Puslapio vaizdai

After alluding to his diplomacy, his service in building up the military defenses, and his public improvements, the address concludes:

As I stand beside you in the Hanlin, I feel how small I am, how little able to grapple with the great matters met within my province on the great river. In you we have perfect confidence, and I earnestly desire to learn from you. Compared with you, I am as a simple peasant to a picked archer, a poor jade to a fleet racer. You are men's ideal; you, like Kang Hou, enjoy the confidence of our Sovereign; yours is the glory of Chang the Councilor. You are the cynosure of all eyes.


THE correspondence on his mother's death shows the great importance attached by the central government to the services of Li Hung Chang, and the demonstrations attending his seventieth birthday, although somewhat Oriental in their extravagance, truly reflect the esteem in which he was held by the nation; but it must not be inferred therefrom that his political career has been one of unbroken success and adulation. The ruling circles at Peking and throughout the empire are full of personal parties, and political bickerings and intrigues are as much the order of the day as in other countries. This condition of things is greatly promoted by an ancient institution at Peking called the Censorate, a body of prominent men whose special function it is to review and criticize the acts of all officials, and to bring their shortcomings to the attention of the throne. Under the inspiration of his political enemies, the Viceroy Li has been many times the object of the Censors' attacks, and on three separate occasions he has had inflicted upon him the punishment recommended by this body. In 1868, because of failure to put down the Nienfei revolt in the time expected, he was degraded in rank, ordered to be removed from his post, and deprived of the yellow jacket bestowed upon him for his triumph over the Taiping rebels. But before the decree could be carried out a turn of fortune gave him decisive victories, and his rank, post, and jacket were preserved. A few years later he was the victim of a new degradation. The Grand Canal has for many centuries played an important part in the affairs of the empire as the great artery of communication between the capital and the most populous parts of the country, is a ravenous consumer of the public funds, owing to the heavy floods which destroy its banks, and the cause of the downfall of many a public functionary. In 1871 the viceroy of Chihli,

after the expenditure of a large sum appropriated from the imperial treasury, reported that he had put this great public work in complete condition. But, unfortunately, that very season an unprecedented flood swept away the embankment with great destruction and injury to public and private property. It was an opportunity not to be lost by the Censors, and again Li Hung Chang had to submit to degradation and the loss of his yellow jacket and peacock feathers. But he was allowed to hold his office of viceroy, and, with the indomitable will which has marked his public life, he set to work to repair the breaches, and his task was so promptly and successfully accomplished that he was restored to his dignities and insignia of imperial favor.

The last triumph of his enemies occurred during the late war with Japan, after the defeat of the Chinese forces in Corea, and the naval engagement off the mouth of the Yalu River. For years before the war the organization of the army in northern China, and the creation of a navy, had been in his hands, and, notwithstanding the fact that he had earnestly protested against the war with Japan, he was held responsible for the ignominious failure, and by imperial decree he was a third time degraded, deprived of the right to wear the famous yellow jacket and the three-eyed peacock feathers, and superseded in the command of the army of the North. But he was too influential and useful to be entirely withdrawn from the public service, and he retained his important post as viceroy. The events of the war very soon demonstrated the wisdom of his views, and that in the time of great emergencies he stood head and shoulders above any other subject of the Emperor. Within a few weeks his enemies had to bear the discomfiture of seeing him restored to all his honors, called to Peking, placed in most confidential relations with His Majesty, and intrusted singly with the high mission of negotiating peace with Japan.1


WHILE he thus bore the most important trust ever committed to him by the Emperor, it was by no means a task to his liking. He was by nature high-spirited, and his military and political success had made him haughty and imperious. He was proud of his country,

1 The reader need hardly be reminded that General Foster accompanied the viceroy on this mission, conskill and knowledge, due to long experience in the diptributing to the service of China his well-recognized lomatic affairs of the United States. -EDITOR.

of its past history, and of its institutions. He partook of the national feeling of contempt for the Japanese, and he felt keenly the humiliation which the war had inflicted upon his people. He knew the mission to which he had been assigned would make him unpopular, and expose him to fresh indignities from his partizan enemies. He felt that he was taking his life in his hand when he should place himself on Japanese soil, and he so expressed himself to the incredulous foreign diplomats at Peking; but he dared not shrink from the duty which his sovereign had imposed upon him. Seldom has a public man, under such trying circumstances, borne himself with such true heroism and patriotic devotion. A highspirited and proud man, he went to the land of the despised but triumphant enemy to sue for peace; and yet he never failed to maintain his accustomed demeanor or his country's dignity. And it is due to the Japanese plenipotentiaries who were designated to receive and treat with him at Shimonoseki, to state that they exhibited toward him the highest marks of respect, and during the entire negotiations allowed no word to escape from their lips, and nothing to occur, which might be considered personally offensive to their distinguished guest. He had the good fortune to conduct negotiations with two compeers, men of marked ability, and worthy representatives of their government and race. Marquis Ito, the prime minister, is a typical member of the progressive party, educated in Europe, and trained in modern political science and methods of government, but an ardent and patriotic Japanese. He had a valuable colleague in Count Mutsu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had been long in his country's service at home and abroad. Marquis Ito, ten years before, had been sent by his government to Tientsin to arrange with the Viceroy Li a settlement of Corean affairs; and the same subject brought the viceroy to Japan, but under changed conditions for the negotiators.

The defeated party always negotiates at a disadvantage, and the viceroy did not fail to appreciate the situation; but the judgment of the impartial observer is that he came out of it with as much credit as was possible, and it is quite certain that he obtained better terms for his country than any other Chinese official could have secured. This was due in part to the personal consideration shown him by the Japanese negotiators, but mainly to his own diplomatic experience and his thorough knowledge of his own government. Japan was robbed of a large measure of her triumph by VOL. LII.-72.

the interposition of the European powers, and it has been stated that the viceroy consented in the treaty to the cession of the Liaotung Peninsula only because of his knowledge that these powers would compel its return to China. But this is not a fair statement of the facts. Neither the viceroy nor his government had received any information from Russia or other power, before the treaty was signed, as to its action on the subject; but he had been a close student of European politics for many years, and his action was based upon convictions born of that study. He neither reads nor speaks any foreign language, but he has secretaries charged with the duty of keeping him informed of current events, and has had much intercourse with diplomats and other intelligent foreigners; and he well knew that Russia, if no other nation, would not allow the domination of Corea by Japan, or its permanent lodgment on the continent so near to Peking and Russia's own possessions; and he was willing to make the Liaotung cession in order to escape other harsh terms.

But the viceroy's statesmanship and strength of character were most conspicuous in his conduct after the treaty was signed and he had returned to China. On his arrival at Tientsin he ascertained that his worst fears as to the reception which the treaty would receive from his own countrymen were more than realized. When its terms became known, it was met by a storm of almost unanimous condemnation. Without exception, the viceroys, and also most of the generals, memorialized the throne against it, and the representatives of three of the great powers of Europe sought to prevent or delay its ratification by the Emperor.

But the viceroy did not hesitate as to his duty. He felt that the honor of his sovereign and the good of the country required that faith should be kept with Japan. He therefore sent urgent telegraphic representations to the Emperor and to the Foreign Office, calling for prompt ratification and exchange of the treaty in spite of the foreign influence and the national clamor. His personal enemies were actively exerting themselves against the treaty, led by the Viceroy Chang Chi-tung, who had written the highly laudatory address on the occasion of his birthday celebration, and who to that end was fomenting the rebellion in Formosa, and supplying the rebels with arms from the imperial arsenal at Shanghai. It greatly redounds to the credit of the young Emperor that in such a grave crisis he followed the advice of his venerable counselor, and ratified the treaty.


THE foregoing sketch presents the salient points in the career of Li Hung Chang, but the portraiture of the man would be imperfect without a reference to certain of his characteristics. Although the greatest general his country has produced in this century, he is preeminently a man of peace. Confucius, whose disciple he is proud to call himself, taught the folly of war, and the practice of the government and Chinese society in this respect is inspired by his teachings. While Japan has exalted the warlike spirit, and there the soldier is the idol of the people, in China the soldier is lightly esteemed, and always takes rank below the literary class. But, notwithstanding this peaceful spirit, there is often a war party in China, and on two or three memorable occasions it has fallen to the lot of the Viceroy Li to be placed in antagonism to it. The Kuldja question, about 1880, brought the country to the brink of war with Russia, and it was only by his most active resistance to the war party at Peking that a peaceful settlement was reached. It is now well known that he opposed the late hostilities with Japan. The government of the latter during the progress of the war obtained possession of and published certain memorials to the throne, dated in 1882, and forwarded by the viceroy, which looked to the ultimate invasion of Japan; but at best it was merely an inchoate scheme, and probably encouraged by the viceroy to aid his projects for the defense of the approaches to Peking. He had a better knowledge of the military strength of Japan and of the weakness of China than any other of the Emperor's advisers, and he feared the consequences to his country of a conflict. In the verbal negotiations for peace the following colloquy occurred:

Marquis Ito: «War is an evil, though sometimes unavoidable.»

Viceroy Li: Far better avoided. When General Grant, ex-President of the United States, visited Tientsin, and we became friends, he said to me: The loss of life in the rebellion in my country was so terrible that after I became President I was always anxious to avert war, and have ever since advised others to do so. Your Excellency won favor in suppressing the Taiping rebellion, yet I urge you to beware of entrance to a quarrel which might lead to war. I have always tried to follow this excellent advice. Your Excellency well knows that I was opposed to this war.» Marquis Ito: «War is a cruel and bloody

business; yet there are times and conditions in the intercourse of states when there is no help for it.»

Viceroy Li: «It is barbarous, and the perfection of modern weapons adds to the slaughter. Your Excellency is in the prime of life, and feels the impulse of martial ardor.»

Marquis Ito: «How easily peace might have been made at the beginning!»

Viceroy Li: «I was for peace then, but the opposition was too much for me, and the opportunity was lost.»>

It will be of interest, in this connection, to note that the friendship between the viceroy and General Grant above referred to was sincere and reciprocal, and the general regarded the former as one of the three great men of the world of his day. As a token of the viceroy's respect, by his direction the Chinese minister in Washington makes a visit to Riverside on the anniversary of the general's death, and lays upon his tomb a wreath of flowers.

It is claimed that, notwithstanding Li Hung Chang has shown some liberality of views toward modern improvements and education, he is at heart a hater of foreigners, and has an abiding faith in Chinese institutions and methods of government. He is, it is true, a great admirer of the Confucian philosophy, and, remembering the enduring history of his people, we can hardly wonder at his devotion to the institutions which have made that history possible. When we call to mind the experience China has had with certain Western nations, it might not be considered strange if his attachment to foreigners was not very ardent; but in all his public life his conduct shows that he feels the need of foreign aid, and is disposed to give it proper welcome, and of all Chinese statesmen he is the most liberal-minded and free from prejudice. He is far from claiming that the present system of government is perfect. He has, in fact, urged upon the authorities at Peking two important changes which look to a reform of most serious defects in the system; to wit, the withdrawal from the viceroys of provinces of powers which should be exercised only by the imperial government, and such a change in the method of admission to the public service as will liberalize the examinations, and make fitness rather than scholarship the test. There are other changes which he would gladly bring about if he had the power; but, as he confessed to Marquis Ito, «China is hampered by antiquated customs which prevent desirable reforms.»

The religious views of the viceroy are of interest at this time. It has been charged that he partakes fully of the superstition which is a marked characteristic of his people, and memorials to the throne are cited in which he recognizes the interposition of the river-gods in the form of a snake during the devastating floods, and other marvelous occurrences. How far his conduct in this regard may be considered a mere concession to the prevailing beliefs of the people, it is difficult to say, but he probably participates in the views of his great teacher Confucius, who was an avowed agnostic. He has to the Emperor denounced both Buddhism and Taoism as unorthodox sects. An incident of his peace mission shows that he is at least respectful toward Christianity, and recognizes the existence of an overruling providence. When the attack was made upon his life, the Christians of Nagoya, both Japanese and foreigners, sent a message of sympathy, with a statement that they were praying for his recovery. His son replied on his behalf as follows:

My father has directed me to write the following, dictated from his bed, in reply to your Address. He is deeply moved by the sentiments of kindly solicitude for his welfare expressed in your Address, and feels that the prayers you have offered for his recovery cannot have been unheeded by the Power who controls human destinies. He feels that his escape from death was little short of miraculous.

He believes that his life has been spared to him for some wise purpose beyond the capacity of man to fathom; but he will venture to interpret his good fortune as an indication that his life-work is not yet complete; that he may yet do some good in the world, and perhaps render service to his country by endeavoring to restore peace and good will where strife now prevails. .

Since the restoration of peace and his return to Peking, in an interview reported with a Methodist bishop, he said:

"Say to the American people for me to send over more missionaries for the schools and hospitals, and I hope to be in a position both to aid them and protect them.» As confirmatory of these sentiments, it is announced that since the war terminated all restrictions upon the propagation of the Christian religion have been expunged from the Chinese code. On the other hand, the war seems to have had the contrary effect on the Japanese, as we find the imperial diet engaged in decreeing the erection of Shinto temples in Formosa, in order that the spirit of a celebrated prince, and those of others who fell in the service, may be worshiped as gods; and the captured cannon are being molded into an immense Buddha to adorn the capital.

No living public man of Asia has been so much the subject of discussion and criticism as Li Hung Chang. Much of the criticism has been unfavorable, and his critics are often unfair. It is hardly just to him to estimate his character and attainments according to the standard of Western nations. His education is exclusively Oriental, and his entire life has been spent in China. His knowledge of our civilization is such as could be acquired in the motley society of a treaty-port. As a statesman he has had to deal with a very conservative and bigoted constituency, and with associates prejudiced against and ignorant of foreign nations. Judged in the light of his education, his experience, and his surroundings, he must be regarded as the first of living statesmen of Asia, and one of the most distinguished of the public men of the world. John W. Foster.


[AY, ask no vow, dear heart! Too lightly slips

We pledge eternity-who in one day, Forgotten, silenced, mingle clay with clay! How do you know your eyes will always shine With that glad welcome when they meet with mine? How dare I say this heart for aye will swell To answer yours-knowing its frailty well? To-day sees plighted troth and clasping hands; To-morrow, shattered faith and broken bands. Oh, pitiful for mortal lips to swear! More fitting this: unceasing, fervent prayer That our love's flower, escaping frost and blight, May bloom immortal, as we hope to-night!

Catharine Young Glen.



AK' you' spik-pole an' stan' in stern,» said Jean Baptiste, imperatively, as I was stepping for the first time into the bow of our bateau, made fast beside a rock just above the rapids of the Mattawamkeag, better known as the east branch of the Penobscot. «Boat he row!» continued the wiry little Canadian. «Birch he paddle! Bateau he spik-pole! What you get in bow for? Bow my place. Ah was born in bow of bateau. Ah unverstan' bateau before you born!»

A bateau is, as Thoreau once defined it, a cross between a boat and a birch canoe. It is perhaps twenty-four feet long and four feet wide, flat-bottomed, lightly but strongly built, with a flare upward for seven or eight feet at each end, reducing its area of greatest draft to a minimum, so that it floats among the clustered rocks like a drifting apple, touching, but not easily grounding. The place of honor is the bow, not the stern. Baptiste thrust in my hand a light spruce pole, twelve feet long and shod with iron, showing me how to hold it, and how to stand with feet apart for firmer balance. Meanwhile he never ceased his French-Canadian chatter, which had already made itself at home in that State, once so homogeneous in population, which its natives call, with monosyllabic tenderness, «the State o' Maine.»

It was the last day of our week's camping out on the noble and lonely mountain Ktaadn or Katahdin, and we had struck before noon, on our return journey, the landing where our party was to divide. Baptiste and I-particularly Baptiste-were to take the bateau down through the rapids. It was already laden with the packs, now half empty, of eight people, with whatever was left of our trout and partridge, and with all the gentians and buck-bean and asters and osmunda ferns that three enterprising young women could accumulate, aided by three masculine comrades and their two guides. Baptiste took his place at the bow, and pushed off. For a moment the bateau hesitated before taking the sweep of the current, and we could glance at our comrades on the shore. Already in single file, Bert Somers at the head as lead

ing guide, Martha in her now wonted place next him, Mrs. Willis and Sarah next, and the young men bringing up the rear, they paused to see us off. We were to meet down the river by nightfall. Martha looked round once, the sunlight glancing on her curly head and blue woodland dress; she waved her hand, but checked her greeting when Bert pointed out to her an owl on an upper bough. The owl suddenly became extremely interesting to her. I thought how different it had been a week before, when we had left our last farmhouse (Henderson's) and struck into the woods for the twenty-five miles of exploring. Martha had then loitered gaily at the rear end of the procession, chatting with old Baptiste, and scarcely glancing at Bert from beneath her long lashes, while he seemed hardly to have discovered her existence, and answered all the rest in monosyllables. We had all been rather silent, I remember, that first day, with the new weight of the packs on our shoulders, laden with ship-bread and with such an unreasonable supply of pork that Theo had suggested that we might have brought a pig and let him carry it up in person.

As Bert strode silently before us through the woods, in his red shirt and torn hat, ax on shoulder, or looked round with placid face and steady blue eyes as he cleared away an oak bough or pointed the way to a crossing, he seemed as fine a product of the forest as any moose or caribou. We had borrowed him from his sister in a capacious log-house in Number Six,- for we were already beyond townships that had been christened, and she had dismissed him with a pat upon the shoulder. The house itself had looked neat even to refinement, and we found afterward that the family was classed as aristocratic in that region, which meant that Bert did not like to have his sister go to lumbermen's balls, though he was a lumberman himself. He had, in fact, the highest local dignity-that of being «head of a drive» in spring («Get his six dollars a day jes as easy as rollin' off a log,» it was explained to me), and he had that natural propriety and self-restraint which one sometimes finds among hunters and fishermen in New England. He neither drank, smoked, nor swore; he reverenced women, and was shy

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