Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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CHINA. This patriarchal empire, having the oldest existing government in the world, consists of China proper, Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet, and Ili, or Eastern Turkestan, with the large islands of Formosa and Hainan. The various countries of Indo-China, Burmah, Siam, and Annam, the tribes of Amuria, the Riu Kiu (Loo Choo) islands, Corea, and Japan (under the Ashikaga line of shoguns, from 1401 to 1573) were formerly tributary vassals, but their relations are now those of ceremony only, or of complete independence.


—The official title of China, under the present dynasty, from which it is named, is Tsin, ("pure") Tai-tsin, ("Great Pure") or Tatsin-kwo, (Empire of Great Tsin). Popular names are Chung-hwa ("Central Flower") or Chunghwa-kwo ("Central Flowery Land"), a name formerly applied to Ho-nan province; and Chung-kwo ("The Middle Kingdom") also an old name of Ho-nan. This central province formerly situated between the "foreigners of the east" or sea-border, and the hill tribes of the west, under the Han dynasty, finally gave its name to "all the Chinas"—the favorite conception being that of one central empire, while all other countries lay outside. Chu-Hia, ("All the Chinas") Shi-pasan, ("The Eighteen Provinces") referring to China proper, and various appellatives derived chiefly from dynastic titles, are in popular or literary use. The terms China and Chinese (Fr. Chine, Chinois), are Anglicized forms of the ancient native "Tsin," "Chin," or "Sin," used long before the Tsin dynasty (255-209 B. C.) and found in Sanskrit, Persian and Hebrew, meaning a silk-worm. China is the home of the silk-worm, and the first land of silk. The Russians and north Asiatics use the old Mongol names Kitai or Kitan (whence Marco Polo's "Cathay"); the Annamese, Sina, the Tibetans, Yulbu; the Japanese, Shin, Shina-koku, Kara, Morokoshi, or Kanto. The name used by most Chinese emigrants, and in Java, the Straits and the Sandwich islands, is Tang-shan, from a famous mountain in Chi-li province; the emigrants being termed Tang-jin—the first Chinese settlers in Java having left their homes during the Tang dynasty, (618-905 A.D.) The vulgar term "Celestial" is not of Chinese origin, unless it be borrowed from Tien-chau, ("Heaven-rule or Theocracy") applied to the great government, irrespective of dynasty.


—The chief boundary lines of China are rivers, mountains and the sea. Her whole northern frontier borders on Russia in Asia, the supplementary treaty of 1860 negotiated by general Ignatieff having deprived her of Amuria, and all the coast north of Corea, leaving her without a seaport beyond China proper. South of Corea and the Usuri river, her eastern boundary is a seacoast line, 2,000 miles long. Her neighbors, on the south, are Annam, Burmah and India; and on the west, Turkestan and India. In brief, with the exception of the sea line, and part of Burmah, China is now surrounded by three great European nations, Russia, England, and France, in Asia.


—Manchuria is, in the main, a grassy fertile basin, lying between the Amur river and the Great Wall, and Corea and the Usuri river, and the Kin Ghan mountains. Mongolia is largely desert, poorly watered, alternately very hot and cold, and hemmed in by lofty mountain ranges, the Altai and the Kin Ghan. Tibet is a plateau, the highest in the world, walled in by the Himalaya and Huen Lun mountains. Ili, or Eastern Turkestan, another desert plateau, was completely reconquered by the Chinese in 1877, after it had lapsed into rebellion and set up an independent government. China proper, the only division of the empire having maritime boundaries, is a vast plain or series of fertile river basins lying on the slope toward the sea, and threaded by those great rivers which have their source in the central Asian plateau. Four of the five great divisions of the empire are inhabited by mixed races of people, with divers religions, and are governed rather as conquered territory. China proper alone has a homogeneous population and political system. The area of the whole empire is about 5,000,000 square miles, or one-third of Asia, or one-tenth of the land surface of the globe. China ranks third among the great landed governments of the earth, the British and Russian exceeding, the United States and Brazil falling short of the Chinese area; the five together occupying more than one-half of the known land of the world. China proper has a land frontier of 4,500 miles, an area of over 2,000,000 square miles, or half as large as Europe, and a population of 360,000,000, according to Dr. S. Wells Williams—the entire empire containing probably 450,000,000 souls, or one-third of mankind. Dr. Williams, who has spent nearly 40 years in China, and who devoted more time to the preparation of his chapter on population in his master book, "The Middle Kingdom," than to any other, bases his calculation on the government census of 1812, which was made for purely official purposes, and not for the use or eye of foreigners. It is certain that the empire is very far from being overpopulated, there being immense fertile districts in Manchuria and Mongolia very scantily inhabited; while Ili, Tibet, and the abandoned flats of the Hoang ho (or Whang ho), or Yellow river, at present sustain a mere fraction of the population that under the pressure of necessity, or the blessing of a better government, they could sustain. Agriculture is in but a few places carried to its extreme possibilities, and the real cause of famine, as in most old countries, is the lack of means of transportation. The division of China proper into 18 provinces dates from the fourteenth century, the nineteenth province having been added by the present dynasty. They are subdivided into 182 prefectures, and 1,279 districts. Those best known to foreigners are the maritime provinces, containing the treaty ports with a population estimated at 4,990,000, open to the trade and residence of aliens, of whom there were, in 1878, 3,814. The coast provinces are, Shin-king, Chi-li, Shan-tung, Kiang-su, Che kiang, Fo-kien, Kwang-tung. The frontier provinces are Kwang-si and Yun-nan, adjoining Annam and Burmah; Se-chuen and Kansu, adjoining Tibet; Shen-se and Shan-se, adjoining Mongolia; Ho-nan, Ngan-wi, Kiang-si, Hunan, Kwei-chow and Hu-pe, are the interior provinces. Shin-king, or the imperial province, was formerly a part of Manchuria, but has been incorporated with China proper during the present dynasty, making the actual number 19. The metropolitan province is Chi-li, in the extreme north, in which, very inconveniently situated, is the King or capital, Peking; the ancient capital having been Nanking.


—The political system of China is the most perfect example in history of the idea of the family expanded into that of the nation. Its vast imperialism is but the perfected evolution of the parental and final relations. The popular term for the nation or commonwealth is the hundred families. Before the dawn of history, the Chinese ideal and fact of government was that of a father ruling his children, and in this, perhaps, the forty-sixth century of their existence, the primal idea, scarcely modified in its essence, binds together the administrative system under which one-fourth of the human race dwell. This is not the production of conquest, but is due to the unfolding of the original genius of the people. Neither foreign wars, nor internal commotions often vast in form and long abiding in time, nor their repeated subjugation by conquerors from the north, alien in blood, language and religion, nor the immense local diversity of the tribes and regions comprised in this colossal country, have more than temporarily affected this nationality. Filial piety—the obedience of the child to the parent, and the reverence of the young to the aged—is the corner-stone of China's unique civilization. After forty-five centuries of existence, the Chinese people are to-day the living witness to the truth wrapped up in the fifth commandment given by Jehovah (Chinese Shang-ti) on Mount Sinai, to the Hebrews: "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." While all the other political systems of antiquity have crumbled and passed away leaving only their ruins, the land of filial piety is inherited to-day by a nation whose social structure is more firmly settled than that of any other on earth. If Egypt gave us architecture and agriculture, the Phœnicians letters, the Hebrews religion, the Greeks beauty, the Romans jurisprudence, the Germanic nations personal liberty, China brings to the sum of truth possessed by the race, the demonstrated power of filial reverence to preserve the life of nations. If political science be based on fact, and not merely on theory, and if longevity be the quest of nations as of individuals, then China has this supreme lesson, in addition to many others, to teach the younger nations of the west. "The peculiar character of the Chinese—for they have a character which is one and distinct—is not to be accounted for by their residence in great plains, for half their empire is mountainous. Neither is it to be ascribed to their rice diet, as rice is a luxury in which few of the northern population are able to indulge. Still less is it to be referred to the influence of climate, for they spread over a broad belt in their own country, emigrate in all directions and flourish in every zone. It is not even explained by the unity and persistency of an original type, for, in their earlier career, they absorbed and assimilated several other races, while history shows that at different epochs their own character has undergone remarkable changes. The true secret of this phenomenon is the presence of an agency which, under our own eyes, has shown itself sufficiently powerful to transform the turbulent nomadic Manchu into the most Chinese of the inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom. The general name for that agency, which includes a thousand elements, is education. It is education that has imparted a uniform stamp to the Chinese, under every variety of physical condition." (W. A. P. Martin, "The Chinese.") Yet this term "education" does not suggest in China what it does in Christendom of this century. With us it means the training of all the faculties of mind and body, the discipline of every one of man's powers, to the end that all nature may be subordinate to man's needs, and new truths be continually won as man progresses. In China, education looks entirely to the past. It is a combination of the purely literary and scholastic training like that of mediæval Europe, with the pupilage of the child still under parental rule. The family idea rules even in the schools, and subordination and filial obedience are the principles which form the core of Chinese education. Because of this very idea of the family dominating that of state and empire, there is seen in China a vast interplay of despotism and liberty—the absolute rule of the father or emperor, and the easy freedom within limits of his children the people. What the Americans are in Christendom, the Chinese are in extra-Caucasian humanity—the freest people in Asia. Since the political genius and concrete system of China are unique, original, the oldest in the world, absolutely independent of foreign influence, we shall best expose them by a brief outline of the history of the Chinese people.


—The purely mythical period of their history, which even the native critics reject, comprises a period of 2,267,000 years before the birth of Confucius in B. C. 551. The legendary portion, which can not, except in its outlines, bear the rigid requirements of modern historical criticism, begins about 2852 B. C. Passing over this, we reach the semi-historical period in the reign of Wu (B. C. 1122), of the Chow dynasty (1122-255 B. C.). The opinions of most modern critics are now gravitating toward the year 781 B. C. as the beginning of trustworthy Chinese history.


—The early legends of the Chinese are perhaps no more vitiated by fable than are those of most ancient peoples. In the gray dawn of their history we find a people settled within the loop of the Hoang Ho, in what is now the modern province of Shen-se, dwelling as one family ruled by a father or patriarch. Within a few generations, the increasing number of immigrants was divided into tribes and classes, to each of which a name was given, the wang or king being still the father of all the people. Agriculture was the chief occupation, but arts and trades began to be developed among them—the rudiments of that vast subdivision of labor seen in the China of to-day, with its guilds and trades-unions of hoary age. It is now nearly certain, however, that many of the inventions ascribed to them or their leaders originated farther west, and before their departure from the land whence they came. Linguistic science, aided by researches in other domains of thought, is gradually bridging the gulf between the Chinese and Euphratean nations, one of the most brilliant recent discoveries being the identification of the primitive forms of the Chinese characters with the Accadian hieroglyphs from which the cuneiform writing of Assyria was derived, and the agreement in the ancient pronunciation of them. M. de Lacouperie, who makes this claim, also asserts that the enigmatical Yh-king, a system of mystic characters whose real meaning had been forgotten before the age of Confucius, is really a collection of syllabaries and lists of words similar to those with which the clay tablets of the library at Ninevah have made us familiar. (See Early History of Chinese Civilization, and Le Yh-King et les Origines asiatiques occidentales de la Civilization Chinoise; by M. Terrier de Lacouperie.) From their first origins, the Chinese type of intellect is easily perceived. Unlike the dreamy, metaphysical Hindus "who think away matter and hate the physical toil which develops its uses," we find at once "a swarm of plodding utilitarians, sternly adherent to things actual and positive; who insist that the world is the plainest of facts and needs no explanation; that it is purely a working world, wherein a seventh day rest would be an impertinence,—a world where every atom is intensely real and valuable; where domestic and social uses stand for poetry metaphysics and religion." (Johnson's Oriental Religions—China.) In India—the other great reservoir of mankind—we find brain, pure thought; in China, muscle, pure labor. The type of the Hindu intellect is cerebral, that of the Chinese is muscular; in the cosmogeny of the former, the world issues from mystic thought, in that of the latter, the earth is already existent and self-shaping, the first man having hammer and chisel in his hand, himself and tools being a part of it. In India the type of architecture is the bubble, symbol of unreality; in China, it is the pagoda, pile on pile of tents or dwellings. Contrasting the Chinese physical mould—the flattened profile, the uninspired air, the plump, muscular and enduring physique, with the clear bright eye and rapid graceful motion of the Arab; with the dreamy languor yet exquisite nervous susceptibility of the Aryan Hindu; with the prominent features, the collected self-conscious and expectant bearing of the Teuton or the Greek; and we easily discover the persistent mental type corresponding to it, so lymphatic, so incurious, so fast-bound in things as they are, and have been. The Chinese creative faculty remains within the plane of certain organic habits, failing to rise from the formalism of rules to the freedom of the ideas. The Chinese mind buries itself in its materials, but does not go beyond them. Hence the stability of the structure, without growth or development in the idea. (Johnson's China, passim.) We may add that the above philosophical analysis of the Chinese mental qualities, by a distinguished American scholar, is valid as well for the pre-Confucian era as for this sixth year of K wang-si (A. D. 1881).


—A change from simple patriarchalism in the direction of feudalism was made by Wu Wang (1122 B.C.) who allotted portions of land for the support of the now numerous sons and brothers of the sovereigns, who had gradually formed a kind of nobility of the state. Seventy-two principalities were allotted to the royal relatives, all of whom were tributary to the sovereign. Yet even in this rudimentary feudalism, there were few or no restrictions of the privileges of the people, such as were seen in mediæval Europe. The inherent viciousness of the system soon, however, developed itself; jealousies, tribal fights, internecine wars, and the mutual weakening of loyalty to the tribe-father or suzerain and his authority over the vassals, resulted. Worse than all, the tributary nations on the north called Tâtars (vassals), emboldened by the internal weakness of their conquerors, began, about 950 B. C., the inroads which continued for many centuries, necessitating the constant arming of the people, and, before the Christian era, the building of the Great Wall. Into the details of Chinese feudalism we need not enter. It lasted from 1122 to 221 B. C., a period of 900 years. The best picture of feudal China is seen in the She King or Book of Ancient Poetry, translated into English verse by Dr. James Legge, London, 1876. The sage Kung, the one being on earth whom the Chinese regard as endowed with unalloyed wisdom, and who is known to Europeans as Confucius, was born at the time of greatest feudal misrule, 551 B. C., in the petty kingdom of Lu. By this time the sovereignty of the rulers or kings of the Chow dynasty had become reduced to little more than an empty pageant. The actual functions of government had passed into the hands of a varying number of vassal dukes who ruled their respective territories with the attributes of sovereign power. Confucius was not, in any sense of the word, an original thinker, a revealer, or an inventor, but only a reverent student of antiquity, a teacher who re-presented the old traditions, and enforced them by his example. Like our own great theologian of Princeton, he doubtless boasted that "he had never invented a new idea." He was compiler, editor and annalist, but composed no doctrinal work. To his disciples we owe what is known of his life and works. "He held up for the admiration of his pupils and countrymen at large the virtuous endeavors of these wise rulers [of antiquity] and the principles upon which, under their government, the empire was ordered. The lessons which he drew from these sources and inculcated in his conversations or by his example (translated by Dr. Legge under the title of Confucian Analects), constitute the most sacred portion of the Chinese canon of philosophy and instruction." (Mayer.) Late in life he collected and arranged the substance of the ancient books and traditions, in prose and poetry, under the title of King, which form the second portion of the canon. These works, together with a meagre chronicle of the events of his native state (722-481 B. C.) constitute a body of writings which, to the Chinese, have been for a period of 2,000 years the basis of the national education, religion and government. In them, one finds the keys to the entire Chinese political and social system, in ideal and in fact; yet it must never be forgotten that Confucius added nothing new, he simply reproduced the archaic norm and ancient genius of the nation. On the other hand, it is very probable that he purposely failed to properly express what the ancients had taught concerning religion. (See Dr. Legge's Religions of China, 1880.) Though reverenced in his life, the sage was not practically successful as a reformer. Meng Tsze (372-289 B. C.), a native of the same state in which Confucius was born, is honored as "Sage Second" of China. His work was to popularize the doctrines of his predecessor. The record of his teachings and conversations with princes who sought his counsel, or with disciples who gathered round him for instruction, forms the fourth of the canonical books—the standard of the national ethics and social order. The Jesuit scholars at Peking who first Latinized the names of these two sages might have rendered familiar to western ears and minds other famous Chinese names, had they given them the same familiar terminology.


—Thirty years after the death of Mencius, was born the man, by whose genius and labors the feudal system was swept away, and a homogeneous empire, nearly conterminous with modern China, erected on its ruins. He broke with the traditions of the past, and attempted to forever destroy the power of the literati, the idolaters of letters and the opponents of progress, by ordering the destruction of all the ancient records. He built the Great Wall—the most stupendous monument of human industry on earth, by uniting in one the several walls of the various states, with great additions. He divided the vast empire into 36 provinces ruled by governors sent out from the capital, and thus created centralized monarchy. In thus securing the extinction of feudalism, China anticipated Japan by the space of 2,000 years. He combined the ancient title, Wang, (sovereign), with Ti (Divine ruler, or deity), and took the title of She Wang Ti (First Universal Emperor; or First Autocrat ruling by Divine Right.) This is the initial appearance of that shibboleth of Chinese imperialism: for to China's emperor alone can this august title be granted. All other sovereigns and rulers on earth whosoever are only Wang (king or sovereign). None can be Wang Ti, either by law, custom or fact; nor will Chinese diplomatists ever in document, official address or conversation apply this title to any king, emperor, czar, shah, mikado or president. All tributary nations receive investiture of their rulers under the title of Wang (king), or Wang kwo, Japanese, Koku O (king of a country). The ineradicable conception in the Chinese mind is, that as there is one father to a family, so there is but one ruler for the world. His ideal for the whole race of mankind is the family, hence the emperor must be the world-father. To the average Chinaman, who saw that European sovereigns were not addressed in equal terms with the Chinese emperor, the idea of the inferiority or vassalage of the latter to their Wang Ti instinctively arose. Of late years the foreign legations in Peking have insisted upon and compelled the Chinese officials to use specially-coined terms to express the titles of European sovereigns in such a manner that absolute, or at least apparent equality may be secured, and the suggestion of inferiority be eliminated. The obnoxious, vulgar word, "barbarian," has also been stricken out of official correspondence, and "foreigner" or "foreign countryman" substituted. The incurable jealousy, mutual contempt and chronic unfriendliness between the Japanese and Chinese have their roots in the fact that the former persist in applying the title Wang Ti (Japanese Kotei) to their mikado; and the term Tei Koku (land ruled by a theocratic dynasty) to their country. The proposition of the dissatisfied ministers of China to bestow the simple term Wang-kwo (Japanese Koku O, Nation-king), upon even the Japanese Sh?gun (or "Tycoon,") has been deemed a sufficient casus belli in several historic instances. In the case of the ministers of the Ming dynasty, and Hidéyoshi of Japan in 1593-7, it was the cause of the renewals of hostilities in Corea after a truce. All tributary sovereigns or their envoys on entering the imperial hall of audience, must perform the kow-tow (nine prostrations). The refusal of foreign ambassadors to submit to this humiliation, has been the cause of their non-admission to the presence of the emperor. In these audiences the tribute-bearers and mandarins of the empire who are privileged to enter the imperial presence, face the "Son of Heaven," whose throne fronts toward the south The following extract from a letter of the king of Corea, addressed to the Chinese emperor, through the board of rites, Nov. 20, 1801, is a characteristic specimen of the language used on such occasions: "Turned toward the north, I keep my eyes fixed upon the cloud-enveloped heaven, which I hope will be favorable to him who is below." In this phrase we have suggested the throne facing the south, the prostrate suppliant and the "heavens covered with clouds," which signifies his majesty's severity or wrath, his pleasure being expressed as "a gentle rain." The symbol of all that pertains to the emperor is the dragon, or chief of the divinely constituted beings, possessed of all powers of destruction and blessing. Hence the representations of this creature are embroidered on the imperial dresses, banners and insignia, and are found on all that pertains to the emperor. His throne is called "the dragon throne," his face "the dragon countenance," and "the ruffling of the dragon's scales" the disturbance of his feelings. The imperial color is yellow, from the legend of the yellow dragon that rose out of the river Loh and presented the elements of writing to Fuh-hi, the mythical founder of the Chinese polity. Further details concerning the Son of Heaven will be given below. We have but shown the substance of those popular ideas which underlie and support the throne. Enlightened Chinese probably do not now mean by Wang-ti more than "autocrat," or "sovereign;" foreign successes with improved cannon having greatly modified the old superstition.


—The ancient records edited by Confucius and destroyed by She Wang Ti, were recovered from memory and written fragments, after the death of the tyrant, and the doctrines of the sage being always acceptable to the possessors of the throne, the sovereigns of the Han dynasty began to enforce the Confucian political ethics. Henceforth, though the history of China was varied by internal convulsions, and inroads of barbarians and periods of anarchy, though a new dynasty occupied the throne every second or third century, though Tâtar, Mongol and Manchiu hordes rolled out of the north upon the fertile plains of China, to conquer and then to be quietly absorbed, the Chinese never changed but rather consolidated their political system, steadily developing the idea of the family into that of universal empire. Under the overmastering genius of Confucius, whose principles are now practiced by 500,000,000 people in China, Corea, Japan and Indo-China, the Middle Kingdom was carried to a grade of civilization far beyond that of other nations of eastern Asia, and during mediæval Europe, it was the most highly civilized country on earth. While the nations of Europe awoke to renascence and second morning, and have gone on progressing, China has remained stationary; for there is no germ of progress in the Confucian ethics. In eliminating the principle of popular religion, and relegating divine worship to the emperor alone, Confucius cut the tap-root of national progress. The poverty of their spoken language and its difficulty of acquisition by foreigners the multiplicity of their ideographic writing in which the monosyllables of their national infancy have been petrified; their geographical isolation, added to the fact that for fifteen centuries their chief intercourse was with rude barbarians and pupil nations from whom no improvement could be gained, nor even comparison made except to show their vast superiority and flatter their vanity, have kept the Chinese satisfied with their excellence in civil polity, arts and literature. It is not possible at once for the nation, so long a teacher, to become the pupil. Whether in the presence of modern civilization, and its forces of war, science and religion, or the genial influences of mutual comity, the ancient system can stand, remains to be seen.


—The Confucian ethics, the basis and norm of all government in the family and nation, are summed up in the doctrine of the Five Relations. The relation being stated, the correlative duty arises at once. These are: 1, between sovereign and subject; 2, between father and son; 3, between elder and younger brother; 4, between husband and wife; 5, between friend and friend. Confucius might have made his system of ethics a religion, by adding a sixth, or supreme relation—between God and man. He declined to do so, thus leaving his people without any aspiration toward the Infinite. By setting before them a finite goal, he sapped the principle of progress. With obedience to the emperor, the supreme duty of the individual is fulfilled. Hence, if the emperor fails to do his duty, if the public works are neglected, if decay and ruin overtake the national edifices and enterprises, if stagnation and paralysis seize upon the national policy and government, the individual cares not, the subject takes no concern, since his duty is fulfilled in obedience to the emperor who is the representative of God and destiny. "Of all crimes the greatest is rebellion, but if the rebellion succeeds, it is evident that heaven has willed it so." Success is the manifest will of God. "Thus the first duty of a citizen is absolute fidelity to his sovereign, and at the same time an immediate and absolute acknowledgment of whatever may be an accomplished fact." (Hübner.) The people are the children of the emperor, and he is the Son of Heaven. He alone mediates between his subjects or children, and his Father, Heaven. In the temple of Heaven in Peking, the emperor offers an annual sacrifice with prayers on the lofty stone altar, on behalf of the nation; the master of all the earth thus worshiping the Master of Heaven, vicariously, for all his people. Like the pagan father, he holds the power of life and death over his household. His word is absolute. From this point of view China is a despotism. But the duties of the emperor and his subjects are reciprocal. Peace in the empire is the result of his fatherly rule. Rebellion, as he himself acknowledges, arises from his lack of ability or wisdom. Mencius, the popularizer of Confucius, taught the inherent right of rebellion against an unjust prince. This right has been often exercised by the people; yet, with rare exceptions does rebellion pass beyond a demand for justice. As in a family children are punished for wrong doing, but rewarded for being good, so exemplary filial piety, loyalty, valor, and minute, even trivial, domestic virtues are rewarded by the government. Official cognizance is often taken of incidents that in western countries belong to the privacy of the family. To old people on their birthday, to children for their filial piety, to widows for not re-marrying, etc., etc., presents of rolls of silk, money and other desirable articles are made by the authorities. In the case of illustrious services rendered to the nation, or of public individuals deserving of honor, there are eight grounds of distinction or privilege, as follows: 1, Imperial connection; 2, Long service; 3, Meritorious service; 4, Wisdom and virtue; 5, Ability; 6, Zeal on behalf of the state; 7, Exalted official rank; 8, Descent from privileged ancestors. It will be seen from the above order, which is part of the statute law of the existing dynasty, that mere rank or descent counts for very little, while long, faithful or brilliant services are the criteria of distinction. There is no permanent feudal or hereditary rank in China, no primogeniture, and few if any of those restrictions of birth or class which hinder the rise of commoners to lofty rank, office and station. The only hereditary nobility is that enjoyed by the descendants of Confucius. By a gradual process even the blood relatives of the emperor take their places among the people; for with every generation they descend one degree. The descendants of a prince of the blood will in the sixth generation be common people. The five degrees of feudal rank, instituted in the dawn of Chinese history, once the symbols of actual land and power, but existing only in name in modern times, may be translated "Duke," "Marquis," "Earl," "Viscount" and "Baron." After their reduction to the ranks of the common people, the emperor's relatives form one of the numerous clans of the nation, called the imperial clan, and are governed by a special board. In the succession to the throne, the emperor chooses an heir from among the offspring of his three wives. Of these wives one is the wang-hoi, or empress, and two rank as queens. The large number of concubines, female servants, and ladies in waiting form an establishment in which many eunuchs are required, and a soil in which palace intrigues are ever ready to spring, and from which a counteracting influence to reformatory ideas continually proceeds. The eunuch system is an exotic from Persia. The "solitary" or "peerless" man, as the emperor is styled, lives with his harem in the Forbidden City, or group of yellow-tiled buildings surrounded by a wall, in the very heart of Peking. He rarely appears in public, and then he is guarded by a large military force. The now ruling Tsing dynasty trace their ancestry to the Manchiu chieftain Chao Tsu Yuan, the scat of the original tribe being in the valley of the Hurka, a tributary of the Sungari river. Gradually increasing in land, in men and in horses, during the sixteenth century they mustered mighty hordes of cavalry, and began to raid the Chinese province of Lia Tong (now Shing King). Invited by a Chinese general to assist in deposing a usurper, they entered China proper in 1636 and defeated the rebels, but declined to go out again. Easily finding a pretext, they deposed the Ming dynasty and set their own ruler Shun Chi on the dragon throne in 1644. The Manchius then began the conquest of China in earnest, but only after much bloodshed succeeded. The badge of loyalty to the new régime was a shaven scalp, with the hair braided into a queue—the "pigtail," to which the Chinaman now after three centuries of custom clings as a symbol of nationality. Gradually the native opposition to the Manchiu foreigners became weaker, and the Chinese quietly adopted the "pigtail" and absorbed their conquerors. The fierce Manchiu became a pupil of Chinese civilization. The sciences of Europe were patronized at Peking; Tibet was added to the empire; Nipal was invaded, and western Formosa conquered; while foreign commerce, diplomatic relations and Christian missions entered upon their ever-increasing career of influence in China. On the 12th of January, 1873, Tung Chi, the eighth Manchiu occupant of the dragon throne and the last of the direct line, died of small pox, and "became a guest in heaven." Kwang Si ("Succession of Glory"), the present ruler, now in his eleventh year, and a cousin of Tung Chi, became emperor, having been so nominated in the deceased emperor's will. During his minority, the government is carried on by the empress-dowager, the empress-mother, and prince Kung, uncle of the late emperor, and the ablest of all the imperial officers. Thus the succession to the throne has passed out of the direct line—a fact which may yet be made the pretext for revolution or intrigue in the future. One of the dowagers regent, mother of the late emperor Tung Chi, died at Peking, April 11, 1881, an event which most probably throws more power and influence into the hands of the progressive prince Kung. She was the ruling spirit of the court of Peking, and serious intrigues may follow her demise.


—In its external form, the government is a bureaucracy. The emperor is assisted by the Nai-Ko, or supreme or privy council, consisting of nine Manchiu and seven Chinese officers, who prepare opinions for the emperor's judgment. The general council, or Kiun-Chi Chu, is composed of the heads of the six boards, and tribunals, with various high personages, princes and commissioners. It has less power and influence than the privy council, its functions being mainly distributive. It issues the imperial edicts, presides over the civil service examinations, directs various national procedures, decides upon and prepares the matter for the Peking Gazette, or "government journal," and takes cognizance of affairs in the empire outside of China proper. There are five imperial courts, presided over by high functionaries who are usually at the same time connected with one or other of the six boards. These courts are, of judicature, religious ceremonial, imperial stables, banqueting, and entertainment. The greater portion of the actual work of administration is carried on by the six boards. These are, of civil office, revenue, ceremonies, war, punishment, and public works. At the head of each board are two presidents, four vice-presidents, and three lower grades of officers, supplemented by a large staff of clerks. Nearly all the higher grades of office are filled by an equal number of Manchius and native Chinese. Not only is a check upon arbitrary power sought to be secured by having two heads to each department, but no one board is entirely independent of the others. A real and potent element of popular representation is found in the college of censors, which exercises a supervisory and judicial control over all the boards and officials. The censors scrutinize all acts of the courts, boards and councils, form themselves into investigating committees, inquire into and object to measures which they deem unlawful or injurious, and freely accord audience to complainants of every class. The college also directs the metropolitan police, at Peking, and is a supreme court of appeals, in that it reviews criminal cases referred from the provinces. Even the emperor is not freed from the censorate, but is occasionally rebuked in firm but respectful language, when he has violated the spirit of China's constitution. Irresponsible government is not found in China. From the most ancient times, the drum of justice has hung at the palace gate opposite the throne, and any subject has the right to memorialize the sovereign or prefer requests. Such appeals are received and forwarded by the court of request. The eight causes for removal from public employ are. 1, a grasping disposition; 2, cruelty; 3, indolence and inactivity; 4, inattention to duty; 5, age, 6, sickness; 7, indecorous behavior; 8, incapacity. The members of the Han Lin Yuan (Forest of Pencils), or imperial academy, are a body of civil functionaries forming an integral part of the machinery of state, exercising considerable influence upon the government, and recruiting from their number many of the higher offices. The memorial of an imperial academician laid before the throne will often outweigh in influence that of a provincial officer higher in rank. The Peking Gazette, before alluded to, is, in one sense, the organ of the government for disseminating official intelligence throughout the empire, and is an expression of the democratic element in the Chinese political system. It is named King Pao (Metropolitan Reporter). When reprinted in the distant provinces, it is often called King Chao (Transcripts from the Capital). It is issued at an early hour daily in Peking at several establishments. This "newspaper" is stitched with paper cord and covered with the imperial yellow. The price of the full edition is about six dollars a year. It is printed with movable wooden types on bamboo paper, on one side of the sheet; its length is 9 inches by 3½ inches wide, and it contains from 6 to 20 or more leaves, according to the documents issued. The offices of publication are not limited, but each one issues its own cover. The date and table of contents occupy the first page, then follow the names of persons admitted to an audience, lists of officers reporting for duty or on leave of absence, records of memorials, reports, sentences of criminals in the capital, lists of official changes, the movements of imperial princes, and of the emperor, the fall of rain and show in Peking, and various other matters. The Peking Gazette has, properly speaking, no editor, no contributors, contains no remarks on public acts, and inserts no advertisements or news articles of any kind. It is not in any sense a review, magazine or journal, according to the western use of these words. It is simply a transcript, by government permission, of such public documents as the supreme council allows to be placarded for public use. Couriers carry copies of these public documents to all the provincial capitals, but it 18 by means of the Peking Gazette that all classes of people are enabled, by clubbing together, subscribing or borrowing, to read the government news. The supervision of the Gazette rests with a sub-committee of officials connected with the supreme council. Occasionally documents intended to be kept secret are surreptitiously published. Some of the memorials and remonstrances which are allowed to be published show a surprising bluntness of criticism and boldness of reform. On the other hand, nothing concerning any of the details of the opium war of 1839-42 was mentioned. The first instance in recent times in which the name and title of a foreign functionary were properly mentioned was in July, 1859, when the American minister Hwa-joh-han (Ward John, or John E. Ward) was reported as having come to Peking. The Gazette was established probably at the beginning of the present dynasty. It is now translated into English, and reprinted by the North China Herald at Shanghai. Many thousands of copies are read all over China, furnishing information such as no other Asiatic government allows to its subjects.


—Each of the 19 provinces of China proper is divided into fu (prefecture or department) embracing a population of about 2,000,000 souls. The fu is subdivided into chu (districts), and further into hien (sub-district). The larger provinces are ruled by a viceroy. Of the smaller provinces a viceroy may rule over two. Each province has a governor, (Tao-tai, chief, or intendant of circuit) prefects, treasurers, judges, tax-collectors, and a large number of officials, whose duties are multiform. The salary of the viceroys or governors general varies, but is not less than $40,000; that of a Tao-tai or governor is $5,175; that of a prefect, $3,425; that of a district magistrate, $1,375 per annum. To the salaries there are no legal perquisites, but large additions are often made to them by bribery and exactions of various kinds. The three-year limit to office, while acting beneficially to popular liberty, tends to make the mandarin improve all his opportunities of levying "squeezes" upon the people. The chief sources of revenue are from taxes on land, customs and transit duties, government monopolies, licenses, stamp duties, and various forms of taxation on salt, mining, fisheries and manufactures. There is no "national debt." In grave emergencies, extraordinary levies are made on rich merchants throughout the empire to provide funds. Each province collects its own taxes and pays its own expenses. A certain proportion of the provincial revenues go to Peking to support the central government, which receives its quota partly in grain and partly in money. The total revenue of the empire from taxation is over $200,000,000, of which $55,000,000 go to Peking, and $145,000,000 are kept in the provinces. Exact figures can not as yet be obtained by foreigners. In addition to the numerous local officials, imperial commissioners, who are usually selected from the Han Lin academy, are sent out from Peking to act as censors and spies. The chief executive officers of each province, the governor, chief military mandarin, chief treasurer and judge form a local council who advise with and limit the power of the viceroy. Each province has its own army and navy, and must defend its own borders, and keep the peace within its own area. By official espionage from above, and below, and on either side, by registration of all important facts, by the transmission of every detail to the central bureaus, by reports expected from all respecting their doings and misdoings, the entire administration of affairs in the provinces and capital becomes known, in theory, to the supreme head of the nation. In actuality, no emperor, however able, can control so colossal a bureaucracy, which at times is corrupt to the core.


—The term applied by foreigners to Chinese kuan, or officials, is "mandarin"—a word unknown to most Chinese. It is derived, probably, from the Sanskrit mantrin, counselor; and more directly from the Portuguese mandar, to command. The badge of official rank, in distinction from the nobility of birth, is a peacock feather in the hat, which varies according to services rendered. Both classes of military and civil mandarins are divided into nine grades, each grade having two classes. This division dates from 220 A. D. Each of the nine grades is marked by a "button" toggle, tassel, or knob, worn on the crown of the cap, and in vogue since 1730 A. D. These simple but sufficient substitutes for shoulder-straps, stars, garters, robes or breast decorations are in their order, in color, or material, ruby, red coral, sapphire, turquoise, crystal, white coral, plain gold, wrought gold, chased silver. The official robes are likewise embroidered with symbolic designs, those of the military differing from those of the civil mandarins. This personal dignity of rank adheres to the possessor, whether in or out of office. The number of officials within the nine grades is stated at 40,000, the majority being military. About one-fourth are Manchiu. The number of civil mandarins paid by the government is stated at 10,000. The administration of the provinces outside of China proper is intrusted to a separate department called the Li-fan-yuen, and by foreigners, the "Colonial Office." The foreign relations of China were formerly considered of so little importance that they were put in charge of a sub-bureau of a department. Since 1858 the Tsung-li Yamen (Board of Control, or Office for Foreign Affairs) has been established, and foreign envoys now communicate directly with the Tsungli Yamen.


—In the local forms of administration there is more or less imitation of the imperial rule, with accountability in both directions, to the higher magistracy and to the people. In the court the mandarin is judge, jury and bar, but the ordinary procedure is without fee, open alike to rich and poor, with the right of protest or appeal to the higher judicatory. The ten heinous offenses known to Chinese law, are in their order, as follows: 1, Rebellion; 2, Conspiracy against the sovereign's person; 3, Treason, or Revolt; 4, Parricide, and similar crimes; 5, Inhumanity, comprising willful murder, mutilation for nefarious purposes, etc; 6, Sacrilege; 7, Unfilial conduct; 8, Discord; 9, Insubordination; 10, Incest. Though cruelty, bribery and official corruption of all kinds do undoubtedly prevail all over China, yet the actual freedom of the people is superior to that of the masses in ancient Rome, or in India or Russia. The imperial officers are in a measure detached from local influences by the rule that no man shall hold office in the province of which he is a native, and by the additional rule—as old as the fifth century of our era—that their term of holding office is limited to three years. The influence of the censors at Peking, who do not spare even the emperor, acts also as a powerful factor of popular freedom. Furthermore, the continuous and rapid republication in the provinces of the Peking Gazette, containing the criticisms and memorials of the censors at the capital and complainants in the provinces, keeps public affairs before the eye of an intelligent and thinking people. The perpetually exercised right of pasting up placards, tracts and pasquinades on walls and public places exerts a powerful restraining influence on the local mandarins. If justice is often bought and sold at the yamen, the right of influencing the public by the written appeal flourishes. Distinct elements of popular freedom are also found in the organization of the clans, in the town and district councils, in the trade guilds, the special clubs, and, in an extreme form, in the secret societies. These last are always large and numerous, and are usually organized with designs inimical to the reigning dynasty, but not to the nation. One of the most powerful of these was the "queue-cutting" band, who secretly cut off the "pigtails" of people and officials, with the object in view of insulting the Manchiu dynasty, by mutilating their distinctive badge of loyalty.


—The foundation of the entire commonwealth is found in the clans, of which there are about 450 in the empire. The designs of their organization are, defense against the centralized bureaucracy in Peking, mutual aid and protection in business, and the common transactions of life, and for festive enjoyment and the worship of the spirits of their ancestors. The clan organization is so complete that while it may secure justice to the innocent, it may also thwart the design of the magistrate, and even of justice. In some parts of the country bitter and often bloody quarrels, inherited from many generations past, are kept up. The chiefs of the clan at Peking are able by their power to prevent the punishment of murder and violence committed by members of it in the provinces. The feuds of these hostile clans often render property and travel in certain sections of the country insecure for months at a time. Marriage with another of the same clan is forbidden. The proper degree of consanguinity is thus preserved among the people, and very few towns are inhabited entirely by men of one clan. These clan divisions, however, are not kept up by emigrants abroad. Another element of popular freedom, against which the power of the local mandarin is vain, is trades-unionism. Often beneficent in their operations, these leagues are equally oppressive and tyrannical. Useful as a check to over-government, they are an injury to free industry, and offer a fertile field to intrigue, revenge and depravity.


—More truly beneficial are the town and district councils of elders, which contain real elements of representative government; they exercise local powers with which the imperial magistrates rarely dare to interfere. The administration of villages and city wards, police arrangements, and taxation, are within their control. The elders or officers are salaried, and usually hold their office during good behavior. The council consists, as a rule, of the elders of 50 or 100 villages or city wards, having a central hall and assistants for clerical labor. In the cities the wards or gates are closed at night, and guarded by a watchman, who also strikes the hours. By this minute subdivision of authority, disturbances are easily localized and offenders found out. Not only have foreign residents repeatedly experienced the potency of these popular forms of power and opinion, but the apparent apathy and unwillingness of the Peking government to carry out a promised policy becomes intelligible. In most cases the central authority is utterly unable to override the local sentiment of the democracy. Hence the vacillations and radical difference of opinions among foreign writers and even long residents in China. "The mandarins and government are all; there are no such ideas as 'rights' or 'liberty' in the Chinese mind; the administration is a despotism in theory and in fact," says one. "China has no government worthy of the name; the mob is everything," says another. The truth seems to be, that for centuries government in China has rested in equilibrium between democracy and bureaucracy, between the throne and the people. The symbols of government and justice in western lands are the sword, and the scales held by the blindfolded goddess. The more prosaic and correct emblem for China might be found in the tembimbo or carrying-pole of the native laborer, whereon all burdens are distributed and balanced by being divided into two equal parts, though the double weight falls on one shoulder. The real reason why western students of the Chinese political system are often puzzled to understand it, seems to arise from a false analysis of Chinese society. "The root-idea of the Chinese state is that mutuality of rights and interests between prince and people, as the two terms of one divine order, neither of which can fail of its part, without defeating the whole. The primitive simplicity of this recognition of justice has not unfolded into those practical mediations which political experience has elsewhere devised for correcting the relations between ruler and ruled, and which have ultimately identified the two in pure self-government by the people." (Johnson's China.) In China we miss the middle term of individuality, which in western forms of government is so powerful a factor. "Unity in the ruling force, multiplicity in the ruled," is the simple antithesis of the Chinese political system. The unit of society is not the individual but the family, "the hundred families" being the collective term for the whole nation. The emperor can not with safety violate ancient custom, or substitute his selfish interest for the public good. On the other hand, among the people, there is an utter absence of caste, of heredity, and of slavery. The foreign term, "coolie," (Hindoo kuli), is a misnomer imported by the East India company's people to China, and thence adopted into the English language. There are millions of laborers in China, but not one native of the "coolie" caste in the whole empire. No hereditary rank, honors or titles are known in the empire except in the family of Confucius. Hereditary bondage is unknown, and "involuntary servitude" is confined to prisoners of war, criminals, and persons sold by their parents or for debt. The worst features of "family slavery" are found only in southern China. While thus "liberty" in the radical sense of license to do as one pleases is absent from the Chinese people; while the individual possesses only a portion of the idea and fact of liberty in its Anglo-Saxon sense; it must be admitted that the Chinese commonwealth is a commonwealth of freedom, such as no nation in Asia or ancient Europe has ever shown.


—Proofs of the essential autonomy and representative powers of the people are seen by an examination of the Chinese codes of law, and the binary system of education and civil service, the one founded upon the other. Theoretically, the laws of China may be called the constitution of the empire. The penal code, called "The Great Pure [dynasty] Statutes and Decrees," embodies the old national ideas and such practical institutions as experience has proved best suited to the people. It is revised by the imperial counselors every few years—a process which has brought it into a compact and simple form. It was translated into English by Sir George Staunton, and published in 1810. Its seven principal divisions treat of: 1, General Laws; 2, Civil Laws; 3, Fiscal, including laws relating to land and marriage, public property, customs, private property, sales and markets; 4, Ritual; 5, Military; 6, Criminal, divided under the heads of robbery, homicide, quarreling, indictments and information, bribery, fraud, incest, arrest, imprisonment, trial and punishment; 7, Public Works. (For a brief digest of the code, see Johnson's China, pp. 355-365.) Excellent as is the present penal code, which superseded the severer one of the Ming dynasty, yet, as is not denied by the most careful witnesses, the imperial officers often override its provisions with their edicts, reviving obsolete portions, or arbitrarily emphasizing others. Added to the derangements caused by extra territoriality, by opium, by foreign influences and the popular dislike to the Manchiu rule, the superstitious reverence, almost amounting to idolatry, of the mandarins for the ancient texts, tends constantly to great cruelty in the administration of justice. Barbarous penalties are described in the Shu-king and Chiu-li classics, which a certain conscientiousness in the mandarin often compels him, in spite of revised codes, to put in execution. This state of mind is easily understood in Christendom, when one sees how the mere phraseology of the Old Testament profoundly influences devout persons otherwise Christian and humane. Chinese puritanism often transforms the mandarin into a cruel tyrant and debases popular conscience and conduct. Hence, in actuality, the Chinese prisons are horrible gaols, where thousands of prisoners annually rot out their lives. Torture is freely used to obtain confession, and the victims of the cudgel and of incarceration outnumber those of the ever-busy swordsman. Prisoners are kept in cages like beasts, tortured unspeakably by flogging with ropes or beating with bamboo at the word of the mandarin. The five punishments as at present classified are: 1, Bambooing; 2, Bastinadoing; 3, Banishment; 4, Transportation for Life; 5, Death. The first two punishments comprise five degrees of severity; the second, five degrees of duration; the fourth, three degrees of distance; while in the fifth are two degrees, strangling and decapitation. The ancient forms of revolting punishment under the ancient dynasties of Chow and Han, such as branding on the forehead, cutting off the nose, maiming, castration and death by horrible and studied forms of cruelty, have long since been abolished. Public sentiment has also largely outgrown parental rights over life and liberty as well as slave-penalties, except in a few less civilized provinces, family "slavery," so-called, being confined to the southern part of the empire. Nominally the emperor must sign every death-warrant; practically the high mandarin holds and exercises this power.


—After filial piety, education is the great conserving force of Chinese society. The national culture is a process of evolution whose germs are in the town and village schools, and expand into detailed adaptations to public wants through a graded system of competitive examinations; the ultimate point being the supply of civil and administrative force. This is the motive power of the process. "The government fosters education only in holding out the promise of office to all who are qualified by the test of examination." From the moment the boy enters school the goal of official promotion is before him. "The general and the prime-minister are not born in office," is the familiar line in every schoolboy's mouth, who sees the possible marshal's baton in his knapsack, or the ruby button adorning his cap. Yet the education of the Chinese child can not be said to begin as in Christendom in early childhood. The language of the fireside is not that of the books, nor are nurses and mothers trained in letters. At the age of seven or eight, a lucky day is chosen from the almanac, and the lad enters school, bowing first to the image of the Sage, and then to the living teacher. For several years the whole work of the pupil consists in the use of memory and the ink-brush. He commits the entire contents of the canonical books, so as to know the sound and form of the characters, without reading or understanding a sentence of them, or their dead language. This dead lift of memory is unalleviated by the exercise of any other faculty. It is like an American boy learning to repeat the whole of the Iliad, without knowing where Ilios, or who Hector, was, or the meaning of one line of the epic. This painful system of rote has replaced the ancient Socratic method of questions and answers which was practiced by Confucius and Mencius. The second stage of the undergraduate's work is the translation of the textbooks into the living language of to-day, with lessons in composition. The third stage is belles-lettres and the composition of essays. These three periods occupy, in all, from 10 to 20 years. It is next to impossible to master the written language, according to the ordinary Chinese scholar's standard, in less than 10 years, while many take 30 to do it in. The memory, literary judgment and taste are profoundly exercised, and a thorough grasp of the vernacular is obtained, but the range of ideas is very narrow. Elegant composition, or the art of making literary mosaics by deftly joining together the ideas and expressions of the sages and classic writers, is constantly practiced. Invention of new ideas is neither attempted nor desired. A high literary polish is sought and attained as an end in itself, not a means only. The power of the writings of the sages over the literati even of this century springs from the vigorous and chaste style in which their thoughts are clothed, as well as from their wisdom. The three grades of Chinese schools are primary, middle and classical. In the first, memoriter recitation and imitative chirography; in the second, the exposition of the canonical books; in the third, the composition of essays, are the leading exercises respectively. Of national institutions of learning there are none, except one or two in the capital. Connected with government departments, however, there are various special training schools. Education is left to private enterprise and public charity, the government gathering the choicest fruits and encouraging production by suitable rewards. Enlightened magistrates and wealthy gentlemen are often very liberal in establishing or assisting schools. In addition to official influence, the emperor, by bestowing honors upon munificent patrons, secures vast advantage to popular education without the expenditure of a tael from the treasury. Yet after all, popular education does not penetrate to the lower strata. Thousands of Chinese can use the characters necessary to their business or special pursuit, and even keep accounts and write letters, who yet are unable to read a single sentence in a book. Dr. W. A. P. Martin says in his book just published, "The Chinese," from which we have drawn some of our facts: "Of those who can read understandingly, the proportion is greater in towns than in rural districts. But striking an average, it does not, according to my observation, exceed 1 in 20 for the male sex and 1 in 10,000 for the female—rather a humiliating exhibit for a country which has maintained for centuries such a magnificent institution as the Han Lin academy. The system of competitive examinations for appointment to civil service actually dates back to a period anterior to the rise of literature. They assumed the form in which we now find them between the seventh and twelfth centuries. Two resident examiners in each district keep a list of all competing students. In each province is one superintendent of instruction who must, within his three-years term of office, visit every district, hold an examination, and confer the first degree upon a certain percentage of candidates. For the conferring of the second degree, two imperial commissioners, usually Han Lin academicians, are sent out from the capital. The regular degrees which faintly suggest those of our B. A., M. A., and LL. D., are: 1, Sin-Tsai (Budding Talent); 2, Chin-jin (Man Deserving Promotion); 3, Tsin-shi (Able to fill Office). The highest grade in the literary knighthood is to receive membership into the Han Lin Yuan, or "Forest of Pencils." These degrees are purely the gift of the state, not of any educational institution. Only about 1 per cent. of contestants for the first degree pass the ordeal. The trial for the second degree in the provincial capital requires a strain of nearly nine days of continual exertion. A few of the weak and aged are found dead in their cells at this time, unable to endure the rigors of composing in prose and verse, and answering the questions in Chinese history, philosophy, criticism and archæology. Of the competitors, 1 per cent. Is again chosen, but before office is bestowed, a further ordeal must be gone through in the capital. Of the victors, a score are admitted to the Han Lin, two or three score are added as brevet members, and the remainder are assigned to official positions in the capital and provinces. So intense is the desire for honor and office, that gray-headed men are often found competing even at the district examinations. Grandfather, father and son, occasionally apply at the same time. The unsuccessful men usually become school-masters, authors, writers or clerks, while the government secures the trained intellects for public service. The system serves the state as a safety-valve, providing a career for those ambitious spirits which might otherwise foment disturbances or excite revolutions. It acts as a counterpoise to an absolute monarch by introducing a popular element into the government. In practice, the princes of the blood have great privileges, and to them the ministers may be in a very inferior position; but on the other hand, the ministers who may have risen from the humblest station have predominant influence in affairs of state. The system also gives the government a hold on the educated gentry who are the most influential class in the empire. Civil office is bestowed as a reward of learning, and not of political or military services. Hence the literati are the most loyal of subjects. Occasionally the emperor, to relieve a depleted treasury, has offered for sale the literary decorations, but such a proceeding is rare and dangerous. The punishment for an examiner who fraudulently issues a degree is death. Of late years the range of subjects has been broadened by introducing, to a limited extent mathematics and political economy among the subjects examined upon. That the mandarins are not hopelessly committed to scholastic madiævalism is shown in the fact that nine-tenths of the new books published are written by them, and most, if not all, of the reforms of late years have emanated from their body. A class of men numbering several millions keep their faculties continually bright by constant exercise, possess retentive memories, are ready with the pen, and are intensely interested in public affairs. With many grave defects arising from the abuse of the system, it is yet the most admirable institution in China, and most worthy of imitation by other nations.


—Chinese diplomatic relations with the states of Christendom began, properly speaking, after the opium war of 1839-42. Embassies from the Roman emperors and mediæval popes occasionally reached China. In the thirteenth century Marco Polo held office for 25 years under Kublai Khan. The Portuguese began to trade, and the Jesuits obtained a foothold in the empire in the sixteenth century, and the Dutch, British and Russians, after various repulses, secured trade and commerce in the seventeenth century. The East India company had a share in the oppressions that led the American colonies to revolt from Great Britain. After much dissatisfaction in America, caused by the high prices of the monopoly on tea, the company were authorized to ship the crop directly from China to America without first paying duty in England. The first vessels came to Boston, and the fate of the herb is well known. Chinese tea caused as great an excitement on our eastern borders in 1773, as "Chinese immigration" did a century later on our Pacific shores. No sooner was the revolution over than our people hastened to share the profits of the rich trade with China. The first American ship, "Empress," left New York for Canton, Feb. 22, 1784. Other vessels rapidly followed from Albany, Boston and Philadelphia, carrying the American flag round the world—the Chinese name for the United States being "The Land of the Flowery Flag." Perhaps the first event pregnant with relations between the oldest and the youngest of nations, was the discovery of ginseng in Massachusetts in 1757. The Indians searched out the root and sold it to the Dutch at Albany who exported it to China at a profit of 600 per cent. The Chinese consider this mild aromatic as endowed with almost miraculous curative properties, and immense quantities of the root are still sent to China from Minnesota and the western states. The development of the fur trade of the northwest was stimulated by the Chinese demand for American furs. The first British embassy of lord Macartney in 1793 was well received, but that of lord Amherst in 1816 was not admitted to the presence of the emperor, the British envoy refusing to perform the kow-tow, or nine prostrations. From this time forth the subject of "imperial audience" became a sore and bitter one between Chinese and foreign diplomatists until June 29, 1873, when Soyéshima, the mikado's ambassador from Japan, followed by the other diplomatic representatives, obtained audience on equal terms, standing erect, and laying their respective credentials before the dragon throne. The charter of the East India company expired in 1834, and while lord Napier, the British agent, attempted negotiations with the viceroy of Kwang Tung and failed, the Chinese renewed their protest against opium. For five years trade remained in a precarious condition, but opium was still imported. In 1839 the special commissioner Lin demanded the surrender of all the opium in English hands at Canton, received and destroyed it. The English government declared war against China. After two years, during which the British troops occupied various coast cities, the Chinese sued for peace, and paid war indemnities amounting to $21,000,000, and opened the ports of Canton, Amoy, Fuchow, Ningpo and Shanghai to trade, ceded Hong Kong to the British, and agreed to conduct diplomatic correspondence on equal terms. The success of the British arms stimulated the desire for commerce in other countries. In 1843 president Tyler sent the honorable Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts, as minister extraordinary of the United States to China with a letter to the emperor. Mr. Cushing succeeded in establishing commercial arrangements, by the treaty of Wang-hia (near Canton), which being ratified at Washington, the honorable A. H. Everett, of Massachusetts, was appointed minister resident in China. He died at Canton in 1847. By the second war with Great Britain in 1856-7, in which France, Russia and the United States joined, new treaties were gained and new concessions granted to foreigners; that with the United States being signed April 18, 1858. The American minister, Mr. John Ward, arrived in Peking, but refused to kow-tow to the emperor, and came away. The allies occupied Peking and punished the treachery of the mandarins by destroying the imperial summer palace—a proceeding intended to wreak vengeance on the government with a minimum of injury to the people. From this time the legations of the treaty nations began to be established in Peking, and the Tsung-li Yamen, or office of foreign affairs, was established by the Chinese government. Mr. Wm. B. Reed was the United States envoy from 1858-61. In 1862 the legation of the United States was established at Peking, and Mr. S. Wells Williams, the accomplished scholar in Chinese and author of The Middle Kingdom, was made secretary, a post which he ably and honorably filled until 1875. Honorable Anson Burlingame was our minister from 1861 to 1867, when the Chinese government appointed him special ambassador to the treaty powers of the world, partly as an exponent of profound alteration in the national policy toward foreigners, and partly to forestall further demands expected upon the revision of the treaties then pending. The first official acceptance by China of the principles of international law was in the treaty at Washington, July 28, 1868. Other treaties were made with European powers. The Peking government which had hitherto ignored the existence of Chinese outside of China, now began to look after the condition of their citizens in Peru, Cuba the United States and other nations. By the influence of Yung Wing, a graduate of Yale college, an educational mission was formed and 120 Chinese lads were sent to New England for a ten years' course of study in American schools and colleges. Legations and consulates were established in various countries, and the rights of China's citizens began to be respected even by the street savages of Christendom. The "coolie" traffic, or involuntary emigration through fraudulent and cruel means, was practically abolished. A demand was made upon Russia for the retrocession of Kulja or Ili, and the lapsed province was restored. The general indications now are that the most enlightened mandarins are fully alive to the necessity and desirability of maintaining friendly relations with western nations, and assimilating the best elements of foreign civilization. Yet in so vast and ancient a nation it is undoubtedly true that for a long time to come, millions of the proud-spirited Chinese will desire to acquire the material forces of the foreigners only to sweep China clear of them. While the odious ex-territoriality clauses are kept intact in the treaties, there will remain a chronic root of bitterness. The transforming power of education, Christianity, and modern science, are, however, rapidly leavening a nation that must either disintegrate, or accept a new form of national life, from which the old element of willfully blind pride and intolerance will be purged.


Authorities and Statistics. We have refrained as much as possible from giving statistics, which may be found in such annuals as "The Statesman's Manual," "Almanach de Gotha," the various Year-books published in the Anglo-Chinese ports, and in the Blue Books of the British, and the consular reports of the United States government. Statistics of a fresh and trustworthy character are difficult to be obtained by foreigners, as the Chinese government does not regularly publish these in exact and detailed form, except in departments and on subjects least interesting to those outside the Chinese official world.


—Of the multitude of books on China, those in the following selected list are the best for the student of political science: American—S. Wells Williams' The Middle Kingdom, and papers in The Chinese Repository; William Speer's China and the United States; W. A. P. Martin's The Chinese, their Education, Philosophy and Letters; Justus Doolittle's Social Life of the Chinese; Samuel Johnson's Oriental Religions—China. European—W. F. Mayer's The Chinese Reader's Manual, and Treaty Ports of China and Japan; Sir G. T. Staunton's Penal Code of China; Gray's China; Meadow's The Chinese, and their R bellions; Dr. James Legge's The Chinese Classics; Medhurst's The Foreigner in Far Cathay; Parker's Comparative Chinese Family Law; Boulger's History of China.


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