Viceroy Chang-A Leader Of Reform
( Originally Published 1910 )
His Origin—Course as a Student—In the Censorate—He Floors a Magnate—The First to Wake Up As a Leader of Reform—The Awakening of the Giant
IF I were writing of Chang, the Chinese giant, who overtopped the tallest of his fellow-men by head and shoulders, I should be sure of readers. Physical phenomena attract attention more than mental or moral grandeur. Is it not because greatness in these higher realms requires patient thought for due appreciation?
Chang, the viceroy of Hukwang, a giant in intellect and a hero in achievement, is not a commonplace character. If my readers will follow me, while I trace his rise and progress, not only will they discover that he stands head and shoulders above most officials of his rank, but they will gain important side-lights on great events in recent history.
During my forty years' residence in the capital I had become well acquainted with Chang's brilliant career; but it is only within the last three or four years that I have had an opportunity to study him in personal intercourse, having been called to preside over his university and to aid him in other educational enterprises.
Whatever may be thought of the rank and file of China's mandarins, her viceroys are nearly always men of exceptional ability. They are never novices, but as a rule old in years and veterans in experience. Promoted for executive talent or for signal services, their office is too high to be in the market; nor is it probable that money can do much to recommend a candidate. A governor of Kwangsi was recently dismissed for incompetence, or for ill-success against a body of rebels. Being a rich man, he made a free use of that argument which commonly proves effective at Peking. But, so far from being advanced to the viceroyalty, he was not even reinstated in his original rank. The most he was able to obtain by a lavish expenditure was the inspectorship of a college at Wuchang, to put his foot on one of the lower rounds of the official ladder.
Chang was never rich enough to buy official honours, even in the lower grades; and it is one of his chief glories that, after a score of years in the exercise of viceregal power, he continues to be relatively poor.
His name in full is Chang Chi-tung, meaning " Long-bow of the Cavern," an allusion to a tradition that one of his ancestors was born in a cave and famed. for archery. This was far back in the age of the troglodytes. Now, for many generations, the family has been devoted to the peaceful pursuit of letters. As for Chang himself, it will be seen with what deadly effect he has been able to use the pen, in his hands a more formidable weapon than the longbow of his ancestor.
Chang was born at Nanpi, in the metropolitan province of Chihli, not quite seventy years ago; and that circumstance debarred him from holding the highest viceroyalty in the Empire, as no man is permitted to hold office in his native place. He has climbed to his present eminence without the extraneous aids of wealth and family influence. This implies talents of no ordinary grade; but how could those talents have found a fit arena without that admirable system of literary competition which for so many centuries has served the double purpose of extending patronage to letters and of securing the fittest men for the service of the state.
Crowned with the laurel of A. B., or budding genius, before he was out of his teens, three years later he won the honour of A. M., or, as the Chinese say, he plucked a sprig of the olea fragrans in a contest with his fellow-provincials in which only one in a hundred gained a prize. Proceeding to the imperial capital he entered the lists against the picked scholars of all the provinces. The prizes were 3 per cent. of the whole number of competitors, and he gained the doctor-ate in letters, which, as the Chinese title indicates, assures its possessor of an official appointment. Had he been content to wait for some obscure position he might have gone home to sleep on his laurels. But his restless spirit saw fresh battle-fields beckoning him to fresh triumphs. The three hundred new-made doctors were summoned to the palace to write on themes assigned by the Emperor, that His Majesty might select a score of them for places in the Hanlin Academy. Here again fortune favoured young Chang; the elegance of his penmanship and his skill in composing mechanical verse were so remarkable that he secured a seat on the literary Olympus of the Empire.
His conflicts were not yet ended. A conspicuous advantage of his high position was that it qualified him as a candidate for membership of the Board of Censors. Nor did fortune desert her favourite in this instance. After writing several papers to show his knowledge of law, history, and politics, he came forth clothed with powers that made him formidable to the highest officers of the state—powers somewhat analogous to the combined functions of censor and tribune in ancient Rome.
Before I proceed to show how our "knight of the longbow" employed his new authority, a few words on the constitution of that august tribunal, the Board of Censors, may prove interesting to the reader. Its members are not judges, but prosecuting attorneys for the state. They are accorded a freedom of speech which extends even to pointing out the shortcomings of majesty. How important such a tribunal for a country in which a newspaper press with its argus eyes has as yet no existence! There is indeed a court Gazette, which has been called the oldest newspaper in the world; but its contents are strictly limited to decrees, memorials, and appointments. Free discussion and general news have no place in its columns; so that in the modern sense it is not a newspaper.
The court-even the occupant of the Dragon Throne—needs watch-dogs. Such is the theory; but as a matter of fact these guardians of. official morals find it safer to occupy themselves with the aberrations of satellites than to discover spots on the sun. About thirty years ago one of them, Wukotu, resolved to denounce the Empress Dowager for having adopted the late emperor as her son instead of making him her grandson. He accordingly immolated himself at the tomb of the late emperor by way of protesting against the impropriety of leaving him without a direct heir to worship his manes. It is doubtful whether the Western mind is capable of following Wukotu's subtle reasoning; but is it not plain that he felt that he was provoking an ignominious death, and chose rather to die as a hero—the champion of his deceased master?
If a censor succeeds in convicting a single high functionary of gross misconduct his fortune is made. He is rewarded by appointment to some respectable post, possibly the same from which his victim has been evicted. Practical advantage carries the day against abstract notions of aesthetic fitness. Sublime it might be to see the guardians of the common weal striking down the unworthy, with a public spirit untainted by self-interest; but in China (and in some other countries) such machinery requires self-interest for its motive force. Wanting that, it would be like a windmill without wind, merely a fine object in the landscape.
As an illustration of the actual procedure take the case in which Chang first achieved a national reputation. Chunghau, a Manchu of noble family and high in favour at court, had been sent to Russia in 1880 to demand the restoration of Ili, a province of Chinese Turkestan, which the Russians had occupied on pretext of quelling its chronic disorders. Scarcely had he reported the success of his mission, which had resulted in recovering two-thirds of the disputed territory, when Chang came forward and denounced it as worse than a failure. He had, as Chang proved, permitted the Russians to retain certain strategic points, and had given them fertile districts in exchange for rugged mountains or arid plains. To such a settlement no envoy could be induced to consent, unless chargeable with corruption or incompetence.
The unlucky envoy was thrown into prison and condemned to death (but reprieved), and his accuser rose in the official scale as rapidly as if he had won a great battle on land or sea. His victory was not unlike that of those British orators who made a reputation out of the impeachment of Lord Clive or Warren Hastings, save that with him a trenchant pen took the place of an eloquent tongue. I knew Chunghau both before and after his disgrace. In 1859, when an American embassy for the first time entered the gates of Peking, it was Chunghau who was appointed to escort the minister to the capital and back again to the seacoast—a pretty long journey in those days when there was neither steamboat nor railway. During that time, acting as interpreter, I had occasion to see him every day, and I felt strongly attracted by his generous and gentlemanly bearing. The poor fellow came out of prison stripped of all his honours, and with his prospects blighted forever. In a few months he died of sheer chagrin.
The war with Japan in 1894-1895 found Chang established in the viceroyalty of Hukwang, two provinces in Central China, with a prosperous population of over fifty millions, on a great highway of internal traffic rivalling the Mississippi, and with Hankow, the hub of the Empire, for its commercial centre. When he saw the Chinese forces scattered like chaff by the battalions of those despised islanders he was not slow to grasp the explanation. Kang Yuwei, a Canton man, also grasped it, and urged on the Emperor the necessity for reform with such vigour as to prompt him to issue a meteoric shower of reformatory edicts, filling one party with hope and the other with dismay.
Chang had held office at Canton; and his keen intellect had taken in the changed relations of West and East. He perceived that a new sort of sunshine shed its beams on the Western world. He did not fully apprehend the spiritual elements of our civilisation; but he saw that it was clothed with a power unknown to the sages of his country, the forces of nature being brought into subjection through science and popular education. He felt that China must conform to the new order of things, or perish—even if that new order was in contradiction to her ancient traditions as much as the change of sunrise to the west. He saw and felt that knowledge is power, a maxim laid down by Confucius before the days of Bacon; and he set about inculcating his new ideas by issuing a series of lectures for the instruction of his subordinates. Collected into a volume under the title of " Exhortations to Learn," they were put into the hands of the young Emperor and by his command distributed among the viceroys and governors of the Empire.
What a harvest might have sprung from the sowing of such seed in such soil by an imperial husbandman! But there were some who viewed it as the sowing of dragons' teeth. Those reactionaries induced the Dowager Empress to come out from her retirement and to reassume her abdicated power in order to save the Empire from a threatening conflagration.. It was the fable of Phaëton enacted in real life. The young charioteer was struck down and the sun brought back to his proper course instead of rising in the west. The progressive legislation of the two previous years 1897-98 was repealed and then followed two years of a narrow, benighted policy, controlled by the reactionaries under the lead of Prince Tuan, father of the heir-apparent, with a junta of Manchu princes as blind and corrupt as Russian grand dukes. That disastrous recoil resulted in war, not against a single power, but against the whole civilised world, as has been set forth in the account of the Boxer War (see page 172).
Affairs were drifting into this desperate predicament when Chang of the Cavern became in a sense the saviour of his country. This he effected by two actions which called for uncommon intelligence and moral force: (1) By assuring the British Government that he would at all costs maintain peace in Central China; (2) by refusing to obey an inhuman decree from Peking, commanding the viceroys to massacre all foreigners within their jurisdiction—a decree which would be incredible were it not known that at the same moment the walls of the capital were placarded with proclamations offering rewards of 50, 30 and 20 taels respectively for the heads of foreign men, women, and children.
It is barely possible that Chang was helped to a decision by a friendly visit from a British man-of-war, whose captain, in answer to a question about his artillery, informed Chang that he had the bearings of his official residence, and could drop a shell into it with unerring precision at a distance of three miles. He was also aided by the influence of Mr. Fraser, a wide-awake British consul. Fraser modestly disclaims any special merit in the matter, but British missionaries at Hankow give him the credit. They say that, learning from them the state of feeling among the people, he induced the viceroy to take prompt measures to prevent an outbreak. At one time a Boxer army from the south was about to cross the river and destroy the foreign settlement. Chang, when appealed to, frankly confessed that his troops were in sympathy with the Boxers, and that being in arrears of pay they were on the verge of revolt. Fraser found him the money by the help of the Hong Kong Bank; the troops were paid; and the Boxers dispersed.
The same problem confronted Liu, the viceroy of Nanking; and it was solved by him in the same way. Both viceroys acted in concert; but to which belongs the honour of that wise initiative can never be decided with certainty. The foreign consuls at Nan-king claim it for Liu. Mr. Sundius, now British consul at Wuhu, assures me that as Liu read the barbarous decree he exclaimed, " I shall repudiate this as a forgery," adding "I I shall not obey, if I have to die for it." His words have a heroic ring; and suggest that his policy was not taken at second-hand.
A similar claim has been put forward for Li Hung Chang, who was at that time viceroy at Canton. Is it not probable that the same view of the situation flashed on the minds of all three simultaneously? They were not, like the Peking princes, ignorant Tar-tars, but Chinese scholars of the highest type. They could not fail to see that compliance with that bloody edict would seal their own doom as well as that of the Empire.
Speaking of Chang, Mr. Fraser says: .He had the wit to see that any other course meant ruin." Chang certainly does not hesitate to blow his own trumpet; but I do not suspect him of "drawing the longbow." Having the advantage of being an expert rhymer, he has put his own pretensions into verses which all the school-children in a population of fifty millions are obliged to commit to memory. They run somewhat like this:
"In Kengtse (1900) the Boxer robbers went mad,
He adds in a tone of exultation:
"The province of Hupei was accordingly exempted
In these lines there is not much poetry; but the fact which they commemorate adds one more wreath to a brow already crowned with many laurels, showing how much the viceroy's heart was set on the education of his people.
In the interest of the educational movement, I was called to Chang's assistance in 1902. The Imperial University was destroyed in the Boxer War, and, seeing no prospect of its reestablishment I was on the way to my home in America when, on reaching Vancouver, I found a telegram from Viceroy Chang, asking me to be president of a university which he pro-posed to open, and to instruct his junior officials in international law. I engaged for three years; and I now look back on my recent campaign in Central China as one of the most interesting passages in a life of over half a century in the Far East.
Besides instructing his mandarins in the law of nations, I had to give them some notion of geography and history, the two coordinates of time and place, without which they might, like some of their writers, mistake Rhode Island for the Island of Rhodes, and Rome, New York, for the City of the Seven Hills. A book on the Intercourse of Nations and a translation of Dudley Field's "International Code," remain as tangible results of those lectures. But the. university failed to materialise.
Within a month after my arrival the viceroy was ordered to remove to Nanking to take up a post rendered vacant by the death of his eminent colleague, Liu. Calling at my house on the eve of embarking he said, " I asked you to come here to be president of a university for two provinces. If you will go with me to Nanking, I will make you president of a university for five provinces," meaning that he would combine the educational interests of the two viceroyalties, and showing how the university scheme had expanded in his fertile brain.
Before he had been a month at that higher post he learned to his intense disappointment that he was only to hold the place for another appointee. After nearly a year at Nanking, he was summoned to Peking, where he spent another year in complete uncertainty as to his future destination. In the meantime the university existed only on paper. In justice to the viceroy I ought to say that nothing could exceed the courtesy and punctuality with which he discharged his obligations to me. The despatch which once a month brought me my stipend was always addressed to me as president of the Wuchang University, though as a matter of fact I might as well have been styled president of the University of Weissnichtwo. in one point he went beyond his agreement, viz., in giving me free of charge a furnished house of two stories, with ten rooms and a garden. It was on the bank of the "Great River" with the picturesque hills of Hanyang nearly opposite, a site which I preferred to any other in the city. I there enjoyed the purest air with a minimum of inconvenience from narrow, dirty streets. To these exceptional advantages it is doubtless due that my health held out, notwithstanding the heat of the climate, which, the locality being far inland and in lat. 300 30', was that of a fiery furnace. On the night of the autumnal equinox, my first in Wuchang, the mercury stood in my bedroom at 102°. I was the guest of the Rev. Arnold Foster of the London Missionary Society, whose hospitality was warm in more ways than one.
The viceroy returned from Peking, broken in health; the little strength he had left was given to military preparation for the contingencies of the Russo-Japanese War; and his university was consigned to the limbo of forgotten dreams.
Viceroy Chang has been derided, not quite justly, as possessing a superabundance of initiative along with a rather scant measure of finality, taking up and throwing down his new schemes as a child does its playthings. In these enterprises the paucity of results was due to the shortcomings of the agents to whom he entrusted their management. The same reproach and the same apology might be made for the Empress Dowager who, like the Roman Sybil, committed her progressive decrees to the mercy of the winds without seeming to care what became of them.
Next after the education of his people the development of their material resources has been with Chang a leading object. To this end he has opened cotton-mills, silk-filatures, glass-works and iron-works, all on an extensive scale, with foreign machinery and foreign experts. For miles outside of the gates of Wuchang the banks of the river are lined with these vast establishments. Do they not announce more clearly than the batteries which command the waterway the coming of a new China? Some of them he has kept going at an annual loss. The cotton-mill, for example, was standing idle when I arrived, because in the hands of his mandarins he could not make it pay expenses. A Canton merchant leased it on easy terms, and made it such a conspicuous success that he is now growing rich. It is an axiom in China that no manufacturing or mercantile enterprise can be profitably conducted by a deputation of mandarins.
Chang is rapidly changing the aspect of his capital by erecting in all parts of it handsome school-buildings in foreign style, literally proclaiming from the house-tops his gospel of education. The youth in these schools are mostly clad in foreign dress; his street police and the soldiers in his barracks are all in foreign uniform; and many of the latter have cut off their cues as a sign of breaking with the old régime. In talking with their officers I applauded the prudence of the measure as making them less liable to be captured while running away.
Chang's soldiers are taught to march to the cadence of his own war-songs—which, though lacking the fire of Tyrtaeus or Körner, are not ill-suited to arouse patriotic sentiment. Take these lines as a sample:
"Foreigners laugh at our impotence,
Viceroy Chang's mode of dealing with his own malady might be taken as a picture of the shifting policy of a half-enlightened country.
The first doctor he consulted was a Chinese of the old school. Besides administering pills composed of
"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
the doctor suggested that one thing was still required to put the patient in harmony with the course of Nature. Pointing to a fine chain of hills that stretches in a waving line across the wide city, he said: "The root of your trouble lies there. That carriage-road that you have opened has wounded the spinal column of the serpent. Restore the hill to its former condition and you will soon get well."
The viceroy filled the gap incontinently, but found himself no better. He then sent for English and American doctors—dismissing them in turn to make way for a Japanese who had him in charge when I left Wuchang. For a paragon of intelligence and courage, how pitiful this relapse into superstition! Did not China after a trial of European methods also relapse during the Boxer craze into her old superstitions? And is she not at this moment taking the medicine of Japan? To Japan she looks for guidance in the conduct of her public schools as well as for the training of her army and navy. To Japan she is sending her sons and daughters in growing numbers. No fewer than eight thousand of her young men, and, what is more significant, one or two hundred of her young women from the best families are now in those islands inhaling the breath of a new life.
Some writers have sounded a note of alarm in consequence of this wholesale surrender on the part of China. But for my part I have no fear of any sinister tendency in the teachings of japan, whether political or educational. On a memorable occasion twelve years ago, when Marquis Ito was entertained at a banquet in Peking by the governor of the city and the chancellor of the Imperial University, I congratulated him on the fact that "Japan exerts a stronger influence on China than any Western power—just as the moon raises a higher tide than the more distant sun"—implying, what the Japanese are ready enough to admit, that their country shines by borrowed light.
After all, the renovating effect, for which I look to them, will not come so much from their teaching as from their example. "What is to hinder us from doing what those islanders have done?" is an argument oft reiterated by Viceroy Chang in his appeals to his drowsy countrymen. It was, as I have said, largely under his influence that the Emperor was led to adopt a new educational programme twelve years ago. Nor can there be a doubt that by his influence more than that of any other man, the Empress Dowager was induced to reënact and to enlarge that programme.
To show what is going on in this very decade : On September 3, 1905, an edict was issued "abolishing the literary competitive examinations of the old style," and ordering that "hereafter exclusive attention shall be given to the establishment of schools of modern learning throughout the Empire in lieu thereof." The next day a supplementary decree ordained that the provincial chancellors or examiners who, like Othello, found their occupation gone, should have the duty of examining and inspecting the schools in their several provinces; and, to give the new arrangement greater weight, it was required that they "discharge this duty in conjunction with the viceroy or governor of the province."
An item of news that came along with these decrees seemed to indicate that a hitherto frivolous court has at length become thoroughly in earnest on the subject of education. A sum of 300,000 taels appeared in the national budget as the annual expense of a theatrical troupe in attendance on the Court. At the instance of two ministers (Viceroy Yuan and General Tieliang) Her Majesty reduced this to one-third of that amount, ordering that theatricals should be performed twice a week instead of daily; and that the 200,000 taels thus economised shall be set apart for the use of schools. How much this resembles the policy of Viceroy Chang who, exempted from raising a war indemnity, set apart an equal amount for the building of schoolhouses! An empire that builds schoolhouses is more certain to make a figure in the world than one that spends its money on batteries and forts.
In addition to adopting the new education there are three items which Chang proclaims as essential to a renovation of Chinese society. In the little book, already cited, he says :
The crippling of women makes their offspring weak;
How could the man who wrote this fall back into the folly of Fungshui? Is it not possible that he closed that new road in deference to the superstitions of his people? In either case it would be a deplorable weakness; but his country, thanks to his efforts, is now fully committed to progress. She moves, how-ever, in that direction much as her noble rivers move toward the sea—with many a backward bend, many a refluent eddy.
POSTSCRIPT NO. I
In taking leave of this eminent man, who represents the best class of his countrymen, there are two or three incidents, which I mention by way of supplement. In his telegram to Vancouver, besides en-gaging me to assume the office of president of the proposed university, he asked me to act as his legal and political adviser. In the agreement formally made through the consul in New York, in place of these last-named functions was substituted the duty of instructing his junior mandarins in international law. The reason assigned for the change was that the Peking Government declined to allow any foreigner to hold the post of adviser. The objection was represented as resting on general policy, not on personal grounds. If, however, the Peking officials had read my book on the Siege, in which I denounce the treachery of Manchu government and favour the position of China, it is quite conceivable that their objection might have a tinge of personality.
When Viceroy Chang was starting for Peking, I called to see him on board his steamer. He held in his hand a printed report of my opening lecture at the beginning of a new term, and expressed regret that in the hurry of departure he had been unable to find time to attend in person. On that occasion (the previous day) several of his higher officials, including the treasurer, judge, and prefect, after giving me tiffin at the Mandarin Institute, brought sixty junior officials to make their salaam to their instructor. This ceremony performed, I bowed to Their Excellencies, and requested them to leave me with my students. " No," they replied," we too are desirous of hearing you" ; and they took seats in front of the platform.
Viceroy Chang seems to have manifested some jealousy of Sir Robert Hart, in criticising the Inspector-General's proposal for a single tax. He likewise criticised unfavourably the scheme of Professor Jenckes for unifying the currency of the Empire—influenced, perhaps, by the fear that such an innovation might impair the usefulness of a costly plant which he has recently erected for minting both silver and copper coin. For the same reason perhaps he objects, as I hear he does, to the proposed engagement of a Cornell professor by the Board of Revenue in the capacity of financial adviser.
With all his foibles, however, he is a true patriot; and his influence has done much to move China in the right direction. O for more men like Chang, the Longbow of the Cavern! "
I append a weighty document that is not the less interesting for being somewhat veiled in mystery. I regret that I am not at liberty to disclose its author-ship. The report is to be taken as anonymous, being an unpublished document of the secret service. To the reader it is left to divine the nationality and personality of its author. Valuable for the light it throws on a great character in a trying situation, the report gains piquancy and interest from the fact that the veil of official secrecy has to be treated with due respect. My unnamed friend has my thanks and deserves those of my readers.
OFFICIAL INTERVIEWS WITH VICEROY CHANG
DURING THE CRISIS OF 1900
"At our interview of 17th June, described at length in my despatch to you of 18th June, the Viceroy explained his determination to maintain order and to afford the protection due under treaty ; he also emphasised his desire to be on friendly terms with England.
"Early in June, the three cities of Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankow had been full of rumours of the kidnapping of children and even grown persons by means of hypnotism; and though a concise notification by the Viceroy, that persons spreading such tales would be executed, checked its prevalence here, the scare spread to the country districts and inflamed the minds of the people against foreigners and, in consequence, against converts and missions.
"On the 25th June, the Viceroy, as reported in a separate despatch of 28th June, to Lord Salisbury, sent a special envoy to assure me that H. E. would not accept or act upon any anti-foreign decrees from Peking. At the same time he communicated copy of a telegraphic memorial from himself and seven other high provincial officers insisting on the suppression of the Boxers and the maintenance of peace. This advice H. E. gave me to understand led to the recall of Li Hung Chang to the north as negotiator.
"Distorted accounts of the capture of the Taku forts and the hostilities of the north caused some excitement, but the Viceroy's proclamation of 2nd July, copy of which was forwarded in my despatch of 3rd July to the Foreign Office, and the vigorous police measures taken by His Excellency soon restored calm which, despite occasional rumours, continued until the recent plot and scare reported in my despatch to you of 23rd of August. In the same despatch I described how, in compliance with my wish, H. E. took the unprecedented step of tearing down his proclamation embodying an Imperial Decree which had been taken to imply license to harry converts. To foreigners during the past two months the question of interest has been whether the Viceroy could and would keep his troops in order. The Viceroy himself seemed to be in some doubt until the return of his trusted officers, who were attending the Japanese man-oeuvres when the northern troubles began. Every now and then reports of disaffection have been industriously circulated, but the drilled troops have never shown any sign of disloyalty.
"A point of H. E.'s policy which has caused considerable suspicion is the despatch of troops northward, At the end of June some 2,000 or 3,000 men passed through Hankow bound for Nyanking where the Governor was said to want a body-guard. They were unarmed and did no mischief beyond invading the Customs and China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company's premises. During July some 5,000 troops, of whom perhaps half were drilled men, went from Hukeang provinces overland to Honan and on to Chihli. They were led by the anti-foreign Treasurer of Hunan; and their despatch was explained by the constitutional duty of succouring the Emperor. Since July I have not heard of any further detachments leaving, though it was said that the total would reach 10,000. Possibly the Viceroy sent the men because he did not feel strong enough to defy Peking altogether, because failure to help the court would have excited popular reprobation, and also in order to get rid of a considerable part of the dangerous `loafer' class.
"About the 20th July there was a persistent report that the Viceroy was secretly placing guns on the opposite banks of the river. The German military instructors assured me that the report was baseless; and Lieutenant Brandon, H. M. S. Pique, thoroughly searched the bank for a distance of three miles in length and breadth, without discovering a trace of a cannon. The only guns in position are the two 5-inch Armstrong M. L. within the walls of Wuchang, and they have been there for a long time and are used 'merely for training purposes.'
" So early as our interview of June 17th, the Viceroy expressed anxiety as to missionaries at remote points in the interior ; and I had about that time suggested to the various missions that women and children would be better at a treaty port. The missions themselves preferred to recall all their members, and at the Viceroy's request supplied lists of the stations thus left to the care of the local authorities. Since then, even in Hupeh, there have been a few cases of plundering, especially in the large district of Sin Chan on the Hunan border, while at Hangchowfu, in Hunan, the London Mission premises were wrecked early in July and for a time throughout the whole province it appeared probable that the Missions would be destroyed. The chief cause of this, as of the riots in Hupeh, was the dissemination of an alleged decree of 26th June praising the Boxers and ordering the authorities to imitate the north in exterminating foreigners. This decree seems to have reached local authorities direct; and those hostile to foreigners acted upon it or let its existence be known to the gentry and people. The chapels in Hunan were all sealed up ; and it was understood that all mission and convert property would be confiscated. Towards the end of July, however, the Viceroy and the Hunan Governor issued a satisfactory proclamation, and I have heard no more complaints from that province, the western part of which seems tranquil.
"Besides safeguarding foreign life and property in his own province the Viceroy has frequently been asked to aid missionaries retiring from Kansuh, Shensi, Shansi, and Honan. In every case H. E. has readily consented. Detailed telegrams have been sent again and again not only to his frontier officers, but to the governors of other provinces with whom H. E. has expostulated, when necessary, in strong terms. Thus, when Honan seemed likely to turn against us, the Viceroy insisted on the publication of favourable decrees, and even went so far as to send his men to establish a permanent escort depot at Ching Tzu Kuan, an important post in Honan where travellers from the north and northwest have to change from cart to boat. Happily the acting Governor of Shensi has cooperated nobly. But the refugees who testify invariably to the marvellous feeling of security engendered by reaching Hupeh, will, I doubt not, agree that they owe their lives to Chang Chi-tung's efforts; for simple inaction on his part would have encouraged the many hostile officers to treat them as Shansi has treated its missionaries.
"At times during the past two anxious months the Viceroy's action in sending troops north, the occurrence of riots at various points, H. E.'s communication of decrees in which the Peking Government sought to gloss over the northern uprising, and his eagerness to make out that the Empress Dowager had not in-cited the outbreak and had no hostile feeling against foreigners have inevitably made one uneasy. But on looking back one appreciates the skill and constancy with which H. E. has met a most serious crisis and done his duty to Chinese and foreigners alike. It is no small thing for a Chinese statesman and scholar to risk popularity, position, and even life in a far-seeing resistance to the apparent decrees of a court to which his whole training enforces blind loyalty and obedience. His desire to secure the personal safety of the Empress Dowager on account of her long services to the Empire is natural enough; nor need he be blamed for supplying some military aid to his sovereign, even though he may have guessed that it would be used against those foreign nations with whom he himself steadfastly maintains friendship and against whose possible attack he has not mounted an extra gun."
POSTSCRIPT NO. 2
TUAN FANG OF THE HIGH COMMISSION
During Chang's long absence, Tuan Fang, Governor of Hupeh, held the seals and exercised the functions of viceroy. He was a Manchu—one of those specimens, admirable but not rare, who, in acquiring the refinement of Chinese culture, lose nothing of the vigour of their own race. " Of their own race," I say, because in language and habits the Manchus are strongly differentiated from their Chinese subjects.
In the Boxer War Governor Tuan established an excellent record. Acting as governor in Shensi, in-stead of killing missionaries, as did the Manchu governor of the next province, he protected them effectually and sent them safely to Hankow. One day when I was at his house a missionary came to thank him for kindness shown on that occasion.
Mentioning one of my books I once asked him if he had read it. " You never wrote a book that I have not read," was his emphatic reply. He was a pretty frequent visitor at my house, punctually returning all my calls; and when he was transferred to the governorship of Hunan he appeared pleased to have the Yale Mission commended to his patronage. He has a son at school in the United States; and his wife and daughters have taken lessons in English from ladies of the American Episcopal Mission.
Governor Tuan (now viceroy) is a leading member of a commission recently sent abroad to study and report on the institutions of the Western world. Its departure was delayed by the explosion of a bomb in one of the carriages just as the commission was leaving Peking. The would-be assassin was " hoist with his own petard," leaving the public mystified as to the motive of the outrage.