Internal exile

I’ve gone into an external exile. I don’t follow the news anymore, don’t read things on-line and I don’t watch TV. It was Trump and Brexit that did it. I guess I’m in denial. I just don’t want to hear about any of it, I don’t want to follow the ins and outs of what someone said; who was appointed to what job; what some report is saying. Even the very intelligently argued and perfectly convincing critique is like poison. Even the jokes are concessions. I don’t want any of this in my head. This is no longer my world.

I’m reminded of the way some scholars and artists survived in Germany during the Nazis or in China during the Cultural Revolution. Disgusted with the turn events had taken, yet utterly powerless, they decided that the best thing they could do under the circumstances was to focus on maintaining their humanity.  When the world is going crazy, maintaining your humanity is the ultimate act of defiance.  There were for example these Chinese artists who took to the forest, far away from the Red Guards.   To mimic the official art was of course unthinkable, but so was lampooning it. Instead they spent their time painting beautiful things, landscapes, city streets and flowers.  See above.

This is of course not good for me professionally. I teach political science at a university after all; I’m supposed to know what’s in the news. The time has already come when my students refer to things I know nothing about. What did I make of Trump’s inauguration? “What inauguration?”

Basically I feel like it’s 1913 all over again. There is a hard rain a-gonna fall. Btw, the works of some of those Chinese artists was recently exhibited at the Asia Society in Hong Kong — “Light before Dawn.”


“As long as we are loyal to our communities …”

“As long as we are loyal to our communities and identify ourselves in relation to them, we may have no other choice and very little bargain­ing power vis-à-vis our politi­cal and military authorities. We act, not in defense of our interests, but in de­fence of our identity.”

“Games do not gen­erally concern utility payoffs …”

“Games do not gen­erally concern utility payoffs, but instead questions of identities, and people do not generally engage in them because of what they can win, but instead be­cause of who or what the game allows them to be.”

“Actions undertaken in order to establish …”

“Actions undertaken in order to establish this some­one are thus the more basic and they cannot be redescribed in rationalistic terms calcu­lations of utility gains and utility losses can make no sense until they can be attached to a cer­tain per­son.”

“At the core of this alternative theory …”

“At the core of this alternative theory stands the suggestion that people act not only in order to win things, but also in order to defend a certain conception of who they are. We act, that is, not only be­cause there are things we want to have, but also because there are persons we want to be. In fact, this latter kind of actions must be the more fundamental since it only is as someone that we can have an interest in something.

“The fact that wars ap­pear as irrational …”

“The fact that wars ap­pear as irrational may in fact tell us very little about the stupid­ity or unreasonableness of human beings and very much about the limits of our contemporary explanatory accounts.  The deficiency, in other words, may rest not with the soldiers or with those who order them into battle, but rather with the scholars who attempt to explain these actions.”

My web pages are back up again

These web pages have existed in various incarnations for some 15 years. During the last two years, however, they have been down more than up. I switched from WordPress to Joomla and it first it was a great choice. Joomla is powerful and I could do a lot of things that weren’t possible on WordPress. But increasingly Joomla became vulnerable to attacks by spammers and in the end it was too time consuming to defend the site. I just took it down. This past Christmas, however, I’ve moved all the material back to WordPress again. Coming back has been great. WordPress is in wonderful shape with lots of excellent features. And most important of all: it seems very secure against spammers.

I will not be blogging like I did in the heady days of 2006, but the pages are indispensable for the various projects I’m working on — I use them to collect primary sources, gather links, and develop textbook chapters. There is, and there will continue to be, a lot to read. Enjoy!

yours always,




The army commenced embarking at Tien-tsin about the middle of November, and by the exertions of our staff, and the able co-operation of the naval authorities, all were on board ship by the end of the month. The gunboats had hard v^ork, both night and day : and as the weather was very severe, their endless joumeyings from Tien-tsin to the fleet and back again were no pleasing duties. Our cavalry marched to Takoo, and embarked there; no accident occurring to any one. Upon the 19th November there was a heavy fall of snow, and the frosts at night were most trying. By the 25th of the month the Peiho was frozen over completely near the city, upon which day several of us walked across the river upon the ice. PoUtical considerations had detained us at Pekin almost to the very last day that it would have been possible to remain there without compromising our subsequent embarkation. As it was, much difficulty was experienced in getting the native followers away. Upon such occasions it is quite wonderful how people hitherto unheard of spring up; amateurs, private servants, apothecaries, &c. &c., of whose presence [p. 319] none had previously known anything, come forward at the last moment requesting passages, so much so, that in calculating for all such operations, it is invariably necessary to leave a margin for the accommodation of the tag-rag and bob-tail always certain to be there. Towards the end of the month many portions of the river were so blocked up with ice that the gunboats were sometimes three and four days in getting over the distance between Takoo and Tien-tsin. The Hindostanees, whom no amount of teaching or past experience will make provident as regards their own health, suffered considerably from the cold and exposure incident upon these unavoidable delays on the river. They were all liberally supplied with warm clothing, yet so incomprehensible are those people in* their proceedings, that it required much care to see that they used the various articles given to them. In one instance, when a vessel carrying out a number of syces (grooms) from Takoo to the fleet stuck upon the bar at the mouth of the river and wa^ detained there for about forty-eight hours before it got off, some few of the natives died from the exposure. Inquiries were instituted into the circumstance, when it was found that the warm clothing which had been served out to these people was tied up in their bundles, which all had with them, instead of being worn upon their persons. Their apathy and indifference as to future consequences had thus really occasioned their deaths; for there is every just reason for supposing that had they put on the clothing provided for their use their Uves would have been spared. At Tien-tsin, on the very coldest mornings, when snow was on the [p. 320] ground, I have seen numbers of these Hindostanee followers going about the streets with bare legs, as their custom is in India, while at that very time they had warm drawers and trousers in their possession. Officers commanding native troops there were obliged to make a pimishable offence of their omitting to clothe themselves properly. The garrison left at Tien-tsin consisted of the 2nd battaUon, 60th Eifles, 67th Eegiment, and half of the 31st Eegiment, the other half being quartered in the Takoo forts. A battery of Eoyal Artillery, one company of Eoyal Engineers, Fane’s Horse, and a battalion of Mihtary Train, with a due proportion of medical and commissariat staff, — Brigadier Staveley, C.B., being in command. This force was complete in every equipment, and provided with every comfort which it was possible to supply them with. The finest building in the place was converted into a hospital, no pains or expense being spared in fitting it up with every convenience. Indeed, if the garrison of Tien-tsin has not been comfortable during the past year, it is fi^om no want of care on the part of the Commander-in-Chief or of the staff officers who acted under his orders. The city and its suburbs are badly drained, the ground upon which they stand being so Uttle above the level of the river. After heavy rain the streets become seas of mire. Before we left all the shops were open as usual, and driving a lively trade. The pastrycook’s establishment quickly earned a well-deserved celebrity for its sponge cakes and biscuits, which were quite as good as any in Gunter’s shop. The poUteness of the shopmen soon [p. 321] made the place one of general resort. Of curiosities there were not many worth purchasiog, except what the French soldiers had still amongst them for sale. The Chinese dealers in such articles bought up eagerly all silks, jade-stone ornaments, &c. &c., which our aUies wished to dispose of, giving large prices for the latter-named article. In one instance that I knew of, an officer had purchased a jade-stone necklace, at the Pekin prize sale, for 50 dollars (about 11/.), for which he was subsequently offered 1500 taels, or 500Z. sterling. Sir Hope Grant, having remained at Tien-tsin whilst the army was embarking, left that place himself at the end of November, and proceeded to Shanghai. Up to the last moment that navigation along the Peiho was possible, our gimboats were employed in bringing up suppUes of stores from the fleet. The officers commanding those httle vessels deserve every praise for the manner in which they did their work, being always ready to oblige every one to their utmost, and making hght of all those httle difficulties and annoyances which always attend such arduous duties. The gunboat service holds a position in the navy very similar to what our Irregular Service does in the Indian army, giving young officers opportimities of commanding and acting upon their own responsibility, inculcating self-reUance, which, to both soldiers and sailors, is of such importance. This has been the means of bringiag forward some of the best officers now in her Majesty’s service, who must have been, otherwise, still holding subordinate positions. There is, however, even yet, in some quarters, a strong feeling against the employment of young men in im- [p. 322] portant posts. Considerable power is still in the hands of very old men, who frequently pooh-pooh youth, and stand up for their own ” order,” that of antiquity. Youth is frequently as much a disqualification for employment as old age ought always to be. All our transports, when leaving the Gulf of Pechili, were ordered to stop at Hong-kong, for the purpose of refitting, &c. &c., before proceeding to their final destinations. Thus ended the China War of 1860, the shortest, most brilliant, and most successful of all that we have waged with that country. Let us hope that it may be the last, by procuring for our merchants a perpetual immunity from those acts of violence and oppression, which have led to all our disputes with the Pekin Government. May its prophylactical effects enable us to trade on freely at every port along the great seaboard of the empire, and so open out new channels for our conamercial enterprise. It has cost us a large sums of money, but unlike many of our expensive European wars, we may with justice look forward to a liberal return for what we have expended. To have refrained from a war with China in 1860, and at the same time have maintained our position at the several ports where we traded, would have been impossible. If we had pocketed our defeat of 1859, and contented ourselves with written demands for apology or reparation, we might, perhaps, have struggled on for some Uttle time without any very violent rupture with the Chinese authorities; but the day must soon [p. 323] have arrived when we should have been forced to decide whether we should fight or withdraw finally from the country. The one great object which we have ever had in view there has been fi-eedom of action for our merchants, and imrestricted permission to trade with all parts of the empire. To prevent this last mentioned object has ever been the aim of all Chinese politicians. They sought to confine foreign trade to a few ports, where they wished our mercantile community to exist merely upon sufferance, and exposed to insult and exactions, in order to demonstrate pubKcly its dependent position. By Sir Henry Pottinger’s treaty, access for British subjects at all times into Canton was stipulated for, but, most improperly, never enforced By the Tien-tsin treaty of 1858, it was agreed that we should have Uberty to travel through all parts of the country, and that the treaty itself should be ratified in presence of our Minister at Pekin. When endeavouring to push his way there for that purpose, Mr. Bruce was opposed by force of arms, and prevented from accomplishing his object. Not only was the clause in the treaty which declared the unrestricted Uberty of travelling through China thus proved to be null, but even our Minister’s right of way to the capital was at once denied. That right of visiting Pekin at pleasure, and carrying on direct and personal communications with the Government there, was the principal advantage which Lord Elgin’s mission in 1858 had obtained for us; but upon our first attempt to avail ourselves of the engagement it was forcibly denied. To have quietly allowed them to recede from their contracts, [p. 324] would have been indeed a bad precedent to have established. The best guarantee we have for the fulfillment of the treaty now ratified, is the very act of ratification itself, which was a public recognition of our equality with China as a nation, and a renunciation, on their part, of those conceited notions regarding universal superiority, which has ever been one of the great difficulties in all our dealings with them. Surely no one can accuse our Government of having unnecessarily plunged into this war, although many may with justice find fault with its having been postponed so long. The British nation is always slow to enffao^e in war. John Bull has certain received notions as to right and wrong, justice and injustice, &c. &c., which, although essentially applicable in all his relations with the civilised nations of the West, are as unsuited for Eastern poUtics as red brick would be for ancient Grecian architecture. His repugnance to spUl blood has sometimes the very opposite effect of causing it to flow in quantities, which a sUght effusion earUer in the affair would have prevented. He prefers, in all matters Ukely to entail war, to concede to the utmost Umits of concession. In disputes with Asiatics such is not the line of action to pursue. To renounce any demand previously made, or to fail in enforcing any stipulated agreement, is simply to incur a reputation of weakness or cowardice with them. Notwithstanding our century’s experience in India, the EngUsh people really know Kttle of the Asiatic mind. The advice and instruction frequently put forward in print upon the subject by our Indian administrators, is rejected by the people at home. They insist upon [p. 325] considering that all our public servants in India are imbued with bigoted notions from long residence in the East, and that what is applicable to England and its people must be equally so to the enslaved negroes of America and the ancient governments of Asia. But to these, on the contrary, new ideas regarding international pohcy never penetrate, and the same motives influence the ruler and the subject now which actuated those classes when our ancestors went naked and painted their bodies sky blue. If any European monarch of the twelfth century had pursued the system of international pohcy at present general in the Western world, he must have entailed upon himself the hatred of his own people and the scorn of aU others. Such a revolution in the minds of men cannot be effected in a day. We might as well expect to christianise the Eastern nations at once, by giving them the Bible, as expect to overthrow their secular faith in pohtical economy by simply enunciating that system which our superior wisdom teaches us. To engraft the enhghtened institutions of the nineteenth, upon the ignorance of the twelth century, and expect the tree to bear fruit immediately, is folly. Before the Asiatic world can be led to beUeve in the justice of our polity, or before it will be apphcable to Eastern nations, it wiU be necessary first to raise them up to our standard of knowledge, and enable them to reason in the same logical manner with ourselves. Time, bringing with it increased learning, alone can eradicate traditional errors. If it took many centuries to overcome in us the fear of witchcraft, and to enable us to discover how wrong it was to bum our fellow-creatures for differing with [p. 326] US upon religious matters, surely many generations must pass away before our essentially British mode of proceeding in the East is appreciated there in its true hght. Year after year the local authorities of Canton oppressed our merchants, and offered insults to our officials, but rather than plunge into hostilities we left those injuries vmredressed. Every individual slight that we submitted to was the sure precursor of another, until at last an impression was established that we would sooner bear with any indignity than draw the sword. If we had insisted from the first upon the right of entry within Canton, and had been sharp in avenging at once all serious attempts at violence upon the part of the local authorities there, we should have saved the milUons which we have since had to expend in war. Nothing, however, but the presence of an armed force effecting a chronic intimidation could have enabled us to accomphsh that end; and the British nation, taking but little interest in the matter, as long as trade somehow or other went on, preferred ignoring the difficulties encountered by our officials to incurring the yearly expense which the maintenance of such a force would have entailed. So strong was our disinclination to embroil ourselves, that Sir John Davis was disgraced for having insisted upon the right of entry into Canton, and severe strictures were made by many upon those who were responsible for the active measures taken in the Arrow affair. Before entering upon the war of 1860, an ultimatum was despatched to Pekin by orders of the Home Government, offering, the most liberal terms for reconciliation. These terms were so favourable to the Imperial Government, that [p. 327] all who were ignorant of the train of reasoning common to Asiatic minds were certain of their acxieptance, and believed om* warKke preparations imcalled for in consequence. The UberaUty of the proffered terms, however, only made war the more inevitable after all. They were supposed to be dictated by fear arising from our recent defeat. By placing ourselves gratuitously in the position of suppliants we gave his Celestial Majesty cause for imagining that he was really our superior in strength, and consequently entitled to dictate terms to us. His impertinently evasive answer was the result. By the residence of our Minister at Pekin, we can now apply directly to the authorities there for redress in all matters of local grievance, and the authorities at the various ports will henceforth hesitate before they embroil themselves witlj foreigners who have a minister at the Chinese seat of government, in direct personal conmnmication with their immediate superiors there. By this war we have practically opened out the trade of the Yang-tse-kiang, whence a vastly increased commerce is to be expected. We have inflicted such a severe blow upon the inflated pride of Hien-fung, that the whole face of Chinese politics, and our relations with that country, must change, before he will again dare to insult our flag or obstruct our commerce. It is to be hoped, also, that intercourse with such men as Mr. Bruce, and those now acting under him, may serve in a measure to open the eyes of Chinese politicians to a just appreciation of their own shortcomings and real interests. [p. 328] The commercial advantages which we have obtained are great, but we have gained others also. We have carried on a most successful war at a distance of seventeen thousand miles from England. Fighting side by side with the soi-disant most military nation in Europe, our organisation, staff, commissariat, &c. &c., has, at the very humblest estimation of our merits, proved at least equal to that of France. We have had a fine opportunity of testing the powers, and adaptibihty to service in the field, of our new Armstrong guns, proving them side by side with the artillery which gained SoHerino for Louis Napoleon. Their efficiency having thus received the only corroboration wanting, warrants confidence in their future manufacture. In the general administration of both army and navy, and their relative bearings one towards the other in such a species of warfare, we have gained much useful experience, which might now be of great practical benefit, whilst the formation of a regular transport service is under consideration. It is to be hoped that those upon whom such a duty devolves will avail themselves of the information which the military officers who had charge of the transport arrangements in China can afford. We have received a lesson against overestimating the effect which the substitution of rifles for the smooth-bored musket produces in action, proving that to close with an enemy is still as essential for victory as it was in the days of spears and crossbows. No amount of skirmishing at a distance will inflict any very decisive loss upon an enemy; and it is much to be feared that the possession of rifled weapons may tend towards inculcating the principle of engaging [p. 329] at long bowls and avoiding close combat, from which alone decisive events are to be obtained. As a nation we are prone to run away with such questions, and a few enthusiasts in shooting — not riflemen in the military acceptation of the term — have propounded the theory of utterly destroying an army by sharpshooters. They demonstrate by calculations upon paper and experiments upon the Hythe sands the certainty of doing so. Such gentlemen are mostly those who have never seen a shot fired in earnest, and the incorrectness of their views is vouched for by almost every oflicer of long-tried experience in the field. The smallness of the loss incurred the other day by the Federal army, which was engaged for hours at long ranges with their victorious opponents, proves still more of how httle damage is inflicted in action by infantry fire delivered at great distances. In the execution or results of the war there is nothing left to be wished for. [p. 330]



The word Pekin, or Pehchin, as the inhabitants pronounce it, carries with it so much that we in Europe have always been in the habit of associating with the wonderful, that it deserves a separate chapter to itself. Unfortunately our explorations about its neighbourhood were necessarily Umited, as it was not considered safe to wander alone very far from our outposts, and when our cavalry patrols went out, it was not deemed advisable to proceed far down along the west of the city, there being a number of Chinese camps there, all entrenched. As collision with their soldiers was to be avoided if possible, visits to their locahty were very few. It was always difficult to calculate upon the line of conduct which such semi-barbarous troops, ignorant of the usages of war, would adopt. Frequent reconnaissances were made, however, in all other directions by the officers of our Quartermaster-General’s department. During our halt at Pekin the country in the neighbourhood of Hai-teen was much disturbed by banditti, who had no doubt assembled there in hopes of sharing in the plunder of the Eoyal residences. Frequent encounters took place between them and the native mihtary authorities, who injflicted most summary [302] punishment upon those taken flagrante delicto. As many of the villagers near the summer palaces had carried off quantities of silks, &c., whilst they were being destroyed, the Mandarins were anxious to apprehend all such persons, their offence being unpardonable according to Chinese law. As I had frequent occasion to visit the neighbourhood of the summer palaces, after the departure of our allies from thence, I had fair opportunities of witnessing the disorder into which their neighbourhood had fallen. The large village known as Hai-teen, through which the road to Yuen-ming-yuen passes, was infested with robbers, who were apparently helping themselves to the property of those who had fled from their homes upon our approach. A few of the more stout-hearted proprietors had remained to guard their chattels, between whom and the plundering rabble there seemed to be a never-ending stand-up fight. Lynch law was the order of the day. I saw the remains of several murdered men in the streets; and upon one occasion, when turning round the angle of a house, having been attracted there by the noise, I found two or three men standing over one upon the ground, whom they were in the act of killing, by beating in his head with a hammer, from wliich fate my party had some difficulty in saving him. Every night the report of musketry and field guns was heard by our guards in camp, and upon the night of the 31st October to such an extent that our allies turned out tliinking that we had been attacked. I beheve that most of such firing was occasioned by the Chinese watchmen and police, who make a practice of firing at night, so as to show aU thieves that they are [p. 303] not only awake, but well armed and ready for them. To the south of the city none of our patrols had ever penetrated, as the distance was so great from our camp that it would have been impossible to reconnoitre there with a suitable force and return in the same day. Of the country in that direction we learnt from native sources that a very large inland lake lay due south of the city, in the numerous islands of which leopards, wild cats, and deer, are said to be very numerous. Operations had been prolonged to such a late period of the year, that when peace was at last signed there was no time for organising expeditions to explore that part of the country. In all other directions, however, the localities were closely examined, and maps made of them imder the superintendence of Colonel Mackenzie. All the information which could be obtained was collected, so that in the event of any fixture operations being required in those regions our work will be much simphfied. The land is everywhere most carefully cultivated, and yields two abundant crops yearly, millet, Indian com, beans, sweet potatoes, and a sort of cabbage being the principal produce. The total absence of pasture land strikes the eye of all who are accustomed to Enghsh farming as very pecuhar. In all parts of China Proper, milk, butter, or cheese, are unappreciated dainties; and the Tartar soldiers, when serving out of their own native provinces, feel the loss of such commodities greatly, as, in the wild plains of Thibet, milk, sour curds, and a sort of clotted cream constitute their principal diet. Between Pekin and the hills the country is thickly CHINESE VILLAGES. 305 dotted over with trees, which, with the numerous tombs and wide-spreading network of hollow roads, makes it difficult for the traveller to find his way about. There being few fences which a horse cannot get over, the best method to adopt in making a journey is to steer by a compass, straight over the fields, avoiding the hollow cart-tracks as much as possible, as fi^om them all view of the country is difficult. Although the ground over which we passed in our fight of the 21st September was, as I have described, closely intersected with banks and wide ditches, there are but very few north of the Yu-liang-ho. The small villages in the neighbourhood of Pekin are mostly surrounded by a wattle and daub fence. The numerous farmhouses were similarly enclosed, the straw-yards, corn-stacks, and threshingfloors being all ‘within the enclosures. Cattle-sheds, and good stabhng for mules or ponies, were invariably attached to even the most unpretending of cottages, in which the animals are housed during winter, and fed upon the millet straw, chopped small and steeped before use in warm water : upon this food they thrive well. As a rule, I think all in our army were disappointed with Pekin. For a considerable time previous to our arrival there every one had been drawing imaginary pictures in their minds as to what it was like. Those who had been for any number of years residing in ” the flowery land,” had been accustomed to hear Chinamen everlastingly referring to their capital in terms of the highest praise, describing it as little short of paradise, combining within its walls all that was lovely and magnificent. With the exception of some X 806 THE WAR WITH CHINA. Mandarins, few of those belonging to the southern provmces had ever visited the great northern capital; from earUest youth, however, every Chinaman is taught to beheve it the greatest of all cities. Its importance is as much a part of his faith, as the worship which all offer to their ancestors. The story told about the first appearance of one of our steamers at Canton gives a fair example of the extent to which this feehng is carried. An English merchant pointing out the steamer to a Chinaman, said, rather exultingly, ” Well, you have not got any vessels like that;” — to which answer was immediately made, “Ah, Canton no got, Pekin side plenty got, all same Kke.” I have no doubt he really believed such to be the case, considering Pekin to be so immeasurably superior to all other places, that it was impossible any nation could possess anything not known there. Before we had encamped close to the city our expectations were sustained by the reports brought in daily by our reconnoitring parties, who talked of having seen the roofs of lofty palaces and curiously-shaped pagodas rising high above the walls. When our army had taken up a position close to the place, the massiveness of its defences, well kept and regularly built, served to keep up the illusion regarding the wonders within. No vagary of fancy was ever more rudely dispelled than ours was when, upon the surrender of the An-ting gate, we gazed from thence over the streets and houses beneath. The dull monotony of colouring pervading all objects, and the sameness everywhere about, made all pronounce its appearance to be most unjustly praised. [p. 30] Leading from the gate in a due southerly direction, was the wide street along which our procession marched upon the 24th October. It was about a hundred feet in width, and was well paved for the first couple of hundred yards, after which it was simply earth. In this respect the streets of the capital differ from those of most other Chinese cities, where they are generally narrow, and paved over with granite blocks. In Pekin only the spaces near the gates were so paved. Coal cinders are used in quantities upon the streets, each householder emptying out the ashes of his stove upon the space immediately before his dwelling. Without some such arrangement the mud in wet weather would be ankle deep. As soon as our troops had taken up their position in the An-ting gate, the crowds of people that swarmed in from all quarters of the city to gaze at us exceeded anything that I had ever previously witnessed : a perfect sea of heads stretched away up the broad street as far as we could see. The moving to and fro of these people caused such clouds of dust to arise, that, in some directions, the city was so enveloped by it that nothing was to be seen. The Chinese guard, aided by a number of city pohce, had much difficulty in keeping back the dense masses which, swaying to and fro, kept pressing down towards the gate. Active httle French sentries kept jumping about, now here, now there, cursing, swearing, and laughing by tutns, in their endeavours to keep the space clear near their guard. A rope was stretched across the street beyond which none were allowed to pass. The whole of that day the street remained choked up by people eager to gaze upon their ” bar- [p. 307] barian ” conquerors. No ill-feeling was evinced by any, and all seemed to take the sharp blows from their own policemen’s whips, and the numerous pokes in the ribs from our sentries, in the very best humour. The streets are mostly laid out with mathematical exactness, all running due north and south, or east and west, as were also the city walls. Pekin is, in reality, two cities, only separated by the southern wall of the Tartar quarter. The southern one is the old Chinese town. It is four sided, the northern and southern faces being nearly five miles long, the eastern and western about two miles. The northern, or Tartar city, is nearly a square of four miles east and west, and three miles north and south. The north-western angle is, however, shghtly rounded off. The rampart walls average from thirty-five to forty feet high, above which the parapet wall rises seven feet everywhere around. Upon the inside they are mostly some five or six feet higher, owing, I imagine, to the ground excavated from the ditches having been thrown up, upon the outside, against the walls. Their average thickness, at top, is sixty feet, the masonry having a slope of about one in eight. The parapet walls (there being one upon both sides of the rampart) are three feet thick and castellated at top, the soles of the embrasures being four feet abovQ the terreplein of the rampart. In the centre of what would be with us the merlon, there is a small, square loophole, only about six inches above the foot of the parapet, from which the uncouth iron wall pieces, so common in all Chinese cities, are fired from carriages without any wheels, and unprovided with any means of depression or elevation. The terreplein of the ram- [p. 308] parts sloped gently inwards, so as to carry off the rain. It was neatly paved over its entire length with square tiles of considerable thickness; beneath them was a stratum of very hard concrete, three feet thick, — all below it, as far as we could ascertain, being wellrammed earth and rubble. With the very limited number of our guns and ammunition I do not believe we should have succeeded in making a practicable breach through the walls. No doubt we should have brought down a sufficient quantity of the outer revetment to have enabled oiumen to scramble up with ladders, but to have made a breach up which a body of men could march, with the hmited means at oiu* disposal, I think was very problematical. In the event of its being ever necessary hereafter to assault Pekin, I am sure that most of those who examined the walls will agree with me in thinking that mining is the best method of opening out a road through its ponderous defences. At each gateway and comer angle there is a high three-storeyed tower, thickly pierced with embrasures, but unprovided with guns. These towers are used as barracks, and, in order to keep out the cold air, the embrasures are closed up by wooden doors, upon the centre of each of which the representation of a cannon’s muzzle has been painted, giving the building an imposing aspect when seen at some little distance. These lofty towers, with their many embrasures, are well calculated to inspire all Chinamen with exaggerated ideas of their strength and importance. The reputation which Pekin had acquired throughout the empire for greatness and impregnability is, in a great [p. 309] measure, attributable to the imposing features of its fortifications. To a people ignorant of our modem appKances of war, such works would naturally appear capable of resisting for ever any efforts of a besieging force. They would have been similarly estimated by our ancestors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. For hundreds of years the same weapons have been in use in China. Whilst western nations have been improving annually in all the appliances of offence and defence, the Chinese, carefully guarded in by an impenetrable barrier of self-conceit, have kept themselves aloof from all contact with other nations. To such a bigoted exclusiveness her downfal and humiliation is greatly attributable. In front of each gate there is a space of about a hundred yards square, enclosed by walls of similar dimensions to those of the enceinte. Through one of the side faces of it, the road is carried under a massive archway, so that every entrance to the city is protected by two lines of defence. Upon the inside a broad •road runs round the city at the foot of the rampart. The ditch has been a fine one in its day; but the arrangements for supplying it with water have been allowed to fall into decay, hke almost every other pubhc work in China, so that at present it is fordable at most points, and in some places is only a few inches deep. Within the Tartar city, and covering about a fourth of its entire space, is the ” Imperial ” or ” Inner City,” within which again is the palace, surrounded by a high and massive wall, with ditch, &c. &c. None of us were [p. 310] allowed to enter the innermost enclosure; but from all we could learn from the natives, I believe that his Majesty’s city residence is in a very faded condition, all the money available for such purposes having been for many years past expended upon the summer palace of Yuen-ming-yuen. The space between the palace walls and those around the ” Inner City,” is covered with the houses of those about the court, and with barracks. Scattered here and there were spots which had once been pleasure-grounds, or ponds of water, now completely neglected. An air of desolation was stamped upon everything, from the bell-shaped pagoda, which, standing upon a mound, marked the final resting-place of many sovereigns, to the smallest guard-room with its dilapidated chevaux-de-frise and arm-stands. There were numerous bridges, over what had once been wellkept canals, but which now were simply unsightly excavations, used as receptacles for filth and rubbish. In former times, when the pubhc works were well attended to, Pekin was plentifully supplied with water by means of these canals, which were fed from the lakes at Hai-teen. Numbers of temples, official residences belonging to the Princes, and pubhc buildings, are situated in difierent parts of the Tartar city. They are mostly upon a larger scale than those I have seen in the southern provinces, but possess no other local peculiarity. All have a faded, uncared-for appearance. The ordinary houses of the city are only one-storeyed, and built without any regard to uniformity. Those situated in the principal thoroughfares are of brick, with tiled roofs, whilst those in the remote quarters resemble the farmhouses of the surrounding country, [p. 311] having mud walk and thatched roofe, all well plastered over with a coating of mud and chopped straw. At some conspicuous places in the main streets, there were tumble-down looking archways, if such an Irishism is admissible in describing high-raised gateways, in whose design was no s^ment of a circle nor any curve, except what time had given to the widespanning beams wliich, in most instances, bend slightly downwards with their superincumbent weight of wood and stone. These had been originally constructed in memory of great men, or in commemoration of proud triumphs in days of Tartar renown. They seem to have changed with the times, serving now as emblems of national decay and public dishonour. One might almost fancy that they feel their altered destiny, and care no longer to rear erect the once straight and noble timbers of which they are constructed, but now lean in aU directions, scared and bent, as if in shame for the descendants of those who raised them. Barely two thirds of the space enclosed within the walls of the Chinese city is covered with houses, the remaining third being nearly all taken up by the gardens around the temples of ” Heaven,” and that in honour of the deities who preside over agriculture. The enclosed space around the former is a square mile in extent, which is tastefully laid out in gardens and shrubberies. Both of these buildings are situated close by the Yun-ting gate, which is the centre one of the three in the southern face. They stand upon either side of the wide roadway running north and south through the Chinese city, dividing it into two equal portions. [p. 312] Immediately within the southern face the ground has been but Kttle built upon, and there are several large pieces of water there. The victorious Tartars, in adding on their city to the old Chinese town, took care that theirs should domineer over the latter, as they built their walls some ten feet higher, thus giving it the character of a keep. The Yu-Kang-ho touches Pekin at the junction of the two cities, where it communicates with the ditch. From the point where it meets the city to the Che-ho gate, in the eastern face, a row of granaries extend underneath the walls between them and the ditch. In these the annual grain tribute was stored upon arrival by the canal. These buildings are now in a ruined state. A considerable exodus of the inhabitants had taken place diuing the first two or three days of our occupation of the An-ting gate, but almost aU had returned before our final departure, finding how strictly order was maintained amongst our troops. Before we retired from Pekin, all the shops which were at first closed, had reopened, and business was resumed in the usual manner. The numerous fiir and curio shops were daily crowded by our oflGicers, all anxious to obtain strange presents for their friends at home. The manner in which the Chinese tradesmen picked up words of ” pidgeon Enghsh” was quite astonishing. In a very few days, even the little boys in the street came up offering articles for sale, and asking ” how muchee.” The attempts to make ourselves understood by signs were most amusing. Those who could draw found their art most useful in illustrating upon paper what they required, as the shopmen were most apt at com [p. 313] prehending even the roughest dehneation of what was wanted. Upon entering a shop you had only to hold up your thumb with the other fingers closed, to indicate that you wished to see the first class things. All those with whom we had any dealings were civil and obhging, enjoying a joke, even when at their own expense, as well as any people I have ever met with. Of course, like all Easterns, they invariably asked for every article about twice as much as they were prepared to take for it. Of the female portion of the inhabitants we saw but few, none but the old and ugly showing themselves in the streets. Occasionally, however, during my rides through the city, I saw a woman’s head peering through a window, or over a wall, at the ” barbarian ” as he passed. In appearance they resembled those I had seen elsewhere in the northern districts of the empire. The Tartar women never cripple their feet like their Chinese sisters, and wear shoes like the men. They are very fond of painting their faces, and powdering their necks and foreheads over with some stufl* Uke flour. The people five almost exclusively upon vegetable diet, their usual food being flour ground firom millet or Indian com, sweet potatoes, and a coarse sort of cabbage. Tea is their ordinary beverage : but Chinamen very seldom drink water. There is also a large consumption of a fiery sort of spirit made fi^om millet; it is commonly known by the name of sam-shoo, and is sold for about threepence a pint. Pekin is much the cleanest Chinese city I have ever been in, and the air [p. 314] is not loaded with those sickening stenches so general in most other places. The streets being wide, there is ever a free circulation of air around the houses. The poUce seemed very numerous in the dty, but there were few of those street barriers which abound in Canton and most of the important towns. Of the military force within Pekin we saw but httle during our stay there, as all soldiers studiously avoided being seen in uniform. There were not many guns moimted upon the walls, and the few which were, were massed along the eastern face, upon which they had all along expected us to attack. Immediately opposite to where we had constructed our breaching batteries, they had lately mounted three very large guns. They were made of brass and were handsomely ornamented with carved mouldings. The fact of their having been placed in position opposite our point of attack, proves how very undecided the authorities must have been even up to the very day of their surrendering a gate to us. They had vacillated up to the last moment, between their dread of opposing us, and their fears of bringing down upon their heads the Imperial displeasure if they should surrender without making some show of resistance. These fine guns were mounted upon such rotten carriages, that a few rounds must have rendered them unserviceable, and one was so bad that the wheels had broken down in placing it in position upon the walls. From the walls of Pekin a good view is to be had over the surrounding countiy. It is a strange phenomenon that everywhere the people seem well to do and prosperous, the land [p. 315] being well tilled, and yet the ruling powers are always in financial difficulties. Camels are used in large numbers for the carriage of produce and merchandise. Most of the coal used in Pekin is brought there upon camels. All the coal I saw was of a hard, anthracite description, requiring a considerable draught to bum well. It is mostly brought from some mines at about thirty miles distance from the city. It is used in great quantities during the winter, and is sold at a cheap rate. When beaten into dust and mixed with clay, it is made up into small balls for use in the stoves, and gives out great heat. Charcoal is dear, and consequently only used by the richer classes. There are some very large bells in the city and temples near it, all well toned, and some beautifully ornamented. The largest is in a small joss-house, about half a mile from the north-west angle of the old ruined earthen entrenchment, lying to the north of the city, which I have already described. This beU is fifteen feet high, ten and a half feet in diameter, with a thickness of eight inches in the metal at its mouth. It is covered with inscriptions in the Chinese characters, and richly embossed at top, where it is fastened to the massive wooden stand made for it. Like all the very large bells elsewhere in China, it is sounded by means of a beam of wood, suspended horizontally by cords from the roof of the bidlding. This beam is swung against the beU after the manner of a battering ram, striking it upon the outside near its mouth. Its tone was excellent, making the buUding itself, and everything in it, tremble from the reverberation for several minutes after the bell had been struck. [p. 316] There is a striking contrast between the Chinese and Tartar portions of Pekin. The whole appearance of the latter indicates the presence of the dominant race, now devoid even of that courage and warlike prowess which characterised them in former times, whilst their lethargy, indolence, and dirty habits have increased, causing them to be still as distinct from the conquered Chinese as they were of yore. They still leave the commerce and trade of the country to the thrifty Chinamen, and have only just enough shops within their city as are sufficient for supplying their ordinary wants. The streets, although thronged with people, lacked the air of bustle and life for which Cliinese cities are famous. The very beggars and ragamuffins had a hstless appearance, and merely stood gaping at the passing foreigners. No dirty httle boys made rude and facetious remarks to us as we strolled through the streets. The manufacture of dirt pies seemed to be the summit of their genius. The nomadic disposition of the race was indicated by the nmnbers of tents pitched about in odd parts of the city; in some places along the wide streets, a space was left between them and the houses for foot passengers, and a roadway in the centre for carts and horses. Indeed, in all the principal thoroughfares there were rows of booths or tents along each side of the carriage-way, which was thus divided from the footpaths. But if such is the aspect of the city in which the rulers of the country dwell, far otherwise is the appearance presented on passing through any of the three gates which lead from the Tartar into the Chinese quarter. The principal streets through the latter are also wide, [p. 317] but leading off from them are narrow roadways, thickly lined with rich shops, and crowded with active, busy people, all intent upon business matters. The hum of voices bargaining and disputing about prices, the hissing, buzzing noise of lathes at work, and the din of liammers, indicate a Uvehness of trade and manufacture which at once stamps the place as essentially Chinese. [p. 318]