalities, and the period is known from this fact as the
Sankoue. One prince, a member of the late ruling family, held possession
of Szchuen, which was called the principality of Chow. The southern
provinces were governed by a general named Sunkiuen, and called Ou. The
central and northern provinces, containing the greatest population and
resources, formed the principality of Wei, subject to Tsowpi, the son of
Tsow Tsow. A struggle for supremacy very soon began between these princes,
and the balance of success gradually declared itself in favor of Wei. It
would serve no useful purpose to enumerate the battles which marked this
struggle, yet one deed of heroism deserves mention, the defense of
Sinching by Changte, an officer of the Prince of Wei. The strength of the
place was insignificant, and, after a siege of ninety days, several
breaches had been made in the walls. In this strait Changte sent a message
to the besieging general that he would surrender on the hundredth day if a
cessation of hostilities were granted, "as it was a law among the princes
of Wei that the governor of a place which held out for a hundred days and
then surrendered, with no prospect of relief visible, should not be
considered as guilty." The respite was short and it was granted. But the
disappointment of the besieger, already counting on success, was great
when a few days later he saw that the breaches had been repaired, that
fresh defenses had been improvised, and that Sinching was in better
condition than ever to withstand a siege. On sending to inquire the
meaning of these preparations, Changte gave the following reply: "I am
preparing my tomb and to bury myself in the ruins of Sinching." Of such
gallantry and resource the internecine strife of the Sankoue period
presents few instances, but the progress of the struggle steadily pointed
in the direction of the triumph of Wei.

The Chow dynasty of the Later Hans was the first to succumb to the princes
of Wei, and the combined resources of the two states were then directed
against the southern principality of Ou. The supreme authority in Wei had
before this passed from the family of Tsowpi to his best general,
Ssemachow, who had the satisfaction of beginning his reign with the
overthrow of the Chow dynasty. If he had earned out the wishes of his own
commander, Tengai, by attacking Ou at once, and in the flush of his
triumph over Chow, he might have completed his work at a stroke, for as
Tengai wrote, "An army which has the reputation of victory flies from one
success to another." But Ssemachow preferred a slower and surer mode of
action, with the result that the conquest of Ou was put off for twenty
years. Ssemachow died in A.D. 265, and his son Ssemachu founded the new
dynasty of the Later Tsins under the name of Vouti, or the warrior prince.

The main object with Vouti was to add the Ou principality to his
dominions, and the descendants of Sunkiuen thought it best to bend before
the storm. They sent humble embassies to Loyang, expressing their loyalty
and submission, but at the same time they made strenuous preparations to
defend their independence. This double policy precipitated the collision
it was intended to avert. Vouti paid more heed to the acts than the
promises of his neighbor, and he ordered the invasion of his territory
from two sides. He placed a large fleet of war junks on the Yangtsekiang
to attack his opponent on the Tunting Lake. The campaign that ensued was
decided before it began. The success of Vouti was morally certain from the
beginning, and after his army had suffered several reverses Sunhow threw
up the struggle and surrendered to his opponent. Thus was China again
reunited for a short time under the dynasty of the Later Tsins. Having
accomplished his main task, Vouti gave himself up to the pursuit of
pleasure, and impaired the reputation he had gained among his somewhat
severe fellow-countrymen by entertaining a theatrical company of five
thousand female comedians, and by allowing himself to be driven in a car
drawn by sheep through the palace grounds. Vouti lived about ten years
after the unity of the empire was restored, and his son, Ssemachong, or
Hweiti, became emperor on his death in A.D. 290. One of the great works of
his reign was the bridging of the Hoangho at Mongtsin, at a point much
lower down its course than is bridged at the present time.

The reign of Hweiti was marred by the ambitious vindictiveness of his
wife, Kiachi, who murdered the principal minister and imprisoned the widow
of the Emperor Vouti. The only good service she rendered the state was to
discern in one of the palace eunuchs named Mongkwan a great general, and
his achievements bear a strong resemblance to those of Narses, who was the
only other great commander of that unfortunate class mentioned in history.
Wherever Mongkwan commanded in person victory attended his efforts, but
the defeats of the other generals of the Tsins neutralized his success. At
this moment there was a recrudescence of Tartar activity which proved more
fatal to the Chinese ruler than his many domestic enemies. Some of the
Hiongnou tribes had retired in an easterly direction toward Manchuria when
Panchow drove the main body westward, and among them, at the time of which
we are speaking, a family named Lin had gained the foremost place. They
possessed all the advantages of Chinese education, and had married several
times into the Han family. Seeing the weakness of Hweiti these Lin chiefs
took the title of Kings of Han, and wished to pose as the liberators of
the country. Hweiti bent before the storm, and would have made an
ignominious surrender but that death saved him the trouble.

His brother and successor, Hwaiti, fared somewhat better at first, but
notwithstanding some flashes of success the Lin Tartars marched further
and further into the country, capturing cities, defeating the best
officers of the Tsins, and threatening the capital. In A.D. 310 Linsong,
the Han chief, invaded China in force and with the full intention of
ending the war at a blow. He succeeded in capturing Loyang, and carrying
off Hwaiti as his prisoner. The capital was pillaged and the Prince Royal
executed. Hwaiti is considered the first Chinese emperor to have fallen
into the hands of a foreign conqueror. Two years after his capture, Hwaiti
was compelled to wait on his conqueror at a public banquet, and when it
was over he was led out to execution. This foul murder illustrates the
character of the new race and men who aspired to rule over China. The
Tartar successes did not end here, for a few years later they made a fresh
raid into China, capturing Hwaiti's brother and successor, Mingti, who was
executed, twelve months after his capture, at Pingyang, the capital of the
Tartar Hans.

After these reverses the enfeebled Tsin rulers removed their capital to
Nankin, but this step alone would not have sufficed to prolong their
existence had not the Lin princes themselves suffered from the evils of
disunion and been compelled to remove their capital from Pingyang to
Singan. Here they changed their name from Han to Chow, but the work of
disintegration once begun proceeded rapidly, and in the course of a few
years the Lin power crumbled completely away. Released from their most
pressing danger by the fall of this family, the Tsin dynasty took a new
lease of life, but it was unable to derive any permanent advantage from
this fact. The last emperors of this family were weak and incompetent
princes, whose names need not be given outside a chronological table.
There would be nothing to say about them but that a humble individual
named Linyu, who owed everything to himself, found in the weakness of the
government and the confusion in the country the opportunity of
distinction. He proved himself a good soldier and able leader against the
successors of the Lin family on one side, and a formidable pirate named
Sunghen on the other. Dissatisfied with his position, Linyu murdered one
emperor and placed another on the throne, and in two years he compelled
his puppet, the last of the Later Tsins, to make a formal abdication in
his favor. For a considerable portion of their rule they governed the
whole of China, and it is absolutely true to say that they were the least
worthy family ever intrusted with so great a charge. Of the fifteen
emperors who ruled for one hundred and fifty-five years there is not more
than the founder whose name calls for preservation on his own merits.

Although Linyu's success was complete as far as it went, his dynasty, to
which he gave the name of Song, never possessed exclusive power among the
Chinese. It was only one administration among many others, and during his
brief reign of three years he could do nothing toward extending his power
over his neighbors, although he may have established his own the more
firmly by poisoning the miserable Tsin emperor whom he deposed. His son
and successor, Chowti, was deposed and murdered after a brief reign of one
year. His brother Wenti succeeded him, and he was soon drawn into a
struggle for power, if not existence, with his northern neighbor the King
of Wei, who was one of the most powerful potentates in the empire. The
principal and immediate bone of contention between them was the great
province of Honan, which had been overrun by the Wei ruler, but which
Wenti was resolved to recover. As the Hoangho divides this province into
two parts, it was extremely difficult for the Wei ruler to defend the
portion south of it, and when Wenti sent him his declaration of war, he
replied, "Even if your master succeeds in seizing this province I shall
know how to retake it as soon as the waters of the Hoangho are frozen."
Wenti succeeded in recovering Honan, but after a protracted campaign,
during which the Wei troops crossed the river on the ice, his armies were
again expelled from it, and the exhausted combatants found themselves at
the close of the struggle in almost the same position they had held at the
commencement. For a time both rulers devoted their attention to peaceful
matters, although Topatao, king of Wei, varied them by a persecution of
the Buddhists, and then the latter concentrated all his forces with the
view of overwhelming the Song emperor. When success seemed certain,
victory was denied him, and the Wei forces suffered severely during their
retreat to their own territory. This check to his triumphant career
injured his reputation and encouraged his enemies. A short time after this
campaign, Topatao was murdered by some discontented officers.

Nor was the Song ruler, Wenti, any more fortunate, as he was murdered by
his son. The parricide was killed in turn by a brother who became the
Emperor Vouti. This ruler was fond of the chase and a great eater, but, on
the whole, he did no harm. The next two emperors were cruel and
bloodthirsty princes, and during their reigns the executioner was
constantly employed. Two more princes, who were, however, not members of
the Song family, but only adopted by the last ruler of that house,
occupied the throne, but this weakness and unpopularity--for the Chinese,
unlike the people of India, scout the idea of adoption and believe only in
the rights of birth--administered the finishing stroke to the Songs, who
now give place to the Tsi dynasty, which was founded by a general named
Siaotaoching, who took the imperial name of Kaoti. The change did not
bring any improvement in the conditions of China, and it was publicly said
that the Tsi family had attained its pride of place not by merit, but by
force. The Tsi dynasty, after a brief and ignominious career, came to an
end in the person of a youthful prince named Hoti. After his deposition,
in A.D. 502, his successful enemies ironically sent him in prison a
present of gold. He exclaimed, "What need have I of gold after my death? a
few glasses of wine would be more valuable." They complied with his wish,
and while he was drunk they strangled him with his own silken girdle.

After the Tsi came the Leang dynasty, another of those insignificant and
unworthy families which occupy the stage of Chinese history during this
long period of disunion. The new Emperor Vouti was soon brought into
collision with the state of Wei, which during these years had regained all
its power, and had felt strong enough to transfer its capital from the
northern city of Pingching to Honan, while the Leang capital remained at
Nankin. The progress of this contest was marked by the consistent success
of Wei, and the prince of that kingdom seems to have been as superior in
the capacity of his generals as in the resources of his state. One
incident will be sufficient to show the devotion which he was able to
inspire in his officers. During the absence of its governor, Vouti
attempted to capture the town of Ginching, and he would certainly have
succeeded in his object had not Mongchi, the wife of that officer,
anticipating by many centuries the conduct of the Countess of Montfort and
of the Countess of Derby, thrown herself into the breach, harangued the
small garrison, and inspired it with her own indomitable spirit. Vouti was
compelled to make an ignominious retreat from before Ginching, and his
troops became so disheartened that they refused to engage the enemy,
notwithstanding their taunts and their marching round the imperial camp
with the head of a dead person decked out in a widow's cap and singing a
doggerel ballad to the effect that none of Vouti's generals was to be
feared. In the next campaign Vouti was able to restore his declining
fortunes by the timely discovery of a skillful general in the person of
Weijoui, who, taking advantage of the division of the Wei army into two
parts by a river, gained a decisive victory over each of them in turn. If
Vouti had listened to his general's advice, and followed up this success,
he might have achieved great and permanent results, but instead he
preferred to rest content with his laurels, with the result that the Wei
prince recovered his military power and confidence. The natural
consequences of this was that the two neighbors once more resorted to a
trial of strength, and, notwithstanding the valiant and successful defense
of a fortress by another lady named Liuchi, the fortune of war declared in
the main for Vouti. This may be considered one of the most remarkable
periods for the display of female capacity in China, as the great state of
Wei was governed by a queen named Houchi; but the general condition of the
country does not support an argument in favor of female government.

The tenure of power by Houchi was summarily cut short by the revolt of the
Wei commander-in-chief, Erchu Jong, who got rid of his mistress by tying
her up in a sack and throwing her into the Hoangho. He then collected two
thousand of her chief advisers in a plain outside the capital, and there
ordered his cavalry to cut them down. Erchu Jong then formed an ambitious
project for reuniting the empire, proclaiming to his followers his
intention in this speech: "Wait a little while, and we shall assemble all
the braves from out our western borders. We will then go and bring to
reason the six departments of the north, and the following year we will
cross the great Kiang, and place in chains Siaoyen, who calls himself
emperor." This scheme was nipped in the bud by the assassination of Erchu
Jong. Although the death of its great general signified much loss to the
Wei state, the Emperor Vouti experienced bitter disappointment and a rude
awakening when he attempted to turn the event to his own advantage. His
army was defeated in every battle, his authority was reduced to a shadow,
and a mutinous officer completed in his palace the overthrow begun by his
hereditary enemy. Vouti was now eighty years of age, and ill able to stand
so rude a shock. On being deposed he exclaimed: "It was I who raised my
family, and it was I who have destroyed it. I have no reason to complain";
and he died a few days later, from, it is said, a pain in his throat which
his jailers refused to alleviate with some honey. On the whole, Vouti was
a creditable ruler, although the Chinese annalists blame him for his
superstition and denounce his partiality for Buddhism.

Vouti's prediction that his family was destroyed proved correct. He was
succeeded in turn by three members of his family, but all of these died a
violent death. A general named Chinpasien founded a fresh dynasty known as
the Chin, but he died before he had enjoyed power many years. At this
period also disappeared the Wei state, which was dissolved by the death of
Erchu Jong, and now merged itself into that of Chow. The growth of this
new power proved very rapid, and speedily extinguished that of the
unfortunate Chins. The Chow ruler took the name of Kaotsou Wenti, and
ruled over a great portion of China. He changed the name of his dynasty to
the Soui, which, although it did not hold possession of the throne for
long, vindicated its claim to supremacy by successful wars and admirable
public works. This prince showed himself a very capable administrator, and
his acts were marked by rare generosity and breadth of view. His son and
successor, Yangti, although he reached the throne by the murder of a
brother, proved himself an intelligent ruler and a benefactor of his
people. He transferred his capital from Nankin to Honan, which he resolved
to make the most magnificent city in the world. It is declared that he
employed two million men in embellishing it, and that he caused fifty
thousand merchants to take up their residence there. But of all his works
none will compare with the great system of canals which he constructed,
and in connection with which his name will live forever in history.
Although he reigned no more than thirteen years, he completed nearly five
thousand miles of canals. Some of these, such as the Grand Canal, from the
Hoangho to the Yangtsekiang, are splendid specimens of human labor, and
could be made as useful today as they were when first constructed. The
canal named is forty yards wide and is lined with solid stone. The banks
are bordered with elms and willows. These works were constructed by a
general corvee or levy en masse, each family being required to provide one
able-bodied man, and the whole of the army was also employed on this
public undertaking. It is in connection with it that Yangti's name will be
preserved, as his wars, especially one with Corea, were not successful,
and an ignominious end was put to his existence by a fanatic. His son and
successor was also murdered, when the Soui dynasty came to an end, and
with it the magnificent and costly palace erected at Loyang, which was
denounced as only calculated "to soften the heart of a prince and to
foment his cupidity."

There now ensues a break in the long period of disunion which had
prevailed in China, and for a time the supreme authority of the emperor
recovered the general respect and vigor which by right belonged to it. The
deposer of the Souis was Liyuen, who some years before had been given the
title of Prince of Tang. In the year A.D. 617 he proclaimed himself
emperor under the style of Kaotsou, and he began his reign in an
auspicious manner by proclaiming an amnesty and by stating his "desire to
found his empire only on justice and humanity." While he devoted his
attention to the reorganization of the administration at Singan, which he
chose for his capital, his second son, Lichimin, was intrusted with the
command of the army in the field, to which was assigned the task of
subjecting all the provinces. Lichimin proved himself a great commander,
and his success was both rapid and unqualified. He was equally victorious
over Chinese rebels and foreign enemies. His energy and skill were not
more conspicuous than his courage. At the head of his chosen regiment of
cuirassiers, carrying black tiger skins, he was to be found in the front
of every battle, and victory was due as often to his personal intrepidity
as to his tactical skill. Within a few years the task of Lichimin was
brought to a glorious completion, and on his return to Singan he was able
to assure his father that the empire was pacified in a sense that had not
been true for many centuries. His entry into Singan at the head of his
victorious troops reminds the reader of a Roman triumph. Surrounded by his
chosen bodyguard, and followed by forty thousand cavalry, Lichimin,
wearing a breastplate of gold and accompanied by the most important of his
captives, rode through the streets to make public offering of thanks for
victory achieved, at the Temple of his ancestors. His success was enhanced
by his moderation, for he granted his prisoners their lives, and his
reputation was not dimmed by any acts of cruelty or bloodshed.

The magnitude of Lichimin's success and his consequent popularity aroused
the envy and hostility of his elder brother, who aspired to the throne.
The intrigues against him were so far successful that he fell into
disgrace with the emperor, and for a time withdrew from the court. But his
brother was not content with anything short of taking his life, and formed
a conspiracy with his other brothers and some prominent officials to
murder him. The plot was discovered, and recoiled upon its authors, who
were promptly arrested and executed. Then Lichimin was formally proclaimed
heir to the throne; but the event sinks into comparative insignificance
beside the abdication of the throne by Kaotsou in the same year. The real
cause of this step was probably not disconnected with the plot against
Lichimin, but the official statement was that Kaotsou felt the weight of
years, and that he wished to enjoy rest and the absence of responsibility
during his last days. Kaotsou must be classed among the capable rulers of
China, but his fame has been overshadowed by and merged in the greater
splendor of his son. He survived his abdication nine years, dying in A.D.
635 at the age of seventy-one.

On ascending the throne, Lichimin took the name of Taitsong, and he is one
of the few Chinese rulers to whom the epithet of Great may be given
without fear of its being challenged. The noble task to which he at once
set himself was to prove that the Chinese were one people, that the
interests of all the provinces, as of all classes of the community, were
the same, and that the pressing need of the hour was to revive the spirit
of national unity and patriotism. Before he became ruler in his own name
he had accomplished something toward this end by the successful campaigns
he had conducted to insure the recognition of his father's authority. But
Taitsong saw that much more remained to be done, and the best way to do it
seemed to him to be the prosecution of what might be called a national war
against those enemies beyond the northern frontier, who were always
troublesome, and who had occasionally founded governments within the
limits of China like the Topa family of Wei. In order to achieve any great
or lasting success in this enterprise, Taitsong saw that it was essential
that he should possess a large and well-trained standing army, on which he
could rely for efficient service beyond the frontier as well as in China
itself. Before his time Chinese armies had been little better than a rude
militia, and the military knowledge of the officers could only be
described as contemptible. The soldiers were, for the most part, peasants,
who knew nothing of discipline, and into whose hands weapons were put for
the first time on the eve of a war. They were not of a martial
temperament, and they went unwillingly to a campaign; and against such
active opponents as the Tartars they would only engage when superiority of
numbers promised success. They were easily seized with a panic, and the
celerity and dash of Chinese troops only became perceptible when their
backs were turned to the foe. So evident had these faults become that more
than one emperor had endeavored to recruit from among the Tartar tribes,
and to oppose the national enemy with troops not less brave or active than
themselves. But the employment of mercenaries is always only a half
remedy, and not free from the risk of aggravating the evil it is intended
to cure. But Taitsong did not attempt any such palliation; he went to the
root of the question, and determined to have a trained and efficient army
of his own. He raised a standing army of nine hundred thousand men, which
he divided into three equal classes of regiments, one containing one
thousand two hundred men, another one thousand, and the third eight
hundred. The total number of regiments was eight hundred and ninety-five,
of which six hundred and thirty-four were recruited for home service and
two hundred and sixty-one for foreign. By this plan he obtained the
assured services of more than a quarter of a million of trained troops for
operations beyond the frontier. Taitsong also improved the weapons and
armament of his soldiers. He lengthened the pike and supplied a stronger
bow. Many of his troops wore armor; and he relied on the co-operation of
his cavalry, a branch of military power which has generally been much
neglected in China. He took special pains to train a large body of
officers, and he instituted a Tribunal of War, to which the supreme
direction of military matters was intrusted. As these measures greatly
shocked the civil mandarins, who regarded the emperor's taking part in
reviews and the physical exercises of the soldiers as "an impropriety," it
will be allowed that Taitsong showed great moral courage and surmounted
some peculiar difficulties in carrying out his scheme for forming a
regular army. He overcame all obstacles, and gathered under his banner an
army formidable by reason of its efficiency and equipment, as well as for
its numerical strength.

Having acquired what he deemed the means to settle it, Taitsong resolved
to grapple boldly with the ever-recurring danger from the Tartars, Under
different names, but ever with the same object, the tribes of the vast
region from Corea to Koko Nor had been a trouble to the Chinese
agriculturist and government from time immemorial. Their sole ambition and
object in life had been to harry the lands of the Chinese, and to bear
back to their camps the spoils of cities. The Huns had disappeared, but in
their place had sprung up the great power of the Toukinei or Turks, who
were probably the ancestors of the Ottomans. With these turbulent
neighbors, and with others of different race but of the same disposition
on the southern frontier, Taitsong was engaged in a bitter and arduous
struggle during the whole of his life; and there can be little or no doubt
that he owed his success to the care he bestowed on his army. The Great
Wall of Tsin Hwangti had been one barrier in the path of these enemies,
but, held by a weak and cowardly garrison, it had proved inadequate for
its purpose. Taitsong supplied another and a better defense in a
consistent and energetic policy, and in the provision of a formidable and
confident army.

The necessity for this military reform was clearly shown by the experience
of his first campaign with these implacable enemies, when, in the year of
his accession and before his organization had been completed, a horde of
these barbarians broke into the empire and carried all before them, almost
to the gates of the capital. On this occasion Taitsong resorted to
diplomacy and remonstrance. He rode almost unattended to the Tartar camp,
and reproached their chiefs with their breach of faith, reminding them
that on his sending one of his sisters to be the bride of their chief they
had sworn by a solemn oath to keep the peace. He asked: "Are these
proceedings worthy, I will not say of princes, but of men possessing the
least spark of honor? If they forget the benefits they have received from
me, at the least they ought to be mindful of their oaths. I had sworn a
peace with them; they are now violating it, and by that they place the
justice of the question on my side." The Chinese chroniclers declare that
the Tartars were so impressed by Taitsong's majestic air and remonstrances
that they agreed to retire, and fresh vows of friendship and peace were
sworn over the body of a white horse at a convention concluded on the
Pienkiao bridge across the Weichoui River. The only safe deduction from
this figurative narrative is that there was a Tartar incursion, and that
the Chinese army did not drive back the invaders. Their retreat was
probably purchased, but it was the first and last occasion on which
Taitsong stooped to such a measure.

The peace of Pienkiao was soon broken. The tribes again drew their forces
to a head for the purpose of invading China, but before their plans were
complete Taitsong anticipated them by marching into their territory at the
head of a large army. Taken by surprise, the Tartars offered but a feeble
resistance. Several of their khans surrendered, and at a general assembly
Taitsong proclaimed his intention to govern them as Khan of their khans,
or by the title of Tien Khan, which means Celestial Ruler. This was the
first occasion on which a Chinese ruler formally took over the task of
governing the nomad tribes and of treating their chiefs as his
lieutenants. Down to the present day the Chinese emperor continues to
govern the Mongol and other nomadic tribes under this very title, which
the Russians have rendered as Bogdo Khan. The success of this policy was
complete, for not only did it give tranquillity to the Chinese borders,
but it greatly extended Chinese authority. Kashgaria was then, for the
first time, formed into a province under the name of Lonugsi, and
Lichitsi, one of the emperor's best generals, was appointed Warden of the
Western Marches. Some of the most influential of Taitsong's advisers
disapproved of this advanced policy, and attempted to thwart it, but in
vain. Carried out with the vigor and consistency of Taitsong there cannot
be two opinions about its wisdom and efficacy.

During this reign the relations between China and two of its neighbors,
Tibet and Corea, were greatly developed, and the increased intercourse was
largely brought about by the instrumentality of war. The first envoys from
Tibet, or, as it was then called, Toufan or Toupo, are reported to have
reached the Chinese capital in the year 634. At that time the people of
Tibet were rude and unlettered, and their chiefs were little better than
savages. Buddhism had not taken that firm hold on the popular mind which
it at present possesses, and the power of the lamas had not arisen in what
is now the most priest-ridden country in the world. A chief, named the
Sanpou--which means the brave lord--had, about the time of which we are
speaking, made himself supreme throughout the country, and it was said
that he had crossed the Himalaya and carried his victorious arms into
Central India. Curiosity, or the desire to wed a Chinese princess, and
thus to be placed on what may be termed a favored footing, induced the
Sanpou to send his embassy to Singan; but although the envoys returned
laden with presents, Taitsong declined to trust a princess of his family
in a strange country and among an unknown people. The Sanpou chose to
interpret this refusal as an insult to his dignity, and he declared war
with China. But success did not attend his enterprise, for he was defeated
in the only battle of the war, and glad to purchase peace by paying five
thousand ounces of gold and acknowledging himself a Chinese vassal. The
Sanpou also agreed to accept Chinese education, and as his reward Taitsong
gave him one of his daughters as a wife. It is stated that one of his
first reforms was to abolish the national practice of painting the face,
and he also built a walled city to proclaim his glory as the son-in-law of
the Emperor of China. During Taitsong's life there was no further trouble
on the side of Tibet.

Taitsong was not so fortunate in his relations with Corea, where a
stubborn people and an inaccessible country imposed a bar to his ambition.
Attempts had been made at earlier periods to bring Corea under the
influence of the Chinese ruler, and to treat it as a tributary state. A
certain measure of success had occasionaly attended these attempts, but on
the whole Corea had preserved its independence. When Taitsong in the
plenitude of his power called upon the King of Corea to pay tribute, and
to return to his subordinate position, he received a defiant reply, and
the Coreans began to encroach on Sinlo, a small state which threw itself
on the protection of China. The name of Corea at this time was Kaoli, and
the supreme direction of affairs at this period was held by a noble named
Chuen Gaisoowun, who had murdered his own sovereign. Taitsong, irritated
by his defiance, sent a large army to the frontier, and when Gaisoowun,
alarmed by the storm he had raised, made a humble submission and sent the
proper tribute, the emperor gave expression to his displeasure and
disapproval of the regicide's acts by rejecting his gifts and announcing
his resolve to prosecute the war. It is never prudent to drive an opponent
to desperation, and Gaisoowun, who might have been a good neighbor if
Taitsong had accepted his offer, proved a bitter and determined
antagonist. The first campaign was marked by the expected success of the
Chinese army. The Coreans were defeated in several battles, several
important towns were captured, but Taitsong had to admit that these
successes were purchased at the heavy loss of twenty-five thousand of his
best troops. The second campaign resolved itself into the siege and
defense of Anshu, an important town near the Yaloo River. Gaisoowun raised
an enormous force with the view of effecting its relief, and he attempted
to overwhelm the Chinese by superior numbers. But the better discipline
and tactics of the Chinese turned the day, and the Corean army was driven
in rout from the field. But this signal success did not entail the
surrender of Anshu, which was gallantly defended. The scarcity of supplies
and the approach of winter compelled the Chinese emperor to raise the
siege after he had remained before the place for several months, and it is
stated that as the Chinese broke up their camp the commandant appeared on
the walls and wished them "a pleasant journey." After this rebuff Taitsong
did not renew his attempt to annex Corea, although to the end of his life
he refused to hold any relations with Gaisoowun.

During the first portion of his reign Taitsong was greatly helped by the
labors of his wife, the Empress Changsun-chi, who was a woman of rare
goodness and ability, and set a shining example to the whole of her court.
She said many wise things, among which the most quotable was that "the
practice of virtue conferred honor upon men, especially on princes, and
not the splendor of their appointments." She was a patron of letters, and
an Imperial Library and College in the capital owed their origin to her.
She was probably the best and most trustworthy adviser the emperor had,
and after her death the energy and good fortune of Taitsong seemed to
decline. She no doubt contributed to the remarkable treatise on the art of
government, called the "Golden Mirror," which bears the name of Taitsong
as its author. Taitsong was an ardent admirer of Confucius, whom he
exalted to the skies as the great sage of the world, declaring
emphatically that "Confucius was for the Chinese what the water is for the
fishes." The Chinese annalists tell many stories of Taitsong's personal
courage. He was a great hunter, and in the pursuit of big game he
necessarily had some narrow escapes, special mention being made of his
slaying single-handed a savage boar. Another instance was his struggle
with a Tartar attendant who attempted to murder him, and whom he killed in
the encounter. He had a still narrower escape at the hands of his eldest
son, who formed a plot to assassinate him which very nearly succeeded. The
excessive anxiety of Prince Lichingkien to reach the crown cost him the
succession, for on the discovery of his plot he was deposed from the
position of heir-apparent and disappeared from the scene.

After a reign of twenty-three years, during which he accomplished a great
deal more than other rulers had done in twice the time, Taitsong died in
A.D. 649, leaving the undisturbed possession of the throne to his son,
known as the Emperor Kaotsong. There need be no hesitation in calling
Taitsong one of the greatest rulers who ever sat on the Dragon Throne, and
his death was received with extraordinary demonstrations of grief by the
people he had ruled so well. Several of his generals wished to commit
suicide on his bier, the representatives of the tributary nations at his
capital cut off their hair or sprinkled his grave with their blood, and
throughout the length and breadth of the land there was mourning and
lamentation for a prince who had realized the ideal character of a Chinese
emperor. Nor does his claim to admiration and respect seem less after the
lapse of so many centuries. His figure still stands out boldly as one of
the ablest and most humane of all Chinese rulers. He not only reunited
China, but he proved that union was for his country the only sure basis of
prosperity and power.

Under Kaotsong the power of the Tangs showed for thirty years no
diminution, and he triumphed in directions where his father had only
pointed the way to victory. He began his reign with a somewhat risky act
by marrying one of his father's widows, who then became the Empress Won.
She was perhaps the most remarkable woman in the whole range of Chinese
history, acquiring such an ascendency over her husband that she
practically ruled the state, and retained this power after his death. In
order to succeed in so exceptional a task she had to show no excessive
delicacy or scrupulousness, and she began by getting rid of the other
wives, including the lawful empress of Kaotsong, in a summary fashion. It
is stated that she cast them into a vase filled with wine, having
previously cut off their hands and feet to prevent their extricating
themselves. But on the whole her influence was exerted to promote the
great schemes of her husband.

The Tibetan question was revived by the warlike proclivities of the new
Sanpou, who, notwithstanding his blood relationship with the Chinese
emperor, sought to extend his dominion at his expense toward the north and
the east. A desultory war ensued, in which the Chinese got the worst of
it, and Kaotsong admitted that Tibet remained "a thorn in his side for
years." A satisfactory termination was given to the struggle by the early
death of the Sanpou, whose warlike character had been the main cause of
the dispute. Strangely enough the arms of Kaotsong were more triumphant in
the direction of Corea, where his father had failed. From A.D. 658 to 670
China was engaged in a bitter war on land and sea with the Coreans and
their allies, the Japanese, who thus intervened for the first time in the
affairs of the continent. Owing to the energy of the Empress Wou victory
rested with the Chinese, and the Japanese navy of four hundred junks was
completely destroyed. The kingdom of Sinlo was made a Chinese province,
and for sixty years the Coreans paid tribute and caused no trouble. In
Central Asia also the Chinese power was maintained intact, and the extent
of China's authority and reputation may be inferred from the King of
Persia begging the emperor's governor in Kashgar to come to his aid
against the Arabs, who were then in the act of overrunning Western Asia in
the name of the Prophet. Kaotsong could not send aid to such a distance
from his borders, but he granted shelter to several Persian princes, and
on receiving an embassy from the Arabs, he impressed upon them the wisdom
and magnanimity of being lenient to the conquered. Kaotsong died in 683,
and the Empress Wou retained power until the year 704, when, at the age of
eighty, she was compelled to abdicate. Her independent rule was marked by
as much vigor and success as during the life of Kaotsong. She vanquished
the Tibetans and a new Tartar race known as the Khitans, who appeared on
the northern borders of Shensi. She placed her son in confinement and wore
the robes assigned for an emperor. The extent of her power may be inferred
from her venturing to shock Chinese sentiment by offering the annual
imperial sacrifice to heaven, and by her erecting temples to her
ancestors. Yet it was not until she was broken down by age and illness
that any of her foes were bold enough to encounter her. She survived her
deposition one year, and her banished son Chongtsong was restored to the
throne.

Chongtsong did not reign long, being poisoned by his wife, who did not
reap the advantage of her crime. Several emperors succeeded without doing
anything to attract notice, and then Mingti brought both his own family
and the Chinese empire to the verge of ruin. Like other rulers, he began
well, quoting the maxims of the "Golden Mirror" and proclaiming Confucius
King of Literature. But defeats at the hands of the Khitans and Tibetans
imbittered his life and diminished his authority. A soldier of fortune
named Ganlochan revolted and met with a rapid and unexpected success owing
to "the people being unaccustomed, from the long peace, to the use of
arms." He subdued all the northern provinces, established his capital at
Loyang, and compelled Mingti to seek safety in Szchuen, when he abdicated
in favor of his son. The misfortunes of Mingti, whose most memorable act
was the founding of the celebrated Hanlin College and the institution of
the "Pekin Gazette," the oldest periodical in the world, both of which
exist at the present day, foretold the disruption of the empire at no
remote date. His son and successor Soutsong did something to retrieve the
fortunes of his family, and he recovered Singan from Ganlochan. The empire
was then divided between the two rivals, and war continued unceasingly
between them. The successful defense of Taiyuen, where artillery is said
to have been used for the first time, A.D. 757, by a lieutenant of the
Emperor Soutsong, consolidated his power, which was further increased by
the murder of Ganlochan shortly afterward. The struggle continued with
varying fortune between the northern and southern powers during the rest
of the reign of Soutsong, and also during that of his successor, Taitsong
the Second. This ruler showed himself unworthy of his name, abandoning his
capital with great pusillanimity when a small Tibetan army advanced upon
it. The census returns threw an expressive light on the condition of the
empire during this period. Under Mingti the population was given at fifty-
two million; in the time of the second Taitsong it had sunk to seventeen
million. A great general named Kwo Tsey, who had driven back the Tibetan
invaders, enabled Tetsong, the son and successor of Taitsong, to make a
good start in the government of his dominion, which was sadly reduced in
extent and prosperity. This great statesman induced Tetsong to issue an
edict reproving the superstitions of the times, and the prevalent fashion
of drawing auguries from dreams and accidents. The edict ran thus: "Peace
and the general contentment of the people, the abundance of the harvest,
skill and wisdom shown in the administration, these are prognostics which
I hear of with pleasure; but 'extraordinary clouds,' 'rare animals,'
'plants before unknown,' 'monsters,' and other astonishing productions of
nature, what good can any of these do men as auguries of the future? I
forbid such things to be brought to my notice." The early death of Kwo
Tsey deprived the youthful ruler of his best adviser and the mainstay of
his power. He was a man of magnificent capacity and devotion to duty, and
when it was suggested to him that he should not be content with any but
the supreme place, he proudly replied that he was "a general of the
Tangs." It seems from the inscription on the stone found at Singan that he
was a patron of the Nestorian Christians, and his character and career
have suggested a comparison with Belisarius.

Tetsong lived twenty-four years after the death of his champion, and these
years can only be characterized as unfortunate. The great governors
claimed and exacted the privilege that their dignities should be made
hereditary, and this surrender of the imperial prerogative entailed the
usual deterioration of the central power which preceded a change of
dynasty. Unpopularity was incurred by the imposition of taxes on the
principal articles of production and consumption, such as tea, and, worst
symptom of all, the eunuchs again became supreme in the palace. Although
the dynasty survived for another century, it was clear that its knell was
sounded before Tetsong died. Under his grandson Hientsong the mischief
that had been done became more clearly apparent. Although he enjoyed some
military successes, his reign on the whole was unfortunate, and he was
poisoned by the chief of the eunuchs. His son and successor, Moutsong,
from his indifference may be suspected of having been privy to the
occurrence. At any rate, he only enjoyed power for a few years before he
was got rid of in the same summary fashion. Several other nonentities came
to the throne, until at last one ruler named Wentsong, whose intentions at
least were stronger than those of his predecessors, attempted to grapple
with the eunuchs and formed a plot for their extermination. His courage
failed him and the plot miscarried. The eunuchs exacted a terrible revenge
on their opponents, of whom they killed nearly three thousand, and
Wentsong passed the last year of his life as a miserable puppet in their
hands. He was not allowed even to name his successor. The eunuchs ignored
his two sons, and placed his brother Voutsong on the throne.

The evils of the day became specially revealed during the reign of Ytsong,
who was scarcely seated on the throne before his troops suffered several
defeats at the hands of a rebel prince in Yunnan, who completely wrested
that province from the empire. He was as pronounced a patron of Buddhism
as some of his predecessors had been oppressors, and he sent, at enormous
expense, to India a mission to procure a bone of Buddha's body, and on its
arrival he received the relic on bended knees before his whole court. His
extravagance of living landed the Chinese government in fresh
difficulties, and he brought the exchequer to the verge of bankruptcy. Nor
was he a humane ruler. On one occasion he executed twenty doctors because
they were unable to cure a favorite daughter of his. His son Hitsong came
to the throne when he was a mere boy, and at once experienced the depth of
misfortune to which his family had sunk. He was driven out of his capital
by a rebel named Hwang Chao, and if he had not found an unexpected ally in
the Turk chief Likeyong, there would then have been an end to the Tang
dynasty. This chief of the Chato immigrants--a race supposed to be the
ancestors of the Mohammedan Tungani of more recent times--at the head of
forty thousand men of his own race, who, from the color of their uniform,
were named "The Black Crows," marched against Hwang Chao, and signally
defeated him. The condition of the country at this time is painted in
deplorable colors. The emperor did not possess a palace, and all the great
towns of Central China were in ruins. Likeyong took in the situation at a
glance, when he said, "The ruin of the Tangs is not far distant."
Likeyong, who was created Prince of Tsin, did his best to support the
emperor, but his power was inadequate for coping with another general
named Chuwen, prince of Leang, in whose hands the emperor became a mere
puppet. At the safe moment Chuwen murdered his sovereign, and added to
this crime a massacre of all the Tang princes upon whom he could lay his
hands. Chao Siuenti, the last of the Tangs, abdicated, and a few months
later Chuwen, to make assurance doubly sure, assassinated him. Thus
disappeared, after two hundred and eighty-nine years and after giving
twenty rulers to the state, the great Tang dynasty which had restored the
unity and the fame of China. It forms a separate chapter in the long
period of disunion from the fall of the Hans to the rise of the Sungs.

After the Tangs came five ephemeral and insignificant dynasties, with the
fate of which we need not long detain the reader. In less than sixty years
they all vanished from the page of history. The struggle for power between
Chuwen, the founder of the so-called Later Leang dynasty, and Likeyong was
successfully continued by the latter's son, Litsunhiu, who proved himself
a good soldier. He won a decisive victory at Houlieoupi, and extinguished
the Leang dynasty by the capture of its capital and of Chuwen's son, who
committed suicide. Litsunhiu ruled for a short time as emperor of the
Later Leangs, but he was killed during a mutiny of his turbulent soldiers.
This dynasty had a very brief existence; the last ruler of the line,
finding the game was up, retired with his family to a tower in his palace,
which he set on fire, and perished, with his wives and children, in the
flames. Then came the Later Tsins, who only held their authority on the
sufferance of the powerful Khitan king, who reigned over Leaoutung and
Manchuria. The fourth and fifth of these dynasties, named the Later Hans
and Chows, ran their course in less than ten years; and when the last of
these petty rulers was deposed by his prime minister a termination was at
last reached to the long period of internal division and weakness which
prevailed for more than seven hundred and fifty years. The student reaches
at this point firmer ground in the history of China as an empire, and his
interest in the subject must assume a more definite form on coming to the
beginning of that period of united government and settled authority which
has been established for nearly one thousand years, during which no more
than four separate families have held possession of the throne.



CHAPTER IV

THE SUNGS AND THE KINS


One fact will have been noticed during the latter portion of the period
that has now closed, and that is the increasing interest and participation
in Chinese affairs of the races neighboring to, but still outside, the
empire. A large number of the successful generals, and several of the
princely families which attained independence, were of Tartar or Turk
origin; but the founder of the new dynasty, which restored the unity of
the empire, was of pure Chinese race, although a native of the most
northern province of the country. Chow Kwang Yu was born in Pechihli, at
the small town of Yeoutou, on the site of which now stands the modern
capital of Pekin. His family had provided the governor of this place for
several generations, and Chow himself had seen a good deal of military
service during the wars of the period. He is described as a man of
powerful physique and majestic appearance, to whose courage and presence
of mind the result of more than one great battle was due, and who had
become in consequence the idol of the soldiery. The ingenuity of later
historians, rather than the credulity of his contemporaries, may have
discovered the signs and portents which indicated that he was the chosen
of Heaven; but his army had a simple and convincing method of deciding the
destiny of the empire. Like the legionaries of Rome, they exclaimed, "The
empire is without a master, and we wish to give it one. Who is more worthy
of it than our general?" Thus did Chow Kwang Yu become the Emperor Taitsou
and the founder of the Sung dynasty.

Taitsou began his reign by proclaiming a general amnesty, and he sent the
proclamation of his pardon into provinces where he had not a shred of
authority. The step was a politic one, for it informed the Chinese people
that they again had an emperor. At the same time he ordered that the gates
and doors of his palace should always be left open, so that the humblest
of his subjects might have access to him at any time. His own words were
that "his house should resemble his heart, which was open to all his
subjects." He also devoted his attention to the improvement of his army,
and particularly to the training of his officers, who were called upon to
pass an examination in professional subjects as well as physical
exercises. A French writer said, forty years ago, that "The laws of
military promotion in the states of Europe are far from being as rational
and equitable as those introduced by this Chinese ruler." His solicitude
for the welfare of his soldiers was evinced during a campaign when the
winter was exceedingly severe. He took off his own fur coat, and sent it
to the general in command, with a letter stating that he was sorry that he
had not one to send to every soldier in the camp. A soldier himself, he
knew how to win a soldier's heart, and the affection and devotion of his
army never wavered nor declined. He had many opportunities of testing it.
His first war was with the Prince of Han, aided by the King of Leaoutung,
whom he speedily vanquished, and whose capacity for aggression was much
curtailed by the loss of the frontier fortress of Loochow. His next
contest was with an old comrade-in-arms named Li Chougsin, whom he had
treated very well, but who was seized with a foolish desire to be greater
than his ability or power warranted. The struggle was brief, and Li
Chougsin felt he had no alternative save to commit suicide.

The tranquillity gained by these successes enabled Taitsou to institute a
great reform in the civil administration of the empire, and one which
struck at the root of the evil arising from the excessive power and
irresponsibility of the provincial governors. Up to this date the
governors had possessed the power of life and death without reference to
the capital. It had enabled them to become tyrants, and had simplified
their path to complete independence. Taitsou resolved to deprive them of
this prerogative and to retain it in his own hands, for, he said, "As life
is the dearest thing men possess, should it be placed at the disposal of
an official who is often unjust or wicked?" This radical reform greatly
strengthened the emperor's position, and weakened that of the provincial
viceroys; and Taitsou thus inaugurated a rule which has prevailed in China
down to the present day, where the life of no citizen can be taken without
the express authority and order of the emperor. Taitsou then devoted his
attention to the subjugation of those governors who had either disregarded
his administration or given it a grudging obedience. The first to feel the
weight of his hand was the viceroy of Honan; but his measures were so well
taken, and the military force he employed so overwhelming, that he
succeeded in dispossessing him and in appointing his own lieutenant
without the loss of a single man. The governor of Szchuen, believing his
power to be greater than it was, or trusting to the remoteness of his
province, publicly defied Taitsou, and prepared to invade his dominions.
The emperor was too quick for him, and before his army was in the field
sixty thousand imperial troops had crossed the frontier and had occupied
the province. By these triumphs Taitsou acquired possession of some of the
richest provinces and forty millions of Chinese subjects.

Having composed these internal troubles with enemies of Chinese race,
Taitsou resumed his military operations against his old opponents in
Leaoutung. Both sides had been making preparations for a renewal of the
struggle, and the fortress of Taiyuen, which had been specially equipped
to withstand a long siege, was the object of the emperor's first attack.
The place was valiantly defended by a brave governor and a large garrison,
and although Taitsou defeated two armies sent to relieve it, he was
compelled to give up the hope of capturing Taiyuen on this occasion. Some
consolation for this repulse was afforded by the capture of Canton and the
districts dependent on that city. He next proceeded against the governor
of Kiangnan, the dual province of Anhui and Kiangsu, who had taken the
title of Prince of Tang, and striven to propitiate the emperor at the same
time that he retained his own independence. The two things were, however,
incompatible. Taitsou refused to receive the envoys of the Prince of Tang,
and he ordered him to attend in person at the capital. With this the Tang
prince would not comply, and an army was at once sent to invade and
conquer Kiangnan. The campaign lasted one year, by which time the Tang
power was shattered, and his territory resumed its old form as a province
of China. With this considerable success Taitsou's career may be said to
have terminated, for although he succeeded in detaching the Leaoutung
ruler from the side of the Prince of Han, and was hastening at the head of
his forces to crush his old enemy at Taiyuen, death cut short his career
in a manner closely resembling that of Edward the First of England.
Taitsou died in his camp, in the midst of his soldiers; and, acting on the
advice of his mother, given on her death-bed a few years before, "that he
should leave the throne to a relation of mature age," he appointed his
brother his successor, and as his last exhortation to him said, "Bear
yourself as becomes a brave prince, and govern well." Many pages might be
filled with the recitation of Taitsou's great deeds and wise sayings; but
his work in uniting China and in giving the larger part of his country
tranquillity speaks for itself. His character as a ruler may be gathered
from the following selection, taken from among his many speeches: "Do you
think," he said, "that it is so easy for a sovereign to perform his
duties? He does nothing that is without consequence. This morning the
thought occurs to me that yesterday I decided a case in a wrong manner,
and this memory robs me of all my joy."

The new emperor took the style of Taitsong, and during his reign of
twenty-three years the Sung dynasty may be fairly considered to have grown
consolidated. One of his first measures was to restore the privileges of
the descendant of Confucius, which included a hereditary title and
exemption from taxation, and which are enjoyed to the present day. After
three years' deliberation Taitsong determined to renew his brother's
enterprise against Taiyuen, and as he had not assured the neutrality of
the King of Leaoutung, his task was the more difficult. On the advance of
the Chinese army, that ruler sent to demand the reason of the attack on
his friend the Prince of Han, to which the only reply Taitsong gave was as
follows: "The country of the Hans was one of the provinces of the empire,
and the prince having refused to obey my orders I am determined to punish
him. If your prince stands aside, and does not meddle in this quarrel, I
am willing to continue to live at peace with him; if he does not care to
do this we will fight him." On this the Leaou king declared war, but his
troops were repulsed by the covering army sent forward by Taitsong, while
he prosecuted the siege of Taiyuen in person. The fortress was well
defended, but its doom was never in doubt. Taitsong, moved by a feeling of
humanity, offered the Prince of Han generous terms before delivering an
assault which was, practically speaking, certain to succeed, and he had
the good sense to accept them. The subjugation of Han completed the
pacification of the empire and the triumph of Taitsong; but when that
ruler thought to add to this success the speedy overthrow of the Khitan
power in Leaoutung he was destined to a rude awakening. His action was
certainly precipitate, and marked by overconfidence, for the army of
Leaoutung was composed of soldiers of a warlike race accustomed to
victory. He advanced against it as if it were an army which would fly at
the sight of his standard, but instead of this he discovered that it was
superior to his own forces on the banks of the Kaoleang River, where he
suffered a serious defeat. Taitsong was fortunate enough to retain his
conquests over the southern Han states and to find in his new subjects in
that quarter faithful and valiant soldiers. The success of the Leaou army
was also largely due to the tactical skill of its general, Yeliu Hiuco,
who took a prominent part in the history of this period. When Taitsong
endeavored, some years later, to recover what he had lost by the aid of
the Coreans, who, however, neglected to fulfill their part of the
contract, he only invited fresh misfortunes. Yeliu Hiuco defeated his army
in several pitched battles with immense loss; on one occasion it was said
that the corpses of the slain checked the course of a river. The capture
of Yangyeh, the old Han defender of Taiyuen, who died of his wounds,
completed the triumph of the Leaou general, for it was said, "If Yangyeh
cannot resist the Tartars they must be invincible." Taitsong's reign
closed under the cloud of these reverses; but, on the whole, it was
successful and creditable, marking an improvement in the condition of the
country and the people, and the triumph of the Sungs over at least one of
their natural enemies.

His son and successor, Chintsong, must be pronounced fortunate in that the
first year of his reign witnessed the death of Yeliu Hiuco. The direct
consequence of his death was that the Chinese were, for the first time,
successful in their campaign against the Leaous. But this satisfactory
state of things did not long continue, and the Leaous became so aggressive
and successful that there was almost a panic among the Chinese, and the
removal of the capital to a place of greater security was suggested. The
firm counsel and the courageous demeanor of the minister Kaochun prevented
this course being adopted. He figuratively described the evil consequences
of retreat by saying, "Your majesty can, without serious consequences,
advance a foot further than is absolutely necessary, but you cannot
retire, even to the extent of an inch, without doing yourself much harm."
Chintsong, fortunately for himself and his state, adopted this course; and
the Tartars thought it best to come to terms, especially as the Chinese
emperor was willing to pay annually an allowance in silk and money as the
reward of their respecting his frontier. The arrangement could not have
been a bad one, as it gave the empire eighteen years of peace, The
country, no doubt, increased greatly in prosperity during this period; but
the reputation of Chintsong steadily declined. He seems to have been
naturally superstitious, and he gave himself up to fortune tellers and
soothsayers during the last years of his reign; and when he died, in A.D.
1022, he had impaired the position and power of the imperial office. Yet,
so far as can be judged, the people were contented, and the population
rose to over one hundred million.

Chintsong was succeeded by his sixth son, Jintsong, a boy of thirteen, for
whom the government was carried on by his mother, a woman of capacity and
good sense. She took off objectionable taxes on tea and salt--prime
necessaries of life in China--and she instituted surer measures against
the spiritualists and magicians who had flourished under her husband and
acquired many administrative offices under his patronage. After ruling for
ten peaceful years she died and Jintsong assumed the personal direction of
affairs. During the tranquillity that had now prevailed for more than a
generation a new power had arisen on the Chinese frontier in the
principality of Tangut or Hia. This state occupied the modern province of
Kansuh, with some of the adjacent districts of Koko Nor and the Gobi
Desert. Chao Yuen, the prince of this territory, was an ambitious warrior,
who had drawn round his standard a force of one hundred and fifty thousand
fighting men. With this he waged successful war upon the Tibetans, and
began a course of encroachments on Chinese territory which was not to be
distinguished from open hostility. Chao Yuen was not content with the
appellation of prince, and "because he came of a family several of whose
members had in times past borne the imperial dignity," he adopted the
title of emperor. Having taken this step, Chao Yuen wrote to Jintsong
expressing "the hope that there would be a constant and solid peace
between the two empires." The reply of the Chinese ruler to this insult,
as he termed it, was to declare war and to offer a reward for the head of
Chao Yuen.

It was soon made evident that Chao Yuen possessed the military power to
support an imperial dignity. He defeated the emperor's army in two pitched
battles at Sanchuen and Yang Moulong, and many years elapsed before the
Sung rulers can be held to have recovered from the loss of their best
armies. The Khitans of Leaoutung took advantage of these misfortunes to
encroach, and as Jintsong had no army with which to oppose them, they
captured ten cities with little or no resistance. The Chinese government
was compelled to purchase them back by increasing the annual allowance it
paid of gold and silk. A similar policy was resorted to in the case of
Chao Yuen, who consented to a peace on receiving every year one hundred
thousand pieces of silk and thirty thousand pounds of tea. Not content
with this payment, Chao Yuen subsequently exacted the right to build
fortresses along the Chinese frontier. Soon after this Chao Yuen was
murdered by one of his sons, whose betrothed he had taken from him. If
Jintsong was not fortunate in his wars he did much to promote education
and to encourage literature. He restored the colleges founded by the
Tangs, he built a school or academy in every town, he directed the public
examinations to be held impartially and frequently, and he gave special
prizes as a reward for elocution. Some of the greatest historians China
has produced lived in his reign, and wrote their works under his
patronage; of these Szemakwang was the most famous. His history of the
Tangs is a masterpiece, and his "Garden of Szemakwang" an idyll. He was
remarkable for his sound judgment as well as the elegance of his style,
and during the short time he held the post of prime minister his
administration was marked by ability and good sense. The character of
Jintsong was, it will be seen, not without its good points, which gained
for him the affection of his subjects despite his bad fortune against the
national enemies, and his reign of thirty years was, generally speaking,
prosperous and satisfactory. After the brief reign of his nephew,
Yngtsong, that prince's son, Chintsong the Second, became emperor.

The career of Wanganchi, an eccentric and socialistic statesman, who
wished to pose as a great national reformer, and who long possessed the
ear and favor of his sovereign, lends an interest to the reign of the
second Chintsong. Wanganchi did not possess the confidence or the
admiration of his brother officials, and subsequent writers have generally
termed him an impostor and a charlatan. But he may only have been a
misguided enthusiast when he declared that "the State should take the
entire management of commerce, industry, and agriculture into its own
hands, with the view of succoring the working classes, and preventing
their being ground to the dust by the rich." The advocacy of such a scheme
is calculated to earn popularity, as few of those who are to benefit by it
stop to examine its feasibility, and Wanganchi might have been remembered
as an enlightened thinker and enthusiastic advocate of the rights of the
masses if he had not been called upon to carry out his theories. But the
proof of experience, like the touch of Ithuriel's spear, revealed the
practical value of his suggestions, and dissolved the attractive vision
raised by his perfervid eloquence and elevated enthusiasm. His honesty of
purpose cannot, however, be disputed. On being appointed to the post of
chief minister he took in hand the application of his own project. He
exempted the poor from all taxation. He allotted lands, and he supplied
the cultivators with seeds and implements. He also appointed local boards
to superintend the efforts of the agricultural classes, and to give them
assistance and advice. But this paternal government, this system of making
the state do what the individual ought to do for himself, did not work as
it was expected. Those who counted on the agricultural laborer working
with as much intelligence and energy for himself as he had done under the
direction of a master were doomed to disappointment. Want of skill, the
fitfulness of the small holder, aggravated perhaps by national calamities,
drought, flood, and pestilence, being felt more severely by laborers than
by capitalists, led to a gradual shrinkage in the area of cultivated land,
and at last to the suffering of the classes who were to specially benefit
from the scheme of Wanganchi. The failure of his scheme, which, to use his
own words, aimed at preventing there being any poor or over-rich persons
in the state, entailed his disgrace and fall from power. But his work and
his name have continued to excite interest and speculation among his
countrymen down to the present day. His memory has been aspersed by the
writers of China, who have generally denounced him as a free-thinker and a
nihilist, and although, twenty years after his death, a tablet bearing his
name was placed in the Hall of Confucius as the greatest Chinese thinker
since Mencius, it was removed after a brief period, and since then both
the name and the works of Wanganchi have been consigned to an oblivion
from which only the curiosity of European writers has rescued them.

Chintsong's reign was peaceful, but he seems to have only avoided war by
yielding to all the demands of the Tartars, who encroached on the frontier
and seized several Chinese cities. His son Chetsong was only ten when he
became emperor, and the administration was carried on by his mother, the
Empress Tefei, another of the capable women of Chinese history. Her early
death left Chetsong to rule as he listed, and his first acts of
independent authority were not of happy augury for the future. He had not
been on the throne many months before he divorced his principal wife
without any apparent justification, and when remonstrated with he merely
replied that he was imitating several of his predecessors. The censor's
retort was, "You would do better to imitate their virtues, and not their
faults." Chetsong did not have any long opportunity of doing either, for
he died of grief at the loss of his favorite son, and it is recorded that,
as "he did not expect to die so soon," he omitted the precaution of
selecting an heir. Fortunately the mischief of a disputed successor was
avoided by the unanimous selection of his brother Hoeitsong as the new
emperor. He proved himself a vain and superstitious ruler, placing his
main faith in fortune tellers, and expecting his subjects to yield
implicit obedience to his opinions as "the master of the law and the
prince of doctrine." Among other fallacies, Hoeitsong cherished the belief
that he was a great soldier, and he aspired to rank as the conqueror of
the old successful enemy of China, the Khitans of Leaoutung. He had no
army worthy of the name, and the southern Chinese who formed the mass of
his subjects were averse to war, yet his personal vanity impelled him to
rush into hostilities which promised to be the more serious because a new
and formidable power had arisen on the northern frontier.

The Niuche or Chorcha Tartars, who had assumed a distinct name and place
in the vicinity of the modern Kalgan, about the year 1000 A.D., had become
subservient to the great Khitan chief Apaoki, and their seven hordes had
remained faithful allies of his family and kingdom for many years after
his death. But some of the clan had preferred independence to the
maintenance of friendly relations with their greatest neighbor, and they
had withdrawn northward into Manchuria. For some unknown reason the Niuche
became dissatisfied with their Khitan allies, and about the year 1100 A.D.
they had all drawn their forces together as an independent confederacy
under the leadership of a great chief named Akouta. The Niuche could only
hope to establish their independence by offering a successful resistance
to the King of Leaoutung, who naturally resented the defection of a tribe
which had been his humble dependents. They succeeded in this task beyond
all expectation, as Akouta inflicted a succession of defeats on the
hitherto invincible army of Leaoutung. Then the Niuche conqueror resolved
to pose as one of the arbiters of the empire's destiny, and to found a
dynasty of his own. He collected his troops, and he addressed them in a
speech reciting their deeds and his pretensions. "The Khitans," he said,
"had in the earlier days of their success taken the name of Pintiei,
meaning the iron of Pinchow, but although that iron may be excellent, it
is liable to rust and can be eaten away. There is nothing save gold which
is unchangeable and which does not destroy itself. Moreover, the family of
Wangyen, with which I am connected through the chief Hanpou, had always a
great fancy for glittering colors such as that of gold, and I am now
resolved to take this name as that of my imperial family. I therefore give
it the name of Kin, which signifies gold." This speech was made in the
year 1115, and it was the historical introduction of the Kin dynasty,
which so long rivaled the Sung, and which, although it attained only a
brief lease of power on the occasion referred to, was remarkable as being
the first appearance of the ancestors of the present reigning Manchus.

Like other conquerors who had appeared in the same quarter, the Kins, as
we must now call them, owed their rise to their military qualifications
and to their high spirit. Their tactics, although of a simpler kind, were
as superior to those of the Leaous as the latter's were to the Chinese.
Their army consisted exclusively of cavalry, and victory was generally
obtained by its furious attacks delivered from several sides
simultaneously. The following description, taken from Mailla's translation
of the Chinese official history, gives the best account of their army and
mode of fighting:

"At first the Niuche had only cavalry. For their sole distinction they
made use of a small piece of braid on which they marked certain signs, and
they attached this to both man and horse. Their companies were usually
composed of only fifty men each, twenty of whom, clothed in strong
cuirasses, and armed with swords and short pikes, were placed in the
front, and behind those came the remaining thirty in less weighty armor,
and with bows and arrows or javelins for weapons. When they encountered an
enemy, two men from each company advanced as scouts, and then arranging
their troops so as to attack from four sides, they approached the foe at a
gentle trot until within a hundred yards of his line. Thereupon charging
at full speed, they discharged their arrows and javelins, again retiring
with the same celerity. This maneuver they repeated several times until
they threw the ranks into confusion, when they fell upon them with sword
and pike so impetuously that they generally gained the victory."

The novelty, as well as the impetuosity, of their attack supplied the want
of numbers and of weapons, and when the Khitans raised what seemed an
overwhelming force to crush the new power that ventured to play the rival
to theirs in Northern China, Akouta, confident in himself and in his
people, was not dismayed, and accepted the offer of battle. In two
sanguinary battles he vanquished the Khitan armies, and threatened with
early extinction the once famous dynasty of Leaoutung. When the Sung
emperor heard of the defeats of his old opponents, he at once rushed to
the conclusion that the appearance of this new power on the flank of
Leaoutung must redound to his advantage, and, although warned by the King
of Corea that "the Kins were worse than wolves and tigers," he sent an
embassy to Akouta proposing a joint alliance against the Khitans. The
negotiations were not at first successful. Akouta concluded a truce with
Leaoutung, but took offense at the style of the emperor's letter. The
peace was soon broken by either the Kins or the Khitans, and Hoeitsong
consented to address Akouta as the Great Emperor of the Kins. Then Akouta
engaged to attack Leaoutung from the north, while the Chinese assailed it
on the south, and a war began which promised a speedy termination. But the
tardiness and inefficiency of the Chinese army prolonged the struggle, and
covered the reputation of Hoeitsong and his troops with ignominy. It was
compelled to beat a hasty and disastrous retreat, and the peasants of
Leaoutung sang ballads about its cowardice and insufficiency.

But if it fared badly with the Chinese, the armies of Akouta continued to
be victorious, and the Khitans fled not less precipitately before him than
the Chinese did before them. Their best generals were unable to make the
least stand against the Kin forces. Their capital was occupied by the
conqueror, and the last descendant of the great Apaoki fled westward to
seek an asylum with the Prince of Hia or Tangut. He does not appear to
have received the protection he claimed, for after a brief stay at the
court of Hia, he made his way to the desert, where, after undergoing
incredible hardships, he fell into the hands of his Kin pursuers. With his
death soon afterward the Khitan dynasty came to an end, after enjoying its
power for two hundred years, but some members of this race escaped across
the Gobi Desert, and founded the brief-lived dynasty of the Kara Khitay in
Turkestan. Akouta died shortly before the final overthrow of the Leaoutung
power, and his brother Oukimai ruled in his place.

The ill-success of Hoeitsong's army in its joint campaign against
Leaoutung cost the emperor his share in the spoil. The Kins retained the
whole of the conquered territory, and the Sung prince was the worse off,
because he had a more powerful and aggressive neighbor. The ease of their
conquest, and the evident weakness of the Chinese, raised the confidence
of the Kins to such a high point that they declared that the Sungs must
surrender to them the whole of the territory north of the Hoangho, and
they prepared to secure what they demanded by force of arms. The Chinese
would neither acquiesce in the transfer of this region to the Kins nor
take steps to defend it. They were driven out of that portion of the
empire like sheep, and they even failed to make any stand at the passage
of the Hoangho, where the Kin general declared that "there could not be a
man left in China, for if two thousand men had defended the passage of
this river we should never have succeeded in crossing it." Hoeitsong
quitted his capital Kaifong to seek shelter at Nankin, where he hoped to
enjoy greater safety, and shortly afterward he abdicated in favor of his
son Kintsong. The siege of Kaifong which followed ended in a convention
binding the Chinese to pay the Kins an enormous sum--ten millions of small
gold nuggets, twenty millions of small silver nuggets, and ten million
pieces of silk; but the Tartar soldiers soon realized that there was no
likelihood of their ever receiving this fabulous spoil, and in their
indignation they seized both Hoeitsong and Kintsong, as well as any other
members of the royal family on whom they could lay their hands, and
carried them off to Tartary, where both the unfortunate Sung princes died
as prisoners of the Kins.

Although the Kins wished to sweep the Sungs from the throne, and their
general Walipou went so far as to proclaim the emperor of a new dynasty,
whose name is forgotten, another of the sons of Hoeitsong, Prince Kang
Wang, had no difficulty in establishing his own power and in preserving
the Sung dynasty. He even succeeded in imparting a new vigor to it, for on
the advice of his mother, who pointed out to him that "for nearly two
hundred years the nation appears to have forgotten the art of war," he
devoted all his attention to the improvement of his army and the
organization of his military resources. Prince Kang Wang, on becoming
emperor, took the name of Kaotsong, and finally removed the southern
capital to Nankin. He was also driven by his financial necessities to
largely increase the issue of paper money, which had been introduced under
the Tangs. As both the Kins and the Mongols had recourse to the same
expedient, it is not surprising that the Sungs should also have adopted
the simplest mode of compensating for a depleted treasury. Considering the
unexpected difficulties with which he had to cope, and the low ebb to
which the fortunes of China had fallen, much might be forgiven to
Kaotsong, who found a courageous counselor in the Empress Mongchi, who is
reported to have addressed him as follows: "Although the whole of your
august family has been led captive into the countries of the north, none
the less does China, which knows your wisdom and fine qualities, preserve
toward the Sungs the same affection, fidelity, and zeal as in the past.
She hopes and expects that you will prove for her what Kwang Vouti was for
the Hans." If Kaotsong did not attain the height of this success, he at
least showed himself a far more capable prince than any of his immediate
predecessors.

The successful employment of cavalry by the Kins naturally led the Chinese
to think of employing the same arm against them, although the inhabitants
of the eighteen provinces have never been good horsemen. Kaotsong also
devoted his attention especially to the formation of a corps of
charioteers. The chariots, four-wheeled, carried twenty-four combatants,
and these vehicles drawn up in battle array not only presented a very
formidable appearance, but afforded a very material shelter for the rest
of the army. Kaotsong seems to have been better in imagining reforms than
in the task of carrying them out. After he had originated much good work
he allowed it to languish for want of definite support, and he quarreled
with and disgraced the minister chiefly responsible for these reforms. A
short time after this the Kins again advanced southward, but thanks to the
improvement effected in the Chinese army, and to the skill and valor of
Tsongtse, one of Kaotsong's lieutenants, they did not succeed in gaining
any material advantage. Their efforts to capture Kaifong failed, and their
general Niyamoho, recognizing the improvement in the Chinese army, was
content to withdraw his army with such spoil as it had been able to
collect. Tsongtse followed up this good service against the enemy by
bringing to their senses several rebellious officials who thought they saw
a good opportunity of shaking off the Sung authority. At this stage of the
war Tsongtse exhorted Kaotsong, who had quitted Nankin for Yangchow, to
return to Kaifong to encourage his troops with his presence, especially as
there never was such a favorable opportunity of delivering his august
family out of the hands of the Kins. Tsongtse is reported to have sent as
many as twenty formal petitions to his sovereign to do this, but Kaotsong
was deaf to them all, and it is said that his obtuseness and want of nerve
caused Tsongtse so much pain that he died of chagrin.

The death of Tsongtse induced the Kins to make a more strenuous effort to
humiliate the Sungs, and a large army under the joint command of Akouta's
son, Olito, and the general Niyamoho, advanced on the capital and captured
Yangchow. Kaotsong, who saved his life by precipitate flight, then agreed
to sign any treaty drawn up by his conqueror. In his letter to Niyamoho he
said, "Why fatigue your troops with long and arduous marches when I will
grant you of my own will whatever you demand?" But the Kins were
inexorable, and refused to grant any terms short of the unconditional
surrender of Kaotsong, who fled to Canton, pursued both on land and sea.
The Kin conquerors soon found that they had advanced too far, and the
Chinese rallying their forces gained some advantage during their retreat.
Some return of confidence followed this turn in the fortune of the war,
and two Chinese generals, serving in the hard school of adversity,
acquired a military knowledge and skill which made them formidable to even
the best of the Kin commanders. The campaigns carried on between 1131 and
1134 differed from any that had preceded them in that the Kin forces
steadily retired before Oukiai and Changtsiun, and victory, which had so
long remained constant in their favor, finally deserted their arms. The
death of the Kin emperor, Oukimai, who had upheld with no decline of
luster the dignity of his father Akouta, completed the discomfiture of the
Kins, and contributed to the revival of Chinese power under the last
emperor of the Sung dynasty. The reign of Oukimai marks the pinnacle of
Kin power, which under his cousin and successor Hola began steadily to
decline.

The possession of Honan formed the principal bone of contention between
the Kins and Sungs, but after considerable negotiation and some fighting,
Kaotsong agreed to leave it in the hands of the Kins, and also to pay them
a large annual subsidy in silk and money. He also agreed to hold the
remainder of his states as a gift at the hands of his northern neighbor.
Thus, notwithstanding the very considerable successes gained by several of
the Sung generals, Kaotsong had to undergo the mortification of signing a
humiliating peace and retaining his authority only on sufferance.
Fortunately for the independence of the Sungs, Hola was murdered by
Ticounai, a grandson of Akouta, whose ferocious character and ill-formed
projects for the subjugation of the whole of China furnished the Emperor
Kaotsong with the opportunity of shaking off the control asserted over his
actions and recovering his dignity. The extensive preparations of the Kin
government for war warned the Sungs to lose no time in placing every man
they could in the field, and when Ticounai rushed into the war, which was
all of his own making, he found that the Sungs were quite ready to receive
him and offer a strenuous resistance to his attack. A peace of twenty
years' duration had allowed of their organizing their forces and
recovering from an unreasoning terror of the Kins. Moreover, there was a
very general feeling among the inhabitants of both the north and the south
that the war was an unjust one, and that Ticounai had embarked upon a
course of lawless aggression which his tyrannical and cruel proceedings
toward his own subjects served to inflame.

The war began in 1161 A. D., with an ominous defeat of the Kin navy, and
when Kaotsong nerved himself for the crisis in his life and placed himself
at the head of his troops, Ticounai must have felt less sanguine of the
result than his confident declaration that he would end the war in a
single campaign indicated. Before the two armies came into collision
Ticounai learned that a rebellion had broken out in his rear, and that his
cousin Oulo challenged both his legitimacy and his authority. He believed,
and perhaps wisely, that the only way to deal with this new danger was to
press on, and by gaining a signal victory over the Sungs annihilate all
his enemies at a blow. But the victory had to be gained, and he seems to
have underestimated his opponent. He reached the Yangtsekiang, and the
Sungs retired behind it. Ticounai had no means of crossing it, as his
fleet had been destroyed and the Sung navy stood in his path. Such river
junks as he possessed were annihilated in another encounter on the river.
He offered sacrifices to heaven in order to obtain a safe passage, but the
powers above were deaf to his prayers. Discontent and disorder broke out
in his camp. The army that was to have carried all before it was stopped
by a mere river, and Ticounai's reputation as a general was ruined before
he had crossed swords with the enemy. In this dilemma his cruelty
increased, and after he had sentenced many of his officers and soldiers to
death he was murdered by those who found that they would have to share the
same fate. After this tragic ending of a bad career, the Kin army
retreated. They concluded a friendly convention with the Sungs, and
Kaotsong, deeming his work done by the repulse of this grave peril,
abdicated the throne, which had proved to him no bed of roses, in favor of
his adopted heir Hiaotsong. Kaotsong ruled during the long period of
thirty-six years, and when we consider the troubled time through which he
passed, and the many vicissitudes of fortune he underwent, he probably
rejoiced at being able to spend the last twenty-five years of his life
without the responsibility of governing the empire and free from the cares
of sovereignty.

The new Kin ruler Oulo wished for peace, but a section of his turbulent
subjects clamored for a renewal of the expeditions into China, and he was
compelled to bend to the storm. The Kin army, however, had no cause to
rejoice in its bellicoseness, for the Chinese general, Changtsiun,
defeated it in a battle the like of which had not been seen for ten years.
After this a peace was concluded which proved fairly durable, and the
remainder of the reigns of both Oulo and Hiaotsong were peaceful and
prosperous for northern and southern China. Both of these princes showed
an aversion to war and an appreciation of peace which was rare in their
day. The Kin ruler is stated to have made this noble retort when he was
solicited by a traitor from a neighboring state to seize it: "You deceive
yourself if you believe me to be capable of approving an act of treason
whatever the presumed advantage it might procure me. I love all peoples of
whatever nation they may be, and I wish to see them at peace with one
another." It is not surprising to learn that a prince who was so
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of civilization should have caused the
Chinese classics to be translated into the Kin language. Of all the Kin
rulers he was the most intellectual and the most anxious to elevate the
standard of his people, who were far ruder than the inhabitants of
southern China.

Hiaotsong was succeeded by his son Kwangtsong, and Oulo by his grandson
Madacou, both of whom continued the policy of their predecessors.
Kwangtsong was saved the trouble of ruling by his wife, the Empress Lichi,
and after a very short space he resigned the empty title of emperor, which
brought him neither satisfaction nor pleasure. Ningtsong, the son and
successor of Kwangtsong, ventured on one war with the Kins in which he was
worsted. This the last of the Kin successes, for Madacou died soon
afterward, just on the eve of the advent of the Mongol peril, which
threatened to sweep all before it, and which eventually buried both Kin
and Sung in a common ruin. The long competition and the bitter contest
between the Kins and Sungs had not resulted in the decisive success of
either side. The Kins had been strong enough to found an administration in
the north but not to conquer China. The Sungs very naturally represent in
Chinese history the national dynasty, and their misfortunes rather than
their successes appeal to the sentiment of the reader. They showed
themselves greater in adversity than in prosperity, and when the Mongol
tempest broke over China they proved the more doughty opponent, and the
possessor of greater powers of resistance than their uniformly successful
adversary the Kin or Golden Dynasty.



CHAPTER V

THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA


While the Kins were absorbed in their contest with the Southern Chinese,
they were oblivious of the growth of a new and formidable power on their
own borders. The strength of the Mongols had acquired serious dimensions
before the Kins realized that they would have to fight, not only for
supremacy, but for their very existence. Before describing the long wars
that resulted in the subjection of China by this northern race, we must
consider the origin and the growth of the power of the Mongols, who were
certainly the most remarkable race of conquerors Asia, or perhaps the
whole world, ever produced.

The home of the Mongols, whose name signifies "brave men," was in the
strip of territory between the Onon and Kerulon rivers, which are both
tributaries or upper courses of the Amour. They first appeared as a
separate clan or tribe in the ninth century, when they attracted special
attention for their physical strength and courage during one of China's
many wars with the children of the desert, and it was on that occasion
they gained the appellation under which they became famous. The earlier
history of the Mongol tribe is obscure, and baffles investigation, but
there seems no reason to doubt their affinity to the Hiongnou, with whose
royal house Genghis himself claimed blood relationship. If this claim be
admitted, Genghis and Attila, who were the two specially typical Scourges
of God, must be considered members of the same race, and the probability
is certainly strengthened by the close resemblance in their methods of
carrying on war. Budantsar is the first chief of the House of Genghis
whose person and achievements are more than mythical. He selected as the
abode of his race the territory between the Onon and the Kerulon, a region
fertile in itself, and well protected by those rivers against attack. It
was also so well placed as to be beyond the extreme limit of any
triumphant progress of the armies of the Chinese emperor. If Budantsar had
accomplished nothing more than this, he would still have done much to
justify his memory being preserved among a free and independent people.
But he seems to have incited his followers to pursue an active and
temperate life, to remain warriors rather than to become rich and lazy
citizens. He wrapped up this counsel in the exhortation, "What is the use
of embarrassing ourselves with wealth? Is not the fate of man decreed by
heaven?" He sowed the seed of future Mongol greatness, and the headship of
his clan remained vested in his family.

In due order of succession the chief ship passed to Kabul Khan, who in the
year 1135 began to encroach on the dominion of Hola, the Kin emperor. He
seems to have been induced to commit this act of hostility by a prophecy,
to the effect that his children should be emperors, and also by
discourteous treatment received on the occasion of his visit to the court
of Oukimai. Whatever the cause of umbrage, Kabul Khan made the Kins pay
dearly for their arrogance or short-sighted policy. Hola sent an army
under one of his best generals, Hushahu, to bring the Mongol chief to
reason, but the inaccessibility of his home stood him in good stead. The
Kin army suffered greatly in its futile attempt to cross the desert, and
during its retreat it was harassed by the pursuing Mongols. When the Kin
army endeavored to make a stand against its pursuers, it suffered a
crushing overthrow in a battle at Hailing, and on the Kins sending a
larger force against the Mongols in 1139, it had no better fortune. Kabul
Khan, after this second success, caused himself to be proclaimed Great
Emperor of the Mongols. His success in war, and his ambition, which rested
satisfied with no secondary position, indicated the path on which the
Mongols proceeded to the acquisition of supreme power and a paramount
military influence whithersoever they carried their name and standards.
The work begun by Kabul was well continued by his son Kutula, or Kublai.
He, too, was a great warrior, whose deeds of prowess aroused as much
enthusiasm among the Mongols as those of Coeur de Lion evoked in the days
of the Plantagenets. The struggle with the Kins was rendered more bitter
by the execution of several Mongols of importance, who happened to fall
into the hands of the Kins. When Kutula died the chiefship passed to his
nephew, Yissugei, who greatly extended the influence and power of his
family among the tribes neighboring to the Mongol home. Many of these, and
even some Chinese, joined the military organization of the dominant tribe,
so that what was originally a small force of strictly limited numbers
became a vast and ever-increasing confederacy of the most warlike and
aggressive races of the Chinese northern frontier. Important as Yissugei's
work in the development of Mongol power undoubtedly was, his chief
historical interest is derived from the fact that he was the father of
Genghis Khan.

There are several interesting fables in connection with the birth of
Genghis, which event may be safely assigned to the year 1162. One of these
reads as follows: "One day Yissugei was hunting in company with his
brothers, and was following the tracks of a white hare in the snow. They
struck upon the track of a wagon, and following it up came to a spot where
a woman's yart was pitched. Then said Yissugei, 'This woman will bear a
valiant son.' He discovered that she was the damsel Ogelen Eke (i.e., the
mother of nations), and that she was the wife of Yeke Yilatu, chief of a
Tartar tribe. Yissugei carried her off and made her his wife." Immediately
after his overthrow of Temujin, chief of one of the principal Tartar
tribes, Yissugei learned that the promised "valiant son" was about to be
born, and in honor of his victory he gave him the name of Temujin, which
was the proper name of the great Genghis. The village or encampment in
which the future conqueror first saw the light of day still bears the old
Mongol name, Dilun Boldak, on the banks of the Onon. When Yissugei died,
Temujin, or Genghis, was only thirteen, and his clan of forty thousand
families refused to recognize him as their leader. At a meeting of the
tribe Genghis entreated them with tears in his eyes to stand by the son of
their former chief, but the majority of them mocked at him, exclaiming,
"The deepest wells are sometimes dry, and the hardest stone is sometimes
broken, why should we cling to thee?" Genghis owed to the heroic attitude
of his mother, who flung abroad the cow-tailed banner of his race, the
acceptance of his authority by about half the warriors who had obeyed his
father. The great advantage of this step was that it gave Genghis time to
grow up to be a warrior as famous as any of his predecessors, and it
certainly averted what might have easily become the irretrievable
disintegration of the Mongol alliance.

The youth of Genghis was passed in one ceaseless struggle to regain the
whole of his birthright. His most formidable enemy was Chamuka, chief of
the Juriats, and for a long time he had all the worst of the struggle,
being taken prisoner on one occasion, and undergoing the indignity of the
cangue. On making his escape he rallied his remaining followers round him
for a final effort, and on the advice of his mother, Ogelen Eke, who was
his principal adviser and stanchest supporter, he divided his forces into
thirteen regiments of one thousand men each, and confined his attention to
the defense of his own territory. Chamuka, led away by what he deemed the
weakness of his adversary, attacked him on the Onon with as he considered
the overwhelming force of thirty thousand men; but the result dispelled
his hopes of conquest, for Genghis gained a decisive victory. Then was
furnished a striking instance of the truth of the saying that "nothing
succeeds like success." The despised Temujin, who was thought to be
unworthy of the post of ruling the Mongols, was lauded to the skies, and
the tribes declared with one voice, "Temujin alone is generous and worthy
of ruling a great people." At this time also he began to show the
qualities of a statesman and diplomatist. He formed in 1194 a temporary
alliance with the Kin emperor, Madacou, and the richness of his reward
seems to have excited his cupidity, while his experience of the Kin army
went to prove that they were not so formidable as had been imagined. The
discomfiture of Chamuka has been referred to, but he had not abandoned the
hope of success, and when he succeeded in detaching the Kerait chief, Wang
Khan, from the Mongols, to whom he was bound by ties of gratitude, he
fancied that he again held victory in his grasp. But the intrigue did not
realize his expectations. Wang Khan deserted Genghis while engaged in a
joint campaign against the Naimans, but he was the principal sufferer by
his treachery, for the enemy pursued his force, and inflicted a heavy
defeat upon it. In fact, he was only rescued from destruction by the
timely aid of the man he had betrayed.

But far from inspiring gratitude, this incident inflamed the resentment of
Wang Khan, who, throwing off the cloak of simulated friendship, declared
publicly that either the Kerait or the Mongol must be supreme on the great
steppe, as there was not room for both. Such was the superiority in
numbers of the Kerait, that in the first battle of this long and keenly-
contested struggle, Wang Khan defeated Temujin near Ourga, where the
mounds that cover the slain are still shown to the curious or skeptical
visitor. After this serious, and in some degree unexpected reverse, the
fortunes of Genghis sank to the lowest ebb. He was reduced to terrible
straits, and had to move his camp rapidly from one spot to another. A
small section of his followers, mindful of his past success and prowess,
still clung to him, and by a sudden and daring coup he changed the whole
aspect of the contest. He surprised Wang Khan in his camp at night, and
overwhelmed him and his forces. Wang Khan escaped to his old foes, the
Naimans, who, disregarding the laws of hospitality, put him to death. The
death of Wang Khan signified nothing less than the wholesale defection of
the Kerait tribe, which joined Genghis to the last man. Then Genghis
turned westward to settle the question of supremacy with the Naimans, who
were both hostile and defiant. The Naiman chief shared the opinion of Wang
Khan, that there could not be two masters on the Tian Shan, and with that
vigorous illustration which has never been wanting to these illiterate
tribes, he wrote, "There cannot be two suns in the sky, two swords in one
sheath, two eyes in one eyepit, or two kings in one empire." Both sides
made strenuous efforts for the fray, and brought every fighting man they
could into the field. The decisive battle of the war was fought in the
heart of Jungaria, and the star of Genghis rose in the ascendant. The
Naimans fought long and well, but they were borne down by the heavier
armed Mongols, and their desperate resistance only added to their loss.
Their chief died of his wounds, and the triumph of Genghis was rendered
complete by the capture of his old enemy, Chamuka. As Genghis had sworn
the oath of friendship with Chamuka, he would not slay him, but he handed
him over to a relative, who promptly exacted the rough revenge his past
hostility and treachery seemed to call for. On his way back from this
campaign the Mongol chief attacked the Prince of Hia, who reigned over
Kansuh and Tangut, and thus began the third war he waged for the extension
of his power. Before this assumed serious proportions he summoned a Grand
Council or Kuriltai, at his camp on the Onon, and then erected outside his
tent the royal Mongol banner of the nine white yak-tails. It was on this
occasion that Temujin took, and was proclaimed among the Mongol chiefs by,
the highly exalted name of Genghis Khan, which means Very Mighty Khan. The
Chinese character for the name signifies "Perfect Warrior," and the
earlier European writers affirm that it is supposed to represent the sound
of "the bird of heaven." At this assemblage, which was the first of a long
succession of Mongol councils summoned at the same place on critical
occasions, it was proposed and agreed that the war should be carried on
with the richer and less warlike races of the south. Among soldiers it is
necessary to preserve the spirit of pre-eminence and warlike zeal by
granting rewards and decorations. Genghis realized the importance of this
matter, and instituted the order of Baturu or Bahadur, meaning warrior. He
also made his two leading generals Muhula and Porshu princes, one to sit
on his right hand and the other on his left. He addressed them before the
council in the following words: "It is to you that I owe my empire. You
are and have been to me as the shafts of a carriage or the arms to a man's
body." Seals of office were also granted to all the officials, so that
their authority might be the more evident and the more honored.

In 1207 Genghis began his war with the state of Hia, which he had
determined to crush as the preliminary to an invasion of China. In that
year he contented himself with the capture of Wuhlahai, one of the border
fortresses of that principality, and in the following year he established
his control over the tribes of the desert more fully, thus gaining many
Kirghiz and Naiman auxiliaries. In 1209 he resumed the war with Hia in a
determined spirit, and placed himself in person at the head of all his
forces. Although the Hia ruler prepared as well as he could for the
struggle, he was really unnerved by the magnitude of the danger he had to
face. His army was overthrown, his best generals were taken prisoners, and
he himself had no resource left but to throw himself on the consideration
of Genghis. For good reasons the Mongol conqueror was lenient. He married
one of the daughters of the king, and he took him into subsidiary alliance
with himself. Thus did Genghis absorb the Hia power, which was very
considerable, and prepared to enroll it with all his own resources against
the Kin empire. If the causes of Mongol success on this occasion and
afterward are inquired for, I cannot do better than repeat what I
previously wrote on this subject: "The Mongols owed their military success
to their admirable discipline and to their close study of the art of war.
Their military supremacy arose from their superiority in all essentials as
a fighting power to their neighbors. Much of their knowledge was borrowed
from China, where the art of disciplining a large army and maneuvering it
in the field had been brought to a high state of perfection many centuries
before the time of Genghis. But the Mongols carried the teaching of the
past to a further point than any of the former or contemporary Chinese
commanders, indeed, than any in the whole world, had done; and the
revolution which they effected in tactics was not less remarkable in
itself, and did not leave a smaller impression upon the age, than the
improvements made in military science by Frederick the Great and Napoleon
in their day. The Mongol played in a large way in Asia the part which the
Normans on a smaller scale played in Europe. Although the landmarks of
their triumph have now almost wholly vanished, they were for two centuries
the dominant caste in most of the states of Asia."

Having thus prepared the way for the larger enterprise, it only remained
to find a plausible pretext for attacking the Kins. With or without a
pretext Genghis would no doubt have made war, but even the ruthless Mongol
sometimes showed a regard for appearances. Many years before the Kins had
sent as envoy to the Mongul encampment Chonghei, a member of their ruling
house, and his mission had been not only unsuccessful, but had led to a
personal antipathy between the two men. In the course of time Chonghei
succeeded Madacou as emperor of the Kins, and when a Kin messenger brought
intelligence of this event to Genghis, the Mongol ruler turned toward the
south, spat upon the ground, and said, "I thought that your sovereigns
were of the race of the gods, but do you suppose that I am going to do
homage to such an imbecile as that?" The affront rankled in the mind of
Chonghei, and while Genghis was engaged with Hia, he sent troops to attack
the Mongol outposts. Chonghei thus placed himself in the wrong, and gave
Genghis justification for declaring that the Kins and not he began the
war. The reputation of the Golden dynasty, although not as great as it
once was, still stood sufficiently high to make the most adventurous of
desert chiefs wary in attacking it. Genghis had already secured the co-
operation of the ruler of Hia in his enterprise, and he next concluded an
alliance with Yeliu Liuko, chief of the Khitans, who were again
manifesting discontent with the Kins. Genghis finally circulated a
proclamation among all the desert tribes, calling upon them to join him in
his attack on the common enemy. This appeal was heartily and generally
responded to, and it was at the head of an enormous force that Genghis set
out in March, 1211, to effect the conquest of China. The Mongol army was
led by Genghis in person, and under him his four sons and his most famous
general, Chepe Noyan, held commands.

The plan of campaign of the Mongol ruler was as simple as it was bold.
From his camp at Karakoram, on the Kerulon, he marched in a straight line
through Kuku Khoten and the Ongut country to Taitong, securing an
unopposed passage through the Great Wall by the defection of the Ongut
tribe. The Kins were unprepared for this sudden and vigorous assault
directed on their weakest spot, and successfully executed before their
army could reach the scene. During the two years that the forces of
Genghis kept the field on this occasion, they devastated the greater
portion of the three northern provinces of Shensi, Shansi, and Pechihli.
But the border fortress of Taitong and the Kin capital, Tungking,
successfully resisted all the assaults of the Mongols, and when Genghis
received a serious wound at the former place, he reluctantly ordered the
retreat of his army, laden with an immense quantity of spoil, but still
little advanced in its main task of conquering China. The success of the
Khitan Yeliu Liuko had not been less considerable, and he was proclaimed
King of Leaou as a vassal of the Mongols. The planting of this ally on the
very threshold of Chinese power facilitated the subsequent enterprises of
the Mongols against the Kins, and represented the most important result of
this war.

In 1213 Genghis again invaded the Kin dominions, but his success was not
very striking, and in several engagements of no very great importance the
Kin arms met with some success. The most important events of the year
were, however, the deposition and murder of Chonghei, the murder of a Kin
general, Hushahu, who had won a battle against the Mongols, and the
proclamation of Utubu as emperor. The change of sovereign brought no
change of fortune to the unlucky Kins. Utubu was only able to find safety
behind the walls of his capital, and he was delighted when Genghis wrote
him the following letter: "Seeing your wretched condition and my exalted
fortune, what may your opinion be now of the will of heaven with regard to
myself? At this moment I am desirous to return to Tartary, but could you
allow my soldiers to take their departure without appeasing their anger
with presents?" In reply Utubu sent Genghis a princess of his family as a
wife, and also "five hundred youths, the same number of girls, three
thousand horses, and a vast quantity of precious articles." Then Genghis
retired once more to Karakoram, but on his march he stained his reputation
by massacring all his prisoners--the first gross act of inhumanity he
committed during his Chinese wars.

When Utubu saw the Mongols retreating, he thought to provide against the
most serious consequences of their return by removing his capital to a
greater distance from the frontier, and with this object he transferred
his residence to Kaifong. The majority of his advisers were against this
change, as a retirement could not but shake public confidence. It had
another consequence, which they may not have contemplated, and that was
its providing Genghis with an excuse for renewing his attack on China. The
Mongol at once complained that the action of the Kin emperor implied an
unwarrantable suspicion of his intentions, and he sent his army across the
frontier to recommence his humiliation. On this occasion a Kin general
deserted to them, and thenceforward large bodies of the Chinese of the
north attached themselves to the Mongols, who were steadily acquiring a
unique reputation for power as well as military prowess. The great event
of this war was the siege of Yenking--on the site of which now stands the
capital Pekin--the defense of which had been intrusted to the Prince
Imperial; but Utubu, more anxious for his son's safety than the interests
of the state, ordered him to return to Kaifong. The governor of Yenking
offered a stout resistance to the Mongols, and when he found that he could
not hold out, he retired to the temple of the city and poisoned himself.
His last act was to write a letter to Utubu begging him to listen no more
to the pernicious advice of the man who had induced him to murder Hushahu.

The capture of Yenking, where Genghis obtained a large supply of war
materials, as well as vast booty, opened the road to Central China. The
Mongols advanced as far as the celebrated Tunkwan Pass, which connects
Shensi and Honan, but when their general, Samuka, saw how formidable it
was, and how strong were the Kin defenses and garrison, he declined to
attack it, and, making a detour through very difficult country, he marched
on Kaifong, where Utubu little expected him. The Mongols had to make their
own road, and they crossed several ravines by improvised "bridges made of
spears and the branches of trees bound together by strong chains." But the
Mongol force was too small to accomplish any great result, and the
impetuosity of Samuka nearly led to his destruction. A prompt retreat, and
the fact that the Hoangho was frozen over, enabled him to extricate his
army, after much fatigue and reduced in numbers, from its awkward
position. The retreat of the Mongols inspired Utubu with sufficient
confidence to induce him to attack Yeliu Liuko in Leaoutung, and the
success of this enterprise imparted a gleam of sunshine and credit to the
expiring cause of the Kins. Yeliu Liuko was driven from his newly-created
kingdom, but Genghis hastened to the assistance of his ally by sending
Muhula, the greatest of all his generals, at the head of a large army to
recover Leaoutung. His success was rapid and remarkable. The Kins were
speedily overthrown, Yeliu Liuko was restored to his authority, and the
neighboring King of Corea, impressed by the magnitude of the Mongol
success, hastened to acknowledge himself the vassal of Genghis. The most
important result of this campaign was that Genghis intrusted to Muhula the
control of all military arrangements for the conquest of China. He is
reported to have said to his lieutenant: "North of the Taihing Mountains I
am supreme, but all the regions to the south I commend to the care of
Muhula," and he "also presented him with a chariot and a banner with nine
scalops. As he handed him this last emblem of authority, he spoke to his
generals, saying, 'Let this banner be an emblem of sovereignty, and let
the orders issued from under it be obeyed as my own.'" The principal
reason for intrusting the conquest of China to a special force and
commander was that Genghis wished to devote the whole of his personal
attention to the prosecution of his new war with the King of Khwaresm and
the other great rulers of Western Asia.

Muhula more than justified the selection and confidence of his sovereign.
In the year 1218-19 he invaded Honan, defeated the best of the Kin
commanders, and not merely overran, but retained possession of the places
he occupied in the Kin dominions. The difficulties of Utubu were
aggravated by an attack from Ningtsong, the Sung emperor, who refused any
longer to pay tribute to the Kins, as they were evidently unable to
enforce the claim, and the Kin armies were as equally unfortunate against
their southern opponents as their northern. Then Utubu endeavored to
negotiate terms with Muhula for the retreat of his army, but the only
conditions the Mongol general would accept were the surrender of the Kin
ruler and his resignation of the imperial title in exchange for the
principality of Honan. Utubu, low as he had sunk, declined to abase
himself further and to purchase life at the loss of his dignity. The
sudden death of Muhula gained a brief respite for the distressed Chinese
potentate, but the advantage was not of any permanent significance; first
of all because the Kins were too exhausted by their long struggle, and,
secondly, because Genghis hastened to place himself at the head of his
army. The news of the death of Muhula reached him when he was encamped on
the frontier of India and preparing to add the conquest of that country to
his many other triumphs in Central and Western Asia. He at once came to
the conclusion that he must return to set his house in order at home, and
to prevent all the results of Muhula's remarkable triumphs being lost.
What was a disadvantage for China proved a benefit for India, and possibly
for Europe, as there is no saying how much further the Mongol encroachment
might have extended westward, if the direction of Genghis had not been
withdrawn. While Genghis was hastening from the Cabul River to the
Kerulon, across the Hindoo Koosh and Tian Shan ranges, Utubu died and
Ninkiassu reigned in his stead.

One of the first consequences of the death of Muhula was that the young
king of Hia, believing that the fortunes of the Mongols would then wane,
and that he might obtain a position of greater power and independence,
threw off his allegiance, and adopted hostile measures against them. The
prompt return of Genghis nipped this plan in the bud, but it was made
quite evident that the conquest of Hia was essential to the success of any
permanent annexation of Chinese territory, and as its prince could dispose
of an army which he boasted numbered half a million of men, it is not
surprising to find that he took a whole year in perfecting his
arrangements for so grave a contest. The war began in 1225 and continued
for two years. The success of the Mongol army was decisive and
unqualified. The Hias were defeated in several battles, and in one of them
fought upon the frozen waters of the Hoangho. Genghis broke the ice by
means of his engines, and the Hia army was almost annihilated. The king
Leseen was deposed, and Hia became a Mongol province.

[Illustration: HONG KONG
_China_]

It was immediately after this successful war that Genghis was seized with
his fatal illness. Signs had been seen in the heavens which the Mongol
astrologers said indicated the near approach of his death. The five
planets had appeared together in the southwest, and so much impressed was
Genghis by this phenomenon that on his death-bed he expressed "the earnest
desire that henceforth the lives of our enemies shall not be unnecessarily
sacrificed." The expression of this wish undoubtedly tended to mitigate
the terrors of war as carried on by the Mongols. The immediate successors
of Genghis conducted their campaigns after a more humane fashion, and it
was not until Timour revived the early Mongol massacres that their
opponents felt there was no chance in appealing to the humanity of the
Mongols. Various accounts have been published of the cause of his death;
some authorities ascribing it to violence, either by an arrow, lightning,
or drowning, and others to natural causes. The event seems to have
unquestionably happened in his camp on the borders of Shansi, August 27,
1227, when he was about sixty-five years of age, during more than fifty of
which he had enjoyed supreme command of his own tribe.

The area of the undertakings conducted under his eye was more vast and
included a greater number of countries than was the case with any other
conqueror. Not a country from the Euxine to the China Sea escaped the
tramp of the Mongol horsemen, and if we include the achievements of his
immediate successors, the conquest of Russia, Poland, and Hungary, the
plundering of Bulgaria, Roumania, and Bosnia, the final subjection of
China and its southern tributaries must be added to complete the tale of
Mongol triumph. The sphere of Mongol influence extended beyond this large
portion of the earth's surface, just as the consequence of an explosion
cannot be restricted to the immediate scene of the disaster. If we may
include the remarkable achievements of his descendant Baber, and of that
prince's grandson Akbar, in India three centuries later, not a country in
Asia enjoyed immunity from the effect of their successes. Perhaps the most
important result of their great outpouring into Western Asia--which
certainly was the arrest of the Mohammedan career in Central Asia, and the
diversion of the current of the fanatical propagators of the Prophet's
creed against Europe--is not yet as fully recognized as it should be. The
doubt has been already expressed whether the Mongols would ever have risen
to higher rank than that of a nomad tribe but for the appearance of
Genghis. Leaving that supposition in the category of other interesting but
problematical conjectures, it may be asserted that Genghis represented in
their highest forms all the qualities which entitled his race to exercise
governing authority. He was, moreover, a military genius of the very first
order, and it may be questioned whether either Caesar or Napoleon can as
commanders be placed on a par with him. Even the Chinese said that he led
his armies like a god. The manner in which he moved large bodies of men
over vast distances without an apparent effort, the judgment he showed in
the conduct of several wars in countries far apart from each other, his
strategy in unknown regions, always on the alert, yet never allowing
hesitation or overcaution to interfere with his enterprise, the sieges
which he brought to a successful termination, his brilliant victories, a
succession of "suns of Austerlitz," all combined make up the picture of a
career to which Europe can offer nothing that will surpass, if indeed she
has anything to bear comparison with it. After the lapse of centuries, and
in spite of the indifference with which the great figures of Asiatic
history have been treated, the name of Genghis preserves its magic spell.
It is still a name to conjure with when recording the great revolutions of
a period which beheld the death of the old system in China, and the advent
in that country of a newer and more vigorous government which, slowly
acquiring shape in the hands of Kublai and a more national form under the
Mings, has attained the pinnacle of its utility and strength under the
influence of the great emperors of the Manchu dynasty. But great as is the
reputation Genghis has acquired it is probably short of his merits. He is
remembered as a relentless and irresistible conqueror, a human scourge;
but he was much more. He was one of the greatest instruments of destiny,
one of the most remarkable molders of the fate of nations to be met with
in the history of the world. His name still overshadows Asia with its
fame, and the tribute of our admiration cannot be denied.

The death of Genghis did not seriously retard the progress of the war
against the Kins. He expressed the wish that war should be carried on in a
more humane and less vindictive manner, but he did not advocate there
being no war or the abandonment of any of his enterprises. His son and
successor Ogotai was indeed specially charged to bring the conquest of
China to a speedy and victorious conclusion. The weakness of the Mongol
confederacy was the delay connected with the proclamation of a new Khan
and the necessity of summoning to a Grand Council all the princes and
generals of the race, although it entailed the suspension and often the
abandonment of great enterprises. The death of Genghis saved India but not
China. Almost his last instructions were to draw up the plan for attacking
and turning the great fortress of Tunkwan, which had provided such an
efficient defense for Honan on the north, and in 1230, Ogotai, who had
already partitioned the territory taken from the Kins into ten
departments, took the field in person, giving a joint command to his
brother Tuli, under whom served the experienced generals Yeliu Chutsia,
Antchar, and Subutai. At first the Mongols met with no great success, and
the Kins, encouraged by a momentary gleam of victory, ventured to reject
the terms offered by Ogotai and to insult his envoy. The only important
fighting during the years 1230-31 occurred round Fongsian, which after a
long siege surrendered to Antchar, and when the campaign closed the Kins
presented a bold front to the Mongols and still hoped to retain their
power and dominions.

In 1232 the Mongols increased their armies in the field, and attacked the
Kins from two sides. Ogotai led the main force against Honan, while Tuli,
marching through Shensi into Szchuen, assailed them on their western
flank. The difficulties encountered by Tuli on this march, when he had to
make his own roads, were such that he entered the Kin territories with a
much reduced and exhausted army. The Kin forces gained some advantage over
it, but by either a feigned or a forced retreat, Tuli succeeded in
baffling their pursuit, and in effecting a junction with his brother
Ogotai, who had met with better fortune. Tuli destroyed everything along
his line of march, and his massacres and sacks revived the worst
traditions of Mongol ferocity. In these straits the Kins endeavored to
flood the country round their capital, to which the Mongols had now
advanced, but the Mongols fell upon the workmen while engaged in the task,
and slew ten thousand of them. When the main Kin army accepted battle
before the town of Yuchow, it was signally defeated, with the loss of
three of its principal generals, and Ninkiassu fled from Kaifong to a
place more removed from the scene of war. The garrison and townspeople of
Kaifong--an immense city with walls thirty-six miles in circumference, and
a population during the siege, it is said, of one million four hundred
thousand families, or nearly seven million people--offered a stubborn
resistance to the Mongols, who intrusted the conduct of the attack to
Subutai, the most daring of all their commanders. The Mongols employed
their most formidable engines, catapults hurling immense stones, and
mortars ejecting explosives and combustibles, but twelve months elapsed
before the walls were shattered and the courage and provisions of the
defenders exhausted. Then Kaifong surrendered at discretion, and Subutai
wished to massacre the whole of the population. But fortunately for the
Chinese, Yeliu Chutsai was a more humane and a more influential general,
and under his advice Ogotai rejected the cruel proposal.

At this moment, when it seemed impossible for fate to have any worse
experience in store for the unfortunate Kins, their old enemies, the
Sungs, wishing to give them the _coup de grace_, declared war upon
them, and placed a large army in the field under their best general,
Mongkong, of whom more will be heard. The relics of the Kin army, under
their sovereign Ninkiassu, took shelter in Tsaichau, where they were
closely besieged by the Mongols on one side and the Sungs on the other.
Driven thus into a corner, the Kins fought with the courage of despair and
long held out against the combined efforts of their enemies. At last
Ninkiassu saw that the struggle could not be prolonged, and he prepared
himself to end his life and career in a manner worthy of the race from
which he sprang. When the enemy broke into the city, and he heard the
stormers at the gate of his palace, he retired to an upper chamber and set
fire to the building. Many of his generals, and even of his soldiers,
followed his example, preferring to end their existence rather than to add
to the triumph of their Mongol and Sung opponents. Thus came to an end in
1234 the famous dynasty of the Kins, who under nine emperors had ruled
Northern China for one hundred and eighteen years, and whose power and
military capacity may best be gauged by the fact that without a single
ally they held out against the all-powerful Mongols for more than a
quarter of a century. Ninkiassu, the last of their rulers, was not able to
sustain the burden of their authority, but he at least showed himself
equal to ending it in a worthy and appropriately dramatic manner.

The folly of the Sungs had completed the discomfiture of the Kins, and had
brought to their own borders the terrible peril which had beset every
other state in Asia, and which had in almost every case entailed
destruction. How could the Sungs expect to avoid the same fate, or to
propitiate the most implacable and insatiable of conquering races? They
had done this to a large extent with their eyes open. More than once in
the early stages of the struggle the Kin rulers had sent envoys to beg
their alliance, and to warn them that if they did not help in keeping out
the Mongols, their time would come to be assailed and to share in the
common ruin. But Ningtsong did not pay heed to the warning, and scarcely
concealed his gratification at the misfortunes of his old opponents. The
nearer the Mongols came, and the worse the plight to which the Kins were
reduced, the more did he rejoice. He forgave Tuli the violation of Sung
territory, necessary for his flank attack on Honan, and when the knell of
the Kins sounded at the fall of Kaifong, he hastened to help in striking
the final blow at them, and to participate, as he hoped, in the
distribution of the plunder. By this time Litsong had succeeded his cousin
Ningtsong as ruler of the Sungs, and it is said that he received from
Tsaichau the armor and personal spoils of Ninkiassu, which he had the
satisfaction of offering up in the temple of his ancestors. But when he
requested the Mongols to comply with the more important part of the
convention, by which the Sung forces had joined the Mongols before
Tsaichau, and to evacuate the province of Honan, he experienced a rude
awakening from his dream that the overthrow of the Kins would redound to
his advantage, and he soon realized what value the Mongols attached to his
alliance. The military capacity of Mongkong inspired the Sung ruler with
confidence, and he called upon the Mongols to execute their promises, or
to prepare for war. The Mongol garrisons made no movement of retreat, and
the utmost that Litsong was offered was a portion of Honan, if it could be
practically divided. The proposition was probably meant ironically, but at
all events Litsong rejected it, and sent Mongkong to take by force
possession of the disputed province. The Mongol forces on the spot were
fewer than the Chinese, and they met with some reverses. But the hope of
the Sungs that the fortune of war would declare in their favor was soon
destroyed by the vast preparations of the Mongols, who, at a special
kuriltai, held at Karakoram, declared that the conquest of China was to be
completed. Then Litsong's confidence left him, and he sent an appeal for
peace to the Mongols, giving up all claim to Honan, and only asking to be
left in undisturbed possession of his original dominions. It was too late.
The Mongols had passed their decree that the Sungs were to be treated like
the Kins, and that the last Chinese government was to be destroyed.

In 1235, the year following the immolation of Ninkiassu, the Mongols
placed half a million men in the field for the purpose of destroying the
Sung power, and Ogotai divided them into three armies, which were to
attack Litsong's kingdom from as many sides. The Mongol ruler intrusted
the most difficult task to his son Kutan, who invaded the inaccessible and
vast province of Szchuen, at the head of one of these armies.
Notwithstanding its natural capacity for offering an advantageous defense,
the Chinese turned their opportunities to poor account, and the Mongols
succeeded in capturing all its frontier fortresses, with little or no
resistance. The shortcomings of the defense can be inferred from the
circumstances of the Chinese annalists making special mention of one
governor having had the courage to die at his post. For some reason not
clearly stated the Mongols did not attempt to retain possession of Szchuen
on this occasion. They withdrew when they were in successful occupation of
the northern half of the province, and when it seemed as if the other lay
at their mercy. In the two dual provinces of Kiangnan and Houkwang, the
other Mongol armies met with considerable success, which was dimmed,
however, by the death of Kuchu, the son and proclaimed heir of Ogotai.
This event, entailing no inconsiderable doubt and long-continued disputes
as to the succession, was followed by the withdrawal of the Mongol forces
from Sung territory, and during the last six years of his life Ogotai
abstained from war, and gave himself up to the indulgence of his gluttony.
He built a great palace at Karakoram, where his ancestors had been content
to live in a tent, and he intrusted the government of the old Kin
dominions to Yeliu Chutsai, who acquired great popularity among the
Chinese for his clemency and regard for their customs. Yeliu Chutsai
adopted the Chinese mode of taxation, and when Ogotai's widow, Turakina,
who acted as regent after her husband's death, ordered him to alter his
system and to farm out the revenues, he sent in his resignation, and, it
is said, died of grief shortly afterward. Ogotai was one of the most
humane and amiable of all the Mongol rulers, and Yeliu Chutsai imitated
his master. Of the latter the Chinese contemporary writers said "he was
distinguished by a rare disinterestedness. Of a very broad intellect, he
was able, without injustice and without wronging a single person, to amass
vast treasures (D'Ohsson says only of books, maps, and pictures), and to
enrich his family, but all his care and labors had for their sole object
the advantage and glory of his masters. Wise and calculating in his plans,
he did little of which he had any reason to repent."

During the five years following the death of Ogotai, the Mongols were
absorbed in the question who should be their next Great Khan, and it was
only after a warm and protracted discussion, which threatened to entail
the disruption of Mongol power, and the revelation of many rivalries among
the descendants of Genghis, that Kuyuk, the eldest son of Ogotai, was
proclaimed emperor. At the kuriltai held for this purpose, all the great
Mongol leaders were present, including Batu, the conqueror of Hungary, and
after the Mongol chiefs had agreed as to their chief, the captive kings,
Yaroslaf of Russia and David of Georgia, paid homage to their conqueror.
We owe to the monk Carpino, who was sent by the Pope to convert the
Mongol, a graphic account of one of the most brilliant ceremonies to be
met with in the whole course of Mongol history. The delay in selecting
Kuyuk, whose principal act of sovereignty was to issue a seal having this
inscription: "God in Heaven and Kuyuk on earth; by the power of God the
ruler of all men," had given the Sungs one respite, and his early death
procured them another. Kuyuk died in 1248, and his cousin, Mangu, the son
of Tuli, was appointed his successor. By this time the Mongol chiefs of
the family of Genghis in Western Asia were practically independent of the
nominal Great Khan, and governed their states in complete sovereignty, and
waged war without reference to Karakoram. This change left the Mongols in
their original home of the Amour absolutely free to devote all their
attention to the final overthrow of the Sungs, and Mangu declared that he
would know no rest until he had finally subjected the last of the Chinese
ruling families. In this resolution Mangu received the hearty support of
his younger but more able brother, Kublai, to whom was intrusted the
direction in the field of the armies sent to complete the conquest of
China.

Kublai received this charge in 1251, so that the Sungs had enjoyed, first
through the pacific disposition of Ogotai, and, secondly, from the family
disputes following his death, peace for more than fifteen years. The
advantage of this tranquillity was almost nullified by the death of
Mongkong, a general whose reputation may have been easily gained, but who
certainly enjoyed the confidence of his soldiers, and who was thought by
his countrymen to be the best commander of his day. When the Chinese
emperor, Litsong, saw the storm again approaching his northern frontier,
he found that he had lost the main support of his power, and that his
military resources were inferior to those of his enemy. He had allowed
himself to be lulled into a false sense of security by the long inaction
of the Mongols, and although he seems to have been an amiable prince, and
a typical Chinese ruler, honoring the descendants of Confucius with the
hereditary title of duke, which still remains in that family, and is the
only title of its kind in China, and encouraging the literary classes of
his country, he was a bad sovereign to be intrusted with the task of
defending his realm and people against a bold and determined enemy.

Kublai prepared the way for his campaigns in Southern China by following a
very wise and moderate policy in Northern China similar to that begun by
Muhula, and carried out with greater effect by Yeliu Chutsai. He had
enjoyed the advantage of a Chinese education, imparted by an able tutor
named Yaochu, who became the prince's private secretary and mentor in all
Chinese matters. At his instigation, or, at least, with his co-operation,
Kublai took in hand the restoration of the southern portion of Honan,
which had been devastated during the wars, and he succeeded in bringing
back its population and prosperity to that great province of Central
China. He thus secured a base for his operations close to the Sung
frontier, while he attached to his person a large section of the Chinese
nation. There never was any concealment that this patronage of Chinese
officials, and these measures for the amelioration of many millions of
Chinese subjects, were the well calculated preliminaries to the invasion
of Southern China and the extinction of the Sung dynasty.

If Kublai had succeeded in obtaining a wise adviser in Yaochu, he was not
less fortunate in procuring a great general in the person of Uriangkadai,
the son of Subutai, and his remarkable and unvarying successes were
largely due to the efforts of those two men in the cabinet and the field.
The plan of campaign, drawn up with great care and forethought by the
prince and his lieutenant, had the double merit of being both bold and
original. Its main purpose was not one that the Sung generals would be
likely to divine. It was determined to make a flank march round the Sung
dominions, and to occupy what is now the province of Yunnan; and, by
placing an army in the rear of their kingdom, to attack them eventually
from two sides. At this time Yunnan formed an independent state, and its
ruler, from his position behind the Sung territory, must have fancied
himself secure against any attack by the Mongols. He was destined to a
rude awakening. Kublai and Uriangkadai, marching across Szchuen and
crossing the Kinchakiang, or "river of golden sand," which forms the upper
course of the Great River, on rafts, burst into Yunnan, speedily
vanquished the frontier garrisons, and laid siege to the capital, Talifoo.
That town did not hold out long, and soon Kublai was in a position to
return to his own state, leaving Uriangkadai with a considerable garrison
in charge of Yunnan. That general, believing that his position would be
improved by his resorting to an active offensive, carried the standard of
his race against the many turbulent tribes in his neighborhood, and
invaded Burma whose king, after one campaign, was glad to recognize the
supremacy of the Mongols. The success and the boldness, which may have
been considered temerity, of this campaign, raised up enemies to Kublai at
the court of Karakoram, and the mind of his brother Mangu was poisoned
against him by many who declared that Kublai aspired to complete
independence. These designs so far succeeded, that in 1257 Mangu finally
deprived Kublai of all his commands, and ordered him to proceed to
Karakoram. At this harsh and unmerited treatment Kublai showed himself
inclined to rebel and dispute his brother's authority. If he had done
this, although the provocation was great, he would have confirmed the
charges of his accusers, and a war would have broken out among the Mongols
which would probably have rent their power in twain in Eastern Asia. But
fortunately Yaochu was at hand to give prudent advice, and after much
hesitation Kublai yielded to the impressive exhortations of his
experienced and sagacious minister. He is reported to have addressed
Kublai in the following terms: "Prince! You are the brother of the
emperor, but you are not the less his subject. You cannot, without
committing a crime, question his decisions, and, moreover, if you were to
do so, it would only result in placing you in a more dangerous
predicament, out of which you could hardly succeed in extricating
yourself, as you are so far distant from the capital where your enemies
seek to injure you. My advice is that you should send your family to
Mangu, and by this step you will justify yourself and remove any
suspicions there may be."

Kublai adopted this wise course, and proceeded in person to Karakoram,
where he succeeded in proving his innocence and in discomfiting his
enemies. It is said that Mangu was so affected at the mere sight of his
brother that he at once forgave him without waiting for an explanation and
reinstated him in all his offices. To ratify this reconciliation Mangu
proclaimed that he would take the field in person, and that Kublai should
hold joint command with himself. When he formed this resolution to proceed
to China in person, he appointed his next brother, Arikbuka, to act as his
lieutenant in Mongolia. It is necessary to recollect this arrangement, as
Mangu died during the campaign, and it led to the separation of the
Chinese empire and the Mongolian, which were divided after that event
between Kublai and Arikbuka.

Mangu did not come to his resolution to prosecute the war with the Sungs
any too soon, for Uriangkadai was beginning to find his isolated position
not free from danger. Large as the army of that general was, and
skillfully as he had endeavored to improve his position by strengthening
the fortresses and recruiting from the warlike tribes of Yunnan,
Uriangkadai found himself threatened by the collected armies of the Sungs,
who occupied Szchuen with a large garrison and menaced the daring Mongol
general with the whole of their power. There seems every reason to believe
that if the Sungs had acted with only ordinary promptitude they might have
destroyed this Mongol army long before any aid could have reached it from
the north. Once Mangu had formed his resolution the rapidity of his
movements left the Sungs little or no chance of attacking Uriangkadai.
This campaign began in the winter of 1257, when the troops were able to
cross the frozen waters of the Hoangho, and the immense Mongol army was
divided into three bodies, while Uriangkadai was ordered to march north
and effect a junction with his old chief Kublai in Szchuen. The principal
fighting of the first year occurred in this part of China, and Mangu
hastened there with another of his armies. The Sung garrison was large,
and showed great courage and fortitude. The difficulty of the country and
the strength of several of their fortresses seconded their efforts, and
after two years' fighting the Mongols felt so doubtful of success that
they held a council of war to decide whether they should retreat or
continue to prosecute the struggle. It has been said that councils of war
do not come to bold resolutions, but this must have been an exception, as
it decided not to retreat, and to make one more determined effort to
overcome the Chinese. The campaign of 1259 began with the siege of Hochau,
a strong fortress, held by a valiant garrison and commander, and to whose
aid a Chinese army under Luwenti was hastening. The governor, Wangkien,
offered a stout resistance, and Luwenti succeeded in harassing the
besiegers; but the fall of the fortress appeared assured, when a new and
more formidable defender arrived in the form of dysentery. The Mongol camp
was ravaged by this foe, Mangu himself died of the disease, and those of
the Mongols who escaped beat a hasty and disorderly retreat back to the
north. Once more the Sungs obtained a brief respite.

The death of Mangu threatened fresh disputes and strife among the Mongol
royal family. Kublai was his brother's lawful heir, but Arikbuka, the
youngest of the brothers was in possession of Karakoram, and supreme
throughout Mongolia. He was hostile to Kublai, and disposed to assert all
his rights and to make the most of his opportunities. No Great Khan could
be proclaimed anywhere save at Karakoram, and Arikbuka would not allow his
brother to gain that place, the cradle of their race and dynasty, unless
he could do so by force of arms. Kublai attempted to solve the difficulty
by holding a grand council near his favorite city of Cambaluc, the modern
Pekin, and he sent forth his proclamation to the Mongols as their Khan.
But they refused to recognize one who was not elected in the orthodox
fashion at Karakoram; and Arikbuka not merely defied Kublai, but summoned
his own kuriltai at Karakoram, where he was proclaimed Khakhan in the most
formal manner and with all the accustomed ceremonies. Arikbuka was
undoubtedly popular among the Mongols, while Kublai, who was regarded as
half a Chinese on account of his education, had a far greater reputation
south of the wall than north of it. Kublai could not tolerate the open
defiance of his authority, and the contempt shown for what was his
birthright, by Arikbuka; and in 1261 he advanced upon Karakoram at the
head of a large army. A single battle sufficed to dispose of Arikbuka's
pretensions, and that prince was glad to find a place of refuge among the
Kirghiz. Kublai proved himself a generous enemy. He sent Arikbuka his full
pardon, he reinstated him in his rank of prince, and he left him virtually
supreme among the Mongol tribes. He retraced his steps to Pekin, fully
resolved to become Chinese emperor in reality, but prepared to waive his
rights as Mongol Khan. Mangu Khan was the last of the Mongol rulers whose
authority was recognized in both the east and the west, and his successor,
Kublai, seeing that its old significance had departed, was fain to
establish his on a new basis in the fertile, ancient and wide-stretching
dominions of China.

Before Kublai composed the difficulty with Arikbuka he had resumed his
operations against the Sungs, and even before Mangu's death he had
succeeded in establishing some posts south of the Yangtsekiang, in the
impassability of which the Chinese fondly believed. During the year 1260
he laid siege to Wochow, the modern Wouchang, but he failed to make any
impression on the fortress on this occasion, and he agreed to the truce
which Litsong proposed. By the terms of this agreement Litsong
acknowledged himself a Mongol vassal, just as his ancestors had subjected
themselves to the Kins, paid a large tribute, and forbade his generals
anywhere to attack the Mongols. The last stipulation was partly broken by
an attack on the rear of Uriangkadai's corps, but no serious results
followed, for Kublai was well satisfied with the manner in which the
campaign terminated, as there is no doubt that his advance across the
Yangtsekiang had been precipitate, and he may have thought himself lucky
to escape with the appearance of success and the conclusion of a
gratifying treaty. It was with the reputation gained by this nominal
success, and by having made the Sungs his tributaries, that Kublai
hastened northward to settle his rivalry with Arikbuka. Having
accomplished that object with complete success, he decided to put an end
to the Sung dynasty. The Chinese emperor, acting with strange fatuity, had
given fresh cause of umbrage, and had provoked a war by many petty acts of
discourtesy, culminating in the murder of the envoys of Kublai, sent to
notify him of his proclamation as Great Khan of the Mongols. Probably the
Sung ruler could not have averted war if he had shown the greatest
forbearance and humility, but this cruel and inexcusable act precipitated
the crisis and the extinction of his attenuated authority. If there was
any delay in the movements of Kublai for the purpose of exacting
reparation for this outrage, it was due to his first having to arrange a
difficulty that had arisen in his relations with the King of Corea. That
potentate had long preserved the peace with his Mongol neighbors, and
perhaps he would have remained a friend without any interruption, had not
the Mongols done something which was construed as an infraction of Corean
liberty. The Corean love of independence took fire at the threatened
diminution of their rights, they rose en masse in defense of their
country, and even the king, Wangtien, who had been, well disposed to the
Mongol rulers, declared that he could not continue the alliance, and
placed himself at the head of his people. Seeing himself thus menaced with
a costly war in a difficult country on the eve of a more necessary and
hopeful contest, Kublai resorted to diplomacy. He addressed Wangtien in
complimentary terms and disclaimed all intention of injuring the Coreans,
with whom he wished to maintain friendly relations, but at the same time
he pointed out the magnitude of his power and dilated on the extent of the
Mongol conquests. Half by flattery and half by menace Kublai brought the
Corean court to reason, and Wangtien again entered into bonds of alliance
with Cambaluc and renewed his old oaths of friendship.

At this point of the long struggle with the Sungs it will be appropriate
to consider what was the exact position of Kublai with regard to his own
Chinese subjects, who now formed the backbone of his power. By this time
Kublai had become to all practical intents and purposes a Chinese emperor.
He had accepted all the traditional functions of the typical Hwangti, and
the etiquette and splendor of his court rivaled that of the Sungs. He had
not merely adopted the Chinese system of taxation and the form of
administration to which the larger portion of his officials, being of
Chinese race, had been accustomed, but he declared himself the patron of
learning and of Buddhism, which had gained a hold on the minds of the
Mongols that it has not lost to the present day. One of the most popular
of his early measures had been the order to liberate all the literate
class among his Chinese prisoners, and they had formed the nucleus of the
civil service Kublai attached to his interests and utilized as his empire
expanded. In his relations with Buddhism Kublai showed not less
astuteness, and in realizing that to attain durable success he must appeal
to the religious side of human character, he showed that he had the true
instincts of a statesman.

At this time two facts were clearly apparent. The Chinese were sunk in a
low state of religious disbelief, and the Sung rulers were not disposed to
play the part of regenerators of their country. The second fact was that
the only vigorous religion in China, or, indeed, in Eastern Asia, was
Buddhism, which, since the establishment of Brahmanism in India, had taken
up its headquarters in Tibet, where, however, the supreme authority was
still secular--that is to say, it was invested in the hands of a prince or
king, and not in those of a priest or Grand Lama. It so happened that
there was resident at Kublai's court a Tibetan priest, of the family which
had always supplied the Sanpou with his minister, who gained the ear of
Kublai, and convinced him how politic and advantageous to him personally
it would be if he were to secure the co-operation and sympathy of his
priestly order. Kublai fell in with his plans, and proclaimed his friend
Pakba Lama, and sent him back to Tibet, there to establish the
ecclesiastical authority, which still exists in that country, in intimate
alliance and sympathy with the Chinese rulers. By this and other similar
proceedings Kublai gained over to his side several influential classes
among the Chinese people, and many reflecting persons thought they saw in
him a true regenerator of the empire, and a worthy successor of their
greatest rulers. It was, therefore, with a thoroughly pacified country,
and to a great extent a contented people, that Kublai began his last war
with the rulers of Southern China.

In 1263 Kublai issued his proclamation of war, calling on his generals "to
assemble their troops, to sharpen their swords and their pikes, and to
prepare their bows and arrows," for he intended to attack the Sungs by
land and sea. The treason of a Chinese general in his service named Litan
served to delay the opening of the campaign for a few weeks, but this
incident was of no importance, as Litan was soon overthrown and executed.
Brief as was the interval, it was marked by one striking and important
event--the death of Litsong, who was succeeded by his nephew, Chowki,
called the Emperor Toutsong. Litsong was not a wise ruler, but, compared
with many of his successors, he might be more accurately styled
unfortunate than incompetent. Toutsong, and his weak and arrogant
minister, Kiassetao, hastened to show that there were greater heights of
folly than any to which he had attained. Acting on the advice of a
renegade Sung general, well acquainted with the defenses of Southern
China, Kublai altered his proposed attack, and prepared for crossing the
Yangtsekiang by first making himself supreme on its tributary, the Han
River. His earlier attack on Wouchang has been described, and his
compulsory retirement from that place had taught him the evil of making a
premature attack. His object remained the same, but instead of marching
direct to it across the Yangtsekiang he took the advice of the Sung
general, arid attacked the fortress of Sianyang on the Han River, with the
object of making himself supreme on that stream, and wresting from the
Sungs the last first-class fortress they possessed in the northwest. By
the time all these preliminaries were completed and the Mongol army had
fairly taken the field it was 1268, and Kublai sent sixty thousand of his
best troops, with a large number of auxiliaries, to lay siege to Sianyang,
which was held by a large garrison and a resolute governor. The Mongol
lines were drawn up round the town, and also its neighbor of Fanching,
situated on the opposite bank of the river, with which communication was
maintained by several bridges, and the Mongols built a large fleet of
fifty war junks, with which they closed the Han River and effectually
prevented any aid being sent up it from Hankow or Wouchang. Liuwen Hoan,
the commandant of Sianyang, was a brave man, and he commanded a numerous
garrison and possessed supplies, as he said, to stand a ten years' siege.
He repulsed all the assaults of the enemy, and, undaunted by his
isolation, replied to the threats of the Mongols, to give him no quarter
if he persisted in holding out, by boasting that he would hang their
traitor general in chains before his sovereign. The threats and vaunts of
the combatants did not bring the siege any nearer to an end. The utmost
that the Mongols could achieve was to prevent any provisions or re-
enforcements being thrown into the town. But on the fortress itself they
made no impression. Things had gone on like this for three years, and the
interest in the siege had begun to languish, when Kublai determined to
make a supreme effort to carry the place, and at the same moment the Sung
minister came to the conclusion to relieve it at all hazards.

The campaign of 1270 began with a heroic episode--the successful dispatch
of provisions into the besieged town, under the direction of two Chinese
officers named Changkoua and Changchun, whose names deserve to be long
remembered for their heroism. The flotilla was divided into two bodies,
one composed of the fighting, the other of the store-ships. The Mongols
had made every preparation to blockade the river, but the suddenness and
vigor of the Chinese attack surprised them, and, at first, the Chinese had
the best of the day. But soon the Mongols recovered, and from their
superior position threatened to overwhelm the assailing Chinese squadron.
In this perilous moment Changchun, devoting himself to death in the
interest of his country collected all his war-junks, and making a
desperate attack on the Mongols, succeeded in obtaining sufficient time to
enable the storeships under Changkoua to pass safely up to Sianyang. The
life of so great a hero as Changchun was, however, a heavy price to pay
for the temporary relief of Sianyang, which was more closely besieged than
ever after the arrival of Kublai in person.

After this affair the Mongols pushed the siege with greater vigor, and
instead of concentrating their efforts on Sianyang they attacked both that
fortress and Fanching from all sides. The Mongol commander, Alihaya, sent
to Persia, where the Mongols were also supreme, for engineers trained in
the working of mangonels or catapults, engines capable of throwing stones
of 160-pounds' weight with precision for a considerable distance. By their
aid the bridges across the river were first destroyed, and then the walls
of Sianyang were so severely damaged that an assault appeared to be
feasible. But Fanching had suffered still more from the Mongol
bombardment, and Alihaya therefore attacked it first. The garrison offered
a determined resistance, and the fighting was continued in the streets.
Not a man of the garrison escaped, and when the slaughter was over the
Mongols found that they had only acquired possession of a mass of ruins.
But they had obtained the key to Sianyang, the weakest flank of which had
been protected by Fanching, and the Chinese garrison was so discouraged
that Liuwen Hoan, despairing of relief, agreed to accept the terms offered
by Kublai. Those terms were expressed in the following noble letter from
the Mongol emperor: "The generous defense you have made during five years
covers you with glory. It is the duty of every faithful subject to serve
his prince at the expense of his life, but in the straits to which you are
reduced, your strength exhausted, deprived of succor and without hope of
receiving any, would it be reasonable to sacrifice the lives of so many
brave men out of sheer obstinacy? Submit in good faith to us and no harm
shall come to you. We promise you still more; and that is to provide each
and all of you with honorable employment. You shall have no grounds of
discontent, for that we pledge you our imperial word."

It will not excite surprise that Liuwen Hoan, who had been, practically
speaking, deserted by his own sovereign, should have accepted the
magnanimous terms of his conqueror, and become as loyal a lieutenant of
Kublai as he had shown himself to be of the Sung Toutsong. The death of
that ruler followed soon afterward, but as the real power had been in the
hands of the Minister Kiassetao, no change took place in the policy or
fortunes of the Sung kingdom. At this moment Kublai succeeded in obtaining
the services of Bay an, a Mongol general who had acquired a great
reputation under Khulagu in Persia. Bayan, whose name signifies the noble
or the brave, and who was popularly known as Bayan of the Hundred Eyes,
because he was supposed to see everything, was one of the greatest
military leaders of his age and race. He was intrusted with the command of
the main army, and under him served, it is interesting to state, Liuwen
Hoan. Several towns were captured after more or less resistance, and Bayan
bore down with all his force on the triple cities of Hankow, Wouchang, and
Hanyang. Bayan concentrated all his efforts on the capture of Hanyang,
while the Mongol navy under Artchu compelled the Chinese fleet to take
refuge under the walls of Wouchang. None of these towns offered a very
stubborn resistance, and Bayan had the satisfaction of receiving their
surrender one after another. Leaving Alihaya with 40,000 men to guard
these places, Bayan marched with the rest of his forces on the Sung
capital, Lingan or Hangchow, the celebrated Kincsay of medieval travelers.
The retreating fleet and army of the Sungs carried with them fear of the
Mongols, and the ever-increasing representation of their extraordinary
power and irresistible arms. In this juncture public opinion compelled
Kiassetao to take the lead, and he called upon all the subjects of the
Sung to contribute arms and money for the purpose of national defense. But
his own incompetence in directing this national movement deprived it of
half its force and of its natural chances of success. Bayan's advance was
rapid. Many towns opened their gates in terror or admiration of his name,
and Liuwen Hoan was frequently present to assure them that Kublai was the
most generous of masters, and that there was no wiser course than to
surrender to his generals.

The Mongol forces at last reached the neighborhood of the Sung capital,
where Kiassetao had succeeded in collecting an army of 130,000 men; but
many of them were ill-trained, and the splendor of the camp provided a
poor equivalent for the want of arms and discipline among the men.
Kiassetao seems to have been ignorant of the danger of his position, for
he sent an arrogant summons to the Mongols to retire, stating also that he
would grant a peace based on the Yangtsekiang as a boundary. Bayan's
simple reply to this notice was, "If you had really aimed at peace you
would have made this proposition before we crossed the Kiang. Now that we
are the masters of it, it is a little too late. Still if you sincerely
desire it, come and see me in person, and we will discuss the necessary
conditions." Very few of the Sung lieutenants offered a protracted
resistance, and even the isolated cases of devotion were confined to the
official class, who were more loyal than the mass of the people. Chao
Maofa and his wife Yongchi put an end to their existence sooner than give
up their charge at Chichow, but the garrison accepted the terms of the
Mongols without compunction, and without thinking of their duty. Kiassetao
attempted to resist the Mongol advance at Kien Kang, the modern Nankin,
but after an engagement on land and water the Sungs were driven back, and
their fleet only escaped destruction by retiring precipitately to the sea.
After this success Nankin, surrendered without resistance, although its
governor was a valiant and apparently a capable man. He committed suicide
sooner than surrender, and among his papers was found a plan of campaign,
after perusing which Bay an exclaimed, "Is it possible that the Sungs
possessed a man capable of giving such prudent counsel? If they had paid
heed to it, should we ever have reached this spot?" After this success
Bayan pressed on with increased rather than diminished energy, and the
Sung emperor and his court fled from the capital. Kublai showed an
inclination to temporize and to negotiate, but Bayan would not brook any
delay. "To relax your grip even for a moment on an enemy whom you have
held by the throat for a hundred years would only be to give him time to
recover his breath, to restore his forces, and in the end to cause us an
infinity of trouble."

The Sung fortunes showed some slight symptoms of improving when Kiassetao
was disgraced, and a more competent general was found in the person of
Chang Chikia. But the Mongols never abated the vigor of their attack or
relaxed in their efforts to cut off all possibility of succor from the
Sung capital. When Chang Chikia hoped to improve the position of his side
by resuming the offensive he was destined to rude disappointment. Making
an attack on the strong position of the Mongols at Nankin he was repulsed
with heavy loss. The Sung fleet was almost annihilated and 700 war-junks
were taken by the victors. After this the Chinese never dared to face the
Mongols again on the water. This victory was due to the courage and
capacity of Artchu. Bayan now returned from a campaign in Mongolia to
resume the chief conduct of the war, and he signalized his return by the
capture of Changchow. At this town he is said to have sanctioned a
massacre of the Chinese troops, but the facts are enwrapped in
uncertainty; and Marco Polo declares that this was only done after the
Chinese had treacherously cut up the Mongol garrison. Alarmed by the fall
of Changchow, the Sung ministers again sued for peace, sending an
imploring letter to this effect: "Our ruler is young and cannot be held
responsible for the differences that have arisen between the peoples.
Kiassetao the guilty one has been punished; give us peace and we shall be
better friends in the future." Bayan's reply was severe and
uncompromising. "The age of your prince has nothing to do with the
question between us. The war must go on to its legitimate end. Further
argument is useless." The defenses of the Sung capital were by this time
removed, and the unfortunate upholders of that dynasty had no option save
to come to terms with the Mongols. Marco Polo describes Kincsay as the
most opulent city of the world, but it was in no position to stand a
siege. The empress-regent, acting for her son, sent in her submission to
Bayan, and agreed to proceed to the court of the conqueror. She abdicated
for herself and family all the pretensions of their rank, and she accepted
the favors of the Mongol with due humility, saying, "The Son of Heaven
(thus giving Kublai the correct imperial style) grants you the favor of
sparing your life; it is just to thank him for it and to pay him homage."
Bayan made a triumphal entry into the city, while the Emperor Kongtsong
was sent off to Pekin. The majority of the Sung courtiers and soldiers
came to terms with Bayan, but a few of the more desperate or faithful
endeavored to uphold the Sung cause in Southern China under the general,
Chang Chikia. Two of the Sung princes were supported by this commander,
and one was proclaimed by the empty title of emperor. Capricious fortune
rallied to their side for a brief space, and some of the Mongol
detachments which had advanced too far or with undue precipitancy were cut
up and destroyed.

The Mongols seem to have thought that the war was over, and the success of
Chang Chikia's efforts may have been due to their negligence rather than
to his vigor. As soon as they realized that there remained a flickering
flame of opposition among the supporters of the Sungs they sent two
armies, one into Kwantung and the other into Fuhkien, and their fleet
against Chang Chikia. Desperate as was his position, that officer still
exclaimed, "If heaven has not resolved to overthrow the Sungs, do you
think that even now it cannot restore their ruined throne?" but his hopes
were dashed to the ground by the capture of Canton, and the expulsion of
all his forces from the mainland. One puppet emperor died, and then Chang
proclaimed another as Tiping. The last supporters of the cause took refuge
on the island of Tai in the Canton estuary, where they hoped to maintain
their position. The position was strong and the garrison was numerous; but
the Mongols were not to be frightened by appearances. Their fleet bore
down on the last Sung stronghold with absolute confidence, and, although
the Chinese resisted for three days and showed great gallantry, they were
overwhelmed by the superior engines as well as the numbers of the Mongols.
Chang Chikia with a few ships succeeded in escaping from the fray, but the
emperor's vessel was less fortunate, and finding that escape was
impossible, Lousionfoo, one of the last Sung ministers, seized the emperor
in his arms and jumped overboard with him. Thus died Tiping, the last
Chinese emperor of the Sungs, and with him expired that ill-fated dynasty.
Chang Chikia renewed the struggle with aid received from Tonquin, but when
he was leading a forlorn hope against Canton he was caught in a typhoon
and he and his ships were wrecked. His invocation to heaven, "I have done
everything I could to sustain on the throne the Sung dynasty. When one
prince died I caused another to be proclaimed emperor. He also has
perished, and I still live! Oh, heaven, shall I be acting against thy
desires if I sought to place a new prince of this family on the throne?"
sounded the dirge of the race he had served so well.

Thus was the conquest of China by the Mongols completed. After half a
century of warfare the kingdom of the Sungs shared the same fate as its
old rival the Kin, and Kublai had the personal satisfaction of completing
the work begun by his grandfather Genghis seventy years before. Of all the
Mongol triumphs it was the longest in being attained. The Chinese of the
north and of the south resisted with extraordinary powers of endurance the
whole force of the greatest conquering race Asia had ever seen. They were
not skilled in war and their generals were generally incompetent, but they
held out with desperate courage and obstinacy long after other races would
have given in. The student of history will not fail to see in these facts
striking testimony of the extraordinary resources of China, and of the
capacity of resistance to even a vigorous conqueror possessed by its inert
masses. Even the Mongols did not conquer until they had obtained the aid
of a large section of the Chinese nation, or before Kublai had shown that
he intended to prove himself a worthy Emperor of China and not merely a
great Khan of the Mongol Hordes.



CHAPTER VI

KUBLAI AND THE MONGOL DYNASTY


While Bayan was winning victories for his master and driving the Chinese
armies from the field, Kublai was engaged at Pekin in the difficult and
necessary task of consolidating his authority. In 1271 he gave his dynasty
the name of Yuen or Original, and he took for himself the Chinese title of
Chitsou, although it will never supersede his Mongol name of Kublai.
Summoning to his court the most experienced Chinese ministers, and aided
by many foreigners, he succeeded in founding a government which was
imposing by reason of its many-sidedness as well as its inherent strength.
It satisfied the Chinese and it was gratifying to the Mongols, because
they formed the buttress of one of the most imposing administrations in
the world. All this was the distinct work of Kublai, who had enjoyed the
special favor of Genghis, who had predicted of him that "one day he will
sit in my seat and bring you good fortune such as you have had in my
time." He resolved to make his court the most splendid in the world. His
capital Cambaluc or Khanbalig--"the city of the Khan"--stood on or near
the present site of Pekin, and was made for the first time capital of
China by the Mongols. There were, according to Marco Polo, twelve gates,
at each of which was stationed a guard of 1,000 men, and the streets were
so straight and wide that you could see from one end to the other, or from
gate to gate. The extent given of the walls varies: according to the
highest estimate they were twenty-seven miles round, according to the
lowest eighteen. The khan's palace at Chandu or Kaipingfoo, north of
Pekin, where he built a magnificent summer palace, kept his stud of
horses, and carried out his love of the chase in the immense park and
preserves attached, may be considered the Windsor of this Chinese monarch.
The position of Pekin had, and still has, much to recommend it as the site
of a capital. The Mings, after proclaiming Nankin the capital, made
scarcely less use of it, and Chuntche, the first of the Manchus, adopted
it as his. It has since remained the sole metropolis of the empire.

When Kublai permanently established himself at Pekin he drew up consistent
lines of policy on all the great questions with which it was likely he
would have to deal, and he always endeavored to act upon these set
principles. In framing this system of government he was greatly assisted
by his old friend and tutor Yaochu, as well as by other Chinese ministers.
He was thus able to deal wisely and also vigorously with a society with
which he was only imperfectly acquainted; and the impartiality and insight
into human character, which were his main characteristics, greatly
simplified the difficult task before him. His impartiality was shown most
clearly in his attitude on the question of religion; but it partook very
largely of a hard materialism which concealed itself under a nominal
indifference. At first he treated with equal consideration Buddhism,
Mohammedanism, Christianity, and even Judaism, and he said that he treated
them all with equal consideration because he hoped that the greatest among
them would help him in heaven. If some doubt may be felt as to the
sincerity of this statement, there can be none as to Kublai's effort to
turn all religions to a political use, and to make them serve his turn.
Some persons have thought he showed a predilection for Christianity, but
his measures in support of Buddhism, and of his friend the Pakba Lama, are
a truer indication of his feelings. But none were admitted into his
private confidence, and his acts evinced a politic tolerance toward all
creeds. But his religious tolerance or indifference did not extend to
personal matters. He insisted on the proper prayers being offered to
himself and the extreme reverence of the kow-tow. Priests were appointed
and specially enjoined to offer up prayers on his behalf before the
people, who were required to attend these services and to join in the
responses. Images of himself were also sent to all the provincial towns
for reverence to be offered. He also followed the Chinese custom of
erecting a temple to his ancestors, and the coins that passed current bore
his effigy. Thus did Kublai more and more identify himself with his
Chinese subjects, and as he found his measures crowned with success he
became himself more wedded to Chinese views, less tolerant of adverse
opinions, and more disposed to assert his sovereign majesty.

Having embellished his capital, it is not surprising to find that he drew
up a strict court ceremonial, and that he proscribed gorgeous dresses for
those who were to be allowed to approach him. His banquets were of the
most sumptuous description. Strangers from foreign states were admitted to
the presence, and dined at a table set apart for travelers, while the
great king himself feasted in the full gaze of his people. His courtiers,
guard, and ministers attended by a host of servitors, and protected from
enemies by 20,000 guards, the flower of the Mongol army; the countless
wealth seized in the capitals of numerous kingdoms; the brilliance of
intellect among his chief adherents and supporters; the martial character
of the race that lent itself almost as well to the pageantry of a court as
to the stern reality of battle; and finally the majesty of the great king
himself--all combined to make Kublai's court and capital the most
splendid, at that time, in the world. Although Kublai's instincts were
martial, he gave up all idea of accompanying his armies in the field after
his war with Arikbuka. As he was only forty-four when he formed this
decision, it must be assumed that he came to it mainly because he had so
many other matters to attend to, and also, no doubt, because he felt that
he possessed in Bayan a worthy substitute.

The most fortunate and successful monarch rarely escapes without some
misfortune, and Kublai was not destined to be an exception to the rule.
The successes of the Mongol navy undoubtedly led Kublai to believe that
his arms might be carried beyond the sea, and he formed the definite plan
of subjecting Japan to his power. The ruling family in that kingdom was of
Chinese descent, tracing back its origin to Taipe, a fugitive Chinese
prince of the twelfth century before our era. The Chinese in their usual
way had asserted the superior position of a Suzerain, and the Japanese had
as consistently refused to recognize the claim, and had maintained their
independence. As a rule the Japanese abstained from all interference in
the affairs of the continent, and the only occasion on which they departed
from this rule was when they aided Corea against China. In 1266 Kublai
sent two embassadors by way of Corea to Japan with a letter from himself
complaining that the Japanese court had taken no notice of his accession
to power, and treated him with indifference. The mission never had a
chance of success, for the Coreans succeeded in frightening the Mongol
envoys with the terrors of the sea, and by withholding their assistance
prevented them reaching their destination. The envoys returned without
having been able to deliver their letter. Kublai decided that the Japanese
were hostile to him, and he resolved to humble them. He called upon the
King of Corea to raise an auxiliary force, and that prince promised to
supply 1,000 ships and 10,000 men. In 1274 he sent a small force of 300
ships and 15,000 men to begin operations in the direction of Japan; but
the Japanese navy came out to meet it, and attacking it off the island of
Tsiusima, inflicted a crushing defeat. As this expedition was largely
composed of the Corean contingent Kublai easily persuaded himself that
this defeat did not indicate what would happen when he employed his own
Mongol troops. He also succeeded in sending several envoys to Japan after
his first abortive attempt, and they brought back consistent reports as to
the hostility and defiance of the Japanese, who at last, to leave no
further doubt on the subject, executed his envoy in 1280. For this outrage
the haughty monarch swore he would exact a terrible revenge, and in
1280-81, when the last of his campaigns with the Sungs had been brought
to a triumphant conclusion, he collected all his forces in the eastern
part of the kingdom, and prepared to attack Japan with all his power.

For the purposes of this war he raised an army of over 100,000 men, of
whom about one-third were Mongols; and a fleet large enough to carry this
host and its supplies was gathered together with great difficulty in the
harbors of Chekiang and Fuhkien. It would have been wiser if the
expedition had started from Corea, as the sea voyage would have been
greatly reduced; but the difficulty of getting his army to that country,
and the greater difficulty of feeding it when it got there, induced him to
make his own maritime possessions the base of his operations. From the
beginning misfortunes fell thick upon it, and the Japanese, not less than
the English when assailed by the Spanish armada and Boulogne invasions,
owed much to the alliance of the sea. Kublai had felt bound to appoint a
Chinese generalissimo as well as a Mongol to this host, but it did not
work well. One general fell ill and was superseded, another was lost in a
storm, and there was a general want of harmony in the Mongol camp and
fleet. Still the fleet set sail, but the elements declared themselves
against Kublai. His shattered fleet was compelled to take refuge off the
islets to the north of Japan, where it attempted to refit, but the
Japanese granted no respite, and assailed them both by land and sea. After
protracted but unequal fighting the Mongol commander had no choice left
but to surrender. The conquerors spared the Chinese and Coreans among
their prisoners, but they put every Mongol to the sword. Only a stray junk
or two escaped to tell Kublai the tale of the greatest defeat the Mongols
had ever experienced. Thirty thousand of their best troops were
slaughtered, and their newly-created fleet, on which they were founding
such great expectations, was annihilated, while 70,000 Chinese and Coreans
remained as prisoners in the hands of the victor. Kublai executed two of
his generals who escaped, but it is clear no one was to blame. The Mongols
were vanquished because they undertook a task beyond their power, and one
with which their military experience did not fit them to cope. The most
formidable portion of their army was cavalry, and they had no knowledge of
the sea. Nor could their Chinese auxiliaries supply this deficiency; for,
strange as it may appear, the Chinese, although many of them are good
fishermen and sailors, have never been a powerful nation at sea. On the
other hand, the Japanese have always been a bold and capable race of
mariners. They have frequently proved that the sea is their natural
element, and all the power and resources of Kublai availed not against the
skill and courage of these hardy islanders. Kublai was reluctant to
acquiesce in his defeat, and he endeavored to form another expedition, but
the Chinese sailors mutinied and refused to embark. They were supported by
all the Chinese ministers at Pekin, and Kublai felt himself compelled to
yield and abandon all designs of conquest beyond the sea.

The old success of the Mongols did not desert them on land, and Kublai
received some consolation for his rude repulse by the Japanese in the
triumph of his arms in Burmah. The momentary submission of the King of
Burmah, or Mien, as it was, and is still, called by the Chinese, had been
followed by a fit of truculence and open hostility. This monarch had
crossed over into Indian territory, and had assumed the title of King of
Bengala in addition to his own. Emboldened by his success, he did not
conceal his hostility to the Mongols, sent a defiant reply to all their
representations, and even assumed the offensive with his frontier
garrisons. He then declared open war. The Mongol general, Nasiuddin,
collected all the forces he could, and when the Burmese ruler crossed the
frontier at the head of an immense host of horse, foot, and elephants, he
found the Mongol army drawn up on the plain of Yungchang. The Mongols
numbered only 12,000 select troops, whereas the Burmese exceeded 80,000
men with a corps of elephants, estimated between 800 and 2,000, and an
artillery force of sixteen guns. Notwithstanding this numerical
disadvantage the Mongols were in no way dismayed by their opponents'
manifest superiority; but seldom has the struggle between disciplined and
brute force proved closer or more keenly contested. At first the charge of
the Burmese cavalry, aided by the elephants and artillery, carried all
before it. But Nasiuddin had provided for this contingency. He had
dismounted all his cavalry, and had ordered them to fire their arrows
exclusively against the elephant corps; and as the Mongols were then not
only the best archers in the world, but used the strongest bows, the
destruction they wrought was considerable, and soon threw the elephants
into hopeless confusion. The crowd of elephants turned tail before this
discharge of arrows, as did the elephants of Pyrrhus, and threw the whole
Burmese army into confusion. The Mongols then mounting their horses,
charged and completed the discomfiture of the Burmese, who were driven
from the field with heavy loss and tarnished reputation. On this occasion
the Mongols did not pursue the Burmese very far, and the King of Burmah
lost little or no part of his dominions, but Nasiuddin reported to Pekin
that it would be an easy matter to add the kingdom of Mien to the Mongol
empire. Kublai did not act on this advice until six years later, when he
sent his kinsman Singtur with a large force to subdue Burmah. The king
took shelter in Pegu, leaving his capital Amien at the mercy of the
conqueror. The Mongol conquests were thus brought down to the very border
of Assam. In Tonquin and Annam the arms of Kublai were not so successful.
Kublai's son Togan made an abortive campaign in these regions. Whenever an
open force had to be overcome, the Mongol army was successful, but when
the Mongols encountered the difficulties of a damp and inclement climate,
of the absence of roads, and other disadvantages, they were disheartened,
and suffered heavily in men and morale. With the loss of his two generals,
and the main portion of his army, Togan was lucky in himself escaping to
China. Kublai wished to make another effort to subdue these inhospitable
regions and their savage inhabitants, but Chinese public opinion proved
too strong, and he had to yield to the representations of his ministers.

Kublai was the more compelled to sacrifice his feelings on this point,
because there were not wanting indications that if he did not do so he
would find a Chinese rebellion on his hands. Notwithstanding his many
successes, and his evident desire to stand well with his Chinese subjects,
it was already clear that they bore their new leader little love. Several
of the principal provinces were in a state of veiled rebellion, showing
that the first opportunity would be taken to shake off the Mongol yoke,
and that Kublai's authority really rested on a quicksand. The predictions
of a fanatic were sufficient to shake the emperor on his throne, and such
was Kublai's apprehension that he banished all the remaining Sung
prisoners to Mongolia, and executed their last faithful minister, who went
to the scaffold with a smile on his face, exclaiming, "I am content; my
wishes are about to be realized." It must not be supposed from this that
Kublai's authority had vanished or become effete. It was absolutely
supreme over all declared enemies, but below the surface was seething an
amount of popular hostility and discontent ominous to the longevity of the
Mongol dynasty. The restless ambition of Kublai would not be satisfied
with anything short of recognition, in some form or other, of his power by
his neighbors, and he consequently sent envoys to ail the kingdoms of
Southern Asia to obtain, by lavish presents or persuasive language, that
recognition of his authority on which he had set his heart. In most cases
he was gratified, for there was not a power in Eastern Asia to compare
with that of the Mongol prince seated on the Dragon Throne of China, and
all were flattered to be brought into connection with it on any terms.

These successful and gratifying embassies had only one untoward result:
they induced Kublai to revert to his idea of repairing the overthrow of
his son Togan in Annam, and of finally subjugating that troublesome
country. The intention was not wise, and it was rendered more imprudent by
its execution being intrusted to Togan again. Another commander might have
fared better, but great as was his initial success, he could not hope to
permanently succeed. Togan began as he formerly commenced by carrying all
before him. He won seventeen separate engagements, but the further he
advanced into the country the more evident did it appear that he only
controlled the ground on which he stood. The King of Annam was a fugitive;
his capital was in the hands of the Mongols, and apparently nothing more
remained to be done. Apachi, the most experienced of the Mongol
commanders, then counseled a prompt retreat. Unfortunately the Mongol
prince Togan would not take his advice, and the Annamites, gathering fresh
forces on all sides, attacked the exhausted Mongols, and compelled them to
beat a precipitate retreat from their country. All the fruits of early
victory were lost, and Togan's disgrace was a poor consolation for the
culminating discomfiture of Kublai's reign. The people of Annam then made
good their independence, and they still enjoy it, so far as China is
concerned; though Annam is now a dependency of the French republic.

We cannot doubt that the failure of the emperor's endeavor to popularize
his rule was as largely due to the tyrannical acts and oppressive measures
of some of his principal ministers as to unpopular and unsuccessful
expeditions. Notwithstanding the popular dislike of the system, and
Kublai's efforts to put it down, the Mongols resorted to the old plan of
farming the revenue, and the extortion of those who purchased the right
drove the Chinese to the verge of rebellion, and made the whole Mongol
regime hateful. Several tax farmers were removed from their posts, and
punished with death, but their successors carried on the same system. The
declining years of Kublai's reign were therefore marred by the growing
discontent of his Chinese subjects, and by his inability or unwillingness
to put down official extortion and mismanagement. But he had to cope with
a still greater danger in the hostility of some members of his own family.
The rivalry between himself and his brother Arikbuka formed one incident
of his earlier career, the hostility of his cousin Kaidu proved a more
serious peril when Kublai was stricken in years, and approaching the end
of his long reign.

Kaidu was one of the sons of Ogotai, and consequently first cousin to
Kublai. He held some high post in Mongolia, and he represented a
reactionary party among the Mongols, who wished the administration to be
less Chinese, and who, perhaps, sighed for more worlds to conquer. But he
hated Kublai, and was jealous of his pre-eminence, which was, perhaps, the
only cause of his revolt. The hostility of Kaidu might have remained a
personal grievance if he had not obtained the alliance of Nayan, a Mongol
general of experience and ability, who had long been jealous of the
superior reputation of Bayan. He was long engaged in raising an army, with
which he might hope to make a bid for empire, but at last his preparations
reached the ear of Kublai, who determined to crush him before his power
had grown too great. Kublai marched against him at the head of 100,000
men, and all the troops Nayan could bring into the field were 40,000,
while Kaidu, although hastily gathering his forces, was too far off to
render any timely aid. Kublai commanded in person, and arranged his order
of battle from a tower supported on the backs of four elephants chained
together. Both armies showed great heroism and ferocity, but numbers
carried the day, and Nayan's army was almost destroyed, while he himself
fell into the hands of the victor. It was contrary to the practice of the
Mongols to shed the blood of their own princes, so Kublai ordered Nayan to
be sewn up in a sack, and then beaten to death. The war with Kaidu dragged
on for many years, and there is no doubt that Kublai did not desire to
push matters to an extremity with his cousin. Having restored the fortunes
of the war by assuming the command in person, Kublai returned in a short
time to Pekin, leaving his opponent, as he hoped, the proverbial golden
bridge by which to retreat. But his lieutenant, Bayan, to whom he
intrusted the conduct of the campaign, favored more vigorous action, and
was anxious to bring the struggle to a speedy and decisive termination. He
had gained one remarkable victory under considerable disadvantage, when
Kublai, either listening to his detractors or desirous of restraining his
activity, dismissed him from his military posts and, summoning him to
Pekin, gave him the uncongenial office of a minister of State. This
happened in 1293, and in the following year Kublai, who was nearly eighty,
and who had occupied the throne of China for thirty-five years, sickened
and died, leaving behind him a great reputation which has survived the
criticism of six centuries in both Europe and China.

Kublai's long reign marked the climax of the Mongol triumph which he had
all the personal satisfaction of extending to China. Where Genghis failed,
or attained only partial success, he succeeded to the fullest extent, thus
verifying the prophecy of his grandfather. But although he conquered their
country, he never vanquished the prejudices of the Chinese, and the
Mongols, unlike the Manchus, failed completely to propitiate the good will
of the historiographers of the Hanlin. Of Kublai they take some
recognition, as an enlightened and well-meaning prince, but for all the
other emperors of the Yuen line they have nothing good to say. Even Kublai
himself could not assure the stability of his throne, and when he died it
was at once clear that the Mongols could not long retain the supreme
position in China.

But Kublai's authority was sufficiently established for it to be
transmitted, without popular disturbance or any insurrection on the part
of the Chinese, to his legal heir, who was his grandson. Such risk as
presented itself to the succession arose from the dissensions among the
Mongol princes themselves, but the prompt measures of Bayan arrested any
trouble, and Prince Timour was proclaimed emperor under the Chinese style
of Chingtsong. A few months after this signal service to the ruling
family, Bayan died, leaving behind him the reputation of being one of the
most capable of all the Mongol commanders. Whether because he could find
no general worthy to fill Bayan's place, or because his temperament was
naturally pacific, Timour carried on no military operations, and the
thirteen years of his reign were marked by almost unbroken peace. But
peace did not bring prosperity in its train, for a considerable part of
China suffered from the ravages of famine, and the cravings of hunger
drove many to become brigands. Timour's anxiety to alleviate the public
suffering gained him some small measure of popularity, and he also
endeavored to limit the opportunities of the Mongol governors to be
tyrannical by taking away from them the power of life and death. Timour
was compelled by the sustained hostility of Kaidu to continue the struggle
with that prince, but he confined himself to the defensive, and the death
of Kaidu, in 1301, deprived the contest of its extreme bitterness although
it still continued.

Timour was, however, unfortunate in the one foreign enterprise which he
undertook. The ease with which Burmah had been vanquished and reduced to a
tributary state emboldened some of his officers on the southern frontier
to attempt the conquest of Papesifu--a state which may be identified with
the modern Laos. The enterprise, commenced in a thoughtless and light-
hearted manner, revealed unexpected peril and proved disastrous. A large
part of the Mongol army perished from the heat, and the survivors were
only rescued from their perilous position, surrounded by the numerous
enemies they had irritated, by a supreme effort on the part of Koko, the
viceroy of Yunnan, who was also Timour's uncle. The insurrectionary
movement was not confined to the outlying districts of Annam and Burmah,
but extended within the Chinese border, and several years elapsed before
tranquillity was restored to the frontier provinces.

Timour died in 1306 without leaving a direct legitimate heir, and his two
nephews Haichan and Aiyuli Palipata were held to possess an equal claim to
the throne. Haichan was absent in Mongolia when his uncle died, and a
faction put forward the pretensions of Honanta, prince of Gansi, who seems
to have been Timour's natural son, but Aiyuli Palipata, acting with great
energy, arrested the pretender and proclaimed Haichan as emperor. Haichan
reigned five years, during which the chief reputation he gained was as a
glutton. When he died, in 1311, his brother Palipata was proclaimed
emperor, although Haichan left two sons. Palipata's reign of nine years
was peaceful and uneventful, and his son Chutepala succeeded him.
Chutepala was a young and inexperienced prince who owed such authority as
he enjoyed to the courage of Baiju, a brave soldier, who was specially
distinguished as the lineal descendant of the great general, Muhula. The
plots and intrigues which compassed the ruin of the Yuen dynasty began
during this reign, and both Chutepala and Baiju were murdered by
conspirators. The next emperor, Yesun Timour, was fortunate in a peaceful
reign, but on his death, in 1328, the troubles of the dynasty accumulated,
and its end came clearly into view. In little more than a year, three
emperors were proclaimed and died. Tou Timour, one of the sons of Haichan,
who ruled before Palipata, was so far fortunate in reigning for a longer
period, but the most interesting episode in his barren reign was the visit
of the Grand Lama of Tibet to Pekin, where he was received with
exceptional honor; but when Tou Timour attempted to compel his courtiers
to pay the representative of Buddhism special obeisance he encountered the
opposition of both Chinese and Mongols.

After Tou Timour's death the imperial title passed to Tohan Timour, who is
best known by his Chinese title of Chunti. He found a champion in Bayan, a
descendant of the general of that name, who successfully defended the
palace against the attack of a band of conspirators. In 1337 the first
distinct rebellion on the part of the Chinese took place in the
neighborhood of Canton, and an order for the disarmament of the Chinese
population aggravated the situation because it could not be effectually
carried out. Bayan, after his defense of the palace, became the most
powerful personage in the state, and to his arrogance was largely due the
aggravation of the Mongol difficulties and the imbittering of Chinese
opinion. He murdered an empress, tyrannized over the Chinese, and outshone
the emperor in his apparel and equipages, as if he were a Wolsey or a
Buckingham. For the last offense Chunti could not forgive him, and Bayan
was deposed and disgraced. While these dissensions were in progress at
Pekin the Chinese were growing more daring and confident in their efforts
to liberate themselves from the foreign yoke. They had adopted red bonnets
as the mark of their patriotic league, and on the sea the piratical
confederacy of Fangkue Chin vanquished and destroyed such navy as the
Mongols ever possessed. But in open and regular fighting on land the
supremacy of the Mongols was still incontestable, and a minister, named
Toto, restored the sinking fortunes of Chunti until he fell the victim of
a court intrigue--being poisoned by a rival named Hamar. With Toto
disappeared the last possible champion of the Mongols, and the only thing
needed to insure their overthrow was the advent of a capable leader who
could give coherence to the national cause, and such a leader was not long
in making his appearance.

The deliverer of the Chinese from the Mongols was an individual named Choo
Yuen Chang, who, being left an orphan, entered a monastery as the easiest
way of gaining a livelihood. In the year 1345, when Chunti had been on the
throne twelve years, Choo quitted his retreat and joined one of the bands
of Chinese who had thrown off the authority of the Mongols. His physique
and fine presence soon gained for him a place of authority, and when the
chief of the band died he was chosen unanimously as his successor. He at
once showed himself superior to the other popular leaders by his humanity,
and by his wise efforts to convince the Chinese people that he had only
their interests at heart. Other Chinese so-called patriots thought mainly
of plunder, and they were not less terrible to peaceful citizens than the
most exacting Mongol commander or governor. But Choo strictly forbade
plundering, and any of his band caught robbing or ill-using the people met
with prompt and summary punishment. By this conduct he gained the
confidence of the Chinese, and his standard among all the national leaders
became the most popular and attracted the largest number of recruits. In
1356 he captured the city of Nankin, which thereupon became the base of
his operations, as it was subsequently the capital of his dynasty. He then
issued a proclamation declaring that his sole object was to expel the
foreigners and to restore the national form of government. In this
document he said, "It is the birthright of the Chinese to govern foreign
peoples and not of these latter to rule in China. It used to be said that
the Yuen or Mongols, who came from the regions of the north, conquered our
empire not so much by their courage and skill as by the aid of Heaven. And
now it is sufficiently plain that Heaven itself wishes to deprive them of
that empire, as some punishment for their crimes, and for not having acted
according to the teaching of their forefathers. The time has now come to
drive these foreigners out of China." While the Mongols were assailed in
every province of the empire by insurgents, Choo headed what was the only
organized movement for their expulsion, and his alliance with the pirate,
Fangkue Chin, added the command of the sea to the control he had himself
acquired over some of the wealthiest and most populous provinces of
Central China. The disunion among the Mongols contributed to their
overthrow as much as the valor of the Chinese. The Emperor Chunti had
quite given himself up to pleasure, and his debaucheries were the scandal
of the day. The two principal generals, Chahan Timour and Polo Timour,
hated each other, and refused to co-operate. Another general, Alouhiya,
raised the standard of revolt in Mongolia, and, while he declared that his
object was to regenerate his race, he, undoubtedly, aggravated the
embarrassment of Chunti.

In 1366, Choo, having carefully made all the necessary preparations for
war on a large scale, dispatched from Fankin two large armies to conquer
the provinces north of the Yangtsekiang, which were all that remained in
the possession of the Mongols. A third army was intrusted with the task of
subjecting the provinces dependent on Canton, and this task was
accomplished with rapidity and without a check. Such Mongol garrisons as
were stationed in this quarter were annihilated. The main Chinese army of
250,000 men was intrusted to the command of Suta, Choo's principal
lieutenant and best general, and advanced direct upon Pekin. In 1367 Suta
had overcome all resistance south of the Hoangho, which river he crossed
in the autumn of that year. The Mongols appeared demoralized, and
attempted little or no resistance. Chunti fled from Pekin to Mongolia,
where he died in 1370, and Suta carried the capital by storm from the
small Mongol garrison which remained to defend it. Choo hastened to Pekin
to receive the congratulations of his army, and to prove to the whole
Chinese nation that the Yuen dynasty had ceased to rule. The resistance
offered by the Mongols proved surprisingly slight, and, considering the
value of the prize for which they were fighting, quite unworthy of their
ancient renown. The real cause of their overthrow was that the Mongols
never succeeded in propitiating the good opinion and moral support of the
Chinese, who regarded them to the end as barbarians, and it must also be
admitted that the main force of the Mongols had drifted to Western Asia,
where the great Timour revived some of the traditions of Genghis. At the
end of his career that mighty conqueror prepared to invade China, but he
died shortly after he had begun a march that boded ill to the peace and
welfare of China. Thus, with the flight of Chunti, the Mongol or Yuen
dynasty came to an end, and the Mongols only reappear in Chinese history
as the humble allies of the Manchus, when they undertook the conquest of
China in the seventeenth century.



CHAPTER VII

THE MING DYNASTY


Having expelled the Mongols, Choo assumed the style of Hongwou, and he
gave his dynasty the name of Ming, which signifies "bright." He then
rewarded his generals and officers with titles and pecuniary grants, and
in 1369, the first year of his reign after the capture of Pekin, he
erected a temple or hall in that city in honor of the generals who had
been slain, while vacant places were left for the statues of those
generals who still held command. But while he rewarded his army, Hongwou
very carefully avoided giving his government a military character, knowing
that the Chinese resent the superiority of military officials, and he
devoted his main efforts to placing the civil administration on its old
and national basis. In this he received the cordial support of the Chinese
themselves, who had been kept in the background by their late conquerors,
whose administration was essentially military. Hongwou also patronized
literature, and endowed the celebrated Hanlin College, which was neglected
after the death of Kublai. He at once provided a literary task of great
magnitude in the history of the Yuen dynasty, which was intrusted to a
commission of eighteen writers. But a still greater literary work was
accomplished in the codified Book of Laws, which is known as the Pandects
of Yunglo, and which not merely simplified the administration of the law,
but also gave the people some idea of the laws under which they lived. He
also passed a great measure of gratuitous national education, and, in
order to carry out this reform in a thoroughly successful manner, he
appointed all the masters himself. He also founded many public libraries,
and he wished to establish one in every town, but this was beyond the
extent of his power. Not content with providing for the minds of his
subjects, Hongwou did his utmost to supply the needs of the aged. He cut
down the court expenses and issued sumptuary laws, so that he might devote
the sums thus economized to the support of the aged and sick. His last
instructions to the new officials, on proceeding to their posts, were to
"take particular care of the aged and the orphan." Thus did he show that
the Chinese had found in him a ruler who would revive the ancient glories
of the kingdom.

The frugality and modesty of his court have already been referred to. The
later Mongols were fond of a lavish display, and expended large sums on
banquets and amusements. At Pekin one of their emperors had erected in the
grounds of the palace a lofty tower of porcelain, at enormous expense, and
had arranged an ingenious contrivance at its base for denoting the time.
Two statues sounded a bell and struck a drum at every hour. When Hongwou
saw this edifice, he exclaimed, "How is it possible for men to neglect the
most important affairs of life for the sole object of devoting their
attention to useless buildings? If the Mongols in place of amusing
themselves with these trifles had applied their energies to the task of
contenting the people, would they not have preserved the scepter in their
family?" He then ordered that this building should be razed to the ground.
Nor did this action stand alone. He reduced the size of the harem
maintained by all the Chinese as well as the Mongol rulers, and he
instituted a rigid economy in all matters of state ceremonial. Changtu,
the Xanadu of Coleridge, the famous summer palace of Kublai, had been
destroyed during the campaigns with the Mongols, and Hongwou
systematically discouraged any attempt to embellish the northern capital,
Pekin, which, under the Kin and Yuen dynasties, had become identified with
foreign rulers. Pekin, during the whole of the Ming dynasty, was only a
second-rate city, and all the attention of the Ming rulers was given to
the embellishment of Nankin, the truly national capital of China.

The expulsion of the Mongols beyond the Great Wall and the death of
Chunti, the last of the Yuen emperors, by no means ended the struggle
between the Chinese and their late northern conquerors. The whole of the
reign of Hongwou was taken up with a war for the supremacy of his
authority and the security of his frontiers, in which he, indeed, took
little personal part, but which was carried on under his directions by his
great generals, Suta and Fuyuta. The former of these generals was engaged
for nearly twenty years, from 1368 to 1385, in constant war with the
Mongols. His first campaign, fought when the Chinese were in the full
flush of success, resulted in the brilliant and almost bloodless conquest
of the province of Shansi. The neighboring province of Shensi, which is
separated from the other by the river Hoangho, was at the time held by a
semi-independent Mongol governor named Lissechi, who believed that he
could hold his ground against the Mings. The principal fact upon which
this hope was based was the breadth and assumed impassability of that
river. Lissechi believed that this natural advantage would enable him to
hold out indefinitely against the superior numbers of the Chinese armies.
But his hope was vain if not unreasonable. The Chinese crossed the Hoangho
on a bridge of junks, and Tsinyuen, which Lissechi had made his capital,
surrendered without a blow. Lissechi abandoned one fortress after another
on the approach of Suta. Expelled from Shensi he hoped to find shelter and
safety in the adjoining province of Kansuh, where he took up his residence
at Lintao. For a moment the advance of the Chinese army was arrested while
a great council of war was held to decide the further course of the
campaign. The majority of the council favored the suggestion that did not
involve immediate action, and wished Suta to abandon the pursuit of
Lissechi and complete the conquest of Shensi, where several fortresses
still held out. But Suta was of a more resolute temper, and resolved to
ignore the decision of the council and to pursue Lissechi to Lintao. The
vigor of Suta's decision was matched by the rapidity of his march. Before
Lissechi had made any arrangements to stand a siege he found himself
surrounded at Lintao by the Ming army. In this plight he was obliged to
throw himself on the mercy of the victor, who sent him to the capital,
where Hongwou granted him his life and a small pension.

The overthrow of Lissechi prepared the way for the more formidable
enterprise against Ninghia, where the Mongols had drawn their remaining
power to a head. Ninghia, the old capital of Tangut, is situated in the
north of Kansuh, on the western bank of the Hoangho, and the Great Wall
passes through it. Strongly fortified and admirably placed, the Mongols,
so long as they possessed this town with its gates through the Great Wall,
might hope to recover what they had lost, and to make a fresh bid for
power in Northern China. North and west of Ninghia stretched the desert,
but while it continued in their possession the Mongols remained on the
threshold of China and held open a door through which their kinsmen from
the Amour and Central Asia might yet re-enter to revive the feats of
Genghis and Bayan. Suta determined to gain this place as speedily as
possible. Midway between Lintao and Ninghia is the fortified town of
Kingyang, which was held by a strong Mongol garrison. Suta laid close
siege to this town, the governor of which had only time to send off a
pressing appeal for aid to Kuku Timour, the governor at Ninghia, before he
was shut in on all sides by the Ming army. Kuku Timour apparently did his
best to aid his compatriot, but his forces were not sufficient to oppose
those of Suta in the open field, and Kingyang was at last reduced to such
straits that the garrison is said to have been compelled to use the slain
as food. At last the place made an unconditional surrender, and the
commandant was executed, not on account of his stubborn defense, but
because at the beginning of the siege he had said he would surrender and
had not kept his word. After the fall of Kingyang the Chinese troops were
granted a well-earned rest, and Suta visited Nankin to describe the
campaign to Hongwou.

The departure of Suta emboldened Kuku Timour so far as to lead him to take
the field, and he hastened to attack the town of Lanchefoo, the capital of
Kansuh, where there was only a small garrison. Notwithstanding this the
place offered a stout resistance, but the Mongols gained a decisive
success over a body of troops sent to its relief. This force was
annihilated and its general taken prisoner. The Mongols thought to terrify
the garrison by parading this general, whose name should be preserved,
Yukwang, before the walls, but he baffled their purpose by shouting out,
"Be of good courage, Suta is coming to your rescue." Yukwang was cut to
pieces, but his timely and courageous exclamation, like that of D'Assas,
saved his countrymen. Soon after this incident Suta reached the scene of
action, and on his approach Kuku Timour broke up his camp and retired to
Ninghia. The Chinese commander then hastened to occupy the towns of
Souchow and Kia-yu-kwan, important as being the southern extremity of the
Great Wall, and as isolating Ninghia on the west. Their loss was so
serious that the Mongol chief felt compelled to risk a general engagement.
The battle was keenly contested, and at one moment it seemed as if success
was going to declare itself in favor of the Mongols. But Suta had sent a
large part of his force to attack the Mongol rear, and when this movement
was completely executed, he assailed the Mongol position at the head of
all his troops. The struggle soon became a massacre, and it is said that
as many as 80,000 Mongols were slain, while Kuku Timour, thinking Ninghia
no longer safe, fled northward to the Amour. The success of Suta was
heightened and rendered complete by the capture of a large number of the
ex-Mongol ruling family by Ly Wenchong, another of the principal generals
of Hongwou. Among the prisoners was the eldest grandson of Chunti, and
several of the ministers advised that he should be put to death. But
Hongwou instead conferred on him a minor title of nobility, and expressed
his policy in a speech equally creditable to his wisdom as a statesman and
his heart as a man:

"The last ruler of the Yuens took heed only of his pleasures. The great,
profiting by his indolence, thought of nothing save of how to enrich
themselves; the public treasures being exhausted by their malpractices, it
needed only a few years of dearth to reduce the people to distress, and
the excessive tyranny of those who governed them led to the forming of
parties which disturbed the empire even to its foundations. Touched by the
misfortunes with which I saw them oppressed, I took up arms, not so much
against the Yuens as against the rebels who were engaged in war with them.
It was over the same foe that I gained my first successes. And if the Yuen
prince had not departed from the rules of wise government in order to give
himself up to his pleasures, and had the magnates of his court performed
their duty, would all honorable men have taken up arms as they did and
declared against him? The misconduct of the race brought me a large number
of partisans who were convinced of the rectitude of my intentions, and it
was from their hands and not from those of the Yuens that I received the
empire. If Heaven had not favored me should I have succeeded in destroying
with such ease those who withdrew into the desert of Shamo? We read in the
Chiking that after the destruction of the Chang family there remained more
than ten thousand of their descendants who submitted themselves to the
Chow, because it was the will of Heaven. Cannot men respect its decrees?
Let them put in the public treasure-house all the spoil brought back from
Tartary, so that it may serve to alleviate the people's wants. And with
regard to Maitilipala (Chunti's grandson), although former ages supply
examples of similar sacrifice, did Wou Wang, I ask you, when exterminating
the Chang family, resort to this barbarous policy? The Yuen princes were
the masters of this empire for nearly one hundred years, and my
forefathers were their subjects, and even although it were the constant
practice to treat in this fashion the princes of a dynasty which has
ceased to reign, yet could I not induce myself to adopt it."

These noble sentiments, to which there is nothing contradictory in the
whole life of Hongwou, would alone place his reign high among the most
civilizing and humanly interesting epochs in Chinese history. To his
people he appeared as a real benefactor as well as a just prince. He was
ever studious of their interests, knowing that their happiness depended on
what might seem trivial matters, as well as in showy feats of arms and
high policy. He simplified the transit of salt, that essential article of
life, to provinces where its production was scanty, and when dearth fell
on the land he devoted all the resources of his treasury to its
mitigation. His thoughtfulness for his soldiers was shown by sending fur
coats to all the soldiers in garrison at Ninghia where the winter was
exceptionally severe. A final instance of his justice and consideration
may be cited in his ordering certain Mongol colonies established in
Southern China, to whom the climate proved uncongenial, to be sent back at
his expense to their northern homes, when his ministers exhorted him to
proceed to extremities against them and to root them out by fire and
sword.

The pacification of the northern borders was followed by the dispatch of
troops into the southern provinces of Szchuen and Yunnan, where officials
appointed by the Mongols still exercised authority. One of these had
incurred the wrath of Hongwou by assuming a royal style and proclaiming
himself King of Hia. He was soon convinced of the folly of taking a title
which he had not the power to maintain, and the conquest of Szchuen was so
easily effected that it would not call for mention if it were not rendered
interesting as providing Hongwou's other great general Fuyuta with the
first opportunity of displaying his skill as a commander. The self-created
King of Hia presented himself laden with chains at the Chinese camp and
begged the favor of his life. The conquest of Szchuen was little more than
completed when the attention of Hongwou was again directed to the
northwest frontier, where Kuku Timour was making one more effort to
recover the footing he had lost on the fringe of the Celestial Empire, and
for a time fortune favored his enterprise. Even when Suta arrived upon the
scene and took the command of the Chinese forces in person, the Mongols
more than held their own. Twice did Suta attack the strong position taken
up by the Mongol chief in the desert, and twice was his assault repulsed
with heavy loss. A detachment under one of his lieutenants was surprised
in the desert and annihilated. Supplies were difficult to obtain, and
discouraged by defeat and the scarcity of food the Chinese army was placed
in an extremely dangerous position. Out of this dilemma it was rescued by
the heroic Fuyuta, who, on the news of the Mongol recrudescence, had
marched northward at the head of the army with which he had conquered
Szchuen. He advanced boldly into the desert, operated on the flank and in
the rear of Kuku Timour, vanquished the Mongols in many engagements, and
so monopolized their attention that Suta was able to retire in safety and
without loss. The war terminated with the Chinese maintaining all their
posts on the frontier, and the retreat of the Mongols, who had suffered
too heavy a loss to feel elated at their repulse of Suta. At the same time
no solid peace had been obtained, and the Mongols continued to harass the
borders, and to exact blackmail from all who traversed the desert. When
Hongwou endeavored to attain a settlement by a stroke of policy his
efforts were not more successful. His kind reception of the Mongol Prince
Maitilipala has been referred to, and about the year 1374 he sent him back
to Mongolia, in the hope that he would prove a friendly neighbor on his
father's death. The gratitude of Maitilipala seems to have been
unaffected; but, although he was the legitimate heir, the Mongols refused
to recognize him as Khan on the death of his father. Gradually
tranquillity settled down on those borders. The Chinese officials were
content to leave the Mongols alone, and the Mongols abandoned their
customary raids into Chinese territory. The death of Kuku Timour was
followed by the abandonment of all ideas of reviving Mongol authority in
China. Not long after that event died the great general, Suta, of whom the
national historians give the following glowing description which merits
preservation: "Suta spoke little and was endowed with great penetration.
He was always on good terms with the generals acting with him, sharing the
good and bad fortune alike of his soldiers, of whom there was not one who,
touched by his kindness, would not have done his duty to the death. He was
not less pronounced in his modesty. He had conquered a capital, three
provinces, several hundred towns, and on the very day of his return to
court from these triumphs he went without show and without retinue to his
own house, received there some learned professors and discussed various
subjects with them. Throughout his life he was in the presence of the
emperor respectful, and so reserved that one might have doubted his
capacity to speak." Hongwou was in the habit of speaking thus in his
praise: "My orders received, he forthwith departed; his task accomplished,
he returned without pride and without boasting. He loves not women, he
does not amass wealth. A man of strict integrity, without the slightest
stain, as pure and clear as the sun and moon, there is none like my first
general Suta."

Hongwou had the satisfaction of restoring amicable relations with the King
of Corea, a state in which the Chinese have always taken naturally enough
a great interest from its proximity, as well as from an apprehension that
the Japanese might make use of it as a vantage ground for the invasion of
the continent. The King of Corea sent a formal embassy to Nankin, and when
he died his son asked for and received investiture in his authority with
the royal yellow robes at the hands of the Ming ruler. During this period
it will be convenient here to note that the ruling power in Corea passed
from the old royal family to the minister Li Chungwei, who was the
ancestor of the present king. The last military episode of the reign of
Hongwou was the conquest of Yunnan, which had been left over after the
recovery of Szchuen, in consequence of the fresh outbreak of the Mongols
in the north. This task was intrusted to Fuyuta, who at the head of an
army of 100,000 men, divided into two corps, invaded Yunnan. The prince of
that state offered the utmost resistance he could, but in the one great
battle of the war his army fighting bravely was overthrown, and he was
compelled to abandon his capital. The conquest of Yunnan completed the
pacification of the empire, and the authority of Hongwou was unchallenged
from the borders of Burmah to the Great Wall and the Corean frontier. The
population of the empire thus restored did not much exceed sixty millions.
The last ten years of the reign of Hongwou were passed in tranquillity,
marred by only one unpleasant incident, the mutiny of a portion of his
army under an ambitious general. The plot was discovered in good time, but
it is said that the emperor did not consider the exigencies of the case to
be met until he had executed twenty thousand of the mutineers.

In 1398 Hongwou was attacked with the illness which ended his life. He was
then in his seventy-first year, and had reigned more than thirty years
since his proclamation of the Ming dynasty at Nankin. The Emperor Keen
Lung, in his history of the Mings, states that Hongwou possessed most of
the virtues and few of the vices of mankind. He was brave, patient under
suffering, far-seeing, studious of his people's welfare, and generous and
forbearing toward his enemies. It is not surprising that he succeeded in
establishing the Ming dynasty on a firm and popular basis, and that his
family have been better beloved in China than any dynasty with the
possible exception of the Hans. In his will, which is a remarkable
document, he recites the principal events of his reign, how he had
"pacified the empire and restored its ancient splendor." With the view of
providing for the stability of his empire, he chose as his successor his
grandson Chuwen, because he had remarked in him much prudence, a gentle
disposition, good intelligence, and a readiness to accept advice. He also
selected him because he was the eldest son of his eldest son, and as his
other sons might be disposed to dispute their nephew's authority he
ordered them to remain at their posts, and not to come to the capital on
his death. They were also enjoined to show the new emperor all the respect
and docility owed by subjects to their sovereign. Through these timely
precautions Chuwen, who was only sixteen years of age, was proclaimed
emperor without any opposition, and took the title of Kien Wenti.

Hongwou had rightly divined that his sons might prove a thorn in the side
of his successor, and his policy of employing them in posts at a distance
from the capital was only half successful in attaining its object. If it
kept them at a distance it also strengthened their feeling of
independence, and enabled them to collect their forces without attracting
much attention. Wenti, as it is most convenient to call the new emperor,
felt obliged to send formal invitations to his uncles to attend the
obsequies of their father. Most of them had the tact to perceive that the
invitation was dictated by regard for decency, and not by a wish that it
should be accepted, and gave the simplest excuse for not attending the
funeral. But Ty, Prince of Yen, the most powerful and ambitious of them
all, declared that he accepted the emperor's invitation. This decision
raised quite a flutter of excitement, almost amounting to consternation,
at Nankin, where the Prince of Yen was regarded as a bitter and vindictive
enemy. The only way Wenti saw out of this dilemma was to send his uncle a
special intimation that his presence at the capital would not be
desirable. Before he had been many weeks on the throne Wenti was thus
brought into open conflict with the most powerful and ambitious of all his
relatives. He resolved, under the advice of his ministers, to treat all
his uncles as his enemies, and he sent his officers with armies at their
back to depose them, and bring them as prisoners to his court. Five of his
uncles were thus summarily dealt with, one committed suicide, and the
other four were degraded to the rank of the people. But the Prince of Yen
was too formidable to be tackled in this fashion. Taking warning from the
fate of his brothers, he collected all the troops he could, prepared to
defend his position against the emperor, and issued a proclamation stating
that it was lawful for subjects to revolt for the purpose of removing the
pernicious advisers of the sovereign. The last was, he announced, the
cause of his taking up arms, and he disclaimed any motive of ambitious
turbulence for raising his standard. He said, "I am endeavoring to avert
the ruin of my family, and to maintain the emperor on a throne which is
placed in jeopardy by the acts of traitors. My cause ought, therefore, to
be that of all those who keep the blood of the great Hong-wou, now falsely
aspersed, in affectionate remembrance." A large number of the inhabitants
of the northern provinces joined his side, and proclaimed him as "The
Prince." Wenti had recourse to arms to bring his uncle back to his
allegiance, and a civil war began, which was carried on, with exceptional
bitterness, during five years. The resources of the emperor, in men and
money, were the superior, but he did not seem able to turn them to good
account; and the prince's troops were generally victorious, and his power
gradually increased. In the year 1401 both sides concentrated all their
strength for deciding the contest by a single trial of arms. The two
armies numbered several hundred thousand men, and it is stated that the
imperial force alone mustered 600,000 strong. The battle--which was fought
at Techow in Shantung--considering the numbers engaged, it is not
surprising to learn, lasted several days, and its fortune alternated from
one side to the other. At last victory declared for the prince, and the
imperial army was driven in rout from the field with the loss of 100,000
men.

After this great victory the further progress of the prince was arrested
by a capable general named Chinyong, who succeeded in gaining one great
victory. If Wenti had known how to profit by this success he might have
turned the course of the struggle permanently in his own favor. But
instead of profiting by his good fortune, Wenti, believing that all danger
from the prince was at an end, resumed his old practices, and reinstated
two of the most obnoxious of his ministers, whom he had disgraced in a fit
of apprehension. Undoubtedly this step raised against him a fresh storm of
unpopularity, and at the same time brought many supporters to his uncle,
who, even after the serious disaster described, found himself stronger
than he had been before. The struggle must have shown little signs of a
decisive issue, for in 1402 the prince made a voluntary offer of peace,
with a view to putting an end to all strife and of giving the empire
peace; but Wenti could not make up his mind to forgive him. The success of
his generals in the earlier part of the struggle seemed to warrant the
belief that there was no reason in prudence for coming to terms with his
rebellious uncle, and that he would succeed in establishing his
indisputable supremacy. The prince seemed reduced to such straits that he
had to give his army the option of retreat. Addressing his soldiers he
said: "I know how to advance, but not to retreat"; but his army decided to
return to their homes in the north, when the extraordinary and unexpected
retreat of the greater part of the army of Wenti revived their courage and
induced them to follow their leader through one more encounter. Like
Frederick the Great, the Prince of Yen was never greater than in defeat.
He surprised the lately victorious army of Wenti, smashed it in pieces,
and captured Tingan, the emperor's best general. The occupation of Nankin
and the abdication of Wenti followed this victory in rapid succession.
Afraid to trust himself to the mercy of his relative, he fled, disguised
as a priest, to Yunnan, where he passed his life ignominiously for forty
years, and his identity was only discovered after that lapse of time by
his publishing, in his new character of a Buddhist priest, a poem reciting
and lamenting the misfortunes of Wenti. Then he was removed to Pekin,
where he died in honorable confinement. As a priest he seems to have been
more fortunate than as a ruler, and history contains no more striking
example of happiness being found in a private station when unattainable on
a throne.

After some hesitation the Prince of Yen allowed himself to be proclaimed
emperor, and as such he is best known as Yonglo, a name signifying
"Eternal Joy." Considering his many declarations that his only ambition
was to reform and not to destroy the administration of his nephew, his
first act obliterating the reign of Wenti from the records and
constituting himself the immediate successor of Hongwou was not calculated
to support his alleged indifference to power. He was scarcely seated on
the throne before he was involved in serious troubles on both his northern
and his southern frontiers. In Mongolia he attempted to assert a formal
supremacy over the khans through the person of an adventurer named
Kulitchi, but the agent was unable to fulfill his promises, and met with a
speedy overthrow. In Tonquin an ambitious minister named Likimao deposed
his master and established himself as ruler in his place. The emperor sent
an army to bring him to his senses, and it met with such rapid success
that the Chinese were encouraged to annex Tonquin and convert it into a
province of the empire. When Yonglo's plans failed on the steppe he was
drawn into a struggle with the Mongols, which necessitated annual
expeditions until he died. During the last of these he advanced as far as
the Kerulon, and on his return march he died in his camp at the age of
sixty-five. Although he bore arms so long against the head of the state
there is no doubt that he greatly consolidated the power of the Mings,
which he extended on one side to the Amour and on the other to the
Songcoi. It was during his reign that Tamerlane contemplated the
reconquest of China, and perhaps it was well for Yonglo that that great
commander died when he had traversed only a few stages of his march to the
Great Wall. One of his sons succeeded Yonglo as emperor, but he only
reigned under the style of Gintsong for a few months.

Then Suentsong, the son of Gintsong, occupied the throne, and during his
reign a vital question affecting the constitution of the civil service,
and through it the whole administration of the country, was brought
forward, and fortunately settled without recourse to blows, as was at one
time feared would be the case. Before his reign the public examinations
had been open to candidates from all parts of the empire, and it had
become noticeable that all the honors were being carried off by students
from the southern provinces, who were of quicker intelligence than those
of the north. It seemed as if in the course of a short time all the posts
would be held by them, and that the natives of the provinces north of the
Hoangho would be gradually driven out of the service. Naturally this
marked tendency led to much agitation in the north, and a very bitter
feeling was spreading when Suentsong and his minister took up the matter
and proceeded to apply a sound practical remedy. After a commission of
inquiry had certified to the reality of the evil, Suentsong decreed that
all competitors for literary honors should be restricted to their native
districts, and that for the purpose of the competitive examinations China
should be divided into three separate divisions, one for the north,
another for the center, and the third for the south. The firmness shown by
the Emperor Suentsong in this matter was equally conspicuous in his
dealings with an uncle, who showed some inclination to revolt. He took the
field in person, and before the country was generally aware of the revolt,
Suentsong was conducting his relative to a state prison. The rest of
Suentsong's reign was peaceful and prosperous, and he left the crown to
his son, Yngtsong, a child eight years old.

During his minority the governing authority was exercised by his
grandmother, the Empress Changchi, the mother of the Emperor Suentsong. At
first it seemed as if there would be a struggle for power between her and
the eunuch Wangchin, who had gained the affections of the young emperor;
but after she had denounced him before the court and called for his
execution, from which fate he was only rescued by the tears and
supplications of the young sovereign, the feud was composed by Wangchin
gaining such an ascendency over the empress that she made him her
associate in the regency. Unfortunately Wangchin did not prove a wise or
able administrator. He thought more of the sweets of office than of the
duties of his lofty station. He appointed his relations and creatures to
the highest civil and military posts without regard to their
qualifications or ability. To his arrogance was directly due the
commencement of a disastrous war with Yesien, the most powerful of the
Mongol chiefs of the day. When that prince sent the usual presents to the
Chinese capital, and made the customary request for a Chinese princess as
wife, Wangchin appropriated the gifts for himself and sent back a haughty
refusal to Yesien's petition, although it was both customary and rarely
refused. Such a reception was tantamount to a declaration of war, and
Yesien, who had already been tempted by the apparent weakness of the
Chinese frontier to resume the raids which were so popular with the
nomadic tribes of the desert, gathered his fighting men together and
invaded China. Alarmed by the storm he had raised, Wangchin still
endeavored to meet it, and summoning all the garrisons in the north to his
aid, he placed himself at the head of an army computed to number half a
million of men. In the hope of inspiring his force with confidence he took
the boy-emperor, Yngtsong, with him, but his own incompetence nullified
the value of numbers, and rendered the presence of the emperor the cause
of additional ignominy instead of the inspiration of invincible
confidence. The vast and unwieldy Chinese army took up a false position at
a place named Toumon, and it is affirmed that the position was so bad that
Yesien feared that it must cover a ruse. He accordingly sent some of his
officers to propose an armistice, but really to inspect the Chinese lines.
They returned to say that there was no concealment, and that if an attack
were made at once the Chinese army lay at his mercy. Yesien delayed not a
moment in delivering his attack, and it was completely successful. The
very numbers of the Chinese, in a confined position, added to their
discomfiture, and after a few hours' fighting the battle became a massacre
and a rout. Wangchin, the cause of all this ruin, was killed by Fanchong,
the commander of the imperial guards, and the youthful ruler, Yngtsong,
was taken prisoner. There has rarely been a more disastrous day in the
long annals of the Chinese empire than the rout at Toumon.

Then Yesien returned to his camp on the Toula, taking his prisoner with
him, and announcing that he would only restore him for a ransom of 100
taels of gold, 200 taels of silver, and 200 pieces of the finest silk. For
some unknown reason the Empress Changchi did not feel disposed to pay this
comparatively low ransom, and instead of reclaiming Yngtsong from his
conqueror she placed his brother, Kingti, on the throne. The struggle with
the Mongols under Yesien continued, but his attention was distracted from
China by his desire to become the great Khan of the Mongols, a title still
held by his brother-in-law, Thotho Timour, of the House of Genghis.
Yesien, suddenly releasing of his own accord Yngtsong--who returned to
Pekin--hastened to the Kerulon country, where he overthrew and
assassinated Thotho Timour, and was in turn himself slain by another
chieftain. While the Mongol was thus pursuing his own ambition, and
reaching the violent death which forms so common a feature in the history
of his family, the unfortunate Yngtsong returned to China, where, on the
refusal of his brother Kingti to resign the throne, he sank quietly into
private life. Kingti died seven years after his brother's return, and
then, failing a better or nearer prince, Yngtsong was brought from his
confinement and restored to the throne. He reigned eight years after his
restoration, but he never possessed any real power, his authority being
wielded by unscrupulous ministers, who stained his reign by the execution
of Yukien, the most honest and capable general of the period. If his reign
was not remarkable for political or military vigor, some useful reforms
appear to have been instituted. Among others may be named the formation of
state farms on waste or confiscated lands, the establishment of military
schools for teaching archery and horsemanship, and the completion of some
useful and elaborate educational works, of which a geography of China, in
ninety volumes, is the most famous.

Yngtsong died in the year 1465, and was succeeded by his son, Hientsong,
who began his reign with acts of filial devotion that attracted the
sympathy of his subjects. He also rendered posthumous honors to the ill-
used general, Yukien, and established his fame as a national benefactor.
During the twenty-eight years that he occupied the throne he was engaged
in a number of petty wars, none of which requires specific mention. The
only unpopular measure associated with his name was the creation of a
Grand Council of Eunuchs, to which was referred all questions of capital
punishment, and this body soon acquired a power which made it resemble the
tyrannical and irresponsible British Star Chamber. After five years this
institution became so unpopular and was so deeply execrated by the nation
that Hientsong, however reluctantly, had to abolish his own creation, and
acquiesce in the execution of some of its most active members.

During Hientsong's reign a systematic attempt was made to work the gold
mines reputed to exist in Central China, but although half a million men
were employed upon them it is stated that the find did not exceed thirty
ounces. More useful work was accomplished in the building of a canal from
Pekin to the Peiho, which thus enabled grain junks to reach the northern
capital by the Euho and Shaho canals from the Yangtsekiang. Another useful
public work was the repairing of the Great Wall, effected along a
considerable portion of its extent, by the efforts of 50,000 soldiers,
which gave the Chinese a sense of increased security. In connection with
this measure of defense, it may be stated that the Chinese advanced into
Central Asia and occupied the town of Hami, which then and since has
served them as a useful watch-tower in the direction of the west. The
death of Hientsong occurred in 1487, at a moment when the success and
prosperity of the country under the Mings may be described as having
reached its height.

During the reign of his son and successor, Hiaotsong, matters progressed
peacefully, for, although there was some fighting for the possession of
Hami, which was coveted by several of the desert chiefs, but which
remained during the whole of this reign subject to China, the empire was
not involved in any great war. An insurrection of the black aborigines of
the island of Hainan was put down without any very serious difficulty.
These events do not throw any very clear light on the character and
personality of Hiaotsong, who died in 1505 at the early age of thirty-six;
but his care for his people, and his desire to alleviate the misfortunes
that might befall his subjects, was shown by his ordering every district
composed of ten villages to send in annually to a State granary, a
specified quantity of grain, until 100,000 bushels had been stored in
every such building throughout the country. The idea was an excellent one;
but it is to be feared that a large portion of this grain was diverted to
the use of the peculating officials, whence arose the phrase, "The emperor
is full of pity, but the Court of Finance is like the never-dying worm
which devours the richest crops." To Hiaotsong succeeded his son,
Woutsong, during whose reign many misfortunes fell upon the land. The
emperor's uncles had designs on his authority, but these fell through and
came to naught, rather through Woutsong's good fortune than the excellence
of his arrangements. In Szchuen a peasant war threatened to assume the
dimensions of a rebellion, and in Pechihli bands of mounted robbers, or
Hiangmas, raided the open country. He succeeded in suppressing these
revolts, but his indifference to the disturbed state of his realm was
shown by his passing most of his time in hunting expeditions beyond the
Great Wall. His successors were to reap the result of this neglect of
business for the pursuit of pleasure; and when he died in 1519, without
leaving an heir, the outlook was beginning to look serious for the Ming
dynasty. One event, and perhaps the most important of Woutsong's reign,
calls for special mention, and that is the arrival at Canton of the first
native of Europe to reach China by sea. Of course it will be recollected
that Marco Polo and others reached the Mongol court by land, although the
Venetian sailed from China on his embassy to southern India. In 1511,
Raphael Perestralo sailed from Malacca to China, and in 1517 the
Portuguese officer, Don Fernand Perez D'Andrade, arrived in the Canton
River with a squadron, and was favorably received by the mandarins.
D'Andrade visited Pekin, where he resided for some time as embassador. The
commencement of intercourse between Europeans and China was thus effected
most auspiciously; and it might have continued so but that a second
Portuguese fleet appeared in Chinese waters, and committed there numerous
outrages and acts of piracy. Upon this D'Andrade was arrested by order of
Woutsong, and after undergoing imprisonment, was executed by his successor
in 1523. It was a bad beginning for a connection which, after nearly four
hundred years, is neither as stable nor as general as the strivers after
perfection could desire.

The death of Woutsong without children, or any recognized heir, threatened
to involve the realm in serious dangers; but the occasion was so critical
that the members of the Ming family braced themselves to it, and under the
auspices of the Empress Changchi, the widow of the late ruler, a secret
council was held, when the grandson of the Emperor Hientsong, a youth of
fourteen, was placed on the throne under the name of Chitsong. It is said
that his mother gave him good advice on being raised from a private
station to the lofty eminence of emperor, and that she told him that he
was about to accept a heavy burden; but experience showed that he was
unequal to it. Still, his shortcomings were preferable to a disputed
succession. The earlier years of his reign were marked by some successes
over the Tartars, and he received tribute from chiefs who had never paid
it before. But Chitsong had little taste for the serious work of
administration. He showed himself superstitious in matters of religion,
and he cultivated poetry, and may even have persuaded himself that he was
a poet. But he did not pay any heed to the advice of those among his
ministers who urged him to take a serious view of his position, and to act
in a manner worthy of his dignity. It is clear that his influence on the
lot of his people, and even on the course of his country's history, was
small, and such reigns as his inspire the regret expressed at there being
no history of the Chinese people; but such a history is impossible.

It might be more instructive to trace the growth of thought among the
masses, or to indicate the progress of civil and political freedom; yet,
not only do the materials not exist for such a task, but those we possess
all tend to show that there has been no growth to describe, no progress to
be indicated, during these comparatively recent centuries. It is the
peculiar and distinguishing characteristic of Chinese history that the
people and their institutions have remained practically unchanged and the
same from a very early period. Even the introduction of a foreign element
has not tended to disturb the established order of things. The supreme
ruler possesses the same attributes and discharges the same functions; the
governing classes are chosen in the same manner; the people are bound in
the same state of servitude, and enjoy the same practical liberty; all is
now as it was. Neither under the Tangs nor the Sungs, under the Yuens nor
the Mings, was there any change in national character or in political
institutions to be noted or chronicled. The history of the empire has
always been the fortunes of the dynasty, which has depended, in the first
place, on the passive content of the subjects, and, in the second, on the
success or failure of its external and internal wars. This condition of
things may be disappointing to those who pride themselves on tracing the
origin of a constitution and the growth of civil rights, and also would
have a history of China a history of the Chinese people; although the fact
is undoubted that there is no history of the Chinese people apart from
that of their country to be recorded. The national institutions and
character were formed, and had attained in all essentials their present
state, more than two thousand years ago, or before the destruction of all
trustworthy materials for the task by the burning of the ancient
literature and chronicles of China. Without them we must fain content
ourselves with the history of the country and the empire.

Chitsong was engaged in three serious operations beyond his frontier, one
with a Tartar chief named Yenta, another with the Japanese, and the third
in Cochin China. Yenta was of Mongol extraction, and enjoyed supreme power
on the borders of Shansi. His brother was chief of the Ordus tribe, which
dwells within the Chinese frontier. Changtu, the old residence of Kublai,
was one of his camps, and it was said that he could bring 100,000 horsemen
into the field. The success of his raids carried alarm through the
province of Shansi, and during one of them he laid siege to the capital,
Taiyuen. Then the emperor placed a reward on his head and offered an
official post to the person who would rid him of his enemy by
assassination. The offer failed to bring forward either a murderer or a
patriot, and Yenta's hostility was increased by the personal nature of
this attack, and perhaps by the apprehension of a sinister fate. He
invaded China on a larger scale than ever, and carried his ravages to the
southern extremity of Shansi, and returned laden with the spoil of forty
districts, and bearing with him 200,000 prisoners to a northern captivity.
After this success Yenta seems to have rested on his laurels, although he
by no means gave up his raids, which, however, assumed more and more a
local character. The Chinese annalists state that never was the frontier
more disturbed, and even the establishment of horse fairs for the benefit
of the Mongols failed to keep them quiet. In Cochin China the emperor
gained some gratifying if not very important successes, and asserted his
right as suzerain over several disobedient princes. But a more serious and
less satisfactory question had to be settled on the side of Japan.

The Japanese had never forgiven the formidable and unprovoked invasion of
their country by Kublai Khan. The Japanese are by nature a military
nation, and the Chinese writers themselves describe them as "intrepid,
inured to fatigue, despising life, and knowing well how to face death;
although inferior in number a hundred of them would blush to flee before a
thousand foreigners, and if they did they would not dare to return to
their country. Sentiments such as these, which are instilled into them
from their earliest childhood, render them terrible in battle." Emboldened
by their success over the formidable Mongols the Japanese treated the
Chinese with contempt, and fitted out piratical expeditions from time to
time with the object of preying on the commerce and coasting towns of
China. To guard against the descents of these enterprising islanders the
Chinese had erected towers of defense along the coast, and had called out
a militia which was more or less inefficient. On the main they did not so
much as attempt to make a stand against their neighbors, whose war junks
exercised undisputed authority on the Eastern Sea. While this strife
continued a trade also sprang up between the two peoples, who share in an
equal degree the commercial instinct; but as the Chinese government only
admitted Japanese goods when brought by the embassador, who was sent every
ten years from Japan, this trade could only be carried on by smuggling. A
regular system was adopted to secure the greatest success and profit. The
Japanese landed their goods on some island off the coast, whence the
Chinese removed them at a safe and convenient moment to the mainland. The
average value of the cargo of one of the small junks which carried on this
trade is said to have been $20,000, so that it may be inferred that the
profits were considerable. But the national antipathies would not be
repressed by the profitable character of this trade, and the refusal of a
Chinese merchant to give a Japanese the goods for which he had paid lit
the embers of a war which went on for half a century, and which materially
weakened the Ming power. During the last years of Chitsong's long reign of
forty-five years this trouble showed signs of getting worse, although the
Japanese confined their efforts to irregular and unexpected attacks on
places on the coast, and did not attempt to wage a regular war. In the
midst of these troubles, and when it was hoped that the exhortation of his
ministers would produce some effect, Chitsong died, leaving behind him a
will or public proclamation to be issued after his death, and which reads
like a long confession of fault. Mea culpa, exclaimed this Eastern ruler
at the misfortunes of his people and the calamities of his realm, but he
could not propound a remedy for them.

His third son succeeded him as the Emperor Moutsong, and the character and
capacity of this prince gave promise that his reign would be satisfactory
if not glorious. Unfortunately for his family, and perhaps for his
country, the public expectations were dispelled in his case by an early
death. The six years during which he reigned were rendered remarkable by
the conclusion of a stable peace with the Tartar Yenta, who accepted the
title of a Prince of the Empire. Moutsong when he found that he was dying
grew apprehensive lest the youth of his son might not stir up dissension
and provoke that internal strife which had so often proved the bane of the
empire and involved the wreck of many of its dynasties. He exhorted his
ministers to stand by his son who was only a boy, to give him the best
advice in their power, and to render him worthy of the throne. That the
apprehensions of Moutsong were not without reason was clearly shown by the
mishaps and calamities which occurred during the long reign of his son and
successor Wanleh. With the death of Moutsong the period ends when it was
possible to state that the majesty of the Mings remained undimmed, and
that this truly national dynasty wielded with power and full authority the
imperial mandate. When they had driven out the Mongol the Mings seem to
have settled down into an ordinary and intensely national line of rulers.
The successors of Hongwou did nothing great or noteworthy, but the Chinese
acquiesced in their rule, and even showed that they possessed for it a
special regard and affection.



CHAPTER VIII

THE DECLINE OP THE MINGS


The reign of Wanleh covers the long and important epoch from 1573 to 1620,
during which period occurred some very remarkable events in the history of
the country, including the first movements of the Manchus with a view to
the conquest of the empire. The young prince was only six when he was
placed on the throne, but he soon showed that he had been well-trained to
play the part of ruler. The best indication of the prosperity of the realm
is furnished by the revenue, which steadily increased until it reached the
great total, excluding the grain receipts, of seventy-five millions of our
money. But a large revenue becomes of diminished value unless it is
associated with sound finance. The public expenditure showed a steady
increase; the emperor and his advisers were incapable of checking the
outlay, and extravagance, combined with improvidence, soon depleted the
exchequer. Internal troubles occurred to further embarrass the executive,
and the resources of the state were severely strained in coping with more
than one serious rebellion, among which the most formidable was the mutiny
of a mercenary force under the command of a Turk officer named Popai, who
imagined that he was unjustly treated, and that the time was favorable to
found an administration of his own. His early successes encouraged him to
believe that he would succeed in his object; but when he found that all
the disposable forces of the empire were sent against him, he abandoned
the field, and shut himself up in the fortress at Ninghia, where he hoped
to hold out indefinitely. For many months he succeeded in baffling the
attacks of Wanleh's general, and the siege might even have had to be
raised if the latter had not conceived the idea of diverting the course of
the river Hoangho, so that it might bear upon the walls of the fortress.
Popai was unable to resist this form of attack, and when the Chinese
stormers made their way through the breach thus caused, he attempted to
commit suicide by setting fire to his residence. This satisfaction was
denied him, for a Chinese officer dragged him from the flames, slew him,
and sent his head to the general Li Jusong, who conducted the siege, and
of whom we shall hear a great deal more.

The gratification caused by the overthrow of Popai had scarcely abated
when the attention of the Chinese government was drawn away from domestic
enemies to a foreign assailant who threatened the most serious danger to
China. Reference was made in the last chapter to the relations between the
Chinese and the Japanese, and to the aggressions of the latter, increased,
no doubt, by Chinese chicane and their own naval superiority and
confidence. But nothing serious might have come out of these unneighborly
relations if they had not furnished an ambitious ruler with the
opportunity of embarking on an enterprise which promised to increase his
empire and his glory. The old Japanese ruling family was descended, as
already described, from a Chinese exile; but the hero of the sixteenth
century could claim no relationship with the royal house, and owed none of
his success to the accident of a noble birth. Fashiba, called by some
English writers Hideyoshi; by the Chinese Pingsiuki; and by the Japanese,
on his elevation to the dignity of Tycoon, Taiko Sama, was originally a
slave; and it is said that he first attracted attention by refusing to
make the prescribed obeisance to one of the daimios or lords. He was on
the point of receiving condign punishment, when he pleaded his case with
such ingenuity and courage that the daimio not only forgave him his
offense, but gave him a post in his service. Having thus obtained
honorable employment, Fashiba devoted all his energy and capacity to
promoting the interests of his new master, knowing well that his position
and opportunities must increase equally with them. In a short time he made
his lord the most powerful daimio in the land, and on his death he
stepped, naturally enough, into the position and power of his chief. How
long he would have maintained himself thus in ordinary times may be matter
of opinion, but he resolved to give stability to his position and a
greater luster to his name by undertaking an enterprise which should be
popular with the people and profitable to the state. The Japanese had only
attempted raids on the coast, and they had never thought of establishing
themselves on the mainland. But Fashiba proposed the conquest of China,
and he hoped to effect his purpose through the instrumentality of Corea.
With this view he wrote the king of that country the following letter: "I
will assemble a mighty host, and, invading the country of the Great Ming,
I will fill with hoar-frost from my sword the whole sky over the 400
provinces. Should I carry out this purpose, I hope that Corea will be my
vanguard. Let her not fail to do so, for my friendship to your honorable
country depends solely on your conduct when I lead my army against China."

Fashiba began with an act of aggression at Corea's expense, by seizing the
important harbor of Fushan. Having thus secured a foothold on the mainland
and a gateway into the kingdom, Fashiba hastened to invade Corea at the
head of a large army. The capital was sacked and the tombs of Lipan's
ancestors desecrated, while he himself fled to the Chinese court to
implore the assistance of Wanleh. An army was hastily assembled and
marched to arrest the progress of the Japanese invader, who had by this
reached Pingyang, a town 400 miles north of Fushan. An action was fought
outside this town. The advantage rested with the Japanese, who succeeded
in destroying a Chinese regiment. After this a lull ensued in the
campaign, and both sides brought up fresh forces. Fashiba came over from
Japan with further supplies and troops to assist his general, Hingchang,
while on the Chinese side, Li Jusong, the captor of Ninghia, was placed at
the head of the Chinese army. A second battle was fought in the
neighborhood of Pingyang, and after some stubborn fighting the Japanese
were driven out of that town.

The second campaign was opened by a brilliant feat on the part of Li
Jusong, who succeeded in surprising and destroying the granaries and
storehouses constructed by the Japanese, near Seoul. The loss of their
stores compelled the Japanese to retire on Fushan, but they did not with
such boldness and confidence that the Chinese did not venture to attack
them. The ultimate result of the struggle was still doubtful when the
sudden death of Fashiba completely altered the complexion of the
situation. The Japanese army then withdrew, taking with it a vast amount
of booty and the ears of 10,000 Coreans. The Chinese troops also retired,
leaving the Corean king at liberty to restore his disputed authority, and
his kingdom once more sank into its primitive state of exclusion and semi-
darkness.

For the first time in Chinese history the relations between the Middle
Kingdom and Europeans became of importance during the reign of Wanleh,
which would alone give it a special distinction. The Portuguese led the
way for European enterprise in China, and it was very unfortunate that
they did so, for it was soon written of them that "the Portuguese have no
other design than to come under the name of merchants to spy the country,
that they may hereafter fall upon it with fire and sword." As early as the
year 1560 they had obtained from the local officials the right to found a
settlement and to erect sheds for their goods at a place which is now
known as Macao. In a few years it became of so much importance that it was
the annual restort of five or six hundred Portuguese merchants; and the
Portuguese, by paying a yearly rent of 500 taels, secured the practical
monopoly of the trade of the Canton River, which was then and long
afterward the only vent for the external trade of China. No doubt the
Portuguese had to supplement this nominal rent by judicious bribes to the
leading mandarins. Next after the Portuguese came the Spaniards, who,
instead of establishing themselves on the mainland, made their
headquarters in a group of the Philippine Islands.

The promotion of European interests in China owed little or nothing to the
forbearance and moderation of either the Spaniards or Portuguese. They
tyrannized over the Chinese subject to their sway, and they employed all
their resources in driving away other Europeans from what they chose to
consider their special commercial preserves. Thus the Dutch were expelled
from the south by the Portuguese and compelled to take refuge in Formosa,
while the English and French did not make their appearance, except by
occasional visits, until a much later period, although it should be
recorded that the English Captain Weddell was the first to discover the
mouth of the Canton River, and to make his way up to that great city.

One of the principal troubles of the Emperor Wanleh arose from his having
no legitimate heir, and his ministers impressed upon him, for many years,
the disadvantage of this situation before he would undertake to select one
of his children by the inferior members of the harem as his successor. And
then he made what may be termed a divided selection. He proclaimed his
eldest son heir-apparent, and declared the next brother to be in the
direct order of succession, and conferred on him the title of Prince Fou
Wang. The latter was his real favorite, and, encouraged by his father's
preference, he formed a party to oust his elder brother and to gain the
heritage before it was due. The intrigues in which he engaged long
disturbed the court and agitated the mind of the emperor. Supported by his
mother, Prince Fou Wang threatened the position and even the life of the
heir-apparent, Prince Chu Changlo, but the plot was discovered and Fou
Wang's rank would not have saved him from the executioner if it had not
been for the special intercession of his proposed victim, Chu Changlo. In
the midst of these family troubles, as well as those of the state, the
Emperor Wanleh died, after a long reign, in 1620. The last years of his
life were rendered unhappy and miserable by the reverses experienced at
the hands of the new and formidable opponent who had suddenly appeared
upon the northern frontier of the empire.

Some detailed account of the Manchu race and of the progress of their arms
before the death of Wanleh will form a fitting prelude to the description
of the long wars which resulted in the conquest of China and in the
placing of the present ruling family on the Dragon Throne.

The first chief of the Manchu clan was a mythical personage named Aisin
Gioro, who flourished in the middle of the fourteenth century, while
Hongwou, the founder of the Mings, was employed in the task of driving out
the Mongols. Aisin Gioro is said to mean Golden Family Stem, and thus the
connection with the Kin dynasty finds recognition at an early stage. His
birth is described in mythical terms--it is said that a magpie dropped a
red fruit into the lap of a maiden of the Niuche, who straightway ate it
and conceived a son. The skeptical have interpreted this as meaning that
Aisin Gioro was a runaway Mongol, who was granted shelter by the Niuche of
Hootooala. At all events he became lord of the valley, and five
generations later, in the reign of Wanleh, his descendant, Huen, was head
of the Manchus. His grandson, the great Noorhachu, was born in the year
1559, and his birth was attended by several miraculous circumstances. He
is said "to have been a thirteen-months' child, to have had the dragon
face and the phenix eye, an enormous chest, large ears, and a voice like
the tone of the largest bell."

A chief named Haida was the first to stir up the embers of internecine
strife among the Niuche clans. To gratify his own ambition or to avenge
some blood feuds, he obtained the assistance of one of the principal
Chinese officers on the Leaoutung borders, and thus overran the territory
of his neighbors. Encouraged by his first successes, Haida proceeded to
attack the chief of Goolo, who was married to a cousin of Noorhachu, and
who at once appealed to Hootooala for assistance. The whole Manchu clan
marched to his rescue, and it was on this occasion that Noorhachu had his
first experience of war on a large scale. The Manchus presented such a
bold front that there is every reason to believe that Haida and his
Chinese allies would have failed to conquer Goolo by force, but they
resorted to fraud, which proved only too successful. Haida succeeded in
enticing the old chief Huen and his son, the father of Noorhachu, into a
conference, when he murdered them and many of their companions. The
momentary success gained by this breach of faith was heavily paid for by
the incentive it gave Noorhachu to exact revenge for the brutal and
cowardly murder of his father and grandfather. Haida constructed a
fortified camp at Toolun, but he did not feel secure there against the
open attacks of Noorhachu or the private plots he formed to gain
possession of his person. Several times Haida fled from Toolun to Chinese
territory, where he hoped to enjoy greater safety, until at last the
Chinese became tired of giving him shelter and protecting one who could
not support his own pretensions. Then, with strange inconstancy, they
delivered him over into the hands of Noorhachu, who straightway killed
him, thus carrying out the first portion of his vow to avenge the massacre
at Goolo.

Then Noorhachu turned all his attention and devoted all his energy to the
realization of the project which Haida had conceived, the union of the
Niuche clans; but whereas Haida had looked to Chinese support and
patronage for the attainment of his object, Noorhachu resolved to achieve
success as an enemy of China and by means of his own Manchu followers. His
first measure was to carefully select a site for his capital on a plain
well supplied with water, and then to fortify it by surrounding it with
three walls. He then drew up simple regulations for the government of his
people, and military rules imposing a severe discipline on his small army.
The Chinese appear to have treated him with indifference, and they
continued to pay him the sums of money and the honorary gifts which had
been made to Haida. Several of the Niuche clans, won over by the success
and reputation of Noorhachu, voluntarily associated themselves with him,
and it was not until the year 1591 that the Manchu chief committed his
first act of open aggression by invading the district of Yalookiang. That
territory was soon overrun and annexed; but it roused such a fear among
the other Niuche chiefs, lest their fate should be the same, that seven of
them combined, under Boojai, to overthrow the upstart who aspired to play
the part of a dictator. They brought into the field a force of 30,000 men,
including, besides their own followers, a considerable contingent from the
Mongols; and as Noorhachu's army numbered only 4,000 men, it seemed as if
he must certainly be overwhelmed. But, small as was his force, it enjoyed
the incalculable advantage of discipline; and seldom has the superiority
of trained troops over raw levies been more conspicuously illustrated than
by this encounter between warriors of the same race. This battle was
fought at Goolo Hill, and resulted in the decisive victory of Noorhachu.
Boojai and 4,000 of his men were killed, a large number of his followers
were taken prisoners and enrolled in the ranks of the victor, and the
spoil included many suits of mail and arms of offense which improved the
state of Noorhachu's arsenal. Several of the districts which had been
subject to these confederated princes passed into the hands of the
conqueror, and he carried his authority northward up the Songari River
over tribes who had never recognized any southern authority. These
successes paved the way to an attack on Yeho, the principality of Boojai,
which was reputed to be the most powerful of all the Niuche states; and on
this occasion it vindicated its reputation by repelling the attack of
Noorhachu. Its success was not entirely due to its own strength, for the
Chinese governor of Leaoutung, roused at last to the danger from
Noorhachu, sent money and arms to assist the Yeho people in their defense.

The significance of this repulse was diminished by other successes
elsewhere, and Noorhachu devoted his main attention to disciplining the
larger force he had acquired by his later conquests, and by raising its
efficiency to the high point attained by the army with which he had gained
his first triumphs. He also meditated a more daring and important
enterprise than any struggle with his kinsfolk; for he came to the
conclusion that it was essential to destroy the Chinese power in Leaoutung
before he should undertake any further enterprise in Manchuria. His army
had now been raised to an effective strength of 40,000 men, and the Manchu
bowman, with his formidable bow, and the Manchu man-at-arms, in his cotton
mail, proof to the arrow or spear, were as formidable warriors as then
existed in the world. Confident in his military power, and thinking, no
doubt, that a successful foreign enterprise was the best way to rally and
confirm the allegiance of his race, Noorhachu invaded Leaoutung, and
published a proclamation against the Chinese, which became known as the
Seven Hates. Instead of forwarding this document to the Chinese Court he
burned it in the presence of his army, so that Heaven itself might judge
the justice of the cause between him and the Chinese.

It was in the year 1618 that Noorhachu invaded Leaoutung, and so surprised
were the Chinese at his audacity that they offered little or no
resistance. The town of Fooshun was captured and made the headquarters of
the Manchu prince. From this place he sent a list of his requirements to
the governor of Leaoutung, and it is said that he offered, on the Chinese
complying with his terms, to withdraw and desist from hostilities. But the
Chinese did not appreciate the power of this new enemy. They treated his
grievances with indifference and contempt, and they sent an army to drive
him out of Leaoutung. The Chinese troops soon had a taste of the quality
of the Manchu army. They were defeated in several encounters, and the best
Chinese troops fled before the impetuous charge of the Manchu cavalry.
Noorhachu then laid siege to the prefectural town of Tsingho, which he
captured after a siege of some weeks, and where he massacred nearly 20,000
of the garrison and townspeople. He would have continued the campaign but
that his followers demanded to be led back, stating that they feared for
the safety of their homes at the hands of Yeho, still hostile and
aggressive in their rear. The conquest of Leaoutung was therefore
discontinued for the purpose of closing accounts with the last of the
Niuche principalities; but enough had been accomplished to whet the
appetite of the Manchu leader for more, and to show him how easy it was to
vanquish the Chinese. On his return to his capital, Hingking, he prepared
to invade Yeho, but his plans were undoubtedly delayed by the necessity of
resting his troops and of allowing many of them to return to their homes.
This delay, no doubt, induced the Chinese to make a supreme effort to
avert the overthrow of Yeho, who had proved so useful an ally, and
accordingly the governor of Leaoutung advanced with 100,000 men into
Manchuria. He sacrificed the advantage of superior numbers by dividing his
army into four divisions, with very inadequate means of inter-
communication. Noorhachu could only bring 60,000 men into the field; but,
apart from their high training, they represented a compact body subject to
the direction of Noorhachu alone. The Manchu leader at once perceived the
faulty disposition of the Chinese army, and he resolved to attack and
overwhelm each corps in detail before it could receive aid from the
others. The strongest Chinese corps was that operating most to the west,
and marching from Fooshun on Hingking; and Noorhachu perceived that if he
could overthrow it the flank of the rest of the Chinese army would be
exposed, and its line of retreat imperiled. The Chinese general in command
of this corps was impetuous and anxious to distinguish himself. His
courage might on another occasion have helped his country, but under the
circumstances his very ardor served the purpose of Noorhachu. Tousong,
such was his name, marched more rapidly than any of his comrades, and
reached the Hwunho--the Tiber of the Manchus--behind which Noorhachu had,
at a little distance, drawn up his army. Without pausing to reconnoiter,
or to discover with what force he had to deal, Tousong threw himself
across the river, and intrenched himself on Sarhoo Hill. His
overconfidence was so extreme and fatuous that he weakened his army by
sending a detachment to lay siege to the town of Jiefan. The Manchus had,
however, well provided for the defense of that place, and while the
Chinese detachment sent against it was being destroyed, Noorhachu attacked
Tousong in his position on Sarhoo Hill with the whole of his army. The
Chinese were overwhelmed, Tousong was slain, and the majority of those who
escaped the fray perished in the waters of the Hwunho, beneath the arrows
and javelins of the pursuing Manchus.

Then Noorhachu hastened to attack the second of the Chinese divisions
under a capable officer named Malin, who selected a strong position with
great care, and wished to stand on the defensive. His wings rested on two
hills which he fortified, and he strengthened his center in the
intervening valley with a triple line of wagons. If he had only remained
in this position he might have succeeded in keeping Noorhachu at bay until
he could have been joined by the two remaining Chinese corps; but the
impetuosity of his troops, or it may have been the artifice of the Manchu
leader, drew him from his intrenchments. At first the Chinese seemed to
have the best of the battle, but in a short time victory turned to the
side of the Manchus, and Malin fled with the relics of his force back to
Chinese territory. After these two successes Noorhachu proceeded to attack
the third Chinese corps under Liuyen, who had acquired a cheap reputation
by his success over the Miaotze. He had no better fortune than any of his
colleagues, and his signal defeat completed the Manchu triumph over the
Chinese army of invasion. The defeat of Liuyen was effected by a stratagem
as much as by superior force. Noorhachu dressed some of his troops in the
Chinese uniforms he had captured, and sent them among the Chinese, who
received them as comrades until they discovered their mistake in the
crisis of the battle. During this campaign it was computed that the total
losses of the Chinese amounted to 310 general officers and 45,000 private
soldiers. Among other immediate results of this success were the return of
20,000 Yeho troops to their homes and the defection of 5,000 Coreans, who
joined Noorhachu. Like all great commanders, Noorhachu gave his enemies no
time to recover from their misfortunes. He pursued Malin to Kaiyuen, which
he captured, with so many prisoners that it took three days to count them.
He invaded Yeho, which recognized his authority without a blow, and gave
him an additional 30,000 fighting men. All the Niuche clans thus became
united under his banner, and adopted the name of Manchu. He had succeeded
in the great object of his life, the union of his race, and he had well
avenged the death of his father and grandfather; but his ambition was not
satisfied with this success. It had rather grown with the widening horizon
opened by the discomfiture of the Chinese, and with the sense of military
superiority.

Amid these national disasters the long reign of Wanleh closed in the year
1620. That unhappy monarch lived long enough to see the establishment on
his northern borders of the power which was to destroy his dynasty. The
very last act of his reign was, whether by accident or good judgment, the
most calculated to prevent the Manchus overrunning the State, and that was
the selection of a capable general in the person of Hiung Tingbi. With the
death of Wanleh the decadence of Ming power became clearly marked, and the
only question that remained was whether it could be arrested before it
resulted in absolute ruin.



CHAPTER IX

THE MANCHU CONQUEST OF CHINA


Tingbi, with the wrecks of the Chinese armies, succeeded in doing more for
the defense of his country than had been accomplished by any of his
predecessors with undiminished resources. He built a chain of forts, he
raised the garrison of Leaoutung to 180,000 men, and he spared no effort
to place Leaouyang, the capital of that province, in a position to stand a
protracted siege. If his counsels had been followed to the end, he might
have succeeded in permanently arresting the flood of Manchu conquest; but
at the very moment when his plans promised to give assured success, he
fell into disgrace at the capital, and his career was summarily ended by
the executioner. The greatest compliment to his ability was that Noorhachu
remained quiescent as long as he was on the frontier, but as soon as he
was removed he at once resumed his aggression on Chinese soil.

Meanwhile, Wanleh had been succeeded on the Chinese throne by his son, Chu
Changlo, who took the name of Kwangtsong. He was an amiable and well-
meaning prince, whose reign was unquestionably cut short by foul means.
There is little doubt that he was poisoned by the mother of his half-
brother, from a wish to secure the throne for her son; but if so she never
gained the object that inspired her crime, for the princes of the family
met in secret conclave, and selected Kwangtsong's son a youth of sixteen,
as his successor. The choice did not prove fortunate, as this prince
became known as Tienki the Unhappy, whose reign witnessed the culmination
of Ming misfortunes. One of his first acts was the removal of Tingbi from
his command, and this error of judgment, aggravated by the ingratitude it
implied to a faithful servant, fitly marked the commencement of a reign of
incompetence and misfortune.

In 1621 the Manchu war reopened with an attack on Moukden or Fanyang,
which Noorhachu had marked out as his next object. The garrison was
numerous, and might have made a good defense, for the walls were strong;
but the commandant was brave to the degree of temerity, and, leaving his
fortress, marched out to meet the Manchus in the open. The result was a
decisive overthrow, and the victors entered Moukden at the heels of the
vanquished. The Chinese still resisted, and a terrible slaughter ensued,
but the Manchus retained their conquest. At this juncture the Chinese were
offered the assistance of the Portuguese at Macao, who sent a small body
of 200 men, armed with arquebuses and with several cannon, to Pekin; but
after some hesitation the Chinese, whether from pride or contempt of so
small a force, declined to avail themselves of their service, and thus
lost an auxiliary that might have turned the fortune of the war in their
favor. The Portuguese were sent back to Macao, and, although the Chinese
kept the cannon, and employed the Jesuit priests in casting others for
them, nothing came of an incident which might have exercised a lasting
influence not merely on the fortune of the war, but also on the relations
between the Chinese and Europeans. The Chinese sent several armies to
recover Moukden; but, although they took these guns with them, they met
with no success, and Noorhachu made it the base of his plan of attack on
Leaouyang, the capital of the province. The defense of this important town
was intrusted to Yuen Yingtai, the court favorite and incompetent
successor of Tingbi. That officer, unwarned by the past, and regardless of
the experience of so many of his predecessors, weakened himself and
invited defeat by attempting to oppose the Manchus in the open. He was
defeated, losing some of his best soldiers, and compelled to shut himself
up in the town with a disheartened garrison. The Manchus gained an
entrance into the city. Then a terrible encounter took place. The garrison
was massacred to a man, Yuen Yingtai, brave, if incapable, committed
suicide, and those of the townspeople who wished to save their lives had
to shave their heads in token of subjection. This is the first historical
reference to a practice that is now universal throughout China, and that
has become what may be called a national characteristic. The badge of
conquest has changed to a mark of national pride; but it is strange to
find that the Chinese themselves and the most patient inquirers among
sinologues are unable to say what was the origin of the pig-tail. They
cannot tell us whether shaving the head was the national custom of the
Manchus, or whether Noorhachu only conceived this happy idea of
distinguishing those who surrendered to his power among the countless
millions of the long-haired people of China. All that can be said of the
origin of the pig-tail is that it was first enforced as a badge of
subjugation by the Manchus at the siege of Leaouyang, and that
thenceforward, until the whole of China was conquered, it was made the one
condition of immunity from massacre.

The capture of Leaouyang signified the surrender of the remaining places
in Leaoutung, which became a Manchu possession, and Noorhachu, to
celebrate his triumph, and also to facilitate his plans for the further
humiliation of the Chinese, transferred his capital from Moukden to
Leaouyang. Misfortunes never come singly. In Szchuen a local chief had
raised a force of 30,000 men for service on the frontier in the wars with
the Manchus, and the viceroy of the province not only declined to utilize
their services, but dismissed them without reward or even recognition of
their loyalty. These slighted and disbanded braves easily changed
themselves into brigands, and as the government would not have them as
supporters, they determined to make it feel their enmity, Chetsong Ming,
the chief who had raised them, placed himself at their head, and attracted
a large number of the inhabitants to his standard. The local garrisons
were crushed, the viceroy killed, and general disorder prevailed among the
people of what was the most fertile and prosperous province of the empire.
Chetsong attempted to set up an administration, but he does not seem to
have possessed the capacity or the knowledge to establish a regular
government. While he headed the rebellious movement, a woman named
Tsinleang, the hereditary chieftainess of a small district, placed herself
at the head of the loyalists in the state, and, leading them herself,
succeeded in recovering the principal cities and in driving Chetsong out
of the province. She has been not inappropriately called by one of the
missionary historians the Chinese Penthesilea. The success she met with in
pacifying Szchuen after a two years' struggle was not attained in other
directions without a greater effort and at a still heavier cost. In
Kweichow and Yunnan a rebel named Ganpangyen raised an insurrection on a
large scale, and if his power had not been broken by the long siege of a
strong fortress, obstinately defended by a valiant governor, there is no
telling to what success he might not have attained. But his followers were
disheartened by the delay in carrying this place, and they abandoned him
as soon as they found that he could not command success. In Shantung
another rising occurred; but after two years' disturbance the rebel leader
was captured and executed. These internal disorders, produced by the
corruption and inertness of the officials as much as by a prevalent sense
of the embarrassment of the Mings, distracted the attention of the central
government from Manchuria, and weakened its preparations against
Noorhachu.

For a time Noorhachu showed no disposition to cross the River Leaou, and
confined his attention to consolidating his position in his new conquest.
But it was clear that this lull would not long continue, and the Chinese
emperor, Tienki, endeavored to meet the coming storm by once more
intrusting the defense of the frontier to Tingbi. That general devised a
simple and what might have proved an efficacious line of defense, but his
colleague, with more powerful influence at court, would have none of it,
and insisted on his own plan being adopted. Noorhachu divined that the
councils of the Chinese were divided, and that Tingbi was hampered. He
promptly took advantage of the divergence of opinion, and, crossing the
frontier, drove the Chinese behind the Great Wall. Even that barrier would
not have arrested his progress but for the stubborn resistance offered by
the fortress of Ningyuen--a town about seventy miles northeast of
Shanhaikwan, once of great importance, but now, for many years past, in
ruins. When he reached that place he found that Tingbi had fallen into
disgrace and been executed, not for devising his own plan of campaign, but
for animadverting on that of his colleague in satirical terms. The Chinese
had made every preparation for the resolute defense of Ningyuen, and when
Noorhachu sat down before it, its resolute defender, Chungwan, defied him
to do his worst, although all the Chinese troops had been compelled to
retreat, and there was no hope of re-enforcement or rescue. At first
Noorhachu did not conduct the siege of Ningyuen in person. It promised to
be an affair of no great importance, and he intrusted it to his
lieutenants, but he soon perceived that Chungwan was a resolute soldier,
and that the possession of Ningyuen was essential to the realization of
his future plans. Therefore, he collected all his forces and sat down
before Ningyuen with the full determination to capture it at all costs.
But the garrison was resolute, its commander capable, and on the walls
were arranged the cannon of European construction. Noorhachu led two
assaults in person, both of which were repulsed, and it is said that this
result was mainly due to the volleys of the European artillery. At last,
Noorhachu was compelled to withdraw his troops, and although he obtained
some successes in other parts of the country, he was so chagrined at this
repulse that he fell ill and died some months later at Moukden, in
September, 1626.

Noorhachu was succeeded by his fourth son, the fourth Beira or Prince,
known as Taitsong, who continued both his work and policy. Taitsong was as
determined to humiliate the Mings as his father had been. He commenced his
offensive measures by an attack on Corea, which he speedily reduced to
such a pass that it accepted his authority and transferred its allegiance
from the Mings to the Manchus. This was an important success, as it
secured his eastern flank and deprived the Chinese of a useful ally in the
Forbidden Kingdom. It encouraged Taitsong to think that the time was once
more ripe for attacking Ningyuen, and he laid siege to that fortress at
the head of a large army, including the flower of his troops.
Notwithstanding the energy of his attack, Chungwan, the former bold
defender of the place, had again the satisfaction of seeing the Manchus
repulsed, and compelled to admit that the ramparts of Ningyuen presented a
serious if not insuperable obstacle to their progress. Almost at the very
moment of this success the Emperor Tienki died, and was succeeded, in
1627, by his younger brother, Tsongching, who was destined to be the last
of the Ming rulers.

The repulse of Taitsong before Ningyuen might have been fatal if he had
not been a man of great ability and resource. The occasion called for some
special effort, and Taitsong proved himself equal to it by a stroke of
genius that showed he was the worthy inheritor of the mission of
Noorhachu. Without taking anybody into his confidence he ordered his army
and his allies, the Kortsin Mongols, to assemble in the country west of
Ningyuen, and when he had thus collected over a hundred thousand men, he
announced his intention of ignoring Ningyuen and marching direct on Pekin.
At this juncture Taitsong divided his army into eight banners, which still
remain the national divisions of the Manchu race. The Manchus seem to have
been a little alarmed by the boldness of Taitsong's scheme, and they might
have hesitated to follow him if he had given them any time for reflection,
but his plans were not fully known until his forces were through the
Dangan Pass on the march to the capital. The Chinese, relying altogether
on Ningyuen as a defense, had made no preparation to hold their ground on
this side, and Taitsong encountered no opposition until he reached Kichow.
Then Chungwan, realizing that he had been outmaneuvered, and that the
defenses of Ningyuen had been turned, hastened back by forced marches to
defend Pekin. Owing to his road being the better of the two he gained the
capital in time, and succeeded in throwing himself and his troops into it
in order to defend it against the assault of the Manchus. After Taitsong
sat down before Pekin he engaged in an intrigue for the ruin of Chungwan,
whose disgrace would be equivalent to a great victory. The method is not
to be approved on general grounds, but Taitsong conceived that he was
justified in bribing persons in Pekin to discredit Chungwan and compass
his ruin. The emperor was persuaded that Chungwan was too powerful a
subject to be absolutely loyal, and it was asserted that he was in
communication with the enemy. Chungwan, who had been so long the buttress
of the kingdom, was secretly arrested and thrown into a prison from which
he never issued. The disappearance of Chungwan was as valuable to Taitsong
as a great victory, and he made his final preparations for assaulting
Pekin; but either the want of supplies or the occurrence of some
disturbance in his rear prevented the execution of his plan. He drew off
his forces and retired behind the Great Wall at the very moment when Pekin
seemed at his mercy.

During four years of more or less tranquillity Taitsong confined his
attention to political designs, and to training a corps of artillery, and
then he resumed his main project of the conquest of China. Instead of
availing themselves of the lull thus afforded to improve their position,
the Chinese ministers seemed to believe that the danger from the Manchus
had passed away, and they treated all the communications from Taitsong
with imprudent and unnecessary disdain. Their attention was also
distracted by many internal troubles, produced by their own folly, as well
as by the perils of the time.

Taitsong, in 1634, resumed his operations in China, and on this occasion
he invaded the province of Shansi, at the head of an army composed largely
of Mongols as well as of Manchus. Although the people of Shansi had not
had any practical experience of Manchu prowess, and notwithstanding that
their frontier was exceedingly strong by nature, Taitsong met with little
or no resistance from either the local garrisons or the people themselves.
One Chinese governor, it is said, ventured to publish a boastful report of
an imaginary victory over the Manchus, and to send a copy of it to Pekin.
Taitsong, however, intercepted the letter, and at once sent the officer a
challenge, matching 1,000 of his men against 10,000 of the Chinese. That
the offer was not accepted is the best proof of the superiority of the
Manchu army.

It was at the close of this successful campaign in Shansi, that Taitsong,
in the year 1635, assumed, for the first time among any of the Manchu
rulers, the style of Emperor of China. Events had long been moving in this
direction, but an accident is said to have determined Taitsong to take
this final measure. The jade seal of the old Mongol rulers was suddenly
discovered, and placed in the hands of Taitsong. When the Mongols heard of
this, forty-nine of their chiefs hastened to tender their allegiance to
Taitsong and the only condition made was that the King of Corea should be
compelled to do so likewise. Taitsong, nothing loth, at once sent off
letters to the Corean court announcing the adhesion of the Mongols, and
calling upon the king of that state to recognize his supremacy. But the
Corean ruler had got wind of the contents of these letters and declined to
open them, thus hoping to get out of his difficulty without offending his
old friends the Chinese. But Taitsong was not to be put off in this
fashion. He sent an army to inflict chastisement on his neighbor, and its
mission was successfully discharged. The king and his family were taken
prisoners, although they had fled to the island of Gangwa for safety, and
Corea became a Manchu possession. The last years of Taitsong's life were
spent in conducting repeated expeditions into the provinces of Shansi and
Pechihli, but the strength of the fortresses of Ningyuen and Shanhaikwan
on the Great Wall effectually prevented his renewing his attempt on Pekin.
These two places with the minor forts of Kingchow and Songshan formed a
quadrilateral that effectually secured Pekin on its northern side, and
being intrusted to the defense of Wou Sankwei, a general of great
capacity, of whom much more will be heard, all Taitsong's ability and
resources were taxed to overcome those obstacles to his progress south of
the Great Wall. He succeeded after great loss, and at the end of several
campaigns, in taking Kingchow and Songshan, but these were his last
successes, for in the year 1643 he was seized with a fatal illness at
Moukden, which terminated his career at the comparatively early age of
fifty-two. Taitsong's premature death, due, in all probability, to the
incompetence of his physicians, cut short a career that had not reached
its prime, and retarded the conquest of China, for the supreme authority
among the Manchus then passed from a skillful and experienced ruler into
the hands of a child.

The possession of a well-trained army, the production of two great leaders
of admitted superiority, and forty years of almost continuously successful
war, had not availed to bring the authority of the Manchus in any
permanent form south of the Great Wall. The barrier of Tsin Che Hwangti
still kept out the most formidable adversary who had ever borne down upon
it, and the independence of China seemed far removed from serious
jeopardy. At this juncture events occurred that altered the whole
situation, and the internal divisions of the Chinese proved more serious
and entailed a more rapid collapse than all the efforts of the Manchus.

The arch rebel Li Tseching, who proved more formidable to the Ming ruler
than his Manchu opponent, was the son of a peasant in the province of
Shansi. At an early age he attached himself to the profession of arms, and
became well known as a skillful archer and horseman. In 1629, he first
appears on the scene as member of a band of robbers, who were, however,
destroyed by a rare display of energy on the part of one of the emperor's
lieutenants. Li was one of the few who were fortunate enough to escape
with their lives and liberty. He soon gathered round him another band, and
under his successful and courageous leading it shortly acquired the size
of an army. One reason of his success was his forming an alliance with the
Mohammedan settlers in Kansuh, who were already known as Tungani or
"Colonists." But the principal cause of his success was his skill and
promptitude in coming to terms with the imperial authorities whenever they
became too strong for him, and he often purchased a truce when, if the
officials had pushed home their advantage, he must have been destroyed.
His power thus grew to a high point, while that of other robber chiefs
only waxed to wane and disappear; and about the year 1640, when it was
said that his followers numbered half a million of men, he began to think
seriously of displacing the Ming and placing himself on the throne of
China. With this object in view he laid siege to the town of Honan, the
capital of the province of the same name. At first the resolution of the
governor baffled his attempt, but treachery succeeded when force failed. A
traitor opened a gate for a sum of money which he was never paid, and Li's
army burst into the city. The garrison was put to the sword, and horrible
outrages were perpetrated on the townspeople. From Honan Li marched on
Kaifong, which he besieged for seven days; but he did not possess the
necessary engines to attack a place of any strength, and Kaifong was
reputed to be the strongest fortress in China. He was obliged to beat a
hasty retreat, pursued by an army that the imperial authorities had
hurriedly collected. There is reason to think his retreat was a skillful
movement to the rear in order to draw the emperor's troops after him.
Certain it is that they pursued him in four separate corps, and that he
turned upon them and beat them one after the other. When he had vanquished
these armies in four separate encounters he again laid siege to Kaifong,
and it was thought that he would have taken it, when Li was wounded by an
arrow, and called off his troops in consequence. Several times afterward
he resumed the attempt, but with no better fortune, until an accident
accomplished what all his power had failed to do. The governor had among
other precautions flooded the moat from the Hoangho, and this extra
barrier of defense had undoubtedly done much toward discomfiting the
besiegers. But in the end it proved fatal to the besieged, for the
Hoangho, at all times capricious in its movements, and the source of as
much trouble as benefit to the provinces it waters, rose suddenly to the
dimensions of a flood, and overflowing its banks spread over the country.
Many of Li's soldiers were drowned, and his camp was flooded, but the most
serious loss befell the Imperialists in Kaifong. The waters of the river
swept away the walls and flooded the town. Thousands perished at the time,
and those who attempted to escape were cut down by the rebels outside.
Kaifong itself was destroyed and has never recovered its ancient
importance, being now a town of only the third or fourth rank. This great
success established the reputation of Li Tseching on a firm basis, and
constituted him one of the arbiters of his country's destiny. He found
himself master of one-third of the state; proclaimed himself Emperor of
China, under the style of Yongchang, and gave his dynasty the name of
Tachun. Having taken this step of open defiance to the Ming government, Li
invaded Shansi, which he reduced to subjection with little difficulty or
bloodshed. An officer, named Likintai, was sent to organize some measures
of defense, but, on arrival, he found the province in the hands of the
rebel, and he had no choice save to beat a discreet and rapid retreat. The
success of Li continued unchecked. Important places like Taiyuen and
Taitong surrendered to him after a merely nominal resistance, and when
they fell there was no further impediment in the way of his marching on
Pekin.

No preparations had been made to defend Pekin. The defenses were weak, the
garrison insufficient, as all the best troops were on the frontier, and
the citizens disposed to come to terms with the assailant rather than to
die in the breach for their sovereign. When Li pitched his tent outside
the western gate of the capital, and sent a haughty demand to the emperor
to abdicate his throne, he was master of the situation; but Tsongching,
ignorant of his own impotence, defied and upbraided his opponent as a
rebel. His indignation was turned to despair when he learned that the
troops had abandoned his cause, that the people were crying out for Li
Tseching, and that that leader's followers were rapidly approaching his
palace. Tsongching strangled himself with his girdle, but only one officer
was found devoted enough to share his fate. Although Tsongching had some
nominal successors, he was, strictly speaking, the last of the Ming
emperors, and with him the great dynasty founded by Hongwou came to an
end. The many disasters that preceded its fall rendered the loss of the
imperial station less of a blow to the individual, and the last of the
Ming rulers seems to have even experienced relief on reaching the term of
his anxieties. The episode of the faithful officer, Li Kweiching,
concludes the dramatic events accompanying the capture of Pekin and the
fall of the dynasty. After the death of his sovereign he attempted to
defend the capital; but overpowered by numbers he surrendered to the
victor, who offered him an honorable command in his service. Li Kweiching
accepted the offer on the stipulation that he should be allowed to give
the Emperor Tsongching honorable burial, and that the surviving members of
the Ming family should be spared. These conditions, so creditable to Li
Kweiching, were granted; but, at the funeral of his late sovereign, grief
or a spirit of duty so overcame him that he committed suicide on the grave
of Tsongching. Li Tseching, who had counted on valuable assistance from
this officer, became furious at this occurrence. He plundered and
destroyed the ancestral temple of the Mings, and he caused every member of
the imperial family on whom he could lay hands to be executed. Thus
terminated the events at Pekin in the absolute and complete triumph of the
rebel Li Tseching, and the panic produced by his success and severity
blinded observers to the hollowness of his power, and to the want of
solidity in his administration. Yet it seemed for a time as if he were
left the virtual master of China.

While the Ming power was collapsing before the onset of Li Tseching, there
still remained the large and well-trained Ming army in garrison on the
Manchu frontier, under command of the able general, Wou Sankwei. At the
eleventh hour the Emperor Tsonching had sent a message to Wou Sankwei,
begging him to come in all haste to save the capital; and that general,
evacuating Ningyuen, and leaving a small garrison at Shanhaikwan, had
begun his march for Pekin, when he learned that it had fallen and that the
Ming dynasty had ceased to be. Placed in this dilemma, between the
advancing Manchus, who immediately occupied Ningyuen on his evacuation of
it, and the large rebel force in possession of Pekin, Wou Sankwei had no
choice between coming to terms with one or other of them. Li Tseching
offered him liberal rewards and a high command, but in vain, for Wou
Sankwei decided that it would be better to invite the Manchus to enter the
country, and to assist them to conquer it. There can be no doubt that this
course was both the wiser and the more patriotic, for Li Tseching was
nothing more than a successful brigand on a large scale; whereas the
Manchu government was a respectable one, was well organized, and aspired
to revive the best traditions of the Chinese. Having come to a prompt
decision, Wou Sankwei lost no time in promptly carrying it out. He wrote a
letter to the Manchus, asking them to send an army to co-operate with his
in driving Li Tseching out of Pekin; and the Manchus, at once realizing
that the moment had arrived for conquering China, acquiesced promptly in
his plans, sent forward their advanced corps, and ordered a _levee en
masse_ of the nation for the conquest of China. Assured of his rear,
and also of speedy re-enforcement, Wou Sankwei did not delay a day in
marching on Pekin. Li Tseching sent out a portion of his army to oppose
the advance of Wou Sankwei; but the officer's instructions were rather to
negotiate than to fight, for to the last Li Tseching expected that Wou
Sankwei would come over to his side. He was already beginning to feel
doubtful as to the security of his position; and his fears were increased
by his superstition, for when, on entering Pekin, he passed under a gate
above which was written the character "joong" (middle), he exclaimed,
drawing his bow at the same time, "If I hit this joong in the middle, it
is a sign I have gained the whole empire, as the empire is joong, the
middle kingdom." His arrow missed its mark. The apprehensions of Li
Tseching were soon confirmed, for Wou Sankwei defeated the first army he
had sent out with a loss of 20,000 men. Li does not seem to have known of
the alliance between that officer and the Manchus, for he marched at the
head of 60,000 men to encounter him. He took with him the aged father of
Wou Sankwei and two Ming princes, who had survived the massacre of their
family, with a view to appealing to the affection and loyalty of that
commander; but these devices proved vain.

Wou Sankwei drew up his forces at Yungping in a strong position near the
scene of his recent victory; his front seems to have been protected by the
river Zanho, and he calmly awaited the attack of Li Tseching, whose army
far outnumbered his. Up to this point Wou Sankwei had not been joined by
any of the Manchus, but a body was known to be approaching, and he was
anxious to put off the battle until they arrived. For the same reason Li
Tseching was as anxious to begin the attack, and, notwithstanding the
strength of Wou Sankwei's position, he ordered his troops to engage
without delay. Adopting the orthodox Chinese mode of attack of forming his
army in a crescent, so that the extreme wings should overlap and gradually
encompass those of the enemy, Li trusted to his numerical superiority to
give him the victory. At one moment it seemed as if his expectation would
be justified; for, bravely as Wou Sankwei and his army fought, the weight
of numbers was telling its inevitable tale when a Manchu corps opportunely
arrived, and attacking the Chinese with great impetuosity, changed the
fortune of the day and put the army of Li Tseching to the rout. Thirty
thousand men are said to have fallen on the field, and Li himself escaped
from the carnage with only a few hundred horsemen.

After this Li met with disaster after disaster. He was driven out of
Shansi into Honan, and from Honan into Shensi. Wou Sankwei took Tunkwan
without firing a shot, and when Li attempted to defend Singan he found
that his soldiers would not obey his orders, and wished only to come to
terms with Wou Sankwei. Expelled from the last of his towns he took refuge
in the hills, but the necessity of obtaining provisions compelled him now
and then to descend into the plains, and on one of these occasions he was
surprised in a village and killed. His head was placed in triumph over the
nearest prefecture, and thus ended the most remarkable career of a
princely robber chieftain to be found in Chinese annals. At one time it
seemed as if Li Tseching would be the founder of a dynasty, but his
meteor-like career ended not less suddenly than his rise to supreme power
was rapid. Extraordinary as was his success, Wou Sankwei had rightly
gauged its nature when he declared that it had no solid basis.

The overthrow of Li Tseching paved the way for a fresh difficulty. It had
been achieved to a large extent by the military genius of Wou Sankwei and
by the exertions of his Chinese army. That officer had invited the Manchus
into the country, but when victory was achieved he showed some anxiety for
their departure. This was no part of the compact, nor did it coincide with
the ambition of the Manchus. They determined to retain the territory they
had conquered, at the same time that they endeavored to propitiate Wou
Sankwei and to retain the command of his useful services. He was given the
high sounding title of Ping-si Wang, or Prince Pacifier of the West, and
many other honors. Gratified by these rewards and unable to discover any
person who could govern China, Wou Sankwei gradually reconciled himself to
the situation and performed his duty faithfully as the most powerful
lieutenant of the young Manchu ruler, Chuntche, the son of Taitsong, who,
after the fall of Li Tseching, removed his capital to Pekin, and assumed
the style and ceremony of a Chinese emperor. The active administration was
intrusted to Prince Dorgun, brother of Taitsong, who now became known as
Ama Wang, the Father Prince, and who acted as regent during the long
minority of his nephew. The new dynasty was inaugurated at Pekin with a
grand ceremony and court.

After this formal and solemn assumption of the governing power in China by
the young Manchu prince, the activity of the Manchus increased, and
several armies were sent south to subject the provinces, and to bring the
whole Chinese race under his authority. For some time no serious
opposition was encountered, as the disruption of Li's forces entailed the
surrender of all the territory north of the Hoangho. But at Nankin, and in
the provinces south of the Yangtsekiang, an attempt had been made, and not
unsuccessfully, to set up a fresh administration under one of the members
of the prolific Ming family. Fou Wang, a grandson of Wanleh, was placed on
the Dragon Throne of Southern China in this hope, but his character did
not justify the faith reposed in him. He thought nothing of the serious
responsibility he had accepted, but showed that he regarded his high
station merely as an opportunity for gratifying his own pleasures. There
is little or no doubt that if he had shown himself worthy of his station
he might have rallied to his side the mass of the Chinese nation, and Wou
Sankwei, who had shown some signs of chafing at Manchu authority, might
have been won back by a capable and sympathetic sovereign. But
notwithstanding the ability of Fou Wang's minister, Shu Kofa, who strove
to repair the errors of his master, the new Ming power at Nankin did not
prosper. Wou Sankwei, cautious not to commit himself, rejected the patent
of a duke and the money gifts sent him by Shu Kofa, while Ama Wang, on his
side, sought to gain over Shu Kofa by making him the most lavish promises
of reward. But that minister proved as true to his sovereign as Wou
Sankwei did to the Manchu. The result of the long correspondence between
them was nil, but it showed the leaders of the Manchus in very favorable
colors, as wishing to avert the horrors of war, and to simplify the
surrender of provinces which could not be held against them. When Ama Wang
discovered that there was no hope of gaining over Shu Kofa, and thus
paving his way to the disintegration of the Nankin power, he decided to
prosecute the war against the surviving Ming administration with the
greatest activity.

While these preparations were being made to extend the Manchu conquest
over Central China, all was confusion at Nankin. Jealousies between the
commanders, none of whom possessed much merit or experience, bickerings
among the ministers, apathy on the part of the ruler, and bitter
disappointment and disgust in the ranks of the people, all combined to
precipitate the overthrow of the ephemeral throne that had been erected in
the Southern capital. Ama Wang Waited patiently to allow these causes of
disintegration time to develop their full force, and to contribute to the
ruin of the Mings, but in the winter of 1644-45 he decided that the right
moment to strike had come. Shu Kofa made some effort to oppose the Manchu
armies, and even assumed the command in person, although he was only a
civilian, but his troops had no heart to oppose the Manchus, and the
devices to which he resorted to make his military power appear more
formidable were both puerile and ineffective. Yet one passage may be
quoted to his credit if it gave his opponent an advantage. It is affirmed
on good authority that he could have obtained a material advantage if he
would only have flooded the country, but he "refused to do so, on the
ground that more civilians would perish than Manchus, and he said, 'First
the people, next the dynasty.'" The sentiment was a noble one, but it was
too severe a crisis to admit of any sentiment, especially when fighting an
up-hill battle, and Shu Kofa, soon realizing that he was not qualified to
play the part of a great soldier, resolved to end his existence. He took
shelter with a small force in the town of Yangchow, and when he heard that
the Manchus were entering the gate, he and his officers committed suicide.
The Chinese lamented and were crushed by his death. In him they saw the
last of their great men, and, no doubt, they credited him with a higher
capacity even than he possessed. Only a military genius of the first rank
could have saved the Mings, and Shu Kofa was nothing more than a
conscientious and capable civil mandarin, ignorant of war. His fortitude
could only be measured by his indifference to life, and by his resolve to
anticipate the fall of his sovereign as soon as he saw it to be
inevitable.

Fou Wang speedily followed the fate of his faithful minister; for, when
the Manchus marched on Nankin, he abandoned his capital, and sought safety
in flight. But one of his officers, anxious to make favorable terms for
himself with the conqueror, undertook his capture, and coming up with him
when on the point of entering a junk to put to sea, Fou Wang had no
alternative left between an ignominious surrender and suicide. He chose
the latter course, and throwing himself into the river was drowned, thus
ending his own career, and the Ming dynasty in its southern capital of
Nankin.

Meantime dissension further weakened the already discouraged Chinese
forces. The pirate Ching Chelong, who was the mainstay of the Ming cause,
cherished the hope that he might place his own family on the throne, and
he endeavored to induce the Ming prince to recognize his son, Koshinga, as
his heir. Low as he had fallen, it is to the credit of this prince that he
refused to sign away the birth-right of his family. Ching was bitterly
chagrined at this refusal, and after detaching his forces from the other
Chinese he at last came to the resolution to throw in his lot with the
Manchus. He was promised honorable terms, but the Tartars seem to have had
no intention of complying with them, so far at least as allowing him to
retain his liberty. For they sent him off to Pekin, where he was kept in
honorable confinement, notwithstanding his protests and promises, and the
defiant threats of his son Koshinga. In preserving his life he was more
fortunate than the members of the Ming family, who were hunted down in a
remorseless manner and executed with all their relations on capture. The
only place that offered any resistance to the Manchus was the town of
Kanchow, on the Kan River, in Kiangsi. The garrison defended themselves
with desperate valor during two months, and a council of war was held amid
much anxiety, to consider whether the siege should be abandoned. Bold
counsels prevailed. The Manchus returned to the attack, and had the
satisfaction of carrying the town by assault, when the garrison were put
to the sword.

The relics of the Chinese armies gathered for a final stand in the city of
Canton, but unfortunately for them the leaders were still divided by petty
jealousies. One Ming prince proclaimed himself Emperor at Canton, and
another in the adjoining province of Kwangsi. Although the Manchus were
gathering their forces to overwhelm the Chinese in their last retreat,
they could not lay aside their divisions and petty ambitions in order to
combine against the national enemy, but must needs assail one another to
decide which should have the empty title of Ming emperor. The Manchus had
the satisfaction of seeing the two rivals break their strength against
each other, and then they advanced to crush the victor at Canton. Strong
as the place was said to be, it offered no serious resistance, and the
great commercial city of the south passed into the hands of the race who
had subdued the whole country from Pekin to the Tonquin frontier. At this
moment the fortune of the Manchus underwent a sudden and inexplicable
change. Two repulses before a fortress southwest of Canton, and the
disaffection of a large part of their Chinese auxiliaries, who clamored
for their pay, seem to have broken the strength of the advanced Manchu
army. A wave of national antipathy drove the Tartars out of Canton and the
southern provinces, but it soon broke its force, and the Manchus,
returning with fresh troops, speedily recovered all they had lost, and by
placing stronger garrisons in the places they occupied consolidated their
hold on Southern China. Although the struggle between the Manchus and
their new subjects was far from concluded, the conquest of China as such
may be said to have reached its end at this stage. How a small Tartar
tribe succeeded after fifty years of war in imposing its yoke on the
skeptical, freedom-loving, and intensely national millions of China will
always remain one of the enigmas of history.



CHAPTER X

THE FIRST MANCHU RULER


While the Manchu generals and armies were establishing their power in
Southern China the young Emperor Chuntche, under the direction of his
prudent uncle, the regent Ama Wang, was setting up at Pekin the central
power of a ruling dynasty. In doing so little or no opposition was
experienced at the hands of the Chinese, who showed that they longed once
more for a settled government; and this acquiescence on the part of the
Chinese people in their authority no doubt induced the Manchu leaders to
adopt a far more conciliatory and lenient policy toward the Chinese than
would otherwise have been the case. Ama Wang gave special orders that the
lives and property of all who surrendered to his lieutenants should be
scrupulously respected. This moderation was only departed from in the case
of some rebels in Shensi, who, after accepting, repudiated the Manchu
authority, and laid close siege to the chief town of Singan, which held a
garrison of only 3,000 Manchus. The commandant wished to make his position
secure by massacring the Chinese of the town, but he was deterred from
taking this extreme step by the representations of a Chinese officer, who,
binding himself for the good faith of his countrymen, induced him to
enroll them in the ranks of the garrison. They proved faithful and
rendered excellent service in the siege; and when a relieving Manchu army
came from Pekin the rebels were quickly scattered and pursued with
unflagging bitterness to their remotest hiding places.

In the province of Szchuen a Chinese leader proclaimed himself Si Wang, or
King of the West. He was execrated by those who were nominally his
subjects. Among the most heinous of his crimes was his invitation to
literary men to come to his capital for employment, and when they had
assembled to the number of 30,000, to order them to be massacred. He dealt
in a similar manner with 3,000 of his courtiers, because one of them
happened to omit a portion of his full titles. His excesses culminated in
the massacre of Chentu, when 600,000 innocent persons are said to have
perished. Even allowing for the Eastern exaggeration of numbers, the
crimes of this inhuman monster have rarely, if ever, been surpassed. His
rage or appetite for destruction was not appeased by human sacrifices. He
made equal war on the objects of nature and the works of man. He destroyed
cities, leveled forests, and overthrew all the public monuments that
embellished his province. In the midst of his excesses he was told that a
Manchu army had crossed the frontier, but he resolved to crown his inhuman
career by a deed unparalleled in the records of history, and, what is more
extraordinary, he succeeded in inducing his followers to execute his
commands. His project was to massacre all the women in attendance on his
army.

When the assembly took place Si Wang slew his wives _coram populo_, and
his followers, seized with an extreme frenzy, followed his example. It
is said that as many as 400,000 women were slain that day, and Si Wang,
intoxicated by his success in inducing his followers to execute his
inhuman behests, believed that he had nothing to fear at the hands of the
Manchus. But he was soon undeceived, for in one of the earliest affairs at
the outposts he was killed by an arrow. His power at once crumbled away,
and Szchuen passed under the authority of the Manchus. The conquest of
Szchuen paved the way for the recovery of the position that had been lost
in Southern China, and close siege was laid to the city of Canton. Outside
Canton the Manchus carried everything before them, and that city itself at
last was captured, after what passed for a stubborn resistance. Canton was
given over to pillage.

At this moment of success Ama Wang, the wise regent, died, and Chuntche
assumed the reins of government. He at once devoted his attention to
administrative reforms. Corruption had begun to sway the public
examinations, and Chuntche issued a special edict, enjoining the examiners
to give fair awards and to maintain the purity of the service. But several
examiners had to be executed and others banished beyond the Wall before
matters were placed on a satisfactory basis. He also adopted the
astronomical system in force in Europe, and he appointed the priest Adam
Schaal head of the Mathematical Board at Pekin. But his most important
work was the institution of the Grand Council, which still exists, and
which is the supreme power under the emperor in the country. It is
composed of only four members--two Manchus and two Chinese--who alone
possess the privilege of personal audience with the emperor whenever they
may demand it. As this act gave the Chinese an equal place with the
Manchus in the highest body of the empire it was exceedingly welcome, and
explains, among other causes, the popularity and stability of the Manchu
dynasty. When allotting Chuntche his place among the founders of Manchu
greatness, allowance must be made for this wise and far-reaching measure.

An interesting event in the reign of Chuntche was the arrival at Pekin of
more than one embassy from European States. The Dutch and the Russians can
equally claim the honor of having had an envoy resident in the Chinese
capital during the year 1656.

In 1661 the health of Chuntche became so bad that it was evident to his
courtiers that his end was drawing near, although he was little more than
thirty years of age. On his deathbed he selected as his successor the
second of his sons, who afterward became famous as the Emperor Kanghi.
Kanghi assumed the personal direction of affairs when only fourteen years
of age. Such a bold step undoubtedly betokened no ordinary vigor on the
part of a youth, and its complete success reflected still further credit
upon him.

The interest of the period passes from the scenes at court to the camp of
Wou Sankwei, who, twenty years earlier, had introduced the Manchus into
China. During the Manchu campaign in Southern China he had kept peace on
the western frontier, gradually extending his authority from Shensi into
Szchuen and thence over Yunnan. When a Ming prince, Kwei Wang, who had
fled into Burmah, returned with the support of the king of that country to
make another bid for the throne, he found himself confronted by all the
power and resources of Wou Sankwei, who was still as loyal a servant of
the Manchu emperor as when he carried his ensigns against Li Tseching.
Kwei Wang does not appear to have expected opposition from Wou Sankwei,
and in the first encounter he was overthrown and taken prisoner. The
conqueror, who was already under suspicion at the Manchu court, and whom
every Chinese rebel persisted in regarding as a natural ally, now
hesitated as to how he should treat these important prisoners. Kwei Wang
and his son--the last of the Mings--were eventually led forth to
execution, although it should be stated that a less authentic report
affirms they were allowed to strangle themselves. Having made use of Wou
Sankwei, and obtained, as they thought, the full value of his services,
the Manchus sought to treat him with indifference and to throw him into
the shade. But the splendor of his work was such that they had to confer
on him the title of Prince, and to make him viceroy of Yunnan and the
adjacent territories. He exerted such an extraordinary influence over the
Chinese subjects that they speedily settled down under his authority;
revenue and trade increased, and the Manchu authority was maintained
without a Tartar garrison, for Wou Sankwei's army was composed exclusively
of Chinese, and its nucleus was formed by his old garrison of Ningyuen and
Shanhaikwan. There is no certain reason for saying that Wou Sankwei nursed
any scheme of personal aggrandizement, but the measures he took and the
reforms he instituted were calculated to make his authority become
gradually independent of Manchu control. For a time the Manchu government
suppressed its apprehensions on account of this powerful satrap, by the
argument that in a few years his death in the course of nature must
relieve it from this peril, but Wou Sankwei lived on and showed no signs
of paying the common debt of humanity. Then it seemed to Kanghi that Wou
Sankwei was gradually establishing the solid foundation of a formidable
and independent power. The Manchu generals and ministers had always been
jealous of the greater fame of Wou Sankwei. When they saw that Kanghi
wanted an excuse to fall foul of him, they carried every tale of alleged
self-assertion on the part of the Chinese viceroy to the imperial ears,
and represented that his power dwarfed the dignity of the Manchu throne
and threatened its stability.

At last Kanghi resolved to take some decisive step to bring the question
to a climax, and he accordingly sent Wou Sankwei an invitation to visit
him at Pekin. Wou Sankwei excused himself from going to court on the
ground that he was very old, and that his only wish was to end his days in
peace. He also deputed his son to tender his allegiance to the emperor and
to perform the Kotao in his name. But Kanghi was not to be put off in this
way, and he sent two trusted officials to Wou Sankwei to represent that he
must comply with the exact terms of his command, and to point out the
grave consequences of his refusing. Wou Sankwei cast off his allegiance to
the Manchus, and entered upon a war which aimed at the subversion of their
authority. Such was the reputation of this great commander, to whose
ability and military prowess the Manchus unquestionably were indebted for
their conquest of the empire, that a large part of Southern China at once
admitted his authority, and from Szchuen to the warlike province of Hunan
his lieutenants were able to collect all the fighting resources of the
state, and to array the levies of those provinces in the field for the
approaching contest with Kanghi.

While Wou Sankwei was making these extensive preparations in the south,
his son at Pekin had devised an ingenious and daring plot for the massacre
of the Manchus and the destruction of the dynasty. He engaged in his
scheme the large body of Chinese slaves who had been placed in servitude
under their Tartar conquerors, and these, incited by the hope of liberty,
proved very ready tools to his designs. They bound themselves together by
a solemn oath to be true to one another, and all the preparations were
made to massacre the Manchus on the occasion of the New Year's Festival.
This is the grand religious and social ceremony of the Chinese. It takes
place on the first day of the first moon, which falls in our month of
February. All business is stopped, the tribunals are closed for ten days,
and a state of high festival resembling the Carnival prevails. The
conspirators resolved to take advantage of this public holiday, and of the
excitement accompanying it, to carry out their scheme, and the Manchus
appear to have been in total ignorance until the eleventh hour of the plot
for their destruction. The discovery of the conspiracy bears a close
resemblance to that of the Gunpowder Plot. A Chinese slave, wishing to
save his master, gave him notice of the danger, and this Manchu officer at
once informed Kanghi of the conspiracy. The son of Wou Sankwei and the
other conspirators were immediately arrested and executed without delay.
The Manchus thus escaped by the merest accident from a danger which
threatened them with annihilation, and Kanghi, having succeeded in getting
rid of the son, concentrated his power and attention on the more difficult
task of grappling with the father.

But the power and reputation of Wou Sankwei were so formidable that Kanghi
resolved to proceed with great caution, and the emperor began his measures
of offense by issuing an edict ordering the disbandment of all the native
armies maintained by the Chinese viceroys, besides Wou Sankwei. The object
of this edict was to make all the governors of Chinese race show their
hands, and Kanghi learned the full measure of the hostility he had to cope
with by every governor from the sea coast of Fuhkien to Canton defying
him, and throwing in their lot with Wou Sankwei. The piratical confederacy
of Formosa, where Ching, the son of Koshinga, had succeeded to his
authority, also joined in with what may be called the national party, but
its alliance proved of little value, as Ching, at an early period, took
umbrage at his reception by a Chinese official, and returned to his island
home. But the most formidable danger to the young Manchu ruler came from
an unexpected quarter. The Mongols, seeing his embarrassment, and
believing that the hours of the dynasty were numbered, resolved to take
advantage of the occasion to push their claims. Satchar, chief of one of
the Banners, issued a proclamation, calling his race to his side, and
declaring his intention to invade China at the head of 100,000 men. It
seemed hardly possible for Kanghi to extricate himself from his many
dangers. With great quickness of perception Kanghi saw that the most
pressing danger was that from the Mongols, and he sent the whole of his
northern garrisons to attack Satchar before the Mongol clans could have
gathered to his assistance. The Manchu cavalry, by a rapid march,
surprised Satchar in his camp and carried him and his family off as
prisoners to Pekin. The capture of their chief discouraged the Mongols and
interrupted their plans for invading China. Kanghi thus obtained a respite
from what seemed his greatest peril. Then he turned his attention to
dealing with Wou Sankwei, and the first effort of his armies resulted in
the recovery of Fuhkien, where the governor and Ching had reduced
themselves to a state of exhaustion by a contest inspired by personal
jealousy not patriotism. From Fuhkien his successful lieutenants passed
into Kwantung, and the Chinese, seeing that the Manchus were not sunk as
low as had been thought, abandoned all resistance, and again recognized
the Tartar authority. The Manchus did not dare to punish the rebels except
in rare instances, and, therefore, the recovery of Canton was
unaccompanied by any scenes of blood. But a garrison of Manchus was placed
in each town of importance, and it was by Kanghi's order that a walled
town, or "Tartar city," was built within each city for the accommodation
and security of the dominant race.

But notwithstanding these successes Kanghi made little or no progress
against the main force of Wou Sankwei, whose supremacy was undisputed
throughout the whole of southwest China. It was not until 1677 that Kanghi
ventured to move his armies against Wou Sankwei in person. Although he
obtained no signal success in the field, the divisions among the Chinese
commanders were such that he had the satisfaction of compelling them to
evacuate Hunan, and when Wou Sankwei took his first step backward the sun
of his fortunes began to set. Calamity rapidly followed calamity. Wou
Sankwei had not known the meaning of defeat in his long career of fifty
years, but now, in his old age, he saw his affairs in inextricable
confusion. His adherents deserted him, many rebel officers sought to come
to terms with the Manchus, and Kanghi's armies gradually converged on Wou
Sankwei from the east and the north. Driven out of Szchuen, Wou Sankwei
endeavored to make a stand in Yunnan. He certainly succeeded in prolonging
the struggle down to the year 1679, when his death put a sudden end to the
contest, and relieved Kanghi from much anxiety; for although the success
of the Manchus was no longer uncertain, the military skill of the old
Chinese warrior might have indefinitely prolonged the war. Wou Sankwei was
one of the most conspicuous and attractive figures to be met with in the
long course of Chinese history, and his career covered one of the most
critical periods in the modern existence of that empire. From the time of
his first distinguishing himself in the defense of Ningyuen until he died,
half a century later, as Prince of Yunnan, he occupied the very foremost
place in the minds of his fellow-countrymen. The part he had taken, first
in keeping out the Manchus, and then in introducing them into the state,
reflected equal credit on his ability and his patriotism. In requesting
the Manchus to crush the robber Li and to take the throne which the fall
of the Mings had rendered vacant, he was actuated by the purest motives.
There was only a choice of evils, and he selected that which seemed the
less. He gave the empire to a foreign ruler of intelligence, but he saved
it from an unscrupulous robber. He played the part of king-maker to the
family of Noorhachu, and the magnitude of their obligations to him could
not be denied. They were not as grateful as he may have expected, and they
looked askance at his military power and influence over his countrymen.
Probably he felt that he had not been well treated, and chagrin
undoubtedly induced him to reject Kanghi's request to proceed to Pekin. If
he had only acceeded to that arrangement he would have left a name for
conspicuous loyalty and political consistency in the service of the great
race, which he had been mainly instrumental in placing over China. But
even as events turned out he was one of the most remarkable personages the
Chinese race ever produced, and his military career shows that they are
capable of producing great generals and brave soldiers.

The death of Wou Sankwei signified the overthrow of the Chinese uprising
which had threatened to extinguish the still growing power of the Manchu
under its youthful Emperor Kanghi. Wou Shufan, the grandson of that
prince, endeavored to carry on the task of holding Yunnan as an
independent territory, but by the year 1681 his possessions were reduced
to the town of Yunnanfoo, where he was closely besieged by the Manchu
forces. Although the Chinese fought valiantly, they were soon reduced to
extremities, and the Manchus carried the place by storm. The garrison were
massacred to the last man, and Wou Shufan only avoided a worse fate by
committing suicide. The Manchus, not satisfied with his death, sent his
head to Pekin to be placed on its principal gate in triumph, and the body
of Wou Sankwei himself was exhumed so that his ashes might be scattered in
each of the eighteen provinces of China as a warning to traitors. Having
crushed their most redoubtable antagonist, the Manchus resorted to more
severe measures against those who had surrendered in Fuhkien and Kwantung,
and many insurgent chiefs who had surrendered, and enjoyed a brief
respite, ended their lives under the knife of the executioner. The Manchu
soldiers are said to have been given spoil to the extent of nearly ten
million dollars, and the war which witnessed the final assertion of Manchu
power over the Chinese was essentially popular with the soldiers who
carried it on to a victorious conclusion. A very short time after the
final overthrow of Wou Sankwei and his family, the Chinese regime in
Formosa was brought to an end. Kanghi, having collected a fleet, and
concluded a convention with the Dutch, determined on the invasion and
conquest of Formosa. In the midst of these preparations Ching, the son of
Koshinga, died, and no doubt the plans of Kanghi were facilitated by the
confusion that followed. The Manchu fleet seized Ponghu, the principal
island of the Pescadore group, and thence the Manchus threw a force into
Formosa. It is said that they were helped by a high tide, and by the
superstition of the islanders, who exclaimed, "The first Wang (Koshinga)
got possession of Taiwan by a high tide. The fleet now comes in the same
manner. It is the will of Heaven." Formosa accepted the supremacy of the
Manchus without further ado. Those of the islanders who had ever
recognized the authority of any government, accepted that of the Emperor
Kanghi, shaved their heads in token of submission, and became so far as in
them lay respectable citizens.

The overthrow of Wou Sankwei and the conquest of Formosa completed what
may be called the pacification of China by the Manchus. From that period
to the Taeping Rebellion, or for nearly 200 years, there was no internal
insurrection on a large scale. On the whole the Manchus stained their
conclusive triumph by few excesses, and Kanghi's moderation was scarcely
inferior to that of his father, Chuntche. The family of Wou Sankwei seems
to have been rooted out more for the personal attempt of the son at Pekin
than for the bold ambition of the potentate himself. The family of
Koshinga was spared, and its principal representative received the patent
of an earl. Thus, by a policy judiciously combined of severity and
moderation, did Kanghi make himself supreme, and complete the work of his
race. Whatever troubles may have beset the government in the last 220
years, it will be justifiable to speak of the Manchus and the Tatsing
dynasty as the legitimate authorities in China, and, instead of foreign
adventurers, as the national and recognized rulers of the Middle Kingdom.



CHAPTER XI

THE EMPEROR KANGHI


Among the Mongol tribes the noblest at this period were the Khalkas. They
prided themselves on being the descendants of the House of Genghis, the
representatives of the special clan of the great conqueror, and the
occupants of the original home in the valleys of the Onon and Kerulon.
Although their military power was slight, the name of the Khalka princes
stood high among the Mongol tribes, and they exercised an influence far in
excess of their numbers or capacity as a fighting force. Kanghi determined
to establish friendly relations with this clan, and by the dispatch of
friendly letters and costly presents lie succeeded in inducing the Khalka
chiefs to enter into formal alliance with himself, and to conclude a
treaty of amity with China, which, be it noted, they faithfully observed.
Kanghi's efforts in this direction, which may have been dictated by
apprehension at the movements of his new neighbors, the Russians, were
thus crowned with success, and the adhesion of the Khalkas signified that
the great majority of the Mongols would thenceforth abstain from acts of
unprovoked aggression on the Chinese frontier. But the advance of China
and her influence, even in the form of paying homage to the emperor as the
Bogdo Khan, or the Celestial Ruler, so far west as the upper course of the
Amour, involved the Pekin Government in fresh complications by bringing it
into contact with tribes and peoples of whom it had no cognizance. Beyond
the Khalkas were the Eleuths, supreme in Ili and Kashgaria, and divided
into four hordes, who obeyed as many chiefs. They had had some relations
with the Khalkas, but of China they knew nothing more than the greatness
of her name. When the surrender of the Khalka princes became known the
Eleuth chiefs held a grand assembly or kuriltai, and at this it was
finally, and, indeed, ostentatiously, decided not to yield Kanghi his
demands. Important as this decision was, it derived increased weight from
the character of the man who was mainly instrumental in inducing the
Eleuths to take it.

Much has been written of the desert chiefs from Yenta to Yakoob Beg, but
none of these showed greater ability or attained more conspicuous success
than Galdan, who strained the power of China, and fought for many years on
equal terms with the Emperor Kanghi. Galdan determined that the easiest
and most advantageous beginning for his enterprise would be to attack his
neighbors the Khalkas, who, by accepting Kanghi's offers, had made
themselves the advanced guard of China in Central Asia. He began a
systematic encroachment into their lands in the year 1679, but at the same
time he resorted to every device to screen his movements from the Chinese
court, and such was the delay in receiving intelligence, and the ignorance
of the situation beyond the border, that in the very year of his beginning
to attack the Khalkas, his envoy at Pekin received a flattering reception
at the hands of Kanghi, still hopeful of a peaceful settlement, and
returned with the seal and patent of a Khan. Events had not reached a
state of open hostility three years later, when Kanghi sent special envoys
to the camp of Galdan, as well as to the Khalkas. They were instructed to
promise and pay much, but to rest content with nothing short of the formal
acceptance by all the chiefs of the supremacy of China. Galdan, bound by
the laws of hospitality, nowhere more sacred than in the East, gave them
an honorable reception, and lavished upon them the poor resources he
commanded. In hyperbolic terms he declared that the arrival of an embassy
from the rich and powerful Chinese emperor in his poor State would be
handed down as the most glorious event of his reign. But he refused to
make any tender of allegiance, or to subscribe himself as a Chinese
vassal. The dissensions among the Khalka princes assisted the development
of Galdan's ambition, and added to the anxiety of the Chinese ruler.
Kanghi admonished them to heal their differences and to abstain from an
internecine strife, which would only facilitate their conquest by Galdan,
and he succeeded so far that he induced them to swear a peace among
themselves before an image of Buddha.

At this juncture the Chinese came into collision with the Russians on the
Amour. The Russians had built a fort at Albazin, on the upper course of
that river, and the Chinese army located in the Khalka country,
considering its proximity a menace to their own security, attacked it in
overwhelming force. Albazin was taken, and those of the garrison who fell
into the hands of the Chinese were carried off to Pekin, where their
descendants still reside as a distinct Russian colony. But when the
Chinese evacuated Albazin the Russians returned there with characteristic
obstinacy, and Kanghi, becoming anxious at the increasing activity of
Galdan, accepted the overtures of the Russian authorities in Siberia, who,
in 1688, sent the son of the Governor-general of Eastern Siberia to Pekin
to negotiate a peace. After twelve months' negotiation, protracted by the
outbreak of war with Galdan, the Treaty of Nerchinsk, the first concluded
between China and any European power, was signed, and the brief and only
war between Russia and China was thus brought to a speedy and satisfactory
termination. The Russians agreed to the destruction of Fort Albazin, but
they were allowed to build another at Nerchinsk.

There is reason to believe that Galdan thought that he might derive some
advantage from the complications with Russia, for his military movements
were hastened when he heard that the two powers were embroiled on the
Amour, and he proclaimed his intention of invading the Khalka region,
because some of their people had murdered his kinsmen. Galdan endeavored
to conclude an alliance with the Russians, who sent an officer to his
camp; but they soon came to the determination that it would be more
advantageous to keep on friendly terms with the Chinese than to embark on
a hazardous adventure with the chief of an Asiatic horde. The mere rumor
of a possible alliance between Galdan and the Russians roused Kanghi to
increased activity, and all the picked troops of the Eight Manchu Banners,
the Forty-nine Mongol Banners, and the Chinese auxiliaries, were
dispatched across the steppe to bring the Napoleon of Central Asia to
reason. In face of this formidable danger Galdan showed undiminished
courage and energy. Realizing the peril of inaction, he did not hesitate
to assume the offensive, and the war began with a victory he gained over a
general named Horni, within the limits of Chinese territory. The moral of
this success was that it showed that Kanghi had not decided a moment too
soon in resorting to extreme measures against the ambitious potentate who
found the Gobi Desert and the surrounding region too circumscribed for his
ambition.

Kanghi intrusted the chief command of his armies to his brother, Yu Tsing
Wang, who justified his appointment by bringing the Eleuth forces speedily
to an engagement, and by gaming a more or less decisive victory over them
at Oulan Poutong. The loss was considerable on both sides, among the
imperial officers killed being an uncle of the emperor; but Galdan's
forces suffered a great deal more during the retreat than they had done in
the action. After this disaster Galdan signed a treaty with the Chinese
commander, Yu Tsing Wang. At first he attempted to gain an advantage by
excluding his personal enemies, the Khalkas, from it, but the Chinese were
not to be entrapped into any such arrangement, and, standing up for their
dependents, the provisions of the treaty provided equally for their safety
and for the acceptance by Galdan of the supremacy of China. This new
arrangement or treaty was concluded in 1690, but Kanghi himself seems to
have placed no great faith in the sincerity of Galdan, and to have
regarded it merely as a truce. This view was soon found to be correct, for
neither side laid aside their arms, and the unusual vigilance of the
Chinese gave Galdan additional cause for umbrage. Kanghi showed that he
was resolved not to let the terms, to which Galdan had subscribed, become
a dead letter. He summoned a great assemblage of the Khalka tribes on the
plain of Dolonor--the Seven Springs near Changtu--and he attended it in
person, bestowing gifts and titles with a lavish hand. Kanghi was thus
able to convince himself that, so far as the Mongol tribes were concerned,
he might count on their loyalty and support. He then began to establish an
understanding with Tse Wang Rabdan, and thus obtain an ally in the rear of
Galdan. This latter circumstance was the direct cause of the second war
with Galdan, for Kanghi's embassador was waylaid and murdered in the
neighborhood of Hami. The outrage for which, whether he inspired it or
not, Galdan was held blameworthy, aroused the strongest resentment and
anger of Kanghi.

Kanghi made extraordinary preparations for the campaign. He placed four
armies in the field numbering about 150,000 combatants, and it has been
computed that, with non-combatants, the total of men employed did not fall
short of a million. The first of these armies numbered 35,600 men, and was
intrusted to Feyanku, the Ney of the Manchu army. Kanghi took personal
command of the second, and its strength is given at 37,700 men; and the
third army, 35,400 men, was placed under the orders of Sapsu. The fourth,
of unstated but greatest numerical strength, acted as the reserve force
for the others, and did not, properly speaking, come into action at all.
In order to render the war popular Kanghi offered special pay to the
soldiers, and undertook to provide for the widows and orphans of those
slain. At the same time Kanghi neglected no precaution to insure the
success of his arms. He provided cotton armor which was proof to the
bullet for his cavalry and part of his infantry, and he organized a corps
of artillerists mounted on camels, which also carried the light pieces,
and rendered good service as "flying artillery." Before setting out for
the campaign, the emperor reviewed his army, and he chose for the occasion
the date of the popular Feast of Lanterns, when all China takes a holiday.
After the inspection of the numerous and well equipped army an impressive
ceremony took place. Feyanku approached his sovereign, and received at his
hands a cup of wine, which the general took while on his knees, and which,
on descending from the steps of the throne, he quaffed in full view of the
spectators. Each of his assistant generals and the subordinate officers in
groups of ten went through the same ceremony, and the ruin of Galdan was
anticipated in the libations of his conquerors. While Feyanku marched to
encounter Galdan wherever he should find him, the ministers and courtiers
at Pekin made a strenuous effort to prevent Kanghi taking the field in
person, expatiating on the dangers of a war in the desert, and of the loss
to the empire if anything happened to him. But Kanghi, while thanking them
for their solicitude, was not to be deterred from his purpose. He led his
army by a parallel route to that pursued by Feyanku across the Gobi Desert
to Kobdo, where Galdan had established his headquarters. The details of
the march are fully described by the Roman Catholic priest, Gerbillon, in
his interesting narrative. They reveal the difficulties of the enterprise
as well as its success. Some detachments of the Chinese army were
compelled to beat a retreat, but the main body succeeded in making its way
to the valley of the Kerulon, where some supplies could be obtained.
Feyanku's corps, when it reached the neighborhood of the modern Ourga, was
reduced to an effective strength of 10,000 men, and of Sapsu's army only
2,000 ever reached the scene of operations, and they formed a junction
with the force under Feyanku. But Galdan did not possess the military
strength to take any advantage of the enfeebled state in which the Chinese
armies reached his neighborhood. He abandoned camp after camp, and sought
to make good his position by establishing an empty alliance with the
Russians in Siberia, from whom he asked 60,000 troops to consummate the
conquest of China. Such visionary projects as this provided a poor defense
against the active operations of a Chinese army in his own country. In a
fit bordering on desperation Galdan suddenly determined to risk an attack
on the camp of Feyanku at Chowmodo. That general, less fortunate than his
sovereign, had been reduced to the verge of distress by the exhaustion of
his supplies, and was even meditating a retreat back to China, when the
action of Galdan relieved him from his dilemma. The exact course of the
battle at Chowmodo is not described in any authentic document. During
three hours Feyanku stood on the defensive, but when he gave the order for
attack, the Eleuths broke in confusion before the charge of his cavalry.
Two thousand of their best warriors were slain, their organization was
shattered, and Galdan became a fugitive in the region where he had posed
as undisputed master. This victory undoubtedly relieved the Chinese from
serious embarrassment, and Kanghi felt able to return to Pekin, leaving
the further conduct of the war and the pursuit of Galdan in the hands of
Feyanku. Formidable enemy as Galdan had proved himself, the defeat at
Chowmodo put an end to his career, and destroyed all his schemes of
greatness. The Chinese pursued him with great persistence, and at last he
died in 1697, either of his deprivations or by the act of his own hand.
With Galdan disappeared one of the most remarkable of the desert chiefs;
but, although Kanghi flattered himself that such would be the case, peace
did not settle down on Central Asia as the consequence of the death of his
active and enterprising antagonist. The Chinese armies were recalled for
this occasion, and the only force left on the remote frontier was a small
one under the command of the gallant Feyanku.

The overthrow and death of Galdan brought Tse Wang Rabdan into direct
contact with the Chinese. He had from his hostile relations with Galdan--
the murderer of his father Tsenka--acted as the ally of Kanghi, but when
he became the chief of the Eleuths on the death of his uncle, his ideas
underwent a change, and he thought more of his dignity and independence.
No rupture might have taken place, but that the Chinese, in their
implacable resolve to exterminate the family of their enemy Galdan,
demanded from Tse Wang Rabdan not only the bones of that chieftain, but
also the persons of his son and daughter, who had taken refuge with him.
Tse Wang Rabdan resented both the demand itself and the language in which
it was expressed. He evaded the requests sent by Feyanku, and he addressed
a letter of remonstrance to Kanghi, in the course of which he said, "The
war being now concluded, past injuries ought to be buried in oblivion.
Pity should be shown to the vanquished, and it would be barbarous to think
of nothing but of how to overwhelm them. It is the first law inspired by
humanity, and one which custom has consecrated from the earliest period
among us who are Eleuths." Kanghi, undeterred by this homily, continued to
press his demand, and sent several missions to the Eleuth camp to obtain
the surrender of Galdan's remains and relations. His pertinacity was at
last rewarded, and the bones of his old opponent were surrendered to be
scattered as those of a traitor throughout China, and his son was sent to
Pekin, where, however, he received an honorable appointment in lieu of
being handed over to the public executioner. Although Tse Wang Rabdan at
last conceded to Kanghi what he demanded, his general action soon marked
him out as the antagonist of the Chinese in Central Asia. He first
vanquished in battle, and then established an alliance with the Kirghiz,
and thus his military forces were recruited from the whole of the vast
territory from Hami on the east to Khokand on the west.

The main object of his policy was to assert his influence and authority in
Tibet, and to make the ruling lama at Lhasa accept whatever course he
might dictate for him. Galdan had at one time entertained the same idea;
but probably because he had not as good means of access into the country
as Tse Wang Rabdan had, on account of his possession of Khoten, it lay
dormant until it was dispelled by the rupture after his adoption of
Mohammedanism. Up to this time China had been content with a very shadowy
hold on Tibet, and she had no resident representative at Lhasa. But
Kanghi, convinced of the importance of maintaining his supremacy in Tibet,
took energetic measures to counteract the Eleuth intrigues, and for a time
there was a keen diplomatic struggle between the contending potentates.
From an early period the supremacy in the Tibetan administration had been
disputed between two different classes, the one which represented the
military body making use of religious matters to forward its designs, the
other being an order of priests supported by the unquestioning faith and
confidence of the mass of the people. The former became known as Red Caps
and the latter as Yellow Caps. The rivalry between these classes had been
keen before, and was still bitterly contested when Chuntche first asconded
the throne; but victory had finally inclined to the side of the Yellow
Caps before the fall of Galdan. The Dalai Lama was their great spiritual
head, and his triumph had been assisted by the intervention and influence
of the Manchu emperor. The Red Caps were driven out of the country into
Bhutan, where they still hold sway. After this success a new functionary,
with both civil and military authority, was appointed to carry on the
administration, under the orders of the Dalai Lama, who was supposed to be
lost in his spiritual speculations and religious devotions. This
functionary received the name of the Tipa, and, encouraged by the little
control exercised over his acts, he soon began to carry on intrigues for
the elevation of his own power at the expense of that of his priestly
superiors. The ambition of one Tipa led to his fall and execution, but the
offense was attributed to the individual, and a new one was appointed.
This second Tipa was the reputed son of a Dalai Lama, and when his father
died in 1682 he kept the fact of his death secret, giving out that he had
only retired into the recesses of the palace, and ruled the state in his
name for the space of sixteen years. The Tipa well knew that he could not
hope to obtain the approval of Kanghi for what he had done, and he had
made overtures to the princes of Jungaria for protection, whenever he
might require it, against the Chinese emperor. At last the truth was
divulged, and Kanghi was most indignant at having been duped, and
threatened to send an army to punish the Tipa for his crime. Then the Tipa
selected a new Dalai Lama, and endeavored to appease Kanghi, but his
choice proved unfortunate because it did not satisfy the Tibetans. His own
general, Latsan Khan, made himself the executor of public opinion. The
Tipa was slain with most of his supporters, and the boy Dalai Lama shared
the same fate. These occurrences did not insure the tranquillity of the
state, for when another Dalai Lama was found, the selection was not
agreeable to Latsan Khan, and his friends had to convey the youth for
safety to Sining, in China.

It was at this moment that Tse Wang Rabdan determined to interfere in
Tibet, and, strangely enough, instead of attempting to make Latsan Khan
his friend, he at once resolved to treat him as an enemy, throwing his
son, who happened to be at Ili, into prison. He then dispatched an army
into Tibet to crush Latsan Khan, and at the same time he sent a force
against Sining in the hope of gaining possession of the person of the
young Dalai Lama. The Eleuth army quitted the banks of the Ili in 1709,
under the command of Zeren Donduk, and having crossed Eastern Turkestan
appeared in due course before Lhasa. It met with little or no resistance.
Latsan Khan was slain, and the Eleuth army collected an incalculable
quantity of spoil, with which it returned to the banks of the Ili. The
expedition against Sining failed, and the rapid advance of a Chinese army
compelled the retreat of Zeren Donduk without having attained any
permanent success. As the Eleuth army had evacuated Tibet there was no
object in sending Chinese troops into that state, and Kanghi's generals
were instructed to march westward from Hami to Turfan. But their movements
were marked by carelessness or over-confidence, and the Eleuths surprised
their camp and inflicted such loss upon Kanghi's commanders that they had
even to evacuate Hami. But this was only a temporary reverse. A fresh
Manchu army soon retrieved it, and Hami again became the bulwark of the
Chinese frontier. At the same time Kanghi sent a garrison to Tibet, and
appointed resident ambans at Lhasa, which officials China has retained
there ever since. The war with Tse Wang Rabdan was not ended by these
successes, for he resorted to the hereditary tactics of his family,
retiring when the Chinese appeared in force, and then advancing on their
retreat. As Kanghi wrote, they are "like wolves who, at the sight of the
huntsmen, scatter to their dens, and at the withdrawal of danger assemble
again round the prey they have abandoned with regret. Such was the policy
of these desert robbers." The last year of Kanghi's reign was illustrated
by a more than usually decisive victory over the forces of Tse Wang
Rabdan, which a courtier declared to be "equivalent to the conquest of
Tibet"; but on the whole the utmost success that can be claimed for
Kanghi's policy was that it repelled the chronic danger from the desert
chiefs and their turbulent followers to a greater distance from the
immediate frontier of the empire than had been the case for many
centuries. He left the task of breaking the Eleuth power to his grandson,
Keen Lung.

The close of Kanghi's reign witnessed a decline in the interest he took in
the representatives of Europe, and this was not revived by the splendor of
the embassy which Peter the Great sent to Pekin in 1719. The embassy
consisted of the embassador himself, M. Ismaloff; his secretary, M. de
Lange; the English traveler, Mr. Bell, and a considerable suite. Kanghi
received in the most gracious manner the letter which Peter addressed to
him in the following terms: "To the emperor of the vast countries of Asia,
to the Sovereign Monarch of Bogdo, to the Supreme Majesty of Khitay,
friendship and greeting. With the design I possess of holding and
increasing the friendship and close relations long established between
your Majesty and my predecessors and myself, I have thought it right to
send to your court, in the capacity of embassador-extraordinary, Leon
Ismaloff, captain in my guards. I beg you will receive him in a manner
suitable to the character in which he comes, to have regard and to attach
as much faith to what he may say on the subject of our mutual affairs as
if I were speaking to you myself, and also to permit his residing at your
Court of Pekin until I recall him. Allow me to sign myself your Majesty's
good friend. Peter." Kanghi gave the Russian envoy a very honorable
reception. A house was set apart for his accommodation, and when the
difficulties raised by the mandarins on the question of the kotao ceremony
at the audience threatened to bring the embassy to an abortive end, Kanghi
himself intervened with a suggestion that solved the difficulty. He
arranged that his principal minister should perform the kotao to the
letter of the Russian emperor, while the Russian envoy rendered him the
same obeisance. The audience then took place without further delay, and it
was allowed on all hands that no foreign embassy had ever been received
with greater honor in China than this. Ismaloff returned to his master
with the most roseate account of his reception and of the opening in China
for Russian trade. A large and rich caravan was accordingly fitted out by
Peter, to proceed to Pekin; but when it arrived it found a very different
state of affairs from what Ismaloff had pictured. Kanghi lay on his death-
bed, the anti-foreign ministers were supreme, declaring that "trade was a
matter of little consequence, and regarded by them with contempt," and the
Russians were ignominiously sent back to Siberia with the final
declaration that such intercourse as was unavoidable must be restricted to
the frontier. Thus summarily was ended Peter's dream of tapping the wealth
of China.

Although Kanghi was not altogether free from domestic trouble, through the
ambition of his many sons to succeed him, his life must on the whole be
said to have passed along tranquilly enough apart from his cares of state.
The public acts and magnificent exploits of his reign prove him to have
been wise, courageous, and magnanimous, and his private life will bear the
most searching examination, and only render his virtue the more
conspicuous. He always showed a tender solicitude for the interests of his
people, which was proved, among other things, by his giving up his annual
tours through his dominions on account of the expense thrown on his
subjects by the inevitable size of his retinue. His active habits as a
hunter, a rider, and even as a pedestrian, were subjects of admiring
comment on the part of the Chinese people, and he was one of their few
rulers who made it a habit to walk through the streets of his capital. He
was also conspicuous as the patron of learning; notably in his support of
the foreign missionaries as geographers and cartographers. He was also the
consistent and energetic supporter of the celebrated Hanlin College, and,
as he was no ordinary _litterateur_ himself, this is not surprising.
His own works filled a hundred volumes, prominent among which were his
Sixteen Maxims on the Art of Government, and it is believed that he took a
large part in bringing out the Imperial Dictionary of the Hanlin College.
His writings were marked by a high code of morality as well as by the
lofty ideas of a broad-minded statesman. His enemies have imputed to him
an excessive vanity and avarice; but the whole tenor of his life disproves
the former statement, and, whatever foundation in fact the latter may have
had, he never carried it to any greater length than mere prudence and
consideration for the wants of his people demanded. We know that he
resorted to gentle pressure to attain his ends rather than to tyrannical
force. When he wished to levy a heavy contribution from a too rich subject
he had recourse to what may be styled a mild joke, sooner than to threats
and corporal punishment. The following incident has been quoted in this
connection: One day Kanghi made an official, who had grown very wealthy,
lead him, riding on an ass, round his gardens. As recompense the emperor
gave him a tael. Then he himself led the mandarin in similar fashion. At
the end of the tour he asked how much greater he was than his minister?
"The comparison is impossible," said the ready courtier. "Then I must make
the estimate myself," replied Kanghi. "I am 20,000 times as great,
therefore you will pay me 20,000 taels." His reign was singularly free
from the executions so common under even the best of Chinese rulers; and,
whenever possible, he always tempered justice with mercy.

Notwithstanding his enfeebled health and the many illnesses from which he
had suffered in later life, he persisted in following his usual sporting
amusements, and he passed the winter of 1722 at his hunting-box at Haidsu.
He seems to have caught a chill, and after a brief illness he died on the
2oth of December in that year.

The place of Kanghi among Chinese sovereigns is clearly defined. He ranks
on almost equal terms with the two greatest of them all--Taitsong and his
own grandson, Keen Lung--and it would be ungracious, if not impossible, to
say in what respect he falls short of complete equality with either, so
numerous and conspicuous were his talents and his virtues. His long
friendship and high consideration for the Christian missionaries have no
doubt contributed to bring his name and the events of his reign more
prominently before Europe than was the case with any other Chinese ruler.
But, although this predilection for European practices may have had the
effect of strengthening his claims to precede every other of his country's
rulers, it can add but little to the impression produced on even the most
cursory reader by the remarkable achievements in peace and war
accomplished by this gifted emperor. Kanghi's genius dominates one of the
most critical periods in Chinese history, of which the narrative should
form neither an uninteresting nor an uninstructive theme. Celebrated as
the consolidator and completer of the Manchu conquest, Kanghi's virtue and
moderation have gained him permanent fame as a wise, just, and beneficent
national sovereign in the hearts of the Chinese people.



CHAPTER XII

A SHORT REIGN AND THE BEGINNING OF A LONG ONE


Immediately after the death of Kanghi, his fourth son, who had long been
designated as his heir, was proclaimed emperor, under the style of Yung
Ching, which name means "the indissoluble concord or stable peace." The
late emperor had always favored this prince, and in his will he publicly
proclaimed that he bore much resemblance to himself, and that he was a man
of rare and precious character. His first acts indicated considerable
vigor and decision of mind. In the edict announcing the death of his
father and his own accession he said that on the advice of his ministers
he had entered upon the discharge of his imperial duties, without giving
up precious time to the indulgence of his natural grief, which would be
gratifying to his feelings, but injurious to the public interests. As Yung
Ching was of the mature age of forty-five, and as he had enjoyed the
confidence of his predecessor, he was fully qualified to carry on the
administration. He declared that his main purpose was to continue his
father's work, and that he would tread as closely as he could in Kanghi's
footsteps. While Yung Ching took these prompt steps to secure himself on
the throne, some of his brothers assumed an attitude of menacing hostility
toward him, and all his energy and vigilance were required to counteract
their designs. A very little time was needed, however, to show that Kanghi
had selected his worthiest son as his successor, and that China would have
no reason to fear under Yung Ching the loss of any of the benefits
conferred on the nation by Kanghi. His fine presence, and frank, open
manner, secured for him the sympathy and applause of the public, and in a
very short time he also gained their respect and admiration by his wisdom
and justice.

The most important and formidable of his brothers was the fourteenth son
of Kanghi, by the same mother, however, as that of Yung Ching. He and his
son Poki had been regarded with no inconsiderable favor by Kanghi, and at
one time it was thought that he would have chosen them as his successors;
but these expectations were disappointed. He was sent instead to hold the
chief command against the Eleuths on the western borders. Young Ching
determined to remove him from this post, in which he might have
opportunities of asserting his independence, and for a moment it seemed as
if he might disobey. But more prudent counsels prevailed, and he returned
to Pekin, where he was placed in honorable confinement, and retained there
during the whole of Yung Ching's reign. He and his son owed their release
thirteen years later to the greater clemency or self-confidence of Keen
Lung. Another brother, named Sessaka, also fell under suspicion, and he
was arrested and his estates confiscated. He was then so far forgiven that
a small military command was given him in the provinces. Others of more
importance were involved in his affairs. Lessihin, son of Prince
Sourniama, an elder brother of Kanghi, was denounced as a sympathizer and
supporter of Sessaka. The charge seems to have been based on slender
evidence, but it sufficed to cause the banishment of this personage and
all his family to Sining. It appears as if they were specially punished
for having become Christians, and there is no doubt that their conversion
imbittered the emperor's mind against the Christian missionaries and their
religion. It enabled him to say, or at least induced him to accept the
statement, that the Christians meddled and took a side in the internal
politics of the country. Yung Ching saw and seized his opportunity. His
measures of repression against the recalcitrant party in his own family
culminated in the summary exile of Sourniama and all his descendants down
to the fourth generation. Sourniama vainly endeavored to establish his
innocence, and he sent three of his sons, laden with chains, to the
palace, to protest his innocence and devotion. But they were refused
audience, and Sourniama and his family sank into oblivion and wretchedness
on the outskirts of the empire.

Having thus settled the difficulties within his own family, Yung Ching
next turned his attention to humbling the bold band of foreigners who had
established themselves in the capital and throughout the country, as much
by their own persistency and indifference to slight as by the acquiescence
of the Chinese government, and who, after they had reached some of the
highest official posts, continued to preach and propagate their gospel of
a supreme power and mercy beyond the control of kings, a gospel which was
simply destructive of the paternal and sacred claims on which a Chinese
emperor based his authority as superior to all earthly interference, and
as transmitted to him direct from Heaven, The official classes confirmed
the emperor's suspicions, and encouraged him to proceed to extreme
lengths. On all sides offenses were freely laid at the doors of the
missionaries. It was said of them that "their doctrine sows trouble among
the people, and makes them doubt the goodness of our laws." In the
province of Fuhkien their eighteen churches were closed, and the priests
were summarily ordered to return to Macao. At Pekin itself the Jesuits
lost all their influence. Those who had been well-disposed toward them
were either banished or cowed into silence. The emperor turned his back on
them and refused to see them, and they could only wait with their usual
fortitude until the period of imperial displeasure had passed over. When
they endeavored to enlist in their support the sympathy and influence of
the emperor's brother--the thirteenth prince--who in Kanghi's time had
been considered their friend, they met with a rebuff not unnatural or
unreasonable when the mishaps to his relations for their Christian
proclivities are borne in mind. This prince said, in words which have
often been repeated since by Chinese ministers and political writers,
"What would you say if our people were to go to Europe and wished to
change there the laws and customs established by your ancient sages? The
emperor, my brother, wishes to put an end to all this in an effectual
manner. I have seen the accusation of the Tsongtou of Fuhkien. It is
undoubtedly strong, and your disputes about our customs have greatly
injured you. What would you say if we were to transport ourselves to
Europe and to act there as you have done here? Would you stand it for a
moment? In the course of time I shall master this business, but I declare
to you that China will want for nothing when you cease to live in it, and
that your absence will not cause it any loss. Here nobody is retained by
force, and nobody also will be suffered to break the laws or to make light
of our customs."

The influence of Yung Ching on the development of the important foreign
question arrested the ambition and sanguine flight of the imagination of
the Roman Catholic missionaries, who, rendered overconfident by their
success under Kanghi, believed that they held the future of China in their
own hands, and that persistency alone was needed to secure the adhesion of
that country to the Christian Church. Yung Ching dispelled these
illusions, and so far as they were illusions, which nearly two subsequent
centuries have proved them to be, it was well that they should be so
dispelled. He asserted himself in very unequivocal terms as an emperor of
China, and as resolute in maintaining his sovereign position outside the
control of any religious potentate or creed. The progress of the Christian
religion of the Roman Catholic Church in China was quite incompatible with
the supposed celestial origin of the emperor, who was alleged to receive
his authority direct from Heaven. It is not surprising that Yung Ching, at
the earliest possible moment, decided to blight these hopes, and to assert
the natural and inherited prerogative of a Chinese emperor. There is no
room to doubt that the Catholic priests had drawn a too hasty and too
favorable deduction from the favor of Kanghi. They confounded their
practical utility with the intrinsic merit and persuasive force of
Christianity. An enlightened ruler had recognized the former, but a
skeptical people showed themselves singularly obdurate to the latter. The
persecution of the Christians, of which the letters from the missionaries
at Pekin at this time are so full, did not go beyond the placing of some
restraint on the preaching of their religion. No wholesale executions or
sweeping decrees passed against their persons attended its course or
marked its development. Yung Ching simply showed by his conduct that they
must count no longer on the favor of the emperor in the carrying out of
their designs. The difficulties inherent in the task they had undertaken
stood for the first time fully revealed, and having been denounced as a
source of possible danger to the stability of the empire, they became an
object of suspicion even to those who had sympathized with them
personally, if not with their creed.

The early years of the reign of Yung Ching were marked by extraordinary
public misfortunes. The flooding of the Hoangho entailed a famine, which
spread such desolation throughout the northern provinces that it is
affirmed, on credible authority, that 40,000 persons were fed at the state
expense in Pekin alone for a period of four months. The taxes in some of
the most important cities and wealthiest districts had to be greatly
reduced, and the resources of the exchequer were severely strained. But
the loss and suffering caused by the famine were speedily cast into the
shade by a terrible and sudden visitation which carried desolation and
destruction throughout the whole of the metropolitan province of Pechihli.
The northern districts of China have for many centuries been liable to the
frequent recurrence of earthquakes on a terribly vast and disastrous
scale, but none of them equaled in its terrific proportions that of the
year 1730. It came without warning, but the shocks continued for ten days.
Over 100,000 persons were overwhelmed in a moment at Pekin, the suburbs
were laid in ruins, the imperial palace was destroyed, the summer
residence at Yuen Ming Yuen, on which Yung Ching had lavished his taste
and his treasure, suffered in scarcely a less degree. The emperor and the
inhabitants fled from the city, and took shelter without the walls, where
they encamped. The loss was incalculable, and it has been stated that Yung
Ching expended seventy-five million dollars in repairing the damage and
allaying the public misfortune. Notwithstanding these national calamities
the population increased, and in some provinces threatened to outgrow the
production of rice. Various devices were resorted to to check the growth
of the population; but they were all of a simple and harmless character,
such as the issue of rewards to widows who did not marry again and to
bachelors who preserved their state.

The military events of Yung Ching's reign were confined to the side of
Central Asia, where Tse Wang Rabdan emulated with more than ordinary
success the example of his predecessors, and where he transmitted his
power and authority to his son, Galdan Chereng, on his death in 1727. He
established his sovereignty over the whole of Kashgaria, which he ruled
through a prince named Daniel, and he established relations with the
Russians, which at one time promised to attain a cordial character, but
which were suddenly converted into hostility by the Russian belief that
the Upper Urtish lay in a gold region which they resolved to conquer.
Instead of an ally they then found in Tse Wang Rabdan the successful
defender of that region. But the wars of Central Asia had no interest for
Yung Ching. He was one of the Chinese rulers who thought that he should
regard these matters as outside his concern, and the experience of
Kanghi's wars had divided Chinese statesmen into two clearly-defined
parties: those who held that China should conquer Central Asia up to the
Pamir, and those who thought that the Great Wall was the best practical
limit for the exercise of Chinese authority. Yung Ching belonged to the
latter school, and, instead of dispatching fresh armies into the Gobi
region to complete the triumph of his father, he withdrew those that were
there, and publicly proclaimed that the aggressive chiefs and turbulent
tribes of that region might fight out their own quarrels, and indulge
their own petty ambitions as best they felt disposed. The success of this
policy would have been incontestable if it had been reflected in the
conduct of the Central Asian princelets, who, however, seemed to see in
the moderation and inaction of the Chinese ruler only a fresh incentive to
aggression and turbulence. Yung Ching himself died too soon to appreciate
the shortcomings of his own policy.

In the midst of his labors as a beneficent ruler the life of Yung Ching
was cut short. On October 7, 1735, he gave audience to the high officials
of his court in accordance with his usual custom; but feeling indisposed
he was compelled to break off the interview in a sudden manner. His
indisposition at once assumed a grave form, and in a few hours he had
ceased to live. The loss of this emperor does not seem to have caused any
profound or widespread sentiment of grief among the masses, although the
more intelligent recognized in him one of those wise and prudent rulers
whose tenure of power makes their people's happiness.

Yung Ching died so suddenly that he had not nominated his heir. He left
three sons, and, after brief consideration, the eldest of these--to whom
was given the name of Keen Lung--was placed upon the throne. The choice
was justified by the result, although the chroniclers declare that it came
as a surprise to the recipient of the honor, as he had passed his life in
the pursuit of literary studies rather than in practical administrative
work. His skill and proficiency in the field of letters had already been
proved before his father's death; but of public affairs and the government
of a vast empire he knew little or nothing. He was a student of books
rather than of men, and he had to undergo a preliminary course of training
in the art of government before he felt himself capable of assuming the
reigns of power. Moreover, Keen Lung, although the eldest son, was not the
offspring of the empress, and the custom of succession in the imperial
family was too uncertain to allow any one in his position to feel absolute
confidence as to his claims securing the recognition they might seem to
warrant. His admission of his being unequal to the duties of his lofty
position, notwithstanding that he was twenty-five years of age, was
thoroughly characteristic of the man, and augured well for the future of
his reign. He appointed four regents, whose special task was to show him
how to rule; but in the edict delegating his authority to them he
expressly limited its application to the period of mourning, covering a
space of four years; and as a measure of precaution against any undue
ambition he made the office terminable at his discretion.

Keen Lung began his reign with acts of clemency, which seldom fail to add
a special luster to a sovereign's assumption of power. His father had
punished with rigor some of the first princes of the court simply because
they were his relations, and there is some ground for thinking that he had
put forward antipathy to the foreign heresy of the Christians as a cloak
to conceal his private animosities and personal apprehensions. Keen Lung
at once resolved to reverse the acts of his predecessor, and to offer such
reparation as he could to those who had suffered for no sufficient
offense. The sons of Kanghi and their children who had fallen under the
suspicion of Yung Ching were released from their confinement, and restored
to their rank and privileges. They showed their gratitude to their
benefactor by sustained loyalty and practical service that contributed to
the splendor of his long reign. The impression thus produced on the public
mind was also most favorable, and already the people were beginning to
declare that they had found a worthy successor to the great Kanghi.

There is nothing surprising to learn that in consequence of the pardon and
restitution of the men who had nominally suffered for their Christian
proclivities the foreign missionaries began to hope and to agitate for an
improvement in their lot and condition. They somewhat hastily assumed that
the evil days of persecution wore over, and that Keen Lung would accord
them the same honorable positions as they had enjoyed under his
grandfather, Kanghi. These expectations were destined to a rude
disappointment, as the party hostile to the Christians remained as strong
as ever at court, and the regents were not less prejudiced against them
than the ministers of Yung Ching had been. The emperor's own opinion does
not appear to have been very strong one way or the other, but it seems
probable that he was slightly prejudiced against the foreigners. He
certainly assented to an order prohibiting the practice of Christianity by
any of his subjects, and ordaining the punishment of those who should
obstinately adhere to it. At the same time the foreign missionaries were
ordered to confine their labors to the secular functions in which they
were useful, and to give up all attempts to propagate their creed. Still
some slight abatement in practice was procured of these rigid measures
through the mediation of the painter Castiglione, who, while taking a
portrait of the emperor, pleaded, and not ineffectually, the cause of his
countrymen. There was one distinct persecution on a large scale in the
province of Fuhkien, where several Spanish missionaries were tortured,
their chief native supporters strangled, and Keen Lung himself sent the
order to execute the missionaries in retaliation for the massacre of
Chinese subjects by the Spaniards in the Philippines. After he had been on
the throne fifteen years, Keen Lung began to unbend toward the foreigners,
and to avail himself of their services in the same manner as his
grandfather had done. The artists Castiglione and Attiret were constantly
employed in the palace, painting his portrait and other pictures. Keen
Lung is said to have been so pleased with that drawn by Attiret that he
wished to make him a mandarin. The French in particular strove to amuse
the great monarch, and to enable him to wile away his leisure with
ingeniously constructed automatons worked by clockwork machinery. He also
learned from them much about the politics and material condition of
Europe, and it is not surprising that he became imbued with the idea that
France was the greatest and most powerful state in that continent. Almost
insensibly Keen Lung entertained a more favorable opinion of the
foreigners, and extended to them his protection with other privileges that
had long been withheld. But this policy was attributable to practical
considerations and not to religious belief.

Very little detailed information is obtainable about the inner working of
the government and the annual course of events, owing to the practice of
not giving the official history of the dynasty publicity until after it
has ceased to reign; so all that can be said with any confidence of the
first fifteen years of Keen Lung's reign, is that they were marked by
great internal prosperity arising from the tranquillity of the realm and
the content of the people. Any misfortunes that befell the realm were of
personal importance to the sovereign rather than of national significance,
although some of the foreign priests affected to see in them the
retribution of Providence for the apathy and tyranny of the Chinese
rulers. In 1751 Keen Lung lost both his principal wife, the empress, and
his eldest son. His disagreements with his ministers also proved many and
serious, and the letters from Pekin note, with more than a gleam of
satisfaction, that those who were most prominent as Anti-Christians
suffered most heavily. Keen Lung suffered from physical weakness, and a
susceptibility to bodily ailments, that detracted during the first few
years of his reign from his capacity to discharge all the duties of his
position, and more than their usual share of power consequently fell into
the hands of the great tribunals of the state. When Keen Lung resolutely
devoted himself to the task of supervising the acts of the official world
the evils became less perceptible, and gradually the provincial governors
found it to be their best and wisest course to obey and faithfully execute
the behests of their sovereign. For a brief space Keen Lung seemed likely
to prove more indifferent to the duties of his rank than either of his
predecessors; but after a few years' practice he hastened to devote
himself to his work with an energy which neither Kanghi nor Yung Ching had
surpassed.

Keen Lung seems to have passed his time between his palace at Pekin and
his hunting-box at Jehol, a small town beyond the Wall. The latter,
perhaps, was his favorite residence, because he enjoyed the quiet of the
country, and the purer and more invigorating air of the northern region
agreed with his constitution. Here he varied the monotony of rural
pursuits--for he never became as keen a hunter as Kanghi--with grand
ceremonies which he employed the foreigners in painting. It was at Jehol
that he planned most of his military campaigns, and those conquests which
carried his banners to the Pamir and the Himalaya. If the earlier period
of Keen Lung's reign was tranquil and undisturbed by war, the last forty
years made up for it by their sustained military excitement and
achievement. As soon as Keen Lung grasped the situation and found that the
administration of the country was working in perfect order, he resolved to
attain a complete settlement of the questions pending in Central Asia,
which his father had shirked. Up to this time Keen Lung had been generally
set down as a literary student, as a man more of thought than of action.
But his reading had taught him one thing, and that was that the danger to
China from the side of Central Asia was one that went back to remote ages,
that it had never been allayed, save for brief intervals, and then only by
establishing Chinese authority on either side of the Tian Shan. His
studies showed Keen Lung what ought to be done, and the aggressions of his
neighbors soon gave him the opportunity of carrying out the policy that he
felt to be the best.



CHAPTER XIII

KEEN LUNG'S WARS AND CONQUESTS


It was the arrival of a chief named Amursana at his court that first led
Keen Lung to seriously entertain the idea of advancing into Central Asia,
and having determined on the Central Asian campaign, Keen Lung's military
preparations were commensurate with the importance and magnitude of the
undertaking. He collected an army of 150,000 men, including the picked
Manchu Banners and the celebrated Solon contingent, each of whom was said
to be worth ten other soldiers. The command of this army was given to
Panti, the best of the Manchu generals, and Amursana, who accompanied it,
received a seal and the honorary title of Great General. But Keen Lung
superintended all the operations of the war, and took credit to himself
for its successful issue.

The triumph of Amursana, by the aid of the Chinese, did not bring
tranquillity to Central Asia. He was not contented with the position to
which the friendship of Keen Lung had raised him, and, placing too high an
estimate on his own ability and resources, he was inclined to dispute the
accepted opinion that all his success was due to the Chinese army. On the
termination of the campaign the major portion of that army returned to
China, but Panti was left with a select contingent, partly to support
Amursana, and partly to secure the restoration of China's authority.
Amursana, however, considered that the presence of this force detracted
from the dignity of his position. Having risen to the greatness he
coveted, Amursana meditated casting aside the prop by which he had risen;
but before he took an irretraceable step he resolved to make use of the
Chinese forces for extending his authority south of the Tian Shan range
into Kashgaria. With some hesitation Panti lent him 500 Chinese soldiers,
and with their aid the Eleuth prince captured the cities of Kashgar and
Yarkand, and set up a chief named Barhanuddin Khoja as his nominee. This
success confirmed Amursana in his good opinion of himself and his
resources, and when Keen Lung, who had grown mistrustful of his good
faith, summoned him to Pekin, he resolved to throw off the mask and his
allegiance to China. At this supreme moment of his fate not the least
thought of gratitude to the Chinese emperor, who had made him what he was,
seems to have entered his mind. He determined not merely to disregard the
summons to Pekin and to proclaim his independence, but also to show the
extent of his hostility by adding to his defiance an act of treachery.
Before he fully revealed his plans he surprised the Chinese garrison and
massacred it to the last man; the valiant Panti, who had gained his
victories for him, being executed by the public executioner.

The impression produced by this event was profound, and when Amursana
followed up the blow by spreading abroad rumors of the magnitude of his
designs they obtained some credence even among the Mongols. Encouraged by
this success he sought to rally those tribes to his side by imputing
minister intentions to Keen Lung. His emissaries declared that Keen Lung
wished to deprive them all of their rank and authority, and that he had
summoned Amursana to Pekin only for the purpose of deposing him. To
complete the quarrel, Amursana declared himself King of the Eleuths, and
absolutely independent of China. But the energy and indignation of Keen
Lung soon exposed the hollowness of these designs, and the inadequacy of
Amursana's power and capacity to make good his pretensions. Keen Lung
collected another army larger than that which had placed him on his
throne, to hurl Amursana from the supremacy which had not satisfied him
and which he had grossly abused.

The armies of Keen Lung traversed the Gobi Desert and arrived in Central
Asia, but the incapacity of his generals prevented the campaigns having
those decisive results which he expected. The autocratic Chinese ruler
treated his generals who failed like the fickle French Republic. The
penalty of failure was a public execution. Keen Lung would accept nothing
short of the capture of Amursana as evidence of his victory, and Amursana
escaped to the Kirghiz. His celerity or ingenuity cost the lives of four
respectable Chinese generals, two of whom were executed at Pekin and two
were slain by brigands on their way there to share the same fate.
Emboldened by the inability of the Chinese to capture him, Amursana again
assembled an army and pursued the retiring Chinese across the desert,
where he succeeded in inflicting no inconsiderable loss upon them.

When the Chinese army retired before Amursana one corps maintained its
position and successfully defied him, thanks to the capacity of its
commander, Tchaohoei. Tchaohoei not merely held his ground, but drew up a
scheme for regaining all that had been lost in Central Asia, and Keen Lung
was so impressed by it that he at once resolved to intrust the execution
of his policy to the only officer who had shown any military capacity. Two
fresh armies were sent to the Ili, and placed, on their arrival there,
under the command of Tchaohoei, who was exhorted, above all things, to
capture Amursana, dead or alive. Tchaohoei at once assumed the offensive,
and as Amursana was abandoned by his followers as soon as they saw that
China was putting forth the whole of her strength, he had no alternative
but once more to flee for shelter to the Kirghiz. But the conditions
imposed by Keen Lung were so rigorous that Tchaohoei realized that the
capture of Amursana was essential to his gaining the confidence and
gratitude of his master. He, therefore, sent his best lieutenant, Fouta,
to pursue the Eleuth prince. Fouta pursued Amursana with the energy of one
who has to gain his spurs, and he almost succeeded in effecting his
capture, but Amursana just made his escape in time across the frontier
into Russian territory. But Keen Lung was not satisfied with this result,
and he sent both to Fouta and Tchaohoei to rest satisfied with nothing
short of the capture of Amursana. The close of that unfortunate prince's
career was near at hand, although it was not ended by the act of the
Chinese officers. He died in Russian territory of a fever, and when the
Chinese demanded of their neighbors that his body should be surrendered
they refused, on the ground that enmity should cease with death; but Fouta
was able to report to his sovereign that he had seen with his own eyes the
mortal remains of the Eleuth chief who had first been the humble friend
and then the bitter foe of the Manchu ruler.

Keen Lung decided to administer the country which he had conquered. But
another step was seen to be necessary to give stability to the Chinese
administration, and that was the annexation of Kashgaria. The great region
of Little Bokhara or Eastern Turkestan, known to us now under the more
convenient form of Kashgaria, was still ruled by the Khoja Barhanuddin,
who had been placed in power by Amursana, and it afforded a shelter for
all the disaffected, and a base of hostility against the Chinese. Even if
Tchaohoei had not reported that the possession of Kashgaria was essential
to the military security of Jungaria, there is no doubt that sooner or
later Keen Lung would have proceeded to extreme lengths with regard to
Barhanuddin. The Chinese were fully warranted, however, in treating him as
an enemy when he seized an envoy sent to his capital by Tchaohoei and
executed him and his escort. This outrage precluded all possibility of an
amicable arrangement, and the Chinese prepared their fighting men for the
invasion and conquest of Kashgaria. They crossed the frontier in two
bodies, one under the command of Tchaohoei, the other under that of Fouta.
Any resistance that Barhanuddin and his brother attempted was speedily
overcome; the principal cities, Kashgar and Yarkand, were occupied, and
the ill-advised princes were compelled to seek their personal safety by a
precipitate flight. The conquest and annexation of Kashgaria completed the
task with which Tchaohoei was charged, and it also realized Keen Lung's
main idea by setting up his authority in the midst of the turbulent tribes
who had long disturbed the empire, and who first learned peaceful pursuits
as his subjects. The Chinese commanders followed up this decided success
by the dispatch of several expeditions into the adjoining states.

The ruler of Khokand was either so much impressed by his neighbor's
prowess, or, as there is much reason to believe, experienced himself the
weight of their power by the occupation of his principal cities, Tashkent
and Khokand, that he hastened to recognize the authority of the emperor
and to enroll himself among the tributaries of the Son of Heaven. The
tribute he bound himself to pay was sent without a break for a period of
half a century. The Kirghiz chiefs of low and high degree imitated his
example, and a firm peace was thus established from one end of Central
Asia to the other. The administration was divided between Chinese and
native officials, and if there was tyranny, the people suffered rather
from that of the Mohammedan Hakim Beg than that of the Confucian Amban.

Keen Lung was engaged in many more wars than those in Central Asia. On the
side of Burmah he found his borders disturbed by nomad and predatory
tribes not less than in the region of Gobi. These clans had long been a
source of annoyance and anxiety to the viceroy of Yunnan, but the weakness
of the courts of Ava and Pegu, who stood behind these frontagers, had
prevented the local grievance becoming a national danger. But the triumph
of the remarkable Alompra, who united Pegu and Burmah into a single state,
and who controlled an army with which he effected many triumphs, showed
that this state of things might not always continue, and that the day
would come when China might be exposed to a grave peril from this side.
The successors of Alompra inherited his pretensions if not his ability,
and when the Chinese called upon them to keep the borders in better order
or to punish some evildoers, they sent back a haughty and unsatisfactory
reply. Sembuen, the grandson of Alompra, was king when Keen Lung ordered,
in the year 1768, his generals to invade Burmah, and the conduct of the
war was intrusted to an officer in high favor at court, named Count
Alikouen, instead of to Fouta, the hero of the Central Asian war, who had
fallen under the emperor's grave displeasure for what, after all, appears
to have been a trifling offense. The course of the campaign is difficult
to follow, for both the Chinese and the Burmese claim the same battles as
victories, but this will not surprise those who remember that the Burmese
court chroniclers described all the encounters with the English forces in
the wars of 1829 and 1853 as having been victorious. The advance of the
Chinese army, estimated to exceed 200,000 men, from Bhamo to Ava shows
clearly enough the true course of the war, and that the Chinese were able
to carry all before them up to the gates of the capital. Count Alikouen
did not display any striking military capacity, but by retaining
possession of the country above Ava for three years he at last compelled
the Burmese to sue for peace on humiliating terms.

In previous chapters the growth of China's relations with Tibet has been
traced, and especially under the Manchu dynasty. The control established
by Kanghi after the retirement of the Jungarian army was maintained by
both his successors, and for fifty years Tibet had that perfect
tranquillity which is conveyed by the expression that it had no history.
The young Dalai Lama, who fled to Sining to escape from Latsan Khan, was
restored, and under the name of Lobsang Kalsang pursued a subservient
policy to China for half a century. In the year 1749 an unpleasant
incident took place through a collision between the Chinese ambans and the
Civil Regent or Gyalpo, who administered the secular affairs of the Dalai
Lama. The former acted in a high-handed and arbitrary manner, and put the
Gyalpo to death. But in this they went too far, for both the lamas and the
people strongly resented it, and revolted against the Chinese, whom they
massacred to the last man. For a time it looked as if the matter might
have a very serious ending, but Keen Lung contented himself with sending
fresh ambans and an escort to Tibet, and enjoining them to abstain from
undue interference with the Tibetans. But at the same time that they
showed this moderation the Chinese took a very astute measure to render
their position stronger than ever. They asserted their right to have the
supreme voice in nominating the Gyalpo, and they soon reduced that high
official, the Prime Minister of Tibet, to the position of a creature of
their own. The policy was both astute and successful. The Tibetans had
welcomed the Chinese originally because they saved them from the Eleuth
army, and provided a guarantee against a fresh invasion. But the long
peace and the destruction of the Eleuth power had led the Tibetans to
think less of the advantage of Chinese protection, and to pine for
complete independence. The lamas also bitterly resented the assumption by
the ambans of all practical authority. How long these feelings could have
continued without an open outbreak must remain a matter of opinion; but an
unexpected event brought into evidence the unwarlike character of the
Tibetans, and showed that their country was exposed to many dangers from
which only China's protection could preserve them. In Kanghi's time the
danger had come from Ili; in the reign of Keen Lung it came from the side
of Nepaul.

As a general rule the mighty chain of the Himalaya has effectually
separated the peoples living north and south of it, and the instances in
history are rare of any collision between them. Of all such collisions the
most important was that which has now to be described as the main cause of
the tightening of the hold of China upon Tibet. The mountain kingdom of
Nepaul was equally independent of the British and the Mogul Empire of
Delhi. It was ruled by three separate kings, until in the year 1769 the
Goorkha chief Prithi Narayan established the supremacy of that warlike
race. The Goorkhas cared nothing for trade, and their exactions resulted
in the cessation of the commercial intercourse which had existed under the
Nepaulese kings between India and Tibet. Their martial instincts led them
to carry on raids into both Tibet and India. The Tibetans were unequal to
the task of punishing or restraining them, and at last the Goorkhas were
inspired with such confidence that they undertook the invasion of their
country. It is said that the Goorkhas were encouraged to take this, step
by the belief that the Chinese would not interfere, and that the
lamaseries contained an incalculable amount of treasure. The Goorkhas
invaded Tibet in 1791 with an army of less than 20,000 men, and, advancing
through the Kirong and Kuti passes, overcame the frontier guards, and
carried all before them up to the town of Degarehi, where they plundered
the famous lamasery of Teshu Lumbo, the residence of the Teshu Lama.
Having achieved this success and gratified their desire for plunder, the
Goorkhas remained inactive for some weeks, and wasted much precious time.
The Tibetans did not attempt a resistance, which their want of military
skill and their natural cowardice would have rendered futile, but they
sent express messengers to Pekin entreating the Chinese emperor to send an
army to their assistance. Keen Lung had not sent troops to put a stop to
the raids committed on the frontier by the Goorkhas; but when he heard
that a portion of his dominions was invaded, and that the predominance of
his country in the holy land of Buddhism was in danger, he at once ordered
his generals to collect all the forces they could and to march without
delay to expel the foreign invader. He may have been urged to increased
activity by the knowledge that the Tibetans had also appealed for aid to
the British, and by his being ignorant what steps the Indian Government
would take. Within a very short time of the receipt of the appeal for
assistance a Chinese army of 70,000 men was dispatched into Tibet, and the
Goorkhas, awed by this much larger force, began their retreat to their own
country. Their march was delayed by the magnitude of their spoil, and
before they had reached the passes through the Himalaya the Chinese army
had caught them up. In the hope of securing a safe retreat for his baggage
and booty, the Goorkha commander drew up his force in battle array on the
plain of Tengri Maidan, outside the northern entrance of the Kirong Pass,
and the Chinese general, Sund Fo, made his dispositions to attack the
Goorkhas; but before delivering his attack he sent a letter reciting the
outrages committed, and the terms on which his imperial master would grant
peace. Among these were the restitution of the plunder and the surrender
of the renegade lama, whose tales were said to have whetted the cupidity
of the Goorkhas. A haughty reply was sent back, and the Chinese were told
to do their worst.

In the desperately-contested battle which ensued the victory was decisive,
and the Goorkha king at once sued for peace, which was readily granted, as
the Chinese had attained all their objects, and Sund Fo was beginning to
be anxious about his retreat owing to the approach of winter. When,
therefore, the Goorkha embassy entered his camp Sund Fo granted terms
which, although humiliating, were as favorable as a defeated people could
expect. The Goorkhas took an oath to keep the peace toward their Tibetan
neighbors, to acknowledge themselves the vassals of the Chinese emperor,
to send a quinquennial embassy to China with the required tribute, and,
lastly, to restore all the plunder that had been carried off from Teshu
Lumbo. The exact language of this treaty has never been published, but its
provisions have been faithfully kept. The Goorkhas still pay tribute to
China; they have kept the peace with one insignificant exception ever
since on the Tibetan border; and they are correctly included among the
vassals of Pekin at the present time. The gratitude of the Tibetans, as
well as the increased numbers of the Chinese garrison, insured the
security of China's position in Tibet, and, as both the Tibetans and the
Goorkhas considered that the English deserted them in their hour of need,
for the latter when hard pressed also appealed to us for assistance, China
has had no difficulty in effectually closing Tibet to Indian trade. China
closed all the passes on the Nepaul frontier, and only allowed the
quinquennial mission to enter by the Kirong Pass. Among all the military
feats of China none is more remarkable or creditable than the overthrow of
the Goorkhas, who are among the bravest of Indian races, and who, only
twenty years after their crushing defeat by Sund Fo, gave the Anglo-Indian
army and one of its best commanders, Sir David Ochterloney, an infinity of
trouble in two doubtful and keenly contested campaigns.

Keen Lung's war in Formosa calls for only brief notice; but, in concluding
our notice of his many military conquests and campaigns, some description
must be given of the great rising in an island which Chinese writers have
styled "the natural home of sedition and disaffection." In the year 1786
the islanders rose, slaughtered the Tartar garrisons, and completely
subverted the emperor's authority. The revolt was one not on the part of
the savage islanders themselves, but of the Chinese colonists, who were
goaded into insurrection by the tyranny of the Manchu officials. At first
it did not assume serious dimensions, and it seemed as if it would pass
over without any general rising, when the orders of the Viceroy of
Fuhkien, to which Formosa was dependent until made a separate province a
few years ago, fanned the fuel of disaffection to a flame. The popular
leader Ling organized the best government he could, and, when Keen Lung
offered to negotiate, laid down three conditions as the basis of
negotiation. They were that "the mandarin who had ordered the cruel
measures of repression should be executed," that "Ling personally should
never be required to go to Pekin," and, thirdly, that "the mandarins
should abandon their old tyrannical ways." Keen Lung's terms were an
unconditional surrender and trust in his clemency, which Ling, with
perhaps the Miaotze incident fresh in his mind, refused. At first Keen
Lung sent numerous but detached expeditions to reassert his power; but
these were attacked in detail, and overwhelmed by Ling. Keen Lung said
that "his heart was in suspense both by night and by day as to the issue
of the war in Formosa"; but, undismayed by his reverses, the emperor sent
100,000 men under the command of a member of his family to crush the
insurrection. Complete success was attained by weight of numbers, and
Formosa was restored to its proper position in the empire.

A rising in Szchuen, which may be considered from some of its features the
precursor of the Taeping Rebellion, and the first outbreak of the Tungan
Mohammedans in the northwest, whom Keen Lung wished to massacre, marked
the close of this long reign, which was rendered remarkable by so many
military triumphs. The reputation of the Chinese empire was raised to the
highest point, and maintained there by the capacity and energy of this
ruler. Within its borders the commands of the central government were
ungrudgingly obeyed, and beyond them foreign peoples and states respected
the rights of a country that had shown itself so well able to exact
obedience from its dependents and to preserve the very letter of its
rights. The military fame of the Chinese, which had always been great
among Asiatics, attained its highest point in consequence of these
numerous and rapidly-succeeding campaigns. The evidences of military
proficiency, of irresistible determination, and of personal valor not
easily surpassed, were too many and too apparent to justify any in
ignoring the solid claims of China to rank as the first military country
in Asia--a position which, despite the appearance of England and Russia in
that continent, she still retains, and which must eventually enable her to
exercise a superior voice in the arrangement of its affairs to that of
either of her great and at present more powerful and better prepared
neighbors.



CHAPTER XIV

THE COMMENCEMENT OF EUROPEAN INTERCOURSE


Keen Lung was the first Manchu prince to receive formal embassies from the
sovereigns of Europe. Among these the Portuguese were the first in point
of time, although they never attained the advantage derivable from that
priority; and indeed the important period of their connection with China
may be said to have terminated before the Manchus had established their
authority. Still, as the tenants of Macao, the oldest European settlement
in China for more than three centuries and a half, their connection with
the Chinese government must always possess some features of interest and
originality. The Portuguese paid their rent to and carried on all their
business with the mandarins at Canton, who lost no opportunity of
squeezing large sums out of the foreigners, as they were absolutely in
their power. The Portuguese could only pay with good or bad grace the
bribes and extra duty demanded as the price of their being allowed to
trade at all. The power of China seemed so overwhelming that they never
attempted to make any stand against its arbitrary decrees, and the only
mode they could think of for getting an alleviation of the hardships
inflicted by the Canton authorities was to send costly embassies to the
Chinese capital. These, however, failed to produce any tangible result.
Their gifts were accepted, and their representatives were accorded a more
or less gratifying reception; but there was no mitigation of the severity
shown by the local mandarins, and, for all practical purposes, the money
expended on these missions was as good as thrown away. The Portuguese
succeeded in obtaining an improvement in their lot only by combining their
naval forces with those of the Chinese in punishing and checking the raids
of the pirates, who infested the estuary of the Canton River known as the
Bogue. But they never succeeded in emancipating themselves from that
position of inferiority in which the Chinese have always striven to keep
all foreigners; and if the battle of European enterprise against Chinese
exclusiveness had been carried on and fought by the Portuguese it would
have resulted in the discomfiture of Western progress and enlightenment.

The Dutch sent an embassy to Pekin in 1795, but it was treated with such
contumely that it does not reflect much credit on those who sent it. The
Spaniards never held any relations with the central government, all their
business being conducted with the Viceroy of Fuhkien; and the successive
massacres of Manila completely excluded them from any good understanding
with the Pekin government. With Russia, China's relations have always been
different from those with the other powers, and this is explained partly
by the fact of neighborship, and partly by Russia seeking only her own
ends, and not advantages for the benefit of every other foreign nation.

With France, the relations of China, owing to a great extent to the
efforts and influence of the missionaries, had always been marked with
considerable sympathy and even cordiality. The French monarchs had from
time to time turned their attention to promoting trade with China and the
Far East. Henry the Fourth sanctioned a scheme with this object, but it
came to nothing; and Colbert only succeeded in obtaining the right for his
countrymen to land their goods at Whampoa, the river port of Canton. But
French commerce never flourished in China, and a bold but somewhat
Quixotic attempt to establish a trade between that country and the French
settlements on the Mississippi failed to achieve anything practical. But
what the French were unable to attain in the domain of commerce they
succeeded in accomplishing in the region of literature. They were the
first to devote themselves to the study of the Chinese literature and
language, and what we know of the history of China down to the last
century is exclusively due to their laborious research and painstaking
translations of Chinese histories and annals. They made China known to the
polite as well as the political world of Europe. Keen Lung himself
appreciated and was flattered by these efforts. His poetry, notably his
odes on "Tea," and the "Eulogy of Moukden" as the cradle of his race, was
translated by Pere Amiot, and attracted the attention of Voltaire, who
addressed to the emperor an epistolary poem on the requirements and
difficulties of Chinese versification. The French thus rendered a material
service in making China better known to Europe and Europe better known in
China, which, although it may be hard to gauge precisely, entitles them
still to rank among those who have opened up China to Europeans. The
history of China, down to the eighteenth century at least, could not have
been written but for the labors of the French, of Mailla, Du Halde, Amiot,
and many others.

There remains only to summarize the relations with the English, who, early
in the seventeenth century, and before the Manchus had established their
supremacy, possessed factories at Amoy and on the island of Chusan. But
their trade, hampered by official exactions, and also by the jealousy of
the Portuguese and Dutch, proved a slow growth; and at Canton, which they
soon discovered to be the best and most convenient outlet for the state,
they were more hampered than anywhere else, chiefly through the hostile
representations of the Portuguese, who bribed the mandarins to exclude all
other foreigners. The English merchants, like the Portuguese, believed
that the only way to obtain a remedy for their grievances was by
approaching the imperial court and obtaining an audience with the emperor;
but they were wise in not attempting to send delegates of their own. They
saw that if an impression was to be created at Pekin the embassador must
come fully accredited by the British government, and not merely as the
representative of a body of merchants who were suppliants for commercial
privileges. The war with the Goorkhas had made the Chinese authorities
acquainted with the fact that the English, who were only humble suitors
for trade on the coast, were a great power in India. The knowledge of this
fact undoubtedly created a certain amount of curiosity in the mind of Keen
Lung, and when he heard that the King of England contemplated sending an
embassy to his court he gave every encouragement to the suggestion, and
promised it a welcome and honorable reception. Permission was given it to
proceed to Pekin, and thus was a commencement made in the long story of
diplomatic relations between England and China, which have at length
acquired a cordial character. As great importance was attached to this
embassy, every care was bestowed on fitting it out in a worthy manner.
Colonel Cathcart was selected as the envoy, but died on the eve of his
departure, and a successor was found in the person of Lord Macartney, a
nobleman of considerable attainments, who had been Governor of Madras two
years before. Sir George Staunton, one of the few English sinologues, was
appointed secretary, and several interpreters were sought for and
obtained, not without difficulty. The presents were many and valuable,
chosen with the double object of gratifying the emperor and impressing him
with the wealth and magnificence of the English sovereign. In September,
1792--the same month that witnessed the overthrow of the Goorkhas at
Nayakot--the embassy sailed from Portsmouth, but it did not reach the
Peiho, on which Pekin is inaccurately said to stand, until the following
August.

An honorable and exceedingly gratifying reception awaited it. The
embassador and his suite, on landing from the man-of-war, were conducted
with all ceremony and courtesy up the Peiho to Tientsin, where they
received what was called the unusual honor of a military salute. Visits
were exchanged with the Viceroy of Pechihli and some of the other high
officials, and news came down from Pekin that "the emperor had shown some
marks of great satisfaction at the news of the arrival of the English
embassador." Keen Lung happened to be residing at his summer palace at
Jehol beyond the Wall, but he sent peremptory instructions that there was
to be no delay in sending the English up to Pekin. Up to this point all
had gone well, but the anti-foreign party began to raise obstructions,
and, headed by Sund Fo, the conqueror of the Goorkhas, to advise the
emperor not to receive the embassador, and to reject all his propositions.
Whether to strengthen his case, or because he believed it to be the fact,
Sund Fo declared that the English had helped "the Goorkha robbers," and
that he had found among them "men with hats," _i.e._, Europeans, as well
as "men with turbans." As Sund Fo was the hero of the day, and also the
viceroy of the Canton province, his views carried great weight, and
they were also of unfavorable omen for the future of foreign relations.
But for this occasion the inquisitiveness of the aged emperor prevailed
over the views of the majority in his council and also over popular
prejudice. When the embassy had been detained some time at Pekin, and
after it looked as if a period of vexatious delay was to herald the
discomfiture of the mission, such positive orders were sent by Keen Lung
for the embassy to proceed to Jehol that no one dared to disobey him. Lord
Macartney proceeded to Jehol with his suite and a Chinese guard of honor,
and he accomplished the journey, about one hundred miles, in an English
carriage. The details of the journey and reception are given in Sir George
Staunton's excellent narrative; but here it may be said that the emperor
twice received the British embassador in personal audience in a tent
specially erected for the ceremony in the gardens of the palace. The
embassy then returned to Pekin, and, as the Gulf of Pechihli was frozen,
it was escorted by the land route to Canton. On this journey Lord
Macartney and his party suffered considerable inconvenience and annoyance
from the spite and animosity of the Chinese inferior officials; but
nothing serious occurred to mar what was on the whole a successful
mission. Keen Lung is said to have wished to go further, but his official
utterance was limited to the reciprocation of "the friendly sentiments of
His Britannic Majesty." His advanced age and his abdication already
contemplated left him neither the inclination nor the power to go very
closely into the question of the policy of cultivating closer relations
with the foreign people who asserted their supremacy on the sea and who
had already subjugated one great Asiatic empire. But it may at least be
said that he did nothing to make the ultimate solution of the question
more difficult, and his flattering reception of Lord Macartney's embassy
was an important and encouraging a precedent for English diplomacy with
China.

The events of internal interest in the history of the country during the
last twenty years of this reign call for some, brief notice, although they
relate to comparatively few matters that can be disentangled from the
court chronicles and official gazettes of the period. The great floods of
the Hoangho and the destruction caused thereby had been a national
calamity from the earliest period. Keen Lung, filled with the desire to
crown his reign by overcoming it, intrusted the task of dealing with this
difficulty to Count Akoui, whose laurels over the Miaotze had raised him
to the highest position in public popularity and his sovereign's
confidence. Keen Lung issued his personal instructions on the subject in
unequivocal language. He said in his edict, "My intention is that this
work should be unceasingly carried on, in order to secure for the people a
solid advantage both for the present and in the time to come. Share my
views, and in order to accomplish them, forget nothing in the carrying out
of your project, which I regard as my own, since I entirely approve of it,
and the idea which originated it was mine. For the rest, it is at my own
charge, and not at the cost of the province, that I wish all this to be
done. Let expenses not be stinted. I take upon myself the consequences,
whatever they may be." Akoui threw himself into his great task with
energy, and it is said that he succeeded in no small degree in controlling
the waters and restricting their ravages. We are ignorant of the details
of his work, but it may certainly be said that the Hoangho has done less
damage since Akoui carried out his scheme than it had effected before. The
question is still unsolved, and probably there is no undertaking in which
China would benefit more from the engineering science of Europe than this,
if the Chinese government were to seriously devote its attention to a
matter that affects many millions of people and some of the most important
provinces of the empire.

A great famine about the same period is chiefly remarkable for the
persecution it entailed on the Christian missionaries and those among the
Chinese themselves professing the foreign religion. The cause of this
scarcity was mainly due to the extraordinary growth of the population,
which had certainly doubled in fifty years, and which, according to the
official censuses, had risen from sixty millions in 1735 to three hundred
millions in 1792. Of course the larger part of this increase was due to
the expansion of the empire and the consolidation of the Manchu authority.
So great was the national suffering that the gratuitous distribution of
grain and other supplies at the cost of the state provided but a very
partial remedy for the evil, which was aggravated by the peculation of the
mandarins, and the evidence of the few European witnesses shows that the
horrors of this famine have seldom been surpassed. The famine was laid to
the charge of the Christians, and a commission of mandarins drew up a
formal indictment of Christianity, which has stood its ground ever since
as the text of the argument of the anti-foreign school. It read as
follows: "We have examined into the European religion (or the doctrine) of
the Lord of Heaven, and although it ought not to be compared with other
different sects, which are absolutely wicked, yet, and that is what we lay
to its blame, it has had the audacity to introduce itself, to promulgate
itself, and to establish itself in secret. No permission has ever been
given to the people of this country to embrace it. Nay, the laws have
absolutely long forbidden its adoption. And now all these criminals have
had the boldness to come, all of a sudden, into our kingdom, to establish
their bishops and priests in order to seduce the people! This is why it is
necessary to extinguish this religion by degrees and to prevent its
multiplying its votaries." The fury of the Chinese, fortunately, soon
exhausted itself; and although many Europeans were injured none lost their
lives, but several thousand native converts were branded on the face and
sent to colonize the Ili valley.

While Lord Macartney was at Pekin it was known that the emperor
contemplated abdicating when he had completed the sixtieth year of his
reign--the cycle of Chinese chronology--because he did not desire his
reign to be of greater length than that of his illustrious grandfather,
Kanghi. This date was reached in 1796, when on New Year's day (6th of
February) of the Chinese calendar, he publicly abdicated, and assigned the
imperial functions to his son, Kiaking. He survived this event three
years, and during that period he exercised, like Charles the Fifth of
Germany, a controlling influence over his son's administration; and he
endeavored to inculcate in him the right principles of sound government.
But in China, where those principles have been expressed in the noblest
language, their practical application is difficult, because the official
classes are underpaid and because the law of self-preservation, as well as
custom, compels them to pay themselves at the equal expense of the
subjects and the government. Even Keen Lung had been unable to grapple
with this difficulty of the Chinese civil service, which is as formidable
at the present time as ever. One of the ablest and most honest of Keen
Lung's ministers, when questioned on the subject, said that there was no
remedy. "It is impossible, the emperor himself cannot do it, the evil is
too widespread. He will, no doubt, send to the scene of these disorders
mandarins, clothed with all his authority, but they will only commit still
greater exactions, and the inferior mandarins, in order to be left
undisturbed, will offer them presents. The emperor will be told that all
is well, while everything is really wrong, and while the poor people are
being oppressed." And so the vicious circle has gone on to the present
day, with serious injury to the state and the people. When Keen Lung had
the chance of bringing matters under his own personal control he did not
hesitate to exercise his right and power, and all capital punishments were
carried out at the capital only after he had examined into each case. It
is declared that he always tempered justice with mercy, and that none but
the worst offenders suffered death. Transportation to Ili, which he wished
to develop, was his favorite form of punishment.

To the end of his life Keen Lung retained the active habits which had
characterized his youth. Much of his official work was carried on at an
early hour of the morning, and it surprised many Europeans to find the
aged ruler so keen and eager for business at these early conferences. His
vigor was attributed by competent observers to the active life and
physical exercises common among the Tartars. It will be proper to give a
description of the personal appearance of this great prince. A missionary
thus described him: "He is tall and well built. He has a very gracious
countenance, but capable at the same time of inspiring respect. If in
regard to his subjects he employs a great severity, I believe it is less
from the promptings of his character than from the necessity which would
otherwise not render him capable of keeping within the bounds or
dependence and duty two empires so vast as China and Tartary. Therefore
the greatest tremble in his presence. On all the occasions when he has
done me the honor to address me it has been with a gracious air that
inspired me with the courage to appeal to him in behalf of our
religion.... He is a truly great prince, doing and seeing everything for
himself." Keen Lung survived his abdication about three years, dying on
the 8th of February, 1799--which also happened to be the Chinese New
Year's day.

With the death of Keen Lung the vigor of China reached a term, and just as
the progress had been consistent and rapid during the space of 150 years,
so now will its downward course be not less marked or swift, until, in the
very hour of apparent dissolution, the empire will find safety in the
valor and probity of an English officer, Charles George Gordon, and in the
ability and resolution of the empress-regents and their two great soldier-
statesmen, Li Hung Chang and Tso Tsung Tang.



CHAPTER XV

THE DECLINE OF THE MANCHUS


The favorable opinion which his father had held of Kiaking does not seem
to have been shared by all his ministers. The most prominent of them all,
Hokwan, who held to Keen Lung the relation that Wolsey held to Henry the
Eighth, soon fell under the displeasure of the new emperor, and was called
upon to account for his charge of the finances. The favor and the age of
Keen Lung left Hokwan absolutely without control, and the minister turned
his opportunities to such account that he amassed a private fortune of
eighty million taels, or more than one hundred and twenty-five million
dollars. He was indicted for peculation shortly after the death of Keen
Lung, and, without friends, he succumbed to the attack of his many enemies
incited to attack him by the greed of Kiaking. But the amount of his
peculations amply justified his punishment, and Kiaking in signing his
death warrant could not be accused of harshness or injustice. The
execution of Hokwan restored some of his ill-gotten wealth to the state,
and served as a warning to other officials; but as none could hope to
enjoy his opportunities, it did not act as a serious deterrent upon the
mass of the Chinese civil service. If arraigned, they might have justified
their conduct by the example of their sovereign, who, instead of devoting
the millions of Hokwan to the necessities of the state, employed them on
his own pleasure, and in a lavish palace expenditure.

The Portuguese were the tenants, as has previously been stated, of Macao,
for which they paid an annual rent to the Chinese; but the nature of their
tenure was not understood in Europe, where Macao was considered a
Portuguese possession. During the progress of the great European struggle,
the French, as part of one of their latest schemes for regaining their
position in the East, conceived the idea of taking possession of Macao;
but while they were contemplating the enterprise, an English squadron had
accomplished it, and during the year 1802 Macao was garrisoned by an
English force. The Treaty of Amiens provided for its restoration to
Portugal, and the incident closed, chiefly because the period of
occupation was brief, without the Chinese being drawn into the matter, or
without the true nature of the Portuguese hold on Macao being explained.
The exigencies of war unfortunately compelled the re-occupation of Macao
six years later, when the indignation of the Chinese authorities at the
violation of their territory fully revealed itself. Peremptory orders were
sent to the Canton authorities from Pekin to expel the foreigners at all
costs. The government of India was responsible for what was a distinct
blunder in our political relations with China. In 1808, when alarm at
Napoleon's schemes was at its height, it sent Admiral Drury and a
considerable naval force to occupy Macao. The Chinese at once protested,
withheld supplies, refused to hold any intercourse with that commander,
and threatened the English merchants at Lintin with the complete
suspension of the trade. In his letter of rebuke the chief mandarin at
Canton declared that, "as long as there remained a single soldier at
Macao," he would not allow any trade to be carried on, and threatened to
"block up the entrance to Macao, cut off your provisions, and send an army
to surround you, when repentance would be too late." The English merchants
were in favor of compliance with the Chinese demands, but Admiral Drury
held a very exalted opinion of his own power and a corresponding contempt
for the Chinese. He declared that, as "there was nothing in his
instructions to prevent his going to war with the Emperor of China," he
would bring the Canton officials to reason by force. He accordingly
assembled all his available forces, and proceeded up the river at the head
of a strong squadron of boats with the avowed intention of forcing his way
up to the provincial capital. On their side the Chinese made every
preparation to defend the passage, and they blocked the navigation of the
river with a double line of junks, while the Bogue forts were manned by
all the troops of the province. When Admiral Drury came in sight of these
defenses, which must have appeared formidable to him, he hesitated, and
instead of delivering his attack he sent a letter requesting an interview
with the mandarin, again threatening to force his way up to Canton. But
the Chinese had by this time taken the measure of the English commander,
and they did not even condescend to send him a reply; when Admiral Drury,
submitting to their insult, hastily beat a retreat. On several subsequent
occasions he renewed his threats, and even sailed up the Bogue, but always
retreated without firing a shot. It is not surprising that the Chinese
were inflated with pride and confidence by the pusillanimous conduct of
the English officer, or that they should erect a pagoda at Canton in honor
of the defeat of the English fleet. After these inglorious incidents
Admiral Drury evacuated Macao and sailed for India, leaving the English
merchants to extricate themselves as well as they could from the
embarrassing situation in which his hasty and blundering action had placed
them. If the officials at Canton had not been as anxious for their own
selfish ends that the trade should go on as the foreign merchants
themselves, there is no doubt that the views of the ultra school at Pekin,
who wished all intercourse with foreigners interdicted, would have
prevailed. But the Hoppo and his associates were the real friends of the
foreigner, and opened the back door to foreign commerce at the very moment
that they were signing edicts denouncing it as a national evil and
misfortune.

The Macartney mission had attracted what may be called the official
attention of the British government to the Chinese question, and the East
India Company, anxious to acquire fresh privileges to render that trade
more valuable, exercised all its influence to sustain that attention. On
its representations a costly present was sent to Sung Tajin, one of the
ablest and most enlightened of all the Chinese officials who had shown
cordiality to Lord Macartney, but the step was ill-advised and had
unfortunate consequences. The present, on reaching Pekin, was returned to
Canton with a haughty message that a minister of the emperor dare not even
see a present from a foreign ruler. The publicity of the act rather than
the offer of a present must be deemed the true cause of this unqualified
rejection, but the return of the present was not, unfortunately, the worst
part of the matter. The Emperor Kiaking sent a letter couched in lofty
language to George the Third, declaring that he had taken such British
subjects as were in China under his protection, and that there was "no
occasion for the exertions of your Majesty's Government." The advice of
the Minister Sung, who was suspected of sympathy with the foreigners, was
much discredited, and from a position of power and influence he gradually
sank into one of obscurity and impotence. This was especially unfortunate
at a moment when several foreign powers were endeavoring to obtain a
footing at Pekin. The Russian emperor, wishing no doubt to emulate the
English, sent, in 1805, an imposing embassy under Count Goloyken to the
Chinese capital. The presents were rich and numerous, for the express
purpose of impressing the Chinese ruler with the superior wealth and power
of Russia over other European states, and great hopes were entertained
that Count Goloyken would establish a secure diplomatic base at Pekin. The
embassy reached Kalgan on the Great Wall in safety, but there it was
detained until reference had been made to the capital. The instructions
came back that the Russian envoy would only be received in audience
provided he would perform the kotow, or prostration ceremony, and that if
he would not promise to do this he was not to be allowed through the Wall.
Count Goloyken firmly refused to give this promise, and among other
arguments he cited the exemption accorded to Lord Macartney. The Chinese
remained firm in their purpose, Count Goloyken was informed that his visit
had been prolonged too far, and the most brilliant of all Russian
embassies to China had to retrace its steps without accomplishing any of
its objects. This was not the only rebuff Russia experienced at this time.
The naval officer Krusenstern conceived the idea that it would be possible
to attain all the objects of his sovereign, and to open up a new channel
for a profitable trade, by establishing communications by sea with Canton,
where the Russian flag had never been seen. The Russian government fitted
out two ships for him, and he safely arrived at Canton, where he disposed
of their cargoes. When it became known at Pekin that a new race of
foreigners had presented themselves at Canton, a special edict was issued
ordering that "all vessels belonging to any other nation than those which
have been in the habit of visiting this port shall on no account whatever
be permitted to trade, but merely suffered to remain in port until every
circumstance is reported to us and our pleasure made known." Thus in its
first attempt to add to its possession of a land trade, via Kiachta and
the Mongol steppe, a share in the sea trade with Canton, Russia
experienced a rude and discouraging rebuff.

The unsatisfactory state of our relations with the Chinese government,
which was brought home to the British authorities by the difficulty our
ships of war experienced in obtaining water and other necessary supplies
on the China coast, which had generally to be obtained by force, led to
the decision that another embassy should be sent to Pekin, for the purpose
of effecting a better understanding.

Lord Amherst, who was specially selected for the mission on account of his
diplomatic experience, reached the mouth of the Peiho in August, 1816.
When the embassy reached Pekin, the Emperor Kiaking's curiosity to see the
foreigners overcame his political resolutions, and with the natural
resolve of an irresponsible despot to gratify his wish without regard to
the convenience of others, he determined to see them at once, and ordered
that Lord Amherst and his companions should be brought forthwith into his
presence. This sudden decision was most disconcerting to his own
ministers, who had practically decided that no audience should be granted
unless Lord Amherst performed the kotow, and especially to his brother-in-
law Ho Koong Yay, who, at the emperor's repeated wish to see the English
representatives, was compelled to abandon his own schemes and to remove
all restrictions to the audience. The firmness of Lord Amherst was
unexpected and misunderstood. Ho Koong Yay repeated his invitation several
times, and even resorted to entreaty; but when the Chinese found that
nothing was to be gained they changed their tone, and the infuriated
Kiaking ordered that the embassador and his suite should not be allowed to
remain at Pekin, and that they should be sent back to the coast at once.
Thus ignominiously ended the Amherst mission, which was summarily
dismissed, and hurried back to the coast in a highly-inconvenient and
inglorious manner. In a letter to the Prince Regent, Kiaking suggested
that it would not be necessary for the British government to send another
embassy to China. He took some personal satisfaction out of his
disappointment by depriving Ho Koong Yay of all his offices, and mulcting
him in five years of his pay as an imperial duke. The cause of his
disgrace was expressly stated to be the mismanagement of the relations
with the English embassador and the suppression of material facts from the
emperor's knowledge. Sung Tajin, who had been specially recalled from his
governorship in Ili to take part in the reception of the Europeans, and
whose sympathy for them was well known, was also disgraced, and did not
recover his position until after the death of Kiaking. The failure of the
Amherst mission put an end to all schemes for diplomatic intercourse with
Pekin until another generation had passed away; but the facts of the case
show that its failure was not altogether due to the hostility of the
Chinese emperor. No practical results, in all probability, would have
followed; but if Lord Amherst had gone somewhat out of his way to humor
the Chinese autocrat, there is no doubt that he would have been received
in audience without any humiliating conditions.

Long before the Amherst mission reached China evidence had been afforded
that there were many elements of disorder in that country, and that a
dangerous feeling of dissatisfaction was seething below the surface. The
Manchus, even in their moments of greatest confidence, had always
distrusted the loyalty of their Chinese subjects, and there is no dispute
that one of their chief reasons for pursuing an excluding policy toward
Europeans was the fear that they might tamper with the mass of their
countrymen. What had been merely a sentiment under the great rulers of the
eighteenth century became an absolute conviction when Kiaking found
himself the mark of conspirators and assassins. The first of the plots to
which he nearly fell a victim occurred at such an early period of his
reign that it could not be attributed to popular discontent at his
misgovernment. In 1803, only four years after the death of Keen Lung,
Kiaking, while passing through the streets of his capital in his chair,
carried by coolie bearers, was attacked by a party of conspirators,
members of one of the secret societies, and narrowly escaped with his
life. His eunuch attendants showed considerable devotion and courage, and
in the struggle several were killed; but they succeeded in driving off the
would-be assassins. The incident caused great excitement, and much
consternation in the imperial palace, where it was noted that out of the
crowds in the streets only six persons came forward to help the sovereign
in the moment of danger. After this the emperor gave up his practice of
visiting the outer city of Pekin, and confined himself to the imperial
city, and still more to the Forbidden palace which is situated within it.
But even here he could not enjoy the sense of perfect security, for the
discovery was made that this attempted assassination was part of an
extensive plot with ramifications into the imperial family itself.
Inquisitorial inquiries were made, which resulted in the disgrace and
punishment of many of the emperor's relatives, and thus engendered an
amount of suspicion and a sense of insecurity that retained unabated force
as long as Kiaking filled the throne. That there was ample justification
for this apprehension the second attempt on the person of the emperor
clearly revealed. Whatever dangers the emperor might be exposed to in the
streets of Pekin, where the members of the hated and dreaded secret
societies had as free access as himself, it was thought that he could feel
safe in the interior of the Forbidden city--a palace-fortress within the
Tartar quarter garrisoned by a large force, and to which admission was
only permitted to a privileged few. Strict as the regulations were at all
times, the attempt on Kiaking and the rumors of sedition led undoubtedly
to their being enforced with greater rigor, and it seemed incredible for
any attempt to be made on the person of the emperor except by the mutiny
of his guards or an open rebellion. Yet it was precisely at this moment
that an attack was made on the emperor in his own private apartments which
nearly proved successful, and which he himself described as an attack
under the elbow. In the year 1813 a band of conspirators, some two hundred
in number, made their way into the palace, either by forcing one of the
gates, or, more probably, by climbing the walls at an unguarded spot, and,
overpowering the few guards they met, some of them forced their way into
the presence of the emperor. There is not the least doubt that Kiaking
would then have fallen but for the unexpected valor of his son Prince
Meenning, afterward the Emperor Taoukwang, who, snatching up a gun, shot
two of the intruders. This prince had been set down as a harmless,
inoffensive student, but his prompt action on this occasion excited
general admiration, and Kiaking, grateful for his life, at once proclaimed
him his heir.

Toward the close of his reign, and very soon after the departure of Lord
Amherst, Kiaking was brought face to face with a very serious conspiracy,
or what he thought to be such, among the princes of the Marichu imperial
family. By an ordinance passed by Chuntche all the descendants of that
prince's father were declared entitled to wear a yellow girdle and to
receive a pension from the state; while, with a view to prevent their
becoming a danger to the dynasty, they were excluded from civil or
military employment, and assigned to a life of idleness. This imperial
colony was, and is still, one of the most peculiar and least understood of
the departments of the Tartar government; and although it has served its
purpose in preventing dynastic squabbles, there must always remain the
doubt as to how far the dynasty has been injured by the loss of the
services of so many of its members who might have possessed useful
capacity. They purchased the right to an easy and unlaborious existence,
with free quarters and a small income guaranteed, at the heavy price of
exclusion from the public service. No matter how great their ambition or
natural capability, they had no prospect of emancipating themselves from
the dull sphere of inaction to which custom relegated them. Toward the
close of Kiaking's reign the number of these useless Yellow Girdles had
risen to several thousand, and the emperor, alarmed by the previous
attacks, or having some reason to fear a fresh plot, adopted strenuous
measures against them. Whether the emperor's apprehensions overcame his
reason, or whether there were among his kinsmen, some men of more than
average ability, it is certain that the princes of the Manchu family were
goaded or incited into what amounted to rebellion. The exact particulars
remain unknown until the dynastic history sees the light of day; but it is
known that many of them were executed, and that many hundreds of them were
banished to Manchuria, where they were given employment in taking care of
the ancestral tombs of the ruling family.

Special significance was given to these intrigues and palace plots by the
remarkable increase in the number and the confidence of the secret
societies which, in some form or other, have been a feature of Chinese
public life from an early period. Had they not furnished evidence by their
increased numbers and daring of the dissatisfaction prevalent among the
Chinese masses, whether on account of the hardships of their lot, or from
hatred of their Tartar lords, they would scarcely have created so much
apprehension in the bosom of the Emperor Kiaking, whose authority met with
no open opposition, and whose reign was nominally one of both internal and
external peace. These secret societies have always been, in the form of
fraternal confederacies and associations, a feature in Chinese life; but
during the present century they have acquired an importance they could
never previously claim, both in China and among Chinese colonies abroad.
The first secret society to become famous was that of the Water-Lily, or
Pe-leen-keaou, which association chose as its emblem and title the most
popular of all plants in China. Although the most famous of the societies,
and the one which is regarded as the parent of all that have come after
it, the Water-Lily had, as a distinct organization, a very brief
existence. Its organizers seem to have dropped the name, or to have
allowed it to sink into disuse in consequence of the strenuous official
measures taken against the society by the government for the attempt, in
1803, on Kiaking's life in the streets of Pekin. They merged themselves
into the widely-extended confederacy of the Society of Celestial Reason--
the Theen-te-Hwuy--which became better known by the title given to it by
Europeans of the Triads, from their advocacy of the union between Heaven,
earth, and man. The Water-Lily Society, before it was dissolved, caused
serious disturbances in both Shantung and Szchuen, and especially in the
latter province, where the disbanded army that had rescued Tibet and
punished the Goorkhas furnished the material for sedition. With more or
less difficulty, and at a certain expense of life, these risings were
suppressed, and Kiaking's authority was rendered secure against these
assailants, while for his successors was left the penalty of feeling the
full force of the national indignation of which their acts were the
expression.

With regard to the organization of these secret societies, which probably
remain unchanged to the present day, China had nothing to learn from
Europe either as to the objects to be obtained in this way or as to how
men are to be bound together by solemn vows for the attainment of illegal
ends. By signs known only to themselves, and by pass-words, these sworn
conspirators could recognize their members in the crowded streets, and
could communicate with each other without exciting suspicion as to their
being traitors at heart. In its endeavors to cope with this formidable and
widespread organization under different names, Kiaking's government found
itself placed at a serious disadvantage. Without an exact knowledge of the
intentions or resources of its secret enemies, it failed to grapple with
them, and, as its sole remedy, it could only decree that proof of
membership carried with it the penalty of death.

During the last years of the reign of Kiaking the secret societies rather
threatened future trouble than constituted a positive danger to the state.
They were compelled to keep quiet and to confine their attention to
increasing their numbers rather than to realizing their programme. The
emperor was consequently able to pass the last four years of his life with
some degree of personal tranquillity, and in full indulgence of his palace
pleasures, which seem at this period to have mainly consisted of a
theatrical troupe which accompanied him even when he went to offer
sacrifice in the temples. His excessive devotion to pleasure did not add
to his reputation with his people, and it is recorded that one of the
chief causes of the minister Sung's disgrace and banishment to Ili was his
making a protest against the emperor's proceedings. Some time before his
death Kiaking drew up his will, and on account of his great virtues he
specially selected as his successor his second son, Prince Meenning, who
had saved his life from assassins in the attack on the palace. Kiaking
died on September 2, 1820, in the sixty-first year of his age, leaving to
his successor a diminished authority, an enfeebled power, and a
discontented people. Some mitigating circumstance may generally be pleaded
against the adverse verdict of history in its estimation of a public
character. The difficulties with which the individual had to contend may
have been exceptional and unexpected, the measures which he adopted may
have had untoward and unnatural results, and the crisis of the hour may
have called for genius of a transcendent order. But in the case of Kiaking
not one of these extenuating facts can be pleaded. His path had been
smoothed for him by his predecessor, his difficulties were raised by his
own indifference, and the consequences of his spasmodic and ill-directed
energy were scarcely less unfortunate than those of his habitual apathy.
So much easier is the work of destruction than the labor of construction,
that Kiaking in twenty-five years had done almost as much harm to the
constitution of his country and to the fortunes of his dynasty as Keen
Lung had conferred solid advantages on the state in his brilliant reign of
sixty years.

On the whole it seems as if the material prosperity of the people was
never greater than during the reign of Kiaking. The population by the
census of 1812 is said to have exceeded 360 millions, and the revenue
never showed a more flourishing return on paper. To the external view all
was still fair and prosperous when Kiaking died; under his successor, who
was in every sense a worthier prince, the canker and decay were to be
clearly revealed.



CHAPTER XVI

THE EMPEROR TAOUKWANG


The early years of the new reign were marked by a number of events
unconnected with each other but all contributing to the important
incidents of the later period which must be described, although they
cannot be separated. The name of Taoukwang, which Prince Meenning took on
ascending the throne, means Reason's Light, and there were many who
thought it was especially appropriate for a prince who was more qualified
for a college than a palace. Most of the chroniclers of the period gave an
unfavorable picture of the new ruler, who was described as "thin and
toothless," and as "lank in figure, low of stature, with a haggard face, a
reserved look, and a quiet exterior." He was superior to his external
aspect, for it may be truly said that although he had to deal with new
conditions he evinced under critical circumstances a dignity of demeanor
and a certain royal patience which entitled him to the respect of his
opponents.

Taoukwang began his reign in every way in a creditable manner. While
professing in his proclamations the greatest admiration for his father,
his first acts reversed his policy and aimed at undoing the mischief he
had accomplished. He released all the political prisoners who had been
consigned to jail by the suspicious fear of Kiaking, and many of the
banished Manchu princes were allowed to return to Pekin. He made many
public declarations of his intention to govern his people after a model
and conscientious fashion and his subsequent acts showed that he was at
least sincere in his intentions, if an accumulation of troubles prevented
his attaining all the objects he set before himself when he first took the
government in hand. Nothing showed his integrity more clearly than his
restoration of the minister Sung to the favor and offices of which he had
been dispossessed. The vicissitudes of fortune passed through by this
official have been previously referred to, and his restoration to power
was a practical proof of the new ruler's good resolutions, and meant more
than all the virtuous platitudes expressed in vermilion edicts. Sung had
gained a popularity that far exceeded that of the emperor, through the
lavish way in which he distributed his wealth, consistently refusing to
accumulate money for the benefit of himself or his family. But his
independent spirit rendered him an unpleasant monitor for princes who were
either negligent of their duty or sensitive of criticism, and even
Taoukwang appears to have dreaded, in anticipation, the impartial and
fearless criticism of the minister whom he restored to favor. Sung was
employed in two of the highest possible posts, Viceroy of Pechihli and
President of the Board of Censors, and until his death he succeeded in
maintaining his position in face of his enemies, and notwithstanding his
excessive candor. One of the first reforms instituted by the Emperor
Taoukwang was to cut down the enormous palace expenses, which his father
had allowed to increase to a high point, and to banish from the imperial
city all persons who could not give some valid justification for their
being allowed to remain. The troupes of actors and buffoons were expelled,
and the harem was reduced to modest dimensions. Taoukwang declared himself
to be a monogamist, and proclaimed his one wife empress. He also put a
stop to the annual visits to Jehol and to the costly hunting establishment
there, which entailed a great waste of public funds. The money thus saved
was much wanted for various national requirements, and the sufferings
caused by flood and famine were alleviated out of these palace savings.
How great the national suffering had become was shown by the marked
increase of crime, especially all forms of theft and the coining of false
money, for which new and severe penalties were ordained without greatly
mitigating the evil. During all these troubles and trials Taoukwang
endeavored to play the part of a beneficent and merciful sovereign,
tempering the severity of the laws by acts of clemency, and personally
superintending every department of the administration. He seems thus to
have gained a reputation among his subjects which he never lost, and the
blame for any unpopular measures was always assigned to his ministers. But
although he endeavored to play the part of an autocrat, there is every
ground for saying that he failed to realize the character, and that he was
swayed more than most rulers by the advice of his ministers. The four
principal officials after Sung, whose death occurred at an early date
after Taoukwang's accession, were Hengan, Elepoo, Keying, and Keshen.

The first ten years of Taoukwang's reign have been termed prosperous,
because they have left so little to record, but this application of the
theory that "the country is happy which has no history," does not seem
borne out by such facts as have come to our knowledge. There is no doubt
that there was a great amount of public suffering, and that the prosperity
of the nation declined from the high point it had reached under Kiaking.
Scarcity of food and want of work increased the growing discontent, which
did not require even secret societies to give it point and expression, and
as far as could be judged it was worse than when the Water-Lily Society
inspired Kiaking with most apprehension. Kiaking, as has been observed,
escaped the most serious consequences of his own acts. There was much
popular discontent, but there was no open rebellion. Taoukwang had not
been on the throne many years before he was brought face to face with
rebels who openly disputed his authority, and, strangely enough, his
troubles began in Central Asia, where peace had been undisturbed for half
a century.

The conquest of Central Asia had been among the most brilliant and
remarkable of the feats of the great Keen Lung. Peace had been preserved
there as much by the extraordinary prestige or reputation of China as by
the skill of the administration or the soundness of the policy of the
governing power, which left a large share of the work to the subject
races. Outside each of the principal towns the Chinese built a fort or
gulbagh, in which their garrison resided, and military officers or ambans
were appointed to every district. The Mohammedan officials were held
responsible for the good conduct of the people and the due collection of
the taxes, and as long as the Chinese garrison was maintained in strength
and efficiency they discharged their duties with the requisite good faith.
The lapse of time and the embarrassment of the government at home led to
the neglect of the force in Central Asia, which had once been an efficient
army. The Chinese garrison, ill-paid and unrecruited, gradually lost the
semblance of a military force, and was not to be distinguished from the
rest of the civil population. The difference of religion was the only
unequivocal mark of distinction between the rulers and the ruled, and it
furnished an ever-present cause of enmity and dislike, although apart from
this the Mohammedans accepted the Chinese rule as not bad in itself, and
even praised it. The Chinese might have continued to govern Ili and
Kashgar indefinitely, notwithstanding the weakness and decay of their
garrison, but for the ambition of a neighbor. The Chinese are to blame,
however, not merely for having ignored the obvious aggressiveness of that
neighbor, but for having provided it with facilities for carrying out its
plans. The Khanate of Khokand, the next-door state in Central Asia, had
been intimately connected with Kashgar from ancient times, both in
politics and trade. The Chinese armies in the eighteenth century had
advanced into Khokand, humbled its khan, and reduced him to a state of
vassalage. For more than fifty years the khan sent tribute to China, and
was the humble neighbor of the Chinese. He gave, however, a place of
refuge and a pension to Sarimsak, the last representative of the old Khoja
family of Kashgar, and thus retained a hold on the legitimate ruler of
that state. Sarimsak had as a child escaped from the pursuit of Fouta and
the massacre of his relations by the chief of Badakshan, but he was
content to remain a pensioner at Khokand to the end of his days, and he
left the assertion of what he considered his rights to his children. His
three sons were named, in the order of their age, Yusuf, Barhanuddin, and
Jehangir, and each of them attempted at different times to dispossess the
Chinese in Kashgar. In the year 1812, when Kiaking's weakness was
beginning to be apparent, the Khan of Khokand, a chief of more than usual
ability, named Mahomed Ali, refused to send tribute any more to China, and
the Viceroy of Ili, having no force at his disposal, acquiesced in the
change with good grace, and no hostilities ensued. The first concession
was soon followed by others. The khan obtained the right to levy a tax on
all Mohammedan merchandise sold in the bazaars of Kashgar and Yarkand, and
deputed consuls or aksakals for the purpose of collecting the duties.
These aksakals naturally became the center of all the intrigue and
disaffection prevailing in the state against the Chinese, and they
considered it to be as much their duty to provoke political discontent as
to supervise the customs placed under their charge. Before the aksakals
appeared on the scene the Chinese ruled a peaceful territory, but after
the advent of these foreign officials trouble soon ensued.

Ten years after his refusal to pay tribute the Khan of Khokand decided to
support the Khoja pretenders who enjoyed his hospitality, and in 1822
Jehangir was provided with money and arms to make an attempt on the
Chinese position in Kashgaria. Although the youngest, Jehangir seems to
have been the most energetic of the Khoja princes; and having obtained the
alliance of the Kirghiz, he attempted, by a rapid movement, to surprise
the Chinese in the town of Kashgar. In this attempt he was disappointed,
for the Chinese kept better guard than he expected, and he was compelled
to make an ignominious retreat. The Khan of Khokand, disappointed at the
result and apprehensive of counter action on the part of the Chinese,
repudiated all participation in the matter, and forbade Jehangir to return
to his country. That adventurer then fled to Lake Issik Kul, whither the
Chinese pursued him; but when his fortunes seemed to have reached their
lowest ebb a revulsion suddenly took place, and by the surprise and
annihilation of a Chinese force he was again able to pose as an arbiter of
affairs in Central Asia. The fortitude of Jehangir confirmed the
attachment of his friends, and the Khokandian ruler, encouraged by the
defeat of the Chinese, again took up his cause and sent him troops and a
general for a fresh descent on Kashgaria. The khan had his own ends in
view quite as much as to support the Khoja pretender; but his support
encouraged Jehangir to leave his mountain retreat and to cross the Tian
Shan into Kashgaria. This happened in the year 1826, and the Chinese
garrison of Kashgar very unwisely quitted the shelter of its citadel and
went out to meet the invaders. The combat is said to have been fiercely
contested, but nothing is known about it except that the Chinese were
signally defeated. This overthrow was the signal for a general
insurrection throughout the country, and the Chinese garrisons, after more
or less resistance, were annihilated. An attempt was then made to restore
the old Mohammedan administration, and Jehangir was proclaimed by the
style of the Seyyid Jehangir Sultan. One of his first acts was to dismiss
the Khokandian contingent, and to inform his ally or patron, Mahomed Ali,
that he no longer required his assistance. His confidence received a rude
check when he learned a short time afterward that the Chinese were making
extraordinary preparations to recover their lost province, and that they
had collected an immense army in Ili for the purpose. Then he wished his
Khokandian allies back again; but he still resolved to make as good a
fight as he could for the throne he had acquired; and when the Chinese
general Chang marched on Kashgar, Jehangir took up his position at
Yangabad and accepted battle. He was totally defeated; the capture of
Kashgar followed, and Jehangir himself fell into the hands of the victors.
The Khoja was sent to Pekin, where, after many indignities, he was
executed and quartered as a traitor. The Chinese punished all open rebels
with death, and as a precaution against the recurrence of rebellion they
removed 12,000 Mohammedan families from Kashgar to Ili, where they became
known as the Tarantchis, or toilers. They also took the very wise step of
prohibiting all intercourse with Khokand, and if they had adhered to this
resolution they would have saved themselves much serious trouble. But
Mahomed Ali was determined to make an effort to retain so valuable a
perquisite as his trade relations with Kashgar, and as soon as the Chinese
had withdrawn the main portion of their force he hastened to assail
Kashgar at the head of his army, and put forward Yusuf as a successor to
Jehangir. Only desultory fighting ensued, but his operations were so far
successful that the Chinese agreed to resort to the previous arrangement,
and Mahomed Ali promised to restrain the Khojas. Fourteen years of peace
and prosperity followed this new convention.

Serious disorders also broke out in the islands of Formosa and Hainan. In
the former the rebellion was only put down by a judicious manipulation of
the divisions of the insurgent tribes; but the settlement attained must be
pronounced so far satisfactory that the peace of the island was assured.
In Hainan, an island of extraordinary fertility and natural wealth, which
must some day be developed, the aboriginal tribes revolted against Chinese
authority, and massacred many of the Chinese settlers, who had begun to
encroach on the possessions of the natives. Troops had to be sent from
Canton before the disorders were suppressed, and then Hainan reverted to
its tranquil state, from which only the threat of a French occupation
during the Tonquin war roused it. These disorders in different parts of
the empire were matched by troubles of a more domestic character within
the palace. In 1831 Taoukwang's only son, a young man of twenty, whose
character was not of the best, gave him some cause of offense, and he
struck him. The young prince died of the blow, and the emperor was left
for the moment without a child. His grief was soon assuaged by the news
that two of his favorite concubines had borne him sons, one of whom became
long afterward the Emperor Hienfung. At this critical moment Taoukwang was
seized with a severe illness, and his elder brother, Hwuy Wang, whose
pretensions had threatened the succession, thinking his chance had at last
come, took steps to seize the throne. But Taoukwang recovered, and those
who had made premature arrangements in filling the throne were severely
punished. These minor troubles culminated in the Miaotze Rebellion, the
most formidable internal war which the Chinese government had to deal with
between that of Wou Sankwei and the Taepings. From an early period the
Miaotze had been a source of trouble to the executive, and the relations
between them and the officials had been anything but harmonious. The
Manchu rulers had only succeeded in keeping them in order by stopping
their supply of salt on the smallest provocation; and in the belief that
they possessed an absolutely certain mode of coercing them, the Chinese
mandarins assumed an arrogant and dictatorial tone toward their rude and
unreclaimed neighbors. In 1832 the Miaotze, irritated past endurance,
broke out in rebellion, and their principal chief caused himself to be
proclaimed emperor. Their main force was assembled at Lienchow, in the
northwest corner of the Canton province, and their leader assumed the
suggestive title of the Golden Dragon, and called upon the Chinese people
to redress their wrongs by joining his standard. But the Chinese, who
regarded the Miaotze as an inferior and barbarian race, refused to combine
with them against the most extortionate of officials or the most unpopular
of governments. Although they could not enlist the support of any section
of the Chinese people, the Miaotze, by their valor and the military skill
of their leader, made so good a stand against the forces sent against them
by the Canton viceroy that the whole episode is redeemed from oblivion,
and may be considered a romantic incident in modern Chinese history. The
Miaotze gained the first successes of the war, and for a time it seemed as
if the Chinese authorities would be able to effect nothing against them.
The Canton viceroy fared so badly that Hengan was sent from Pekin to take
the command, and the chosen braves of Hoonan were sent to attack the
Miaotze in the rear. The latter gained a decisive victory at Pingtseuen,
where the Golden Dragon and several thousand of his followers were slain.
But, although vanquished in one quarter, the Miaotze continued to show
great activity and confidence in another, and when the Canton viceroy made
a fresh attack on them they repulsed him with heavy loss. The disgrace of
this officer followed, and his fall was hastened by the suppression of the
full extent of his losses, which excited the indignation of his own
troops, who said, "There is no use in our sacrificing our lives in secret;
if our toils are concealed from she emperor neither we nor our posterity
will be rewarded." This unlucky commander was banished to Central Asia,
and after his supersession Hengan had the satisfaction of bringing the war
to a satisfactory end within ten days. Some of the leaders were executed,
the others swore to keep the peace, and a glowing account of the
pacification of the Miaotze region was sent to Pekin. Some severe critics
suggested that the whole arrangement was a farce, and that Hengan's
triumph was only on paper; but the lapse of time has shown this skepticism
to be unjustified, as the Miaotze have remained tranquil ever since, and
the formidable Yaoujin, or Wolfmen, as they are called, have observed the
promises given to Hengan, which would not have been the case unless they
had been enforced by military success. Should they ever break out again,
the government would possess the means, from their command of money and
modern arms, of repressing their lawlessness with unprecedented
thoroughness, and of absolutely subjecting their hitherto inaccessible
districts.

If the first ten or twelve years of the reign of the Emperor Taoukwang
were marked by these troubles on a minor scale, an undue importance should
not be attached to them, for they did not seriously affect the stability
of the government or the authority of the emperor. It is true that they
caused a decline in the revenue and an increase in the expenditure, which
resulted in the year 1834 in an admitted deficit of fifty million dollars,
and no state could be considered in a flourishing condition with the
public exchequer in such a condition. But this large deficit must be
regarded rather as a floating debt than an annual occurrence.

The Chinese authorities continued to hinder and protest against the
foreign trade and intercourse between their subjects and the merchants of
Europe as much as ever; but their opposition was mainly confined to edicts
and proclamations. When Commissioner Lin resorted to force and violence
some years later the auspicious moment for expelling all foreigners had
passed away, and the weakness of the government contributed in no small
degree to this result. Taoukwang, although his claims as occupant of the
Dragon Throne were unabated, could not pretend to the power of a great
ruler like Keen Lung, who would have known how to enforce his will. For
was it possible after 1834 to continue the policy of uncompromising
hostility to all foreign nations whose governments had become directly
interested in, and to a certain extent responsible to, their respective
peoples, for the opening of the Chinese empire to civilized intercourse
and commerce. Up to this point Taoukwang's only experience of the
pretensions of the foreign powers had been the Amherst mission, in the
time of his father, which had ended so ignominiously, and the Russian
mission which arrived at Pekin every ten years to recruit the Russian
college there, and to pay the descendants of the garrison of Albazin the
sum allotted by the czar for their support. But from these trifling
matters Taoukwang's attention was suddenly and completely distracted to
the important situation at Canton and on the coast, the settlement of the
questions arising out of which filled the remainder of his reign.



CHAPTER XVII

THE FIRST FOREIGN WAR


AT the very time that the Emperor Taoukwang, by the dismissal of the
Portuguese astronomers at Pekin and by his general indifference to the
foreign question, was showing that no concessions were to be expected from
him, an unknown legislature at a remote distance from his capital was
decreeing, in complete indifference to the susceptibilities of the
occupant of the Dragon Throne, that trade with China might be pursued by
any English subject. Up to the year 1834 trade with China had, by the
royal charter, remained the monopoly of the East India Company; but when
the charter was renewed in that year for a further period of twenty years,
it was shorn of the last of its commercial privileges, and an immediate
change became perceptible in the situation at Canton, which was the
principal seat of the foreign trade. The withdrawal of the monopoly was
dictated solely by English, and not Chinese, considerations. Far from
facilitating trade with the Chinese, it tended to hinder and prevent its
developing; for the Chinese officials had no objection to foreigners
coming to Canton, and buying or selling articles of commerce, so long as
they derived personal profit from the trade, and so long as the laws of
the empire were not disputed or violated. The servants of the East India
Company were content to adapt themselves to this view, and they might have
carried on relations with the Hong merchants for an indefinite period, and
without any more serious collision than occasional interruptions. Had the
monopoly been renewed things would have been left in precisely the same
position as when intercourse was first established, and trade might have
continued within its old restricted limits. But the abolition of the
monopoly and the opening of the trade created quite a new situation, and
by intensifying the opposition of the Chinese government, paved the way to
the only practicable solution of the question of foreign intercourse with
China, which was that, however reluctantly she should consent to take her
place in the family of nations.

The Chinese were not left long in doubt as to the significance of this
change. In December, 1833, a royal commission was issued appointing Lord
Napier chief superintendent of trade with China, and two assistants under
him, of whom one was Sir John Davis. The Chinese had to some extent
contributed to this appointment, the Hoppo at Canton having written that
"in case of the dissolution of the Company it was incumbent on the British
government to appoint a chief to come to Canton for the general management
of commercial dealings, and to prevent affairs from going to confusion."
But in this message the Hoppo seems to have expressed his own view rather
than that of the Pekin government or the Canton viceroy; and certainly
none of the Chinese were prepared to find substituted for "a chief of
commercial dealings" an important commissioner clothed with all the
authority of the British ruler. How very different was the idea formed of
this functionary by the Chinese and English may be gathered from their
official views of his work. What the Chinese thought has been told in the
words of the Hoppo. Lord Palmerston was more precise from his point of
view. His instruction to Lord Napier read, "Your lordship will announce
your arrival at Canton by letter to the viceroy. In addition to the duty
of protecting and fostering the trade at Canton, it will be one of your
principal objects to ascertain whether it may not be practicable to extend
that trade to other parts of the Chinese dominions. It is obvious that,
with a view to the attainment of this object, the establishment of direct
communication with the imperial court at Pekin would be most desirable."
The two points of radical disagreement between these views were that the
Chinese wished to deal with an official who thought exclusively of trade,
whereas Lord Napier's task was not less diplomatic than commercial; and,
secondly, that they expected him to carry on his business with the Hoppo,
as the Company's agents had done, while Lord Napier was specially
instructed to communicate with the viceroy, whom those agents had never
dared to approach.

If it was thought that the Chinese would not realize all the significance
of the change, those who held so slight an opinion of their clear-
headedness were quickly undeceived. Lord Napier reached the Canton River
in July, 1834, and he at once addressed a letter of courtesy to the
viceroy announcing his arrival. The Chinese officers, after perusing it,
refused to forward it to the viceroy, and returned it to Lord Napier. Such
was the inauspicious commencement of the assumption of responsibility by
the crown in China. The Chinese refused to have anything to do with Lord
Napier, whom they described as "a barbarian eye," and they threatened the
merchants with the immediate suspension of the trade. The viceroy issued
an order forbidding the new superintendent to proceed to Canton, and
commanding him to stay at Macao until he had applied in the prescribed
form for permission to proceed up the river. But Lord Napier did not
listen to these representations, nor did he condescend to delay his
progress a moment at Macao. He proceeded up the river to Canton, but,
although he succeeded in making his way to the English factory, it was
only to find himself isolated, and that, in accordance with the viceroy's
order, the Hoppo had interdicted all intercourse with the English. The
Chinese declared that the national dignity was at stake, and so thoroughly
did both officials and merchants harmonize that the English factory was at
once deserted by all Chinese subjects, and even the servants left their
employment. On his arrival at Canton, Lord Napier found himself confronted
with the position that the Chinese authorities refused to have anything to
do with him, and that his presence effectually debarred his countrymen
from carrying on the trade, which it was his first duty to promote. At
this conjuncture it happened that the Chinese had discovered what they
thought to be a new grievance against the foreign traders in the steady
efflux of silver as the natural consequence of the balance of trade being
against China. In a report to the throne in 1833 it was stated that as
much as 60,000,000 taels of silver, or $100,000,000, had been exported
from China in the previous eleven years, and, as the Chinese of course
made no allowance for the equivalent value imported into their country,
this total seemed in their eyes an incredibly large sum to be lost from
the national treasure. It will be easily understood that at this
particular moment the foreign trade appeared to possess few advantages,
and found few patrons among the Chinese people.

In meeting this opposition Lord Napier endeavored to combine courtesy and
firmness. He wrote courteous and argumentative letters to the mandarins,
combating their views, and insisting on his rights as a diplomatist to be
received by the officials of the empire; and at the same time he issued a
notice to the Chinese merchants which was full of threats and defiance.
"The merchants of Great Britain," he said, "wish to trade with all China
on principles of mutual benefit; they will never relax in their exertions
till they gain a point of equal importance to both countries, and the
viceroy will find it as easy to stop the current of the Canton River as to
carry into effect the insane determinations of the Hong." This notice was
naturally enough interpreted as a defiance by the viceroy, who placed the
most severe restrictions he could on the trade, sent his troops into the
foreign settlements to remove all Chinese servants, and ordered the Bogue
forts to fire on any English ship that attempted to pass. The English
merchants, alarmed at the situation, petitioned Lord Napier to allay the
storm he had raised by retiring from Canton to Macao, and, harassed in
mind and enfeebled in body, Lord Napier acquiesced in an arrangement that
stultified all his former proceedings. The Chinese were naturally
intoxicated by their triumph, which vindicated their principle that no
English merchant or emissary should be allowed to come to Canton except by
the viceroy's permit, granted only to the petition and on the guarantee of
the Hong merchants. The viceroy had also carried his point of holding no
intercourse with the English envoy, to whom he had written that "the great
ministers of the Celestial Empire, unless with regard to affairs of going
to court and carrying tribute, or in consequence of imperial commands, are
not permitted to have interviews with outside barbarians." While the
Chinese officials had been both consistent and successful, the new English
superintendent of trade had been both inconsistent and discomfited. He had
attempted to carry matters with a high hand and to coerce the mandarins,
and he was compelled to show in the most public manner that he had failed
by his retirement to Macao. He had even imperiled the continuance of the
trade which he had come specially to promote, and all he could do to show
his indignation was to make a futile protest against "this act of
unprecedented tyranny and injustice." Very soon after Lord Napier's return
to Macao he died, leaving to other hands the settlement of the difficult
affair which neither his acts nor his language had simplified.

On Lord Napier's departure from Canton the restrictions placed on trade
were removed, and the intercourse between the English and Chinese
merchants of the Hong was resumed. But even then the mandarins refused to
recognize the trade superintendents, and after a short time they issued
certain regulations which had been specially submitted to and approved by
the Emperor Taoukwang as the basis on which trade was to be conducted.
These Regulations, eight in number, forbade foreign men-of-war to enter
the inner seas, and enforced the old practice that all requests on the
part of Europeans should be addressed through the Hong in the form of a
petition. It therefore looked as if the Chinese had completely triumphed
in carrying out their views, that the transfer of authority from the East
India Company to the British crown, with the so-called opening of the
trade, had effected no change in the situation, and that such commerce as
was carried on should be as the Chinese dictated, and in accordance with
their main idea, which was to "prevent the English establishing themselves
permanently at Canton." The death of the Viceroy Loo and the familiarity
resulting from increased intercourse resulted in some relaxation of these
severe regulations, and at last, in March, 1837, nearly three years after
Lord Napier's arrival in the Bogue, the new superintendent of trade,
Captain Elliot, received, at his own request, permission through the Hong
to proceed to Canton. The emperor passed a special edict authorizing
Captain Elliot to reside in the factory at Canton, where he was to
"control the merchants and seamen"; but it was also stipulated that he was
to strictly abide by the old regulations, and not to rank above a
supercargo. As Captain Elliot was the representative of a government not
less proud or exacting than that of China, it was clear that these
conditions could not be permanently enforced; and although he endeavored
for a period to conciliate the Chinese and to obtain more favorable terms
by concessions, there came a time when it was impossible to assent to the
arrogant demands of the mandarins, and when resort became necessary to the
_ultima ratio regum_. But for the first two critical years Captain Elliot
pursued the same policy as Lord Napier, alternating concessions with
threats, and, while vaunting the majesty of his sovereign, yielding to
demands which were unreasonable and not to be endured.

The balance of trade against China was the principal cause of the export
of silver, and the balance of trade was only against China through the
increasing import of opium. Without acquiescing in the least with the
strong allegations of the anti-opium party, there is no reason to doubt
that the excessive use of opium, especially in a crowded city like Canton,
was attended with sufficient mischief to justify its official
denunciation. The Pekin government may be so far credited with the honest
intention to reduce the mischief and to prevent a bad habit from becoming
more and more of a national vice, when they determined for far other
reasons to place it in the front of their tirade against foreign trade
generally. They soon found that it would be more convenient and more
plausible to substitute the moral opposition to the opium traffic for the
political disinclination to foreign intercourse in any form. They scarcely
expected that in this project they would receive the assistance and co-
operation of many of the Europeans themselves, who shared with them the
opinion that opium was detestable, and its use or sale a mark of
depravity.

In January, 1839, Taoukwang ordered Lin Tsihseu, viceroy of the double
province of Houkwang and an official of high reputation, to proceed to
Canton as Special Commissioner to report on the situation, and to propound
the best remedy for the opium evil. At this moment the anti-opium party
was supreme in the imperial council, and three Manchu princes were
disgraced and banished from Pekin for indulging in the practice. The
peremptory instructions given to Commissioner Lin, as he is historically
known, were "to cut off the fountain of evil, and, if necessary for the
attainment of his object, to sink his ships and break his caldrons, for
the indignation of the great emperor has been fairly aroused at these
wicked practices--of buying and selling and using opium--and that the
hourly thought of his heart is to do away with them forever."

Before Lin reached Canton there had been frequent friction between Captain
Elliot and the local mandarins, and more than one interruption of the
trade. Less than six months after his installation at Canton his official
relations were broken off, and he wrote home to his government a dispatch
complaining of the difficulty of conducting any sort of amicable relations
with the local mandarins, and indorsing the growing demand for the right
of dealing direct with the Pekin government. Captain Elliot, acting under
instructions from home, issued a public notice warning all English
subjects to discontinue the illicit opium trade, and stating that "her
Majesty's Government would not in any way interfere if the Chinese
Government should think fit to seize and confiscate the same."

At this juncture Commissioner Lin, whose fervor and energy carried him
away, appeared upon the scene, and, whereas a less capable or honest man
would have come to an arrangement with Captain Elliot, his very ability
and enthusiasm tended to complicate the situation and render a pacific
solution unattainable. Commissioner Lin, on taking up his post, lost no
time in showing that he was terribly in earnest; but both his language and
his acts proved that he had a very much larger programme than was included
in his propaganda against the opium traffic. He wished to achieve the
complete humiliation of the foreigners, and nothing less would satisfy
him. Within a week of his arrival at Canton he issued an edict denouncing
the opium trade; throwing all the blame for it on the English, and
asserting what was absolutely untrue; viz., that "the laws of England
prohibited the smoking of opium, and adjudged the user to death." The
language of the edict was unfriendly and offensive. The Europeans were
stigmatized as a barbarous people, who thought only of trade and of making
their way by stealth into the Flowery Land. At the same time that he
issued this edict he gave peremptory orders that no foreigner was to leave
Canton or Macao until the opium question had been settled to his
satisfaction. Even then English merchants and officials, who felt no great
sympathy with the opium traffic, saw that these proceedings indicated an
intention to put down the trade in other articles, and to render the
position of foreigners untenable. Lin's demands culminated in the request
for all stores of opium to be surrendered to him within three days. By the
efforts of some of the merchants about a thousand chests were collected
and handed over to the Chinese for destruction; but this did not satisfy
Lin, who collected a large rabble force, encamped it outside the
settlement, and threatened to carry the place by storm. In this crisis
Captain Elliot, who had declared that his confidence in the justice and
good faith of the provincial government was destroyed, and who had even
drawn up a scheme for concentrating all his forces at Hongkong, called
upon all the English merchants to surrender to him, for paramount
considerations of the lives and property of every one concerned, all the
stores of opium in their possession. More than 20,000 chests, of an
estimated value of $10,000,000, were placed at his disposal, and in due
course handed over by him to Commissioner Lin for destruction. This task
was performed at Chuenpee, when the opium was placed in trenches, then
mixed with salt and lime, and finally poured off into the sea. After this
very considerable triumph, Lin wrote a letter to Queen Victoria--whose
reign has witnessed the most critical periods of the China question and
its satisfactory settlement--calling upon her Majesty to interdict the
trade in opium forever. The letter was as offensive in its tone as it was
weak in argument, and no answer was vouchsafed to it. Before any reply
could be given, the situation, moreover, had developed into one of open
hostilities.

But great as were the concessions made by Captain Elliot, in consequence
of the threatening attitude of Commissioner Lin, the Chinese were not
satisfied, and made fresh and more exacting demands of those who had been
weak enough to make any concession at all. They reasserted their old
pretension that Europeans in China must be subject to her laws, and as the
sale of opium was a penal offense they claimed the right to punish those
Englishmen who had been connected with the traffic. They accordingly drew
up a list of sixteen of the principal merchants, some of whom had never
had anything to do with opium, and they announced their intention to
arrest them and to punish them with death. Not only did Commissioner Lin
and the Canton authorities claim the right to condemn and punish British
subjects, but they showed in the most insolent manner that they would take
away their liberty and lives on the flimsiest and falsest pretext. Captain
Elliot, weak and yielding as he was on many points, declared that "this
law is incompatible with safe or honorable continuance at Canton."
Apparently the Chinese authorities acted on the assumption that so long as
there remained even one offending European the mass of his countrymen
ought to be hindered in their avocations, and consequently petty
restrictions and provocations continued to be enforced. Then Captain
Elliot, seeing that the situation was hopeless and that there was no sign
of improvement, took the bold, or at least the pronounced, step of
ordering all British subjects to leave Canton or to stay at their own
peril. It was on this occasion that he explained away, or put a new
interpretation on, his action with regard to the opium surrendered for
destruction, which most of the merchants thought represented an
irrecoverable loss. It will be best to give the precise words used in his
notice of the 22d of May, 1839. "Acting on behalf of her Majesty's
Government in a momentous emergency, he has, in the first place, to
signify that the demand he recently made to her Majesty's subjects for the
surrender of British-owned opium under their control had no special
reference to the circumstances of that property; but (beyond the actual
pressure of necessity) that demand was founded on the principle that these
violent compulsory measures being utterly unjust _per se_ and of general
application for the enforced surrender of any other property, or of human
life, or for the constraint of any unsuitable terms or concessions, it
became highly necessary to vest and leave the right of exacting effectual
security and full indemnity for every loss directly in the queen."
Unfortunately, Captain Elliot's language at the time of the surrender of
the opium had undoubtedly led to the conclusion that he sympathized with
Commissioner Lin, and that he took the same view as the Chinese officials
of the moral iniquity of selling or using opium. The whole mercantile
community adopted Captain Elliot's counsel, and the English factory at
Canton, which had existed for nearly two hundred years, was abandoned. At
the same time a memorial was sent home begging the government to protect
the English merchants in China against "a capricious and corrupt
government," and demanding compensation for the $10,000,000 worth of opium
destroyed by Commissioner Lin. Pending the reply of the home government to
that appeal, nothing could be more complete than the triumph of
Commissioner Lin. The Emperor Taoukwang rewarded him with the important
viceroyship of the Two Kiang, the seat of which administration is at
Nankin.

But the limit of endurance had been reached, and the British government
was on the point of taking decisive action at the very moment when the
Chinese triumph seemed most complete and unthreatened. Even before the
action of the home authorities was known in the Bogue the situation had
become critical, and the sailors in particular had thrown off all
restraint. Frequent collisions occurred between them and the foreigners,
and in one of them a Chinaman was killed. Commissioner Lin characterized
this act as "going to the extreme of disobedience to the laws," and
demanded the surrender of the sailor who committed the act, so that a life
might be given for a life. This demand was flatly refused, and in
consequence of the measures taken by the Chinese at Lin's direction to
prevent all supplies reaching the English, Captain Elliot felt bound to
remove his residence from Macao to Hongkong. The Chinese called out all
their armed forces, and incited their people along the Canton River to
attack the foreigners wherever found. An official notice said, "Produce
arms and weapons; join together the stoutest of your villagers, and thus
be prepared to defend yourselves. If any of the said foreigners be found
going on shore to cause trouble, all and every of the people are permitted
to fire upon them, to withstand and drive them back, or to make prisoners
of them." This appeal to a force which the Chinese did not possess was an
act of indiscretion that betrayed an overweening confidence or a singular
depth of ignorance. When the mandarins refused to supply the ships with
water and other necessaries they carried their animosity to a length which
the English naval officers at once defined as a declaration of open
hostilities. They retaliated by ordering their men to seize by force
whatever was necessary, and thus began a state of things which may be
termed one of absolute warfare. The two men-of-war on the station had
several encounters with the forts in the Bogue, and on November 3, 1839,
they fought a regular engagement with a Chinese fleet of twenty-nine junks
off Chuenpee. The Chinese showed more courage than skill, and four of
their junks were sunk. It is worth noting that the English sailors
pronounced both their guns and their powder to be excellent. While this
action deterred the Chinese fleet from coming to close quarters, it also
imbittered the contest, and there was no longer room to doubt that if the
Chinese were to be brought to take a more reasonable view of foreign trade
it would have to be by the disagreeable lesson of force. And at the end of
1839 the Chinese were fully convinced that they had the power to carry out
their will and to keep the European nations out of their country by the
strong hand.

A short time after the action at Chuenpee an Englishman named Mr. Gribble
was seized by the Canton officials and thrown into prison. The English
men-of-war went up the river as far as the Bogue forts, which they
threatened to bombard unless he was released; and, after considerable
discussion, Mr. Gribble was set free, mainly because the Chinese heard of
the large force that was on its way from England. Before that armament
arrived the Emperor Taoukwang had committed himself still further to a
policy of hostility. A report of the fight at Chuenpee was duly submitted
to him, but the affair was represented as a very creditable one for his
commander, and as a Chinese victory. The misled monarch at once conferred
a high honor on his admiral, and commanded his officers at Canton "to at
once put a stop to the trade of the English nation." This had, practically
speaking, been already accomplished, and the English merchants had taken
refuge at Macao or in their ships anchored at Hongkong.

Before describing the military operations now about to take place, a
survey may conveniently be taken of events since the abolition of the
monopoly, and it may be pardonable to employ the language formerly used.
From an impartial review of the facts, and divesting our minds, so far as
is humanly possible, of the prejudice of accepted political opinions, and
of conviction as to the hurtful or innocent character of opium in the
mixture as smoked by the Chinese, it cannot be contended that the course
pursued by Lord Napier and Captain Elliot, and particularly by the latter,
was either prudent in itself or calculated to promote the advantage and
reputation of England. Captain Elliot's proceedings were marked by the
inconsistency that springs from ignorance. The more influential English
merchants, touched by the appeal to their moral sentiment, or impressed by
the depravity of large classes of the Canton population, of which the
practice of opium-smoking was rather the mark than the cause, set their
faces against the traffic in this article, and repudiated all sympathy and
participation in it. The various foreign publications, whether they
received their inspirations from Mr. Gutzlaff or not matters little,
differed on most points, but were agreed on this, that the trade in opium
was morally indefensible, and that we were bound, not only by our own
interests, but in virtue of the common obligations of humanity, to cease
to hold all connection with it. Those who had surrendered their stores of
opium at the request of Captain Elliot held that their claim for
compensation was valid, in the first place, against the English government
alone. They had given them up for the service of the country at the
request of the queen's representative, and, considering the line which
Captain Elliot had taken, many believed that it would be quite impossible
for the English government to put forward any demand upon the government
of China. The ten million dollars, according to these large-hearted and
unreflecting moralists, would have to be sacrificed by the people of
England in the cause of humanity, to which they had given so much by
emancipating the slaves, and the revenue of India should, for the future,
be poorer by the amount that used to pay the dividend of the great
Company! The Chinese authorities could not help being encouraged in their
opinions and course of proceeding by the attitude of the English. Their
most sweeping denunciations of the iniquity of the opium traffic elicited
a murmur of approval from the most influential among the foreigners. No
European stood up to say that their allegations as to the evil of using
opium were baseless and absurd. What is more, no one thought it. Had the
Chinese made sufficient use of this identity of views, and shown a desire
to facilitate trade in the so-called innocent and legitimate articles,
there is little doubt that the opium traffic would have been reduced to
very small dimensions, because there would have been no rupture. But the
action of Commissioner Lin revealed the truth that the Chinese were not to
be satisfied with a single triumph. The more easily they obtained their
objects in the opium matter the more anxious did they become to impress
the foreigners with a sense of their inferiority, and to force them to
accept the most onerous and unjust conditions for the sake of a
continuance of the trade. None the less, Captain Elliot went out of his
way to tie his own hands, and to bind his own government, so far as he
could, to co-operate with the emperor's officials in the suppression of
the opium traffic. That this is no random assertion may be judged from the
following official notice, issued several months after the surrender of
the stores of opium. In this Captain Elliot announced that "Her Majesty's
flag does not fly in the protection of a traffic declared illegal by the
emperor, and, therefore, whenever a vessel is suspected of having opium on
board Captain Elliot will take care that the officers of his establishment
shall accompany the Chinese officers in their search, and that if, after
strict investigation, opium shall be found, he will offer no objection to
the seizure and confiscation of the cargo."

The British expedition arrived at the mouth of the Canton River in the
month of June, 1840. It consisted of 4,000 troops on board twenty-five
transports, with a convoy of fifteen men-of-war. If it was thought that
this considerable force would attain its objects without fighting and
merely by making a demonstration, the expectation was rudely disappointed.
The reply of Commissioner Lin was to place a reward on the person of all
Englishmen, and to offer $20,000 for the destruction of an English man-of-
war. The English fleet replied to this hostile step by instituting a close
blockade at the mouth of the river, which was not an ineffectual retort.
Sir Gordon Bremer, the commander of the first part of the expedition, came
promptly to the decision that it would be well to extend the sphere of his
operations, and he accordingly sailed northward with a portion of his
force to occupy the island of Chusan, which had witnessed some of the
earliest operations of the East India Company two centuries before. The
capture of Chusan presented no difficulties to a well-equipped force, yet
the fidelity of its garrison and inhabitants calls for notice as a
striking instance of patriotism. The officials at Tinghai, the capital of
Chusan, refused to surrender, as their duty to their emperor would not
admit of their giving up one of his possessions. It was their duty to
fight, and although they admitted resistance to be useless, they refused
to yield, save to force. The English commander reluctantly ordered a
bombardment, and after a few hours the Chinese defenses were demolished,
and Tinghai was occupied. Chusan remained in our possession as a base of
operations during the greater part of the war, but its insalubrity rather
dissipated the reputation it had acquired as an advantageous and well-
placed station for operations on the coast of China. Almost at the same
time as the attack on Chusan, hostilities were recommenced against the
Chinese on the Canton River, in consequence of the carrying off of a
British subject, Mr. Vincent Stanton, from Macao. The barrier forts were
attacked by two English men-of-war and two smaller vessels. After a heavy
bombardment, a force of marines and blue-jackets was landed, and the
Chinese positions carried. The forts and barracks were destroyed, and Mr.
Stanton released. Then it was said that "China must either bend or break,"
for the hour of English forbearance had passed away, and unless China
could vindicate her policy by force of arms there was no longer any doubt
that she would have to give way.

While these preliminary military events were occurring, the diplomatic
side of the question was also in evidence. Lord Palmerston had written a
letter stating in categorical language what he expected at the hands of
the Chinese government, and he had directed that it should be delivered
into nobody else's hands but the responsible ministers of the Emperor
Taoukwang. The primary task of the English expedition was to give this
dispatch to some high Chinese official who seemed competent to convey it
to Pekin. This task proved one of unexpected difficulty, for the
mandarins, basing their refusal on the strict letter of their duty, which
forbade them to hold any intercourse with foreigners, returned the
document, and declared that they could not receive it. This happened at
Amoy and again at Ningpo, and the occupation of Chusan did not bring our
authorities any nearer to realizing their mission. Baffled in these
attempts, the fleet sailed north for the mouth of the Peiho, when at last
Lord Palmerston's letter was accepted by Keshen, the viceroy of the
province, and duly forwarded by him to Pekin. The arrival of the English
fleet awoke the Chinese court for the time being from its indifference,
and Taoukwang not merely ordered that the fleet should be provided with
all the supplies it needed, but appointed Keshen High Commissioner for the
conclusion of an amicable arrangement. The difficulty thus seemed in a
fair way toward settlement, but as a matter of fact it was only at its
commencement, for the wiles of Chinese diplomacy are infinite and were
then only partially understood. Keshen was remarkable for his astuteness
and for the yielding exterior which covered a purpose of iron, and in the
English political officer, the Captain Elliot of Canton, he did not find
an opponent worthy of his steel. Although experience had shown how great
were the delays of negotiation at Canton, and how inaccessible were the
local officials, Captain Elliot allowed himself to be persuaded that the
best place to carry on negotiations was at that city, and after a brief
delay the fleet was withdrawn from the Peiho and all the advantages of the
alarm created by its presence at Pekin were surrendered. Relieved by the
departure of the foreign ships, Taoukwang sent orders for the dispatch of
forces from the inland provinces, so that he might be able to resume the
struggle with the English under more favorable conditions, and at the same
time he hastened to relieve his overcharged feelings by punishing the man
whom he regarded as responsible for his misfortunes and humiliation. The
full weight of the imperial wrath fell on Commissioner Lin, who from the
position of the foremost official in China fell at a stroke of the
vermilion pencil to a public criminal arraigned before the Board of
Punishments to receive his deserts. He was stripped of all his offices,
and ordered to proceed to Pekin, where, however, his life was spared.

Keshen arrived at Canton on November 29, 1840, but his dispatch to the
emperor explaining the position he found there shows that his view of the
situation did not differ materially from that of Lin. "Night and day I
have considered and examined the state of our relations with the English.
At first moved by the benevolence of his Majesty and the severity of the
laws, they surrendered the opium. Commissioner Lin commanded them to give
bonds that they would never more deal in opium--a most excellent plan for
securing future good conduct. This the English refused to give, and then
they trifled with the laws, and so obstinate were their dispositions that
they could not be made to submit. Hence it becomes necessary to soothe and
admonish them with sound instruction, so as to cause them to change their
mien and purify their hearts, after which it will not be too late to renew
their commerce. It behooves me to instruct and persuade them so that their
good consciences may be restored, and they reduced to submission." The
language of this document showed that the highest Chinese officers still
believed that the English would accept trade facilities as a favor, that
they would be treated _de haut en bas_, and that China possessed the
power to make good her lofty pretensions. China had learned nothing from
her military mishaps at Canton, Amoy, and Chusan, and from the appearance
of an English fleet in the Gulf of Pechihli. Keshen had gained a breathing
space by procrastination in the north, and he resorted to the same tactics
at Canton. Days expanded into weeks, and at last orders were issued for an
advance up the Canton River, as it had become evident that the Chinese
were not only bent on an obstructive policy, but were making energetic
efforts to assemble a large army. On January 7, 1841, orders were
consequently issued for an immediate attack on the Bogue forts, which had
been placed in a state of defense, and which were manned by large numbers
of Chinese. Fortunately for us, the Chinese possessed a very rudimentary
knowledge of the art of war, and showed no capacity to take advantage of
the strength of their position and forts, or even of their excellent guns.
The troops were landed on the coast in the early morning to operate on the
flank and rear of the forts at Chuenpee. The advance squadron, under
Captain, afterward Sir Thomas, Herbert, was to engage the same forts in
front, while the remainder of the fleet proceeded to attack the stockades
on the adjoining island of Taikok. The land force of 1,500 men and three
guns had not proceeded far along the coast before it came across a
strongly intrenched camp in addition to the Chuenpee forts, with several
thousand troops and many guns in position. After a sharp cannonade the
forts were carried at a rush, and a formidable army was driven
ignominiously out of its intrenchments with hardly any loss to the
assailants. The forts at Taikok were destroyed by the fire of the ships,
and their guns spiked and garrisons routed by storming parties. In all,
the Chinese lost 500 killed, besides an incalculable number of wounded,
and many junks. The Chinese showed some courage as well as incompetence,
and the English officers described their defense as "obstinate and
honorable."

The capture of the Bogue forts produced immediate and important
consequences. Keshen at once begged a cessation of hostilities, and
offered terms which conceded everything we had demanded. These were the
payment of a large indemnity, the cession of Hongkong, and the right to
hold official communication with the central government. In accordance
with these preliminary articles, Hongkong was proclaimed, on January 29,
1841, a British possession, and the troops evacuated Chusan to garrison
the new station. It was not considered at the time that the acquisition
was of much importance, and no one would have predicted for it the
brilliant and prosperous position it has since attained. But the promises
given by Keshen were merely to gain time and to extricate him from a very
embarrassing situation. The morrow of what seemed a signal reverse was
marked by the issue of an imperial notice, breathing a more defiant tone
than ever. Taoukwang declared, in this edict, that he was resolved "to
destroy and wash the foreigners away without remorse," and he denounced
the English by name as "staying themselves upon their pride of power and
fierce strength." He, therefore, called upon his officers to proceed with
courage and energy, so that "the rebellious foreigners might give up their
ringleaders, to be sent encaged to Pekin, to receive the utmost
retribution of the laws." So long as the sovereign held such opinions as
these it was evident that no arrangement could endure. The Chinese did not
admit the principle of equality in their dealings with the English, and
this was the main point in contention, far more than the alleged evils of
the opium traffic. So long as Taoukwang and his ministers held the
opinions which they did not hesitate to express, a friendly intercourse
was impossible. There was no practical alternative between withdrawing
from the country altogether and leaving the Chinese in undisturbed
seclusion, or forcing their government to recognize a common humanity and
an equality in national privileges.

It is not surprising that under these circumstances the suspension of
hostilities proved of brief duration. The conflict was hastened by the
removal of Keshen from his post, in consequence of his having reported
that he considered the Chinese forces unequal to the task of opposing the
English. His candor in recognizing facts did him credit, while it cost him
his position; and his successor, Eleang, was compelled to take an opposite
view, and to attempt something to justify it. Eleang refused to ratify the
convention signed by Keshen, and, on February 25, the English commander
ordered an attack on the inner line of forts which guarded the approaches
to Canton. After a brief engagement, the really formidable lines of
Anunghoy, with 200 guns in position, were carried at a nominal loss. The
many other positions of the Chinese, up to Whampoa, were occupied in
succession; and on March 1 the English squadron drew up off Howqua's
Folly, in Whampoa Reach, at the very gateway of Canton. On the following
day the dashing Sir Hugh Gough arrived to take the supreme direction of
the English forces. After these further reverses, the Chinese again begged
a suspension of hostilities, and an armistice for a few days was granted.
The local authorities were on the horns of a dilemma. They saw the
futility of a struggle with the English, and the Cantonese had to bear all
the suffering for the obstinacy of the Pekin government; but, on the other
hand, no one dared to propose concession to Taoukwang, who, confident of
his power, and ignorant of the extent of his misfortunes, breathed nothing
but defiance. After a few days' delay, it became clear that the Cantonese
had neither the will nor the power to conclude a definite arrangement, and
consequently their city was attacked with as much forbearance as possible.
The fort called Dutch Folly was captured, and the outer line of defenses
was taken possession of, but no attempt was made to occupy the city
itself. Sir Hugh Gough stated, in a public notice, that the city was
spared because the queen had desired that all peaceful people should be
tenderly considered. The first English successes had entailed the disgrace
of Lin, the second were not less fatal to Keshen. Keshen was arraigned
before the Board at Pekin, his valuable property was escheated to the
crown, and he himself sentenced to decapitation, which was commuted to
banishment to Tibet, where he succeeded in amassing a fresh fortune. The
success of the English was proclaimed by the merchants re-occupying their
factories on March 18, 1841, exactly two years after Lin's first fiery
edict against opium. It was a strange feature in this struggle that the
instant they did so the Chinese merchants resumed trade with undiminished
ardor and cordiality. The officials even showed an inclination to follow
their example, when they learned that Taoukwang refused to listen to any
conclusive peace, and that his policy was still one of expelling the
foreigners. To carry out his views, the emperor sent a new commission of
three members to Canton, and it was their studious avoidance of all
communication with the English authorities that again aroused suspicion as
to the Chinese not being sincere in their assent to the convention which
had saved Canton from an English occupation. Taoukwang was ignorant of the
success of his enemy, and his commissioners, sent to achieve what Lin and
Keshen had failed to do, were fully resolved not to recognize the position
which the English had obtained by force of arms, or to admit that it was
likely to prove enduring. This confidence was increased by the continuous
arrival of fresh troops, until at last there were 50,000 men in the
neighborhood of Canton, and all seemed ready to tempt the fortune of war
again, and to make another effort to expel the hated foreigner. The
measure of Taoukwang's animosity may be taken by his threatening to punish
with death any one who suggested making peace with the barbarians.

[Illustration: CANTON--THE FLOWER PAGODA]

While the merchants were actively engaged in their commercial operations,
and the English officers in conducting negotiations with a functionary who
had no authority, and who was only put forward to amuse them, the Chinese
were busily employed in completing their warlike preparations, which at
the same time they kept as secret as possible, in the hope of taking the
English by surprise. But it was impossible for such extensive preparations
to be made without their creating some stir, and the standing aloof of the
commissioners was in itself ground of suspicion. Suspicion became
certainty when, on Captain Elliot paying a visit to the prefect in the
city, he was received in a disrespectful manner by the mandarins and
insulted in the streets by the crowd. He at once acquainted Sir Hugh
Gough, who was at Hongkong, with the occurrence, and issued a notice, on
May 21, 1841, advising all foreigners to leave Canton that day. This
notice was not a day too soon, for, during the night, the Chinese made a
desperate attempt to carry out their scheme. The batteries which they had
secretly erected at various points in the city and along the river banks
began to bombard the factories and the ships at the same time that fire-
rafts were sent against the latter in the hope of causing a conflagration.
Fortunately the Chinese were completely baffled, with heavy loss to
themselves and none to the English; and during the following day the
English assumed the offensive, and with such effect that all the Chinese
batteries were destroyed, together with forty war-junks. The only exploit
on which the Chinese could compliment themselves was that they had sacked
and gutted the English factory. This incident made it clearer than ever
that the Chinese government would only be amenable to force, and that it
was absolutely necessary to inflict some weighty punishment on the Chinese
leaders at Canton, who had made so bad a return for the moderation shown
them and their city, and who had evidently no intention of complying with
the arrangement to which they had been a party.

Sir Hugh Gough arrived at Canton with all his forces on May 24, and on the
following morning the attack commenced with the advance of the fleet up
the Macao passage, and with the landing of bodies of troops at different
points which appeared well suited for turning the Chinese position and
attacking the gates of Canton. The Chinese did not molest the troops in
landing, which was fortunate, as the operation proved exceedingly
difficult and occupied more than a whole day. The Chinese had taken up a
strong position on the hills lying north of the city, and they showed
considerable judgment in their selection, and no small skill in
strengthening their ground by a line of forts. The Chinese were said to be
full of confidence in their ability to reverse the previous fortune of the
war, and they fought with considerable confidence, while the turbulent
Cantonese populace waited impatiently on the walls to take advantage of
the first symptoms of defeat among the English troops. The English army,
divided into two columns of nearly 2,000 men each, with a strong artillery
force of seven guns, four howitzers, five mortars, and fifty-two rockets,
advanced on the Chinese intrenchments across paddy fields, rendered more
difficult of passage by numerous burial-grounds. The obstacles were
considerable and the progress was slow, but the Chinese did not attempt
any opposition. Then the battle began with the bombardment of the Chinese
lines, and after an hour it seemed as if the Chinese had had enough of
this and were preparing for flight, when a general advance was ordered.
But the Chinese thought better of their intention or their movement was
misunderstood, for when the English streamed up the hill to attack them
they stood to their guns and presented a brave front. Three of their forts
were carried with little or no loss, but at the fourth they offered a
stubborn if ill-directed resistance. Even then the engagement was not
over, for the Chinese rallied in an intrenched camp one mile in the rear
of the forts, and, rendered confident by their numbers, they resolved to
make a fresh stand, and hurled defiance at the foreigners. The English
troops never halted in their advance, and, led by the 18th or Royal Irish,
they carried the intrenchment at a rush and put the whole Chinese army to
flight. The English lost seventy killed and wounded, the Chinese losses
were never accurately known. It was arranged that Canton was to be stormed
on the following day, but a terrific hurricane and deluge of rain
prevented all military movements on May 26, and, as it proved, saved the
city from attack. Once more Chinese diplomacy came to the relief of
Chinese arms. To save Canton the mandarins were quite prepared to make
every concession, if they only attached a temporary significance to their
language, and they employed the whole of that lucky wet day in getting
round Captain Elliot, who once more allowed himself to place faith in the
promises of the Chinese. The result of this was seen on the 27th, when,
just as Sir Hugh Gough was giving orders for the assault, he received a
message from Captain Elliot stating that the Chinese had come to terms and
that all hostilities were to be suspended. The terms the Chinese had
agreed to in a few hours were that the commissioners and all the troops
should retire to a distance of sixty miles from Canton, and that
$6,000,000 should be paid "for the use of the English crown."

Five of the $6,000,000 had been handed over to Captain Elliot, and
amicable relations had been established with the city authorities, when
the imperial commissioners, either alarmed at the penalties their failure
entailed, or encouraged to believe in the renewed chances of success from
the impotence into which the English troops might have sunk, made a sudden
attempt to surprise Sir Hugh Gough's camp and to retrieve a succession of
disasters at a single stroke. The project was not without a chance of
success, but it required prompt action and no hesitation in coming to
close quarters--the two qualifications in which the Chinese were most
deficient. So it was on this occasion. Ten or fifteen thousand Chinese
braves suddenly appeared on the hills about two miles north of the English
camp; but instead of seizing the opportunity created by the surprise at
their sudden appearance and at the breach of armistice, and delivering
home their attack, they merely waved their banners and uttered threats of
defiance. They stood their ground for some time in face of the rifle and
artillery fire opened upon them, and then they kept up a sort of running
fight for three miles as they were pursued by the English. They did not
suffer any serious loss, and when the English troops retired in
consequence of a heavy storm they became in turn the pursuers and
inflicted a few casualties. The advantages they obtained were due to the
terrific weather more than to their courage, but one party of Madras
sepoys lost its way, and was surrounded by so overwhelming a number of
Chinese that they would have been annihilated but that their absence was
fortunately discovered and a rescuing party of marines, armed with the new
percussion gun, which was to a great degree secure against the weather,
went out to their assistance. They found the sepoys, under their two
English officers, drawn up in a square firing as best they could and
presenting a bold front to the foe--"many of the sepoys, after extracting
the wet cartridge very deliberately, tore their pocket handkerchiefs or
lining from their turbans and, baling water with their hands into the
barrel of their pieces, washed and dried them, thus enabling them to fire
an occasional volley." Out of sixty sepoys one was killed and fourteen
wounded. After this Sir Hugh Gough threatened to bombard Canton if there
were any more attacks on his camp, and they at once ceased, and when the
whole of the indemnity was paid the English troops were withdrawn, leaving
Canton as it was, for a second time "a record of British magnanimity and
forbearance."

After this trade reverted to its former footing, and by the Canton
convention, signed by the imperial commissioners in July, 1841, the
English obtained all the privileges they could hope for from the local
authorities. But it was essentially a truce, not a treaty, and the great
point of direct intercourse with the central government was no nearer
settlement than ever. At this moment Sir Henry Pottinger arrived as
Plenipotentiary from England, and he at once set himself to obtaining a
formal recognition from the Pekin executive of his position and the
admission of his right to address them on diplomatic business. With the
view of pressing this matter on the attention of Taoukwang, who personally
had not deviated from his original attitude of emphatic hostility, Sir
Henry Pottinger sailed northward with the fleet and a large portion of the
land forces about the end of August. The important seaport of Amoy was
attacked and taken after what was called "a short but animated
resistance." This town is situated on an island, the largest of a group
lying at the entrance to the estuary of Lungkiang, and it has long been
famous as a convenient port and flourishing place of trade. The Chinese
had raised a rampart of 1,100 yards in length, and this they had armed
with ninety guns, while a battery of forty-two guns protected its flank.
Kulangsu was also fortified, and the Chinese had placed in all 500 guns in
position. They believed in the impregnability of Amoy, and it was allowed
that no inconsiderable skill as well as great expense had been devoted to
the strengthening of the place. When the English fleet arrived off the
port the Chinese sent a flag of truce to demand what it wanted, and they
were informed the surrender of the town. The necessity for this measure
would be hard to justify, especially as we were nominally at peace with
China, for the people of Amoy had inflicted no injury on our trade, and
their chastisement would not bring us any nearer to Pekin. Nor was the
occupation of Amoy necessary on military grounds. It was strong only for
itself, and its capture had no important consequences. As the Chinese
determined to resist the English, the fleet engaged the batteries, and the
Chinese, standing to their guns "right manfully," only abandoned their
position when they found their rear threatened by a landing party. Then,
after a faint resistance, the Chinese sought safety in flight, but some of
their officers, preferring death to dishonor, committed suicide, one of
them being seen to walk calmly into the sea and drown himself in face of
both armies. The capture of Amoy followed.

As the authorities at Amoy refused to hold any intercourse with the
English, the achievement remained barren of any useful consequence, and
after leaving a small garrison on Kulangsu, and three warships in the
roadstead, the English expedition continued its northern course. After
being scattered by a storm in the perilous Formosa channel, the fleet
reunited off Ningpo, whence it proceeded to attack Chusan for a second
time. The Chinese defended Tinghai, the capital, with great resolution. At
this place General Keo, the chief naval and military commander, was
killed, and all his officers, sticking to him to the last, also fell with
him. Their conduct in fact was noble; nothing could have surpassed it. On
the reoccupation of Chusan, which it was decided to retain until a formal
treaty had been concluded with the emperor, Sir Henry Pottinger issued a
proclamation to the effect that years might elapse before that place would
be restored to the emperor's authority, and many persons wished that it
should be permanently annexed as the best base for commercial operations
in China. A garrison of 400 men was left at Tinghai, and then the
expedition proceeded to attack Chinhai on the mainland, where the Chinese
had made every preparation to offer a strenuous resistance. The Chinese
suffered the most signal defeat and the greatest loss they had yet
incurred during the war. The victory at Chinhai was followed by the
unopposed occupation of the important city of Ningpo, where the
inhabitants shut themselves up in their houses, and wrote on their doors
"Submissive People." Ningpo was put to ransom and the authorities informed
that unless they paid the sum within a certain time their city would be
handed over to pillage and destruction. As the Pekin government had made
no sign of giving in, it was felt that no occasion ought to be lost of
overawing the Chinese, and compelling them to admit that any further
prolongation of the struggle would be hopeless. The arrival of further
troops and warships from Europe enabled the English commanders to adopt a
more determined and uncompromising attitude, and the capture of Ningpo
would have been followed up at once but for the disastrous events in
Afghanistan, which distracted attention from the Chinese question, and
delayed its settlement. It was hoped, however, that the continued
occupation of Amoy, Chusan and Ningpo would cause sufficient pressure on
the Pekin government to induce it to yield all that was demanded.

These anticipations were not fulfilled, for neither the swift-recurring
visitation of disaster nor the waning resources of the imperial government
in both men and treasure, could shake the fixed hostility of Taoukwang or
induce him to abate his proud pretensions. Minister after minister passed
into disgrace and exile. Misfortune shared the same fate as incompetence,
and the more the embarrassments of the state increased the heavier fell
the hand of the ruler and the verdict of the Board of Punishments upon
beaten generals and unsuccessful statesmen. The period of inaction which
followed the occupation of Ningpo no doubt encouraged the emperor to think
that the foreigners were exhausted, or that they had reached the end of
their successes, and he ordered increased efforts to be made to bring up
troops, and to strengthen the approaches to Pekin. The first proof of his
returning spirit was shown in March, 1842, when the Chinese attempted to
seize Ningpo by a coup de main. Suddenly, and without warning, a force of
between ten and twelve thousand men appeared at daybreak outside the south
and west gates of Ningpo, and many of them succeeded in making their way
over the walls and gaining the center of the town; but, instead of proving
the path to victory, this advance resulted in the complete overthrow of
the Chinese. Attacked by artillery and foot in the market-place they were
almost annihilated, and the great Chinese attack on Ningpo resulted in a
fiasco. Similar but less vigorous attacks were made about the same time on
Chinhai and Chusan, but they were both repulsed with heavy loss to the
Chinese. In consequence of these attacks and the improved position in
Afghanistan it was decided to again assume the offensive, and to break up
the hostile army at Hangchow, of which the body that attacked Ningpo was
the advanced guard. Sir Hugh Gough commanded the operations in person, and
he had the co-operation of a naval force under Sir William Parker. The
first action took place outside Tszeki, a small place ten miles from
Ningpo, where the Chinese fancied they occupied an exceedingly strong
position. But careful inspection showed it to be radically faulty. Their
lines covered part of the Segaou hills, but their left was commanded by
some higher hills on the right of the English position, and the Chinese
left again commanded their own right. It was evident, therefore, that the
capture of the left wing of the Chinese encampment would entail the
surrender or evacuation of the rest. The difficulties of the ground caused
a greater delay in the advance than had been expected, and the assault had
to be delivered along the whole line, as it was becoming obvious that the
Chinese were growing more confident, and, consequently, more to be feared
from the delay in attacking them. The assault was made with the
impetuosity good troops always show in attacking inferior ones, no matter
how great the disparity of numbers; and here the Chinese were driven out
of their position--although they stood their ground in a creditable
manner--and chased over the hills down to the rice fields below. The
Chinese loss was over a thousand killed, including many of the Imperial
Guard, of whom 500 were present, and whom Sir Hugh Gough described as
"remarkably fine men," while the English had six killed and thirty-seven
wounded. For the moment it was intended to follow up this victory by an
attack on the city of Hangchow, the famous Kincsay of medieval travelers;
but the arrival of fresh instructions gave a complete turn to the whole
war.

Little permanent good had been effected by these successful operations on
the coast, and Taoukwang was still as resolute as ever in his hostility;
nor is there any reason to suppose that the capture of Hangchow, or any
other of the coast towns, would have caused a material change in the
situation. The credit of initiating the policy which brought the Chinese
government to its knees belongs exclusively to Lord Ellenborough, then
governor-general of India. He detected the futility of operations along
the coast, and he suggested that the great waterway of the Yangtsekiang,
perfectly navigable for warships up to the immediate neighborhood of
Nankin, provided the means of coercing the Chinese, and effecting the
objects which the English Government had in view. The English expedition,
strongly re-enforced from India, then abandoned Ningpo and Chinhai, and,
proceeding north, began the final operations of the war with an attack on
Chapoo, where the Chinese had made extensive measures of defense. Chapoo
was the port appointed for trade with Japan, and the Chinese had collected
there a very considerable force from the levies of Chekiang, which ex-
Commissioner Lin had been largely instrumental in raising. Sir Hugh Gough
attacked Chapoo with 2,000 men, and the main body of the Chinese was
routed without much difficulty, but 300 desperate men shut themselves up
in a walled inclosure, and made an obstinate resistance. They held out
until three-fourths of them were slain, when the survivors, seventy-five
wounded men, accepted the quarter offered them from the first. The English
lost ten killed and fifty-five wounded, and the Chinese more than a
thousand. After this the expedition proceeded northward for the Great
River, and it was found necessary to attack Woosung, the port of Shanghai,
en route. This place was also strongly fortified with as many as 175 guns
in position, but the chief difficulty in attacking it lay in that of
approach, as the channel had first to be sounded, and then the sailing
ships towed into position by the steamers. Twelve vessels were in this
manner placed broadside to the batteries on land, a position which
obviously they could not have maintained against a force of anything like
equal strength; but they succeeded in silencing the Chinese batteries with
comparatively little loss, and then the English army was landed without
opposition. Shanghai is situated sixteen miles up the Woosung River, and
while part of the force proceeded up the river another marched overland.
Both columns arrived together, and the disheartened Chinese evacuated
Shanghai after firing one or two random shots. No attempt was made to
retain Shanghai, and the expedition re-embarked, and proceeded to attack
Chankiang or Chinkiangfoo, a town on the southern bank of the
Yangtsekiang, and at the northern entrance of the southern branch of the
Great Canal. This town has always been a place of great celebrity, both
strategically and commercially, for not merely does it hold a very strong
position with regard to the Canal, but it forms, with the Golden and
Silver Islands, the principal barrier in the path of those attempting to
reach Nankin. At this point Sir Hugh Gough was re-enforced by the 98th
Regiment, under Colonel Colin Campbell. The difficulties of navigation and
the size of the fleet, which now reached seventy vessels, caused a delay
in the operations, and it was not until the latter end of July, or more
than a month after the occupation of Shanghai, that the English reached
Chinkiangfoo, where, strangely enough, there seemed to be no military
preparations whatever. A careful reconnaissance revealed the presence of
three strong encampments at some distance from the town, and the first
operation was to carry them, and to prevent their garrisons joining such
forces as might still remain in the city. This attack was intrusted to
Lord Saltoun's brigade, which was composed of two Scotch regiments and
portions of two native regiments, with only three guns. The opposition was
almost insignificant, and the three camps were carried with comparatively
little loss and their garrisons scattered in all directions. At the same
time the remainder of the force assaulted the city, which was surrounded
by a high wall and a deep moat. Some delay was caused by these obstacles,
but at last the western gate was blown in by Captain Pears, of the
Engineers, and at the same moment the walls were escaladed at two
different points, and the English troops, streaming in on three sides,
fairly surrounded a considerable portion of the garrison, who retired into
a detached work, where they perished to the last man either by our fire or
in the flames of the houses which were ignited partly by themselves and
partly by the fire of our soldiers. The resistance did not stop here, for
the Tartar or inner city was resolutely defended by the Manchus, and owing
to the intense heat the Europeans would have been glad of a rest; but, as
the Manchus kept up a galling fire, Sir Hugh Gough felt bound to order an
immediate assault before the enemy grew too daring. The fight was renewed,
and the Tartars were driven back at all points; but the English troops
were so exhausted that they could not press home this advantage. The
interval thus gained was employed by the Manchus, not in making good their
escape, but in securing their military honor by first massacring their
women and children, and then committing suicide. It must be remembered
that these were not Chinese, but Manchu Tartars of the dominant race.

The losses of the English army at this battle--40 killed, and 130 wounded
--were heavy, and they were increased by several deaths caused by the heat
and exhaustion of the day. The Chinese, or rather the Tartars, never
fought better, and it appears from a document discovered afterward that if
Hailing's recommendations had been followed, and if he had been properly
supported, the capture of Chinkiangfoo would have been even more difficult
and costly than it proved.

Some delay at Chinkiangfoo was rendered necessary by the exhaustion of the
troops and by the number of sick and wounded; but a week after the capture
of that place in the manner described the arrangements for the further
advance on Nankin were completed. A small garrison was left in an
encampment on a height commanding the entrance to the Canal; but there was
little reason to apprehend any fresh attack, as the lesson of Chinkiangfoo
had been a terrible one. That city lay beneath the English camp like a
vast charnel house, its half-burned buildings filled with the self-
immolated Tartars who had preferred honor to life; and so thickly strewn
were these and so intense the heat that the days passed away without the
ability to give them burial, until at last it became absolutely impossible
to render the last kind office to a gallant foe. Despite the greatest
precautions of the English authorities, Chinkiangfoo became the source of
pestilence, and an outbreak of cholera caused more serious loss in the
English camp than befell the main force intrusted with the capture of
Nankin. Contrary winds delayed the progress of the English fleet, and it
was not until the fifth of August, more than a fortnight after the battle
at Chinkiangfoo, that it appeared off Nankin, the second city in
reputation and historical importance of the empire, with one million
inhabitants and a garrison of 15,000 men, of whom two-thirds were Manchus.
The walls were twenty miles in length, and hindered, more than they
promoted, an efficient defense; and the difficulties of the surrounding
country, covered with the debris of the buildings which constituted the
larger cities of Nankin at an earlier period of history, helped the
assailing party more than they did the defenders. Sir Hugh Gough drew up
an admirable plan for capturing this vast and not defenseless city with
his force of 5,000 men, and there is no reason to doubt that he would have
been completely successful; but by this the backbone of the Chinese
government had been broken, and even the proud and obstinate Taoukwang was
compelled to admit that it was imperative to come to terms with the
English, and to make some concessions in order to get rid of them.

The minister Elepoo, who once enjoyed the closest intimacy with Taoukwang,
and who was the leader of the Peace party, which desired the cessation of
an unequal struggle, had begun informal negotiations several months before
they proved successful at Nankin. He omitted no opportunity of learning
the views of the English officers, and what was the minimum of concession
on which a stable peace could be based. He had endeavored also to give
something of a generous character to the struggle, and he had more than
once proved himself a courteous as well as a gallant foe. After the
capture of Chapoo and Woosung he sent back several officers and men who
had at different times been taken prisoners by the Chinese, and he
expressed at the same time the desire that the war should end. Sir Henry
Pottinger's reply to this letter was to inquire if he was empowered by the
emperor to negotiate. If he had received this authority the English
plenipotentiary would be very happy to discuss any matter with him, but if
not the operations of war must proceed. At that moment Elepoo had not the
requisite authority to negotiate, and the war went on until the victorious
English troops were beneath the walls of Nankin. At the same time as these
pourparlers were held with Elepoo at Woosung, Sir Henry Pottinger issued a
proclamation to the Chinese stating what the British Government required
to be done. In this document the equality of all nations as members of the
same human family was pointed out, and the right to hold friendly
intercourse insisted on as a matter of duty and common obligation. Sir
Henry said that "England, coming from the utmost west, has held
intercourse with China in this utmost east for more than two centuries
past, and during this time the English have suffered ill-treatment from
the Chinese officials, who, regarding themselves as powerful and us as
weak, have thus dared to commit injustice." Then followed a list of the
many high-handed acts of Commissioner Lin and his successors. The Chinese,
plainly speaking, had sought to maintain their exclusiveness and to live
outside the comity of nations, and they had not the power to attain their
wish. Therefore they were compelled to listen to and to accept the terms
of the English plenipotentiary, which were as follows:--The emperor was
first of all to appoint a high officer with full powers to negotiate and
conclude arrangements on his own responsibility, when hostilities would be
suspended. The three principal points on which these negotiations were to
be based were compensation for losses and expenses, a friendly and
becoming intercourse on terms of equality between officers of the two
countries, and the cession of insular territory for commerce and for the
residence of merchants, and as a security and guarantee against the future
renewal of offensive acts. The first step toward the acceptance of these
terms was taken when an imperial commission was formed of three members,
Keying, Elepoo, and Niu Kien, viceroy of the Two Kiang; and to the last
named, as governor of the provinces most affected, fell the task of
writing the first diplomatic communication of a satisfactory character
from the Chinese government to the English plenipotentiary. This letter
was important for more reasons than its being of a conciliatory nature. It
held out to a certain extent a hand of friendship, and it also sought to
assign an origin to the conflict, and Niu Kien could find nothing more
handy or convenient than opium, which thus came to give its name to the
whole war. With regard to the Chinese reverses, Niu Kien, while admitting
them, explained that "as the central nation had enjoyed peace for a long
time the Chinese were not prepared for attacking and fighting, which had
led to this accumulation of insult and disgrace." In a later communication
Niu Kien admitted that "the English at Canton had been exposed to insults
and extortions for a series of years, and that steps should be taken to
insure in future that the people of your honorable nation might carry on
their commerce to advantage, and not receive injury thereby." These
documents showed that the Chinese were at last willing to abandon the old
and impossible principle of superiority over other nations, for which they
had so long contended; and with the withdrawal of this pretension
negotiations for the conclusion of a stable peace became at once possible
and of hopeful augury.

The first step of the Chinese commissioners was to draw up a memorial for
presentation to the emperor, asking his sanction of the arrangement they
suggested. In this document they covered the whole ground of the dispute,
and stated in clear and unmistakable language what the English demanded,
and they did not shrink from recommending compliance with their terms.
Keying and his colleagues put the only two alternatives with great
cogency. Which will be the heavier calamity, they said, to pay the English
the sum of money they demand (21,000,000 dollars, made up as follows: Six
million for the destroyed opium, 3,000,000 for the debts of the Hong
merchants, and 12,000,000 for the expenses of the war), or that they
should continue those military operations which seemed irresistible, and
from which China had suffered so grievously? Even if the latter
alternative were faced and the war continued, the evil day would only be
put off. The army expenses would be very great, the indemnity would be
increased in amount, and after all there would be only "the name of
fighting without the hope of victory." Similar arguments were used with
regard to the cession of Hongkong, and the right of trading at five of the
principal ports. The English no doubt demanded more than they ought, but
what was the use of arguing with them, as they were masters of the
situation? Moreover, some solace might be gathered in the midst of
affliction from the fact that the English were willing to pay certain
duties on their commerce which would in the end repay the war indemnity,
and contribute to "the expenditure of the imperial family." With regard to
the question of ceremonial intercourse on a footing of equality, they
declared that it might be "unreservedly granted." The reply of Taoukwang
to this memorial was given in an edict of considerable length, and he
therein assented to all the views and suggestions of the commissioners,
while he imposed on Keying alone the responsibility of making all the
arrangements for paying the large indemnity. All the preliminaries for
signing a treaty of peace had therefore been arranged before the English
forces reached Nankin, and as the Chinese commissioners were sincere in
their desire for peace, and as the emperor had sanctioned all the
necessary arrangements, there was no reason to apprehend any delay, and
much less a breakdown of the negotiations.

It was arranged that the treaty should be signed on board a British man-
of-war, and the Chinese commissioners were invited to pay a visit for the
purpose to the "Cornwallis," the flagship of the admiral. The event came
off on the 20th of August, 1842, and the scene was sufficiently
interesting, if not imposing. The long line of English warships and
transports, drawn up opposite to and within short range of the lofty walls
of Nankin; the land forces so disposed on the raised causeways on shore as
to give them every facility of approach to the city gates, while leaving
it doubtful to the last which gate would be the real object of attack; and
then the six small Chinese boats, gayly decorated with flags, bearing the
imperial commissioners and their attendants, to sign for the first time in
history a treaty of defeat with a foreign power. The commissioners were
dressed in their plainest clothes, as they explained, because imperial
commissioners are supposed to proceed in haste about their business, and
have no time to waste on their persons, but there is reason to believe
that they thought such clothing best consorted with the inauspicious
character for China of the occasion. The ceremony passed off without a
hitch, and four days later Sir Henry Pottinger paid the Chinese officers a
return visit, when he was received by them in a temple outside the city
walls. A third and more formal reception was held on the 26th of August in
the College Hall, in the center of Nankin, when Sir Henry Pottinger,
twenty officers, and an escort of native cavalry rode through the streets
of one of the most famous cities of China. It was noted at the time that
on this date an event of great importance had happened in each of the
three previous years. On the 26th of August, 1839, Lin had expelled the
English from Macao, in 1840 the British fleet anchored off the Peiho, and
in 1841 Amoy was captured. Three days after this reception the treaty
itself was signed on board the "Cornwallis," when Keying and his
colleagues again attended for the purpose. The act of signing was
celebrated by a royal salute of twenty-one guns, and the hoisting of the
standards of England and China at the masthead of the man-of-war. The
Emperor Taoukwang ratified the treaty with commendable dispatch, and the
only incident to mar the cordiality of the last scene in this part of the
story of Anglo-Chinese relations was the barbarous and inexcusable injury
inflicted by a party of English officers and soldiers on the famous
Porcelain Tower, which was one of the finest specimens of Chinese art,
having been built 400 years before at great expense and the labor of
twenty years.

The ports in addition to Canton to be opened to trade were Shanghai,
Ningpo, Amoy and Foochow, but these were not to be opened until a tariff
had been drawn up and consular officers appointed. As the installments of
the indemnity were paid the troops and fleet were withdrawn, but a
garrison was left for some time in Chusan and Kulangsu, the island off
Amoy. The attack and massacre of some shipwrecked crews on the coast of
Formosa gave the Chinese government an occasion of showing how marked a
change had come over its policy. An investigation was at once ordered, the
guilty officials were punished, and the emperor declared, "We will not
allow that, because the representation came from outside foreigners, it
should be carelessly cast aside without investigation. Our own subjects
and foreigners, ministers and people, should all alike understand that it
is our high desire to act with even-handed and perfect justice." Sir Henry
Pottinger's task was only half performed until he had drawn up the tariff
and installed consular officers in the new treaty ports. Elepoo was
appointed to represent China in the tariff negotiations, and Canton was
selected as the most convenient place for discussing the matter. Within
two months of the resumption of negotiations they seemed on the point of a
satisfactory termination, when the death of Elepoo, the most sincere and
straightforward of all the Chinese officials, caused a delay in the
matter. Elepoo was a member of the Manchu imperial family, being descended
from one of the brothers of Yung Ching, who had been banished by that
ruler and reinstated by Keen Lung. That the Pekin government did not wish
to make his death an excuse for backing out of the arrangement was shown
by the prompt appointment of Keying as his successor. At this stage of the
question the opium difficulty again rose up as of the first importance in
reference to the settlement of the commercial tariff. The main point was
whether opium was to appear in the tariff at all or to be relegated to the
category of contraband articles. Sir Henry Pottinger disclaimed all
sympathy with the traffic, and was quite willing that it should be
declared illicit; but at the same time he stated that the responsibility
of putting it down must rest with the Chinese themselves. The Chinese were
not willing to accept this responsibility, and said that "if the
supervision of the English representatives was not perfect, there will be
less or more of smuggling." Keying paid Sir Henry Pottinger a ceremonious
visit at Hongkong on the 2eth of June, 1843, and within one month of that
day the commercial treaty was signed. Sir Henry issued a public
proclamation calling upon British subjects to faithfully conform with its
provisions, and stating that he would adopt the most stringent and decided
measures against any offending persons. On his side Keying published a
notification that "trade at the five treaty ports was open to the men from
afar." The only weak point in the commercial treaty was that it contained
no reference to opium. Sir Henry Pottinger failed to obtain the assent of
the Chinese government to its legalization, and he refused to undertake
the responsibility of a preventive service in China, but at the same time
he publicly stated that the "traffic in opium was illegal and contraband
by the laws and imperial edicts of China." Those who looked further ahead
realized that the treaty of Nankin, by leaving unsettled the main point in
the controversy and the primary cause of difference, could not be
considered a final solution of the problem of foreign intercourse with
China. The opium question remained over to again disturb the harmony of
our relations.

As has been said before, it would be taking a narrow view of the question
to affirm that opium was the principal object at stake during this war.
The real point was whether the Chinese government could be allowed the
possession of rights which were unrecognized in the law of nations and
which rendered the continuance of intercourse with foreigners an
impossibility. What China sought to retain was never claimed by any other
nation, and could only have been established by extraordinary military
power. When people talk, therefore, of the injustice of this war as
another instance of the triumph of might over right, they should recollect
that China in the first place was wrong in claiming an impossible position
in the family of nations. We cannot doubt that if the acts of Commissioner
Lin had been condoned the lives of all Europeans would have been at the
mercy of a system which recognizes no gradation in crime, which affords
many facilities for the manufacture of false evidence, and which inflicts
punishment altogether in excess of the fault. It is gratifying to find
that many unprejudiced persons declared at the time that the war which
resulted in the Nankin treaty was a just one, and so eminent an authority
on international law as John Quincy Adams drew up an elaborate treatise to
show that "Britain had the righteous cause against China." We may leave
the scene of contest and turn from the record of an unequal war with the
reflection that the results of the struggle were to be good. However
inadequately the work of far-seeing statesmanship may have been performed
in 1842, enough was done to make present friendship possible and a better
understanding between two great governing peoples a matter of hope and not
desponding expectancy.



CHAPTER XVIII

TAOUKWANG AND HIS SUCCESSOR


The progress and temporary settlement of the foreign question so
completely overshadows every other event during Taoukwang's reign that it
is difficult to extract anything of interest from the records of the
government of the country, although the difficult and multifarious task of
ruling three hundred millions of people had to be performed. More than one
fact went to show that the bonds of constituted authority were loosened in
China, and that men paid only a qualified respect to the imperial edict.
Bands of robbers prowled about the country, and even the capital was not
free from their presence. While one band made its headquarters within the
imperial city, another established itself in a fortified position in the
central provinces of China, whence it dominated a vast region. The police
were helpless, and such military forces as existed were unable to make any
serious attempt to crush an opponent who was stronger than themselves. The
foreign war had led to the recruiting of a large number of braves, and the
peace to their sudden disbandment, so that the country was covered with a
large number of desperate and penniless men, who were not particular as to
what they did for a livelihood. It is not surprising that the secret
societies began to look up again with so promising a field to work in, and
a new association, known as the Green Water Lily, became extremely
formidable among the truculent braves of Hoonan. But none of these
troubles assumed the extreme form of danger in open rebellion, and there
was still wanting the man to weld all these hostile and dangerous elements
into a national party of insurgents against Manchu authority, and so it
remained until Taoukwang had given up his throne to his successor.

In Yunnan there occurred, about the year 1846, the first simmerings of
disaffection among the Mohammedans, which many years later developed into
the Panthay Rebellion, but on that occasion the vigor of the viceroy
nipped the danger in the bud. In Central Asia there was a revival of
activity on the part of the Khoja exiles, who fancied that the
discomfiture of the Chinese by the English and the internal disorders, of
which rumor had no doubt carried an exaggerated account into Turkestan,
would entail a very much diminished authority in Kashgar. As it happened,
the Chinese authority in that region had been consolidated and extended by
the energy and ability of a Mohammedan official named Zuhuruddin. He had
risen to power by the thoroughness with which he had carried out the
severe repressive measures sanctioned after the abortive invasion of
Jehangir, and during fifteen years he increased the revenue and trade of
the great province intrusted to his care. His loyalty to the Chinese
government seems to have been unimpeachable, and the only point he seems
to have erred in was an overconfident belief in the strength of his
position. He based this opinion chiefly on the fact of his having
constructed strong new forts, or yangyshahr, outside the principal towns.
But a new element of danger had in the meantime been introduced into the
situation in Kashgar by the appointment of Khokandian consuls, who were
empowered to raise custom dues on all Mohammedan goods. These officials
became the center of intrigue against the Chinese authorities, and
whenever the Khan of Khokand determined to take up the cause of the Khojas
he found the ground prepared for him by these emissaries.

In 1842 Mahomed Ali, Khan of Khokand, a chief of considerable ability and
character, died, and his authority passed, after some confusion, to his
kinsman, Khudayar, who was a man of little capacity and indisposed to
meddle with the affairs of his neighbors. But the Khokandian chiefs were
loth to forego the turbulent adventures to which they were addicted for
the personal feelings of their nominal head, and they thought that a
descent upon Kashgar offered the best chance of glory and booty. Therefore
they went to the seven sons of Jehangir and, inciting them by the memory
of their father's death as well as the hope of a profitable adventure, to
make another attempt to drive the Chinese out of Central Asia, succeeded
in inducing them to unfurl once more the standard of the Khojas. The seven
Khojas--Haft Khojagan--issued their proclamation in the winter of 1845-46,
rallied all their adherents to their side, and made allies of the Kirghiz
tribes.

When the Mohammedan forces left the hills they advanced with extreme
rapidity on Kashgar, to which they laid siege. After a siege of a
fortnight they obtained possession of the town through the treachery of
some of the inhabitants; but the citadel or yangyshahr continued to hold
out, and their excesses in the town so alienated the sympathy of the
Kashgarians, that no popular rising took place, and the Chinese were able
to collect all their garrisons to expel the invaders. The Khojas were
defeated in a battle at Kok Robat, near Yarkand, and driven out of the
country. The affair of the seven Khojas, which at one time threatened the
Chinese with the gravest danger, thus ended in a collapse, and it is
remarkable as being the only invasion in which the Mohammedan subjects of
China did not fraternize with her enemies. Notwithstanding the magnitude
of his services as an administrator, Zuhuruddin was disgraced and
dismissed from his post for what seemed his culpable apathy at the
beginning of the campaign.

Another indication of the weakness of the Chinese executive was furnished
in the piratic confederacy which established itself at the entrance of the
Canton River, and defied all the efforts of the mandarins until they
enlisted in their behalf the powerful co-operation of the English navy.
The Bogue had never been completely free from those lawless persons who
are willing to commit any outrage if it holds out a certain prospect of
gain with a minimum amount of danger, and the peace had thrown many
desperate men out of employment who thought they could find in piracy a
mode of showing their patriotism as well as of profiting themselves. These
turbulent and dangerous individuals gathered round a leader named
Shapuntsai, and in the year of which we are speaking, 1849, they
controlled a large fleet and a well-equipped force, which levied blackmail
from Fochow to the Gulf of Tonquin, and attacked every trading ship,
European or Chinese, which did not appear capable of defending itself. If
they had confined their attacks to their own countrymen it is impossible
to say how long they might have gone on in impunity, for the empire
possessed no naval power; but, unfortunately for them, and fortunately for
China, they seized some English vessels and murdered some English
subjects. One man-of-war under Captain Hay was employed in operations
against them, and in the course of six months fifty-seven piratical
vessels were destroyed, and a thousand of their crews either slain or
taken prisoners. Captain Hay, on being joined by another man-of-war, had
the satisfaction of destroying the remaining junks and the depots in the
Canton River, whereupon he sailed to attack the headquarters of Shapuntsai
in the Gulf of Tonquin. After some search the piratical fleet was
discovered off an island which still bears the name of the Pirates' Hold,
and after a protracted engagement it was annihilated. Sixty junks were
destroyed, and Shapuntsai was compelled to escape to Cochin China, where
it is believed that he was executed by order of the king. The dispersion
of this powerful confederacy was a timely service to the Chinese, who were
informed that the English government would be at all times happy to afford
similar aid at their request. Even at this comparatively early stage of
the intercourse it was apparent that the long-despised foreigners would be
able to render valuable service of a practical kind to the Pekin
executive, and that if the Manchus wished to assert their power more
effectually over their Chinese subjects they would be compelled to have
recourse to European weapons and military and scientific knowledge. The
suppression of the piratical confederacy of the Bogue was the first
occasion of that employment of European force, which was carried to a much
more advanced stage during the Taeping rebellion, and of which we have
certainly not seen the last development.

One of the last acts of Taoukwang's reign showed to what a depth of mental
hesitation and misery he had sunk. It seems that the Chinese New Year's
day--February 12, 1850--was to be marked by an eclipse of the sun, which
was considered very inauspicious, and as the emperor was especially
susceptible to superstitious influences, he sought to get out of the
difficulty, and to avert any evil consequences, by decreeing that the new
year should begin on the previous day. But all-powerful as a Chinese
emperor is, there are some things he cannot do, and the good sense of the
Chinese revolted against this attempt to alter the course of nature. The
imperial decree was completely disregarded, and received with expressions
of derision, and in several towns the placards were torn down and defaced.
Notwithstanding the eclipse, the Chinese year began at its appointed time.
Some excuse might be made for Taoukwang on the ground of ill-health, for
he was then suffering from the illness which carried him off a few weeks
later. His health had long been precarious, the troubles of his reign had
prematurely aged him, and he had experienced a rude shock from the death,
at the end of 1849, of his adopted mother, toward whom he seems to have
preserved the most affectionate feelings. From the first day of his
illness its gravity seems to have been appreciated, and an unfavorable
issue expected. On February 25, a grand council was held in the emperor's
bed-chamber, and the emperor wrote in his bed an edict proclaiming his
fourth son his heir and chosen successor. Taoukwang survived this
important act only a very short time, but the exact date of his death is
uncertain. There is some reason for thinking that his end was hastened by
the outbreak of a fire within the Imperial City, which threatened it with
destruction. The event was duly notified to the Chinese people in a
proclamation by his successor, in which he dilated on the virtues of his
predecessor, and expressed the stereotyped wish that he could have lived a
hundred years.

Taoukwang was in his sixty-ninth year, having been born on September 12,
1781, and the thirty years over which his reign had nearly extended were
among the most eventful, and in some respects the most unfortunate, in the
annals of his country. When he was a young man, the power of his
grandfather, Keen Lung, was at its pinnacle, but the misfortunes of his
father's reign had prepared him for the greater misfortunes of his own,
and the school of adversity in which he had passed the greater portion of
his life had imbued him only with the disposition to bear calamity, and
not the vigor to grapple with it. Yet Taoukwang was not without many good
points, and he seems to have realized the extent of the national trouble,
and to have felt acutely his inability to retrieve what had been lost. He
was also averse to all unnecessary display, and his expenditure on the
court and himself was less than that of any of his predecessors or
successors. He never wasted the public money on his own person, and that
was a great matter. His habits were simple and manly.

Although Taoukwang's reign had been marked by unqualified misfortune, he
seems to have derived consolation from the belief that the worst was over,
and that as his authority had recovered from such rude shocks it was not
likely to experience anything worse. He had managed to extricate himself
from a foreign war, which was attended with an actual invasion of a most
alarming character, without any diminution of his authority. The symptoms
of internal rebellion which had revealed themselves in more than one
quarter of the empire had not attained any formidable dimensions, and
seemed likely to pass away without endangering the Chinese constitution.
Taoukwang may have hoped that while he had suffered much he had saved his
family and dynasty from more serious calamities, and that on him alone had
fallen the resentment of an offended Heaven. The experience of the next
fifteen years was to show how inaccurately he had measured the situation,
and how far the troubles of the fifteen years following his death were to
exceed those of his reign; for just as he had inherited from his father,
Kiaking, a legacy of trouble, so did he pass on to his son an inheritance
of misfortune and difficulty, rendered all the more onerous by the
pretension of supreme power without the means to support it.

The accession of Prince Yihchoo--who took the name of Hienfung, which
means "great abundance," or "complete prosperity"--to the throne
threatened for a moment to be disturbed by the ambition of his uncle, Hwuy
Wang, who, it will be remembered, had attempted to seize the throne from
his brother Taoukwang. This prince had lived in retirement during the last
years of his brother's reign, and the circumstances which emboldened him
to again put forward his pretensions will not be known until the state
history of the Manchu dynasty is published. His attempt signally failed,
but Hienfung spared his life, while he punished the ministers, Keying and
Muchangah, for their supposed apathy, or secret sympathy with the aspirant
to the imperial office, by dismissing them from their posts. When Hienfung
became emperor he was less than twenty years of age, and one of his first
acts was to confer the title of Prince on his four younger brothers, and
to associate them in the administration with himself. This was a new
departure in the Manchu policy, as all the previous emperors had
systematically kept their brothers in the background. Hienfung's brothers
became known in the order of their ages as Princes Kung, Shun, Chun, and
Fu, and as Hienfung was the fourth son of Taoukwang, they were also
distinguished numerically as the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth
princes. Although Hienfung became emperor at a time of great national
distress, he was so far fortunate that an abundant harvest, in the year
1850, tended to mitigate it, and by having recourse to the common Chinese
practice of "voluntary contributions," a sufficiently large sum was raised
to remove the worst features of the prevailing scarcity and suffering. But
these temporary and local measures could not improve a situation that was
radically bad, or allay a volume of popular discontent that was rapidly
developing into unconcealed rebellion.

An imperial proclamation was drawn up by the Hanlin College in which
Hienfung took upon himself the whole blame of the national misfortunes,
but the crisis had got far beyond a remedy of words. The corruption of the
public service had gradually alienated the sympathies of the people.
Justice and probity had for a time been banished from the civil service of
China. The example of the few men of honor and capacity served but to
bring into more prominent relief the faults of the whole class. Justice
was nowhere to be found; the verdict was sold to the highest bidder. The
guilty, if well provided in worldly goods, escaped scot-free; the poor
suffered for their own frailties as well as the crimes of wealthier
offenders. There was seen the far from uncommon case of individuals
sentenced to death obtaining substitutes for the capital punishment.
Offices were sold to men who had never passed an examination, and who were
wholly illiterate, and the sole value of office was as the means of
extortion. The nation was heavily taxed, but the taxes to the state were
only the smaller part of the sums wrung from the people of the Middle
Kingdom. How was honor, or a sense of duty, to be expected from men who
knew that their term of office must be short, and who had to receive their
purchase money and the anticipated profit before their post was sold again
to some fresh and possibly higher bidder? The officials waxed rich on ill-
gotten wealth, and a few individuals accumulated enormous fortunes, while
the government sank lower and lower in the estimation of the people. It
lost also in efficiency and striking power. A corrupt and effeminate body
of officers and administrators can serve but as poor defenders for an
embarrassed prince and an assailed government against even enemies who are
in themselves insignificant and not free from the vices of a corrupt
society and a decaying age, and it was only on such that Hienfung had in
the first place to lean against his opponents. Even his own Manchus, the
warlike Tartars, who, despite the smallness of their numbers, had
conquered the whole of China, had lost their primitive virtue and warlike
efficiency in the southern climes which they had made their home. To them
the opulent cities of the Chinese had proved as fatal as Capua to the army
of the Carthaginian, and, as the self-immolations of Chapoo and
Chinkiangfoo proved to have no successors, they showed themselves unworthy
of the empire won by their ancestors. For the first time since the revolt
of Wou Sankwei, the Manchus were brought face to face with a danger
threatening their right of conquest; yet on the eve of the Taeping
Rebellion all Hienfung could think of to oppose his foes with was fine
words as to his shortcomings and lavish promises of amendment.

Among the secret societies the Triads were the first to give a political
and dynastic significance to their propaganda. The opening sentence of the
oath of membership read as follows: "We combine everywhere to recall the
Ming and exterminate the barbarians, cut off the Tsing and await the right
prince." But as there were none of the Mings left, and as their name had
lost whatever hold it may have possessed on the minds of the Chinese
people, this proclaimed object tended rather to deter than to invite
recruits to the society. Yet if any secret society shared in the
origination of the Taeping Rebellion that credit belongs to the Triads,
whose anti-Manchu literature enjoyed a wide circulation through Southern
China, and they may have had a large share in drafting the programme that
the Taeping leader, Tien Wang, attempted to carry out.

The individual on whom that exalted title was subsequently bestowed had a
very common origin, and sprang from an inferior race. Hung-tsiuen, such
was his own name, was the son of a small farmer near Canton, and he was a
_hakka_, a despised race of tramps who bear some resemblance to our
gypsies. He was born in the year 1813, and he seems to have passed all his
examinations with special credit; but the prejudice on account of his
birth prevented his obtaining any employment in the civil service of his
country. He was therefore a disappointed aspirant to office, and at such a
period it was not surprising that he should have become an enemy of the
constituted authorities and the government. As he could not be the servant
of the state he set himself the ambitious task of being its master, and
with this object in view he resorted to religious practices in order to
acquire a popular reputation, and a following among the masses. He took up
his residence in a Buddhist monastery; and the ascetic deprivations, the
loud prayers and invocations, the supernatural counsels and meetings, were
the course of training which every religious devotee adopts as the proper
novitiate for those honors based on the superstitious reverence of mankind
which are sometimes no inadequate substitute for temporal power and
influence, even when they fail to pave the way to their attainment. He
left his place of seclusion to place himself at the head of the largest
party of rebels, who had made their headquarters in the remote province of
Kwangsi, and he there proclaimed himself as Tien Wang, which means the
Heavenly Prince, and as an aspirant to the imperial dignity. Gradually the
rebels acquired possession of the whole of the territory south of the
Canton River, and when they captured the strong and important military
station at Nanning the emperor sent three commissioners, one of them being
his principal minister Saichangah, to bring them to reason, but the result
was not encouraging, and although the Taepings were repulsed in their
attempt on Kweiling, they remained masters of the open part of the
province. One of the Chinese officers had the courage to write and tell
the emperor that "the outlaws were neither exterminated nor made
prisoners." Notwithstanding the enormous expenditure on the war and the
collection of a large body of troops the imperial forces made no real
progress in crushing the rebels. Fear or inexperience prevented them from
coming at once to close quarters with the Taepings, when their superior
numbers must have decided the struggle in their favor and nipped a most
formidable rebellion in the bud. That some of Hienfung's officers realized
the position can be gathered from the following letter, written at this
period by a Chinese mandarin: "The whole country swarms with rebels. Our
funds are nearly at an end, and our troops few; our officers disagree, and
the power is not concentrated. The commander of the forces wants to
extinguish a burning wagonload of fagots with a cupful of water. I fear we
shall hereafter have some serious affair--that the great body will rise
against us, and our own people leave us." The military operations in
Kwangsi languished during two years, although the tide of war declared
itself, on the whole, against the imperialists; but the rebels themselves
were exposed to this danger--that they were exclusively dependent on the
resources of the province, and that these being exhausted, they were in
danger of being compelled to retire into Tonquin. It was at this
exceedingly critical moment that Tien Wang showed himself an able leader
of men by coming to the momentous decision to march out of Kwangsi, and
invade the vast and yet untouched provinces of Central China. If the step
was more the pressure of dire need than the inspiration of genius, it none
the less forms the real turning-point in the rebellion.

Tien Wang announced his decision by issuing a proclamation, in the course
of which he declared that he had received "the Divine commission to
exterminate the Manchus, and to possess the empire as its true sovereign";
and, as it was also at this time that his followers became commonly known
as Taepings, it may be noted that the origin of this name is somewhat
obscure. According to the most plausible explanation it is derived from
the small town of that name, situated in the southwest corner of the
province of Kwangsi, where the rebel movement seems to have commenced.
Another derivation gives it as the style of the dynasty which Tien Wang
hoped to found, and its meaning as "Universal peace." Having called in all
his outlying detachments and proclaimed his five principal lieutenants by
titles which have been rendered as the northern, southern, eastern,
western and assistant kings, Tien Wang began his northern march in April,
1852. At the town of Yungan, on the eastern borders of the province of
Kwangsi, where he seems to have hesitated between an attack on Canton and
the invasion of Hoonan, an event occurred which threatened to break up his
force. The Triad chiefs, who had allied themselves with Tien Wang, were
superior in knowledge and station to the immediate followers of the
Taeping leader, and they took offense at the arrogance of his lieutenants
after they had been elevated to the rank of kings. These officers, who
possessed no claim to the dignity they had received, assumed the yellow
dress and insignia of Chinese royalty, and looked down on all their
comrades, especially the Triad organizers, who thought themselves the true
originators of the rebellion. Irritated by this treatment, the Triads took
their sudden and secret departure from the Taeping camp, and hastened to
make their peace with the imperialists. Of these Triads one chief, named
Chang Kwoliang, received an important command, and played a considerable
part in the later stages of the struggle.

The defection of the Triads put an end to the idea of attacking Canton,
and the Taepings marched to attack Kweiling, where the Imperial
Commissioners still remained. Tien Wang's assault was repulsed with some
loss, and, afraid of discouraging his troops by any further attempt to
seize so strong a place, he marched into Hoonan. Had the imperial
commanders, who had shown no inconsiderable capacity in defense, exhibited
as much energy in offensive measures, they might then and there have
annihilated the power of the Taepings. Had they pursued the Taeping army
they might have harassed its rear, delayed its progress, and eventually
brought it to a decisive engagement at the most favorable moment. But the
Imperial Commissioners did nothing, being apparently well satisfied with
having rid themselves of such troublesome neighbors. The advance of the
Taepings across the vast province of Hoonan was almost unopposed. The
towns were unprepared to resist an assailant, and it was not until Tien
Wang reached the provincial capital, Changsha, that he encountered any
resistance worthy of the name. Some vigorous preparations had been made
here to resist the rebels. Not merely was there a garrison in the place,
but it so happened that Tseng Kwofan, a man of considerable ability and of
an influential family, was residing near the town. Tseng had held several
offices in the public service, and, as a member of the Hanlin, enjoyed a
high position and reputation; but he happened to be at his own home in
retirement in consequence of the death of a near relation when tidings of
the approaching Taepings reached him, and he at once made himself
responsible for the defense of Changsha. He threw himself with all the
forces his influence or resources enabled him to collect into that town,
and at the same time he ordered all the militia of the province to collect
and harass the enemy. He called upon all those who had the means to show
their duty to the state and sovereign by raising recruits or by promising
rewards to those volunteers who would serve in the army against the
rebels. Had the example of Tseng Kwofan been generally followed, it is not
too much to say that the Taepings would never have got to Nankin. When the
rebels reached Changsha, therefore, they found the gates closed, the walls
manned, and the town victualed for a siege. They attempted to starve the
place into surrender, and to frighten the garrison into yielding by
threats of extermination; but when these efforts failed they delivered
three separate assaults, all of which were repulsed. After a siege of
eighty days, and having suffered very considerable losses, the Taepings
abandoned the attack, and on the 1st of December resumed their march
northward, which, if information could have been rapidly transmitted,
would have soon resulted in their overthrow. On breaking up from before
Changsha they succeeded in seizing a sufficient number of junks and boats
to cross the great inland lake of Tungting, and on reaching the
Yangtsekiang at Yochow they found that the imperial garrison had fled at
the mere mention of their approach. The capture of Yochow was important,
because the Taepings acquired there an important arsenal of much-needed
weapons and a large supply of gunpowder, which was said to have been the
property of Wou Sankwei. Thus, well equipped and supplying their other
deficiencies by celerity of movement, they attacked the important city of
Hankow, which surrendered without a blow. The scarcely less important town
of Wouchang, on the southern and opposite bank of the river, was then
attacked, and carried after a siege of a fortnight. The third town of
Hanyang, which forms, with the others, the most important industrial and
commercial hive in Central China, also surrendered without any attempt at
resistance, and this striking success at once restored the sinking courage
of the Taepings, and made the danger from them to the dynasty again wear
an aspect of the most pressing importance.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the effect of this success on the
spirits of the Taepings, who had been seriously discouraged before they
achieved this gratifying result. The capture of these towns removed all
their most serious causes of doubt, and enabled them to repay themselves
for the losses and hardships they had undergone, while it also showed that
the enterprise they had in hand was not likely to prove unprofitable.
After one month's rest at Hankow, and having been joined by many thousands
of new followers, the Taepings resolved to pursue their onward course. To
tell the truth, they were still apprehensive of pursuit from Tseng Kwofan,
who had been joined by the Triad loader, Chang Kwoliang; but there was no
ground for the fear, as these officials considered themselves tied to
their own province, and unfortunately the report of the success of the
imperialists in Hoonan blinded people to the danger in the Yangtse Valley
from the Taepings. The Taepings resumed active operations with the capture
of Kiukiang and Ganking, and in March, 1853, they sat down before Nankin.
The siege continued for a fortnight, but notwithstanding that there was a
large Manchu force in the Tartar city, which might easily have been
defended against an enemy without artillery, the resistance offered was
singularly and unexpectedly faint-hearted. The Taepings succeeded in
blowing in one of the gates, the townspeople fraternized with the
assailants, and the very Manchus who had defied Sir Hugh Gough in 1842
surrendered their lives and their honor to a force which was nothing more
than an armed rabble. The Tartar colony at Nankin, numbering 2,000
families, had evidently lost the courage and discipline which could alone
enable them to maintain their position in China. Instead of dying at their
posts they threw themselves on the mercy of the Taeping leader, imploring
him for pity and for their lives when the gate was blown in by Tien Wang's
soldiery. Their cowardice helped them not; of 20,000 Manchus not one
hundred escaped. The tale rests on undoubted evidence. A Taeping who took
part in the massacre said, "We killed them all, to the infant in arms; we
left not a root to sprout from, and the bodies of the slain we cast into
the Yangtse."

The acquisition of Nankin at once made the Taepings a formidable rival to
the Manchus, and Tien Wang a contestant with Hienfung for imperial honors.
The possession of the second city in the empire gave them the complete
control of the navigation of the Yangtsekiang, and thus enabled them to
cut off communications between the north and the south of China. To attain
this object in a still more perfect manner they occupied Chinkiangfoo at
the entrance to the Grand Canal. They also seized Yangchow on the northern
bank of the river immediately opposite the place where Sir Hugh Gough had
gained his decisive victory in 1842. Such was the terror of the Taepings
that the imperial garrisons did not attempt the least resistance, and town
after town was evacuated at their approach. Tien Wang, encouraged by his
success, transferred his headquarters from Hankow to Nankin, and
proclaimed the old Ming city his capital. By rapidity and an extraordinary
combination of fortunate circumstances, the Taepings had advanced from the
remote province of Kwangsi into the heart of the empire, but it was clear
that unless they could follow up their success by some blow to the central
government they would lose all they had gained as soon as the Manchus
recovered their confidence. At a council of war at Nankin it was decided
to send an army against Pekin as soon as Nankin had been placed in a
proper state to undergo a protracted siege. Provisions were collected to
stand a siege for six or seven years, the walls were repaired and fresh
batteries erected. By the end of May, 1853, these preparations were
completed, and as the Taeping army had then been raised to a total of
80,000 men, it was decided that a large part of it could be spared for
operations north of the Yangtsekiang. That army was increased to a very
large total by volunteers who thought an expedition to humble the Manchus
at the capital promised much glory and spoil. The progress of this
northern army very closely resembled that of the Taepings from Kwangsi to
Nankin. They overran the open country, and none of the imperial troops
ventured to oppose them, but when any Manchu officer showed valor in
defending a walled city they were fain to admit their inadequate
engineering skill and military capacity. They attacked Kaifong, the
capital of Honan, but were repulsed, and pursuing their former tactics
continued their march to Pekin. Having crossed the Hoangho they attacked
Hwaiking, where, after being delayed two months, they met with as signal a
repulse as at Kaifong. Notwithstanding this further reverse, the Taepings
pressed on, and defeating a Manchu force in the Lin Limming Pass, they
entered the metropolitan province of Pechihli in September, 1853. The
object of their march was plain. Not only did they mystify the emperor's
generals, but they passed through an untouched country where supplies were
abundant, and they thus succeeded in coming within striking distance of
Pekin in almost as fresh a state as when they left Nankin. Such was the
effect produced by their capture of the Limming Pass that none of the
towns in the southern part of the province attempted any resistance, and
they reached Tsing, only twenty miles south of Tientsin, and less than a
hundred from Pekin, before the end of October. This place marked the
northern limit of Taeping progress, and a reflex wave of Manchu energy
bore back the rebels to the Yangtse.

The forcing of the Limming Pass carried confusion and terror into the
imperial palace and capital. The fate of the dynasty seemed to tremble in
the balance at the hands of a ruthless and determined enemy. There
happened to be very few troops in Pekin at the time, and levies had to be
hastily summoned from Mongolia. If the Taepings had only shown the same
enterprise and rapidity of movement that they had exhibited up to this
point, there is no saying that the central government would not have been
subverted and the Manchu family extinguished as completely as the Mings.
But fortunately for Hienfung, an unusual apathy fell upon the Taepings,
who remained halted at Tsing until the Mongol levies had arrived, under
their great chief, Sankolinsin. They seem to have been quite exhausted by
their efforts, and after one reverse in the open field they retired to
their fortified camp at Tsinghai, and sent messengers to Tien Wang for
succor. In this camp they were closely beleaguered by Sankolinsin from
October, 1853, to March, 1854, when their provisions being exhausted they
cut their way out and began their retreat in a southerly direction. They
would undoubtedly have been exterminated but for the timely arrival of a
relieving army from Nankin. The Taepings then captured Lintsing, which
remained their headquarters for some months; but during the remainder of
the year 1854 their successes were few and unimportant. They were
vigilantly watched by the imperial troops, which had expelled them from
the whole of the province of Shantung before March, 1855. Their numbers
were thinned by disease as well as loss in battle, and of the two armies
sent to capture Pekin only a small fragment ever regained Nankin. While
these events were in progress in the region north of Nankin, the Taepings
had been carrying their arms up the Yangtsekiang as far as Ichang, and
eastward from Nankin to the sea. These efforts were not always successful,
and Tien Wang's arms experienced as many reverses as successes. The
important city of Kanchang, the capital of the province of Kiangsi, was
besieged by them for four months, and after many attempts to carry it by
storm the Taepings were compelled to abandon the task. They were more
successful at Hankow, which they recovered after a siege of eighty days.
They again evacuated this town, and yet once again, in 1855, wrested it
from an imperial garrison.

The establishment of Taeping power at Nankin and the rumor of its rapid
extension in every direction had drawn the attention of Europeans to the
new situation thus created in China, and had aroused opposite opinions in
different sections of the foreign community. While the missionaries were
disposed to regard the Taepings as the regenerators of China, and as the
champions of Christianity, the merchants only saw in them the disturbers
of peace and the enemies of commerce. To such an extent did the latter
anticipate the ruin of their trade that they petitioned the consuls to
suspend, if not withhold, the payment of the stipulated customs to the
Chinese authorities. This proposed breach of treaty was emphatically
rejected, and the consuls enjoined the absolute necessity of preserving a
strict neutrality between the Taepings and the imperial forces. But at the
same time it became necessary to acquaint the Taeping ruler with the fact
that he would be expected to observe the provisions of the Treaty of
Nankin as scrupulously as if he were sovereign of China or a Manchu
viceroy. Sir George Bonham, the superintendent of trade and the governor
of Hongkong, determined to proceed in person to Nankin, in order to
acquaint the Taepings with what would be expected from them, and also to
gain necessary information as to their strength and importance by personal
observation. But unfortunately this step of Sir George Bonham tended to
help the Taepings by increasing their importance and spreading about the
belief that the Europeans recognized in them the future ruling power of
China. It was not intended to be, but it was none the less, an unfriendly
act to the Pekin government, and as it produced absolutely no practical
result with the Taepings themselves, it was distinctly a mistaken measure.
Its only excuse was that the imperial authorities were manifesting an
increasing inclination to enlist the support of Europeans against the
rebels, and it was desirable that accurate information should be obtained
beforehand. The Taotai of Shanghai even presented a request for the loan
of the man-of-war at that port, and when he was informed that we intended
to remain strictly neutral, the decision was also come to to inform the
Taepings of this fact. Therefore in April, 1853, before the army had left
for the northern campaign, Sir George Bonham sailed for Nankin in the
"Hermes" man-of-war. On the twenty-seventh of that month the vessel
anchored off Nankin, and several interviews were held with the Taeping
Wangs, of whom the Northern King was at this time the most influential.
The negotiations lasted a week, and they had no result. It was soon made
apparent that the Taepings were as exclusive and impracticable as the
worst Manchu mandarin, and that they regarded the Europeans as an inferior
and subject people. Sir George Bonham failed to establish any direct
communication with Tien Wang, who had by this retired into private life,
and while it was given out that he was preparing sacred books he was
really abandoning himself to the pursuit of profligacy. There is nothing
to cause surprise in the fact that the apathy of Tien Wang led to attempts
to supersede him in his authority. The Eastern King in particular posed as
the delegate of Heaven. He declared that he had interviews with the
celestial powers when in a trance, he assumed the title of the Holy Ghost
or the Comforter, and he censured Tien Wang for his shortcomings, and even
inflicted personal chastisement upon him. If he had had a following he
might have become the despot of the Taepings, but as he offended all alike
his career was cut short by a conspiracy among the other Wangs, who,
notwithstanding his heavenly conferences, murdered him.

At this period one of the most brilliant military exploits of the Taepings
was performed, and as it served to introduce the real hero of the whole
movement, it may be described in more detail than the other operations,
which were conducted in a desultory manner, and which were unredeemed by
any exhibition of courage or military capacity. The government had
succeeded in placing two considerable armies in the field. One numbering
40,000 men, under the command of Hochun and the ex-Triad Chang Kwoliang,
watched Nankin, while the other, commanded by a Manchu general, laid close
siege to Chankiang, which seemed on the point of surrender. The Taepings
at Nankin determined to effect its relief, and a large force was placed
under the orders of an officer named Li, but whom it will be more
convenient to designate by the title subsequently conferred on him of
Chung Wang, or the Faithful King. His energy and courage had already
attracted favorable notice, and the manner in which he executed the
difficult operation intrusted to him fully established his reputation. By
a concerted movement with the Taeping commandant of Chankiang, he attacked
the imperialist lines at the same time as the garrison made a sortie, and
the result was a decisive victory. Sixteen stockades were carried by
assault, and the Manchu army was driven away from the town which seemed to
lie at its mercy. But this success promised only to be momentary, for the
imperialist forces, collecting from all sides, barred the way back to
Nankin, while the other Manchu army drew nearer to that city, and its
general seemed to meditate attacking Tien Wang in his capital. An
imperative summons was sent to Chung Wang to return to Nankin. As the
imperialist forces were for the most part on the southern side of the
river, Chung Wang crossed to the northern bank and began his march to
Nankin. He had not proceeded far when he found that the imperialists had
also crossed over to meet him, and that his progress was arrested by their
main army under Chang Kwoliang. With characteristic decision and rapidity
he then regained the southern bank, and falling on the weakened
imperialists gained so considerable a victory that the Manchu commander
felt bound to commit suicide. After some further fighting he made good his
way back to Nankin. But when he arrived there the tyrant Tung Wang refused
to admit him into the city until he had driven away the main imperialist
army, which had been placed under the command of Hienfung's generalissimo,
Heang Yung, and which had actually seized one of the gates of the city.
Although Chung Wang's troops were exhausted they attacked the government
troops with great spirit, and drove them back as far as Tanyang, where,
however, they succeeded in holding their ground, notwithstanding his
repeated efforts to dislodge them. Heang Yung, taking his misfortune too
deeply to heart, committed suicide, and thus deprived the emperor of at
least a brave officer. But with this success the Taeping tide of victory
reached its end, for Chang Kwoliang arriving with the other imperialist
army, the whole force fell upon Chung Wang and drove him back into the
city with the loss of 700 of his best men, so that the result left of
Chung Wang's campaign was the relief of Chankiang and the return to the
status quo at Nankin. It was immediately after these events that Tung Wang
was assassinated, and scenes of blood followed which resulted in the
massacre of 20,000 persons and the disappearance of all, except one, of
the Wangs whom Tien Wang had created on the eve of his enterprise. Chung
Wang seems to have had no part in these intrigues and massacres, and there
is little doubt that if the imperialist commanders had taken prompt
advantage of them the Taepings might have been crushed at that moment, or
ten years earlier than proved to be the case.

While the main Taeping force was thus causing serious danger to the
existing government of China, its offshoots or imitators were emulating
its example in the principal treaty ports, which brought the rebels into
contact with the Europeans. The Chinese officials, without any military
power on which they could rely, had endeavored to maintain order among the
turbulent classes of the population by declaring that the English were the
allies of the emperor, and that they would come to his aid with their
formidable engines of war if there were any necessity. Undoubtedly this
threat served its turn and kept the turbulent quiet for a certain period;
but when it could no longer be concealed that the English were determined
to take no part in the struggle, the position of the government was
weakened by the oft-repeated declaration that they mainly relied on the
support of the foreigners. The first outbreak occurred at Amoy in May,
1853, when some thousand marauders, under an individual named Magay,
seized the town and held it until the following November. The imperialists
returned in sufficient force in that month and regained possession of the
town, when, unfortunately for their reputation, they avenged their
expulsion in a particularly cruel and indiscriminating fashion Many
thousand citizens were executed without any form of trial, and the arrest
of the slaughter was entirely due to the intervention of the English naval
officer at Amoy. The rising at Shanghai was of a more serious character,
and took a much longer time to suppress. As the European settlement there
was threatened with a far more imminent danger than anywhere else,
preparations to defend it began in April, 1853, and under the auspices of
the consul, Mr. Rutherford Alcock, the residents were formed into a
volunteer corps, and the men-of-war drawn up so as to effectually cover
the whole settlement. These precautions were taken in good time, for
nothing happened to disturb the peace until the following September. The
Triads were undoubtedly the sole instigators of the rising, and the
Taepings of Nankin were in no sense responsible for, or participators in
it. They seized the Taotai's official residence, and as his guard deserted
him, that officer barely escaped with his life. Other officials were not
so fortunate, but on the whole Shanghai was acquired by the rebels with
very little bloodshed. In a few hours this important Chinese city passed
into the hands of a lawless and refractory mob, who lived on the plunder
of the townspeople, and who were ripe for any mischief. The European
settlement was placed meantime in a position of efficient defense, and
although the Triads wished to have the spoil of its rich factories, they
very soon decided that the enterprise would be too risky, if not
impossible.

After some weeks' inaction the imperialist forces, gathering from all
quarters, proceeded to invest the marauders in Shanghai, and had the
attack been conducted with any degree of military skill and vigor they
must have succumbed at the first onset. But, owing to the pusillanimity of
the emperor's officers and their total ignorance of the military art, the
siege went on for an indefinite period, and twelve months after it began
seemed as far off conclusion as ever.

While the imperialists laboriously constructed their lines and batteries
they never ceased to importune the Europeans for assistance, and as it
became clearer that the persons in possession of Shanghai were a mob
rather than a power, the desire increased among the foreigners generally
to put an end to what was an intolerable position. On this occasion the
French took an initiative which had previously been left to the English.
The French settlement at Shanghai consisted at this time of a consulate, a
cathedral, and one house, but as it was situated nearest the walls of the
Chinese city it was most exposed to the fire of the besiegers and
besieged. In consequence of this the French admiral, Laguerre, determined
to take a part in the struggle, and erecting a battery in the French
settlement, proceeded to bombard the rebels on one side of the city while
the imperialists attacked it on another. Although the bombardment was
vigorous and effective, the loss inflicted on the insurgents was
inconsiderable, because they had erected an earthwork behind the main wall
of the place, and every day the Triads challenged the French to come on to
the assault. At last a breach was declared to be practicable, and 400
French sailors and marines were landed to carry it, while the
imperialists, wearing blue sashes to distinguish them from the rebels,
escaladed the walls at another point. But the assault was premature, for,
although the assailants gained the inside of the fortification, they could
not advance. The insurgents fought desperately behind the earthworks and
in the streets, and after four hours' fighting they put the whole
imperialist force to flight. The French were carried along by their
disheartened allies who, allowing race hatred to overcome a temporary
arrangement, even fired on them, and when Admiral Laguerre reckoned up the
cost of his intervention he found it amounted to four officers and sixty
men killed and wounded. Such was the result of the French attack on
Shanghai, and it taught the lesson that even good European troops cannot
ignore the recognized rules and precautions of war. After this engagement
the siege languished, and the French abstained from taking any further
part in it. But the imperialists continued their attack in their own
bungling but persistent fashion, and at last the insurgents, having failed
to obtain the favorable terms they demanded, made a desperate sortie, when
a few made their way to the foreign settlement, where they found safety,
but by far the greater number perished by the sword of the imperialists.
More than 1,500 insurgents were captured and executed along the highroads,
but the two leaders of the movement escaped, one of them to attain great
fortune as a merchant in Siam. The imperialists unfortunately sullied
their success by grave excesses and by the cruel treatment of the
unoffending townspeople, who were made to suffer for the original
incapacity and cowardice of the officials themselves. At Canton, which was
also visited by the Triads in June, 1854, matters took a different course.
The Chinese merchants and shopkeepers combined and raised a force for
their own protection, and these well-paid braves effectually kept the
insurgents out of Canton. They, however, seized the neighboring town of
Fatshan, where the manufacturing element was in strong force, and but for
the unexpected energy of the Cantonese they would undoubtedly have seized
the larger city too, as the government authorities were not less apathetic
here than at Shanghai. The disturbed condition of things continued until
February, 1855, when the wholesale executions by which its suppression was
marked, and during which a hundred thousand persons are said to have
perished, ceased.

The events have now been passed in review which marked the beginning and
growth of the Taeping Rebellion, from the time of its being a local rising
in the province of Kwangsi to the hour of its leader being installed as a
ruling prince in the ancient city of Nankin. But from the growing Taeping
Rebellion, which we have now followed down to the year 1856, our attention
must be directed to the more serious and important foreign question which
had again reached a crisis, and which would not wait on the convenience of
the Celestial emperor and his advisers.



CHAPTER XIX

THE SECOND FOREIGN WAR


The events which caused the second foreign war began to come into evidence
immediately after the close of the first; and for the sake of clearness
and brevity they have been left for consideration to the same chapter,
although they happened while Taoukwang was emperor. After the departure of
Sir Henry Pottinger, who was succeeded by Sir John Davis, and the arrival
of the representatives of the other European powers, who hastened to claim
the same rights and privileges as had been accorded to England, the main
task to be accomplished was to practically assert the rights that had been
theoretically secured, and to place the relations of the two nations on
what may be called a working basis. The consulates were duly appointed,
the necessary land for the foreign settlements was acquired, and the war
indemnity being honorably discharged, Chusan was restored to the Chinese.
With regard to the last matter there was some maneuvering of a not
altogether creditable nature, and although the Chinese paid the last
installment punctually to date, Chusan and Kulangsu were not evacuated for
some months after the stipulated time. It was said that our hesitation in
the former case was largely due to the fear that France would seize it;
but this has been permanently removed by the expressed assertion of our
prior right to occupy it. A far more gratifying subject is suggested by
the harmony of the relations which were established in Chusan between the
garrison under Sir Colin Campbell and the islanders, who expressed deep
regret at the departure of the English troops. The first members of the
consular staff in China were as follows: Mr. G. T. Lay was consul at
Canton, Captain George Balfour at Shanghai (where, however, he was soon
succeeded by Sir Rutherford Alcock), Mr. Henry Gribble at Ainoy, and Mr.
Robert Thorn at Ningpo. Among the interpreters were the future Sir Thomas
Wade and Sir Harry Parkes. Various difficulties presented themselves with
regard to the foreign settlements, and the island of Kulangsu at Amoy had
to be evacuated because its name was not mentioned in the treaty. At
Canton also an attempt was made to extend the boundaries of the foreign
settlement by taking advantage of a great conflagration, but in this
attempt the Europeans were baffled by the superior quickness of the
Chinese, who constructed their new houses in a single night. These
incidents showed that the sharpness was not all on one side, and that if
the Chinese were backward in conceding what might be legitimately
demanded, the Europeans were not averse to snatching an advantage if they
saw the chance.

The turbulence of the Canton populace, over whom the officials possessed
but a nominal control, was a constant cause of disagreement and trouble.
In the spring of 1846 a riot was got up by the mob on the excuse that a
vane erected on the top of the flagstaff over the American Consulate
interfered with the Fung Shui, or spirits of earth and air; and although
it was removed to allay the excitement of the superstitious, the
disturbance continued, and several personal encounters took place, in one
of which a Chinese was killed. The Chinese mandarins, incited by the mob,
demanded the surrender of the man who fired the shot; and that they should
have made such a demand, after they had formally accepted and recognized
the jurisdiction of consular courts, furnished strong evidence that they
had not mastered the lessons of the late war or reconciled themselves to
the provisions of the Treaty of Nankin. The fortunate arrival of Keying to
"amicably regulate the commerce with foreign countries" smoothed over this
difficulty, and the excitement of the Canton mob was allayed without any
surrender. It was almost at this precise moment, too, that Taoukwang made
the memorable admission that the Christian religion might be tolerated as
one inculcating the principles of virtue. But the two pressing and
practical difficulties in the foreign question were the opening of the
gates of Canton and the right of foreigners to proceed beyond the limits
of their factories and compounds. The Chinese wished for many reasons,
perhaps even for the safety of the foreigners, to confine them to their
settlements, and it might be plausibly argued that the treaty supported
this construction. Of course such confinement was intolerable, and English
merchants and others would not be prevented from making boating or
shooting excursions in the neighborhood of the settlements. The Chinese
authorities opposed these excursions, and before long a collision occurred
with serious consequences. In March, 1847, a small party of Englishmen
proceeded in a boat to Fatshan, a manufacturing town near Canton which has
been called the Chinese Birmingham. On reaching the place symptoms of
hostility were at once manifested, and the Europeans withdrew for safety
to the yamen of the chief magistrate, who happened unfortunately to be
away. By this time the populace had got very excited, and the Englishmen
were with difficulty escorted in safety to their boat. The Chinese,
however, pelted them with stones, notwithstanding the efforts of the chief
officer, who had by this time returned and taken the foreigners under his
protection. It was due to his great heroism that they escaped with their
lives and without any serious injury.

The incident, unpleasant in itself, might have been explained away and
closed without untoward consequences if Sir John Davis had not seized, as
he thought, a good opportunity of procuring greater liberty and security
for Englishmen at Canton. He refused to see in this affair an accident,
but denounced it as an outrage, and proclaimed "that he would exact and
require from the Chinese government that British subjects should be as
free from molestation and insult in China as they would be in England."
This demand was both unreasonable and unjust. It was impossible that the
hated foreigner, or "foreign devil," as he was called, could wander about
the country in absolute security when the treaty wrung from the emperor as
the result of an arduous war confined him to five ports, and limited the
emperor's capacity to extend protection to those places. But Sir John
Davis determined to take this occasion of forcing events, so that he might
compel the Chinese to afford greater liberty to his countrymen, and thus
hasten the arrival of the day for the opening of the gates of Canton. On
the 1st of April all the available troops at Hongkong were warned for
immediate service, and on the following day the two regiments in garrison
left in three steamers and escorted by one man-of-war to attack Canton.
They landed at the Bogue forts, seized the batteries without opposition
and spiked the guns. The Chinese troops, whether surprised or acting under
orders from Keying, made no attempt at resistance. Not a shot was fired,
not a man was injured among the assailants. The forts near Canton, the
very batteries on the island opposite the city, were captured without a
blow, and on the 3d of April, 1847, Canton again lay at the mercy of an
English force. Sir John Davis then published another notice, stating that
"he felt that the moderation and justice of all his former dealings with
the government of China lend a perfect sanction to measures which he has
been reluctantly compelled to adopt after a long course of misinterpreted
forbearance," and made certain demands of the Chinese authorities which
may be epitomized as follows: The City of Canton to be opened at two
years' date from April 6, 1847; Englishman to be at liberty to roam for
exercise or amusement in the neighborhood of the city on the one condition
that they returned the same day; and some minor conditions, to which no
exception could be taken. After brief consideration, and notwithstanding
the clamor of the Cantonese to be led against the foreigners, Keying
agreed to the English demands, although he delivered a side-thrust at the
high-handed proceedings of the English officer when he said, "If a mutual
tranquillity is to subsist between the Chinese and foreigners, the common
feelings of mankind, as well as the just principles of Heaven, must be
considered and conformed with."

Keying, by the terms of his convention with Sir John Davis, had agreed
that the gates of Canton were to be opened on April 6, 1849, but the
nearer that day approached the more doubtful did it appear whether the
promise would be complied with, and whether, in the event of refusal, it
would be wise to have recourse to compulsion. The officials on both sides
were unfeignedly anxious for a pacific solution, but trade was greatly
depressed in consequence of the threatening demeanor of the Canton
populace. There was scarcely any doubt that the Chinese authorities did
not possess the power to compel obedience on the part of the Cantonese to
an order to admit Europeans into their city, and on the question being
referred to Taoukwang he made an oracular reply which was interpreted as
favoring the popular will. "That," he said, "to which the hearts of the
people incline is that on which the decree of Heaven rests. Now the people
of Kwantung are unanimous and determined that they will not have
foreigners enter the city; and how can I post up everywhere my imperial
order and force an opposite course on the people?" The English government
was disposed to show great forbearance and refrained from opposing
Taoukwang's views. But although the matter was allowed to drop, the right
acquired by the convention with Keying was not surrendered; and, as
Taoukwang had never formally ratified the promise of that minister, it was
considered that there had been no distinct breach of faith on the part of
the Chinese government. The Chinese continued to cling tenaciously to
their rights, and to contest inch by inch every concession demanded by the
Europeans, and sometimes they were within their written warrant in doing
so. Such a case happened at Foochow shortly after the accession of
Hienfung, when an attempt was made to prevent foreigners residing in that
town, and after a long correspondence it was discovered that the Chinese
were so far right, as the treaty specified as the place of foreign
residence the _kiangkan_ or mart at the mouth of the river, and not
the _ching_ or town itself. It was at this critical moment that the
Chinese were attracted in large numbers by the discovery of gold in
California and Australia to emigrate from China, and they showed
themselves well capable by their trade organization and close union of
obtaining full justice for themselves and an ample recognition of all
their rights in foreign countries. The effect of this emigration on
Chinese public opinion was much less than might have been expected, and
the settlement of the foreign question was in no way simplified or
expedited by their influence.

The position of affairs at Canton could not, by the greatest stretch of
language, be pronounced satisfactory. The populace was unequivocally
hostile; the officials had the greatest difficulty in making their
authority respected, and the English government was divided between the
desire to enforce the stipulation as to the opening of the Canton gates,
and the fear lest insistence might result in a fresh and serious rupture.
Sir George Bonham, who succeeded Sir John Davis, gave counsels of
moderation, and when he found that some practical propositions which he
made for improved intercourse were rejected he became more convinced that
the question must wait for solution for a more convenient and promising
occasion.

In 1852 Sir George Bonham returned to England on leave, and his place was
taken by Dr. John Bowring, who had officiated for a short period as consul
at Canton. His instructions were of a simple and positive character. They
were "to avoid all irritating discussions with the authorities of China."
He was also directed to avoid pushing arguments on doubtful points in a
manner that would fetter the free action of the government; but he was, at
the same time, to recollect that it was his duty to carefully watch over
and insist upon the performance by the Chinese authorities of their
engagements. The proper fulfillment of the latter duty necessarily
involved some infringement of the former recommendation; and while the
paramount consideration with the Foreign Office was to keep things quiet,
it was natural that the official on the spot should think a great deal, if
not altogether, of how best to obtain compliance to the fullest extent
with the pledges given in the treaty and the subsequent conventions. Dr.
Bowring was not an official to be deterred from expressing his opinions by
fear of headquarters. He sent home his view of the situation, expressed in
very clear and intelligible language. "The Pottinger treaties," he said,
"inflicted a deep wound upon the pride, but by no means altered the
policy, of the Chinese government.... Their purpose is now, as it ever
was, not to invite, not to facilitate, but to impede and resist the access
of foreigners. It must, then, ever be borne in mind, in considering the
state of our relations with these regions, that the two governments have
objects at heart which are diametrically opposed, except in so far that
both earnestly desire to avoid all hostile action, and to make its own
policy, as far as possible, subordinate to that desire." At this point a
Liberal administration gave place to a Conservative; but Lord Malmesbury
reiterated in stronger language the instructions of Lord Granville. "All
irritating discussions with the Chinese should be avoided, and the
existing good understanding must in no way be imperiled." One of Dr.
Bowring's first acts was to write a letter to the viceroy expressing a
desire for an interview, with the object of suggesting a settlement of
pending difficulties; but the viceroy made his excuses. The meeting did
not take place, and the whole question remained dormant for two years, by
which time not only had Sir John Bowring been knighted and confirmed in
the post of governor, but the viceroy had been superseded by the
subsequently notorious Commissioner Yeh. Up to this point all Sir John
Bowring's suggestions with regard to the settlement of the questions
pending with the Chinese had been received with the official reply that he
was to abstain from all action, and that he was not to press himself on
the Canton authorities. But, in the beginning of 1854, his instructions
were so far modified that Lord Clarendon wrote admitting the desirability
of "free and unrestricted intercourse with the Chinese officials," and of
"admission into some of the cities of China, especially Canton."

Encouraged by these admissions in favor of the views he had been advancing
for some time, Sir John Bowring wrote an official letter to Commissioner
Yeh inviting him to an early interview, but stating that the interview
must be held within the city of Canton at the viceroy's yamen. It will be
noted that what Sir John asked fell short of what Keying had promised. The
opening of the gates of Canton was to have been to all Englishmen, but the
English government would at this point have been satisfied if its
representative had been granted admission for the purpose of direct
negotiation with the Chinese authorities. To the plain question put to him
Yeh returned an evasive answer. All his time was taken up with the
military affairs of the province, and he absolutely ignored the proposal
for holding an interview within the city. The matter had gone too far to
be put on one side in this manner, and Sir John Bowring sent his secretary
to overcome, if possible, the repugnance of Commissioner Yeh to the
interview, and in any case to gain some information as to his objections.
As the secretary could only see mandarins of very inferior rank he
returned to Hongkong without acquiring any very definite information, but
he learned enough to say that Yeh denied that Keying's arrangement
possessed any validity. The Chinese case was that it had been allowed to
drop on both sides, and the utmost concession Yeh would make was to agree
to an interview at the Jinsin Packhouse outside the city walls. This
proposition was declared to be inadmissible, when Yeh ironically remarked
that he must consequently assume that "Sir John Bowring did not wish for
an interview." It was hoped to overcome Chinese finesse with counter
finesse, and Sir John Bowring hastened to Shanghai with the object of
establishing direct relations with the viceroy of the Two Kiang. After
complaining of the want of courtesy evinced by Yeh throughout his
correspondence, he expressed the wish to negotiate with any of the other
high officials of the empire. The reply of Eleang, who held this post, and
who was believed to be well disposed to Europeans, did not advance
matters. He had no authority, he said, in the matter, and could not
interfere in what was not his concern. Commissioner Yeh was the official
appointed by the emperor to conduct relations with the foreigners, and no
other official could assume his functions. Sir John Bowring therefore
returned to Hongkong without having effected anything by his visit to
Shanghai, but at this moment the advance of the rebels to the neighborhood
of Canton seemed likely to effect a diversion that might have important
consequences. In a state of apprehension as to the safety of the town, Yeh
applied to Sir John Bowring for assistance against the rebels, but this
could not be granted, and Sir John Bowring only proceeded to Canton to
superintend the preparations made for the defense of the English
settlement at that place. All the consuls issued a joint proclamation
declaring their intention to remain neutral. The prompt suppression of the
rebellion, so far as any danger to Canton went, restored the confidence of
the Chinese authorities, and they reverted to their old position on the
question of the opening of the gates of Canton.

In June, 1855, Sir John Bowring returned to the subject of official
interviews, and made an explicit demand for the reception if not of
himself, then at least of the consul at Canton. Yeh took his time before
he made any reply, and when he did send one it was to the effect that
there was no precedent for an interview with a consul, and that as Sir
John had refused to meet him outside the city there was an end of the
matter. Mr. Harry Parkes succeeded Mr. Alcock as consul at Canton, and no
inconsiderable amount of tact was required to carry on relations with
officials who refused to show themselves. But the evil day of open
collision could not be averted, and the antagonism caused by clashing
views and interests at last broke forth on a point which would have been
promptly settled, had there been direct intercourse between the English
and Chinese officials.

On October 8, 1856, Mr. Parkes reported to Sir John Bowring at Hongkong
the particulars of an affair which had occurred on a British-owned lorcha
at Canton. The lorcha "Arrow," employed in the iron trade between Canton
and the mouth of the river, commanded by an English captain, and flying
the English flag, had been boarded by a party of mandarins and their
followers while at anchor near the Dutch Folly. The lorcha--a Portuguese
name for a fast sailing boat--had been duly registered in the office at
Hongkong, and although not entitled at that precise moment to British
protection, through the careless neglect to renew the license, this fact
was only discovered subsequently, and was not put forward by the Chinese
in justification of their action. The gravity of the affair was increased
by the fact that the English flag was conspicuously displayed, and that,
notwithstanding the remonstrances of the master, it was ostentatiously
hauled down. The crew were carried off prisoners with the exception of two
men, left at their own request to take charge of the vessel. Mr. Parkes at
once sent a letter to Yeh on the subject of this "very grave insult,"
requesting that the captured crew of the "Arrow" should be returned to
that vessel without delay, and that any charges made against them should
be then examined into at the English consulate. In his reply Commissioner
Yeh justified and upheld the act of his subordinates. Of the twelve men
seized, he returned nine, but with regard to the three whom he detained,
he declared one to be a criminal, and the others important witnesses. Not
merely would he not release them, but he proceeded to justify their
apprehension, while he did not condescend to so much as notice the points
of the insult to the English flag, and of his having violated treaty
obligations. Yeh did not attempt to offer any excuse for the proceedings
taken in his name. He asserted certain things as facts which, in his
opinion, it was sufficient for him to accept that they should pass
current. But the evidence on which they were based was not sufficient to
obtain credence in the laxest court of justice; but even if it had been
conclusive it would not have justified the removal of the crew from the
"Arrow" when the British flag was flying conspicuously at her mast. What,
in brief, was the Chinese case? It was that one of the crew had been
recognized by a man passing in a boat as one of a band of pirates who had
attacked, ill-used, and plundered him several weeks before. He had
forthwith gone to the Taotai of Canton, presented a demand for redress,
and that officer had at once given the order for the arrest of the
offender, with the result described. There is no necessity to impugn the
veracity of the Chinaman's story, but it did not justify the breach of
"the ex-territorial rights of preliminary consular investigation before
trial" granted to all under the protection of the English flag. The plea
of delay did not possess any force either, for the man could have been
arrested just as well by the English consul as by the mandarins, but it
would have involved a damaging admission of European authority in the
matter of a Chinese subject, and the mandarins thought there was no
necessity to curtail their claim to jurisdiction. Commissioner Yeh did not
attempt any excuses, and he even declared that "the 'Arrow' is not a
foreign lorcha, and, therefore," he said, "there is no use to enter into
any discussion about her."

The question of the nationality of the "Arrow" was complicated by the fact
that its registry had expired ten days before its seizure. The master
explained that this omission was due to the vessel having been at sea, and
that it was to have been rectified as soon as he returned to Hongkong. As
Lord Clarendon pointed out, this fact was not merely unknown to the
Chinese, but it was also "a matter of British regulation which would not
justify seizure by the Chinese. No British lorcha would be safe if her
crew were liable to seizure on these grounds." The history of the lorcha
"Arrow" was officially proved to be as follows: "The 'Arrow' was
heretofore employed in trading on the coast, and while so employed was
taken by pirates. By them she was fitted out and employed on the Canton
River during the disturbances between the imperialists and the insurgents.
While on this service she was captured by the braves of one of the
loyalist associations organized by the mandarins for the support of the
government. By this association she was publicly sold, and was purchased
by a Chin-chew Hong, a respectable firm at Canton, which also laid out a
considerable sum in repairing her and otherwise fitting her out. She
arrived at Hongkong about the month of June, 1855, at which time a treaty
was on foot (which ended in a bargain) between Fong Aming, Messrs. T. Burd
& Co.'s comprador, and Lei-yeong-heen, one of the partners in the Chin-
chew Hong, for the purchase of the lorcha by the former. Shortly after the
arrival of the vessel at Hongkong she was claimed by one Quantai, of
Macao, who asserted that she had been his property before she was seized
by the pirates. Of course, the then owner disputed his claim; upon which
he commenced a suit in the Vice-Admiralty Court. After a short time, by
consent of the parties, the question was referred to arbitration, but the
arbitrators could not agree and an umpire was appointed, who awarded that
the ownership of the lorcha should continue undisturbed. The ownership of
the vessel was then transferred to Fong Aming, and in his name she is
registered. These are the simple facts connected with the purchase of the
lorcha by a resident of the colony at Hongkong and her registry as a
British vessel, and it is from these facts that the Imperial Commissioner
Yeh has arrived at an erroneous conclusion as to the ownership of the
boat." As the first step toward obtaining the necessary reparation, a
junk, which was supposed to be an imperial war vessel, was seized as a
hostage, and Mr. Parkes addressed another letter to Yeh reminding him that
"the matter which has compelled this menace still remains unsettled."

Had there been that convenient mode of communication between the governor
of Hongkong and the Chinese officials at Canton which was provided for by
the Nankin Treaty and the Keying Convention, the "Arrow" complication
would, in all probability, never have arisen, and it is also scarcely less
certain that it would not have produced such serious consequences as it
did but for the arrogance of Yeh. He even attempted to deny that the
"Arrow" carried the English flag, but this was so clearly proved to be a
fact by both English and Chinese witnesses that it ceased to hold a place
in the Chinese case. As it was clear that Commissioner Yeh would not give
way, and as delay would only encourage him, the admiral on the station,
Sir Michael Seymour, received instructions to attack the four forts of the
Barrier, and he captured them without loss. Thus, after an interval of
fourteen years, was the first blow struck in what may be called the third
act of Anglo-Chinese relations, but it would be a mistake to suppose that
the "Arrow" case was the sole cause of this appeal to arms. A blue book,
bearing the significant title of "Insults to Foreigners," gives a list and
narrative of the many outrages and indignities inflicted on Europeans
between 1842 and 1856. The evidence contained therein justifies the
statement that the position of Europeans in China had again become most
unsafe and intolerable. Those who persist in regarding the "Arrow" affair
as the only cause of the war may delude themselves into believing that the
Chinese were not the most blameworthy parties in the quarrel; but no one
who seeks the truth and reads all the evidence will doubt that if there
had been no "Arrow" case there would still have been a rupture between the
two countries. The Chinese officials, headed by Yeh, had fully persuaded
themselves that, as the English had put up with so much, and had
acquiesced in the continued closing of the gates of Canton, they were not
likely to make the "Arrow" affair a casus belli. Even the capture of the
Barrier forts did not bring home to their minds the gravity of the
situation.

After dismantling these forts, Sir Michael Seymour proceeded up the river,
capturing the fort in Macao Passage, and arriving before Canton on the
same day. An ultimatum was at once addressed to Yeh, stating that unless
he at once complied with all the English demands the admiral would
"proceed with the destruction of all the defenses and public buildings of
this city and of the government vessels in the river." This threat brought
no satisfactory answer, and the Canton forts were seized, their guns
spiked and the men-of-war placed with their broadsides opposite the city.
Then Yeh, far from being cowed, uttered louder defiance than ever. He
incited the population to make a stubborn resistance; he placed a reward
of thirty dollars on the head of every Englishman slain or captured, and
he publicly proclaimed that there was no alternative but war. He seems to
have been driven to these extremities by a fear for his own personal
safety and official position. He had no warrant from his imperial master
to commit China to such a dangerous course as another war with the
English, and he knew that the only way to vindicate his proceedings was to
obtain some success gratifying to national vanity. While Yeh was counting
on the support of the people, the English admiral began the bombardment of
the city, directing his fire principally against Yeh's yamen and a part of
the wall, which was breached in two days. After some resistance the breach
was carried; a gate was occupied, and Sir Michael Seymour and Mr. Parkes
proceeded to the yamen of the viceroy, but as it was thought dangerous to
occupy so large a city with so small a force the positions seized were
abandoned, although still commanded by the fire of the fleet. After a few
days' rest active operations were resumed against the French Folly fort
and a large fleet of war junks which had collected up the river. After a
warm engagement the vessels were destroyed and the fort captured.
Undaunted by these successive reverses, Yeh still breathed nothing but
defiance, and refused to make the least concession. There remained no
alternative but to prosecute hostilities with renewed vigor. On the 12th
and 13th of November, Sir Michael attacked the Bogue forts on both sides
of the river and captured them with little loss. These forts mounted 400
guns, but only contained 1,000 men.

Notwithstanding these continuous reverses, the Chinese remained defiant
and energetic. As soon as the English admiral left Canton to attack the
Bogue forts the Chinese hastened to re-occupy all their positions and to
repair the breaches. They succeeded in setting fire to and thus destroying
the whole foreign settlement, and they carried off several Europeans, all
of whom were put to death and some of them tortured. The heads of these
Europeans treacherously seized and barbarously murdered were paraded
throughout the villages of Kwangtung, in order to stimulate recruiting and
to raise national enthusiasm to a high pitch. Notwithstanding their
reverses whenever it became a question of open fighting, the Chinese, by
their obstinacy and numbers, at last succeeded in convincing Sir Michael
Seymour that his force was too small to achieve any decisive result, and
he accordingly withdrew from his positions in front of the city, and sent
home a request for a force of 5,000 troops. Meantime the Chinese were much
encouraged by the lull in hostilities, and for the time being Yeh himself
was not dissatisfied with the result. The Cantonese saw in the destruction
of the foreign settlement and the withdrawal of the English fleet some
promise of future victory, and at all events sufficient reason for the
continued confidence of the patriot Yeh. Curiously enough, there was peace
and ostensible goodwill along the coast and at the other treaty ports,
while war and national animosity were in the ascendant at Canton. The
governor-generals of the Two Kiang and Fuhkien declared over and over
again that they wished to abide by the Treaty of Nankin, and they threw
upon Yeh the responsibility of his acts. Even Hienfung refrained from
showing any unequivocal support of his truculent lieutenant, although
there is no doubt that he was impressed by the reports of many victories
over the English barbarians with which Yeh supplied him. As long as Yeh
was able to keep the quarrel a local one, and to thus shield the central
government from any sense of personal danger, he enjoyed the good wishes,
if not the active support, of his sovereign. But, unfortunately for the
success of his schemes, only the most energetic support of the Pekin
government in money and men could have enabled him to hold his own; and as
he did nothing but report victories in order to gain a hearing for his
policy, he could not grumble when he was not sent the material aid of
which he stood most in need. His unreasonable action had done much to
unite all foreign nations against China. French, American and Spanish
subjects had been the victims of Chinese ignorance and cruelty, as well as
English, and they all saw that the success of Yeh's policy would render
their position untenable.

On the receipt of Sir Michael Seymour's request for a force of 5,000 men,
it was at once perceived in London that the question of our relations with
China had again entered a most important and critical phase. It was at
once decided to send the force for which the admiral asked; and, while
1,500 men were sent from England and a regiment from the Mauritius, the
remainder was to be drawn from the Madras army. At the same time it was
considered necessary to send an embassador of high rank to acquaint the
Pekin authorities that, while such acts as those of Yeh would not be
tolerated, there was no desire to press too harshly on a country which was
only gradually shaking off its exclusive prejudices. Lord Elgin was
selected for the difficult mission, and his instructions contained the
following five categorical demands, the fourth of which was the most
important in its consequences:

Those instructions were conveyed in two dispatches of the same date, April
20, 1857. We quote the following as the more important passages: "The
demands which you are instructed to make will be (1), for reparation of
injuries to British subjects, and, if the French officers should co-
operate with you, for those to French subjects also; (2) for the complete
execution at Canton, as well as at the other ports, of the stipulations of
the several treaties; (3) compensation to British subjects and persons
entitled to British protection for losses incurred in consequence of the
late disturbances; (4) the assent of the Chinese government to the
residence at Pekin, or to the occasional visit to that capital, at the
option of the British government, of a minister duly accredited by the
queen to the emperor of China, and the recognition of the right of the
British plenipotentiary and chief superintendent of trade to communicate
directly in writing with the high officers at the Chinese capital, and to
send his communications by messengers of his own selection, such
arrangements affording the best means of insuring the due execution of the
existing treaties, and of preventing future misunderstandings; (5) a
revision of the treaties with China with a view to obtaining increased
facilities for commerce, such as access to cities on the great rivers as
well as to Chapoo and to other ports on the coast, and also permission for
Chinese vessels to resort to Hongkong for purposes of trade from all ports
of the Chinese empire without distinction." These were the demands
formulated by the English government for the consent of China, and seven
proposals were made as to how they were to be obtained should coercion
become necessary. It was also stated that "it is not the intention of her
Majesty's government to undertake any land operations in the interior of
the country."

An event of superior, and, indeed, supreme importance occurred to arrest
the movement of the expedition to Canton. When Lord Elgin reached
Singapore, on June 3, 1857, he found a letter waiting for him from Lord
Canning, then Governor-general of India, informing him of the outbreak of
the Indian Mutiny, and imploring him to send all his troops to Calcutta in
order to avert the overthrow of our authority in the valley of the Ganges,
where, "for a length of 750 miles, there were barely 1,000 European
soldiers." To such an urgent appeal there could only be one answer, and
the men who were to have chastised Commissioner Yeh followed Havelock to
Cawnpore and Lucknow. But while Lord Elgin sent his main force to
Calcutta, he himself proceeded to Hongkong, where he arrived in the first
week of July, and found that hostilities had proceeded to a still more
advanced stage than when Sir Michael Seymour wrote for re-enforcements.
The Chinese had become so confident during the winter that that officer
felt bound to resume offensive measures against them, and having been
joined by a few more men-of-war, and having also armed some merchant ships
of light draught, he attacked a main portion of the Chinese fleet
occupying a very strong position in Escape Creek. The attack was intrusted
to Commodore Elliott, who, with five gunboats and the galleys of the
larger men-of-war, carried out with complete success and little loss the
orders of his superior officer. Twenty-seven armed junks were destroyed,
and the thirteen that escaped were burned the next day. It was then
determined to follow up this success by attacking the headquarters of
Yeh's army at Fatshan, the place already referred to as being some
distance from Canton. By road it is six and by water twelve miles from
that city. The remainder of the Chinese fleet was drawn up in Fatshan
Channel, and the Chinese had made such extensive preparations for its
defense, both on land and on the river, that they were convinced of the
impregnability of its position.

The Chinese position was unusually strong, and had been selected with
considerable judgment. An island named after the hyacinth lies in
midstream two miles from the entrance to the Fatshan Channel, which joins
the main course of the Sikiang a few miles above the town of that name.
The island is flat and presents no special advantages for defense, but it
enabled the Chinese to draw up a line of junks across the two channels of
the river, and to place on it a battery of six guns, thus connecting their
two squadrons. The seventy-two junks were drawn up with their sterns
facing down stream, and their largest gun bearing on any assailant
proceeding up it. On the left bank of the river an elevated and
precipitous hill had been occupied in force and crowned with a battery of
nineteen guns, and other batteries had been erected at different points
along the river. There seems no reason to question the accuracy of the
estimate that more than 300 pieces of artillery and 10,000 men were
holding this position, which had been admirably chosen and carefully
strengthened. The force which Sir Michael Seymour had available to attack
this formidable position slightly exceeded 2,000 men, conveyed to the
attack in six gunboats and a large flotilla of boats. The English advance
was soon known to the Chinese, who began firing from their junks and
batteries as soon as they came within range. Three hundred marines were
landed to attack the battery on the hill, which was found not to be so
strong as it appeared; for on the most precipitous side the Chinese,
believing it to be unscalable, had placed no guns, and those in position
could not be moved to bear on the assailants in that quarter. The marines
gained the top with scarcely any loss, and as they charged over the side
the Chinese retired with little loss, owing to the ill-directed fire of
the marines.

Meantime the sailors had attacked the Chinese position on the river. The
tide was at low water, and the Chinese had barred the channel with a row
of sunken junks, leaving a narrow passage known only to themselves. The
leading English boat struck on the hidden barrier, but the passage being
discovered the other vessels got through. Those boats which ran aground
were gradually floated, one after the other, by the rising tide, and at
last the flotilla, with little damage, reached the line of stakes which
the Chinese had placed to mark the range of the guns in their junks. At
once the fire from the seventy-two junks and the battery on Hyacinth
Island became so furious and well-directed that it was a matter of
astonishment how the English boats passed through it. They reached and
pierced the line of junks, of which one after another was given to the
flames. Much of the success of the attack was due to the heroic example of
Commodore Harry Keppel, who led the advance party of 500 cutlasses, and
who gave the Chinese no time to rest or rally. Having broken the line of
junks, he took up the pursuit in his seven boats, having determined that
the only proof of success could be the capture of Fatshan, and after four
miles' hard rowing he came in sight of the elaborate defenses drawn up by
the Chinese for the security of that place. At the short range of a
quarter of a mile the fire of the Chinese guns was tremendous and
destructive. Keppel's own boat was reduced to a sinking state, and had to
be abandoned. Some of his principal officers were killed, three of his
boats ran aground, and things looked black for the small English force. At
this critical moment, the Chinese, thinking that they had checked the
English attack, and hearing of the magnitude of their reverse down stream,
thought their best course would be to retire. Then the few English boats
resumed the attack, and hung on to the retreating junks like bull-dogs.
Many junks were given to the flames, and five were carried off under the
teeth of the Fatshan populace; but Keppel's force was too small to hold
that town and put it to the ransom, so the worn-out, but still
enthusiastic force, retired to join the main body under Sir Michael
Seymour, who was satisfied that he had achieved all that was necessary or
prudent with his squadron. In these encounters thirteen men were killed
and forty wounded, of whom several succumbed to their wounds, for it was
noticed that the Chinese shot inflicted cruel injuries. The destruction of
the Chinese fleet on the Canton River could not be considered heavily
purchased at the cost, and the extent of the trepidation caused by
Commodore Keppel's intrepidity could not be accurately measured.

Lord Elgin reached Hongkong very soon after this event, and, although he
brought no soldiers with him, he found English opinion at Hongkong very
pronounced in favor of an attack on Canton with a view of re-opening that
city to trade. But the necessary force was not available, and Lord Elgin
refused to commit himself to this risky course. Sir Michael Seymour said
the attack would require 5,000 troops, and General Ashburnham thought it
could be done with 4,000 men if all were effective, while the whole
Hongkong garrison numbered only 1,500, and of these one-sixth were
invalided. Lord Elgin decided to go to Calcutta, and ascertain when Lord
Canning would be able to spare him the troops necessary to bring China to
reason. He returned to Hongkong on September 20, and he found matters very
much as he had left them, and all the English force was capable of was to
blockade the river. To supplement the weakness of the garrison a coolie
corps of 750 Chinese was organized, and proved very efficient, and toward
the end of November troops, chiefly marines, began at last to arrive from
England. A fleet of useful gunboats of small draught, under Captain
Sherard Osborn, arrived for the purpose of operating against the junks in
shallow creeks and rivers. At the same time, too, came the French
embassador, Baron Gros, charged with a similar mission to Lord Elgin, and
bent on proving once for all that the pretensions of China to superiority
over other nations were absurd and untenable.

On December 12 Lord Elgin sent Yeh a note apprising him of his arrival as
plenipotentiary from Queen Victoria, and pointing out the repeated insults
and injuries inflicted on Englishmen, culminating in the outrage to their
flag and the repeated refusal to grant any reparation for their wrongs.
But Lord Elgin went on to say that even at this eleventh hour there was
time to stay the progress of hostilities by making prompt redress. The
terms were plain and simple, and the English demands were confined to two
points--the complete execution at Canton of all treaty engagements,
including the free admission of British subjects to the city, and
compensation to British subjects and persons entitled to British
protection for losses incurred in consequence of the late disturbances. To
this categorical demand Yeh made a long reply, going over the ground of
controversy, reasserting what he wished to believe were the facts, and
curtly concluding that the trade might continue on the old conditions, and
that each side should pay its own losses. Mr. Wade said that his language
might bear the construction that the English consul, Mr. Harry Parkes,
should pay all the cost himself. If Commissioner Yeh was a humorist he
chose a bad time for indulging his proclivities, and, a sufficient force
being available, orders were at once given to attack Canton. On December
15 Honan was occupied, and ten days were passed in bringing up the troops
and the necessary stores, when, all being in readiness, an ultimatum was
sent to Yeh that if he would not give way within forty-eight hours the
attack would commence. At the same time every effort was made to warn the
unoffending townspeople, so that they might remove to a place of safety.
The attacking force numbered about 5,000 English, 1,000 French, and 750 of
the Chinese coolie corps, and it was agreed that the most vulnerable point
in the Chinese position was Lin's fort, on the eastern side of the city.
When the attack began, on December 28, this fort was captured in half an
hour, and the Chinese retired to the northern hills, which they had made
their chief position in 1842. The destruction of Lin's fort by the
accidental explosion of the magazine somewhat neutralized the advantage of
its capture. On the following day the order was given to assault the city
by escalade, and three separate parties advanced on the eastern wall. The
Chinese kept up a good fire until the troops were within a short distance,
but before the ladders were placed against the wall they abandoned their
defenses and fled. The English troops reformed on the wide rampart of the
wall and pursued the Chinese to the north gate, where, being joined by
some Manchu troops, the latter turned and charged up to the bayonets of an
English regiment. But they were repulsed and driven out of the city, and
simultaneously with this success the fort on Magazine Hill, commanding
both the city and the Chinese position on the northern hills, was captured
without loss. In less than two hours the great city of Canton was in the
possession of the allies, and the Chinese resistance was far less vigorous
and worse directed than on any occasion of equal importance. Still, the
English loss was fourteen killed and eighty-three wounded, while the
French casualties numbered thirty-four. The Chinese had, however, to
abandon their positions north of the city, and their elaborate
fortifications were blown up.

Although all regular resistance had been overcome, the greater part of the
city remained in possession of the Chinese and of Yeh in person. That
official, although in the lowest straits, had lost neither his fortitude
nor his ferocity. He made not the least sign of surrender, and his last
act of authority was to order the execution of 400 citizens, whom he
denounced as traitors to their country. From his yamen in the interior of
the city, when he found that the English hesitated to advance beyond the
walls, he incited the populace to fresh efforts of hostility, and, in
order to check their increasing audacity, it was resolved to send a force
into the city to effect the capture of Yeh. On January 5, 1858, three
detachments were sent into the native city, and they advanced at once upon
the official residences of Yeh and Pihkwei, the governor. The Chinese were
quite unprepared for this move, and being taken unawares they offered
scarcely any resistance. The yamen was occupied and the treasury captured,
while Pihkwei was made prisoner in his own house. The French at the same
time attacked and occupied the Tartar city--a vast stone-built suburb
which had been long allowed to fall into decay, and which, instead of
being occupied, as was believed, by 7,000 Manchu warriors, was the
residence of bats and nauseous creatures. But the great object of the
attack was unattained, for Yeh still remained at large, and no one seemed
to know where he ought to be sought, for all the official buildings had
been searched in vain. But Mr. Parkes, by indefatigable inquiry, at last
gained a clew from a poor scholar whom he found poring over an ancient
classic at the library, undisturbed in the midst of the turmoil. From him
he learned that Yeh would probably be found in a yamen situated in the
southwest quarter of the city. Mr. Parkes hastened thither with Captain
(afterward Admiral) Cooper Key and a party of sailors. They arrived just
in time, for all the preparations for flight had been made, and Captain
Key caught Yeh with his own hand as he was escaping over the wall. One of
his assistants came forward with praiseworthy devotion and declared
himself to be Yeh, in the hope of saving his superior; but the deception
was at once detected by Mr. Parkes, who assured Yeh that no harm would be
done him. The capture of Yeh completed the effect of the occupation of
Canton, and the disappearance of the most fanatical opponent of the
foreigners insured the tranquillity of the Canton region, which had been
the main seat of disorder, during the remainder of the war. The government
of Canton was then intrusted to Pihkwei and a commission of one Frenchman
and two Englishmen, and the Chinese admitted it had never been better
governed. Yeh himself was sent to Calcutta, where he died two years later,
and, considering the abundant evidence of his cruel treatment of
defenseless prisoners, he had every reason to consider his punishment
lenient.

Having thus settled the difficulty at Canton, it remained for Lord Elgin
to carry out the other part of his task, and place diplomatic relations
between England and China on a satisfactory basis by obtaining the right
of direct communication with Pekin. A letter dated February 11, 1858, was
sent to the senior Secretary of State at Pekin describing what had
occurred in the south, and summarizing what would be required from the
Chinese government. The English and French plenipotentiaries also notified
that they would proceed to Shanghai for the purpose of conducting further
negotiations. This letter was duly forwarded to Pekin by the Governor of
Kiangsu, and when Lord Elgin reached Shanghai on March 30 he found the
reply of Yu-ching, the chief adviser of Hienfung, waiting for him.
Yuching's letter was extremely unsatisfactory. It was arrogant in its
terms and impracticable as to its proposals. Lord Elgin was told that "no
imperial commissioner ever conducts business at Shanghai," and that it
behooved the English minister to wait at Canton until the arrival of a new
imperial commissioner from Pekin. The only concession the Chinese made was
to dismiss Yeh from his posts, and as he was a prisoner in the hands of
the English this did not mean much. Lord Elgin's reply to this
communication was to announce his intention of proceeding to the Peiho,
and there negotiating direct with the imperial government. Lord Elgin
reached the Gulf of Pechihli about the middle of April, and he again
addressed Yuching in the hope of an amicable settlement, and requested
that the emperor would appoint some official to act as his
plenipotentiary. Three minor officials were appointed, more out of
curiosity than from a desire to promote business, but on Lord Elgin
discovering that they were of inferior rank and that their powers were
inadequate, he declined to see them. But Yuching refused to appoint any
others; stating curtly that their powers were ample for the adjustment of
affairs, and then Lord Elgin announced that he would proceed up the Peiho
to Tientsin. Some delay was caused by the non-arrival of the fleet, which
was not assembled in the Gulf of Pechihli, through different causes of
delay, until the end of May, or about three weeks after Lord Elgin
announced his intention of forcing his way up to Tientsin. There is no
doubt that Sir Michael Seymour was in no sense to blame for this delay,
but unfortunately it aroused considerable irritation in the mind of Lord
Elgin, who sent home a dispatch, without informing his colleague, stating
that the delay was "a most grievous disappointment," and attributing it to
the supineness of the admiral.

On May 19 the allied fleet proceeded to the mouth of the river, and
summoned the commandant to surrender the Taku forts on the following
morning. No reply being received, the attack commenced, and after the
bombardment had gone on at short range for an hour and a quarter the
Chinese gunners were driven from their batteries, and the troops landed,
occupying the whole line of forts and intrenched camps. An attempt to
injure our fleet by fire-ships miscarried, and considering that the
Chinese had some of their best troops present, including a portion of the
Imperial Guard, their resistance was not as great as might have been
expected. Their general committed suicide, and the Chinese lost the best
part of their artillery, which had been removed from Pekin and Tientsin
for the defense of the entrance to the Peiho. The fleet proceeded up the
river to Tientsin, and Lord Elgin took up his quarters in that city. The
Chinese government was brought to reason by this striking success, and,
with his capital menaced, the emperor hastened to delegate full powers to
two high commissioners, Kweiliang and Hwashana, both Manchus and
dignitaries of the highest birth and rank. Their powers were superior to
those granted to Keying at the time of the old war, and they were
commanded with affectionate earnestness to show the foreigners that they
were competent and willing to grant anything not injurious to China.
Nothing could be more satisfactory than the proposals of the new Chinese
representatives, and they were anxious to settle everything with the least
possible delay. At this point there reappeared upon the scene a man whose
previous experience and high position entitled him to some consideration.
Less than a week after his first interview with the imperial
representatives, Lord Elgin received a letter from Keying, who, it was
soon found, had come on a self-appointed mission to induce the English by
artifice and plausible representation to withdraw their fleet from the
river. His zeal was increased by the knowledge that the penalty of failure
would be death, and as his reputation had been very great among Europeans
there is no saying but that he might have succeeded had there not been
discovered in Yeh's yamen at Canton some of his papers, which showed that
he had played a double part throughout, and that at heart he was bitterly
anti-foreign. When he found that the English possessed this information he
hastened back to Pekin, where he was at once summoned before the Board of
Punishment for immediate judgment, and, being found guilty, it was ordered
that as he had acted "with stupidity and precipitancy" he should be
strangled forthwith. As an act of extreme grace the emperor allowed him to
put an end to his existence in consideration of his being a member of the
imperial family.

After the departure of Keying, negotiations proceeded very satisfactorily
with Kweiliang and Hwashana, and all the points were practically agreed
upon, excepting the right to have a resident minister at Pekin. This claim
was opposed on several grounds. It was not merely something that had never
been heard of, but it would probably be attended with peril to the envoy
as well as to the Chinese government. Then the commissioners wanted to
know if he would wear the Chinese dress, if all the powers would have only
one minister, and if he would make the kotow? Finding such arguments fail
they asked that the visit of an English embassador to Pekin should be
postponed till a more favorable occasion. They made the admission that
"there is properly no objection to the permanent residence at Pekin of a
plenipotentiary minister of her Britannic Majesty," and they even spoke of
sending a return mission to London; but they deprecated the proposal as
novel and as specially risky at this moment in consequence of the
formidable Taeping Rebellion. These representations did not fail to
produce their effect, for it was not to the interest of Europeans
generally that the emperor's authority should be subverted on the morrow
of his signing a treaty with us. In consequence of these feelings, and
with a wish to reciprocate the generally conciliatory attitude of the
Chinese officials, Kweiliang and Hwashana were informed that the right
would be waived for the present, except that it would be necessary for the
English minister to visit Pekin twelve months later, on the occasion of
exchanging the ratifications of the treaty; and so the matter was left
pending the arrival of that occasion. While the Treaty of Tientsin
provided for the conclusion of a peace that promised to be enduring, and
arranged for the future diplomatic relations of the two countries,
commissioners were duly appointed to meet at Shanghai and draw up a
tariff. But at Tientsin the great crux in the commercial relations between
us and the Chinese had been settled by the legalization of opium. It was
agreed that opium might be imported into China on payment of thirty taels,
or about fifty dollars, per chest. Experience had shown that leaving the
most largely imported article into China contraband had been both futile
and inconvenient, while the Chinese government was a direct loser by not
enjoying a legitimate source of revenue. How general the view had become
that the evils of the use of opium were exaggerated, and, even admitting
them, that there was no better way of diminishing their effect than by
legalizing the import of opium, can be judged by the ready acquiescence of
the Chinese commissioners; and here, from many other matured opinions, we
may quote the final and deliberate conviction of Sir Henry Pottinger:

"I take this opportunity to advert to one important topic on which I have
hitherto considered it right to preserve a rigid silence--I allude to the
trade in opium; and I now unhesitatingly declare in this public manner
that after the most unbiased and careful observations I have become
convinced during my stay in China that the alleged demoralizing and
debasing evils of opium have been and are vastly exaggerated. Like all
other indulgences, excesses in its use are bad and reprehensible; but I
have neither myself seen such vicious consequences as are frequently
ascribed to it, nor have I been able to obtain authentic proofs or
information of their existence. The great, and perhaps I might say sole,
objection to the trade, looking at it morally and abstractedly, that I
have discovered, is that it is at present contraband and prohibited by the
laws of China, and therefore to be regretted and disavowed; but I have
striven--and I hope with some prospect of eventual success--to bring about
its legalization; and were that point once effected, I am of opinion that
its most objectionable feature would be altogether removed. Even as it now
exists it appears to me to be unattended with a hundredth part of the
debasement and misery which may be seen in our native country from the
lamentable abuse of ardent spirits, and those who so sweepingly condemn
the opium trade on that principle need not, I think, leave the shores of
England to find a far greater and more besetting evil."

The ink on the Tientsin treaty was scarcely dry before reasons began to be
furnished against the sincerity of the emperor and his desire for peace.
Before the fleet left the Peiho workmen were already engaged repairing and
re-arming the Taku forts, and the morrow of Lord Elgin's departure from
Hongkong witnessed the revival of disturbances round Canton, where the new
imperial commissioner Hwang, instead of seeking to restore harmony, had
devoted himself to inciting the population to patriotic deeds in emulation
of Commissioner Yeh. It was found necessary to take strenuous measures
against the turbulent patriots of Kwantung, and to break up their main
force in their strong and well-chosen position at Shektsin, which was
accomplished by a vigorous attack both on land and water. The suspicion
that the Chinese were not absolutely straightforward in their latest
dealings with us was confirmed by the discovery at Shektsin of secret
imperial edicts, breathing defiance to the foreigners and inciting the
people to resistance. These and other facts warned the European
authorities on the spot that there was no certainty that the Treaty of
Tientsin would be ratified, or that a British envoy would be admitted into
the capital for even the temporary business of a diplomatic ceremony.
While people in Europe were assuming that the Chinese question might be
dismissed for twenty years, the English consuls and commanders in the
treaty ports were preparing themselves for a fresh and more vigorous
demonstration of Chinese hostility and animosity. The matter that was to
prove the sincerity and good faith of the Chinese government was the
reception at Pekin of the English officer intrusted with the duty of
exchanging the ratified copies of the treaty. If he were allowed to
proceed to Pekin there would be reason for accepting the assurances of the
emperor that a permanent arrangement should be effected later on, when it
would not injure his dignity or authority.

Mr. Frederick Bruce, who had been secretary to his brother, Lord Elgin,
and who had previously served at Hongkong, was appointed her Majesty's
representative for the purpose of exchanging the ratifications of the
treaty. He was instructed to inform the Chinese officials that, while the
British government would not renounce the right of having a permanent
resident minister at Pekin, they were prepared to waive it for a time by
allowing diplomatic intercourse to be carried on at Shanghai. But no
deviation was to be permitted from the arrangement that the ratifications
were to be exchanged at Pekin, and Lord Malmesbury warned the new envoy
that "all the arts at which the Chinese are such adepts will be put in
practice to dissuade you from repairing to the capital." Mr. Bruce
received his instructions on March 1, 1859, and the exchange of
ratifications had to be effected before June 26. Mr. Bruce reached
Hongkong in April, and he found the air full of unsatisfactory rumors; and
when he reached Shanghai the uncertainty was intensified by the presence
of Kweiliang and Hwashana, who seemed to think that everything might be
settled without a journey to Pekin. They endeavored to get up a discussion
on some unsettled details of minor importance, in the hope that the period
for the ratification of the treaty might be allowed to expire. Mr. Bruce
announced his imminent departure for the Peiho to Kweiliang, and expressed
the hope that arrangements would be made for his safe conveyance to and
appropriate accommodation at Pekin. Neither Mr. Bruce's instructions nor
his own opinion justified any delay in proceeding to the north, and the
fleet sent on in advance under the command of Admiral Hope reached the
mouth of the Peiho on June 17, three days before Mr. Bruce. The admiral on
arrival sent a notification to the Chinese officers in command of the
forts that the English envoy was coming. But the reception given to the
officers who conveyed this intimation was distinctly unfavorable and even
hostile. The two boats sent ashore found that the entrance to the river
was effectually barred by a row of iron stakes and by an inner boom, and
that a large and excited crowd forbade them to land. A vague promise was
given that an opening would be made in the obstructions to admit the
passage of the English ships; but on the boats repeating their visit on
the succeeding day they found that the small passages had been more
effectually secured, and that there could no longer be any doubt that the
Chinese did not intend to admit the English envoy. It was therefore
determined to make a demonstration with the fleet, and if necessary to
resort to force, which it was never doubted would be attended with little
risk and crowned With complete success.

On June 25 the attack on the Taku forts began with the removal of the iron
stakes forming the outer barrier by the steamer "Opossum," and this part
of the operations was performed without a shot being fired. When,
however, the eleven ships forming the English fleet reached the inner boom
all the Chinese forts and batteries began to fire with an accuracy which
showed that the guns had been trained to bear on this precise spot. The
result of this unexpectedly vigorous bombardment was soon shown in the
damaged condition of our ships. Two gunboats were sunk, all the vessels
were more or less damaged, and when, after three hours' cannonade, it was
sought to retrieve the doubtful fortune of the day by a land attack, the
result only went to accentuate the ill results of the naval engagement. In
this disastrous affair more than 300 men were killed and wounded, which,
added to the loss of three gunboats, represented a very serious disaster.
But the worst of it was that it convinced the emperor and his advisers
that they could hold their own against Europeans, and that it placed the
extreme party once more in the ascendant at Pekin. Sankolinsin, the Mongol
prince who had checked the advance of the Taepings, became master of the
situation, and declared that there was nothing to fear from an enemy who
had been repulsed by the raw levies of the province while he held the flat
country between the Peiho and Pekin with the flower of the Banner army.
Mr. Bruce returned to Shanghai, the fleet to Hongkong, and the matter
remained suspended until fresh instructions and troops could be received
from Europe.

After some hesitation and delay, a plan of joint action was agreed upon in
November, 1859, between France and England, and it was hoped that the
whole expeditionary force would have reached its destination by April,
1860. Pending its arrival Mr. Bruce was instructed to present an ultimatum
with thirty days' grace demanding an immediate apology, the payment of a
large indemnity amounting to $12,000,000 to both England and France, and
the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin. The minister, Pang Wanching,
replied, categorically refusing all these requests; and, as neither
indemnity nor apology was offered, there remained no alternative but the
inevitable and supreme appeal to arms.

The troops which were to form the expedition were mainly drawn from India,
and Sir Hope Grant, who had not merely distinguished himself during the
Mutiny, but who had served in the first English war with China during the
operations round Canton, was appointed to the command of the army; while
Admiral Hope, strongly re-enforced in ships, retained the command of the
naval forces. A force of five batteries of artillery, six regiments of
infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, together with a body of horse and foot
from the native army of India, amounting in all to about 10,000 men, was
placed at the general's disposal in addition to the troops already in
China. The French government agreed to send another army of about two-
thirds this strength to co-operate on the Peiho, and General Montauban was
named for the command. The collection of this large expedition brought
into prominence the necessity of employing as embassador a diplomatist of
higher rank than Mr. Bruce; and accordingly, in February Lord Elgin and
Baron Gros were commissioned to again proceed to China for the purpose of
securing the ratification of their own treaty. Sir Hope Grant reached
Hongkong in March, 1860, and by his recommendation a stronger native
contingent (one Sikh regiment, four Punjab regiments, two Bombay
regiments, one Madras regiment of foot, and two irregular regiments of
Sikh cavalry, known as Fane's and Probyn's Horse; Sir John Michel and Sir
Robert Napier commanding divisions under Sir Hope Grant) was added,
raising the English force in the field to more than 13,000 men. A lease
was obtained in perpetuity, through the skillful negotiation of Mr.
Parkes, of Kowlun and Stonecutter Island, where, from their salubrious
position, it was proposed to place the troops on their arrival from India
or England. Chusan was occupied the following month without opposition by
an English brigade of 2,000 men.

The summer had commenced before the whole of the expedition assembled at
Hongkong, whence it was moved northward to Shanghai about a year after the
failure of the attack on the forts on the Peiho. A further delay was
caused by the tardiness of the French, and July had begun before the
expedition reached the Gulf of Pechihli. Then opposite opinions led to
different suggestions, and while the English advocated proceeding to
attack Pehtang, General Montauban drew up another plan of action. But the
exigencies of the alliance compelled the English, who were ready, to wait
for the French, who were not, in order that the assault might be made
simultaneously. Before that time arrived the French commander had been
brought round to the view that the proper plan of campaign was that
suggested by the English commander; viz., to attack and capture Pehtang,
whence the Taku forts might be taken in the rear. It is somewhat
remarkable to observe that no one suggested a second time endeavoring to
carry by a front attack these forts, which had in the interval since
Admiral Hope's failure been rendered more formidable.

At Pehtang the Chinese had made few preparations for defense, and nothing
of the same formidable character as at Taku. The forts on both sides of
the river were neither extensive nor well-armed. The garrison consisted
largely of Tartar cavalry, more useful for watching the movements of the
foreigners than for working artillery when exposed to the fire of the new
Armstrong guns of the English. The attacking force landed in boats and by
wading, Sir Hope Grant setting his men the example. No engagement took
place on the night of disembarkation. When morning broke, a suspicious
silence in the enemy's quarters strengthened the belief that Pehtang would
not be defended. While the garrison had resolved not to resist an attack,
they had contemplated causing their enemy as much loss as if he had been
obliged to carry the place by storm by placing shells in the magazine
which would be exploded by the moving of some gunlocks put in a spot where
they could not fail to be trodden upon. This plot, which was thoroughly in
accordance with the practices of Chinese warfare, was fortunately divulged
by a native more humane than patriotic, and Pehtang was captured and
occupied without the loss of a single man. This success at the
commencement enabled the whole of the expedition to land without further
delay or difficulty. Three days after the capture of Pehtang,
reconnoitering parties were sent out to ascertain what the Chinese were
doing, and whether they had made any preparations to oppose an advance
toward Taku or Tientsin. Four miles from Pehtang they came in sight of a
strongly intrenched camp, where several thousand men opened fire upon the
reconnoitering parties with their gingalls, and several men were wounded.
The object being only to find out what the Celestial army was doing, and
where it was, the Europeans withdrew on discovering the proximity of so
strong a force. The great difficulty was to discover a way of getting from
Pehtang on to some of the main roads leading to the Peiho; for the whole
of the surrounding country had been under water, and was more or less
impassable. In fact, the region round Pehtang consisted of nothing but
mud, while the one road, an elevated causeway, was blocked by the
fortified camp just mentioned as having been discovered by the
reconnoitering party. A subsequent reconnaissance, conducted by Colonel
(now Lord) Wolseley, revealed the presence of a cart-track which might
prove available for the march of troops. This track was turned to
advantage for the purpose of taking the Chinese position in flank, and to
Sir Robert Napier's division was assigned this, as it proved, difficult
operation. When the maneuver of out-flanking had been satisfactorily
accomplished, the attack was commenced in front. Here the Chinese stood to
their position, but only for a brief time, as the fire from eighteen guns,
including some forty-pounders, soon silenced their gingalls, and they
precipitately abandoned their intrenchments. While the engagement in front
had reached this favorable termination Sir Robert Napier had been engaged
on the right hand with a strong body of Tartar cavalry, which attacked
with considerable valor, and with what seemed a possibility of success,
until the guns opening upon them and the Sikh cavalry charging them
dispelled their momentary dream of victory. The prize of this battle was
the village of Sinho with its line of earthworks, one mile north of the
Peiho, and about seven miles in the rear of the Taku forts.

The next day was occupied in examining the Chinese position and in
discovering, what was more difficult than its capture, how it might be
approached. It was found that the village, which formed a fortified square
protected by batteries, could be best approached by the river bank, and
the only obstacle in this quarter was that represented by the fire of the
guns of two junks, supported by a battery on the opposite side of the
river. These, however, were soon silenced by the superior fire directed
upon them, and the guns were spiked by Captain Willis and a few sailors,
who crossed the river for the purpose. The flank of the advance being thus
protected, the attack on Tangku itself began with a cannonade from thirty-
six pieces of the best artillery of that age. The Chinese fire was soon
rendered innocuous, and their walls and forts were battered down. Even
then, however, the garrison gave no signs of retreat, and it was not until
the Armstrongs had been dragged within a very short distance of the walls,
and the foot-soldiers had absolutely effected an entrance, that the
garrison thought of their personal safety and turned in flight.

Some days before the battle and capture of Tangku, Lord Elgin received
several communications from Hang, the Governor-general of Pechihli,
requesting a cessation of hostilities, and announcing the approach of two
imperial commissioners appointed for the express purpose of ratifying the
Treaty of Tientsin. But Lord Elgin very wisely perceived that it would be
impossible to negotiate on fair terms unless the Taku forts were in his
possession. The capture of Tangku placed the allied forces in the rear of
the northern forts on the Peiho; and those forts once occupied, the others
on the southern side would be practically untenable and obliged to
surrender at discretion. Several days were passed in preliminary
observations and skirmishing. On the one side, the whole of the Tartar
cavalry was removed to the southern bank; on the other, a bridge of boats
was thrown across the Peiho, and the approach to the northern fort
carefully examined up to 600 yards from the wall. At this point the views
of the allied generals again clashed. General Montauban wished to attack
the southern forts. Sir Hope Grant was determined to begin by carrying the
northern. The attack on the chief northern fort commenced on the morning
of August 21 with a heavy cannonade; the Chinese, anticipating the plans
of the English, were the first to fire. The Chinese fought their guns with
extraordinary courage. A shell exploded their principal magazine, which
blew up with a terrible report; but as soon as the smoke cleared off they
recommenced their fire with fresh ardor. Although even this fort had not
been constructed with the same strength in the rear as they all presented
in the front, the resistance was most vigorous. A premature attempt to
throw a pontoon across the ditch was defeated with the loss of sixteen
men. The coolie corps here came to the front, and, rushing into the water,
held up the pontoons while the French and some English troops dashed
across. But all their efforts to scale the wall were baffled, and it
seemed as if they had only gone to self-destruction. While the battle was
thus doubtfully contested, Major Anson, who had shown the greatest
intrepidity on several occasions, succeeded in cutting the ropes that held
up a drawbridge, and an entrance was soon effected within the body of the
works. The Chinese still resisted nobly, and it was computed that out of a
garrison of 500 men but 100 escaped. The English loss was 22 killed, and
179, including 21 officers, were wounded. To these figures must be added
the French loss.

There still remained four more forts on the northern side of the river,
and it seemed as if these would offer further resistance, as the garrisons
uttered threats of defiance to a summons to surrender. But appearances
were deceptive, and for the good reason that all of these forts were only
protected in the rear by a slight wall. The French rushed impetuously to
the attack, only to find that the garrison had given up the defense, while
a large number had actually retired. Two thousand prisoners were made, and
the fall of the forts on the northern bank was followed by an immediate
summons to those on the southern to surrender; and as they were commanded
by the guns in the former they yielded with as good a grace as they could
muster. The following day formal occupation was made, and the spoil
included more than 600 cannon of various sizes and degrees of efficiency.
On that day also the fleet, which had during these operations been riding
at anchor off the mouth of the river, proceeded across the bar, removed
the different obstacles that had been intended to hinder its approach, and
Admiral Hope anchored in security off those very forts which had repulsed
him in the previous year, and which would in all probability have
continued to defy any direct attack from the sea. Let it not be said,
therefore, that Sir Hope Grant's capture of the Taku forts reflected in
any way on the courage or capacity of Admiral Hope for the failure in
1859.

By this decisive success the road to Tientsin was opened both by land and
by the river. The fleet of gunboats, which had participated as far as they
could without incurring any undue danger in the attack on the forts, were
ordered up the Peiho; and the English embassador, escorted by a strong
naval and military force, proceeded to Tientsin, where it would be
possible, without any loss of dignity, to resume negotiations with the
Pekin government. The advanced gunboats arrived at Tientsin on August 23,
and three days later the greater portion of the expedition had entered
that city. No resistance was attempted, although several batteries and
intrenched camps were passed on the way. Precautions were at once taken to
make the position of the troops as secure as possible in the midst of a
very large and presumably hostile population. The people showed, according
to the ideas of Europe, an extraordinary want of patriotic fervor, and
were soon engaged, on the most amicable terms, in conducting a brisk trade
with the invaders of their country; but there was never any doubt that on
the first sign of a reverse they would have turned upon the foreign
troops, and completed by all the means in their power their discomfiture.
Several communications passed between the opposite camps during these
days; and when Hang announced the withdrawal of all Chinese troops from
Tientsin he expressed a wish that the English embassador would not bring
many vessels of war with him. But such requests were made more with the
desire to save appearances than from any hope that they would be granted.
The reality of their fears, and of their consequent desire to negotiate,
was shown by the appointment of Kweiliang, who had arranged the Treaty of
Tientsin, as high commissioner to provide for the necessary ceremonies in
connection with its ratification. Kweiliang apparently possessed powers of
the most extensive character; and he hastened to inform Lord Elgin, who
had taken up his residence in a beautiful yamen in Tientsin, that he had
received the emperor's authority to discuss and decide everything. In
response to this notification the reply was sent that the three conditions
of peace were an apology for the attack on the English flag at Peiho, the
payment of an indemnity, including the costs of the war, and, thirdly, the
ratification and execution of the Treaty of Tientsin, including, of
course, the reception at Pekin of the representative of the Queen of
England on honorable terms adequate to the dignity of that great
sovereign. To none of these was Kweiliang himself disposed to raise any
objection. Only in connection with the details of the last named point was
there likely that any difference of opinion would arise; and that
difference of opinion speedily revealed itself when it became known that
the English insisted on the advance of their army to the town of Tungchow,
only twelve miles distant from the walls of Pekin. To the Chinese
ministers this simple precaution seemed like exacting the extreme rights
of the conqueror, before, too, the act of conquest had been consummated;
for already fresh troops were arriving from Mongolia and Manchuria, and
the valor of Sankolinsin was beginning to revive. That the Chinese
government had under the hard taskmaster, necessity, made great progress
in its views on foreign matters was not to be denied, but somehow or other
its movements always lagged behind the requirements of the hour, and the
demands of the English were again ahead of what it was disposed to yield.

If the Chinese government had promptly accepted the inevitable, and if
Kweiliang had negotiated with as much celerity as he pretended to be his
desire, peace might have been concluded and the Chinese saved some further
ignominy. But it soon became clear that all the Chinese were thinking
about was to gain time, and as the months available for active campaigning
were rapidly disappearing, it was imperative that not the least delay
should be sanctioned. On September 8, Lord Elgin and Sir Hope Grant left
Tientsin with an advance force of about 1,500 men; and, marching by the
highroad, reached the pretty village of Hosiwu, half-way between that town
and the capital. A few days later this force was increased by the
remainder of one division, while to Sir Robert Napier was left the task of
guarding with the other Tientsin and the communications with the sea. At
Hosiwu negotiations were resumed by Tsai, Prince of I, a nephew of the
emperor, who declared that he had received authority to conclude all
arrangements; but he was curtly informed that no treaty could be concluded
save at Tung-chow, and the army resumed its advance beyond Hosiwu. The
march was continued without molestation to a point beyond the village of
Matow, but when Sir Hope Grant approached a place called Chan-chia-wan he
found himself in presence of a large army. This was the first sign of any
resolve to offer military opposition to the invaders since the capture of
the Taku forts, and it came to a great extent in the manner of a surprise,
for by a special agreement with Mr. Parkes the settlement of the
difficulty was to be concluded at Chan-chia-wan in an amicable manner.
Instead, however, of the emperor's delegates, the English commander found
Sankolinsin and the latest troops drawn from Pekin and beyond the wall in
battle array, and occupying the very ground which had been assigned for
the English encampment.

The day before the English commander perceived that he was in face of a
strong force Mr. Parkes and some other officers and civilians had been
sent ahead with an escort of Sikh cavalry to arrange the final
preliminaries with the imperial commissioners at Tungchow, both as to
where the camp was to be pitched and also as to the interview between the
respective plenipotentiaries of the opposing powers. This party proceeded
to Tungchow without encountering any opposition or perceiving any
exceptional military precautions. Troops were indeed observed at several
points, and officers in command of pickets demanded the nature of their
business and where they were going, but the reply "To the Commissioners"
at once satisfied all inquiries and opened every barrier. The one incident
that happened was of happy augury for a satisfactory issue if the result
went to prove the fallaciousness of human expectations. A change had in
the meanwhile come over the minds of the imperial commissioners, whether
in accordance with the working of a deep and long-arranged policy, or from
the confidence created by the sight of the numerous warriors drawn from
the cradle of the Manchu race for the defense of the capital and dynasty,
can never be ascertained with any degree of certainty, Their tone suddenly
assumed greater boldness and arrogance. To some of the Englishmen it
appeared "almost offensive," and it was only after five hours' discussion
between Mr. Parkes and the commissioners at Tungchow that some sign was
given of a more yielding disposition. The final arrangements were hastily
concluded in the evening of September 17 for the arrival of the troops at
the proposed camping ground on the morrow, and for the interview that was
to follow as soon after as possible. While Mr. Parkes and some of his
companions were to ride forward in the morning to apprise Sir Hope Grant
of what had been agreed upon, and to point out the site for his camp, the
others were to remain in Tungchow with the greater part of the Sikh
escort.

On their return toward the advancing English army in the early morning of
the following day, Mr. Parkes and his party met with frequent signs of
military movement in the country between Tungchow and Chan-chia-wan. Large
bodies of infantry and gingall-men were seen marching from all quarters to
the town. At Chan-chia-wan itself still more emphatic tokens were visible
of a coming battle. Cavalry were drawn up in dense bodies, but under
shelter. In a nullah one regiment of a thousand sabers was stationed with
the men standing at their horses' heads ready for instant action. At
another point a number of men were busily engaged in constructing a
battery and in placing twelve guns in position. When the Englishmen gained
the plain they found the proposed site of the English camp in the actual
possession of a Chinese army, and a strong force of Tartar cavalry, alone
reckoned to number six or seven thousand men, scouring the plain. To all
inquiries as to what these warlike arrangements betokened no reply was
made by the soldiers, and when the whereabout of the responsible general
was asked there came the stereotyped answer that "he was many li away." To
the most obtuse mind these arrangements could convey but one meaning. They
indicated that the Chinese government had resolved to make another
endeavor to avert the concessions demanded from them by the English and
their allies, and to appeal once more to the God of Battles ere they
accepted the inevitable. When the whole truth flashed across the mind of
Mr. Parkes, the army of Sir Hope Grant might be, and indeed was, marching
into the trap prepared for it, with such military precautions perhaps as a
wise general never neglected, but still wholly unprepared for the
extensive and well-arranged opposition planned for its reception by a
numerous army established in a strong position of its own choosing. It
became, therefore, of the greatest importance to communicate the actual
state of affairs to him, and to place at his disposal the invaluable
information which the Englishmen returning from Tungchow had in their
possession. But Mr. Parkes had still more to do. It was his duty to bring
before the Chinese imperial commissioners at the earliest possible moment
the knowledge of this flagrant breach of the convention he had concluded
the day before, to demand its meaning, and to point out the grave
consequences that must ensue from such treacherous hostility; and in that
supreme moment, as he had done on the many other critical occasions of his
career in China--at Canton and Taku in particular--the one thought in the
mind of Mr. Parkes was how best to perform his duty. He did not forget
also that, while he was almost in a place of safety near the limits of the
Chinese pickets, and not far distant from the advancing columns of Sir
Hope Grant, there were other Englishmen in his rear possibly in imminent
peril of their lives amid the Celestials at Tungchow.

Mr. Parkes rode back, therefore, to that town, and with him went one
English dragoon, named Phipps, and one Sikh sowar carrying a flag of truce
on his spear-point. We must leave them for the moment to follow the
movements of the others. To Mr. Loch was intrusted the task of
communicating with Sir Hope Grant; while the remainder of the party were
to remain stationary, in order to show the Chinese that they did not
suspect anything, and that they were full of confidence. Mr. Loch,
accompanied by two Sikhs, rode at a hard canter away from the Chinese
lines. He passed through one body of Tartar cavalry without opposition,
and reached the advanced guard of the English force in safety. To tell his
news was but the work of a minute. It confirmed the suspicions which
General Grant had begun to feel at the movements of some bodies of cavalry
on the flank of his line of march. Mr. Loch had performed his share of the
arrangement. He had warned Sir Hope Grant. But to the chivalrous mind duty
is but half-performed if aid is withheld from those engaged in fulfilling
theirs. What he had done had proved unexpectedly easy; it remained for him
to assist those whose share was more arduous and perilous. So Mr. Loch
rode back to the Chinese lines, Captain Brabazon insisting on following
him, again accompanied by two Sikhs but not the same who had ridden with
him before.

Sir Hope Grant had given him the assurance that unless absolutely forced
to engage he would postpone the action for two hours. This small party of
four men rode without hesitation, and at a rapid pace, through the
skirmishers of the Chinese army. The rapidity of their movements
disconcerted the Chinese, who allowed them to pass without opposition and
almost without notice. They rode through the Streets of Chan-chia-wan
without meeting with any molestation, although they were crowded with the
mustering men of the imperial army. They gained Tungchow without let or
hinderance, after having passed through probably not less than 30,000 men
about to do battle with the long hated and now feared foreigners. It may
have been, as suggested, that they owed their safety to a belief that they
were the bearers of their army's surrender! Arrived at Tungchow, Mr. Loch
found the Sikh escort at the temple outside the gates unaware of any
danger--all the Englishmen being absent in the town, where they were
shopping--and a letter left by Mr. Parkes warning them on return to
prepare for instant flight, and saying that he was off in search of Prince
Tsai. In that search he was at last successful. He found the high
commissioner, he asked the meaning of the change that had taken place, and
was told in curt and defiant tones that "there could be no peace, there
must be war."

The last chance of averting hostilities was thus shown to be in vain.
Prince Tsai indorsed the action of Sankolinsin. Mr. Parkes had only the
personal satisfaction of knowing that he had done everything he could to
prove that the English did not wish to press their military superiority
over an antagonist whose knowledge of war was slight and out of date. He
had done this at the greatest personal peril. It only remained to secure
his own safety and that of his companions. By this time the whole party of
Englishmen had re-assembled in the temple; and Mr. Loch, anxious for Mr.
Parkes, had gone into the city and met him galloping away from the yamen
of the commissioner. There was no longer reason for delay. Not an
Englishman had yet been touched, but between this small band and safety
lay the road back through the ranks of Sankolinsin's warriors. From
Tungchow to the advanced post of Sir Hope Grant's army was a ten mile
ride; and most of the two hours' grace had already expired. Could it be
done? By this time most of the Chinese troops had reached Chan-chia-wan,
where they had been drawn up in battle array among the maize-fields and in
the nullahs as already described. From Tungchow to that place the country
was almost deserted; and the fugitives proceeded unmolested along the road
till they reached that town. The streets were crowded partly with armed
citizens and peasants, but chiefly with panic-stricken householders; and
by this time the horses were blown, and some of them almost exhausted.
Through this crowd the seven Englishmen and twenty Sikhs walked their
horses, and met not the least opposition. They reached the eastern side
without insult or injury, passed through the gates, and descending the
declivity found themselves in the rear of the whole Chinese army. The
dangers through which they had passed were as nothing compared with those
they had now to encounter. A shell burst in the air at this moment,
followed by the discharge of the batteries on both sides. The battle had
begun. The promised two hours had expired. The fugitives were some ten
minutes too late.

The position of this small band in the midst of an Asiatic army actually
engaged in mortal combat with their kinsmen may be better imagined than
described. They were riding down the road which passed through the center
of the Chinese position, and the banks on each side of them were lined
with matchlock-men, among whom the shells of the English guns were already
bursting. Parties of cavalry were not wanting here, but out in the plain
where the Tartar horsemen swarmed in thousands the greatest danger of all
awaited them. Their movements were slow, painfully slow, and the progress
was delayed by the necessity of waiting for those who were the worst
mounted; but they were "all in the same boat, and, like Englishmen, would
sink or swim together." In the accumulation of difficulties that stared
them in the face not the least seemed to be that they were advancing in
the teeth of their own countrymen's fire, which was growing fiercer every
minute. In this critical moment men turned to Mr. Parkes, and Captain
Barbazon expressed the belief of those present in a cool brave man in
arduous extremity when he cried out, "I vote Parkes decides what is to be
done." To follow the main road seemed to be certain destruction and death
without the power of resisting; for even assuming that some of them could
have cut their way through the Tartar cavalry, and escaped from the
English shell, they could hardly have avoided being shot down by the long
lines of matchlock-men who were ready to fire on them the instant they saw
their backs. There was only one possible avenue of escape, and that was to
gain the right flank of the army, and endeavor to make their way by a
detour round to the English lines. Assuredly this was not a very promising
mode of escape, but it seemed to have the greatest chances of success. But
when the Chinese, who had up to this regarded their movements without
interfering, saw this change in their course, they at once took measures
to stop it. A military mandarin said if they persisted in their attempt
they would be treated as enemies and fired upon; but that he was willing
to respect their flag of truce, and that if they would accompany him to
the general's presence he would obtain a safe conduct for them. The offer
was accepted, partly no doubt because it could not be refused, but still
also on its own merits. Safe conducts during the heat of battle, even with
civilized European peoples, are, however, not such easy things either to
grant or to carry out. Mr. Parkes accepted his offer, therefore, and he,
Mr. Loch, and the Sikh trooper Nalsing, bearing a flag of truce, rode off
with the mandarin in search of the general, while the five other Europeans
and the Sikh escort remained on the road awaiting their return. They
proceeded to the left, where it was understood that Sankolinsin commanded
in person. They met with some adventures even on this short journey.
Coming suddenly upon a large body of infantry, they were almost pulled
from their horses, and would have been killed but for the mandarin rushing
between them and shouting to the men "not to fire." A short distance
beyond this they halted, when the approach of Sankolinsin was announced by
loud shouts of his name from the soldiery. Mr. Parkes at once addressed
him, saying that they had come under a flag of truce, and that they wished
to regain their army. The Chinese commander replied to his remarks on the
usages of war in true Tartar fashion--with laughter and abuse. The
soldiers pressed round the unfortunate Englishmen and placed their
matchlocks against their bodies. Escape was hopeless, and death seemed
inevitable. But insult was more the object of the Mongol general than
their death. They were dragged before him and forced to press the ground
with their heads at the feet of Sankolinsin. They were subjected to
numerous other indignities, and at last, when it became evident that the
battle was going against the Chinese, they were placed in one of the
country carts and sent off to Pekin. While Mr. Parkes and Mr. Loch were
thus ill-used, their comrades waiting on the road had fared no better.
Shortly after their departure the Chinese soldiers began to hustle and
jeer at the Englishmen and their native escort. As the firing increased
and some of the Chinese were hit they grew more violent. When the news was
received of what had happened to Mr. Parkes, and of how Sankolinsin had
laughed to scorn their claim to protection, the soldiers could no longer
be restrained. The Englishmen and the natives were dragged from their
horses, cruelly bound, and hurried to the rear, whence they followed at no
great distance their companions in misfortune. While the greater portion
of these events had been in progress, Colonel Walker, Mr. Thompson, and
the men of the King's Dragoon Guards, had been steadily pacing up and down
on the embankment as arranged, in order to show the Chinese that they
suspected no treachery and had no fears. They continued doing this until a
French officer joined them; but on his getting into a dispute with some of
the Chinese about his mule, he drew his pistol and fired at them. He was
immediately killed. There was then no longer the least hope of restraining
the Chinese, so the whole of the party spurred their horses and escaped to
the English army under a heavy but ineffectual fire from matchlocks and
gingalls. Their flight was the signal for the commencement of the battle,
although at that very moment, had they only known it, the chief party of
Englishmen had gained the road east of Chan-chia-wan, and, if the battle
had only been delayed a quarter of an hour, they might all have escaped.

But the two hours of grace were up, and Sir Hope Grant saw no further use
in delay. General Montauban was still more impatient, and the men were
eager to engage. They had to win their camping-ground that night, and the
day was already far advanced. The French occupied the right wing, that is
the position opposite the spot where we have seen Sankolinsin commanding
in person, and a squadron of Fane's Horse had been lent them to supply
their want of cavalry. The battle began with the fire of their batteries,
which galled the Chinese so much that the Tartar cavalry were ordered up
to charge the guns, and right gallantly they did so. A battery was almost
in their hands, its officers had to use their revolvers, when the Sikhs
and a few French dragoons, led by Colonel Foley, the English commissioner
with the French force, gallantly charged them in turn, and compelled them
to withdraw. Neither side derived much advantage from this portion of the
contest, but the repulse of the Tartar cavalry enabled the French guns to
renew their fire with great effect on the line of Chinese infantry. While
the French were thus engaged on the right, the English troops had begun a
vigorous attack on both the center and their left. The Chinese appeared in
such dense masses, and maintained so vigorous, but fortunately so ill-
directed, a fire, that the English force made but little progress at
either point. The action might have been indefinitely prolonged and left
undecided, had not Sir Hope Grant suddenly resolved to re-enforce his left
with a portion of his center, and to assail the enemy's right vigorously.
This latter part of the battle began with a charge of some squadrons of
Probyn's Horse against the bodies of mounted Tartars moving in the plain,
whom they, with their gallant leader at their head, routed in the sight of
the two armies. This overthrow of their chosen fighting-men greatly
discouraged the rest of the Chinese soldiers, and when the infantry
advanced with the Sikhs in front they slowly began to give ground. But
even then there were none of the usual symptoms of a decisive victory. The
French were so exhausted by their efforts that they had been compelled to
halt, and General Montauban was obliged to curb his natural impetuosity,
and to admit that he could take no part in the final attack on Chan-chia-
wan. Sir Hope Grant, however, pressed on and occupied the town. He did not
call in his men until they had seized without resistance a large camp
about one mile west of the town, where they captured several guns. Thus
ended the battle of Chan-chia-wan with the defeat and retreat of the
strong army which Sankolinsin had raised in order to drive the barbarians
into the sea.

Although the battle was won, Sir Hope Grant, measuring the resistance with
the eye of an experienced soldier, came to the conclusion that his force
was not sufficiently strong to overawe so obstinate a foe; and accordingly
ordered Sir Robert Napier to join him with as many troops as he could
spare from the Tientsin garrison. Having thus provided for the arrival of
re-enforcements at an early date, he was willing to resume his onward
march for Tungchow, where it was hoped some tidings would be obtained of
the missing officers and men. Two days intervened before any decisive move
was made, but Mr. Wade was sent under a flag of truce into Tungchow to
collect information. But he failed to learn anything more about Mr. Parkes
than that he had quitted the town in safety after his final interview with
Prince Tsai. Lord Elgin now hastened up from Hosiwu to join the military
headquarters, and on September 21, the French having been joined by
another brigade, offensive operations were recommenced. The delay had
encouraged the Chinese to make another stand, and they had collected in
considerable force for the defense of the Palikao bridge, which affords
the means of crossing the Peiho west of Tungchow. Here again the battle
commenced with a cavalry charge which, despite an accident that might have
had more serious results, was completely successful. This achievement was
followed up by the attack on several fortified positions which were not
defended with any great amount of resolution, and while these matters were
in progress on the side where the English were engaged, the French had
carried the bridge with its twenty-five guns in position in very gallant
style. The capture of this bridge and the dispersion of the troops,
including the Imperial Guard, which had been intrusted with its defense,
completed the discomfiture of the Chinese. Pekin itself lay almost at the
mercy of the invader, and, unless diplomacy could succeed better than
arms, nothing would prevent the hated foreigners violating its privacy not
merely with their presence, but in the most unpalatable guise of armed
victors.

The day after the battle at the Palikao bridge came a letter from Prince
Kung the emperor's next brother, stating that Prince Tsai and his
colleagues had not managed matters satisfactorily, and that he had been
appointed with plenipotentiary powers for the discussion and decision of
the peace question. But the prince went on to request a temporary
suspension of hostilities--a demand with which no general or embassador
could have complied so long as officers were detained who had been seized
in violation of the usages of war. Lord Elgin replied in the clearest
terms that there could be no negotiations for peace until these prisoners
were restored, and that if they were not sent back in safety the
consequences would be most serious for the Chinese government. But even at
this supreme moment of doubt and danger, the subtlety of Chinese diplomacy
would have free play. Prince Kung was young in years and experience, but
his finesse would have done credit to a gray-haired statesman.
Unfortunately for him, the question had got beyond the stage for
discussion: the English embassador had stated the one condition on which
negotiations would be renewed, and until that had been complied with there
was no need to give ear to the threats, promises and entreaties even of
Prince Kung. As the prince gave no sign of yielding this point during the
week's delay in bringing up the second division from Tientsin, Lord Elgin
requested Sir Hope Grant to resume his march on Pekin, from which the
advanced guard of the allied forces was distant little more than ten
miles. The cavalry had reconnoitered almost up to the gates, and had
returned with the report that the walls were strong and in good condition.
The danger to a small army of attempting to occupy a great city of the
size and population of Pekin is almost obvious; and, moreover, the
consistent policy of the English authorities had been to cause the Chinese
people as little injury and suffering as possible. Should an attack on the
city become unavoidable, it was decided that the point attacked should be
the Tartar quarter, including the palace, which occupied the northern half
of the city. By this time it had become known that Parkes and Loch were
living, that they were confined in the Kaou Meaou Temple, near the Tehshun
Gate, and that latterly they had been fairly well treated.

In execution of the plan of attack that had been agreed upon, the allied
forces marched round Pekin to the northwest corner of the walls, having as
their object the Summer Palace of the emperor at Yuen Min Yuen, not quite
four miles distant from the city.

On the approach of the foreign army, Hienfung fled in terror from his
palace, and sought shelter at Jehol, the hunting residence of the emperors
beyond the Wall. His flight was most precipitate; and the treasures of the
Summer Palace were left at the mercy of the Western spoilers. The French
soldiers had made the most of the start they had obtained, and left
comparatively little for their English comrades, who, moreover, were
restrained by the bonds of a stricter discipline. But the amount of prize
property that remained was still considerable, and, by agreement between
the two generals, it was divided in equal shares between the armies. The
capture and occupation of the Summer Palace completed the European
triumph, and obliged Prince Kung to promptly acquiesce in Lord Elgin's
demand for the immediate surrender of the prisoners, if he wished to avoid
the far greater calamity of a foreign occupation of the Tartar quarter of
Pekin and the appropriation of its vaster collection of treasures.

On October 6 Mr. Parkes wrote from his place of confinement that the
French and English detained were to be returned on the 8th of the month,
and that the imperial commanders had been ordered at the same time to
retire for a considerable distance from Pekin. These promises were carried
out. Prince Kung was at last resolved to make all the concessions
requisite to insure the speedy conclusion of peace. The restoration of
these captives removed what was thought to be the one obstacle to Lord
Elgin's discussing the terms on which the invading force would retire and
to the respective governments resuming diplomatic relations. It was
fortunate for China that the exact fate of the other prisoners was
unknown, and that Lord Elgin felt able, in consequence of the more
friendly proceedings of Prince Kung, to overlook the earlier treatment of
those now returned to him, for the narrative of Mr. Parkes and his fellow
prisoners was one that tended to heighten the feeling of indignation at
the original breach of faith. To say that they were barbarously ill-used
is to employ a phrase conveying a very inadequate idea of the numerous
indignities and the cruel personal treatment to which they were subjected.
Under these great trials neither of these intrepid Englishmen wavered in
their refusal to furnish any information or to make any concession
compromising their country. Mr. Loch's part was in one sense the more
easy, as his ignorance of the language prevented his replying, but in
bodily suffering he had to pay a proportionately greater penalty. The
incidents of their imprisonment afford the most creditable testimony to
the superiority which the pride of race as well as "the equal mind in
arduous circumstance" gives weak humanity over physical suffering. They
are never likely to pass out of the public memory; and those who remember
the daring and the chivalry which had inspired Mr. Parkes and Mr. Loch on
the day when Prince Tsai's treachery and Sankolinsin's mastery were
revealed, will not be disposed to consider it exaggerated praise to say
that, for an adventure so honorably conceived and so nobly carried out,
where the risk was never reckoned and where the penalty was so patiently
borne, the pages of history may be searched almost in vain for an event
that, in the dramatic elements of courage and suffering, presents such a
complete and consistent record of human gallantry and devotion as the
capture and subsequent captivity of these English gentlemen and their Sikh
companion.

The further conditions as preliminary to the ratification of the Treaty of
Tientsin were gradually, if reluctantly, complied with. On October 13 the
northeast gate was handed over to the allied troops, but not before Sir
Hope Grant had threatened to open fire on the walls. At the same time
Prince Kung returned eight sowars of Fane's Horse and one Frenchman, all
the survivors, besides those already surrendered, of the small band which
had ridden from Tungchow nearly a month before. The Chinese prince stated
in explanation that "a certain number were missing after the fight, or
have died of their wounds or of sickness." But the narrative of the Sikhs
was decisive as to the fate of the five Englishmen and their own comrades.
They had been brutally bound with ropes which, although drawn as tight as
human force could draw them, were tightened still more by cold water being
poured upon the bands, and they had been maltreated in every form by a
cruel enemy, and provided only with food of the most loathsome kind. Some
of the prisoners were placed in cages. Lieutenant Anderson, a gallant
young officer for whom future renown had been predicted, became delirious
and died on the ninth day of his confinement. Mr. De Normann died a week
later. What fate befell Captain Barbazon and his French companion, the
Abbe de Luc, is uncertain, but the evidence on the subject inclines us to
accept as accurate the statement that the Chinese commander in the fight
at Palikao, enraged at his defeat, caused them to be executed on the
bridge. The soldier Phipps endured for a longer time than Mr. Bowlby the
taunts and ill-usage of their jailers, but they at last shared the same
fate, dying from the effects of their ill-treatment. The bodies of all the
Englishmen, with the exception of Captain Barbazon, were restored, and of
most of the Sikhs also. The Chinese officials were more barbarous in their
cruelty than even the worst scum among their malefactors; for the
prisoners in the jails, far from adding to the tortures of the unfortunate
Europeans, did everything in their power to mitigate their sufferings,
alleviate their pains, and supply their wants.

The details of these cruel deeds raised a feeling of great horror in men's
minds, and, although the desire to arrange the question of peace without
delay was uppermost with Lord Elgin, still it was felt that some grave
step was necessary to express the abhorrence with which England regarded
this cruel and senseless outrage, and to bring home to the Chinese people
and government the fact that Englishmen could not be murdered with
impunity. Lord Elgin refused to hold any further intercourse with the
Chinese government until this great crime had been purged by some signal
punishment. Sir Hope Grant and he had little difficulty in arriving at the
decision that the best mode of expiation was to destroy the Summer Palace.
The French commander refused to participate in the act which carried a
permanent lesson of political necessity to the heart of the Pekin
government, and which did more than any other incident of the campaign to
show Hienfung that the hour had gone by for trifling. On October 18 the
threat was carried into execution. The Summer Palace was destroyed by
fire, and the sum of $500,000 was demanded and obtained from the Chinese
as some compensation for the families of the murdered men. The palace of
Yuen Min Yuen had been the scene of some of the worst sufferings of the
English prisoners. From its apartments the high mandarins and the
immediate courtiers of the emperor had gloated over and enjoyed the
spectacle of their foreign prisoners' agony. The whole of Pekin witnessed
in return the destruction wrought to the sovereign's abode by the
indignant English, and the clouds of smoke hung for days like a vast black
pall over the city.

That act of severe but just vengeance consummated, the negotiations for
the ratification of the treaty were resumed. The Hall of Ceremonies was
selected as the place in which the ratifying act should be performed,
while, as some punishment for the hostile part he had played, the palace
of Prince Tsai was appropriated as the temporary official residence of
Lord Elgin and Baron Gros. The formal act of ratification was performed in
this building on October 24. Lord Elgin proceeded in a chair of state,
accompanied by his suite, and also by Sir Hope Grant with an escort of 100
officers and 500 troops, through the streets from the Anting Gate to the
Hall of Ceremonies. Prince Kung, attended by a large body of civil and
military mandarins, was there in readiness to produce the imperial edict
authorizing him to attach the emperor's seal to the treaty, and to accept
the responsibility for his country of conforming with its terms and
carrying out its stipulations. Some further delay was caused by the
necessity of waiting until the edict should be received from the emperor
at Jehol authorizing the publication of the treaty, not the least
important point in connection with its conclusion if the millions of China
were to understand and perform what their rulers had promised for them.
That closing act was successfully achieved, and more rapidly than had been
expected. The Pekinese beheld English troops and officers in residence in
their midst for the first time, and when the army was withdrawn and the
plenipotentiary, Lord Elgin, transferred to his brother, Mr. Frederick
Bruce, the charge of affairs in China as Resident Minister, the ice had
been broken in the relations between the officials of the two countries,
and the greatest, if not the last, barrier of Chinese exclusiveness had
been removed. The last of the allied troops turned their backs upon Pekin
on November 9, and the greater portion of the expedition departed for
India and Europe just before the cold weather set in. A few days later the
rivers were frozen and navigation had become impossible, which showed how
narrow was the margin left for the completion of the operations of war.

The object which the more far-seeing of the English residents had from the
first hour of difficulty stated to be necessary for satisfactory
relations--direct intercourse with the Pekin government--was thus obtained
after a keen and bitter struggle of thirty years. Although vanquished, the
Chinese may be said to have come out of this war with an increased
military reputation. The war closed with a treaty enforcing all the
concessions made by its predecessor. The right to station an embassador in
Pekin signified that the greatest barrier of all had been broken down; the
old school of politicians were put completely out of court, and a young
and intelligent prince, closely connected with the emperor, assumed the
personal charge of the foreign relations of the country. As one who had
seen with his own eyes the misfortunes of his countrymen, Prince Kung was
the more disposed to adhere to what he had promised to perform. Under his
direction the ratified Treaty of Tientsin became a bond of union instead
of an element of discord between the cabinets of London and Pekin; and a
termination was put, by an arrangement carried at the point of the sword,
to the constant friction and recrimination which had been the prevailing
characteristics of the intercourse for a whole generation. The Chinese had
been subjected to a long and bitter lesson. They had at last learned the
virtue of submitting to necessity; but although they have profited to some
extent both in peace and war by their experience, it requires some
assurance to declare that they have even now accepted the inevitable. That
remains the problem of the future; but in 1860 Prince Kung came to the
sensible conclusion that for that period, and until China had recovered
from her internal confusion, there was nothing to be gained and much to be
lost by protracted resistance to the peoples of the West. Whatever could
be retained by tact and finesse were to form part of the natural rights of
China; but the privileges only to be asserted in face of Armstrong guns
and rifles were to be abandoned with as good a grace as the injured
feeling of a nation can ever display.



CHAPTER XX

THE TAEPING REBELLION


We left the Taepings supreme at Nankin, but maintaining themselves there
with some difficulty against two imperial armies raised by the loyal
efforts of the inhabitants of the central provinces. This was at the
beginning of 1857; and there is no doubt that if the government had
avoided a conflict with the Europeans, and concentrated its efforts and
power on the contest with the Taeping rebels, they would have speedily
annihilated the tottering fabric of Tien Wang's authority. But the respite
of four years secured by the attention of the central government being
monopolized by the foreign question enabled the Taepings to consolidate
their position, augment their fighting forces, and present a more
formidable front to the imperial authorities. When Prince Kung learned
from Lord Elgin the full extent of the success of the Taepings on the
Yangtse, of which the officials at Pekin seemed to possess a very
imperfect and inaccurate knowledge, the Manchu authorities realized that
it was a vital question for them to reassert their authority without
further delay, but on beginning to put their new resolve into practice
they soon experienced that the position of the Taepings in 1861 differed
materially from what it was in 1857.

The course of events during that period must be briefly summarized. In
1858 the imperialists under Tseng Kwofan and Chang Kwoliang renewed the
siege of Nankin, but as the city was well supplied with provisions, and as
the imperialists were well known to have no intention of delivering an
assault, the Taepings did not feel any apprehension. After the investment
had continued for nearly a year, Chung Wang, who had now risen to the
supreme place among the rebels, insisted on quitting the city before it
was completely surrounded, with the object of beating up levies and
generally relieving the pressure caused by the besiegers. In this endeavor
he more than once experienced the unkindness of fortune, for when he had
collected 5,000 good troops he was defeated in a vigorous attempt to cut
his way through a far larger imperial force. Such, however, was his
reputation that the imperial commanders before Nankin sent many of their
men to assist the officers operating against him, and Chung Wang, seizing
the opportunity, made his way by forced marches back to Nankin, overcoming
such resistance as the enfeebled besiegers were able to offer. The whole
of the year 1859 was passed in practical inaction, but at its close the
Taepings only retained possession of four towns, besides Nankin, on the
Yangtse. It again became necessary for Chung Wang to sally forth and
assume the offensive in the rear and on the line of supplies of the
beleaguering imperialists. His main difficulty was in obtaining the
consent of Tien Wang, who was at this time given over to religious
pursuits or private excesses, and Chung Wang states that he only consented
when he found that he could not stop him. In January, 1860, Chung Wang
began what proved to be a very remarkable campaign. He put his men in good
humor by distributing a large sum of money among them, and he succeeded in
eluding the imperial commanders and in misleading them as to his
intentions. While they thought he had gone off to relieve Ganking, he had
really hastened to attack the important city of Hangchow, where much spoil
and material for carrying on the war might be secured by the victor. He
captured the city with little or no loss, on March 19, 1860, but the
Tartar city held out until relieved by Chang Kwoliang, who hastened from
Nankin for the purpose. Once again the imperial commanders in their
anxiety to crush Chung Wang had reduced their force in front of Nankin to
an excessively low condition, and the Taeping leader, placed in a
desperate position, seized the only chance of safety by hastening from
Hangchow to Nankin at full speed, and attacking the imperial lines. This
battle was fought early in the morning of a cold snowy day--May 3, 1860--
and resulted in the loss of 5,000 imperialists, and the compulsory raising
of the siege. The Taeping cause might have been resuscitated by this
signal victory if Tien Wang had only shown himself able to act up to the
great part he assumed, but not merely was he incapable of playing the part
of either a warrior or a statesman, but his petty jealousy prevented his
making use of the undoubted ability of his lieutenant Chung Wang, who
after the greatest of his successes was forbidden to re-enter Nankin.

The energy and spirit of Chung Wang impelled him to fresh enterprises, and
seeing the hopelessness of Tien Wang, he determined to secure a base of
operations for himself, which should enable him to hold his own in the
warring strife of the realm, and perhaps to achieve the triumph of the
cause with which he was associated. It says much for his military energy
and skill that he was able to impart new vigor to the Taeping system, and
to sustain on a new field his position single-handed against the main
forces of the empire. He determined to obtain possession of the important
city of Soochow, on the Grand Canal, and not very far distant from
Shanghai. On his way to effect this object he gained a great victory over
Chang Kwoliang, who was himself killed in the battle. As the ex-Triad
chief possessed great energy, his loss was a considerable one for the
government, but his troops continued to oppose the advance of the
Taepings, and fought and lost three battles before Chung Wang reached
Soochow. That place was too large to be successfully defended by a small
force, and the imperialists hastily abandoned it. At this critical moment
--May, 1860--Ho Kweitsin, the viceroy of the Two Kiang, implored the aid
of the English and French, who were at this moment completing their
arrangements for the march on Pekin, against these rebels, and the French
were so far favorable to the suggestion that they offered to render the
assistance provided the English would combine with them. Mr. Bruce,
however, declined the adventure, which is not surprising, considering that
we were then engaged in serious hostilities with the Chinese, but the
incident remains unique of a country asking another for assistance during
the progress of a bitter and doubtful war. The utmost that Mr. Bruce would
do was to issue a notification that Shanghai would not be allowed to again
fall into the hands of an insurgent force. The viceroy who solicited the
aid was at least consistent. He memorialized the Throne, praying that the
demands of the Europeans should be promptly granted, and that they should
then be employed against the Taepings. His memorial was ill-timed. He was
summoned to Pekin and executed for his very prudent advice. With the
possession of Soochow, Chung Wang obtained fresh supplies of money,
material, and men, and once more it was impossible to say to what height
of success the Taepings might not attain. But Chung Wang was not satisfied
with Soochow alone; he wished to gain possession of Shanghai.

Unfortunately for the realization of his project, the Europeans had
determined to defend Shanghai at all hazards, but Chung Wang believed
either that they would not, or that their army being absent in the north
they had not the power to carry out this resolve. The necessity of
capturing Shanghai was rendered the greater in the eyes of Chung Wang by
its being the base of hostile measures against himself, and by a measure
which threatened him with a new peril. The wealthy Chinese merchants of
Shanghai had formed a kind of patriotic association, and provided the
funds for raising a European contingent. Two Americans, Ward and
Burgevine, were taken into their pay, and in July, 1860, they, having
raised a force of 100 Europeans and 200 Manila men, began operations with
an attack on Sunkiang, a large walled town about twenty miles from
Shanghai. This first attack was repulsed with some loss, but Ward, afraid
of losing the large reward he was promised for its capture, renewed the
attack, and with better success, for he gained possession of a gate, and
held it until the whole imperial army had come up and stormed the town.
After this success Ward was requested to attack Tsingpu, which was a far
stronger place than Sunkiang, and where the Taepings had the benefit of
the advice and leading of several Englishmen who had joined them. Ward
attacked Tsingpu on August 2, 1860, but he was repulsed with heavy loss.
He returned to Shanghai for the purpose of raising another force and two
larger guns, and then renewed the attack. It is impossible to say whether
the place would have held out or not, but after seven days' bombardment
Chung Wang suddenly appeared to the rescue, and, surprising Ward's force,
drove it away in utter confusion, and with the loss of all its guns and
stores. Encouraged by this success, Chung Wang then thought the time
opportune for attacking Shanghai, and he accordingly marched against it,
burning and plundering the villages along the road. The imperialists had
established a camp or stockade outside the western gate, and Chung Wang
carried this without any difficulty, but when he reached the walls of the
town he found a very different opponent in his path. The walls were lined
with English and French troops, and when the Taepings attempted to enter
the city they were received with a warm fire, which quickly sent them to
the right-about. Chung Wang renewed the attack at different points during
the next four or five days, but he was then obliged to retreat. Before
doing so, however, he sent a boasting message that he had come at the
invitation of the French, who were traitors, and that he would have taken
the city but for the foreigners, as "there was no city which his men could
not storm." At this moment the attention of Chung Wang was called off to
Nankin, which the imperialists were investing for a sixth time, under
Tseng Kwofan, who had been elevated to the viceroyalty of the Two Kiang.
Tien Wang, in despair, sent off an urgent summons to Chung Wang to come to
his assistance, and although he went with reluctance he felt that he had
no course but to obey.

Having done what he could to place Nankin in an efficient state of
defense, Chung Wang hastened back to Soochow to resume active operations.
It is unnecessary to describe these in detail; but although Chung Wang was
twice defeated by a Manchu general named Paochiaou, he succeeded, by
rapidity of movement, in holding his own against his more numerous
adversaries. In the meantime an important change had taken place in the
situation. The peace between China and the foreign powers compelled a
revision of the position at Shanghai. Admiral Hope sailed up to Nankin,
interviewed the Wangs, and exacted from them a pledge that Shanghai should
not be attacked for twelve months, and that the Taeping forces should not
advance within a radius of thirty miles of that place. In consequence of
this arrangement Ward and Burgevine were compelled to desist from
recruiting Europeans; but after a brief interval they were taken into the
Chinese service for the purpose of drilling Chinese soldiers, a measure
from which the most important consequences were to flow, for it proved to
be the origin of the Ever-Victorious Army. These preparations were not far
advanced when Chung Wang, elated by his capture of Ningpo and Hangchow,
resolved to disregard Tien Wang's promise, and make a second attack on
Shanghai, the possession of which he saw to be indispensable if his cause
was to attain any brilliant triumph. He issued a proclamation that "the
hour of the Manchus had come! Shanghai is a little place, and we have
nothing to fear from it. We must take Shanghai to complete our dominions."
The death of Hienfung seems to have encouraged Chung Wang to take what he
hoped would prove a decisive step.

On January 14, 1862, the Taepings reached the immediate vicinity of the
town and foreign settlement. The surrounding country was concealed by the
smoke of the burning villages, which they had ruthlessly destroyed. The
foreign settlement was crowded with thousands of fugitives, imploring the
aid of the Europeans to save their houses and property. Their sufferings,
which would at the best have been great, were aggravated by the
exceptional severity of the winter. The English garrison of two native
regiments and some artillery, even when supported by the volunteers, was
far too weak to attempt more than the defense of the place; but this it
was fortunately able to perform. The rebels, during the first week after
their reappearance, plundered and burned in all directions, threatening
even to make an attack on Woosung, the port at the mouth of the river,
where they were repulsed by the French. Sir John Michel arrived at
Shanghai with a small re-enforcement of English troops, and Ward, having
succeeded in disciplining two Chinese regiments of about one thousand
strong in all, sallied forth from Sunkiang for the purpose of operating on
the rear of the Taeping forces. Ward's capture of Quanfuling, with several
hundred rebel boats which were frozen up in the river, should have warned
the Taepings that it was nearly time for them to retire. However, they did
not act as prudence would have dictated, and during the whole of February
their raids continued round Shanghai. The suburbs suffered from their
attacks, the foreign factories and boats were not secure, and several
outrages on the persons of foreigners remained unatoned for. It was
impossible to tolerate any longer their enormities. The English and French
commanders came to the determination to attack the rebels, to enforce the
original agreement with Tien Wang, and to clear the country round Shanghai
of the presence of the Taepings for the space of thirty miles.

On February 21, therefore, a joint force composed of 336 English sailors
and marines, 160 French seamen, and 600 men from Ward's contingent,
accompanied by their respective commanders, with Admiral Hope in chief
charge, advanced upon the village of Kachiaou, where the Taepings had
strengthened their position and placed guns on the walls. After a sharp
engagement the place was stormed, Ward's men leading the attack with
Burgevine at their head. The drilled Chinese behaved with great
steadiness, but the Taepings were not to be dismayed by a single defeat.
They even resumed their attacks on the Europeans. On one occasion Admiral
Hope himself was compelled to retire before their superior numbers, and to
summon fresh troops to his assistance. The re-enforcements consisted of
450 Europeans and 700 of Ward's force, besides seven howitzers. With these
it was determined to attack Tseedong, a place of great strength,
surrounded by stone walls and ditches seven feet deep. The Taepings stood
to their guns with great spirit, receiving the advancing troops with a
very heavy fire. When, however, Ward's contingent, making a detour,
appeared in the rear of the place, they hastily evacuated their positions;
but the English sailors had carried the walls, and, caught between two
fires, they offered a stubborn but futile resistance. More than 700 were
killed and 300 were taken prisoners. The favorable opinion formed of "the
Ever-Victorious Army" by the action at Kachiaou was confirmed by the more
serious affair at Tseedong; and Mr. Bruce at Pekin brought it under the
favorable notice of Prince Kung and the Chinese government. Having taken
these hostile steps against the rebels, it necessarily followed that no
advantage would accrue from any further hesitation with regard to allowing
Europeans to enter the imperial service for the purpose of opposing them.
Ward was officially recognized, and allowed to purchase weapons and to
engage officers. An Englishman contracted to convey 9,000 of the troops
who had stormed Ganking from the Yangtse to Shanghai. These men were Honan
braves, who had seen considerable service in the interior of China, and it
was proposed that they should garrison the towns of Kiangsu accordingly as
they were taken from the rebels. The arrival of General Staveley from
Tientsin at the end of March, with portions of two English regiments (the
31st and 67th), put a new face on affairs, and showed that the time was at
hand when it would be possible to carry out the threat of clearing the
country round Shanghai for the space of thirty miles.

The first place to be attacked toward the realization of this plan was the
village of Wongkadza, about twelve miles west of Shanghai. Here the
Taepings offered only a brief resistance, retiring to some stronger
stockades four miles further west. General Staveley, considering that his
men had done enough work for that day, halted them, intending to renew the
attack the next morning. Unfortunately Ward was carried away by his
impetuosity, and attacked this inner position with some 500 of his own
men. Admiral Hope accompanied him. The Taepings met them with a tremendous
fire, and after several attempts to scale the works they were repulsed
with heavy loss. Admiral Hope was wounded in the leg, seven officers were
wounded, and seventy men killed and wounded. The attack was repeated in
force on the following day, and after some fighting the Taepings evacuated
their stockades. The next place attacked was the village of Tsipoo; and,
notwithstanding their strong earthworks and three wide ditches, the rebels
were driven out in a few hours. It was then determined to attack Kahding,
Tsingpu, Nanjao, and Cholin, at which places the Taepings were known to
have mustered in considerable strength.

The first place was taken with little resistance, and its capture was
followed by preparations for the attack on Tsingpu, which were hastened
rather than delayed by a desperate attempt to set fire to Shanghai. The
plot was fortunately discovered in time, and the culprits captured and
summarily executed to the number of two hundred. Early in May a strong
force was assembled at Sunkiang, and proceeded by boat, on account of the
difficulties of locomotion, to Tsingpu. The fire of the guns, in which the
expedition was exceptionally strong, proved most destructive, and two
breaches being pronounced practicable the place was carried by assault.
The rebels fought well and up to the last, when they found flight
impossible. The Chinese troops slew every man found in the place with arms
in his hands. A few days later Nanjao was captured, but in the attack the
French commander, Admiral Protet, a gallant officer who had been to the
front during the whole of these operations, was shot dead. The rebels,
disheartened by these successive defeats, rallied at Cholin, where they
prepared to make a final stand. The allied force attacked Cholin on May
20, and an English detachment carried it almost at the point of the
bayonet. With this achievement the operations of the English troops came
for the moment to an end, for a disaster to the imperial arms in their
rear necessitated their turning their attention to a different quarter.

The troops summoned from Ganking had at last arrived to the number of five
or six thousand men; and the Futai Sieh, who was on the point of being
superseded to make room for Li Hung Chang, thought to employ them before
his departure on some enterprise which should redound to his credit and
restore his sinking fortunes. The operation was as hazardous as it was
ambitious. The resolution he came to was to attack the city and forts of
Taitsan, a place northwest of Shanghai, and not very far distant from
Chung Wang's headquarters at Soochow. The imperialist force reached
Taitsan on May 12, but less than two days later Chung Wang arrived in
person at the head of 10,000 chosen troops to relieve the garrison. A
battle ensued on the day following, when, notwithstanding their great
superiority in numbers, the Taepings failed to obtain any success. In this
extremity Chung Wang resorted to a stratagem. Two thousand of his men
shaved their heads and pretended to desert to the imperialists. When the
battle was renewed at sunrise on the following morning this band threw
aside their assumed character and turned upon the imperialists. A dreadful
slaughter ensued. Of the 7,000 Honan braves and the Tartars from Shanghai,
5,000 fell on the field. The consequences of this disaster were to undo
most of the good accomplished by General Staveley and his force. The
imperialists were for the moment dismayed, and the Taepings
correspondingly encouraged. General Staveley's communications were
threatened, and he had to abandon his intended plan and retrace his steps
to Shanghai.

Chung Wang then laid regular siege to Sunkiang, where Ward was in person,
and he very nearly succeeded in carrying the place by escalade. The
attempt was fortunately discovered by an English sailor just in time, and
repulsed with A loss to the rebels of 100 men. The Taepings continued to
show great daring and activity before both Sunkiang and Tsingpu; and
although the latter place was bravely defended, it became clear that the
wisest course would be to evacuate it. A body of troops was therefore sent
from Shanghai to form a junction with Ward at Sunkiang, and to effect the
safe retreat of the Tsingpu garrison. The earlier proceedings were
satisfactorily arranged, but the last act of all was grossly mismanaged
and resulted in a catastrophe. Ward caused the place to be set on fire,
when the Taepings, realizing what was being done, hastened into the town,
and assailed the retiring garrison. A scene of great confusion followed;
many lives were lost, and the commandant who had held it so courageously
was taken prisoner. Chung Wang could therefore appeal to some facts to
support his contention that he had got the better of the Europeans and the
imperialists in the province of Kiangsu.

From the scene of his successes Chung Wang was once more called away by
the timidity or peril of Tien Wang, who was barely able to maintain his
position at Nankin, but when he hastened off to assist the chief of the
Taepings he found that he was out of favor, and that the jealousy or fear
of his colleagues had brought about his temporary disgrace and loss of
title. Shortly after Chung Wang's departure Ward was killed in action and
Burgevine succeeded to the command, but it soon became apparent that his
relations with the Chinese authorities would not be smooth. General Ching
was jealous of the Ever-Victorious Army and wished to have all the credit
for himself. Li Hung Chang, who had been appointed Futai or Governor of
Kiangsu, entertained doubts of the loyalty of this adventurer. Burgevine
was a man of high temper and strong passions, who met the wiles of the
Futai with peremptory demands to recognize the claims of himself and his
band. Nor was this all. Burgevine had designs of his own. Although the
project had not taken definite form in his mind the inclination was strong
within him to play the part of military dictator with the Chinese; or
failing that, to found an independent authority on some convenient spot of
Celestial territory. The Futai anticipated, perhaps, more than divined his
wishes. In Burgevine he saw, very shortly after their coming into contact,
not merely a man whom he disliked and distrusted, but one who, if allowed
to pursue his plans unchecked, would in the end form a greater danger to
the imperial authority than even the Taepings. It is not possible to deny
Li's shrewdness in reading the character of the man with whom he had to
deal.

The Futai Li, in order to test his obedience, proposed that Burgevine and
his men should be sent round by sea to Nankin to take part in the siege of
that city. The ships were actually prepared for their conveyance, and the
Taotai Wou, who had first fitted out a fleet against the rebels, was in
readiness to accompany Burgevine, when Li and his colleague, as suspicious
of Burgevine's compliance as they would have been indignant at his
refusal, changed their plans and countermanded the expedition. Instead of
carrying out this project, therefore, they laid a number of formal
complaints before General Staveley as to Burgevine's conduct, and
requested the English government to remove him from his command, and to
appoint an English officer in his place. The charges against Burgevine did
not at this time amount to more than a certain laxness in regard to the
expenditure of the force, a disregard for the wishes and prejudices of the
Chinese government, and the want of tact, or of the desire to conciliate,
in his personal relations with the Futai. If Burgevine had resigned, all
would have been well, but he regarded the position from the standpoint of
the adventurer who believes that his own interests form a supreme law and
are the highest good. As commander of the Ever-Victorious Army he was a
personage to be considered even by foreign governments. He would not
voluntarily surrender the position which alone preserved him from
obscurity. Having come to this decision it was clear that even the partial
execution of his plans must draw him into many errors of judgment which
could not but imbitter the conflict. The reply of the English commander
was to the effect that personally he could not interfere, but that he
would refer the matter to London as well as to Mr. Bruce at Pekin. In
consequence of the delay thus caused the project of removing the force to
Nankin was revived, and, the steamers having been chartered, Burgevine was
requested to bring down his force from Sunkiang and to embark it at
Shanghai. This he expressed his willingness to do on payment of his men,
who were two months in arrear, and on the settlement of all outstanding
claims, Burgevine was supported by his troops. Whatever his dislike to the
proposed move, theirs was immeasurably greater. They refused to move
without the payment of all arrears; and on January 2 they even went so far
as to openly mutiny. Two days later Burgevine went to Shanghai and had an
interview with Takee. The meeting was stormy. Burgevine used personal
violence toward the Shanghai merchant, whose attitude was at first
overbearing, and he returned to his exasperated troops with the money,
which he carried off by force. The Futai Li, on hearing of the assault on
Takee, hastened to General Staveley to complain of Burgevine's gross
insubordination in striking a mandarin, which by the law of China was
punishable with death. Burgevine was dismissed the Chinese service, and
the notice of this removal was forwarded by the English general, with a
recommendation to him to give up his command without disturbance. This
Burgevine did, for the advice of the English general was equivalent to a
command, and on January 6, 1863, Burgevine was back at Shanghai. Captain
Holland was then placed in temporary command, while the answer of the home
government was awaited to General Staveley's proposition to intrust the
force to the care of a young captain of engineers, named Charles Gordon.
Chung Wang returned at this moment to Soochow, and in Kiangsu the cause of
the Taepings again revived through his energy. In February a detachment of
Holland's force attacked Fushan, but met with a check, when the news of a
serious defeat at Taitsan, where the former Futai Sieh had been defeated,
compelled its speedy retreat to Sunkiang. Li had some reason to believe
that Taitsan would surrender on the approach of the imperialists, and he
accordingly sent a large army, including 2,500 of the contingent, to
attack it. The affair was badly managed. The assaulting party was stopped
by a wide ditch; neither boats nor ladders arrived. The Taepings fired
furiously on the exposed party, several officers were killed, and the men
broke into confusion. The heavy guns stuck in the soft ground and had to
be abandoned; and despite the good conduct of the contingent the Taepings
achieved a decisive success (February 13). Chung Wang was able to feel
that his old luck had not deserted him, and the Taepings of Kiangsu
recovered all their former confidence in themselves and their leader. This
disaster inflicted a rude blow on the confidence of Li and his assistants;
and it was resolved that nothing should be attempted until the English
officer, at last appointed, had assumed the active command.

Such was the position of affairs when on March 24, 1863, Major Gordon took
over the command of the Ever-Victorious Army. At that moment it was not
merely discouraged by its recent reverses, but it was discontented with
its position, and when Major Gordon assumed the command at Sunkiang there
was some fear of an immediate mutiny. The new commander succeeded in
allaying their discontent, and believing that active employment was the
best cure for insubordination resolved to relieve Chanzu without delay.
The Taepings were pressing the siege hard and would probably have captured
the place before many days when Major Gordon attacked them in their
stockades and drove them out with no inconsiderable loss. Having thus
gained the confidence of his men and the approbation of the Chinese
authorities Major Gordon returned to Sunkiang, where he employed himself
in energetically restoring the discipline of his force, and in preparing
for his next move, which at the request of Li Hung Chang was to be the
capture of Quinsan. On April 24 the force left Sunkiang to attack Quinsan,
but it had not proceeded far when its course had to be altered to Taitsan,
where, through an act of treachery, a force of 1,500 imperialists had been
annihilated. It became necessary to retrieve this disaster without delay,
more especially as all hope of taking Quinsan had for the moment to be
abandoned. Major Gordon at once altered the direction of his march, and
joining _en route_ General Ching, who had, on the news, broken up his
camp before Quinsan, hastened as rapidly as possible to Taitsan, where he
arrived on April 29. Bad weather obliged the attack to be deferred until
May 1, when two stockades on the west side were carried, and their
defenders compelled to flee, not into the town as they would have wished,
but away from it toward Chanzu. On the following day, the attack was
resumed on the north side, while the armed boats proceeded to assault the
place from the creek. The firing continued from nine in the morning until
five in the evening, when a breach seemed to be practicable, and two
regiments were ordered to the assault. The rebels showed great courage and
fortitude, swarming in the breach and pouring a heavy and well-directed
fire upon the troops. The attack was momentarily checked; but while the
stormers remained under such cover as they could find, the shells of two
howitzers were playing over their heads and causing frightful havoc among
the Taepings in the breach. But for these guns, Major Gordon did not think
that the place would have been carried at all; but after some minutes of
this firing at such close quarters, the rebels began to show signs of
wavering. A party of troops gained the wall, a fresh regiment advanced
toward the breach, and the disappearance of the snake flag showed that the
Taeping leaders had given up the fight. Taitsan was thus captured, and the
three previous disasters before it retrieved.

On May 4 the victorious force appeared before Quinsan, a place of
considerable strength and possessing a formidable artillery directed by a
European. The town was evidently too strong to be carried by an immediate
attack, and Major Gordon's movements were further hampered by the conduct
of his own men, who, upon their arrival at Quinsan, hurried off in
detachments to Sunkiang for the purpose of disposing of their spoil.
Ammunition had also fallen short, and the commander was consequently
obliged to return to refit and to rally his men. At Sunkiang worse
confusion followed, for the men, or rather the officers, broke out into
mutiny on the occasion of Major Gordon appointing an English officer with
the rank of lieutenant-colonel to the control of the commissariat, which
had been completely neglected. The men who had served with Ward and
Burgevine objected to this, and openly refused to obey orders. Fortunately
the stores and ammunition were collected, and Major Gordon announced that
he would march on the following morning, with or without the mutineers.
Those who did not answer to their names at the end of the first half-march
would be dismissed, and he spoke with the authority of one in complete
accord with the Chinese authorities themselves. The soldiers obeyed him as
a Chinese official, because he had been made a tsungping or brigadier-
general, and the officers feared to disobey him as they would have liked
on account of his commanding the source whence they were paid. The
mutineers fell in, and a force of nearly 3,000 men, well-equipped and
anxious for the fray, returned to Quinsan, where General Ching had, in the
meanwhile, kept the rebels closely watched from a strong position defended
by several stockades and supported by the "Hyson" steamer. Immediately
after his arrival, Major Gordon moved out his force to attack the
stockades which the rebels had constructed on their right wing. These were
strongly built; but as soon as the defenders perceived that the assailants
had gained their flank they precipitately withdrew into Quinsan itself.
General Ching wished the attack to be made on the eastern gate, opposite
to which he had raised his own intrenchments, and by which he had
announced his intention of forcing his way; but a brief inspection showed
Major Gordon that that was the strongest point of the town, and that a
direct attack upon it could only succeed, if at all, by a very
considerable sacrifice of men. Like a prudent commander Major Gordon
determined to reconnoiter; and, after much grumbling on the part of
General Ching, he decided that the most hopeful plan was to carry some
stockades situated seven miles west of the town, and thence assail Quinsan
on the Soochow side, which was weaker than the others. These stockades
were at a village called Chumze. On May 30 the force detailed for this
work proceeded to carry it out. The "Hyson" and fifty imperial gunboats
conveyed the land force, which consisted of one regiment, some guns, and a
large body of imperialists. The rebels at Chumze offered hardly the least
resistance; whether it was that they were dismayed at the sudden
appearance of the enemy, or, as was stated at the time, because they
considered themselves ill-treated by their comrades in Quinsan. The
"Hyson" vigorously pursued those who fled toward Soochow, and completed
the effect of this success by the capture of a very strong and well-built
fort covering a bridge at Ta Edin. An imperialist garrison was installed
there, and the "Hyson" continued the pursuit to within a mile of Soochow
itself.

The defenders of Quinsan itself were terribly alarmed at the cutting off
of their communications. They saw themselves on the point of being
surrounded, and they yielded to the uncontrollable impulse of panic.
During the night, after having suffered severely from the "Hyson" fire,
the garrison evacuated the place, which might easily have held out; and
General Ching had the personal satisfaction, on learning from some
deserters of the flight of the garrison, of leading his men over the
eastern walls which he had wished to assault. The importance of Quinsan
was realized on its capture. Major Gordon pronounced it to be the key of
Soochow, and at once resolved to establish his headquarters there, partly
because of its natural advantages, but also and not less on account of its
enabling him to gradually destroy the evil associations which the men had
contracted at Sunkiang.

The change was not acceptable, however, to the force itself; and the
artillery in particular refused to obey orders, and threatened to shoot
their officers. Discipline was, however, promptly reasserted by the energy
of the commander, who ordered the principal ringleader to be shot, and
"the Ever-Victorious Army" became gradually reconciled to its new position
at Quinsan. After the capture of Quinsan there was a cessation of active
operations for nearly two months. It was the height of summer and the new
troops had to be drilled. The difficulty with Ching, who took all the
credit for the capture of Quinsan to himself, was arranged through the
mediation of Dr. Macartney, who had just left the English army to become
Li's right-hand man. Two other circumstances occurred to embarrass the
young commander. There were rumors of some meditated movement on the part
of Burgevine, who had returned from Pekin with letters exculpating him,
and who endeavored to recover the command in spite of Li Hung Chang, and
there was a further manifestation of insubordination in the force, which,
as Gordon said, bore more resemblance to a rabble than the magnificent
army it was popularly supposed to be. The artillery had been cowed by
Major Gordon's vigor, but its efficiency remained more doubtful than could
be satisfactory to the general responsible for its condition, and also
relying upon it as the most potent arm of his force. He resolved to remove
the old commander, and to appoint an English officer, Major Tapp, in his
place. On carrying his determination into effect the officers sent in "a
round robin," refusing to accept a new officer. This was on July 25, and
the expedition which had been decided upon against Wokong had consequently
to set out the following morning without a single artillery officer. In
face of the inflexible resolve of the leader, however, the officers
repented, and appeared in a body at the camp begging to be taken back, and
expressing their willingness to accept "Major Tapp or any one else" as
their colonel.

With these troops, part of whom had only just returned to a proper sense
of discipline, Gordon proceeded to attack Kahpoo, on the Grand Canal south
of Soochow, where the rebels held two strongly-built stone forts. The
force had beep strengthened by the addition of another steamer, the
"Firefly," a sister vessel to the "Hyson." Major Gordon arrived before
Kahpoo on July 27; and the garrison, evidently taken by surprise, made
scarcely the least resistance. The capture of Kahpoo placed Gordon's force
between Soochow and Wokong, the next object of attack. At Wokong the
rebels were equally unprepared. The garrison at Kahpoo, thinking only of
its own safety, had fled to Soochow, leaving their comrades at Wokong
unwarned and to their fate. So heedless were the Taepings at this place of
all danger from the north, that they had even neglected to occupy a strong
stone fort situated about 1,000 yards north of the walls. The Taepings
attempted too late to repair their error, and the loss of this fort caused
them that of all their other stockades. Wokong itself was too weak to
offer any effectual resistance; and the garrison on the eve of the assault
ordered for July 29 sent out a request for quarter, which was granted, and
the place surrendered without further fighting. Meanwhile an event of far
greater importance had happened than even the capture of these towns,
although they formed the necessary preliminary to the investment of
Soochow. Burgevine had come to the decision to join the Taepings.

Disappointed in his hope of receiving the command, Burgevine remained on
at Shanghai, employing his time in watching the varying phases of a
campaign in which he longed to take part, and of which he believed that it
was only his due to have the direction, but still hesitating as to what
decision it behooved him to take. His contempt for all Chinese officials
became hatred of the bitterest kind of the Futai, by whom he had been not
merely thwarted but overreached, and predisposed him to regard with no
unfavorable eye the idea of joining his fortunes to those of the rebel
Taepings. To him in this frame of mind came some of the dismissed officers
and men of the Ward force, appealing to his vanity by declaring that his
soldiers remembered him with affection, and that he had only to hoist his
flag for most of his old followers to rally round him. There was little to
marvel at if he also was not free from some feeling of jealousy at the
success and growing fame of Major Gordon, for whom he simulated a warm
friendship. The combination of motives proved altogether irresistible as
soon as he found that several hundred European adventurers were ready to
accompany him into the ranks of the Taepings, and to endeavor to do for
them what they had failed to perform for the imperialists. On July 15, Dr.
Macartney wrote to Major Gordon stating that he had positive information
that Burgevine was enlisting men for some enterprise, that he had already
collected about 300 Europeans, and that he had even gone so far as to
choose a special flag, a white diamond on a red ground, and containing a
black star in the center of the diamond. On the 21st of the same month
Burgevine wrote to Major Gordon saying that there would be many rumors
about him, but that he was not to believe any of them, and that he would
come and see him shortly. This letter was written as a blind, and,
unfortunately, Major Gordon attached greater value to Burgevine's word
than he did to the precise information of Dr. Macartney. He was too much
disposed to think that, as the officer who had to a certain extent
superseded Burgevine in the command, he was bound to take the most
favorable view of all his actions, and to trust implicitly in his good
faith. Major Gordon, trusting to his word, made himself personally
responsible to the Chinese authorities for his good faith, and thus
Burgevine escaped arrest. Burgevine's plans had been deeply laid. He had
been long in correspondence with the Taepings, and his terms had been
accepted. He proclaimed his hostility to the government by seizing one of
their new steamers.

At this very moment Major Gordon came to the decision to resign, and he
hastened back to Shanghai in order to place his withdrawal from the force
in the hands of the Futai. He arrived there on the very day that Burgevine
seized the "Kajow" steamer at Sunkiang, and on hearing the news he at once
withdrew his resignation, which had been made partly from irritation at
the irregular payment of his men, and also on account of the cruelty of
General Ching. Not merely did he withdraw his resignation, but he hastened
back to Quinsan, into which he rode on the night of the very same day that
had witnessed his departure. The immediate and most pressing danger was
from the possible defection of the force to its old leader, when, with the
large stores of artillery and ammunition at Quinsan in their possession,
not even Shanghai, with its very weak foreign garrison, could be
considered safe from attack. As a measure of precaution Major Gordon sent
some of his heavy guns and stores back to Taitsan, where the English
commander, General Brown, consented to guard them, while he hastened off
to Kahpoo, now threatened both by the Soochow force and by the foreign
adventurers acting under Burgevine. He arrived at a most critical moment.
The garrison was hard pressed. General Ching had gone back to Shanghai,
and only the presence of the "Hyson" prevented the rebels, who were well-
armed and possessed an efficient artillery, from carrying the fort by a
rush. The arrival of Major Gordon with 150 men on board his third steamer,
the "Cricket," restored the confidence of the defenders, but there was no
doubt that Burgevine had lost a most favorable opportunity, for if he had
attacked this place instead of proceeding to Soochow it must have fallen.

General Ching, who was a man of almost extraordinary energy and
restlessness, resolved to signalize his return to the field by some
striking act while Major Gordon was completing his preparations at Quinsan
for a fresh effort. His headquarters were at the strong fort of Ta Edin,
on the creek leading from Quinsan to Soochow, and having the "Hyson" with
him he determined to make a dash to some point nearer the great rebel
stronghold. On August 30 he had seized the position of Waiquaidong, where,
in three days, he threw up stockades, admirably constructed, and which
could not have been carried save by a great effort on the part of the
whole of the Soochow garrison. Toward the end of September, Major Gordon,
fearing lest the rebels, who had now the supposed advantage of Burgevine's
presence and advice, might make some attempt to cut off General Ching's
lengthy communications, moved forward to Waiquaidong to support him; but
when he arrived he found that the impatient mandarin, encouraged either by
the news of his approach or at the inaction of the Taepings in Soochow,
had made a still further advance of two miles, so that he was only 1,000
yards distant from the rebel stockades in front of the east gate. Major
Gordon had at this time been re-enforced by the Franco Chinese corps,
which had been well disciplined, under the command of Captain Bonnefoy,
while the necessity of leaving any strong garrison at Quinsan had been
obviated by the loan of 200 Belooches from General Brown's force. The
rebel position having been carefully reconnoitered, both on the east and
on the south, Major Gordon determined that the first step necessary for
its proper beleaguerment was to seize and fortify the village of
Patachiaou, about one mile south of the city wall. The village, although
strongly stockaded, was evacuated by the garrison after a feeble
resistance, and an attempt to recover it a few hours later by Mow Wang in
person resulted in a rude repulse chiefly on account of the effective fire
of the "Hyson." Burgevine, instead of fighting the battles of the failing
cause he had adopted, was traveling about the country: at one moment in
the capital interviewing Tien Wang and his ministers, at another going
about in disguise even in the streets of Shanghai. But during the weeks
when General Ching might have been taken at a disadvantage, and when it
was quite possible to recover some of the places which had been lost, he
was absent from the scene of military operations. After the capture of
Patachiaou most of the troops and the steamers that had taken it were sent
back to Waiquaidong, but Major Gordon remained there with a select body of
his men and three howitzers. The rebels had not resigned themselves to the
loss of Patachiaou, and on October 1 they made a regular attempt to
recover it. They brought the "Kajow" into action, and, as it had found a
daring commander in a man named Jones, its assistance proved very
considerable. They had also a 32-pounder gun on board a junk, and this
enabled them to overcome the fire of Gordon's howitzers and also of the
"Hyson," which arrived from Waiquaidong during the engagement. But
notwithstanding the superiority of their artillery, the rebels hesitated
to come to close quarters, and when Major Gordon and Captain Bonnefoy led
a sortie against them at the end of the day they retired precipitately.

At this stage Burgevine wrote to Major Gordon two letters--the first
exalting the Taepings, and the second written two days later asking for an
interview, whereupon he expressed his desire to surrender on the provision
of personal safety. He assigned the state of his health as the cause of
this change, but there was never the least doubt that the true reason of
this altered view was dissatisfaction with his treatment by the Taeping
leaders and a conviction of the impossibility of success. Inside Soochow,
and at Nankin, it was possible to see with clearer eyes than at Shanghai
that the Taeping cause was one that could not be resuscitated. But
although Burgevine soon and very clearly saw the hopelessness of the
Taeping movement, he had by no means made up his mind to go over to the
imperialists. With a considerable number of European followers at his beck
and call, and with a profound and ineradicable contempt for the whole
Chinese official world, he was both to lose or surrender the position
which gave him a certain importance. He vacillated between a number of
suggestions, and the last he came to was the most remarkable, at the same
time that it revealed more clearly than any other the vain and
meretricious character of the man. In his second interview with Major
Gordon he proposed that that officer should join him, and combining the
whole force of the Europeans and the disciplined Chinese, seize Soochow,
and establish an independent authority of their own. It was the old
filibustering idea, revived under the most unfavorable circumstances, of
fighting for their own hand, dragging the European name in the dirt, and
founding an independent authority of some vague, undefinable and
transitory character. Major Gordon listened to the unfolding of this
scheme of miserable treachery, and only his strong sense of the utter
impossibility, and indeed the ridiculousness of the project, prevented his
contempt and indignation finding forcible expression. Burgevine, the
traitor to the imperial cause, the man whose health would not allow him to
do his duty to his new masters in Soochow, thus revealed his plan for
defying all parties, and for deciding the fate of the Dragon Throne. The
only reply he received was the cold one that it would be better and wiser
to confine his attention to the question of whether he intended to yield
or not, instead of discussing idle schemes of "vaulting ambition."

Meantime, Chung Wang had come down from Nankin to superintend the defense
of Soochow; and in face of a more capable opponent he still did not
despair of success, or at the least of making a good fight of it. He
formed the plan of assuming the offensive against Chanzu while General
Ching was employed in erecting his stockades step by step nearer to the
eastern wall of Soochow. In order to prevent the realization of this
project Major Gordon made several demonstrations on the western side of
Soochow, which had the effect of inducing Chung Wang to defer his
departure. At this conjuncture serious news arrived from the south. A
large rebel force, assembled from Chekiang and the silk districts south of
the Taho Lake, had moved up the Grand Canal and held the garrison of
Wokong in close leaguer. On October 10 the imperialists stationed there
made a sortie, but were driven back with the loss of several hundred men
killed and wounded. Their provisions were almost exhausted, and it was
evident that unless relieved they could not hold out many days longer. On
October 12 Major Gordon therefore hastened to their succor. The rebels
held a position south of Wokong, and, as they felt sure of a safe retreat,
they fought with great determination. The battle lasted three hours; the
guns had to be brought up to within fifty yards of the stockade, and the
whole affair is described as one of the hardest fought actions of the war.
On the return of the contingent to Patachiaou, about thirty Europeans
deserted the rebels, but Burgevine and one or two others were not with
them. Chung Wang had seized the opportunity of Gordon's departure for the
relief of Wokong to carry out his scheme against Chanzu. Taking the
"Kajow" with him, and a considerable number of the foreign adventurers, he
reached Monding, where the imperialists were strongly intrenched at the
junction of the main creek from Chanzu with the Canal. He attacked them,
and a severely contested struggle ensued, in which at first the Taepings
carried everything before them. But the fortune of the day soon veered
round. The "Kajow" was sunk by a lucky shot, great havoc was wrought by
the explosion of a powder-boat, and the imperialists remained masters of a
hard fought field. The defection of the Europeans placed Burgevine in
serious peril, and only Major Gordon's urgent representations and acts of
courtesy to the Mow Wang saved his life. The Taeping leader, struck by the
gallantry and fair dealing of the English officer, set Burgevine free, and
the American consul thanked Major Gordon for his great kindness to that
misguided officer. Burgevine came out of the whole complication with a
reputation in every way tarnished. He had not even the most common courage
which would have impelled him to stay in Soochow and take the chances of
the party to which he had attached himself. Whatever his natural talents
might have been, his vanity and weakness obscured them all. With the
inclination to create an infinity of mischief, it must be considered
fortunate that his ability was so small, for his opportunities were
abundant.

The conclusion of the Burgevine incident removed a weight from Major
Gordon's mind. Established on the east and south of Soochow, he determined
to secure a similar position on its western side, when he would be able to
intercept the communications still held by the garrison across the Taho
Lake. In order to attain this object it was necessary, in the first place,
to carry the stockades at Wuliungchow, a village two miles west of
Patachiaou. The place was captured at the first attack and successfully
held, notwithstanding a fierce attempt to recover it under the personal
direction of Chung Wang, who returned for the express purpose. This
success was followed by others. Another large body of rebels had come up
from the south and assailed the garrison of Wokong. On October 26 one of
Gordon's lieutenants, Major Kirkham, inflicted a severe defeat upon them,
and vigorously pursued them for several miles. The next operation
undertaken was the capture of the village of Leeku, three miles north of
Soochow, as the preliminary to investing the city on the north. Here Major
Gordon resorted to his usual flanking tactics, and with conspicuous
success. The rebels fought well; one officer was killed at Gordon's side,
and the men in the stockade were cut down with the exception of about
forty, who were made prisoners. Soochow was then assailed on the northern
as well as on the other sides, but Chung Wang's army still served to keep
open communications by means of the Grand Canal. That army had its
principal quarters at Wusieh, where it was kept in check by a large
imperialist force under Santajin, Li's brother, who had advanced from
Kongyin on the Yangtse. Major Gordon's main difficulty now arose from the
insufficiency of his force to hold so wide an extent of country; and in
order to procure a re-enforcement from Santajin, he agreed to assist that
commander against his able opponent Chung Wang. With a view to
accomplishing this the Taeping position at Wanti, two miles north of
Leeku, was attacked and captured.

At this stage of the campaign there were 13,500 men round Soochow, and of
these 8,500 were fully occupied in the defense of the stockades, leaving
the very small number of 5,000 men available for active measures in the
field. On the other hand, Santajin had not fewer than 20,000, and possibly
as many as 30,000 men under his orders. But the Taepings still enjoyed the
numerical superiority. They had 40,000 men in Soochow, 20,000 at Wusieh,
and Chung Wang occupied a camp, half-way between these places, with 18,000
followers. The presence of Chung Wang was also estimated to be worth a
corps of 5,000 soldiers. Had Gordon been free to act, his plan of campaign
would have been simple and decisive. He would have effected a junction of
his forces with Santajin, he would have overwhelmed Chung Wang's 18,000
with his combined army of double that strength, and he would have appeared
at the head of his victorious troops before the bewildered garrison of
Wusieh. It would probably have terminated the campaign at a stroke. Even
the decisive defeat of Chung Wang alone might have entailed the collapse
of the cause now tottering to its fall. But Major Gordon had to consider
not merely the military quality of his allies, but also their jealousies
and differences. General Ching hated Santajin on private grounds as well
as on public. He desired a monopoly of the profit and honor of the
campaign. His own reputation would be made by the capture of Soochow. It
would be diminished and cast into the shade were another imperial
commander to defeat Chung Wang and close the line of the Grand Canal. Were
Gordon to detach himself from General Ching he could not feel sure what
that jealous and impulsive commander would do. He would certainly not
preserve the vigilant defensive before Soochow necessary to insure the
safety of the army operating to the north. The commander of the Ever-
Victorious Army had consequently to abandon the tempting idea of crushing
Chung Wang and to have recourse to slower methods.

On November 19 Major Gordon collected the whole of his available force to
attack Fusaiquan, a place on the Grand Canal six miles north of Soochow.
Here the rebels had barred the Canal at three different points, while on
the banks they occupied eight earthworks, which were fortunately in a very
incomplete state. A desperate resistance was expected from the rebels at
this advantageous spot, but they preferred their safety to their duty, and
retreated to Wusieh with hardly any loss. In consequence of this reverse
Chung Wang withdrew his forces from his camp in face of Santajin, and
concentrated his men at Monding and Wusieh for the defense of the Grand
Canal. The investment of Soochow being now as complete as the number of
troops under the imperial standard would allow of, Major Gordon returned
to General Ching's stockades in front of that place, with the view of
resuming the attack on the eastern gate. General Ching and Captain
Bonnefoy had met with a slight repulse there on October 14. The stockade
in front of the east gate was known by the name of the Low Mun, and had
been strengthened to the best knowledge of the Taeping engineers. Their
position was exceedingly formidable, consisting of a line of breastworks
defended at intervals with circular stockades. Major Gordon decided upon
making a night attack and he arranged his plans from the information
provided by the European and other deserters who had been inside. The
Taepings were not without their spies and sympathizers also, and the
intended attempt was revealed to them. The attack was made at two in the
morning of November 27, but the rebels had mustered in force and received
Major Gordon's men with tremendous volleys. Even then the disciplined
troops would not give way, and encouraged by the example of their leader
who seemed to be at the front and at every point at the same moment,
fairly held their own on the edge of the enemy's position. Unfortunately
the troops in support behaved badly, and got confused from the heavy fire
of the Taepings, which never slackened. Some of them absolutely retired
and others were landed at the wrong places. Major Gordon had to hasten to
the rear to restore order, and during his absence the advanced guard were
expelled from their position by a forward movement led by Mow Wang in
person. The attack had failed, and there was nothing to do save to draw
off the troops with as little further loss as possible. This was Major
Gordon's first defeat, but it was so evidently due to the accidents
inseparable from a night attempt, and to the fact that the surprise had
been revealed, that it produced a less discouraging effect on officers and
men than might have seemed probable. Up to this day Major Gordon had
obtained thirteen distinct victories besides the advantage in many minor
skirmishes.

Undismayed by this reverse Major Gordon collected all his troops and
artillery from the other stockades, and resolved to attack the Low Mun
position with his whole force. He also collected all his heavy guns and
mortars and cannonaded the rebel stockade for some time; but on an advance
being ordered the assailants were compelled to retire by the fire which
the Taepings brought to bear on them from every available point. Chung
Wang had hastened down from Wusieh to take part in the defense of what was
rightly regarded as the key of the position at Soochow, and both he and
Mow Wang superintended in person the defense of the Low Mun stockade.
After a further cannonade the advance was again sounded, but this second
attack would also have failed had not the officers and men boldly plunged
into the moat or creek and swum across. The whole of the stockades and a
stone fort were then carried, and the imperial forces firmly established
at a point only 900 yards from the inner wall of Soochow. Six officers and
fifty men were killed, and three officers, five Europeans, and 128 men
were wounded in this successful attack. The capture of the Low Mun
stockades meant practically the fall of Soochow. Chung Wang then left it
to its fate, and all the other Wangs except Mow Wang were in favor of
coming to terms with the imperialists. Even before this defeat Lar Wang
had entered into communications with General Ching for coming over, and as
he had the majority of the troops at Soochow under his orders Mow Wang was
practically powerless, although resolute to defend the place to the last.
Several interviews took place between the Wangs and General Ching and Li
Hung Chang. Major Gordon also saw the former, and had one interview with
Lar Wang in person. The English officer proposed as the most feasible plan
his surrendering one of the gates. During all this period Major Gordon had
impressed on both of his Chinese colleagues the imperative necessity there
was, for reasons of both policy and prudence, to deal leniently and
honorably by the rebel chiefs. All seemed to be going well. General Ching
took an oath of brotherhood with Lar Wang, Li Hung Chang agreed with
everything that fell from Gordon's lips. The only one exempted from this
tacit understanding was Mow Wang, always in favor of fighting it out and
defending the town; and his name was not mentioned for the simple reason
that he had nothing to do with the negotiations. For Mow Wang Major Gordon
had formed the esteem due to a gallant enemy, and he resolved to spare no
effort to save his life. His benevolent intentions were thwarted by the
events that had occurred within Soochow. Mow Wang had been murdered by the
other Wangs, who feared that he might detect their plans and prevent their
being carried out. The death of Mow Wang removed the only leader who was
heartily opposed to the surrender of Soochow, and on the day after this
chief's murder the imperialists received possession of one of the gates.
The inside of the city had been the scene of the most dreadful confusion.
Mow Wang's men had sought to avenge their leader's death, and on the other
hand the followers of Lar Wang had shaved their heads in token of their
adhesion to the imperialist cause. Some of the more prudent of the Wangs,
not knowing what turn events might take amid the prevailing discord,
secured their safety by a timely flight. Major Gordon kept his force well
in hand, and refused to allow any of the men to enter the city, where they
would certainly have exercised the privileges of a mercenary force in
respect of pillage. Instead of this Major Gordon endeavored to obtain for
them two months' pay from the Futai, which that official stated his
inability to procure. Major Gordon thereupon resigned in disgust, and on
succeeding in obtaining one month's pay for his men, he sent them back to
Quinsan without a disturbance.

The departure of the Ever-Victorious Army for its headquarters was
regarded by the Chinese officials with great satisfaction, and for several
reasons. In the flush of the success at Soochow both that force and its
commander seemed in the way of the Futai, and to diminish the extent of
his triumph. Neither Li nor Ching also had the least wish for any of the
ex-rebel chiefs, men of ability and accustomed to command, to be taken
into the service of the government. Of men of that kind there were already
enough. General Ching himself was a sufficiently formidable rival to the
Futai, without any assistance and encouragement from Lar Wang and the
others. Li had no wish to save them from the fate of rebels; and although
he had promised, and General Ching had sworn to, their personal safety, he
was bent on getting rid of them in one way or another. He feared Major
Gordon, but he also thought that the time had arrived when he could
dispense with him and the foreign-drilled legion in the same way as he had
got rid of Sherard Osborn and his fleet. The departure of the Quinsan
force left him free to follow his own inclination. The Wangs were invited
to an entertainment at the Futai's boat, and Major Gordon saw them both in
the city and subsequently when on their way to Li Hung Chang. The exact
circumstances of their fate were never known; but nine headless bodies
were discovered on the opposite side of the creek, and not far distant
from the Futai's quarters. It then became evident that Lar Wang and his
fellow Wangs had been brutally murdered. Major Gordon was disposed to take
the office of their avenger into his own hands, but the opportunity of
doing so fortunately did not present itself. He hastened back to Quinsan,
where he refused to act any longer with such false and dishonorable
colleagues. The matter was reported to Pekin. Both the mandarins sought to
clear themselves by accusing the other; and a special decree came from
Pekin conferring on the English officer a very high order and the sum of
10,000 taels. Major Gordon returned the money, and expressed his regret at
being unable to accept any token of honor from the emperor in consequence
of the Soochow affair.

A variety of reasons, all equally creditable to Major Gordon's judgment
and single-mindedness, induced him after two months' retirement to abandon
his inaction and to sink his difference with the Futai. He saw very
clearly that the sluggishness of the imperial commanders would result in
the prolongation of the struggle with all its attendant evils, whereas, if
he took the field, he would be able to bring it to a conclusion within two
months. Moreover, the Quinsan force, never very amenable to discipline,
shook off all restraint when in quarters, and promised to become as
dangerous to the government in whose pay it was as to the enemy against
whom it was engaged to fight. Major Gordon, in view of these facts, came
to the prompt decision that it was his duty, and the course most
calculated to do good, for him to retake the field and strive as
energetically as possible to expel the rebels from the small part of
Kiangsu still remaining in their possession. On February 18, 1864, he
accordingly left Quinsan at the head of his men, who showed great
satisfaction at the return to active campaigning. Wusieh had been
evacuated on the fall of Soochow, and Chung Wang's force retired to
Changchow, while that chief himself returned to Nankin. A few weeks later
General Ching had seized Pingwang, thus obtaining the command of another
entrance into the Taho Lake. Santajin established his force in a camp not
far distant from Changchow, and engaged the rebels in almost daily
skirmishes. This was the position of affairs when Major Gordon took the
field toward the end of February, and he at once resolved to carry the war
into a new country by crossing the Taho Lake and attacking the town of
Yesing on its western shores. By seizing this and the adjoining towns he
hoped to cut the rebellion in two, and to be able to attack Changchow in
the rear. The operations at Yesing occupied two days; but at last the
rebel stockades were carried with tremendous loss not only to the
defenders, but also to a relieving force sent from Liyang. Five thousand
prisoners were also taken. Liyang itself was the next place to be
attacked; but the intricacy of the country, which was intersected by
creeks and canals, added to the fact that the whole region had been
desolated by famine, and that the rebels had broken all the bridges,
rendered this undertaking one of great difficulty and some risk. However,
Major Gordon's fortitude vanquished all obstacles, and when he appeared
before Liyang he found that the rebel leaders in possession of the town
had come to the decision to surrender. At this place Major Gordon came
into communication with the general Paochiaou, who was covering the siege
operations against Nankin, which Tseng Kwofan was pressing with ever-
increasing vigor. The surrender of Liyang proved the more important, as
the fortifications were found to be admirably constructed, and as it
contained a garrison of fifteen thousand men and a plentiful supply of
provisions. From Liyang Major Gordon marched on Kintang, a town due north
of Liyang, and about half-way between Changchow and Nankin. The capture of
Kintang, by placing Gordon's force within striking distance of Changchow
and its communications, would have compelled the rebels to suspend these
operations and recall their forces. Unfortunately the attack on Kintang
revealed unexpected difficulties. The garrison showed extraordinary
determination; and although the wall was breached by the heavy fire, two
attempts to assault were repulsed with heavy loss, the more serious
inasmuch as Major Gordon was himself wounded below the knee, and compelled
to retire to his boat. This was the second defeat Gordon had experienced.

In consequence of this reverse, which dashed the cup of success from
Gordon's hands when he seemed on the point of bringing the campaign to a
close in the most brilliant manner, the force had to retreat to Liyang,
whence the commander hastened back with one thousand men to Wusieh. He
reached Wusieh on the 25th of March, four days after the repulse at
Kintang, and he there learned that Fushan had been taken and that Chanzu
was being closely attacked. The imperialists had fared better in the
south. General Ching had captured Kashingfoo, a strong place in Chekiang,
and on the very same day as the repulse at Kintang, Tso Tsung Tang had
recovered Hangchow. Major Gordon, although still incapacitated by his
wound from taking his usual foremost place in the battle, directed all
operations from his boat. He succeeded, after numerous skirmishes, in
compelling the Taepings to quit their position before Chanzu; but they
drew up in force at the village of Waisso, where they offered him battle.
Most unfortunately, Major Gordon had to intrust the conduct of the attack
to his lieutenants, Colonels Howard and Rhodes, while he superintended the
advance of the gunboats up the creek. Finding the banks were too high to
admit of these being usefully employed, and failing to establish
communications with the infantry, he discreetly returned to his camp,
where he found everything in the most dreadful confusion owing to a
terrible disaster. The infantry, in fact, had been outmaneuvered and
routed with tremendous loss. Seven officers and 265 men had been killed,
and one officer and sixty-two men wounded. Such an overwhelming disaster
would have crushed any ordinary commander, particularly when coming so
soon after such a rude defeat as that at Kintang. It only roused Major
Gordon to increased activity. He at once took energetic measures to
retrieve this disaster. He sent his wounded to Quinsan, collected fresh
troops, and, having allowed his own wound to recover by a week's rest,
resumed in person the attack on Waisso. On April 10 Major Gordon pitched
his camp within a mile of Waisso, and paid his men as the preliminary to
the resumption of the offensive. The attack commenced on the following
morning, and promised to prove of an arduous nature; but by a skillful
flank movement Major Gordon carried two stockades in person, and rendered
the whole place no longer tenable. The rebels evacuated their position and
retreated, closely pursued by the imperialists. The villagers, who had
suffered from their exactions, rose upon them, and very few rebels
escaped. The pursuit was continued for a week, and the lately victorious
army of Waisso was practically annihilated. The capture of Changchow was
to be the next and crowning success of the campaign. For this enterprise
the whole of the Ever-Victorious Army was concentrated, including the ex-
rebel contingent of Liyang. On April 23 Major Gordon carried the stockades
near the west gate. In their capture the Liyang men, although led only by
Chinese, showed conspicuous gallantry, thus justifying Major Gordon's
belief that the Chinese would fight as well under their own countrymen as
when led by foreigners. Batteries were then constructed for the
bombardment of the town itself. Before these were completed the
imperialists assaulted, but were repulsed with loss. On the following day
(April 27) the batteries opened fire, and two pontoon bridges were thrown
across, when Major Gordon led his men to the assault. The first attack was
repulsed, and a second one, made in conjunction with the imperialists,
fared not less badly. The pontoons were lost, and the force suffered a
greater loss than at any time during the war, with the exception of
Waisso. The Taepings also lost heavily; and their valor could not alter
the inevitable result. Changchow had consequently to be approached
systematically by trenches, in the construction of which the Chinese
showed themselves very skillful. The loss of the pontoons compelled the
formation of a cask-bridge; and, during the extensive preparations for
renewing the attack, several hundred of the garrison came over, reporting
that it was only the Cantonese who wished to fight to the bitter end. On
May 11, the fourth anniversary of its capture by Chung Wang, Li requested
Major Gordon to act in concert with him for carrying the place by storm.
The attack was made in the middle of the day, to the intense surprise of
the garrison, who made only a feeble resistance, and the town was at last
carried with little loss. The commandant, Hoo Wang, was made prisoner and
executed. This proved to be the last action of the Ever-Victorious Army,
which then returned to Quinsan, and was quietly disbanded by its commander
before June 1. To sum up the closing incidents of the Taeping war. Tayan
was evacuated two days after the fall of Changchow, leaving Nankin alone
in their hands. Inside that city there were the greatest misery and
suffering. Tien Wang had refused to take any of the steps pressed on him
by Chung Wang, and when he heard the people were suffering from want, all
he said was, "Let them eat the sweet dew." Tseng Kwofan drew up his lines
on all sides of the city, and gradually drove the despairing rebels behind
the walls. Chung Wang sent out the old women and children; and let it be
recorded to the credit of Tseng Kwotsiuen that he did not drive them back,
but charitably provided for their wants, and dispatched them to a place of
shelter. In June Major Gordon visited Tseng's camp, and found his works
covering twenty-four to thirty miles, and constructed in the most
elaborate fashion. The imperialists numbered 80,000 men, but were badly
armed. Although their pay was very much in arrear, they were well fed, and
had great confidence in their leader, Tseng Kwofan. On June 30, Tien Wang,
despairing of success, committed suicide by swallowing golden leaf. Thus
died the Hungtsiuen who had erected the standard of revolt in Kwangsi
thirteen years before. His son was proclaimed Tien Wang on his death
becoming known, but his reign was brief. The last act of all had now
arrived. On July 19 the imperialists had run a gallery under the wall of
Nankin, and charged it with 40,000 pounds of powder. The explosion
destroyed fifty yards of the walls, and the imperialists, attacking on all
sides, poured in through the breach. Chung Wang made a desperate
resistance in the interior, holding his own and the Tien Wang's palace to
the last. He made a further stand with a thousand men at the southern
gate, but his band was overwhelmed, and he and the young Tien Wang fled
into the surrounding country. In this supreme moment of danger Chung Wang
thought more of the safety of his young chief than of himself, and he gave
him an exceptionally good pony to escape on, while he himself took a very
inferior animal. As the consequence Tien Wang the Second escaped, while
Chung Wang was captured in the hills a few days later. Chung Wang, who had
certainly been the hero of the Taeping movement, was beheaded on August 7,
and the young Tien Wang was eventually captured and executed also, by Shen
Paochen. For this decisive victory, which extinguished the Taeping
Rebellion, Tseng Kwofan, whom Gordon called "generous, fair, honest and
patriotic," was made a Hou, or Marquis, and his brother Tseng Kwotsiuen an
Earl.

It is impossible to exaggerate the impression made by Gordon's
disinterestedness on the Chinese people, who elevated him for his courage
and military prowess to the pedestal of a national god of war. The cane
which he carried when leading his men to the charge became known as
"Gordon's wand of victory"; and the troops whom he trained, and converted
by success from a rabble into an army, formed the nucleus of China's
modern army. The service he rendered his adopted country was, therefore,
lasting as well as striking, and the gratitude of the Chinese has, to
their credit, proved not less durable. The name of Gordon is still one to
conjure with among the Chinese, and if ever China were placed in the same
straits, she would be the more willing, from his example, to intrust her
cause to an English officer. As to the military achievements of General
Gordon in China nothing fresh can be said. They speak indeed for
themselves, and they form the most solid portion of the reputation which
he gained as a leader of men. In the history of the Manchu dynasty he will
be known as "Chinese Gordon"; although for us his earlier sobriquet must
needs give place, from his heroic and ever-regrettable death, to that of
"Gordon of Khartoum."



CHAPTER XXI

THE REGENCY


While the suppression of the Taeping Rebellion was in progress, events of
great interest and importance happened at Pekin. It will be recollected
that when the allied forces approached that city in 1860, the Emperor
Hienfung fled to Jehol, and kept himself aloof from all the peace
negotiations which were conducted to a successful conclusion by his
brother, Prince Kung. After the signature of the convention in Pekin,
ratifying the Treaty of Tientsin, he refused to return to his capital; and
he even seems to have hoped that he might, by asserting his imperial
prerogative, transfer the capital from Pekin to Jehol, and thus evade one
of the principal concessions to the foreigners. But if this was
impossible, he was quite determined, for himself, to have nothing to do
with them, and during the short remainder of his life he kept his court at
Jehol. While his brother was engaged in meeting the difficulties of
diplomacy, and in arranging the conditions of a novel situation, Hienfung,
by collecting round his person the most bigoted men of his family, showed
that he preferred those counselors who had learned nothing from recent
events, and who would support him in his claims to undiminished
superiority and inaccessibility. Prominent among the men in his confidence
was Prince Tsai, who had taken so discreditable a part in the arrest of
Parkes and his companions at Tungchow, and among his other advisers were
several inexperienced and impetuous members of the Manchu family. They
were all agreed in the policy of recovering, at the earliest possible
moment, what they considered to be the natural and prescriptive right of
the occupant of the Dragon Throne to treat all other potentates as in no
degree equal to himself. No respect for treaties would have deterred them
from reasserting what had solemnly been signed away, and the permanent
success of the faction at Jehol would have entailed, within a
comparatively short period, the outbreak of another foreign war. But the
continued residence of the emperor at Jehol was not popular, with either
his own family or the inhabitants of Pekin. The members of the Manchu
clan, who received a regular allowance during the emperor's residence at
Pekin, were reduced to the greatest straits, and even to the verge of
starvation, while the Chinese naturally resented the attempt to remove the
capital to any other place. This abnegation of authority by Hienfung, for
his absence meant nothing short of that, could not have been prolonged
indefinitely, for a Chinese emperor has many religious and secular duties
to perform which no one else can discharge, and which, if not discharged,
would reduce the office of emperor to a nonentity. Prince Tsai and his
associates had no difficulty in working upon the fears of this prince, who
held the most exalted idea of his own majesty, at the same time that he
had not the power or knowledge to vindicate it.

While such were the views prevailing in the imperial circle at Jehol,
arrangements were in progress for the taking up of his residence at Pekin
of the British minister. After Lord Elgin's departure, his brother, Sir
Frederick Bruce, who was knighted for his share in the negotiations, was
appointed first occupant of the post of minister in the Chinese capital,
and on March 22, 1861, he left Tientsin for Pekin. Mr. Wade accompanied
Sir Frederick as principal secretary, and the staff included six student
interpreters, whose ranks, constantly recruited, have given many able men
to the public service. Before Sir Frederick reached the capital, the
Chinese minister had taken a step to facilitate the transaction of
business with the foreign representatives. Prince Kung--and the credit of
the measure belongs exclusively to him--will always be gratefully
remembered by any foreign writer on modern China as the founder of the
department known as the Tsungli Yamen, which he instituted in January,
1861. This department, since its institution, has very fully answered all
the expectations formed of it; and, although it is erroneous to represent
it as in any sense identical with the Chinese government, or as the
originating source of Chinese policy, it has proved a convenient and well-
managed vehicle for the dispatch of international business. Prince Kung
became its first president, and acted in that capacity until his fall from
power in 1884.

Before long, reports began to be spread of the serious illness of the
emperor. In August Prince Kung hastened to Jehol, the object of his
journey being kept secret. The members of the Tsungli Yamen were observed
by the foreign officials to be pre-occupied, and even the genial Wansiang
could not conceal that they were passing through a crisis. Not merely was
Hienfung dying, but it had become known to Prince Kung and his friends
that he had left the governing authority during the minority of his son, a
child of less than six years of age, to a board of regency composed of
eight of the least intelligent and most arrogant and self-seeking members
of the imperial family, with Prince Tsai at their head. The emperor died
on August 22. A few hours later the imperial decree notifying the last
wishes of the ruler as to the mode of government was promulgated. The
board of regency assumed the nominal control of affairs, and Hienfung's
son was proclaimed emperor under the style of Chiseang. In all of these
arrangements neither Prince Kung nor his brothers, nor the responsible
ministers at the capital, had had the smallest part. It was an intrigue
among certain members of the imperial clan to possess themselves of the
ruling power, and for a time it seemed as if their intrigue would be only
too successful. Nothing happened during the months of September and
October to disturb their confidence, for they remained at Jehol, and at
Pekin the routine of government continued to be performed by Prince Kung.
That statesman and his colleagues employed the interval in arranging their
own plan of action, and in making sure of the fidelity of a certain number
of troops. Throughout these preparations Prince Kung was ably and
energetically supported by his brother, Prince Chun, by his colleague,
Wansiang, and by his aged father-in-law, the minister Kweiliang. But the
conspirators could not keep the young emperor at Jehol indefinitely, and
when, at the end of October, it became known that he was on the point of
returning to Pekin, it was clear that the hour of conflict had arrived. At
Jehol the Board of Regency could do little harm; but once its pretensions
and legality were admitted at the capital, all the ministers would have to
take their orders from it, and to resign the functions which they had
retained. The main issue was whether Prince Kung or Prince Tsai was to be
supreme. On November 1 the young emperor entered his capital in state. A
large number of soldiers, still dressed in their white mourning,
accompanied their sovereign from Jehol; but Shengpao's garrison was
infinitely more numerous, and thoroughly loyal to the cause of Prince
Kung. The majority of the regents had arrived with the reigning prince;
those who had not yet come were on the road, escorting the dead body of
Hienfung toward its resting-place. If a blow was to be struck at all now
was the time to strike it. The regents had not merely placed themselves in
the power of their opponent, but they had actually brought with them the
young emperor, without whose person Prince Kung could have accomplished
little. Prince Kung had spared no effort to secure, and had fortunately
succeeded in obtaining, the assistance and co-operation of the Empress
Dowager, Hienfung's principal widow, named Tsi An. Her assent had been
obtained to the proposed plot before the arrival in Pekin, and it now only
remained to carry it out. On the day following the entry into the capital,
Prince Kung hastened to the palace, and, producing before the astonished
regents an Imperial Edict ordering their dismissal, he asked them whether
they obeyed the decree of their sovereign, or whether he must call in his
soldiers to compel them. Prince Tsai and his companions had no choice save
to signify their acquiescence in what they could not prevent; but, on
leaving the chamber in which this scene took place, they hastened toward
the emperor's apartment in order to remonstrate against their dismissal,
or to obtain from him some counter-edict reinstating them in their
positions. They were prevented from carrying out their purpose, but this
proof of contumacy sealed their fate. They were promptly arrested, and a
second decree was issued ordering their degradation from their official
and hereditary rank. To Prince Kung and his allies was intrusted the
charge of trying and punishing the offenders.

The next step was the proclamation of a new regency, composed of the two
empresses, Tsi An, principal widow of Hienfung, and Tsi Thsi, mother of
the young emperor. Two precedents for the administration being intrusted
to an empress were easily found by the Hanlin doctors during the Ming
dynasty, when the Emperors Chitsong and Wanleh were minors. Special edicts
were issued and arrangements made for the transaction of business during
the continuance of the regency, and as neither of the empresses knew
Manchu, it was specially provided that papers and documents, which were
always presented in that language, should be translated into Chinese.
Concurrently with these measures for the settlement of the regency
happened the closing scenes in the drama of conspiracy which began so
successfully at Jehol and ended so dramatically at Pekin. For complete
success and security it was necessary that all the ringleaders should be
captured, and some of them were still free. The bravest, if not the
ablest, of the late Board of Regency, Sushuen, remained at large. He had
been charged with the high and honorable duty of escorting the remains of
Hienfung to the capital. It was most important that he should be seized
before he became aware of the fate that had befallen his colleagues.
Prince Chun volunteered to capture the last, and in a sense the most
formidable, of the intriguers himself, and on the very day that the events
described happened at Pekin he rode out of the capital at the head of a
body of Tartar cavalry. On the following night Prince Chun reached the
spot where he was encamped, and, breaking into the house, arrested him
while in bed. Sushuen did not restrain his indignation, and betrayed the
ulterior plans entertained by himself and his associates by declaring that
Prince Chun had been only just in time to prevent a similar fate befalling
himself. He was at once placed on his trial with the other prisoners, and
on November 10 the order was given in the emperor's name for their
execution. Sushuen was executed on the public ground set apart for that
purpose; but to the others, as a special favor from their connection with
the imperial family, was sent the silken cord, with which they were
permitted to put an end to their existence. In the fate of Prince Tsai may
be seen a well merited retribution for his treachery and cruelty to Sir
Harry Parkes and his companions.

Another important step which had to be taken was the alteration of the
style given to the young emperor's reign. It was felt to be impolitic that
the deposed ministers should retain any connection whatever in history
with the young ruler. Were Hienfung's son to be handed down to posterity
as Chiseang there would be no possibility of excluding their names and
their brief and feverish ambition from the national annals. After due
deliberation, therefore, the name of Tungche was substituted for that of
Chiseang, and meaning, as it does, "the union of law and order," it will
be allowed that the name was selected with some proper regard for the
circumstances of the occasion. Prince Kung was rewarded with many high
offices and sounding titles in addition to the post of chief minister
under the two empresses. He was made president of the Imperial Clan Court
in the room of Prince Tsai, and the title of Iching Wang, or Prince
Minister, was conferred upon him. His stanch friends and supporters,
Wansiang, Paukwen, and Kweiliang, were appointed to the Supreme Council.
Prince Chun, to whose skill and bravery in arresting Sushuen Prince Kung
felt very much indebted, was also rewarded. With these incidents closed
what might have proved a grave and perilous complication for the Chinese
government. Had Prince Kung prematurely revealed his plans there is every
reason to suppose that he would have alarmed and forewarned his rivals,
and that they, with the person of the emperor in their possession, would
have obtained the advantage. His patience during the two months of doubt
and anxiety while the emperor remained at Jehol was matched by the vigor
and promptitude that he displayed on the eventful 2d of November. That his
success was beneficial to his country will not be disputed by any one, and
Prince Kung's name must be permanently remembered both for having
commenced, and for having insured the continuance of, diplomatic relations
with England and the other foreign powers.

The increased intercourse with Europeans not merely led to greater
diplomatic confidence and to the extension of trade, but it also induced
many foreigners to offer their services and assistance to the Pekin
government, during the embarrassment arising from internal dissension. At
first these persons were, as has been seen, encouraged and employed more
in consequence of local opinion in the treaty-ports than as a matter of
State policy. But already the suggestion had been brought forward in more
than one form for the employment of foreigners, with the view of
increasing the resources of the government by calling in the assistance of
the very agency which had reduced them. A precedent had been established
for this at an earlier period--before, in fact, the commencement of
hostilities--by the appointment of Mr. Horatio N. Lay to direct and assist
the local authorities in the collection of customs in the Shanghai
district. Mr. Lay's experience had proved most useful in drawing up the
tariff of the Treaty of Tientsin, and his assistance had been suitably
acknowledged. In 1862, when the advantages to be derived from the military
experience of foreigners had been practically recognized by the
appointment of Europeans to command a portion of the army of China, and in
pursuance of a suggestion made by the present Sir Robert Hart in the
previous year, it was thought desirable for many reasons that something
should also be done to increase the naval resources of the empire, and Mr.
Lay was intrusted with a commission for purchasing and collecting in
Europe a fleet of gunboats of small draught, which could be usefully
employed for all the purposes of the Pekin government on the rivers and
shallow estuaries of the country. Mr. Lay, who undertook the commission,
said, "This force was intended for the protection of the treaty-ports, for
the suppression of piracy then rife, and for the relief of this country
from the burden of 'policing' the Chinese waters"; but its first use in
the eyes of Prince Kung was to be employed against the rebels and their
European supporters of whom Burgevine was the most prominent. Captain
Sherard Osborn, a distinguished English naval officer, was associated with
Mr. Lay in the undertaking. An Order of Council was issued on August 30,
1862, empowering both of these officers to act in the matter as delegates
of the Chinese. Captain Osborn and Mr. Lay came to England to collect the
vessels of this fleet, and the former afterward returned with them to
China in the capacity of their commodore. The transaction was not well
managed from the very commencement. Mr. Lay wrote in August, 1862, to say
that he had chosen as the national ensign of the Chinese navy "a green
flag, bearing a yellow diagonal cross," and he wrote again to request that
an official notification should appear in the "Gazette." Had his request
been complied with, there would have been very strong reason for assuming
that the English government was prepared to support and facilitate every
scheme for forcing the Chinese to accept and submit to the exact method of
progress approved of and desired by the European servants of their
government, without their taking any part in the transaction save to
ratify terms that might be harsh and exorbitant. Fortunately, the
instinctive caution of our Foreign Office was not laid aside on this
occasion. Mr. Lay was informed that no notice could appear in the "London
Gazette" except after the approval of the Pekin authorities had been
expressed; and Prince Kung wrote, on October 22, to say that the Chinese
ensign would be of "yellow ground, and on it will be designed a dragon
with his head toward the upper part of the flag." Mr. Lay preceded the
vessels--seven gunboats and one store-ship--and arrived at Pekin in May,
1863.

Prince Kung had been most anxious for the speedy arrival of the flotilla;
and the doubtful fortune of the campaign in Kiangsu, where the gunboats
would have been invaluable, rendered him extremely desirous that they
should commence active operations immediately on arrival. But he found, in
the first place, that Mr. Lay was not prepared to accept the appointment
of a Chinese official as joint-commander, and in the second place, that he
would not receive orders from any of the provincial authorities. Such a
decision was manifestly attended with the greatest inconvenience to China;
for only the provincial authorities knew what the interests of the State
demanded, and where the fleet might co-operate with advantage in the
attacks on the Taepings. Unless Captain Osborn were to act on the orders
of Tsen Kwofan, and particularly of Li Hung Chang, it was difficult to see
of what possible use he or his flotilla could be to China. The founders of
the new Chinese navy claimed practically all the privileges of an ally,
and declined the duties devolving on them as directing a department of the
Chinese administration. Of course, it was more convenient and more
dignified for the foreign officers to draw their instructions and their
salaries direct from the fountain-head; but if the flotilla was not to be
of any practical use to China it might just as well never have been
created. The fleet arrived in safety, but remained inactive. The whole
summer and autumn of 1863, with its critical state of affairs round
Soochow, passed away without anything being done to show what a powerful
auxiliary Mr. Lay's ships might be. The ultimate success of those
operations without the smallest co-operation on the part of Captain Osborn
or his flotilla virtually sealed its fate. In October, Wansiang, in the
name of the Foreign Office, declared that the Chinese could not recognize
or ratify the private arrangement between Mr. Lay and his naval officer,
and that it was essential for Captain Osborn to submit to receive his
instructions from the provincial authorities. In the following month Mr.
Lay was summarily dismissed from the Chinese service, and it was
determined, after some delay and various counter suggestions, to send back
the ships to Europe, there to be disposed of. The radical fault in the
whole arrangement had been Mr. Lay's wanting to take upon himself the
responsibility not merely of Inspector-General of Customs, but also of
supreme adviser on all matters connected with foreign questions. The
Chinese themselves were to take quite a subordinate part in their
realization, and were to be treated, in short, as if they did not know how
to manage their own affairs. Mr. Lay's dreams were suddenly dispelled, and
his philanthropic schemes fell to the ground. Neither Prince Kung nor his
colleagues had any intention to pave the way for their own effacement.

After Mr. Lay's departure the Maritime Customs were placed under the
control of Mr. Robert Hart, who had acted during Mr. Lay's absence in
Europe. This appointment was accompanied by the transfer of the official
residence from Pekin to Shanghai, which was attended with much practical
advantage. Already the customs revenue had risen to three millions, and
trade was steadily expanding as the rebels were gradually driven back, and
as the Yangtsekiang and the coasts became safer for navigation. Numerous
schemes were suggested for the opening up of China by railways and the
telegraph; but they all very soon ended in nothing, for the simple reason
that the Chinese did not want them. They were more sincere and energetic
in their adoption of military improvements.

The anxieties of Prince Kung on the subject of the dynasty, and with
regard to the undue pretensions and expectations of the foreign officials
who looked on the Chinese merely as the instruments of their self-
aggrandizement, were further increased during this period by the
depredations of the Nienfei rebels in the province of Shantung. During
these operations Sankolinsin died, leaving Tseng Kwofan in undisputed
possession of the first place among Chinese officials. Sankolinsin, when
retreating after a reverse, was treacherously murdered by some villagers
whose hospitality he had claimed.

The events of this introductory period may be appropriately concluded with
the strange stroke of misfortune that befell Prince Kung in the spring of
1865, and which seemed to show that he had indulged some views of personal
ambition. The affair had probably a secret history, but if so the truth is
hardly likely to be ever known. The known facts were as follows: On April
2, 1865, there appeared an edict degrading the prince in the name of the
two regent-empresses. The charge made against him was of having grown
arrogant and assumed privileges to which he had no right. He was at first
"diligent and circumspect," but he has now become disposed "to overrate
his own importance." In consequence, he was deprived of all his
appointments and dismissed from the scene of public affairs. Five weeks
after his fall, however, Prince Kung was reinstated, on May 8, in all his
offices, with the exception of that of President of the Council. This
episode, which might have produced grave complications, closed with a
return to almost the precise state of things previously existing. There
was one important difference. The two empresses had asserted their
predominance. Prince Kung had hoped to be supreme, and to rule
uncontrolled. From this time forth he was content to be their minister and
adviser, on terms similar to those that would have applied to any other
official.

The year 1865, which witnessed this very interesting event in the history
of the Chinese government, beheld before its close the departure of Sir
Frederick Bruce from Pekin, and the appointment of Sir Rutherford Alcock,
who had been the first British minister to Japan during the critical
period of the introduction of foreign intercourse with that country, to
fill the post of Resident Minister at Pekin. Sir Rutherford Alcock then
found the opportunity to put in practice some of the honorable sentiments
to which he had given expression twenty years before at Shanghai. When Sir
Rutherford left Yeddo for Pekin, the post of Minister in Japan was
conferred on Sir Harry Parkes, who had been acting as consul at Shanghai
since the conclusion of the war. The relations between the countries were
gradually settling down on a satisfactory basis, and the appointment of a
Supreme Court for China and Japan at Shanghai, with Sir Edmund Hornby as
Chief Judge, promised to enforce obedience to the law among even the
unsettled adventurers of different, nationalities left by the conclusion
of the Taeping Rebellion and the cessation of piracy without a profitable
pursuit.

While the events which have been set forth were happening in the heart of
China, other misfortunes had befallen the executive in the more remote
quarters of the realm, but resulting none the less in the loss and ruin of
provinces, and in the subversion of the emperor's authority. Two great
uprisings of the people occurred in opposite directions, both commencing
while the Taeping Rebellion was in full force, and continuing to disturb
the country for many years after its suppression. The one had for its
scene the great southwestern province of Yunnan; the other the two
provinces of the northwest, Shensi and Kansuh, and extending thence
westward to the Pamir. They resembled each other in one point, and that
was that they were instigated and sustained by the Mohammedan population
alone. The Panthays and the Tungani were either indigenous tribes or
foreign immigrants who had adopted or imported the tenets of Islam. Their
sympathies with the Pekin government were probably never very great, but
they were impelled in both cases to revolt more by local tyranny than by
any distinct desire to cast off the authority of the Chinese; but, of
course, the obvious embarrassment of the central executive encouraged by
simplifying the task of rebellion. The Panthay rising calls for
description in the first place, because it began at an earlier period than
the other, and also because the details have been preserved with greater
fidelity. Mohammedanism is believed to have been introduced into Yunnan in
or about the year 1275, and it made most progress among the so-called
aboriginal tribes, the Lolos and the Mantzu. The officials were mostly
Chinese or Tartars, and, left practically free from control, they more
often abused their power than sought to employ it for the benefit of the
people they governed. In the very first year of Hienfung's reign (1851) a
petition reached the capital from a Mohammedan land proprietor in Yunnan
named Ma Wenchu, accusing the emperor's officials of the gravest crimes,
and praying that "a just and honest man" might be sent to redress the
wrongs of an injured and long-suffering people. The petition was carefully
read and favorably considered at the capital; but beyond a gracious answer
the emperor was at the time powerless to apply a remedy to the evil. Four
years passed away without any open manifestation of the deep discontent
smoldering below the surface. But in 1855 the Chinese and the Mohammedan
laborers quarreled in one of the principal mines of the province, which is
covered with mines of gold, iron, and copper. It seems that the greater
success of the Mohammedans in the uncertain pursuit of mining had roused
the displeasure of the Chinese. Disputes ensued, in which the Mussulmans
added success in combat to success in mineing; and the official appointed
to superintend the mines, instead of remaining with a view to the
restoration of order, sought his personal safety by precipitate flight to
the town of Yunnan. During his absence the Chinese population raised a
levy _en masse_, attacked the Mohammedans who had gained a momentary
triumph, and compelled them by sheer weight of numbers to beat a hasty
retreat to their own homes in a different part of the province. This
success was the signal for a general outcry against the Mohammedans, who
had long been the object of the secret ill-will of the other inhabitants.
Massacres took place in several parts of Yunnan, and the followers of the
Prophet had to flee for their lives.

Among those who were slain during these popular disorders was a young
chief named Ma Sucheng; and when the news of his murder reached his native
village, his younger brother, Ma Sien, who had just received a small
military command, declared his intention to avenge him, and fled to join
the Mohammedan fugitives in the mountains. In this secure retreat they
rallied their forces, and, driven to desperation by the promptings of
want, they left their fastnesses with the view of regaining what they had
lost. In this they succeeded better than they could have hoped for. The
Chinese population experienced in their turn the bitterness of defeat; and
the mandarins had the less difficulty in concluding a temporary
understanding between the exhausted combatants. Tranquillity was restored,
and the miners resumed their occupations. But the peace was deceptive, and
in a little time the struggle was renewed with increased fury. In this
emergency the idea occurred to some of the officials that an easy and
efficacious remedy of the difficulty in which they found themselves would
be provided by the massacre of the whole Mussulman population. In this
plot the foremost part was taken by Hwang Chung, an official who bitterly
hated the Mohammedans. He succeeded in obtaining the acquiescence of all
his colleagues with the exception of the viceroy of the province, who
exposed the iniquity of the design, but who, destitute of all support, was
powerless to prevent its execution. At the least he resolved to save his
honor and reputation by committing suicide, and he and his wife were found
one morning hanging up in the hall of the yamen. His death simplified the
execution of the project which his refusal might possibly have prevented.
May 19, 1856, was the date fixed for the celebration of this Chinese St.
Bartholomew. But the secret had not been well kept. The Mohammedans,
whether warned or suspicious, distrusted the authorities and their
neighbors, and stood vigilantly on their guard. At this time they looked
chiefly to a high priest named Ma Tesing for guidance and instruction. But
although on the alert, they were after all, taken to some extent by
surprise, and many of them were massacred after a more or less unavailing
resistance. But if many of the Mussulmans were slain, the survivors were
inspired with a desperation which the mandarins had never contemplated.
From one end of Yunnan to the other the Mohammedans, in face of great
personal peril, rose by a common and spontaneous impulse, and the Chinese
population was compelled to take a hasty refuge in the towns. At Talifoo,
where the Mohammedans formed a considerable portion of the population, the
most desperate fighting occurred, and after three days' carnage the
Mussulmans, under Tu Wensiu, were left in possession of the city. The
rebels did not remain without leaders, whom they willingly recognized and
obeyed; for the kwanshihs, or chiefs, who had accepted titles of authority
from the Chinese, cast off their allegiance and placed themselves at the
head of the popular movement. The priest Ma Tesing was raised to the
highest post of all as Dictator, but Tu Wensiu admitted no higher
authority than his own within the walls of Talifoo. Ma Tesing had
performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, he had resided at Constantinople for
two years, and his reputation for knowledge and saintliness stood highest
among his co-religionists.

While Ma Tesing exercised the supremacy due to his age and attainments,
the young chief Ma Sien led the rebels in the field. His energy was most
conspicuous, and in the year 1858 he thought he was sufficiently strong to
make an attack upon the city of Yunnan itself. His attack was baffled by
the resolute defense of an officer named Lin Tzuchin, who had shown great
courage as a partisan leader against the insurgents before he was
intrusted with the defense of the provincial capital. Ma Sien was
compelled to beat a retreat, and to devote himself to the organization of
the many thousand Ijen or Lolos recruits who signified their attachment to
his cause. For the successful defense of Yunnan Lin was made a Titu, and
gradually collected into his own hands such authority as still remained to
the emperor's lieutenants. On both sides preparations were made for the
renewal of the struggle, but before the year 1858 ended Ma Sien met with a
second repulse at the town of Linan. The year 1859 was not marked by any
event of signal importance, although the balance of success inclined on
the whole to the Mussulmans. But in the following year the Mohammedans
drew up a large force, computed to exceed 50,000 men, round Yunnanfoo, to
which they laid vigorous siege. The imperialists were taken at a
disadvantage, and the large number of people who had fled for shelter into
the town rendered the small store of provisions less sufficient for a
protracted defense. Yunnanfoo was on the point of surrender when an event
occurred which not merely relieved it from its predicament, but altered
the whole complexion of the struggle. The garrison had made up its mind to
yield. Even the brave Lin had accepted the inevitable, and begun to
negotiate with the two rebel leaders, Ma Sien and the priest Ma Tesing.
Those chiefs, with victory in their grasp, manifested an unexpected and
surprising moderation. Instead of demanding from Lin a complete and
unconditional surrender, they began to discuss with him what terms could
be agreed upon for the cessation of the war and the restoration of
tranquillity to the province. At first it was thought that these
propositions concealed some intended treachery, but their sincerity was
placed beyond dispute by the suicide of the mandarin Hwang Chung, who had
first instigated the people to massacre their Mohammedan brethren. The
terms of peace were promptly arranged, and a request was forwarded to
Pekin for the ratification of a convention concluded under the pressure of
necessity with some of the rebel leaders. The better to conceal the fact
that this arrangement had been made with the principal leader of the
disaffected, Ma Sien changed his name to Ma Julung, and received the rank
of general in the Chinese service; while the high priest accepted as his
share the not inconsiderable pension of two hundred taels a month. It is
impossible to divine the true reasons which actuated these instigators of
rebellion in their decision to go over to the side of the government. They
probably thought that they had done sufficient to secure all practical
advantages, and that any persistence in hostilities would only result in
the increased misery and impoverishment of the province. Powerful as they
were, there were other Mohammedan leaders seeking to acquire the supreme
position among their co-religionists; and foremost among these was Tu
Wensiu, who had reduced the whole of Western Yunnan to his sway, and
reigned at Talifoo. The Mohammedan cause, important as it was, did not
afford scope for the ambitions of two such men as Ma Julung and Tu Wensiu.
The former availed himself of the favorable opportunity to settle this
difficulty in a practical and, as he shrewdly anticipated, the most
profitable manner for himself personally, by giving in his adhesion to the
government.

This important defection did not bring in its train any certainty of
tranquillity. Incited by the example of their leaders, every petty officer
and chief thought himself deserving of the highest honors, and resolved to
fight for his own hand. Ma Julung left Yunnanfoo for the purpose of
seizing a neighboring town which had revolted, and during his absence one
of his lieutenants seized the capital, murdered the viceroy, and
threatened to plunder the inhabitants. Ma Julung was summoned to return in
hot haste, and as a temporary expedient the priest Ma Tesing was elected
viceroy. When Ma Julung returned with his army he had to lay siege to
Yunnanfoo, and although he promptly effected an entrance into the city, it
took five days' hard fighting in the streets before the force in
occupation was expelled. The insurgent officer was captured, exposed to
the public gaze for one month in an iron cage, and then executed in a
cruel manner. Ma Tesing was deposed from the elevated position which he
had held for so short a time, and a new Chinese viceroy arrived from
Kweichow. The year 1863 opened with the first active operations against Tu
Wensiu, who, during these years of disorder in Central Yunnan, had been
governing the western districts with some prudence. It would have been
better if they had not been undertaken, for they only resulted in the
defeat of the detachments sent by Ma Julung to engage the despot of
Talifoo. Force having failed, they had recourse to diplomacy, and Ma
Tesing was sent to sound Tu Wensiu as to whether he would not imitate
their example and make his peace with the authorities. These overtures
were rejected with disdain, and Tu Wensiu proclaimed his intention of
holding out to the last, and refused to recognize the wisdom or the
necessity of coming to terms with the government. The embarrassment of Ma
Julung and the Yunnan officials, already sufficiently acute, was at this
conjuncture further aggravated by an outbreak in their rear among the
Miaotze and some other mountain tribes in the province of Kweichow. To the
difficulty of coping with a strongly placed enemy in front was thus added
that of maintaining communications through a hostile and difficult region.
A third independent party had also come into existence in Yunnan, where an
ex-Chinese official named Liang Shihmei had set up his own authority at
Linan, mainly, it was said, through jealousy of the Mohammedans taken into
the service of the government. The greatest difficulty of all was to
reconcile the pretensions of the different commanders, for the Chinese
officials, and the Futai Tsen Yuying in particular, regarded Ma Julung
with no friendly eye. With the year 1867, both sides having collected
their strength, more active operations were commenced, and Ma Julung
proceeded in person, at the head of the best troops he could collect, to
engage Tu Wensiu. It was at this time that the imperialists adopted the
red flag as their standard in contradistinction to the white flag of the
insurgents. A desultory campaign ensued, but although Ma Julung evinced
both courage and capacity, the result was on the whole unfavorable to him;
and he had to retreat to the capital, where events of some importance had
occurred during his absence in the field. The viceroy, who had been
stanchly attached to Ma Julung, died suddenly and under such circumstances
as to suggest a suspicion of foul play; and Tsen Yuying had by virtue of
his rank of Futai assumed the temporary discharge of his duties. The
retreat of Ma Julung left the insurgents free to follow up their
successes; and, in the course of 1868, the authority of the emperor had
disappeared from every part of the province except the prefectural city of
Yunnanfoo. This bad fortune led the Mussulmans who had followed the advice
and fortunes of Ma Julung to consider whether it would not be wise to
rejoin their co-religionists, and to at once finish the contest by the
destruction of the government. Had Ma Julung wavered in his fidelity for a
moment they would have all joined the standard of Tu Wensiu, and the rule
of the Sultan of Talifoo would have been established from one end of
Yunnan to the other; but he stood firm and arrested the movement in a
summary manner.

Tu Wensiu, having established the security of his communications with
Burmah, whence he obtained supplies of arms and munitions of war, devoted
his efforts to the capture of Yunnanfoo, which he completely invested. The
garrison was reduced to the lowest straits before Tsen Yuying resolved to
come to the aid of his distressed colleague. The loss of the prefectural
town would not merely entail serious consequences to the imperialist
cause, but he felt it would personally compromise him as the Futai at
Pekin. In the early part of 1869, therefore, he threw himself into the
town with three thousand men, and the forces of Tu Wensiu found themselves
obliged to withdraw from the eastern side of the city. A long period of
inaction followed, but during this time the most important events happened
with regard to the ultimate result. Ma Julung employed all his artifice
and arguments to show the rebel chiefs the utter hopelessness of their
succeeding against the whole power of the Chinese empire, which, from the
suppression of the Taeping Rebellion, would soon be able to be employed
against them. They felt the force of his representations, and they were
also oppressed by a sense of the slow progress they had made toward the
capture of Yunnanfoo. Some months after Tsen Yuying's arrival, those of
the rebels who were encamped to the north of the city hoisted the red flag
and gave in their adhesion to the government. Then Ma Julung resumed
active operations against the other rebels, and obtained several small
successes. A wound received during one of the skirmishes put an end to his
activity, and the campaign resumed its desultory character. But Ma
Julung's illness had other unfortunate consequences; for during it Tsen
Yuying broke faith with those of the rebel leaders who had come over, and
put them all to a cruel death. The natural consequence of this foolish and
ferocious act was that the Mohammedans again reverted to their desperate
resolve to stand firmly by the side of Tu Wensiu. The war again passed
into a more active phase. Ma Julung had recovered from his wounds. A new
viceroy, and a man of some energy, was sent from Pekin. Lin Yuchow had
attracted the notice of Tseng Kwofan among those of his native province
who had responded to his appeal to defend Hoonan against the Taepings
sixteen years before; and shortly before the death of the last viceroy of
Yunnan, he had been made Governor of Kweichow. To the same patron at Pekin
he now owed his elevation to the viceroyalty. It is said that he had lost
the energy which once characterized him; but he brought with him several
thousand Hoonan braves, whose courage and military experience made them
invaluable auxiliaries to the embarrassed authorities in Yunnan. In the
course of the year 1870 most of the towns in the south and the north of
Yunnan were recovered, and communications were reopened with Szchuen. As
soon as the inhabitants perceived that the government had recovered its
strength, they hastened to express their joy at the change by repudiating
the white flag which Tu Wensiu had compelled them to adopt. The
imperialists even to the last increased the difficulty of their work of
pacification by exhibiting a relentless cruelty; and while the inhabitants
thought to secure their safety by a speedy surrender, the Mussulmans were
rendered more desperate in their resolve to resist. The chances of a
Mohammedan success were steadily diminishing when Yang Yuko, a mandarin of
some military capacity, who had begun his career in the most approved
manner as a rebel, succeeded in capturing the whole of the salt-producing
district which had been the main source of their strength. In the year
1872 all the preliminary arrangements were made for attacking Talifoo
itself. A supply of rifles had been received from Canton or Shanghai, and
a few pieces of artillery had also arrived. With these improved weapons
the troops of Ma Julung and Tsen Yuying enjoyed a distinct advantage over
the rebels of Talifoo. The horrors of war were at this point increased by
those of pestilence, for the plague broke out at Puerh on the southern
frontier, and, before it disappeared, devastated the whole of the
province, completing the effect of the civil war, and ruining the few
districts which had escaped from its ravages. The direct command of the
siege operations at Talifoo was intrusted to Yang Yuko, a hunchback
general, who had obtained a reputation for invincibility; and when Tsen
Yuying had completed his own operations he also proceeded to the camp
before the Mohammedan capital for the purpose of taking part in the
crowning operation of the war.

Tu Wensiu and the garrison of Talifoo, although driven to desperation,
could not discover any issue from their difficulties. They were reduced to
the last stage of destitution, and starvation stared them in the face. In
this extremity Tu Wensiu, although there was every reason to believe that
the imperialists would not fulfill their pledges, and that surrender
simply meant yielding to a cruel death, resolved to open negotiations with
Yang Yuko for giving up the town. The emperor's generals signified their
desire for the speedy termination of the siege, at the same time
expressing acquiescence in the general proposition of the garrison being
admitted to terms. Although the Futai and Yang Yuko had promptly come to
the mutual understanding to celebrate the fall of Talifoo by a wholesale
massacre, they expressed their intention to spare the other rebels on the
surrender of Tu Wensiu for execution and on the payment of an indemnity.
The terms were accepted, although the more experienced of the rebels
warned their comrades that they would not be complied with. On January 15,
1873, Tu Wensiu, the original of the mythical Sultan Suliman, the fame of
whose power reached England, and who had been an object of the solicitude
of the Indian government, accepted the decision of his craven followers as
expressing the will of Heaven, and gave himself up for execution. He
attired himself in his best and choicest garments, and seated himself in
the yellow palanquin which he had adopted as one of the few marks of royal
state that his opportunities allowed him to secure. Accompanied by the men
who had negotiated the surrender, he drove through the streets, receiving
for the last time the homage of his people, and out beyond the gates to
Yang Yuko's camp. Those who saw the cortege marveled at the calm
indifference of the fallen despot. He seemed to have as little fear of his
fate as consciousness of his surroundings. The truth soon became evident.
He had baffled his enemies by taking slow poison. Before he reached the
presence of the Futai, who had wished to gloat over the possession of his
prisoner, the opium had done its work, and Tu Wensiu was no more. It
seemed but an inadequate triumph to sever the head from the dead body, and
to send it preserved in honey as the proof of victory to Pekin. Four days
after Tu Wensiu's death, the imperialists were in complete possession of
the town, and a week later they had taken all their measures for the
execution of the fell plan upon which they had decided. A great feast was
given for the celebration of the convention, and the most important of the
Mohammedan commanders, including those who had negotiated the truce, were
present. At a given signal they were attacked and murdered by soldiers
concealed in the gallery for the purpose, while six cannon shots announced
to the soldiery that the hour had arrived for them to break loose on the
defenseless townspeople. The scenes that followed are stated to have
surpassed description. It was computed that 30,000 men alone perished
after the fall of the old Panthay capital, and the Futai sent to Yunnanfoo
twenty-four large baskets full of human ears, as well as the heads of the
seventeen chiefs.

With the capture of Talifoo the great Mohammedan rebellion in the
southwest, to which the Burmese gave the name of Panthay, closed, after a
desultory struggle of nearly eighteen years. The war was conducted with
exceptional ferocity on both sides, and witnessed more than the usual
amount of falseness and breach of faith common to Oriental struggles.
Nobody benefited by the contest, and the prosperity of Yunnan, which at
one time had been far from inconsiderable, sank to the lowest possible
point. A new class of officials came to the front during this period of
disorder, and fidelity was a sufficient passport to a certain rank. Ma
Julung, the Marshal Ma of European travelers, gained a still higher
station; and notwithstanding the jealousy of his colleagues, acquired
practical supremacy in the province. The high priest, Ma Tesing, who may
be considered as the prime instigator of the movement, was executed or
poisoned in 1874 at the instigation of some of the Chinese officials. Yang
Yuko, the most successful of all the generals, only enjoyed a brief tenure
of power. It was said that he was dissatisfied with his position as
commander-in-chief, and aspired to a higher rank. He also was summoned to
Pekin, but never got further than Shanghai, where he died, or was removed.
But although quiet gradually descended upon this part of China, it was
long before prosperity followed in its train.

About six years after the first mutterings of discontent among the
Mohammedans in the southwest, disturbances occurred in the northwest
provinces of Shensi and Kansuh, where there had been many thousand
followers of Islam since an early period of Chinese history. They were
generally obedient subjects and sedulous cultivators of the soil; but they
were always liable to sudden ebullitions of fanaticism or of turbulence,
and it was said that during the later years of his reign Keen Lung had
meditated a wholesale execution of the male population above the age of
fifteen. The threat, if ever made, was never carried out, but the report
suffices to show the extent to which danger was apprehended from the
Tungan population. The true origin of the great outbreak in 1862 in Shensi
seems to have been a quarrel between the Chinese and the Mohammedan
militia as to their share of the spoil derived from the defeat and
overthrow of a brigand leader. After some bloodshed, two imperial
commissioners were sent from Pekin to restore order. The principal
Mohammedan leader formed a plot to murder the commissioners, and on their
arrival he rushed into their presence and slew one of them with his own
hand. His co-religionists deplored the rash act, and voluntarily seized
and surrendered him for the purpose of undergoing a cruel death. But
although he was torn to pieces, that fact did not satisfy the outraged
dignity of the emperor. A command was issued in Tungche's name to the
effect that all those who persisted in following the creed of Islam should
perish by the sword. From Shensi the outbreak spread into the adjoining
province of Kansuh; and the local garrisons were vanquished in a pitched
battle at Tara Ussu, beyond the regular frontier. The insurgents did not
succeed, however, in taking any of the larger towns of Shensi, and after
threatening with capture the once famous city of Singan, they were
gradually expelled from that province. The Mohammedan rebellion within the
limits of China proper would not, therefore, have possessed more than
local importance but for the fact that it encouraged a similar outbreak in
the country further west, and that it resulted in the severance of the
Central Asian provinces from China for a period of many years.

The uprising of the Mohammedans in the frontier provinces appealed to the
secret fears as well as to the longings of the Tungan settlers and
soldiers in all the towns and military stations between Souchow and
Kashgar. The sense of a common peril, more perhaps than the desire to
attain the same object, led to revolts at Hami, Barkul, Urumtsi, and
Turfan, towns which formed a group of industrious communities half-way
between the prosperous districts of Kansuh on the one side and Kashgar on
the other. The Tungani at these towns revolted under the leading of their
priests, and imitated the example of their co-religionists within the
settled borders of China by murdering all who did not accept their creed.
After a brief interval, which we may attribute to the greatness of the
distance, to the vigilance of the Chinese garrison, or to the apathy of
the population, the movement spread to the three towns immediately west of
Turfan, Karashar, Kucha, and Aksu, where it came into contact with, and
was stopped by, another insurrectionary movement under Mohammedan, but
totally distinct, auspices. West of Aksu the Tungan rebellion never
extended south of the Tian Shan range. The defection of the Tungani, who
had formed a large proportion, if not the majority, of the Chinese
garrisons, paralyzed the strength of the Celestials in Central Asia. Both
in the districts dependent on Ili, and in those ruled from Kashgar and
Yarkand, the Chinese were beset by many great and permanent difficulties.
They were with united strength a minority, and now that they were divided
among themselves almost a hopeless minority. The peoples they governed
were fanatical, false, and fickle. The ruler of Khokand and the refugees
living on his bounty were always on the alert to take the most advantage
of the least slip or act of weakness on the part of the governing classes.
Their machinations had been hitherto baffled, but never before had so
favorable an opportunity presented itself for attaining their wishes as
when it became known that the whole Mohammedan population was up in arms
against the emperor, and that communications were severed between Kashgar
and Pekin. The attempts made at earlier periods on the part of the members
of the old ruling family in Kashgar to regain their own by expelling the
Chinese have been described. In 1857 Wali Khan, one of the sons of
Jehangir, had succeeded in gaining temporary possession of the city of
Kashgar, and seemed for a moment to be likely to capture Yarkand also. He
fell by his vices. The people soon detested the presence of the man to
whom they had accorded a too hasty welcome. After a rule of four months he
fled the country, vanquished in the field by the Chinese garrison, and
followed by the execrations of the population he had come to deliver. The
invasion of Wali Khan further imbittered the relations between the Chinese
and their subjects; and a succession of governors bore heavily on the
Mohammedans. Popular dissatisfaction and the apprehension in the minds of
the governing officials that their lives might be forfeited at any moment
to a popular outbreak added to the dangers of the situation in Kashgar
itself, when the news arrived of the Tungan revolt, and of the many other
complications which hampered the action of the Pekin ruler. We cannot
narrate here the details of the rebellion in Kashgar. Its influence on the
history of China would not sanction such close exactitude. But in the year
1863 the Chinese officials had become so alarmed at their isolated
position that they resolved to adopt the desperate expedient of massacring
all the Mohammedans or Tungani in their own garrisons. The amban and his
officers were divided in council and dilatory in execution. The Tungani
heard of the plot while the governor was summoning the nerve to carry it
out. They resolved to anticipate him. The Mohammedans at Yarkand, the
largest and most important garrison in the country, rose in August, 1863,
and massacred all the Buddhist Chinese. Seven thousand men are computed to
have fallen. A small band fled to the citadel, which they held for a short
time; but at length, overwhelmed by numbers, they preferred death to
dishonor, and destroyed themselves by exploding the fort with the
magazine. The defection of the Tungani thus lost Kashgaria for the
Chinese, as the other garrisons and towns promptly followed the example of
Yarkand; but they could not keep it for themselves. The spectacle of this
internal dissension proved irresistible for the adventurers of Khokand,
and Buzurg, the last surviving son of Jehangir, resolved to make another
bid for power and for the recovery of the position for which his father
and kinsmen had striven in vain. The wish might possibly have been no more
attained than theirs, had he not secured the support of the most capable
soldier in Khokand, Mahomed Yakoob, the defender of Ak Musjid against the
Russians. It was not until the early part of the year 1865 that this Khoja
pretender, with his small body of Khokandian officers and a considerable
number of Kirghiz allies, appeared upon the scene. Then, however, their
success was rapid. The Tungan revolt in Altyshahr resolved itself into a
movement for the restoration of the Khoja dynasty. In a short time Buzurg
was established as ruler, while his energetic lieutenant was employed in
the task of crushing the few remaining Chinese garrisons, and also in
cowing his Tungan allies, who already regarded their new ruler with a
doubtful eye. By the month of September in the same year that witnessed
the passage of the invading force through the Terek defile, the triumph of
the Khoja's arms was assured. A few weeks later Mahomed Yakoob deposed his
master, and caused himself to be proclaimed ruler in his stead. The voice
of the people ratified the success of the man; and in 1866 Mahomed Yakoob,
or Yakoob Beg, received at the hands of the Ameer of Bokhara the proud
title of Athalik Ghazi, by which he was long known. The Mohammedan rising
spread still further within the limits of Chinese authority in Central
Asia.

While the events which have been briefly sketched were happening in the
region south of the great Tian Shan range, others of not less importance
had taken place in Ili or Kuldja, which, under Chinese rule, had enjoyed
uninterrupted peace for a century. It was this fact which marked the
essential difference between the Tungan rebellion and all the disturbances
that had preceded it. The revolution in the metropolitan province was
complicated by the presence of different races, just as it had been in
Kashgaria by the pretensions of the Khoja family. A large portion of the
population consisted of those Tarantchis who were the descendants of the
Kashgarians deported on more than one occasion by the Chinese from their
own homes to the banks of the Ili; and they had inherited a legacy of ill-
will against their rulers which only required the opportunity to display
itself. The Tungan--or Dungan, as the Russians spell it--element was also
very strong, and colonies of the Sobo and Solon tribes, who had been
emancipated from their subjection to the Mongols by the Emperor Kanghi for
their bravery, further added to the variety of the nationalities dwelling
in this province. It had been said with some truth that the Chinese ruled
in this quarter of their dominions on the old principle of commanding by
the division of the subjected; and it had been predicted that they would
fall whenever any two of the dependent populations combined against them.
There is little difficulty in showing that the misfortunes of the Chinese
were due to their own faults. They neglected the plainest military
precautions, and the mandarins thought only of enriching themselves. But
the principal cause of the destruction of their power was the cessation of
the supplies which they used to receive from Pekin. The government of
these dependencies was only possible by an annual gift from the imperial
treasury. When the funds placed at the disposal of the Ili authorities
were diverted to other uses, it was no longer possible to maintain the old
efficiency of the service. Discontent was provided with a stronger
argument at the same time that the executive found itself embarrassed in
grappling with it.

The news of the Mohammedan outbreak in China warned the Tungani in Ili
that their opportunity had come. But although there were disturbances as
early as January, 1863, these were suppressed, and the vigilance of the
authorities sufficed to keep things quiet for another year. Their
subsequent incapacity, or hesitation to strike a prompt blow, enabled the
Mohammedans to husband their resources and to complete their plans. A
temporary alliance was concluded between the Tungani and the Tarantchis,
and they hastened to attack the Chinese troops and officials. The year
1865 was marked by the progress of a sanguinary struggle, during which the
Chinese lost their principal towns, and some of their garrisons were
ruthlessly slaughtered after surrender. The usual scenes of civil war
followed. When the Chinese were completely vanquished and their garrisons
exterminated, the victors quarreled among themselves. The Tungani and the
Tarantchis met in mortal encounter, and the former were vanquished and
their chief slain. When they renewed the contest, some months later, they
were, after another sanguinary struggle, again overthrown. The Tarantchis
then ruled the state by themselves, but the example they set of native
rule was, to say the least, not encouraging. One chief after another was
deposed and murdered. The same year witnessed no fewer than five leaders
in the supreme place of power; and when Abul Oghlan assumed the title of
Sultan the cup of their iniquities was already full. In the year 1871 an
end was at last put to these enormities by the occupation of the province
by a Russian force, and the installation of a Russian governor. Although
it is probable that they were only induced to take this step by the fear
that if they did not do so Yakoob Beg would, the fact remains that the
Russian government did a good thing in the cause of order by interfering
for the restoration of tranquillity in the valley of the Ili.

The Mohammedan outbreaks in southwestern and northwestern China resulted,
therefore, in the gradual suppression of the Panthay rebellion, which was
completed in the twelfth year of Tungche's reign, while the Tungan rising,
so far as the Central Asian territories were concerned, remained unquelled
for a longer period. The latter led to the establishment of an independent
Tungan confederacy beyond Kansuh, and also of the kingdom of Kashgaria
ruled by Yakoob Beg. The revolt in Ili, after several alternations of
fortune, resulted in the brief independence of the Tarantchis, who were in
turn displaced by the Russians under a pledge of restoring the province to
the Chinese whenever they should return. Judged by the extent of territory
involved, the Mohammedan rebellion might be said to be not less important
than the Taeping; but the comparison on that ground alone would be really
delusive, as the numerical inferiority of the Mohammedans rendered it
always a question only of time for the central power to be restored.

The young Emperor Tungche, therefore, grew up amid continual difficulties,
although the successes of his principal lieutenants afforded good reason
to believe that, so far as they arose from rebels, it was only a question
of time before they would be finally removed. The foreign intercourse
still gave cause for much anxiety, although there was no apprehension of
war. It would have been unreasonable to suppose that the relations between
the foreign merchants and residents and the Chinese could become, after
the suspicion and dangers of generations, absolutely cordial. The
commercial and missionary bodies, into which the foreign community was
naturally divided, had objects of trade or religion to advance, which
rendered them apt to take an unfavorable view of the progress made by the
Chinese government in the paths of civilization, and to be ever skeptical
even of its good faith. The main object with the foreign diplomatic
representatives became not more to obtain justice for their countrymen
than to restrain their eagerness, and to confine their pretensions to the
rights conceded by the treaties. A clear distinction had to be drawn
between undue coercion of the Chinese government on the one hand, and the
effectual compulsion of the people to evince respect toward foreigners and
to comply with the obligations of the treaty on the other. Instances
repeatedly occurred in reference to the latter matter, when it would have
been foolish to have shown weakness, especially as there was not the least
room to suppose that the government possessed at that time the power and
the capacity to secure reparation for, or to prevent the repetition of,
attacks on foreigners. Under this category came the riot at Yangchow in
the year 1868, when some missionaries had their houses burned down, and
were otherwise maltreated. A similar outrage was perpetrated in Formosa;
but the fullest redress was always tendered as soon as the executive
realized that the European representatives attached importance to the
occurrence. The recurrence of these local dangers and disputes served to
bring more clearly than ever before the minds of the Chinese ministers the
advisability of taking some step on their own part toward an understanding
with European governments and peoples. The proposal to depute a Chinese
embassador to the West could hardly be said to be new, seeing that it had
been projected after the Treaty of Nankin, and that the minister Keying
had manifested some desire to be the first mandarin to serve in that novel
capacity. But when the Tsungli Yamen took up the question it was decided
that in this as in other matters it would be expedient to avail themselves
in the first place of foreign mediation. The favorable opportunity of
doing so presented itself when Mr. Burlinghame retired from his post as
minister of the United States at Pekin. In the winter of 1867-68 Mr.
Burlinghame accepted an appointment as accredited representative of the
Chinese government to eleven of the principal countries of the world, and
two Chinese mandarins and a certain number of Chinese students were
appointed to accompany him on his tour. The Chinese themselves did not
attach as much importance as they might have done to his efforts, and Mr.
Burlinghame's mission will be remembered more as an educational process
for foreigners than as signifying any decided change in Chinese policy.
His death at St. Petersburg, in March, 1870, put a sudden and unexpected
close to his tour, but it cannot be said that he could have done more
toward the elucidation of Chinese questions than he had already
accomplished, while his bold and optimistic statements, after awakening
public attention, had already begun to produce the inevitable reaction.

In 1869 Sir Rutherford Alcock retired, and was succeeded in the difficult
post of English representative in China by Mr. Thomas Wade, whose services
have been more than once referred to. In the very first year of his
holding the post an event occurred which cast all the minor aggressive
acts that had preceded it into the shade. It may perhaps be surmised that
this was the Tientsin massacre--an event which threatened to re-open the
whole of the China question, and which brought France and China to the
verge of war. It was in June, 1870, on the eve of the outbreak of the
Franco-Prussian War, that the foreign settlements were startled by the
report of a great popular outbreak against foreigners in the important
town of Tientsin. At that city there was a large and energetic colony of
Roman Catholic priests, and their success in the task of conversion, small
as it might be held, was still sufficient to excite the ire and fears of
the literary and official classes. The origin of mob violence is ever
difficult to discover, for a trifle suffices to set it in motion. But at
Tientsin specific charges of the most horrible and, it need not be said,
the most baseless character were spread about as to the cruelties and evil
practices of those devoted to the service of religion. These rumors were
diligently circulated, and it need not cause wonder if, when the mere cry
of "Fanquai"--Foreign Devil--sufficed to raise a disturbance, these
allegations resulted in a vigorous agitation against the missionaries, who
were already the mark of popular execration. It was well known beforehand
that an attack on the missionaries would take place unless the authorities
adopted very efficient measures of protection. The foreign residents and
the consulates were warned of the coming outburst, and a very heavy
responsibility will always rest on those who might, by the display of
greater vigor, have prevented the unfortunate occurrences that ensued. At
the same time, allowing for the prejudices of the Chinese, it must be
allowed that not only must the efforts of all foreign missionaries be
attended with the gravest peril, but that the acts of the French priests
and nuns at Tientsin were, if not indiscreet, at least peculiarly
calculated to arouse the anger and offend the superstitious predilections
of the Chinese. That the wrong was not altogether on the side of the
Chinese may be gathered from an official dispatch of the United States
Minister, describing the originating causes of the outrage: "At many of
the principal places in China open to foreign residence, the Sisters of
Charity have established institutions, each of which appears to combine in
itself a foundling hospital and orphan asylum. Finding that the Chinese
were averse to placing children in their charge, the managers of these
institutions offered a certain sum per head for all the children placed
under their control, to be given to them; it being understood that a child
once in their asylum no parent, relative, or guardian could claim or
exercise any control over it. It has for some time been asserted by the
Chinese, and believed by most of the non-Catholic foreigners residing
here, that the system of paying bounties induced the kidnaping of children
for these institutions for the sake of the reward. It is also asserted
that the priests or sisters, or both, have been in the habit of holding
out inducements to have children brought to them in the last stages of
illness for the purpose of being baptized _in articulo mortis_. In this
way many children have been taken to these establishments in the last
stages of disease, baptized there, and soon after taken away dead. All
these acts, together with the secrecy and seclusion which appear to be a
part and parcel of the regulations which govern institutions of this
character everywhere, have created suspicions in the minds of the Chinese,
and these suspicions have engendered an intense hatred against the
sisters."

At that time Chung How, the superintendent of trade for the three northern
ports, was the principal official in Tientsin; but although some
representations, not as forcible however as the occasion demanded, were
made to him by M. Fontanier, the French Consul, on June 18, three days
before the massacre, no reply was given and no precautions were taken. On
the 21st a large crowd assembled outside the mission house. They very soon
assumed an attitude of hostility, and it was clear that at any moment the
attack might begin. M. Fontanier hastened off in person to Chung How, but
his threats seem to have been as unavailing as his arguments. On his
return he found the attack on the point of commencing. He made use of
menaces, and he fired a shot from his revolver, whether in self-defense or
in the heat of indignation at some official treachery will never be known.
The mob turned upon him, and he was murdered. The Chinese then hastened to
complete the work they had begun. Chung How, like Surajah Dowlah, was not
to be disturbed, and the attack on the mission house and consulate
proceeded, while the officials responsible for order remained inactive.
Twenty-one foreigners in all were brutally murdered under circumstances of
the greatest barbarity, while the number of native converts who fell at
the same time can never be ascertained.

The Tientsin massacre was followed by a wave of anti-foreign feeling over
the whole country; but although an official brought out a work--entitled
"Death-blow to Corrupt Doctrine"--which obtained more than a passing
notoriety, and notwithstanding that some members of the imperial family,
and notably, as it was stated, Prince Chun, regarded the movement with
favor, the arguments of Prince Kung and the more moderate ministers
carried the day, and it was resolved to make every concession in the power
of the government for the pacific settlement of the dispute that had
arisen with France. The outbreak of the war between France and Germany,
while it contributed to a peaceful settlement of the question, rendered
the process of diplomacy slow and dubious. The Tsungli Yamen, as soon as
it realized that nothing short of the dispatch of a mission of apology to
Europe would salve the injured honor of France, determined that none other
than Chung How himself should go to Paris to assure the French that the
government deplored the popular ebullition and had taken no part in it.
The untoward result of the great war for France embarrassed her action in
China. Chung How's assurances were accepted, the proffered compensation
was received; but the Chinese were informed that in recognition of
France's moderation, and in return for the reception of their envoy by M.
Thiers, the right of audience should be conceded to the French minister
resident at Pekin. The Audience Question naturally aroused the greatest
interest at Pekin, where it agitated the official mind not merely because
it signified another concession to force, but also because it promised to
produce a disturbing effect on the mind of the people. The young emperor
was growing up, and might be expected to take a direct share in the
administration at an early date. It was not an idle apprehension that
filled the minds of his ministers lest he might lay the blame on them for
having cast upon him the obligation of receiving ministers of foreign
States in a manner such as they had never before been allowed to appear in
the presence of the occupant of the Dragon Throne. The youth of the
sovereign served to postpone the question for a short space of time, but
it was no longer doubtful that the assumption of personal authority by the
young Emperor Tungche would be accompanied by the reintroduction, and
probably by the settlement, of the Audience Question. It was typical of
the progress Chinese statesmen were making that none of them seemed to
consider the possibility of distinctly refusing this privilege. Its
concession was only postponed until after the celebration of the young
emperor's marriage.

It had been known for some time that the young ruler had fixed his
affections on Ahluta, a Manchu lady of good family, daughter of Duke
Chung, and that the empresses had decided that she was worthy of the high
rank to which she was to be raised. The marriage ceremony was deferred on
more than one plea until after the emperor had reached his sixteenth
birthday, but in October, 1872, there was thought to be no longer any
excuse for postponement, and it was celebrated with great splendor on the
16th of that month. The arrangements were made in strict accordance with
the precedent of the Emperor Kanghi's marriage in 1674, that ruler having
also married when in occupation of the throne, and before he had attained
his majority. It was stated that the ceremonial was imposing, that the
incidental expenses were enormous, and that the people were very favorably
impressed by the demeanor of their young sovereign. Four months after the
celebration of his marriage the formal act of conferring upon Tungche the
personal control of his dominions was performed. In a special decree
issued from the Board of Rites the emperor said that he had received "the
commands of their majesties the two empresses to assume the
superintendence of business." This edict was directed to the Foreign
Ministers, who in return presented a collective request to be received in
audience. Prince Kung was requested "to take his Imperial Majesty's orders
with reference to their reception." The question being thus brought to a
crucial point, it was not unnatural that the Chinese ministers should make
the most vigorous resistance they could to those details which seemed to
and did encroach upon the prerogative of the emperor as he had been
accustomed to exercise it. For, in the first place, they were no longer
free agents, and Tungche had himself to be considered in any arrangement
for the reception of foreign envoys. The discussion of the question
assumed a controversial character, in which stress was laid on the one
side upon the necessity of the kotow even in a modified form, while on the
other it was pointed out that the least concession was as objectionable as
the greatest, and that China would benefit by the complete settlement of
the question. It says a great deal for the fairness and moderation of
Prince Kung and the ministers with him that, although they knew that the
foreign governments were not prepared to make the Audience Question one of
war, or even of the suspension of diplomatic relations, they determined to
settle the matter in the way most distasteful to themselves and most
agreeable to foreigners. On June 29, 1873, Tungche received in audience
the ministers of the principal powers at Pekin, and thus gave completeness
to the many rights and concessions obtained from his father and
grandfather by the treaties of Tientsin and Nankin. The privilege thus
secured caused lively gratification in the minds of all foreign residents,
to whom it signified the great surrender of the inherent right to
superiority claimed by the Chinese emperors, and we have recently seen
that it has been accepted as a precedent.

The sudden death of Tseng Kwofan in the summer of 1873 removed
unquestionably the foremost public man in China. After the fall of Nankin
he had occupied the highest posts in the empire, both at that city and in
the metropolis. He was not merely powerful from his own position, but from
his having placed his friends and dependents in many of the principal
offices throughout the empire. At first prejudiced against foreigners, he
had gradually brought himself to recognize that some advantage might be
derived from their knowledge. But the change came at too late a period to
admit of his conferring any distinct benefit on his country from the more
liberal policy he felt disposed to pursue with regard to the training of
Chinese youths in the science and learning of the West. It was said that
had he been personally ambitious he might have succeeded in displacing the
Tartar regime. But such a thought never assumed any practical shape in his
mind, and to the end of his days Tseng Kwofan was satisfied to remain the
steadfast supporter and adherent of the Manchus. In this respect ho has
been closely imitated by his most distinguished lieutenant, Li Hung Chang,
who succeeded to some of his dignities and much of his power.

Another of Tseng's proteges, Tso Tsung Tang, had been raised from the
viceroyalty of Chekiang and Fuhkien to that of Shensi and Kansuh. The
promotion was of the more doubtful value, seeing that both those provinces
were in the actual possession of the rebels; but Tso threw himself into
the task of reconquering them with remarkable energy, and within two years
of his arrival he was able to report that he had cleared the province of
Shensi of all insurgents. He then devoted his attention to the
pacification of Kansuh; and after many desultory engagements proceeded to
lay siege to the town of Souchow, where the Mohammedans had massed their
strength. At the end of the year 1872 the imperial army was drawn up in
front of this place, but Tso does not seem to have considered himself
strong enough to deliver an attack, and confined his operations to
preventing the introduction of supplies and fresh troops into the town.
Even in this he was only partially successful, as a considerable body of
men made their way in, in January, 1873. In the following month he
succeeded in capturing, by a night attack, a temple outside the walls,
upon which the Mohammedans placed considerable value. The siege continued
during the whole of the summer, and it was not until the month of October
that the garrison was reduced to such extremities as to surrender. The
chiefs were hacked to pieces, and about four thousand men perished by the
sword. The women, children, and old men were spared, and the spoil of the
place was handed over to the soldiery. It was Tso's distinctive merit
that, far from being carried away by these successes, he neglected no
military precaution, and devoted his main efforts to the reorganization of
the province. In that operation he may be left employed for the brief
remainder of Tungche's reign; but it may be said that in 1874 the campaign
against Kashgaria had been fully decided upon. A thousand Manchu cavalry
were sent to Souchow. Sheepskins, horses, and ammunition in large
quantities were also dispatched to the far west, and General Kinshun, the
Manchu general, was intrusted with the command of the army in the field.

The year 1874 witnessed an event that claims notice. There never has been
much good will between China and her neighbors in Japan. The latter are
too independent in their bearing to please the advocates of Chinese
predominance, at the same time that their insular position has left them
safe from the attack of the Pekin government. The attempt made by the
Mongol, Kublai Khan, to subdue these islanders had been too disastrous to
invite repetition. In Corea the pretensions of the ruler of Yeddo had been
repelled, if not crushed; but wherever the sea intervened the advantage
rested more or less decisively with him. The island of Formosa is
dependent upon China, and the western districts are governed by officials
duly appointed by the Viceroy of Fuhkien. But the eastern half of the
island, separated from the cultivated districts by a range of mountains
covered with dense if not impenetrable forests, is held by tribes who own
no one's authority, and who act as they deem fit. In the year 1868 or 1869
a junk from Loochoo was wrecked on this coast, and the crew were murdered
by the islanders. The civil war in Japan prevented any prompt claim for
reparation, but in 1873 the affair was revived, and a demand made at Pekin
for compensation. The demand was refused, whereupon the Japanese, taking
the law into their own hands, sent an expedition to Formosa. China replied
with a counter-demonstration, and war seemed inevitable. In this crisis
Mr. Wade offered his good services in the interests of peace, and after
considerable controversy he succeeded in bringing the two governments to
reason. The Chinese paid an indemnity of half a million taels, and the
Japanese evacuated the island.

In all countries governed by an absolute sovereign it is as interesting as
it is difficult to obtain some accurate knowledge of the character of the
autocrat. A most important change had been effected in the government of
China, yet it is impossible to discover what its precise significance was,
or to say how far it influenced the fortunes of the country. The empresses
had retired into private life, and for a time their regency came to an
end. Prince Kung was only the minister of a young prince who had it in his
power to guide affairs exactly as he might feel personally disposed.
Prince Kung might be either the real governor of the state or only the
courtier of his nephew. It depended solely on that prince's character.
There were not wanting signs that Tungche had the consciousness, if not
the capacity, of supreme power, and that he wished his will to be
paramount. Such evidence as was obtainable agreed in stating that he was
impatient of restraint, and that the prudent reflections of his uncle were
not overmuch to his fancy. On September 10 the young ruler took the world
into his confidence by announcing in a Vermilion Edict that he had
degraded Prince Kung and his son in their hereditary rank as princes of
the empire, for using "language in very many respects unbecoming." Whether
Tungche took this very decided step in a moment of pique or because he
perceived that there was a plan among his chief relatives to keep him in
leading-strings, must remain a matter of opinion. At the least he must
have refused to personally retract what he had done, for on the very
following day (September 11) a decree appeared from the two empresses
reinstating Prince Kung and his son in their hereditary rank and dignity,
and thus reasserting the power of the ex-regents.

Not long after this disturbance in the interior of the palace, of which
only the ripple reached the surface of publicity, there were rumors that
the emperor's health was in a precarious state, and in the month of
December it became known that Tungche was seriously ill with an attack of
smallpox. The disease seemed to be making satisfactory progress, for the
doctors were rewarded; but on December 18 an edict appeared ordering or
requesting the empresses dowager to assume the personal charge of the
administration. Six days later another edict appeared which strengthened
the impression that the emperor was making good progress toward recovery.
But appearances were deceptive, for, after several weeks' uncertainty, it
became known that the emperor's death was inevitable. On January 12, 1875,
Tungche "ascended upon the Dragon, to be a guest on high," without leaving
any offspring to succeed him. There were rumors that his illness was only
a plausible excuse, and that he was really the victim of foul play; but it
is not likely that the truth on that point will ever be revealed. Whether
he was the victim of an intrigue similar to that which had marked his
accession to power, or whether he only died from the neglect or
incompetence of his medical attendants, the consequences were equally
favorable to the personal views of the two empresses and Prince Kung. They
resumed the exercise of that supreme authority which they had resigned
little more than twelve months. The most suspicious circumstance in
connection with this event was the treatment of the young Empress Ahluta,
who, it was well known, was pregnant at the time of her husband's death.
Instead of waiting to decide as to the succession until it was known
whether Tungche's posthumous child would prove to be a son or a daughter,
the empresses dowager hastened to make another selection and to place the
young widow of the deceased sovereign in a state of honorable confinement.
Their motive was plain. Had Ahluta's child happened to be a son, he would
have been the legal emperor, as well as the heir by direct descent, and
she herself could not have been excluded from a prominent share in the
government. To the empresses dowager one child on the throne mattered no
more than another; but it was a question of the first importance that
Ahluta should be set on one side. In such an atmosphere there is often
grievous peril to the lives of inconvenient personages. Ahluta sickened
and died. Her child was never born. The charitable gave her credit for
having refused food through grief for her husband, Tungche. The skeptical
listened to the details of her illness with scorn for the vain efforts to
obscure the dark deeds of ambition. In their extreme anxiety to realize
their own designs, and at the same time not to injure the constitution,
the two empresses had been obliged to resort to a plan that could only
have been suggested by desperation. For the first time since the Manchu
dynasty occupied the throne it was necessary to depart from the due line
of succession, and to make the election of the sovereign a matter of
individual fancy or favor instead of one of inheritance. The range of
choice was limited; for the son of Prince Kung himself, who seemed to
enjoy the prior right to the throne, was a young man of sufficient age to
govern for himself; and moreover his promotion would mean the compulsory
retirement from public life of Prince Kung, for it was not possible in
China for a father to serve under his son, until Prince Chun, the father
of the present reigning emperor, established quite recently a precedent to
the contrary. The name of Prince Kung's son, if mentioned at all, was only
mentioned to be dismissed. The choice of the empresses fell upon Tsai
Tien, the son of Prince Chun or the Seventh Prince, who on January 13 was
proclaimed emperor. As he was of too tender an age to rule for himself,
his nomination served the purposes of the two empresses and their ally,
Prince Kung, who thus entered upon a second lease of undisputed power.



CHAPTER XXII

THE REIGN OF KWANGSU


Thus after a very brief interval the governing power again passed into the
hands of the regents who had ruled the state so well for the twelve years
following the death of Hienfung. The nominal emperor was a child of little
more than three years of age, to whom was given the style of "Kwangsu," or
"illustrious succession," and the empresses could look forward to many
years of authority in the name of so young a sovereign. The only
opposition to their return to power seems to have come from the palace
eunuchs, who had asserted themselves during the brief reign of Tungche and
hoped to gain predominance in the imperial councils. But they found a
determined mistress in the person of Tsi An, the Eastern Empress, as she
was also called, who took vigorous action against them, punishing their
leaders with death and effectually nipping in the bud all their projects
for making themselves supreme.

The return of the empresses to power was followed by a great catastrophe
in the relations between England and China. For the moment it threw every
other matter into the shade, and seemed to render the outbreak of war
between the two countries almost inevitable. In the year 1874 the
government of India, repenting of its brief infatuation for the Panthay
cause, yet still reluctant to lose the advantages it had promised itself
from the opening of Yunnan to trade, resolved upon sending a formal
mission of explory under Colonel Horace Browne, an officer of distinction,
through Burmah to that province. The difficulties in the way of the
undertaking seemed comparatively few, as the King of Burmah was friendly
and appeared disposed at that time to accept his natural position as the
dependent of Calcutta. The Pekin authorities also were outwardly not
opposed to the journey; and the only opposition to be apprehended was from
the Yunnan officials and people.

It was thought desirable, with the view of preparing the way for the
appearance of this foreign mission, that a representative of the English
embassy at Pekin, having a knowledge of the language and of the ceremonial
etiquette of the country, should be deputed to proceed across China and
meet Colonel Browne on the Burmese frontier. The officer selected for this
delicate and difficult mission was Mr. Raymond Augustus Margary, who to
the singular aptitude he had displayed in the study of Chinese added a
buoyant spirit and a vigorous frame that peculiarly fitted him for the
long and lonely journey he had undertaken across China. His reception
throughout was encouraging. The orders of the Tsungli Yamen, specially
drawn up by the Grand Secretary Wansiang, were explicit, and not to be
lightly ignored. Mr. Margary performed his journey in safety; and, on
January 26, 1875, only one fortnight after Kwangsu's accession, he joined
Colonel Browne at Bhamo. A delay of more than three weeks ensued at Bhamo,
which was certainly unfortunate. Time was given for the circulation of
rumors as to the approach of a foreign invader along a disturbed frontier
held by tribes almost independent, and whose predatory instincts were
excited by the prospect of rich plunder, at the same time that their
leaders urged them to oppose a change which threatened to destroy their
hold on the caravan route between Bhamo and Talifoo. When, on February 17,
Colonel Browne and his companions approached the limits of Burmese
territory, they found themselves in face of a totally different state of
affairs from what had existed when Mr. Margary passed safely through three
weeks before. The preparations for opposing the English had been made
under the direct encouragement, and probably the personal direction, of
Lisitai, a man who had been a brigand and then a rebel, but who at this
time held a military command on the frontier.

As Colonel Browne advanced he was met with rumors of the opposition that
awaited him. At first these were discredited, but on the renewed
statements that a large Chinese force had been collected to bar his way,
Mr. Margary rode forward to ascertain what truth there was in these
rumors. The first town on this route within the Chinese border is Momein,
which, under the name of Tengyue, was once a military station of
importance, and some distance east of it again is another town, called
Manwein. Mr. Margary set out on February 19, and it was arranged that only
in the event of his finding everything satisfactory at Momein was he to
proceed to Manwein. Mr. Margary reached Momein in safety, and reported in
a letter to Colonel Browne that all was quiet at that place, and that
there were no signs of any resistance. That letter was the last news ever
received from Mr. Margary. On February 19 he started from Momein, and the
information subsequently obtained left no doubt that he was treacherously
murdered on that or the following day at Manwein. An ominous silence
followed, and Colonel Browne's party delayed its advance until some
definite news should arrive as to what had occurred in front, although the
silence was sufficient to justify the worst apprehensions. Three days
later the rumor spread that Mr. Margary and his attendants had been
murdered. It was also stated that an army was advancing to attack the
English expedition; and on February 22 a large Chinese force did make its
appearance on the neighboring heights. There was no longer any room to
doubt that the worst had happened, and it only remained to secure the
safety of the expedition. The Chinese numbered several thousand men under
Lisitai in person, while to oppose them there were only four Europeans and
fifteen Sikhs. Yet superior weapons and steadfastness carried the day
against greater numbers. The Sikhs fought as they retired, and the
Chinese, unable to make any impression on them, abandoned an attack which
was both perilous and useless.

The news of this outrage did not reach Pekin until a month later, when Mr.
Wade at once took the most energetic measures to obtain the amplest
reparation in the power of the Pekin government to concede. The first and
most necessary point in order to insure not merely the punishment of the
guilty, but also that the people of China should not have cause to suppose
that their rulers secretly sympathized with the authors of the attack, was
that no punitive measures should be undertaken, or, if undertaken,
recognized, until a special Commission of Inquiry had been appointed to
investigate the circumstances on the spot. Mr. Margary was an officer of
the English government traveling under the special permission and
protection of the Tsungli Yamen. The Chinese government could not expect
to receive consideration if it failed to enforce respect for its own
commands, and the English government had an obligation which it could not
shirk in exacting reparation for the murder of its representative. The
treacherous killing of Mr. Margary was evidently not an occurrence for
which it could be considered a sufficient atonement that some miserable
criminals under sentence of death, or some desperate individuals anxious
to secure the worldly prosperity of their families, should undergo painful
torture and public execution in order to shield official falseness and
infamy. Although no one ever suspected the Pekin government of having
directly instigated the outrage, the delay in instituting an impartial and
searching inquiry into the affair strengthened an impression that it felt
reluctant to inflict punishment on those who had committed the act of
violence. Nearly three months elapsed before any step was taken toward
appointing a Chinese official to proceed to the scene of the outrage in
company with the officers named by the English minister; but on June 19 an
edict appeared in the "Pekin Gazette" ordering Li Han Chang, governor-
general of Houkwang, to temporarily vacate his post, and "repair with all
speed to Yunnan to investigate and deal with certain matters." Even then
the matter dragged along but slowly. Li Han Chang, who, as the brother of
Li Hung Chang, was an exceptionally well-qualified and highly-placed
official for the task, and whose appointment was in itself some evidence
of sincerity, did not leave Hankow until August, and the English
commissioners, Messrs. Grosvenor, Davenport and Colborne Baber, did not
set out from the same place before the commencement of October. The
intervening months had been employed by Mr. Wade in delicate and
fluctuating negotiation with Li Hung Chang (who had succeeded Tseng Kwofan
as Viceroy of Pechihli and who had now come to the front as the chief
official in the Chinese service) at Tientsin and with the Tsungli Yamen at
Pekin. It was not till the end of the year that the commission to
ascertain the fate of Mr. Margary began its active work on the spot. The
result was unexpectedly disappointing. The mandarins supported one
another. The responsibility was thrown on several minor officials, and on
the border-tribes or savages. Several of the latter were seized, and their
lives were offered as atonement for an offense they had not committed. The
furthest act of concession which the Chinese commissioner gave was to
temporarily suspend Tsen Yuying the Futai for remissness; but even this
measure was never enforced with rigor. The English officers soon found
that it was impossible to obtain any proper reparation on the spot.

Sir Thomas Wade, who was knighted during the negotiations, refused to
accept the lives of the men offered, whose complicity in the offense was
known to be none at all, while its real instigators escaped without any
punishment. When the new year, 1876, opened, the question was still
unsettled, and it was clear that no solution could be discovered on the
spot. Sir Thomas Wade again called upon the Chinese in the most emphatic
language allowed by diplomacy to conform with the spirit and letter of
their engagements, and he informed the Tsungli Yamen that unless they
proffered full redress for Mr. Margary's murder it would be impossible to
continue diplomatic relations. To show that this was no meaningless
expression, Sir Thomas Wade left Pekin, while a strong re-enforcement to
the English fleet demonstrated that the government was resolved to support
its representative. In consequence of these steps, Li Hung Chang was, in
August, 1876, or more than eighteen months after the outrage, intrusted
with full powers for the arrangement, of the difficulty; and the small
seaport of Chefoo was fixed upon as the scene for the forthcoming
negotiations. Even then the Chinese sought to secure a sentimental
advantage by requesting that Sir Thomas Wade would change the scene of
discussion to Tientsin, or at least that he would consent to pay Li Hung
Chang a visit there. This final effort to conceal the fact that the
English demanded redress as an equal and not as a suppliant having been
baffled, there was no further attempt at delay. The Chefoo Convention was
signed in that town, to which the viceroy proceeded from Tientsin. Li Hung
Chang entertained the foreign ministers at a great banquet; and the final
arrangements were hurried forward for the departure to Europe of the
Chinese embassador, whose dispatch had been decided upon in the previous
year. When the secret history of this transaction is revealed it will be
seen how sincere were Li Hung Chang's wishes for a pacific result, and how
much his advice contributed to this end.

The most important passage in the Chefoo Convention was unquestionably
that commanding the different viceroys and governors to respect, and
afford every protection to, all foreigners provided with the necessary
passport from the Tsungli Yamen, and warning them that they would be held
responsible in the event of any such travelers meeting with injury or
maltreatment. The next most important passage was that arranging for the
dispatch of an embassy to London bearing a letter of regret for the murder
of the English official. The official selected for this duty was Kwo
Sungtao, a mandarin of high rank and unexceptionable character. The letter
was submitted to Sir Thomas Wade in order that its terms should be exactly
in accordance with Chinese etiquette, and that no phrase should be used
showing that the Chinese government attached less importance to the
mission than the occasion demanded. The embassy proceeded to Europe, and,
whatever may be thought of its immediate effect, it must be allowed that
it established a precedent of friendly intercourse with this country,
which promises to prove an additional guarantee of peace. Kwo Sungtao was
accompanied by the present Sir Halliday Macartney, who had rendered such
good service to China, his adopted country, during the Taeping war and
afterward, and who, during the last sixteen years, has taught the Chinese
government how to make itself listened to by the most powerful States of
Europe.

A curious incident arising from the passion of gambling which is so
prevalent in China, and bearing incidentally upon the national character,
may be briefly referred to. The attention of the Pekin government was
attracted to this subject by a novel form of gambling, which not merely
attained enormous dimensions, but which threatened to bring the system of
public examination into disrepute. This latter fact created a profound
impression at Pekin, and roused the mandarins to take unusually prompt
measures. Canton was the headquarters of the gambling confederacy which
established the lotteries known as the Weising, but its ramifications
extended throughout the whole of the province of Kwantung. The Weising, or
examination sweepstakes, were based on the principle of drawing the names
of the successful candidates at the official examinations. They appealed,
therefore, to every poor villager, and every father of a family, as well
as to the aspirants themselves. The subscribers to the Weising lists were
numbered by hundreds of thousands. It became a matter of almost as much
importance to draw a successful number or name in the lottery as to take
the degree. The practice could not have been allowed to go on without
introducing serious abuses into the system of public examination. The
profits to the owners of the lottery were so enormous that they were able
to pay not less than eight hundred thousand dollars as hush-money to the
viceroy and the other high officials of Canton. In order to shield his own
participation in the profits, the viceroy declared that he devoted this
new source of revenue to the completion of the river defenses of Canton.

In 1874 the whole system was declared illegal, and severe penalties were
passed against those aiding, or participating in any way in, the Weising
Company. The local officers did not, however, enforce with any stringency
these new laws, and the Weising fraternity enjoyed a further but brief
period of increased activity under a different name. The fraud was soon
detected, and in an edict of August 11, 1875, it was very rightly laid
down that "the maintenance of the purity of government demands that it be
not allowed under any pretext to be re-established," and for their apathy
In the matter the Viceroy Yinghan and several of the highest officials in
Canton were disgraced and stripped of their official rank.

In China natural calamities on a colossal scale have often aggravated
political troubles. The year 1870 witnessed the commencement of a dearth
in the two great provinces of Honan and Shansi which has probably never
been surpassed as the cause of a vast amount of human suffering. Although
the provinces named suffered the most from the prevalent drought, the
suffering was general over the whole of Northern China, from Shantung and
Pechihli to Honan and the course of the Yellow River. At first the
government, if not apathetic, was disposed to say that the evil would be
met by the grant of the usual allowance made by the provincial governors
in the event of distress; but when one province after another was absorbed
within the famine area, it became no longer possible to treat the matter
as one of such limited importance, and the high ministers felt obliged to
bestir themselves in face of so grave a danger. Li Hung Chang in
particular was most energetic, not merely in collecting and forwarding
supplies of rice and grain, but also in inviting contributions of money
from all those parts of the empire which had not been affected by famine.
Allowing for the general sluggishness of popular opinion in China, and for
the absence of any large amount of currency, it must be allowed that these
appeals met with a large and liberal response. The foreign residents also
contributed their share, and even the charity of London found a vent in
sending some thousands of pounds to the scene of the famine in Northern
China. This evidence of foreign sympathy in the cause of a common humanity
made more than a passing impression on the minds of the Chinese people.

While the origin of the famine may be attributed to either drought or
civil war, there is no doubt that its extension and the apparent inability
of the authorities to grapple with it may be traced to the want of means
of communication, which rendered it almost impossible to convey the
needful succor into the famine districts. The evil being so obvious, it
was hoped that the Chinese would be disposed to take a step forward on
their own initiative in the great and needed work of the introduction of
railways and other mechanical appliances. The viceroy of the Two Kiang
gave his assent to the construction of a short line between Shanghai and
the port of Woosung. The great difficulty had always been to make a start;
and now that a satisfactory commencement had been made the foreigners were
disposed in their eagerness to overlook all obstacles, and to imagine the
Flowery Land traversed in all directions by railways. But these
expectations were soon shown to be premature. Half of the railway was open
for use in the summer of 1876, and during some weeks the excitement among
the Chinese themselves was as marked as among the Europeans. The hopes
based upon this satisfactory event were destined to be soon dispelled by
the animosity of the officials. They announced their intention to resort
to every means in their power to prevent the completion of the
undertaking. The situation revealed such dangers of mob violence that Sir
Thomas Wade felt compelled to request the company to discontinue its
operations, and after some discussion it was arranged that the Chinese
should buy the line. After a stipulated period the line was placed under
Chinese management, when, instead of devoting themselves to the interests
of the railway, and to the extension of its power of utility, they
willfully and persistently neglected it, with the express design of
destroying it. At this conjuncture the viceroy allowed the Governor of
Fuhkien to remove the rails and plant to Formosa. The fate of the Woosung
railway destroyed the hopes created by its construction, and postponed to
a later day the great event of the introduction of railways into China.
Notwithstanding such disappointments as this, and the ever present
difficulty of conducting relations with an unsympathetic people controlled
by suspicious officials, there was yet observable a marked improvement in
the relations of the different nations with the Chinese. Increased
facilities of trade, such as the opening of new ports, far from extending
the area of danger, served to promote a mutual goodwill. In 1876
Kiungchow, in the island of Hainan, was made a treaty port, or rather the
fact of its having been included in the Treaty of Tientsin was practically
accepted and recognized. In the following year four new ports were added
to the list. One, Pakhoi, was intended to increase trade intercourse with
Southern China. Two of the three others, Ichang and Wuhu, were selected as
being favorably situated for commerce on the Yangtse and its affluents,
while Wenchow was chosen for the benefit of the trade on the coast. Mr.
Colborne Baber, who had been a member of the Yunnan commission, was
dispatched to Szchuen, to take up his residence at Chungking for the
purpose of facilitating trade with that great province. The successful
tour of Captain Gill, not merely through Southwest China into Burmah, but
among some of the wilder and more remote districts of Northern Szchuen,
afforded reason to believe that henceforth traveling would be safer in
China, and nothing that has since happened is calculated to weaken that
impression.

When Kwangsu ascended the throne the preparations for the campaign against
Kashgaria were far advanced toward completion, and Kinshun had struck the
first of those blows which were to insure the overthrow of the Tungani and
of Yakoob Beg. The fall of Souchow had distinguished the closing weeks of
the year 1873, and in 1874 Kinshun had begun, under the direction of Tso
Tsung Tang, who was described by a French writer as "very intelligent, of
a bravery beyond all question, and an admirable organizer," his march
across the desert to the west. He followed a circuitous line of march,
with a view of avoiding the strongly placed and garrisoned town of Hami.
The exact route is not certain, but he seems to have gone as far north as
Uliassutai, where he was able to recruit some of the most faithful and
warlike of the Mongol tribes. But early in 1875 he arrived before the
walls of Barkul, a town lying to the northwest of Hami. No resistance was
offered, and a few weeks later Hami was also occupied. The Tungani
retreated on the approach of the Chinese, and assembled their main force
for the defense of the two towns of Urumtsi and Manas, which are situated
on the northern side of the eastern spurs of the Tian Shan. Once Barkul
and Hami were in the possession of the Chinese, it became necessary to
reopen direct communications with Souchow. This task occupied the whole of
the next twelve months, and was only successfully accomplished after many
difficulties had been overcome, and when halting-stations had been
established across Gobi. There is nothing improbable in the statement that
during this period the Chinese planted and reaped the seed which enabled
them, or those who followed in their train, to march in the following
season. With the year 1876 the really arduous portion of the campaign
commenced. The natural difficulties to the commencement of the war from
distance and desert had been all overcome. An army of about twenty-five
thousand effective troops, besides a considerable number of Mongol and
other tribal levies, had been placed in the field and within striking
distance of the rebels. The enemies were face to face. The Tungani could
retreat no further. Neither from Russia nor from Yakoob Beg could they
expect a place of refuge. The Athalik Ghazi might help them to hold their
own; he certainly would not welcome them within the limits of the six
cities. The Tungani had, therefore, no alternative left save to make as
resolute a stand as they could against the Chinese who had returned to
revenge their fellow-countrymen who had been slaughtered in their
thousands twelve years before. The town of Urumtsi, situated within a loop
of the mountains, lies at a distance by road of more than 300 miles from
Barkul. Kinshun, who had now been joined by Liu Kintang, the taotai of the
Sining district and a man of proved energy and capacity, resolved to
concentrate all his efforts on its capture. He moved forward his army to
Guchen, 200 miles west of Barkul, where he established a fortified camp
and a powder factory, and took steps te ascertain the strength and
intentions of the enemy. Toward the end of July the Chinese army resumed
its march. The difficulties of the country were so great that the advanced
guards of the opposing armies did not come into contact until August 10.
The Chinese general seems to have attempted on that date a night surprise;
but although he gained some success in the encounter which ensued, the
result must have been doubtful, seeing that he felt obliged to call off
his men from the attack. It was only, however, to collect his forces for
the delivery of a decisive blow. On August 13 a second battle was fought
with a result favorable to the Chinese. Two days later the enemy, who held
a fortified camp at Gumti, were bombarded out of it by the heavy artillery
brought from the coasts of China for the purposes of the war, and after
twenty-four hours' firing three breaches were declared to be practicable.
The place was carried by storm at the close of four hours' fighting and
slaughter, during which 6,000 men were stated to have been killed. Kinshun
followed up his victory by a rapid march on Urumtsi. That town surrendered
without a blow, and many hundred fugitives were cut down by the unsparing
Manchu cavalry, which pursued them along the road to Manas, their last
place of shelter. As soon as the necessary measures had been taken for the
military protection of Urumtsi, the Chinese army proceeded against Manas.
Their activity, which was facilitated by the favorable season of the year,
was also increased by the rumored approach of Yakoob Beg with a large army
to the assistance of the Tungani. At Manas the survivors of the Tungan
movement proper had collected for final resistance, and all that
desperation could suggest for holding the place had been done. Kinshun
appeared before Manas on September 2. On the 7th his batteries were
completed, and he began a heavy fire upon the northeast angle of the wall.
A breach of fourteen feet having been made, the order to assault was
given, but the stormers were repulsed with the loss of 100 killed. The
operations of the siege were renewed with great spirit on both sides.
Several assaults were subsequently delivered; but although the Chinese
always gained some advantage at the beginning they never succeeded in
retaining it. In one of these later attacks they admitted a loss of 200
killed alone. The imperial army enjoyed the undisputed superiority in
artillery, and the gaps in its ranks were more than filled by the constant
flow of re-enforcements from the rear. The siege gradually assumed a less
active character. The Chinese dug trenches and erected earthworks. They
approached the walls by means of galleries in readiness to deliver the
attack on any symptom of discouragement among the besieged. On October 16
a mine was sprung under the wall, making a wide breach; but although the
best portion of the Chinese army made two assaults on separate occasions,
they were both repulsed with loss. Twelve days later another mine was
sprung, destroying a large portion of the wall; but when the Chinese
stormers endeavored to carry the remaining works, they were again driven
back with heavy loss, including two generals killed in the breach.
Although thus far repulsed, the imperialists had inflicted very heavy
losses on the besieged, who, seeing that the end of their resources was at
hand, that there was no hope of succor, and that the besiegers were as
energetic as ever, at last arrived at the conclusion that they had no
choice left save to surrender on the best terms they could obtain. On
November 4, after a two months' siege, Haiyen, as the Chinese named the
Mohammedan leader, came out and offered to yield the town. His offer seems
to have been partly accepted, and on the 6th of the month the survivors of
the brave garrison, to the number of between two and three thousand men,
sallied forth from the west gate. It was noticed as a ground of suspicion
that all the men carried their weapons, and that they had placed their old
men, women and children in the center of their phalanx as if they
contemplated rather a sortie than a tame and unresisting surrender. The
Chinese commanders were not indisposed to deal with the least suspicious
circumstances as if they meant certain treachery. The imperialists
gradually gathered around the garrison. The Mohammedans made one bold
effort to cut their way through. They failed in the attempt, and were
practically annihilated on the ground. Those men who were taken by the
cavalry were at once beheaded, whether in the city or among those who had
gone forth, but the aged, the women and the children were spared by
Kinshun's express orders. All the leaders taken were tortured before
execution as rebels, and even the bodies of the dead chiefs were exhumed
in order that they might be subjected to indignity. The siege of Manas was
interesting both for the stubbornness of the attack and defense, and also
as marking the successful termination of the Chinese campaign against the
Tungani. With its capture, those Mohammedans who might be said to be
Chinese in ways and appearance ceased to possess any political importance.
It would not be going much too far to say that they no longer existed. The
movement of rebellion which began at Hochow in 1862 was thus repressed in
1876, after having involved during those fourteen years the northwestern
provinces of China, and much of the interior of Asia, in a struggle which,
for its bitter and sanguinary character, has rarely been surpassed.

[Illustration: KANG, THE REFORMER]

The successes of the Chinese gave their generals and army the confidence
and prestige of victory, and the overthrow of the Tungani left them
disengaged to deal with a more formidable antagonist. The siege of Manas
had been vigorously prosecuted in order that the town might be taken
before the army of Yakoob Beg should arrive. The Athalik Ghazi may have
believed that Manas could hold out during the winter, for his movements in
1876 were leisurely, and betrayed a confidence that no decisive fighting
would take place until the following spring. His hopes were shown to be
delusive, but too late for practical remedy. Manas had fallen before he
could move to its support. The Chinese had crushed the Tungani, and were
in possession of the mountain passes. They were gathering their whole
strength to fall upon him, and to drive him out of the state in which he
had managed to set up a brief authority. While the events recorded had
been in progress, Yakoob Beg had been ruling the state of Kashgaria with
sufficient vigor and wisdom to attract the observation of his great
neighbors, the governments of England and Russia. He had shown rare skill
in adapting circumstances to suit his own ends. The people passively
accepted the authority which he was prepared to assert with his Khokandian
soldiery, and the independent state of Kashgaria might have continued to
exist for a longer period had the Chinese not returned. But in 1875 the
arrival of Kinshun at Barkul showed Yakoob Beg that he would have to
defend his possessions against their lawful owners, while the overthrow of
the Tungani and the capture of their strongholds, in 1876, carried with
them a melancholy foreboding of his own fate. The Athalik Ghazi made his
preparations to take the field, but there was no certainty in his mind as
to where he should make his stand. He moved his army eastward,
establishing his camp first at Korla and then moving it on to Turfan, 900
miles distant from Kashgar. The greatest efforts of this ruler only
availed to place 15,000 men at the front, and the barrenness of the region
compelled him to distribute them. The Ameer was at Turfan with 8,500 men
and twenty guns. His second son was at Toksoun, some miles in the rear, at
the head of 6,000 more and five guns. There were several smaller
detachments between Korla and the front. Opposed to these was the main
Chinese army under Kinshun at Urumtsi, while another force had been placed
in the field at Hami by the energy of Tso, and intrusted to the direction
of a general named Chang Yao. No fighting took place until the month of
March, 1877, and then the campaign began with a rapid advance by Chang Yao
from Hami to Turfan. The Kashgarians were driven out of Pidjam, and
compelled, after a battle, to evacuate Turfan. The Chinese records do not
help us to unravel the events of the month of April. The campaign
contained no more striking or important episodes, and yet the reports of
the generals have been mislaid or consigned to oblivion. The Athalik Ghazi
fought a second battle at Toksoun, where he rejoined his son's army, but
with no better fortune. He was obliged to flee back to his former camp at
Korla. After the capture of Turfan the Chinese armies came to a halt. It
was necessary to reorganize the vast territory which they had already
recovered, and to do something to replenish their arsenals. During five
months the Celestials stayed their further advance, while the cities were
being re-peopled and the roads rendered once more secure. Tso Tsung Tang
would leave nothing to chance. He had accomplished two of the three parts
into which his commission might be naturally divided. He had pacified the
northwest and overthrown the Tungani, and he would make sure of his ground
before attempting the third and the most difficult of all. And while the
Chinese viceroy had, for his own reasons, come to the very sensible
conclusion to refresh his army after its arduous labors in the limited
productive region situated between two deserts, the stars in their courses
fought on his side.

Yakoob Beg had withdrawn only to Korla. He still cherished the futile
scheme of defending the eastern limits of his dominion, but with his
overthrow on the field of battle the magic power which he had exercised
over his subjects vanished. His camp became the scene of factious rivalry
and of plots to advance some individual pretension at the cost of the
better interests and even the security of the State. The exact details of
the conspiracy will never be known, partly from the remoteness of the
scene, but also on account of the mention of persons of whom nothing was,
or is ever likely to be, known. The single fact remains clear that Yakoob
Beg died at Korla on May 1, 1877, of fever according to one account, of
poison administered by Hakim Khan Torah according to another. Still the
Chinese did not even then advance, and Yakoob's sons were left to contest
with Hakim Khan Torah over the dismembered fragments of their father's
realm, A bitter and protracted civil war followed close upon the
disappearance of the Athalik Ghazi. On the removal of his dead body for
sepulture to Kashgar his eldest son, Kuli Beg, murdered his younger
brother over their father's bier. It was then that Hakim Khan came
prominently forward as a rival to Kuli Beg, and that the Mohammedans, weak
and numerically few as they were, divided themselves into two hostile
parties. While the Chinese were recruiting their troops and repairing
their losses, the enemy were exhausting themselves in vain and useless
struggles. In June, 1877, Hakim Khan was signally defeated and compelled
to flee into Russian territory, whence on a later occasion he returned for
a short time in a vain attempt to disturb the tranquillity of Chinese
rule. When, therefore, the Chinese resumed their advance much of their
work had been done for them. They had only to complete the overthrow of an
enemy whom they had already vanquished, and who was now exhausted by his
own disunion. The Chinese army made no forward movement from Toksoun until
the end of August, 1877. Liu Kintang, to whom the command of the advance
had been given, did not leave until one month later; and when he arrayed
his forces he found them to number about 15,000 men. It had been decided
that the first advance should not be made in greater force, as the chief
difficulty was to feed the army, not to defeat the enemy.

The resistance encountered was very slight, and the country was found to
be almost uninhabited. Both Karashar and Korla were occupied by a Chinese
garrison, and the district around them was intrusted to the administration
of a local chief. Information that the rebel force was stationed at the
next town, Kucha, which is as far beyond Korla as that place is from
Toksoun, induced Liu Kintang to renew his march and to continue it still
more rapidly. A battle was fought outside Kucha in which the Chinese were
victorious, but not until they had overcome stubborn resistance. However,
the Chinese success was complete, and with Kucha in their power they had
simplified the process of attacking Kashgar itself. A further halt was
made at this town to enable the men to recover from their fatigue, to
allow fresh troops to come up, and measures to be taken for insuring the
security of communications with the places in the rear. At Kucha also the
work of civil administration was intrusted to some of the local notables.
The deliberation of the Chinese movements, far from weakening their
effect, invested their proceedings with the aspect of being irresistible.
The advance was shortly resumed. Aksu, a once flourishing city within the
limits of the old kingdom of Kashgar, surrendered at the end of October.
Ush Turfan yielded a few days later. The Chinese had now got within
striking distance of the capital of the state. They had only to provide
the means of making the blow as fatal and decisive as possible. In
December they seized Maralbashi, an important position on the Kashgar
Darya, commanding the principal roads to both Yarkand and Kashgar. Yarkand
was the chief object of attack. It surrendered without a blow on December
21. A second Chinese army had been sent from Maralbashi to Kashgar, which
was defended by a force of several thousand men. It had been besieged nine
days, when Liu Kintang arrived with his troops from Yarkand. A battle
ensued, in which the Mohammedans were vanquished, and the city with the
citadel outside captured. Several rebel leaders and some eleven hundred
men were said to have been executed; but Kuli Beg escaped into Russian
territory. The city of Kashgar was taken on December 26, and one week
later the town of Khoten, famous from a remote period for its jade
ornaments, passed into the hands of the race who best appreciated their
beauty and value. The Chinese thus brought to a triumphant conclusion the
campaigns undertaken for the reassertion of their authority over the
Mohammedan populations which had revolted. They had conquered in this war
by the superiority of their weapons and their organization, and not by an
overwhelming display of numbers. Although large bodies of troops were
stationed at many places, it does not seem that the army which seized the
cities of Yarkand and Kashgar numbered more than twenty thousand men.
Having vanquished their enemy in the field, the Celestials devoted all
their attention to the reorganization of what was called the New Dominion,
the capital of which after much deliberation was fixed at Urumtsi. Their
rule has been described by a Mussulman as being both very fair and very
just.

Having conquered Eastern Turkestan, the Chinese next took steps for the
recovery of Ili. Without the metropolitan province the undertaking of Tso
Tsung Tang would lack completeness, while indeed many political and
military dangers would attend the situation in Central Asia. But this was
evidently a matter to be effected in the first place by negotiation, and
not by violence and force of arms. Russia had always been a friendly and
indeed a sympathetic neighbor. In this very matter of Ili she had
originally acted with the most considerate attention for China's rights,
when it seemed that they had permanently lost all definite meaning, for
she had declared that she would surrender it on China sending a sufficient
force to take possession, and now this had been done. It was, therefore,
by diplomatic representations on the part of the Tsungli Yamen to the
Russian Minister at Pekin that the recovery of Ili was expected in the
first place to be achieved. At about the same time the Russian authorities
at Tashkent came to the conclusion that the matter must rest with the
Czar, and the Chinese official world perceived that they would have to
depute a Minister Plenipotentiary to St. Petersburg.

The official selected for the difficult and, as it proved, dangerous task
of negotiating at St. Petersburg, was that same Chung How who had been
sent to Paris after the Tientsin massacre. He arrived at Pekin in August,
1878, and was received in several audiences by the empresses while waiting
for his full instructions from the Tsungli Yamen. He did not leave until
October, about a month after the Marquis Tseng, Tseng Kwofan's eldest son,
set out from Pekin to take the place of Kwo Sungtao as Minister in London
and Paris. Chung How reached St. Petersburg in the early part of the
following year, and the discussion of the various points in question,
protracted by the removal of the court to Livadia, occupied the whole of
the summer months. At last it was announced that a treaty had been signed
at Livadia, by which Russia surrendered the Kuldja valley, but retained
that of the Tekes, which left in her hands the command of the passes
through the Tian Shan range into Kashgar. Chung How knew nothing about
frontiers or military precautions, but he thought a great deal about
money. He fought the question of an indemnity with ability, and got it
fixed at five million roubles, or little more than half that at which it
was placed by the later treaty. There was never any reason to suppose that
the Chinese government would accept the partial territorial concession
obtained by Chung How. The first greeting that met Chung How on his return
revealed the fate of his treaty. He had committed the indiscretion of
returning without waiting for the Edict authorizing his return, and as the
consequence he had to accept suspension from all his offices, while his
treaty was submitted to the tender mercies of the grand secretaries, the
six presidents of boards, the nine chief ministers of state, and the
members of the Hanlin. Three weeks later, Prince Chun was specially
ordered to join the Committee of Deliberation. On January 27 Chung How was
formally cashiered and arrested, and handed over to the Board of
Punishment for correction. The fate of the treaty itself was decided a
fortnight later. Chung How was then declared to have "disobeyed his
instructions and exceeded his powers." On March 3 an edict appeared,
sentencing the unhappy envoy to "decapitation after incarceration." This
sentence was not carried out, and the reprieve of the unlucky envoy was
due to Queen Victoria's expression of a hope that the Chinese government
would spare his life.

At the same time that the Chinese refused their ratification to Chung
How's treaty, they expressed their desire for another pacific settlement,
which would give them more complete satisfaction. The Marquis Tseng was
accordingly instructed to take up the thread of negotiation, and to
proceed to the Russian capital as Embassador and Minister Plenipotentiary.
Some delay ensued, as it was held to be doubtful whether Russia would
consent to the reopening of the question. But owing to the cautious and
well-timed approaches of the Marquis Tseng, the St. Petersburg Foreign
Office acquiesced in the recommencement of negotiations, and, after six
months' discussion, accepted the principle of the almost unqualified
territorial concession for which the Chinese had stood firm. On February
12, 1881, these views were embodied in a treaty, signed at St. Petersburg,
and the ratification within six months showed how differently its
provisions were regarded from those of its predecessor. With the Marquis
Tseng's act of successful diplomacy the final result of the long war in
Central Asia was achieved. The Chinese added Ili to Kashgar and the rest
of the New Dominion, which at the end of 1880 was made into a High
Commissionership and placed under the care of the dashing General Liu
Kintang.

The close of the great work successfully accomplished during the two
periods of the Regency was followed within a few weeks by the
disappearance of the most important of the personages who had carried on
the government throughout these twenty years of constant war and
diplomatic excitement. Before the Pekin world knew of her illness, it
heard of the death of the Empress Dowager Tsi An, who as Hienfung's
principal widow had enjoyed the premier place in the government, although
she had never possessed a son to occupy the throne in person. In a
proclamation issued in her name and possibly at her request, Tsi An
described the course of her malady, the solicitude of the emperor, and
urged upon him the duty of his high place to put restraint upon his grief.
Her death occurred on April 18, from heart disease, when she was only
forty-five, and her funeral obsequies were as splendid as her services
demanded. For herself she had always been a woman of frugal habits, and
the successful course of recent Chinese history was largely due to her
firmness and resolution. Her associate in the Regency, Tsi Thsi, who has
always been more or less of an invalid, still survives.

The difficulty with Russia had not long been composed, when, on two
opposite sides of her extensive dominion, China was called upon to face a
serious condition of affairs. In Corea, "the forbidden land" of the Far
East, events were forced by the eagerness and competition of European
states to conclude treaties of commerce with that primitive kingdom, and
perhaps, also, by their fear that if they delayed Russia would appropriate
some port on the Corean coast. To all who had official knowledge of
Russia's desire and plan for seizing Port Lazareff, this apprehension was
far from chimerical, and there was reason to believe that Russia's
encroachment might compel other countries to make annexations in or round
Corea by way of precaution. Practical evidence of this was furnished by
the English occupation of Port Hamilton, and by its subsequent evacuation
when the necessity passed away; but should the occasion again arise the
key of the situation will probably be found in the possession not of Port
Hamilton or Quelpart, but of the Island of Tsiusima. Recourse was had to
diplomacy to avert what threatened to be a grave international danger; and
although the result was long doubtful, and the situation sometimes full of
peril, a gratifying success was achieved in the end. In 1881 a draft
commercial treaty was drawn up, approved by the Chinese authorities and
the representatives of the principal powers at Pekin, and carried to the
court of Seoul for acceptance and signature by the American naval officer,
Commodore Schufeldt. The Corean king made no objection to the arrangement,
and it was signed with the express stipulation that the ratifications of
the treaty were to be exchanged in the following year. Thus was it
harmoniously arranged at Pekin that Corea was to issue from her hermit's
call, and open her ports to trading countries under the guidance and
encouragement of China. There can be no doubt that if this arrangement had
been carried out, the influence and the position of China in Corea would
have been very greatly increased and strengthened. But, unfortunately, the
policy of Li Hung Chang--for if he did not originate, he took the most
important part in directing it--aroused the jealousy of Japan, which has
long asserted the right to have an equal voice with China in the control
of Corean affairs; and the government of Tokio, on hearing of the
Schufeldt treaty, at once took steps not merely to obtain all the rights
to be conferred by that document, to which no one would have objected, but
also to assert its claim to control equally with China the policy of the
Corean court. With that object, a Japanese fleet and army were sent to the
Seoul River, and when the diplomatists returned for the ratification of
the treaty, they found the Japanese in a strong position close to the
Corean capital. The Chinese were not to be set on one side in so open a
manner, and a powerful fleet of gunboats, with 5,000 troops, were sent to
the Seoul River to uphold their rights. Under other circumstances, more
especially as the Chinese expedition was believed to be the superior, a
hostile collision must have ensued, and the war which has so often seemed
near between the Chinese and Japanese would have become an accomplished
fact; but fortunately the presence of the foreign diplomatists moderated
the ardor of both sides, and a rupture was averted. By a stroke of
judgment the Chinese seized Tai Wang Kun, the father of the young king,
and the leader of the anti-foreign party, and carried him off to Pekin,
where he was kept in imprisonment for some time, until matters had settled
down in his own country. The opening of Corea to the Treaty Powers did not
put an end to the old rivalry of China and Japan in that country, of which
history contains so many examples; and, before the Corean question was
definitely settled, it again became obtrusive. Such evidence as is
obtainable points to the conclusion that Chinese influence was gradually
getting the better of Japanese in the country, and the attack on the
Japanese legation in 1884 was a striking revelation of popular antipathy
or of an elaborate anti-Japanese plot headed by the released Chinese
prisoner, Tai Wang Kun.

At the opposite point of the frontier China was brought face to face with
a danger which threatened to develop into a peril of the first magnitude,
and in meeting which she was undoubtedly hampered by her treaties with the
general body of foreign powers and her own peculiar place in the family of
nations. It is the special misfortune of China that she cannot engage in
any, even a defensive, war with a maritime power without incurring the
grave risk, or indeed the practical certainty, that if such a war be
continued for any length of time she must find herself involved with every
other foreign country through the impossibility of confining the hostility
of her own subjects to one race of foreigners in particular. In
considering the last war with a European country in which China was
engaged, due allowance must be made for these facts, and also for the
anomalous character of that contest, when active hostilities were carried
on without any formal declaration of war--a state of things which gave the
French many advantages. Toward the end of the year 1882, the French
government came to the decision to establish a "definite protectorate"
over Tonquin. Events had for some time been shaping themselves in this
direction, and the colonial ambition of France had long fixed on Indo-
China as a field in which it might aggrandize itself with comparatively
little risk and a wide margin of advantage. The weakness of the kingdom of
Annam was a strong enough temptation in itself to assert the protectorate
over it which France had, more or less, claimed for forty years; but when
the reports of several French explorers came to promote the conviction
that France might acquire the control of a convenient and perhaps the best
route into some of the richest provinces of interior China without much
difficulty, the temptation became irresistible. French activity in Indo-
China was heightened by the declaration of Garnier, Rocher, and others,
that the Songcoi, or Red River, furnished the best means of communicating
with Yunnan, and tapping the wealth of the richest mineral province in
China. The apathy of England in her relations with Burmah, which
presented, under its arrogant and obstructive rulers, what may have seemed
an insuperable obstacle to trade intercourse between India and China,
afforded additional inducement to the French to act quickly; and, as they
felt confident of their ability and power to coerce the court of Hue, the
initial difficulties of their undertaking did not seem very formidable.
That undertaking was, in the first place, defined to be a protectorate of
Annam, and, as the first step in the enterprise, the town of Hanoi, in the
delta of the Red River, and the nominal capital of Tonquin, was captured
before the end of the year 1882.

Tonquin stood in very much the same relationship to China as Corea; and,
although the enforcement of the suzerain tie was lax, there was no doubt
that at Pekin the opinion was held very strongly that the action of France
was an encroachment on the rights of China. But if such was the secret
opinion of the Chinese authorities, they took no immediate steps to arrest
the development of French policy in Tonquin by proclaiming it a Chinese
dependency, and also their intention to defend it. It is by no means
certain that the prompt and vigorous assertion of their rights would have
induced the French to withdraw from their enterprise, for its difficulties
were not revealed at first; but if China is to make good her hold over
such dependencies, she must be prepared to show that she thinks them worth
fighting for. While Li Hung Chang and the other members of the Chinese
government were deliberating as to the course they should pursue, the
French were acting with great vigor in Tonquin, and committing their
military reputation to a task from which they could not in honor draw
back. During the whole of the year 1883 they were engaged in military
operations with the Black Flag irregulars, a force half piratical and half
patriotic, who represented the national army of the country. It was
believed at the time, but quite erroneously, that the Black Flags were
paid and incited by the Chinese. Subsequent evidence showed that the
Chinese authorities did not taken even an indirect part in the contest
until a much later period. After the capture of Hanoi, the French were
constantly engaged with the Black Flags, from whom they captured the
important town of Sontay, which was reported to be held by imperial
Chinese troops, but on its capture this statement was found to be untrue.
The French were in the full belief that the conquest of Tonquin would be
easily effected, when a serious reverse obliged them to realize the
gravity of their task. A considerable detachment, under the command of
Captain Henri Riviere, who was one of the pioneers of French enterprise on
the Songcoi, was surprised and defeated near Hanoi. Riviere was killed,
and it became necessary to make a great effort to recover the ground that
had been lost. Fresh troops were sent from Europe, but before they arrived
the French received another check at Phukai, which the Black Flags claimed
as a victory because the French were obliged to retreat.

Before this happened the French had taken extreme measures against the
King of Annam, of which state Tonquin is the northern province. The king
of that country, by name Tuduc, who had become submissive to the French,
died in July, 1883, and after his death the Annamese, perhaps encouraged
by the difficulties of the French in Tonquin, became so hostile that it
was determined to read them a severe lesson. Hue was attacked and occupied
a month after the death of Tuduc, and a treaty was extracted from the new
king which made him the dependent of France. When the cold season began in
Tonquin, the French forces largely increased, and, commanded by Admiral
Courbet, renewed operations, and on December 11 attacked the main body of
the Black Flags at Sontay, which they had reoccupied and strengthened.
They offered a desperate and well sustained resistance, and it was only
with heavy loss that the French succeeded in carrying the town. The
victors were somewhat recompensed for their hardships and loss by the
magnitude of the spoil, which included a large sum of money. Desultory
fighting continued without intermission; Admiral Courbet was superseded by
General Millot, who determined to signalize his assumption of the command
by attacking Bacuinh, which the Black Flags made their headquarters after
the loss of Sontay. On March 8, he attacked this place at the head of
12,000 men, but so formidable were its defenses that he would not risk an
attack in front, and by a circuitous march of four days he gained the
flank of the position, and thus taken at a disadvantage the Black Flags
abandoned their formidable lines, and retreated without much loss, leaving
their artillery, including some Krupp guns, in the hands of the victors.
At this stage of the question diplomacy intervened, and on May 11 a treaty
of peace was signed by Commander Founder, during the ministry of M. Jules
Ferry, with the Chinese government. One of the principal stipulations of
this treaty was that the French should be allowed to occupy Langson and
other places in Tonquin. When the French commander sent a force under
Colonel Dugenne to occupy Langson it was opposed in the Bacle defile and
repulsed with some loss. The Chinese exonerated themselves from all
responsibility by declaring that the French advance was premature, because
no date was fixed by the Fournier Convention, and because there had not
been time to transmit the necessary orders. On the other hand, M. Fournier
declared on his honor that the dates in his draft were named in the
original convention. The French government at once demanded an apology,
and an indemnity fixed by M. Jules Ferry, in a moment of mental
excitement, at the ridiculous figure of $50,000,000. An apology was
offered, but such an indemnity was refused, and eventually France obtained
one of only $800,000.

After the Bacle affair hostilities were at once resumed, and for the first
time the French carried them on not only against the Black Flags, but
against the Chinese. M. Jules Ferry did not, however, make any formal
declaration of war against China, and he thus gained an advantage of
position for his attack on the Chinese which it was not creditable to
French chivalry to have asserted. The most striking instance of this
occurred at Foochow, where the French fleet, as representing a friendly
power, was at anchor above the formidable defenses of the Min River. In
accordance with instructions telegraphed to him, the French admiral
attacked those places in reverse and destroyed the forts on the Min
without much difficulty or loss, thanks exclusively to his having been
allowed past them as a friend. The French also endeavored to derive all
possible advantage from there being no formal declaration of war, and to
make use of Hongkong as a base for their fleet against China. But this
unfairness could not be tolerated, and the British minister at Pekin,
where Sir Harry Parkes had in the autumn of 1883 succeeded Sir Thomas
Wade, issued a proclamation that the hostilities between France and China
were tantamount to a state of war, and that the laws of neutrality must be
st