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Within the past fortnight a fire occurred This dismal prognosis, it is worth noting, in the Forbidden City of Peking, by which is embodied in a document in which the the Wu Ying Tien, containing a throne allusions are veiled for greater security hall and many state records, archives, etc., by adopting the names of historical charwas destroyed. The same thing occurred acters in the Han dynasty who lived at not many years ago with a previous build- various dates from B.C. 73 to A.D. 221, ing, and whether the fire was accidental the meaning being intelligible to scholars (by lightning) or incendiary is disputed. only. This occurrence followed but a few days That there is great uncertainty in what after the publication of an edict of so direction the peni-up stream of lava will singular a nature as to surprise many even fow is true, as the constant discussion of of those who are accustomed to Chinese the matter in the native press of Shanghai eccentricities. The substance of it was (which is practically unfettered in its exthat, since the administration of the Six pression) abundantly shows. But there Boards (hy which the Empire is governed) is much more reason to suppose that there had become overlaid with traditions and will be implicit rather
will be implicit rather than explicit, covert
, abuses which were incorporated in prece- rather than overt, neutralizing of the dents so complicated as to be comprehen- lessons of the past year on the part of sible only to experts, it was ordered that a whoever holds the practical control of the large part of the records of the dynasty Chinese Government in the disturbed be destroyed, so as to begin again upon a provinces. new and clear basis. This seemed simple Attention has been repeatedly called in and hopeful, but fuller information from these articles to one of the most portenChinese sources indicates that it is but a tous indications of the situation--that the single act in a complicated drama. The managers of the Roman Catholic missions, Emperor wants reform, as he did in 1898, and especially their native membership, as when he was deposed. Orders have been a whole display a persistent determination sent to the prominent officials throughout to play the Shylock both as to money the Empire with requests for suggestions indemnity and the punishment of their as to the reforms which appear most desir- enemies, which is certain to result in a able. But the Emperor, it is said, is not harvest of hate and reprisals in the not even allowed to see these important memo- distant future. It would serve no useful rials, which are decided upon by the Em- purpose to specify instances, but they are press Dowager alone, in connection with an to be found in every one of the provinces influential clique of three reactionary men. where the attacks have been most bitter,
The indications that reform of some and excite the most intense opposition on sort is everywhere demanded are so clear the part of officials and people alike. that the ultra-conservatives must now make This is so evident and so distinctly an it their cry, too, and the first step is to save element in the prospective situation that the face of China once more by the de- one of the officials in the l'nited States struction of those records which were not Legation (whose name I do not mention already obliterated in the sack of Peking- only because I have not asked permission some of them incriminating the Govern- to do so) has expressed the opinion to one ment-after which the spurious anti-reform of our American Board workers that while reformers will have it all their own way. foreign life will be safer than heretofore, An official at Singanfu writes to a friend that of the Christians will be much less in Nanking gloomily predicting that from secure, and he therefore recommends the the indications at that capital the reac adoption of the plan of arming the contionaries, who are in full power, just as verts, and the fortification of their villages, they have been, are merely biding their as the Catholics have done, by which time, and that “the moment peace nego- means alone tens of thousands of Chinese tiations are completed and a treaty of lives must have been saved last year, and peace signed and ratified, the audacity of scores of Europeans kept from massacre. the reactionaries will have no limit, and Order may indeed be restored in Chili the country will be covered with mountains and elsewhere, so that things will not of corpses, and rivers of blood will deluge come to such extremities as this, but the the Empire."
judicious, after the experiences of 1900, refuse to prophesy, and merely point out cussions are in strict accord with truth the elements of uncertainty.
will be rewarded by promotion, while That there is the danger mentioned is those whose discussions are perverse and strikingly exhibited by the experience of a injurious will be punished.” band of Belgian priests living in the re- Chang-Chihtung, the Governor-General mote post of Ningtiaoliang, on the south- of the two Hu provinces, is said not to ern border of the Mongolian desert, in the have sent on his reform memorial for the country of the Ordos tribes, about half reason that reform was to be postponed until way between Yülinfu, in the extreme north the actual return of the Court to Peking, of Shensi, and Ninghsiafu, in Kansu. It but the Chinese press alleges that his was known last autumn that this place Excellency has received a secret telegram had been holding out against attacks for informing him that reforms should be some months, and not long since word “along the lines of ancient Chinese law, was received in Peking that in the month and no importance should be attached to of April fifteen Belgian priests, together Western learning." It is easy to see what with all their male converts, had been kind of “reform" that would be. massacred at this station in the month of Li-Hung-Chang is said to be thoroughly April. This was denied by Li-Hung committed to the Empress Dowager, to Chang, who subsequently admitted that whom, like all other officials, he owes his “two” might have been killed, but that it position, but he recommends a long list of had no connection with other events else- good men for important posts, who are where, although this is the region where ordered to present themselves for audience. the “exiled” Prince Tuan was last heard On the other hand, a bitter foreign-hater of, and where the soldiers of General has just been gazetted to the provincial Tung.Fuhsiang, the principal actor in the judgeship of Chekjang, at Hangchou, attacks of last year upon the Legations, where he may be able to do vast mischief. are now reported to be, by whose agency Per contra, the late Taotai of T’ungthis atrocity is said to have been com- chou, Shennenghu, who last year did all mitted. Until this is confirmed, it is well he could for the foreigners in his city, not to lay stress upon it as an example. and was himself looted and driven out as
It should have been mentioned, in con- “ third-class devil," is now assigned a nection with the reform measures referred new position, which he richly merits. to above, that while the number of edicts Thus the phenomena are contradictory issued with regard to this subject in its and obscure in meaning. The "Mixed various ramifications is large, and the dis- Commission " at Paotingfu, which has so cussion not infrequently minute and appar- long wrestled with the difficult problem ently thorough, they are not worth critical of governing the teeming population under examination, because no one is able to its jurisdiction, has recently ceased its determine what underlies the apparent useful functions, greatly to the regret of suggestions, and because there are fre- the people, who begged the German comquently secret instructions accompanying mander to keep his troops there for some the edicts which materially modify their time longer, all the officers being glad to complexion. Thus, in a decree regarding leave the perplexities and anomalies of the reformation of the Han-Lin Academy, such a task. The same transfer from the “odes and other useless things ” are foreign to Chinese rule is taking place in denounced, and are to be replaced by Peking, but the American Legation Guard, "ancient and modern books on govern- though few in numbers, are ordered to ment and the official histories of the keep fast hold on the south gate of the province of Chili, while other subjects, Forbidden City until the Court returns to such as treaties, international law, as- take it over, though there have been tronomy, science, and the like, will be numerous other contingents quite ready placed in the catalogue of elective studies." to relieve it. It is morally certain that Special colleges will be recommended the palace eunuchs, always hard to restrain for these subjects where the students and rapacious as unfed hawks, have made will be examined and where discussions way with much of the treasures of the will take place. Note the following sig- palaces, the loss of which will be laid to nificant hint: “ Those of them whose dis- the foreigners.
The Tientsin Provisional Government money if it is only used where it will may be continued for some months longer, good, instead of filling the coffers of as its reforms are of so important a Chinese supernumeraries. nature that it is essential to see them The Rev. Timothy Richard, whose visit carried far enough to prevent their being to Peking at the request of the Governor neutralized by the Chinese. In place of of Shansi and the Chinese Peace Comthe unspeakable filth and the unsightly missioners was mentioned in a former kennels along the river-front, there now article, has now returned to Shanghai, runs a broad boulevard, well paved and after having drawn up a scheme for the lighted, from the foreign settlements to settlement of the Protestant cases in that the junction of the Peiho and the Grand province which is so conspicuously fair Canal, and to the Iron Bridge opposite and just (and so utterly in contrast to the the Governor-General's Yamên. This is Roman Catholic demands) that the Chito be continued entirely around the city, nese press comments upon it with uniform the wall of which has been taken down, approbation. In consideration of the fact to be replaced by a broad esplanade, and that the people were acting under orders probably equipped with an electric belt in their riots of last year, he suggests that line. The startling nature of this im- one Boxer leader in each district be punprovement is enough to take away the ished as a warning; that the losses of breath of the “oldest inhabitant," but it converts must be provided for and prois far from being all. The occupiers of vision made for widows and orphans ; shanties leaning against the late city wall that the province raise half a million taels, have been given better sites elsewhere, one-tenth to be paid each year, for the the stagnant ponds have been filled up, establishment of schools to enlighten the lots marked out, while the removal of the people of Shansi, thus avoiding delusions city wall makes all places far more access- in the future--one educated foreigner and ible than before, and will add immensely one educated Chinese to manage the busito the business value of property. But ness; monumental stones to be erected for the Boxers, these changes might wherever converts were killed; the offihave required half a millennium to come cials, gentry, scholars, and people to reto the state which they have reached ceive courteously missionaries whenever within the year since the Taku forts again sent, and apologize for the past; were taken. The Provisional Govern- equal treatment of converts and non-conment has secured permission to go on verts in everything ; and lists to be kept with the previously planned, but always of the names of rioters, to be punished if postponed, river improvement, cutting they again offend. These principles have through letter S, “everlasting bends, been agreed to by the representatives of and the like, so that there is a fair pros- the Protestant societies working in Shansi pect that steamers may once more come -the China Inland Mission, the Amerito the “bund” (Tientsin) instead of to can Board, the English Baptist, the GosTonghu only, and trade revive. The pel Mission, and an independent organiGovernment has also grappled with the zation. These suggestions were submitted well-organized river pirates, whom the to Li-Hung-Chang, who is said to have Chinese authorities could or would not been exceedingly pleased with the modbreak up, and numbers have been caught eration of the demands, exclaiming that and beheaded, to the great advantage of never yet had there been in China such the traffic and to the delight of the mer- an enlightened and moderate gentleman cantile population, especially the helpless as Dr. Richard had shown himself to be, Chinese. Before the end of the year it is and that if these suggestions were put hoped that these reforms may all be into effect there would be no more misaccomplished and such an impulse given sionary troubles in the Empire. Dr. that the Chinese Government may at last Richard's long residence in Shansi-from attack the Taku, bar, which has been 1876 to 1886—his devotion and tact in such a vexation to navigation. A good distributing famine relief at the beginning bridge across the Peiho is another pro- of that period, his cordial relations with jected improvement. The “ T. P. G." officials from the Governor down, and has shown that there is plenty of revenue his wide reputation as the best-known and most representative Protestant mis- prove friendly to foreigners when relations sionary in China, combine to give his rec- have become once thoroughly established. ommendations great weight.
Representatives of nine of the imporThe incident is of capital importance, tant missionary societies in China have not merely for what may come of it recently issued, both in English and in directly or indirectly, though this is much, Chinese, a “ Statement” in regard to the but for the irrefragable evidence of the connection between missionaries and the esteem in which those missionaries are present crisis. It is of the nature of an held whose record speaks for them. As explanation, and incidentally a defense, a direct consequence of the invitation to and has attracted favorable comment from Dr. Richard to go to Shansi, although he the leading foreign journals of Shanghai was unable to accept for himself, a party for its conspicuous fairness and moderaof nine is just leaving, under Chinese tion of language. A paragraph from an official escort, including Dr. Edwards, of article in the “ North China L'aily News" Shouyang, Dr. Atwood (American Board), dealing with it should be quoted: “ The of Fenchoufu, Messrs. Hoste, Orr-Ewingcharge that missionaries have manifested Tjader, and Taylor, of the China Inland an improper desire to see vengeance Mission, and Mr. Duncan and Dr. Creasy done on the perpetrators of last year's Smith (English Bishop), of Singanfu, the outrages is, except in possible isolated latter, however, not expecting to enter the cases, as unfounded as Mark Twain's province of Shensi as yet. The journey is ignorant charges against Dr. Ament and not without peril, and the outcome will be his colleagues in Peking and its vicinity. watched with the greatest interest in many Men who have examined the whole ques. lands.
tion with an honest desire to arrive at the The “Christian Herald” relief fund, truth without prejudice or partiality allow intended for Shansi, has, after much cor- that the behavior of the missionaries as a respondence and not a little uncertainty body has not only been above reproach, what to do with it, been apportioned but worthy of praise and gratitude. They among four provinces --Shansi, 10,000 have been anxious, as we have all been taels, to be distributed by Dr. Edwards; anxious, to see outrages such as those of Shensi, the same, managed by Mr. Dun- last year made impossible in the future, can, either through friendly officials, na- and as long as human nature is what it tive Christians, or both; Shantung, 5,000 is, men must be deterred from crime by taels, and Chili, 3,000 taels, to be used as the conviction that it will be followed required. It will be of service in piecing by punishment; and not to have punished, out the amounts needed to relieve the worst and punished severely, the culprits of last distress of Christians who have not yet re- year would have been to invite a repeticeived any indemnity, as we hope all may tion of their crimes." eventually. Those in Shantung are now This reminds us of the welcome intelbeginning to get theirs, thanks to Governor ligence received not long ago that MinYuan, who to Protestants especially is ister Conger will soon be on his way out most friendly.
again. It is simply a fact that at the Dr. Griffith John has recently published present time there is no other man who an interesting account of an extended can take his place, or who ought to take visit with a companion to Hunan, which it. Like all the other Ministers, he did was formerly the most bitterly hostile in not foresee the coming cyclone in China, all China, but which he says is now at but when it came he proved a tower of last really “open.” Their reception, even
.” Their reception, even strength, not to Americans only, but to in the cities where rioting occurred last the common defense—a service ill requited year, was most cordial both by people and by the theory prevalent at Washington by officials.
that because his insight was so much There are now at least fifteen mission- greater and more accurate than that of aries representing six societies in this fine any one in Washington, his “mind was province, and more will follow when the affected”! As President Lincoln desired peace conditions have gone into effect. more Generals who drank the “whisky” Intellectually and physically the people to which General Grant was alleged to be are among the finest in China, and will addicted, so the United States Legations
abroad would do well to lay in a stock of to bear in mind that existing conditions Ministers who have the common sense do not alter our duty to China, but only and the manliness of Mr. Conger. It is modify present action. If anything is incidentally a gratification to many whose certain, it is that there is to be in some sense of justice has been outraged by the form a new China. For that we should captious criticisms of those with neither watch, and perhaps wait, but not idly nor knowledge nor candor to comprehend as those without hope. All mission existing conditions to see that Mr. Conger methods should be re-examined, as ships has not hesitated to take the responsibility are overhauled in the dry-docks, but for his own advice consistently given to always with reference to a new and a American citizens acting in times of storm longer voyage than the last. China is a and stress. He has comprehensively constant and an inextinguishable factor replied to all the current criticism by the in the history of the twentieth century, remark: "I am prepared to justify the and in and for China there is a great work conduct of the missionaries before the to be done, and there are many in all siege, during the siege, and after the parts of the earth who can at least give siege." It is well for the friends of those assistance with their sympathies and their moral reforms without which the regenera- prayers, never more needed nor more tion of this Empire is utterly impossible sure to be helpful than now.
The Field Matron's Mission
By Annie Beecher Scoville “ Take pity on my women. ...
Give a future to my “ See,” says one father, “they are all women." --Sitting Bull. VERY reformer who is brought little thing: surely we may keep him
dead but this, and he is a poor, miserable face to face with the results of his
longer." own enthusiasm at some time in
But the law is that every child must be his career echoes Browning's
given up when it is six years old, so the 'Tis dangerous work to meddle with souls, frightened baby goes with a teacher, and
And trouble enough to save one's own. the parents, who live forty miles away, If you are an Indian worker, such a revul- pitch their camp where they may watch sion of feeling comes on some visit to a big from a distance the big building that has reservation, when, after a hundred weary swallowed up their boy. miles of sun-baked plains, you reach the “Oh, Winona,” calls some one at our green valley of the camp, and find its door before we are up, " I forgot to tell verdure mostly sage, its waters alkaline, the little girl to get up when the big bell and the old Indian life with its tepees rings. Go quickly and ask them not to and long-haired horsemen more comely whip her this once." than the blighted grain, faded calicoes, Here is an old grandmother with a and squalid cabins that stand for civiliza- grievance. “Did not my mother and her tion and your work. The big, bare Gov- mother, ay, as long as there have been ernment school-emblem of progress-is Indians, did they not teach their daughas lonely and out of place as the sewing. ters to speak in low tones, and now these machine standing beside an Indian tent, white women punish them because they and even the brown-faced school children will not speak loud. Surely it is shamein whom once you trusted as the hope of full” the Indian future are only uniform pack- When darkness falls and a group of ages of humanity done up in blue calico, frightened little ones huddle together and and your heart goes out to the old people, scream with terror at your unknown who have borne the brunt and burden of tongue, you do not stop to consider that life and are now passed carelessly by. this is the first step in the English educaThis is especially true if your visit falls tion enforced by Government, but hurry early in September, and you see the peo- for an interpreter. Late into the night ple bringing their children to school. you hear the long, wailing cries of some