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Full text of "The "ever-victorious army", a history of the Chinese campaign under Lt.-Col. C.G. Gordon and of the suppression of the Tai-ping rebellion"

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HEA\':EN is always benevolent in its dealing mTH ALL THINGS 

— Confucius, in the CImng Yung. 












AUTHOR OF ' England's policy in china,' and formerly 








PREFACE, xiii 








Relations between the Past and Present of China — Antiquity of the Chinese 
Nation and Government — The doctrine of Filial Piety — Advancement of 
able men to official posts — Geographical isolation of China — The Chinese 
language politically considered — The Doctrine of Harmony — A successful 
ideal state — Symmetrical oneness of the Chinese state— Sages, Worthies, 
and Worthless — Chinese political action founded on a Christian principle — 
The harmony of relationships — Feeling against the employment of force 
in government — Respect for age and learning — Education universal in 
China — Position and titles of the Emperor — Mutual responsibility, . 3-21 




Eastern reverence for antiquity— The Asiatic Hebrew — The Indo-Aryan— 
Chinese ideal of happy life — Chinese rebellions and revolutions — The 
balance of power — Mongol and Manchu conquests — vSecret societies — The 
Opium war, and increasing disorganisation of China, . . . 22-34 



Hung Sew-tsuen's origin — His position as a Hakka — His trances and super- 
stitions — The terrible character of his career — His personal appearance — 
The Tai-ping Wangs — Murder of the Eastern King — Hung's jealousy of 
his chiefs — The Rebel capital constantly besieged, . . . 3S"45 



State of the Rebellion in 1859 — Despair of the Tai-pings — Change in their 
prospects caused by the new difficulty between China and Great Britain — 
Sankolinsin — The Taku disaster of 1859 — Relief of Nanking — The Tai- 
ping outbreak into Kiangsoo — The taking of Soochow — The advance on 
Shanghai — British neutrality— The Peking expedition — Imperial applica- 
tion for British assistance — The Allies determine to defend Shanghai— 
*' General" Frederick Ward — The capture of Sungkiang — Savage — Re- 
pulse by Foreigners of the Tai-ping attack on Shanghai, . . 49-67 





The Tien Wang's indifference — Tai-ping plans in i860 — Four armies set in 
motion — British agreement with the Rebels — Neutrality strictly enforced 
— Arrest of Ward — Failure of the Rebel movements — Success of the Tai- 
pings in Chekiang — Reasons for keeping them from Shanghai and Ningpo 
— Death of the Emperor Hien-fung — Prince Kung's coup d'etat^ , 68-79 



The Tai-pings worsted without our aid — Their second advance on Shanghai — 
The country people apply for protection against them — The Allies resolve 
to clear a thirty-mile radius — The taking of Kading, &c. — Death of Ad- 
miral Protet — The Faithful King retrieves the Rebel cause — Forrester's 
captivity — The end of the Heroic King — The Faithful King recalled to 
Nanking — The Allies confine themselves to Shanghai and Sungkiang — 
Reception of the news of Ward's death — His burial —Burgevine appointed 
in his place — Li made Futai of Kiangsoo — Their quarrel — General Stave- 
ley asked to appoint a British officer — Burgevine assaults Ta Kee — His 
dismissal — Captain Holland appointed to command the Ever- Victorious 
Army by General Sir Charles Staveley, 80-94 


British neutrality at Ningpo — Hostile attitude of the Tai-pings — Admiral 
Hope sends Captain Dew, R.N., to Ningpo — Reasons for our interference 
there — Apak, the ex-pirate — Captain Dew takes Ningpo by assault — Death 
of Lieutenants Kenney and Cornewall — Order restored in the city — For- 
mation of French and EngHsh corps of disciplined Chinese — Description 
of the surrounding country, and effects of Tai-ping occupation — Clearing a 
thirty-mile radius — taking of Yuyow and Tseki — Death of General Ward 
— Repulse at Fungwha — Commander Jones in a fix — A Bishop's spoil — 
Half of Chekiang restored to Imperial rule — Pay of the Anglo-Chinese 
contingent — Rebel defeat at Pikwan — Captain Dew goes beyond the thirty- 
mile radius — Advance on Showshing— Death of Captain Le Brethon de 
Coligny — Description of Showshing — Deaths of Captain Tardiff and Lieu- 
tenant Tinling — Captain Dew undertakes the siege — Fall of Showshing — 
Dashing nature of Captain Dew's exploits, 95-1 20 






Chinese partiality for beautiful phraseology — The title ** Ever- Victorious 
Amiy" — Captain Holland's defeat at Taitsan, and Major Brennan's at 
Fushan — Colonel Gordon appointed to command the E. V. A. — His pre- 
vious services — Its officers and privates — Rates of pay — Its artillery and 
small-arms — The punishments inflicted — Chinese aptitude for drill — 
Colonel Gordon's flotilla — The steamer Hyson and Captain Davidson — 
The auxiliary Imperialist force — Aptitude of the Chinese for war — For the 
work of sappers — Colonel Gordon's tactics — Expenditure of the Chinese 
Government — Colonel Gordon's view of his position and the authority 
under which he acted, 123- 141 



Burgevine's visit to Peking — The British Minister wishes him restored to com- 
mand — Colonel Gordon takes command of the E.V.A. — His Staff— Cap- 
ture of Fushan — Gordon receives an Imperial commission, with the rank 
of Tsung-ping — Governor Li's opinion of the new commander — Descrip- 
tion of the theatre of war — An amphibious boat — Tai-ping treachery at 
Taitsan — Capture of Taitsan — Alleged Imperialist cruelties — Chinese 
punishments — Letter from Colonel Gordon — A mutiny in the Force — Situa- 
tion of Quinsan — A demon steamboat — Great destmction of Tai-pings — 
Capture of Quinsan — It is made headquarters of the Force — Another 
mutiny, 1 42- 1 65 

burgevine's history and FATE. 

A third mutiny — Situation of Soochow — Gordon's troubles — Burgevine's 
previous career — He joins the Tai-pings — Alarm caused in Shanghai — 
Gordon's providential escape — The Foreign Allies desert the Rebels — Po- 
lite interchanges between Burgevine and Jones — Burgevine attempts again 
to join the Tai-pings — His seizure by the Chinese authorities — His re- 
ported accidental death — The doubt which rests over his fate, . 1 66- 1 82 



The investment of Soochow — Storming of Leeku — Gordon's "Magic Wand" 
— Death of Captain Perry — Disposal of the besieging forces — The Faithful 
King's apprehensions — Complete investment of Soochow — Pirating of the 
steamer Firefly — A disastrous night-attack — Capture of the East Gate 



stockades — Negotiations for surrender — Murder of the Moh Wang — A 
characteristic letter from Colonel Gordon — The capitulation of Soochow 
— Gordon's perilous position — His grief and indignation — His search for 
Governor Li — Execution of the Wangs — Li's reasons for that act — Gordon 
refuses to act, and rejects an Imperial douceur — Imperial decree regarding 
the fall of Soochow, 183-208 



Imperialist successes — Inactivity of the Ever- Victorious Army — Gordon's rea- 
sons for retaking the field — Mr Hart's report on the Soochow " Massacre" 
— Sir Frederick Bruce approves of the resumption of operations — A letter 
from him — Gordon retakes the field — State of the country occupied by 
Rebels — Evacuation of Yesing and Liyang — Severe repulse at Kintang — 
Colonel Gordon wounded — Tai-ping advance towards Quinsan — Gordon 
suffers a disastrous repulse at Waisoo — Fate of his captured officers — Im- 
perialist successes in Chekiang — Death of General Ching — Li's memorial 
of him — Taking of Hangchow — Capture of Waisoo — Cruelty of the vil- 
lagers — The Rebellion near its end — Death of Major Tapp — Repulse at 
Chanchu— A Tai-ping letter — Storming of Chanchu — Death of the Hu 
Wang — Close of the services of the E. V. A., .... 209-240 



Expulsion of the Tai-pings from Kiangnan — Recall of H.M, order permitting 
British officers to serve the Emperor — Gordon determines, on his own re- 
sponsibility, to dissolve his force — Appreciation of his conduct by the 
Chinese — Gratuities to wounded officers — Dissolution of the Ever- Victorious 
Army — Distinctions conferred on Gordon — Imperial decree recognising his 
services — anxiety of Sir Harry Parkes — Letter from Governor Li, claiming 
a chief share in the overthrow of the Tai-pings— Address to Colonel 
Gordon from the merchants of Shanghai — The difficulties Gordon had to 
encounter — Opinion of the ' Times ' — An estimate of the military results 
of his campaign — The political effects of his action — The Imperial mari- 
time customs and the Lay-Osbom fleet — Mr I -ay's attempt to make him- 
self an iinperium in imperio — His failure, and dismissal from the Chinese 
service — His use of Sir F. Bruce's private letters — Appointment of Mr 
Hart — The general effects of Gordon's action discussed, . . 241-266 



Rudimentary state of medical science in China — Assistant-Surgeon Moffitt's 
services to Gordon's force — Capacity of the Chinese as soldiers — Malaria 
— Organisation of the medical department — Hospital tables of disease — 
Effects and cure of opium-smoking — Dysentery — Table of wounds received 
inaction — Cases of wounds, 267-277 







Tseng Kwo-tsun — View of Nanking and the Imperialist lines — Appearance 
of Tseng Kwo-fan — Gordon's conversation with him — Generals Paou and 
Ping — Chinese mandarins — Mandarin buttons — Ki Ying's history— His 
ode on leaving Canton — His treatment by Lord Elgin, and his fate — Yeh 
and Pih Kwei — Kweiliang and Hwashana — Sankolinsin — Su Shu-en and 
the Princes of I and Ching — Shung Pow — Prince Kung — Wan See-ang, 
the present Premier of China — Li Hung Chang — Tseng Kwo-fan, Gene- 
ralissimo of all the Chinese forces — Sir John Bowring — Lord Elgin — Sir 
Frederick Bruce — Sir R. Alcock — Mr Wade, Sir Harry Parkes, and Mr 
Lay — Mr T. T. Meadows — Admiral Hope and Captain Dew — Generals 
Staveley and Brown — Colonel Gordon and Mr Hart, . . . 281-317 



The Tien Wang's indifference and seclusion — Sweet dew — His wisdom and 
good fortune — Complete investment of Nanking — Despair of the Faithful 
King — Last days of Hung Sew-tsuen — His death and burial — His son 
Fu-tien ascends the throne — The fall of Nanking — Capture of the Faith- 
ful King — His character and autobiography — His execution — Fate of the 
Shield King and of the young monarch — State of Nanking M^hen captured 
— Report on its condition by Vice-Consul Adkins — Reception of the news 
at Peking — Imperial decree — The fall of Wuchu — Experiences of Patrick 
Nellis — Retreat of the Tai-ping remnant through Kiangsi into Fukien — 
They appear at Changchow, near Amoy — Manifesto of the Attendant King 
— Their dispersion and final disappearance — Fate of the I Wang, 318-342 



Meaning of the name Nien-fei — Origin of these rebels — Their character and 
tactics — Weakness of the central government in China — Political parties 
— Sankolinsin and Tseng Kwo-fan — Death of Sankolinsin — Varying for- 
tune of the Nien-fei — Li Hung-chang appointed to the command against 
them— His suppression of them— Relationships between China and Mo- 
hammedanism — The Mohammedan Rebels in Shensi — Their retreat into 
Kansuh — The province of Hi and its relation to China — The Miaoutsz 
and Hakkas, 343-355 





China at present in a period of disturbance and transition — Causes of such 
periods — Over-population — Falsehoods regarding the prevalence of infan- 
ticide — Dangers of prosperity — China's present favourable position — 
Crushing of the Nien-fei rebels — Degradation of Li Hung-chang — Euro- 
pean gunboats and artillery employed by the Government — Military re- 
form — Services of a British officer required — China's foreign relationships 
— Foreigners have provoked hostility — Spaniards and Portuguese — Opium 
versus tea — English merchants in China — The East India Company — 
Opening of the five ports — Remarkable success of our merchants — Their 
dissatisfaction — Tlie Treaty of Tientsin — Our merchants ruined by the open- 
ing of China — Over- trading — Tea sold cheaper in London than in China 
— Complaints as to exactions on the transit of goods — Memorials of the 
Anglo-Chinese Chambers of Commerce — Jardine, Matheson, & Co. on 
the opium traffic, and on access to the interior of China — Net results of 
an aggressive policy — A prophecy by Wan See-ang — Danger of our trade 
passing into Chinese hands, 356-382 



1863 AND 1864, ...... 384 



" TI-PING TIEN-KWOH," ..... 389 





1. Map of China, to face title-page. 

2. Sketch -Map of the Routes taken by the Rebel Forces 

during the years 1851-65, . . . . 48 

3. Map illustrating the Operations of the Chung and Ying 

Wangs, 1855-64, ..... 68 

4. Sketch - Map of the Operations against the Rebels, 

1862-64, ...... 122 

5. Sketch of Taitsan and Quinsan, . . . . 142 
.6. Sketch of Country ravaged by Rebels, March 1864, . 209 


The Chinese people and Government have had to struggle 
during the last ten years with diflSculties of no ordinary 
kind. In that period they have carried on a prolonged 
war with two of the most powerful nations of the earth, 
whose demands upon them, however warrantable, neces- 
sarily weakened the power of the Chinese State by lower- 
ing it from an authoritative position ; they have had to 
adapt their long-isolated civilisation to the disintegrating 
influence of close contact with Foreigners'"' — a difficult 
and hazardous task, only accomplished by a ministerial 
coup d'etat almost tantamount to an internal revolution; 
and they have suppressed a great internal movement, 
which had become a most formidable rebellion chiefly 
because a long period of isolation and of peaceful pros- 
perity had led the authorities of the country to neglect 
the arts of war. 

The latter feat forms the topic of this book ; but it has 
been found impossible to treat of it in anything like a 

* The words "Foreigner" and "Foreign," when commenced with a 
capital letter, refer to the Europeans and Americans in China as opposed 
to the people of the country. Hence " Foreign " is a proper name nearly 
equivalent to the term " Occidental," which some writers use in its place. 



satisfactory manner without many references to the other 
two difficulties just mentioned ; for they not only all 
existed contemporaneously, but were also closely con- 
nected, and aggravated each other in a high degree. 
It was not merely that the war with Foreigners gave 
opportunity to the Tai-ping Eebels, and the Rebellion 
diminished the means of external defence : the Eebel- 
lion had its origin in the contact of China with Foreign 
nations ; it was almost suppressed in 1859, when a new 
difficulty between Foreigners and the Imperial Govern- 
ment came to its aid ; the loss of power consequent on 
the Rebellion made it difficult for the Emperor to grant 
Foreign demands, and the loss of prestige caused him 
by Foreigners decreased his power of dealing with the 

Several interesting and instructive works — such as 
those of Mr Meadows, Mr Oliphant, Commander Brine, 
and Dr Rennie — have been published, relating to the 
first half of the transition period through which China 
has recently passed, and which closes with the Peking 
coup d'etat of 1861; but the important events which 
followed, which have resulted in the complete suppres- 
sion of the Tai-ping Rebellion, and the restoration of 
China to a state of comparative order and peace, are 
known to the British public only through an indistinct 
recollection of telegrams and newspaper reports, or 
through the frantic complaints of ignorant or unscrupu- 
lous Tai-ping sympathisers. In these events Foreigners 
in China took an important part. Some Englishmen 
and Americans fought on the side of the Rebels ; while 
on the other hand it will not be forgotten that almost 
every mail from the Far East, during great parts of 



1863 and 1864, brought home intelligence that Major 
(now Colonel) Gordon had taken another town from 
the Tai-pings and handed it over to the Imperialists. 
Hence this latter period has for us the double interest 
arising from the restoration to order of a great country 
with which we are commercially connected, and of the 
military service in it of British officers to that end. 

My information on this subject has been drawn chiefly 
from unpublished sources. More than a year after his 
connection with the Chinese Government had ended, 
Colonel Gordon offered me his Private Journal and Cor- 
respondence relating to that connection, and other papers 
illustrative of Tai-ping history, with full permission to 
make any use of them I pleased, but expressing at the 
same time a strong wish that in anything published on 
the subject he should not be made the hero of a work in 
which so many other officers were engaged, who had, in 
his opinion, as much to do with the suppression of the 
Eebellion as himself, and that any relation of his ser- 
vices in China should be subordinated to what he con- 
sidered the more important object of presenting a true 
account of the recent course of events in that country. 
He was induced to place in me this valued confidence 
chiefly by the perusal, after his return to England, of 
a pamphlet on our policy in China, which I issued at 
Hongkong in 1860, proposing and advocating that 
change of policy towards the Celestial Empire which 
was afterwards so ably carried out at Peking by Sir 
Frederick Bruce, her Majesty's Plenipotentiary; at Shang- 
hai by Mr Hart, the head of the Imperial Maritime 
Customs; and by Colonel Gordon in the field. 

Though I never had the slightest connection, directly 



or indirectly, with the Celestial Government, or derived 
any special benefit from it, yet, having lived a good deal 
among the Chinese in their own Flowery Land, and being 
deeply impressed with the convictions that the interests 
of China and of Great Britain are at present identical, 
and that a right understanding of the former country 
may be of very great use in the new phase of political 
matters into which we are ourselves entering, I felt 
inclined to enter on the task thus committed to me. 
Considering Colonel Gordon s wishes, the absence in his 
J ournal of all details of personal adventure, and the un- 
interesting nature of small military operations after the 
recent great wars in America and on the Continent, it 
seemed clear that the best course to pursue would be 
to draw up a brief general history of the suppression 
of the Tai-ping Eebellion, taking, only as a central figure, 
the Foreign-officered Imperialist force officially called the 
CKang Sheng Chiun or " Ever-Victorious Army,^^ which 
was originated in 1860 by Ward, an American adven- 
turer, and which, under Colonel Gordon, did essential 
service in clearing the province of Kiangsoo of Tai-pings, 
and leading to the fall of Nanking, the Eebel capital. 

The completion of this design has been delayed and 
partially interfered with by very severe and prolonged 
illness ; but the delay is not a matter of regret, for no 
events of great importance have very recently occurred 
in China, and the lapse of time has allowed idle reports 
about the continuance of the Tai-ping Rebellion to die 
away. I do not plead my state of health in excuse of 
any errors or defects in this short history, but only to 
explain why some of the earlier chapters are more ela- 
borate than may seem necessary as an introduction to 



those which follow. I had planned the work on a larger 
scale, and with the intention of more perfect execution, 
but, having been reduced to writing by dictation, have 
been compelled to content myself with presenting matter 
which is either entirely new, or is of essential importance 
to a right understanding of recent events in China. 

About a third of this volume has already appeared in 
the pages of ' Blackwood's Magazine;' but the remainder 
is entirely new matter, with the exception of a few 
sentences which I may have used when commenting in 
the * Daily News,' or ' Pall Mall Gazette,' on passing 
events in the East. 

I have to acknowledge my obligations for various 
documents and information to Major-General W. G. 
Brown; Staff Assistant -Surgeon A. Moffitt ; Captain 
Koderick Dew, E.N. ; Mr Dick of Tientsin ; Mr James 
Macdonald, formerly Secretary of the Shanghai Chamber 
of Commerce ; Dr W. Dickson, late of Canton; and espe- 
cially to Colonel Gordon, with whom, however, I have 
had no communication in regard to matters of opinion, 
and who is in no way responsible for this work further 
than for the correctness of my account of the operations 
which he conducted. 

My own experience in China and acquaintance with 
Ward when he started the Ever-Victorious Army have 
proved useful, as also the statements of gentlemen who 
had opportunities of observing some of the operations 
under Gordon ; and I may say that all the infor- 
mation now available regarding the suppression of the 
Tai-ping Kebellion has been examined and considered, 
but the materials of tliis work have been chiefly drawn 
from the following sources : — 




1. The Private Journal and Correspondence of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Gordon, C.B., relating to his Chinese 

2. A MS. Narrative of Gordon's Campaign, compiled 
under the directioii of Major- General Brown, who com- 
manded H.M.'s troops in China in 1863-64, and whose 
brother, Major Brown, was Gordon's A.D.C. 

3. A confidential " Memorandum on the Quin-san 
Force," or Gordons Contingent, printed by H.M.'s 
Government, but never published. 

4. The Private Journal kept by Captain Roderick 
Dew, R.N., of his operations against the Tai-pings in 
the province of Chekiang. 

5. Imperial Decrees and other official Chinese docu- 
ments, and Tai-ping Manifestoes. 

6. The Autobiographies of the Tai-ping Chiefs, the 
Chung Wang or Faithful King, the Kan Wang or Shield 
King, and the son of the Rebel Monarch, who, before 
being put to death by the Imperial authorities after 
their capture at, or shortly after, the fall of Nanking, 
were permitted to employ the brief remainder of their 
lives in writing out accounts of their history. 

7. Intercepted Rebel Despatches and the Letters and 
Depositions of unfortunate Foreigners who served with 
the Tai-pings. 

8. "Notes kept by" Colonel Schmidt, "an officer who 
served under Ward, Burgevine, Holland, and Gordon," 
which were published in the * Friend of China,' a paper 
notorious for its Tai-ping sympathies. 

0. A Medical Report on Gordon's Campaign by Staff 
Assistant-Surgeon A. Moffitt. 

10. The Correspondence on our Relations with China 



published in Parliamentary Blue-Books, and the Diplo- 
matic Correspondence issued by the President of the 
United States. 

11. The Chinese Classics. 

12. Files of old newspapers innumerable. 

Iq regard to several of the maps which accompany 
this book, I have to acknowledge my obligations, for 
valuable assistance rendered in the preparation of them, 
to Captain Sanford of the Koyal Engineers, who is 
personally well acquainted with the country in the 
neighbourhood of Shanghai, having been engaged on 
the survey of it, and having also taken a part in the 
British operations against the Tai-pings. The " Sketch- 
map of the Operations against the Eebels in 1862-64^' 
will be found necessary to explain Colonel Gordon's Cam- 
paign, and has been reduced from a large military plan 
constructed by himself and by other officers of her 
Majesty's army. The " Map illustrating the Operations 
of the Chung and Ying Wangs '' is explanatory of the 
attempts, as described in Chap. V., of the Tai-pings to 
relieve Hankow. In the Sketch-map of the Eoutes 
taken by the Kebel Forces from 1851 to 1865," advantage 
has been taken of the lines illustrating the early Tai- 
ping movements given by Mr Meadows in the map 
accompanying his work on the Eebellion ; but the later 
more important movements of the Tai-pings, up to the 
time of their extinction, are also show^n, together with 
the lines established by Li Hung-chang, in 1857, to 
destroy the Nien-fei. The "Sketch of Taitsan and 
Quinsan may serve to explain the capture of the latter 
town, as described in Chap. IX. ; and the " Sketch of 
Country ravaged by Kebels, March 1864," illustrates Col- 



onel Gordon's last operations. For the benefit of readers 
who desire to have a really good map of China on a small 
scale, I have given one in which (it having been pre- 
pared upon steel for another purpose by a distinguished 
living geographer) the spelling of the names is slightly 
different from that of the other maps and of the text. 

The English orthography of Chinese names is at pre- 
sent in such an extremely unsatisfactory state that I 
have not thought it necessary rigidly to follow any 
particular system of spelling in regard to words such 
as "Kiangsoo'' and "Soochow," which have become 
familiar to English eyes ; and some of the names of 
Chinese persons and places must be incorrectly given, 
because they were written down, from sound, in English, 
by persons ignorant of Chinese, and it was not worth 
while to procure the proper orthography ; but some of 
these are corrected in an appendix. In regard to little- 
known yet important terms, such as "Futai," I have 
inclined to the modification of the system of Sir Wil- 
liam Jones, which has been adopted for Asiatic lan- 
guages generally by the learned societies of Europe, and 
which has been followed by the American missionaries 
in China. The complicated system followed of late by 
the British Consular service in China is most misleading 
to English readers, and is responsible for such barbarities 
as " Shanghae " and " Tae-ping." 

The word " Tai-ping signifies " great peace," and is 
pronounced with a strong aspirate after the T, with 
the ai like i in "high" or "aisle," and with the vow^el 
in iniuf as in ring." It has also been written " T'hai- 
ping," "Tae-ping," and "Ti-ping." The first of these 
methods is that used by Mr Hamberg, the biographer 



of Hung Sew-tsuen, and is the most correct of all ; but 
it is unnecessarily cumbrous for ordinary use. "Tae- 
ping," the English official way of spelling the word, is 
open to the fatal objection that it causes ninety-nine 
Englishmen out of a hundred to pronounce the Tae 
with a broad sound, as in " lay " or " hay " which is 
very different from the Chinese. " Ti-ping " will 
not do, because it suggests that the Ti should be 
sounded as in " tippet." It may be said that Tai- 
ping" is open to a similar objection, because both in 
English and French ai usually represents the broad 
sound of a ; but in point of fact ai naturally suggests 
the vowel-sound in the Tai of Tai-ping, and has been 
long used for that purpose by students of Oriental 
literature. Though not perfect, it is the best representa- 
tion which has been offered, and has the advantage of 
being well known both in English and French literature. 
The most perfectly correct spelling would be "Thai- 

Chinese being a monosyllabic and ideographic, not 
a phonetic, language, its proper names are sometimes 
separated into distinct words, as "Hong Kong'' for 
" Hongkong," and " Tien-tsin " for " Tientsin ; " but this 
is quite unnecessary in regard to the names of places, 
and is even scarcely accurate, because one of the syllables 
in such cases is almost always an adjective. In the names 
of persons, however, a distinction should be marked be- 
tween the family name and that which is conferred. To 
write " Hungsewtsuen," for instance, would be like 
writing in English " Smithjohn " instead of " Smith 
(John)." Hung being the family name, it should stand 
by itself, and the conferred name is marked by a hyphen 



between the name and the adjective, so that its com- 
posite nature may be marked, thus making " Hung 
Sew-tsuen." The same principle has been followed 
whenever practicable, as in "Tseng Kwo-fan" and "Li 
Ilung-chang but Tartar names, like " Sankolinsin," 
have been treated more simply, the language being 

It is very difficult to secure perfect verbal accuracy in 
a work of this kind where so many minute details have 
to be considered and compressed, and where, to a Foreign 
ear, there is so little difference between the Chinese 
monosyllables. On looking over the work, however, now 
that it is in print, I observe only a few errors, and not 
important ones, which require correction. In p. 126, 
"Shensi" has slipped in instead of " Shansi in one 
place a pamphlet of Mr Lay's has been called ' Our 
Policy ' instead of ' Our Interests in China ; ' and in a 
note hastily added to p. 148, ''Chekiang" has, by a slip 
of the pen, been inserted instead of " Nganhwui," but 
the point referred to is more fully explained in a note 
to p. 298. 

Perhaps it may be thought that some of the state- 
ments given in this work ought to have been supported 
by a fuller reference to authorities ; but to have done so 
in anything like a satisfactory manner I should have 
required to publish not one volume but at least three, 

* Unlike ourselves, the Chinese make a iDractice of proceeding from 
generals to particulars. Hence they always put the family name first, and 
in addressing a letter they would write, " England, London, Piccadilly 8, 
Smith John." The advantages of this method are sufficiently obvious. The 
opposite practice could never have sprung up in a civilisation guided by 
intelligence ; but the most curious point about it is its want of that practi- 
calness of which wc make so much boast. 



and so have ruined myself both with the publisher and 
the public. Besides, China is especially a country at 
present which stands much more in need of the general 
features of its recent history being pointed out to intel- 
ligent persons than of any public writer on the subject 
involving himself in ridiculous discusssions such as that 
as to whether the Tai-pings represented any national or 
religious movements, when to do so would be almost 
as bad as for a writer illustrating the great practical 
applications of astronomy to devote his time to com- 
bating the ignorant, the fanciful, or the interested argu- 
ments of those who still maintain that the sun goes 
round the earth, and that the stars are merely street 
lamps for the sons of men. 

In conclusion, I have only to beg that readers who 
have been unaccustomed to see Chinese matters treated 
from a rational point of view, will believe that I am no 
Mandarin worshipper, and that I am quite alive to the 
great faults of the Chinese nation and Government. 
Their civilisation, like our own, has been in great part 
a failure, though perhaps not such a saddening one as 
ours, for it has not had such fine material to work 
upon ; but we must at least understand it and treat of 
it as it really exists, if we would avail ourselves of its 
experience. Mr Disraeli has well said that Europe is 
now passing from a feudal to a federal system. Through 
this stage China passed long ago ; and as we know it, its 
government has been committed to a body of officials 
chosen from all ranks of the people by a competitive 
examination which tests power of genius and intellect, 
rather than of acquirement, and which has been to some 
extent successful in raising the "A/otcrroi of the countr}' 



to the possession of both wealth and political power. 
To talk of Manchu tyranny in China is about as absurd 
as it would be in England to speak of the tyranny of 
the house of Hanover. In Great Britain the power of 
the aristocracy, or rather say of the upper classes, has 
been losing ground of late years, and some barrier is ne- 
cessary against the state of matters in which the power 
of the people can be directed by passionate demagogues, 
or by politicians of the American stamp who seek purely 
personal ends. How far the Chinese system might afford 
hints to this end, or supply warnings, is an important 
question which will soon be forced upon us by the course 
of events, and hence it is desirable that we should know 
that system as it really is, and not as it has been 
fancifully represented — a subject of ridicule to amuse 
the passing hour, or a subject of abuse to justify dubious 

May 1868. 


The word "Wang" properly signifies a Prince; it would be im- 
possible to name all tlie Tai-ping Wangs, of whom there were about 
2300 ; and among these Rebels the name did not imply any royalty by 
blood. In the first years of the Rebellion the title was conferred only 
on a select few, but latterly it was given largely by the Heavenly Mon- 
arch, and conferred by some of his adherents upon themselves. The 
following list of the more prominent of them may be useful in ex- 
plaining the references in the text. The title is given first, then a 
translation of it, and afterwards the individual's name : — 

1. Tien Wang or Tai-ping Wang : the Heavenly Monarch or King 

of the Great Peace; Hung Sew-tsuen. This was the origi- 
nator, centre, and king of the whole movement. Born 1813. 
Formally proclaimed his rebellion in 1850 ; established him- 
self at Nanking in 1853, and committed suicide in June 1864. 

2. Tien Wang II. : the second Heavenly Monarch ; Hung Fu-tien. 

A son of Hung Sew-tsuen and of Lai, the second of the former's 
eighty-eight wives. Born 1848, assumed the nominal sceptre 
on the death of his father, and shortly after the fall of Nan- 
king, in July 1864, was taken and executed by the Imperial- 

3. Fu Wang : Hung Jen-ta. An elder half-brother of Hung Sew- 

tsuen, who seems to have been with the latter from the com- 
mencement, and to have had great influence. Executed after 
the fall of Nanking. There are also traces of another half- 
brother, called the Ngan Wang, Hung Jen-fu, who disappears 
at the fall of Nanking. 

4. Kan Wang : the Shield King ; Hung Jen-kan. A cousin of 

Hung Sew-tsuen, who joined the latter in 1859, and was made 
Prime ]\'Iinister, being well acquainted with Foreigners, and 
speaking English. Some doubts have been raised as to liis 
fate, but he seems to have been executed after the fall of Nun- 


king ; and the alleged Kan Wang, who appeared near Amoy 
in the year 18G5, was probably the K'ang Wang, a chief of 
little note. 

Then come in the five original Wangs, who alone held tliat title 
during the first years of the Eebellion. 

5. Xax Wang : the Southern King ; Fung Yun-san, an early 

friend of Hung Sew-tsuen. Killed in action in 1852. 
0. Tung Wang : the Eastern King ; Yang Sew-tsin. A great 
fighting Chief, and organiser of the rebel movement. An 
incarnation of the Holy Ghost, and an aspirant for supreme 
power, which caused his being murdered, at the Heavenly 
Monarch's instigation, in August 1856. 

7. Pei Wang : the ^^orthern King ; Wei Ching. Killed soon 

after the Eastern King at Nanking in 1856. 

8. Si AYang : the AYestern King ; Siaou Chai-kwei. A brother- 

in-law of Hung Sew-tsuen. Killed in action in 1852. 

9. I AYang : the Assistant King ; Shili Ta-kai. A great fighting 

Chief. Left Nanking in 1 854 ; afterwards quarrelled with the 
Tai-pings, and set up for liimself in the province of Szechuen. 
Taken prisoner by the Imperialists and executed in 1863. 
To these early chiefs may be added the 

10. TiEN-TE AYang : the Heavenly Virtue King ; Hung Tai-tsuen. 

This was no relative of Hung Sew-tsuen, and the Tai-pings 
make no mention of his existence ; but being taken by the 
Imperialists in 1852, he declared before his execution that he 
was one of the originators of the Eebellion. Probably he was 
an impostor. 

The titles of two of the original AA^angs were continued in the per- 
sons of their sons. 

11. Nan AYang II. Killed when trying to escape from Nanking 

after its fall in 1864. 

12. Si AYang II. Killed as above. 

After the murder of the Eastern King in 1856, Hung Sew-tsuen 
created no more AYangs for some time ; but when he was joined by 
Hung Jen-kan in 1859, and had made the latter the Kan AYang, he 
found it necessary to confer the title on two others of his great fight- 
ing Chiefs, viz. : — 

13. Chung AVang : the Faithful King; Li Siu-cheng (originally 

called Yi AYen) ; a Tai-ping generalissimo, and the most dis- 
tinguished leader of the latter years of the Rebellion, which 
he joined as a private soldier, under compulsion. Executed 
by the Imperialists on 7th August 1864. 


14. YiNG Wang: the Heroic King; Chin Y-ching ; also called 

Sz'-yan Kow, the Four-eyed Dog. Also a noted warrior. 
Betrayed to the Imperialists, and executed at Showchuu 
early in 1862. 

After these so many Wangs were made that the title lost its distinc- 
tive value, but the following are the most prominent : — 

15. She Wang: the Attendant King; Li Siu-shien. A relative 

of the Faithful King. Escaped from Nanking just before its 
fall j entered Fukien, and, pursued by the Imperialists, dis- 
appears from history at Yingting, on the Han River, in July 

16. Tow Wang: the Yellow Tiger. Fought at Wuchu after the 

fall of Nanking, and escaped into darkness. 

17. LiEH Wang: the Zealous King; Li Wan-tse. Executed at 

Nanking in August 1864. 

18. Hu Wang: the Protecting King; Chen Kuan-shu. Taken 

at Chanchu fu, and beheaded in April 1864. Also called 
" Cockeye." 

19. Tso Wang ; Huang Ho-chin. Killed in defence of Chanchu in 

April 1864. 

20. MoH Wang ; Tan Show-kuang. Assassinated at Soochow by 

the other Wangs in 1863. 

21. Na Wang; Kow Yuen. Beheaded at Soochow. 

22. Sing Wang ; Che Wun-chai. Beheaded at Soochow. Another 

" Cockeye." 

23. Kong Wang ; Wan Nan-tin. Beheaded at Soochow. 

24. Pe W^ang ; Wo Que-won. Beheaded at Soochow. 

25. Tai W^ang ; Sin-tin Min. Escaped at the taking of Soochow. 

26. Chang Wang; an engineer officer. Commander of the Metro- 

politan Force at Nanking. Spared by the Imperialists after 
the taking of Soochow. 

27. K'ang Wang. An obscure chief who escaped with the rem- 

nant of the Tai-pings into Fukien, and was there mistaken by 
Foreigners for the Kan Wang or Shield King. 



2356-2254. — The age of the Emperors Yaoii and Shun, when pro- 
bably tlie earliest chapters of the Shoo King or Historical 
Classic were written. 

2204. — Establishment of the Hea dynasty. 

1G21. — Commencement of the Chow dynasty, which lasted down to 
B.C. 249. 

551. — Birth of Confucius, who gave distinct shape to Chinese politi- 
cal and social ideas, and also the period of Laou, the founder 
of Taouism, or Cliinese Rationalism. 

240-184 A.D, — The first Empire, which comprehended all that part of 
modern China which lies north of the Yang-tsze, and founded 
by Che Hoang-te, the builder of the Great Wall, who at- 

A.D. tempted to destroy all copies of the Classics. 

166. — Alleged Roman Embassy to China. 

184-260. — The period of the three states which struggled with each 
other for supreme power, when the Chinese character reached 
its highest martial development. 
260. — The second Empire, founded by the Tsin dynasty. 
416. — China again divided into a northern and a southern kingdom. 
420. — Nanking made the capital. 
585. — The northern and southern kingdoms united. 
627. — Reign of the Emperor Tai-tsung, of the Tang dynasty, who 
established the system of literary examinations, drew up the 
Celestial Code, and extended his sway into India and to the 
shores of the Caspian. 
1260. — Peking made the capital. 
1270. — Marco Polo visits Nanking and Soochow. 
1281. — China conquered by Kubla Khan and the Mongol Tartars. 
1368. — The expulsion of the Tartars and establishment of the Ming 

1506. — European vessels first visit China. 

1616-1644. — China conquered by the Manchu Tartars, and the Ta- 

tsing, the reigning dynasty, established. 
1637. — First English vessels visit China. 

1684. — The East India Company establishes an agency at Canton. 
1813. — Birth of Hung Sew-tsuen, the Tai-ping monarch. 
1837. — His first trance and proclamation of himself as a heavenly prince. 
1812. — The treaty of Nanking made between Great Britain and China. 
1850. — Hung Sew-tsuen proclaims his temporal sovereignty. 
1853. — He takes Nanking and makes it his capital. 



1856. — Murder of the Eastern King. 

1858. — The Allies take the Taku forts, and obtain from the Emperor 

the treaty of Tientsin. 

1859. — The Imperialists nearly suppress the Rebellion, and defeat the 

Allies at the Taku forts. 

1860. — May. — The Tai-pings break out of Nanking, take Soochow, and 

occupy the country towards Shanghai. 
June. — Ward originates the "Ever-Victorious Army." 
August. — The Tai-pings attack Shanghai and are repulsed by 

the Allies. 

September. — The Taku forts taken from the Imperialists by 
the Allies, an event soon after followed by the advance on 
Peking, the burning of the Summer Palace, and the con- 
cluding of the Convention of Peking. 

December. — Allies tell the Tai-ping monarch not to attack 
Shanghai, and he leaves it unmolested for a year. 
1*^1. — Hostilities suspended on the part of the Allies towards both 

Tai-pings and Imperialists. 

August. — The Emperor Hien-fung dies. 
September. — Prince Kung makes his coup cVetat. 
November. — Tai-ping attempts towards Hankow frus- 

1862. — Jaimary. — Tai-])ings again attack Shanghai, and are repulsed 

by the Allies. 

February. — Ward again takes the field. 

Allies determine to drive the Tai-pings out of the thirty- 
mile radius round Shanghai. 

February- June. — The Allied forces co-operate with Ward 
and the Imperialists. 

May. — Captain Dew, R.N., diives back the Tai-pings from 

September.— Ward killed ; Burgevine takes command of 
the E.V.A. 

1863. — January.— Burgevine dismissed, and Captain Holland, R.M.I., 

takes command of the E.V.A. 
February. — Captain Holland defeated. 

The province of Chekiang is in great part restored to the 

Imperialists by the capture of Showshing. 
March. — Colonel Gordon takes command of the E.V.A. 
May. — Captures Quinsan. 
August. — Burgevine joins the Tai-pings. 



1 863. — September. — Gordon invests Soochow. 

October. — Burgevine surrenders to Gordon. 

JSTovember. — Gordon defeated before Soochow. 

December. — Fall of Soochow. 

Execution of the AYangs. 

Gordon resigns command. 
l^Q^, — March. — Gordon resumes command and retakes the field. 

Hangchow captured by the Imperialists. 

Eepulse of Gordon at Kintang. 

May. — Chanchu fu captured. 

June. — Suicide of Hung Sew-tsuen, the Tien Wang. 

July 19.— Fall of Nanking. 

August. — Execution of the Chung Wang. 

Wuchu evacuated by the Tai-pings, who disappear from 

the provinces of Kiangsoo and Chekiang. 
Establishment of a camp at the Eung-wang Shan, near 
Shanghai, for disciplining the Chinese troops. 

1865. — April. — The remnants of the Tai-pings driven out of Chang- 

chow, near Amoy. 
May. — Sankolinsin killed by the Nien-fei. 

Tseng Kwo-fan made Generalissimo of all the Imperial 

June. — Death of Burgevine. 

July. — The Tai-pings finally disappear in the mountains between 
the provinces of Quangtung, Fukien, and Kiangsi. 
The Men-fei give much trouble in the valley of the Yellow 

Eiver, and the Mohammedan rebels in Shensi. 
Prince Kung made Inspector-General of all Military Camps, 

as a counterpoise to Tseng Kwo-fan. 

1866. — Defeats of the ^Nien-fei and Mohammedan rebels. 

A Chinese Commissioner sent to Euroj^e, and received by her 
Majesty the Queen. 

1867. — Improved state of China. 

The !N'ien-fei again give trouble, and escape through the lines of 
Governor-General Li, but are dispersed in the end of the year. 

Discussions arise in connection with the coming revision of the 
Treaty of Tientsin. 

1868. — Li crushes the Nien-fei in Shantung, but some parties of them 

escape and unite with the ^Mohammedan rebels in Chili, for 
which Li' is degraded at Peking, but he continues to pursue 
the rebels and drives them before him. 


JNT.^.— Chekiano Province C. 

KiANGSoo Province K. 


K. Kajow 



K. Seking 
K. Tsipoo 

K. Naizean 

K. Kading 


K. Najow 
K. Cholin 




K. Kading 


C. Shangyu 
K. Taitsan 
C. Showsiiin'g 


K. Taitsan 
K. QuiNSAisr 

June 1860 
Feb. 10, 18C2 

Feb. 21, 18C2 
March 1, 1862 

AprU 4, 1862 

April 5, 1862 

April 17, 1862 

April 27, 1862 

May 1, 1862 

May 10, 1862 
May 13, 1862 

May 17, 1862 

May 20, 1862 
July 17, 1862 
Aug. 2, 1862 
Aug. 17, 1862 

Sept. 21, 1862 

Oct. 11, 1862 
Oct. 23, 1862 
Nov. 13, 1862 
Nov. 27, 1862 
Feb. 14, 1863 
March 18, 1863 
April 4, 1863 
May 2, 1863 
May 31, 1863 

Ward and 100 Foreigners. 

Ward and his Force. 

British and French Admirals and 
Ward's Force. 

British and French Admirals and 
Ward's Force. 

British and French Admirals and 
General Staveley and Force ; Ad- 
miral Hope wounded. 

British and French Naval Forces 
and Ward's Force. 

General Staveley and Force, and Brit- 
ish and French Naval Forces with 
Ward's Force. 

General Staveley and Force, and Brit- 
ish and French Naval Forces with 
Ward's Force. 

General Staveley and Force, and Brit- 
ish and French Naval Forces with 
Ward's Force. 

Captain Dew and Encounter, &c. &c. 

British and French Forces. 

British and French Forces; French 
Admiral Protet killed. 

British and French Forces. 

Ward's Force. 

Captain Dew and Contingents. 
Ward's Force. 

Ward killed ; Captain Dew and Con- 
Captain Dew and Contingents. 
British and French Forces. 
Barge vine and Ward's Force. 
Captain Dew and Contingents. 
Defeat; Holland. 
Captain Dew and Contingents. 
Colonel Gordon and Chinese Troops, 

Colonel Gordon and Chinese Troops. 

Colonel Gordon and Chinese Troops. 





July 28, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Chinese Troops. 



July 29, J863 

Colonel Gordon and Chinese Troops. 



Aug. 4, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Chinese Troops. 



Aug. 13, 1863 

Macartney and Chinese Troops. 



Aug. 15, 1863 

Macartney and Chinese Troops. 



Sept. 8, 1863 

Franco- Chinese Troops. 


Kong YIN 

Sept. 17, 1863 




Sept. 29, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Oct. 1, 1863 

Repulse of Rebel attack. 



Oct. 13, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Oct. 23, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Oct. 26, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Nov. 1, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Nov. 11, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Nov. 19, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Nov. 27, 1863 

Defeat ; Gordon and Force. 



Nov. 29, 1863 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



Dec. 5, 1863 




Dec. 1.3, 1863 




Dec. 16, 1863 




Dec. 20, 1863 




Dec. 21, 1863 




Jau. 7, 1864 




Jan. 9, 1864 




Jan. 25, 1864 




March 1, 1864 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 


Tajow ku 

March 3, 1864 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 



March 9, 1864 

Colonel Gordon and Force. 


Kashing fu 

March 20, 1864 Imperialists. 



March 21, 1864 Franco-Chinese Troops. 



March 21, 1864 Repulse; Colonel Gordon and Force. 



March 21, 1864 




March 31, 1864 

Defeat of Gordon's Force. 



April 7, 1864 




April 11, 1864 

Capture of position ; Gordon & Force. 



April 20, 1864 



Stockadks, West ) 


April 23, 1864 | 

Captured ; Gordon's Force and Im- 



April 25, 1864 




April 25, 1864 



Chanchu fu 

AprH 27, 1864 

Defeat of Gordon's Force. 


Chanchu fu 

May 11, 1864 | 

Captured; Gordon's Force and Im- 



May 13, 1864 




July 4, 1864 




July 19, 1864 

Captured ; Imperialists, 


WucHU fu 

Aug. 28, 1864 


PAET 1. 










The fundamental principles of the Chinese State have 
never yet been fully discussed, and present in them- 
selves, as also in their historical development, a subject 
of interest and importance. Without some attention 
being given to these principles, the history of China 
must be tolerably unintelligible to Europeans, and so 
I enter on them briefly, as necessary to a right under- 
standing of the events relating to both the rise and the 
suppression of tbe Tai-ping Rebellion. 

It Avould appear very absurd to attempt to explain a 
modern English political movement by a reference to 
Jack Cade or the Wars of the Roses, and a French 


revolution would not receive much elucidation from a 
history of the Carloviugiau kings ; but the early past 
of China has, for many centuries, been so closely linked 
to its present, that the half-fabulous Emperors, Yaou, 
Shun, and the Great Yu, who lived about four thousand 
years ago, are more really rulers of that country to-day 
than are its living Manchu sovereigns. Confucius, " the 
Master,"" the Throneless King," " the Instructor of ten 
thousand generations," who possessed the most powerful 
mind that has appeared in the Far East for thirty cen- 
turies, and who is regarded by the Chinese with religious 
veneration, repeatedly disclaimed being more than a trans- 
mitter of moral, social, and political truth. '' " I am not 
one," he said, " who was born in the possession of know- 
ledge ; I am only fond of antiquity, and earnest in 
seeking wisdom there. I do not make, but transmit, 
believing in and loving the ancients." One emperor of 
great note, Che Hoang-te, a sort of Chinese Napoleon, 
and builder of the Great Wall, made a most vigorous 
attempt to cut out this reverence for antiquity. He 
sought to destroy all records written previous to his 
reign ; and, in order to accomplisli this end, put nearly 
five hundred men of letters to death ; but his efforts 
eventually proved futile. To this day the Chinese State 
is based upon an inseparable union of political, social, 
moral, and religious ideas, which existed in a period 
anterior to the birth of Abraham. 

The history of the human race presents no similar 
phenomenon to this of China, preserving its national 
unity and its virtual independence for four thousand 
years, without any serious change in its ruling ideas, in 
its social civilisation, or in its theory of government. 

* See his 'Analects,' Book vii. tliroui^liout, in Legge's edition and trans- 
lation of the Chinese Classics. Hong-Kong, 1865. 



VeryijQany of its dynasties have bee n violently ove r- 
throAvn, and its external forms of fflvernment have 
slightly varied from age to age ; but the principles of 
its social and political organisation have remained un- 
changed, despite the most violent attacks upon them both 
from within and from without. Mongul and Manchu 
Tartars have effected nominal conquests of the Middle 
Kingdom, only to adopt its ideas, manners, and institu- 
tions, to be absorbed into the mass of " the Black-haired 
People,"""' or, when remaining distinct, to sink into de- 
spised feebleness. Elsewhere over Asia and Europe, great 
empires — Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Grecian, Roman, 
Arabian, and Teutonic — have risen in splendour, holding 
sway over vast portions of the earth, only to perish in 
their glory, and sometimes leave nothing but their name 
behind ; while China has steadily pursued its quiet way, 
enlarging its boundaries and consolidating its unity from 
above twenty centuries before the Christian era to this 
year of grace. Nations innumerable have risen and dis- 
appeared since the Chinese first presented themselves 
with most of the marked national characteristics which 
they possess at the present day. How many pantheons 
of deities have been overthrown since Pwan-ku was 
represented chiselling out earth and heaven ! How many 
languages have found no tongues to utter them since the 
Chinese monosyllables now used in the British colony of 
Hong-Kong were first heard ringing on the banks of the 
Yellow River ! How many characters have men in- 
vented to represent their speech since the Chinese pro- 
duced their system of writing ! The more the antiquity 
and continuousness of this isolated civilisation of the 
Middle Kingdom is considered, the more interesting does 

* Tlie Chinese called themselves by this name in the earliest historical 
times, having probably displaced tribes of lighter hair. 


it appear, and tlie more forcibly does it suggest the idea, 
that in thus preserving a people from the earliest times, 
and providing for their independent development, Provi- 
dence has had in view some great purpose which, as yet, 
we can only dimly see. 

" By a long road," says a Celestial proverb, " we know 
a horse's strength ; so length of days shows a man's 
heart." Judged in that way, Chinese nationality has an 
overpow^ering claim to respect, and its most intelligent 
students have thought much and deeply over the causes 
of its extraordinary longevity. Sir George Staunton 
(Preface to his translation of the Penal Code) and the 
earlier Jesuit missionaries attributed the long duration 
and stability of the Chinese empire to the influence of 
the doctrine of filial piety and parental authority, as 
inculcated by its sages, and universally accepted by the 
people. Mr Meadows, in his * Desultory Notes,' asserts 
tjhat "the long duration of the Chinese is solely and 
altogether owing to the operation of a principle which 
the policy of every successive dynasty has practically 
maintained in a greater or lesser degree, viz., that good, 
government consists in the advancement of men of 
talents and merits only to the rank and power conferred 
by official posts ; " — a principle which makes able dema- 
gogues rare, by opening a satisfactory path to every 
man of real talent. Mr P. H. Patterson, in his able 
essay " on the National Life of China," lays stress on 
the geographical isolation of the empire, bounded as it 
is on the north by vast herbless and wind-swept deserts, 
on the west by lofty mountain-chains, and on the south 
and east by a tempestuous sea. To these causes, w^hich 
must all be admitted as effective, there may be added, 
on the same level, the peculiar nature of the Chinese 

* ' Essays in History and Art.' 


written language, which has served as a very powerful 
bond of union. The characters of that script represent 
not sounds, bat things and ideas, in the widest sense of 
the term, and consequently it has stood in great part 
superior to, and unaffected by, the fluctuations of sound 
and dialect. Thus, the speech and thought of the 
Chinese have been kept within certain lusid limits, all 
theJoiJal streams of divergence being turned back, as it 
were,. into the fountain from whence they issued. Over 
the spoken language, with its frequent changes and cor- 
ruptions, the written language has stood supreme ; so 
that while a native of Shantung may be unable to 
understand the spoken words of a Cantonese, they use 
identical characters in expressing the same meaning. If 
the Latin races had a single character, like the Chinese 
iovjen, to denote Man, then whether pronounced Homo 
in Latin, Uomo in Italian, Hombre in Spanish, Homem 
in Portuguese, or Homme in French, the written w^ord 
would be the same everywhere among them, and its 
being so would have a tendency to check diversity of 
pronunciation, especially among the educated classes. 
Out of the written language thus universal among these 
races, there would arise a certain common standard for 
expressions, both in speech and writing, which would 
involve or evolve a certain unity, otherwise unattainable, 
of thought and feeling, that would have an immense 
influence in sustaining a common nationality. 

But it seem s to me there . has been a deeper in fl uence 
at work in preserving Chinese nationality than the doc- 
trine of filial piety, the principle of choosing able men 
for ofiicial posts^ or the character of the language, and 
one which underlies all these secondary causes. Dr 
Williams correctly states that the ' Shoo King,' or His- 
torical Classic, " contains the seeds of all thino;s that are 


valuable in the estimation of the Chinese," and that " it 
is at once the foundation of their political system, their 
history, and their religious rites — the basis of their tac- 
tics, music, and astronomy." On examining that frag- 
mentary but most ancient work in the light thrown upon 
it by the reported conversations of Confucius, and by 
the general practice of the Chinese in all the relations of 
life, there appear indications of a great and most preg- 
nant generalisation or first principle, beyond which the 
mind of the Celestials has never ventured to pass, and 
from which arise their whole system of ideas, their social 
and their political organisation. It is difficult briefly to 
express this first principle, though it makes itself con- 
stantly felt ; but I may roughly describe it as the asser- 
tion of a Divine Harmony in the universe, which afiects 
all existing objects, and to which the souls of men are 
naturally attuned. Especially in the * Shoo King,' but 
through all the Classics, and in every Chinaman's prin- 
ciples of action, harmony is the fundamental and ruling 
idea. Of the Emperor Yaou, we are told in the ' His- 
torical Classic,' that " having become harmonious, he 
equalised and illumined the people of his domain." The 
Emperor Shun was chosen for high office, because he had 
been able " to harmonise" his father, his mother, and his 
brother, all stupid, bad relatives. The Great Yu was 
made Prime Minister, because he had " already equalised 
the land and water." When the empire is in disorder, 
it is said that " the people are not harmonious." When 
Yu advises Shun how to act, he says, " Let the elements 
of water, fire, metal, wood, and earth, with grain, be well 
regulated; adjust the domestic virtues ; increase useful 
commodities, promote human existence, and cause har- 
mony to prevail. Let these nine aff'airs be well adjusted ; 

* Medliiirst's edition and translation. Slianghae, 1846. 



and, being adjusted, let them be set to music." " The 
announcement of T'hang " was, " Heaven has commis- 
sioned me, a single individual, to harmonise and pacify 
all you states and families." Of the monarch Thai-kea, 
we read that " Heaven noticed his virtues, and made use 
of him to sustain the great decree, and soothe and tran- 
quillise the myriad states." The intelligent prince is 
described as one who " harmonises with his inferiors ; " 
but we are expressly told that " he is only a substitute 
(or medium) : it is Heaven that works." So also in the 
* Chung Yung,' or Doctrine of the Mean, a profound 
work attributed to the grandson of Chung-ne or Confu- 
cius, it is said of the great sage that " above, he har- 
moMised with the times of heaven, and below, he was 
conformed to the water and the land." Even in the 
physico-tlieological ideas of the ' Yih King,' or Book of 
Changes, perhaps the most venerated of all the Classics, 
the Yin and the Yang, the male and female elements of 
creation, are considered as made in harmony, as worked 
on by harmonious powers, as acting harmoniously, and 
as moving man in the same manner when no disturbing 
causes interfere. 

This ide a of harmony underlies all the thought and 
institu tions of the Chinese. Dimly it may be^ yet_mQ§.t 
potentially they have 

" A sense sublime 
Of something far more deeply interfused, 
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean, and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in tlie mind of man, 
A motion and a spirit that impels 
All thinking things, all objects of all thought. 
And rolls through all things." 

With this Divine spirit or arrangement the Sages are 
in perfect accord ; the Worthies seek, with ever-increas- 
ing success, to understand its dictates ; and only the 


Worthless stand in pimislicd opposition to it. This is 
the Tien, or Heaven/' of Confucius, the Shang-te, or 
Deity, of the older writings. Being understood only by 
the Sage, it is his sacred, peculiar, and inalienable privi- 
lege to be the interpreter between Heaven and earth, 
Heaven and mankind. Perfectly in accord with the 
Divine idea, and illumined by its light, he alone knows 
infallibly how its harmony may manifest itself in all the 
affairs of human life — in the relations of prince and sub- 
ject, of father and son, of husband and wife, of brother 
and brother, of friend and friend. Consequently he, and 
he alone, has a right to govern mankind. As the repre- 
sentative of Heaven, or the Supreme Emperor, he is by 
Divine right Emperor of the Great Elowery Land, of the 
Black-haired People, and not of these alone, but of all 
the nations of earth who sincerely desire to follow the 
ways of Heaven. And as he is Heaven to his people, 
so, when the Divine harmony prevails, his viceroys are 
Heaven to their provinces, and each father in his wide 
domains is Heaven to his own family. As the ' Doctrine 
of the Mean ^ has it, " All-embracing and vast, he is like 
Heaven. Deep and active as a fountain, he is like the 
abyss. He is seen, and the people all reverence him ; he 
speaks, and the people all believe him ; he acts, and the 
people all are pleased with him. Therefore his fame 
overspreads the Middle Kingdom, and extends to all 
barbarous tribes. Wherever ships and carriages work ; 
wherever the strength of man penetrates ; wherever the 
heavens overshadow, and the earth sustains ; wherever 
the sun and moon shine ; wherever frost and dews fall, 
— all who have blood and breath unfeignedly honour and 
love him. He is the equal of Heaven." 

Remusat, AV. H. Medhurst, and other scholars by no 
means inclined to exaggerate in such matters, conclude 



that a portion of the 'Historical Classic' was written 4000 
years ago ; and, curiously enough, this view is supported 
by an incidental reference in the commencement of the 
work itself to the culminating of certain stars on the 
evenings of the solstices and equinoxes. It is passing 
strange to find thus, that in almost the earliest dawn of 
time there were laid the foundations of an ideal State, so 
similar in its principles, though not in all its details, to 
that which Plato shadowed out in his ' Eepublic,' to that 
whicli Fichte deduced in his * Greschlossene Handelstaat,' 
and to that which, less scientifically, Mr Carlyle has 
made the burden of his message to his age and country. 
The wonder increases when we observe that the early 
Chinese sages have actually succeeded in establishing 
their State so that, however it may have fallen short in 
practice, yet has it always aspired towards, and theoreti- 
cally been guided by, the ideas on which it was founded. 
And lastly — most astounding fact of all — we find that 
the State thus originated, instead of dissolving like a 
dream, exists after the lapse, and despite the vicissitudes, 
of forty centuries ; has extended its boundaries over the 
most fertile region of Asia, and holds powerful sway 
over an energetic and myriad-numbered race, which, far 
beyond its own boundaries — in India, in Tartary, in 
Malaya, in Australia, in California, and even in the 
Atlantic-washed West India Islands — is competing not 
unsuccessfully with the labour of other nations, without 
losing its own ancient ideas and characteristics. 

In the * Doctrine of the Mean ' it is laid down : 
" While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, 
or joy, the mind may be said to be in a state of equi- 
librium. AVhen those feelings have been stirred, and 
they act in their due degree, there ensues what may be 
called the state of harmony. This equilibrium is the 


great root, and this harmony is the universal path. Let 
the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfec- 
tion, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven 
and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish." 
Now, not being sages, it cannot be expected that we 
should enter into the essential nature of this harmony, 
which bears a relation to equilibrium somewhat like that 
of the being-in-action of the Buddhists to their being-in- 
rest, and which reminds one of Plato's intelligible ideas, 
and of that passage in the ' Timseus ' where he says : 0eos 
ou TO) Srj t6t€ TrecfyvKOTa Tavra irpoiTov Stecr^T^/xartcraTO 
etSecrt re koX apt^/xots — " Thus, in their first origin, God 
certainly formed these things after ideas and numbers 
but it is open to us to note the particular forms in 
which this idea of harmony is envisaged, and has been 
embodied in institutions. The doctrines held by the 
Chinese in regard to parental authority, and the choos- 
ing of only able men as rulers, are only subdivisions of 
the great idea of harmonious unity which possesses their 
minds. Their notion is, that in all relationships, in all 
combined action, however opposing the forces are, there 
should be a symmetrical oneness. They regard all ex- 
istence in its normal condition, from the lowest to the 
highest, as moving sphere within sphere. Among no 
other people have organisation and centralisation been 
carried out to such an extent ; but it must be specially 
noticed that their idea is that of an organic unity, of an 
organisation where the lower naturally and willingly 
submits to and unites with the hio-her, not of an ex- 
ternal and apparent unity produced chiefly by force. 
Hence they are really a very democratic people. In 
order to understand both the streno;th and the weakness 
of Chinese civilisation, it is essential to bear in mind 
that their idea of harmony manifests itself as regards 



mankind, as well as in reference to everything else, in 
the sub-idea of a vital organic unity, to which men 
incline naturally, most usually, and for the most part. 
This is the means by which the Celestials have solved, 
in so far as they have done so, the problem of reconcil- 
ing individual freedom with general interests, and local 
with imperial government. It is an utter mistake to 
suppose that, either in theory or practice, the Emperor, 
or any of his subordinates, have much liberty of enforc- 
ing their decrees. Confucius and all the sages of China 
are at one with Plato when he said, Ka/cos /xez/ eKcov 
ovhelq — "No one does evil willingly — though they 
entirely shirked the question as to how evil exists at 
all ; and, consequently, they held that, usually at least, 
good government would in itself secure willing obedi- 
ence from the people. I have already noticed what the 
* Historical Classic ' says about a prince being able to 
harmonise with his inferiors. In the ' Great Learning: ' 
a perfect ruler is thus described : Profound was King 
Wan. With how bright and unceasing a feeling of 
reverence did he regard his resting-places 1 As a sov- 
ereign, he rested in benevolence. As a minister, he 
rested in reverence. As a son, he rested in filial piety. 
As a father, he rested in kindness. In communication 
with his subjects, he rested in good faith." So in the 
third part of "The Great Oath,'' in the * Historical 
Classic,' a proverb more ancient than the book itself is 
quoted : " He who soothes me is my prince ; he who 
oppresses me is my foe, the abandoned of heaven and 
men!" In the same work, in "The Announcement to 
K'hang," the crime of a father failing "to soothe (or 
harmonise) his son," is coupled with that of a son who 
does not "respectfully subject himself to his father;" 
and that of an elder brother becoming unfriendly to a 


younger, with a younger being " unmindful of Heaven's 
clearly-displayed relationships." A familiar proverb in 
China runs : " The Emperor offending the laws is the 
same crime as the people doing so ; " and it Avould be 
easy to quote innumerable passages from the Classics, 
and from the decrees of the Government itself, illus- 
trating the great Chinese doctrine, that the harmony of 
all relationships is to be found in an adaptation of the 
higher existence to the lower, as well as in submission 
of the lower to the higher. 

As the mystic doctrine of Harmony — fit only for 
Sages to discuss — becomes more definite in that of vital 
unity, wdiich the Worthies may perhaps appreciate, so 
the latter ought to be understood and obtemperated - 
even by the Worthless, as it manifests itself in the five 
relationships — of ruler to ruled, of father to son, of 
husband to wife, of brother to brother, and of friend to 
friend. On the one side the ruler must act with benevo- 
lence and in good faith ; while on the other, the people 
must exercise reliance and submission ; and it is held, 
so great is the confidence of the Chinese in the goodness 
of human nature, that if either act fitly, the other will 
act fitly also. When Ke K'ang asked Confucius about 
inflicting capital punishment, the Master replied (Ana- 
lects, xii. 19): "In carrying on your government, why 
should you use putting to death at all ? Let your 
desires be for what is good, and the people wdll be 
good." In book ii. 2, 3, he expressly deprecates the 
notion of upholding government by force, saying, "If 
the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be 
given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the 
punishment, but wall have no sense of shame. If they 
be led by virtue, and it is sought to harmonise them by 
the rules of propriety, they will have a sense of shame, 


and moreover will become good." In the ' Great Learn- 
ing,' the commentator (ch. x.) thus answers what is 
meant by making the empire peaceful and happy 
through government : " When the sovereign behaves 
to his aged as the aged should be behaved to, the people 
become filial ; when the sovereign behaves to his elders 
as elders should be behaved to, the people learn bro- 
therly submission ; when the sovereign treats compas- 
sionately the young and helpless, the people do the same. 
Thus, the ruler has a principle with which, as with a mea- 
suring square, he may regulate his conduct The 

ruler will first take pains about his own virtue. Pos- 
sessing virtue will give him the people. Possessing the 
people will give him the territory. Possessing the terri- 
tory will give him its wealth. Possessing the wealth, he 
will have resources for expenditure. Virtue is the root ; 
wealth is the result. If he make the root his secondary 
object, and the result his primary, he will only wrangle 
with his people, and teach them rapine." So likewise in 
family relationships, moral influence is regarded as the 
appropriate ruling power. Of the great Emperor Shun, 
we read in the ' Shoo King,' that he was elevated from 
the position of a husbandman because " he went forth 
into the fields, and daily cried and wept to the soothing 
heavens on account of his father and mother : he bore 
the blame, and drew upon himself the reproach ; while 
he was respectful in business, and waited on his sire 
Kow-Sow, penetrated with veneration and awe, until 
Kow also sincerely conformed to virtue." And it is re- 
commended that this almost Christian principle should 
be acted upon with regard to the rebellious people of 
Meaou."* Similar admiration is given by the Chinese to 
a father for harmonising his children by moral suasion, 

Tlie Meaoiitsze or aborigines of China. 


though children regardless of filial piety might perhaps 
be regarded as more blameworthy than fathers neglect- 
ing their parental duties. In the celebrated Sacred 
Edict" of the Emperor Kang-he, the second maxim is, 

Respect kindred, in order to display the excellence of 
harmony." It is a mistake to suppose, as many Euro- 
pean writers liave done, that the idea of paternal autho- 
rity is that on which the Chinese State has been based. 
The conceptions of a certain complete harmony for all 
relationships, and of a graduation of authority from 
Heaven downwards, have determined their views, in re- 
gard both to fatherhood and to the government, to such 
an extent that their peculiar institutions might have 
sprung up had the black-haired race, by some mysterious 
means, been brought into existence without the aid of 
parents at all. 

There is some difficulty in determining how far, accord- 
ing to the Chinese system, the employment of force is 
lawful and expedient in preserving the due medium of 
relationships. Heaven is never spoken of as vindictive, 
seldom even as moved to anger, but it is considered 
capable of terrible punitive judgment ; and this prero- 
gative, somewhat inconsistently with passages I have 
quoted, is spoken of as shared by its representatives, the 
heavenly-appointed rulers of mankind. Against unjust 
rulers Heaven becomes incensed, decrees their ruin, and 
sends down calamities on the people as a mark of its 
displeasure. Even so early as in the " Military Comple- 
tion," in the * Shoo King,' we read of " Heaven's exter- 
minating decree " against an offending prince being de- 
livered to "an insignificant one." Up to this hour the 
Imperial edicts conclude with the admonition, " trem- 
blingly obey ;" and it is sufficiently obvious that, con- 
stituted as men are, even among so easily-governed a 



race as the Chinese, authority could not be sustained, 
and order preserved, without a very considerable use of 
punishment and military force. Koughly speaking, pro- 
per relationship is sometimes so far departed from that 
punishment becomes a duty ; and it is worthy of note 
that, according to Celestial ideas, the great sign of inca- 
pacity or wickedness in a ruler is great calamities be- 
falling the people. Heaven is then displeased beyond 
endurance, and all the people are in expectation that 
some one will arise to put in execution the exterminat- 
ing decree. Hence in all Chinese political movements 
the declarations of both sides that they are divinely com- 
missioned, and their frequent references to examples of 
the past. 

To the further understanding of the system of the 
Chinese, it is well to note their respect for learning, their 
respect for age, and the universal diffusion of education 
among them. In the ' Great Learning ' (text iv.) Con- 
fucius expresses the convictions of almost every China- 
man when he says, " The ancients who wished to illus- 
trate illustrious virtue throughout the empire, first 
ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well 
their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing 
to regulate their families, they first cultivated their per- 
sons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rec- 
tified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they 
first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to 
be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the 
utmost their knowledge." It is this relation between 
learning and harmony, between knowledge and the sage, 
that has afibrded the principle of competitive examina- 
tion on which governmental ofiicers are chosen, and which 
has opened up the way to the very highest offices for the 
son of any Chinese peasant or coolie. Apart also from 



filial piety, this reverence for wisdom has afforded the 
principle of reverence for old age ; for, with their confi- 
dence in the goodness of human nature, the Celestials 
cannot but regard the older man, with all his past studies 
and experiences, as superior to the younger, and specially 
deserving of veneration. The Throneless King (Con- 
fucius) himself said (Analects, ii. 4) : " At fifteen, I had 
my mind bent on learning. At thirty, I stood firm. At 
forty, I had no doubts. At fifty, I knew the decrees of 
Heaven. At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ. At 
seventy, I could follow what my heart desired without 
transgressing what was right.'' This respect for learning 
and for age is fostered among the Black-haired People 
by their system of education. It is expressly asserted 
in the Classics that a knowledge of the doctrine of the 
due medium may be obtained even by common persons 
busily occupied in the affairs of life, if their hearts are 
only right ; and it is obvious that a very considerable 
portion of the sacred writings may be understood and 
appreciated by persons whose minds are not very highly 
developed, and who have not devoted the time to study 
which would be required to gain what is considered a 
good education in European countries. " Among the 
countless millions that constitute the empire,'' says Sir 
John Davis, " almost every man can read and write 
sufficiently for the ordinary purposes of life, and a re- 
spectable share of these acquirements goes low down in 
the scale of society." And it must be observed that this 
education is not devoted to inflating the mind with false 
accounts of contemporary events, with falsifications of 
history, appeals to class-prejudices, and galvanic attempts 
at sharpness, such as constitute the intellectual pabulum 
ofiered by their newspapers to the labouring classes of 
America, but to the laws and other institutions of the 



country, the principles on which these laws are based, 
and to great moral and social truths, having an imme- 
diate bearing on practice, and expressed in a beautiful 
simple way, in sentences of which the mind cannot 
easily get rid. Hence the ordinary Chinaman takes an 
interest in the theory, as well as in the practice, of his 
government ; and all the officials of the empire feel them- 
selves in face of an intelligent, and sometimes exceedingly 
intelligent, public opinion, which they dare not disregard 
in the absence of a priesthood and of a standing army of 
any size or value. It is also obvious that this power of 
the people, this general information existing among them 
— their respect for learning, their reverence for sages, 
and their belief that knowledge affords a key to the har- 
mony of relationships — are the real supports of the prin- 
ciple of choosing only able men for office, to which Mr 
Meadows attaches so much importance. 

Also proceeding from their ideas in regard to harmony, 
we have next the Chinese ideas and practice in regard 
to gradations of rank, mutual responsibility, and mu- 
tual surveillance. The Emperor, representing Heaven, 
is Tien Tsz', Son of Heaven ; Kwa Jen, the Solitary 
Man ; Chin, Ourself ; Hwang Te, August Sovereign ; 
Hwang Shang, August Loftiness; Tieng Hwang, Celes- 
tial August One ; Shing Te, Sacred Sovereign ; and 
Wan Sui Ye, Father of Ten Thousand Years. But this 
is in virtue, not of his office, but only of the manner in 
which he fulfils that office. So far from his being of 
necessity pater atque princeps, Mencius boldly says : 
" The people are the most important element in a nation; 
the spirits of the land or grain are the next ; the sove- 
reign is the least." Elsewhere he quotes approvingly 

* Book II. part ii. cliap. xiv. in tlie second volume of Legge's edition of 
tlie Chinese Classics. 


the words of the Great Declaration in the * Shoo King ' 
— " Heaven sees according as my people see ; Heaven 
hears according as my people hear." In the * Histori- 
cal Classic/ T'hang exclaims in his " Announcement," 
*' Should any of you myriad states transgress, let the 
blame rest on me, a single individual ; but should I, 
a single individual, offend, let it not involve you, the 
multitude of states." In the Announcement at Lo," it 
is said that " the people come to meet a well-balanced 
government." Confucius, who was very fond of incul- 
cating subordination, counterbalanced his advice by his 
repeated assertion that good government requires no 
force for its support ; and, as Dr Legge says, " he 
allowed no jus divinum independent of personal virtue 
and a benevolent rule." AVhen asked (Analects, B. xii. 
8) whether sufficiency of military equipment, sufficiency 
of food, or the confidence of the people, was most neces- 
sary to sustaining a government, he selected the last as 
most essential, and he declared that the government of a 
personally correct prince would be effective without the 
prince issuing orders. Thus the Emperor is properly not 
so much an absolute ruler as the embodier, recorder, and 
declarer of the wants and legitimate wishes of his people. 

And the whole machinery of government may be 
viewed not so much as a means for carrying out the 
Emperor's will, as an organisation by which the wants 
of the people may be met, and those of their designs 
which require the exercise of supreme authority be placed 
in Imperial hands. It is quite true that China, as a 
nation, may be compared to a vast army under one 
generalissimo, the Son of Heaven, and that this army is 
elaborately divided into corps, regiments, and companies 
paying, or called on to pay, implicit obedience to their 
immediate leaders ; but it is still more necessary to look 



at the matter in a reverse light, and to consider each 
leader as only such in so far as he represents the natural 
action of those over whom he is placed. Hence a pecu- 
liarity in Chinese government which has frequently been 
alluded to without being properly understood. Each 
family, clan, village, district, department, and province, 
is expected to harmonise itself ; and, strictly speaking, 
it is no part of the business of supreme authority to in- 
terfere, unless when called upon by the parties them- 
selves, with the affairs of minor circles. If quarrels or 
crimes arise in a family, then the head of the family 
must settle these, or take the consequences, and to that 
end he has very great power committed to him. If a 
village is at war with itself, the head men have power to 
settle the dispute, and have practically almost unlimited 
power of punishing. So in the district, the department, 
the province. Each circle being called upon to harmon- 
ise itself, has immense power committed to it for that 
end, and must take equal responsibility. Hence the 
rationale, if not the rationality, of the Chinese system of 
punishing a parent for the sins of his children, and of 
holding a village or a district responsible for the crimes 
of its individual members. The whole arrangements of 
the nation, public as well as private, are based on a sys- 
tem of mutual responsibility, which of course involves 
a system of mutual surveillance. Even the Emperor, 
though nominally supreme, stands in awe of the Censor- 
ate, and of a popular revolution ; the Futai, or governor 
of a province, has to stand well with his subjects, as well 
as at Peking ; and the Magistrate of a district is nothing 
more than the recorder and executor of sentences passed 
by local juries. 






Of course the Chinese State has fallen very far short of 
the theory on which it was founded ; but I have indi- 
cated that theory, which hitherto has been overlooked by 
European scholars, because some comprehension of it is 
absolutely necessary to a proper understanding of Chinese 
rebellions and revolutions. Every people has certain tra- 
ditionary and religious ideas, sustained by spirit-stirring 
stories, which underlie its institutions, and limit the work- 
ing of the national mind, however despised by individuals, 
and imperfectly conformed to in the national life. De- 
spite our modern disregard of tradition, and even amid 
the innumerable influences affecting modern civilisation, 
each nation of Europe, of any strength, moves within a 
charmed circle of its own ; and an instinctive feeling of 
the limits of that circle is necessary to the great states- 
man, even to the great warrior. But when religious, 
social, and political ideas are inextricably interwoven, 
springing from one common root, as in the case of the 


Chinese, and when, moreover, these are hallowed by the 
history of at least four thousand years, it may easily be 
believed that the influence they exercise has become 
sacred, and is something quite beyond the experience 
of younger and occidental nations. Eaces may remain 
unchanged, or nearly so ; the Copt and the Negro may 
present the same features which they had when their 
effigies were sculptured on the ancient tombs of Egypt ; 
but of all the nations which surrounded the Chinese in 
the dim morning of history, not one other remains to 
tell the story of its birth. The Hebrew race alone 
preserves many of its ancient institutions, as well as its 
ancient features, but its chosen place of abode knows it 
no, more, and its nationality was destroyed centuries 
ago, w^iile the Chinese still hold by their own ways in. 
their Great Flowery Land, as they did before the 
Hebrews issued from the loins of Abraham. Con-") 
sequently, the old ideas on which their State was( 
founded, their ancient institutions, and the history off 
their ancient emperors and sages, still exercise upoii) 
them a most vital influence. 

We require to go to the East in order to find races that 
regard their past in a manner which largely afiects their 
present. What to the modern Greek is the tale of Troy 1 
or to the Eoman the story of Latium 1 Thor and Odin 
exercise no influence in Scandinavia, nor the Nibelun- 
gen heroes in Germanic Europe ; and even the Pilgrim 
Fathers are forgotten in New England. But with the 
immobile races of the East, matters in this respect are 
entirely diff*erent. The mind of the Oriental Hebrew is 
still possessed by visions of his earliest forefathers wend- 
ing in grey antiquity from the slopes of Ararat, holding 
special communion with Jehovah, forming a chosen people, 
led through the terrible wilderness by pillars of smoke 


and fire, destined to rule the earth, and receiving amid 
the thunders of Sinai a sacred, moral, and ceremonial 
law of which no clause must pass away. Even at the 
present hour the Indo-Aryan, as he watches the red flush 
of morning, or sits under the palm and banian, is really 
dwelling in an antique ideal world of the most extraor- 
dinary kind. Accepting for his practical life, with im- 
plicit submission, the laws of Manu, and the most rigid 
ancient caste arrangements, his ineffable yearning for 
eternity and for reabsorption into deity leads him to shut 
his eyes on the glories of nature in India, and on all this 
world of outward seeming, as merely evil illusions ob- 
scuring eternal light. Aided by mystic rites and ancient 
hymns, he looks entranced into a vague world, at first 
without sky above or firmament beneath, but filled with 
a shoreless dazzling light of power and love, which is 
soon darkened by the vast shadowy forms of Varuna, 
and Indra, and Agni, and all the mighty gods. Ushas, 
the beautiful dawn, passes over the horizon ; Vishnu, the 
preserving light, strides thrice through the universe, and 
the Maruts or winds sweep over ; but the evil form of 
Sliiva the destroyer appears upon the scene. Gods play 
with milkmaids ; Rama the divine hero makes war on 
minor evil spirits and hideous giants ; and long lines of 
fabulous kings enter into the vision. In the confusion 
which follows, the natural and supernatural, the grotesque 
and the sublime, become inextricably blended. The ashy 
devotee sitting at the roadside may be a demon, or Vishnu 
himself, or the Lord of Devas ; but, with all its modern 
touches, it is the world of ancient India in which the 
modern Hindu daily dwells, and for him, having turned 
away his wearied eyes 

" From earth's dull scene, Time's weary round. 
To realms eternal — heavenly ground — 



Blue Krishna frolics o'er the plain, 
Varuna skims the purple main, 
Gay Indra spans the crystal air, 
And Shiva braideth Durga's hair, 
Where golden Mem rises high 
His front to fan the sapphire sky. 
And nightly in his blissful dreams 
He sits by Ganga's holy streams. 
Where Swarga's gate wide open lies, 
And Narga's smoke pollutes the skies." 

Even more, perhaps, than the Hindu, the Chinaman 
dwells in a peculiar id^al world of his own, but it is 
one much less fanciful, much more definite, much more 
credible, and much more historical. Still it is an ideal 
world beyond which he can rarely pass, which constantly 
occupies his thoughts, and conditions his actions. Every 
one who has dwelt much among the Chinese, as 1 have 
done, and especially in their villages, will bear me out in 
saying that there is common to them all a certain simple 
ideal of life which they regard as constituting the highest 
human happiness, which they claim as their right, which 
they hold usually existed from the earliest times,... arid 
which is intimately connficted with the doctrines_of Jjimj 
sages, and with their historical- beliefs. Unlike the 
Hindu, the Chinaman lives in an ordered and some- 
what prosaic ideal world. He beholds, indeed, against 
his Turanian historical dawn the gigantic figures of Yaou 
and Shun, and the great Yu overshadowing the long val- 
ley of centuries ; and the great sages, such as Confucius 
and Mencius, correcting the errors of their times, and 
dropping words of invaluable wisdom ; but though all 
these are grand to him, they are so not so much in them- 
selves as in their useful relationship to the knowable and 
the attainable — to the great primary wants of his race. 
The determination of the seasons, the building embank- 
ments against devastating floods, or the harmonising of 


land and water, the overthrowing of unjust kings, wise, 
kind action in family relationships, and the expression of 
moral doctrines in an intelligible, impressive way — these 
are the claims to reverence of the heroes of the Chinese 
Pantheon. The (miscalled) Celestial is a narrow-minded, 
but exceedingly practical, sort of being. He wants an 
ordered- world, -hut one ordered only in a certain kind of 
way.__ Before his rapt celestial vision lie the. fruitful 
plains of the Great ^lo^Yery Land, lively and bright 
\\jth^the_normal life ^of . China, guarded on _ th.e..jLOilh 
by snowy deserts, v/hich are happily far away from him, 
and on the south by stormy seas, with great winds and 
waves, which he does not tempt. HisJdjeaJJi s a happ y 
family life, with age benignant, youth reverential, thjeeX 
or four generations living contentedly under the same \ 
roof ; the fish-pond in front well stocked ; grain abun- | 
dant ; tea fragrant ; the village harmonised ; the school | 
well taught ; the young Confucius of the family prepar- j 
ing for competitive examinations ; the ancestral tablets 
going far back, and recording honoured names ; the an- 
cestral hall well gilded, and a fit meeting-place for the 
wise elders ; the spirits of deceased ancestors comforted 
with offerings and loving remembrances, not left to wan- 
der friendless in the air ; the holidays cheerful, with 
bright silks and abundance of savoury dishes ; the Em- 
peror benevolent ; the people obedient ; Foreign Devils 
far away or reverential ; evil appearing only in the forms 
of impossible demons, and hideous wicked emperors, 
painted on the walls of his house as a warning to foolish 
youth ; no change in old customs to perplex the mind ; 
the sacred books reverentially read and remembered ; 
the present definitely arranged ; the fruitage of the past 
stored ; behind, sages and emperors ; around, happy 
families; beyond, a darkness with which he little con- 



cerns himself, but into which his spirit may occasionally 
float a short way on some Buddhist or Tauist idea. 

We may now understand the position in which a 
Chinaman finds himself when he has very serious reason 
to complain of the condition of his country. Al]__the 
most revered literature of that country, all the ideas 
which have possessed his mind from childhood, and even 
the la nguage of the Imperial rescripts of his day, point 
to the conclusion that the existing authorities rather . 
than the people are to blame. I have looked through 
the Classics in vain for any indication of a belief that, 
where great calamities befall the country, the mass of 
the people may be considered as the guilty cause. The 
authorities undoubtedly are in the habit of throwing 
the blame off themselves, but they do so only by accus- 
ing certain sections of the populace of living in guilty 
opposition to the will of Heaven, and so cut off from 
the rest of the people. The history of China also has 
been of such a character as to sustain the notion that 
the responsibility of national disaster rests chiefly with 
the Government. While admitting the extraordinary 
longevity of the Chinese State regarded in its essentials, 
we must not leave out of view the fact that its life has 
been broken, but also preserved, by innumerable rebel- 
lions and changes of dynasty. Revolu tion is t o^the 
Chinaman something more even than it is to the modern 
Parisian. It is, so to speak, the constitutional means of 
getting xid of bad governments, and is associated in his 
mind witli deeds of heroic darings of noble self-sacrifice,, 
and. with some of the brightest periods of the national 
history. De Guignes, in his * Tableau de THistoire 
Ancienne de la Chine,' correctly enumerates twenty- two 
imperial dynasties, commencing with the Hea, founded 
by the Great Yu, and ending with the Ta Tsing, the 


present Manchu reigning family ; and many of these 
were overthrown by violence, to the great advantage of 
China, or of those portions of it over which they reigned. 
The * Historical Classic' is full of "oaths" and "announce- 
ments" and " chastisements" of revolutionary leaders, to 
whom was delivered " Heaven's exterminating decree " 
against cruel or too luxurious princes. At a later 
period the famous Han, Tang, and Sung dynasties, with 
many others of less note, were founded by revolutionary 
violence ; and the Ming, or " Bright," dynasty, which 
established itself for a time against the Tartars, excited 
patriotic feelings in the breasts of the Chinese. Thus, 
the Tai-ping rebellion was no novel phenomenon in the 
history of China, but had intimate relationship with the 
national ideas and history ; and Hung Sew-tsuen, its 
leader, was influenced to his terrible and unsuccessful, 
yet perhaps beneficial, movement, not less by the ideas 
Avhich float in the Chinese mind than by the actual 
events which, as we shall presently see, led him up to 
that movement, on into his terrible career, and to its 
final catastrophe. 

In some most important respects the present state of 
China is very much what it was in the earliest recorded 
times. The cities exercise but little influence, and power 
• lies in the balance between the Emperor with his Minis- 
ters and the country people. Bold warriors, ambitious 
priests, and designing statesmen play no great part in 
the national history. It is out of the country people, the 
innumer^-blaixwners of the land, that the ruling power 
has arisen, and it is their wants that must be attended - 
to. _So long as they are well off they are contented 
with ihe existing dynasty ; but when they suffer greatly 
, then Heaven appoints some one to exterminate the 
^"^^^^jnasty. This is the leading point in the whole history 


of China. The dynasties are always established by men 
of lofty virtue and great force of character, perhaps 
aided by able and devoted Ministers ; but as generations 
pass away their successors deteriorate in character, and 
finally reach some one wLv combines debauchery and 
cruelty, so that he injures public affairs as much by his 
interference as by his neglect. Then comes ruin over 
the country ; there are signs and portents in the heav- 
ens, and there rises some patriot to say, like T'ang, 
who destroyed the most famous Hea dynasty, " I dread 
the Supreme Euler, so I dare not refuse to destroy 
the wicked sovereign. 

Such a period in China was that when Hung Sew- 
tsuen, the Tai-ping chief, arose. There were many 
circumstances which had tended to throw the country 
into a state of disorganisation, causing widespread 
misery ; and there were even special circumstances 
which tended to ascribe the evil to the ruling dynasty, 
and called upon a patriot to remove it from the throne. 
As regards the latter point, it is only necessary to note 
here that the Imperial family, as is well known, was 
Manchu. In the thirteenth century the immediate 
descendants of Genghis Khan conquered China in a 
sort of way, and established the Yuen dynasty, which 
ruled the country till a.d. 1368, but was then over- 
thrown by a native line, the Ming, or " Bright.'' This 
latter reigned till the year 1664 ; but the last thirty 
years of their government, which had been moved from 
Nanking to Peking, was a continual strife with the 
tribes of Manchu Tartars on the frontier, and with in- 
surrection in the interior. In 1664, a native Chinese, 
Le Taiching, entered Peking with his insurgent forces, 
and on his arrival the last Emperor of the Mings com- 
mitted suicide. Le proclaimed himself emperor, but was 


soon driven from the capital by the Manchu Tartars, 
who were invited into the country by a Chinese general, 
Woo San-kwei, who had been defending the frontier 
against them, but who, looking on the usurpation of the 
throne by the rebel Le as intolerable, now begged their 
assistance against the usurper. The Manchus having 
entered the country had no intention of leaving it. 
They proclaimed Shun Chi, their chief. Emperor ; and 
in a few years contrived to gain the government of 
China, and even compelled the people to shave their 
heads after the Tartar fashion. This was long resisted, 
especially in the south-east, but after a time all open 
defiance of the Tartar ceased, though in that part of the 
country secret societies were formed for the purpose of 
throwing off the foreign yoke, and defied the power 
of the Government to extinguish them. The Manchu 
Government, however, reigned with great moderation 
and justice up to the end of last century, and in fact on 
to about 1830 ; it had become quite Chinese in char- 
acter, and was chiefly composed of native Chinamen, so 
that in the beginning of this century resistance to it 
had almost entirely ceased, or when it existed, was con- 
fined to those disorderly classes which, from early times, 
have infested the innumerable islands which fringe the 
southern seaboard of the Flowery Land. The Manchus 
as nominally ruling the country, and supplying the Im- 
perial family at least, were always open, on account of 
their being Tartars, to an extra share of odium in the 
event of the Government failing very grossly ; but up 
to 1830 there was no appearance of such failure, except 
the existence of certain illegal associations in the shape 
of secret societies, such as that of the Triad and of the 
Water Lily. 

There can be no doubt that these societies had some 


effect, both directly and suggestively, on the Tai-ping 
movement ; but, as in all such cases, it is difficult to 
find out to what extent they existed, and what their real 
objects were. From the severity with which they were 
pursued by the Imperial Government, we may infer that 
some of them were really dangerous to the State ; but 
others again seem to have been harmless enough. Thus 
the "Tea Society'' was suppressed in 1816, and its 
leaders executed ; but on turning to the Imperial edict 
on the subject, it does not seem that this association, 
though illegal, was very hurtful. Of the leaders of it, 
who called themselves Wangs, the worst that is said is, 
" They lyingly and presumptuously affirm that the pro- 
genitor of the clan of Wang resides in heaven. They 
affirm that Mi-li-Fuh (the Buddha to come) will descend 
and be born in their family, and carry all the members 
of the society after death into the regions of the West, 
into the palace of the immortal Sien, where they will 
be safe from the dangers of war, of water, and of fire." 
Other societies, however, we know, did conspire against 
the Government, and sometimes openly raised the stan- 
dard of rebellion ; and it is interesting to notice how far 
they presented characteristics common to the Tai-ping 
also. In so far as they rose above mere robber associa- 
tions, or guilds for mutual protection, they seem to have 
aimed either at professing a divine commission or an 
intention to substitute a native Chinese for the Man- 
chu dynasty. The Yaou-Jin rebels, who gave so much 
trouble in the provinces of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, and 
Hoonan in 1832, but who had appeared so far back in 
Chinese history as the Sung dynasty,t alleged that they 
were descendants of Pwan-ku, a sacred legendary charac- 

* ' Peking Gazette,' 27tli day, 5tli moon, 21st year Kia-king. 
t ' Chinese Repository,' vol. i. 


ter, the shaper of earth and heaven. The Pih Leen Keaou, 
or Water Lily Society, which has appeared at various 
times throughout the duration of the Ta-Tsing, the pre- 
sent dynasty, scarcely made a secret of their desire to 
overthrow the Manchus, and early in this century caused 
considerable trouble in the southern provinces. The San 
Ho Hwui, or famous Triad Society, the most formidable of 
all in late times, not only prepared the way for the Teii- 
pings, but also evidently gave them a number .oLliiats, 
Its original title was " Tien Te Hwui " — the Celesto- 
terrestrial Society ; and its neophytes were sworn " to 
recall the Ming, to exterminate the Barbarian, to cut off 
the Tsing, and to await the right prince." They took 
for their surname the word Hung. They had traditions 
of being directed by supernatural beings, and their head- 
lance took the name of Tien Hung, or Tien-yu Hung, 
the " Heaven-protected Hung," which is not very far 
from the Tai-ping Hung Tien-Wang — " Hung the Hea- 
venly Prince," the Chinese character for Hung being in 
both cases the same — a point worthy of notice. There 
is no ground to conclude that these societies were very 
formidable; l^u^their mere existence, and t ha claims 
J:hey put forward, were sufficient to prepare the way for 
a wider associated movement in troublous times, and 
such times did speedily, arrive, caused by an external 
series of events, and increasing incapacity in the Celestial 

That the period of disorganisation, rapine, and war 
which afflicted China from 1851 to 18G4 was not entirely 
caused by foreign import, is clear from the state of the 
country from 1830 to 1840, when there was a greater 

* See on the Triads Dr Milne's paper in ' Transactions of the Royal 
Society of Great Britain and Ireland,' vol. i. part ii. (1826), and the ' Chi- 
nese Repository,' vol. xviii. p. 281. 



number of rebellions, inundations, famines, and similar 
disasters, than it had seen for generations ; but though 
the people were getting discontented, and the Govern- 
ment weak, it is undeniable that an enormous impulse 
was given to these evils by the foreign relationships which 
ensued. Soon after 1830 troubles began to arise with 
Foreigners, which caused the Peking Government con- 
siderable alarm, and induced it to take measures to 
maintain the isolation of the empire. The history of the 
events which followed has been recorded from various 
points of view, and need not be repeated here ; but it 
may be remarked, that however desirable it was that 
Chinese exclusiveness should be destroyed, every writer 
on the subject has expressed regret that the work of 
doing so should have been so much an attempt on the 
part of Great Britain to force the objectionable opium 

The British war with China of 1841-42 was most in- 
jurious to the peace of the country, because the power 
of the Government had for long depended greatl.y_jaiL 
prestige ; because large districts had been brought to 
ruin ; and because the calling out bands of local militia 
had taug ht the people their power^ It is well known 
that, previous to that war, the appearance of the insignia 
of a Mandarin, accompanied by a few lictors armed with 
whips, could disperse the most turbulent crowd in Can- 
ton, the most turbulent city in the empire ; and, by a 
long-established rule, the people were denied the posses- 
sion of firearms. BujL, during the war arms were _s 
generallv distribute r^ t.}i^,t, 1r>r>«P. pharpiptprR q£ .alLMads. 
got p ossession of them, while at the same time respect 
for jJ ieL-Government had been destroyed by the manner 
in •w^hiVli its immense pretensions liad been brolven 
t hrough b v the despised Barbarian ; and, instead of ven 



turing on a bold course against the local riots, robber 
jDancls, and insurrections which then arose, the Admin- 
istration, conscious of its military weakness, and still 
fetunned by its recent defeat, began to temporise and 
[^ppeal. In 1845 at Ningpo, and in 1847 at Canton, 
when serious disturbances arose from trivial causes, the 
Mandarins quieted matters only by yielding. T he asso - 
ciated banditti of the Triad increased so in many parts 
of the country that life and property becanae exceedingly 
insecui:e. The indemnity of 21,000,000 dollars exacted 
by Britain on account of the war brought on a financia l 
crisis , while trade was su ffering from t he operation s 
which -had-jtakeu place. Great inundations of the Yel- 
low Kiver and of the Yangtsze occurred inopportunely to 
increase the distress and decrease the land-tax, the only 
great source of revenue. In these circumstances, the 
Government fell upoD the fatal expedient of commuting 
punishments for money, and putting civil offices to sale, 
thereby increasing the number of criminals at large, 
holding out inducements to crime, and exciting against 
itself the animosity of the powerful literary and official 
classes, who thus saw themselves defrauded of their just 
privileges. Thus robbers began to increase on land, and 
pirates at sea ; the local governments being powerless 
to protect, the people armed and organised themselves 
against banditti ; and everywhere over China, but espe- 
cially in the south, troubles had gathered, and dark 
times seemed at hand, when in February 1850 ihe\ 
Emperor Tau-kwang " ascended on the dragon-throne toi 
be a guest on high," and his youthful, ill-fated son, Hien- . 
fung, reigned in his stead. 








It was in this troubled fermenting state of China that 
there appeared one of those extraordinary men who in- 
carnate in themselves the tendencies of a revolutionary 
period, and who, more frequently in the East than else- 
where, gather myriads round them, and pass over their 
country like a destroying but purifying tempest. 

So many writers on this subject have availed them- . 
selves of the Eev. Mr Hamberg's pamphlet,''' which really 
contains all that is known of the early life of the Tai- 
ping leader, that the facts of Hung Sew-tsuen's early 
history must be quite familiar, and these have been 
further substantiated by the autobiography which the 
Kan "Wang or Shield King wrote, prior to execution, 
when in the hands of the Imperialists in 1864. But it 
may be well, very briefly, to show the bearing of these 
facts, to point out how far the chiefs career potentially 
originated in the ordinary circle of Chinese ideas, and 

* ' The Visions of Hung Sew-tchuen.' Hong-Kong, 1854. 



how far it was affected by his peculiar descent and by 
his contact with Foreigners ; in brief, to give the rationale 
of his history. No special notice seems to have been 
taken of the fact, that though born within thirty miles 
of Canton, he was of the Hakka, a rude race, who are 
regarded as aliens by the Punti, the mass of the people 
of Kwangtung."'' This itself goes some way to account 
for his opposition to the Imperial Government, and for 
the ease with which he formed the nucleus of his insur- 
rection. There have been hatred and feud for nearly two 
centuries in Kwangtung between the Punti, or " In- 
dwellers," and the Hakka, or " Strangers,'' who came 
down on the province from the mountains of Kiangsi 
and Fukien ; and the latter are regarded by the former 
very much in the light of barbarians, or,'say, as the Irish 
of Liverpool are by the English workmen of that city. 
Whether Hung Sew-tsuen's genealogy, as it was given to 
Mr Hamberg, was invented after he aimed at the empire 
or was literally true, is a matter of no consequence ; he 
was a poor youth of a rude despised race ; and, either 
from prejudice against him on that • account, or from in- 
ability, never succeeded in taking a degree at Canton. 
Thus his start in life was on the opposition side ; but 
the Kwangtungers, generally, would scolBf at the notion 
of him and his confreres having had any special claim 
to represent the native patriotic element in China. At 
the same time the Hakkas are Chinese, less intelligent, 
and, consequently, more indifierent to the grander ruling 
ideas of the country, than are the rest of the agricultural 
population, but still pretty well imbued with these ideas. 
Bearing this in mind, it can easily be conceived that a 

* For a description of tlie Hakkas, and of a residence among them, see 
" Six Weeks in a Tower," by the author, in * Blackwood's Magazine ' for 
June 1862. 



man of Sew-tsuen's undeniable ability and wild visionary- 
spirit, — steeped to the lips in poverty, admired exceed- 
ingly by his immediate friends and neighbours, members 
of a despised but sturdy and numerous clan, moved, 
very likely, by traditions of illustrious ancestors, living 
in a portion of the country becoming more unsettled 
every day, hearing a rising undergrowl of discontent, 
and himself denied entrance at the door of admission to 
the ruliug body, — would naturally cast about for some 
means of asserting, and perhaps avenging, his slighted 
family race and person. So far we have got circum- 
stances and characteristics which cut him off from the 
mass of his countrymen ; and to the characteristics may 
be added the fact that repeated failures to take his 
degree threw" him, in 1837, into a state of madness, 
epilepsy, trance, ecstacy, or whatever else we may like 
to call it. But this disappointed youth was not an 
Englishman or a Hindu. Essentially a Chinese of the 
Chinese, his mind had a very wide circle of grotesque 
superstitions and solemn terrible thoughts in which it 
could find consolation. Was he the first in his country's 
history to mourn a distracted age, or be pursued by the 
demons Might not " Heaven's exterminating decree " 
be delivered to him also, as to so many " insignificant 
ones " before 1 This was the result into which his visions 
hardened ; but in the first of them I can recognise only 
the ordinary grotesque figures which haunt the imagina- 
tions of southern Chinese of a low class. The tiger, the 
cock, the old woman who washed him in a river, the 
taking out his heart and putting in a new one, the old 
man in a black robe, whom he afterwards believed to 
have been God, and the demon-exterminating sword, are 
the ordinary stock-in-trade of the village geomancers 
of Kwangtung. The only things which give dignity to 



these visions are their connection with the old Chinese 
idea of the exterminating decree, and the biblical gloss 
he afterwards put upon them. These visions, and their 
change into loftier meanings as new ideas came to him, 
are exactly what might have been expected from a man 
of very powerful imaginative mind, brought up amid the 
ignorance, superstition, and squalor of a Hakka village. 
It should be added, however, that, looking at the verses 
he soon began to ejaculate, at his early but as yet harm- 
less proclamation of himself as a heavenly king, and at 
his whole story, there is a certain something about him 
— that which Goethe used to call the daimonic — which 
defies analysis, and even description. 

The elevation of character which Sew-tsuen obtained 
from the conviction his trances had given that he was 
a chosen instrument of Heaven, sustained him in quiet 
up to 1843, but naturally led him to seek to extend the 
sphere of his influence and knowledge. During these 
six years, though alfairs in China were degenerating, 
yet they were not so bad as to afford an opening for a 
revolutionist ; but in 1843, when he began seriously 

towa£d^Jbhe_leac^ of a people who had defied and so 

■ dee ply inj ured the Government he hated ; but the whole 
jhistorj.of his relation to Christianity shows that his was 
I a mind which, while it might incorporate foreign ideas 
I with its own, would never suffer itself to be ruled by 
them. Neither at this time nor in 1847, when he went 
to Canton and put himself under the teaching of Mr 
Issachar Eoberts, an uneducated American missionary, 
did he show any disposition to be a sober searcher after 
religious truth, but only sought that which would give 
force and shape to his own divine mission. To the 



grossly superstitious Hakka, and to the ardent student 
of the more ancient Chinese classics, there was now- 
added a third person, so to speak, imbued with certain 
Hebrew and Christian beliefs. It is a proof of the extra- 
ordinary power of this man's mind, and depth of his con- 
victions, that he could blend these three individuals so 
completely into one under the transmuting belief in his 
own mission. As the poor superstitions of the Chinese 
peasant were elevated into this egoism, so the sublime 
doctrines of Christianity were degraded into it. Who 
could the God of the Christians be but the old man, the 
very God who had appeared to him in Ijis dreams ] He 
must have been in heaven, and the middle-aged man 
who instructed him how to exterminate the demons 
was our Lord. But then the seer himself was a Son of 
Heaven, so Christ became the Elder, and Hung Sew- 
tsuen was the Younger, Celestial Brother. There is no 
trace in any of the Tien Wang's productions of his 
having in the slightest degree appreciated the real spirit 
of Christianity ; but the skill and completeness with 
which he turned some of its doctrines to his own use 
are really wonderful. These results were far beyond the 
power of a mere cunning impostor. From the hour 
when Hung arose from his sick-bed after his first 
forty days' trance, and, poor and nameless, proclaimed 
his avatar by fixing on his door-post the proclamation, 
" The noble principles of the Heavenly King, the Sove- 
reign King Tsuen," on through success and defeat and 
Imperial opposition, up to the hour of his death at 
Nanking, when human flesh was selling in the market at 
so much per catty, he seems never to have wavered or 
abated one jot of his claim to supreme rule on earth. In 
ordinary times it might have been that Hung Sew-tsuen 
would have found an ordinary place as an able Man- 



darin, a village teacher, or a literary farmer, of more 
than average power and eccentricity. He might have 
lived and died the admiration or the wonder of his 
neighbourhood, but unknown beyond the Hwa district 
where he was born ; and only his near relatives, as they 
pointed proudly to the gilded letters recording his name 
in the ancestral hall, or gave his departed soul kind 
offerings of food, would have remembered his existence. 
His bones might have been inurned in some peaceful 
spot on the hills close to his home, where he used to 
confer with his friend Fung Yun-san ; and when his 
spirit desired to revisit earth, it might there have 
had sweet repose, shaded by the pine-trees, cheered by 
the singing of birds, looking down contented on the 
ancestral fields still ploughed by his descendants, and 
beyond these to the flowing waters of the Pearl River 
and the mountains of the White Cloud. This is what, 
according to all Chinese ideas, would have been a happy 
and enviable fate ; but it was not decreed for him. The 
son of a small peasant farmer, and himself a poor literate, 
afflicted with fits of madness and -trances and visions, 
he was to sweep over the great Flowery Land, and, ak 
Tseng Kwo-fan says, cause devastation in sixteen pro- 
vinces and six hundred cities. As it turned out, cruel 
exterminating Wangs — not brown -haired, pot-bellied> 
little children — were his disciples. His ploughshar^ 
of steel and fire drove through the great valley of the 
Yangtsze, and approached the walls of Peking. No small 
tawdry yamun, or village school-house, was his abode^ 
for many years, but the ancient capital of China and the 
palaces of the Ming. His visions turned into heaven- 
sent edicts which decided the fate of millions, and were 
pondered over in the distant capitals of Europe. At one 
moment the Black-haired People seemed about to accept 



his sway ; and when the end came — when his earthly 
existence was extinguished amid the horrors of the siege 
of Nanking — his body was found by the Imperial con- 
queror "enveloped in yellow satin embroidered with 
dragons ; his head was bald, without hair ; his mustache 
remained, but had become grey ; there was flesh on his 
left thigh and right shoulder ; and, as soon as the ex- 
amination had been concluded, the head was secured, 
and the remainder of the body, after being cut up, was 
burned " — almost all China exclaiming, with Peking 
officialdom, "Words cannot convey any idea of the 
misery and desolation he caused : the measure of his 
iniquity was full, and the wrath of both gods and men 
was roused against him." f 

There is no authentic portrait of Hung Sew-tsuen, 
though MM. Gallery and Ivan have given what professes 
to be a representation of him in their lively sketch of the 
first years of the Eebellion. With regard to his personal 
appearance, however, he is known as having been of 
large stature, with a flowing black beard, bright eyes, 
and an intelligent, prepossessing countenance. Soon 
after establishing himself at Nanking, he entirely se- 
cluded himself within the walls of a large palace, beyond 
the outer court of which no male attendants were allowed 
to enter. In the interior the Heavenly Prince was 
waited upon by females alone, by his numerous wives, 
and still more numerous concubines, to whom acces- 
sions were made from year to year. Occasionally he 
held levees of the leading kings and chief men ; but only 
his brothers and the Kan Wang, his cousin and Prime 
Minister, were admitted freely into his presence. Not- 

* Tseng Kwo-fan's Memorial to the Throne with respect to the disposal 
of the two rebel leaders Hung Sew-tsuen and Li Sew-cheng. 

t Imperial edict of 1st August 1864, in reply to Memorial announcing 
the taking of Nanking. 



withstanding this sechision, the Tien Wang exercised 
despotic power, and his edicts were usually implicitly 
obeyed. According to his own belief, and the profes- 
sion of his followers, he was distinguished from men by 
being a veritable son of God, coequal with Christ, and 
commissioned to afford a new revelation to mankind. 
The AVangs, or kings, were all appointed by him on the 
ground of their services to the Tai-ping cause, and were 
described as brethren of the same womb." Each of 
these Wangs had usually a distinct province and army 
assigned to him, but, at least in the latter years of the 
rebellion, the Kan Wang or Shield King, being Prime 
Minister, was virtually director of the movement ; and, 
from his military skill, the Chung Wang took the lead 
in the field. 

After the first formal proclamation of his rebellion in 
May 1850, and his assumption of the title of Tien Wang 
or Heavenly Prince in 1851, Hung Sew-tsuen selected 
five of his adherents as kings, and commenced that 
predatory march through China which enabled him to 
establish himself at Nanking in 1.853 ; for in the then 
state of the empire as already described, his party, like an 
avalanche, gathered magnitude from its own movement. 
The armies, however, which he despatched from Nan- 
king in the same year for the capture of Peking, were 
checked and destroyed after having made a long march, 
and the Imperialist forces which had followed him down 
the Yangtsze took up a position within five miles of his 
heavenly capital. It is a mistake to suppose that the 
Tai-pings were ever unopposed, or in a safe position in 
any place or at any moment. Nor is it less a mistake 
to suppose that they could in any sense be called Chris- 
tians. The Blue-books on China are full of conclusive 
evidence as to the monstrous and blasphemous character 


of Tai-ping theology, and the want of reality in Tai-ping 
religion. They also show abundantly that the Eebels were 
essentially destroyers, and possessed no capabilities for 
reconstruction. In a sort of general way it is now very 
well known what the true character of this movement 
was, so I need only refer readers who wish more infor- 
mation on this part of the subject to the Blue-books, 
and to the volume of Commander Brine,'"' who is very 
far from being in any way prejudiced against the in- 
surrection. The growing ferocity of Hung Sew-tsuen 
and of his attendant Wangs, the manner in which the 
exterminating decree was enforced, and the fluctuating 
fortunes of the Tai-pings, need only be referred to here. 

The great internal difficulty which Hung Sew-tsuen 
had to contend with was his own aversion to guiding 
military operations, and the consequent danger of 
being superseded by one of his abler lieutenants. His 
cause lost much by the necessity under which he was 
placed in 1856, of having the Eastern King put to 
death ; for that chief was not only his best fighting 
man, but also his best civil governor. Stil], what else 
could have been done 'i The Eastern King, not con- 
tented with asserting that the Holy Ghost, the Com- 
forter, was incarnated in himself, took to having trances, 
visions, and heavenly commands, in which he revealed 
that the Heavenly Father was so displeased with the 
Tien Wang (among other things for kicking his wives 
when they were enceinte!), that the latter was required 
to humble himself and receive forty lashes. Now this 
was going a little too far, even for Tai-pingdom. It 
became a question whether the Tien Wang or the 
Eastern King was to rule ; and though the former very 
judiciously accepted the command for his punishment 

* ' The Taei^ng Rebellion in China.' London, 1862. 



without questioning at the moment, he soon took meas- 
ures for abolishing the Eastern King and the Com- 
forter both together ; and the massacres perpetrated by 
the Northern King in carrying out this order, led to 
that prince also being killed. This rather awkward 
affair made the Tien Wang very jealous of another great 
fighting man, the Assistant King, who, in consequence, 
soon after broke off allegiance, and set up for himself in 
the distant province of Szechuen. Thus Nanking was 
left for some time without any able man either to carry 
on the government or to conduct military affairs ; and 
when the latter want was afterwards supplied in the 
persons of the Faithful King and the Heroic King, or 
the Four-eyed Dog, the Heavenly Monarch was too 
suspicious of them to rely upon their advice, and al- 
lowed them to be foolishly interfered with and directed 
by his half-brothers, the Hung Jens. 

Nanking, while the capital of the Tai-pings, was never 
free from danger from Imperialist armies, and in 1855 
it was closely invested, being blockaded completely on 
the north-east, and partially on the south, while its 
river-frontage to the west was commanded by Imperial- 
ist gunboats. At the same time the important Kebel 
position of Nganking, some distance up the Yangtsze, 
was closely laid siege to by Tseng Kwo-fan ; and it was 
only by some very severe and fortunate fighting, that 
the Faithful and Heroic Kings managed to relieve these 
places. Even after this, at the end of 1859, the Tai- 
pings held only Nanking, Lowhoo, Tungching, Hochow, 
Nganking, AVoohoo, the Two Pillars, and Taiping fu ; 
and the two most important places, Nanking and 
Nganking, w^ere severely pressed by the Imperialists. 
According to the report of the governor of the province, 
the Imperialists had 100,000 soldiers round the former 



place, besides a large fleet, and were determined to con- 
quer the garrison by starvation. " The prospect of the 
Tai-pings,'' says Commander Brine, " in the early spring 
of 1860, had become very gloomy. Pressed by want, 
the garrison of Nanking resorted to every possible means 
of sustaining life short of eating human flesh. The 
Imperial Government were highly elated, and the be- 
sieging force looked upon the fall of the city as a mere 
matter of weeks." Out of the lower portion of the Yang- 
tsze valley, the Tai-pings proper had no footing, though 
the Assistant King was carrying on a small rebellion on 
his own account in the far west of China. The move- 
ment had ceased to prosper, partly owing to the action 
of Imperialist generals, who had succeeded in hemming 
it within a certain limited district, and partly from its 
destructive and exhausting nature, which, to continued 
vitality, constantly required new districts of country to 
exhaust and destroy. 














In order to understand how much and how little British 
interference had to do with the suppression of the Tai- 
ping Eebellion, it is necessary to notice exactly how 
matters stood in the year 1859, which promised at 
one moment to see China restored to a state of order 
and peace. Foreign affairs had been settled apparently 
to the satisfaction of all parties ; and, except at Canton, 
where the people had got to like them and rely upon 
them, the Foreign forces had been withdrawn from 
every foot of Celestial soil. Even the Great Rebellion, 
now in the ninth year of its reckoning, was in a fair way 
of being crushed. The Faithful King says truly, in his 
autobiography, that at this time " Nanking was now 




closer besieged than ever. The place was as secure as if 

an iron band had encircled it The siege of 

Nanking was now progressing, and events assumed a 
more threatening aspect daily.'' The Tai-pings lost place 
after place ; their troops had neither rations nor gun- 
powder, and were defeated at every point ; while the 
close investment of the Sacred Capital by the Imperial- 
ist generals, Chang Kwo-liang and Ho Ch'un, threatened 
the very heart of the Eebellion. It is curious to notice 
that in these circumstances the Heavenly Prince seems 
to have remained entirely unmoved. According to the 
Chung Wang, "he contented himself with merely in- 
structing his ministers to adhere to the precepts of 
Heaven, and telling them that the surrounding aspect 
indicated signs of great peace.'' The Faithful King him- 
self seems to have been perfectly astounded and mysti- 
fied by the inexplicable way in which he and the other 
Tai-pings got out of the difficulty. " Then," is all he 
can say, " in those days the Heavenly Dynasty was not 
doomed to be destroyed." 

But instead of being content to accept the new rela- 
tionship with Foreigners, and to employ all its military 
power in extinguishing the still warm embers of the 
Eebellion, the Imperial Government, then practically in 
the hands of Su-shun, of the Prince of I, and of other re- 
actionists, determined not so much to violate or discard 
the Treaty of Tientsin, as by an exercise of Celestial in- 
genuity to make it void without departing from the letter. 
The ratifications of the Treaty were to be exchanged at 
Peking, but there was no special provision as to the way 
in which that capital was to be reached by the British 
Minister ; and the Chinese calculated that by refusing 
permission to the Hon. Mr Bruce and to the vessels 
accompanying him to enter the Peiho, they would bring 



matters to a crisis which would relieve them from the 
obligations to Foreigners which, under pressure, they had 
contracted in 1858. Accordingly the forts of Taku, at 
the mouth of the Peiho or White Eiver, were repaired, 
enlarged, and strengthened, but in such a way as to con- 
ceal their strength, matting being placed so as to cover 
the embrasures ; and the command of these forts was 
given to Sankolinsin, a man of energetic and remark- 
able character, but ignorant of the power of foreign 
arms. Prince Seng, as he was entitled, was the leader 
of Tartar cavalry who drove back the Tai-pings when they 
threatened Peking in 1853. His history was a remark- 
able one. Being a Mongol, he was in no way connected 
by blood with the ruling, the Manchu, dynasty ; and 
being a poor boy, though son of a Mongol chief, he was 
educated for the Lama priesthood in Peking, where he 
attracted the notice of the Emperor, who took him into 
his service, employed him in military expeditions, ad- 
vanced him rapidly, and gave him a sister of one of the 
royal wives in marriage. There was a prophecy among 
the Tai-pings that their empire would be endangered by 
a Buddhist priest, and this they held to have been ful- 
filled in Sankolinsin's Lama education. From a memo- 
rial which this Prince addressed to the Emperor in the 
commencement of 1859, it would seem he fancied that 
Foreign nations wished to devour China, because it had 
neglected the arts of war, and had become weak. His 
memorial is very interesting, as showing the feeling 
entertained at that time towards Foreigners by really 
well-meaning influential persons in China, and concludes 
with an ofl"er of both men and money to assist in repel- 
ling Foreign aggression. With such an instrument in 
their hands, ready and eager to take the command of 
the Taku forts, and looked up to by all China, the 



Imperial Government felt itself strong enough to 

Accordingly Mr Bruce, the British envoy, was refused 
access to the Peiho, and on the 26th June 1859 Admiral 
Hope attempted to force a passage through the stakes and 
beams which closed the entrance to the river. It was an 
oppressive, sultry day, with a lurid mist stretching over 
the muddy shores and turgid water of the Gulf of Peche- 
lee. The guns in the forts were concealed, and only a few 
ragged louts showed themselves at the gates ; but when 
the gunboats rushed up against the beams, suddenly the 
matting over the cannon of the forts rolled up, and a 
terrible cross-fire opened on the devoted British vessels, 
crashing through oak and iron, making the vessels 
tremble with every shot, knocking men in two, and 
sending splinters around. It was rather surprising for 
three British gunboats to be destroyed by the Chinese ; 
and the land attack which followed was not more suc- 
cessful. Men jumped out of the boats into mud and 
water never to rise again. The six hundred yards of 
mud to be crossed under a heavy fire, the two ditches, 
the rifles filled with mud, and the broken ladders, made 
the assault worse than useless. Those who crossed the 
second ditch had to remain under shelter of the bank 
until after dark, the enemy amusing them with arrows 
shot vertically, and with balls of blue-fire. 

This disaster was, of course, not one which the wrath 
of Britain could endure, and its influence on the future 
of Tai-pingdom was very great. It not merely concen- 
trated the attention of the Imperialists upon the defences 
of the Peiho, and made them indifl'erent to other matters, 
so enabling the Rebels to recover lost ground ; it also 
encouraged a certain class of Foreigners at Shanghai, 
who saw that troublous times were coming, to devise 



schemes for affording the Tai- pings what Americans 
would call " aid and comfort." Further, it led to the 
allied French and English expedition against Peking of 
1860; to a temporary paralysis of the power of the 
Imperial Government, which allowed the Tai-pings again 
to become very formidable ; to the pressure of these last 
upon Shanghai, which first caused our interference with 
them, and also to that employment of British officers by 
the Imperialists which, followed up as it was by Chinese 
commanders, finally resulted in the extinction of the 
Great Eebellion. 

A detailed account of the movements by which the 
Faithful King contrived to relieve Nanking for the sixth 
time, would be exceedingly uninteresting. It is of more 
importance to note that the rescue of the capital educed 
not even an encouraging edict from the Heavenly Prince, 
much less any permission for the fighting Ministers to 
enter his presence. He seems in some way or other to 
have held their lives pretty much in his hand, and to 
have ordered them to attempt whatever he desired. Nor 
is this very strange, for his life and pretensions consti- 
tuted the centre of the whole revolutionary movement. 
It may be well, however, as we now approach the close 
of the period when Tai-pingdom had only the Imperial- 
ists to contend with, to state the positions of the oppos- 
ing parties after the raising of the siege of Nanking by 
Chung, the Faithful King, and Ying Wang, the Heroic 
King, better known as the Four-eyed Dog. 

Nanking, the Eebel capital, was not threatened by any 
Imperialist force either on the north or on the south, and 
in the direction of the Grand Canal and the Taiho Lake 
the Tai-pings held the country as far as Liyang and 
Chewying ; the Imperialist General Chang Kwoliang 
having retreated to Tanyan, and Ho Ch'un to Chanchu, 



both places on the Grand Canal near the estuary of the 
Yangtsze. Thus a large district of rich country, lying 
towards the sea, was left ill protected against the ravages 
of the Tai-pings — a district which was fated to witness 
their last great efforts and their final extinction. Tseng 
Kwo-fan, the ablest and highest of the Imperialist gene- 
rals, was at Kuanteche, a considerable way south-west of 
the Taiho Lake, but he had little part in the operations 
which took place at this time. His brother, Tseng Kwo- 
tsun, was engaged up the Yangtsze in investing Nganking 
with a large army, his covering forces being at the cities 
of Soosung, Taho, Tsienchow, and in front of Tungching, 
which was held by Kebels belonging to the army of the 
Four-eyed Dog. In the province of Kiangsi, at Yen- 
chow, there was also a force of Tai-pings under the com- 
mand of Shi Ta-kai, the I Wang, or Assistant King; but 
this was held in check, and prevented from advancing 
on the provincial capital, by an Imperialist army under 
the command of Paou Chiaou, stationed at Hokin, to the 
south of the Poyang Lake. The Imperialist Chang Yu- 
liang was advancing from Hangchow (whither he had 
gone on a fruitless chase of the Faithful King) to Chan- 
chu on the Grand Canal, where were the forces of Ho 
Ch'un, and the residence of Ho Kwei-tsin, the Governor- 
General of Kiangsoo. At Nanking, Yenchow; and Ngan- 
king, the Rebels had three commanding situations, of 
which only the latter was invested by the enemy ; and 
by pushing on their forces from the Sacred Capital to- 
wards the Taiho Lake, they kept the Imperialist troops 
in Kiangsoo in a divided state. 

Leaving the Four-eyed Dog to proceed to the relief of 
Nganking, and at the express command of the Heavenly 
Prince, but somewhat against his own inclinations, the 
Faithfid King advanced against Tanyan in May 1860, 



and defeated Chang Kwo-liang, that general being him- 
self drowned in a creek and 10,000 of his men being 
" cut up " or destroyed. This general was brave and 
capable. He had formerly been a Triad chief, then a 
leader among the Tai-pings themselves ; but, as hap- 
pened in many cases during this loDg conflict, he sur- 
rendered to the Imperialists and took service under 
them. The Faithful King next advanced against Chan- 
chu, to which the remnant of the defeated army had fled, 
and where Chang Yu-liang (not Chang Kwo-\m\ig) had 
assembled his force. This place was also taken, and, as 
the Chung Wang admits, when the Kebels entered many 
of the people committed suicide from fear. Ho, the 
Viceroy, had left it with his family before the assault ; 
and Chano; Yu-liano; made another stand at Wusieh, 
being reinforced by an army under Liu, which came up 
from the Taiho Lake. Twenty-four hours' hard fighting 
ensued, and the Faithful King says he was just on the 
point of giving way when, to his unexpected delight, the 
enemy did so instead. This gave the Tai-pings com- 
mand of the Grand Canal between the Taiho Lake and 
the Yangtsze and of all the neighbouring country ; but 
southward there was still a formidable Imperialist army 
at Soochow, under Ho Ch un. This general, however, was 
so dismayed on hearing of the death of Chang Kwo-liang 
that he committed suicide, and the Faithful King met 
with almost no resistance at one of the very wealthiest 
and most fashionable cities of the Flowery Land, Soo- 
chow, the capital of Kiangsoo. 

" Above," says a Chinese proverb, " is paradise, but 
beneath are Soo and Hang." " To be happy on 
earth," runs another, " one must be born in Soochow ; " 
because the people of that place are remarkable for 
their personal beautj. The walls of the city itself 



were at this time ten miles in circumference ; but out- 
side there were four enormous suburbs, one of which, 
on the west side, extended for ten miles each way, and, 
besides, there was a large floating population. It was 
supposed to contain about two millions of inhabitants, 
and had almost a fabulous reputation throughout China 
for its ancient and modern marble buildings, its elegant 
tombs, granite bridges, canals, streets, gardens, quays, 
intelligent men, and beautiful women. Soochow was 
famous for manufactures of many kinds, but especially 
for the richness and variety of its silk goods. Even after 
the suicide of Ho Ch'un it might have been expected 
that Ho, the fugitive Yiceroy, and Chang Yu-liang would 
have made some energetic efforts to save this magnificent 
city from becoming the prey of the spoiler ; but the Im- 
perialist troops seem to have been thoroughly disorgan- 
ised, and Ho hastened its fate by ordering the suburbs 
to be fired for purposes of defence. To a large number 
of the inhabitants this appeared quite as bad as falling 
into the hands of the Tai-pings, and, combined with out- 
rages committed by the fugitive soldiers of Chang Kwo- 
liang, caused such a state of confusion and anarchy, that 
when the Chung Wang advanced on the 24th May 1860 
he found no opposition, and, amid the welcome of the 
lower class of the population, walked in at one gate 
while the Imperial troops fled at another. Shortly after 
the city of Hangchow was taken by the Faithful King, 
and in the province of Kiangsoo everything looked pro- 
mising in the prospects of the Heavenly Empire of the 
Great Peace. 

Up to this period. May I860, the Tai-pings had only 
the Imperialists and the people of the country to 
contend with. A few Malays and Manilamen, and. 


perhaps, a crazy English sailor or two, may have found 
their way into the ranks on either side ; but the long 
ten years' conflict had been entirely one of Chinese 
with Chinese, uninterfered with by Foreign powers and 
unaffected by any enlistment of Foreign auxiliaries. 
As I have pointed out, the Tai-ping rebellion in part 
originated from the opium war, and was very nearly 
crushed in 1859, when a new difficulty with Foreigners 
came to its rescue, so there was political justice in its 
receiving its death-blow from the hand to which it had 
owed so much. Had it not been for the rude shock 
given to the prestige of the Imperial Government by 
the first war with Britain, the Kebellion, so far as we can 
see, would not have arisen ; and had it not been for 
the assistance given by Foreigners towards its suppres- 
sion, it might, possibly, still be uselessly devastating the 
country. But, in the progress of events, it was quite 
impossible that the Tai-pings could any longer keep 
clear of the Foreign element which during the few pre- 
ceding years had been so rapidly blending its interests 
with those of the Black-haired People. The hour had 
come when, either for weal or woe, the Tai-pings had to 
do with the energetic strangers from the West who had 
begun to swarm at the consular ports. The only ques- 
tion was, whether the new influence would be favourable 
or unfavourable to the Empire of the Great Peace. 

From the autobiographical sketch of the Eebellion, 
written before his execution, by the Kan Wang, or 
Shield King, it appears that in 1860 he was made 
Generalissimo of the Eebel forces ; and having passed 
four years in Hongkong, he was well acquainted with. 
Foreigners, and knew the importance of securing them 
as allies. Valuable as Soochow and Hangchow were, 
his main object in sending the Faithful King in that 



direction was to establish communications with the 
open port of Shanghai, distant not 400 miles from 
Nanking, and to purchase there from Foreigners about 
twenty steamers, to be sent up and employed on the 
Yangtsze. This would have given him the command 
of that great river ; and he proposed at the same time 
to make other movements by land for the purpose of 
relieving Nganking and thoroughly securing both banks 
of the river between that place and the capital. He 
saw clearly the immense importance of not allowing 
Nganking to fall, and said very expressively in a letter 
to the Faithful King, " Let me tell you that the great 
river may be likened to a snake, the head of which 
is formed by Hoopeh, the body by Kiangnan. Hoopeh 
not being ours, the moment Nganking is lost the snake 
is divided : and though the tail may survive, it can only 
enjoy a transitory existence.'' 

It is interesting to notice how practical were, at this 
crisis, the ideas of the Shield King. The general plan 
of the Imperialist authorities was to pen up the Eebels 
so as to drive them into the sea, or on to the open ports, 
trusting that from these latter they would be kept by 
Foreigners. Thirty years before, to press the Eebels 
into the sea would have been all that was required ; 
but pressing them into the sea in 1860 meant thrust- 
ing them upon Shanghai and other Consular ports, 
where steamers and munitions of war sufficient for the 
conquest of all China were to be obtained ; but the 
Imperialists had good grounds to believe that we would 
protect the ports, and the outbreak of the Eebels was 
too sudden and unexpected to allow of effectual meas- 
ures being taken to prevent their going towards the 
sea.'"" The Tai-pings, on the other hand, saw that it was 

* This point is more fully discussed in chap. xiii. 



of importance to them to be in contact with Foreigners, 
and actually entertained the design of procuring a num- 
ber of steamers for use in war. Let us bear in mind 
also that even at this time the opinion of Foreigners, 
and especially of Englishmen and Americans, in regard 
to the Eebels was still divided. If the delusive ideas at 
first entertained in regard to their Christianity and their 
Protestantism had entirely disappeared — and it was not 
alleged that they possessed any organising power — still 
it was held by many that they were quite as good as 
the Imperialists, perhaps a shade better ; and that no 
real harm could result to China from giving them en- 
couragement. Her Majesty's Government had directed 
all her representatives in Cathay to maintain a strict 
neutrality between the contending parties, so that the 
hands of the most ardent Mandarin sympathiser, if any 
such there were in her Majesty's diplomatic service, were 
effectually tied ; while, on the other hand, there existed 
in Shanghai at that period a certain number of unscrupu- 
lous traders, and a considerable rowdy population whose 
interests lay, or were supposed to lie, in supporting the 
Rebellion, and fostering a state of anarchy and warfare 
in China. 

To all human appearance there was even a still more 
cogent reason Avhy the Tai-pings should have calculated 
on Foreign comfort and aid. At this moment we were 
really at war with Imperial China, and an allied French 
and English expedition was on its way to Peking to 
avenge the Taku disaster of 1859. Vessel after vessel 
was leaving Singapore and Hongkong for the Gulf of 
Pechelee with troops and stores. Past the desert islands 
of the Prata shoal, where the ribs of many a goodly ship 
lie bleaching under the fierce sun, in the white sand or 
on the pink coral ; round the huge and almost unex- 



plored yet lovely island of Formosa, with its great 
mountains, rich tropical vegetation, and wild cannibal 
tribes ; up the coast of China, broken into deep bays, 
fringed with innumerable islands, and every island 
fringed with boats innumerable ; through the Chusan 
Archipelago, where the islands are a mass of temples ; 
across the sea-like floods of the Yangtsze and the Yellow 
River, pouring down into the ocean ; over the muddy 
Yellow Sea, tumbling beneath the mighty crags of Shan- 
tung promontory, — a splendid English naval and mili- 
tary force w^as pursuing its way to its rendezvous under 
the bare cold hills of Manchuria, with the design of ad- 
vancing on the inviolate northern capital and disturbing 
the Son of Heaven in his Tranquil Palace. On the 
other hand, the Imperialists had braced themselves up 
for one great effort against innovating foreign power ; a 
large army had been collected on the Peiho ; in case of 
any disaster on the seaboard, extensive fortifications had 
been thrown round Tientsin ; the Taku forts had been 
still more enlarged, and in their embrasures, beside the 
huge English guns won in the victory of the preceding 
year, might have been seen the dark firm face of the 
Tartar Generalissimo, Sankolinsin,'" eagerly looking sea- 
ward for the first smoke of the coming fire-vessels, with 
perfect confidence in his power to overcome. Looking 
at all these circumstances, few could have anticipated 
that any harm would have come to the Tai-pings from 
their advance on the City of the Sea. 

So strangely, however, do matters go in China, that, 
at the very time the allies were collecting their forces at 
Shanghai and elsewhere, preparatory to a march on Pe- 

Sankolinsin was described to Dr Rennie Peking and the Pekingese,' 
vol. ii. chap x.) as " tall and stout, AAdth a very energetic eye, just like Louis 


king, and just at the moment they were about to start, 
first the Tautai of Shanghai, and then Ho Kwei-tsin, 
the Governor-General of Kiangsoo, who had come from 
Chanchu fu to the consular port, applied to the British 
and French authorities for assistance against the Tai- 
pings. As the lives of a number of Catholic priests were 
endangered, the French General offered to send 1500 
men if the English would send 500 ; but Mr Bruce con- 
sidered the matter too hazardous, as, should the 2000 
troops be obliged to retire, a bad effect would be pro- 
duced, and if they were reinforced the expedition to the 
north would be crippled ; and in this view the French 
Minister coincided. Still, a step was taken pregnant of 
future disastrous consequences to the Tai-pings. " I de- 
cided," says Mr Bruce, in his despatch to Lord J. Eussell 
of the 30th May I860,—" I decided, in concert with M. 
Bourboulon, that it was expedient, both on grounds of 
policy and humanity, to prevent, if possible, the scenes 
of bloodshed and pillage being enacted here which took 
place at Hangchow fu, when that city was lately as- 
saulted by the insurgents ; and it appeared to me that, 
without taking any part in this civil contest, or express- 
ing any opinion on the rights of the parties, we might 
protect Shanghai from attack, and assist the authorities 
in preserving tranquillity within its walls, on the ground 
of its being a port open to trade, and of the intimate 
connection existing between the interests of the town 
and of the Foreign settlement, the former of which can- 
not be attacked without great danger to the latter. We 
accordingly issued separate proclamations to that effect 
in identical terms." This was the little cloud, no big- 

* The British proclamation was as follows : — " The undersigned issues 
this special proclamation to tranquillise the minds of the people. 

" Shanghai is a port open to foreign trade, and the native dealers residing 



ger than a man s hand, which was destined to obscure 
the sun of Tai-ping success. In a memorial sent at this 
time to the Throne by Ho, that unfortunate Governor- 
General, who was soon after recalled to Peking and exe- 
cuted for his non-success, speaks of his army as having 
been annihilated in consequence of the etat de delahre- 
ment into which it was thrown by the successes of the 
Faithful King, and especially by the taking of Soochow. 
" Never,'' he wrote, " in all antiquity has there been a 
state of confusion so remarkable,'' and, " trembling be- 
yond measure," he begs the Emperor to make peace with 
the Allies and employ all his troops against the Rebels. 
When, at the risk of his head, and, as it proved, at the 
cost of his head, one of the highest of Chinese officials 
could write in this way, the circumstances of the Impe- 
rialist cause in Kiangnan must have been apparently 
desperate indeed. 

Besides the proclamation of the Allies in regard to 
Shanghai, another very important, but, at the time, ap- 
parently insignificant, event was the appearance on the 
stage of General" Frederick Ward.- Before the former 
had agreed to defend Shanghai, Ta Kee, and several 
other wealthy merchants of that place, not relishing the 
idea of its falling into the hands of the Tai-pings, had 
arranged with Woo, the Tautai, to aflford funds for the 

therein have large transactions with the foreigners who went to their place 
to carry on their business. Were it to become the scene of an attack and of 
civil war, commerce would receive a severe blow, and the interests of those, 
whether foreign or native, who wish to pursue their peaceful avocations in 
quiet would suffer great loss. 

" Tlie undersigned will therefore call upon the Commanders of Her 
Majesty's naval and military authorities {sic !) to take proper measures to 
prevent the inhabitants of Shanghai from being exposed to massacre and 
pillage, and to lend their assistance to put down any insurrectionary move- 
ments among the ill-disposed, and to protect the city against any attack. 

"Shanghai, May 26, 1860." 

"general" FREDERICK WARD. 


enlistment of Foreigners to fight against the Kebels. 
He had, therefore, engaged two Americans called Ward 
and Burgevine to enlist a number of Europeans and 
Manilamen, and had promised these leaders a large sum 
if they would retake Sungkiang, a city eighteen miles 
distant from Shanghai on the river Whampoa. 

Of Burgevine I shall speak afterwards. Ward was 
born about 1828, at Salem in Massachusetts, and was a 
man of courage and ability. Probably from poverty he 
was unable, when a youth, to gratify his desire of study- 
ing at West Point ; but his mind seems always to have 
been occupied with military matters as affording his 
proper and destined sphere in life. Like not a few of 
his countrymen, he combined the life of an adventurer 
with that of a sailor, and had seen a good deal of the 
world before he came to China. In Central America he 
had been engaged in filibusterino; under that celebrated 
chief of filibusters, General William Walker ; at Tuhu- 
antepic he had been unsuccessfully engaged in trying to 
found a colony from the United States ; and at one time 
in Mexico he had been on the point of taking military 
service under President Alvarez. Ward seems to have 
turned up in Shanghai some time in 1859 ; and his first 
operation, the attack upon Sungkiang, with about 100 
Foreigners, mostly seafaring men, under his command, 
took place in July 1860, and resulted in a repulse with 
some loss. He persevered, however, in his design ; and, 
having augmented his force by a company of Manilamen, 
lay concealed during the day, and contrived to seize a 
gate of the city just at sunset, repulsing all the Kebel 
attacks till next morning, when the native Imperialist 
troops coming up, w^ere enabled to drive out the Tai- 
pings. Ward then received the ransom of the city, and 
Ta Kee and the other patriotic merchants were promoted 



in rank. The success of this affair, together with the 
high pay of 100 dollars ]per mensem^ attracted more men 
to the banner of the Salem adventurer, who, being 
offered a further reward if he would take Singpoo, at- 
tempted to do so with 280 followers of his own, and 
two six-pounder guns; but in conjunction with 10,000 
Chinese troops under General Li Adong, and about 200 
small Chinese gunboats. The Tai-pings, however, by 
this time had begun to see the benefit of employing 
Europeans, and at Singpoo, among others, they had an 
Englishman of the name of Savage who had formerly 
been a pilot. The consequence was that when Ward 
attacked the city on the night of the 2d August and 
succeeded in getting on the wall, his force was driven 
back with very great loss, and he himself was severely 
wounded in the jaw. Being an irrepressible sort of ele- 
ment, however, he went to Shanghai, and, despite his 
wound, immediately returned to Singpoo with two eigh- 
teen-pounder guns, and 100 fresh men, mostly Greeks 
and Italians. But this did not avail much ; for the 
Faithful King came down to the rescue of the city, sur- 
prised and outflanked Ward, took his guns, boats, and a 
good many muskets, and drove him back to Sungkiang. 
This latter place the Tai-ping chief soon attempted to 
take by storm, but there he was repulsed, and in the 
attempt Savage received a wound, from the effects of 
which he soon after died at Nanking. 

On the 16th of August the Faithful King advanced 
upon Shanghai, leaving Sungkiang invested in his rear, 
and accompanied by the Shield King, whose knowledge 
of Foreigners was expected to be useful. Chung Wang 
immediately sent in a proclamation to the consuls, ex- 
plaining the accidental slaughter of a French priest on 
the previous day, and telling them that he was about to 



attack Shanghai, but that Foreigners would not be mo- 
lested if they remained in their houses. No answer was 
sent to this communication ; but the Tai-pings must have 
been aware of the proclamations which had been issued 
by the French and English authorities, and they had 
been warned shortly before by the Rev. Mr Edkins, and 
other missionaries, that the Allies would defend the city 
against them. 

On the 18th August the Faithful advanced, burn- 
ing everything before him, on a very wide front. He 
passed through the Jesuit establishment at Sikawai, 
where several Roman Catholic converts and another 
French priest were killed ; then he attacked the Im- 
perialists, who were intrenched about a mile from the 
west gate of Shanghai, occupied their camps, and drove 
them into the city. The Tai-pings then made an at- 
tempt to enter the gates along with these fugitives ; but 
the walls were manned by French and British troops, 
who drove them back with great loss. A skirmishing 
fire was kept up on the walls ; and the Rebels, along 
with whom were several Europeans, one of whom was 
killed, also tried to advance under cover of the Imperial 
flags which they had captured in the stockades. Next 
day the Faithful King resumed his attack, in expectation 
of a rising among the Cantonese and Chinchew men, who 
were very numerous in Shanghai, and who were only de- 
terred from revolt by the force of the Allies. In one of 
the suburbs they did indeed break out, and commenced 
plundering and massacring the more respectable Chinese j 
and before that could be put a stop to, the greater part 
of this wealthy suburb was destroyed by fire, causing 
great distress among the people. On the next day, 
the Chung Wang again renewed his attack, and directed 
his efforts specially against the British settlement ; but 




he was easily repulsed, and, giving up the futile attempt, 
fell back with his troops on Sikawai. In his own ac- 
count of this affair he says that he was induced to go 
to Shanghai " by some Barbarians residing there ; " and, 
in a communication which he sent in to the Foreign 
authorities on the 21st August, he expressly accuses 
the French of having deceived him. This is rather 
curious, and is not quite explained away by the Hon. 
Mr Bruce when he remarks, in his despatch of the 4th 
September 1860, that the French were of all Foreigners 
the least likely to have made any advances to the Tai- 
pings. It is well known that the Eoman Catholic priest- 
hood in China — a very powerful body, with a system of 
underground communication all over the empire — were 
bitterly hostile to the Eebellion, and it is not at all un- 
likely that some of their agents may have been employed 
in luring the Chung Wang on to his injury by false 
representations of the ease and safety with which Shang- 
hai might be occupied. Another curious point is, that 
in his sketch the Faithful King asserts he had prepared 
for a march into Shanghai, and arrangements had been 
made there for his reception ; but a storm of wind and 
rain arose, which rendered the ground so slippery that 
neither man nor horse could obtain firm footing, and so 
the Foreign Devils who came out to meet him had to re- 
turn without him. This is not like pure invention, and 
there was such a storm a day or two before the at- 
tack of the 18th August; Mr Bruce also acknowledges 
that the Eebel attack took us by surprise so that it is 
far from impossible that the wealthy city of Shanghai 
had a narrower escape from Tai-ping occupation than it 
was, or is even yet, aware of 

Having inflicted an immense amount of injury upon 
the peasantry, the Rebels retreated on the 22d of August, 



and left the vicinity of Shanghai. Passing Sungkiang, 
which was held by AYard and his contingent, they cap- 
tured Pinghoo and Kashing hien/" which caused the Im- 
perialist general, Chang Yu-liang, to raise the siege of 
Kashing fu, which he was again attacking. By the cap- 
ture of Shemen they managed to get in between Chang 
and that portion of his force which was stockaded near 
Kashing fu, and so to cut the latter off from Hangchow, 
compelling it to surrender, and the general to retreat 
upon Hangchow. Most of the troops thus taken in Sep- 
tember joined the ranks of the Pebels. The Faithful 
King then proceeded to Soochow, where the distress 
of the people from famine was very great. It is to his 
credit that he endeavoured in every way to relieve them, 
and was so far successful that they erected to him an 
ornamental arch — a tribute of gratitude which caused 
them considerable trouble, when, afterwards, the city 
was recovered by the Imperialists, by whom it was 
pulled down. 

* " Hien " thus used indicates the chief city of a district, and " fu " that 
of a department. 



THE TIEN Wang's indifference — tai-ping plans in i860 — 






COUP d'etat. 

The redoubtable Tseng Kwo-fan, at this time War Com- 
missioner against the Kebels, was now pressing the siege 
of Nganking ; and the Heavenly Prince, being apprehen- 
sive for its safety, ordered the Faithful King to return 
to Nanking, in order to oppose the Imperialists on the 
Yangtsze. Accordingly the latter left Soochow in cliarge 
of Chen Kuan-shu, who w^as afterwards called the Hu 
Wang, or Protecting King, but was better known by 
the name of " Cockeye," one of his optics having been 
injured by the explosion of a percussion-cap. On the 
arrival of the Faithful King at the capital, he assembled 
the various chiefs, and, following Dugald Dalgetty's 
principles, recommended them to procure provisions so 

* Thongli " Cockeye" is an English slang word, it is well known and 
often used by the Cantonese, Foreigners in the south having for long been 
in the habit of applying it to Chinamen, and Chinawomen also, who have 
certain peculiarities about their eyes. 



long as the city was open, and not to retain money in 
their hands, as that would be useless during a siege. 
Upon his urging the same advice on Hung Sew-tsuen, 
that Heavenly Prince only answered characteristically, 
Are you afraid of Death ? I, the truly-appointed 
Lord, can, without the aid of troops, command Great 
Peace to spread its sway over the whole region." What 
could Chung Wang say to this ? as he himself patheti- 
cally inquires. All he could do was to breathe a sigh, 
and move away with a body of troops in order to raise 
the siege of Nganking, that place being, in fact, the key of 
the whole Eebel position in the valley of the Yangtsze. 

The whole of the chiefs being assembled at Nanking 
in October 1860, it was resolved that the great objects 
of the coming year should be the capture of Hankow 
and the raising of the siege of Nganking ; and to effect 
these four armies were to be put in motion. The first 
army, under the Ying Wang, or the Four-eyed Dog, was 
to move from Tongchiug to Hwangchow, along the north 
bank of the Yangtsze, in rear of the covering force of 
Imperialists engaged at Nganking, and thence on to 
the east of Hankow. The second, under the Tu Wang, 
was to cross from the north to the south bank of the 
Yangtsze, in order to attack Hokeou at the entrance of 
the Poyang Lake, and from thence to ascend the river on 
Hankow. Another division, under the Attendant King, 
was also to march on the Poyang Lake, and thence by 
Nanchang, the capital of Kiangsi, on to Woochang, the 
city vis-d-vis to Hankow, on the southern bank of the 
Yangtsze. The fourth army, under the Faithful King 
himself, was to march south of the Poyang Lake to 
Yotehow on the Tungting Lake, and from thence to 
descend the great river to Hanyang, which is only 
separated from Hankow by the river Han. All these 


forces were to move so as to be at or near their common 
object in March or April. At the same time arrange- 
ments were made for the Kebels at Soochow to move 
down on the cities of Chapu and Ilaiyuen, while the 
Nienfei (who, without subscribing to the tenets of the 
Great Peace, fought on the side of the Tai-pings when it 
suited them) were to make a raid from Tongyan against 
Yangchow, Kwachow, and Chinkiang. The Imperialists, 
on the other hand, were thus placed : — Tseng Kwo-sun 
was besieging Nganking ; General Paou Chiaou and 
his forces were near Hangchow; Tseng Kwo-fan, the Gov- 
ernor-General, was at Kimen in order to prevent any- 
advance on Kiangsi; and Chang Yu-liang was at Hang- 
chow. The intended route of the Faithful King was 
somewhat disturbed by General Paou, who defeated him 
at Yuhain and compelled him to move into Cliekiang. 
In the neighbourhood of Shanghai the Eebels were pretty 
quiet about this period, but they made one or two raids 
against Woosung in October, and ravaged the country, 
inflicting great misery on the people, and filling Shanghai 
with fugitives, the latter fact affording evidence of the 
terror which they inspired. 

The war with the Imperialists in the north being now 
ended. Admiral Sir James Hope, our naval commander- 
in-chief, was able to turn his attention to the Tai-ping 
question — to its effect on our trade and on our possession 
of Shanghai. It was also necessary to visit the ports on 
the Yangtsze which had been opened to trade by the 
new treaty ; so the Admiral started up the river in 
February of 1861 ; and, passing Chinkiang, which was 
in a most ruinous state, anchored at Nanking. Here 
he entered into correspondence with the Tien AYang 
on the opening of trade in the Yangtsze, on the neces- 
sity of the Tai-pings being forbidden to interfere with 


Shanghai, and on orders being given that they should 
not approach within 100 li, or 30 miles, of it ; that dis- 
tance being supposed sufficient to secure it against any 
sudden attack. In answer to these demands the Tien 
Wang agreed to leave Shanghai unmolested for a year, 
and issued some regulations in regard to the ports on 
the river and its navigation. Sir J. Hope then pro- 
ceeded up to Nganking, which was closely besieged by 
the Imperialists, Kiukiang, which was in ruins, and 
Hankow, establishing consulates at the two last ports. 
The Eebels at this time occupied the river from their 
Heavenly Capital to Wuhu, including the East and West 
Pillars. The accounts of the various officers and gentle- 
men who went up on this expedition agree in describ- 
ing the Tai-ping cities and districts as having been in a 
state of great desolation, while the people who were 
left were in the utmost misery. On the other hand, in 
places which had been retaken by the Imperialists, con- 
fidence had returned ; the people were crowding back 
to their ruined homes, and trade and new houses were 
springing up. 

Meanwhile at Shanghai Ward and Burgevine began 
again to make themselves felt, again collecting men 
for a third attempt on Singpoo, where they had been 
defeated by the Faithful King in 1860. In March and 
April 1861 Ward had collected a number of Foreigners 
and sent them up from Sungkiang to Burgevine, who was 
intrenched with some Imperialists near Singpoo ; but 
the consuls and admirals were so desirous to avoid any 
unnecessary embroilment with the Tai-pings, that they 
arrested Ward and some of his men on the 19th May, 
and took him to Shanghai, where he was tried as an 
American citizen illegally engaged in operations of war, 
but avoided jurisdiction by disowning his country and 


claiming Chinese nationality. It was arranged, however, 
that Ward should not then make any more attempts 
to enlist Europeans and Americans on the side of the 
Imperialists ; and about the same time the Tien Wang, 
on demand, delivered up to Admiral Hope a number 
of Foreigners, some of whom were deserters from the 
royal navy, who had taken service with the Tai-pings, 
from whom they got no pay, but plenty of spirits and 
full permission to plunder. Thus we see that at this 
period a sincere attempt was made by the Foreign 
authorities to carry out a policy of complete non-inter- 
vention, and it was only after-events which necessitated 
a departure from it. 

It is now expedient to turn to the movements of the 
Eebels in the beginning of 1861, when their various 
armies were put in movement for the capture of Hankow, 
the bold conception of the Chung Wang, who to attain 
this end undertook a march of not less than 500 miles. 
In January 1861 this chief left Shangchow, and marched 
without opposition through Yuchan, Quangsin, to Kian- 
chang, which he found held by Imperialists, and which 
he failed to take, though he captured a force that was 
coming to its relief. He then pushed on to the banks of 
the river Kan, which runs into the Poyang Lake, but 
was there delayed for some time, the stream being swollen 
by melting snows. On crossing, he drove off the local 
militia, and, marching on, placed his troops in April in 
Ngan and Ouhning ; so as far as his column was con- 
cerned it had done its part, though his failure to take 
Kianchang had rendered his return precarious in the 
event of anything unfortunate happening to the other 
Rebel armies advancing on Hankow. The Ying Wang, 
or Heroic King, advancing on his shorter line, captured 
Yochan and Yinchan early in March, and then attack- 


ing a camp of Amoor Tartars with great success, took 
all their horses. Hwangchow, a city only 50 miles from 
Hankow, was taken by him by surprise on the 18th 
March 1861, by which time he had marched a force of 
nearly 80,000 men 200 miles in eleven days, and had 
quite outflanked the Imperialists at Loosong. The 
column under the Assistant King, however, was not so 
lucky, being defeated in April at Loping, with the loss 
of 10,000. The Tu Wang also was checked ; for after 
crossing the Yangtsze at the Pillars, he was met by one 
of Tseng Kwo-fan's generals, and completely defeated, 
while another portion of his army was overthrown by 
the Governor-General himself. When the Faithful King 
heard of these failures he had himself got into difficulties, 
for the Imperialist general, Paou, was following him up 
with a large force, the Governor of Hankow had de- 
spatched another to check his advance, and the people 
were pillaging his convoys, so he determined to turn on 
his tracks before it was too late ; and after some narrow 
escapes, and a march of more than 800 miles, reached 
Quangsin in September 1861. The Heroic King, find- 
ing his colleagues did not approach, had also to fall back; 
and thus ended the grand scheme for relieving Nganking 
by an attack on Hankov/. 

Paou Chiaou followed up the Faithful King some 
distance, and received the Yellow Jacket from the Em- 
peror for his services, which had saved Hankow. After 
retreating to Tongching the Heroic King again at- 
tempted to relieve Nganking, but his troops were sadly 
in want of provisions, while those of his opponent, the 
Governor-General, were well supplied, and assisted by a 
fleet of gunboats ; and about this time General Ching 
(afterwards associated with the Ever- Victorious Army), 
a Rebel chief of some eminence, high in favour with the 


Ying Wang, went over to the Imperialists from Ngan- 
king, giving up a most important post. In November 
1861 Nganking fell, after having been defended heroically 
for three years by Yeh Yun-lai. On entering, the people 
were found dead in the streets by hundreds. They had 
been reduced to the last extremity ; for human flesh 
had been sold as their food at 40 cash per catty, or one 
penny per pound ; and it is worthy of note that, almost 
at the same time, the Imperialists besieged in Hangchow 
were reduced to the same dreadful extremity. 

As to the movements of the Nienfei, and of the Tai- 
pings, from Soochow towards Chapu, of which mention 
has been made, it is sufficient to note that the former 
failed, while the latter did capture Chapu, and killed the 
Tartar garrison ; but were told by Captain Eoderick 
Dew, of H.M.S. Encounter, who was sent to warn them, 
that they were not to attack the consular port of Ningpo, 
to whicli they assented. They afterwards pushed on, 
and captured Haiyuen. The Faithful King, for his part, 
finding it impossible to relieve Nganking, determined 
on an invasion of the province of Chekiang, where he 
captured several towns, and, dividing his force, placed a 
portion of it under the She Wang. After this he con- 
tinued to advance, and captured Oukiang and Tezin, north 
of Hangchow, and besieged Wochow, w^hich is to the 
south of the Taiho Lake. Another portion of his army 
proceeded to the south of Hangchow. In fact, every 
place in the vicinity of the latter city was conquered by 
the Tai-pings except Ningpo, which was threatened by 
the She Wang, and protected chiefly by a British naval 

It seems quite obvious that at this period the Tai- 
pings w^ere in distressed circumstances, and were being 
driven by the Imperialists out of the valley of the 


Yangtsze, down upon the seaboard lying between Shang- 
hai and Ningpo. The fall of Nanking seemed only a 
question of time, and the Imperialist theory of sweeping 
them into the sea had about it some appearance of feasi- 
bility. But then, on the other hand, had they been per- 
mitted to take possession of Shanghai and Ningpo, their 
cause would, in all probability, have gained a new lease 
of life, and caused not only China, but also Foreigners 
in China, a great deal of trouble for a much longer 
period than that which actually served for its final ex- 
tinction. Had the Tai-pings been allowed to take Shang- 
hai and Ningpo, they would not only have been able to 
secure European arms and ammunition to an extent 
before impracticable, but might also have largely rein- 
forced their strength from the hardy maritime popula- 
tion of China. It would have been difficult also, in such 
circumstances, to prevent European and American ad- 
venturers from taking service with them ; and, once in 
occupation of the cities at these consular ports, the Tai- 
pings, in the event of any collision with the Foreign 
authorities, would have held the residents in their power, 
and would have been almost certain to apply to them 
also the system of cruel intimidation which had been 
continually practised throughout the Tien Wang's exter- 
minating career. This would, of course, have directed 
the arms of Foreign powers against the ruthless sectaries 
of the Great Peace, but only after a most lamentable loss 
of life and bloodshed had occurred. Tai-ping sym- 
pathisers have naturally felt and expressed themselves 
very bitterly about this matter of our defending Shang- 
hai and Ningpo, because it led to events which w^ere 
speedily very disastrous to the Rebel cause ; but in their 
zeal for the Tien Wang s Christianity and their grief at 
having lost a grand opportunity for making fortunes by 


the sale of bad firearms, they quite ignore not only the 
necessity which the right of self-protection imposed upon 
us, but also the fact that it was the distress of Tai-ping- 
dora which drove it into the neighbourhood of the Foreign 
settlements. It had the remainder of all the vast empire 
of China in which to beat the Imperialists, nor up to this 
period had the latter availed themselves of Foreign arms 
any more than the Rebels had done. Abhorred wherever 
they had been, defeated, and being slowly hemmed in 
on every side, the Tai-pings in their later victories had 
shown only the delusive success of despair. The Foreign 
authorities had to determine whether that despair was 
to end amid the plunder and burning of Shanghai and 
the massacre of those they were bound to protect, or 
in its congenial home amid the desolation and ruins of 

About this time some events occurred at Peking which 
had a not unimportant bearing on the future of China 
and of Tai-pingdom. On the 21st August the Emperor 
Hien-fung died at the Jehol, his hunting-seat in Tartary, 
in the 26th year of his age and the 11th of his reign. 
Unequal to the difficulties of a transition period, he had, 
like many other rulers similarly placed, sought consola- 
tion in sensual indulgences, and had allowed himself to 
be led by unworthy favourites. At last, as the decree 
announcing his death stated, " his malady attacked him 
with, increasing violence, bringing him to the last ex- 
tremity, and on the 1 7th day of the moon he sped up- 
wards upon the dragon to be a guest on high. We tore 
the earth and cried to heaven, yet reached we not to him 
with our hands or voices." When the mortal shell of 
this frail and unfortunate monarch was laid in its " cedar 
palace," his spirit ascending on the dragon would have 
many strange things to tell to the older Emperors of his 



line. He would have to speak of trouble, rebellion, and 
change through all the years of his reign, over all the 
vast plains of the Celestial Empire, from the guttural- 
voiced tribes of Mongolia and the blue-capped Moham- 
medans of Shensi, down to the innumerable pirates of 
Kwangtung ; he might complain that, east and west, 
north and south, his people had been disobedient and 
rebellious ; the administration of his empire had been 
set at defiance, and his sacred decrees had been imper- 
fectly carried out by weak and corrupt viceroys, much 
more intent upon their own aggrandisement than upon 
the welfare of the people. Year after year great bands 
of marauding rebels had moved across the once happy 
Flowery Land, marking their progress in the darkness 
of night by the glare of burning villages, or shadowing 
it in the day by the rolling smoke of consuming towns. 
A maniac usurper had not only sought to ascend the 
dragon throne, but had nearly done so, and had claimed 
divine honours ; while invading armies of the outside 
barbarian had humiliated the empire, had visited the 
once inviolate city of Peking, and had burned the palace 
of the Son of Heaven. 

But we, who now know more of the meaning of these 
events which caused the Emperor Hien-fung so much 
distraction, can see that they were the necessary accom- 
paniments of a period of extraordinary, of quickening, 
strengthening, and, it may be hoped, purifying change. 
Even the death of the Emperor was a signal for a great 
advance. The regency appointed to take care of the 
new boy-emperor consisted of Su Shu-en and the Princes 
of I and Ching, members of the extreme anti-Foreign 
party, and men who had been responsible for the cruel 
murders of Captain Brabazon, Mr Bowlby, and others, 
taken under a flag of truce in 1860. The Supreme 


Council was opposed to carrying out the distasteful con- 
ditions of the Treaty of Tientsin, and of the Convention 
of Peking. Prince Sankolinsin still held by the delusion 
that he would in time be able to resist Foreign demands 
at the point of the sword or the mouth of the cannon ; 
and when a brother of the late Emperor, the more en- 
lightened Prince of Kung, who had signed the Conven- 
tion of Peking, was invited to the Jehol, there was no 
very sanguine expectation that he would ever come back 
alive, or that the invitation meant anything more than 
the permission, politely granted to erring members of 
the Imperial family, of despatching himself in private 
by swallowing gold-leaf, or by strangulating himself 
with a silken cord. Fortunately, however, as it turned 
out, the disposition of events was to a great extent in 
the hands of a woman of intelligence and strength of 
character. The Dowager Empress of China was the 
head of the regency ; and she had wisdom enough to 
perceive that the Prince of Kung understood the inte- 
rests of the country better than did her late lord's ad- 
visers, and was the statesman for the situation. So 
when every one expected to hear of his self-extinction, 
he suddenly reappeared in Peking ; and though he said 
nothing, so far as has transpired, yet there w^as sufficient 
evidence in his countenance that he felt satisfied and 
secure. The result was that the entry of the youthful 
Emperor into Peking was accompanied by the Prince of 
Kung's famous couj) cVetat of the 2d Nov. 1861, which 
overthrew the anti-Foreign party at the capital, and led 
to the execution of its leaders a few days after.'" This 
event consolidated friendly relationships between the 
Foreign Ministers and the Imperial Government ; it 
gave an important impetus to the policy of strengthen- 

* See Dr Rennie's * Peking and tlie Pekingese,' vol. ii. cliap. v. 



ing the hands of that Government ; and it gave security 
for a healthier and more reasonable central power in 
China than had existed for a long period. Many things, 
as we see, w^ere thus working together for the destruc- 
tion of Tai-pingdom, and for the restoration of the 
Celestial Empire to a state of comparative order and 






CAUSE — Forrester's captivity — the end of the heroic king 


confine themselves to SHANGHAI AND SUNGKIANG RECEP- 




As I have mentioned, it had been arranged between the 
Tien Wang and the British authorities at Shanghai, that 
in the year 1861 they were to observe strict peace to- 
wards each other; and this arrangement was kept on 
both sides. It is of great importance to bear this fact 
in mind, because that year was a most critical one with 
the Rebels. In it they put forth ^11 their power in order 
to take Hankow and re-establish themselves in the 
Yangtsze valley. When people say that the Tai-pings 
were overthrown by British arms, they leave this fact 
out of yiew. In the very turning-point of their later 


history, the Eebels were allowed to fight the Imperialists 
without any interference on the part of Foreigners, and 
got by far the worst of it, though at that time the Im- 
perial Government underwent an internal revolution, 
and had just had its prestige seriously injured by the 
advance of the Allies to Peking. The fighting which 
afterwards took place between Colonel Gordon and the 
Tai-pings in the neighbourhood of Shanghai, was not 
rendered necessary by any success of their cause so 
much as by the fact that the complete manner in 
which Tseng Kwo-fan had defeated the Eebels in the 
Yangtsze valley, forced them down again into the 
neighbourhood of the Consular ports of Shanghai and 

Our interference with the Tai-pings at these ports was 
at first entirely in defence of our own settlements. In 
the end of 1861, when Sir James Hope, the Admiral 
commanding her Majesty's naval forces in China, went 
up to Nanking, in consequence of rumours that the 
Faithful King was about to attack Shanghai, and warned 
the Tien Wang against such a proceeding, he was an- 
swered impertinently, and was told whenever the year 
of truce had drawn to a close the Divine troops would 
certainly make such an attack. Accordingly, on the 11th 
January 1862, the Faithful King went down to Soo- 
chow, and after reducing the taxes there and alleviating 
the distress of the people, who had suffered much from 
the cruel misrule of the Hu Wano^ or Protectino* Kino;, 
he put his forces in motion against Shanghai, capturing 
various towns on the way, and ravaging the country. 
In the proclamations which he issued he said that 
"Shanghai was a little place," and added, "We have 
nothing to fear from it ; we must take it to complete 
our dominions/' As he advanced, the horizon round the 



Consular city was obscured for days by the smoke of 
burning villages, and thousands on thousands of fugi- 
tives poured into the Foreign settlements, many of them 
having been plunged from a prosperous condition into 
utter want and misery in the depth of a severe winter. 
This caused the Foreign community. to enrol themselves 
into a volunteer force for the purpose of defending the 
city, and they and the Chinese merchants emulated with 
each other in relieving the distress of the fugitives. The 
Eebels having got down into the Pootung peninsula to 
the south of Shanghai, the people there petitioned the 
Consuls for protection in a most imploring manner, and 
this Admiral Hope and the French Admiral Protet were 
the more ready to grant because the Tai-pings had fired 
upon some boats under the protection of their men-of- 
war anchored at Woosung. 

At this time General Ward had a drilled force of 
nearly 1000 Chinese at Sungkiang, with which the 
Admirals determined to act in concert ; and by their 
combined forces, Kajow, the Rebel headquarters in the 
south of the peninsula, was taken on the 21st February. 
Several other places were also released ; and both Sir 
John Michel, commanding her Majesty's troops in 
China, and Admiral Hope, having reported favourably 
on Ward's force, the merits of the " Ever- Victorious 
Army," as this infant force was now called, were very 
handsomely acknowledged in an Imperial decree of the 
16th March 1862, and 9000 Imperial troops were 
ordered down to its assistance from Nganking. At this 
time. Sir John Michel having returned home, Brigadier- 
General C. W. Staveley, C.B., assumed command of her 
Majesty's forces in China, and determined to continue 
the operations against the Rebels, having just had an 
opportunity at Peking of consulting with the British 



Minister and with Prince Kung upon the subject. Both 
he and Admiral Hope, who first made the suggestion, 
judged that the safety of Shanghai could only be secured 
by clearing the country round from Eebels within a 
radius of thirty miles ; and this conclusion received the 
warm support of the mercantile community, with the 
insignificant exception of some small traders who were 
making a large profit by illegally selling arms to the 
Rebels. Had the Tai-pings been allowed to enter the 
native city, the inhabitants would have crowded into 
the Foreign settlement, which would thus have been 
rendered powerless to protect itself from rapine and 
murder. When it was once resolved to defend the place 
both native and foreign, it was only reasonable that care 
should be taken to provide it with the means of subsist- 
ence, by keeping a portion of the surrounding country 
free from the devastating hordes of the Eebellion. More- 
over, the military authorities were of opinion that it 
was necessary to clear the radius in order to efiiciently 
protect the city. This arrangement soon afterwards 
received the approval of Sir Frederick Bruce, on condi- 
tion that the Imperial authorities should hold the places 
taken by the Allies. 

On the 4th April the two Admirals and General 
Staveley, with their forces, took Wongkadza, which 
was strongly intrenched, the Rebels falling back on 
another series of stockades five miles further inland. 
Ward, with 500 of his disciplined Chinese, and accom- 
panied by Admiral Hope, attempted to take this second 
position, but was repulsed, seven of his ofiicers being 
wounded, and the Admiral receiving a ball in the leg. 
Next day, however, the place was attacked by a com- 
bined French and English force of about 700 seamen 
and marines, under Protet and Captain Borlase, R.N., 


assisted by Ward and 1000 of his men, when the Rebels 
retreated, and were pursued for some distance. A fort- 
night after, Tsipoo, about twelve miles above Shanghai, 
on the right bank of the Wompoa river, was taken by 
the Allies, and 300 Eebels were killed. In order to 
illustrate the serious character of Colonel Gordon's after 
operations, it is well to note that Naizean and Kading, 
the next places taken by the Allies (on the 27th April 
and 1st May), had operating against them a force under 
General Staveley, composed of a wing of H.M. 31st 
Regiment, a wing of the 67th, a company of the 99th, 
the 5th Bombay N.I., Bradshaw's battery of artillery, 
300 British sailors and marines, 800 French sailors and 
Infanterie de la Marine, and 1000 of Ward's disciplined 

On the 6th May a new expedition started from 
Shanghai, of about the same strength, under the two 
Admirals and General Staveley, but with 35 guns and 
mortars, and took Singpoo, Najow, and Cholin. The 
second of these places was stormed by a party of the 
31st Regiment, under a heavy fire of gingals and 
muskets ; and Admiral Protet, who accompanied them, 
was shot dead,'" which caused the French seamen and 
marines to show no mercy to the defenders. 

When Kading was taken, some of the Allied troops 
had been left to garrison it, and they were joined by 
5000 Imperialists who had come down from Nganking. 
These men being much elated by the success which had 
attended their arms in the interior, determined to attack 
Taitsan, a town twelve miles distant, being urged to do 
so by Governor Sieh, who had just learned that he was 
to be superseded by Li Hung-cliang, and was anxious to 

* An Imperial decree directed high honours to be paid to him, and 100 
marten-skins and 4 rolls of Imperial silk to be presented to his friends. 


be able to report a victory when giving up office. The 
Faithful King, however, was infuriated at this move of 
the Imperialists, and went from Soochow to Taitsan with 
10,000 of his picked troops. On the 15th May there 
was an indecisive engagement ; next morning 2000 of 
his men shaved their heads, pretending to join the Im- 
perialists ; and the King, moving round so as to intercept 
their retreat, attacked the latter, when the pretended 
Imperialists fought on his side, and the result was a 
most disastrous defeat, scarcely 2000 out of 7000 men 
returning to Kading. This affair, and the manner in 
which the Chung Wang began to follow up his success, 
induced the Allies to return to Shanghai. 

When the latter found that the Imperialists were 
unable to hold the cities taken from the Kebels, they 
evacuated Kading after a good deal of skirmishing, and 
confined themselves to Shanghai and its more immediate 
neighbourhood. Elated by his success, the Faithful 
King sent out marauding parties nearly to the walls of 
that city, and invested Singpoo and Sungkiang, which 
w^ere held by Ward's force. At the latter place a party 
of British seamen under Lieutenant Stephens, E.N., were 
introduced to assist the garrison, and fortunately in time 
to resist an attack made by the Rebels to scale the walls. 
During the engagements at this time it was seen that the 
Tai-pings had been well supplied with arms by Foreign 
traders, for nearly a third of them had muskets. The 
great heat of the weather had also some effect in in- 
ducing the Allied Commanders to retain their troops 
for the most part at the Consular port. 

The garrison at Singpoo, commanded by Colonel For- 
rester, was soon closely invested by the Rebels, who 
sent in a letter offering to allow the " Strange Devils 
and Foreign Demons " to escape by the south gate and 


return to their own country. Though the disciplined 
Chinese under Forrester made many sorties against the 
Eebel works, yet their position soon became desperate, 
as their numbers decreased and they had fewer men to 
guard the walls, which were three miles in extent, and 
were liable to be escaladed at any point. Accordingly, 
on the 10th June, 200 men of the 31st Eegiment under 
Colonel Spence, the naval brigade under Admiral Hope, 
and Ward himself with two steamers and some of his 
men, went up to relieve Singpoo and withdraw its gar- 
rison. Unfortunately, when evacuating this city, Ward 
ordered it to be set on fire, which betrayed his intention, 
and caused a great •deal of confusion. The Eebels en- 
tered before the garrison had left, and taking Colonel 
Forrester prisoner, drove out his force with considerable 
loss, pursuing them to the spot where Admiral Hope had 
halted with his naval brigade. It was a disastrous re- 
treat, for the bridges over the innumerable creeks which 
intersect the country having been previously broken 
down, many of the retreating forces were drowned. 

It was feared that Colonel Forrester, who had thus 
been taken, would be tortured to death, but he turned 
up some time after in exchange for a ransom of powder 
and muskets. On being seized by the Tai-pings, his 
hands and feet were bound, and he was kept in prison 
without food till next morning, when he was taken be- 
fore a Chief, who ordered him to be tortured, and then 
decapitated. A young Tai-ping leader, however, who 
admired the Foreign Devil's courageous bearing, inter- 
fered, and the sentence was not carried out. After being 
kept in prison for some weeks in a state of semi-starva- 
tion, he was stripped naked, was loaded like a donkey, 
and in this way had to march for several days to Chapu 
under a burning July sun. After that, his hardships 


ceased ; he was well treated, though closely guarded, 
and at last induced his custodians to accept a ransom. 
Thus, after two months' captivity, he returned to his 
astonished comrades with only his constitution a little 

The Faithful King expatiates with considerable plea- 
sure in his Autobiography on this victory over the 
"False Foreign Devils," as Ward's men were called, 
owing to their being dressed in European clothes. 
There is no doubt that at this time he might have 
endangered the safety of even Shanghai itself, had he 
not received intelligence which cut short his career 
in that direction, and recalled him to Nanking, which 
was again threatened by the Imperialists. It seems 
that the Ying Wang, or Four-eyed Dog, fell back on 
Tongching after the failure of the various expeditions 
to save Nanking, and that he was degraded by the 
Tien Wang. After some more reverses, he was deluded 
by an ex-Eebel, Miao Pe-ling, a subordinate of the 
famous General Shung Pow, to enter a city under the 
pretext that it would be surrendered to him ; but when 
he did so, along with about thirty high Eebel dignitaries 
and leaders, the drawbridge was pulled up, and he and 
his friends were taken prisoners. The Four-eyed Dog, 
who deserved a better fate, was then executed ; but his 
captors also came to a violent end, for Miao broke out 
again into rebellion in 1863, and was executed, while 
Shung Pow was degraded for having recommended him 
for service, and for that and other sins was ordered to 
commit suicide. The Imperialists had also advanced 
down the Yangtsze from Nganking, and in May 1862 
had captured the West, and invested the East, Pillar — 
two high conical hills ten miles below Wuhu. Tseng 
Kwo-tsun, the brother of the Imperialist Generalissimo, 


had also moved down with 40,000 men against Nanking, 
had established himself at the south-west of the city, and 
had extended his camps from the river to Porcelain Tower 
Hill, which was still held by the Eebels, but round which 
he had thrown up intrenchments. If we aided the Im- 
perialists by defending Shanghai for them, they certainly 
aided us effectually by withdrawing the most formidable 
general of the Tai-pings, and a great portion of his force, 
at this critical moment. 

Alarmed at all this, and by the capture of some 
other places both above and below his capital, the 
Tien Wang ordered the Faithful King to come up to 
Nanking directly, and the latter had to do so sorely 
against his own judgment. His own notion was to 
pour supplies into Nanking sufficient for two years, 
and to allow it to be beleaguered by the Imperial- 
ists during that period, while he pursued his designs 
towards the seaboard. But the Heavenly Monarch sent 
a peremptory mandate to him requiring his presence, and 
significantly added, " If you do not obey this decree, the 
law must inevitably take effect upon you." He found 
things in a bad way, and illustrates the effect of the loss 
of Nganking by remarking that when a bamboo is once 
split, it splits easily all the way down. Instead of lis- 
tening to the wise advice of this loyal adherent, the Tien 
Wang accused him of treachery, and overwhelmed him 
with abuse. On reaching Nanking, the Faithful King 
was ordered to take Tseng Kwo-tsun's intrenched camps, 
which were defended with deep trenches and strong bas- 
tions, and with connecting drawbridges, so that a force 
could be concentrated at any one point. Many weeks 
were wasted in uselessly attacking this position, and his 
failure in taking it was punished by severe censure, by 
depriving him of his rank as a noble, and by sending 

ward's disciplined CHINESE. 


him in to Nganwhui to join the remnant of the Ying 
Wang's force. 

During the heats of this summer the Allied forces 
remained quiet at Shanghai, round which works of 
defence were completed ; and Admiral Hope and Gen- 
eral Staveley went away — the one to Chefoo to recover 
from his wound, and the other to Japan to recruit his 
impaired health. The only places near Shanghai from 
which the Rebels were excluded was Najow, where there 
was a garrison of British troops, and Sungkiang, which 
was held by Ward, whose force was now 5000 strong, 
well armed with percussion muskets, and supported by 
artillery. This force was still paid by the Chinese mer- 
chants of Shanghai, and was only partially under the 
orders of the Governor of the province. By this time 
General Ward had a good position with the Chinese 
authorities, and could get what money he required 
without trouble. His higher officers received £70 per 
mensem, his lieutenants £30, and the men rather more 
than Is. 6d. per diem, with free rations when in the 
field. The non-commissioned officers and men were all 
Chinese, but the other officers were Europeans with the 
exception of one Chinaman named Wong Apo.'" A thou- 
sand of the men were armed with Prussian rifles of the 
old pattern, and the Ever- Victorious Army had by this 
time assumed, chiefly owing to Ward's exertions, a 
good many of the characteristics of a regular disciplined 

On the other side, the recall of the Faithful King 
must have discouraged the Tai-pings, so on the 6th of 
August Ward ventured out of Sungkiang with nearly 
3000 men and retook Singpoo, leaving it to be gar- 

* In such names as Apo, Apak, and Atai, the " A " is merely a euphonistic 
aspirate, and the Chinese characters represent Po, Pak, and Tai. 


risoned by the Imperialists. This event roused the 
Tai-pings at Soochovv, and their bands again appeared 
in the vicinity of Shanghai, driving the peasantry before 
them and cramming that city with fugitives. Some 
good service was done in repelling these marauding 
bands by the mounted rangers of Shanghai, a volunteer 
force composed of the Foreign merchants of that place, 
and not a little confused skirmishing took place. Im- 
portant events, which are recounted in my next chapter, 
had meanwhile been going on at Ningpo, and General 
Ward went down in September to that neighbourhood, 
where he unfortunately met with his death-wound. In 
an attack on Tseki on the 21st of September, he was 
shot in the stomach at the moment of attack by a stray 
bullet. Being carried back to Ningpo, he survived for 
a short time, meeting his fate with much firmness and 
composure, and disposing by will of the considerable 
fortune which he had acquired during his military 
career in China. Ward was a brave, energetic leader, 
and managed very well both with his force and with the 
Mandarins. When the news of his- death reached Sung- 
kiang, he was deeply lamented both by his officers and 
men, and by the people of the city. When his remains 
entered that place for interment, all the shopkeepers at 
once shut their shops for the day ; several officers of the 
British army and navy attended his funeral ; the usual 
volleys for a general were fired over his grave, and he 
was buried in the Confucian University, which the 
Chinese considered a great honour, and which place had 
been closed for many years until that day in September 
1862. Colonel Forrester, Ward's second in command, 
was now offered charge of the Ever- Victorious Army, 
but declined, and the command was accepted by the 
officer next in rank, Henry Burgevine, a young American 


from North Carolina, who, like Ward, had been a sea- 
faring man, but from an early period had cherished 
vague dreams of founding an empire in the East. Some 
weeks elapsed before the new Commander took the field, 
and at this time an officer of the Kussian Government 
came to Shanghai to oflfer Li Hung-chang, who was 
now Futai or Governor of the province, the assistance 
of 10,000 men. But this offer was calculated to cause 
the Chinese alarm rather than gratification, and was 
respectfully declined. The new Futai, who had served 
long under Tseng Kwo-fan against the Tai-pings, 
proved to be a man of much more ability than his 
predecessor, and one likely to follow a definite path of 
his own. 

The country remained quiet till November 1862, 
when the Moh Wang, who had made an advance from 
Soochow, was attacked on one side by the forces of LI, 
on the other by those of Burgevine, and so met with a 
severe repulse, in which his son, a young man of distin- 
guished bravery, was killed. Before this event there 
was some bad feeling between Burgevine and Governor 
Li, which was now increased by the latter taking the 
credit of this victory to himself. General Ching, an ex- 
Rebel chief who fought under the Futai, and was jealous 
of the disciplined Chinese, did all he could to ferment 
the quarrel, and Burgevine himself increased it by his 
peremptory manner, and by rousing suspicions in the 
mind of the shrewd Futai as to his ultimate intentions. 
There were also reports that Ward, had he lived, had 
intended to establish himself as an independent power 
in the country, and so the Chinese at this time became 
very distrustful of the Ever-Victorious Army, and of its 
Commander. One consequence of this was that the 
merchants at Shanghai, who had hitherto supported 


the force from dread of the Kebels, were now not dis- 
posed to give such large sums for its maintenance as 
they had formerly paid, Li became so suspicious of the 
new Commander, that on 1st December he went to 
General Staveley, begging him to remove Burgevine 
and to appoint an English officer in his place. He also 
complained much of the enormous expenses of the force 
both under Ward and Burgevine ; of the interference by 
the latter with the civil government of Sungkiang ; of 
disputes between the disciplined Chinese and the Im- 
perialist troops ; of the way in which the former plun- 
dered the people of the country, and in general of 
Burgevine's independent insulting demeanour. These 
complaints of the Chinese were not altogether without 
reason, especially as regarded the expenses of the force, 
which had amounted to £30,000 per mensem; but 
General Staveley had no wish to interfere in the matter, 
and stated that he had no power to grant their request, 
though he would communicate on the subject with the 
Home Government and with the British Minister at 
Peking. His own idea was that, if the Chinese Gov- 
ernment wished to organise its military forces, it should 
be assisted in doing so under proper conditions ; but he 
was not prepared to give his support to the Ever- 
Victorious Army in its then unsatisfactory state, 
officered as it was by a body of men who, however 
brave, were not fit representatives of their respective 
nations, and who, on any disagreement arising, might 
turn against the Chinese Government itself. It occurred 
to him, however, that some more satisfactory arrange- 
ment might be made for placing the disciplined Chinese 
under the joint command of Native and Foreign officers ; 
and accordingly he drew up a rough sketch of the 
terms on which, if his Government approved, the ser- 

burgevine's quarrel. 


vices of a British officer might be obtained for the pur- 

The quarrel between Burgevine and the Futai soon 
came to an issue. For two months the troops had 
not been paid regularly, and when 6000 of them 
were ordered up to Nanking they refused to proceed 
until the arrears were paid. Their Commander also de- 
manded that a number of other back claims should be 
cleared off before he left. The fact was, that neither the 
men nor the officers had much relish for being sent 
against the Kebel capital ; for the former, being chiefly 
natives of the Sungkiang district, were averse, like all 
Chinese, to going far from home, while the latter ima- 
gined, and not without some reason, that up at Nanking 
both their lives and their pay would be very much at 
the mercy of the Imperialists. On the other hand, the 
Mandarins were glad to make Burgevine feel how much 
he was in their power, and they probably expected that 
this unpleasant demand might enable them to get rid 
of him. Ta Kee, the banker through whose hands the 
payments of the force were made, kept back some moneys 
which he had promised to advance in the commence- 
ment of January, on which Burgevine, accompanied by 
his body-guard, paid him a visit at Shanghai, struck him 
on the face in the course of the altercation which ensued, 
and carried off for the troops a sum of money that he 
found conveniently ready in the banker's house. 

Of course Ta Kee reported this affair to the Futai, who 
determined to dismiss Burgevine; but beiug in fear of a 
revolt on the part of the Ever- Victorious Army, he went 
to General Staveley and the American Consul, and re- 
quested they would arrest the Commander. This the 
General refused to do, but he informed Burgevine that 

* See Appendix IV. 


the Fiitai had dismissed him, and recommended him to 
give up the force quietly, a request which was at once 
complied with, and Captain Holland of the Eoyal Marines, 
the Chief of Staveley's Staff, was left in temporary com- 
mand. At the same time theFiitai assumed the respon- 
sibility of supporting the Sungkiang force, which had 
hitherto been paid by the Chinese merchants ; and he 
quelled a great commotion which arose amongst them 
w^hen they heard of the dismissal of their Commander, 
by the simple but effectual expedient of paying their 

Again General Staveley urged that Colonel Forrester 
should be placed in command, so anxious was he to avoid 
any appearance of putting the disciplined Chinese exclu- 
sively under British management ; and it was only on that 
officer again refusing that he agreed to place Captain 
Holland in temporary command, and to recommend Cap- 
tain Gordon of the Eoyal Engineers as its permanent 
Chief, if his Government approved of a British officer 
taking such an a]3pointment. 


CAPTAIN dew's operations IN CHEKIANG. 












The operations against the Tai-pings which were carried 
on at Ningpo and in its neighbourhood by Captain 
Eoderick Dew of the Royal Navy afford material for a 
very noteworthy chapter in the history of our relations 
with China. With very scanty materials, and by as 
dashing exploits as the annals of the British navy have 
to record, this officer not only drove the Rebels away 

g6 CAPTAIN dew's operations in chekiang. 

from the port where he was stationed, and had to pro- 
tect, but also managed, by assisting in getting up a dis- 
ciplined Chinese force, and by pushing his expeditions 
into the interior, to restore almost the entire province of 
Chekiang to Imperialist rule. 

For some time previous to his advent on the scene, 
the Kebels had had very much their own way in Che- 
kiang, but now met there with a severe check from the 
hostility, which they wantonly provoked, of the naval 
forces of Great Britain and France. This rich province 
had been entered in the autumn of 1861 by an army of 
100,000 Tai-pings, who established themselves in the 
city and at the open port of Ningpo, the city of the 
" Peaceful Wave." Our policy at this place was at first 
strictly neutral ; and though Captain Corbett in H.M.S. 
Scout was at Ningpo, he had the most positive orders 
not to interfere with the Tai-pings unless they insulted 
our people or attempted to occupy the Foreign settle- 
ment. They took good care, however, to be on their 
best behaviour, and remained so till they had exhausted 
the supplies of guns, other arms, and ammunition, which 
Foreigners of nearly all nations hastened to sell them. 
They then began to be insolent, and had a greedy eye 
on the Foreign settlement, intending, no doubt, if they 
had not been turned out of Ningpo, to have visited the 
Kampo (the name of our settlement), and, with their 
arms, to have got back the dollars they had bartered for 
them. Commander Craigie of H.M.S. Ringdove, senior 
officer at Ningpo, writing about the middle of April 
to his Admiral, Sir James Hope, informed him of the 
hostile and alarming attitude the Tai-pings in Ningpo 
were assuming towards Foreigners. His ship, which 
lay at anchor off the British Consulate, and within 
pistol-shot of the walls, had been fired on several times 


by the lawless soldiery, and many Chinese in the British 
settlement had been killed by bullets from the city. 
Expostulations with the Chiefs having failed to prevent 
recurrence of such insults, Admiral Sir J. Hope instruct- 
ed Captain Dew to proceed to Ningpo, to use his best 
endeavours to bring the Tai-ping Chiefs to reason, and 
to warn them that, while on the one hand we had every 
wish to remain neutral, such neutrality depended solely 
on themselves, and that the Western nations would not 
brook insults to their flags and people. On the 24th 
April this officer entered the river Yung in the En- 
counter, passed the walled city of Chinhai, and, after 
steaming six miles, anchored off Ningpo. 

No proper apology was offered, and matters were in an 
unsatisfactory state, when Captain Dew received intelli- 
gence that the late Tautai of Ningpo, Chang, had arrived 
with a fleet of war-junks, under the command of one 
Apak, formerly a pirate, but Avho now, with all his fol- 
lowers, had received pardon, and had become a good sub- 
ject of the Emperor. Commander Kenney, of the French 
gunboat Etoile, joined Captain Dew on board the Hardy, 
and they visited this Imperial force. The Mandarins 
requested assistance in attacking Ningpo, but this was 
declined ; at the same time they were informed that if 
shots were fired either by them or by the Tai-pings in 
the direction of the settlement, the Allies would return 
fire. The Imperialist leaders Chang and Apak then 
stated that it was their intention to attack Ningpo, but 
were requested to delay for forty- eight hours, till Cap- 
tain Dew had communicated with the Tai-ping Chiefs, 
after which time permission would be granted or refused. 
The latter had built a formidable granite battery, armed 
with 68-pounders, which both commanded our settle- 
ment and the reach of the river up which the Imperial- 


98 CAPTAIN dew's operations IN CHEKIANG. 

ists would have to advance. Moreover, fresh guns had 
been mounted in the embrasures opposite the English 
vessels, masked in a crafty manner by loose bricks. 
Thus it was now quite evident that mischief was in- 
tended by the Tai-pings, and that if the Imperialists 
advanced, our own ships and the settlement would suffer 
from the fire of both parties. Foreseeing this. Captain 
Dew wrote a despatch to the Tai-ping Chiefs, in which 
he informed them that, if they would remove their guns 
form the walls and battery opposite the settlement, he 
would guarantee that no attack should be made by the 
Imperialists by the river, an offer which was positively 
doing the Imperialists an injustice. Captain Dew also 
sent a letter to the Tai-ping Chiefs on the 8th May, in 
which he said : — 

Encounter, Ningpo, ^th May 1862. — This is to 
inform you, on the part of the English and French senior 
naval officers, that had you agreed to their demands, and 
removed your guns from the battery and Avails, they 
should have felt bound in honour to have acted up to 
their promise, and have prevented an attack from the 
river on the settlement side by the Imperialists who now 
advance to attack you. We inform you that we wish to 
maintain a perfect neutrality; but if you fire guns or 
musketry from the battlements or walls opposite our 
ships or settlement on the advancing Imperialists, there- 
by endangering the lives of our men and people in the 
Foreign settlement, we shall then feel it our duty to 
return the fire and bombard the city." 

The Imperialists were then informed that they were 
at liberty to attack the city, if they did not fire upon the 
settlement or the ships in the river, among w^hich were 
of English vessels, the Encounter, 14 guns, 175 men, 
Captain Dew ; Ringdove, 4 guns, 90 men, Captain 

CAPTAIN dew's capture OF NINGPO. 


Craigie ; gunboats Kestrel and Hardy, 40 men each, 
commanded by Lieutenants Huxham and Bogle ; and of 
French (who were placed under Captain Dew's orders 
by Admiral Protet), the Etoile, 1 gun, 30 men, Lieuten- 
ant de Yaisseau Kenney ; and Confucius, 3 guns, 40 
men, Enseigne de Yaisseau Le Brethon de Coligny. 

On the morning of the 10th May, Apak's Imperialist 
junks shaved clear of the point below the Foreign vessels, 
and a heavy fire was opened on them by the Tai-ping 
Point Battery. At the same time a volley of musketry 
was poured into H.M.S. Encounter by the Eebels, and 
so, in mere self-defence. Captain Dew was forced to take 
part in the engagement. A general fire began from 
ships and walls. The bastions, guns, and guard-house at 
the Salt Gate were soon smashed up by the Moorsom 
shells of the Encounter, while the Eingdove silenced the 
guns at the North Gate. Lieutenant Bogle, in the gun- 
boat Hardy, did good service, steaming up and down 
before the walls on the river face, shutting up gun after 
gun ; and the Etoile, Kestrel, and Confucius were 
smashing the Point Battery. Apak and Chang, with 
their Imperialist war-junks, let down their anchors at 
the first shot, being satisfied with the honour of opening 
the ball. As the running spring- tide effectually pre- 
vented them coming up the river, the Kestrel was sent 
to tow them up ; but this aid they steadily declined, 
urging paltry excuses, such as having no powder. Cap- 
tain Dew felt at this moment in rather a dilemma ; he 
knew he had no aid to expect from the Imperialists, and 
it seemed almost too much to hope for success in an 
assault on Ningpo with the two or three hundred men 
he could count on, against a garrison of between 20,000 
and 30,000, who had been well supplied with arms by 
their friends in the Foreign settlement. Experienced, 


however, in Chinese Avarfare, he thought that if he could 
once gain and open a gate of the city while the thunder 
of his bombardment was still fresh in the enemy's ears, 
he might count on co-operation from Apak and his gang, 
and that a panic would ensue among the Tai-pings. On 
the other hand, he felt that if he rested content with 
what he had done, there was great danger of the Tai- 
pings taking heart again, letting loose fire-rafts on his 
vessels, and destroying the Foreign settlement. 

Having determined to attack, he landed at noon to 
collect scaling-ladders from the houses of the mission- 
aries, and wrote to Lieutenant Kenney, asking him to 
join in an assault on the city, with what men he had 
available, at two o'clock. At that hour Dew landed — 
leaving his ship in charge of the master and the gunner, 
with a crew of cooks, stewards, and boys — taking with 
him all his available men, and being joined by about 100 
white -turbaned Chinese soldiers. While waiting for 
Lieutenant Kenney, who could scarcely stem the tide in 
the Etoile, he planted five ladders against the wall of 
the city, but soon found he had coriimitted a grave error, 
for the enemy massed themselves in a graveyard beneath 
the wall, hove back the ladders with their spears, and 
with a storm of stinkpots, fireballs, stones, and bricks, 
forced the British sailors on the other side to take shelter 
in outhouses, and made the Chinese allies take to the 
water. On the French Lieutenant joining him with 
twenty men, another attempt was made with the ladders. 
Kenney, the first on his, was shot through the lungs ; 
David Davis, who was foremost on the next, was shot 
through the head as, revolver in mouth, he topped the 
w^all ; and so Captain Dew himself was the first to gain a 
position on the rampart, which was soon passed by the 
greater part of his force ; and in less than two minutes 


Lieutenant Tinling and Boatswain Cantlow had a howit- 
zer parbuckled up and ready for action. 

In this way the Salt Gate was taken, and a few volleys 
soon cleared the neighbouring streets ; but Fang, the 
Tai-ping Chief, soon made a great effort to dislodge the 
assailants. Forming his body-guard of about 400 men 
at the East Gate, he led them along the wall to the attack, 
and they came on at the double, with their yellow tur- 
bans, gaudy silk dresses, and ^ ^banners, their leader being 
well in advance. Hastily forming all the men he could 
spare, French and English, from the defence of the gate, 
Captain Dew advanced at the charge to meet them. 
When within about ten yards, Fang fired both barrels of 
his double gun, but at that moment the whole parapet 
of the wall which divided the two forces fell down, hav- 
ing been hit by a lucky Moorsom shell, which was fired 
by the crew of cooks and stewards which had been left 
on board the Encounter. On the Allies returning to the 
gate, a shot came from the houses below which almost 
avenged the fall of the city, as the gallant First-Lieuten- 
ant of the Encounter, William Cornewall, was pierced by 
it through the heart. 

Meanwhile Lieutenants Craigie and Siardet had taken 
the North Gate, and lieutenant Bogle cut through the 
bridge of boats which had presented an obstacle to vessels 
advancing up the river. The news of this success soon 
spread over the settlement, reaching Apak and his fol- 
lowers, who now, inspired with desire for plunder, did not 
wait for tide or powder, but landing, crossed over the 
settlement, and seizing boats opposite the city, entered 
it like a pack of ravenous wolves. From the mastheads 
of the shipping the Tai -pings were seen streaming out 
by the West Gate ; and so great was the panic that seized 
them, that hundreds of their number were speared by 


their own people in their haste to escape. Fearing the 
result, if he allowed his men to enter the town and mix 
with the Apak crew, Captain Dew re-embarked them 
along with the French, making arrangements in case the 
Tai-pings attempted to reoccupy the city, but these 
latter stopped as little as possible till they found them- 
selves within the walls of Yuyow, thirty miles distant. 

On the following day the city was handed over, 
through Mr Harvey, the British Consul, to Chang, the 
ex-Tautai. " I had known," writes Captain Dew, 
"Ningpo in its palmy days, when it boasted itself one 
of the first commercial cities of the empire ; but now, on 
this 11th May, one might have fancied that an angel of 
destruction had been at work in the city as in its suburbs. 
All the latter, with their wealthy hongs and thousands 
of houses, lay levelled ; Avhile in the city itself, once the 
home of half a million of people, no trace or vestige of 
an inhabitant could be seen. Truly it was a city of the 
dead. The rich and beautiful furniture of the houses had 
become firewood, or was removed to the walls for the 
use of the soldiers who had dwelt thereon. The canals 
were filled with dead bodies and stagnant filth. The 
stone-work of bridges and pavements had been uplifted 
to strengthen walls and form barricades in the streets; 
and in those temples, once the pride of their Buddhist 
priests, the chaotic remains of gorgeous idols and war 
gods lay strewn about, their lopped limbs showing they 
had become the sport of those Christian Tai-pings, whose 
chief, the Tien Wang, eight years before, at Nanking, had 
asked Sir George Bonham if the Virgin Mary had a 
pretty sister for him, the King of Heaven, to marry ! It 
has been my good fortune since to assist at the wresting 
of many cities from these Tai-pings, and in them all I 
found, as at Ningpo, that the same devilish hands had 


been at work, the people expelled from their houses, and 
their cities ruined." 

After Ningpo was thus retaken, Apak, the ex-pirate, 
and his fleet were dismissed, and at the urgent request 
of Chang, the Imperialist Tautai or Governor, Captain 
Dew undertook the military command of the city, in- 
cluding the control of 400 of Ward's disciplined Chinese, 
wdio were sent round from Shanghai, and were placed in 
charge of the gates. A proclamation was issued to the 
people, inviting them to return to their homes, and 
stating that the Allies would guarantee the city against 
another visit from the Tai-pings. Such faith had the 
Chinese in our promise that by tens of thousands they 
flocked to their old homes ; and in a month houses had 
been refurnished, shops opened, and commercial activity 
began to return. Some trouble was caused by a number 
of rowdies, the mauvais siijets of all nations, who ap- 
peared in the settlement, intent on robbing what little 
the Eebels and Apak had left in the city. They were 
wont to hire gangs of Chinese, and to declare they acted 
on Captain Dew's authority. In this manner quantities 
of rice, valuable medicines, &c. &c., were lowered over 
the walls ; and a German who was caught in the very 
act of carrying ofi* a 24-pounder gun, received four dozen 
lashes on board the Encounter. Mr Harvey and the 
other Foreign Consuls issued certificates to all Foreigners 
pursuing lawful callings ; and one night Captain Dew 
landed a party of his men and seized all unprovided with 
such a document, and sent them to Shanghai. The 
Chinese customhouse was opened, and numerous seizures 
of arms intended for the Rebels were made. When the 
British ship Paragon was visited by a naval officer, the 
master declared his cargo to be bamboo wares ; but on 
opening the hatches, 200 iron cannons, thousands of 


stands of small-arms, and a large quantity of ammuni- 
tion, were disclosed. The cargo was confiscated by the 
Chinese, and the master was fined £100 for his false 
manifesto. The temptation to squeeze the Chinese going 
in and out of the city was too great for Ward's men, 
and sometimes for even his officers, to resist ; and at last 
French and English men-of-war s men were placed at 
the gates. 

These measures had the desired effect, and confidence 
was soon restored. It was also arranged with the Man- 
darins that a Chinese disciplined force of 1000 men 
should be raised for the defence of the city, as it was 
intimated that Ward would soon require his men at 
Shanghai. There was no difficulty in obtaining recruits 
from Chusan in any number. The good treatment of the 
men by their European officers, and, above all, the fact 
that they really received weekly pay in money, and not, 
as frequently from Mandarins, in promises, made the 
disciplined force a very popular one. A dozen British 
marines were appointed instructors to six companies, and 
an artillery company of 100 men was likewise formed. 
The artificers of the Encounter, under the gunner and 
carpenter, were employed in making gun-carriages and 
gun-gear ; and so in a month the city was brought into 
a creditable state of defence, with sixty gun-s of all sizes 
in position. Good guard-houses were built at each gate, 
and solid p;ranite mao;azines were also constructed. Lieu- 
tenant de Vaisseau Le Brethon succeeded Kenney (who 
had died from the effects of his wound) as French senior 
officer, cordially aiding Captain Dew in all that con- 
cerned the defence of the city, and in subsequent opera- 
tions. Not wishing that France should be unfelt, he and 
Monsieur Giquel, formerly a French officer, but then 
engaged as Commissioner of Chinese Customs, raised a 


Franco-Chinese corps, with the aid of some instructors 
from Shanghai. Occasional trips were made up both 
branches of the river in gunboats ; so several skirmishes 
occurred with the Kebels, who were concentrated in force 
in the walled city of Yuyow, thirty miles from Ningpo 
on which they appeared to meditate another attack. 

On one occasion, when the Hardy and Etoile were 
reconnoitring, a strange deputation of aged persons came 
down to the river-bank, headed by a little girl leading a 
venerable blind old man. Their story was that the Tai- 
pings had the day before burned their village, carried off 
their sons and daughters, and because these poor helpless 
people had no money to give, the fiends had cut off their 
ears. To prevent the Tai-pings ravaging the country 
after this fashion, the Ringdove was placed about twenty- 
five miles up the river, and she effectually kept them in 
check for a time. 

Tow^ards the end of July, Captain Dew moved the 
Encounter up the river as far as her draught would 
allow, within ten miles of Yuyow, under the J oss-house 
Hill, and made preparations for attacking the city, which 
was held by 20,000 Tai-pings, — his orders being to use 
his best exertions in carrying out the policy of the Gov- 
ernment in clearing a thirty-mile radius. The attack- 
ing force consisted of the 'Hardy, with 40 men of the 
Encounters crew, and towing-boats containing about 500 
of Ward's men ; the French steamer Confucius, command- 
ed by Lieutenant Le Brethon, having on her deck 400 
Franco-Chinese; and 1500 Cantonese braves in a dozen 
armed junks which the Chinese merchants of Ningpo had 
fitted out. Nothing could exceed the beauty of the 
scenery between Joss-house Hill and Yuyow. The river 
wound its tortuous course among pine-clad hills, in whose 
gorges, fringed with the feathery bamboos, lay villages 


once teeming with life, but at this time blackened ruins 
haunted by hungry dogs. The large hill in the centre 
of Yuyow and all neighbouring eminences seemed like a 
vast tulip-field, owing to the gaudy banners of the Eebel 
host. The walls of this place, three miles in circum- 
ference, enclosed a high hill. As usual with Chinese 
cities, a canal encircles it, save on the side of the river, 
which is navigable for a gunboat to within 200 yards 
of the walls. A bridge spanned the river, and commu- 
nicated with a ruined suburb on the left bank ; on the 
right, and commanding the city, stood a high hill, with 
a large joss-house on its summit. A line of stockades 
and batteries extended along either bank of the river for 
half a mile ; and the stream itself, which was only ten 
feet deep, had been staked. 

On the 2d August the gunboats advanced up the 
river, and it was arranged that, when they had shelled a 
tete dii pont. Ward's men and the Franco-Chinese should 
advance, carrying a bridge which led to the joss-house, 
which, being the key of the position, might lead to the 
fall of the city. After the tete du pont had been shelled 
until it seemed untenable, the Chinese troops advanced 
gallantly, led by M. Giquel and Major Morton ; but on 
reaching the centre of the bridge, they were brought up 
by a wooden stockade and a heavy fire from the hill- top, 
as well as from a large body of men concealed in a bomb- 
proof near the bridge. AVith heavy loss they had to 
retreat, and other attempts were also failures, the fall 
of 100 killed and wounded, together with heavy rains, 
having dispirited the assailants. Next morning a new 
plan of attack was arranged, and Yuyow was taken 
without much loss, the Franco-Chinese under M. Giquel 
greatly distinguishing themselves. Chang, the Tautai, 
was highly delighted, not so much at the fall of the city, 


as at his release from the post of honour his junk had 
been made to occupy near the Hardy, where round-shot 
fell rather plentifully. A large quantity of rice and a 
gigantic farmyard, the plunder of the surrounding dis- 
trict, was found in this place. The peasants reclaimed 
their buflfaloes, but the victors feasted high on poultry 
for many a day. The Tai-pings retreated to a chain of 
intrenched camps about twelve miles distant, and for a 
month gave no trouble. In that interval Yuyow was 
placed in a state of defence, and a garrison of 1000 
drilled Chinese, half Ward's, half French, were left in it 
under command of a French artillery officer. Captain 
TardifF de Maidrey, who had done good service with an 
irregular artillery force at Shanghai. 

Towards the middle of September the Allies received 
information that the Tai-pings had collected a large force 
with the intention of descending on Ningpo on two 
sides, and on carrying off, if they failed to get the city, 
the magnificent rice crops now ripening on the plains. 
The Rebel force first descended into the Ningpo plain 
and captured from the Mandarin soldiers the walled city 
of Tseki, situated between Yuyow and Ningpo. Their 
foraging-parties scattered over the plaia, and the villagers 
came flocking into the Foreign settlement, where volun- 
teers Avere collected for defence. General Ward arrived 
at Ningpo on the 18th September, and arrangements 
were made for the recapture of Tseki. At daylight on 
the 20th, he and 200 of his men were sent up in boats, 
while the 400 of his force in Yuyow were brought down, 
Captain Tardiff undertaking to guard that place with his 
Franco-Chinese. Eound Tseki the whole plain seemed 
on fire. The terror-stricken inhabitants, many of them 
swimming on logs, were crossing the river ; and for miles 
the long reeds on its banks gave shelter to men, women. 


and children up to the middle in water. Ward, landing 
with his men, made a short cut across the country to a 
bridge which he was to hold, supported by the Hardy 
and by Captain Dew, who was to join next morning 
with all available forces. He surprised numerous looting 
parties, and soon gained the bridge, and drove the Eebels 
into the city. Now and then a Tai-piug would escape 
into the tall rice, and give rise to an exciting chase on 
the part of the infuriated villagers. It was a service of 
much danger for the Hardy to approach, as her decks 
could be commanded from hillocks on the banks of the 
canal, which were in possession of the enemy ; but the 
last glimmer of daylight found her close up to the bridge 
held by Ward. 

At midnight a despatch reached Captain Dew which 
made it imperative for him to give up co-operation with 
Ward, and return immediately to Ningpo. The town 
of Fungwha, which held the same relative position 
to Ningpo on the south that Tseki did on the north, 
had fallen the day before, and the Eebels were advancing 
on Ningpo on that side. Weighing at daylight, he 
anchored off the Salt Gate at 8 a.m., and found Ningpo 
like a disturbed ant's nest, the people in their terror not 
knowing where to go ; so he had the gates closed, and 
landing his men, held the South and West Gates, burn- 
ing the suburb outside the former. The Mandarins at 
this time were in a state of great fear, sleeping at night 
in the gateway, and by day asking for the British gun- 
boat to be in twenty places at once. Advantage was 
taken of this state of things to get all back pay due to 
the troops, also to obtain a round sum to raise a per- 
manent force for the defence of the Foreign settlement, 
and to have the canal and defensive works properly 



The Hardy returned to Ningpo that eveniDg with 
news of the capture of Tseki by escalade. After the 
gate had been shelled by Lieutenant Bogle, Ward's body- 
guard, led by Captain Cooke, advanced with ladders, and 
took the wall and city. Ward himself, while watching 
the advance from the arch of a gate 200 yards from the 
walls, was mortally wounded by a chance ball. He was 
conveyed on board the Hardy, and Dr Hogge of the 
Encounter extracted the ball, which had passed through 
the abdomen and lodged in his back. On being brought 
to Ningpo he was carried to Dr Parker's house, and was 
attended also by Dr Irwin ; but there was no hope from 
medical aid, and he died next day after much suffering. 
So passed away a man who, as the originator of the idea 
of disciplining the Chinese, had done good service. Sur- 
mounting all difficulties. Ward, in the outset of his 
adventurous career, had gained a strange ascendancy 
over Europeans as well as Chinese by his cool and daring 
courage. Ever foremost in fight, he was honourably 
scarred, but his ambition was unbounded ; and perhaps 
it was well for the Imperial Government of China that 
he was removed at this stage of the Rebellion, and 
that his w^ork was left to be completed by one who, 
though his equal in courage and in coolness, far sur- 
passed him in all the higher qualities of a soldier. Ward 
was quite collected during his last hours, and able to 
give directions for the disposal of the fortune which he 
had amassed in China. He estimated it at about 
£60,000 ; but his accounts were all in confusion, and 
mixed up with those of the banker Ta Kee and other 
Chinamen, so that only about £15,000 were eventually 

The Allies were rather hard pressed at this time, having 
to garrison Yuyow and Tseki; so 500 more of Ward's men, 


now commanded by Colonel Forrester, were brought from 
Shanghai, and on their arrival along with the Flamer 
gunboat, Dew's men were re-embarked from duty on the 
city walls, and preparations were made for attacking 
Fungwha, which the Kebels had garrisoned in force, and 
which was a considerable walled town, in a gorge of 
the mountains, on the south side of the river, and was 
the key to the vast plain between it and Ningpo. On 
the 8th October the marines and small-arm men of 
the Encounter and Sphinx were embarked in the 
Hardy and Flamer gunboats, and 1000 of the dis- 
ciplined Chinese under Forrester were also on board, 
or towed by the French steamers Deroulide and Confu- 
cius. On arriving at a large stone bridge about twenty 
miles up the river, this force was landed. Owing 
to heavy rain, the narrow road was impracticable for 
the conveyance of its guns, which had to be placed in 
boats ; but the rain had swollen the stream, and the 
boats could not pass under the bridge. A stout hawser, 
however, with 100 men on it, soon removed the massive 
blocks of stone that formed the arch, and enabled the 
boats to get through ; and that night the expedition 
quartered in a very large deserted village four miles 
from Fungwha. The rain had drenched every one, and 
through the night there had been constant alarms of the 
enemy and of fire, so the men were not sorry when the 
morning broke fine and sunshiny. A march of four 
hours through a golden plain of ripe rice brought them 
under the walls of Fungwha, where Forrester advanced 
with 600 of his men and two guns to attack the North 
and West Gates, while Dew went to the East Gate, and 
established a position with three howitzers, under Lieu- 
tenant Bosanquet, at 200 yards from the wall. A storming 
party of 400 men, under Major Rhode, was held ready, 



supported by the marines and small-arm men. The 
artillery fire having silenced the guns on the walls, and 
knocked down a portion of the parapet near the gate- 
way, an advance was sounded, and Bosanquet ran his 
guns to within fifty yards of the walls. When the ladder 
party reached the bridge, they were met by a heavy fire 
which killed most of them ; and the men following, though 
well led by their officers, would not face the showers of fire- 
balls, stinkpots, and powder-bags which were hurled upon 
them, so they fell back. To reassure them. Commander 
Jones, with twenty small-arm men, went to the front, 
and most gallantly led on through a similar fiery ordeal, 
followed by Lieutenants Davis and Tinling, Mr Douglas, 
midshipman, and Mr Coker, master-assistant, who, clearing 
off the dead, carried the ladders up to the walls. Ward's 
troop would not return, so Jones, seeing the folly of at- 
tempting to storm with his small force, wisely placed his 
men in the arch of the gateway, and attempted with axes 
to cut through the gates, but solid stone-work behind 
the wood resisted all his eff'orts. Bosanquet and Lieu- 
tenant Rawson and half their crews having been wounded, 
Captain Dew ordered the remainder to seek cover behind 
some graves, where the marines were also placed to keep 
down the fire of the besieged. Commander Jones and 
his party had to keep in the gateway till dark, when 
they withdrew, having had a most unpleasant time of it. 
Stinkpots and powder - bags, with lighted brooms at- 
tached, had been dropped over the wall, and had half 
suffocated them ; but this was not so bad as the con- 
tinued trickle of the nastiest conceivable liquid manure, 
which some Tai-ping humorist had capsized on the top 
of the arch. 

Next morning a large body of 6000 Tai-pings appeared 
on the plain advancing towards Fungwha, on the walls 

112 CAPTAIN dew's operations IN CHEKIANG. 

of which there was an immense excitement and dis- 
play of banners. From the leisurely manner in which 
the new arrivals came up, their chiefs being carried in 
sedan-chairs, it was evident they had not observed the 
Allies ; so they were taken at a disadvantage, and easily 
routed, leaving on the plain an immense quantity of 
plunder, ammunition, and stores, which had been car- 
ried by about 1000 country people, who had nearly all 
been branded on the forehead as belonging to the " Hea- 
venly Kingdom." More powder and ammunition having 
arrived from the river, preparations were made for 
storming the walls at seven different places at daylight 
next morning, but the Kebels evacuated the city during 
the night, and it was garrisoned by Ward s troops. As 
the force returned to Ningpo next morning, nothing 
could exceed the gratitude of the country people who 
passed, flocking back to their homes to reap the harvest 
that covered the plain, for the fall of Fungwha and 
Tseki saving them from starvation in the coming 
winter. As ever, the Kebels left behind them evi- 
dences of their brutal nature. In one spot nearly a 
hundred bodies of peasant men and women lay hud- 
dled together, their only crime having been refusal to 
carry the plunder of their own homes. The loss had 
been rather serious ; 24 British officers and men, and 
about 70 Chinese, had been placed hors de combat. 

In this way the thirty-mile radius was cleared round 
Ningpo, to which city the rich merchants were flocking 
back from Shanghai. A new Tautai who had been ap- 
pointed was ambitious to regain the other cities in the 
province, and promised the necessary funds, so Ward s 
force was raised to 1400 bayonets, and the Franco-Chi- 
nese to 1000. Le Brethon de Coligny, being appointed 
to the command of the latter force, received a commis- 


sion as commander of 1000 men from the Emperor of 
China. Early in November Le Brethon advanced on 
Shungyu, and the Tai-pings evacuated that city. Every 
50 or 100 yards along the line of the Rebel retreat lay 
the bodies of men, women, and children. In Shungyu 
itself a perfect army of old women and little children 
were found, cold, starving, and suffering from every ima- 
ginable disease. It was well for these poor creatures that 
Monseigneur de la Place, Roman Catholic Bishop of Che- 
kiang, was with the expedition. It was to the humane 
and energetic measures he took that many owed their 
lives on this as on other occasions, when cities were taken 
or evacuated during the Rebellion. He was wont, when 
others were seeking for plunder, to search for what he 
called his own loot — les miserahles, whom he gathered 
together in some joss-house, and for whom he established 
rice-kitchens. The fall of Shungyu led to the evacuation 
of two more cities, and the Tai-pings retired across the 
great river of Shungyu, thus leaving half the province in 
Imperialist hands. 

Shortly afterwards Ward's force went back to Shang- 
hai, and Captain Dew was not sorry to end the connec- 
tion with them, because he could never fully persuade 
the men or officers that " soldiers should be content with 
their pay,'' and cases of " squeezing " on their part were 
continually complained of On one occasion the major 
in command at Yuyow, formerly a sergeant in one of our 
line regiments, sold all he could lay hands on in the 
city, and was arrested as he was leaving the province 
with plunder sufficient for a month's pay of the troops. 
On arrangement with the authorities, an Anglo-Chinese 
contingent of about 1000 men was raised, the higher 
officers receiving £1800 and £1000 a-year, and the cap- 
tains £700, which was an inducement to respectable 



men, and even to English officers, to serve. Several 
petty officers from the English fleet engaged in it, and 
by the end of December there was a respectable force 
ready to take the field. At the same time Le Brethon, 
at Shungyu, by the sale of rice, wood, boats, and all that 
had belonged to the Eebels, was enabled to recruit 1200 
men, and to clothe and arm them fairly. An arsenal 
had been established, and lead and powder found in 
Eebel magazines enabled him to make a good supply 
of cartridges. 

In the end of December an expedition, under Dew 
and Le Brethon, advanced to the town of Pikwan from 
a hill near which there was a magnificent view of a 
noble river windino; throuo;h an immense and fertile 
plain (which again was cut by innumerable canals), and 
at the far end of which lay the great city of Showshing, 
with walls fifteen miles in circumference, the centre 
of the silk district, and the key of the province. The 
Eebel banners thickly fringed the opposite banks of the 
river, and strong bodies of their cavalry were patrolling 
the country. The reconnoitring force was attacked by 
the Eebels, whom it drove back ; but, being rather small, 
set off to return to Shungyu for reinforcemicnts. On 
the way, the Tai-pings in great numbers overtook and 
attacked it when it was in a small town ;■ but Dew and 
Le Brethon suddenly turned and surprised their pur- 
suers, who, firing a volley, turned and fled, communicat- 
ing their panic to, and throwing into disorder, the dense 
masses which extended for a mile behind them. As 
usual, the line of the Eebel march was marked by the 
smoke of burning villages and hamlets ; and now, in their 
retreat, they had to pass through the still smouldering 
ruins. They never turned to see by how small a 
number they were pursued, but, pressing on, threw away 


arms and clothing to aid their flight. A thin coat of 
snow covered the muddy rice-fields, and it was only 
possible to travel on the paths between them. The 
chase lasted for four miles, and many prisoners were 
taken. Some hundred Kebels had been cut off at an 
angle near the river, and being hard pressed by the 
disciplined Chinese, and fearing that the death they 
would undoubtedly have meted, had positions been 
changed, awaited them, took to the cold and swollen 
river, which soon engulfed them. Only a few nearly 
reached the opposite bank, but being weary from their 
march, one by one they disappeared. Captain Dew 
asserts that during the time he was associated with the 
disciplined Chinese he never knew them murder a 
prisoner or commit a cruel act; but can it be wondered 
at that the country people could not refrain from re- 
taliation when the Tai-pings were caught knife or torch 
in hand ? This officer s instructions limited him to the 
employment of his own men against the Tai-pings within 
a thirty-mile radius round Ningpo ; but looking to the 
spirit of these instructions, and the evident and wise 
wish of the Government to give all moral support to 
the cause of order, he was wont, in company with his 
officers and on his own responsibility, frequently to 
pass up the country and to aid and assist the Im- 
perialist forces with advice, guns, and ammunition. 
The officers of the squadron were always eager to join 
in these expeditions, and as they were on leave, he was 
always happy to have their company and advice. 

Towards the end of January Le Brethon advanced on 
Showshing with 1200 of the Franco-Chinese, the first 
and only expedition they ever made without being 
accompanied by the Anglo-Chinese troops. They were 
very badly off for guns, having but two 12-pounder 

Il6 CAPTAIN dew's operations IN CHEKIANG. 

howitzers and a couple of old English 9-pounders. A 
three days' march brought them unopposed to Showshing, 
which Le Brethon intended to carry by a coup de main, 
and failing in that, he proposed to commence a siege and 
wait till he could eflfect a breach with four 32-pounders 
which Captain Dew expected from Hongkong. With 
this view he placed the 9-pounders in position to knock 
away the parapet over the gateway ; but at the first 
discharge the gun burst, and a large portion of the 
breech struck Le Brethon, carrying away the whole upper 
part of his body and causing instantaneous death. The 
command was now taken by M. Cymer, formerly an 
officer in the French army, who unwisely determined to 
retreat to Shungyu. 

Captain Dew was at Ningpo when the news of Le 
Brethon's death reached the Mandarins, and he felt that 
Ningpo would not be safe so long as Showshing, the key 
of the province, remained in possession of the Eebels. 
Hence he sent up some of the Anglo-Chinese contin- 
gent to retrieve matters, and procured an 8-inch howit- 
zer with Moorsom shells from Shanghai. Being warned 
by Admiral Kuper that the Encounter might be wanted 
for service in Japan, he was anxious to have matters in 
a secure state before leaving ; and so, when Lieutenant 
Tinling offered to assist in conveying fresh ammunition 
to Showshing, leave was allowed him to take it to 
Sangkow, a town ten miles from Showshing, where 
General TardifF and the Franco-Chinese then were ; but 
he was also ordered, after doing so, to return to Ningpo. 
A few days subsequently Dew, accompanied by several 
of his officers, joined Tardiff at Sangkow, and meeting 
Lieutenant Tinling, allowed him to remain there two 
or three days. 

Showshing was a large city, with walls thirty-five feet 



high and fifteen broad, and fifteen miles in circumfer- 
ence ; it was garrisoned by 40,000 Tai-pings, under the 
command of the Sing Wang, commonly called " Cockeye,'' 
who was afterwards taken and executed at Soochow. 
It stands near some hills at the head of an immense 
plain of forty miles in length, unrivalled even in China 
for the richness of its soil and the beauty of its scenery. 
This plain is intersected by thousands of canals which 
in some parts will scarcely admit the passage of a boat, 
but open out at others into vast lakes of thousands of 
acres in area, and dotted over with picturesque islets, 
with temples embosomed among their trees. Villages 
and towns by hundreds lay flourishing and peaceful 
around, the Tai-pings having spared them for heavy 
ransoms; but the inhabitants seemed delighted to see 
the Allies, and insisted on supplying them gratis with 
cattle, rice, and all other necessaries. 

On the evening of the 17th February the attacking 
force occupied a large untenanted suburb near the Liquo 
Gate, on an island with a bridge in rear, canals on both 
flanks, and the city walls and gate in front. The whole 
of the suburbs within 600 yards of the walls had 
been levelled, on each side of the paved road leading 
to the gate only beautifully carved stone pillars, dedi- 
cated to the " young widows and virgins of Showshing," 
having been left standing. The gate itself was strongly 
fortified by an immense strong outer wall, loopholed, 
and with six guns in position. The walls themselves 
being roofed over ail round the city, the defenders took 
up abode on them entirely. Several hills inside the 
city were also fortified, while a deep canal, thirty feet 
in width, encircled the whole city. After a reconnais- 
sance on the following day, it was determined to breach 
the wall near an angle 200 yards from the gate, w^hile 


boats and planks were got ready to form a bridge over 
the canal for the assaulting columns. That night the 
howitzer, with muffled wheels, was placed in battery 
160 yards from the walls with trifling loss, while an- 
other battery of four 12-pounder howitzers was planted 
100 yards in rear for its protection. On the 19th, by 
8 A.M., TardifF had made all his preparations — the boats 
in a dense fog were got up and hid under the arch of a 
bridge under the walls — and at 9 a.m. Captain Ganghan, 
with his Anglo-Chinese artillerymen, who alone worked 
the howitzers during the day, opened fire. A few 
hollow shot sent into the base of the wall soon formed an 
opening for the 8 -inch Moorsom shells, which exploding 
therein, soon acted like so many mines and brought the 
wall crumbling down. The defenders meanwhile were 
not idle ; about thirty guns were well served during the 
day, and the fusilade of small-arms never ceased. At 
10 A.M. Tardiff was mortally wounded by a musket-ball 
fired by accident by one of his own men who was in 
his rear. His iron constitution enabled him to live for 
eight hours, though his brains were scattered over the 
hair of his head. He had told Dew at breakfast that 
morning that he had a presentiment he should not sur- 
vive the day, and begged the latter to succeed him in the 
command, as he had no one competent to . undertake it. 
Under these circumstances Captain Dew appointed the 
senior instructor, with the rank of colonel, to the com- 
mand, on the understanding that he carried out Dew's 
directions. Shortly after Lieutenant Tinling, E.N., was 
wounded while watching with his opera - glass the 
effect of the shell on the walls. He was, as he thought, 
in a place of safety, but a spent ball from an angle 
struck the back of his head. Dr Lockhead at once ex- 
tracted it, and gave it as his opinion that he would be 


well in a week ; but after being sent down to Ningpo, 
inflammation of the brain set in and terminated fatally, 
to the great grief of his brother officers, to whom his 
many fine qualities had greatly endeared him. By 
2 P.M. ninety shells had effected a magnificent breach, 
though between each discharge of the howitzer the Rebels 
sent streams of men with sandbags to fill up the space. 
An assaulting column of 800 men then advanced, and, 
in spite of a heavy fire from the walls, gained the canal, 
placed a bridge of boats in position, and about twenty 
men, chiefly Europeans, crossed over and made for the 
breach, which they had half mounted when they found 
that the boats had got adrift and they were unsupported. 
The Eebels soon found this out, rallied in the retreat 
they had commenced, and, swarming on the walls, re- 
pulsed the attack, those of the assailants who survived 
having to swim the canal. All attempts to bring the 
Chinese again to the attack were vain, though they were 
rallied by Lieutenant Holders, K.N., at half musket-shot. 
The loss of the Allies was 140 hors de combat; and 
much credit was due to Dr Lockhead, R.A., the only 
medical officer, for his attention to the wounded. 

Captain Dew intended to have ordered another assault 
next morning ; but during the night, in spite of the fire 
on it, the breach had been so far repaired that it was 
impossible for the ten remaining Moorsom shells to open 
it again. Pine-trees had been driven in as piles, the 
upper ends being supported by ropes, while the space 
between was filled up with debris and sandbags. A 
regular siege was now commenced, the assailants making 
their own position secure by throwing up a high- wall, 
cutting ditches, and making batteries and approaches 
with gabions. This enabled half the force to occupy 
itself in attacking and dispersing large bodies of Eebels, 


who issued out of the other gates and began to burn the 
country in the rear. 

In four days all those bands had been driven into the 
city, and the approaches to a third gate were occupied, 
and the Kebel communication with Hangchow cut off, 
as were all convoys that attempted to enter. Ammuni- 
tion seemed plentiful with the besieged, about 300 
round brass shot being daily thrown into the besieging 
lines and among the boats. Captain Dew was most 
ably assisted by Mr M'Arthur, paymaster of the En- 
counter, and the various measures employed soon began 
to damp the spirit of the besieged. Day by day their 
fire slackened, and the fall of the city soon became only 
an affair of time. Early in March, D'Aiguibelle, Lieu- 
tenant de Vaisseau, having been appointed by Admiral 
Jaures to succeed Tardiff in the command, Captain Dew 
returned to Ningpo ; and on the 18th of that month 
Showshing was evacuated by the Eebels, who retreated 
by the hills to Hangchow. Thus the province of Che- 
kiang was in great part restored to Imperialist rule. 
The ofiicers who served along with Captain Dew in these 
operations were killed off very rapidly ; but distinguished 
success attended his movements, and it is a wonder that 
he has not received the Victoria Cross, for which he was 
recommended. A British Admiral, under whom he once 
served, writing to me about the capture of Ningpo, calls 
it " by far the best thing of the kind done either in China 
or elsewhere since the peace of 1815 and really, con- 
sidering all the circumstances, this praise is not un- 















Though it had done some good service, and had re- 
ceived its title under Ward, yet it was not until it came 
under Colonel Gordon's command that the Ever- Vic- 
torious Army became in any degree worthy of its high- 
sounding name, which must be taken not in a literal 
but in a transcendental and Celestial sense. The 
Chinese have a fine faculty for inventing happy names 
— their streams are fragrant, their mountains holy, the 
poorest hamlet may call itself the place of sweet- 
smelling grain, and the smallest junk be a wonder of 
the deep. Nor are such titles merely hollow sounds. 
Foreigners, on discovering the immense discrepancy 
between the Celestial phrase and that which it re- 


presents, are apt to regard the former as a mere trivial 
absurdity ; but to the Chinaman these titles have a vital 
significance, and the turn of a phrase will often influence 
his whole conduct towards the subject designated. No 
principle is more constantly enforced in the Chinese 
Classics than that wisdom lies in the proper knowledge 
and use of words. When it was asked of Mencius in 
what he surpassed, his brief reply was, I understand 
words ; and elsewhere he complains of inauspicious, 
hurtful words, which throw men of virtue and talent 
into the shade. When inquiry was made of Confucius 
as to what was the first thing necessary to improve the 
government, he answered, " What is necessary is to 
rectify names ; and very expressively he said, that 
" to have a bad name is to dwell in a low-lying situa- 
tion, where all the evil of the world flows in upon one." 
Views such as these have sunk deep into the national 
mind, and every Chinaman is singularly desirous that 
he and all his belongings should have auspicious and 
honourable designations. When the people are so in- 
clined, of course the Government is very careful in all 
its edicts and proclamations to use either high-sounding 
or beautiful phraseology, whether the reference be to the 
Son of Earth and Heaven sitting on the dragon throne, 
or to a ragged lictor who runs by the chair of some 
petty Mandarin. Crime and official imbecility are re- 
probated in the most vigorous and picturesque manner 
by the Emperor's vermilion pencil ; but where praise is 
to be awarded for judicious counsel or for battles won, 

" Strength is gigantic, valour liigh, 
And wisdom soars beyond the sky." 

Hence it is in a Celestial and somewhat transcendental, 
not in an occidental or literal meaning, that this phrase, 


" The Ever - Victorious Army/' must be understood. 
" Ch'ang Sheng Chi'un," however — the high - sounding 
title which this army received at a very early period of 
its existence, and by which it will be known, in Chinese 
history at least — turned out to be by no means extrava- 
gantly hyperbolic, seeing what Avas the work that it 
accomplished in the suppression of a most formidable 
movement, which afflicted the Flowery Land for more 
than ten years, which at one time had threatened to sub- 
vert not only the ruling dynasty, but also the institu- 
tions of the empire, and which had caused a prodigious 
amount of devastation and slaughter. 

It has been mentioned that in January 1863, General 
Staveley, now Sir Charles Staveley and second in com- 
mand of the Abyssinian Expedition, but then chief of 
her Majesty's forces in China, being applied to by the 
Futai for advice and assistance, offered to place Captain 
Holland, the chief of his staff, in temporary command, 
and recommended Captain Gordon, R.E., to the perma- 
nent command, if his Government should approve of its 
being taken by a British officer. While under charge 
of Captain Holland, in February 1863, this disciplined 
force made an attack upon the town of Taitsan, but was 
defeated by the Tai-pings, with the loss of some guns 
and of many officers and men, though the commander 
made great exertions, and exposed himself throughout 
the engagement to a very heavy fire. Another expedi- 
tion, under Major Brennan, was repulsed in an attempt 
to take Fushan ; and these two failures, together wdth 
the insinuations of Imperialists, made the Futai very 
much dissatisfied and disgusted with this far from vic- 
torious army. 

But on the very day of Captain Holland's defeat a 
despatch arrived from Sir Frederick Bruce, sanctioning 


the placing of a Britisli officer in command of this dis- 
ciplined force ; and on receiving this permission, General 
Staveley decided on placing Captain and Brevet-Major 
Gordon of the Eoyal Engineers in charge whenever that 
officer had finished with the survey on which he was 
engaged of the country within the thirty-mile radius 
round Shanghai. Captain (now Lieutenant - Colonel) 
Gordon, C.B., had served before Sebastopol in the 
Crimean war, and been there wounded in the trenches. 
After peace had been made, he was employed in survey- 
ing and settling the Turkish and Eussian frontier in 
Asia, — a work of no little danger and difficulty, owing 
to the wild character of the tribes of Armenia and Koor- 
distan. Engaged in the expedition against Peking, he 
continued on service in China after our difficulties with 
the Imperial Government had been arranged ; and in 
the end of 1861 made a long journey from that capital 
to the Chotow and Kalgan Passes on the Great Wall, 
striking down from the latter place through Shensi, and 
passing Taiyuen, the capital of that province, a city 
before unvisited by foreigners, unless by Catholic priests 
in disguise. In his new position as commander of the 
Ever-Victorious Army, Colonel Gordon did not fail to 
display the judgment and tireless energy which had 
characterised his brief but not undistinguished career. 
Indeed, it very soon became apparent that the Tai-pings 
had to meet a more formidable opponent than any they 
had before encountered, and one who knew how to break 
their ranks, not less by his skill in the arts of war than 
by his personal prestige, and by the assurance which his 
character soon inspired, that those who gave up their arms 
to him would receive humane and honourable treatment. 

Some curiosity may be felt in regard to the composi- 
tion, arms, rates of pay, and so forth, of this disciplined 

COLONEL Gordon's previous services. 127 

Chinese force which Colonel Gordon now undertook to 
command ; and, moreover, without such knowledge his 
operations and the state of affairs in China can hardly 
be understood. Its origin under Ward has already been 
noticed, and as further organised by Gordon it may now 
be described generally. 

The commissioned officers were all Foreigners — Eng- 
lishmen, Americans, Germans, Frenchmen, and Span- 
iards, but Americans were in the majority. Among 
them were to be found many seafaring men, and old 
soldiers of our infantry regiments who had purchased 
their discharge. As a rule they were brave, reckless, 
very quick in adapting themselves to circumstances, and 
reliable in action ; but, on the other hand, they were 
troublesome when in garrison, very touchy as to prece- 
dence, and apt to work themselves about trifles into 
violent states of mind. Excited by Eebel sympathisers 
at Shanghai, and being of different nationalities, one 
half of them were usually in a violent state of quarrel 
with the other ; but this, of course, was often an advan- 
tage to the commander. The non-commissioned officers 
were all Chinese, selected from the ranks ; but very few 
of these were advanced to the higher grade, as it was 
found that, on such promotion, the most zealous ser- 
geants became lazy and useless. 

Up to the capture of Quinsan in May 1863, the 
privates were principally natives of Kiangsoo and Che- 
kiang, inferior to Cantonese and Northerners ; but after 
that date the force was largely recruited from the 
captured Eebels, who were from all parts of China, and 
who, having been accustomed to very hard work and 
no pay, found the new service an elysium, and when 
taken one day, never objected to going into action 
against their old comrades the next. 


The force varied in strength from 3000 to 5000 men, 
divided into from five to six infantry regiments, with 
four batteries siege, and two batteries field, artillery. 
Each infantry regiment consisted, when complete, of six 
companies, averaging 500 men in all, as follows : — 


1 Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel, 

1 Major, . 

1 Captain and Adjutant, 

6 Captains, each 

6 Lieutenants, each . 


6 Colour-Sergeants, each 
12 Sergeants, each . 
24 Corporals, each . 
480 Privates, each . 

Per Mensem, 
at £75 to £85 
„ £60 to £70 
„ £50 
„ 42 
„ 30 



2 10 

1 17 6 

When in garrison, they had to find themselves out of 
their pay; but when in the field, each man received 
daily, in addition to his pay, 2 lb. rice, f lb. salt pork or 
2 lb. salt fish, besides vegetables and oil. 

The artillery was commanded by one colonel at £70 
to £75 per mensem. Each battery consisted usually of 


1 First Captain, 

1 Second Captain, . 

2 Lieutenants, each 
1 Sergeant, . 

1 Colour-Sergeant, . 
6 Sergeants, each 
12 Corporals, each . 
120 to 150 Gunners, each 


Per Mensem, 
at £50 
„ 45 
„ 35 
„ 20 

„ 4 10 6 

„ 3 15 

„ 3 

„ 2 

The whole of the men and officers were paid monthly 
by a Chinese official of high civil rank. Paymaster Kah, 
a good man of business, well educated, honest, pleasing 
in manner, and of venerable appearance. The payment 



was made in Mexican dollars, in presence of the com- 
mander, Colonel Gordon, " whose aim," one of his officers 
— a commissioned officer in H.M. service — writes, "ever 
was to prevent, as far as possible, squeezing and the 
misappropriation of funds." The dollars required for 
these payments monthly varied from the value of 
£14,000 to £26,000, and at no time were the men ever 
kept more than ten days in arrears. In addition to this 
rate of pay, on the dissolution of the force in 1864, the 
officers received large douceurs, varying from £200 to 
£1600 each, and the men each from £2 to £3, those 
wounded receiving further donations, according to the 
nature of their wounds. 

In General Ward's time it had been customary for the 
Ever- Victorious troops to receive from about £15,000 
to £20,000 for each city they captured, the sum being 
agreed upon before the assault was made ; but on the 
appointment of a British officer to command, this prac- 
tice was discontinued, and it was agreed that the troops 
should be regularly paid so much per diem, and receive, 
for special feats, anything which the Futai might deem 
it advisable to give. The high rates of pay were not 
necessary latterly, for recruits offered themselves in 
abundance ; but no change in this respect could have 
been effected without causing delay in the operations, 
and perhaps danger. It would certainly have caused a 
revolt, as both officers and men would have been per- 
fectly agreed on this subject ; for if the pay of either the 
officers or of the men had been cut down first, the other 
section would naturally have expected their turn to 
come next, and would have acted accordingly. When 
the force was originated by Ward, high rates of pay 
were fixed, because the Chinese objected to being drilled 
and disciplined by Foreign Devils in a manner totally 



different from that to winch they had been accustomed, 
and also because they were required to wear a motley 
half-European uniform which subjected them to the 
jeers of their own people, who used to call them " Imita- 
tion Foreign Devils." This European style of dress was 
adopted partly to make the Eebels imagine that they 
had foreign soldiers to contend with ; and Wu, the 
Tautai of Shanghai, paid us the compliment of buying 
up some thousands of European boots, in order that the 
very footprints of the disciplined Chinese might leave a 
like impression. It was not till these troops became 
" victorious " that their appearance was any source of 
pleasure to them ; but after a time they became proud 
of the " imitation foreign devil uniform, and would 
have objected to change it for a native dress. 
The staff consisted of — 

Per Mensem. 

The Commander, .... 

at ^160 



Quartermaster-General, . 


Principal Medical Officer, 




2 Adjutants, each 


Provost-Marshal, .... 


Commandant and Second in Command, . 


Aide-de-Camp, .... 



Brigade-Major, .... 



Medical Officers, each 



Commissariat Officers and Assistants, each 


Military Storekeepers and Assistants, each 


Though these officers bore high-sounding titles, it was 
not office work, but practical work, which they had to do, 
each of them having not only to give his order, but also 
to see that it was obeyed. To have invented new titles 
for their various positions would have been very trouble- 
some ; and so it is to be hoped that officers of H.M. 
army will not be displeased at the appropriation which 
has been made. 


The infantry were for the most part armed with 
smooth-bored English muskets ; but one regiment had 
Prussian rifles of the old pattern, firing conical balls, 
and 300 Eufields were distributed in the ranks. Their 
pouches carried more than fifty rounds of ammunition. 
The artillery armament consisted of two 8 -inch howit- 
zers, four 32-pounder guns, three 24-pounder howitzers, 
twelve 12-pounder howitzers, ten American 12-pounder 
mountain howitzers, eight 4^-inch mountain how^itzers, 
fourteen mortars, brass, 4^ inches to 8 inches, and six 
rocket-tubes. This was a heavy force of artillery in the 
circumstances ; it was well supplied with ammunition, 
each piece having from 250 to 500 rounds ; and the 
greater portion of it was mounted on travelling-carriages. 
Boats, however, were the usual means of conveyance for 
the artillery, there being sixteen of these for the artillery 
armament and ammunition. This part of the force was 
well provided with all the usual requisites, and had also 
large mantlets of elm, of sufficient thickness to afford the 
gunners protection from the fire of muskets and gingalls. 
So useful did these prove, that in an engagement at Tait- 
san one of these mantlets was found to have caught 
eighteen bullets. The country being intersected with 
creeks, each field-battery carried planks, to make a short 
tramway; and the infantry had planks strapped on their 
bamboo ladders, so that the troops were able to pass 
over the country easily enough. The artillery also car- 
ried a pontoon equipment, which consisted of about 150 
feet of Blanchard's infantry pontoon-bridge. 

The drill of the force was according to that in use 
in H.M. army, and the words of command were given 
in English. Only the most simple manoeuvres were 
attempted, and more stress was laid on speed than on 
accurate dressing. The men were trained to come into 


line quickly, irrespective of inverted order. The Chinese 
drilled well, and were very steady, their great fault being 
that of talking in the ranks. Each regiment had two 
buglers, some of whom knew the calls well. The prac- 
tice of the artillery, both in breaching fortifications and 
in covering storming-parties, was considered by many 
persons unconnected with this army to be uncommonly 
good ; and the officers and men of the artillery were 
far superior to any other arm of the force. The in- 
fantry were taught to form square ; but on the only 
occasion when they were attacked by cavalry — at 
Waisoo in March 1864 — the two regiments engaged 
broke, and lost 320 of their number in killed and 

The punishment of flogging was inflicted by the bam- 
boo, as is usual in the Imperial army; and the command- 
ing officers of regiments had the power of inflicting it. 
The European method of flogging was objected to both 
by the men and the Mandarins, so it was thought better 
to employ the Chinese mode, which consisted in giving 
a certain number of blows on the back of the thighs with 
a rattan, or with a small piece of bamboo, somewhat like 
a ruler. Dismissal from the force was sometimes re- 
sorted to, but only by the Commander himself. There 
was, however, very little crime, and consequently very 
little punishment. Sometimes a regiment would be a 
whole month without any one in it deserving punish- 
ment, and the relationship between the men and the 
officers was on the whole affectionate. The Chinese 
were as a rule very orderly; and as drunkenness was 
unknown amongst them, the services of the provost- 
marshal rarely came into use except after a capture, when 
the desire for loot was a temptation to absence from the 
ranks. On the officers it was impossible to inflict minor 


punisliments, because their service was voluntary, and 
no engagement was ever entered into with them by the 
Imperial Government beyond a promise of the current 
month's pay. Hence the only penalty which could be 
held over them in terrorem was dismissal from the force ; 
and it says much for them, as well as for the command- 
ing officers, that this means proved so effectual in pre- 
serving order. It was to their commanding officer they 
had to look for everything, as the Chinese authorities 
refused to give them any direct hearing ; and he allotted, 
on the recommendation of the principal medical officer, 
the various sums ^vhich were given to those who were 
wounded. If time had allowed, it would have been better 
to have entered into some arrangement with the Cliinese 
Government which would have permitted the force to have 
been governed by some sort of articles of war ; but the 
Chinese were averse to binding themselves in the matter; 
time and circumstances pressed, and some of the bravest 
officers, who w^ere not always the best behaved, would 
have been soon excluded by the regulations of a more 
regular army. Hence it was thought best to take the 
material as it was found, to lose no time in turning it to 
use, to treat it fairly, and then dissolve it if expedient, 
so that it could hurt no one. This plan v/as followed 
with success at considerable risk and expense — the finale 
being, that the Chinese crushed the Kebellion. The 
officers and men of the force were all handsomely dealt 
with at its dissolution, which was judged necessary in 
order to prevent likely future trouble. 

After the artillery, the most important part of the 
force was the flotilla which belonged to it, and which 
was composed of steamers and Chinese gunboats. Each 
of the former was quite equal to 3000 men in a country 
such as that where the force had to act. The number 


of the steamers at one time in employ varied from one 
to four, and the Hyson may be taken as a specimen of 
them all. This vessel was a small iron paddle-steamer, 
of about ninety feet long and twenty-four feet wide, 
drawing three to four feet of water, and carrying one 
32-pounder on a moving platform at her bows, while at 
her stern there was a 12-pounder howitzer. A loopholed 
protection of elm plankiug ran round the bulwarks to 
the height of six feet, and the steam-chests were pro- 
tected by a timber traverse. She averaged eight knots per 
hour, and had a crew of one captain at £80 per mensem, a 
mate at £40, an engineer at £50, and an artillery officer 
at £30. The Chinese on board were four stokers, ten 
gunners, and twenty sailors. The steamers were usually 
managed by Americans, who handle river-boats of this 
class better than Englishmen do ; and among these 
Captain Davidson, of the Hyson, specially distinguished 
himself by his coolness, skill, and daring. He had served 
under Ward and Burgevine before Gordon gave him a 
steamer to command, but died at Shanghai as he was 
about to return to his native land. Strange to say, 
though the Eebels were put in possession of two steamers, 
the Kajow and the Firefly, they failed to make any use 
of them, to speak of. Besides the steamers, the Kiang- 
• soo force had two large siege gunboats, four large 
ammunition-boats, and eight large covered boats, each 
with a gun mounted at the bows. There were also 
attached to it a large flotilla of Chinese gunboats, some- 
times to the number of fifty. These vessels were usually 
about forty feet long, ten feet broad, and did not draw 
more than two feet of water, being flat-bottomed vessels. 
Each had a crew of ten men, and they were propelled 
by a sweep working over the stern. They carried a 
6-pounder or 9-pounder Chinese gun in the bows ; and 

Gordon's steamers and gunboats. 135 

though not much used by the force, these guns were of 
great service, when in numbers, to the co-operating 
Imperialists, by firing with grape. The great use of 
this part of the flotilla was the means of transport which 
it aflbrded. The country being cut up by creeks, these 
boats enabled an attack to be made with great suddenness 
from unexpected points. By lowering their masts and 
taking down their flags they could creep unperceived 
along the creeks till quite close to the position of the 
Eebels. Moreover, these latter usually shut themselves 
up within their camps during the night, and even during 
the day knew little of what was going on beyond it, 
having no out-posts or out-sentries, and receiving no 
reliable information from the villagers they had ill- 
treated ; otherwise the boats would have been in great 
danger of falling into ambuscades. 

The Imperialist forces which acted in conjunction with 
the Anglo-Chinese, were generally composed of men from 
other provinces, and principally from Honan. They 
were fine able-bodied men, and were usually kept in a 
state of very strict discipline. As is usual with the 
Chinese, they were divided into camps of five hundred 
men, each under a blue-button military Mandarin ; and 
each of these regiments was complete in itself No 
sooner was a regiment encamped than it began to 
intrench itself in a square earthwork ; and sometimes 
these forts were rather formidable, though cast up in a 
very short time. In a few hours, on favourable ground, 
they could throw up an earthwork that would ofier 
a most effective obstacle to a night-attack ; and they 
never encamped for the night without such a temporary 
security round them. When making any longer stay 
in a position, the work was surrounded with ditches and 
palisades within the space of three days, and stone flags 


were laid down where it was possible to get material. 
At night the drawbridge was raised, and six sentinels 
were placed at eacli angle, who kept beating bamboos or 
raising a peculiar cry through the whole night, and by 
these a very strict watch was kept, the penalty for sleep 
being death ; whereas, in the Ever- Victorious Army, the 
sentries were often caught napping, as they had only to 
fear being bambooed. It has often been said that the 
Chinese are not a fighting people, and have no genius 
for miUtary matters ; but the celerity with which they 
raised these earthworks, the skill with which they shaped 
them, the judgment they displayed in choosing positions, 
the facility with which they raised large bodies of meu, 
and their systematic mode of working these to the best 
advantage, all went to prove very considerable genius 
for the art of war within the limits to which it has been 
developed amongst them. The long seclusion of the 
Chinese, and the primitive character of their opponents 
up to within the last few years, have prevented them 
from developing this art in any high degree ; but so far 
as they have gone with it, they have not shown them- 
selves inferior in courage or in military skill to any 
nation of the world. Among ourselves it is only the 
rivalry of the different European nations which has 
. developed the art of war to so monstrous a height. Had 
Europe, like China, been under one rule for the last ten 
centuries, our weapons would not have been better than 
those of the Celestials. 

The soldiers employed by the Imperialists were badly 
armed, judged by European usage, but usually they were 
pretty well clothed, and had inscribed upon their uniform 
the names of their person, regiment, and province. The 
Cantonese were considered to be the best fighters, and 
after them came the men of Honan. The greater num- 


ber of the military officers who commanded the Impe- 
rialist troops had risen from the ranks, and were not much 
better educated than the rank and file. Ordinarily there 
was one Mandarin of high rank to every twenty camps 
or regiments of five hundred men each ; he had complete 
control over them, and was sometimes a military Man- 
darin, sometimes a civil one bearing military rank. He 
generally had attached to him a fleet of thirty or forty 
gunboats. About twenty or so of these bodies of ten 
thousand men are often placed under a still higher 
official, such as the Chetai of Kiangnan, who may thus 
command a force of tw^o hundred thousand men drawn 
from several provinces. 

As sappers, the Chinese are equal to any Europeans. 
They work well ; are quite cool, from their apathetic 
nature ; and, however great their losses, do not become 
restless under fire like Europeans. At Chanchu fu, the 
Mandarin in command was requested by Colonel Gordon 
to construct trenches of approach at night, up to the 
edge of the ditch around the city ; and, fully under- 
standing what was wanted, he immediately set one thou- 
sand men to work, who, despite their number, made the 
trenches very well and quietly. At Nanking the Im- 
perialists proved they were no contemptible engineers 
by carrying on mining operations for two hundred yards. 
In these engineering operations the Ever -Victorious 
Army took almost no part. Its soldiers could not easily 
have been made to raise earthworks, and the Foreign 
officers, with their limited education, were not usually 
competent to superintend such operations, consequently 
this force had to remain unintrenched ; and it was a 
good deal due to the inertness of the Eebels that serious 
night-attacks were not made upon it in frequent circum- 
stances when such attacks might have been very success- 


ful. The success it obtained was owing to its compact- 
ness, its completeness, the quickness of its movements, 
its possession of steamers and good artillery, the bravery 
of its officers, the confidence of its men, the inability of 
the enemy to move large bodies of troops with rapidity, 
the nature of the country, the almost intuitive percep- 
tion with which its commanding officer understood the 
nature of the country so as to adapt his operations to it, 
and the untiring energy which he put forth. Colonel 
Gordon seems to have acted continually on the French 
principle, to which Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia 
so ably called attention a few years ago'" — of always 
taking the initiative and acting on the offensive. In 
war the party thus acting has many points in its favour ; 
for a force on the defensive is perplexed by looking out 
for and preparing to meet a great number of schemes, 
any of which its adversary may undertake against it ; 
while he who makes the attack has one well-defined 
object in view, and his troops are in much higher spirits 
than those which have to stand still and wait. If, in 
the Kiangnan campaign, the Tai-pings, with their large 
numbers, had pushed out in their full strength and fallen 
on the Ever -Victor ions Army, that small force could 
hardly have stood against them ; but this was rendered 
very difficult by the nature of the country ; and when 
the Rebels did attempt it at Quinsan, they were out- 
manoeuvred, and so nearly annihilated that they never 
forgot the lesson. Moreover, the jealousy of the difier- 
ent chiefs was an obstacle in the way of formidable com- 
bined action, and led to their being overcome in detail. 
Each Wang, however gallant, was nothing more than the 
head of a lot of banditti, ignorant of almost everything 

* ' L'Art de Combattre I'Armee Frangaise.' Par le Priiice Frederic 
Charles de Prusse. Paris, 1860. 

COLONEL Gordon's tactics. 


pertaining to organised warfare, and thinking only of 
skirmishing and pillage. As such they fought well, and 
were capable of acts of very great bravery, but were 
easily panic-stricken when attacked in rear or in flank, 
or even when boldly assailed in front. To compare 
small things with great, the fighting in Kiangnan was 
something like that which has occurred in Bohemia be- 
tween the Prussians and Austrians. There was on one 
side the same superiority in arms and in tactics, while 
on the other there was the same want of cordial co- 
operation among the chief officers. But the great point 
of resemblance is, that in both cases there was, on the 
one side, a bold, energetic, assailing tactic, w^hich took 
no thought of defeat, and which, if it had been met by 
an able general, might have resulted in most complete 
and disastrous defeat ; while, on the other, there was a 
puzzled expectant attitude which dispirited the troops 
and paralysed the talent of the commanders. 

During Ward's time the Ever- Victorious Army cost, 
from September 1861 to September 1862, about 
£360,000. In the three months Burgevine was in com- 
mand, about £180,000 were expended upon it; and 
after that it cost about £580,000. Altogether, at the 
lowest computation, £1,300,000 may be debited to it. 
If to this be added the half-million sterling expended 
on the Lay-Osborn flotilla, we have a total of about 
£1,800,000 paid in specie to Foreigners in their employ 
wdthin about two years by the Chinese Government, and 
that exclusive of the large expenditure on the ordinary 
service of the Imperial maritime customs. Let us also 
consider here the great and various expenses of the Im- 
perialists besieging Nanking and in the province of 
Kiangsoo, which may be put down as at least half a 
million sterling monthly, and some idea may be formed 


of the military expenditure of the Chinese, at a time 
when they were paying two -fifths of their customs 
revenue to Great Britain and France. If at this period 
Foreign governments did give China some assistance, it 
cannot be denied that the Celestials paid pretty hand- 
somely for it. 

Colonel Gordon's opinions as to his position when he 
took command of the disciplined Chinese were as follows, 
as expressed in a memorandum he made on the 5th May 
1863. In entering on joint command with a Mandarin, 
Li Adong, it was arranged that the latter should in no 
way interfere with the discipline of the force or with the 
appointment of its officers. Li (who must be distin- 
guished from Li the Futai or Governor) appeared to 
Gordon a man well fitted for his position, and likely 
to be extremely useful, because his influence with the 
other Mandarins was so great as to prevent the action 
of all petty intrigues against the force, and because his 
knowledge of the country, and skill in obtaining in- 
formation by means of spies, w^ere of essential service. 
Colonel Gordon thought that the British Government 
w^as desirous that China should " have armies able to 
cope with its internal disorder, and that the best means 
of assisting it to that end would be to make the disci- 
plined Chinese force the nucleus of a new Chinese native 
army. The Sungkiang, or any other force entirely irre- 
sponsible to the governor of the province, would have 
been in a most invidious position ; daily reports about 
its bad conduct, sent in by the local Mandarins, would 
have disgusted both the Peking Government and the 
Foreign Ministers, while its supplies and payment would 
have been uncertain. At the same time. Colonel Gordon 
considered that the precarious way in which this army 
existed from month to month was detrimental to its use- 


fulness and an encouragement to plunder. Its service 
was by far the most dangerous to its officers of any that 
lie had ever seen, and their apparently high pay was not 
a dollar too much. If the policy of the British Govern- 
ment was merely, while putting down the Eebellion, to 
keep China weak, and leave the Imperialists as they 
were, then he considered that his position would be only 
that of a mercenary ; but believing, in the absence of 
special instructions, and being by his commanding- 
officer appointed"" with sanction of the British Minister 
at Peking, that the object of his Government was to 
strengthen China and create a national army, he held 
his command with pleasure. 

* This appointment was soon after approved of by lier Majesty's Secre- 
tary of State for War, then Lord de Grey. 


Gordon's first victories. 












BuRGEViNE, of course, was very mucli dissatisfied with 
his supercession, and the appointment of a British ofiicer ; 
and on the 20th of February started for Peking, in order 
to lay his case before the Foreign Ministers and the Im- 
perial Government. Being a man of gentlemanly and 
plausible address, he was well received at the capital, 
and, to some appearance, soon obtained his object. Sir 
Frederick Bruce evidently was charmed with him, for 
in a letter to Prince Kung, dated April 2, 1863, the 
British Minister says, " I have formed a high opinion of 
General Burgevine's qualifications for the post he occu- 
pies. He is brave, honest, conciliatory in his manner, 
and is sincerely desirous of serving the Chinese Govern- 


ment, as he looks upon this country as his home." Mr 
Burlinghame, the American Minister, writes of him in 
similar high terms, but very loosely as to facts, for he 
speaks of him as having fought in nearly one hundred 
" battles " iu the Chinese service, though Burgevine had 
really not been in more than five engagements. Prince 
Kung, in treating this subject, very clearly said that the 
restoration of Burgevine was a matter which lay in the 
hands of Li, the governor of Kiangsoo ; and there does 
not seem to have beeu any disposition on the part of the 
native authorities either at Peking or at Shanghai to 
restore him to command, though it has been stated that 
he returned to the latter city in company of an Imperial 
commissioner directed to replace him in his former 
position. It is quite evident from the American Diplo- 
matic Correspondence that neither the Prince of Kung 
nor Governor Li had the slightest thought of reinstating 
him ; and whether his case were a hard one or not, the 
Chinese authorities knew very well what manner of man 
he was, and what chance there existed of their being 
able to work along with him. As to the action of the 
British Minister in this matter, the truth is, he at first 
considered Burgevine had been unfairly dealt with ; and, 
taking this view, thought further, that if a man with 
such apparent claims upon the Chinese Government 
could be dealt with unjustly, the same course might be 
adopted in regard to any Englishmen w^ho entered the 
service of the Chinese. Moreover, as the ofiicer to be 
appointed in Burgevine's place was an Englishman, Sir 
Frederick Bruce believed it would be extremely un- 
gracious for the British Minister to refuse his support 
to the claims of this American. 

On the 24th March 18G3, Colonel (then Major) Gordon 
was put in orders to command the force of disciplined 


Gordon's first victories. 

Chinese in Kiangsoo, and next day went up to Sungkiang 
to take over the command from Captain Holland, accom- 
panied by Captain Stack, of her Majesty's 67th Foot, as 
his Commandant ; Ensign Stevens, of her Majesty's 99th 
Regiment, as Adjutant-General ; Lieutenant Ward, E.A., 
as Commandant of Field-artillery ; D. A. C. G. Cooksley 
as Quartermaster-General ; and Assistant-Surgeon Moffitt 
of the 67th as Principal Medical Officer. It was an- 
nounced that both the officers and men had determined to 
obey no one but Burgevine ; but Colonel Gordon, having 
assembled the officers and non-commissioned officers, told 
them plainly that they need not fear sweeping changes or 
anything that would injure their future prospects ; and 
no outbreak took place. 

The first operation requested of the new commander 
w^as an attack upon the town of Fushan, situated a con- 
siderable way from Sungkiang, above the Tsung Ming 
island, at the estuary of the Yangtsze. This place, long 
a haunt of pirates, was held by the Rebels ; it threatened 
Chanzu, about ten miles inland, in which an Imperialist 
force was besieged ; and an unsuccessful attack had 
been made upon it shortly before, by Major Tapp, com- 
mander of the disciplined artillery, with 600 men and a 
few howitzers. Colonel Gordon proceeded against Fushan 
in two steamers, with the 5th Regiment, a 32-pounder, 
and four 12-pounders, being supported also by Major 
Tapp's force, and by some ordinary Imperialist troops 
that were stockaded on the beach and on some neigh- 
bouring hills. The Rebel stockades were not strong, 
but there were heavy masses of Tai-pings in the rear 
and on each flank. The 32-pounder, however, which 
was placed in position during the night at some risk 
of being taken, was too much for their guns, and soon 
brought down the wall of the stockade in masses. On 


the advance being sounded, the defenders left, and the 
place was taken with the loss of only two killed and six 
wounded on the Imperialist side. A slight effort was 
made by the Kebels to return, but they only succeeded 
in inflicting what eventually proved a mortal wound on 
Captain Belcher, of the 5th Eegiment. On the road to 
Chanzu, Colonel Gordon passed, near a large joss-house, 
no less than thirty-five crucified Imperialist soldiers, who 
had been burned in various places before death. 

The garrison of Chanzu itself had a curious story to 
tell. They had all been Eebels, but had suddenly trans- 
ferred the town and their services to the other side. 
Their chief, Lo Kwo-chung, had persuaded them to shave 
their heads and declare for the Imperialist cause early 
in the year, and this they did in conjunction with the 
garrison of Fushan ; but no sooner had they done so, 
than, to their dismay, the Faithful King came down 
upon them with a large force, took Fushan, and laid 
siege to them, trying to overcome them by various kinds 
of assault and surprise. He brought against them 32- 
pounders which had been taken at Taitsan, and partially 
breached the wall. He ofiered any terms to the soldiers 
if they would come over ; and, in order to show his 
great success, sent in the heads of three European 
officers who had been killed at Taitsan. Lo, in these 
trying circumstances, had been obliged to do a good 
deal of beheading in order to keep his garrison stanch ; 
but he, and probably most of his followers, felt they had 
committed too unpardonable a sin ever to trust them- 
selves again into Tai-ping hands. For this afi'air Colonel 
Gordon was made, by decree of the Emperor, a Tsung- 
Ping, a title which is a grade higher than any Ward 
ever held, and which may best be translated by our 
phrase Brigadier-General. This alone, not to speak of 



Gordon's first victories. 

the much higher position afterwards conferred upon 
him, is enough to confute Mr Lay's statement*'' that 
this officer never held an Imperial commission. The 
followin^r are the terms in which the conferrino; of this 
o:rade was aunounced : — 

Despatch from Li, Governor of the Province of Kiangsoo, 
to Major Gordon. 

i/ay 16<A, 3 863. 

The Governor has already communicated a copy of the 
Memorial to the Throne, despatched on the 12th April from his 
camp at Shanghai, in which he solicited the issue of a decree 
conferring temporary rank as a Chinese Tsung-Ping (Brigadier- 
General) upon the English officer Gordon, on his taking com- 
mand of the Ever- Victorious Force. He is now in receipt of an 
express from the Board of War, returning his Memorial with 
the note that a separate Decree has been issued to the Prince of 
Kung and the Council of State ; and on the same day he 
received, through the Prince and Council, copy of the Decree 
issued to them on the 9th May in the following terms : — 

" Gordon, on succeeding to the command of the Ever- 
Victorious Force, having displayed both valour and intelli- 
gence, and having now, with repeated energy, captured Fushan, 
We ordain that he at once receive rank and office as a Chinese 
Tsung-Ping, and We at the same time command Li to com- 
mimicate to him the expression of Our approval. Let Gordon be 
further enjoined to use stringent efforts for maintaining disci- 
pline in the Ever- Victorious Force, which has fallen into a state 
of disorganisation, and thus to guard against the recurrence of 
former evils. Eespect this ! " 

The Governor has accordingly to forward a copy of the 
foregoing Decree, to which the officer in question will yield 
respectful obedience. 

Translated by 

(Signed) Wm. S. T. Mayees, 

Interpreter H. M.'s Consulate. 

General Staveley having now resigned his command 

In 'Our Policy in China/ a pamphlet published in 1864. 



from ill-health, Major-General Brown was in command 
of the British troops in China, and Burgevine reappeared 
on the stage, accompanied by an Imperial commissioner 
from Peking. As has been pointed out, there is no 
reason for supposing that the Prince of Kung had any 
wish to reinstate the American in his former position ; 
and Sir Frederick Bruce writes only of the commissioner 
as having been sent down to settle the affair with the 
Governor" — namely, Li;'" and he had previously ex- 
pressed his opinion on the subject, and given his au- 
thority in the following passage in an official letter to 
Brigadier- General Staveleyrf "As respects AVard's 
corps, I regret that circumstances should have led to 
a misunderstanding between Mr Burgevine and the 
Governor, as the accounts I had received of the former 
led me to think that he was well fitted for the post. 
But as this breach has taken place, it appears to me that 
the great amount of foreign property at Shanghai ren- 
ders it desirable that this force should be commanded 
and ofiicered by men who are not adventurers, and who 
afford a guarantee, by the position they occupy in the 
military service of their own country, that they are both 
competent and to be relied upon ; otherwise we should 
be constituting a force which would be as dangerous to 
us as the insurgents themselves." 

Governor Li, in a long letter on this subject, J remarks 
that he does not wish at all to remove Colonel Gordon, 
who had worked night and day harmoniously with the 
other generals ; who had already won conspicuous suc- 
cess ; who had reorganised the force, and proved himself 
valiant, able, and honest. "As the people and place," 
he continues, " are charmed with him, as he has already 
given me returns of the organisation of the force, the 

* Blue-Book, China, No. 3 (1864), p. 80. f lb., p. 68. l lb., p. 82. 


Gordon's first victories. 

formation of each regiment, and the expenses, ordinary 
and extraordinary, in the clearest manner, wishing to 
drill our troops and save our money, it is evident that 
he fully comprehends the state of affairs ; and, in the 
expedition he is preparing, his men delightedly obey 
him, and preserve the proper order. I cannot, therefore, 
remove him without cause." Something very much the 
opposite of this is said of poor Burgevine, whom, it is 
evident, Li, and not without some reason, would not 
have at any price. 

In order to understand the operations which followed, 
it should be noted that the field of action was the 
large peninsula formed by the river Yangtsze and the 
Bay of Hangchow, an immense alluvial flat in Kiang- 
nan,'"' having a superficial area of nearly 50,000 square 
miles. This district has been raised from the bed of the 
sea by the vast deposits of the great muddy river 
Yangtsze, and, though thickly peopled, it is for the most 
part only a few feet above the level of the ocean, and in 
some places is even lower than that level. Here and 
there isolated hills rise to the height of a few hundred 
feet, but for the most part there is a dead level, rich 
with trees, growing various kinds of cereals in great 
abundance, thickly studded with villages and towns, 
and intersected in every direction by rivers, creeks, and 
canals. On looking across any portion of this great 
plain, boats, w^ith their mat sails, appear to be moving 
in every direction over the land, and in some places the 
waters spread out into lakes of considerable size, such as 
the Taiho. Except on a few lines, there are no con- 
veniences for transit by land but narrow footpaths, 

* Kiangnan signifies " South of the river," and comprises great part of 
Chekiang, together with that portion of Kiangsoo which lies south of the 



where people can only go in Indian file ; but the net- 
work of waters affords great facility for the movement 
of boats and of small steamers. In order to realise this 
district as it was from 1861 to 1864, we must conceive 
the Tai-pings coming down upon its peaceful villages 
and rich towns, moving flags, beating gongs, destroying 
images and temples, seizing valuables, occupying houses, 
dealing with all disobedience according to the exter- 
minating decree of Heaven, and being a terror unto 
young women ; but still not at first destroying the crops 
or many of the houses, or slaying many of the males. 
Then we have the Allies driving them back, firing into 
their masses of men with long-range rifles, and pounding 
at their stockades with heavy guns and shells. On the 
retirement of these we have the Kebels again advancing 
to the neighbourhood of Shanghai, but this time in an 
infuriated demoniac state, burning and destroying every- 
thing in order that there may be a waste round the 
starving city, and murdering or driving before them all 
the villagers. Lastly, the Ever-Victorious Army appears 
on the scene, not by any means always victorious, but 
very frequently so, and bringing European drill and 
officers, with heavy artillery, to bear on a settlement of 
the question. Let this be embellished (as the scene ap- 
peared to me in 1860) with views of rich fertile plains, 
where the crops are trampled down or consumed, a few 
narrow bridges of the willow-plate pattern, a dilapidated 
pagoda or two, broken blackened walls of village houses, 
the deserted streets of towns, innumerable swollen, black- 
ened corpses lying on the slimy banks of the muddy 
streams, or rotting underneath the graceful bamboos, 
red flames at night flashing up against the deep dark 
sky; — let us imagine, also, the Tai-pings throwing them- 
selves into all sorts of postures impossible to the Euro- 

Gordon's first victories. 

pean, and uttering cries scarcely less painful or hideous 
than those from the ravished villages ; and we may form 
some conception of the great Chinese tragedy which was 
enacted in Kiangnan. 

The next movement of the Sungkiang force was against 
the large town of Quinsan ; and in the approach to that 
place good service was done by the steamer Hyson, a 
species of amphibious boat, which possessed the power of 
moving upon land as well as upon water, for she could 
drive over the bed of a creek upon her wheels when 
there was not sufficient depth of water to keep her afloat. 
But at this time, the end of April, the force was diverted 
to Taitsan by certain events which it is of importance to 
notice, because they had no small share in afterwards 
causing what has been ridiculously called " the massacre 
of Soochow." It is to these events that we must chiefly 
look for an explanation and vindication of the execution 
by Governor Li of the Tai-ping kings who surrendered 
to him at Soochow — an alleged breach of faith, which 
led Colonel Gordon temporarily to resign his command, 
and which, misrepresented and misunderstood, gave rise 
to a considerable outcry both in China and in this 

After Chanzu had yielded to the Imperialists, and Fu- 
shan was taken, the Tai-pings at Taitsan made pro- 
posals of surrender to Governor LI, who sent up his 
brother with about 2000 troops to arrange the matter. 
Tsah, the Tai-ping chief, led the Imperialists to suppose 
that he was prepared to give up the place, and even 
accepted a large number of mandarin hats to be put on ' 
by his officers when the besiegers entered. Presents 
were interchanged, frequent meetings were held between 
the two leaders, everything seemed going on smoothly, 
and the 26th April was fixed for giving up the city; 


but when, according to agreement, a portion of the Im- 
perialists had entered the South Gate, a gun was fired, 
the gate was closed, and 1500 of them were treacherously 
attacked and seized, along with all their camp equip- 
ments. Of these not less than 300 were decapitated, 
their heads being sent to Soochow and Quinsan as a 
general encouragement to the followers of the Great 
Peace, and the remainder were of course compelled to 
join the Tai-pings. 

In consequence of this act of stupid treachery, Gordon 
and his force, to the number of 2800, were diverted 
against Taitsan. He halted about 1500 yards from 
the West Gate, where the Eebels had two strong stone 
forts, and captured two stockades, enclosing small stone 
forts. On the 2d May the 1st Eegiment was moved 
at an early hour towards the North Gate, in order to 
prevent a retreat from that point, and to cover the 
left flank of the main body of the attacking force, which 
was established in the western suburb. The troops were 
so placed as to be under cover, and the guns, protected 
by portable wooden mantlets, were gradually pushed 
forward until they were within a hundred yards of the 
walls of the city, which, by 2 p.m., were rather dilapi- 
dated, as every gun and mortar available was in action. 
Two hours after this, a wide breach having been made 
in the walls, the boats were ordered up, and a storming 
party advanced to the assault. The resistance made, 
however, was now very serious — the place being garri- 
soned by 10,000 men, 2000 of whom were picked braves, 
and its guns being served by several English, French, 
and American adventurers in Tai-ping employ. The 
Eebels swarmed to the breach, manned the walls, and 
poured down a tremendous fire on the attacking column 
as well as on the bridge beyond. Major Bannon, how- 



ever, who led the storming party, succeeded in mounting 
the breach, and a hand-to-hand conflict took place, in 
which the assailants were for the moment worsted and 
compelled to retire, the Tai-pings being bravely headed 
by the Foreigners in their service. Again the guns 
played upon the breach for about twenty minutes, and 
then the assault was renewed. At last the 5 th Regi- 
ment, under Major Brennan, advanced, and Captain 
Tchirikoff's company managed to plant the colours of 
that regiment on the top of the wall. On this the 
storming party crowded in while the Tai-pings fled in 
every direction, trampling each other to death in their 
eagerness to escape. Either during or immediately after 
the attack there were killed two Americans, two French- 
men, who begged hard for mercy, and three sepoys, 
formerly of the 5th Bombay Native Infantry, all of 
whom were fighting with the Tai-pings. This may be 
called Imperialist cruelty, but every military man knows 
that whenever a place is taken by assault under the flag- 
of any nation, many of the defenders are put to death 
though they throw down their arms and cry for quarter. 
The loss on the part of the Ever- Victorious Army was 
also heavy. Major Bannon of the 4th Regiment, with 
twenty rank and file, being killed, while there were 
wounded Lieut. Wood, R.A., Commandant of the Field 
Artillery, Major Murant, Captains Chapman, Chid wick, 
Ludlam, Robinson, and Williams, with 142 privates, 
out of a force of 2800 men. It is doubtful whether this 
assault would have been successful had it not been for 
some 8-inch howitzers which were played over the heads 
of the stormers, and mowed down the Tai-pings on the 
breach, from a distance of only 200 yards. The steamer 
Hyson also did some service by moving in the neigh- 
bourhood, throwing heavy shells into the city; and 


General Brown afforded " moral support " by moving up 
a small British force of about 500*" to the village of 
Waikono;, about six miles off. From the statements of 
Private Hargreaves, an English deserter from H.M. 31st 
Eegiment, who was taken prisoner in Taitsan, it ap- 
peared that, though the Europeans in the place had 
fought well, they had done so unwillingly, and had told 
Tsah, the Tai-ping chief, that it was useless for him to 
resist. The officers of the disciplined force who specially 
distinguished themselves in this engagement were Major 
Brennan, with Captains Howard and Tchirikoff of the 
5th Eegiment, and Captains Williams and Brooks of 
the 2d. 

There were some circumstances connected with this 
capture of Taitsan which gave rise to a curious dis- 
cussion, that did not confine itself to China, but was 
taken up also in this country, and was even allowed to 
occupy the attention of her Majesty's Foreign Secretary. 
It was a common thing among certain persons in China 
at this period to invent stories of Imperialist cruelty. 
For instance, most hideous accounts were published in 
the * Times of India ' of almost unmentionable atrocities, 
said to have been committed on Tai-ping women and 
children by the Imperialist authorities at Shanghai, and 
yet, on examination, the whole dismal story turned out 
to have been a pure invention. One might have thought 
that such a case, and similar ones only too abundant at 
this time, would have been a warning to respectable per- 
sons not to give a ready, and much less an eager, heed to 
anonymous stories of the kind ; but such does not seem 
to have been the immediate result. After the capture of 

* This force consisted of 60 Royal Artillery, 80 Lascars, 2 howitzers, 
two 5|-inch mortars, 80 of the 31st Regiment, 150 Belooches, and 150 5th 
Bombay Native Infantry. 


Gordon's first victories. 

Taitsan, an anouymous writer in the Shanghai 'Daily 
Shipping and Commercial News' came forward under the 
specious 710771 de j^hiiTie of " Justice and Mercy," and in- 
sisted that, after the capture, seven Kebel prisoners had 
their eyes pierced out by Imperialist soldiers, and were 
then roasted alive, their clothes beiug previously saturated 
with oil, and that more than one Englishman witnessed 
the deed, powerless to save. Behind the screen of the 
'North China Herald,' of 13th June 1863, another anony- 
mous person, under the signature of "An Eyewitness," 
asserted that " Justice and Mercy" had exaggerated the 
affair ; but that he himself could say, from personal ob- 
servation, that the prisoners referred to were " tortured 
with the most refined cruelty," that " arrows appeared to 
have been forcibly driven into various parts of their 
bodies, heads, region of heart, abdomen, &c., from whence 
issued copious streams of blood ; that strips of flesh had 
been cut, or rather hacked, from various parts of their 
bodies ; " and that " for hours these wretched beings 
writhed in agony" before they were led out to an inhu- 
man death. Having had a private interview with this 
witness, Dr Smith, the Bishop of Victoria, thought fit to 
write to Earl Eussell on the subject, and to express his 
opinion that there was no reasonable doubt as to the 
truth of the witness's allegations. 

In an official letter to the Secretary of War," General 
Brown, as commander of her Majesty's forces in China, 
very naturally expressed his surprise that the Bishop had 
not communicated with him upon this subject, and had 
not inquired whether he, the General, could supply any 
reliable information regarding it. From reports made 
by Lieutenant Cane, E.A., and other English officers who 
were witnesses of the affair, and who did not speak of it 

* Blue-Book, China, No. 3 (1864), p. 117. 


from behind a screen, General Brown had, almost at the 
time, been put in possession of the facts of the case, and 
had taken all the action which it demanded. Colonel 
Gordon and his force had nothing to do with the seven 
prisoners who were taken by Imperialist soldiers after 
they had escaped from Taitsan, and were condemned 
near Waikong, where a British force was, to the punish- 
ment of the " Ling-che," or slow and ignominious death. 
As the Tai-pings of Taitsan had been guilty of an act of 
bloody treachery, they had no claim to be treated as or- 
dinary prisoners of war ; and it was, moreover, alleged by 
the Mandarins that these particular prisoners were special 
ojBfenders. As it was, according to the testimony of several 
British officers, the sentence upon them was carried out 
only in a very modified form. They were tied up and 
exposed to view for about five hours, each with a piece of 
skin cut from one arm and hanging down, and with an 
arrow or two pushed through the skin in various places. 
They did not seem to suffer pain, and were afterwards 
beheaded in the ordinary way. Even this, of course, was 
objectionable ; and General Brown, careful of the honour 
of a British officer, at once told the Futai, Li, that if any 
similar cases were reported to him he should withdraw 
his troops, and cease to act along with the Imperialists. 
This was quite right ; but it should be noticed also, that 
we are apt to attach an exaggerated importance to the 
cruelty of Chinese punishments from our own superior 
sensitiveness to pain. What might be exquisite torture 
to the nervous vascular European is something much less 
to the obtuse-nerved Turanian ; and it may be safely 
affirmed that the Chinese penal code,''' as actually carried 
out, is, considering the nature of the people, not a whit 

* The * Edinburgh Review,' in an article on Sir George Staunton's trans- 
lation of that code, said, " We scarcely know a European code that is at 


Gordon's first victories. 

more severe than that of any European country. Every 
doctor who has had to perform operations on Chinamen, 
knows how little they suffer in comparison with more 
sensitive races. As to the conduct in such matters of 
the Ever- Victorious Army, Colonel Gordon wrote to the 
Shanghai ' Shipping News : ' — 

' June I5th, 1863. 
I am of belief that the Chinese of this force are quite as 
merciful in action as the soldiers of any Christian nation could 
be ; and in proof of this can point to over 700 prisoners, taken 
in the last engagement, who are now in our employ ; some even 
have entered our ranks and done service against the Eebels since 
their capture. But one life has been taken out of this number, 
and that one was a Eebel who tried to induce his comrades to 
fall on the guard, and who was shot on the spot. It is a great 
mistake to imagine that the men of this force are worthless ; they 
will, in the heat of action, put their enemies to death, as the 
troops of any nation would do, but when the fight is over they 
will associate as freely together as if they had never fought. 
... If Observer" and " Eyewitness," with tlieir friend "Jus- 
tice and Mercy," would come forward and communicate what 
they know, it would be far more satisfactory than writing state- 
ments of the nature of those alluded to by the Bishop of Vic- 
toria. And if any one is under the impression that the inhabi- 
tants of the Eebel districts like their Eebel masters, he has only 
to come up here to be disabused of his idea. I do not exagge- 
rate when I say, that upwards of 1500 Eebels were killed in 
their retreat from Quinsan by the villagers, who rose e7i masse. 

The plunder it obtained at Taitsan had somewhat 
demoralised the Ever- Victorious Army, which of course 
could hardly be kept in a state of strict discipline ; and 
so its commander moved it back to Sungkiang, in order 
that it might be reorganised. Previous to this the force 
had been accustomed to dissolve after the capture of 
any place, in order that the men might dispose of their 

once so copious and so consistent, or is nearly so freed from intricacy, 
bigotry, and fiction." 


loot ; and though the practice was eminently unsoldierly, 
the abolition of it by Colonel Gordon was not at all appre- 
ciated by these soldiers of fortune, who had no desire 
to peril their lives without compensating gratifications, 
and whose pay was not high considering the risks they ran. 
General Ward had even allowed them coolies to clean 
their arms ; and the idea of carrying their own rations 
was thought quite derogatory to their dignity. Many of 
the officers themselves did not show an example of dis- 
cipline to the troops, and the commander was glad to have 
an opportunity of filling the places of some of those who 
had been killed, and of others who had resigned, by 
privates and non-commissioned officers of H.M. 99th and 
other regiments, who had volunteered for the service. 
Finding it necessary also to have some officer of rank 
over the commissariat and military stores, he selected 
Deputy-Assistant Commissary-General Cooksley, an ex- 
cellent officer, for that duty, and gave him the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel in order that he might speak with 
authority to the majors commanding the difi'erent regi- 
ments, who were apt to be troublesome when rations 
were issued. 

These efi'orts to improve the discipline of this rather 
anomalous force were not allowed to pass without violent 
opposition, threatening at one time to pass into open 
mutiny. When Lieut.-Colonel Cooksley s appointment 
was made know^n, and just when the force was ordered 
to march against Quinsan, all the majors requested an 
interview with the commander, at which they complained 
of an officer of the English army being placed over them, 
and demanded for themselves the same rank and pay as 
the new lieutenant-colonel. This was at once refused, on 
which they retired, and soon after sent in their resigna- 
tions, with the cool request that these should be accepted 



at once, but that they should be allowed to serve on the 
approaching expedition. In answer to this Colonel Gor- 
don at once accepted their resignations, and refused to 
allow them to serve on the expedition ; but the position 
in which he was placed was a very critical one. The 
force had been ordered to march at daybreak next morn- 
ing, the 24th May, but at 8 a.m. only the commander's 
body-guard had fallen in ; and the officers who had been 
placed in command came to report that none of the 
other men would do so. 

After this matter had been settled by the officers sub- 
mitting to be content with their position as majors. 
Colonel Gordon left Sungkiang with 600 artillery and 
2300 infantry in order to attack Quinsan, in conjunc- 
tion with an Imperialist force under General Ching, 
which he had left stockaded before that place, and which, 
on his return, he found in some peril. The operations 
which now ensued were rather peculiar, and most de- 
structive to the Tai-pings, who numbered about 12,000 
men. In a strategical point of view, Quinsan was a place 
of immense importance, being the key to Soochow, and a 
point the possession of which would completely protect 
both Sungkiang and Taitsan. No place could have better 
suited the requirements of the Ever -Victorious Army 
than Quinsan, or enabled them at this time to hold so 
large a district of country safe from the inroads of the 
Tai-pings ; but there were, to all appearance, serious dif- 
ficulties in the way of gaining possession of it. A very 
large Kebel force was encamped within its walls, which 
have a circumference of about five miles — and stone forts 
in its neighbourhood were also held by the Eebels. Its 
ditch was more than forty yards wide ; the high hill en- 
closed within its walls enabled every movement in the 
neighbourhood to be seen, and two or three guns placed 


on the spurs of this hill would have formed a very citadel. 
Altogether the position was one which afforded fine scope 
for the skill of a scientific assailing commander. 

Colonel Gordon, judging from his official report,"' and 
from other sources of information, seems to have detected 
the weak point of this position. The only road between 
Quinsan and Soochow is so situated between the Yansing 
Lake and large creeks widening out here and there into 
small lakes or sheets of water, that it seemed possible to 
cut off entirely the communication between these two 
cities ; and this road, though in the main good, crosses 
very long bridges and follows narrow causeways, some- 
times only three or four feet wide, for the space of twenty 
or thirty yards, while on the inner side the creeks are 
very deep. Accordingly, the steamer Hyson, with its 
guns protected by iron mantlets, was employed to cut 
this line of communication. Ching, the Imperialist gen- 
eral acting in concert, was very anxious that the dis- 
ciplined force should attack the east gate, that on the 
side of Taitsan ; but this Colonel Gordon declined until 
be had reconnoitred the country on the other side ; and 
the result of his investigations was a determination to 
attack two stockades and a very strong stone fort which 
he found on the road, and on the banks of the canal 
between Quinsan and Soochow, eight miles from the 
former and twelve from the latter city, at the village of 

At dawn of the 30th May, Colonel Gordon started on 
this adventure in the Hyson, accompanied by the 4th 
Eegiment, 350 strong, with field-artillery in boats, and 
by about fifty small Imperial gunboats, the whole flotilla 
amounting to about eighty boats, with large white sails, 
and decorated with various-coloured flags. Some stakes, 

* Blue-Book, China, No. 3 (1864), p. 111. 

i6o Gordon's first victories. 

separating the creek which they came up from the canal 
between Quinsan and Soochow, were pulled up by the 
Imperialist boats, and a general advance with the steamer 
and troops was made. Immediately that the Tai-pings, 
who were in great force, saw this, they vacated the 
stockades, and, splitting right and left, fled along the 
causeway, some to Quinsan and the remainder towards 
Soochow, the 4th Regiment being despatched in pursuit 
of the former, and the Hyson following up the latter. 
It w^as understood, however, that some bad feeling be- 
tween the commander at Chunye and the Tai-ping chief 
at Quinsan was the chief cause of their defending the 
stockades so badly. 

The events wdiich followed sufficiently proved that the 
Tai-pings were taken by surprise, and completely con- 
fused by the novel mode of warfare which they had to 
encounter. The Hyson steamed slowly up the canal 
towards Soochow, somewhat impeded by the numerous 
boats, abandoned by their owners, which were drifting 
about, and occupied, as it advanced, in firing on the clus- 
ters of Rebels marching before it along the causeway. 
At Taedin a fine stone fort appeared, but this also was 
immediately abandoned on a shell from the steamer hap- 
pening to go through one of the embrasures. Though 
this boat had on board only about half-a-dozen Europeans 
and thirty Chinese gunners, six men were landed to pre- 
vent the fort being reoccupied by any of the parties of 
Rebels that were coming up behind. Continuing its 
course, and always harassing the fleeing troops in front, 
the Hyson passed at Siaouedin another stone fort which 
had been evacuated ; and then, having headed a party of 
about 400 Tai-pings, Captain Davidson had the almost 
incredible audacity to take 150 of them prisoners on 
board his small craft. Soon after this, four Rebel horse- 



men rode past the steamer, in the direction of Soochow, 
amid a shower of bullets ; and when one of them was 
struck off his steed, the others waited for him and carried 
him off — a fine instance of Chinese courage and fidelity. 
The steamer got within a mile of Soochow, and did not 
turn till 6 p.m., being very uncertain as to what sort of 
reception it might meet with on the way back. The 
extraordinary good fortune which had attended this 
movement continued to befriend it. On the way down, 
a large force at Siaouedin opened a sharp fire of rifles 
upon the Hyson, but they were enfiladed from their posi- 
tion by a charge of grape, and some of them were made 
prisoners. Even the boat's steam-whistle seems to have 
done good service in frightening the Tai-pings, most of 
whom had heard nothing of the kind before ; and it 
may be imagined how great must have been the efiect 
on their untutored minds of this fiery dragon coming 
shrieking down in the darkness, with the glaring eyes 
of its green and blue lights, and its horrible discharges 
of grape and shells. 

On returning to Chunye, tremendous firing and 
cheering were heard, the Imperial gunboats being found 
enorao-ed with the stone fort, which in the darkness was 
literally sparkling with musketry. It was most fortu- 
nate that the steamer came up at this moment, for as 
it got to the scene of action a confused mass of men, 
but dimly discerned, were seen on the causeway. This 
was the garrison of Quinsan, amounting to about 
8000 men, attempting to escape to Soochow. On the 
steamer blowing its whistle, this dark mass wavered, 
yelled, and turned back. Then followed one of those 
terrible scenes which are so useful in war, and may 
be on the whole so beneficial, but which are often so 
painful to witness and to read of. The number of 


i62 Gordon's first victories. 

Tai-pings was so great, and their state of desperation 
such, that they could easily have swept Colonel Gor- 
don's small force away ; and the Imperialists, being 
surrounded by the enemy, were so panic-stricken that 
they had commenced to abandon their gunboats when 
the Hyson arrived. Hence it was necessary to fire into 
the Quinsan garrison, which the steamer accordingly 
did, driving back the dense yelling masses, step by step, 
with great slaughter, and pursuing them up to the 
walls of the city. The shelling went on till half-past 
two in the morning, when as many of the garrison 
surrendered as could safely be made prisoners of ; and, 
at a later hour, an Imperialist and disciplined force, 
which had been left at the East Gate, entered Quinsan, 
and took possession of that place unopposed. 

In this engagement the loss of the Tai-pings was 
very great indeed. It was evident that between 3000 
and 4000 men must have been killed, drowned, or 
taken prisoners ; but it is impossible to say how many 
more of the 12,000 or 15,000 in Quinsan, or on the 
fatal causeway, failed to reach Soochow, and perished 
miserably — drowned in creeks, choked in mud, and 
killed by the villagers, who, to show their appreciation 
of Tai-ping rule, rose en masse against the fugitives. 
About 800 prisoners were taken, most of w^hom entered 
the ranks of the Ever-Victorious Army ; and 8000 
might have been secured, had there been troops to 
collect them. In fact, almost the entire garrison of 
Quinsan must have been lost to the Kebels, while the 
casualties in Colonel Gordon's force, exclusive of the 
Imperialists with whom he acted, were only two killed, 
and five drowned. 

This almost unparalleled disproportion between the 
two losses may readily suggest the idea of a mere 


massacre, where superiority of arms on one side ren- 
dered the defence on the other a perfect farce ; but 
such was not the case. It was the selection of the 
causeway as the weak point of the enemy, together with 
the hazardous, desperate, and totally unlooked-for char- 
acter of the attack, which made it so wonderful a suc- 
cess ; and at almost any point up to the occupation 
of Quinsan, the state of matters might easily have been 
reversed. Had the Kebels stood to their stockades 
and forts ; had they returned to stone forts which the 
Hyson had to leave unoccupied, or held by only a few 
men ; had they attacked the steamer on its return to 
Taedin, where it had a narrow escape from being taken ; 
and had the Quinsan garrison not wavered in its fugi- 
tive attack when the steam-whistle began to sound, — 
then there might have been a very different conclusion 
to this bold adventure. This was one of those occasions 
which occur pre-eminently in Asiatic warfare, when a 
little hesitation on the part of the commander, and a 
little suspension of confidence on the part of the troops, 
might easily have led to a disaster on the side of the 
assailants quite as great as that w^hich, as it turned out, 
befell the assailed. 

The importance of Quinsan to the Eebel cause could 
not easily be over-estimated. It contained a manufac- 
tory for ordnance, shot, and shell, which was conducted 
by two Englishmen, whose fate I cannot discover ; and 
it afi*orded a central point communicating by water 
with Soochow, Sungkiang, Taitsan, and Chanzu. The 
boldness of the attack and the completeness of its 
success paralysed the Tai-pings and gave confidence to 
the country-people. Moreover, Quinsan afibrded an 
excellent place for the headquarters of the Ever- Vic- 
torious, and one where the reins of discipline could be 


Gordon's first victories. 

drawn tighter than at Sungkiang, where many Chinese 
resided who had been demoralised when serving under 
the Lax system of General Ward. It can easily be con- 
ceived that this anomalous Chinese force was " disciplined 
only to a very limited extent. Not a few of the officers 
were what are usually called " rowdies," yet exceedingly 
jealous of their position and presumed privileges ; while 
the Chinese rank-and-file expected to be humoured, and, 
though brave enough at times, would, in the matter 
of plunder, have outgeneralled Bardolpli and Ancient 
Pistol. These worthies did not at all like being quar- 
tered at Quinsan instead of being restored to their old 
location at Suno;kiano;. When this chano-e of residence 
was communicated to the troops, the artillery refused to 
fall in, and threatened to blow the European officers to 
pieces with the big guns, and the Chinese authorities 
with the small ones. This intimation of serious mutiny 
was conveyed to Colonel Gordon in a written proclama- 
tion. He ordered up the non-commissioned officers, 
being convinced that they were at the bottom of the 
affair, and inquired of them who wrote the procla- 
mation, and why the men would not fall in. They 
professed ignorance on these points, and were then told 
that one out of every five of them would be shot — a 
piece of information which they received with groans. 
As it was absolutely necessary to restore discipline, the 
commander ordered a corporal, one of the most promi- 
nent of the groaners, to be dragged out and shot, which 
was immediately done by two of the infantry who were 
standing by. The remaining non-commissioned officers 
were then put in confinement for an hour, with the 
assurance that if the men did not fall in, and if the 
name of the writer of the proclamation were not given 
up by the time that period elapsed, the arrangement of 


shooting every fifth man would be carried out ; and this 
energetic measure brought them to their senses, the men 
falling in and the writer's name being disclosed. 

At the time this fracas occurred, another serious dis- 
pute was going on between Colonel Gordon, whose hands 
must have been pretty full, and General Ching. This 
Imperialist leader had been annoyed at Gordon's method 
of taking Quinsan, because he had previously written to 
the Futai, stating that he himself only required guns to 
make a breach at the East Gate in order to get in ; and 
he was also opposed to the disciplined force being estab- 
lished at that place. Whether purposely or accidentally, 
but most probably the former, some of his gunboats 
opened fire with grape and round-shot on 150 men of the 
Ever -Victorious under Majors Kirkham and Lowden, 
who were co-operating with another Imperialist force 
under General LI Ching at first affected to treat this 
contretemps as a joke ; and on being rather forcibly in- 
formed it w^as nothing of the kind, he afi'ected ignorance 
of the unmistakable green-and-red flag on which his 
troops had fired. Gordon wrote to the Futai about 
this matter, and then, wdth a larger force, started for 
the neighbourhood where the event had occurred, de- 
termined to fight Ching as well as the Rebels, if that 
general showed a disposition to make any more such 
mistakes. Mr Macartney, however, formerly surgeon in 
H.M. 99th Regiment, who was then, as now, in the em- 
ploy of the Chinese Government, and had undertaken 
charge of the Futai's arsenal at Sungkiang, was sent up 
to arrange matters, and the afiair ended in a humble 


burgevine's history and fate. 







No sooner was the fracas with General Ching settled 
than another and more serious danger began to manifest 
itself in alarming reports concerning the intentions of 
Burgevine, formerly commander of the disciplined Chi- 
nese. It was known that he was enlisting loose charac- 
ters at Shanghai, and was also in close communication 
with Foreigners who had originally been in the force, 
but wdio had left it. Burgevine, however, wrote to 
Colonel Gordon, with whom he was on good terms, on 
the 21st July, in the following words : — " You may 
hear a great many rumours concerning me, but do not 
believe any of them. I shall come up and have a long 
talk with you. Until then adieu." This was not very 
explicit or reassuring, but on the strength of it Gordon 
wrote to the Futai and became surety that Burgevine 
would not make any attempt in favour of the Tai-pings. 


The rumours about their old commander had an unset- 
tling effect on the minds of the officers ; and just before 
an expedition was about to start for Wokong, there was 
a mutiny of the artillery officers, who were annoyed at a 
change being made in their commander. On the 26th 
July they all joined in a round-robin, refusing to serve 
under the new commander, Major Tapp, or to accompany 
the expedition. In this case, though Colonel Gordon, as 
he afterwards told them, had all the inclination to shoot 
one or two of the leaders, he had not the power, as all 
the officers of the force would have resented such a pro- 
ceeding ; so the course he pursued was to exercise all his 
personal influence in collecting any men who would ofier 
to serve the guns, and in getting these latter started 
without the artillery officers. The guns were fortunately 
in the boats, and the common artillerymen were quite 
willing to go, so the expedition started without the 
officers. At dusk, however, a letter came from these 
now penitent gentlemen, begging that their conduct 
might be overlooked for that one time. Considering all 
the circumstances, this had to be done, the more espe- 
cially as their place could not effisctively be supplied. 
Though given to imaginary grievances, the officers of 
the force were gallant men, who evinced much ingenuity 
and quickness, and were wonderfully sharp in acquiring 
a knowledge of the country. One cause of their un- 
easiness was a dread of their places being supplied by 
officers from the British army; but of this there was 
little likelihood at the time, owing to the General Order, 
which condemned officers so acting to half-pay. They 
would have had less suspicion of their commander 
had they known that at this very time he was being 
urged in influential quarters, and by well-wishers to 
China, to retire from his position and allow the Rebels 

i68 burgevine's history and fate. 

a chance of advance, in order to force the Chinese autho- 
rities to grant terms to the force such as would induce 
British officers to serve.'"" 

In order to explain the expeditions which now fol- 
lowed, it must be borne in mind that at this period the 
great object of the Imperial Government was the reduc- 
tion of Soochow, the capital of the province, situated on 
the Grand Canal. Looking at the nature of the country 
and its system of w^ater-communication, Colonel Gordon 
deemed it best to approach it gradually from all sides 
and cut its communications, rather than advance to an 
immediate attack. Soochow is peculiarly situated with 
regard to water-communication," for it stands on the 
Grand Canal, and is pretty close to the Taho or Taiho 
Lake,t a sheet of shallow water fifty miles from north 
to south, and nearly as many in breadth. From the 
Grand Canal to this lake there are four entrances open 
to steamers. One of these is at Kahpoo, a place ten 
miles south of Soochow, and there the Kebels had two 
strong stone forts which it was of special importance to 
take, not only because they secured a good communi- 
cation between the lake and the canal, but because they 
commanded the direct road from Soochow to the Tai-ping 
cities in the south, The city of Wokong, three miles 
south of Kahpoo, was also in possession of the Eebels, 
and it was thought best to attack it first. 

The force employed consisted of about 2200 men, in- 
fantry and artillery, in boats, wdth the armed steamers 
Firefly and Cricket, who captured Kahpoo on the 27th 
July. The most exciting part of the afiair occurred 
early on the 28th July, at a Eebel fort only a few 

* Private correspondence. 

t As Tai means " Great" and Ho " Lake" or "Water," to speak of the 
Tai-lio Lake reminds one of the Indian griffin's " Boy, bring some ag low 
but the phrase has become too familiar to be changed in a work of this kind. 


hundred yards from Wokong, which had been left un- 
occupied. As soon as the Tai-pings, however, saw the 
advance of the Ever- Victorious Army, they rushed out 
to occupy this fort ; and Colonel Gordon pushed out 
the 4th and 6th Regiments to cut them off and endea- 
vour to get in before them. An exciting race ensued, 
and the Tai-pings managed to get in first ; but the 6th 
Regiment was so little behind that they had immediately 
to run out again, with some loss. Leaving this regiment 
in occupation, Gordon took other stockades which com- 
manded the town, so that every exit from the city was 
closed by 10 a.m. After a vain attempt to force a pas- 
sage, the garrison surrendered, and about 4000 prisoners 
were taken, among whom were many chiefs, including 
the second in command — the leader, Yang AVang, a rela- 
tive of Chung Wang, having escaped the night before. 
Among those captured were a theatrical company who 
had just come up from Hangchow, and were sorely 
troubled at such a termination of their mimic fights. 
The Imperialist general Ching soon arrived, and was 
very anxious to get hold of the prisoners ; but only 
1500, including none of the chiefs, were given him, to 
be made soldiers, under a promise that they should re- 
ceive good treatment, and these had the option of going 
with the disciplined force. However, Gordon soon heard 
that five of these prisoners had been beheaded by Ching; 
and this, together with his determination to quit the 
command on account of the non-payment of claims which 
the force had necessarily incurred, determined him to 
leave for Shanghai. 

At this time the commander of the Ever- Victorious 
Army must have had what many people would think 
the most pressing inducements to give up the command, 
and his army, and its victories. The service he was on 

I/O burgevine's history and fate. 

was not only one of incessant toil, but of more than 
ordinary exposure to danger, as he had often himself to 
lead assaults, and, seizing reluctant officers, to march 
them into the thick of the fire. Some of these officers 
were disaffected towards him, and he was even looked 
upon unfavourably by a portion of his own troops. The 
Imperialist authorities, especially the redoubtable Ching, 
were a constant source of trouble, and the Futai took 
no steps to discharge the pressing claims of creditors 
against the force. At the same time influential persons 
among his countrymen were urging him to resign. But 
when he arrived at Shanghai on the 8th August at 8 
P.M., and learned that General Burgevine had left for 
Soochow with a large party of Foreigners in order to 
join the Tai-ping ranks, Gordon gave up his intention of 
resigning, and rode up to Quinsan that night in order to 
resume his command; because he did not think it credit- 
able to leave the Imperialists when they were in so great 
a danger; because a change of command at such a crisis 
might have been most detrimental to the whole of the 
community at Shanghai ; and also because he felt he 
had pledged himself to the Futai that Burgevine would, 
not join the Eebels. 

As this is the turning-point in Henry Andrea Bur- 
gevine's eventful history, it may be well to say a word 
as to his antecedents. Like Ward, he was one of those 
American adventurers, who, trained by the circumstances 
of their country to love fighting, could find no sufficient 
outlet for their restless energies before the great American 
war came to their relief. He was a Southerner by birth, 
and superior to Ward both in manners and education, 
though inferior in coolness and in the choice of means to 
an end. The latter filibuster had a nasty side-look, and 
a face which boded no good to any one in particular, 

burgevine's previous career. 171 

unless it were himself ; while the former had a pleasant 
expression on his dark countenance. The American 
papers say that he was born at Newbern, North Carolina, 
in 1836, his father having been a French officer under 
Napoleon ; and that, though his early years were ill pro- 
vided for, he was an accomplished student, and even in 
his youth entertained dreams of being some day able to 
build up a great empire in the East ; and whether that 
be the case or not, he certainly entertained such a dream 
in China, where it was the cause of his misfortunes. A 
much-wandering man, he seems to have turned up in 
California of course, in Australia, the Sandwich Islands, 
India where he studied Hindustanee, Jiddah, London, and 
other places — being, in fact, one of those nautical gentle- 
men who combine a taste for literature with the power 
of navigating coasting vessels, and, would fate allow, of 
founding great empires. After that, finding a post-office 
clerkship and the editing of an American newspaper 
rather tame work for him, he found his way again to 
China, became Ward's second in command, and, as noted 
before, on the death of that worthy, was put in charge 
of the Ever-Victorious Army, quarrelled with the Futai, 
struck the patriotic merchant Ta Kee, was dismissed from 
his post, applied for redress at Peking, and was not re- 

These latter events had naturally irritated Burgevine's 
soul ; and it is admitted, even by his friends, that, being 
weakened by an imperfectly healed wound, he was now 
in the habit of taking stimulants to an extent which 
at times disordered his brain, or at least that stimu- 
lants, whether taken in large quantities or not, had 
that effect upon him. There was a double motive for his 
action — revenge against the Imperialists, and his dream 
of seizing an empire in China ; so he entered into com- 

172 burgevine's history and fate. 

munication with the Moh Wang, now Tai-ping chief at 
Soochow, and engaged about 150 Foreign rowdies at 
Shanghai to enter with him into the service of the Great 
Peace. This was a bold enterprise, for it was pretty well 
known at this time that the Foreigners in the service of 
the Tai-pings had no very delightful time of it ; but 
Burgevine was a persuasive person, his name had con- 
siderable power with the troops on both sides, and it 
was believed, not without some grounds, that he could 
command the services of many of the officers of Gordon s 
army. As to himself, there is no doubt that his hope 
and intention was to get a large body of foreign adven- 
turers and disciplined natives into his own hands, then 
to throw up the Tai-ping cause, and make an independent 
filibustering movement across China in the direction of 
Peking, in order to fulfil the dream of his youth. Con- 
sidering the state of China at this time, wiser heads than 
his might have been carried away by such an idea ; but 
the Foreign Powers, having treaty -rights with that 
country, would never have permitted the success of such 
a movement ; and even the Imperial Government would 
have been roused to measures which would have de- 
feated it. The time for such a project was before the 
treaties of 1858. 

This movement of Burgevine's was thus reported on 
to Major - General Brown, commanding her Majesty's 
forces in China, by Colonel Hough, on the 4th of 
August : — 

Burgevine has gone over to the Ptebels with some Europeans 
collected here ; the number varies with the different reports from 
100 to 1000, but 300 will probably be nearer the mark. From 
Captain Strode's information Burgevine's terms with the Euro- 
peans are, service one month and money paid down ; and other 
information states unrestrained hcence to pillage every town 


they take, even Shanghai itself. The latter would be an idle 
threat even under the present reduced state of the garrison, but 
for the alarming defection of Major Gordon's force, who are all, 
it is said, traitorously inclined to side with Burgevine. Names 
of traitors are freely given, being those of Major Gordon's best 
officers of the land forces, as well as those commanding steamers. 
This, if true, would virtually be giving our siege-train, now with 
Major Gordon, into the Kebels' hands, and to oppose which, 
Captain Murray informs me, we have not a gun of equal force. 
The Tutai told Mr Markham yesterday evening that Burgevine 
and 65 Europeans had seized the little steamer Ki-fow under 
the walls of Sun-kiang, and taken her into Soochow, and had 
been made a Wang of the second class and commander of all 
the Eebel forces. The Futai also said that a report had reached 
him, of Quang-san [Quinsan], Major Gordon's headquarters, 
having been given up to the Eebels by its garrison. Should this 
be true, the worst may be anticipated ; Major Gordon a pris- 
oner, the siege-train lost, and the speedy advent of the Eebels, 
commanded by Burgevine, before this place ; for it is idle to 
suppose that they would respect the 30-mile radius when they 
had no town outside with wealth enough to support their rabble 
hordes, which exaggerated reports put down at 800,000, of which 
they say 20,000 are disciplined by Frenchmen and Europeans 
long resident in Soochow. In the present imperfect knowledge 
of affairs, to move out would .perhaps be to leave Shanghai open 
to the Eebels, who can choose their own route, and whose ad- 
vance would only be known by the country people flying before 
them and the smoke of burning towns. I trust to hear from 
Major Gordon to enable me to act decisively, of which I need 
not say I will send you the earliest information. 

This shows a very alarming state of matters, and that 
Burgevine had not laid his plans without very consider- 
able skill. Any one in Colonel Gordon's place must have 
had serious thoughts on that solitary night-ride up to 
Quinsan, seeing how much hung upon the disposition of 
the officers w^hom he was to meet at dawn. On reachinor 
his headquarters no unsatisfactory signs appeared ; but 
the commander received reports during the day which 

1/4 burgevine's history and fate. 

induced him to send reinforcements to Kahpoo, his most 
advanced post, and to return the principal part of his 
siege-ammunition to Shanghai. In the evening three 
men actually walked into his room and asked for Bur- 
gevine, saying they had been engaged by him, and had 
been told to wait at the " second station," which looked - 
as if neither the Americo-Tai-ping nor his station could 
be very far off. This movement of Burgevine made 
Gordon's position an exceedingly difficult and dangerous 
one, for in addition to attacks from without he was also 
very liable to attacks from within. The ostensible cause 
of Burgevine's dismissal — namely, his assault on the 
banker Ta Kee, in order to get money for the force — 
had naturally left an impression on the minds of the 
men which was favourable to their late commander, and 
Colonel Gordon had reason to fear that some European 
emissary of the Rebels might find his way into the force, 
and stir it up to revolt. In case of such a result happen- 
ing, the siege-train was sent back to Taitsan for safe 

In the first part of August, the Tai-pings, reinforced 
by a number of the Europeans who had come up with 
Burgevine, made several strenuous but ineffectual attacks 
on Gordon's station at Kahpoo, which covered his posi- 
tion at Wokong. Indeed both of these places might 
easily have been captured had Burgevine acted ener- 
getically ; for they were left in charge of Ching, the 
Imperialist general co-operating with the Ever- Victorious 
Army, and that commander was absent at Shanghai 
when the Eebels attacked, about 40,000 in number. 
The American adventurer, however, did not direct these 
operations, being occupied at Soochow, along with his 
lieutenant, Jones, a fellow-countryman, in trying to 
arrange about the formation of a Foreign Legion. At 


this time Gordon was reinforced by a small Franco- 
Chinese force, under Captain Bonnefoi, and by 200 
Belooches of her Majesty's East India army, whom 
General Brown stationed in Quinsan for the protection 
of the heavy artillery. 

For some weeks after this Gordon remained on the 
defensive, but on the 29th September took Patachiao 
without losing many men ; and immediately after, nego- 
tiations were opened with him by some of the Europeans 
in the service of the Tai-pings. Behind the stockades 
which he had taken there was a bridge, 350 yards in 
length, with 53 arches, which had been partially cut 
through, in order to let the Hyson pass into a lake near 
it ; and this bridge was the scene of a curious incident 
which occurred to Colonel Gordon. He was resting 
upon its parapet one evening, smoking a cigar, when 
first one rifle or musket bullet, and then a second, 
struck the stone upon which he was sitting. These 
shots came not from the enemy, but from his own camp, 
where they had been fired accidentally. On the second 
shot being fired. Colonel Gordon thought it necessary to 
descend into his boat and go over to the camp in order 
to inquire into this matter; but he had hardly got 
half-way across the creek below, when that part of the 
bridge on which he had been sitting suddenly fell into 
the water; so that the accidental shots which had en- 
dangered his life, probably saved it. Between the op- 
posing forces there was another, a high bridge, which 
became a kind of neutral ground where friendly inter- 
course took place between the European ofiicers, many 
of whom had formerly been comrades in arms, though 
now serving on diff*erent sides. In the interviews which 
took place on this bridge between the Foreigners on 
both sides, it appeared that the Europeans and Ameri- 

176 burgevine's history and fate. 

cans who had taken service with the Tai-pings were 
by no means satisfied with their position. The result 
was that Colonel Gordon had a private interview with 
Biirgevine himself, when that gentleman stated that he 
was determined to leave the Eebels, but would not 
do so unless his officers and men could obtain some 
guarantee that they would not be held responsible for 
the acts they had done when with the Tai-pings. On 
this Colonel Gordon guaranteed that the authorities at 
Shanghai would institute no further proceedings against 
those men ; and offered to take as many of them as he 
could into his own force, and to assist the remainder in 
leaving the country. At another interview Burgevine 
proposed to Gordon to unite with him, and together to 
seize Soochow ; to keep both Rebels and Imperialists 
out of it, and then to organise an army of 20,000 men, 
with which to march on Peking. He said that in Soo- 
chow alone there was sufficient money to enable them 
to carry out this plan ; but was at once informed that 
Colonel Gordon would not entertain any such idea. 
The situation was complicated by the fact that at this 
moment General Ching was making attacks of his own 
on the Tai-ping position, and also by the fear that these 
proposals for surrender might only be a ruse to cover 
secret tampering with the disciplined force. While these 
interviews were taking place, severe fighting still went 
on, and a desperate attempt of the Rebels to recapture 
Wokong was repulsed with great loss on both sides. In 
the middle of October, however, Burgevine and the other 
Europeans in Rebel employ sent information that they 
intended, under pretence of making a sally, to throw 
themselves on Gordon's protection. This accordingly 
they did, rushing on board the steamer Hyson as if they 
were capturing it, on which thousands of the Tai-ping 


troops came out to their assistance, only to be driven 
back with volleys of shell and shot from the Hyson's 
artillery, while the steamer turned back and safely 
landed the deserters in the besieging camp. When 
these men were landed it was found that Burgevine 
himself and several other Europeans were not among 
them. Morton, their leader, made the excuse that the 
Moh Wang appeared to suspect their intention, and so 
he had thought it wisest to leave at once, without wait- 
ing for his commander. Fearing that Burgevine would 
be decapitated in consequence of this movement, Colonel 
Gordon at once sent a letter and presents to the Moh 
Wang, entreating him to spare Burgevine's life, and also 
returned all the Enfield rifles with which the deserters 
had been armed. It is highly honourable to the Tai- 
ping chief that after these events he sent Burgevine off 
in safety ; and that worthy, after being received in 
Gordons camp, was sent down to Shanghai. In this 
bloodless way the Tai-pings lost the greater number of 
the Europeans who were ranked on their side; and 
Colonel Gordon must have conducted the affair with 
boldness and skill, for the Imperialist authorities, aware 
of the negotiations that were going on, suspected even 
his loyalty, and he ran the risk of his own officers being 
enticed over to the enemy. The majority of the For- 
eigners who thus left the Tai-pings were seamen who 
had been taken from Soochow to Shanghai, with very 
little idea of their ultimate destination. Mr Mayers, the 
acting British Vice-Consul at Shanghai, who was sent to 
investigate this affair, states in an official letter,'" that 
at one moment, while offering to surrender, Burgevine 
proposed to his Lieutenant, Jones, a plan for entrapping 
Gordon, but the more honest nature of his companion 

* Blue-Book, China, No. 3 (1864), p. 169. 

178 burgevine's history and fate. 

revolted against such" treachery. The following extract 
from the statement of Mr Jones, regarding an occurrence 
which took place immediately before Burgevine's escape, 
will give a curious idea of the relationships which ex- 
isted between these adventurers : " At noon I went to 
Burgevine, who was lying asleep on board a 32-pounder 
gunboat, and asked him whether I should assist him to 
get ashore, as many of our officers and men were making 
remarks on the condition he was in. On his demanding 
the names of those who had made remarks, I declined 
giving them, and shortly afterwards again attempted to 
remonstrate with him, in company with another officer. 
On my again declining to give up names, Burgevine drew 
out his four-barrelled pistol, which he cocked and dis- 
charged at my head from a distance of about nine inches. 
The bullet entered my left cheek and passed upwards. 
It has not yet been extracted. I exclaimed, * You have 
shot your best friend V His answer was, ' I know I have, 
and I wish to God I had killed you!'" The only reply 
which Burgevine made to this statement in a letter on 
the subject which he published in the Shanghai papers, 
is the following remarkably ingenuous one : " Captain 
J ones's account of the affair is substantially correct ; and 
I feel great pleasure in bearing testimony to his veracity 
and candour, whenever any affiiir with which he is per- 
sonally acquainted is concerned." 

It may be well to notice here Burgevine's further pro- 
ceedings and unfortunate fate. After his surrender at 
Soochow the Futai delivered him up to the American 
Consul, and at the request of Colonel Gordon, that latter 
functionary waived proceedings against him on condition 
that he would leave the country. For some time he re- 
mained residing quietly at Yokohama, in Japan, where 
the recalcitrant Daimio, Cho-shiu, who was fighting 


against the Tycoon, and who had heard of the absurd 
terror which Burgevine's name inspired in China, offered 
him an important post in his army. While hesitating as 
to accepting this offer, the adventurer was prevailed upon 
to make a trip to Shanghai, early in 1865, in the steamer 
Fei-pang ; and from Shanghai he went down in another 
vessel to Amoy, near which place a remnant of the Tai- 
pings were still in arms. His return to the coast of China 
seems to have been purely an accidental affair, though 
extremely improper and imprudent ; and on the passage, 
when spoken to on the subject of joining the Rebels, a few 
of whom still made a stand at the city of Changchow 
in Fukien, he expressed his conviction that their game 
had been played out, and that neither honour nor profit 
were to be got from that quarter. Unfortunately, when 
he reached Amoy, he fell into the hands of some Rebel 
sympathisers, and whilst in a state of intoxication, was 
induced to pledge himself to visit Changchow, and to 
give all the assistance in his power to the expiring Tai- 
ping cause.''* It was the duty of the American Consul 
at this port to have immediately arrested the misguided 
adventurer on his return to China ; but nothing of the 
kind was done, and so the Chinese authorities were com- 
pelled by the duty which they owed their country to 
take the matter into their own hands. 

The movements of Burgevine were betrayed to these 
authorities by a black servant who accompanied him, 
and he was arrested on the 15th May, along with two 
companions, armed to the teeth, and proceeding to the 
Rebel lines. Being confined in the Yamun of the dis- 
trict magistrate, the American Consul now demanded his 
rendition, and to avoid a dispute on this point he was 
secretly forwarded to Foochow, and there the Consul 

* North China Herald, September 14, 1865. 

i8o burgevine's history and fate. 

also demanded his delivery ; but this request was posi- 
tively refused, the chief magistrate stating that Bur- 
gevine would be sent on to Li, Futai of Kiangsoo, under 
whose orders he had formerly acted. Immediately on 
intelligence of this aflfair reaching Peking, Prince Kung 
wrote to the American Minister, informing him of 
the circumstances, and stating that Burgevine, having 
made himself amenable to the laws of China, would be 
judged by these laws, and might be executed as a felon, 
while three or four other Foreigners who had been taken 
along with him would be handed over to the jurisdiction 
of their respective Consuls. Dr S. W. Williams, the act- 
ing American Minister at Peking, a gentleman of high 
character, and of almost unrivalled knowledge of China, 
seemed disposed to accede to this proposal, but requested 
his Highness to detain Burgevine in confinement for a 
few months, free from all insult and injury, whilst the 
Government at Washington was consulted on the sub- 
ject. In writing to Mr Seward on this case, Dr Williams 
said, " I am under the strong impression that this man's 
conduct has been a reproach to the fair name of all 
Western nations ; for all other Foreigners, so far as I 
know, who commanded the Imperialists, have acted 
honourably in this particular, leaving the service if they 
were dissatisfied, and not turning against it. I am mor- 
tified that an American should have held this bad posi- 
tion.""" Dr Williams further pointed out that, while 
the Act of Congress of June 22, 1860, made rebellion 
against the Chinese Government a capital offence, and 
while there was no doubt whatever of Burgevine's guilt, 
the absence and death of important witnesses would 
render it extremely difficult to convict him in an Ameri- 
can court. At the same time, it was very desirable to 

* American Diplomatic Correspondence for 1865, p. 454. 



give every assurance to the Chinese Government that no 
efforts should be spared to prevent American citizens 
from joining the Rebels, or to puDish them for so doing. 
The case was one of some difficulty, and the Chinese 
authorities consented to keep Burgevine a prisoner, but 
unharmed, until the Government at Washington decided 
what was to be done. 

Meanwhile, as they were afraid to leave him on the 
sea-coast, lest an attempt at rescue should be made, he 
was sent from Foochow into the interior, to be forwarded 
overland to the charge of the Governor of Kiangsoo. 
What occurred to the unfortunate man after this is 
known only from Chinese statements. It was officially 
reported that he was drowned, along with ten Chinese, 
at Lanchi hien in Chekiang, by the capsizing of a ferry- 
boat, owing to a sudden flood in the river. Mr Lewis, 
the United States Deputy Consul-General, proceeded to 
the spot to investigate the circumstances ; and though 
rumours of foul play were prevalent among the Foreign 
community, nothing was discovered to disprove the as- 
sertions of the Chinese. The adventurer's body was 
identified by a fracture which had been inflicted during 
his service in the Imperialist army; but it was too much 
decomposed to throw light on the manner of his death, 
which is said to have occurred on the 26th June 1865. 
The fact was proved of there having been a heavy flood 
at that time ; but a certain amount of darkness must 
ever rest over the circumstances of his death. The 
Chinese authorities were under a very great temptation 
to get rid of him in some manner which would effectually 
preclude his giving further trouble, and which at the 
same time would not lead to any embroilment with the 
Government of the United States. Dr Williams says 
that the official correspondence on this subject gives 

i82 burgevine's history and fate. 

no idea of the alarm which filled the minds of the high 
officers at Peking, when they heard of Burgevine's at- 
tempt to rejoin the Rebels. Beyond this, and a rumour 
of a piece of flayed skin having been noticed in his coffin, 
I have no reason to suppose that their account of his 
death was untrue ; and if they did drown him pur- 
posely, they saved themselves and the American autho- 
rities a good deal of trouble. 














While the negotiations were going on for the desertion 
of Burgevine and his friends, the Faithful King came 
down to the relief of Soochow with a considerable army ; 
but, as was his invariable custom in similar circum- 
stances, refused to trust himself within the walls of that 
city, and carried on his operations in its immediate 
neighbourhood. Colonel Gordon considered the Tai- 
pings to be so much weakened by the defection of their 
European allies, that he resolved to resume the offensive, 
and pushed on towards the South Gate of the city. 
Various stockades in that direction were soon taken, and 


successfully defended against desperate attempts of the 
Moll Wang to recapture them. In the fighting here, as 
elsewhere, the steamer Hyson did good service. In one 
engagement no less than 1300 prisoners were taken, and 
as many more of the Tai-pings were drowned in their 
efforts to escape. The taking of Wulungchiao and Pata- 
cliiao rendered any sortie from Soochow to the south 
impossible, and also enabled Gordon's force to operate to 
the north, and thus form a junction with other Imperial- 
ist troops, under the Futai's brother, who had advanced 
from Kongyin. The force which Gordon had under his 
own immediate command was insufficient to enable him 
to invest Soochow, yet he was enabled steadily to ad- 
vance in the work of doing so, because the positions 
which he took could be left in charge of the Futai's 
other troops, as those of General Ching, or of the discip- 
lined Chinese under Macartney and Bonnefoi. Thus the 
Ever- Victorious Army gradually fought its way round 
Soochow, and left a fortified circle held by its allies en- 
compassing that city. 

Among the engagements by which this operation was 
performed was one on the 1st of November at Leeku, a 
strong Eebel position five miles to the north of Soo- 
chow. This position was carried by storm by the 4th 
and 2d Eegiments, aided by some Franco-Chinese. In 
almost all these engagements Colonel Gordon was very 
much exposed, for he found it necessary, or at least ex- 
pedient, to be constantly in the front, and often to lead 
in person. Though brave men, the officers of his force 
would sometimes hang back, and their commander had 
occasionally to take one by the arm and lead him into 
the thick of the fire. He himself seemed to bear a 
charmed life, and never carried any arms, even when 
oremost in the breach. His only weapon on these occa- 


sions was a small cane with which he used to direct his 
troops, and in the Chinese imagination this cane soon 
became magnified into Gordon's *' magic wand of victory." 
His Celestial followers, finding him almost invariably 
victorious and escaping unhurt, though more exposed 
than any other man in the force, naturally concluded, in 
accordance with their usual ideas, that the little wand 
he carried insured protection and success to its owner. 
Every one who knows the Chinese character will be 
aware that such an idea must have given great encour- 
agement to the Ever- Victorious Army, and was of more 
service to its commander than could have been any 
amount of arms which he himself could possibly have 
carried. In this engagement at Leeku Colonel Gordon 
had a narrow escape; for one of his captains, Mr George 
Perry, was shot dead at his side under rather peculiar cir- 
cumstances. Some days previously, Gordon found lying 
on the ground a letter in the handwriting of this officer 
to a Tai-ping sympathiser in Shanghai, giving information 
as to the intended movements of the force. On being 
shown this letter, Perry confessed that he had written 
it, but declared he thought the information of no import- 
ance, and had only intended to send it to Shanghai as a 
piece of gossip which might be interesting. On this his 
commander said to him, " Very good. Perry. I shall 
pass your fault over this time, on condition that, in order 
to show your loyalty, you undertake to lead the next 
forlorn-hope." This agreement had been forgotten by 
Colonel Gordon when, a few days after, they stood to- 
gether on the edge of the ditch in front of the stockades 
at Leeku. They were both, in fact, leading a forlorn- 
hope ; and while standing together, a ball struck Perry 
in the mouth, and he fell into Gordon s arms, where he 
almost immediately expired. 


Shortly after, on the 10th November, another engage- 
ment occurred at Wanti, a place which was so well de- 
fended by massive mud-works that the shelling of all the 
artillery available scarcely made any impression upon 
it. When the place was surrounded by the disciplined 
Chinese, the Tai-pings inside rushed out and tried to 
escape, which led to much hand-to-hand fighting. The 
capture of Wanti nearly completed the investure of Soo- 
chow. The Taiho Lake was held by the steamers Hyson 
and Tsatlee, on board of which a force of 200 Imperialists 
was placed, and which cruised off Moodow, cutting off the 
communication between the lake and the Siaou Mun, or 
small West Gate of Soochow. The next great water outlet 
was closed to the Kebels by 1000 Imperialist soldiers sta- 
tioned at Wulungchiao, off the Pan Mun, or South Gate. 
The main water and road communication with the south 
was also closed by 1500 Imperialists stockaded on the 
Grand Canal at Patachiao. A small creek leading from 
the South-East Gate was stopped by a fleet of Imperialist 
gunboats. General Ching's force, of about 4000 men, 
was encamped on the road to Quinsan, about two miles 
outside of the Loh Mun, or East Gate of Soochow. At 
Leeku and Wanti Colonel Gordon himself was stationed 
with a portion of his force, guarding the canal to Chanzu. 
The remainder of his army, together with 2500 Imperial- 
ist troops under Ching, and 400 of the Franco-Chinese, 
were moved about, and employed as occasion required. Al- 
together, 13,500 men were employed in November 1863 in 
the investment of Soochow, being arranged as follows : — 

Imperialists. Gordon's Force. French Force. 
In stockades, . . 7,500 1000 
For the field or siege, . 2,500 2100 400 

10,000 3100 400 

In the neighbourhood, however, there were about 


25,000 additional Imperialists under the Futai's brother, 
whose centre was at Fushan. The Tai-pings had 40,000 
men in Soochow and its suburbs; the city of Wusieh held 
some 20,000 more; and the Faithful King had 18,000 
men stationed at Mahtanchiao, a place situated between 
Wusieh and Soochow, and from which he could assist 
either city, and also could attack on the flank any ad- 
vance made by the Imperialists on the Grand Canal, the 
only great water and road line of communication left to 
the Tai-pings. 

This able Tai-ping leader seems to have fully under- 
stood the perilous position of his cause, but was dis- 
tracted between the danger to which Nanking was 
exposed, and the risk of losing Hangchow and Soochow. 
The following despatches from him, dated near Soochow, 
the 10th of November 1863, were intercepted by the 
Imperialists, and show how alive he was to the danger- 
ous state of the Tai-ping cause at this period : — 

To the Chow. Wang. 

The other day, on the return [from Nanking ?] of the Presi- 
dent Li, I wrote you particulars of all he had to say, but have 
received no answer, and feel very anxious on this account. 
News arrived yesterday from Nanking that all the works in the 
neighbourhood of the Kao-chiao Gate and the Shang Fang Gate 
had been abandoned, and that the city is hard pressed in the 
extreme. I am disturbed beyond measure by this intelligence ; 
and, in view of all the President li has said, I earnestly hope 
that you will act in unison with the brethren, and give speedy 
thought to the general cause. "What is most earnestly to be 
wished is, that Nanking may be preserved from harm. Only 
so long as the capital is held are our lives our own. 

I look to you to act Avith the brethren, and not again to 
allow suspicions to arise. If this is once cherished, the matter 
is at an end. 

To the Hu Wang, commanding at Chanchu fu. 
I write again, because on the 28th October I despatched 



two letters by express messenger, with orders to deliver them 
within a certain time, in which I requested that, with the excep- 
tion of those at Chanchu, all the forces might with all speed be 
brought together for a combined attack, in order that we might 
derive the benefit of conjoint action ; but a length of time has 
elapsed, to my great anxiety, without the receipt of an answer. 
The news yesterday received from Nanking, to the effect that 
the works around the Kao-chiao Gate have been evacuated, has 
probably already reached you, as you are nearer to the spot. I 
was disturbed and grieved beyond measure by this intelligence, 
and at the same time I have no troops whom I can dispose. If 
you, together with the Wusieli troops, can come and make a com- 
bined effort, there will be reason to hope that the siege both of 
Nanking and of Soochow may be broken up. The beleaguerment 
of Nanking is, as you are doubtless fully aware, far different 
now from what it has been heretofore ; and I am most anxious 
that you should consent to join with your forces, and also com- 
bine with the troops under She Wang. If all unite in sweep- 
ing away one division of the Imps., security will accrue on all 
sides ; and the sooner we clear away this brood the sooner we 
shall be able to make a combined effort to relieve Nanking. If, 
however, Soochow and Hangchow are endangered, not only is it 
useless to talk of raising the siege of Nanking, but Chanchu 
and Wusieh will also be as good as lost, and it will be too late 
for repentance then. To yourself, wdio know this so well, it is 
not necessary that I should say more. 

Gordon's aim now was to cut the Eebel line of com- 
munication, so that the Faithful King might be pre- 
vented from going to the aid of the Soocliow garrison. 
The Imperialist officers co - operating with him were 
afraid of thus cutting the Rebels off from any possibility 
of^ retreat; but, with better knowledge of his enemy, 
he calculated that when completely surrounded, the Tai- 
f)ings at Soochow would be likely to surrender. One 
great reason for this conclusion was information he had 
received about dissensions among the Rebel Princes in 
Soochow. Of these, the Moh Wang, the most energetic 


and determined, had offended his companion Chiefs, 
though not much superior in rank to them, and the 
Imperialists had already begun to hold communication 
with some of the other Wangs. On hearing that the 
steamer Firefly had been captured near Shanghai by 
some European Tai-ping sympathisers, Colonel Gordon 
resolved to hurry the operations against Soochow, so as 
to cut the Grand Canal communication before the Rebels 
could make use of the steamer of which they had obtained 
possession.'"' This was done on the 19th November, at 
a village called Fusaikwan, where five stockades were 
captured without loss on the part of the assailants. 
After garrisoning this last post, which completed the 
investment of the doomed city, Gordon proceeded to 
the East Gate ; and being now in possession of all the 
exterior defences, he determined to make a vigorous 
attack on the north-east angle of the wall which sur- 
rounds Soochow. In order to this, however, it was 

* Tlie Firefly was sent clown to Shanghai under the charge of Captain 
Ludlam, who had strict orders to remain there only two hours, and to 
return then to Wanti. As General Brown, Commander of her Majesty's 
forces in China, wished to go up to see Colonel Gordon, the steamer was 
anchored at Shanghai for a night, during which Ludlam was detained at 
the General's quarters by wet M'eather, his place on board being taken 
by Captain Dolly, besides whom there were on board, of Europeans, Mr 
Martin, the mate, Mr Perry, the engineer, and Lieutenant Easton of the 
Artillery. At midnight the steamer was boarded by several Foreigners, 
headed by a man who calls himself " Lin Lee " (? Lindley), who were con- 
ducted on board by Captain Ludlam's Cantonese servant, and who, suddenly 
closing the hatches over Captain Dolly and his companions, took possession 
of the vessel. It was taken up to the Faithful King, who is said to have 
given £20,000 for it ; and White, one of the men engaged in the capture, was 
condemned to two years' imprisonment for this, as an act of piracy, by the 
consular court of Shanghai, while his chief accomplice made his escape to Eng- 
land. There was also some quarrel among the captors over their ill-gotten 
gains, which resulted in one of their number being shot by " Lin Lee " him- 
self. The bodies of Dolly, Martin, Perry, and Easton were afterwards found 
at Wusieh in a burned and mutilated state. Their captor " Lin Lee," after 
reaching England, published a book on the Tai-pings ; and my reasons for 
not noticing that work in the body of this history are given in Appendix V. 



necessary to capture the inner line of the outside de- 
fences, which was very formidable. Accordingly, a 
night-attack was made on the 27th November, which 
resulted in the defeat of Gordon's force. The position 
to be attacked was a stockade situated on a mound 
about half a mile distant from the East Gate. The 
mound was covered with earthen fortifications, and its 
slope was well staked with short bamboos ; while round 
it were three ditches from eight to nine feet deep, with 
their banks also well staked with sharp bamboos and 
iron spikes. Beyond these ditches there was also a long 
line of stockades. Gordon's plan was to surprise this 
place by a night-attack, and white turbans were served 
out to his troops in order that they might distinguish 
each other in the dark. About one o'clock in the morn- 
ing the commander himself, accompanied by Majors 
Howard and ^Yilliams and two companies of his force, 
advanced to the outer stockade, leaving the remainder 
of his force already fallen in and under orders to ad- 
vance at a given signal. Everything seemed quiet, and 
the Tai-ping guard gave no signs of being aware of this 
movement, so the remainder of the force received orders 
to proceed, while the advanced - guard succeeded in 
climbing inside the breastwork. The Moli Wang, how- 
ever, was quite on the alert and prepared for this night- 
attack, having either received information that it was 
to be made, or having guessed that such was to be the 
case. Scarcely were all the troops up to the front, and 
a portion of them engaged in crossing a stockade in 
order to support their commander, when the Tai-pings 
opened a tremendous fire of grape and musketry on the 
whole force. The whole line of stockades held by the 
Rebels seemed one line of fire, while the Quinsan artil- 
lery were throwing rockets and shell into the Eebel 


works. The leading troops pushed gallantly on to the 
breastwork, headed by their leader ; but the whole of 
the troops who had been detailed for service did not 
move up, and great confusion took place among them. 
Notwithstanding the efforts of the European officers, the 
Chinese soldiers showed a remarkable indisposition for 
fighting at night, so that Colonel Gordon had ultimately 
to retire, leaving numbers of killed and wounded on the 
field. Moh AVang, who was in the front stockade, with- 
out shoes or stockings, fought this night like a private 
soldier, and had about twenty Europeans with him. The 
Rebels must have lost tremendously from the fire of the 
twenty guns, which played upon them for about three 
hours with shot and shell ; and the Ever- Victorious 
Army had 50 of its rank and file killed and 130 wound- 
ed, besides quite a large number of officers killed and 

On the morning after the night-attack. General Ching 
told Gordon that he had had an interview with the Tai- 
ping Kung Wang, from which it appeared that all the 
Wangs in Soochow, with the exception of the Moh Wang, 
together with 35 Tien Chwangs, or expectant princes, 
with 30,000 men, were anxious to come over to the 
Imperialists. Notwithstanding their recent success, it 
was evident to these leaders that the capture of the city 
was only a question of time, and they proposed that if 
Gordon made another attack on the stockades at the 
East Gate, they would shut Moh Wang out of the city, 
and so be at liberty to make terms for their own sur- 
render. Accordingly, Colonel Gordon determined to 
put forth all his powers to take the stockades, and on 
the morning of the 29th opened on them a tremendous 
fire from his heavy siege-guns and mortars. By this 
the Rebel works were so much battered that an advance 


was ordered, and the stockades were taken by assault. 
Ditches had to be swam across, breastworks had to be 
mounted, and the Faithful King himself was engaged in 
the defence, having arrived that morning, with his body- 
guard of 400 men, by a small bridle-path which was still 
open from Wusieh. During this attack. Colonel Gordon, 
accompanied by only a few men, found himself cut off 
from his force by a large party of the Tai-pings ; and 
being unable to fall back, he deemed it the safest course 
to press desperately onwards. Finding the stockades 
on his right almost vacated in the confusion, he pushed 
through them, and seized the nearest stone fort. Fortu- 
nately this movement was. followed up by his force, who 
occupied the stockades which he had passed through. 
In this day's fighting also the loss was very heavy, and 
among the officers killed in both attacks were, Lieu- 
tenant Jones of the Artillery, Captains Maule and 
Wiley, and Lieutenant King of the 2d Eegiment, Cap- 
tains Christie and Agar of the 4th, Lieutenants Carrol, 
Williams, and Glanceford, of the 5th, and Privates Up- 
church, Foley, and Miller, of the Commander's European 
body-guard. A great number were- also wounded, among 
whom was the Adjutant-General, Major Kirkham, whose 
energetic services could ill be spared." 

* The following General Order was issued by Colonel Gordon at this 
time : — 

''Low MuN, SoocHOW, I^oveinher ZO, 1863. 

" The commanding officer congratulates the officers and men of the force 
on their gallant conduct of yesterday. The tenacity of the enemy, and the 
great strength of their position, have unfortunately caused many casualties 
and the loss of many valuable officers and men. The enemy, however, has 
now felt our strength, and, although fully prepared and animated with the 
presence of their most popular chiefs, have been driven out of a position 
which ^surpasses in strength any yet taken from them. The loss of the 
whole of the stockades on the east side of the city, up to the walls, has 
already had its effect, and dissension is now rife in the garrison, who, 
hemmed in on all sides, are already in fact negotiating defection. 

" The commanding officer feels most deeply for the heavy loss, but is 


As little more than 5500 men were available for at- 
tacking it, Soochow might have held out for some time 
longer, and its wall was surrounded by a ditch of ap- 
palling width, while to the north of the East Gate there 
were lines of stockades as far as the eye could reach ; 
but, as has been mentioned, the greater number of the 
Chiefs in Soochow were now anxious to surrender. Colo- 
nel Gordon and General Ching had an interview with 
three of them on the 1st December, and on the 2d the 
former officer had some conversation with the Na Wang. 
At these and other meetings the Na Wang stated his wish 
that Gordon would assault the city, in which case he and 
his troops, wearing white turbans, would not assist in its 
defence, on the condition that they should be protected 
on the entry of the Imperialists. On this Gordon re- 
plied, that if Soochow were taken by assault, it would be 
impossible to restrain an undisciplined force such as he 
commanded from plundering everywhere and every one. 
He added that, if the Wangs were sincere in their wish 
to surrender, they had better give over a gate as a 
guarantee of their good faith ; and if they could not do 
that, their best course would be to vacate the city, or 
to fight it out. Meanwhile he agreed to postpone any 
further attack, and left General Ching, who had been 
formerly a Tai-ping Chief, to arrange the terms of sur- 

The Moh Wang's suspicions were aroused by these 
negotiations, and he sent for the other Wangs to speak 
with them on the subject. After partaking of dinner, 
and offering up prayers, they arranged themselves in 
their robes and crowns, and adjourned into the recep- 

convinced that the same will not be experienced again. The possession of 
the position of yesterday renders the occnj)ation of the city by the Rebels 
untenable, and thus victualling the city is lost to them." 




tion-liall, where Mob Wang seated himself at the head 
of the table, which was on a raised dais. The discussion 
between them then seemed to get animated, the Mob 
Wang insisting that only Kwangsi and Kwangtung men 
were to be trusted — a proposition naturally distasteful 
to the other AVangs who belonged to other provinces. 
As the discussion grew warmer, Kong Wang rose and 
took off his robes ; and on Moh Wang asking him the 
meaning of this, he drew a small two-edged dagger and 
stabbed the latter in the neck and back. Moh AVang 
fell forward over the table, and was soon decapitated by 
the other Wangs. This was a cowardly assassination of 
a brave and intelligent man, who had never despaired in 
the midst of his difficulties, and had always been good 
to Foreigners, though cruel to his own countrymen. 
When he was killed, some letters which Colonel Gordon 
had written to him fell out on the floor, and were found 
afterwards stained with blood. There is little doubt, 
however, that if Na Wang and his associates had not 
thus disposed of this chief, they would have run great 
risk of being themselves decapitated by him, for he was 
aware of their intended treachery : and it is not im- 
possible that the Moh Wang himself meditated propos- 
ing terms of surrender ; for a Frenchman, who was 
present at the murder, mentions that this Wang bad 
directed him to write a letter to Gordon asking for an 
interview, with the intention of being present at it in 

Colonel Gordon's characteristic letter to this chief 
(relating to the release of the Europeans in Soochow, 
of which mention has been made in the previous chap- 
ter) is of some interest, and reads as follows, so far 
as I can make out through the blood with which it is 
stained : — 


To their Excellencies 

Chung Wang, Moii Wang. 

Stockades, Patachow, 
mh October 1863. 

Your Excellencies, — You must be already aware that I 
have on all occasions, when it lay in my power, been merciful 
to your soldiers when taken prisoners, and not only been so 
myself, but have used every endeavour to prevent the Imperial 
authorities from practising any inhumanity. Ask for the truth 
of this statement any of the men who were taken at Wokong, 
and who some of them must have returned to Soochow, as I 
placed no restriction on them whatever. 

Having stated the above, I now ask your Excellencies to 
consider the case of Europeans in your service. In every army 
each soldier must be actuated with faithful feelings to fight well. 
A man made to fight against his will is not only a bad soldier, 
but he is a positive danger, causing anxiety to his leaders, and 
absorbing a large force to prevent his defection. If there are 
many Europeans left in Soochow, I would ask your Excellencies 
if it does not seem to you much better to let these men quietly 
leave your service if they wish it ; you would thereby get rid of 
a continual source of suspicion, gain the sympathy of the whole 
of the Foreign nations, and feel that your difficulties are all from 
without. Your Excellencies may think that decapitation would 
soon settle the matter, but you would then be guilty of a crime 
which will bear its fruits sooner or later. In this force ofl&cers 
and men come and go at pleasure, and although it is incon- 
venient at times, I am never apprehensive of treason from 
within. Your Excellencies may rely on what I say, that should 
you behead the Europeans who are with you, or retain them 
against their free will, you will eventually regret it. The men 
have committed no crime, they have done you good service, and 
what they have tried to do — viz., escape— is nothing more than 
any man, or even animal, will do when placed in a situation he 
does not like. 

The men could have done you great harm, as you will no 
doubt allow; they have not done so, and I consider that 
your Excellencies have reaped great benefit from their assist- 

As far as I am personally concerned, it is a matter of indif- 



ference whether the men stay or leave; hut as a man who 
wishes to save these unfortunate men, I intercede. 

Your Excellencies may depend you will not suffer by letting 
these men go ; you need not fear their communicating informa- 
tion. I knew your force, men and guns, long ago, and therefore 
care not to get that information from them. If my entreaties 
are unavailing for the men in ... . yourself by sending 
down the wounded, and perform an action never to be regretted. 

I write the above with my own hand, as I do not wish to 
intrust the matter to a linguist ; and trusting you will accede 
to niy request, I conclude, your Excellencies' obedient servant, 

C. G. Gordon, 
Major Commanding. 

Immediately after the death of the Moh Wang there 
occurred certain important and painful events which 
made an immense noise at the time, which induced 
Colonel Gordon temporarily to resign his command, and 
which ultimately led to the withdrawal of her Majesty's 
Order in Council, which permitted him to serve under 
the Imperial Government. This officer, his coadjutor 
General Ching, and LI, the Governor of the province, 
held towards each other somewhat indefinite positions. 
They all acted quite independently of each other at 
times, while on other occasions their functions were 
mixed up and confused. The Wangs in Soochow must 
have been rather at a loss to know to which of these 
three persons it was they were going to surrender. 
Gordon was the opponent whom they had most to fear, 
for it was he who had done almost all the fighting around 
their city, and, at the same time, he was the man on 
whose integrity and humanity they could place the 
greatest reliance. General Ching had also met them in 
the field, and being himself an old Eebel, had been the 
principal party engaged in carrying on the negotiations 
about their surrender. But behind these two there was 



Li, the Futai, close at hand, and holding a superior posi- 
tion. After the most careful examination of all the 
accounts available of the occurrence which now took 
place, it is difficult for me to determine to whom the 
Wangs did surrender. Surrender, however, they did, on 
which the following events occurred. 

The North and East Gates of Soochow having been 
given up by the Eebels, and been occupied by the Im- 
perialists on the 5th December, Colonel Gordon with- 
drew his troops a short w^ay, being anxious to save them 
from the demoralisation that would ensue if they were 
allowed to plunder the city. And as almost all the 
fighting which led to the fall of Soochow had fallen 
upon his force, he went to the Futai and demanded two 
months' extra pay for his men as a reward for the ser- 
vices they had gone through, as a compensation for 
their abstaining from plunder, and as an inducement 
for them to push on with him and attack Wusieh, while 
the Eebels were dispirited by the fall of Soochow. On 
the Futai objecting to this proposal, Colonel Gordon 
said that unless it was agreed to he could not under- 
take to keep his troops in hand, and would lay down his 
ow^n command by 3 o'clock p.m. Till that hour arrived 
he went into the city to the house of the Na Wang, 
where he met all the other princes, who informed him 
that everything in regard to their surrender was going 
on properly, and that they were quite satisfied. Colonel 
Gordon then went to the Moh Wang's palace, and tried 
to get the body of that chief buried, but none of the 
people near would touch it. Returning to his own force, 
he found General Ching with an off'er from the Futai to 
give the Ever-Victorious Army one month's extra pay. 
On this the men made an attempt to march down upon 
the Futai ; but this disturbance was soon quelled, Gor- 


don determining to remain for the present in command, 
and, fearing to trust his force in the neighbourhood of 
Soochow, started it off next morning for Quinsan. 

On the 5th, the day when Colonel Gordon went in to 
see the Wangs, General Ching informed him that the 
Futai had extended mercy to them all ; and on the Gth 
the former officer again went into Soochow to the Na 
Wang's house, reaching it about half an hour before noon, 
when the Wangs were to go out to the Futai and the city • 
was to be given over. At the interview which then took 
place Na Wang was in very good spirits. He said that 
everything had been satisfactorily arranged, and pro- 
mised Colonel Gordon 1000 of his men for soldiers. 
The other Wangs, who seemed all unarmed, went out 
laughing and talking. Going down after this to the East 
Gate, Gordon saw a large force of Imperialists entering 
the city, yelling and firing off their muskets into the 
air, and remonstrated with them for this, as such con- 
duct was likely to frighten the Eebels and cause some 
misunderstanding. Immediately after General Ching 
came into the gate, and on unexpectedly seeing his 
English ally, became much agitated, and looked very 
pale. On being asked as to the result of the interview 
between the Wangs and the Futai, Ching hesitated and 
equivocated so much that Colonel Gordon feared some- 
thing had gone wrong, but could get no definite infor- 
mation on the subject. The latter then determined to 
go to the Na Wang's palace, in order to protect it and 
the family of that chief from the Imperialist soldiers 
who had begun to plunder. On arriving at the palace 
he found that it had been already gutted, and was ac- 
costed by the Na Wang's uncle, who asked him to come 
to his house and to conduct there the females of the Na 
Wang's family. Matters now began to look very threat- 

Gordon's dangerous position. 199 

ening; and being unarmed, and accompanied only by 
his Chinese interpreter, Gordon hesitated ; but the en- 
treaties of the uncle were so great that he determined to 
escort the helpless females, and then to go out for some 
of his own troops in order to put a check on the Im- 
perialist plunderers. When he got, however, down to 
the house of the Na Wang's uncle, he was surrounded 
by some five or six hundred armed Tai-pings, who 
closed upon him the doors of the courtyard which he 
had entered, and even refused to allow him to send his 
interpreter for assistance. 

In order to understand the extraordinary and perilous 
position in which Colonel Gordon was thus placed, it 
must be borne in mind that by this time the Futai 
had executed the principal Wangs who had gone out 
to surrender to him, and had given up the city to be 
plundered by his troops. Thus, quite unintentionally, 
Gordon was made to act the part of a hostage for the 
safety of the Tai-ping Chiefs at the very moment they 
were being put to a violent death, and was left unarmed 
and alone in the midst of their infuriated followers 
when the conduct of the Imperialist soldiers betrayed to 
the Tai-pings in Soochow the true state of the case. I 
do not suppose that this result was intended by the Futai, 
who had some reason to suppose that before this Gordon 
would have left the city ; but, as matters turned out, it is 
a wonder that the latter escaped a death of torture. He 
was kept, powerless, in the palace of the Na Wang's uncle 
from the afternoon of the 6th till the morning of the 
7th, surrounded by Tai-pings, who knew that, contrary to 
agreement, the Imperialist soldiers were plundering and 
probably murdering in Soochow, and who must have sus- 
pected that some evil fate had befallen their Chiefs who 
bad gone out to surrender to the Futai. It would have 



been by no means extraordinary if, in these circum- 
stances, they had put Colonel Gordon to death, and they 
Avere probably prevented from doing so only by the 
hope that his presence might afford them safety. At 
two in the morning he persuaded them to allow his in- 
terpreter to take a letter to his boat, which was stationed 
at the South Gate, to order the steamers of his force 
to seize the Futai and to keep him prisoner until the 
Wangs were given up, for at this time it was not known 
by Gordon that these latter had been executed. About 
3 A.M. a Eebel guide who had started with the inter- 
preter to show the way, returned with the information 
that a party of Imperialists had attacked the messenger, 
had left him wounded, and had torn up the letters. After 
this the Tai-pings allowed the prisoner to go out in 
search of his interpreter, and so Colonel Gordon reached 
the South Gate, where he was taken prisoner by some 
Imperialist soldiers for being in the suspicious company 
of the two long-haired Eebels who had accompanied 
him to show the way. Escaping from these, he got 
round to the East Gate at daybreak, where he found his 
body-guard with Major Brookes, and sent them at once 
to the palace of the Na Wang's uncle for the protection 
of the Tai-pings assembled there. While waiting for 
his steamers at this gate, he prevented the further 
ingress of Imperialist soldiers, and despatched Captain 
Bonnefoi, who came up with the Franco-Chinese, into the 
city to prevent massacre. Shortly after General Ching 
appeared and attempted to address him, but after what 
had occurred Gordon refused to hold any intercourse 
with him, and drove him away. A Major Bailey, an 
artillery officer, who had been 'placed under Ching, then 
came to explain matters ; but even he seemed afraid to 
mention what had actually occurred. When asked if 



the Wangs had been executed or were still prisoners, he 
said that he did not know, but that he would bring the 
Na Wang's son, whom he had in his tent. This youth was 
the first to tell Gordon of the execution of the Wangs, on 
which the Colonel immediately crossed a creek and found 
on the other side eight of their headless bodies, together 
with the head of the Na Wang. The bodies were gashed 
in a frightful way, having been cut down the middle. 

On witnessing this sight Colonel Gordon's grief and 
indignation knew no bounds. Though he had not 
actually guaranteed the safety of the Eebel Chiefs, yet 
he had assisted in inducing them to surrender, on the 
supposition that the Futai would treat them in an 
honourable and humane manner. His first impulse, 
when his two steamers came in sight, was to obtain 
hold of the Futai and inflict summary justice on that 
high official. General Ching, however, gave timely 
warning of Gordon's incensed state, and Li very wisely 
hurried into the city, thus avoiding a meeting. For 
some days after this Gordon's anxiety to meet with the 
Futai was only equalled by that of the Futai to keep 
out of his way, and this was the only period of his 
campaign during which the Commander of the Ever- 
Victorious Army burdened himself with carrying arms. 
When he reached the Futai's boat, which he did very 
soon, he found it empty, and had to content himself 
with leaving a letter upbraiding Li for his treachery. 
After this Colonel Gordon departed in his steamer for 
Quinsan, taking with him the Na Wang's son and the 
head of that unfortunate Chief. He had ordered up his 
force to assist him in seizing the Futai, but met them 
on the way down and brought them back to their quar- 
ters, where next morning he assembled the officers at 
headquarters and read to them with great agitation an 



account of what had occurred at Soochow, concluding 
with the statement that, as a British officer, he could not 
serve under the Futai any more unless the Peking Gov- 
ernment should take steps to punish such treachery. At 
the same time he added that, as he did not wish the 
force to be suddenly disbanded, he would hand it over 
to the guidance of Major-General Brown, commanding 
H.B.M. troops in China. 

We must now return to the fate of the Tai-ping 
Wangs, and to the reasons which induced the Futai to 
execute them as he did. On the first view, his conduct 
appears inexcusable, and he is specially to be reprobated 
for the use he seems to have made of Colonel Gordon 
in inducing the Chiefs to surrender, as also for the 
great danger to which he exposed that officer; but his 
action in the matter was not so bad as at first ap- 
peared, and can be palliated, if not entirely excused. 
Three vindications of the Futai have been put for- 
ward — one by himself ; one by Prince Kung, the head 
of the Foreign Board at Peking; a third by a body of 
Chinese who called themselves "The Soochow Com- 
mittee for the Protection of the Defenceless," — and 
all these are interesting as illustrative of Chinese 
ideas. According to this side of the question, the Tai- 
ping Chiefs surrendered on the simple condition that 
their lives would be spared, and from the moment oT 
their submission became subjects of the Empire amen- 
able to all its laws. But when they came out to the 
Futai they had not yet shaved their heads ; they still 
wore their arms, and their " general bearing was marked 
by extreme ferocity," being rather that of men who had 
terms to dictate than of penitent insurgents who had 
just been allowed to participate in an act of clemency. 
They insisted that the guardianship of Soochow should 



be left in their hands, that all the soldiers then under 
their command should be placed at their disposal, and 
declared that, if these conditions were not complied with, 
they Avould not return to their allegiance. They also re- 
fused to disband their followers ; stated their intention 
of holding three of the city gates which were strongly 
fortified positions, and demanded pay for their troops. 
Such a menacing and intimidating attitude was wholly 
unexpected, and could not be met by breaking off nego- 
tiations, or permitting the Wangs to return in safety to 
the city. To have allowed them to do so, or even to 
have given them the slightest warning of noncompliance 
with their demands, would have resulted in an immediate 
catastrophe. " If the Wangs,'' says Prince Kung, " had 
not been promptly beheaded, not only would the Imperial 
soldiers in the city have been slaughtered to a man, but 
the enormous force under the command of these Chiefs 
would still have remained within the Eebel ranks, and a 
subsequent and much greater slaughter would have been 
unavoidable ; and violence would thus have been done 
to the beneficent principle of Heaven and Earth, which 
delights to create, and is opposed to destruction." 

There is something peculiarly Chinese in the argu- 
ment that the Wangs, having once submitted, were 
bound to be obedient to the Futai, and so were liable 
to be put to death for their insolent rebellious conduct 
towards him ; but, passing that, the other portion of 
the excuse put forward seems sufficient if it could 
only be satisfactorily proved that the Wangs really did 
make the demands imputed to them. There is no 
reason, however, to suppose that this portion of the 
Futai's statement is untrue; on the contrary, we may 
assume the truth of it, because on no previous occasion 
had he been guilty of treachery to Tai - ping Chiefs 



who surrendered to liim, and he might have turned 
the Na Wang to very good use. Assuming, then, that 
the Wangs acted as alleged, what was the Futai to 
do 'i At Taitsan, as we have previously mentioned, the 
Tai-pings had once already cheated the Futai, and man- 
aged to murder a number of his troops under cover 
of a proposed surrender. Had he refused to comply 
with their demands and allowed them to re-enter Soo- 
chow, the almost certain result would have been the 
immediate massacre of the Imperialists who had entered 
the city, together with an attack on his troops outside 
the walls, who, scattered, unprepared, and unsupported 
by Gordon's force, which had gone to Quinsan, would 
have been easily* cut up and dispersed. To have arrested 
them and kept them in confinement would have been a 
troublesome operation, which might have given the other 
Chiefs warning of what was going on and allowed them 
time to close the city gates, and so cut off the Imperial- 
ists inside the city from those who were without. Li 
was in a very difficult and critical position, which imper- 
atively demanded sudden unpremeditated action ; and 
though no doubt it would have been more honourable 
for him to have made the Wangs prisoners, he cannot, in 
the circumstances, be with justice severely censured for 
having ordered the Tai-ping Chiefs who were in his power, 
but who defied his authority, to be immediately killed. It 
is also certain that Colonel Gordon need not have been in 
a hurry to consider himself as at all responsible for this 
almost necessary act, because in a letter to him (among 
his correspondence relating to these afiairs) from the 
Futai, dated the 21st day of the 9th moon of the 2d year 
of Tung-che, or the 2d November 18G3, I find the follow- 
ing noteworthy passage, which shows that the Governor 
did not wish Gordon to interfere at all in regard to the 


capitulation of the Soochow Chiefs : " With respect to 
Moh AVang and other Eebel leaders' proposal, I am 
quite satisfied that you have determined in no way to 
interfere. Let Chino; look after their treacherous and 
cunning management." 

The Chiefs executed by Li were the Wangs Na, Kong, 
Sing, Pe ; and the Tien-chwangs Chang, Fan, Wan, 
and Wong. 

On the 11th December Major-General Brown came 
up from Shanghai, saw the Futai, and explained to him 
that Gordon's force would not act any more until the 
above matter had been decided on at Peking. Gordon 
in the meanwhile remained quiet with his force at 
Quinsan, and on the 29th December Li Adong came 
to say that the Futai had received an Imperial decree 
relating to Gordon, and wished to send a Mandarin to 
him with it, and also with various presents. The pre- 
sents Colonel Gordon indignantly refused, and he also 
sent back 10,000 taels, or about £3500, which the 
Emperor proffered in acknowledgment of his services 
before Soochow. The decree and the answer to it were 
as follows : — 

Imperial Decree. 

On the 14th December 1863 the following decree was 
issued to the Inner Council : — 

Li memorialises, announcing that, having led his forces to 
the attack of Soochow, he has retaken the city. The perusal of 
his report has afforded Us joy and satisfaction indeed ! 

Gordon, as a Tsung-Ping of the province of Kiangsoo, in 
command of his auxiliary force, has displayed thorough strategy 
and skill, and has put forth most distinguished exertions. 

We ordain that a medal of distinction of the highest class 
be conferred upon him ; and further, that he receive a donation 
of 10,000 taels, in token of Our approbation. Kespect this ! 



On the same day the following private decree was 
issued : — 

Li is enjoined to communicate Our decree of approval and 
praise to Gordon for the great bravery and exertions which 
attended the recapture of Soochow. The donation of 10,000 
taels is to be provided and sent to him by Li. Foreign nations 
already possess orders of merit under the name of stars." Let, 
therefore, the decoration of the first class which We have con- 
ferred upon Gordon be arranged in accordance with this system. 
Eespect this ! 

To this the following answer was returned : — 

Major Gordon receives- the approbation of his Majesty the 
Emperor with every gratification, but regrets most sincerely 
that, owing to the circumstances which occurred since the 
capture of Soochow, he is unable to receive any mark of his 
Majesty the Emperor's recognition, and therefore respectfully 
begs his Majesty to receive his thanks for his intended kind- 
ness, and to allow him to decline the same. 

At Peking the capture of Soochow was heard of 
with great satisfaction, and the Emperor acknowledged 
in the following handsome decree the services of the 
various high officers engaged in that affair : — 

The Grand Secretariat has received the following decree : — 

Li Hung-chang (Governor of Kiangsoo) reports that the 
army under his command has captured the city Soochow and 
exterminated [the Eebels within its walls]. The Eebels had 
been reduced to great extremity ; and those of them who were 
desirous of returning to their allegiance, together with the 
Imperial troops, entered the city, destroyed the Eebel army, and 
so recaptured the province of Kiangsoo. 

The reading of this report has afforded his Majesty sincere 
delight and gratification. 

Soochow, the capital of the province of Kiangsoo, was four 
years ago captured by the Eebels, and has remained in their 
hands ever since. The army, acting under orders from LI 
Hung-chang, captured in succession the lines of Eebel works 
outside four gates of the city, and [so] struck terror into the 



enemy in the city that urgent offers of returning to allegiance 
were made. 

On the 30th ISTovember the Chung Wang, seeing that the 
attacks of the Imperial troops were daily becoming more vigor- 
ous, and that the Eebels in the city were in a state of disorgan- 
isation, fled under cover of night with more than 10,000 of his 
death-deserving adherents, handing over the city to the old 
Rebel Moh Wang (Tan Show-kuang), with orders to defend it 
to the death. 

On the 3d and 4th of December the naval and military 
forces under Cheng Hsio-chi [General Ching], LI Chow-pin, and 
Huang I-sheng attacked the different gates of the city, keeping 
up day and night an incessant attack, which became more 
vigorous the longer it lasted. Gordon also established himself 
close to the city walls and opened a cannonade against them. 

On the 4th of December the Moh Wang ascended the walls 
to direct the defence ; when at the head of his men, and in the 
act of issuing orders, a Eebel leader named Kao Ying-kuan, 
who with others had entered into a conspiracy with a Eebel 
officer named Wang Yu'Wei against him, took him off his* 
guard and stabbed him to death. After killing more than a 
thousand of Moh Wang's associates, they threw open the gates 
and came oat to give in their allegiance. Cheng Hsio-chi, with 
the troops under his command, entered the city, and having 
posted his soldiers, searched out and killed above a thousand of 
the surviving Eebels. Li Chow-pin attacked and killed great 
numbers who were escaping by the Pan Mun, and set at liberty 
several thousands of prisoners. 

The recapture of the provincial capital was thus effected. 

His Majesty directs Li Hung-chaug to take advantage of 
this victory to march with his troops upon Chanchu, which 
city having been captured, he will join his forces with those 
before Nanking, sweep that place clear of Eebels [lit., sweep the 
dens and take possession of the pools], and free the river of 
their presence. 

His Majesty commands the Board of War to confer suitable 
honours on Tseng Kwo-fan, Minister of State and Governor- 
General of the Two Kiang, who sent a contingent to assist in 
the recapture of this noted city. 

li Hung-chang, since he entered office as Governor of Kiang- 



soo, has displayed great prudence and calculation, and his 
skilful tactics have been completely successful; he has again 
and again captured cities and gained honours on the field of 
battle ; and now the recapture of Soochow by his troops renders 
him still more worthy of praise ; as a mark of his sincere ap- 
probation, his Majesty is pleased to confer upon him the hono- 
rary title of " Guardian of the Heir- Apparent," and to present 
him with a yellow robe. 

Huang I-sheng and Li Chow-pin, in addition to receiving 
the hereditary rank of Yun chi Yu [a title with fourth-rank 
button attached], are recommended to the notice of the Board 
of War. Cheng Hsio-chi receives the same rank as the above, 
and in addition is presented with a yellow robe. 

Gordon, specially appointed a General in the army of Kiang- 
soo, was in command of troops who assisted in these operations ; 
his Majesty, in order to evince his approval of the profound 
skill and great zeal displayed by him, orders him to receive a 
military decoration of the first rank and a sum of 10,000 taels. 

SketcJv of CovTit^y Juvaged l)y ReJ)el^ _ Ma^ofi 1S64. 

-.^LiTif. ofMarclv of t7ie Rebels in. t}. 

fo rni^C' tlie- sCe^e^ of CTtaMh^tfu'. 
^Lijhe- of March, of the. Qicm^a^.Ftn 


Gordon's further operations. 

imperialist successes inactivity of the ever-victorious army 

— Gordon's reasons for retaking the field — mr hart's 

report on the soochow " massacre " sir frederick bruce 

approves of the resumption of operations a letter from 

him gordon retakes the field state of the country 

occupied by rebels evacuation of yesing and liyang 

severe repulse at kintang colonel gordon wounded 

tai-ping advance towards quinsan — gordon suffers a disas- 
trous repulse at waisoo fate of his captured officers 

imperialist successes in chekiang death of general 

ching li's memorial of him taking of hangchow — cap- 
ture of waisoo cruelty of the villagers — the rebellion 

near its end — death of major tapp — repulse at chanchu 

a taiping letter storming of chanchu death of 

the hu wang — close of the services of the e. v. a. 

After the taking of Soochow, the only cities in the pro- 
vince of Kiangsoo which remained in Eebel occupation 
were Yesing, Liyang, Chanchu fu, Tayan, Chuyang, and 
Kintang. The whole of the guns and munition cap- 
tured at Soochow were given over to General Ching, 
who had thus plenty of artillery under Major Bailey, one 
of Gordon's old officers. The first use he made of his 
strengthened force was to start with 8000 men to 
attack a strong fort, which was still held by Kebels, 
eighteen miles south of Soochow, and without difficulty 
drove them out of it back on Kashing fu. Tan, the 



Gordon's further operations. 

Futai's brother, also carried on some successful operations 
to the north of Soochow, and managed to recover the 
steamer Firefly, which had been pirated at Shanghai. 

Meanwhile the Ever- Victorious Army was lying idle 
in garrison at Quinsan. A great many of its officers 
and men were lying wounded, and various sums of 
money were to be paid as compensation to these vic- 
tims of the recent campaign. About 20,000 taels were 
expended by the Futai in gifts to the wounded, besides 
the extra month's pay which he had promised on account 
of the taking of Soochow. The enforced rest, however, 
did not agree with the temper of this irregular force. 
" The officers," Colonel Schmidt writes, " did everything 
to honour Colonel Gordon, and show in how high esteem 
they held him ; but they were very jealous of each other, 
and during January quarrelled constantly with each 
other over the question as to who should succeed to the 
command in the event of his leaving." Though the fall 
of Soochow had given the Tai-pings a great blow, they 
were by no means completely vanquished even in the 
province of Kiangsoo ; and European rowdies began 
again to show themselves, perpetrating at this time seve- 
ral cruel murders. It was also rumoured that Foreigners 
w^ere again joining the Tai-ping ranks ; Eebel sympa- 
thisers began to resume their work, and there was even 
danger that a portion of the Ever-Victorious Army, dis- 
gusted with inactivity, might transfer their allegiance to 
the Eebel cause. 

On considering these facts, Colonel Gordon came to 
the conclusion that, in existing circumstances, it would 
be best for him to resume offensive operations. The 
nature of his force did not allow of its being kept 
inactive, and it could not be managed properly if only 
engaged in defending Shanghai. Its dissolution, in the 


unsettled state of the province, would have involved 
great cruelty to the people of Kiangsoo, who, on the 
faith of the protection which it afforded, had com- 
menced to reoccupy their cities and resume the culti- 
vation of their fields. Moreover, in the then condition 
of the Ever- Victorious Army, there was good hope that 
the province could be cleared of Rebels in two months, 
and reduced to a state of order and peace ; whereas, 
if the army were dissolved or kept in a state of inac- 
tivity at Shanghai, a year would probably elapse before 
such a consummation could be arrived at. As to the 
conduct of the Futai, that officer had been warned to 
consult Colonel Gordon before ordering executions. 
Even if the Chinese Government had removed him, that 
would not have much mended matters, as his successor 
would probably have been quite as objectionable, if not 
more so, and a willing instrument in any plan for aveng- 
ing his predecessor s disgrace. In fact, the removal of 
Li from his high position at the dictation of Foreigners, 
was an event to be avoided, because it would have been a 
serious blow to the independence of the Chinese Empire, 
and would have caused Tseng Kwo-fan and other power- 
ful Mandarins to disregard Imperial edicts. There was 
also the danger of the force being reconstituted by Li, 
and placed under some other European, in which case the 
British Government would have had no control over it. 
Taking all these circumstances into consideration. Colonel 
Gordon resolved to sacrifice his own personal feelings, 
which urged him to retire ; and his indignation at the 
massacre of the Wangs must have somewhat abated 
from its original intensity when he learned all the cir- 
cumstances of the case. 

This view of Gordon's duty was taken very strongly 
by Mr Robert Hart, the head of the Imperial Maritime 

212 Gordon's further operations. 

Customs, a gentleman who had then, and still retains, 
the confidence and high respect both of the Chinese 
Government and of the Foreign community. Mr Hart 
made a full investigation into the circumstances of the 
" Soochow Massacre,"'" and found that " the taking of 
the great city of Soochow had been followed by no more 
bloodshed, and by no more questionable act, than the 
beheading of about ten Rebel leaders." He came to the 
conclusion that " there was no act of premeditated treach- 
ery," and that the Futai suddenly and unexpectedly 
found himself placed in a dilemma, from which he saw 
no other way of extricating himself with safety to gene- 
ral interests than by acting as he did. He also threw 
doubt upon the supposition that it was any feeling of 
confidence in Gordon which induced the Wangs to sur- 
render, and noted several facts which went to prove that 
it was the hopes held out by General Ching on which 
alone they relied. On the general subject of Gordon's 
position and prospects, Mr Hart wrote : " Disafiected 
people — rowdy Foreigners and lawless Chinese — have 
been immensely delighted with the inaction of the last 
two months. Merchants fear to return to Soochow, not 
knowing but that Gordon in his wrath may with his 
men join the Rebels, and their continuance at Shanghai 
is delightful to the owners of land and houses. The 
Rebels themselves don't know what to make of the occur- 
rence, and their expiring energies are again fanned into 
a flame. His appearance in the field will have imme- 
diate results ; rowdies will commence to see that their 
game is hopeless, and that they had better leave China ; 
Chinese traders will again flock back to Soochow ; and 
the Rebels will again lose heart. Chanchu fu will 

* See his letter to Sir Frederick Bruce, Blue-Book, China, No. 7 
(1864), p. 25. 


soon fall, and that will be followed very probably by the 
capitulation of Hangchow, Wuchu, and Keahing, and 
the other two or three small cities still held by the 
Tai-pings in this province and in Chekiang. Whether 
a stand will be made or not at Nanking, Gordon 
thinks very problematical, but he is rather of opinion 
that it will not fight.'" The destiny of China is at the 
present moment in the hands of Gordon more than of 
any other man, and if he is encouraged to act vigorously, 
the knotty question of ' Tai-pingdom' versus ' Union in 
the Cause of Law and Order,' t will be solved before the 
end of May, and quiet will at length be restored to this 
unfortunate and sorely-tried country. . . . Personally, 
Gordon's wish is to leave the force as soon as he can. 
Now that Soochow has fallen, there is nothing more that 
he can do, whether to add to his own reputation, or to 
retrieve that of British olB&cers generally, tarnished by 
Holland's defeat at Taitsan. He has little or nothing 
personally to gain from future successes, and as he has 
himself to lead in all critical moments, and is con- 
stantly exposed to danger, he has before him the not 
very improbable contingency of being hit sooner or later. 
But he lays aside his personal feelings ; and seeing well 
that, if he were now to leave the force, it would in all 
probability go at once to the Eebels, or cause some other 
disaster, he consents to remain with it for a time." 

Some time before this it had been decided that the 
policy of Britain in China was to support the Imperial- 
ist cause, and generally to favour the speediest possible 
suppression of the Tai-pings. This was a wise and 
humane policy, though it was foolishly accompanied by 
absurd professions of neutrality, which sometimes misled 

* As turned out to be the case. 

t The title of the reiguing Emperor. 


Gordon's further operations. 

the latter, and afiforded Colonel Sykes and other Kebel 
sympathisers an appearance of legitimate grounds of 
complaint ; and it was adopted from an enlightened 
regard to our own interests, and not from any affection 
for the Imperialists or dislike to the Rebels. In accord- 
ance wdth it Sir Frederick Bruce also gave his approval 
and support to Gordon in resuming operations. He got 
the Chinese Government to promise that, when employ- 
ing a Foreign officer, the rules of warfare as practised 
among Foreign nations would be strictly observed. To 
Colonel Gordon he wrote on the 12th March 1864 : — 

My concurrence in the step you have taken is founded in no 
small measure on my knowledge of the high motives which have 
guided you while in command of the Chinese force, of the dis- 
interested conduct you have observed in pecuniary questions, 
and of the influence in favour of humanity you exercised in 
rescuing Burgevine and his misguided associates from Soochow. 
I am aware of the perseverance with which, in the face of seri- 
ous obstacles and much discouragement, you have steadily pur- 
sued the pacification of the province of Kiangsoo ; in relieving it 
from being the battle-field of the insurrection, and in restoring to 
its suffering inhabitants the enjoyments of their homes and the 
uninterrupted exercise of their industry^ you may console your- 
self with the assurance that you are rendering a service to true 
humanity, as well as to great material interests. It would be a 
serious calamity, and addition to our embarrassments in China, 
were you compelled to leave your work incomplete, and were a 
sudden dissolution or dispersion of the Chinese force to lead to 
the recurrence of that state of danger and anxiety from which, 
during the last two years, Shanghai has suffered. ... I 
approve of your not awaiting the result of the inquiry into the 
Futai's proceedings at Soochow, provided you take care that 
your efforts in favour of humanity are not in future defeated by 
the Chinese authorities.* 

In a more private, but still semi-official letter. Sir 
Frederick entered into his reasons for pursuing this 

* Blue-Book, China, No. 7 (1864), p. 22. 


course ; and I give it here on account of the clear way in 
which it describes the position, and also as a refutation of 
the charges of laziness and of want of ability which have 
sometimes been brought against this British Minister : — 

Peking, Ifarch 3, 1864. 

My deau Major Gordon, — I only received yesterday your 
letter telling me that you had again taken the field. I have not 
yet seen the Governor's proclamation, but I have obtained a 
positive promise in writing from this Government that, in cases 
of capitulations where you are present, nothing is to be done 
without your consent ; and I will inform the Prince of Kung 
that it is upon the faith of this engagement that you are autho- 
rised to act. If it is observed, scenes like that at Soocliow will 
not be repeated, and the interests of humanity will have the 
benefit of you as a protector, instead of being committed to the 
unchecked mercies of Chinese officials. 

I did not ask for the Governor's dismissal ; I confined myself 
in the first instance to asking for an inquiry, to which he was 
entitled before being punished, and to supporting you in the 
course you had taken. If he has been generally successful as 
Governor, it is not to be expected that this Government would 
venture to remove him for an act with respect to which they 
are more impressed by the extenuating circumstances than by 
the treachery. In the decree condemning Shung Pow to death, 
one of the chief charges against him was that he had pardoned 
some Eebel leaders who a year afterwards rose again in insur- 
rection. If it be true that the Chiefs of Soochow insisted upon 
a quasi-independent command, which would virtually have left 
Soochow in their power, and would have enabled them to take 
advantage of any favourable circumstances to begin again their 
career of pillage, I can understand that Governor Li shrank 
from the responsibility of granting such terms to them, and pre- 
ferred treating them as contumacious, and setting the Govern- 
ment at defiance by their attitude and by their demands. Such 
a proceeding, though abhorrent to our ideas, can hardly be 
termed a gross and deliberate act of treachery. 

It is impossible for us to change suddenly the ideas and 
conduct of the Chinese ; and the Taitsan affair showed that the 
Tai-pings were not one wliit more advanced in good faith than 

2i6 Gordon's further operations. 

the Imperialists. But the interests of trade and of the popula- 
tion of China demand the restoration of peace and tranquillity, 
and we do a good act in assisting the Government with that 
view. If this insurrection continues in force in the seaboard 
provinces, I see a great danger not far off arising from filibus- 
ters and corsairs. 

Burgevine is a Southerner; the trading interests of Ame- 
rica in China are Northern, and Burgevine attributes his treat- 
ment to the British authorities at Shanghai. It would not 
surprise me if he and the Alabama, &c., were to make common 
cause with the insurgents, and then, you may depend upon it, 
they would directly attack the Foreign settlements, where most 
plunder is to be had. You will do well to urge the Governor 
to take measures, either by steamers or by batteries, to prevent 
lorchas or armed vessels going up the Yangtsze river. It might 
be easy for a force of these adventurers to raise the siege of 
JS'anking, and then advance again on the province of Kiangsoo. 
It will depend much on his future conduct, and on the readiness 
he shows to adopt good suggestions, how far I press the affair of 
Soochow. I am not implacable where offences are not repeated. 

I beg you to do nothing rash under the pressure of excite- 
ment, and, above all, to avoid publishing in newspapers accounts 
of your differences with the Chinese authorities. We have sup- 
ported this Government from motives of interest, not from sen- 
timent ; and as our interests remain the same, we must endeav- 
our to get over our difficulties without taking any step which 
would neutralise all the results of the policy we have hitherto 
pursued, and which you have carried out so successfully. In 
the resolution you have now come to, you are acting wisely and 
rightly, and you may depend upon my lightening your respon- 
sibility by giving you the most cordial official support. For- 
tunately I have not committed myself with respect to Li, so far 
as to make it difficult for me to be friends with him, provided 
he gives rise to no more scandals, and deals with Foreigners and 
Foreign interests so as not to give grounds for complaint. If 
you think it expedient you may hint this to him. 

The objects we ought to keep in view are to restore order 
in Kiangsoo and Chekiang, to cut off the insurgents from com- 
munication with filibusters, and to reduce gradually the dis- 
ciplined corps, so that it may not become a source of danger. 



If the Chinese will put down piracy, and stop vessels not con- 
forming to the regulations limiting arms, &c., I will direct the 
gunboats to support them. But vessels under Foreign flags can 
onlybe searched by a Chinese authority; and all we can do is 
to support him if he is resisted in trying to search. — Yours 

Feederick W. a. Bkuce. 

When Colonel Gordon determined on retaking the field 
there were two districts occupied by the Kebels — one to 
the south of the Taiho Lake, including Hangchow, Ka- 
shing fu, and several other towns ; the other to the north, 
containing Nanking, Tayan, Kintang, and Chuying — the 
two being about fifty miles distant from each other, and 
communicating through Yesing and Liyang. Immedi- 
ately after the fall of Soochow, the Tai-ping posts in its 
vicinity — such as Wusieh and Pingwang in Kiangsoo, and 
Pinghoo, Haiyuen, Kanshu, and Haining, in Chekiang — 
were either evacuated or surrendered to the Futai, his 
treatment of the Wangs having had apparently no effect 
in preventing Rebel chiefs from submitting to his mercy. 
Hence it appeared to Gordon that his best plan would 
be to attack Yesing and Liyang, so as to separate the two 
Rebel districts from each other, and leave those of the 
south to be dealt with by Captain d'Aiguibelle, an officer 
in the French service, who, with Franco-Chinese, was 
associated with a Mandarin force ; while in the north 
Tseng Kwo-fan and his brothers could proceed, undis- 
turbed, with the reduction of Nanking. In order to ac- 
complish this work, he had to go a considerable distance 
from Quinsan, the basis of his operations, and so found it 
necessary to burden his force with commissariat supplies. 

Leaving Colonel Morant and 200 men as a garrison at 
Quinsan, he started with his whole force in bitterly cold 
-and snowy weather ; but, delaying at Wusieh, did not 

2i8 Gordon's further operations. 

leave that place till the 27th. The country between 
Wusieh and Yesing was almost destitute of people, and 
the few to be found were in the last stages of starvation 
— a fact which shows strikingly the result of Tai-ping 
rule ; for since 18 GO no Imperialists had been in that part 
of the province, and no fighting had been carried on 
there. On advancing with a small party to reconnoitre 
Yesing, Colonel Gordon found it was a small walled 
city, two miles in circumference, with a broad ditch and 
small lakes on its east and west sides. The reconnoitring 
party was driven away by a very accurate fire of a 12- 
pounder gun at the North Gate. The result was that he 
resolved to cross the lake at the east side — from which 
direction the Hyson was expected — to take possession of 
the village at the south-east angle, and then, by taking 
the stockades on the south side, to cut off communica- 
tion with Liyang, the next Eebel city. When this was 
done, as it was without much difficulty, the village re- 
ferred to was found full of the most miserable objects, 
dead and alive, of both sexes and of all ages. Those 
who still remained in life had been driven to eat human 
flesh, and the unburied bodies of the dead were in a con- 
dition which showed that much of this revolting food 
had been consumed. And this, it should be noted, was 
under the walls of a city near which there had been no 
Imperialists for more than four years. After the stock- 
ades in front of the East Gate were taken, the mass of the 
Eebels quitted Yesing by night, and it surrendered next 
day. As the troops were thus deprived of an oppor- 
tunity of looting, and were rather dissatisfied at being 
brought on a perilous march into the Tai-ping country 
instead of being sent up to Nanking, they showed some 
symptoms of insubordination, which had to be severely 
repressed, one of their number being taken out and shot. 



The starving villagers, however, were allowed to pillage 
in a small way, and so got enough rice to support them 
for some time. 

Moving on against Liyang, he found the Eebel chiefs 
so much out of heart that they at once surrendered it to 
him. In that neighbourhood, also, nothing but misery 
and devastation prevailed ; and even some of his own 
troops had to suffer from hunger for a few days, as no 
food could be obtained except what they had brought 
with them. " Hundreds of dead bodies,'' writes one of 
his officers, " were strewn along the roads — people who 
died from starvation ; and even the few who were yet 
alive watched one of their comrades dying, so as to ob- 
tain some food off his dead body. Major Gordon gave as 
much food to these poor creatures as he could spare, but 
it was not sufficient to satisfy them all." Liyang was 
found to have a population of 20,000, and permission 
was given to all the Kebels who chose to do so, to leave 
the city with their effects. One thousand of the Tai-piog 
soldiers were enlisted into the Ever-Yictorious Army, 
and were formed into a separate regiment. This city 
was three miles in circumference, with a formidable 
ditch, and a stronger system of stockades round it than 
any which Colonel Gordon had before met. It was well 
stocked with provisions, which were given to the starv- 
ing people of the neighbourhood, who had not even rice 
for seed when the place was surrendered; but twenty-five 
gunboats were here taken and joined to Gordon's flotilla. 
AVhen the commander was going into the town, he was 
called back by some Rebels to a large boat where the 
mother of the She ^Yang, or Attendant King, his wife, 
and his son, a child of seven years old, were kept pris- 
oners. The Eebels wanted to kill them, because this 
King, who had originally been a butcher, had been cruel 


Gordon's further operations. 

to them in many ways, having shortly before burned a 
man to death for meditating treachery, and had been 
encouraged in his cruelty by his venerable mother, who 
upon her capture behaved in a very violent and obstre- 
perous manner. These people were all sent to Quinsan, 
and from thence safely forwarded to the Attendant King. 

After sending a letter to Kintang offering terms of 
surrender, to which no answer was returned, Colonel 
Gordon on the 15th March reconnoitred the route lead- 
ing to that place, as the Hyson had been unable to find 
any navigable route to it ; and next day, in spite of heavy 
rains, he marched towards it with the 1st, 2d, and 5th 
Regiments, and a large force of artillery mounted on 
gunboats, leaving the newly-raised regiment and the re- 
mainder of his force for the protection of Liyang. On 
the l7th he advanced personally within a mile of the 
walls, and sent in a letter offering the garrison their lives 
and property if they would surrender. About the same 
time he received a letter from the Futai, announcing 
that the steamer Tsatlee had been seized by rowdies 
at Shanghai, and taken up to the Eebels, and asking 
him to come back to attack Chanchu fu, where the 
Rebels had defeated the Imperialists, and had been 
threatening an advance. The weather was so wet at 
this time that the troops could only be moved with 
great difficulty ; but on the 20 th March they took up a 
position at about 1200 yards from the walls of Kintang, 
which were not surrounded by stockades, and which, con- 
trary to the usual custom of the Tai-pings, were not 

The Foreigners wlio pirated this steamer were to have received ^20,000 
from the Rebels for doing so, but in their ignorance they ran her into the 
possession of the Imperialist force under General Ching at Kasliing fu. 
The ringleaders were tried at Shanghai, and Morris, one of their number, 
who had also been engaged in the capture of the Firefly, was sentenced to 
ten years' penal servitude. 



adorned with defiant flags. The want of flags, how- 
ever, was a mere ruse on the part of the Tai-pings, who 
were prepared to make, and did make, a most desperate 
resistance. The north-east angle of the wall, on which 
an enfilade fire could be brought, having been fixed on 
as the best point of attack, the troops were moved up to 
their several stations next day, and the heavy boats with 
artillery were placed near the wall under cover of night. 

At 9 A.M. on the 21st March everything was ready for 
opening fire, when despatches were received from the 
Futai, announcing that a large force of 7000 Rebels, com- 
manded by Chung AVang s son, had left Chanchu fu, 
turned the flank of the Imperialists, were threatening 
Wusieh, had captured Fushan, and were besieging Chan- 
zu, only thirty miles from Quinsan, the headquarters and 
depot of the Ever- Victorious Army. This was startling 
intelligence for Colonel Gordon ; but he thought that if 
he retired without attacking Kintang the Eebels would 
be much encouraged, whereas, if he took that place, he 
could, by advancing on Chanchu, compel the Hu Wang, 
who commanded there, to order back his expeditionary 

Fire was accordingly opened, and after three hours a 
very fair breach was made in the walls, the Eebels not 
showing much fight ; but whenever the storming-parties 
for the assault appeared, and were pushed in boats across 
the creek beneath the walls, the Tai-pings crowded to 
the breach in a most determined manner, and swarmed 
on the parapet, throwing powder-bags, stinkpots, and 
every species of missile into the boats, which had in 
consequence to retire and reland the troops. When the 
artillery fire was reopened on the breach the defenders 
disappeared, and the troops again being got into order, 
were pushed over a stone bridge which was found stand- 

222 Gordon's further operations. 

ing in the neighbourhood. The second storming-party, 
however, was also repulsed, and Major Kirkham, who led 
it, was severely wounded. Colonel Gordon himself, who 
took part in the assault, was shot through the leg ; but 
silencing one of his body-guard, who cried out that the 
commander was hit, he stood giving orders until he 
fainted from loss of blood, and was carried back to his 
boat. This was the first and only time that Gordon was 
wounded during his fourteen months of fighting ; and the 
wonder only is, exposed as he constantly was, that he 
escaped so lightly. The sergeant-major of the 1st Eegi- 
ment, which had come up the day before, mounted the 
breach with his regimental flag, but this was wrested from 
him. Notwithstanding the losses which the stormers had 
sustained. Major Brown, Colonel Gordon's aide-de-camp, 
and brother of the General commanding her Majesty's 
forces in China, headed a third assault, and bore his 
commander's flag up the breach ; but the attack failed, 
and he too was wounded, and had to be carried back. 
On this Colonel Gordon, having no fresh regiments on 
hand with which to make a renewed efibrt, determined 
on withdrawing his force, which was efiected without 
further loss, the troops resuming the positions they had 
occupied previous to the assault. During this unsuc- 
cessful affair not less than 100 of the rank-and-file of 
the assailants were killed and wounded ; 1 5 officers were 
wounded, and 2 officers, Major Taite and Captain Ban- 
ning, were killed. 

During the night frequent attempts were made by the 
Eebels to set fire to the boats ; they also came out and 
attacked sentries, and even crept up on their bellies and 
threw powder-bags, with slow matches attached, into the 
tents, which caused great confusion. The whole of the 
troops were glad when it became light enough to move 



away, which was effected with order and without further 
loss, though the Tai-pings made several attempts at 

On the 24th the whole force was again concentrated 
at Liyang, where Colonel Gordon received further disas- 
trous intelligence, being apprised that the Faithful King 
was himself in possession of Fushan. Immediately on 
learning this, though unable to stand, owing to his wound, 
he left the greater portion of his force in garrison at Liyang, 
under General Li Adong, and himself started for Wusieh, 
along with the Light Artillery, the 4th Eegiment, which 
was only 400 strong, and 600 Liyang men, who a few 
days before had been Tai-pings. One scarcely knows 
here whether most to admire the pluck, or to wonder 
at the confidence, of the wounded commander. How- 
ever, on reaching Wusieh on the morning of the 25th, he 
received despatches conveying the gratifying intelligence 
that the enemy had been driven back from that place, 
that though Fushan had been retaken, Chanzu continued 
to hold out, and that the Imperialists still held the stock- 
ades at Chanchu. Advancing the same day about ten 
miles to the south-west of Kongyin, he drove parties of 
Kebels before him, and cut off the retreat of the Chung 
"Wang's son, who had suffered a repulse at Chanzu, and 
was attempting to return to Chanchu, by the way he had 

Colonel Gordon's wound and weakness seemed only to 
have increased his eagerness to be at the Kebels ; for 
on the 26th he pushed on, with only his Light Artillery 
and 400 of his Rifles, through a district where the houses 
had been burned and the people butchered in every direc- 
tion by the Tai-pings. At dusk they drove a Rebel force 
away from three burning villages, and then halted for 
the night, which was spent in considerable anxiety, as 

224 Gordon's further operations. 

during nearly the whole of it the enemy were engaged 
in firing on the sentries, and trying to ride through the 
lines of the small disciplined force. The next morning 
Gordon, who had to direct operations reclining in his 
boat, drove the Kebels out of the village they held in 
front of his position, but had immediately to retire before 
a larger body of them which came down on his boats. 
Nearly 100 of these latter, however, were cut off from 
their companions, and bayoneted by the disciplined 
Chinese, while another body of them were forced over 
a bridge under fire of a howitzer. These operations 
brought Gordon's troops up to the foot of a range of 
hills near Chowchang, over which the Eebels were 
driven towards Waisoo ; but finding that, if he con- 
tinued to attack the Rebels in that direction, he would 
drive them into a new district of country which they 
had not visited, and on to Chanzu, he stopped to con- 
centrate his troops, and determined to operate against 
the left of the Eebel line, so as to drive the enemy on 
Kongyin. In these rapid operations Gordon had a 
special object, which justified the risk he ran, and the 
exertions he demanded from his troops. The Tai-pings, 
who had issued out of Chanchu, had taken a bend 
towards the shore of the Yangtsze, with the hope of 
obtaining possession of Quinsan ; and Gordon sought to 
compel them to abandon that design by attacking their 
line not at its extremities, but at its centre, so causing 
them to contract like a broken- backed snake. Finding 
their centre to be at Waisoo, he waited a day or two till 
reinforced by the Liyang men, and then advanced on 
Waisoo, being himself with, the artillery in boats, whilst 
Colonels Howard and Rhode proceeded by land, being 
ordered to incline to the right before they reached the 
Rebel stockades, where they would join the boats. 



Colonel Gordon and bis artillery went on till they 
came close to the enemy's position, but there found 
neither the infantry nor any signs of their appearance. 
The consequence was that the boats were very nearly" 
destroyed by the Tai-pings, who came out to the attack ; 
for the banks of the creek were too high to allow of the 
guns being used, and it was with great difficulty that a 
retreat was effected to the encampment from which he 
had set out. Arriving there, everything was found in 
confusion ; boats w^ere leaving, men were fleeing, and 
naked persons were swimming the creek in their anxiety 
to escape from danger. 

It turned out that his infantry had been repulsed, and 
had met with a very severe loss indeed. When they 
w^ent out in the morning Colonel Rhode pushed on his 
regiment to the village of Waisoo, where there was a 
Tai-ping camp, strongly intrenched and stockaded. In- 
stead of carrying this place at the point of the bayonet, 
he injudiciously halted before it for an hour, while he 
and Colonel Howard distributed their men by companies 
in several directions. This was perceived by the Tai- 
pings who swarmed among the neighbouring hills, from 
whence they could see how small a force was opposed to 
them, and in the valleys of which they had a consider- 
able force of cavalry concealed. By degrees the Rebels 
worked down between Rhode and Howard. Soon they 
came rushing on in thousands, and the cavalry issued 
out of their hiding-places and attacked on both flanks. 
On seeing themselves thus hemmed in, the 6th, or newly- 
raised Liyang Regiment, \vas seized with panic, broke 
through the Rebel ranks behind, and threw themselves 
upon Colonel Howard's regiment, which was thus thrown 
into confusion, and began to retire gradually. The Tai- 
pings pressed on in thousands from every side, and their 


226 Gordon's further operations. 

horsemen charged into the disciplined Chinese, armed 
with a sword in each hand, and cutting down their ene- 
mies right and left. Tlie result was that the 4th, the 
best regiment in the Ever - Victorious Army, and the 
600 Liyang men took to flight. All attempts to rally 
them were made in vain ; it was a race for life over 
three miles up to Lukachow, where the pursuers were 
checked by the reserve at the camp. About 400 men 
were either killed or taken prisoners, and the officers 
suffered especially. Colonel Ehode, who was in front 
of the whole affair, was fortunate enough to catch a 
Eebel pony, otherwise he could hardly have managed to 
escape. Captains Gibbon, Chirikoff, and Hughes, with 
Lieutenants Polkson, Graves, Pratt, and Dowling, were 
either killed in the fight, or taken prisoners and then 
murdered. None of the bodies could be recovered at 
the time, and great anxiety was felt as to the fate of 
those who had been taken prisoners, but all their bodies 
were afterwards found, decapitated and otherwise muti- 
lated. It was not to be expected that the Tai-pings 
would spare those taken in arms against them, when the 
country villages around were full of young women and 
children whose throats the Eebel s had cut, and whose 
bodies they had split open. This was by far the most 
disastrous affair which had ever happened to Colonel 
Gordon, and he was much incensed at the surviving 
officers for not having kept proper reserves and looked 
better after their flanks — which culpable neglect was the 
main cause of their being surrounded and defeated by a 
mere rabble, armed for the most part only with spears 
and knives. The Liyang Eegiment fought very bravely, 
and so did the 4th, for some time. If the men had been* 
formed into square, which they knew well enough how 
to do, they might easily have repulsed their assailants. 


notwithstanding the determination and strategy which 
these latter showed ; but no attempt was made by the 
officers to form square until it was too late, and so the 
force was taken at a great disadvantage. 

After this repulse Colonel Gordon withdrew his men 
on the 31st March to Siangchow, about thirteen miles 
north of Wusieh, and sent down his wounded to Quin- 
san. He also ordered up the 3d Kegiment, and occupied 
himself in bringing his demoralised troops again into 
order until the 3d April, when he went up and encamped 
about two miles from Waisoo, where he met the Futai, 
who had come from Soochow with 6000 Imperialists. 

While these events were going on to the north of the 
Taiho Lake, General Ching had been operating at Ka- 
shing fu to the south ; and Tso, Chetai, along with the 
Franco-Chinese, had been engaged investing Hangchow. 
The former of these Imperialist generals carried the 
stockades in front of Kashing fu on the 17th March, 
after a sharp resistance, but found that the Eebels had 
constructed a series of small forts about 150 yards out- 
side the walls of the city, which rendered further pro- 
gress very difficult, though he got excellent information 
as to what was going on inside from spies whom he had 
previously sent to join the Eebels, and who were con- 
stantly coming out to him. At night he carried two 
of these forts, and established batteries under the charge 
of Colonel Bailey, whom Gordon had given for instruc- 
tion in the use of artillery. On the 19th he stormed 
twice without success, and on the 20th the fire of the 
heavy guns was reopened and another assault given, 
when the Eebels gave way and the place was captured. 
On this occasion the Ting Wang and Yung Wang were 
killed — the one by a shell, and the other by the Impe- 


Gordon's further operations. 

rialists. Ting Wang had walled up the gateways just 
previous to the attack, which prevented any of his men 
escaping, and led to a desperate resistance. Ching, the 
Imperial commander, was wounded in the head by a 
bullet (from the effects of which he died on the 15th 
April) as he was trying the depth of the water in the 
ditch just before the assault commenced ; and this, to- 
gether with the determined character of the resistance, 
led the Imperialist soldiers to give no mercy. 

The death and previous services of this General were 
noticed at length in a report to the Emperor by Li 
Hung-chang, dated 12th May 1864, and I give the fol- 
lowing abridged translation of that document, because 
it is so strikingly illustrative of Chinese ideas and cus- 
toms, and affords such a contrast to our own cold official 
way of acknowledging military services : — 

Ching, the Tsung-Ping of JNanchang, was formerly presented 
with the hereditary rank of Shao-pei [Yun chi Wei]. He was 
subsequently made Patulu [a Mancliu distinction]. Fiercely he 
attacked the city of Kashing, where he was wounded in the 
head by a ball which pierced his brain. He fainted, but was 
afterwards restored to consciousness and borne back [to Soo- 
chow] to be put under medical treatment. He himself knew 
that his wound was desperate, but he refused to take medicine. 
I over and over again exhorted him to submit to treatment, and 
I called in doctors who professed to cure both internal and ex- 
ternal maladies, so that he at last consented to put himself in 
their hands. His mind and speech thus soon became clear. 
I left Soochow on the 7th April for the purpose of following 
up the Kebels, but at the moment of starting I visited him. 
He said that although the Rebels had been defeated, their 
strength was still not to be despised, and he told me to order 
the officers to be careful in battle. He also remarked that brave 
men were not easily obtained, and bitterly regretted his own 
fate, by which he was prevented from following up his duty 
to the country in exterminating the Rebels. He sobbed and 
sighed, and tears came into his eyes while he was speaking to 



me. I, oil the other hand, bade him be of good courage, and 
told him that he would thus hasten his recovery, and that 
it was not necessary for him to grieve and be anxious. When 
I departed I left directions that the local Mandarins should 
visit him from time to time. While I was at Kongyin attack- 
ing the Eebels there, a report suddenly reached me that Ching 
was gradually sinking. His senses had not, however, deserted 
him. On the 14th April he called his servant, and ordered 
him to bring the Yellow Jacket presented to him by your 
Majesty, and assist him to jjut it on. He then bowed his head 
towards your Majesty's palace, and walked round his room. 
Seeing tea on the table, he took up a cupful and attempted to 
drink, but the fluid could not pass down his throat. By this 
he was much moved, and wept. He ordered Han Chu, a Chi- 
chao who had the superintendence of the camp, to mount a 
horse and come to me, to beg that I would carefully follow 
out my design of destroying the Eebels. He further said that 
he knew he could not see me again in the provincial city. 
There was not a particle of selfishness in his recommendations. 
At the time when he felt death approaching, he bemoaned the 
unfinished state of the work he had cut out for himself. He 
felt that he had not returned the favours heaped on him by your 
Majesty. The fluid of his brain continued to run out of the 
wound, and on the 15th April, at twelve o'clock at night, he 
died. I was excessively grieved. All the military officers cried 
bitterly. Every one, whether belonging to Kiangsoo or to 
Chekiang, whether Mandarins or scholars or common people, 
lamented his death. 

I then examined into Ching's previous history, and I dis- 
covered that he came from Tungchen hien, in the province 
of Nganhwui, whence, during the Rebel troubles, he was taken 
as a prisoner. The Four-Eyed Dog, Ying, placed great con- 
fidence in him. Ching, because he saw that the Eebels op- 
pressed the people, at length made an attempt to get away 
from them. The Eebels, however, managed to secure him again, 
and shut him up so that he could not escape. In the fourth 
month of the eleventh year of the Emperor, whose style was 
Hien-fung, Tseng Kwo-tsun, the Futai of Chekiang, led his sol- 
diers to Nganking. Ching, without mentioning the affair to 
anybody, came over to the camp occupied by Tseng Chun-kan 


Gordon's further operations. 

[Tseng Kwo-tsun's brother], and surrendered himself. He was 
instantly recognised as a superior man, and one far above the 
general run of Kebel officers who had joined the camp, and was 
sent with the expedition which recovered IS'ganking, where his 
bravery was most conspicuous. The Governor-General, Tseng 
Kwo-fan, reported the afiair to your Majesty, and pledged him- 
self for Ching's worth. At the same time I myself was at 
Nganking, and constantly heard of Ching's exploits, as well as 
of his wisdom, daring, and varied ability. Shortly afterwards, 
when your Majesty ordered me to hurry to Shanghai, I begged 
Tseng Kwo-fan to allow me to carry with me Ching's two 
camps. . . . 

When Soochow fell, Kow Ywen-kuan (who was the chief man 
amongst the Eebel Wangs who submitted to us), with eight 
others, proposed to divide the city into two parts. At this time 
these fellows had about 200,000 men under their command, 
and they thought that they could altogether neutralise any effort 
we might make. If this demand had been granted, and if, sub- 
sequently, the slightest opposition had been made to their wishes, 
they would have had " my head in chancery" in no time. But 
Ching told me, that as he had formerly been among the Kebels, 
he well knew their mode of thought, and that as their crimes 
had been outrageous, their punishment ought to be propor- 
tionately severe. " Cut off," said he, " the heads of their leaders, 
and their myriads of followers will instantly subside into insig- 
nificance. You will thus secure the tranquillity of the city." I 
therefore immediately ordered the execution of the Wangs, and 
restored tranquillity to their followers. Thus were the mighty 
difficulties which at first presented themselves at once solved. 
He was able to calculate beforehand, and he was also able to 
act with decision. Among the leaders of modern times there 
were few like him. When Gordon heard of his death he wept 
and groaned. He had seen with his own eyes how excellent he 
was as a general. Indeed, so highly did Gordon value him that 
he begged me to give him as a keepsake the two banners which 
Cliing used to carry into battle, that he might bear them to his 
own country, and thus preserve the memory of one he loved so 
well. Ching possessed a mind of no ordinary depth and capa- 
city. His plans and their subsequent execution were most 
clearly and minutely considered. His own countrymen and 



Foreigners alike admired liim ; and had Heaven vouchsafed to 
him many years of life, it would have been seen that his labours 
were not finished at the period of his actual death. . . . 

Now, since it was in the service of the country that he lost 
his life, is it not right that I should beg your Majesty to mani- 
fest your favour towards him in the manner due to a Ti-Tu who 
dies on the field of battle ? I also beg your Majesty to give 
him a posthumous rank, and to cause the story of his life to be 
inscribed on the records of this dynasty. Moreover, I would 
suggest that at Nganking fu, Soochow fu, and Kasliing fu com- 
memorative temples be raised to his exclusive honour, so as 
to celebrate his faithfulness. If your Majesty be pleased to do 
this, it will be a proof of your extraordinary favour. 

I would further inform your Majesty that at the time of 
writing the above despatch, I received the Imperial edict, dated 
the 4t]i April, relative to the gifts to be presented to Ching, 
on account of the conquest of Kashing — viz., a white jade 
feather ornament, a white jade thumb-ring, a jade-handled 
knife, and a pair of pouches. I reverently ordered these pre- 
sents to be carried to Soochow, and presented to Ching's family, 
to be placed before his coffin to solace his noble souL 

The Franco-Chinese, under D'Aiguibelle, having arrived 
at Hangchow in February, made an attack, in combina- 
tion with the Imperialists under Tso, on the Rebel stock- 
ades outside the city, and carried about a dozen of them 
early in March. After erecting a battery and breaching 
the South Gate, they assaulted on the 9th of the month, 
but were repulsed ; and also made another ineflfectual 
attempt on the 12th March, when a number of their 
oflScers were wounded. The point of attack was badly 
chosen, because the gate was placed in bastions pro- 
jecting from the rampart, so when the front wall was 
breached, there still remained another to be attacked 
behind. This place might have held out much longer 
had not Tsah, formerly a Tai-ping with the title of Wai 
Wang, threatened its communications, and led the Rebels 
to vacate it on the 21st. Li, Futai, considered this eva- 

232 Gordon's further operations. 

cuation as a consequence of the taking of Kashing fu ; 
but not so did Tso, who, being Chetai of Chekiang, did 
not much like General Ching, a Kiangsoo official, taking 
a city in his province. Immediately after this the Eebels 
evacuated Huliang, and fell back on Wuchu fu, close to 
the south-west corner of the Taiho Lake. Thus they 
were cleared almost entirely out of the district to the 
south of that immense sheet of water ; but small parties 
of them took refuge in the uninhabited mountains which 
formed the boundary between the provinces of Chekiang 
and Nganhwui, and which run up by Kuanteche and 
Liyang all the way from Hangchow to Nanking ; for 
the Imperialists did not care to follow them into the 
fastnesses of those sterile hills, where starvation awaited 

We must now return to Colonel Gordon, who had 
nearly recovered from his wound, and had put his 
augmented force in movement in the neighbourhood 
of Waisoo on the 6th April. The Tai-pings who had 
so lately repulsed his force were in a rather dangerous 
position ; for behind them, on the north, beyond a range 
of hills, was the river Yangtsze, held by Imperial fleets ; 
on the east was General Kwo Sung-ling, with a large 
force of Imperialists ; on the south-east, the disciplined 
Chinese ; on the south and west were also large Im- 
perialist forces ; while to the north-west Kongyin was 
held by the Imperialists. Between the latter place 
and the Rebel stockades at Waisoo the road to Tayan 
passed ; and now the Imperialists held no force upon 
it, but had broken all its bridges past Kongyin, and 
had arranged so that the Eebels would imagine this road 
to be still open for retreat. As his men were rather 
timid after their recent loss, Colonel Gordon advanced 



with the greatest caution towards Waisoo on the 11th 
April, and found that town surrounded by strong stock- 
ades and breastworks. Having opened a fire from the 
24-pounder howitzers, he moved the 4th Kcgiment and 
two mounted guns to the north of the Kebel posi- 
tion, which was its weakest side. This disconcerted 
the Tai-pings, who had expected to be attacked only 
from the south — the direction from which the howitzers 
were firiD^:. The stockades on the north were taken 
with very little fighting ; and on finding this, the Eebels 
suddenly vacated the town, and after a little desultory 
skirmishing began to retreat from the neighbourhood. 
Lfs Imperialist soldiers then followed them up, and 
drove them in every direction over the country towards 
Tayan. Waisoo was found full of rice, which had been 
collected from the surrounding country. In it were 
discovered the bodies of upwards of 150 of the Liyang 
men who had been taken prisoners in the affair of the 
31st March, and the mutilated corpses of the seven un- 
fortunate European officers were buried with military 

Next day, when Colonel Gordon followed up the 
Rebels in the direction of Kongyin, the villagers of the 
country turned out to his assistance, armed with every 
sort of weapon, and showed no mercy to the Eebels, 
who sufiered fearfully among the creeks which abounded, 
and whose parties w^ere cut up in every direction. It 
w^ould have been difficult even for a disciplined force to 
have withstood the attacks of these infuriated peasants, 
whose houses had been burnt, and whose relatives had 
been wantonly murdered, by the Tai-ping marauders. 
Several Chiefs and a great number of ponies were taken. 
All the Cantonese, Hupeh, and Kwangsi Rebels who 
were taken were immediately executed. Of the expe- 

Gordon's further operations. 

ditionary force barely 1000 escaped back to Tayan and 

Colonel Gordon tben collected bis entire force, wbicb 
at tliis time numbered about 3000 men, and advanced 
to assist Futai Li and tbe Imperialist troops wbo were 
engaged in besieging Chancbu fu. At this time the Re- 
bellion was very near its last gasp ; for in Chekiang the 
Tai-pings held only the cities of Wuchu and Chang-ching; 
in Kiangsoo they had only Nanking, Tayan, and Chan- 
cbu ; in Kiangsi their footing was confined to three 
towns held by the Che Wang ; and in the remainder of 
China they made no appearance at all. Hence it seemed 
practicable as well as important to prevent them mak- 
ing their escape from Chancbu to ravage fresh districts ; 
and Gordon pressed the importance of this upon the 
Futai, who was noways unwilling to invest tbe city on 
all sides, because the garrison, commanded by the Hu 
Wang and Tso Wang, were mostly Cantonese — desperate 
old Rebels to whom be was not disposed to show any 
mercy. The Futai was also very angry with his military 
Mandarins for having effected nothing against this place 
thougli they had been before it since January, and urged 
on matters by threatening to degrade them if they did 
not make sharp progress in the siege. 

In the preliminary fighting among the stockades before 
Chancbu, Colonel Gordon lost his best artillery officer, 
and himself ran a great risk. About midnight on the 
25tb April, he, along with Major Tapp, was superintend- 
ing a fatigue party of Imperialists engaged in construct- 
ing a battery, who were supported by a strong Im- 
perialist picket on each side, and by a covering party 
in rear. This work was nearly completed, when sud- 
denly, without any intelligible reason, the picket on 
the left fired into the battery. On this the covering 


party fell back on a bank behind, and also opened fire 
upon the battery, seeing which, the left picket again 
fired into it. Koused by this midnight disturbance, the 
Tai-pings also directed their guns upon the same point ; 
so the astonished party in the battery had to stand a 
rear and flank fire from their own troops, and a front 
one from the enemy. Colonel Gordon, with his usual 
good fortune, escaped untouched, and soon managed to 
find a little shelter among some ruins ; but his companion 
was shot in the stomach, and died in about ten minutes, 
while of the handful of sappers in the battery there were 
several killed and five wounded. It is difficult to believe 
that this affair was altogether an accident. The troops 
before Chanchu were not very eager to push on the siege, 
because they knew that they would meet with a desper- 
ate resistance, and that the taking of that place would 
end the campaign ; so it is not impossible that some of 
them may have desired to try whether or not Gordon 
actually bore a charmed life. 

Major Tapp, who was thus killed, had been a warrant 
officer in the Eoyal Navy, and was permitted to purchase 
his discharge in order to enter the force in 1862. He 
was a singularly energetic as well as brave officer, and 
had more influence over the men than any other of the 
regimental commanders, so his loss was greatly felt. 
Another fact w^orthy of notice in the preliminary fight- 
ing was, that a number of the Tai-piugs who escaped to 
the city wall when their stockades outside were taken 
by the Imperialists, were drawn up by ropes to the top 
of the parapet by their friends inside, and were there 
and then decapitated pour encourager les aiitres who 
might be meditating on the expediency of evacuating 
any other stockades. 

The Futai was very anxious to take Chanchu with 


Gordon's further operations. 

bis unaided Chinese troops, and ordered Colonel Bailey, 
who was directing the late General Ching's artillery, to 
breach the wall between the South and West Gates on 
the 2Gth April. Gordon's artillery was then ordered to 
open fire on the town, in order to distract the attention 
of the garrison, and an assault was made by the Im- 
perialists alone, who Avere repulsed with great loss. On 
the 27th Gordon had completed his batteries and opened 
fire on the south-east angle of the wall, laying under 
cover of this fire a pontoon bridge across the ditch, 
which was sixty feet broad and eight in depth. He had 
arranged that a fresh body of Imperialists should assault 
at the same time as he did at his point ; and so at I 
P.M. he advanced two regiments as a storming party. 
On this the Eebels manned the walls in great numbers, 
and their leader, Hu Wang, was seen encouraging them 
in person. The resistance was so desperate that, though 
ten or twelve of the officers mounted the breach, they 
were driven back, and the column had to be recalled. 
It appeared that, owing to some mishap about their 
bridges, the Imperialists had not stormed at the time 
which had been agreed on, so the whole force of the 
Tai-pings had been at liberty to meet the disciplined 
Chinese ; but the Futai sent round to Gordon asking 
him to renew the assault, and a combined movement 
was then made on the two points which had been 
breached. Again, however, both the Imperialists and 
the Ever -Victorious Army were repulsed ; the Tai- 
pings inside being desperate, owing, doubtless, to Li's 
refusal to show mercy to the Kwangtung and Kwangsi 
men amongst them. Though Gordon's officers got up 
on this occasion to the crest of the breach — Colonels 
Cawte, Howard, and Chapman, and Captain Winstanley 
greatly distinguishing themselves — yet the men hung 



back ; a retreat had to be ordered, and even the pontoons 
were abandoned. On this occasion the Tai-pings fought 
with the greatest determination, and were utterly re- 
gardless of their own lives. When they mounted the 
wall the artillery was played on them with shell and 
canister at a distance of only 120 yards ; but no sooner 
was one party of them blown away from the breach 
than another replaced it, brandishing spears and shout- 
ing defiance. On the other hand, the disciplined Chinese 
w^ere not very anxious to take the last town they were 
likely to have to attack ; and though usually indifferent 
enough as to their own lives, yet, having got some plun- 
der since leaving Quinsan, and not having had any 
opportunity of disposing of it, they did not like the idea 
of being shot before enjoying their little treasures. The 
loss among the officers, now much reduced in number 
by the affairs of Kintang and Waisoo, was very severe, 
nineteen being wounded, while there were killed. Colonel 
Morton, Captains Khode, Hammond, Donald, and Smith, 
and Lieutenants Brown, Gibb, Chowrie, Eobinson, and 

Being unwilling to expose his officers to much more 
of such disastrous work. Colonel Gordon instructed the 
Futai's Mandarins how to approach the wall by trenches, 
and found that they readily took up the plan and 
executed it very well. While these were making, the 
Eebels in some stockades at the East Gate came over to 
the Imperialists and were pardoned. The Futai hung up 
proclamations large enough to be read from the walls, 
offering pardon to any one, except the Hu Wang, who 
might give up the city. This brought down deserters 
in dozens over the breaches every day, in spite of all 
their Chiefs efforts to prevent them. The Cantonese 
Rebels in Chanchu were peculiarly obnoxious both to the 

238 Gordon's further operations. 

authorities and to the people of the district, for they 
were purely marauders of the worst kind ; while some of 
the other Tai-ping soldiers, and especially those drawn 
from Kiangsoo, were only unfortunate peasants com- 
pelled by threats of torture and death to fight under the 
banner of the Great Peace. To all such it was desired 
to show mercy; and on the 5th May the chiefs of one- 
half the garrison sent out a letter to Colonel Gordon, 
oflfering to give up the city if he would send his troops 
to the breach that night and make a false attack on two 
of the gates ; but as there was much risk in this plan 
he declined to follow it, and these Rebels came over 
as they could escape, sometimes to the number of 300 

The following is a translation of the letter which the 
Eebels sent to Gordon on this occasion ; it is curiously 
illustrative of the existing state of matters, and of one 
of the means by which he made such rapid progress 
in clearing the country: — 

We received your letter telling us to be on the look-out for 
you during the third watch on the night of the 27th. 

Accordingly we procured strips of white cloth, made a fire 
in the city, threw fireballs and rockets from the wall ; but up to 
the fourth watch saw nothing of you, neither was the floating 
bridge laid down. 

Consequently we were in a great fright ; and the wliite cloth 
being discovered, we were reported to Hwang, who would 
have beheaded us had not other officers interceded on our 

In the event of your carrying out your plan, we shall be 
distinguished by wearing white bands, or by having the left 
arm out of the sleeves. 

Should you intend coming to-night, hang up two lamps at 
the East Gate as a signal, then send troops to the North and 
West Gates to make false attacks, whilst another body lie 
in ambush near the South Gate, and also open fire on the 



new city. The Eebels will rush to defend the North and West 
Gates, and on onr throwing two fireballs you should instantly 
scale the walls. Our party are on guard during the fifth watcli, 
and will assist you, our cry being "Death to the Eebels!" 
Should you not come, hoist one lamp at the East Gate. 

No future time [for your attack] need be fixed, as we can be 
guided by your signals. We are talked about as being traitors, 
and should anything be proved against us, 2000 of us would 
lose our lives. Our movements will be regulated by what is 
going on outside the city; and after the place falls we shall 
collect at the East Gate and await your Excellency. 

You must have no misgivings as to our sincerity. May 
Heaven and Earth conspire against us if we be found liars 1 
Pray keep our communications quiet, lest any one coming into 
the city betray us. 

Futai Li discovered that Chanchu bad been taken by 
the Faithful King on the 11th May 1860, and deter- 
mined to celebrate the anniversary of that day by a new 
attack, in which it was intended that the Victorious 
Army should have only a subordinate place. It is pro- 
bable that the Eebels had become dispirited by this time, 
and they seem to have been taken by surprise, so no 
great resistance was made. The breaches had been 
planted with spikes and broken glass, but a heavy fire, 
bringing down masses of the wall, did much to cover 
these impediments ; and the Imperialist soldiers of Gen- 
eral Wang at one point, and of General Kwo Sung-lin at 
another, crossed the bridges over the ditch, and climbing 
up the ruins in perfect silence, soon crowned the ram- 
part, where they met with a desperate resistance. The 
consequence was that Kwo Sung-lin's column began to 
give way in confusion ; but at this critical moment 
Colonel Gordon himself, followed by his 1st Kegiment 
and 200 volunteers from his other corps, rushed to its 
support over the bridges and up the breach. The Im- 
perialists were rallied, the defenders of the breach were 


Gordon's further operations. 

swept away at the point of the bayonet ; and, Wang 
carrying his point about the same moment, the besieg- 
ing sohliers began to swarm in thousands into the city. 
After this the struggle was short. Cockeye," the Hu 
Wang, who did not seem to have expected the attack, 
came up in hot haste with a large body of troops, but 
they were thrown into confusion, and he himself was 
taken prisoner, resisting to the last. The other chiefs 
also made rallies, and at one moment a panic seized the 
Imperialists, but soon the place was entered on all sides, 
and resistance entirely ceased. 

The garrison of Chanchu fu was found to number 
about 20,000, and of these only 1500 were killed at the 
capture. All the Cantonese among the prisoners were 
executed, including the famous " Cockeye." This AVang, 
who had ravaged Soochow some years before, and who re- 
fused to make submission to Li when brought before that 
Futai, was simply beheaded, as he well deserved to be. 
He was a native of Kwangsi, a very early adherent of 
the Tien Wang, and in personal appearance was strongly 
made, but with rather small features. The city proved 
to be in a very impoverished, dilapidated state, but con- 
tained rice sufficient to have supported its defenders for 
two years ; and very little plunder was found in it, 
either for the Imperialist soldiers or for the Ever- Vic- 
torious Army, — which had now taken its last city, had 
fought its last battle, and was to be dissolved, owing 
partly to the withdrawal of that Order of her Majesty in 
Council which permitted British officers to take service 
under the Chinese Government. 

















The causes which now led to the dissolution of the Ever- 
Victorious Army were twofold — one set relating to the 
very success which it had achieved, and the other to a 
change in the position of British officers serving the 
Chinese Government. After the taking of Chanchu fu 
little more remained for it to accomplish except at Nan- 
king, where it was not wanted either by the General- 



issimo, Tseng Kwo-fan, or by his Lieutenant, Tseng 
Kwo-tsun. Kintang had surrendered a few days pre- 
viously, and Tanyan was given up on the 13th May by 
a portion of its garrison who murdered their leader. 
The Rebels held only the city of Wuchu to the south of 
the Taiho Lake, and Nanking far to the north of it, 
where they were closely besieged. In Kiangnan the 
Tai-ping movement was almost at an end, and the 
ordinary troops of the Futai, provided as they were with 
39,000 stand of European arms, with heavy artillery, 
and with a large supply of ammunition, were quite able 
to prevent its again making head, or threatening the 
consular port of Shanghai. In these circumstances it 
became a serious question to Governor Li, whether, in 
the impoverished state of his revenue, he ought to con- 
tinue in existence so expensive a force as that which 
Gordon commanded. It had done its work admirably 
indeed, but with the completion of that work its raison 
dStre had ceased. At the same time the withdrawal 
of Colonel Gordon from his command afforded another 
set of reasons for the dissolution of the force. The great 
outcry raised by Tai-ping sympathisers, both in China 
and at home, regarding the execution of the Soochow 
Wangs had not been without effect on her Majesty's 
Government and on public opinion in this country. 
False reports had been industriously disseminated of 
there having been a general massacre of the Rebels who 
surrendered in that city; and the facts were not known, 
which, as I have pointed out, had partially j ustified the 
execution of nine persons which actually took place. 
Hence it is no wonder that the British Government 
should have decided on recalling, as it did on the 1st of 
1864, the Order in Council which permitted Colonel 
Gordon to take service under the Chinese Government, 


and that the War Office determined to withdraw ex- 
plicitly from that officer all leave and licence to serve 
the Emperor as he had been doing. There was, in my 
opinion, no necessity for such action, and the conse- 
quences might have been seriously hurtful both to the 
people of China and to our interests there, had Gordon 
not resumed active operations in March, or had he not 
assailed the Tai-pings with so much swiftness and suc- 
cess ; but, as it providentially turned out, his work had 
just been accomplished at the moment when he was 
called upon to retire from the field of his victories. 

A new responsibility now" devolved on the Commander 
of the Ever-Victorious Army, for the Futai requested 
him to decide on what should be done with that force, 
intimating at the same time that he had difficulty in 
meeting the heavy monthly expenditure which it in- 
volved, and that he entertained fears of the ability of 
the Mandarins to deal with it should Colonel Gordon 
leave. To disband the force was so important a step 
that, could the opinion of the British Minister and of the 
General commanding in China have been soon obtained, 
Colonel Gordon would have waited to consult them ; but 
considering the time that must have necessarily elapsed 
before he could have heard from these authorities, he 
determined to act on his own responsibility, as he had 
previously done in resuming operations. On maturely 
considering the whole subject, it appeared to Mm to be 
highly dangerous to leave the Ever-Victorious Army in 
existence ; because a force constituted as it w^as might, 
under some other leadership, turn against the Imperial 
authorities at any moment and join the Rebels, or be- 
come the nucleus of a third party in China. It clearly 
had been Burge vine's wish to form such a party, of 
w^hich he himself might be the head ; and if the dis- 


ciplined force happened to pass into the hands of such a 
chief, it would very likely be employed for a like pur- 

Haviniy determined that it would be best to dissolve 
his force, Colonel Gordon judged that no time should be 
lost in doing so. The last arduous campaign of three 
months, with its severe losses, had somewhat dispirited 
the men, and the officers were ready to leave if they 
received gratuities ; whereas, if they were kept on in 
inactivity for some weeks, they would probably have 
been anxious again to take the field. On this being 
represented to him, the Futai agreed to pay a gratuity to 
the officers and men, and intimated through Commis- 
sioner Hart his wish to reward the labours of Colonel 
Gordon by a large sum of money. This the latter 
thought proper to decline, as he had done the 10,000 
taels previously awarded him by the Imperial Govern- 
ment, and this self-denial was not without good efiect on 
the minds of the Chinese authorities. Up to this time 
they had found the Foreigners with whom they came in 
contact eagerly seeking after money whether services 
had been rendered or not, and they had naturally come 
to the conclusion that personal aggrandisement, in the 
shape of dollars, was the ruling motive with all our 
countrymen. In Gordon, however, they discerned a 
man of quite a different stamp. Confining his personal 
expenditure to the smallest limits, he had spent all his 
pay and even some of his own private funds in promot- 
ing the efficiency of his force ; he had spared himself no 
labour or trouble, had shirked no danger, and yet refused 
any monetary reward. Latterly the Futai showed that 
he was capable of understanding and appreciating this 
disinterested conduct, and so Colonel Gordon experi- 
enced no difficulty in obtaining the sum which he 


thought necessary as a reward to his troops before dis- 
banding them, and the whole details of the arrangement 
were left entirely in his hands. 

Colonels of regiments and the wounded officers of the 
force received each 4000 Mexican dollars, or about £900 ; 
and other officers sums in proportion. Captain Sham- 
rofFel, a Prussian, who had lost both his eyes before Soo- 
chow, got £1600 ; while the unwounded men of the rank- 
and-file received, in addition to a month's pay, a small 
sum proportionate to the distance they had to travel to 
their homes. As the whole force had been paid at a 
very high rate throughout its career, this could not be 
considered illiberal on the part of a Government so 
deeply involved in debt as the Chinese then was. 

The force arrived at Quinsan on the 16th May, and 
by the 1st of June its Commander had paid off all the 
officers and men, and sent the former to Shanghai, the 
latter to their respective homes, returning, at the same 
time, all arms and ammunition to the Imperial stores. 
He left, however, a few officers of artillery and some men 
with the Futai, to strengthen him in that branch, and 
recommended that a camp of instruction should be 
formed at some place near Shanghai where native troops 
might be drilled by British officers. Great caution was 
necessary in every step of these proceedings ; and before 
the work was effected some mutinous disposition was 
shown, which might have become serious under a less 
determined officer. It now only remained for Colonel 
Gordon to take leave of Futai Li previous to his depar- 
ture. The latter received him with the highest marks of 
respect and regard, and expressed himself in a manner 
which proved that his intercourse with an officer of so 
chivalrous a spirit had had much effect in inclining him 
to look upon Foreigners with respect. The Peking 


Government also departed in a remarkable manner from 
its old traditions in acknowledging his services. It pub- 
licly admitted that it was under great obligations to 
this Foreigner, conferred upon him the rank of Ti-Tu, 
and presented to him a banner and the Order of the Star, 
along with the distinction of the Yellow Jacket, which, 
in the estimation of the Chinese, is one of the highest 
marks of Imperial favour. The following correspon- 
dence will also show that the Emperor specially re- 
commended Colonel Gordon to the British Govern- 
ment : — 

Hongkong, July 12, 1864. 
My Lord, — I enclose translation of a despatch from Prince 
Kung, containing the decree published by the Emperor, acknow- 
ledging the services of Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, Royal Engi- 
neers, and requesting that her Majesty's Government be pleased 
to recognise them. This step has been spontaneously taken. 

Lieutenant -Colonel Gordon well deserves her Majesty's fa- 
vour ; for, independently of the skill and courage he has shown, 
his disinterestedness has elevated our national character in the 
eyes of the Chinese. Not only has he refused any pecuniary 
reward, but he has spent more than his pay in contributing to 
the comfort of the of&cers who served under him, and in assuag- 
ing the distress of the starving population whom he relieved 
from the yoke of their oppressors. Indeed, the feeling that im- 
pelled him to resume operations after the fall of Soochow was 
one of the purest humanity. He sought to save the people of 
the districts that had been recovered from a repetition of the 
misery entailed upon them by this cruel civil war. — I have, &c. 

Frederick W. A. Bruce. 

The Earl Russell, K.G. 

The Prince of Kung makes a communication to Sir Frederick 
W. A. Bruce : — 

Some time has elapsed since his Excellency the British 
Minister, profoundly animated by the feeling of friendliness to- 
wards China entertained by the British Government, did, in 
view of the fact that rebellion was still rife in Kiangsoo, authorise 
Gordon and other officers of the British army to co-operate heart 


and hand with the Forces of the Cliinese Government against 
the Eebels. 

On the 11th of the 5th moon of the 3d year of Tung-che 
[14th June 1864], Li, the Governor of Kiangsoo, in a memorial 
reporting a series of distinguished services rendered in action by 
Gordon now a Tsung-Ping, with the title of Ti-Tu, together with 
the particulars of his conduct and discipline of the Ever- Vic- 
torious Army, requested his Majesty the Emperor to be pleased 
to commend him ; and on the same day the Grand Secretariat 
had the honour to receive the following decree : — 

" On the occasion of the recovery of Chanchu We issued 
a decree conferring on Gordon, Provisional General of Division 
of the Army of Kiangsoo, for his co-operation with the force he 
commanded, the title of Ti-Tu [Commander-in-Chief of a pro- 
vincial army] ; and AVe further presented him with banners and 
decorations of honour. This was to distinguish his extraordinary 
merit, and Li Hung-chang was to address Us again wdienever he 
[Gordon] should have brought the Ever-Victorious Battalions 
under his command into a satisfactory state of drill and dis- 
cipline, and to request Us to signify Our approval of his conduct 
in laudatory terms. Li Hung-chang now writes to say that, 
both as regards its movements and its discipline, the Ever- Vic- 
torious Battalion under Gordon is in a very satisfactory state, 
and to request Us to signify Our pleasure accordingly. 

" Since the spring of last year Gordon has distinguished him- 
self in a series of actions with the Ever- Victorious Force under 
his command ; he has co-operated with the Forces of Govern- 
ment [with such effect that] Fushan has been recovered, the 
siege of Chanzu has been raised, and the sub-prefectural city 
of Taitsan, with the district cities of Quinsan and Wokong, 
have also been retaken, as well as the provincial capital of Soo- 
chow. This year he has retaken Ihing and Liyang ; he has 
driven off the Eebels who had worked their way to Yangshe, 
and he has recaptured Chanchu. He has now brought the 
Ever- Victorious Force to such a degree of improvement that it 
Avill prove a body of enduring utility. Not only has he shown 
himself throughout both brave and energetic, but his thorough 
appreciation of that important question, a friendly understand- 
ing between China and Foreign nations, is also deserving of the 
highest praise. 


" We command that Gordon be rewarded with a yellow riding- 
jacket* to be worn on his person, and a peacock's feather to be 
carried on his cap ; also that there be bestowed on him four suits 
of the uniform proper to his rank of Ti-Tu, in token of Our favour 
and desire to do him lionour. Respect this." 

A copy of the above having been reverently made and for- 
warded to the Tsung-li Yamun, the Prince and the Ministers, 
members of it, have to observe that General Gordon, ever since 
he began to co-operate with the Forces of the Chinese Govern- 
ment against the Eebels, has been alike remarkable for his 
courage and intelligence, and displayed extraordinary energy. 
But the fact that he was further able to improve the drill and 
discipline of the Ever- Victorious Force shows him to be in very 
eminent degree both able and respectable, while his success in 
supporting the friendly policy of the British Government, whose 
subject he is, entitles him to the admission that he has not 
shown himself unworthy of the language ever held by the British 
Minister regarding him. 

In respectful obedience to the will of his Imperial Majesty, 
the Yamun is preparing the uniforms and other articles for trans- 
mission to him. The banners and decorations will be cared for 
by Li, the Governor of Kiangsoo. 

Meanwhile it becomes the duty of the Prince to address the 
Britisli Minister, that his Excellency may bring these things 
to the notice of her Majesty the Queen of England, in evidence 
of the desire of the Chinese Government, by its consideration 
of [Colonel Gordon's] merits, and its bestowal of rewards, to 
strengthen the entente cordiale. 

General Gordon's title, Ti-Tu, gives him the highest rank in 
the Chinese Army ; but the Prince trusts that if, on his return 
home, it be possible for the British Government to bestow pro- 
motion or reward on General Gordon, the British Minister wiU 
bring the matter forward, that all may know that his achieve- 
ments and his character are equally deserving of praise. 

June 16, 1864. 

The dissolution of the Ever- Victorious Army was 
viewed with some concern by Sir Harry Parkes, who 

* The Yellow Jacket is a high distinction conferred only rarely on Chi- 
nese officers. 



thought that he, as Consul at Shanghai, or at least that 
the British Minister, ought to have been consulted on 
the subject. Accordingly he wrote somewhat sharply 
to Li, Futai, upon the subject, complaining that Shanghai 
might be again exposed to Tai-ping assaults, and re- 
ceived from Li a letter dated the 23d May 1864, from 
which I make the following extracts, without changing 
the rather peculiar English of the native Chinese inter- 
preter who penned it, as they serve to illustrate the 
Futai's own view of his share in the victories of the 
preceding year ; and this view, whether correct or not, 
should be taken into account before commenting on the 
general subject of Gordon's achievements : — 

When the force was first raised by Colonel Ward it num- 
bered less than 1000 men, which number was gradually added 
to till it reached several thousand. It went on like this till 
1862, when, in consequence of the failure of the banking expe- 
dition, and the defection of Burgevine, I settled that it should 
be weeded out, and 3000 only retained. The command then 
passed into the hands of Holland and Gordon, who being will- 
ing to consult me, the force, with the co-operation of some tens 
of thousands of the Imperial army, kept the field for a year or 
so, and finally achieved the glorious capture of Soochow. 

During this time a large number of the old soldiers deserted, 
tired by their long service, and the bravest of the force were dis- 
abled by death or wounds ; and as the vacancies have been sup- 
plied in many cases by Rebels who had newly come over, the 
force could not be expected to perform as well in future, should 
it be necessary to employ it. Colonel Gordon, accordingly, de- 
siring to return to England, proposed that the force should be 
disbanded, that the revenues may be relieved of the expenses of 
its support, and his future reputation be secured. 

The measure being a felicitous idea of Colonel Gordon's, and 
not an underhand project of mine. However, as the force has 
been a long time in the field, I am unwilling to disband it with- 
out notice, and I propose to retain the artillery corps, numbering 
600, 300 picked men of infantry, and the complement of the 


Hyson, being one-third of the whole force. I also give the 
Foreign officers I dismiss considerable gratifications, in con- 
sideration of their service ; and I shall similarly see the privates 
properly rewarded. The measures, therefore, which have been 
quietly considered by Colonel Gordon and myself on the spot, 
would appear sound, and the reduction practicable, as far as the 
force itself is concerned. 

You refer in your letter to the three attacks on Shanghai 
before 1861, which occurred before my arrival at Shanghai ; 
but, though not present, I think you must have heard of the 
progress of the campaign since 1862 — how at the commence- 
ment of the summer of which year I arrived in Shanghai with 
6000 infantry only, the whole country, save some three miles 
E. and W. of the river, being infested with Eebel armies 100,000 
strong. Army replaced army. Kading and Tsipoo, which had 
been recovered, were lost ; and although we were most fortunate 
in the protection afforded the place, and great assistance was 
given by your officers and men, it was not till I took the field 
in person, and by my victories slaughtered some 10,000 of the 
Rebels, and abated their pride, that Shanghai could spread out, 
or even be considered safe itself. Eeinforcements then coming 
down, and my army having been at length brought up to some 
strength, I divided my force, and despatched it E. and W. — the 
eastern division, under General Ching, numbering 20,000 men, 
acting with Gordon's force, and capturing Wokong, Chanzu, 
Taitsan, and Quinsan, and clearing the way to Soochow; the 
western division, under Generals Li Lin and Kwo, numbering 
some 20,000, proceeding west, and capturing Kongyin, Wusieh, 
clearing the way to Chanchu. A third army, under Pau, Futai, 
after clearing out Nanhui, Kinsan, and Pootung generally, event- 
ually recovered Pingwang, Pinghui, and Chapu. 

This year General Ching recovered the prefectural city of 
Kashing ; and I, in person, with some 40,000 men, with 
Gordon's assistance, recovered Chanchu, and Colonel Gordon, 
an eyewitness, can testify to the bravery of both. Such is 
the brief history of the campaign — how the Imperial army, 
sometimes co-operating with Gordon's force, sometimes acting 
by itself, has achieved complete success. 

I have entered thus into the details that the position may 
be clear to you. 



Again, as although the Eebels are now twice as formidable 
as they were in 1854 — though they fight desperately, whether in 
attack or when defending themselves — my troops have been a 
match for them, they [i. e., " my troops "] should not be named 
in the same day with the old Imperial forces. I would point 
out that even when Burgevine's tribe gave them [the Eebels] 
every aid in their power, when they purchased steamers at 
exorbitant rates, my troops burnt the first at Kachiao, the second 
at Penmin, and the third at Kashing, besides capturing in- 
numerable Foreign muskets and guns in every victory, whereas 
now the Eebels are reduced to the depths of poverty, and it is 
not expecting too much to look forward to the speedy capture 
of Nankin and Hoochow [Wuchu], to assist in reducing which 
I am sending a considerable force. 

The eastern frontier — Pingwang, the Taiho Lake, and Ka- 
shing — [being] held by 10,000 odd men, there is no fear of 
the Hoochow Eebels breaking out ; and the western frontier — 
Changchow, Tinghu, Chinshan, Piao Yang, and Kiu Yang — 
being held by 30,000 odd men, an eruption of the Nanking 
Eebels is not to be apprehended. At Soochow, again, my own 
force, amounting, between soldiers and marines, to 10,000 odd 
men, is stationed ready to march at a moment's notice, and 
there is not a single spot left open, not an inch uncovered. 
Shanghai, therefore, as it is a long way behind all these, and 
its approaches are guarded by victorious troops, can repose 
calmly ; and when you consider that, although in 1862 I had 
but the one city of Shanghai and some three miles round, I 
was able to make head against the Eebels, till now Soochow 
and Chanchu are clear of them, and they possess two places, 
only both many hundred li from Shanghai, and the country is 
held by first-class troops, you will have, I think, little cause 
for apprehension ; and it certainly appears to me that the meas- 
ures you say in your letter should be taken to secure the future 
peace and tranquillity of Shanghai may be seen in operation, 
and it would be taking a very one-sided view to say that 
Gordon's force is the only one on which reliance could be 
placed, and that the tens of thousands of tried Imperial troops 
are not sufficient. I refer you, however, to Gordon, who is 
well acquainted with the matter from having been present with 
the army, while I repeat, I do not intend to disband the force 



entirely, but I shall retain a certain number for the sake of their 
name and reputation. 

Again, I saw in the newspaper of the 1st day. of the 3d 
moon that the Queen of England had ordered her decree of 
1862 to be cancelled, and prohibited her officers, whether naval 
or military, drilling or commanding troops for the Chinese Gov- 
ernment. If this (as I suppose it is) be so, I presume it would 
be impossible for your high authorities, military or civil, whether 
at Peking or Shanghai, to act in defiance of it ; and, if Gordon 
wishes to reduce the force, it is impossible for me to insist on 
retaining it, and force British officers to command it. 

I have given the greatest attention to the various considera- 
tions now urged by you, as my responsibility is very great, and 
I have no one to share it with me. I desire greatly that we 
should act together and co-operate in anything that may occur. 
I certainly would not run into danger by obstinate adherence 
to my own views; but, knowing both the state of the force and 
the position of the Eebellion, it is well to take advantage of 
Colonel Gordon's retirement to arrange the reduction of the 
force, and I trust you will calmly review the matter. 

One other important document regarding Colonel 
Gordon deserves a place in these pages. The Foreign 
community in Shanghai was a good deal divided as to 
the expediency of giving aid to the Imperialists and of 
putting down the Rebellion ; but there was only one 
opinion among them as to the admirable manner in 
which the young British officer who had taken command 
of the Ever- Victorious Army had performed his share of 
that work ; and on his departure from China, towards 
the end of 1864, they presented him with the following 
expression of their opinions and feelings on the sub- 
ject :— 

To Lieut.-Colonel Gordon, RE., 
&c. &c. &c. 

Shanghai, Nov. 24, 1864. 
Sir, — On the eve of your departure for your native country, 
we the undersigned, mostly fellow-countrymen of your own, but 


also representing various other nationalities, desire to express to 
you our earnest wishes for a successful voyage and happy return 
to your friends and the land of your birth. Your career during 
the last two years of your residence in the East has been, so far 
as we know, without a parallel in the history of the intercourse 
of foreign nations with China ; and, without entering at all 
upon the political bearings of the great question with which 
your name must ever remain so intimately connected, we feel 
that we should be alike wanting towards you and towards our- 
selves were we to pass by this opportunity without expressing 
our appreciation and admiration of the line of conduct which 
you personally have pursued. In a position of unequalled 
difficulty, and surrounded by complications of every possible 
nature, you have succeeded in offering to the eyes of the Chinese 
nation, no less by your loyal and, throughout, disinterested line 
of action, than by your conspicuous gallantry and talent for 
organisation and command, the example of a foreign officer 
serving the Government of this country with honourable fidelity 
and undeviating self-respect. It is by such examples that we 
may trust to see many of the prejudices which warp the Chinese 
mind as regards foreigners removed, and from such experience 
that we may look forward with hope to the day when, not only 
in the art of war, but in the more peaceful occupations of com- 
merce and civilisation, the Chinese Government may see fit to 
level the barriers hitherto existing, and to identify itself more 
and more with that progressive course of action which, though 
springing from the West, must prove ultimately of equal benefit 
to the countries of the East. Once more wishing you a prosper- 
ous voyage and a long career of usefulness and success, we 
remain. Sir, your obedient servants, 

(Signed) Jardine, Matheson, & Co. 
Dent & Co. 


Smith, Kennedy, & Co. 
And about fifty other firms or private individuals. 


To Messrs Jardine, Matheson, & Co., Dent & Co., Eussell 
& Co., Smith, Kennedy, & Co., Aug. Heard & Co., 
Lindsay & Co., &c. &c. &c. 

Shanghai, Nov. 25, 1864. 
Gentlemen, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt 
of your handsome letter of this day's date, and to express to you 
the great satisfaction which I feel at the honourable mention 
you have made therein of my services in China. It will always 
be a matter of gratification to me to have received your approval ; 
and, deeply impressed with the honour you have paid me, I have 
the honour to be. Gentlemen, yours obediently, 

C. G. Gordon, 

Cajyt. ItE., and Brevet Lieut.-Colonel. 

Before dismissing the subject of the Ever- Victorious 
Army, I may be allowed to make a few observations 
upon the military results which it actually effected, and 
upon its political relationships ; for a right understand- 
ing of these matters is absolutely essential to a general 
knowledge of the history of the suppression of the Tai- 
ping Rebellion, and more especially to correct the errone- 
ous supposition that the Chinese Government was in any 
very great need of our assistance to that end. 

As to the military question, it is impossible to consider 
Colonel Gordon's operations without admiration of his 
energy and genius. On assuming command of the force, 
he found it defeated, disheartened, and in a chaotic con- 
dition. Almost the entire province of Kiangsoo, with a 
considerable portion of Chekiang — an enormous district 
of country with vast tea and silk districts — was in the 
hands of the Tai-pings, who had not only procured arms 
in abundance from Shanghai and Ningpo, but were also 
engaging Foreign rowdies to fight for them. More- 
over, the disciplined force, of which he assumed com- 
mand, was almost as ready to take one side as the other ; 
and its officers were in a state of disaflfection, owing to 


the supercession of their former leader, Burgevine, by 
a British officer, and to the limits within which their 
plundering propensities were soon confined. Yet on 
these men Colonel Gordon was obliged to rely for assist- 
ance in carrying out his plans ; and he had often to 
place in them a dangerous confidence. Difficulty after 
difficulty arose between him and his own troops, all of 
which had to be conquered by his almost unaided tact 
and judgment. On the other hand, the Chinese au- 
thorities caused at first a great deal of unnecessary 
trouble ; and in some very critical moments he was 
quite uncertain whether the course he pursued would 
receive the approval of his own Government. Finally, 
the country in which he had to operate was unknown 
to him : it was peculiarly unsuited for military move- 
ments, owing to an absence of roads and to the manner 
in which it was iutersected by canals, streams, and 
creeks of most varied dimensions ; and, being fright- 
fully devastated, it could afibrd no commissariat sup- 
plies, while during part of the year it was extremely 
unhealthy, with its moist fields and stagnant waters 
steaming under a blazing sun. 

Notwithstanding these disadvantages. Colonel Gor- 
don fought for more than a year with not far from un- 
interrupted success. Both his officers and men became 
devoted to him, and conducted themselves with a regu- 
larity and propriety which were quite astonishing, con- 
sidering the perils to which they were exposed and the 
temptations which they had to resist. By leading in 
person in critical moments he shamed the more back- 
ward of them, and endeared himself to all by the unselfish 
manner in which he laboured for their benefit, not neglect- 
ing to look after the most minute details connected with 
their comfort. Even his enemy, the Tai-pings, who found 


in him so formidable an adversary, could not but admire 
the humanity he displayed in all his dealings with them, 
and which led him to run many risks in protecting those 
who surrendered, and in trying to prevent useless fight- 
ing. During the latter months of his command, the 
body-guard which he had for his own protection, and in 
whose power he often completely lay, separated from 
his force, was almost entirely composed of Tai-ping 
soldiers who had surrendered to him. Quite as remark- 
able were his sleepless activity, the manner in which 
he obtained information though himself ignorant of 
Chinese, his habit of reconnoitring the country by night 
almost unattended, and the rapidity with which he 
moved his troops from point to point. " By his activity 
and genius," says an article in the * Cornhill Magazine ' 
of November 1864, written by a gentleman who had 
personal opportunities of judging, though unconnected 
with his army, " the three thousand men compos- 
ing his force seemed multiplied tenfold ; and those 
who, in China, followed the daily accounts of his 
movements were astounded with the rapidity with 
which, in a difficult country, under a scorching sun, and 
with every obstacle that absence of commissariat or an 
organised transport system could throw in his way, he 
circled from east to west, from north to south, of the 
devoted city ; now suddenly swooping down upon a 
line of external fortifications, now falling upon and 
utterly routing a relieving army of enormous numbers 
brought up to attack him in rear, and at another time 
forcing his steamers through all impediments under 
the very walls of Soochow, and seizing a position which, 
if properly defended, might have withstood an army 
with success." " Never," said the London * Times,' when 
reviewing his career in China, " did soldier of fortune 

THE 'times' on colonel GORDON. 257 

deport himself with a nicer sense of military honour, 
with more gallantry against the resisting, and with more 
mercy towards the vanquished, with more disinterested 
neglect of opportunities of personal advantage, or with 
more entire devotion to the objects and desires of his own 
Government, than this officer, who, after all his victories, 
has just laid down his sword. A history of operations 
among cities of uncouth names, and in provinces the 
geography of which is unknown except to special stu- 
dents, would be tedious and uninstructive. The result of 
Colonel Gordon's operations, however, is this : He found 
the richest and most fertile districts of China in the 
hands of the most savage brigands. The silk districts 
were the scenes of their cruelty and riot, and the great 
historical cities of Hangchow and Soochow were rapidly 
following the fate of i^^anking, and were becoming deso- 
late ruins in their possession. Gordon has cut the 
Eebellion in half, has recovered the great cities, has 
isolated and utterly discouraged the fragments of the 
brigand power, and has left the marauders nothing but 
a few tracts of devastated country and their stronghold 
at Nanking. All this he has effected, first by the power 
of his arms, and afterwards still more rapidly by the 
terror of his name.""' 

I have said so much, against Colonel Gordon's own 
wishes, because so much has been said on the subject 
and must be repeated here in order to explain the actual 
course of recent events in China ; but when we come to 
look carefully at the sweeping statement that it was 
Colonel Gordon who put an end to the Tai-ping Eebel- 
lion, truth compels me to pause. Though perhaps Li, 
Futai, in the despatch quoted above, takes a good deal 
too much credit to himself for his share in the operations 

* Leading article in tlie ' Times' of 5tli August 1864. 


in Kiangsoo, yet there is no doubt tliat Gordon and his 
force, unaided, could not have cleared the province. 
While the brunt of the fighting fell upon him, he 
required Imperialists to hold the places which he took ; 
and their forces, under General Ching and others, fought 
along with him so as greatly to contribute to his success. 
And it must be remembered, which is of far more im- 
portance, that it was the Imperialist victories of Tseug 
Kwo-fan and his generals which drove the Tai-pings 
into the seaboard districts of Kiangsoo and Chekiang. 
The Imperialists appear to have calculated upon the 
Allies preserving for them the cities of Shanghai and 
Niugpo. Had they not done so, they would probably 
have adopted a different course. Our countrymen, 
alarmed at the proximity of the Rebels to their rich 
trading settlements, seemed to have imagined that this 
betokened a general triumph of the Tai-ping cause in 
China, but nothing could have been further from the 
real state of the case. There is no doubt that, had the 
Tai-pings been allowed to take Shanghai and Ningpo, 
and so to obtain Foreign steamers, arms, and recruits to 
almost an indefinite extent, they. would have given an 
immense deal more trouble than they did to the Chinese 
Government ; but to have allowed them to do so, would 
have been to ignore our own treaty obligations to that 
Government. Hence the Imperialists had a twofold 
reason for making no great efforts to prevent the 
advance of the E-ebels towards these two consular ports. 
They calculated that both our interests and our duty 
would lead us to hold these ports against the Tai-pings, 
and they calculated rightly. What they might have 
done in other circumstances is a matter of speculation ; 
but it is quite clear, judged both by the situation and 
by the results, that their allowing the Tai-pings to 



advance as these did was no proof whatever of their 
inability to deal with the Eebellion effectually in their 
own slow and systematic way. 

Turning to the political aspect of Colonel Gordon's 
action, the question arises, whether it was not giving the 
Imperialists aid on too easy terms, and was not calcu- 
lated to foster some of the vices of their administration'? 
This point is of the more importance, because at the 
same period a vigorous attempt was being made by 
Mr H. N. Lay and Captain Osborn to provide the 
Chinese Government with a European-manned naval 
force on terms which they thought would work a bene- 
ficial revolution in the state of the empire ; and it is 
necessary to refer briefly to that subject, because of an 
erroneous supposition which has been entertained, that 
Colonel Gordon's service with the Chinese was a main 
cause of the failure of that scheme. 

The Imperial maritime customs and the Lay-Osborn 
fleet form a distinct chapter in the recent history of 
China, but one closely connected with the main subject 
of this book. Partly from the corrupt tendencies of 
Mandarins, and partly from the bullying propensities of 
Foreign merchants, the Chinese Government found great 
difticulty in levying its maritime customs. To remedy 
the evils which thus arose, a Foreign Inspectorate was 
established at Shanghai, about twenty years ago, for the 
purpose of arresting, as Lord Elgin phrased it, " a system 
of irregularity and fraud in the collection of duties at 
that port, which was introducing confusion into all busi- 
ness transactions there, and converting the payment of 
duties into a gambling speculation, in which the violent 
and unscrupulous carried off all the prizes." Out of this 
there arose a customs service, chiefly composed of Eng- 
lishmen, Frenchmen, and Americans, paid by the Chinese 


Government, to collect its maritime revenue. The object 
of such an arrangement was very obvious. Eespectable 
Foreign merchants in China greatly prefer a fixed rate of 
duty, rigidly enforced by their own countrymen, to slid- 
ing duties, the amount of which depends on the weakness 
and venality of local Mandarins, and the unscrupulous- 
ness of competitors in trade. 

In 1859 and 1860 the inspectorship of this service 
was in the hands of Mr Horatio Nelson Lay, a gentleman 
who had previously been an interpreter in the consular 
service, having gone out to China at an early age. 
When Mr Lay returned to England on a visit in 1861, 
his place of inspector was taken conjointly by Mr Fitz- 
roy and Mr Robert Hart, but practically by the latter 
gentleman, who had also been in the consular service, 
and was well acquainted with Chinese. The change thus 
made was exceedingly acceptable to the Foreign com- 
munity in China ; and at the invitation of Sir Frederick 
Bruce, Mr Hart was invited up to Peking, where, as Sir 
Frederick says in an official despatch, " by his tact, good 
sense, and modesty, he obtained access to the Prince of 
Kung, and turned to useful account the favourable im- 
pression he made upon his Royal Highness and his 
advisers.'' One of the results of this visit was, that Mr 
Hart persuaded the Imperial Government to sanction the 
purchase on its account in England of some war-vessels, 
to be used for the protection of its revenue, for the sup- 
pression of piracy, or even, if expedient, against the 
Rebels at Nanking. On a general authorisation to effect 
this being sent to Mr Lay, that gentleman seems to have 
conceived a magnificent scheme for regenerating China 
and exalting himself. It is difficult to understand how 
any person of ordinary common sense could have sup- 
posed that the Imperial Government would agree to the 



project on which Mr Lay entered ; but he himself seems to 
have foreseen no difficulties in the way. Having simply 
received orders to purchase some steam-vessels for the 
Chinese Government, and to make the arrangements for 
the employment in them of a certain number of Euro- 
pean officers and men, he, a subordinate official, arranged 
that Captain Osborn, the commander of the squadron, 
should receive no orders except directly from the Em- 
peror, that these orders should only be conveyed through 
Mr Lay, and that Mr Lay should only convey such of 
them as he thought proper. Thus he would have placed 
himself in a position not only independent of the Empe- 
ror's viceroys, but practically independent of the Emperor 
himself, and also of the British Government.''' 

On this singular understanding seven expensive ves- 
sels wTre actually fitted out and despatched to China 
under the command of the well-known Captain Sherard 
Osborn, C.B., of the Royal Navy ; but, of course, when Mr 
Lay and the fleet reached Shanghai, the Imperial Govern- 
ment refused to ratify the arrangement. Still entirely 
misunderstanding his own position, and over-estimating 
his influence, Mr Lay went up to Peking, demanded a 

* The tiling is so incredible that it is necessary to quote the precise words 
of the agreement, as given in the Plue-Book, China, No. 2 (1864), p. 7 : — 

" Osborn undertakes to act upon all orders of the Emperor which may be 
conveyed direct to Lay, and Osborn engages not to attend to any orders 
conveyed through any other channel. 

" Lay, upon his j^art, engages to refuse to be the medium of any orders 
of the reasonableness of which he is not satisfied. 

" In the event of tlie death of eitlier Lay or Osborn, these conditions, 
which are entered into with the authority of the Emperor of China, are not, 
it is understood, in either case to be departed from." 

This last stipulation is really comical ; for the deatli of Lay would have 
left Osborn still bound to receive orders from no one else, and consequently 
would have obliged him to cast anchor and remain where he happened to 
be at the time, until he himself or the four years of the engagement expired. 


palace to reside in such as the Emperor allows to princes 
of the blood, and insisted on the arrangement he made 
being carried out. Prince Kung, however, refused to 
have an interview with him, and the members of the 
Foreign Board who admitted him to their presence 
would not give him what he considered satisfaction. 
The result was, that the vessels were sent back to this 
country to be sold on account of the Chinese Government ; 
and all the monetary obligations entered into with the 
officers of the fleet were honourably fulfilled. The whole 
affair cost the Chinese about half a million sterling, and 
would have cost them more had not Sir Frederick Bruce, 
ashamed of the transaction, and of the way in which her 
Majesty's Government had been mixed up with it, agreed 
to repay the expenses of the fleet returning home out of 
the indemnity-money which was being paid, by China to 
Great Britain on account of the last war, out of the Im- 
perial customs. This arrangement was almost incum- 
bent upon Sir Frederick, because he had objected on 
political grounds to so powerful a squadron being left in 
the hands of the Chinese, and it received the sanction of 
the home Government. 

After this fiasco Mr Lay seems to have gone down to 
Shanghai, still labouring under the impression that he 
was a dutiful servant and invaluable agent of the Chinese 
Government, but was soon undeceived by a despatch 
from the Prince of Kung, dismissing him from the post 
of Inspector-General of Customs, and directing him to 
hand over all his accounts to Mr Hart. The Prince 
observed on this occasion, that if Mr Lay had been a 
Chinese subject, he would have been punished for his con- 
duct in uselessly wasting public money; but, despite that, 
he was treated very leniently, for the Government allowed 
him £1000 a-month for the expenses of his establishment 

MR lay's ambition. 


at Peking ; they continued his salary at the rate of 
£8000 a-year for several months beyond the period which 
he required to make up his accounts, and they also gave 
him a gratification of £2000 to pay his expenses to Eng- 
land, though it had been expressly understood from the 
outset that he held his appointment only at the will of 
the Government, and might at any moment be dismissed 
without reason given or pension allowed. 

Sir Frederick Bruce wrote home a very able de- 
spatch on this subject," in which he said, " The Chinese 
Government comprehended the scope and bearing of 
this scheme, and look upon it as an insidious attempt 
to take the administration out of their hands. They 
are profoundly irritated, not only because of the em- 
barrassments in which they are involved by his [Lay's] 
having exceeded his authority, but on account of the 
position he thus sought to create for himself They 
attribute his conduct to personal motives, and their 
confidence in the good faith of Foreign agents has been 
most seriously shaken." In answer to this and other 
observations, Mr Lay published a pamphlet in the end 
of 1864, misen titled 'Our Interests in China,' in which 
he violently attacked the British Minister, and garnished 
his pages with amusing quotations from some letters 
which Sir Frederick had written in the confidence of 
private intercourse. The pamphlet, however, makes no 
alteration in the case as I have stated it above, and 
there can hardly be a question, except perhaps in the 
mind of Mr Lay himself, that Lay's scheme failed from 
its own prodigiousness, and could only have been ac- 
cepted by a government which was prepared to abdicate 
altogether, — which was very far indeed from being the 
position of that of China. Perhaps never was there a 

* Blue-Book, China, No. 2 (1864), p. 22. 


finer repetition of the old fable of the fly which had 
settled on the axletree of a carriage, exclaiming, " Behold 
what a dust I make ! " The course of events had exalted 
Mr Lay into a position for which he had no very special 
qualifications, and he seems to have supposed that he 
had done it all, and was the pivot round which every- 
thino; in China turned. Had there been no Colonel 
Gordon in the world, and had the Chinese Government 
been in circumstances a hundred times more alarming 
than those which existed at this period — when it had 
made peace with Foreign nations, and the Emperor's 
viceroys had swept the Tai-pings out of the Yangtsze 
valley — it would scarcely have dreamed of accepting 
the degradation which this scheme implied. 

At the same time, there was something of importance 
in the ideas w^hich Mr Lay thus abused. The possession 
of a small efiicient force, well drilled in the European 
fashion, and provided with European artillery and small 
arms, would have enabled the Chinese Government to 
have dealt much more effectually than it had hitherto 
been doing with rebellion in all parts of its domain. 
Such a force could only have been. obtained by employ- 
ing European officers of good character, and these 
would not have entered such a service without suf- 
ficient guarantees as to the period and the manner of 
their employment. Hence it may very reasonably be 
asked, whether Colonel Gordon, giving his valuable ser- 
vices in the generous way he did to the Chinese Govern- 
ment, did not spoil a great opportunity of inducing it 
to establish such a force, and lead the Chinese to imagine 
that if ever they fell into similar difficulties by their 
own mismanagement, they could calculate on receiving 
Foreign aid on their own terms ? This is not a subject 
to dogmatise upon ; but it seems to me that his action 


had no evil effects in that respect : because, firstly, the 
Peking Government was not in such straits as to stand 
greatly in need of Foreign aid ; secondly, it was not 
prepared to carry out any great reform in its military 
system ; thirdly, it was not in a position to make so 
great a change in the customs of the country ; and, 
fourthly, it would hardly have been decent in us to 
have taken advantage of its temporary distress to force 
upon it such a measure. 

On the first of these heads enough has been already 
said to show that though the Peking Government was 
willing to accept Foreign aid for a special purpose, it 
had got the upper hand, and without that aid would 
have put down the Rebellion sooner or later. As to the 
second, all our ofiicials who have been thrown into con- 
tact with the higher Mandarins of late years, will ac- 
knowledge that there never was any abasement in the 
demeanour of these officers, and that we frequently 
offered assistance before it was asked for. Thouefh the 
Chinese Government was rapidly increasing in know- 
ledge of Foreign affairs, and gradually adapting itself to 
changed circumstances, yet it had never displayed any 
wish to advance beyond the point of having a certain 
number of its troops accustomed to Foreign drill and 
the use of Foreign arms. And even if the Government 
had been exceedingly desirous to make a change in its 
military system, by establishing a small efficient army 
which it could employ in any part of the empire, it 
could not have done so in face of the opposition of Tseng 
Kwo-fan and the other generals who for many years 
had been successfully opposed to the Rebels. I daresay 
the Tartar section of Peking officialdom would have been 
not averse to a military reform which might have been 
a formidable counterbalance to the growing influence 


and power of Tseng Kwo-fan, Tseng Kwo-tsung, Li, and 
other purely Chinese Mandarins in the south and centre 
of the country: but these latter would have had the 
support of tlie people in their opposition to such an in- 
novation. Any departure from the old time-honoured 
system of leaving the government of every district very 
much in its own hands is opposed to Chinese sentiment, 
and a rash introduction of much additional interference 
from Peking would have been viewed by the masses of 
China as an interference with their rights of self-govern- 
ment, and, in point of fact, as something very like that 
intolerable Tartar domination which Sir Frederick Bruce 
and Colonel Gordon have been so erroneously accused of 
upholding. Lastly, it may be asked, with what face 
could we, after our treatment of China, and when the 
Eebels were drawing their chief strength from a section 
of our traders, have taken advantage of a temporary dis- 
tress on the part of the Government to gain its consent 
to measures to which it was averse '? It may be said, that 
w^e might have done nothing, that it was our duty to 
observe strict neutrality ; but to have really done this, 
and to have acted up to treaty obligations, it would have 
been necessary to have undertaken the almost impossible 
task of preventing British subjects from joining the Tai- 
pings, and from supplying them with munitions of war. 








It was a matter of great importance to introduce Euro- 
pean medical arrangements into the force of disciplined 
Chinese which Colonel Gordon commanded. The Impe- 
rial army was not less defective in that respect than it 
was as regards drill or the use of arms ; and medical 
science among the Chinese is still in a very rudimentary 
state. Surgery especially may be said to be almost en- 
tirely unknown amongst them in all its branches, owing 
to their prejudice against dissection of the dead ; and 
their ideas as to the interior of the human body are of 
the most fanciful kind. It is also not usual for Chinese 
armies to trouble themselves much about soldiers who 
are seriously disabled ; and the story goes that when, 
after the Convention of Peking, the Mandarins were 
offered back the wounded prisoners who had been taken 
by our troops, they showed a disposition to refuse the 


offer, saying in effect, " Keep them ; what should we do 
with them 1 " 

In setting to the Chinese an example in regard to this 
important matter, the commander of the Ever- Victorious 
Army found an able and zealous coadjutor in Mr A. 
Moffitt, an assistant-surgeon of H.M. 67th Regiment, 
who was made his principal medical officer. In noticing 
the services of this gentleman, the 'Lancet' of the 11th 
August 18G6 said that "it is impossible to over-estimate 
the good done by Dr Moffitt, not only to the force in 
which he served with so much distinction, but to the re- 
putation of his profession and country." Colonel Gordon 
also has always been ready to testify that the confidence 
felt by all ranks of his force in the surgical skill of the 
principal medical officer was of signal service in nerving 
their minds for any enterprise, however hazardous. One 
result of Mr Moffitt's fame as an operator was that he 
was called in to treat Yang, a Ti-Tu or native general, 
who w^as wounded in the chest, and given up for lost by 
his own countrymen; and his success in this case being 
brought to the notice of the Governor of the province, 
was specially reported to the Imperial Government, and 
Li himself immediately sought to obtain the medical ser- 
vices of Dr Wong Fung, a Chinese who had taken a 
medical degree in the University of Edinburgh. It may 
also be noted that, besides having frequently . to be 
under fire, Mr Moffitt did good service on some occa- 
sions in leading the troops. He has reported so fully 
on the medical aspects of the force in which he served, 
that I have little more to do than to condense his 

As the Chinese would be less expensive, and not less 
efficient, than English soldiers for service in India, it is 
of importance to note their physical characteristics. The 



old notion is pretty well got rid of, that they are at all a 
cowardly people when properly paid and efficiently led ; 
while the regularity and order of their habits, which 
dispose them to peace in ordinary times, give place to 
a daring bordering upon recklessness in time of war. 
Their intelligence and capacity for remembering facts 
make them well fitted for use in modern warfare, as do 
also the coolness and calmness of their disposition. Phy- 
sically they are on an average not so strong as Euro- 
peans, but considerably more so than most of the other 
races of the East ; and on a cheap diet of rice, vegetables, 
salt fish, and pork, they can go through a vast amount 
of fatigue, whether in a temperate climate or in a tropi- 
cal one, where Europeans are ill-fitted for exertion. 
Their wants are few ; they have no caste prejudices, 
and hardly any appetite for intoxicating liquors. Being 
of a lymphatic or lymphatic-bilious temperament, they 
enjoy a remarkable immunity from inflammatory disease, 
and the tubercular diathesis is little known amongst 
them. The portion of Kiangsoo in which Colonel Gor- 
don's force operated is rather malarious, being a flat 
which would now be a vast swamp and marsh, growing 
reeds and aquatic plants, were it not for the labours of 
a most thrifty people, who have rendered it capable of 
supporting a dense population. Through the summer 
months a vast evaporating surface is exposed to the 
sun, and the consequent decomposition of vegetable 
matter becomes a fertile source of miasmatic disease. 
Mr Moffitt seems to think that the houses of Kiangnan, 
being situated on the plain, and having dark unventi- 
lated rooms with low ground-floors, are peculiarly un- 
suited for a malarious district ; but this view I am dis- 
posed to question. The miasma from the paddy-fields, 
which is so destructive to human life, rolls upwards, but 


never descends, and the Chinese guard themselves against 
it by having their houses on the same level as the rice- 
fields, or, if higher up, carefully protected by walls, trees, 
and bamboos. During hot weather the European in 
China naturally prefers the highest and most airy posi- 
tion he can find to sleep in ; but, while thus avoiding 
the discomfort of stewing in a close apartment below, 
he is borne on a poisonous air into the other world, or 
awakes to find his constitution impaired for life. 

At the time of Colonel Cordon's taking command of 
the disciplined Chinese, the medical department was 
scarcely entitled to that name, and Mr Moffitt, assisted 
by two other medical ofiicers, proceeded to organise a 
stationary hospital and a field establishment. The 
former was first placed in Sungkiang ; but on the cap- 
ture of Quinsan, was transferred to and retained there, 
being placed in a situation where the wounded could be 
conveyed to it by boats. Bed-frames found in the city, 
with bottoms worked of cocoa-nut fibre, were found suf- 
ficient for the invalids without the use of mattresses, 
and the stafi" of attendants was managed by a young 
Chinaman who had received a European education. 
Of this ward-master Mr Moffitt remarks, curiously 
enough, " From his knowledge of the Classics he soon 
became a most expert compounder of medicines, in 
which capacity he was invaluable. '' The field estab- 
lishment consisted of one Chinese non-commissioned 
officer and six coolie orderlies, who had to attend to 
the medical officers on the field, together with one com- 
missioned officer and eight men from each regiment, 
whose sole duty was to carry back the wounded of 
their respective regiments to the hospital tent or boat — 
an arrangement which caused a kind of rivalry to spring 
up between the difi'erent corps, it being considered dis- 


honourable if the wounded of a regiment were not 
quickly carried back. Two large covered boats usually 
constituted the field hospital, and from these the wounded 
were sent easily and comfortably to Quinsan in Chinese 
gunboats from thirty to forty feet long, and covered 
with a canvass awning. Thus they were landed very 
quickly at the stationary hospital, nothing the worse of 
the journey, so that, suppuration not having had time 
to set in, the first dressing did not require removal 
until the patients were quiet and settled in their beds. 

The annual average strength of the force was 3000 
Chinese and 120 Foreio-ners. Amono; the former the 
admissions from all diseases and from wounds not re- 
ceived in action were 4166, and the deaths 87, for 
the year commencing 1st April 1863, as the following 
table shows : — 







Ophthalmia, . . . 


Scabies, .... 


Dysenteria, . . . 



Mania, .... 


Diai-rhoea, . . . 



Bronchitis, . . . 


Cholera, .... 



Dyspepsia, . . . 



Febris inter., . . 



HiBmorhois, . . 


,, remit., . . 



Pleg. and ulcus, . 



,, cent, . . 
Rheum at. ac, . . 



i-S jH I Contusio, . 




-g'2-2 J Vulnusincis. 


Syph. prim., . . 


s / Combustio, 


Totals, . . . 



' From this and other tables it appears that six-sevenths 
of the whole admissions, and over eleven-twelfths of the 
whole deaths, arose from miasmatic diseases ; while 
the immunity from tuberculous and hepatic, with other 
constitutional and local affections, was greater than is 
usual in any other country. Intermittent and remittent 
fevers were by far the most fatal diseases ; but it is 
remarkable that in the crowded cities of China, where 


there is almost no drainage and no supervision of the 
removal of filth, epidemics should be so rare. The 
intermittent fever often yielded easily to antiperiodic 
remedies, but when it passed into the remittent form it 
frequently became fatal. At the commencement its 
most prominent symptom was a burning gastric pain, 
followed by vomiting and total loss of appetite. In 
cases about to terminate fatally headache and vertigo 
became violent, forbidding the use of quinine, and the 
disease assumed a typhoid character. Purgatives were 
always found to give relief, and the other medicines 
which proved most useful in these cases were calomel, 
combined with jalap or Dover's and James's powders. 
The diarrhoea which was so common had three distinct 
varieties, connected respectively with indigestion, fever, 
and the use of opium. The first of these arose chiefly 
from improper food and want of occupation ; the second 
was merely fever in course of elimination through the 
mucous membrane of the bowels ; and the third af- 
flicted those whose constitutions had been debilitated 
by the excessive use of opium. The latter form of 
diarrhoea usually appears only in the hot season, and 
sooner or later attacks those who give themselves up to 
a regular practice of smoking opium. There was no 
pain or fever with it, but general debility, wasting of 
tissue, loathing of food, and depression of spirits. It 
was found very difficult to induce the patients to give 
up opium-smoking, the craving for it being often be- 
yond control, and it was necessary to administer the 
drug for some time in another way. Dover's powders 
and tonics were of much use ; but I believe, from the 
experience of German missionaries in the south of 
China, that camphor is of still more. Contrary to In- 
dian experience, ipecacuanha was not found of great 



value in the treatment of dysentery, which was for the 
most part of sub-acute character ; and its subjects were 
usually debilitated by previous fever or diarrhoea : but 
here, again, my own experience and observation in 
China induce me to question the results arrived at in 
regard to the use of this medicine, which I consider to 
be the most valuable of all for treatment of dysentery 
whether acute or chronic. 

The followino; table classifies the wounds received in 
action, for the fourteen months from 1st April 1863 to 
1st May 1864, by the 3000 Chinese and 120 Foreign- 
ers who on an average constituted the force ; but of 
course this does not include the number of those killed 
in action : — 



Region of Body wounded. 

Total Wounds 

Deaths from 

Total Wounds 

Deaths from 

admitted into 

Wounds and 

admitted into 

Wounds and 





Wonuds of the head, . . . 






face, . . 




>> >> 

neck, . . . 





chest, . . . 





>> >) 

abdomen, . . 






back and spine, 




peritoneum and 

genital organs, 

1 26 



and pelvis. 

J> >> 

shoulder, . . 




>> >> 

arm, . . . 




>> >> 

forearm, . . 




J > J > 

hand, . . . 




J > )> 

fingers, . . . 



55 5 5 

thigh, . . . 





>> 55 

leg, . . . 




55 5 5 

foot, . . . 



Wounds opening large joints. 



,, injuring large arteries, 



Total, .... 





The proportion of soldiers rendered unfit for service 
was very small as compared with the number of those 



disabled in European warfare, because, owing to the 
nature of the firearms used by the Tai- pings, the 
bullets went at a low velocity, and seldom caused much 
laceration or disorganisation of the parts struck. In 
cases where the wounds were caused by European arms, 
it usually happened that when a limb was struck the 
missile passed completely through itj leaving a large 
track, lacerating and destroying the muscles and shat- 
tering the bones ; while the bullets from Chinese match- 
locks and gingalls, going with a low velocity, passed 
very often between the muscles, leaving only a small 
track with scarcely any destruction of tissue, and either 
lodged against the bone or glanced aside from it without 
causing fracture. 

Among the more interesting cases of wounds the 
following may be mentioned : — 

In the assault on the city Taitsan, Private Wong Ta-sin 
received a matchlock-bullet on the forehead, which in- 
flicted a large scalp- wound and caused a fissured fracture 
of the bone in the shape of the letter V, with a slight 
depression of the apex ; but he was so busily engaged 
in collecting loot in the captured- city that he did not 
report himself wounded until the second day after re- 
ceiving the injury, and though then ordered to remain 
in bed, he returned to duty in the afternoon and marched 
with his regiment for three successive days. This wound 
healed without a bad symptom, greatly to the gratifica- 
tion of the patient, who took no small amount of credit 
to himself for his foresight. 

At the night - attack on the intrenchments before 
Soochow on the 29th September 1863, Major Kirkham 
was struck by a bullet over the anterior part of the left 
parietal bone, about two inches from the sagittal suture, 
so that the bone was fractured with quite a perceptible 



depression. For four days he remained in a half-stupe- 
fied, sleepy state, without any pain or suffering, and 
after recovering from this, could not speak, owing to 
partial paralysis of the right side of his face. When 
consciousness returned he made signs for a pencil and 
paper, and succeeded in writing what he wanted, but 
left out several words in the sentence and letters in the 
words. At the same time the pain of his wound began 
to make itself felt ; but under ordinary treatment the 
paralysis completely disappeared, and at the end of six 
weeks he was able to resume his duties, with only a 
slight hesitation of speech and a little excitability of 
temper. The same officer was struck at Kintang by a 
musket-bullet, which entered his chest about its centre, 
and, passing upwards, fractured the upper margin of the 
scapula and lodged under the skin on the back of the 
shoulder, but without injuring the lung or being attended 
with fatal consequences. 

Captain Martin was struck on the head by a bullet 
at the assault of Chanchu, which caused a comminuted 
fracture of the occipital bone and depressed the frag- 
ments. When brought to the hospital two days after 
the injury, he was in a comatose state ; and an incision 
being made through the scalp - wound, and all frag- 
ments of bone being removed by means of an elevator 
and forceps, the dura mater rose and seemed uninjured. 
During the operation the patient manifested little sense 
of pain, but when the wound was washed he suddenly 
recovered his senses, and began vociferating furiously. 
By simply dressing with lint and water, and slightly 
touching his mouth with calomel, he was able to resume 
duty on the twenty-first day after the operation, with the 
wound almost closed. 

Captain Shamrofiel, a young Prussian, received a small 


bullet in the face, which entered immediately behind the 
orbital margin of the external junction of the frontal 
and malar bones, and, passing through the globes of 
both eyes, completely destroying them, made its exit 
at a corresponding point on the other side of his face. 
No time was lost in getting the patient under the 
influence of mercury, and the inflammation was confined 
to the membranes of his eyes. The brain was not 
aSected ; and in spite of the extensive course taken by 
the bullet, no important part was injured except the 
eyeballs, which, as the inflammation subsided, gradually 
receded within the orbits, so as to be covered by the 
eyelids. On the breaking up of the force this man was 
compensated by the Chinese Government with £1600. 
Another European was struck by a bullet on the face, 
which entered at the angle of the inferior maxilla, and 
went out about the position of the mental foramen on 
the other side, shattering in its course the whole of the 
horizontal ramus and mental process of the maxilla. Of 
course he could not swallow anything for several days ; 
but when the wound took on a healthy action, hard 
tissue was thrown out to replace the bone which had 
been removed ; and a gutta percha mould being used to 
give the parts a proper shape, the patient made a good 
recovery, with very little deformity. 

One Chinese private, when lying on liis stomach 
watching the enemy over a mound, received a bullet, 
which entered the face on the right side of the nose, 
penetrated the palate near the centre, passed through 
the base of the tongue, and finally lodged under the 
skin of the back close to the second dorsal vertebra, 
where it was extracted ; but no bad symptoms followed 
this extensive wound, and it healed without difficulty 
or deformity, except leaving a small opening in the 



palate. I remember myself once seeing a Chinaman 
who had received a bullet in his right eye, which came 
out under the left jaw, shattering his palate considerably; 
and yet when the splinters of bone were picked out he 
did not even wink, nor was it necessary for any one to 
hold his head during the operation. 

In the case of General Yang, which has already 
been alluded to, the bullet had entered the side of the 
chest between the second and third ribs, and, passing 
through the lungs, had lodged in the muscles forming 
the posterior fold of the axilla. The removal of the 
bullet by incision greatly delighted the patient and his 
friends, for Chinese doctors never venture on such an 
operation ; and the effusion which took place into the 
cavity of the chest was relieved after a fortnight by a 
copious expectoration of a pinkish-coloured pus which 
lasted for two days. At the end of four weeks he was 
able to walk about, and* some time afterwards resumed 
his command, and was also married. 

















In June 1864, after the dissolution of his force, Colonel 
Gordon paid a visit to Tseng Kwo-fan at Nganking, 
and had some interesting and important conversation 
with him regarding military matters in China. On 
reaching Nanking on his way up the Yangtsze, the 
Colonel first met with the great man's brother, Tseng 
Kwo-tsun, the Governor of Chekiang, who commanded 
all the troops round the Eebel capital, and who was re- 
siding on one of the hills behind Porcelain Tower Hill. 
This Mandarin was about forty years of age, pleasant 
and active, and was at the time particularly engaged in 



mining operations. Few of his troops were armed with 
muskets ; and when asked why he did not get more of 
these weapons from Futai Li, he said his men did not 
know how to use them, and that he soon would be able 
to take the city by famine, for the Kebels were very 
badly off, and some months before had sent out 3000 
women and children, whom he had taken charge of and 
lodged in a stockade, allowing the country people to take 
any of the females as wives who were willing to go. On 
examining the works round Nanking, Colonel Gordon was 
struck by the extraordinary perseverance which the Im- 
perialists must have exercised. One very large stone fort 
had been taken by constructing stockades and breast- 
works all round it, thus isolating it, and causing the 
Kebels such annoyance that they had to evacuate. 
From the summit of the hill above the Porcelain Tower 
a fine view of Nanking was obtained, and its palaces 
were plainly distinguishable. Inside the walls were 
large empty spaces and no stockades. For miles the 
rampart was deserted, with only here and there a single 
man visible, miles from any support ; not a flag was seen 
flying, and a deathlike stillness seemed to overhang the 
city. The wall was about forty feet in height, and about 
thirty in thickness ; and in some places the Imperial 
stockades were within a hundred yards of it. Half-a- 
dozen Tai-pings were observed to be lowered from the 
wall by a rope, and immediately began gathering a spe- 
cies of lentil which grew outside, without being molested 
when doing so by the Imperialist soldiers, who were not 
more than eighty yards distant. From this hill the Im- 
perial lines also were seen stretching for miles, consisting 
of a double line of breastworks connecting round mud- 
forts, of which there were one hundred and forty, at a 
distance of about 600 yards from each other, and each 



of which contained 500 men. In some places the forts 
were much closer together, and the breastwork was of 
triple or even quadruple construction. The stockades 
were surrounded with the shops of small sutlers ; no men 
appeared to be on the look-out, and a free-and-easy picnic 
style pervaded the whole force. One of their mines, being 
constructed to lead under the wall, was fifteen feet below 
the surface of the ground, and 150 yards in length. 

Proceeding up to Nganking, Colonel Gordon was re- 
ceived by Tseng Kwo-fan, whom he found to be a man 
of low stature, with a black straggling beard and mus- 
tache, a careless dress, and a very ancient hat. The con- 
versation soon turned on the inefficient manner in which 
the Imperial troops at Nanking were armed, and Colonel 
Gordon went on to makS some representations which he 
thought it expedient for the good of China to be laid 
before the Generalissimo. After explaining the reasons 
which had induced him to dissolve the Ever-Victorious 
Army, he pointed out the importance of the Imperialists 
avoiding the employment of the low class of Foreigners 
whom they had hitherto used for strengthening their 
military force, and also of getting rid of the presence of 
European troops at the open ports. He urged the crea- 
tion of an Imperial Force, which could be moved any- 
where within the Empire ; the regular payment of the 
men who composed it, and their instruction in their own 
language, under native officers, in the use of foreign 
arms. Ten thousand men so trained would suffice for 
a very large district of country, and the existence of 
such a force would prevent rebellion springing up. He 
strongly recommended that some steps in that direction 
should be taken at once ; that men and officers should 
be carefully selected for the purpose ; and that the latter 
should be made to understand that they should sufier 


extreme penalties if they did not properly attend to 
their duty, while they should receive every encourage- 
ment if they made themselves efl&cient. 

Tseng Kwo-fan listened very attentively while these 
remarks were being translated to him, and took with a 
certain degree of interest a memorandum in which they 
were embodied. He seemed a man who did not commit 
himself to opinions without a considerable amount of 
thought. He was surprised to hear that the Japanese 
were almost as far advanced in knowledge of artillery as 
are the Western nations, and asked several questions 
about Japan with some concern. His own position, 
however, was one of no small difficulty as regarded mili- 
tary reform. There were forty Ti-Tus, or provincial 
generals, at Nanking, who did not wish any change, and 
he could not do much in defiance of all these. One re- 
sult of this interview was, that Tseng was so far gained 
over as to give his support in the matter of military re- 
form to Futai Li, who at this time was in the habit of 
nightly studying military Foreign works, and was pre- 
paring for Peking a treatise on European artillery. 

On his way down the river. Colonel Gordon met Paou 
Chiaou, an Imperialist General of high reputation, who 
pursued the Faithful King in 1861, and also Tseng 
Kwo-fan's right-hand man, Ping Lu-lin, a very high 
Mandarin, who was Secretary to the Board of War. 
Paou had a floating flower-garden alongside of his boat, 
and both these Generals seemed well aware of the 
capabilities which the Ever- Victorious Army had dis- 
played. From what he learned on this visit, Gordon 
was convinced that Nanking would fall very soon, and 
that, though the Tai-pings there might escape from it by 
a vigorous sally, there was no place of safety for them to 
go to. He was also convinced that Paou Chiaou, with his 



army, would soon be able to surround and dispose of the 
Eebel remnant still left at that time in Kwangsi. He 
thought a longer time would be necessary to reduce the 
cities of Wuchu and Changching in Chekiang, which 
were still held by the Tai-pings, but that there was no 
fear of their giving any trouble in that neighbourhood 
beyond the walls of those cities. In Nganwhui he 
could learn of only one town, Kuante, which still held 
out against the Imperialists ; and the whole aspect of 
affairs seemed to indicate that the final suppression of 
the Great Rebellion was exceedingly close at hand. 

Perhaps it may not be out of place to give a short 
account, in connection with this visit, of some of the 
great Celestial officers who, during recent years, have 
been brought prominently in contact with Foreigners. 
The word " Mandarin " is not Chinese, being from the 
Portuguese mandar, to command, and is used by us to 
denote a class of persons in China which includes civil 
officials, military officers, literati, and, in general, what 
may be considered the nobility of the Empire. Though 
the reigning family are Manchu Tartars, and the mem- 
bers of that family are ennobled by birth, and when at 
all fit are readily advanced to high posts, yet the great 
bulk of Celestial officialdom is composed of native Chin- 
ese, taken by competitive examination from all ranks of 
the people excepting those of barbers and play-actors. 
Hereditary titles are conferred on distinguished members 
of this service, but the honorary rank which these denote 
is not very highly esteemed in China when there is no 
connection with the Imperial family. To be in the 
" Middle Kingdom," what we call a " Mandarin," is to 
reach a position which gives the command of intellectual 


fame, of wealth, and of political power. The Chinese, in 
theory at least, and in practice to a greater extent than 
the people of any other nation, are exceedingly avers.^ to 
any separation between these three kinds of eminence. 
They hold that none but able men are entitled to possess 
wealth or political power, or to be otherwise elevated 
above the toiling millions of mankind. It must not be 
supposed, however, that admission into the governing 
classes depends in China on a " system of competitive 
examination" anything like what is suggested to us in 
England by such a phrase. The Chinese would regard 
our competitive examinations, with their minute details 
of learning, as ill fitted to aid in the selection of eminent 
men, and suitable only for testing ordinary schoolmasters. 
They lay stress almost entirely upon acquaintance with 
first principles, moral and political, especially as developed 
in the Classics, holding that a power of dealing with these 
marks the man who is best fitted, when the occasion 
comes, for dealing with all the problems of life ; but in 
advancing men from the lower to the higher ranks of 
officialdom, judgment is chiefly based upon the tact and 
success which has been displayed in practical matters. 

There is a Eed-book published periodically at Peking, 
giving the rank and occupations of all the Mandarins, 
who are divided, with reference to the latter point, into 
literary, civil, and military. This arrangement, however, 
does not afiect their rank. As regards that there are 
nine classes, of which the first two have red buttons of 
different descriptions, the next two blue ones, and the 
remainder glass or gilt ones, in the lowest class of all 
there being a subdivision who bear the title of " Not yet 
entered the stream." If we applied this system to Eng- 
land, it may be roughly said that the Premier, the Lord 
Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary, and the Commander- 



in-Chief, would be found wearing ruby buttons of the 
first class, the other Cabinet Ministers would have red 
coral ones, and on the caps of the Under-Secretaries of 
State would be seen sapphires. 

It is not necessary for me to touch on the character- 
istics of Commissioner Lin, Muh Chan-gah, and other 
Mandarins who appeared in connection with the Opium 
war and the treaty of Nanking ; but Ki Yiog, who was 
noted at that period, reappeared in the time of Lord 
Elgin's Embassy, and comes in for notice. Perhaps 
never Chinese official had a more checkered career ; for 
from 1817, when he became junior Vice-President of the 
Board of Revenue, to 1859, when he was condemned to 
strangulate himself, he was incessantly being either ad- 
vanced to very high posts or degraded to very low ones, 
and to the latter sometimes at his own request. In 
August 1842 he concluded, as chief representative of his 
Government, the first treaty of China with England, and 
for some years afterwards held the post at Canton of 
Imperial Commissioner for Foreign Affairs. Being re- 
placed by Yeh Ming- chin, he returned to Peking in 
1848, having composed an ode to the officials, literati, 
and gentry of the " City of Rams," of which the follow- 
ing is the concluding stanza : — 

During all these revolutions of the stars, and descents of the 
night-dews, silken [i. e., grey] hairs have encroached upon my 

When I rein in my horse upon the mountain-path, I fear and 
tremble exceedingly ; 

My thoughts are anxiously busied about my plants, the people; 
I would wrap my cloak round them. 

I have seived till I am grey, yet how dare I pluck out the 
sign of office from my cap ? 

JSTo ! though profitless as the stubble, I am still ready to put 
forward my counsels for securing peace to this realm. 



Though valueless as the mallow-flower, I cannot forget the 
gratitude I owe to the State. 

After holding some high offices at Peking, and being 
occasionally reproved, Ki Ying had a terrible fall in 
1850 on the death of the Emperor Tao-kwang, and 
the accession of Hien - fung, when, for reasons not 
very intelligible, he was suddenly degraded from the 
Presidentship of the Civil Board and the Commandant- 
ship of the Peking gendarmerie to the condition of a 
simple Bannerman, or full private in the Imperial stand- 
ing Tartar army. One of the reasons assigned for this 
tremendous descent was an alleged favourable tendency 
towards Foreigners, and an assumed connection with 
Christians. This latter supposition gave rise to a curious 
literary forgery, perpetrated at Foochow in 1850, where 
a work was published purporting to be a collection of Ki 
Ying's writings, and containing a prayer to the God of 
the Christians. There is an engraving of him in Dr 
Williams's 'Middle Kingdom,' which correctly represents 
his very curious head and face ; but Mr Wade says, that 
in his demeanour " there was a combination of dignity 
and courtesy which more than balanced the deficiencies 
of a by no means attractive exterior." 

Though Ki Ying was far in advance of the Mandarins 
of his time, he entertained some amusing ideas as to the 
means which should be employed for " soothing and 
bridling the Barbarians." He thought that they should 
be treated with a mixture of patronage and conciliation. 
When Canton was taken in the end of 1857 by our 
troops, a memorial to the Emperor on this subject by 
Ki Ying was found among Commissioner Yeh's archives, 
in which he analysed the character of Foreigners, and 
complained especially of their incessant restlessness, for 
which, he argued, allowance ought to be made. " Bred 



and born," he wrote, *'in the Foreign regions beyond, 
there is much in the administration of the Celestial 
Dynasty that is not perfectly comprehensible to the 
Barbarians, and they are continually putting forced 
constructions on things of which it is difficult to explain 
to them the real nature." In proceeding to characterise 
us as uncivilised, blindly unintelligent in the styles and 
modes of address, and incapable of appreciating forms of 
communication which duly place the superior above and 
the inferior below, it is evident that he is expressing his 
own feelings as well as those of every Chinaman, except 
persons of the lowest classes, who comes in contact with 
us ; and perhaps something might be said in favour of 
that Celestial view of British bluntness and unceremoni- 
ousness. Ki Ying further explains to the Emperor that 
we must be judiciously directed, but without explanation 
of the " reason why," as evidently, in his opinion, we are 
not quite capable of entering into such matters. He 
also notes our habit of combining feasting with business. 
" The meal," he remarks, " which the Barbarians eat 
together, they call Ta tsan [great dinner]. It is a prac- 
tice they delight in to assemble a number of people at 
a great entertainment, at which they eat and drink to- 
gether. When your slave has conferred favour upon 
[has given a dinner to] the Barbarians at the Bogue or 
Macao, their Chiefs' or leaders have come to the number 
of tw^enty or thirty ; and when, in process of time, your 
slave has chanced to go to Barbarian residences or Bar- 
barian ships, they have in their turn seated themselves 
round him in attendance upon him, striving who should 
be foremost in offering him meat and drink. To gain 
their good-will he could not do otherwise than share 
their cup and spoon." 

After his fall in 1850, this Mandarin lived mostly in 



retirement until 1858, when, being appointed an Im- 
perial Commissioner, he was sent down to Tientsin, with 
the expectation that he might be able to induce Lord 
Elgin to give up demanding some of the most important 
stipulations in the proposed new treaty between Eng- 
land and China. At this time there was something pa- 
thetic both in his appearance and in his position. Much 
broken by his seventy-two years of age, very blind, and 
scarcely able to walk or even stand, he was placed in a 
most unfortunate dilemma, between the firmness of the 
British Plenipotentiary and the obstinacy of the Chinese 
Government. It was evident that some heavy penalty 
hung over him in the event of his being unable to make 
Lord Elgin give way. With tears in his eyes he spoke 
of himself as the " friend of two generations " of Chinese 
and Foreigners, and complained much of what he had 
undergone as a suspected traitor in Foreign interests. 
For his devotion to these his sons had been impris- 
oned, he had contemplated suicide ; and he had been sent 
down to Tientsin because his name had been mentioned 
in a recent despatch of Lord Elgin's. The contemptuous 
manner in wdiich this poor old man was treated by Lord 
Elgin and Mr Lay at this time may have been a neces- 
sity of the position, for Ki Yings business there was 
evidently to procrastinate and delude ; but it is much 
to be regretted that her Majesty's representative, whose 
career in China was otherwise so unexceptionable, should 
have found it or thought it necessary to act towards 
him as he did. Probably had he shown for him more 
respect and nominal deference in the presence of Kwei- 
liang and Hwashana, the two other Commissioners, the 
Chinese authorities would not have been so cruel to Ki 
Ying as they were on his return, unsuccessful, to Peking. 
They probably concluded that he had vastly overrated 



his influence with Englishmen; and the consequence was 
that the friend of two generations/' though a member 
of the Imperial family, had "the silken cord" sent to 
him, and ended his checkered but brilliant career by 
private strangulation in a dungeon. 

The next high Mandarin who Avas brought prominently 
before the notice of this country was Yeh Ming-chin, 
the son of a village apothecary, who was Governor- 
General of the Two Kwang, and Imperial Commissioner 
for Foreign Affairs at Canton at the outbreak of the 
lorcha Arrow afiair, which led to the war with China in 
1857-58, and to the treaty of Tientsin. Yeh's resem- 
blance to Henry the Eighth of England, and his conver- 
sation on his passage to Calcutta, where he died a 
prisoner in 1859, were fully reported to the British 
public by Mr Wingrove Cooke of the ' Times.' It is not 
known, however, in this country, that when his. body 
was brought back to Canton it was received with extra- 
ordinary marks of respect and aflfection, both by the 
ofiicials and the people of that city. They owed him 
special gratitude for the decisive manner in which he 
had acted against the Rebels in 1856, which cleared the 
Province of these dreadful marauders, and which has 
been unreasonably held up only as a proof of his brutal- 
ity and cruelty. The times in which he lived, and the 
position in wdiich he was placed, required him to act 
with stern determination ; and it is difficult to see how 
he could have done otherwise than he did, in resisting 
our demands in 1856-57. The temper of the Peking 
Government and of the people of Kwangtung was such, 
that to have ceded these demands would have been for 
Yeh to have sealed his own destruction. Moreover, it 
must be remembered that the Briti^^h House of Com- 
mons, after a long debate, homologated Yeh's interpre- 


tation of the treaty of Nanking; and that at the very 
time we made war on China, nominally because of his 
violating two unimportant and very doubtful stipula- 
tions in the treaty, we were openly and unquestionably 
violating it on more important points, by carrying and 
forcing on the opium traffic, and by engaging in trade 
at other ports than those which the treaty opened. 

On the capture of Canton and its occupation by our 
troops, Englishmen were brought into close intercourse 
with Pih Kwei, the Governor of Kwangtung, who was 
conjoined with the French and English Commissioners 
in the government of the provincial city. Kweiliang, and 
Hwashana, who negotiated with Lord Elgin the treaty 
of Tientsin, were both Manchus of high standing; the 
former being one of the four Chief Secretaries of State, 
and the latter President of the Civil Board, the most 
important tribunal of the empire. Mr Oliphant has 
described Kweiliang as a venerable man of placid and 
benevolent expression, with a countenance full of intel- 
ligence, with manners polished and dignified, and with 
the bearing of a perfect gentleman. Dr Rennie,'" how- 
ever, states that notwithstanding" these characteristics, 
this eminent statesman was treated with much dis- 
courtesy at Tientsin in 1858 by Mr H. N. Lay, who was 
then interpreter to Lord Elgin's Embassy, and that this 
was the chief cause of Sankolinsin's aversion to carrying 
out the treaty of that year. 

Eather unpleasant recollections are connected with the 
next high Chinese officials who were brought prominently 
in contact with foreign affiiirs. Sankolinsin, the Mongol 
Prince, whose history I have elsewhere noticed,t was 
the most influential person in delaying the ratification of 

■"■ * Peking and the Pekingese,' vol. ii. p. 288. 
t See ante, p. 51. 



the Tientsin treaty. He commanded the Chinese troops 
during our most disastrous attack upon the Taku forts in 
1859, when these forts were taken in 18 GO, and when 
Sir Harry Parkes and others were taken prisoners during 
Lord Elgin's advance upon Peking. This prince was an 
honourable and patriotic soldier, much respected by the 
Chinese, and not disliked by Foreigners, despite the pain- 
ful circumstances connected with the murder of the pris- 
oners. When this subject was inquired into, he distinct- 
ly denied knowing anything whatever about them or 
about their fate beyond having ordered some of them to 
be sent into the capital. Nearly three years ago he him- 
self was murdered, though Generalissimo of all the Impe- 
rial forces, when operating against the Nien-fei Rebels in 
Shantung. These plunderers were very active horsemen, 
and, at a critical moment, Sankolinsin's troops falling 
back and deserting him, he was seized by the enemy, 
and immediately cut into minute pieces. In his opposi- 
tion to Foreigners this soldier was strongly supported by 
the Prince of I, a member of the Imperial family, and 
President of the Imperial Clan-Court ; by the Prince of 
Ching, Commandant of Peking and President of the 
Astronomical Board ; and by Su Shu-en, a junior Chief 
Secretary of State — an ambitious Mandarin, who acquired 
great power and influence during the last years of the 
reign of Hien-fung. These men had that Emperor very 
much in their hands ; they were chiefly responsible for 
his opposition to Foreign demands ; and on his death in 
1861 they forged a decree, purporting to be from him, 
appointing themselves regents over the new boy-Emperor. 
Their power, however, was overthrown by Prince Kung's 
coup d'etat of the 2d November, the two princes being 
strangulated in private, and Su Shu-en being publicly 
decapitated, " giving forth sounds to the last which were 


not obedient," as an indignant witness of his conduct re- 
marked. More fortunate for a time was their supporter, 
General Shung Pow, a warrior given to poetry and wine ; 
for after their death he was continued in his command. 
There is now no doubt that this man was responsible for 
the decapitation of Captain Brabazon and of the Abbe 
de Luc, as they were put to death by his soldiers when 
retreating on the 21st of September 1860. Eventually, 
however, Shung Pow came also to a bad end, being 
condemned to strangulate himself, for, among other 
reasons, having introduced concubines into his camp, 
the Chinese apparently being stricter on that point than 
the War Offices of either France or England. 

After the conclusion of the Convention of Peking, and 
the establishment of Sir Frederick Bruce as Eesident 
Minister at the capital, our relationships with high Chi- 
nese officials were of a much more friendly and satisfactory 
kind. The Prince of Kung in particular, as President of 
the Foreign Board, was brought much in contact with 
our representatives, and favourably impressed them by 
his candour, and his enlightened views in regard to other 
nations. He is still almost a young man, of distinctly 
Tartar but agreeable and intellectual countenance, and 
his chief fault is an aversion to much business. It has 
been complained of him that in one respect he shows too 
great a tendency to follow the evil practices of Charles 11. 
of England ; and about two years ago he fell into tem- 
porary disgrace, and was severely reproved for want of 
proper respect in private to the two Dowager-Empresses. 
It is indeed almost impossible to say where the chief 
power lies in China at any given time. Now one pro- 
minent personage, now another, is popularly spoken of as 
having everything in his hands, but the next moment we 
hear of his being degraded or censured. One year it is 



SankolirisiD, the next Prince Kung, and then Tseng Kwo- 
fan, who is considered to be in a position to make himself 
Emperor ; but there is a power behind which can pull 
such men down as well as raise them up. So far as I 
can judge, this power seems to be the conseyisus of the 
higher officialdom of China, and of the members of the 
Imperial family. Any one who seeks to raise himself 
above that tribunal is brought down very sharply ; and 
even Prince Kung, notwithstanding his coujp d'etat and 
his being uncle of the Emperor, has been handled quite 
unceremoniously. After this Prince, the prominent states- 
man best known to the British Legation at Peking is 
Wan See-ang, the senior Secretary of State, or Premier of 
the Empire. He is a Manchu by birth, and now only 
fifty years of age, having taken high literary honours 
when he was quite a youth, and worked his way from 
office to office. Of low stature, slightly built and gen- 
tlemanly in appearance, he has also an astute, states- 
manlike countenance, and has shown remarkable ability 
in harmonising" Imperial and Foreign interests. 

The immense trade of Shanghai, and the proximity 
to it of the Tai-ping capital Nanking, has made it a 
very important point of contact between Foreigners and 
Chinese officials. Setting aside Ho Kwei-tsin, General 
Ching, and many other officers, civil and military, whose 
names might be introduced in this connection, I pass at 
once to the two great Mandarins, Li Hung-chang and 
Tseng Kwo-fan, who had most to do with the suppres- 
sion of the Tai-ping rebellion. The former of them has 
been often mentioned as Futai of Kiangsoo, in connec- 
tion with the Ever-Victorious Army; and his counte- 
nance strikes one by its intelligence and quiet energy. 

He is a native of Seuchew in the Hohfei district of 
the province of Nganhwui, and is now between forty 


and fifty, having passed the Han-li College in 1849. 
Immediately after, on the Rebels invading Nganhwni, 
he took command of a small militia force, and then went 
as a secretary into Tseng Kwo-fan's army. We next 
find him with the title of a provincial judge in the 
province of Chekiang, but also acting as commander of 
a body of troops. In 1861, the first year of the present 
Emperor, Li first rose to high position, being, on Tseng 
Kwo-fan's report, made acting Futai or Governor of 
Kiangsoo. This brought him into contact with Foreign- 
ers ; for Soochow, the capital of the province, was in 
the hands of the Rebels, and so he had to make Shang- 
hai his headquarters. Taking the field with his troops, 
and often leading in person, he defeated them at various 
places ; but as they were pressed down in great masses 
by Tseng Kwo-fan in his direction, he did not make 
much head against them till he employed the services 
of the disciplined Chinese of the Ever- Victorious Army. 
After Colonel Gordon took command of that auxiliary 
force, Li Hung-chang made rapid progress in clearing 
Kiangsoo of the Tai-pings. Soochow, the capital, w^as 
taken in the end of 1863 ; and for" his services there he 
was confirmed in his Futaiship, received the decoration 
of the Yellow Jacket, and was created temporary Junior 
Guardian to the Emperor. For his services at the close 
of the Rebellion in entirely clearing Kiangsoo of Tai- 
pings, and for operating with a fleet before Nanking, he 
received a double-eyed peacock s feather, and was created 
a hereditary first-class noble of the Peh or third rank. 
When, in 1866, Tseng Kwo-fan became Generalissimo of 
all the Imperial armies, Li was made Governor-General 
of the two provinces Kiangsi and Kiangsoo. A few 
months ago he was engaged in operating against the 
Nien-fei in Shantung, and was said to have perilled his 



position by allowing ' a large body of them to escape 
through his intrenchments ; but in the end of last year 
he destroyed them altogether, and is now about to be 
sent against the Mohammedan rebels. 

Tseng Kwo-fan, to whom reference has frequently 
been made in preceding pages, is even a greater Man- 
darin than Li, and is at present the most distinguished 
and influential person in the Empire not of royal blood ; 
while even of the royal family itself there are none to 
compare with him in influence, unless it be the youthful 
Emperor himself, the Dowager Empresses, and the Em- 
peror's uncle, the Prince of Kung, who is President of 
the Tsung-li Yamun or the Foreign Board.'"* He is now 
a man of about sixty — stout, dark, with a Chinese resem- 
blance to Oliver Cromwell — and entered the ranks of 
Celestial officialdom by passing the examination of the 
Han-li College in 1838, the eighteenth year of the Em- 
peror Tao-kwang, and was soon afterwards made a 
member of the Board of Ceremonies. In 1852, the 
fourth year of the Emperor Hien-fung, he retired from 
office, owing to the death of his mother ; and whilst at 
home at his native town, Hseang-siang, in the province 
of Honan, he raised a river-fleet, and undertook the 
management of a body of militia which were employed 
against the Tai- pings, who had taken several cities in 
the province. Being made an Imperial Commander, he 
recaptured several of these cities, and destroyed a great 
portion of the Rebel flotilla. Immediately after this, in 

* The Luh Pe, or Six Boards at Peking, are — the Civil Office, the 
Kevenue Office, the Office of Kites, the War Office, the Office of Punish- 
ments, and the Foreign Office. At the head of each are two presidents 
and four vice-presidents ; and in each are three subordinate grades of 
officers — directors, under-secretaries, and controllers — besides a host of 
clerks. There are also several separate bureaus in each board ; and the 
Tsung-li Yamun, or Foreign Office, has lately been extended and remodelled. 



conjunction with other Imperialist forces, he entered 
the neiglibouring province of Hupeh, and retook its 
capital, Woochang, along with other towns. Thus the 
two Hu were cleared of Tai-pings very much through 
his patriotic exertions. For this Tseng received a 
second-class button, and was made a member of the 
Board of War. In 1853 he moved down the Yangtsze, 
and attacked Kiukiang ; but, owing to losing part of 
his fleet, he was repulsed. During the next three years 
he took part, along with his brother, in various opera- 
tions against the Eebels on the Yangtsze and in its 
neighbourhood, and aided in rescuing the capital of 
Kiangsi from their grasp. 

The death of Tseng Kwo-fan's father in 1857 led, as 
is usual in such cases, to his retirement from public em- 
ployment for a nominal term of three years ; but in 1859 
he was made Commander-in-Chief in the province of 
Kiangsi, and raised to a higher position in the Board of 
War. On taking the field this energetic Mandarin soon 
cleared Kiangsi of Tai-pings, and was in consequence 
made Imperial Commissioner and Chetai, or Governor- 
General of the Two Kiang''' — that is to say, of the rich and 
important provinces of Nganhwui, Kiangsi, and Kiangsoo 
— which is one of the highest appointments that the 
Chinese Crow^n has it in its power to give. About the 
same time, in 1860, he was made Commander-in-Chief in 
the four provinces of Kiangsi, Kiangsoo, Nganhwui, and 
Chekiang; so he was thus placed in supreme command of 
all the operations against the Tai-pings, a position which 
he occupied for four years, until the fall of Nanking and 

* This phrase, the " Two Kiang," though still often used, is apt to mis- 
lead, for it arose previous to the division of Kiangnan into the two provinces 
of Kiangsoo and Nganhwui. The "Two Kiang" are properly Kiangsi, 
"west of the river," and Kiangnan, " south of the river ;" the latter in- 
cluding hoth Kiangsoo and Nganhwui. 


the suppression of the Rebellion. In 1861, the first year 
of the present Emperor Tung-che, he became a Cabinet 
Minister, but continued to direct in person the military 
operations against the Tai-pings. Next year, with aid 
of liis brother Tseng Kwo-tsun and other lieutenants, he 
cleared the Yangtsze valley of the Eebels, with the ex- 
ception of Nanking, which they still held. The appoint- 
ment, on his proposal, of Li as Governor of Kiangsoo, and 
the employment of Gordon's force, led to the expulsion of 
the Tai-pings from that province, and, on the fall of their 
capital, to the final suppression of the Tai-pings in 1864. 
Tseng Kwo-fan received a double-eyed feather, and was 
made Senior Guardian to the Emperor and a first-class 
noble of the rank of How — or Marquis, as it might most 
correctly be rendered in English. After the death of 
Prince Sankolinsin in 1865, Tseng acted successfully 
against the Nien-fei Rebels ; and, being succeeded in his 
Chetaiship by his protege Li Hung-chang, succeeded 
Sankolinsin as Generalissimo of all the Imperial forces in 
China. Whenever in late years there has been any dif- 
ference, or rumour of difference, between this great Man- 
darin and the Peking Government, popular report has 
assumed that he would proceed to the capital and ascend 
the dragon throne, or else found a southern empire ; 
but he has shown no intention of making any such 
attempt; and if he did, it would not likely be successful, 
as, in such a case, the Imperial Government would pro- 
bably receive the assistance of Li and others of his "pro- 
teges, on whom he would have in great part to rely. 
Tseng Kwo-fan, besides, is more of a soldier than of a 
statesman ; his public life has been spent in fighting on 
the banks of the Yangtsze — not in exercising his wits 
among the bureauocracy of Peking ; and he resembles the 
late Duke of Wellington in being strongly inclined to- 


wards the Conservative party of his country. By Hong- 
kong quidnuncs he has been described as reactionary in 
sentiment, and as opposed to intercourse with Foreigners ; 
but in his practice, at least so far as it is known to us, he 
has shown no such disposition. 

As this is a somewhat personal chapter, it may not be 
amiss to give sketches of the chief British officials who 
have been brought in contact with the Chinese during 
recent eventful years. What may be termed the modern 
period commences with Sir John Bowring, who succeeded 
to Sir George Bonham, after a long service at the Canton 
Consulate, as Governor of Hongkong and Minister-Pleni- 
potentiary to China, only to become one of the best- 
abused men of the day, both at home and in the Far 
East. A philosopher and linguist of some ability, but with 
a partly self-conferred reputation much beyond his real 
merits and acquirements. Sir John has displayed neither 
the scholar's devotion to ideas nor the statesman's grasp 
of practical principles, but has rather sunk into the 
scholar when he should have been a statesman, and has 
striven to be a man of the world when he had better have 
continued a philosopher. A certain jocular Mandarin 
understood this Minister very well, when, in answer to a 
complaint as to the use of the term /, or " Barbarian," 
in his despatches, he replied, that it was not for him, an 
insignificant one, to enter on linguistic discussions with 
so great a scholar. But Bowring exercised hardly any 
personal influence on our relations with China; he scarcely 
deserved the abuse which was heaped upon him in Par- 
liament for his connection with the lorcha Arrow alffair, 
and not even the angel Gabriel could win golden opinions 
in the position of Governor of Hongkong. When he was 
made Minister to China matters were in such a state that 
a conflict was almost unavoidable. The British mer- 



chants in that country had long resolved on obtaining 
a great extension of the privileges of trade ; they had 
been profoundly irritated by the cruel murder of six of 
their young men at Hwang-chu-kee, near Canton ; and 
though the Chinese could plead treaty-rights in favour 
of the conservative position which they held, yet certain 
higher considerations forbade that their Empire should be 
isolated any longer. Had Sir John Bowring been a man 
better fitted for his position, he would in these circum- 
stances have advised his Government to approach the 
Chinese authorities in an open and candid manner, stat- 
ins: what were the arrano-ements which the new time re- 
quired ; but instead of doing so he made himself a will- 
ing tool in the hypocritical and injurious policy of pick- 
ing a quarrel with the Celestials on some dubious point 
of an existing treaty. I have been told on high autho- 
rity that, previous to the Arrow affair, Sir John Bowring 
had received private instructions from the Foreign Office 
on no account to let any opportunity pass of commencing 
a quarrel with the Chinese Government ; and this explains 
the pertinacity with which Lord Palmerston afterwards 
supported his subordinate, even appealing from the House 
of Commons to the country on that subject. Neither 
the lorcha case nor the alleged right of entry to Canton 
were points upon which a very conscientious plenipoten- 
tiary could have had recourse to arms ; and Nemesis soon 
overtook Sir John in shape of the obloquy which he had 
to endure, and in his unexpected supercession by Lord 
Elgin as Plenipotentiary in China. Thus, if Bowring 
had any pleasant vision of figuring in Peking as a greater 
successor of Macartney and Amherst it was cruelly dis- 
appointed ; and from being the holder of plenipotentiary 
powers in regard to four nations — Annam, China, Siam, 
and Japan — he found himself suddenly and unexpectedly 


reduced to the humble and almost intolerable position of 
Governor of the islet of Hongkong and of its adjacent 

After hostilities with China had commenced, and we 
were determined to obtain a new treaty, the appoint- 
ment of Lord Elgin as the new Plenipotentiary to China 
was a fortunate event. Of an historical family, de- 
scended from Scottish royalty, and connected with the 
proudest traditions of his country, this nobleman, along 
with his two brothers, General Bruce and Sir Frederick 
Bruce, had devoted himself from his early years to the 
public service. As Governor in Jamaica, where he sub- 
dued the disorders consequent on the Emancipation Act, 
and as Governor-General in Canada, where he opposed 
the various factions, and brought the mass of the people 
from a state of chronic disaffection into one of perma- 
nent loyalty, Lord Elgin had shown a disposition to pro- 
tect weaker races from the unreasonable violence of the 
unthinking portion of our countrymen, while at the 
same time he had pursued Imperial interests with dis- 
tinguished tact and success. As with all the Bruces, 
not excepting King Eobert, the great founder of the 
family, there was more of the Englishman than of the 
Scot in his physique and temperament ; but to great 
clearness of mind, and to a strong sense of the practical 
requirements which, in his various positions, he knew 
so well how to subserve, there was added a speculative 
ability and power of appreciating general considerations 
which belong more distinctively to the Northern intel- 
lect, and particularly fitted him for grasping the problems 
which arise from the conflict of great opposing races. 
His personal appearance, " venerable beyond his years," 
and a placidity of aspect and demeanour which partially 
concealed a keenness of eye that bordered on the dis- 



agreeable, were specially calculated to impress with con- 
fidence and respect a calm-tempered people like the 
Chinese, of whom Du Halde so truly said, that they 
would not hear in a month what a Frenchman would 
speak in an hour. Moreover, being raised above the 
temptations to which men of less fortunate circum- 
stances struggling with the world are subject, he was 
not actuated so much by personal ambition as by a deep 
sense of duty ; and, on going out to China, his sincere 
resolve was — "No human power shall induce me to ac- 
cept the office of oppression of the people." 

To the Chinese it will probably appear absurd that 
such a species of praise should be ascribed to Lord 
Elgin, for they knew him almost solely in his unpleas- 
ant function of pressing upon them changes to which 
they were at the time averse ; and they can scarcely 
know what was the pressure he had to resist against 
doing so to excess, at a period when our knowledge 
and understanding of China were at the lowest ebb, 
and what was the dissatisfaction which his moderation 
caused among a section of our countrymen there. 
While seeino; that the time had come when the whole 
relationship of the Celestial Empire towards Great Bri- 
tain required to be changed, he firmly set his face 
against demanding any changes which would only 
serve the interests of individuals ; and I well remem- 
ber observing, on going out to China in 1858, the 
strength of the secret animosity which this determi- 
nation had caused among what might be called the 
" Old Canton " party of our countrymen, who had dis- 
covered, to their ineffable disgust and secret rage, that, in 
calling in the aid of the arms of Great Britain, they had 

* See an interesting article on Lord Elgin's last days, attributed to the 
Dean of Westminster, in the 'North British Review' of May 1864. 



subordinated their own petty aims to Imperial interests, 
and had to do with a Plenipotentiary who neither sought 
their favour nor feared their frown. The mistakes which 
Lord Elgin made arose chiefly from the defects of the 
agents he had to employ — as from the timidity of Mr 
Wade and the overbearing presumption of Mr Lay. 
The frank decision with which he pressed his demands 
on the Chinese, and which led the French officers in 
the Peking Expedition to speak of him as being capable 
of being un oficier de dragons, was, in the circum- 
stances, as some of the leading Mandarins now admit, 
the greatest kindness he could have shown towards 
them. Even the burning of the Emperor's Summer 
Palace was quite justifiable, and was well calculated 
to promote a good end without inflicting painful in- 
jury, though it is deeply to be regretted that, when 
ordering the conflagration, Lord Elgin did not take 
steps to insure the preservation of the oldest library 
in the w^orld. 

When Sir Frederick Bruce went up to Peking as 
Resident Minister in November 1860, and established 
his mission in the capital in March 1861, it was scarcely 
anticipated that he would show distinguished ability in 
his new position. He had seen service enough : in 
AVasliington, where he was attached to Lord Ashburton's 
special Mission in 1842 ; in Hongkong, where he had 
been Colonial Secretary from 1844 to 1846 ; in New- 
foundland as Lieutenant-Governor ; in several of the 
South American Republics ; as Consul-General in Egypt 
from 1853 to 1856 ; as attached to Lord Elgin's Mission 
to China in 1857 ; and as Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Emperor of China in 
1859, when he refused to go to Peking except up the 
Peiho river ; but in none of these positions had he had 


opportunity of attaining eminence. Perhaps an easy 
ofF-hand manner, and facility in making himself agree- 
able, had tended to conceal his real abilities. Those 
who knew him superficially were apt to suppose that he 
would sacrifice anything to comfort and the pleasures of 
good companionship ; while a closer acquaintanceship 
with him dispelled this illusion, and disclosed a man of 
very firm character and sound judgment, who allowed 
others to trifle with him as they pleased, not because he 
was afraid to cause them annoyance when duty required, 
or in any degree to incur their resentment, but simply 
because he felt that he could rely on his own strength. 
During his service at Peking, this fact made itself very 
apparent. Taller and handsomer than his brother. Lord 
Elgin, w^ith a commanding presence and agreeable man- 
ners, Sir Frederick exhibited a demeanour at once digni- 
fied and suave, whether towards the Imperial Mandarins 
or his own countrymen ; but any attempt to interfere 
with his direction of the interests of his country was 
very promptly checked when it could not be set aside 
in a lighter way. By a portion of the mercantile com- 
munity he was accused of indolent neglect of their 
interests ; but his despatches clearly show that he had 
fully weighed their complaints, and was prepared, had 
he deemed it advisable, to answer these complaints 
very fully. 

The position in which Sir Frederick Bruce was placed 
at Peking w^as exceedingly difficult, between the un- 
reasonable expectations of the British merchants, who 
imagined that the new treaty was to produce a com- 
mercial millennium, and the timid suspicions of the Man- 
darins, who were inclined to look upon every Foreign 
proposal as hurtful to their own interests and destructive 
to China. A fussy, meddling man might in his place 



have done irretrievable injury by inclining injudiciously 
to either side. To have ignored just Foreign demands 
would have confirmed the Chinese Government in its 
worst mistakes, and to have urged that Government 
beyond the limits of its own judgment would have had 
a very similar effect. It required no small degree of 
moral courage, even for a man who understood the 
position, to act in it so calmly and satisfactorily as Sir 
Frederick did. He was not afraid even to rebuke her 
Majesty's Foreign Secretary, Earl Russell, for acting on the 
Lay-Osborn agreement; and Lord Palmerston, the then 
Premier, when referring to this matter in Parliament, 
seemed rather to chuckle over the boldness of his sub- 
ordinate. An attentive perusal of Sir Frederick Bruce's 
despatches from Peking, and of a number of his private 
letters, has left upon me a very high impression of his 
great ability and honesty of purpose. It is quite true 
that in 1863 he hesitated a good deal, and so for a short 
period his policy assumed an ap]3earance of feebleness 
and vacillation. The cause of hesitation lay, not in his 
own character, but in the extreme difficulty of the ques- 
tion which he had to decide. Desiring, for the sake of 
our mercantile interests and of the people of China, to 
aid in strengthening the Imperial Government and in 
putting down the Rebellion, he felt bound to give the 
full weight of his support to Colonel Gordon and any 
other British officers who chose to enter the Imperial 
service. At the same time he had to see that the 
assistance so given should not confirm the Chinese Gov- 
ernment in its old inefficient style of dealing with 
rebellion. It is no wonder that he hesitated in these 
circumstances, for even now it is difficult to say whether 
he mio;ht not with advantage have inclined a little more 
to one side or the other ; but no one can aver with even 



tlie slightest show of truth, that having once made up 
his mind as to the course to be pursued, he did not 
pursue that course in a persistent manner, or shrunk 
from responsibiUty, or failed to acknowledge in a gener- 
ous manner the services of his coadjutors. It may also 
l)e noted that he was eminently successful in leading the 
other Foreign Ministers at Peking to act along with him, 
so as to present an undivided front to the Mandarins; 
and there can be little doubt that this was one of the 
chief reasons which led to his promotion to the still 
more difficult post of Minister at Washington, where he 
also acted with rare tact and discretion, almost up to 
the very day of his sudden and lamented death, — a death 
which, as the President of the United States remarked,''' 
revealed to Americans the fact that the friendship which 
they had cherished for him "had even acquired the in- 
tensity of fraternal affection." 

It is not necessary to say much about Sir Kutherford 
Alcock, the successor of Sir Frederick Bruce as British 
Minister at Peking. In ordinary times the Chinese 
need not expect that we should always be represented 
by distinguished or able men, or that our Foreign Office 
should overlook the claims which long: service in the Far 
East may confer on a mere routinier. It is greatly to 
Sir E. Alcocks credit that nothing particular has to 
be said against his conduct of the mission to China ; 
for both as Consul at Shanghai and as Minister to Japan 
his previous career had given indications of considerable 
want of judgment. One or two of his earlier reports to 
his own Government on the state of China, and on our 
relationships with that country, are really valuable docu- 
ments, characterised by sound knowledge and great 

* In his address to Mr Thornton, the successor of Sir F, Bruce as British 
Minister at Washington. 


moderation of tone ; but as Consul at Shanghai he did 
not always act on the principles he had propounded, 
and especially in threatening, on account of some dubious 
dispute with the Imperialist authorities in his neigh- 
bourhood, to lay an embargo on the sea-going supply of 
grain to Peking. In Japan the conduct of Sir Kuther- 
ford Alcock was productive of more serious consequences, 
and a good deal of our difficulties with that newly- 
opened country may be fairly charged against him. 
Towards the Japanese he was both overbearing and 
timid. He greatly weakened his position as her Ma- 
jesty's representative by, at an early period of his mis- 
sion, threatening them with war on insufficient grounds 
and without sufficient authority, an offence for which he 
was severely reproved by Earl Eussell, then Foreign Secre- 
tary ; and yet when the Japanese Government, pursuing 
its policy of intimidation towards Foreigners, warned 
him that it could not protect the Legation at Yedo, he 
had the weakness to remove his flag to Yokohama, while 
Mr Harris, the American Minister, continued to reside 
in safety at the secular capital. Towards his own coun- 
trymen in Japan also Sir Kutherford Alcock behaved 
very injudiciously, trying to control and thwart them in 
regard to matters in which they w^ere perfectly in the 
right, — such as preferring Yokohama to Kanagawa as a 
place for a commercial settlement, and travelling in the 
country, with the connivance of Japanese authorities, 
beyond the limits allowed them by treaty. 

In our connection with China a great deal depends 
on the character of certain British officials who are well 
acquainted with the Celestial language, but who do not 
come prominently before the notice of the British public. 
Of these by far the most important of late years has 
been Mr Thomas Wade, who acted for long as Chinese 



Secretary to the Legation, and filled at one time the 
post of Charge d! Affaires at Peking. Having gone out 
to China as a subaltern in one of her Majesty's regi- 
ments during the period of the Opium War, Mr Wade's 
linguistic proclivities led him to acquire a knowledge 
of the Chinese tongue, and his first civil employment 
was in the somewhat humble position of interpreter to 
the Supreme Court of Hongkong. Neither well skilled, 
nor professing to be well skilled, in the use of colloquial 
Chinese (a defect which he shares, along with the Ame- 
rican, Dr S. W. AVilliams, one of the most eminent of 
living Sinologues), Mr Wade has, nevertheless, enormous 
knowledfje of the Chinese lano;uao;e and literature, and 
has done good service by his translations, published or 
only privately printed, of Chinese State-Papers. His 
irritable repellant air, as of an ill-used and over- worked 
man, has not been fitted to inspire the confidence of a 
calm-tempered people like the Chinese, and he has been 
not altogether unjustly accused of a fondness for work- 
ing in the dark in circumstances where the interests of 
the two countries would have been much better fur- 
thered by greater frankness and publicity. In brief, 
Mr Wade's great fault is, that in a position of great 
power and responsibility he has failed to rise above the 
subservience and caution which are the characteristics of 
subordinate officials in small colonies such as Hono;konff. 

Sir Harry Parkes and Mr H. N. Lay come to be 
noticed together, as both belonging, longo intervallo, 
to the same school. They both went out to China at a 
very early age, and had the misfortune of being pupils 
of the late Dr Gutzlaff", a man of somewhat unscru- 
pulous character. I have noticed that Europeans who 
have been brought up from childhood or from early 
youth in India or China, and have at the same time 


made early acquaintance with Eastern languages, are 
disposed to treat the natives of these countries with 
greater rudeness, or, as some would call it, energy, than 
is usual among other Englishmen in the East of similar 
social standing. The real cause of this 1 believe to 
be partial arrestment of moral development at the bois- 
terous schoolboy stage, owing to a too early acquire- 
ment of power among people of a different moral code 
from that of their own countrymen ; but it may plausi- 
bly, however erroneously, be argued that it proceeds 
only from appreciation of the best means of dealing with 
Asiatics. Be that as it may, both the gentlemen now- 
referred to acquired a reputation among the Chinese for 
this characteristic. Of Mr Lay enough has been said 
already,'^''' and I have no wish otherwise to compare Sir 
Harry Parkes with him; but the latter also has certainly 
been affected by early Eastern training, both as regards 
a habit of driving the Chinese, and as regards a quality 
which may be called subtlety. When he was engaged 
with Sir John Bowring in obtaining our treaty with 
Siam, the officials of that country said that he combined - 
the energy of a European with the Jinesse of a Chinese 
Mandarin ; and a similar suggestion is made by the 
contrast between his brilliant forehead and manly open 
countenance and his stereotyped hollow smile, so indi- 
cative of oblique design. Though that affair passed very 
soon out of his hands, yet a certain responsibility for 
the Arrow difficulty rests upon him ; and I have heard 
more than one impartial observer speak of his treatment 
of Chinese officials on certain occasions as havino: been 
something " quite frightful." t 
* See a7ite, p. 260 et seq. 

t On this subject generally, Dr Rennie makes the following remark, 
which is worthy of note, in his ' Peking and the Pekingese,' vol. ii. p. 290 : 
" Wang a small Mandarin, who has often complained bitterly of his 


When Sir Harry Parkes fell into the hands of the 
Chinese in 1860, no one expected that he would ever re- 
appear in any other shape than that of ''minute pieces 
but his unshaken courage and firmness had something to 
do, as well as his good fortune, in preserving him from 
the fate of his companions ; and his estimable personal 
qualities, as well as his value as a public servant, made 
his release unharmed a matter of rejoicing to all his 
countrymen in China. Being still little past Dante's 
mezzo del cammin cli nostra vita, his success in life has 
been somewhat remarkable ; but it has been well earned 
by his singular activity and his devotion to the interests 
of the British merchants in China. I believe it was the 
intention of Lord Elgin, when he superseded Sir John 
Bo wring, to have sent Sir Harry, then Mr Parkes, back 
to his unimportant consulate at Amoy, as having proved 
himself of rather too active a disposition ; but the services 
of the latter were found indispensable, and on our occu- 
pying Canton he was made British Commissioner for 
the Grovernment of that city, fulfilling the multifarious 
duties which devolved on him with an ardour which 
knew no rest, and a personal fearlessness which despised 
even common prudence. His captivity at Peking, and 
services about that period, were rewarded with the title 
of K.C.B. ; and from the Shanghai Consulship he was ad- 
vanced to be our Minister in Japan, a position which 
will probably lead to his obtaining the Peking mission. 

treatment by Sir H. Parkes, when he went over to the north fort, at Takii, 
in Angust 1860, to deliver a letter to Lord Elgin from the Governor- Gene- 
ral of Chili] attributes a great deal of the troubles of the British Govern- 
ment with China to the overbearing conduct of onr interpreters, who, he 
remarks, lose themselves completely as soon as they have learned, the 
Chinese language, and try to carry everything by bullying, and what they 
call ' knowing how to manage the Chinese;' an observation that my own 
experience inclines me very much to endorse, from what I have on several 
occasions myself witnessed." 



This, in a public service like that of Great Britain, is a 
splendid career for so young a man, aided by no special 
interest, and distinguished rather by ordinary parts in a 
high state of activity, than by the qualities of what Con- 
fucius was wont to call " the superior man." 

Mr Thomas Taylor MeadoAvs is a remarkable contrast 
to Sir H. Parkes : his Northumbrian stature and solidity 
indicate a man of slow adaptability, not easily moved 
from any opinion he once takes up; and his early educa- 
tion at a German University has given him a tendency 
to theorising somewhat in excess of the actual grasp of 
his mind. He has been connected in an important man- 
ner w^ith the Tai-ping movement, because from an early 
period of its existence he took a great interest in it, and 
industriously availed himself of his position in the Con- 
sular Service to collect information regarding that move- 
ment. In his most valuable and interesting wwk, * The 
Chinese and their Eebellions,^ and in his long reports to 
Government, he always took a very favourable view of 
the Tai-pings. Mr Meadows has the credit of having 
been the first among our modern Sinologues to compre- 
hend the vital principles of the Chinese State, and the 
pretensions of the Kebellion in relation to these princi- 
ples ; and his great knowledge of the Chinese has been 
gathered not only by hard and intelligent study (for 
there is such a thing as industrious unintelligent study) 
of their language and literature, but also by frequently 
travelling among them as one of themselves, in circum- 
stances which exposed him to very great danger. He is 
not for a moment to be confounded with the rut of 
Tai-ping sympathisers in China, or w^ith Colonel Sykes 
et hoc omne genus at home ; but, owing to the interest 
which the Rebellion excited in him from its resemblance 
to earlier revolutionary movements in China, and to 


the foolish character of many of the objections broiiglit 
against it, he greatly exaggerated its merits, and lost sight 
of the deterioration which took place in the character 
and in the practices of its leaders. It was of import- 
ance, however, for a competent person among our offi- 
cials in China to take the side of the Tai-pings and say 
all that could be said in their favour. While doing so 
Mr Meadows has always shown himself a scholar and a 
gentleman, and he has thrown much light on collateral 
subjects of interest and importance. It is greatly to be 
regretted that some differences with Sir Frederick Bruce 
when Mr Meadows was Acting Consul at Shanghai, and 
his own love of studious retirement, should have pre- 
vented him from taking a much higher place than he has 
done in Anglo-Chinese officialdom. At his own request 
he was banished to the unimportant consulship of New- 
chwang in Manchuria some years ago, and as he has never 
shown any disposition to be released from that post, we 
can only hope that he may soon lay before the public 
the result of his researches in Manchu language and 

So far as I can judge in regard to a subject which 
seems purposely kept as much in the dark as possible, 
Admiral Sir James Hope was the British officer in China 
who took the most active part in bringing about a change 
in our relationships towards the Tai-pings; but I have 
no means of determining whether this was done from a 
serious view of the position, or simply from the natural 
tendency of naval officers to cut out work for themselves 
and for those under their command. There can be no 
doubt that the Taku disaster of 1859 was one which 
would have been fatal to the prospects of any British 
admiral not backed up either by great interest or by 
much popularity in the service. Both these causes, com- 


bined with his own personal gallantry, have served to 
throw a veil over Admiral Hope's management on that 
occasion ; and it may also be said, that previous to the 
disaster our experience of Chinese warfare had not war- 
ranted any expectation of such serious resistance as San- 
kolinsin made at the mouth of the Peiho in 1859. In 
determining on the clearance of a thirty -mile radius 
round Shanghai, in the operations which effected that 
end, and in his support of the course of conduct followed 
by Captain Dew in Chekiang, Admiral Hope did valu- 
able service to the cause of order and peace in China ; 
but it was by the support he gave to Greneral Ward, and 
to the establishment of the Ever-Victorious Army on the 
footing of a respectable force, that he dealt his most 
effectual blow against the Tai-pings. Of his subordinate, 
Captain Eoderick Dew, it is not necessary to repeat here 
what has already been said in the commencement and 
the end of Chapter The valley of the Wye has 

reason to be proud of so dashing and distinguished a 
naval officer. 

Both the chief of the present Abyssinian Expedition 
and his second have served in China. Sir Robert Napier 
held a divisional command under Sir Hope Grant on 
the Peking Expedition, and directed the capture of the 
North Fort at Taku, impressing on his troops a high idea 
of his ability, and on observers like myself, of his geni- 
ality of disposition. Major-General Sir Charles W. Stave- 
ley went through a good deal of service in the Crimea, 
having been in the battles of Alma and Balaclava, and 
in command of the 44th Regiment at the fall of Sebas- 
topol. In the China campaign of 1860 he commanded a 
brigade, and, in April and May 1862, was in command 
of the force employed against the Tai-pings in the neigh- 
bourhood of Shanghai, when the fortified town of Najow 


was taken, the walled cities of Kading, Tsipoo, and 
Ciiolin, and several intrenched camps. He has the repu- 
tation of being very active and kind-hearted, but cau- 
tious, and more inclined to fulfil the duties of a second 
in command than for assuming the initiative and the 
responsibility required of a chief. His appointment of 
a British officer to command the Ever- Victorious Army 
was an event forced upon him by circumstances rather 
than of his own seeking, and his bearing towards the 
Chinese was dignified, reserved, and guarded ; but at 
the same time he was very polite towards them, and they 
thought very highly of him. His successor, Major-Gen- 
eral W. G. Brown, on the contrary, was not at all afraid 
of incurring responsibility, and was apt to be a little high- 
handed with the Chinese. The acquaintance of this 
officer with active service had been drawn chiefly from 
the Punjaub campaign, he having been wounded at the 
battle of Chillianwallah, and commanded the 29th Kegi- 
ment at the battle of Goojerat. Like many other officers 
who have seen much service in India, he was disposed to 
deal with the Chinese as we do with the natives of India, 
which the Celestials do not at all appreciate ; but any un- 
pleasantness arising from that cause was amply compen- 
sated to them by the hearty and effective support which 
he gave to Colonel Gordon, and, in general, to the Im- 
perialist cause, regardless of the outcries of Tai-ping 
sympathisers, and fearless of the responsibility which he 

In the persons of Colonel Gordon and of Mr Eobert 
Hart the Chinese have, at a very critical period of their 
history, been happily brought in contact with two Fo- 
reigners of a higher tone of mind and character than 
their previous experience had made them much acquainted 
with. Of the former officer I have thought it necessary 



already to say much more than is agreeable to himself, 
and shall only add here a very few words. A great deal 
of what has been mentioned to his credit I should never 
have learned from himself ; and the reader who has gone 
through the details of fighting and bloodshed with which 
his name is associated, might be surprised on finding him 
to be a man still young, of quiet manners and disposi- 
tion, and of varied culture. Deeply religious in sen- 
timent, and a soldier of the Havelock and Stonewall 
Jackson type, Colonel Gordon presents few of the char- 
acteristics usually associated with the common notion of 
the dashing leader of an irregular force. Great pleasure 
in activity, a self-sacrificing disposition, and a sense of 
duty, have been evidently the mainsprings of his conduct ; 
and the results, whatever others may think, have been 
too pleasant and satisfactory to himself, and, as he thinks, 
too undeserved, to allow of his glorying in them. 

Mr Hart, the Inspector-General of the Chinese Imperial 
Maritime Customs, was in the British Consular Service 
in China before he entered that of which he became the 
head on the dismissal of Mr Lay in 1863, and brought 
much previous culture to assist him in acquiring a know- 
ledge of the Chinese language and people. While fully 
alive to the defects of the Celestial Government, he has 
shown great tact and wisdom in leading it along the 
path of progress ; at the same time he has commanded 
the respect of his own countrymen in the somewhat in- 
vidious position of Inspector-General of Customs. His 
lucid memorandums on the trade and the condition of 
China are well worthy the consideration of those who 
desire to see gradual and pacific improvement in that 
country. Of late he has almost entirely taken up his 
residence at Peking, and has become the confidential 
adviser of the Peking Government in all that refers to 


its Foreign relationships. To the effects of the confidence 
which he has inspired may be ascribed the appointment 
of the Laou-yeh Pin to proceed to Europe in 1866 as 
a Commissioner from the Imperial Government, the 
establishment of a College at Peking for the study of 
European languages and science, and the appointment 
of Mr Burlingiiame as Minister from China to the Treaty 
Powers. In character, and, to a less extent, in manner, 
Mr Hart reminds one of an Indian civilian of the higher 
class, and especially of that school of Indian civilians of 
which Sir Bartle Frere is facile princeps. The pleasant 
demeanour of an Irishman has been useful to him at 
Peking, as it was, many years before, to Earl Macartney. 
He is more inclined to lead than to drive the Chinese, 
and has established himself as a power in the country ; 
but it may be well for him to keep in mind the de- 
served fate of Mr Lay, and not to lose sight of the fact 
that, though he has used them well, he has had great 
opportunities provided to his hand. Hitherto his course 
has been favoured by that of events ; and while he has 
himself reaped a large share of the resultant rewards, 
perhaps the most arduous portion of the task of adjust- 
ing our international relationships with China has fallen 
upon those who have received no remuneration or 
even acknowledgment for their unselfish but invidious 
labours. Now that he is able in some degree to command 
events similar to those by which he has been guided, 
and of which he has so wisely availed himself, it remains 
to be seen how far he will be equal to the high respon- 
sibilty and grand opportunities of a very powerful 
position between England and China. 


















While Soocliow was in course of being taken in 1863, 
Tseng Kwo-tsun, the Imperialist General, was engaged 
with large forces in closely investing Nanking. He 
intrenched himself so closely and strongly round that 
city as to be able to cut off all supply of provisions, 
and easily to defeat the attempts of the Faithful King 
to bring it relief. That latter prince, however, managed 
himself to gain admission to the Eebel capital, and 
besought the Tien Wang to make his escape and give 
up the city, as it could no longer be held, and was defi- 

THE TIEN Wang's indifference. 


cient in the necessaries of life ; but the monarch, accord- 
ing to the Faithful King s Autobiography, was highly 
displeased at this proposal, and indignantly exclaimed, 
" I have received the commands of Shangte [God] and of 
Jesus to come down upon the earth and rule the empire. 
1 am the sole Lord of ten thousand nations, and what 
should I fear 1 You are not asked your opinion upon 
anything, and the Government does not require your 
supervision. You can please yourself as to whether 
you wish to leave the capital or to remain. I hold the 
empire, hills, and streams with an iron grasp, and if 
you do not support me there are those who will. You 
say, ' There are no soldiers 1 ' But my troops are more 
numerous than the streams. What fear have I of the 
demon Tseng '? If you are afraid of death then you 
will die." It was in this way only that the Heavenly 
Monarch would look at practical matters. Burying 
himself in the depths of his palace, and engrossed with 
religious exercises and the society of his women, he 
gave himself no concern about either the approach of 
his enemies or the terrible state of his people. When 
any one memorialised him on internal affairs, or made 
suggestions pertinent to the preservation of the kingdom, 
he would invariably silence them with remarks on heaven 
and earth, which, as the Chung Wang complains, were 
" totally irrelevant to the main point in view." When 
it was mentioned to him that only the very wealthy 
people in Nanking had any food to eat, he issued a 
decree that the remainder should support themselves 
upon " sweet dew," and illustrated his meaning by order- 
ing some herbs from the palace garden to be prepared 
for his own dinner. His subordinates in the Govern- 
ment were allowed to do as they liked so long as they 
professed implicit submission to his decrees ; but their 



chief was very particular with them in regard to points 
of theological phraseology, and threatened to draw any 
one asunder between five horses who omitted a due use 
of the term Heavenly in all official documents. 

It should not be supposed, however, that such conduct 
on the part of Hung Sew-tsuen was altogether insane, 
for it was in great part by following such a course that 
he had created Tai-pingdom and maintained his suprem- 
acy over it. At no period had he personally interfered 
much in the details of government or in the manage- 
ment of fighting. Even when blaming him for his 
inactivity, the Faithful King admits that " the Tien 
Wang had been inwardly conscious for some time past 
of an impending crisis and of the insecurity of the 
capital; but, being of an elevated mind, he did not care 
to review the past oi: speculate on the future." And it 
is very questionable whether he would have gained any- 
thing by admitting the serious nature of the circum- 
stances by which he was now surrounded, for one of the 
greatest supports of his position was his lofty reliance 
on the favour of Heaven. It would have been exceed- 
ingly dangerous for him to have shown any signs of 
failing or of apprehension ; and his extraordinary past 
career afforded at least some show of reason for his con- 
fidence in Heaven, and his disregard of prudential con- 
siderations and of merely human advice. Certainly he 
had enjoyed tlie smiles of Fortune for a very long 
period, and that without any great exertions of his own. 
He had survived all his colleagues who had issued with 
him from Kwangsi. Of the four leading Kings who 
started with him on his journeys, two, those of the South 
and of the West, did not live to reach Nanking ; while 
the Eastern and the Northern Kings had been put to 
death for conspiring against his authority. More than 


once before he had been in apparently desperate circum- 
stances, and been relieved not so much by any efforts of 
his own or of his subordinates as by a fortunate turn in 
the course of affairs. Hence it was not altogether bad 
policy of him to refrain from reviewing the past or 
speculating on the future with his elevated mind. 

The Faithful King was well aware of the desperate 
state into which matters were fallinf^, but no thouo^ht of 
faithlessness to his Lord seems to have crossed his mind; 
and it is to his honour that he largely expended his 
own means in assisting the starving people of Nanking. 
In tlie commencement of 1864 Nanking was closely in- 
vested on all sides, so that the only road from it open 
was that to Tayan. The Imperialists had a large flo- 
tilla on the Yangtsze. From this river their double, and 
at some places even treble, intrenchments ran above 
Nanking to Porcelain Tower Hill, which commanded 
the city ; and on the north extended down from the 
Tsao-hia creek almost to the hills above the Miug 
tombs, where the Eebels still held a strong position. 
The forts below the capital had also been captured by 
the Imperialists, and when the Faithful King returned 
to it in January 1864 he lost about 100,000 of his men 
merely from having no rations to give them all, and no 
spot on which to camp them. 

When the Ever-Victorious Army was dissolved in 
June 1864, the capture of Nanking and the final sup- 
pression of the Tai-ping Eebellion were events which 
appeared evidently close at hand. On the 1st of June 
the investment of the Eebel capital was completed suf- 
ficiently to prevent its receiving any further supplies. 
The Imperialists had exploded several mines at different 
places beneath the walls, so compelling the garrison 
to be continually on the watch. The Imperialist lines 




around the city were about thirty miles in length, con- 
sisting of strong forts, stockades, and deep ditches. 
These fortifications were so constructed as to protect the 
besiegers, who were about 80,000 in number, from any 
attack from the outside ; and though the pay of some 
of these troops was considerably in arrear, they were 
well fed and contented. The besieging army was about 
to be reinforced by Colonel Gordon's late corps of artil- 
lery under Colonel Doyle, and also by Bailey's artillery, 
which had operated under the late General Ching; while 
Gordon himself took occasion of a flying visit to select 
the best point for attack, choosing the north-east angle of 
the wall, which in most parts of its circuit was about 40 
feet high and 50 feet thick. 

Before matters had got quite to this pass, some of the 
Tai-ping leaders escaped with their troops and fled into 
Kiangsi ; but the poor Faithful King remained true to 
his name and to the Tai-ping cause. He had lost heart, 
however, and regarded the Rebel movement as virtually 
defunct. Even then the Heavenly Monarch would not 
listen to his advice, and trusted the management of 
aftairs to the Shield King alone. He still continued his 
policy of ignoring the actual state of things, and of dis- 
coursing grandiloquently on the mysteries of heaven and 
earth. Inside the doomed city matters were daily becom- 
ing worse and worse. The Faithful King says that starv- 
ing men and women were constantly clinging round him, 
beseeching relief which was no longer in his power to 
afibrd. As the Tien Wang refused to allow any of the 
famished people to leave the city, the Faithful King 
issued secret orders enablino; them to do so : and so 
about 3000 women and children were allowed to go 
out to the Imperialist General, Tseng Kwo-tsun, who 
had established a provident fund for their relief. On 


the other hand, the Cantonese soldiers of the Shield 
King plundered and murdered as they chose, so that 
complete anarchy and confusion reigned in the be- 
leaguered capital of the Great Peace. " Thieves and 
robbers," says the Chung Wang, "sprang up in the 
city. The nights were disturbed with incessant can- 
nonading within the walls, and murders and pillages 
of whole families took place. These were fatal omens, 
and indications of coming destruction." As dangers 
gathered round him. Hung Sew-tsuen, the Heavenly 
Monarch, became more cruel in his edicts, and ordered 
any of his people who might be found communicating 
with the enemy to be flayed alive or pounded to death ; 
but even he could no longer conceal from himself the 
fact that the days of his reign and of his life had drawn 
to a close. It would be interesting to know what were 
the last thoughts of this extraordinary man when he 
found himself in these circumstances. Did he still be- 
lieve that he w^as a favourite of heaven, and authorised 
representative of Deity on earth, or had he in his last 
hours some glimpse of the true natui^ of the terrible 
and cruel destiny which he had had to fulfil ? Surely 
as his thoughts reverted to the simple Hakka village of 
his youth, he must have known that his path over the 
once peaceful and happy Flowery Land could be traced 
by flames and rapine and bloodshed, involving a sum 
of human wretchedness such as had never before lain to 
the account of the most ferocious scourge of mankind. 
AVhere there had been busy cities, he had left ruinous 
heaps ; where fruitful fields, a desolate wilderness ; " wild 
beasts, descending from their fastnesses in the moun- 
tains, roamed at large over the land, and made their dens 
ill the ruins of deserted towns ; the cry of the pheasant 
usurped the place of the hum of busy populations ; no 



bands were left to till the soil, and noxious weeds covered 
the ground once tilled with patient industry/' Even, as 
has been remarked, the very physical features of the 
country, owing to neglect of the embankment of great 
rivers, had been largely changed by his destructive 
career. And, after all this ruin and misery, what had 
the Tai-ping movement come to at last but the restora- 
tion of Imperial rule in China, while a cloud of fear and 
wrath hung over the doomed city in which the king and 
priest and prophet of the Great Peace anticipated death 
in the midst of his trembling women and the remnant 
of his ferocious soldiery 

It is a dreadful story, but chiefly interesting and 
solely valuable to us from the warning it gives as to 
the disorganisation and ruin which may swiftly overtake 
the human race, when it tries to avoid the constantly 
recurring necessity of facing the exigencies of its posi- 
tion ; and as to the danger of allowing a man of 
powerful imaginative mind to become mad in the fire of 
his own repressed energy, and under a sense of his ow^n 
suff*erings and wrongs. Men like Eousseau and Hung 
Sew-tsuen are not to be held personally accountable for 
their destructive effect on the society in which they grow 
up. " They made themselves a fearful monument but 
in order to its being made, society must have become 
ripe for ruin — the tree must be ready to fall ; and there 
is no surer indication of such rottenness in any civilisa- 
tion, than its inability or its unwillingness to find a 
fitting place for men of so remarkable powers. In 
the case of the Tai-ping chief, over-population, nomi- 
nal submission to Tartar dominion, and unlooked-for 
contact with a different civilisation, at least as power- 
ful as its own, had brought China to a condition in 
which it required a great purifying punishment. A 


striking indication of this fact was the sale of civil offices 
for money, because there was nothing on which the 
Chinese had so justly prided themselves, and in which 
tliey were so superior to other nations, as their committal 
of both power and wealth to men of regal qualities. 
" Virtue," says the commentator in the * Great Learning,' 

is the root, wealth is the result ; " and so long as the 
Chinese acted on this principle their empire flourished ; 
when they departed from it, trouble came, as it has 
always come, and always will come, upon nations who 
value this result more than its root, and having first 
allowed the exercise of low qualities to determine the 
possession of wealth, proceed to the almost necessary 
consequence of allowing wealth to wield the chief power. 
It really required some such terrible affliction as the Tai- 
ping Rebellion to save China from the state of corruption 
and imbecility into which it was sinking ; and when 
that rebellion had served its purpose, it too came to an 
end, and fell like a tree prepared to fall. In all this 
there was nothing but that benevolence of Heaven to 
which Confucius refers, terrible as its working may seem 
to human eyes ; and so it becomes intelligible hov/ the 
nation which required this punishment had not the 
privilege of meting out justice and inflicting retribution 
on the instrument of it. 

Those who were in intercourse with him at this period 
gave no indication as to Hung Sew-tsuen's state of mind. 
His son, the " Young Lord," only states that on the 
**24th May 1864 the Tien Wang succumbed to sick- 
ness but tlie Faithful King more probably relates that, 
terrified by the bursting of mines which the Imperialists 
had sprung round the East Gate, the Eebel Monarch fell 
into such anxiety and trouble of mind that on the 30th 
June he poisoned himself. His corpse was buried by 



one of his wives in the garden behind his palace, where 
it was afterwards dug up by the Imperialists, and was 
found draped in yellow silk, the head being bald and 
the mustache grey. 

After the death of this monarch, his eldest son, Hung 
Fu-tien, a youth of sixteen years old, ascended the no- 
minal throne ; but he had been brought up in ignorance 
of state matters and of military operations. The city 
was still more closely beleaguered, and on the 8th July 
the Faithful King made a sortie, but was driven back 
after a severe fight. As it was plain to him that the 
city could not be held much longer, he was now anxious 
to surrender, but was so closely watched by his col- 
leagues that he could not get away, and an attempt he 
made to escape nearly cost him his life, through the 
drunken loquacity of one of his adherents. On the 
19th of this month the Imperialists fired an enormous 
mine, said to contain over 40,000 lb. of gunpowder, 
which blew a long breach clean through the wall, and 
through this the Imperialists poured into the city, while 
at the same time false attacks were made on all sides. 
On seeing this, the garrisons of Chung-kuan, and of the 
few other forts which remained to the Tai-pings outside, 
either surrendered or were killed when running away ; 
but inside the city the Faithful King rallied his troops, 
and repulsed the assailants near the Tien Wang's palace, 
which he held till midnight, protecting the Monarch's 
weeping family. As the Imperialists thronged into the 
city, however, he found he could no longer make a stand, 
and, having set fire to the palace, along with his own re- 
sidence, retreated towards the South-west Gate. Here 
Hung Fu-tien and two other sons of the Rebel Monarch 
claimed his assistance, and, as a last instance of his won- 
derful and unselfish faithfulness, he mounted the Young 


Lord on his own war-horse, and contented himself with 
a weak, useless animal. "Though the Tien Wang's 
days," he writes, " had been fulfilled, the nation injured, 
through others baffling and deceiving him, and the state 
lost, still, as I had received his favours, I could not do 
otherwise than evince my faithfulness by endeavouring 
to save his son." 

In the confusion which followed the capture of Nan- 
king, the Faithful King, the Shield King, and the Young 
Lord, with about 1000 of their followers, did manage to 
escape out of the city and through the Imperialist lines, 
but were immediately followed by a body of Tseng 
Kwo-tsun's cavalry. The first of these Wangs soon got 
separated from the others, but finding that the wretched 
pony which he rode was unable to carry him, he soon 
took refuge in a ruined temple on the Huang Hill. On 
learning that he was the Chung Wang, some country 
people who discovered him there, knelt down before him 
and gave way to tears. They besought him to shave 
his head and assume disguise ; but to this he answered, 
I am a great minister of a nation now extinct, and of 
a sovereign now no more. Had I not escaped, but been 
taken by the Imperialists, I should not now be in life ; 
and even though I now live, it will not be fair to my 
men who have fallen if I submit myself to have my 
head shaved." On being pressed, however, the Faithful 
King gave way to the proposal, but before his further 
escape was contrived, another party came up who recog- 
nised him to be a high Tai-ping Chief, from his being in 
possession of some seals made of precious stone, and 
who accordingly insisted on his being delivered up to 
the pursuing cavalry of General Tseng. 

On the further fate of Li Seu-cheng, the Chung Wang 
or Faithful King, it is painful to dwell. He was ex- 



ecuted by simple decapitation, without any previous 
torture ; but during his whole connection with the 
Eebellion he had behaved in so humane a manner, that 
his life might well have been spared ; and the constancy 
he had displayed to the Tai-ping cause, even when sus- 
pected and ill-treated by his monarch, was a sufficient 
guarantee that, having once submitted to the Imperial- 
ists, he would not again have taken up arms against 
them. His last act of fidelity, that of giving his horse 
to the young Tien Wang, was a noble trait in his 
character, for had he not done so, he might very likely 
have himself escaped. Among the Tai-pings generally 
he was very much beloved, and the country people 
always spoke well of him, and distinguished him favour- 
ably from other Eebel leaders. On various occasions 
during his career he sacrificed his ow^n property to 
relieve the distress of cities w^hich some of his colleagues 
had misgoverned, and the people of Soochow had erected 
a monument to commemorate one of these his humane 
efforts. All this, however, did not avail to preserve his 
life. The Imperial Commissioner, Tseng Kwo-fan, re- 
ferred his case to Peking; and during the respite thus 
afforded, the Chung Wang occupied himself in writing 
his autobiography, which he completed in eight days, at 
the extraordinary rate, considering the nature of the 
Chinese language, of about 7000 characters daily. This 
apologia poo vita sua, though written in these curious 
circumstances, to show cause wdiy he should not be put to 
death, is a masterly production, being an exceedingly 
clear and condensed sketch of the history of the Eebel- 
lion, and displaying very graphic powers of description 
in those parts wdiich relate to the author's own experi- 
ence. Of its truthfulness there need be no question, 
because it is accurate on points where it can be checked, 



and it is tinged throughout with a fine colouring of 
philosophic melancholy, suitable to the circumstances in 
which it was produced. 

On second thoughts Tseng Kwo-fan did not wait for 
Imperial directions as to the disposal of this Tai-ping 
Chief. It occurred to him that, if sent up to Peking, the 
Faithful King might either escape on the road and cause 
new misfortunes, or else avoid a public execution by 
starving himself to death; so he suddenly took upon 
himself the responsibility of ordering his decapitation, 
which took place on the 7th of August 1864, and his 
head was sent round to various cities "in order to 
gratify the public mind." So far the Faithful King was 
actually fortunate, for an Imperial decree which arrived 
soon after condemned him to a " slow and ignominious 
death;" but his execution in any way must be con- 
demned. Even as a matter of policy it was inexpedient, 
for he had offered to secure the allegiance of the Eebels 
in Hoopeh and Kiangsi as a ransom for his life. There 
can be no doubt that he had sufficient influence with the 
remaining Tai-pings to secure this result; and had his 
offer been accepted, the people in various districts in 
China, where the Kebellion still lingered for more than a 
year, might have been saved from a good deal of misery. 

Hung Jen-kan, the Kan Wang or Shield King, a near 
relative of the Tai-ping monarch, was also taken prisoner 
when fleeing from Nanking, and executed along with the 
FcUthful King. This man has a prominent place in Tai- 
ping history, but not one of a very attractive kind. He 
was born about the year 1820, and at one period of his 
life had lived in Hongkong, and so made acquaintance 
with Foreigners. Daring that period he professed to 
be a Christian, and was either employed by, or was in 
other intimate relationships with, some of our mis- 



siouaries. Iii 1851 and in 1854 he made ineflfectual 
attempts to join his Heavenly relative, but did not do 
so until 1859, when he reached Nanking, received a 
title of nobility, and was soon after created a prince, 
and made Generalissimo of the Tai-ping armies. Dr 
Dickson, lately of Canton, who met the Kan Wang 
during one of the attempts the latter was making to 
reach Nanking, informs me that he was a tall, dark 
man, of rather coolie-like appearance; but he must have 
possessed a good deal of intelligence and education, for 
on that occasion he was acting as tutor in a wealthy 
Chinese family. Hung Jen-kan's knowledge of Foreign- 
ers led him to understand how important it would be for 
the Tai-pings to establish themselves at Shanghai and 
Ningpo, but he does not seem to have otherwise been 
any accession to the Rebel cause. When the Rev. Mr 
Roberts, the iVmerican missionary, who had been the 
Tien Wang's first Christian instructor, was residing in 
Nanking in 1860, it was this Chief with whom he came 
most in contact, and who drove him away from the 
rebel capital by striking him on the face, and murdering 
one of his servants before his eyes.'" And it does not 
seem that the Shield King was any milder in his de- 
meanour towards the Tai-pings themselves. Very sel- 
dom taking the field himself or exposing his person, he 
was cruel in his treatment of those subject, to his sway, 
and was hated by the people of Soochow and of other 
cities which had reason to feel his presence. As it was 
customary with the Tai-pings to keep up titles so far as 
possible, there are some obscure notices of another Kan 
Wang existing among the remnants of the Rebellion in 
1865, but that was a different person from Hung Jen- 
kan, the Heavenly Monarch's Prime Minister from 1860 

* See Blue-book, China, presented to His Majesty, April 8tli, 1862, p. 142. 


to 1864. The latter was executed immediately after 
the fall of Nanking ; and before doing so he wrote a 
short biography of himself, at the conclusion of which 
he says, " Three years back, little did I think, when hold- 
ing such a high position at the capital, and endowed 
with such vast power as I then had, that affairs would 
come to such a pass at the present day, and that an 
ignominious death would await me." 

Thouorh the Faithful Kino; o;ave his war-horse to 
Hung Fu-tien, the second Heavenly Monarch, the latter 
did not long escape his Imperialist pursuers. Koused 
by the fall of Nanking from his easy life and the society 
of his young queens, he was ill fitted to meet adverse 
circumstances. In the course of his flight he got sepa- 
rated from the Kan Wang and his other companions, 
and concealed himself among some hills, where he suf- 
fered so much from starvation that he actually wished 
for death. Being relieved by some country-people, the 
unfortunate youth continued his wanderings for some 
weeks, when he fell into the hands of Imperialist braves, 
and being delivered up to General Shung Pow, was 
quickly executed at the provincial city of Kiangsi, ap- 
parently not expecting such a fate ; for in his declara- 
tion made after capture, he repudiated all ambitious 
designs, and expressed a hope that he might be sent to 
Hoonan " to read for a literary degree." 

When the city of Nanking was captured, it was found 
to be in a very deplorable state ; grass was growing 
luxuriously in the streets, and most of the houses were 
in ruins. Judging from various statements, there could 
not have been more than 20,000 fighting men within 
the walls ; of these about 1500 escaped, and about 7000 
were put to death. This is not in accordance with Im- 
perialist statements, which speak of 100,000 men having 



been killed, which is merely an indefinite phrase used 
by the Chinese when they cannot conveniently compute 
numbers. Tliere is more probability in Tseng Kwo-tsun's 
statement, that during the last two years' siege 10,000 of 
the Imperialist soldiers fell victims to sickness, and 8000 
or 9000 of them were killed in fight. The fire which 
the Faithful King had kindled raged for three days 
before it was got under and arrangements were made 
for restoring order. After this the Eebel palaces were 
found to be only heaps of ashes, and the strictest search 
could discover no treasure, though it had been rumoured 
that the Eebel Monarch's wealth was " vast as the sea." 
Tseng Kwo-fan seems to have been a little disappointed 
at this result, and complains that even Soochow had 
more wealth in it than Nanking had. He acknowledges, 
in his despatch on this subject to the Imperial Govern- 
ment, that some of his soldiers took a good deal of money 
from individual Tai-pings, but he did not think fit to 
interfere with their privileges in that respect. He only 
required that any buried treasure which might be dis- 
covered should be handed over to the public funds ; and 
none such being forthcoming, he philosophically observes, 
" To capture the great stronghold of the Kebels, and to 
find no wealth w^hatever, certainly surpasses your humble 
servant's calculations, and is a thing of rare occurrence." 

A very few days after the fall of Nanking, a visit was 
paid to that city by Mr Adkins, the Acting British Con- 
sul at Chinkiang ; and he describes what he then saw 
in the following extract, from a despatch to Earl Eussell, 
dated the 29th July 1864:— 

I have the honour to inform you that the city of Nankin, so 
long the centre of disaffection in China, and the point from 
which so many bands of ruthless plunderers have started on 
their raids upon the peaceful and wealthy cities of Central 



China, has been captured by the Imperialist Army under the 
command of Tseng-kwo-chuen, the Governor of Chekiang, and 
brother of the Viceroy of the provinces of Kiang Nan and Kiang 

The city was stormed on the 19th of this month, through a 
breach caused by a mine sprung under the wall near the east 
gate. Eumours of its capture reached me on the day following 
the assault, but I paid no attention to them, having been so 
often deceived by reports of Chinese victories. On the 24th 
of this month, however, I obtained a copy of the Memorial to 
the Throne formally announcing the capture. 

On the following day I started for Nankin in her Majesty's 
ship Slaney, intending to congratulate the Chinese Com- 
mander-in-Chief on the auspicious termination of his two years' 
siege. I found his Excellency at his camp outside the south 
gate of the city. 

When the Imperialists made good their entrance into the city, 
they found that the palace of the Tien Wang, the leader of the 
Eebellion, and the claimant for many years past of divine honours 
and attributes, had been burnt to the ground. It is said that 
the impostor and his immediate attendants lie buried in its 
ruins. I am inclined to credit the rumour, for the city has been 
closely blockaded since January last, and I think that nothing 
but a desperate sortie would have enabled him to get clear. 

But the most important fact of all is the capture of Chung 
Wang. This person has for many years been the most restless 
and determined of all the desperadoes Tai-pingdom has sent 
forth. He it was who threatened Shanghai in 1860 ; he was 
Admiral Hope's antagonist in his operations near Shanghai ; he 
fouo'ht ac^ainst Colonel Gordon at Soochow. He tried to intro- 
duce the foreign element into his levies, and was said by Eebel 
sympathisers to be the main hope of the Tai-ping cause in its 
declining days. After the assault, he managed to leave the city 
with a few followers, but he was captured three days subse- 
quently by a party of cavalry. I was much pressed to visit the 
Chung Wang in his confinement, but declined, as I had no 
personal acquaintance with him. 

On the day following my interview with the Commander-in- 
Chief, I rode into the city and visited the breach. Words can- 
not describe the utter desolation of everything within the walls 



The main tliorouglifares traversed by me were the streets be- 
tween the south-west and east gates, and tliose between the 
south-west and south gates. On either hand, the houses left 
standing had the appearance of having been tenantless for years, 
wliile the gaudy gateways, denoting the residences of the wangs 
or princes, opened in most instances on to courts full of brick- 
bats and charred timbers. As for the side streets, they were, 
many of them, overgrown with jimgle four feet high. 

During my ride through the city I saw a great number of 
iinburied bodies, and in many places the smell was so offensive 
that both myself and Lieutenant Lee, who accompanied me, 
were almost overpowered. But on the whole I came to the 
conclusion that the Ilebel force in the city at the time of its 
capture could not have been very large. The Imperialists, ac- 
cording to their own account, spared very few able-bodied males, 
so tliat the dead lying in the streets would be a fair criterion 
of the strength of the garrison. I estimate it at 10,000 men, 
against 50,000 under the Imperialist commanders. 

1 think a ride through the streets of Nankin, as they are at 
present, would satisfy the most ardent advocate of the Rebel 
cause of the dreadful hollowness of the system they support. 
Some eleven years ago the Tai-pings took Nankin, then one of 
the finest cities in China. Ever since its capture it has been 
their headquarters. In it the chiefs of the movement built 
their tawdry houses, and from it they despatched plundering 
bands in all directions. Meanwhile the works of civil govern- 
ment and social organisation are entirely neglected, and when 
the city is retaken it is found to be a Avilderness of empty 

The Imperial Government was greatly elated at this 
victory, the news of which reached it in six days, and 
made Tseng Kw^o-fan a Marquess, or noble of the second 
grade, and senior guardian of the youthful Emperor, and 
his brother, Tseng Kwo-tsun, a noble of the third grade, 
and junior guardian of the Emperor. The other officers 
who distinguished themselves in the siege were also suit- 
ably rewarded ; and the Prince of Shun was appointed 
to proceed to the Shrine of Glorious Happiness, the rest- 



ing-place of the coffin of the Emperor Hien-fung, to 
announce the victorious news to that departed monarch. 
"This," says the Imperial decree announcing the fall of 
Nanking — "this was indeed a special dispensation in 
Our favour, for which we are grateful to Heaven and 
Our sacred Ancestors. The Empresses Dowager are 
agreed in their feelings of gratitude for the peace and 
order which have been granted to Us. They knew how 
to choose fit persons (to whom to intrust this great 
undertaking), so that everywhere there was the greatest 
unanimity ; and both civil and military officials girded 
themselves for the task set before them, which has now 
been fully accomplished. Our Imperial Father, now 
enthroned in Heaven, will congratulate himself on the 
turn affairs have taken ; while the inhabitants of the 
world, from the highest to the lowest, will be grateful. 
We acknowledge that virtue lies not in ourselves ; how, 
then, could We bring about these successes 1 We look 
back on the deceased Emperor, who never desisted from 
the pursuit of that purpose of his (the extermination of 
the Rebels). It continually grieves Us to think that 
He did not survive to see his designs carried out. Since 
this Rebel Hung first created confusion in Kiangsi fif- 
teen years have elapsed, and since he settled himself in 
Nanking twelve years have dragged slowly on. The 
Insurgents have trampled more than ten provinces under 
foot, and overthrown several hundred cities, which have 
gradually been won back. Now, however, that the 
originator of all this mischief has met his fate, those 
great warriors who, during the pacification of the coun- 
try, were exposed to every blast of heaven, and were 
drenched with rain, tasting every danger and difficulty, 
are indeed entitled to most unmistakable marks of Our 
favour and gratitude." 



So rare is it for people in this country to follow closely 
the course of events in China, that for long after the fall 
of Nanking it was supposed by many that the Tai-ping 
Kebellion was still in existence ; and even at the present 
day the question is sometimes put, whether it has really 
been extinguished or not. No one acquainted with the 
subject has any doubt that Tai-pingdom has long been 
extinct ; but it is easy to understand why such questions 
are raised. A portion of the Foreign community in China 
was exceedingly anxious for a continuance, Jind after- 
wards for a revival, of the Eebellion, because a state of 
confusion and misery in China served their own petty 
interests, and they have spared no pains in sending home 
letters and telegrams calculated to convey a false im- 
pression. They have also been assisted to this end by 
the facts of the case. China is an immense country, 
having, according to the last census accessible, a popula- 
tion of 450 millions, or nearly double that of Europe. 
Among this enormous mass of human beings, having 
varieties of religion, language, and blood, it is hardly to 
be expected that perfect order and tranquillity should 
always prevail. If we consider the enormous wars of 
Europe during this century, and the gigantic conflict 
which has recently convulsed the United States of Ame- 
rica, it may be seen how absurd it is to presume that 
China, to be in a satisfactory state, must be absolutely 
free from all internal disorder. Nevertheless, that is the 
ridiculous assumption on which we are incessantly asked 
to judge the affairs of the Celestial Empire. If in some 
out-of-the-way corner of China any unusually large band 
of robbers manage to make their appearance, it is imme- 
diately telegraphed to England that rebellion has again 
broken out in Fukien or Kwangsi. Since the suppres- 
sion of the Tai-ping Rebellion there have been several 



disorderly movements in China of more or less note, and 
all these are apt to be accepted, not merely as political, 
movements, but as remnants of Tai-pingdom. We have 
heard of Nien-fei, and of Tu-fei, and of " Honan Filchers," 
and Hakkas, and Mohammedan rebels, until it has very 
naturally been supposed that the whole Empire must be 
in confusion and rebellion. In point of fact, we are too 
apt to judge of that great country, just as a Chinaman 
might do, who, reading in English newspapers of Fenians 
and Eeformers, of Confederates and Northerners, of Danes 
and Prussians, of Romanists and Garibaldians, and of 
French and Austrians, came to the conclusion that the 
people of the West were living in a state of endless dis- 
satisfaction and strife. 

I shall speak presently of the Nien-fei and other bodies 
of men who have recently disturbed some portions of 
China ; but before doing so let me note, that after the 
fall of Nanking the Tai-ping Rebellion became insignifi- 
cant, and within two years was entirely extinguished. 
It would serve no good purpose to follow minutely the 
fate of the different bands of Tai-pings, and it will be 
quite sufficient to note the points at which they made 
anything like a serious stand previous to their final 
disappearance altogether. After the fall of Nanking the 
Governor of Kiangsoo had still some fighting with the Tai- 
pings in his province and its neighbourhood, but none of 
any importance, except at the city of Wu-chu, or Hoo- 
chow, in Chekiang, a strongly-fortified place, where the 
Tow Wang, or Yellow Tiger, made a desperate stand, and 
where at first he defeated some of the Imperialist forces 
sent against him. Lfs troops, however, among which 
were Colonel Bailey's Artillery and the army formerly 
commanded by General Ching, formed a combination 
with forces Vv^hich came up from the South under the 




orders of Tso, the Governor- General of Chekiang, and 
which included 1800 Franco-Chinese under MM. D'Aigui- 
belle and Giquel, besides 800 disciplined Chinese, com- 
manded by an Englishman called Key n olds, who was 
killed in the fighting which then took place. The jeal- 
ousy which existed between Tso and Li caused some 
bungling at first, of which the Yellow Tiger availed him- 
self very smartly ; but he soon found his position un- 
tenable, evacuated the town in the end of August, and 
retreated towards Kiangsi, with the intention of there 
joining the She Wang, or Attendant King, who had 
escaped from Nanking some time before its capture. 

There were about a dozen Europeans, w^ho had fallen 
accidentally into the clutches of the Tai-pings, fighting 
along with the Yellow Tiger in Wuchu. One of these, 
Patrick Nell is, formerly in the Eoyal Engineers and in 
Gordon's Artillery, made a statement of his experiences, 
when, after many adventures, he contrived to reach 
Shanghai. This man, being seized by the Tai-pings w^hen 
convoying silk, was forced to serve with them, and gives 
an appalling account of the state of matters which ex- 
isted in Wuchu. " All offences," he said, received one 
punishment — death. I saw 160 men beheaded, as I un- 
derstood, for absence from parade ; two boys were be- 
headed for smoking ; all prisoners of war were beheaded ; 
spies, or people accused of being so, were tied with their 
hands behind their backs to a stake, and brushwood put 
around them, and they were then burned to death. In 
spite of the orders against smoking, the Chiefs were in- 
veterate smokers.'^ Nellis mentions, that when he was at 
this place a certain Kang Wang arrived from Nanking 
with an escort, and spoke to him in English very slowly, 
from whence arose a rumour that Hung Jen-kan, the 
Kan Wang, or Shield King, was not really executed at 



Nanking ; but there is good reason to believe that this 
new Kan Wang was a young fellow who could only speak 
very little English, and who had a title resembling that 
of the Shield King. This same leader afterwards turned 
up at Changchow, near iVmoy, and an American, named 
BafTey, who served under him there, describes him as 
only thirty-five years of age. Had he really been the 
Prime Minister of the Eebel Monarch, the fact would have 
been notorious, and he would not have been in a subor- 
dinate position to the Attendant King. 

After the loss of Wuchu the Rebels retreated along the 
base of the mountain-ranges of Chekiang into Kiangsi, 
where they threatened the city of Kwangsin, but were 
defeated with great loss. Having formed a combination 
with the forces of Li Siu-shien, the Attendant or Protect- 
ing King, they came down and occupied Changchow-fu, 
in the province of Fukien, near the consular port of Amoy. 
The Kang AVang was at this time with them, but the 
Attendant King was the principal Chief, and issued a 
manifesto in the beo^innino; of 1865, addressed to the 
Representatives of England, France, and America, asking 
their assistance, and offering to divide with them the 
Celestial Empire. " If/' he modestly proposed in this 
curious document, " your various nations, relying in the 
omnipotence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, 
and acting upon the doctrine of Christianity, will come 
to terms with us for destroying the Tsing dynasty ; if 
you command your naval armies, and attack those places 
near the water, whatever cities, districts, ports, and passes 
you will have taken and conquered by your force, you 
will be at liberty, without the least opposition on my 
part, to keep ; and whatever treasures and food found 
therein you will be at liberty to appropriate ; and so I 
will attack on land, and whatever cities, districts, and 



passes I conquer, and whatever treasures and food I find, 
I will divide, giving one half to you ; and all the distant 
cities and marts will be surrendered to you." The only 
result of this invitation was to induce about a dozen 
Foreigners of loose character and in desperate circum- 
stances to join the Rebels. Among these were Rhode, 
Williams, and Baffey, who had formerly been officers in 
Gordon's force, but who at this time were out of employ- 
ment ; and Burgevine, as I have already mentioned, 
made an effort to join them, which resulted in his being 
seized by the Imperialists, and drowned, according to re- 
port, by the accidental upsetting of a boat. 

The local militia of Fukien were unable to do much 
against these Tai-pings, but the Government, roused to a 
sense of danger, sent down 8000 troops, disciplined at 
the Tung-wang Shan camps, under the command of Kwo 
Sung-ling, and accompanied by Colonel Kirkham. On 
this force making its appearance the Rebels evacuated 
Changchow by night on the 16th April 1865, and re- 
treated towards the town of Tungshan. Pressed on all 
sides by Imperialist forces, and in the midst of a hostile 
population, they were soon broken up into small parties, 
and retreated into the mountainous region which sepa- 
rates the three provinces of Fukien, Kwangtung, and 
Kiangsi, where they may be said to have disappeared. 

The last accounts we have of the Tai-pings in this re- 
treat is derived from a statement made at the British 
Consulate at Canton in 1865 by George Baflfey,''' who, 
as before mentioned, had been in the Imperial service, 
but had been induced by Rhode and others to join the 
Rebels. This man states, that eleven days after the 
evacuation of Changchow the Attendant King's division 
became disorganised near Yingting, on the Han river, 

* See Appendix IV. 


and that he then joined the Kang Wang, who pushed 
into the province of Kwangtung with 15,000 fighting 
men. Almost all his Foreign companions were murdered 
at different times, and none received the fulfilment of 
the promises by which they had been enticed over. In 
the middle of July Baffey managed to escape, being hor- 
rified by the cruelties which the Tai-pings perpetrated — 
such as burning two Mandarins alive, and slaughtering 
in cold blood 1600 local militia, who had surrendered on 
the promise of their lives being spared. When he left the 
Eebels they were talking of returning to Kiangsi ; and 
apparently they did so, for soon after the ' Peking Ga- 
zette' announced that the city of Kanchow had been 
taken from them, and the province of Kiangsi finally 
cleared of their presence. Since nothing more has been 
heard of them, we may conclude that a portion of them 
perished miserably among the sterile mountains of that 
region of China, while the remainder may perhaps still 
haunt these mountains as small bands of banditti. It 
only remains to be added, that Rhode, who did such good 
service as a military instructor in Gordons army, was 
at first reported to have met with a fate similar to that 
of Burgevine. After the evacuation of Changchow, he 
and a man named Mansfield delivered themselves up to 
the Mandarins, who handed the latter over to the British 
authorities, but reported that Rhode, their former servant, 
had been accidentally drowned by the upsetting of a 
boat ; he turned up, however, at Canton, and is now 
living at Shanghai. The only other Tai-pings of which 
there is any rumour after this date, are the remnants of 
the force which went into the distant western province 
of Szechuen, under the leadership of Shih Ta-kai, the I 
Wang, or Assistant King, who broke off from allegiance 
to the Heavenly Monarch, and set up his own standard 



iu 1861. After that Chief was captured by an Imperialist 
colonel in 1863, he was executed by order of the Gover- 
nor-General of Szechuen, and a portion of his whilom 
followers are rumoured to have escaped into the province 
of Kansuh, and to have been amalgamated with the 
Mohammedan Rebels in the extreme north of China. 








During the last two years a great deal has been heard 
about the Nien-fei Rebels, and in some quarters it has 
been supposed that these constitute a political party in 
China. Some wiseacres have also told us of Tu-fei, and 
of other Fei, all which the ingenuous British reader is 
asked to believe betoken the dissolution of the Chinese 
Empire. Now the fact is, that words of this kind are 
used to designate thieves and banditti in general ; and to 
use them with a political signification, or even as denot- 
ing separate varieties of marauders, is about as sensible 
as to talk of England being convulsed by Thieves and 
Prigs. The term Nien-fei is merely a local name for 
marauders prevalent among the inhabitants of the 
southern part of the province Chili, the western part 


of Shantung, and the northern part of Honan. Through 
this district flows the great Ho-ang Ho, or Yellow River, 
which the Chinese, from the earliest historical times, have 
had great difliculty in keeping within its embankments. 
In many places the bed of the river is considerably 
higher than the surrounding country, and it is only 
by constant and careful labour on the embankments 
that it is prevented from overflowing these districts. 
Of course, whenever the works on this river are much 
neglected, as sometimes happens when the Government 
is greatly out of funds, the water breaks through, 
and floods immense tracts of land. Now, one of the 
results of the Tai-ping Rebellion has been to diminish 
the funds at the disposal of the Chinese Government to 
such an extent, that for many years the embankments of 
the Yellow River have been so neglected, that the people 
in considerable stretches of country have been deprived 
of the means of subsistence. Moreover, the march of 
the Tai-pings towards Peking in 1853 through these 
very districts caused an amount of destitution from 
which they have scarcely yet recovered. Hence, in the 
three provinces just mentioned there has been for some 
time a good deal of brigandage — the usual Chinese way 
of levying a benevolent fund for the relief of washed-out 
agriculturists, who are not very particular when collecting 
the tax in person. The number of these Nien-fei must 
not be judged by the extent of country over which they 
roam. Mr Gibson, lately H.M. Acting Consul at Tien- 
tsin, who came into rather unpleasant contact with them 
in 1863, estimated their numbers as under 10,000, ex- 
clusive of women and children. They move about in 
large parties, covering a track as large as two or three 
English parishes. The women and the carts usually fol- 
low the public roads, while the men scatter about over 



the country, but retreat to their waggons when danger 
appears. They are all pretty well mounted on good 
ponies, and can move when necessary at the rate of sixty 
miles a-day. Captain Coney, of H.M. G7th Regiment, who 
went out aorainst them from Tien-tsin with some disci- 
plined Chinese in 1863, never saw Nien-fei till the Nien- 
fei concentrated and attacked him; and when they found 
that they were getting the worst of it, they were out of 
range again in a few minutes. Extremely ill armed, 
with spears, rusty swords, gingalls, and a few cannon, 
they are very bad shots. They take good care, how- 
ever, to send patrols out before them, and are chary of 
going in directions where they are likely to meet with 
serious resistance. Almost anything in the way of 
plunder they can carry or consume is acceptable to 
them. They loot young women, boys, gold, silver, silk, 
cotton, rice, wheat, and clothes of all kinds, but seldom 
wantonly destroy life. The necessity which knows no 
law before that of self-preservation, has created these 
robber-bands, but of course they have attracted to them 
many idle and disreputable fellow^ inclined for all kinds 
of mischief, and such bands necessarily grow by what 
they feed on. The well-to-do people whose houses they 
plunder become themselves Nien-fei, in order to avoid 
starvation ; and so a band increases rapidly, until it at- 
tains such dimensions that Imperialist troops are directed 
against it. 

The theory of the Chinese Government, that each vil- 
lage, district, department, province, and viceroy ship, 
should harmonise itself or settle its own affairs, is 
consonant to the genius of the people, and acts ad- 
mirably in ordinary circumstances, but it is quite in- 
adequate as a basis for preserving order during the 
great convulsions to which nations are sometimes ex- 


posed, and when large districts of country are suffering 
from the want of means of subsistence. In such circum- 
stances the weakness of the central government, and its 
dependence upon moral force, are disastrously felt ; for 
on the one hand, it is not till the very existence of the 
Government is threatened that it will rouse itself to check 
rebellion effectually; and on the other, sufficient efforts 
are not made to prevent famine in afflicted districts by 
throwing into them supplies of food from the rest of the 
Empire. The state of local disorganisation which thus 
arises is greatly aggravated by the difficulties of transit 
in China as regards the conveyance both of troops and 
of provisions. Occupied by its foreign war and the great 
Tai-ping Rebellion, the Chinese Government allowed 
the Nien-fei, or the marauders of the North-eastern pro- 
vinces of China, to continue their depredations, until 
they became rather formidable bands, threatening at times 
to advance on Tientsin, and cut the communication be- 
tween Peking and the sea. Parties of them also pushed 
to the south, and appeared in the Yangtsze valley, co- 
operating with the Tai-pings in the end of 1860, but in 
the following year were soon disposed of by the Impe- 
rialist forces. In the North-east they gave much more 
trouble, and extended their ravages beyond their usual 
limits into the provinces of Shantung on the one side, 
and Hoopeh on the other. In the year 1865 their num- 
bers had increased to a formidable extent, but by that 
time the Imperial Government was able to deal with 
them more effectually than it had hitherto done, having 
been released from the incubus of the Tai-ping insurrec- 
tion. Operations were directed against them, not only 
by Prince Sankolinsin from the North, but also by 
Tseng Kwo-fan from the South. These two great 
Chinese officers had never met, and were very jealous 


of each other's power and influence. The first repre- 
sented the Tartar element in the Chinese Government, 
while the latter was the acknowledged head of the native 
Chinese Mandarins. The opposition between these two 
great parties in the Chinese state has not of late years 
been of a serious kind — not anymore so than that between 
the Conservatives and Liberals in England — but it has 
been suflicient to affect the course of events. Sanko- 
linsin and Tseng Kwo-fan were both warriors rather than 
statesmen, and perhaps specially on that account took 
the lead of their respective parties ; for the recent course 
of events in the Flowery Land has had the effect of 
giving military Mandarins a higher position than that 
which they usually hold. In one important respect the 
Chinaman had an advantage over the Tartar, having to 
do with the Tai-pings, who could be suppressed, while 
the latter had to deal with the demands of Foreign nations, 
which the whole power of China would have been unable 
to resist. So, while Tseng was reaping glory in 1860 by 
his operations on the Yangtsze, the Tartar prince had to 
face defeat at the hands of the allies, and never quite re- 
covered his former cheerfulness and prestige. He was 
always afraid that the Southern leader was attaining a 
height of glory which would overshadow the power and 
influence of the Imperial house, and even went so far as 
to procure the issue of an edict from Peking which de- 
graded Tseng Kwo-tsung, the military commandant at 
Nanking, and ordered Tseng Kwo-fan himself to proceed 
to the capital to explain his conduct. This edict, how- 
ever, was openly disregarded, and any further conflict 
between the two great fighting men of China was put an 
end to by the death of Sankolinsin in 1865, and by the 
want of success in his operations. The Peking Govern- 
ment were not inclined to say much more on the subject 


to Tseng Kwo-fan, who had despatched a body of his 
picked troops to the north of Nganhvvui, to protect that 
province and Hoopeh from invasion. Indeed, the Pe- 
king Government, sinking all minor points of difference, 
at once ordered Tseng Kwo-fan and Li Futai to move 
all their available forces upon the Nien-fei, who were 
now commanded by leaders of some note — namely, 
Shung, a son of concubine-loving Shung Pow, who had 
been compelled to strangle himself the year before ; Miao, 
who, when a Tai-ping, had made peace with the Imperi- 
alists by betraying to them the Heroic King; and Chang, 
a son of the notorious Chang Lo-hing. 

The position of affairs demanded prompt action, for 
in Shantung they had advanced to Kiachow ; in Chili 
they were not far from Powting, where the Tai-pings 
had been arrested in 1853, and even Chiu fu in Shan- 
tung, the birthplace of Confucius, had fallen into their 
hands, and they had there destroyed the temple of the 
sage, which was considered the most sacred and magni- 
ficent in China. After the death of Sankolinsin, his son, 
the Pao Wang, defended the city of Tsinan with 30,000 
Mongol cavalry, and there awaited the arrival of the 
experienced troops of Tseng Kwo-fan, who had been 
appointed Generalissimo of all the Imperial troops in 
China. The movement of the Nien-fei, however, col- 
lapsed at this moment without much necessity for fight- 
ing. They evacuated the entire province of Shantung, 
and proceeding into Shansi, a large body of them w^ere 
swept away by a sudden inundation of the Yellow Eiver, 
while the remainder retreated through Shensi to join the 
Mohammedan Eebels in Kansuh. The parties of the 
Nien-fei w^ho had entered Chili were now easily cut up 
by the Tartar cavalry, and a new outbreak which took 
place in the end of this year was easily suppressed by a 


portion of the garrison at Nanking, with. European 
drilled artillery which were ordered to proceed against 
them. Early in the year 1866, marauders again made 
their appearance on the banks of the Yellow Eiver, and 
established themselves for a time in some districts to the 
north of that stream. In the south of Shantung also 
they reappeared, but were put down there by a Manda- 
rin called Puan, who had served along with Colonel 
Gordon. In the spring some of them pushed down 
south into Kiangsoo by forced marches, and a circuitous 
route along the seaboard, where there were no troops to 
oppose them, and assembled in imposing numbers at 
Tungtai. Tseng Kwo-fan, w^ho advanced against them 
at this place, concentrated his troops round them very 
carefully, but the brigands managed to give him the 
slip. During the same year marauders of a similar kind 
threatened Hankow in the very centre of China, having 
been joined by some Imperialist regiments, whose pay 
was in arrear ; but these latter were easily brought back 
to allegiance, on which the Eebels dispersed and re- 
turned to their homes. In the beginning of 1867, 
Nien-fei were again reported to be ravaging the country 
between the Yangtsze and the Yellow River, while 
others of them had reappeared on the confines of Shan- 
tung and Honan, where they managed to slip out of the 
toils of our old friend Governor Li, now a Chetai. It 
requires, however, a close scrutiny of such reports, and 
of the sources through which they come, to know what 
value to attach to them. Contrary to a usually received 
opinion, Mr Wade, who of all Europeans is probably 
best acquainted with such papers, has said that, for 
some reason known only to Chinamen, the reports on 
contemporary affairs in the ' Peking Gazette ' always set 
out the worst view of the case, w^ithout any conceal- 


ment, and it is possible to get at the true story of events 
in China, when we have these documents, or when the 
intelligence comes through Foreigners of suflBcient intel- 
ligence and knowledge of the country to enable them to 
discriminate ; but without such aids, it is impossible to 
know what value to attach to the innumerable reports 
which come every mail from that country, some of 
which are the pure invention of unscrupulous persons, 
while others are the joint handiwork of young Foreigners 
who enliven their exile by abundant gossip, and of their 
Chinese hangers-on, who take a peculiar pleasure in 
stuffing them wdth startling stories. A very few months 
ago Li contrvied to hem them up in the Shantung pen- 
insula, and crushed them almost entirely. Still it may 
be assumed without rashness, that there are yet a good 
many Nien-fei or robber bands left in existence in China, 
and that they will continue to give trouble for some 

Of perhaps still more importance than the Nien-fei, 
are the Mohammedan Rebels of the north-west of China ; 
for they really aim at something like political separation, 
and gave a good deal of trouble to the Celestial Empire 
in the year 1862. The relationship between China and 
Mohammedanism began at a very early period ; for so 
early as the reign of the Kalif Walid, about 708, an em- 
bassy was sent to China by way of Kashgar, and on a 
tablet in the Mohammedan Hiang Fang, or " Echoing 
Tomb," at Canton, it is stated that there were disciples 
of the Prophet settled in Shensi in the reign of the 
Emperor Wu-tsung, 842. In one Chinese native work, 
the statistics of Kwangchau, it is even stated that 
Mohammed himself sent a maternal uncle to trade with 
China in the sixth year of the Ilegira. Be that as it 
may, we know that in the ninth century Wahab and 


Abuzaid, the Arabian travellers, wrote an account of the 
Flowery Land; and about 1330, Ibn Batuta found 
wealthy Moslem merchants in all the great Chinese 
cities. The Arabs do not seem to have had any diffi- 
culty in getting on with the easy-going Celestials, and it 
was not till Mohammedanism got some hold over the 
rough tribes of the north-west frontier, that it began to 
cause trouble. As that frontier of the empire now ex- 
panded, now contracted, according to the vigour and 
good fortune of the Government, the Mohammedans in 
that region were naturally left in some dubiety as to how 
far it was necessary or expedient to acknowledge the 
Emperor. Hence they have every now and then shown 
a disposition to rise, and in 1827 Jehangir caused the 
Government some anxiety by his insurrectionary move- 

There are small communities of Mohammedans at Can- 
ton, Tientsin, Peking, and scattered elsewhere over China ; 
but most of these have become Celestialised, though not 
to the same extent as the Jews who established them- 
selves in the Empire many centuries ago, and who, 
while retaining a few rules of the Pentateuch, have lost 
all the other peculiarities of their race and faith. In 
the recent disordered state of the Flowery Land, and 
weakened condition of the Imperial Government, it was 
to be expected that the adherents of a creed so cruel, 
proselytising, and uncompromising as that of El-Islam, 
would try to assert themselves and to throw off the rule 
of a Government which, while it tolerates all forms of 
religion, will allow no interference with the Celestial 
Emperors sacred function in matters of the state. The 
w^onder is that so fanatical a set should for so long have 
held in complete abeyance the command of their Pro- 
phet, that those who will not accept the faith should be 


put to death by the sword. It was after a very long 
interval of quiet, and perhaps instigated by Russian 
emissaries, that they broke into insurrection in 1862 
in the mountainous province of Shensi. Though that 
province is only separated from the deserts of Mongolia 
by the Great Wall, it is the most ancient part of China ; 
and its capital Signan is dear to the Chinese as having 
been the seat of the Tang dynasty, and of the great Em- 
peror Tai-tsung, who established the system of literary 
examinations, drew up the Celestial code, pacified the 
whole country, and extended his sway, so that westward 
it was only limited by a line stretching from Behar in 
India to the Caspian Sea. The greater part of the in- 
habitants of Shensi are Mohammedans, so the Rebels 
had little difficulty in taking the capital and slaughter- 
ing many of the Emperor's adherents ; but the revolt 
was soon put down, partly by force, partly by arrange- 
ment, as a similar one was managed in last century by 
Kien Lung. 

In 1855 certain other circumstances occurred to rouse 
the Mohammedans. Behind Shensi there is the immense 
province of Kansuh, or Voluntary Reverence,^' for the 
most part a howling wilderness of sand and snow, extend- 
ing over about 400,000 square miles beyond the Yellow 
River and the Great Wall, and inhabited chiefly by Bud- 
dhists. Behind this, again, still to the north-west and 
near the Roof of the World," there is the kingdom of Hi, 
surrounded by savage deserts and mountains covered with 
perpetual snow, and inhabited by Mohammedans proud 
of their isolation and devoted to their faith. These 
Turkestanes are quite out of the way of Chinese gov- 
ernment ; but a century and a half ago, the principal 
cities of the district being in perpetual feud, their chiefs 
besought the Chinese to put an end to these disturb- 



ances. After much hesitation the Celestials granted 
this request so far as to assume military command of Hi, 
leaving the entire civil administration in the hands of 
the native autliorities.*" By position, race, and religion, 
this wild high-lying country has naturally as little to 
do with China as it has with India ; and when the pres- 
sure of the Tai-ping Rebellion weakened the power of 
the Chinese Government to suppress the feuds of its 
Turkestani tributaries, it was only to be expected that 
the latter would throw off the Foreign military govern- 
ment to which they had voluntarily subjected them- 
selves. The connection of China with this and similar 
dependencies about the " Roof of the World " was only 
a source of weakness to the Imperial Government, and 
continued simply because the inhabitants of these regions 
were solicitous for it. When the Mohammedans there 
severed the connection, no objection was made by the 
Celestial Government ; but it was a different matter in 
regard to the more properly Chinese provinces of Sliensi 
and Kansuh. When the Mohammedans who populate 
the former of these heard of the excitement among their 
co-religionists in Turkestan, they made a renewed out- 
break in 1866, but with so little success that, instead of 
advancing eastward in the direction of Peking, they 
were pressed back by the Imperialists out of their own 
peculiar province into Kansuh, which, as has been re- 
marked, is inhabited chiefly by Buddhists, who conse- 
quently are not favourable to their pretensions. This 
caused a good deal of suffering to the people of Kansuh, 
whose capital was taken and burnt by the Rebels ; but 
instead of being an indication that the Mohammedans 
are making any real progress in the north-west of China, 

* See Vamberj^'s * Travels in Central Asia,' and William's ' Middle 
Kingdom,' vol. i. chap. iv. 



it only shows that they have been beaten back from 
their own proper ground into a thinly populated, half- 
desert country, where it could not be expected that any 
eflicient obstacle could be opposed to them, until an Im- 
perial army, sent for the purpose, has time to come up 
from the south-east. The establishment of a Mohammedan 
state up in that little-known part of the world is not 
likely to cause any one much anxiety; and if formed, it 
will likely be soon dealt with by Eussia. 

There are other disorderly sections of people in China, 
who are occasionally raised to the rank of Rebels, and 
sometimes even identified with the extinct Tai-pings. 
Among these the most prominent are the Miaou-tsz, or 
supposed aborigines of the country, who have remained 
distinct from the Chinese for ages, and are even men- 
tioned as such in some of the earliest chapters of the 
' Historical Classic,' relating to a period of about 2000 
years B.C. The progress of Chinese civilisation drove 
these savages into the more inaccessible mountains of 
Yunnan and other south-western provinces, where they 
still linger, resembling a good deal the aboriginal hill- 
tribes of India, and sometimes living in peace with their 
more cultivated neighbours, sometimes descending for 
the purposes of plunder. The Hakkas, also, in the south 
of China, keep up a great deal of local conflict, with 
which the Mandarins rarely interfere, and which is 
accepted by the people almost as one of their amuse- 
ments. At the other end of the Celestial Empire, in 
Manchuria, there have been of late some roving bands 
of mounted banditti, one of which lately threatened 
the open port of Newchwang. Wherever, also, village 
braves are allowed to gather together in large numbers, 
or Imperialist troops are kept very long without pay, 
disturbances are apt to arise. These usually involve 



destruction of life and property, but none within the 
last two years have assumed formidable dimensions. 
The Central Government is still unwilling, and probably 
still too w^eak, to interfere promptly with cases of local 
disturbance ; but it does not allow matters to go beyond 
a certain point, and of late has exercised more control 
and power of this kind over China than it could put 
forth during the years of the Great Eebeilion. 










— OPIUM versus tea — English merchants in china — the east 


success of our merchants THEIR DISSATISFACTION THE 








There is a remarkable contrast between China as de- 
scribed by the older European travellers, from Marco 
Polo to the mission of Macartney, and the China of 
to-day, or of the last twenty years. The prevailing 
impression left by the former vision is one of ease, order, 
peace, luxury, silks, and sumptuousness, such as war- 



ranted a use of the words " Flowery " and " Celestial ; " 
while our more recent notion of China is a good deal 
associated with poverty, squalor, and almost unlimited 
bloodshed. No doubt one cause of this difference is, 
that the Occidental ideas of what constitute comfort and 
splendour have changed a good deal from what they 
were a century or two ago ; and another is, that in late 
years our judgment of the country has been somewhat 
vitiated by the representations of persons who either 
cannot appreciate it, or suppose they have a distinct 
interest in representing it in the blackest colours. 
" 'Spose," said to me, in "Pidjin English,"'" a young 
Chinaman whom I once proposed taking to England — 
** 'Spose I no catchee lice (rice), I makee die." And just 
as this youth could not conceive of comfortable or even 
of possible existence in England without his accus- 
tomed bowls of fan, so a large class of narrow-minded 
Foreigners in China (unknown there, or almost so, in 
former years) regard it as an uncomfortable country 
simply because of the strangeness of its aspects to them- 
selves, and have done something to impress their own 
outraged feelings on the mind of Europe. 

But making due allowance for such elements of 
opinion, there still remain in China itself broad grounds 
for our changed idea of that country. We, of the pre- 
sent generation, have seen it only in one of those periods 
of transition and disturbance with which it is afflicted at 
intervals of a few centuries, and from which its recu- 
perative force enables it to recover with remarkable 
rapidity. The Chinese people stand unsurpassed, and 
indeed almost unequalled, in regard to the possession of 

* " Pidjin " is a corruption, in the Chinese mouth, of our word " busi- 
ness," and has nothing to do with pigeons, or with pigeon-holes, as Colonel 
Fisher, in his otherwise excellent and interesting work on our last war with 
China, seems to suppose. 


freedom and self-government. Their social and political 
system is the result of the transmitted experience of 
many centuries in regard to what human life is, and to 
how it may best be controlled ; but in periods of great 
excitement, and especially when brought in contact with 
the disintegrating influence of foreign nations, it fails 
in ability to suppress the uprisal of the dangerous classes. 
Moreover, deeply seated in the national mind there are 
certain ideas in regard to progeny which have a power- 
ful effect in producing over-population in China, and so 
leading every now and then to a great national catas- 
trophe. No competent political economist now^adays is 
disposed to dispute substantially the Malthusian law, 
whatever differences of opinion may exist as to the action 
which it calls for. The tendency of population to in- 
crease in a much greater ratio than the increase of food 
is an established fact, and this tendency comes into play 
in China in a specially terrible manner. The neigh- 
bouring Japanese are practically almost as good Malthu- 
sians as the French, and their custom of placing in the 
" tea-houses,^' for a term of years, a large number of the 
young women of tlie middle and- lower classes, has en- 
abled them to check the growth of their population 
without exercising any ascetic self-denial. But in China 
we have all the circumstances which go to favour over- 
population in the old countries of Europe,- together with 
certain peculiarities of its own. It is an old country, 
where every foot of ground is cultivated which can 
profitably be so, and no scrap of manure is allowed to be 
wasted. The feelings of the people are opposed to colo- 
nisation, and so also were the laws of the country up 
to a very few years ago. It is true that a considerable 
Chinese emigration has gone into Malaya, America, and 
Australia, but that has only been in recent years ; it is 



really very inconsiderable when compared with the popu- 
lation of China itself, and it has been composed chiefly 
of persons who were either worthless in character or 
desperate in circumstances. And while there is thus 
no sufficient outlet for the ever-increasing population of 
China, either in the country itself or in opportunities for 
emigration, the Celestials are governed by ideas which 
lead them to regard an increase of progeny with more 
favour than do any other people on earth, unless it be 
some of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. On this 
subject some confusion has arisen from notions which 
have got abroad in Europe as regards infanticide in 
China. Some of the' statements of Gutzlaff and men of 
that stamp, with Barrow s invention about carts going 
round the streets of Peking of a morning in order to 
pick up the bodies of exposed children, have but too 
pointedly illustrated Talleyrand's lie, that if a lie gets 
only an hour's start it will never be overtaken. I 
have heard Englishmen, whose acquaintance with China 
was entirely drawn from Hongkong, Macao, and the fac- 
tories of Canton, speak as if it were impossible to take 
a walk in the Celestial Empire without seeing a dead 
child lying under every bush ; but in all my wanderings 
among the Chinese I never came across any indication 
of a single case of infanticide, and found abundance of 
proof that they regard their children, both male and 
female, with great affection, and set a high value upon 
the possession of them. Indeed, there is nothing which 
a Chinaman dreads so much as to die childless. In the 
popular imagination, the spirits of those who so die wander 
about in the air discontented, miserable, and malignant, 
because there is no one on earth to care for them ; and 
so strong are the Celestial notions on this point, so much 
is the malignancy of these friendless spirits dreaded, 


that in most districts there is yearly what is called a 
" Uuiversal Rescue/' to provide oflferings of food, clothes, 
&;c., to propitiate and soothe these spirits. Every China- 
man likes to have as large a family as possible, and is as 
proud of its size as English Hodge is told to be of the 
thirteen children whom he has brought up without parish 
aid. Among the great masses of the population the 
labour of female children is so useful to a father that in 
circumstances of ordinary comfort it is an object to him 
to have as many of them as possible. Of course, when 
districts of country are ravaged by famine, or by rapa- 
cious and cruel rebels, infanticide becomes not uncom- 
mon, and in such circumstances female children are the 
first to be sacrificed ; but the infanticide of China, so far 
from arising from any tendency among the Chinese to 
destroy infants, whether male or female, is caused, so far 
as it exists, by the desire of the people to have as many 
cliildren as possible, and by the over-population which is 
thus produced. 

It consequently follows that the more China is in a 
state of peace and prosperity, the more danger is it in 
of a great catastrophe ; for when in such a state its 
population expands so immensely, that a foreign war, an 
internal rebellion, or a great inundation, cannot fail to 
deprive vast masses of the people of the means of sub- 
sistence, and even the natural expansion of the popula- 
tion tends to produce such a result. But the very ease 
and luxury which prepare the way for such catastro- 
phes have a demoralising effect upon the Government, 
making it both weak and corrupt ; so when a great 
check occurs, there is no power in the nation prepared to 
meet the difficulties which arise. Thus the very peace 
and prosperity which China had enjoyed for nearly 
three hundred years before, peculiarly unfitted it for 



meeting the events which overtook it during the last 
quarter of a century, and assisted in plunging it into 
the painful and almost desperate circumstances with 
which we have seen it struggle. At several points in 
the ten years, between 1853 and 1863, it looked as if 
only a very little additional weight were required to 
throw the country into a complete state of disorder 
and anarchy ; but always, and usually from unexpected 
quarters, something intervened to prevent that result. 
Now it was quarrels among the Tai-pings themselves, 
then the energy of Yeh Ming-chin, next a sudden change 
in the policy of Great Britain, then Colonel Gordons 
advent on the scene, an d the rise to power qf_such able 
mandarins as Tseng Kwo-fan and Li Hung-chang, that 
unexpectedly ~cdme lo the assistance of the Chinese State, 
and enabled it to float over floods which threatened to 
sweep it away and strand it on the shore where the 
wrecks of so many states and nations lie. 

|There is no doubt that China has at present reached a ^ 
very favourable position. The Tai-ping Eebellion has / 
been so completely crushed that for almost three years \ 
it has given no signs of even the smallest local exist- J 
encejj the Nien-fei and other rebels have been so far 
subdued that their destroying influence is no longer of 
much importance, and there is no prospect of any seri- 
ous disturbance from the Foreign relationships of the 
Empire ; but the two latter points may seem to require 
a little more extended remark, before I allude to what is 
the subject of most importance as regards the future of 

Li Hung-chang, to whom was committed, two years 
ago, the task of dealing with the Nien-fei rebels, found 
that his heavy artillery and foot-soldiers, disciplined after 
the European method, which had been found so effectual 


against the Tai-pings who fortified themselves in cities, 
could not effectually be brought to bear against the 
Nien-fei, who scamper about on their ponies over the 
rolling plains of the north-east of China. Accordingly 
he fell back on the old Chinese tactic of hemming them 
into corners by long lines of Imperial troops ; and as 
parties of them occasionally broke through and escaped 
from these lines, and as all such events were faithfully 
recorded in the official ' Peking Gazette/ and recorded in 
the Anglo-Chinese papers, it looked, to superficial ob- 
servers, as if he were making no progress in his task, 
while in reality he was gradually disposing of the rebels. 
Towards the middle of last year he succeeded, at great 
expense, and with an army said to be 200,000 in num- 
ber, in hemming them up into the extreme north-east 
corner of Shantung ; but a force of 30,000 of them 
managed at that time to escape through his lines (which 
are marked in my map of the Tai-ping routes), and again 
began devastating a district of country which had been 
restored to order. It was half expected that the Peking 
Government would degrade Li on that account, it hav- 
ing supplied him very liberally with funds : but proba- 
bly he was too powerful to be interfered witli then ; 
and after dispersing the band which had escaped, he 
continued his intricate and serpentine operations, striving 
to keep the rebels within the narrowest compass. The 
result was, that in the beginning of this year Clietai Li 
succeeded in his darling project of closing round them, 
so that he could efi'ectually attack them with the main 
body of his army. Having got them pressed back into 
the Shantung peninsula, and shut in there by a strong 
series of forts extending across that peninsula from 
Laichow to Kiachow, he defeated them in a series 
of engagements, and drove them eastward on another 



Imperial army. Between these two forces the Nien-fei 
were crushed, and their chief, who at first managed to 
escape along with his wife (who was one of the ablest of 
his lieutenants), was also soon after killed ; for his spouse, 
when reconnoitering, having been drowned in fording 
a canal, he insisted on going to the spot in order to 
recover the body, and, venturing too near an Imperial 
camp, was taken prisoner. 

According, however, to the latest news received from 
China, it appears that some parties of the Nien-fei had 
escaped tln^ough Lis lines into the province of Chili, 
and had there combined with a party of Mohammedan 
rebels who had made an unexpected excursion from 
the north-west. It was also reported that on this 
account Li himself had been degraded by the Peking 
Government, and deprived both of his yellow jacket and 
of the two-eyed peacock's feather, the mark of his nobi- 
lity; but this requires confirmation: and even if true, as 
the Chetai continued to follow up the rebels, it is possi- 
ble he may feel himself strong enough to set at nought 
any decree degrading him, or to get it revoked. 

The present state of internal aff'airs in China is not to 
be judged of merely by the fact that there is now very 
little rebellion in the country; the more important point 
is, that the Govern ment has shown a capaciiy^nd_will-N 
ingnes s to employ means for preserving order, which/ 
should make rebellion much more difiicult in the future 
thcUiii. has, been in the past, and indeed almost impos- 
sible so long as the (jloverinnent is tolerably just and' 
active. The camps for disciplining Chinese troops after 
the European manner at several places in the country, 
the arsenal at Nanking,''' under the charge of Mr Mac- 

Tliis arsenal was first establislied at Soocliow, but was removed in 
1866 to Nanking, being erected close to the site of the ruined Porcelain 


artney, for the construction of European artillery and 
munitions of war, the number of steamboats and even of 
steam gunboats which have been procured for the Impe- 
rial service in its various branches, the readiness and 
celerity with which Chinese troops are moved from one 
province to another as circumstances may require, and 
the extensive powers which are now committed to high 
officers, such as the Prince of Kung, Tseng Kwo-fan, 
and Li Hung-chang, all go to constitute a new state of 
matters highly unfavourable to the rise, and almost de- 
structive to the progress, of insurrection in China. Were,N| 
for instance, anything like the Tai-ping rebellion in itsj 
genesis again to break out, the Imperial Grovernment, with^ 
its steamers, artillery, disciplined troops, and competent i 
commanders, could easily crush the movement in the bud,| 
long before it obtained formidable dimensions, swollen by 
the crowds it might ruin ; and the practice has already 
been inaugurated of not leaving such movements to b©^ 
dealt with locally until they become formidable. 

At the same time it must be admitted that military 
progress in China has not during the last few years 
been anything like what it might easily have been, and 
what it might have been expected to be after the lessons 
of the years 18G2-64. A very small efficient force, with 
flying-artillery, a few fast gunboats, and a certain 
number of competent European officers conjoined with 
Chinese ones, might at very small expense be made 
more serviceable in the preservation of peace and order 
in the Celestial Empire than any force yet established 
in China, and immensely more so than the expensive, 
exhausting, and all but useless local levies which each 

Tower, and almost entirely from the bricks of that edifice, Avhile the wood- 
work was taken from the ruins of the Tien Wang's jialace, so that likel}^, 
before long, it will be the only memorial of these two famous structures. 


province frequently counts by hundreds of thousands. 
Sooner or later the Celestials must come to depend en- 
tirely on European science in matters of war, and they 
can never learn to do so without the aid of European 
officers ; but their jealousy and fear of us is not a matter 
of surprise, when they consider the career of the Si Yang 
Jen, or " Western Men," in other parts of Asia. More- 
over, there_ia_tlifi_ great difficulty as to what party in 
China shoul d have com mand of so formidable a__force 
thus cons tituted. If it were estal)lislied from Peking, 
the prov iy^^fi^l (Tnvpry^^rs togetlier with the great mass 
of the officials and people of China, would regard its for- 
mation with jealousy and distrust, as threatening >£^cim- 
plete Tartar domination in the FJowery Land ; ^yhile_J.f 
it were formed by..tlia^.eat Chinese Mandarins, suck as 
Iseng and Li, the Court party at Peking would regard 
i ts own righ ts, and even the dynasty itself, as endan- 
gered- With such difficulties in the way, and no great 
pressure of circumstances requiring military reform, we 
need not look very sanguinely for much immediate im- 
provement in that respect in China. Such affairs have 
already advanced greatly from their position during 
many centuries back, and the Chinese are not a people 
so eat^r of new tliino;s as to chano;e their oro;anisation, 

—O-' o o o ^ 

except under pressure of some kind or other. It strikes 
me, however, that if Mr Hart exercised fully his influ- 
ence, or if there were an able British Minister at Peking 
who enjoyed the confidence of the Imperial Government, 
it would not be very difficult to prevail on the Chinese 
to form their military power in a manner which would 
completely secure the preservation of order, and at the 
same time relieve the country from the great burden of 
its provincial levies, which themselves, being so often 
and of necessity left unpaid, have been a fruitful source 


of disorder and rebellion. To such an end nothing could 
be so useful, so well fitted to allay local jealousies, and 
to secure provision against dangers lying in the future, 
as the employment of the services of a British officer 
of high character, and of talent for organisation. If the 
Mandarins could only be assured that he would not 
employ his power except as a servant of the Chinese 
State, they would be glad to accept his services ; and the 
best guarantee for that, as well as an assurance against 
his employment in any manner repugnant to Western 
civilisation, would be his continuance in the service of 
her Majesty the Queen while he was employed by the 
Emperor of China. It may be said, that for us to con^ 
solidate the military power of China, would be to put 
arms into the hands of very probable enemies ; but this 
is a weak objection. The prestige of British arms would 
be vastly increased, not decreased, in the Middle King- 
dom, by the fact of the Celestial troops having been 
trained by British officers ; in the event of a war thes^' 
troops, would be ready to come over to us in large_ umii- 
bers.; and even if China's power of foreign resistance 
were greatly increased by the training we had given to 
it, that would be a positive advantage to Britain in any 
war with China, because it would present us with a 
point of resistance which could be easily crushed, like 
Magdala, so as effectually to overawe the country. 

In the present state of the world, the foreign relation- 
ships of China are even of more importance than are its 
internal affairs; for the latter can be settled on principles 
which are assented to by the people of the country, 
wdiile the former demand the harmonising of very for- 
midable opposing forces. The Middle Kingdom can no 


longer be secluded from the rest of the world by the God 
of Hurricanes on the south and east, and by its deserts 
and lofty mountain-ranges on the north and west. At 
this day the China Sea, instead of being sparsely dotted 
by a few junks, Arab hitglahs, and barnacle-covered 
caravels, is veiled with the smoke of European steamers, 
and fanciful speculators in the West even speak of push- 
ing railways from Burmah into Szechuen. 

It is frequently complained of the Chinese, that for 
the last two centuries, and more especially during the 
last twenty years, they have laboured unnecessarily and 
injudiciously to raise obstacles against the entrance of 
their country into the comity of nations ; but to do 
them justice on this point, and practically to understand 
the question which arises, it is necessary to bear in mind 
the position which Foreigners have taken up towards 
them. So to speak, there has been no innate objection 
on the part of the Chinese to intercourse and interchange 
with Foreign nations. The first Europeans who went to 
China were received very hospitably; but when the rela- 
tionship changed into the simple fact, as it did too soon, 
of naval commanders like Simon Andrade and Mendez 
Pinto ravaging the coast, plundering towns and villages, 
and carrying off young women and boys to be sold as 
slaves, it must be admitted that it was difficult for ihe 
Chinese to appreciate the great advantages which were 
to be derived from a connection with the nations of the 
West. So, when the emissaries sent from France by 
Louis Xiy., with Jesuit and other Roman Catholic mis- 
sionaries, began instructing the Celestials in astrono- 
mical and other scientific truths (which, by a curious 
inconsistency, the Romish Church itself denied and de- 
nounced), the Chinese were not only willing to receive 
the new knowledge, but also conferred upon those who 


conveyed it an amount of respect and practical recogni- 
tion which priests of science rarely receive. It was only 
when the Roman Catholic agents were found to be aim- 
ing at the possession of supreme power in the country, 
that the Chinese turned against them and sought to shut 
up the country; because the Mandarins soon saw, and 
only too clearly, that these Europeans were threatening 
to establish in China what they had failed to do in 
Europe, a political and intellectual despotism, which 
is equally opposed to the generous freedom of Con- 
fucian ideas, and to the loftiest instincts of the human 

After the Spanish and Portuguese adventurers ceased 
to vex the coast of China, and the Roman Catholic mis- 
sionaries were excluded, there came an interval of about 
two centuries to the Flowery Land, when it was almost 
entirely undisturbed by Foreign influences ; but with the 
mercantile and political progress of Great Britain in the 
East there came an entirely new state of matters. Up 
to very recently, however, the relationships thus opened 
have not been of a kind calculated to inspire the Chinese 
with confidence. I am afraid the two words. Opium and 
Tea, express the two sides of it only too correctly. We 
have got the Chinese to supply us with a very beneficial 
article called tea, which has increased our pleasures 
without doing harm, and has ameliorated our manners ; 
while, in return, we have forced them to accept a highly 
dangerous, if not deleterious, substance, which they did 
not want, and which both the officials and the people 
had agreed to exclude from China. I am no opponent, 
however, of the opium traffic ; and this point of our 
mercantile relationship to the Chinese requires a little 
special elucidation. 

The mercantile life of England has been a sort of mid- 



way career, partaking on the one side of the ferocity 
and cruelty, the chivalry and adventure of Spaniards 
and Portuguese, while on the other it has borne no little 
resemblance to the heavy plodding, the meanness, and 
the dull unscrupulousness of the Dutch. The poet 
drew a very accurate picture when he wrote — 

" To trade tlie Dutch incline ; the Swiss to arms ; 
Music and verse are soft Italia's charms ; 
Britannia j ustly glories to have found 
Lands unexj^lored, and sailed the world around." 

Though the English have always had a very strong 
warm appreciation of the advantages of merchandise, 
merely considered as such, yet they have always, or at 
least until very lately, associated it with something 
better, and been ready to sacrifice it to many things 
higher. Thus the merchants of the East India Com- 
pany could not stoop, like the Dutch at Nagasaki, to 
sacrifice their personal dignity to immediate commercial 
crumbs ; and whenever they got a chance they were 
eager and prepared to exchange their place of traders 
for that of enlightened rulers of the numerous millions 
of India. It may be said as a rule, our mercantile effort 
has gone in directions where there was something more 
than mere mercantile gains to lure on the young and 
adventurous spirits of the country who found no suffi- 
cient outlet for their energies at home. The consequence 
was, that our outlying mercantile history had much in 
it that was really noble and romantic. The mere 
exchange of pigs for poultry in a quiet market is apt to 
develop only the lower tendencies of human nature, and 
merchandise on the most extensive scale, the traffic even 
of merchant princes "—so called — is little better when 
it refers only to questions of gain. But, at least up to a 
very recent period, the commercial enterprise of Britain 

2 A 


has been connected with many things besides mere com- 
mercial irain : and so has both commanded external 
respect and nourished internal strength. 

In this department of our history the China merchants 
occupy an important section, and it would be interesting 
for a competent historian to depict them in the three 
great phases of their career. From the archives of the 
East India Company it would be easy to disinter many 
details w^liich would afford a graphic idea of our rela- 
tions witli China previous to 1839, and of the life led in 
old times by the Company's agents at Canton before 
the existence of treaties between China and Britain. 
During that early period matters went on very smoothly, 
and commerce brought great gains on both sides. The 
dangers of piracy gave a sort of romance to the passage 
of the Chinese Sea and of the Straits of Malacca ; but 
on the Celestial seaboard difficulties rarely arose, because 
the exchange of commodities was severely regulated by 
the Mandarins on the one side and by competent officers 
of the East India Company on the other. 

This state of matters, however, could not continue 
after the independent commercial enterprise of Britain 
broke into Eastern seas, and the Opium war provided 
an entirely new state of matters, of which the principal 
feature was the establishment of five ports for the resi- 
dence of Foreigners, and open to the Foreign trade on the 
coast of China. The consequence of this " opening of 
China'' was, that several energetic English communities 
were established on the seaboard of that country, and 
under no jurisdiction or guidance further than what was 
supplied by the Supreme Court of the nominal colony of 
Hongkong, by the action of the consuls appointed by 
the Foreign Office of Great Britain to the open ports 
in China, and by the natural tendency of British com- 


munities to control the actions of their own members. 
Shortly after the opening of the five ports in China, over- 
trading was carried on by the English merchants to a 
considerable extent, and so, on a lesser scale, there arose 
a state of matters resembling that which has existed for 
the last few years in our commercial relationships with 
the Chinese. 

It was expected that the opening of the five ports 
would give a much greater impetus to British trade 
with China than it actually did for a long period, and 
the consequence was that the opening of these ports was 
at first followed by overtrading, and considerable losses 
on the part of the Foreign merchants. In time, how- 
ever, the position began to be understood, and the China 
merchants entered on a period of wonderful prosperity. 
In no part of the world, before and after the year 1850, 
did commerce bring so large returns with such ease and 
certainty as in China. It was understood that one of 
the How-kwas possessed a fortune equivalent to about 
fifteen millions sterling, when the Imperial Government 
came down upon him with a " squeeze," thinking that sum 
rather too ample a reward for dealing successfully in tea 
and opium ; and most of the F oreign merchants on the 
coast of Cathay enriched themselves largely. Almost 
the entire trade was carried on by word of mouth; and 
though Chinese agents were intrusted with immense 
sums for the purchase of tea in the interior of the 
country, and were often absent for months on such 
errands, they were never known to fail in fulfilling their 

The very ease with which they made money, and their 
otiose, luxurious style of life, however, brought the Foreign 
merchants into a condition like that of Jeshurun when 
he waxed fat and kicked. The repelHng attitude of the 


Celestials at Canton, the Hwang-chu-kee murders, the 
expansion of commerce in other parts of the world, and, 
above all, vague but glowing hopes connected with a 
proposed opening of the Yangtsze river, and of the in- 
terior of the country in general, threw the Foreign com- 
munity in China into a feverish state of dissatisfaction 
with the past, and disgust with the then present, and of 
boundless anticipations of the future. It must have 
been a great relief to their minds when Sir Harry Parkes 
picked up the bone of the lorcha Arrow, and Sir Michael 
Seymour suddenly remembered that we had a right, or 
something like a right, to enter the gates of Canton. 
Still the insertion of the small end of the wedge was 
provokingly imperilled and delayed. The Chinese ques- 
tion got mixed up with Earl EusselFs and Mr Glad- 
stone's quarrel with Lord Palmerston ; it was also con- 
trary to the principles of these and other statesmen to 
support our demands on China, and the movement for 
coercion in that country was defeated in the Parlia- 
ment of Great Britain. Then, when the country had 
reversed that decision, in order to support its favourite 
Minister, and troops were on their way to Hongkong, 
the red light of the Indian Mutiny arose in the Eastern 
horizon, and operations against Canton had to be de- 
layed for a year. When that city was taken it began to 
dawn disagreeably on the mind of the mercantile com- 
munity, that something more than the seclusion of China 
was being broken into ; that most old things were to 
pass away, including many of their former privileges, 
and a portion of their former power. The heads of 
great houses found their position not so commanding as 
it had been before, and the smaller merchants kicked 
violently against being refused permission to make their 
own bargain with the Chinese Customs. At Shanghai 



a great number of rowdies made their appearance and 
associated themselves with the interests of the Tai-pings. 
Foreign arms and Tai-ping rebellion shook the Chinese 
Empire to its foundations ; loud were the cries that it 
was doomed, and Mr Lay and Captain Osborn hastened 
out to regenerate it, and to divide it between them- 
selves, being unaware that, if they did not immediately 
succeed. Sir Frederick Bruce was prepared to assist them 
back again. 

After the events to an account of which this volume is 
chiefly devoted, the Foreign community in China entered 
on a phase of matters very different from what it had 
fondly anticipated. Judged by Chinese Custom-house 
returns, our trade was very largely increased, but it is im- 
possible to say how far this was an increase in the trade 
itself and not simply in the regular and notified payment 
of customs dues. It soon became painfully clear that the 
opening of a large number of new ports, the influx to China 
of an increased number of Foreigners, and a wild tend- 
ency among them to competition and overtrading, which 
was taken advantage of by combined action among the 
native merchants, were producing a period of com- 
mercial distress and ruin. First the small merchants, 
then one after another of the large houses, fell into 
difficulties or failure ; and lastly the great house of Dent 
and Company, which a few years before stood as high 
in reputation as the Bank of England, came with a crash 
to the ground, paying only half-a-crown in the pound in 
instalments over a term of years, and causing much 
sufl'ering to military officers and to Foreigners who, 
after spending their best days in the East, had intrusted 
it with the use of their savings. So far has the spirit of 
overtrading been carried, that tea, which is by far the 
most important article in our trade with China, and is 


now imported into this country to the value of over 
£10,000,000 annually, has been purchased in China, as a 
rule, for several years, at higher prices than those for 
ivhich it is sold in London, and, which is of more im- 
portance to consumers in Britain, its quality has gone on 
steadily decreasing, while its price {without the duty 
in this country) has greatly increased.'^ This highly 
objectionable state of matters has been caused by the 
largely increased demand for tea in England, consequent 
on reduction of duty and other causes, and the great 

* These extraordinary facts require the authority of the following ex- 
tract from the Circular of the 7tli January 1868, issued by Messrs Benyon, 
Harding, & Co., the well-known tea-brokers of Mincing Lane : — " Refer- 
ring to the importation of tea from China as a source of profit, it appears 
to us highly improbable that the day will ever arrive when that result can 
be looked forward to as a rule and loss the exception. For many years 
past the average result has been loss, and though in a few instances large 
profits have been made, it has generally been attributable to some unforeseen 
and unexpected occurrence, which even those who have benefited by it have 
never calculated upon. Notwithstanding the falling-off in quality, prices 
in Cliina are fifty to sixty per cent higher than they were when tea was 
so much better, thougli now we are close to the producing districts, and the 
expense of transit to Canton and Shanghai is saved to the Chinamen. As 
a rule, prices in China are above home rates, and tea is bought under the 
idea that something favourable will turn uj) before it comes upon the 
market. In the season of 1852-53, the finest ever known, the first crop 
black leafs were bought at Canton at 23 to 26 taels, and paid the China- 
men handsomely. At Shanghai in the same season they ruled 3 or 4 taels 
lower. So superior were the teas of those days to those of the present 
that the third and fourth grades, which were laid down in London to cost 
Is. 3d. to Is. 4d. per lb., were equal if not superior to the finest first crop 
teas of the present season, or any other since 1860-61. Such being the case, 
it is quite clear that the price has been continually forced up by competi- 
tion among buyers, wliile the quality has persistently declined ; the quan- 
tity taken has doubled itself, the quality is infinitely worse, and the price 
has advanced fifty, sLxty, and even seventy per cent. It is next to impos- 
sible that importing tea can pay, with a quality always getting worse, and 
an extravagantly high price ruling. On this side the price paid by dealers 
is high considering the quality, but in China it is enormous, and until 
some very great change comes either in the price or in the quality, import- 
ing tea can never be relied upon as a source of profit to those engaged 
in it." 


competition among Foreign purchasers in China. The 
latter cause enables the Celestial to sell his inferior teas 
at the same price as his fine ones ; and, not having done 
much of late in the way of making new plantations, he 
has met the increased demand by plucking the old trees 
much too freely, and so deteriorating the quality of the 
leaf which they produce. A very good authority on this 
subjects asserts to me that, quality considered, tea, less 
duty, is now fifty per cent dearer than it was before 
Hankow was opened in accordance with the Treaty of 

The prospects of the China merchants have consider- 
ably brightened this year, but the facts just alluded to 
strongly suggest that their trade is in an unsatisfactory 
state, because of their own faults quite as much as on 
account of any obstacles which they meet with in the 
Chinese Empire. With the exception of a few of the 
more intelligent of them, their cry has ever been that 
their trade is fettered by want of access to the interior 
of the country, by the illegal exactions levied on the 
transit of goods by local authorities, and by customs 
arrangements unfavourable to commerce. It is vain to 
point out to them the great fact that our trade with 
China is conditioned by the demand in Foreign countries 
for Chinese products, that the Celestials are so thoroughly 
organised, self-controlled, and economical, that, managing 
the matter in one way or another, they will not consent 
to pay for articles from abroad except out of the profits 
which accrue from the sale of their own products. 

Their fixed idea is that China is not opened, and that 
commerce will expand immensely and immediately if 
only they can get further access to the interior of the 
country. In the memorials addressed by the Chambers 
of Commerce in China to the British Minister at Peking 


in regard to the revision of the Treaty of Tientsin, 
which should come on this year, the one great subject of 
complaint on which almost all the Chambers agree is the 
alleged obstacle to commerce arising from illegal transit- 
dues in the interior of China. Now, before the Treaty 
of Tientsin was framed, this statement was advanced 
with more reason than it can be now, but it was partly 
disproved by the low prices at which Lord Elgin's 
expedition up the Yangtsze found English goods selling 
at Hankow in the centre of China, and Mr Wingrove 
Cooke discussed the subject pretty fully in the * Times/ 
Since then China has been " opened ; " there are a large 
number of new ports, and Foreign travellers have per- 
mission to go through the country, and protection in 
doing so, yet it seems that the high duties charged at 
internal custom-houses in China are still the great cause 
why our commerce with China does not increase more 
rapidly. There is some truth in this view, but its 
importance is exaggerated. In Hongkong itself, a 
British colony and a free port, articles exported from 
Europe are hardly at all purchased by the Chinese re- 
sidents for their own use ; and I have no doubt that the 
coolies who carried the members of the Hongkong Cham- 
ber of Commerce to their meeting denouncing inland tran- 
sit-dues were all clothed in cotton stuflfs of Chinese manu- 
facture. In a country such as China, where irregular 
transit dues are levied, that often tends to protect com- 
merce rather than to hamper it : the extent to which that is 
done is probably greatly exaggerated, there being nothing 
bat strong vague assertions to prove it ; and it is very 
questionable whether all the exactions on trade in China, 
legal and illegal, amount to such a sum as is levied on 
the China trade by our own taxation. The recklessness 
with which such subjects are discussed in the East may 


be judged of from the following passage in the me- 
morial of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce : Your 
memorialists beg to illustrate their views by putting 
the question of what would have been said if, imme- 
diately after the conclusion of the Cobden Treaty 
with France, the French Government had proceeded 
to make a tax, not upon English goods, but upon those 
who traded in them ; or what would have been thought 
if, in the British Parliament, a poll-tax had been voted 
upon all persons who dealt in French wines ? It is 
scarcely to be imagined that such ill faith would have 
been tolerated, and yet it is what we are submitting to 
in China." Here it is entirely overlooked that such a 
" poll-tax does exist in Britain on the vendors of French 
wine, while there are octroi duties in France ; and 
that^ in forming their treaty, neither country dreamed 
for a moment of relinquishing its right of levying its 
internal revenue to the extent and in the manner it 
deems best. 

At once the ablest and most reasonable of the memo- 
rials referred to is that which the great house of Jar- 
dine, Matheson, k Co. has sent in on its own account,*'' 

* The bold manner in which this house defends the opium traffic is amus- 
ing, and worthy of note. " Since 1860," say these much-misrepresented 
philanthropists, "it has been rendered abundantly clear that the use of 
opium is not a curse, but a comfort and a benefit, to the hard-working 
Chinese. As well say that malt is a curse to the English labourer, or 
tobacco one to the world at large. Misuse is one thing, use another. If to 
a few the opium-pipe has proved a fatal snare, to many scores of thousands, 
on the other hand, has it been productive of healthful sustentation and en- 
joyment." There is a great deal of truth in this view of the subject. Most 
Chinese who use opium do so in moderation, just as we do wine and beer, 
and often with positive advantage to themselves ; but if the people were 
polled, they would exclude the drug from China by an almost unanimous 
vote : and we forced the introduction of it against their wishes — first, by, 
contrary to treaty, giving the opium-receiving ships on the coast the protec- 
tion of our flag, so forming a basis of operations for smugglers on a line of 
coast which it was impossible for governtnent officials to watch sufficiently ; 


and the point on which it lays most stress is, the right of 
residence in China by British subjects at other places 
tlian the ports opened by treaty. Undoubtedly this is 
an important matter, but it is not true, as some other of 
the memorialists allege, that residence in the interior of 
the country is impossible at present. A very large 
number of Koman Catholic, and a smaller number of 
German Protestant, missionaries do at present reside, 
and for many years have resided, in the interior of the 
country, away from the open ports, holding houses and 
lands on their own account. The mercantile community 
have never displayed any particular readiness to un- 
dertake the trouble and undergo the risks necessarily 
attendant upon residence among a people such as the 
Chinese. What they too much want, in point of fact, 
is, that the imperial power of Great Britain should be 
employed in enabling them to sit down anywhere they 
choose in the vast empire of China, without being at the 
least trouble in adapting themselves to Chinese habits or 
institutions, and in greater safety and comfort than they 
ever enjoyed in London. This is not the style of thing 
in which Britannia justly glories, nor is this the spirit 
which created our commerce and founded our empire in 
the East. 

It is beyond my plan to enter fully into a discussion 
of our mercantile relationships with China, so I must 
remark on the subject only curtly, and therefore appa- 
rently ex cathedra. When Messrs Jardine, Matheson, 
& Co. assert that the alleged inland transit dues in 
China " are deadly foes of the English artisan, for they 
make teas and silks dear, as well as impede the distribu- 

and secondly, by iiiakii^L,^ the result tlius obtained an excuse for insisting, 
vi tt armis, that the admission of opium at a fixed and low rate of duty 
should be legalised l)y an article in the Treaty of Tientsin. 


tion amongst millions of buyers of the various produc- 
tions of his handicraft/' they leave entirely out of sight 
certain responsibilities which attach to the British mer- 
chants in China. What have been the net results of the 
aggressive policy they have supported during the last 
twelve years ? Since the lorcha war gave such an im- 
petus to the Rebellion in China as to disorganise the 
Government and ruin large districts, we have paid on 
an average about a pound sterling per chest of 100 lb. 
dearer for tea than we should otherwise have done, and 
about ten shillings extra on every pound weight of raw 
silk, even making allowance for the failure of the Euro- 
pean crop ; in war expenditure on account of China we 
(including the British artisan) have laid out about fifteen 
millions sterling, minus two or three repaid back as in- 
demnity money ; our soldiers and sailors have been buried 
in Celestial soil by thousands, while the impetus we gave 
to the Rebellion has caused the Chinese to be buried 
untimely by tens of millions ; half the English mercan- 
tile houses in China have gone doAvn ; and, in return, 
a few new ports have been uselessly opened. Sir Ruther- 
ford Alcock resides at Peking, and the whilom Mr Consul 
Parkes has been made a K.C.B. Any further progress 
effected in China during late years has been due to the 
natural unforced expansion of trade,'" which the Chinese 
value as much as we do ourselves ; to the assistance 
which Colonel Gordon and others have given to the 
Government in restoring order ; and to the legitimate 
influence which has been exercised by Foreigners such 
as Sir Frederick Bruce, Mr Burlinghame, and Mr 

* The latest reliable retiu-ns which I have on the trade of China are in 
the Blue-book on that country presented to Parliament by her Majesty in 
February of this year, from which it appears that, in the year 1866, the 


AVe may, however, confidently hope that the China 
merchants will not be disappointed in regard to the 
farther progress which they desiderate, and especially as 
reo-ards the rio^ht of Foreio;ners to reside in the interior; 
the introduction of steam carriage on land, with its 
further introduction on water ; and the development of 
the mineral resources of the country. Already steam- 
boats are freely used in China by the Government as well 
as by the mercantile classes ; the local Viceroys possess 
steam gunboats. Docks have been constructed, and at 
least one arsenal is worked successfully. A college has 
been established at Peking for the study of European 
languages and science ; a Chinese Commissioner has 
visited Europe ; and the Celestials have appointed a 
representative, albeit he is a Foreigner, to the Courts of 
Europe. Further changes, however, are still urgently 
required. After the questions of over-population and the 
military organisation of China, there comes the position 
of the Mandarins. At present they have nothing to fall 

estimated value of the trade of China with Foreign countries and coastwise 
was as follows : — 





Great Britain, British ) 
Possessions & Colonies, ) 

United States of America, 
Sundry countries, 
Chinese open ports or ) 
coastwise, . . . . j" 















This may appear to contradict my statement that the Chinese will not 
pay for articles from abroad, " except out of the profits which accrue from 
the sale of their own products." One explanation is, that the Chinese do 
make profits to speak of on their side of the trade ; they do not sell tea at 
less than it costs themselves or otherwise, try to force a trade. 

WAN SEE-ANG'S prophecy. 


back upon, in the event of unsuccess in the discharge of 
their duties, except concealed funds which they may 
have levied illegally when in office. The highest among 
them, as well as the lowest, stand in danger of being 
degraded to intolerable positions simply for want of 
success ; and, consequently, they seek to lay up private 
funds when in office, regardless of the general interests 
of their class and of their country. The evils thus aris- 
ing could easily be obviated by a reconstruction of the 
Civil Service of China on a footing, in this respect, 
resembling that of India ; and such a change would be 
the most efficient means of patting an end to any illegal 
transit-dues which may at present be levied. 

What it seems to me we have to dread is, not China 
hanging back but going too quickly for our own interests 
and comfort. Wan See-ang is reported to have said 
some time ago to Mr Hart, " Foreigners complain at 
present that China is changing too slowly, but fifty 
years after this you will make war upon us for going 
too fast." This astute Mandarin was not speaking 
thoughtlessly. It takes a considerable time to wheel 
round a very populous and democratic people like the 
Chinese to an unaccustomed stand-point, but once get 
them round and their action from it comes to be some- 
thing tremendous. In Japan, a feudal country, any 
individual Daimio who takes it into his head may intro- 
duce a European improvement, such as the use of steam ; 
but in China the mass of the people must be to a certain 
extent prepared for the innovation before it can be 
introduced. Hence progress in some respects is very 
slow in that country ; but what will be the state of the 
case when the people of China have got fairly turned 
round to the point of accepting and using the practical 
appliances of Western civilisation ? I doubt whether 


then there will be any great English mercantile houses 
on the coast of Cathay. It is to be feared that the 
native Chinese merchants will very quickly take their 
maritime commerce into their own hands, and try to 
dictate prices in London as they are already doing at 
Hankow and Shanghai. Already the Anglo-Saxons of 
Australia have had recourse, and not very effectively, to 
a heavy capitation-tax in order to keep down the com- 
petition of Chinese emigration, which is nothiog com- 
pared with what it is capable of becoming. Without 
doubt we shall open up the Flowery Land effectively 
enough ; but th^results of Jbhat., opening pro mise to3 e 
somewhat ^ifiierent-from our fond ..anticipations. At all 
events, any change for the better in our position with 
reference to that country must come from England out- 
wards. In order that Great Britain may extend, or even 
continue to hold, its once grand position in the East, it 
must be more worthy of doing so than it is at present, 
and there must be a return to some tolerable connection 
between its higher intelligence and the wielding of its 
power : otherwise, Britannia will soon share the fate 
of Carthage and Venice, of Spain and Holland ; while 
delenda est, or the capta of the Arch of Titus, enscrolled 
after its name, will afford another instance of the Con- 
fucian benevolence of Heaven towards trees which are 
prepared to fall. 




Chinese Title. 




Che-tai, or Tsung-tii 




Fu-tai, or H.siun-fu . 




Fan-tai, or Pu-cheng-sze . 

Superintendent of Finances 



Nie-tai, or An-clia-sze 

Provincial Judge 


Transparent blue 

Ycii-tai, or Yen-yuen-sze . 

Collector of Salt by Gabel 



Leang-tow, or Leang-cliu-tow 

Grain Collector 


Opaque blue 

Taou-tai, or Show-siun-taou 

Intendant of Circuit 



Che-foo .... 

Prefect of Department 




Do, Inferior do. 


Uncoloured glass 


Sub-Prefect . 




Independent do. 



Tung- pan 

Deputy Sub-Prefect . 




District Magistrate 


Uncoloured glass 


Do. do. 


Plain gilt 

Tso-taug, or Hsien-cheng . 

Assistant do. 




Ti-tii,* . 




Yli-ki, . 


Shau-pi, . 





General of DivisioD. 









* In China pi-oper, or the ''Middle Kingdom," which contains eighteen provinces, 
there are eighteen Ti-ius only employed in times of peace, but in time of war this rule 
is departed from, and other Ti-tus, sometimes in all to the number of 200, are em- 
ployed imder the Governors, or Futais of each province, in command of distinct levies 
raised for a specific purpose. Legitimately there could no more be two Ti-tus in a 
province than two Futais. Colonel Gordon's force was one of those raised for a specific 
purpose — the suppression of rebellion, and so was General Ching's. The Ti-tu of a 
province is Commandei--in- Chief of its naval as well as of its military forces. 



IN 18G3 AND 1864. 



At what Place. 

Killed or Wounded. 









Colonel (Capt.) 




















Captain (Col.) 






















































• Do. 























































J ones 

Do. , 














At what Place. 

Killed or Wounded. 

















































































































































































2 B 





At what Place. 

Killed or Wounded. 










































































The following Oflicers particularly distinguislied themselves 
under Colonel Gordon's command, being frequently in front and 
very much exposed : — 

Throughout the Campaign — 
Major Brown, . Staff. 

Colonel Kirkham, . 
Doctor Moffitt, . P.M.O. 
T. Thorpe and C. Draper, Orderlies. 
Colonel Brooks, . Provost Marshal. 
Mr Hobson, . . European Interpreter. 
Captain Davidson, . Steamer Hyson. 
Colonel Doyle. 
Colonel Baily. 

At Capture of Taitsan- 

Captain Williams, 
Captain Tchirikoff, 
Major Brennan, 
Captain Howard, 
Captain Brooks, 

2d Reeriment. 


5th do. 

5th do. 

5th do. 

2d do. 


At Capture of Quinsan — 

Captain Howard, . 5th Regiment. 
Captain Cawte, . 5th do. 

At Capture of Wokong — 

Captain Cawte, . 5th Regiment. 
European Sergeant-Major Smith. 

At Patachiaou — 

Major Tumblety, . 1st Regiment. 

Captain Williams, . 2d do. 

Captain Chaj)man, . 5th do. 

At Leeku — 
Major Howard, 

At Wanti — 
Captain Gibb, 

4th Regiment. 

1st Regiment. 


Captain Cawte, 

5th Regiment. 

Captain Williams, 



Captain Tuite, 



Captain Chapman, . 



Lieutenant Henrickson, 



Lieutenant Bremler, 



Captain Maule, 



Captain Wilson, 



Major Howard, 



At Chanchu — 

Colonel Cawte, 

4th Regiment. 

Colonel Howard, 



Captain Winstanley, 



Colonel Chapman, . 



Lieutenant Cane, 



Captain Bremler, 



Captain Henrickson, 



At Kintang — 

Colonel Kirkham, 
Colonel Brooks, 
Major Brown, 
Colonel Williams, 
Colonel Tumblety, 


2d Regiment. 
1st do. 



army under the joint command of chinese and 
Foreign Officers, appointed by his Excellency the 
FuTAi and General Staveley, C.B. 

1. The Force shall be placed temporarily under the joint command of 
Captain Holland, and Captain Gordon shall be recommended to Pekin 
as joint commander, and to regularly enter the Chinese service. The 
Futai appoints Futsiang Le Heng Sing to the joint command. 

2. No expedition shall be undertaken beyond the thirty miles without 
previous reference to the Allies (England and France), but in reference to 
sudden expeditions within those limits their consent shall not be required. 

3. A Chinese officer, of the 4th or 5th grade, shall be placed under 
the orders of the joint commanders as provost-marshal, to carry out such 
punishments as they shall order, who shall always be on the spot ; 
another officer, of equal rank, shall be appointed under their order to 
superintend the commissariat and pay of the Force, who shall always 
be on the spot. A third officer shall be appointed to take charge of 
military stores, who shall report from time to time to the Futai. 

4. Three good linguists shall be appointed permanently to the Force. 

5. The discipline and internal economy of the Force shall be in the 
hands of the joint commanders, and they shall be both present in per- 
son, or by deputy, at all issues of pay or of rations to the Force. 

6. Orders on the Harguan Bank for six months' pay shall be issued 
every year, payable as due monthly, the amount to be settled when the 
standing of the Force is arranged. 

7. The strength of the Force shall be 3000, but if the custom-house 
receipts should fail, this number may b.e eventually reduced. 

8. No foreign officer of the Force shall be dismissed without a mixed 
court of inquiry, the sentence of which must be confirmed by the Futai, 
and which sentence cannot be reversed without the concurrence of the 
British General. No officer shall be appointed to the Force by the 
Chinese Commander without the concurrence of his British colleague. 

9. The commanders shall not interfere with civil jurisdiction of Sung- 
Kiang and its suburbs. 

10. The civil authorities shall carry out the wishes of the joint com- 
manders in all matters connected with the defence of the city, but no 
public works shall be undertaken without their consent. 

11. No purchases of arms, ammunition, or military stores of any 
kind, shall be made without the written consent of the Futai. 

12. The British commander shall rank as equal with a Chentai or 
Taoutai, and shall be given a proper Chinese designation corresponding 
thereto, but shall be under the orders of the Futai. 

13. The British commander is only to leave the Force (if at his own 
request) with the consent of the British Commander-in-Chief, obtained 
and signified through the Consul. If the Chinese are dissatisfied with 



tlie commander they shall not dismiss him witliout a judicial inquiry (in 
which the Consul shall take part), and due notice must be given. 

All subordinate oflicers are to be appointed at the discretion of the 
joint commanders, due regard being paid to the 8th Article. 

14. That the number of coolies employed by the Force shall be reduced, 
100 per 1000 soldiers only being allowed, and their pay put on the foot- 
ing of those employed in the Futai's camp — viz., 3 dols. per mensem. 

1 5. That the hospital expenses be reduced. The Force to be put, as re- 
gards sickness, wounds, &c., on the same footing as other Chinese troops. 

16. That the Foreign officers of the force shall receive certain pay, but 
no extra allowance. 


In a note to page 189, giving an account of the capture 
of the steamer Firefly, it is mentioned that the leader of the 
men who perpetrated that act escaped to England, and under 
the name of " Lin Lee " published a book, entitled * Ti-ping 
Tien-Kwoli.' My reasons for taking no notice of that book 
in the body of my history are various and sufficient. It is 
not necessary to go beyond the author's own admissions in 
order to find ground for receiving his statements with caution. 
Though he does not mention the name of the Firefly, lie admits 
(Chap. XXIII.) having been engaged in heading the capture of 
a steamer at Shanghai, in circumstances which leave no doubt 
that the Firefly is referred to ; he actually complains (Chap. 
XXIV. ) that for being engaged in that act one of his accom- 
plices, a man called White, was condemned to three years' im- 
prisonment by the British Consular Court of Shanghai ; and he 
ingenuously adds, " Besides the fact that my medical adviser 
ordered a change of climate, directly I became aware of my 
lieutenant's fate I determined to take a trip to England." 

These are not recommendations, for they involve a direct 
admission that he committed what the laws of his country con- 
demned as an act of piracy; but many a worthy man has 
fought in a bad cause, and I should not have refused to notice Mr 
" Lin-Lee's " statements on those grounds alone. More remains 
behind. He admits having made prisoner on board this captured 
steamer four Europeans (the same whose names I have mentioned 
in the note to page 18 'J), and that he promised to endeavour to 



pass them into Gordon's lines as prisoners of war, though he 
does not say that this was the condition on which they surren- 
dered to him. How this promise was fulfilled can now only be 
judged from "Lin-Lee's" own statements, and from the fact that 
when Colonel Gordon occupied Wusieh he found there the 
bodies of the four men — Dolly, Martin, Perry, and Easton— in a 
burned and mutilated state, which proved, in the judgment of 
his medical officers, that they had been deliberately tortured 
before death. In one sentence, " Lin-Lee " suggests that this 
was done by the Imperialists, and in another that it was com- 
mitted by the Tai-pings in revenge for the execution of the Soo- 
chow Wangs ; but before determining the value of his evidence 
I should like to have some more light on this dark subject than 
either his statements or his suggestions. 

But even this is not all. According to his own account 
(Chap. XXIV.), Lin-Lee shot dead Hart, an Englishman, one of 
his four foreign associates in the capture of the Firefly, as they 
were all returning from Soochow to Shanghai with the price 
which they had received for that steamer. At the same time 
he drove away, and " nearly frightened out of life," Thompson, 
an American, the second of his associates ; and on reaching 
Shanghai, White, the third, was " betrayed " to the British 
authorities and cast into prison, while only the virtuous " Lin- 
Lee " [ ? Lindley] escaped unscathed with his prey to England. 
Of course all this was forced on " Lin-Lee." Hart and Thompson 
tried to murder him and White for the sake of the prize-money; 
and it was the dastardly Thompson who betrayed White at 
Shanghai. The Chinese have another version of the story, but 
then they are Asiatics, and of course liars. 

Further, what actually was this man's connection with 
the Rebels ? There is no doubt about his taking the Firefly to 
Soochow, and then coming down with the price and escap- 
ing to England ; but he also gives a long account of previous 
adventures which he had among the Kebels. These may be 
perfectly true ; but unfortunately he has entirely mistranslated 
a Tai-ping pass in Chinese, of which he gives a fac-simile in the 
commencement of his work, and has so mistranslated it as to make 
it an evidence of his previous connection with these Rebels, 
and to make it cover operations of war. I here give in parallel 


columns " Lin-Lee's " version of this document, as lie divides it 
into pargraphs, and a true translation prepared by on(; compe- 
tent Chinese scholar and revised by another : — 


The General of the Chin-chung 
(truly faithful) Army, Chung- 
wang Le (The " Faithful Prince" 

Hereby certifies that the under- 
mentioned Foreign Brother, Lin-le, 
aforetime traversed the country 
between Shanghai, Ningpo, &c., 
conducting and managing military 
affairs (or ships of war). 

He has traversed the whole 
country, and from time to time has 
been actively engaged, and has col- 
lected commissariat (or military) 
stores, neither sparing pains nor 
valuing difficulties, but directly 
managing the affairs. 

After this he proceeds to Kia- 
hing (or Cha-shing) Prefecture to 
conduct operations (with regard to 
organising an auxiliary force, &c.), 
and to receive and use, from Ting 
Wang, certain moneys for affairs in 
which he succeeded (or may succeed). 

We therefore hereby command 
those in charge of the military 
posts on the frontier to examine 
this closely, and to allow him to 
pass to and fro without let or hin- 

This is an Express Commission ! 
Dated, The Celestial Kingdom of 
Ti-ping, 13th year, 10th month, 
26th day. 

Li, the Faithful King of the 
True and Faithful Army, issues a 
certificate [or passport]. 

The Foreign Brother Ling-li, 
being now about to proceed to 
Shanghai and Ningpo to obtain 
vessels [or a vessel] of war, 

The places through which he 
shall pass are directed to furnish 
him sufficiently with rice, oil, salt, 
and firewood, so that he shall not 
want anything necessary. 

When he shall have obtained 
[what he proceeds to obtain], he 
shall take the same to the Prefec- 
ture of Kia-hing, and deliver [the 
same] to the Ting Wang, who will 
pay the price. 

And farther, the military in 
charge of the Customs Stations on 
the route are directed to " release 
upon examination," and to permit 
him to come and go without hin- 

This pass is given 13th year of 
the Celestial Kingdom of our 
Heavenly Father, Elder Brother 
and King, and the 26th day of the 
10th month. 

From the above it will be seen that this document is merely 
a pass authorising the bearer to go thorough the Tai-ping lines, 
and to receive payment from the Ting Wang, in the event of 
his bringing a vessel of war, whereas " Lin-Lee " makes it out to 
be a certificate of his having previously engaged in military 



operations for the Tai-pings, and an authorisation to conduct 
such affairs in future. Without such mistranslation, he produces 
not even the mockery of Tai-ping authority for his capture of 
the Firefly, and delivery to the Tai-pings of the Europeans on 
board. If he has not been misled as to the meaning of the 
Chinese document, the audacity of giving a fac-simile of it is 
something stupendous, but is not out of keeping with his ac- 
knowledged exploits, and may have served a purpose with 
certain readers. 

One would think that the force of nature could not go much 
further than this, but there is even something more. " Lin- 
Lee," on returning to England for the benefit of his liealth, &c., 
is not content with availing himself of his success, but must 
place himself in prominent contrast with Colonel Gordon. The 
latter officer is supposed by almost all who know him, either 
personally or by report, to be not a bad specimen of the Chris- 
tian gentleman. His officers and soldiers idolised him ; Chinese 
of all classes regarded him with high respect ; when in their 
power his enemies offered him no injury, and their troops came 
over to him in large numbers ; always foremost in moments of 
danger, no coolie of his force cared less for personal comfort ; 
the Foreign merchants admired him, and he returned from 
China a poorer man than he went out, with little more than the 
honorary acknowledgments of his own and of the Chinese Gov- 
ernments. But it seems we are all under a mistake. The real 
hero is " Lin-Lee," whose exploits, so far as he adduces testi- 
mony, are the midnight capture of a small steamer lying off a 
peaceful settlement; the delivery, for money, of it and of the 
Europeans on board to cruel Tai-pings ; the killing of one of his 
associates ; and a secret flight to England! 

So far ' Ti-Ping Tien-Kwoh ' is a curiosity in literature ; but 
otherwise I cannot recommend a perusal of it to any one seeking 
a knowledge of China ; it is not interesting or amusing, and I 
regret much feeling myself called on to take even this notice of 
it. As regards Colonel Gordon's action in China, the statement 
of facts so far as it goes does not differ much from my own. 
The chief difference is in the gloss which is put upon these facts 
— a gloss which, I had believed, there was only one mind in the 
world pessimist and poisonous enough to have exuded. 



STATEMENT of GEORGE BAEFEY, a Ppjsoner sent to 
H.B.M. Consulate, Canton, by the Chinese AuTHOiaTiEs. 

George BafFey states, I am aged twent5'--two, was born at St Paul's, 
Minnesota, and am a citizen of the United States. 

I joined the rebels at Changchow about the 18th March. I went up 
from Amoy to join them. When the rebels evacuated Changchow, I 
came with them into this province, and stayed with them until the 14th 
July, when I deserted them in disgust. The name of the Chief I joined 
at Changchow was the Tze (She) Wang, and it was. with his party to 
the number of 20,000 that I left Changchow. There were thirteen 
Europeans with them at that time. Eleven days after leaving Chang- 
chow the Tze Wang's division became disorganised near Yingting on a 
branch of the Han River, and I joined the Kan Wang. It was with 
the latter that I entered this province. The Kan Wang numbers his 
force at 100,000, but he has not more than 15,000 fighting men, who, 
however, are well armed. I got disgusted with them at last ; the 
slaughter was dreadful : at the city of Chenping they took 1600 
ImjDerial braves jDrisoners, who surrendered on the promise of their 
lives, but the same night they beheaded the whole number, and I saw 
the creek run with blood for four hours. On the night of the 14th 
July I took advantage of my being with a party at a point some sixty 
li in advance of the city of Chenping to desert by floating down the 
river on a plank, and the next day I took to the mountains. I wished 
to avoid the troops, as I knew I should be put to death if taken prisoner 
by them, so I made inquiries previously to my flight from the country 
people within the rebel lines respecting the direction of Kia-ying-chow, 
and at length I gave myself up to a village mandarin. Previously to 
this I was seized by some boatmen belonging to the village, who bound 
me hands and feet, and were about to behead me when a respectable old 
man induced them to desist, and led me to the mandarin. The latter 
sent me to Kia-ying-chow, where I was confined in an oflSce belonging 
to the magistrate, and treated well by the oflftcials, but very badly by 
the people. I only had rice and water. I was then sent down to Can 
ton by boat in charge of a small mandarin, who treated me kindly. I 
arrived at Canton the night before last, and was taken in a chair into 
the city, where I was lodged in a yamen, and last night was examined 
before two magistrates. It was at a Chinese prison ; a linguist inter- 
preted, but so badly that I could understand nothing. 

To go back. I was originally employed in Colonel Gordon's force as 
Captain of Artillery, and on its being broken up I served under the 
Futai Li for three months as drill instructor, and then, wages being re- 
duced from 211 dols. to 150 dols. a month, I went to Foochow and took 
service under Baron de Meritens, who put me under the orders of a 
Frenchman at Amoy, with whom I disagreed ; and, in consequence of 
this, I went to Shanghai and endeavoured to get employed in the 




Customs. I had previously endeavoured to get employment at Amoy 
and Ningpo, but had been refused everywhere ; and so at length, having 
])een luiemployed for seven months, and receiving offers from Rhode and 
others who had joined the rebels, I went to Amoy and joined them. 

Rhode was one of the tliirteen wlio left Changchow with the rebels ; 
of these only three besides myself are now alive. They are Williams, 
an American ; McAulilfe (who made the mortars and shells, &c., at 
Changchow), an Irishman ; and Rhode. Williams was very ill with 
dysentery when I left. The remainder, I believe, were all murdered at 
different times. 

While with the Tze Wang after leaving Changchow I was four days 
without food ; but the Kan Wang had been well supplied by pillage. 
When I left, the rebels were talking of retreating towards Kiangsi. 
The rebels have great confidence in the Kan Wang ; the latter is an 
exceedingly clever man, very fond of European ideas, but very distrust- 
ful of foreigners. None of the Europeans were allowed to hold any 
authority, and none ever received the fulfilment of the promises by which 
we were enticed over. The Baron de Meritens sent Gerard and others 
into Changchow with letters and passes, endeavouring to get the 
Europeans over ; but Gerard having previously cheated the Tze Wang 
out of 3000 dols,, the latter seized and beheaded him. 

The greatest number of Europeans ever at Changchow was sixteen. I 
attempted to escape out of Changchow, but was prevented by information 
given against me by a German. The cause of my wishing to desert was 
seeing two Chinese mandarins burnt alive by the rebels in the city of 
Changchow. For every tail of a mandarin soldier produced the Kan 
Wang gives 6 dols. reward. The Kan Wang is about thirty-five years of 
age. He is the jirincipal rebel chief at the present moment. I have 
never heard the rebels speak of coming near Canton, but they are very 
anxious to get to the coast so as to obtain arms. There is very little 
money among the rebels, and this province is not productive enough to 
support them. They threw up fourteen fine stockades around the city 
of Chenping, very different from the wretched ones erected by the 
Imperial troops. 

The country ])eople are very hostile. They had cut down the unripe 
paddy around Chenping to prevent its falling into the hands of the Kan 
Wang. The latter, unlike the Tze Wang, does not allow useless devasta- 
tion among the villages. 

(Signed) George Baffey. 

Statement taken by me, 

(Signed) W. F. Mayers. 

August 5, 1865. 




In the text of this work, and in the Sketch-Map of tlie 
Operations against the Rebels in 1862-C4/' many of tlie names 
of places are given as they were pronounced in the local dialect, 
and written down in English sometimes by persons ignorant of 
Chinese. For the benefit of travellers who may visit that part 
of China, now that it can be traversed with tolerable safety, I 
give the following list of some of the principal places, with tlieir 
names as represented in the Mandarin or Peking dialect, and 
with tlieir rank occasionally added. As a key to the meaning 
of many Chinese names, it may be well to mention that Idawj 
signifies a river, and slian a mountain. 


Peking Dialect. 


Peking Dialect. 

Chauchii fu 

Cliangchow fu. 






Pooslien hien. 










Haiyeii hien. 


Shihmun hien. 


Kiating hien. 



Kashing fu 

Kiahing fu. 


Taitsang chow. 


Kiashan hien. 


Tunghien hien. 


Kinshan hien. 


Wukiang hien. 


Kiangyin hien. 

Wuchu fu 

Hoochow fu. 


Nanhwei hien. 







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English Puritanism and its Leaders: Cromwell, Milton, 

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History of the Trench Protestant Refugees. By Charles 

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History of France, from the Earliest Period to the Tear 

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lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, and other Poems. By 

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Aytoun's Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers. An Illustrated 

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Bothwell : A Poem. By ¥. Edmondstoune Aytoun, B.C.L., 

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Poems and Ballads of Groethe. Translated hy Professor 

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The Book of Ballads. Edited by Boa Gaultier. Eighth 

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Firmilian, or the Student of Badajoz. A Spasmodic 

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Poetical Works of Thomas Aird. Complete Edition, in 

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"Of no modern writer can it be affirmed with less hesitation, that she has become an English 
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The following Works of Mrs Hemans are sold separately, bound in cloth, gilt edges, 

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The Odyssey of Homer. Translated into English Yerse in 

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King Rene's Daughter: A Danish Lyrical Drama. By 

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P E T E Y 

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A Poem. Co2n^rm?i^—Pym— Vane— Strafford— Halifax— Shaftesburj'— St John 
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Poems and Songs. By David Wingate. In Fcap. Octayo. 


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Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Ifile. By 

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larratiye of a Journey through Syria and Palestine. 

By Lieut. Van de Velde. Two Volumes Octavo, with Maps, occ, £1, 10s. 
"He has contributed much to knowledge of the country, and the unction with which he speaks 
of the holy places which he has visited, will commend the book to the notice of all religious 
readers. His illustrations of Scripture are ninnerous and admirable." — Daily iVeu's. 










Author of the " Physical Athis," <tc. 

With a complete Index of easy reference to each Map, comprising nearly 
150,000 Places contained in this Atlas. 

Imperial Folio, half-bound in russia or morocco, £5, Ids. Cd. 

AthensBum, Angnst 10, 1861. 

Under the name of " The Royal Atlas of Modern Geography," Messrs Blackwood and Sons 
have published a book of maps, which for care of drawing and beauty of execution appears to 
leave nothing more to hope for or desire. Science and art have done their best upon this mag- 
nificent book. Mr A. Keith Johnston answers for the engraving and printing : to those who 
love clear forms and delicate bold type we need say no more. All that maps should be, these 

maps are : honest, accurate, intelligible guides to narrative or description Of the 

many noble atlases prepared by Mr Johnston and published by Messrs Blackwood and Sons, 
this Royal Atlas will be the most useful to the public, and will deserve to be the most popular. 

Saturday Review, 

The completion of Mr Keith Johnston's Royal Atlas of Modern Geography claims a special notice 
at our hands. Wliile Mr Johnston's maps are certainly unsurpassed by any for legibility and 
uniformity of drawing, as well as for accuracy and judicious selection, this eminent geogiapher's 
Atlas has a distinguishing merit in the fact that each map is accompanied by a special index of 
remarkable fulness. The labour and trouble of reference are in this way reduced to a minimum. 
. . . . The number of places enumerated in the separate indices is enormous. We believe, 
indeed, that every name which appears in the maps is registered in the tables ; and as each 
place is indicated by two letters, which refer to the squares formed by the parallels of latitude 

and longitude, the method of using the index is extremely easy and convenient We 

know no series of maps which we can more warmly recommend. The accuracy, wherever we 
have attempted to put it to tlie test, is really astonishing. 

Morning Herald. 

The culmination of all attempts to depict the face of the world appears in the Royal Atlas, 
than whicli it is impossible to conceive anji,hing more perfect. 


This is, beyond question, the most splendid and luxurious, as well as the most useful and 
complete of all existing atlases. 


There has not, we believe, been produced for general public use a body of maps equal in 
beauty and completeness to the Royal Atlas just issued by Mr A. K. Johnston. 


An almost daily reference to, and comparison of, it with others, since the publication of the 
first part some two years ago until now, enables us to say, without the slightest hesitation, that 
this is by far the most complete and authentic atlas that has yet been issued. 



Index GreograpMcus : Being a List, Alphabetically ar- 

HANGEn, of the Principal Placks on the Globe, with the Countries and 
Subdivisions of the Countries in which they are situated, and their Lati- 
tudes AND Longitudes. Compiled specially with reference to Keith John- 
ston's Royal Atlas, but applicable to all Modern Atlases and Maps. In One 
Volume Imperial Octavo, pp. G7<), price 21s. 

The Physical Atlas of Ifatural Phenomena. By Alex. 

Kfitu Johnston, F.R.S.E., &c., Geop^rapher to the Queen for Scotland. A New 
and Enlar^red Edition, consisting of 35 Folio Plates, 27 smaller ones, printed in 
Colours, with 135 pages of Letterpress, and Index. 


Geography and Orography, . . . . 11 Plates. 

Hydrogi-aphy, 6 

Meteorology and Magnetism, . . . . 6 „ 

Botanical Geography, 2 „ 

Zoological Geography, 6 „ 

Ethnology and Statistics, 4 „ 

Imperial Folio, half-bound morocco, £8, 8s. 

"The Physical Atlas of Mr Keith Johnston— a perfect treasure of compressed infomation." — 
.Sir John Herschcl. 

" There is no map in this noble Atlas upon which we might not be tempted to write largely. 
Almost every one suggests a volume of reflection, and suggests it by presenting, in a few hours, 
accurate truths which it would be the labour of a volume to enforce in words, and by imprinting 
them, at the same time, upon the memory with such distinctness that their outlines are not 
likely to be afterwards effaced. The ' Physical Atlas ' is a somewhat costly work, reckoning it 
only by its paper; but upon its paper is stamped an amount of knowledge that could scarcely be 
acquired without the reading of as many books as would cost seven times the price."— Examiner. 

" This Atlas ought to have a place in every good library. . . . We know of no work con- 
taining such copious and exact information as to all tlie physical circumstances of the earth on 
which we live." — Quarterly Review. 

The Physical Atlas. By Alexander Keith Johnston, 

F.R.S.E., F.R.G.S., Geographer to the Queen for Scotland. Reduced from the 
Imperial Folio. This Edition Contains Twen-ty-Five Maps, including a Palae- 
ontological and Geological Map of the British Islands, with Descriptive Letter- 
press, and a very copious Index. lu Imperial Quarto, half-bound morocco, 
£2, 12s. 6d. 

" Executed with remarkable care, and is as accurate, and, for all educational purposes, as valu- 
able as the splendid large work (by the same author) which has now a European reputation." — 
Eclectic Review. 

Atlas of Scotland. 31 Maps of the Comities of Scotland, 

coloured. Bound in roan, price 10s. Gd. Each County may be had separately, 
in Cloth Case, Is. 

A (jeological Map of Europe, exhibiting the different 

Systems of Rocks according to the latest researches, and from Inedited 
materials. By Sir R, I. Murchison, D.C.L., F.R.S., &c., Director-General of 
the Geological Survey of Great Britain and Ireland ; and James Nicol, F.R.S.E., 
F.G.S., Professor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen. Constructed 
by Alex. Keith Johnston, F.R.S.E., &c., Geographer to the Queen, Author of 
the "Physical Atlas," &c. Scale, of Natul-e, 76 miles to an inch. Four 

Sheets Imperial, beautifully printed in Colours. Size, 4 feet 2 inches by 3 feet 5 
inches. In Sheets, £3, 3s ; in a Cloth Case, 4to, £3, 10s. 



Keith Johnston's School Atlases :— 


General and Descriptive Geography, exhibiting the Actual 

and Comparative Extent of all the Countries in the World, with their 
present Political Divisions. A New and Enlarged Edition. Corrected to 
the present time. With a complete Index. 26 Maj^s. Half-bound, 12s. 6d. 


Physical Geography, illustrating, in a Series of Original 

Designs the Elementary Facts of Geology, Hydrology, Meteorology, and 
Natural History. A New and Enlarged Edition. 20 Maps, including 
coloured Geological Maps of Europe and of the British Isles. Half-bound, 
12s. 6d. 


Classical Geography: Comprising, in Twenty-three Plates, 

Maps and Plans of all the important Countries and Localities referred to 
by Classical Authors ; accompanied by a pronouncing Index of Places, by T. 
Harvey, M.A. Oxon. A New and Revised Edition. Half-bound, 12s. 6d. 


Astronomy. Edited by J. R. Hind, Esc[., F.R.A.S., &c. 

Notes and Descriptive Letterpress to each Plate, embodying all recent 
Discoveries in Astronomy. 18 Maps. Half-bound, 12s. 6d. 


Elementary School Atlas of General and Descriptive Geogra- 
phy for the Use of Junior Classes. A New and Cheaper Edition. 20 Maps, 
including a Map of Canaan and Palestine. Half-bound, 5s. 

" They are as superior to all School Atlases within our knowledge, as were the larger works 
of the same Author in advance of those that preceded them." — Educational Times. 

" Decidedly the best School Atlases we have ever seen." — English Journal of Education. 

"... The PAysicaZ ^iJas seems to us particularly well executed. , . . The last gene- 
ration had no such help to learning as is aiforded in these excellent elementary maps. The Class- 
ical Atlas is a great improvement on what has usually gone by that name ; not only is it fullei-, 
but in some cases it gives the same country more tlian once in different periods of time. Thus it 
approaches the special value of a historical atlas. . . . The General Atlas is wonderfully full 
and accurate for its scale. . . . Finally, the vlsirowomicaZ ^iZas, in which Mr Hind is respon- 
sible for the scientific accuracy of the maps, supplies an admitted educational want. No better 
companion to an elementary astronomical treatise could be found than this cheap and convenient 
collection of maps."— Saiur Jay Review. 

" The plan of these Atlases is admirable, and the excellence of the plan is rivalled by the beauty 
of the execution. . . . The best security for the accuracy and substantial value of a School 
Atlas is to have it from the hands of a man like our Author, who has perfected his skill by tlie 
execution of much larger works, and gained a character which he will be careful not to jeopar- 
dise by attaching his name to anything that is crude, slovenly, or superficial." — Scotsman. 

Atlas of Plans of Countries, Battles, Sieges, & Sea-rigMs, 

Illustrative of the History of Europe from the Commencement of the French 
Kevolution to the Battle of Waterloo. Constructed by A. Keith Johnston, 
F.R.S.E., &c. &.C. With Vocabulary of Military and Marine Terms. 109 
Plates, Demy Quarto, price £3, 3s. Another Edition, in Crown Quarto, 
£1, lis. 6d. 



A Ifew Map of Europe. By A. Keith Johnston, F.R.S.E., 

F.R.G.S., Geographer to the Queen. The Map is fully coloured, and measures 
4 feet 2 inches by 3 feet 5 inches. Price, mounted on Cloth and Mahogany 
Roller, Varnished, or Folded in Quarto in a handsome Cloth Case, 21s. 

G-eological Map of Scotland. Trom the most Recent Au- 
thorities and Personal Observations. By James Nicol, F.R.S.E., &c.. Profes- 
sor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen. With Explanatory Notes. 
The Topography by Alexander Keith Johnston, F.R.S.E., &c. Scale, 10 
miles to an inch. In Cloth Case, 21s. 

A Small G-eological Map of Europe. Erom Keith John- 

ston'S School " Physical Atlas." Printed in Colours, Sixpence. 

A Greological Map of the British Isles. Erom the same. 

Printed in Colours, Sixpence. 

Hand Atlases : Being the Maps of Keith Johnston's School 

Atlases on Large Paper, and half-bound, full size, Imperial Quarto. 

Physical Geography : Illustrating, in a Series of Original 

Designs, the Elementary Facts of Geology, Hydrology, Meteorology, and 
Natural History. In Imperial Quarto, half-bound morocco, 25s. 

Classical Geography: Comprising, in Twenty-three Plates, 

Maps and Plans of all the important Countries and Localities referred to 
by Classical Authors. In Imperial Quarto, half-bound morocco, 25s. 

General and Descriptive Geography : Exhibiting the Actual 

and Comparative extent of all the Countries in the World, with their pre- 
sent political divisions. New and Enlarged Edition. In Imperial Quarto, 
half-bound morocco, 2^s. 

Astronomy: Comprising, in Eighteen Plates, a Complete 

Series of Illustrations of the Heavenly Bodies, drawn, with the greatest care 
from Original and Authentic Documents. By Alex. Keith Johnston, 
F.R.S.E. &c. Edited by J. R. Hind, F.R.A.S., &c. In Imperial Quarto, 
half-morocco, 21s. 

" The Atlas is undoubtedly the most becautiful work of its class that has ever been published 
and in several respects the most instructive." — The Astronomer Royal. 

"To say that Mr Hind's Atlas is the best thing of the kind is not enough— it has no com- 
petitor." — Athenceum. 

Geological and Palseontological Map of the British 

Islands, including Tables of the Fossils of the different Epochs, &c. &c., from 
the Sketches and Notes of Professor Edward Forbes. With Illustrative and 
Explanatory Letterpress. 21s. 



The Book of the Farm. Detailing the lahours of the 

Farmer, Farm-Steward, Ploughman, Shepherd, Hedg-er, Cattle-man, Field-worker, 
and Dairymaid, and forming a safe Monitor for Students in Practical Agriculture. 
By Henry Stephens, F.Pt.S.E. Two Volumes, Royal Octavo, £3, handsomely 
bound in cloth, with upwards of 600 Illustrations. 

"The best book I have ever met with."— Professor Johnston. 

"We have thoroughly examined these volumes ; but to give a full notice of their varied and 
valuable contents would occupy a larger spaee than we can conveniently devote to their dis- 
cussion ; we therefore, in general terms, conmiend them to the careful study of every young 
man who wishes to become a good practical farmer. — Times. 

The Book of Parm Implements and Machines. By James 

Slight and R. SroTT Burn. Edited by Henry Stephens, F. R. S. E. Illus- 
trated with 876 Engravings. Royal Octavo, uniform with the " Book of the 
Farm," half-bound, £2, 2s. 

The Book of Tarm Buildings : their Arrangement and 

Construction. By Henry Stephens, F. R.S.E., and R. Scott Burn. Royal 

Octavo, with 1045 Illustrations. Uniform with the ''Book of the Farm," Half- 
bound, £1, lis. 6d. 

The Book of the Grarden. By Charles M'Intosh. In Two 

large Volumes, Royal Octavo, embellished with 1353 Engravings. 

Each, Volume may be had separatebj—viz. 

I. ARCHITECTURAL and ORNAMENTAL. —On the Formation of Gardens— Con- 

struction, Heating, and Ventilation of Fruit and Plant Houses, Pits, Frames, and 
other Garden Structures, with Practical Details. Illustrated by 1073 Engravings, 
pp. 776. £2, 10s. 

II. PRACTICAL GARDENING, Contains- -Directious for the Culture of the Kitchen 
Garden, the Hardy-fruit Garden, the Forcing Garden, and Flower Garden, includ- 
ing Fruit and Plant Houses, with Select Lists of Vegetables, Fruits, and Plants. 
Pp. 868, with 279 Engravings. £1, 17s. 6d. 

"In the construction of every kind of building required in a garden, the 'structural ' section 
of the work will be found to contain a large amount of information suitable alike for buildings 
and gardens. Mr M'Intosh being himself one of the most experienced garden architects of our 
time, minute details are given, so that the expense of even a pit, up to a garden replete with 
every necessary erection, may be at once ascertained, a matter of no small importance to gentle- 
men about either to form new gardens, or improve such as already exist. . . . On the whole, 
this volume on structural gardening, both in compilation and artistical execution, deserves our 
warmest commendation. 

*' The second volume is of a cultural character, and has been got up with gi'eat care and re- 
search. It embodies the opinions and practice of the older writers on Horticulture, and also, 
what is of more importance, the experience of our eminent modern gardeners on the subject, 
together with the opinions of our author, who has studied and practised the art for upwards of 
half a century, both in this country and on the Continent. ... We therefore feel justified 
in recommending Mr M'Intosh's two excellent volumes to the notice of the public."— ffanZeHcrs' 



Practical System of Farm Book-Keeping : Being that re- 
commended in the " Book of the Farm" by H. Stephens. Royal Octavo, 2s. 6d. 
Also, Seven Folio Account-Books, printed and ruled in accordance with the 
System, the whole being specially adapted for keeping, by an easy and accurate 
method, an account of all the transactions of the Farm. A detailed Prospectus 
may be had from the Publishers. Price of the complete set of Eight Books, 
£1, 4s. 6d. Also, A Labour Account of the Estate, 2s. 6d. 

"We have no hesitation in saying, that of the many systems of keeping farm-accounts whicli 
arc in vogue, there is not onewliich will bear comparison with that just issued by Messrs Black- 
wood, according to the recommendations of Mr Stephens, in his invaluable 'Book of the Farm.' 
The great characteristic of this system is its simplicity. When once the details are mastered, which 
it will take very little trouble to accomplish, it will be prized as the clearest method to show 
the profit and loss of business, and to prove how the soundest and surest calculations can be 
arrived at. We earnestly recommend a trial of the entire series of books — they must be used 
as a whole to be thoroughly profitable— for we are convinced the verdict of our agricultural friends 
who make such a trial will speedily accord with our own." — Bell's Messenger. 

Agricultural Statistics of Scotland. Report by the High- 

land and Agricultural Society of Scotland to the Board of Trade, for 1855, 1856, 
and 1857. Is. 6d. each. 

Ainslie's Treatise on Land-Surveying. A new and enlarged 

Edition, edited by William Galbraith, M.A., F.R.A.S. One Volume, Octavo, 
with a Volume of Plates in Quarto, 21s. 

"The best book on surveying with which I am acquainted." — W. Rutherford, LL.D., F.R.A.S., 

Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. 

Reports of the Association for Promoting Improyement in 

the Dwellings and Domestic Condition of Agricultural Labourers in Scotland. 
Seven Eeports, 1855-61. Is. each. 

The Torester : A Practical Treatise on the Planting, 

Rearing, and Management of Forest Trees, By James Brown, Wood Manager 
to the Earl of Seafield. Third Edition, greatly enlarged, with numerous Engrav- 
ings on Wood. Royal Octavo, 30s. 

" What we have often stated in these columns we now repeat, that the book before us is the 
most useful guide to good Arboriculture in the English language. The Author is a man of great 
experience in Scotch forestry, and, moreover, is well grounded in the science of tree cultivation ; 
so that he does not fall into the mistakes which mere theorists, or mere practicals, have each 
committed on so large a scale, in too many great places. We will even add, that it has been to 
the advice and instruction given in two former editions of the 'Forester,' now exhausted, that 
the general improvement in timber management may be fairly ascribed." — Gardeners' Chronicle. 

"Beyond all doubt this is the best work on the subject of Forestry extant." — Gardeners* 

Handbook of the Mechanical Arts concerned in the Con- 

struction and Arrangement of Dwellings and other Buildings ; Including Car-: 
pentry. Smith-work, Iron-framing, Brick-making, Columns, Cements, Well-sink- 
ing, Enclosing of Land, Road-making, &c. By R. Scott Burn. Crown Octavo, 
with 504 Engravings on Wood, 6s. 6d. 



The leaj-Book of Agricultural Facts. 1859 and 1860. 

Edited by R. Scott Buun. Foolscap Octavo, 5s. each. 1861 and 1862, 4s. each. 

Practical Ventilation, as applied to PuMc, Domestic, and 

Agricultural Structures. By R. Scott Burn, Engineer. 6s. 

Dwellings for the Working Classes : their Construction and 

Arrangement; with Plans, Elevations, and Specifications, suggestive of Structures 
adapted to the Agricultural and Manufacturing Districts. By R, Scott Burx. 
Quarto, with numerous Diagrams, 3s. 

The West of Ireland as a Field for Investment. By James 

Caird, Farmer, Baldoon. Octavo, with a Map, 6s. 

The Practical Planter : Containing Directions for the 

Planting of Waste Land and Management of Wood, with a new Method of Rear- 
ing the Oak. By Thomas Cruikshank, Forester at Careston. Octavo, 12s. 

Elldngton's System of Draining : A Systematic Treatise 

on the Theory and Practice of Draining Land, adapted to tho various Situations 
and Soils of England and Scotland, drawn up from the Communications of Joseph 
Elkington, by J. Johnstone. Quarto, 10s. 6d. 

Trigonometrical Surveying, levelUng, and Railway En- 
gineering. By William Galbraith, M.A. Octavo, 7s. 6d. 

The Preparation of Cooked Food for the Fattening of 

Cattle, and the advantage of Using it along with Cut Straw, Hay, Turnips, or 
other Vegetables. By Thomas Harkness, 6d. 

Journal of Agriculture, and Transactions of the Highland 


Old Series, 1828 to 1843, 21 vols £3 3 

New Series, 1843 to 1851, 8 vols 2 2 

The Eural Economy of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

By Leonce de. Lavergne. Translated from the French. With Notes by a 
Scottish Farmer. In Octavo, 12s. 

"One of the best works on the philosophy of agriculture and of agricultural political 
economy that has appeared." — Spectator. 

On the Management of Landed Property in the Highlands 

of Scotland. By George G. Mackay, C.E, Crown Octavo, Is. 6d. 



Professor Johnston's "Works :— 

Experimental Agriculture. Being the Results of Past, and 

Suggestions for Future, Experiments in Scientific and Practical Agriculture. 

Elements of Agricultural Chemistry and Geology. Eighth 

Edition, 6s. 6d. 

"Nothing hitherto published has at all equalled it, both as regards true science and sound 
common sense." — Quarterly Journal of Agriculture. 

A Catechism of Agricultural Chemistry and Geology. Fifty- 
seventh Edition, Is. 

"The extent to which this little Catechism has been circulated at home, its translation into 
nearly every European language, and its introduction into the Schools of Germany, Holland, 
Flanders, Italy, Sweden, Poland, and South and North America, while it has been gratifying to 
the Author, has caused him to take additional pains in imi)roving and adding to the amount of 
usefid information, in the present edition." — Preface. 

On the Use of Lime in Agriculture. 


Instructions for the Analysis of Soils. 

Fourth Edition, 2s. 

An Inquiry into the Mature and Cause of the Prevailing 

Disease and Present Condition of the Larch Plantations in Great Britain. By 
Charles M'Intosh, Associate of the Linnsean Society, &c. &c. In Crown Octavo, 

View of the Salmon-Fishery of Scotland. With Obserra- 

tions on the Nature, Habits, and Instincts of the Salmon, and on the Law as 
affecting the Rights of Parties, &c. &c. By the Late MuRDO Mackenzie, Esq. 
of Cardross and Dundonald. In Octavo, 5s. 

On the Management of Bees. By Br Mackenzie, Eileanach. 

Foolscap, 4d. 

The Chemistry of Yegetable and Animal Physiology. By 

Dr J. G. Mulder, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Utrecht. With 
an Introduction and Motes by Professor Johnston. 22 Plates. Octavo, 30s. 

The Grrasses of Britain. Illustrated by 140 Figures, Drawn 

and Engraved by the Author. By R. Parnell, M.D., F.R.S.E. This work con- 
tains a Figure and full description of every Grass found in Britain, with their 
Uses in Agriculture. Royal Octavo, 42s. 

The Relative Yalue of Round and Sawn Timber, shown 

by means of Tables and Diagrams. By James Rait, Land-Steward at Castle- 
Forbes. Royal Octavo, 8s., hf.-bd. 



Dairy Management and Feeding of Milch Cows : Being the 

recorded Experience of Mrs AuNES ScOTT, Winkston, Peebles, Second Edition. 
Foolscap, Is. 

Italian Irrigation : A Report addressed to the Hon. the 

Court of Directors of the East India Company, on the Agricultural Canals of 
Piedmont and Lombardy ; with a Sketch of the Irrigation System of Northern 
and Central India. By Lieut. -Col. Baiud Smitu, C.B. Second Edition. Two 
Volumes, Octavo, with Atlas in Folio, 30s. 

The Architecture of the Farm : A Series of Designs for 

Farm Houses, Farm Steadings, Factors' Houses, and Cottages. By John Stah- 
FORTH, Architect. Sixty-two Engravings. In Medium Quarto, £2, 2s. 

" Oue of the most useful and beautiful additions to Messrs Blackwood's extensive and valuable 
library of agricultural and rural economy." — Morning Post. 

The Tester Deep Land-Culture : Being a Detailed Account 

of the Method of Cultivation which has been successfully practised for several 
years by the Marquess of Tweeddale at Yester. By Henry Stephens, Esq., 
F.R.S.E., Author of the ' Book of the Farm.' In Small Octavo, with Engravings 
on Wood, 4 s. 6d. 

A Manual of Practical Draining. By Henry Stephens, 

F.RS.E , Author of the ' Book of the Farm.' Third Edition, Octavo, 5s. 

A Catechism of Practical Agriculture. By Henry Stephens, 

F.R.S.E., Author of the 'Book of the Farm,' &c. In Crown Octavo, with Illus- 
trations, Is. 

"We feel perfectly assured that this Catechism is precisely the thing which at this moment 
is wanted in every rural and national school in England, more especially since the questioii 
has arisen, How is it possible to educate skilled agricultural labourers more in the direction of 
their art and occupation, and to render the school more subservient to the field and the farm- 
yard? " — Nottingham Guardian. 

A Handy Book on Property Law. By Lord St Leonards. 

A new Edition, enlarged, with Index, and Portrait of the Author. Crown Octavo, 
3s. 6d. 

" Less than 200 pages serve to arm us with the ordinary precautions to which we should at- 
tend in selling, buying, mortgaging, leasing, settling, and devising estates. We are informed 
of our relations to our property, to our wives and children, and of our liabilities as trustees or 
executors, in a little book for the million, a book which the author tenders to the profanum vul- 
gus as even capable of ' beguiling a few hours in a railway carriage.' "—Tiines. 

The Practical Irrigator and Drainer. By G-eorge Stephens. 

Octavo, 8s. 6d. 



The Planter's Gruide. By Sir Henry Steuart. A Ifew 

Edition, with the Author's last Additions and Corrections. Octavo, with En- 
gravings, 21s. 

Stable Economy : A Treatise on the Management of Horses. 

By John Stewart, V.S. Seventh Edition, Gs, 6d. 

"Will always mjiintain its position as a standard work upon the management of horses." — 
Mark Lane Express. 

Advice to Purchasers of Horses. By John Stewart, Y.S. 

ISmo, plates, 2s. 6d. 

Agricultural labourers, as they Were, Are, and Should be, 

in their Social Condition. By the Rev. Harry Stuart, A. M., Minister of Oath- 
law. Octavo, Second Edition, Is. 

A Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of the G-rape 

VINE. By William Thomson, Gardener to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, 
Dalkeith Park. Fifth Edition Octavo, 5s. 

The Moor and the Loch. Containing Minute Instructions 

in all Highland Sports, with Wanderings over Crag and Correi, Flood and Fell. 
By John Colquhoun, Esq. Third Edition, in Octavo, with Illustrations, 12s. 6d. 

Salmon-Casts and Stray Shots : Being Fly-Leaves from the 

Note-Book of John Colquhoun, Esq., Author of the " Moor and the Loch," kc. 
Second Edition, Foolscap Octavo, 5s. 

Coquet -Bale Tishing Songs. Uow first collected by a 

North-Country Angler, with the Music of the Airs. Octavo, 5s. 

The Angler's Companion to the Elvers and Lochs of 

SCOTLAND. By T. T. Stoddart. With Map of the Fishing Streams and Lakes 
of Scotland. Second Edition. Crown Octavo, 3s. 6d. 

*' Indispensable in all time to come, as the very strength and grace of an angler's tackle and 
equipment in Scotland, must and will be Stoddart's Angler's Companion." — Blackwood's 

Shooter's Biary or G-ame Book for recording the quantity 

of Grouse Killed, and Time and Place, Number of Guns, Names of Parties, how 
disposed of, &c. Octavo, bound in red leather, 4s. 

Angler's Biary for recording the quantity of Fish Killed, 

kc. Octavo, bound in green leather, 4s. 



The Chemistry of Common life. By Professor J. F. ¥. 

Johnston. A new Edition. Edited by G. H. Lewes, Author of " Sea-side 
Studies," &c. With 113 Illustrations on Wood, and a Copious Index. Two 
Volumes, Crown Octavo, lis. 6d. 

" It is just one of those books which will best serve to show men how minute is the provision 
wliich has been made for human support, and that if the laws prescribed by Nature are duly 
observed, she, on her part, will see to it that her functions are performed with fidelity and suc- 
cess." — Durham Chronicle. 

The Physiology of Common Life. By &eorge H. lewes, 

Author of "Sea-side Studies," kc. lUustvated with numerous Engravings. Two 
Volumes, 123. 

Contents : — Hunger and Thirst. — Food and Drink. — Digestion and Indigestion. — The Struc- 
ture and Uses of the Blood. — The Circulation. — Respiration and Suffocation. — Why we 
are warm, and how we keep so. — Feeling and Thinking.— The Mind and the Brain. — Our 
Senses and Sensations. — Sleep and Dreams. — The Qualities we Inherit from our Parents. 
—Life and Death. 

Sea-Side Studies at Hfracombe, Tenby, the Scilly Isles, 

and Jersey. By George H. Lewes, Author of "A Biographical History of 
Philosophy," &c. Second Edition. Crown Octavo, with Illustrations, and a 
Glossary of Technical Terms, 6s. 6d. 

Introductory Text-Book of Physical Qeography. By 

David Page, F.R.S.E., F.G.S. ; Author of * Introductory and Advanced Text- 
Books of Geology,' &c. With Illustrative Sketch-Maps and Glossarial Index. 
Crown Octavo, price 2s. Second Edition. 
" We believe, indeed, that many will be induced to enter on the study from a perusal of this 
little work. The divisions of the subject are so clearly defined, the explanations are so lucid, 
the relations of one portion of the subject to another are so satisfactorily shown, and, above all, 
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Wilson, Andrew 

The "ever-victorious army"