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Low noise and colour quickly, reduce the anxiety during tattooing. The Tartars were driven beyond the Yellow River; an attempt was made to simplify, to assimilate, or standardize the various forms of writing ; the present writing-brush was invented or improved ; the axles of all carts were made of the same breadth, so as to facilitate trade movements ; an adjusted calendar was circulated ; laws, weights, and measures were verified ; and metal arms were called in to be recast lo China: Past and Present into bells and images.
Whilst touring towards the Shan-hai Kwan and modem Chefoo, the Emperor heard vague rumours of certain islands beyond the sea, which the vassal kingdom around modern Peking had already either discovered or heard of a century before this.
However, the thirty-six provinces nominally included Liao-si, Liao-tung i. As the learned men of the empire disapproved and criticized these innovations, a general battue and holocaust of bookworms and books was organized in B.
C — a much easier matter than might at first sight be supposed, if we reflect that the Emperor himself read a fixed allowance of pounds weight of despatches a day ; that is, each book of importance was so cumbrous and expensive that its whereabouts was as notorious as our early editions of Shakespeare, and its bulk almost as hard to con- ceal as would be the Assyrian man-bulls in the European museums.
This revolutionary Emperor died in B. His son was a poor eunuch-ridden creature, incompetent to carry on the grandiose ideas of the father, in consequence of which revolts broke out through the whole " black-head " region as the restricted area of true China was then called , and several rival adventurers struggled for power.
Any one who can under- stand French may read every line of it in a translation of China's first great history, recently published by Professor Chavannes, of Paris.
At last the adventurer, known from his appanage as the Prince of Han, succeeded in destroying all his rivals, and in establishing himself as Emperor at modern Si-an Fu the place to which the flying Empress-Dowager betook herself Thereby hangs a Tale ii in the year There were two or three successive editions of the Han dynasty, which from first to last endured from B.
There was a short break at the time of Our Lord's birth, but by A. The third edition of the Han house ruled in what we now call Sz Ch'wan, which was then a congeries of Tibetan and other half-savage tribes, mixed with Chinese colonists along the navigable rivers.
South China, but thinly populated by tribes of the Annamese, Siamese, and Lolo type, was loosely held up by a third successful family, which thus had a monopoly of the Roman, Persian, and Indian shipping trade.
The total results of these years of Han rule may be shortly summarized as follows. The power of the Hiung- nu Tartars or Huns had been so broken that, before Jesus Christ was born, one-half of their hordes had been driven far away towards the Aral Sea and the Volga ; the other half became pensioners and allies of the Chinese.
But even these gradually fell a prey to, or wore themselves out in struggling against, the rising power of the Tungusic Tartars ; so that when, in the third century A.
This protracted years' struggle for existence with the Hiung-nu as the much later Turkish tribes were then called had some very important side results.
First of all the Tartars, when at the height of their power in B. Past and Present called the Yiieh-tcht or Yet-tl After a period of hustling with hostile neighbours, these Yet-ti migrators at last settled down in the AflTghanistan and Bactrian region, where they came into contact with the remains of the Greek civilization introduced by Alexander, and ended by founding a powerful Indo- Scythian empire, embracing the modem Punj4b.
The Chinese, in their endeavours to secure the assistance of these Yet-ti fugitives against their common enemies the Tartars, had to coax and fight their way through Turkestan.
All this led first to a knowledge of the Tarim valley, the Pamirs, Khotan, and Kashgar ; then to an acquaintanceship with modern Kokand, Samarcand, the Oxus, and Jaxartes ; to vague rumours of India and a possible route thither through the Upper Yangtsze region ; to the introduction, from India by way of the Yet-ti empire and Turkestan, of Buddhism ; to certain notions touching Parthia and the overland silk trade with Rome; and to ill-defined traditions of the Roman Empire itself.
The necessity of turning the eastern flank of the Tartars led, in the same way, to a closer knowledge of Liao-tung affairs ; to the temporary conquest of North Corea ; to relations with Japan ; and so on.
The premature collapse of the mighty fabric conceived as described by the Ts'in Emperor in B. This led first to the conquest of Canton and Foochow ; to a knowledge of Indo- China ; to an application of the strategic and commercial uses of the Si-kiang, or " Western River ; " — and then to the further consideration of the southern road to India question.
When it is remembered that even now the south-western provinces are more than half populated by non-Chinese races ; and that even in all the south-eastern provinces there are tribes — some of them quite independent — more or less like the Chinese in appearance, language, and dress, but bearing distinctive national names ; it becomes easy for us to realize the first great illustrative fact in Chinese history — that the cultured representatives of the great yellow monosyllabic races, starting so far as we can reach back from the Yellow The IVorlcTs mine Oyster 13 River valley, have gradually advanced, fan-like, towards the sea, the Himalayas, and the desert ; colonizing the natural roads and rivers, and driving before them or assimilating the various Tungusic, Turkish, Tibetan, Siamese, and Annamese rivals.
In the two cases of Tibet and Indo-China, there have been the rival Hindu influences to contend with ; but in all other cases the enemies of China have either been absorbed beyond recognition, have adopted some modified form of Chinese civilization, have sullenly retired to the mountains as ignorant barbarians, or have remained independent under nominal Chinese suzerainty.
Hence China has good excuses for imagining a world in herself. China was reunited in A. C had to contend with a pack of Tartar and Tibetan adventurers, more or less instructed in Chinese ways, and usually prompted by renegade Chinese interpreters and secretaries.
With the space at our disposal it is impossible to say more than that China, with her capital still at Loh-yang Ho-nan Fu , was like the more easterly Roman Empire under Diocletian, Constantius, and Constantine.
The centre had shifted. Buddhism had now obtained a firm foothold in China, as Christianity had in Europe.
In yet a second way does history repeat itself. The Tsin dynasty soon afterwards col- lapsed altogether, and for years five short Chinese houses ruled one after the other in the south, whilst the Toba Tartars had undisputed possession of North China.
This period of years is what the historians call the " North and South Dynasties Period. Past and Present I just now gave a general sketch of the main results of the years' policy abroad on both sides of the year i of our Lord.
The general development in the succeeding years — that is, up to A. These same Tobas, who were appa- rently akin to what we now call Mongols, have only driven their rivals, the Hiung-nu, away to the West in order to find another nomad power — that of the Geougen — developing in the desert regions.
Gibbon, following the lead of the Jesuit missionaries of the eighteenth century, has identified this new power with the Avars; but this view cannot possibly be sustained.
The general situation in North Asia may be thus stated in A. The ancient Tungusic Sienpi, formerly vassals of the Hiung-nu, had either absorbed or had made slaves of those of their ancient masters who had not betaken themselves West ; and they had besides, under the dynastic name of Toba, for two centuries also ruled the northern half of China as Chinese Emperors.
But the neces- sity of thus dividing their attention had given opportunity to a new great nomad power to grow in the north.
This Geougen power, which appears to have been Turko-Finnish, but as to whose exact ethnological elements we are still in the dark, had to its west, in the Lake Balkash region, a power called Yiieh-pan, and this Yiieh-pan is distinctly stated to be The Hyperborean Wilds 15 one of the Hiung-nu principalities founded during the western flight several centuries before.
The Tobas endeavoured, about A. Meanwhile a petty Hiung-nu tribe of iron-workers, vassal to the Geougen, and bearing in A. To cut this com- plicated tangle short, China emerged from the general fray united under one native emperor of the Sui dynasty: Tartar dynasties of all kinds were driven from China, and the whole of Siberia, Mongolia, and Manchuria was once more reunited under the sway of energetic Turkish khans.
I am afraid it will be rather difficult for readers to follow me through this Geougen tangle, which, however, is more clearly explained in an article which appeared in the Asiatic Quarterly Review on the ist of April, But I particularly wish to point out the important results.
Both Turks and Avars appeared at Constantinople in or about , and we know from European history what part the Huns and Avars took in the European race struggles during the growth of the Prankish power.
The opinion I have formed is that these Asiatic in- vasions of Europe accord exactly with disappearances from China. The Geougen were destroyed, never fled West, and could not possibly be the Avars.
Just at the time when united China was thus left face to face with united Turkey if we may use this term , news came, apparently through Persia and Turkey, of a great power in the Par West called Puh-lin, stated to be identical with the Ta-ts'in, first vaguely heard of during the first century of the Christian era, trading envoys from which place came to China by sea in the second and third centuries.
This Puh- lin I take to be the growing power of the Pranks, who had already come into contact with the Avars in Bavaria. Past and Present kinds, and it is from this date, say A.
Our word " China " is not a whit more clear in its origin than is the Chinese word " Ferreng. At last we are brought face to face with people we can recognize, and facts we can prove, by evidence available to this day.
In the Tibetan city of Lhassa the original bi- lingual Sanskrit-Chinese inscriptions dated still remain there, carved upon stone, to confirm the statements of Chinese history ; the celebrated Syriac-Chinese Nestorian stone still stands in Si-an Fu, to explain who the Franks were, and what Christianity was; the stone inscriptions of Ta-li Fu in Yiin Nan remain to corroborate the rise and fall of the first Siamese empire ; within the past fifteen years numerous Turkish-Chinese bilingual slabs have been found by the Russians in various parts of Mongolia, proving that the Hiung-nu of B.
After a brilliant rule of years the Pang dynasty fell into decrepitude, partly in consequence of the exhaustion brought about by its incessant struggle with the Tartars, Tibetans, and Siamese ; partly from eunuch influences, and internal corruption.
The Turkish power had, in the seventh century, been divided and crushed just as the Han dynasty had split up and driven west the Hiung-nu power ; but the other results had been the same.
China was so impoverished in blood and treasure that the Tungusic powers had once more time to grow, and the remains of the Turks intrigued for rule in North China exactly as the remains of the Hiung- nu had done.
China fell to pieces, and for about half a century there ruled a succession of five short dynasties, three of them rather Turkish than Chinese ; but they only ruled over Central, or what may be called " Old China," and even this only at the cost of paying tribute to the Cathayans of modem Peking.
The Cathayans, it must be explained, were simply a reshuffle of the ancient Sienpi, just as the Turks were a reshuffle of the ancient Hiung-nu. Meanwhile the south and west of China were once more divided into a number of semi-independent Imperial States ruling at or near what we now call Canton, Foochow, Hangchow, Nanking, Hankow, and Ch'6ng-tu.
A strong mixed power, usually described as Tangut, and consisting chiefly of Tibetan elements under c 1 8 China: Past and Present migrated Toba rulers, gradually gained consistence in the region of Ordos and Kokonor ; Corea, Annam, Yun Nan, and Tibet took advantage of the anarchy to recover their practical independence; and there followed a series of devastating wars.
Towards the close of the tenth century the situation stood thus. A successful General had succeeded in reuniting the whole of Old China and South China under a new native dynasty called Sung.
The Cathayans, assisted by Chinese renegades, and fed by enormous relays of artisans, culti- vators, and other prisoners of war, founded a very strong empire of what may be called the Parthian or Boer type, ue.
For years this Cathayan empire monopolized the whole of the supreme power in Mongolia, receiving tribute from the remains of the Turks to the west and the rising Manchu tribes to the east Although one or two complimentary missions came from the Khaliphs, from Persia, Khotan, and other western places, it may be said roughly that when the bulk of the Turks fled west, to hide their new movements in the new forms of Ghaznivides, Seldjuks, and Osmanli, they drew after them the holes into which they crept.
For many centuries all land knowledge of the Far West is blotted out from Chinese minds. The Tangut Kingdom effectually blocked the way between China and Turkestan, and the chief occupation of that capable state was in playing off South China against the Cathayans, paying normal tribute to both.
Tibet, Yiin Nan, Indo-China, and Japan were left entirely alone, to work out their own developments in comparative oblivion.
The south-sea trade developed rapidly, and there grew up important Arab and Persian trading colonies at various ports between Canton and the Yangtsze; but even at this comparatively late date the Governments of Central China seem to have known but little of the economical development which was taking place along the coasts.
Trade was as yet a purely popular and unofficial institution. The tyranny of the Cathayans over their eastern vassals, the true Tunguses, or Manchu States, then collectively known as the Niichto, led to a revolt in those little-known regions.
The tribes in question, hardened by the discipline of a A Great Feast of Languages 19 hunting life, had by degrees evolved a military strategy of no mean order.
Their masters, the Cathayans, had become correspondingly corrupt and softened by two centuries of close contact with Chinese luxury.
The upshot of all this was that the southern Chinese intrigued with the NiichSns on the basis of regaining for China the Peking plain, which had been so long a part of Cathay.
As seems to have been the invariable case in the history of the world when a weak power asks the aid of a strong one, the Niichfins not only drove out of North China the common Cathayan enemy, but soon found pretexts for keeping the Peking plain for themselves, and encroaching farther upon China proper.
Simultaneously with the substitution of the Niichdns for the Cathayans in North China, the Sung or pure Chinese dynasty found it necessary to move their capital, which was in 1 1 36 transferred to Hangchow.
The powerful state of Tangut, on being summoned to do so, promptly transferred to the Niichdns the limited amount of homage it had once paid to the Cathayans, and continued to keep the two balls in the air, so to speak, by playing off North China against South China.
The chief picture to focus before the eye with reference to this period — to A. To the north lay the rest of their vast Mongol-Manchu empire, with which South or literary China had no concern.
Throughout the whole of this period the mixed Tibeto-Chinese populations, under the rule of a migrated Tungusic family, maintained a really powerful empire, by Europeans styled Tangut, on account of the preference given to Tangut or Tibetan speech.
Owing to this large infusion of Tartar blood, the northern dialects of China, and notably that of Pekin, which is the best known to Europeans, became corrupted in exactly the same way that Latin became corrupted in Gaul.
Hence the Pekingese, or other " mandarin " dialects may be styled the French of China, whilst the true Latin or ancient classical pronunciation must be looked for in the south.
Thus it comes that, Corea and Annam having practically been shut 20 China: Past and Present out for many centuries, we find that the numerous Chinese words imported into these regions two thousand years ago, confirm, better than does any other pure Chinese dialect, the key to ancient sounds still furnished by colloquial Cantonese.
Now occurred one of those events upon which hinge the higher history of the world. This chief was the future Genghis Khan, and this first insubordinate act led by degrees to the over- throwing of the Niichfin dynasty.
Like all Tartar leaders who have once succeeded in rousing enthusiasm, the chief of the Mung-wa or Mung-ku tribe soon succeeded in attracting to his banner the innumerable hordes of Turkish and mixed race scattered about with their horses, cattle, tents, and waggons over the vast expanse of North Asia.
One of the first things was to sweep away the intervening Tangut empire which stood in his way. He seems to have had no particular idea of western conquest until the Mussulman Sultan of Otrar in Turkestan behaved in an outrageous way to some Mongol ambassadors.
This led to the conquest of Turkestan, Bucharia, all the countries of the old Ephthalite or Yet-ti empire between the Indus and the Euphrates destroyed by the Turks about , and ultimately to the incorporation of the Kirghis, Kipchaks, Armenians, and Russians.
At one time even Western Europe trembled with apprehension, and it is from the accounts left behind by A Cycle of Cathay 21 Rubruquis and other emissaries, sent by the Pope and the King of France to the Mongol khans in Russia and Mongolia, that we derive much of our information about those times.
This information is amply confirmed by the Chinese histories. The native historians, it is true, understood little or nothing of the outlandish persons and places they described on the authority of return warriors in Hungary, Russia, and Persia ; but fortunately they "nailed their names at least to the counter," and scanty though the context is, it is sufficient for us to know by these names that there is no serious distortion of the fact as we are sure of it from Western sources.
They may be partly excused by the circumstance that the Byzan- tine Roman Empire had then practically ceased to exist, and that the miserable remains of it to be found at Constantinople were barely on a footing of equality with the Popes of Rome, and with the Teutonic Roman Empire, or the Western Powers of Spain, France, England, and Germany.
The Southern Chinese empire had the same bitter experience. Marco Polo's faithful narrative best enables those who cannot yet study Chinese history to judge what this empire was.
Members of Kublai's family ruled over Russia, the Caucasus, Persia, all the Pamir countries, all the useful parts 6i Siberia, and Manchuria.
Mongol viceroys dictated con- ditions to Corea, Tibet, Burma, and Annam. Japan alone succeeded in absolutely repelling 22 China: Past and Present any attempt at invasion.
But the usual course of events followed: Saul among the prophets was not more out of place than are nomad Tartars on a civilized throne.
Even Kublai himself only ruled immediately over China proper, and his empire beyond that was much less firmly knit together than is the Manchu empire even now.
His cousins in the west soon proclaimed their independence, and in the Chinese rose en masse against their oppressors, who were promptly driven back to their native deserts and steppes.
It must be conceded, how- ever, that the Mongols were tolerant of foreigfn religions and foreign science. Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism all enjoyed as much countenance as Confucianism.
The priestly founder of the purely Chinese Ming dynasty, whose venerated tomb is still respectfully preserved, if not guarded, at Nanking, completely changed the face of affairs.
China for the Chinese was his motto, and the provinces were soon reorganized, much on their present basis, with a firm hand.
Messages were sent by Prankish merchant envoys to Europe ; the change of dynasty was notified to the Central Asian States ; and a very lively sea-trade sprang up in the early part of the fifteenth century with Japan, Loochoo, Manila, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Siam, India, Arabia, and the north-west parts of Africa.
This was the only period in Chinese history and it did not last many years when Chinese commerce assumed a truly aggressive and even military aspect in the Indian Ocean ; the accounts given by Marco Polo prove that the Mongol trading junks had frequented exactly the same ports as were a century later visited by powerful Chinese fleets.
The very name of all these Almost thou persuadest me 23 nationalities had now utterly disappeared from men's minds.
Mongol was the only name now for all Tartars, except that the powerful western Mongols, or Kalmucks, were usually distinguished as Eleuths.
The Niichfins, or Manchus, were loosely grouped as Uriangkha Mongols, and forgotten. Christianity utterly disappeared for over two centuries, and very little was heard of Islam.
The Japanese, aroused to secular hostility against China partly through the recollection of Kublai Khan's abortive invasion, kept up incessant piratical attacks upon the coasts.
The difficulty of repelling the Mongol attacks by land and the Japanese raids by sea led China to adopt a policy of exclusion, which was further accentuated when the Folangki, or Franks, in the shape of Portuguese and Spaniards, appeared upon the scene about 1 They were not at first recognized as the old Fuh-lin, but were supposed to be strange savages from the southern ocean.
It may be said that, between the collapse of the Mongols and the arrival by sea of Europeans, China kept pretty closely within her shell.
As for Zipangu, or Japan, it was appraised by us Westerners as a fictitious invention, until Mendez Pinto actually visited the place about During this period of comparatively peaceful seclusion, the Niichfin tribes, driven away by the Mongols, and for years almost entirely forgotten, had time to grow strong in their distant obscurity.
Under the new and ill-explained name of Manchu, they began to come into prominence on the Chinese frontier just at the very time Japan was nervously wrestling in her own domains with Christianity, and when the jealous Japanese Napoleon Hideyoshi was sending his Christian Generals to the front, like so many Uriahs, to attack China through Corea.
Meanwhile eunuch misgovernment and excessive taxation had provoked serious internal rebellions in Shan Si and Ho Nan. Expiring China had succeeded, before these broke out, in saving Corea from permanent occupation by Japan, and the first Jesuit missionaries managed to imbue the Chinese Emperor with a kindly and tolerant feeling towards Christianity.
At this auspicious moment, a lucky turn might have made China a Christian 24 China: Past and Present country under friendly European tutelage: Under pretext that there were no Intimate heirs to the Ming throne, the Manchu prince, in , declared himself Emperor of China, and proceeded to extend and consolidate his conquests.
Many readers, after the events of the past three years, will think it incongruous when I suggest that the Manchu dynasty is, perhaps, the very best the Chinese ever had.
But it is so. The first Emperor died young ; the second, K'ang-hi, ruled gloriously for sixty years, and has left a name which both in literature and in war is imperishable.
He thoroughly conquered and consolidated the Chinese Empire, besides securing his position in Mongolia, Russian Siberia, and Corea.
His grandson K'ien-lung also reigned for full sixty years ; he was one of the wittiest and most intelligent men that ever sat upon a throne.
Lord Macartney visited him just over a century ago. Decay and rebellion set in with the nineteenth century just expired. None of the Emperors were particularly bad men as rulers, but they have all been inferior in capacity to the two excellent monarchs above specified.
The Opium War of , the "Arrow" lorcha War of , the Taiping rebellion of , the Mussulman revolts in Yiin Nan and Kashgaria, the stealthy advance of Russia, the Japanese seizure of Formosa in , the French hostilities of ,— all these mark steps in disaster ; but, with Like a JVounded Snake 25 astonishing sagacity and vitality, China was gradually sur- viving the ill effects of all, and was consolidating her position, when the unfortunate Japanese war broke out.
This blow fairly staggered China. As she attempted to struggle to her feet, Germany delivered a final knock-out blow in the shape of the Kiao Chou affair; then took place a rush for the spoils of the dying gladiator.
In sheer desperation the old empire made one last mad dying lunge for freedom in the shape of the foolish " Boxer " revolt. Undoubtedly she would have been torn to pieces this time had it not been for the remnants of conscience ultimately exhibited by Great Britain, the United States, and Japan, for an alliance with which last-named gallant country I, with others, have pleaded from time to time — I am glad to say now, successfully.
In the present instance, references to the past will be confined to a few indispensable statistical data. Ross, of Manchuria, is the only European student who has — at least, so far as I am aware — produced figures from ancient Chinese history indicating what the population was supposed to be at a given date.
I possess the Chinese originals, but I have not verified all his figures, though I see no reason for doubting their accuracy. The period is too distant, and the social and economical conditions of those times are too little known to us, that we should accept these bare figures, apart from their context, as evidence bearing upon the population of modem times.
I merely quote 26 China: Past and Present them as an introductory illustration for purposes of proportion, and I ignore all numbers below a hundred thousand.
A fearful drop to 3,, families had taken place by A. This fact alone throws us on our beam ends so far as any chance of righting our historical position goes.
When the present Manchu dynasty had seated itself securely on the throne, it set about taking stock of its possessions. In there were 10,, taxable units; in the total had gone up to 14,, ; but this increase simply points to further conquests of territory; and there are then various ups and downs until , when we reach our first secure basis of 18,, From this time to there is steady progression year by year up to 19,, But the " Revolt of the Three Satraps " had by gradually reduced this figure to 16,,, and it was not until that lost ground was fully recovered.
From this time onwards we find the official returns are usually the same for pairs or triplets of years, showing apparently that they were no longer sent in annually ; but still the increase was steady and fairly uniform up to 17 12, when the Emperor resolved upon a new system.
The way it was done was this: The poll-tax was merged in the land-tax. But that computation does not mean that only ,, acres were cultivated.
Two second-class acres count as one good ; four poor as one good ; ten, or even twenty, barren as one good.
Hence from 17 13 to we have a double computation, divided into taxable and non-taxable units. By the taxable units had increased to 25,, ; not because taxes had been any way enhanced contrary to the new rule, but probably because emigrrants had brought Mongol lands under cultivation ; reclamations of marshes and river-beds had been made ; and the remain- ing scraps of untilled lands had been " raised to taxability.
In 17 13 the "free heads" numbered 60,, and this proportionate rate of increase upon the double total was pretty uniform up to , when the total had reached , During the Kalmuck wars of , no returns were sent in ; but, so soon as the Emperor found time to turn his attention to home affairs, he asked: I want to know how many human souls we possess.
Of course, between and the untaxed heads must have increased. Let us therefore assume, from the official figures issued by the Emperor's own authority, that in there were 27,, "doors," or families, con- taining ,, souls.
From this time to 1, when the population had risen to ,,, the official returns are given year by year, with 28 China: Past and Present the following exceptions: It is not explained why they are not given in those years.
I hope to elucidate the mystery some other time. Starting from this new basis, the population increases regularly up to ,, in , after which there is a great drop, in consequence of certain rebellions; low-water mark is reached in , and it is not until that lost ground is recovered.
Two remarks of the Emperor are worth noting as showing i that the returns were issued under his solemn authority, and 2 that there were good reasons required for sudden fluctuations.
He says in The vagaries of the Yellow River cause a good deal of irregularity during the next decade, and I may note for the benefit of the student of original documents that, when it is said " minus the returns of such a province not yet received," this qualification of a total does not appear to mean exactly that ; but rather, elliptically, " quoting last year's returns for such a province, which has not yet sent its papers in.
But in Cato the Censor tjc the Rev. Lobscheid translated from the Russian, and published in Hong Kong, a report by M. Sacharoff incidentally makes the remark that "the population for was 98, greater than that of Sacharoff also gives the increase between and 1 as 77,,, and that between 18 12 and as 53,, Having now examined the sole evidence upon which we can reasonably base our estimates, and arrived at conclusions which, though necessarily approximate and defective, are the only ones lexically possible on the premises, let us see how far the Taiping rebellion of forty years ago reduced the population.
In there was already a reduction of ,,; and by i the last year for which official estimates are given a further reduction of 70,, The precise figures are ,, and ,, Of course this does not necessarily mean that ,, people perished in ten years 50, a day , but probably that the anarchy prevailing rendered it impossible to secure any returns at all in devastated districts.
In other words, by applying to definite evidence rules of interpretation already 30 China: Past and Present proved historically sound, we have a primd facie right to assume that the present minimum population of China is not far from ,, The evidence we possess in support of this primd facie assumption once more comes through Russian sources ; the Russians alone having taken the trouble to do what any one else can do in China, Le.
But this evidence is always the same; it is simply the record of the Board of Revenue. There is no other. PopoiTs returns were translated and published in Shanghai ten years ago; ten provinces were for , and eight for — a singular arrangement which seems to point to a practice such as I have above surmised to exist, that of con- tinuing to use the same returns until the next set are sent in for the defaulting province.
His total is ,,, a figure at first sight twelve years too high ; but it must be remem- bered that the Yellow River reduced the population between 1 and 1 82 1 ; so that, instead of ,, for , we should add on ten years' increase to that figure.
In this was, in fact, about the population ; and by it had gone up to ,,, which, therefore, by abstract reasoning should be the true figure for PopofT once more comes to the rescue.
He has recently published in the Russian Geographical Society's Journal the returns for , obtained, as usual, from his accommodating friends at the Board.
His figures for the eighteen provinces of China proper are ,, But Formosa is included in this total, and in Formosa had not yet developed a true Chinese status, so that the difference between ,, and ,, both on the basis of excluding Formosa is not so very great.
Having now explained how the population of China came to be ,, in and ,, in , 1 will give two tables, both obtained by M.
PopofT, at different dates, from the Board, showing the effects upon the population of each province produced by the Taiping rebellion chiefly in the Yangtsze Valley, the Panthay rebellion in Yun Nan, and the Mussulman rebellion in Kan Suh.
For convenience I knock off or add all fractions of , as being both uncertain and unessential. Multitude of Counsellors 31 Name of Province.
In case of Fuh Kien, Kwang Tung Kwei Chou Shan Si Shan Tung Popoifs second total of ,, as above explained. The third column in the case of Fuh Kien, is anonymous, but I think I recognize in it the hand of a very able British official, who, of course, had his reasons for privacy.
It will be noticed that in every case where M. After wandering over the province for many years, he estimated the popu- lation in at 25,, ; but of course such casual estimates can have little value.
In the case of Chdh Kiang, I possess the Governor's returns for — always between eleven and twelve millions ; moreover, I have myself tramped throughout the length and breadth of the province, and seen its desolation.
Chih Li is unsatisfactory, for we do not know 32 China: Past and Present if the metropolitan district is included, not to mention the Mongols: Fuh Kien's exact figures 25,, are exactly the same for and , so that we may be certain they have been " carried on " for many years.
Ho Nan lost ground during the Yellow River flood of Hu Nan and Hu Peh need no justification. Yakub Beg and the Dungans almost depopulated Kan Suh previous to the Chinese reconquest in ; probably the Mussul- man rebellion of has reduced the population to 8,, There was a famine in Kiang Si a few years ago, but I am surprised to see the population so much reduced.
PopofT, for Kiang Su could hardly increase 20 per cent in ten years. Kwang Si was the birthplace of the Taiping rebellion, as it now is of another anti-dynastic rebellion.
Kwang Tung has recently suffered from floods, drought, and plague. The Kwei Chou figures for are probably a misprint for 4,, On the other hand, the Panthay and Taiping rebellions both affected the province between and Shan Si was half depopulated by famine and rats during ; the Rev.
Hill has published full accounts of the hideous suffering undergone. Shan Tung is stationary; it sends off its surplus population to Manchuria, Mongolia, and even Corea.
Shen Si suffered by the Dungan rebellion. I cannot possibly believe that the Sz Ch'wan people trebled their numbers in forty years. Certainly, there is a vast and steady immigration of Kiang Si, Hu Nan, Hu Peh, and Shen Si men; but at least half the province is the almost inaccessible resort of Lolos and Tibetan tribes.
True, The Things which are Ccesar's 33 peace and prosperity have reigned for fifty years, and the figures given are positive.
I simply do not believe them, and leave readers to judge for themselves whether a moun- tainous country like Switzerland, with a cultivated area not greater than that of France, can support a population double that of France.
If true, then the maximum revenue of six millions means that each soul only contributes threepence a year for all charges and taxes put together.
As to Yiin Nan there must be some mistake, the Panthay rebellion having desolated the whole province ; probably the figure 1 1,, for should be 4,, The principles upon which the Chinese revenue is col- lected were explained in a series of letters which I wrote to the Times during the year i8th and 27th August, 12th and 15th September, 31st December.
I now furnish an amended statement of what I conceive the Chinese revenue to be: Like the Population Table, it is notably defective, in that the figures of each item for one and the same year are rarely obtainable ; the Foreign Customs column alone is uniformly taken for the year , and the true gross total is including fractions of 21,, taels.
If the Kowloon Hong Kong and Lappa Macao stations are included, another million must be added, and the total becomes 22,, ; but these two places are not exactly in China, and the revenue is practically con- tributed by the Chinese residing in British and Portuguese colonies.
Of the sixteen perpendicular columns only half the number can be taken seriously in the sense of rateable revenue.
Tea duties are of no very great importance except in Fuh Kien, and even there it is doubtful whether they are not already counted in the likin, or in the native customs totals.
The extra million of Miscellaneous under Kwang Tung refers to the Examina- tion Lottery, which is farmed out for an enormous bonus every few years, apart from annual royalties on tickets sold ; the Chinese Government is ashamed of this iniquitous income, but is obliged to accept it in self-defence, as otherwise Macao "operates" the business, and the Portuguese get the money.
Ten per cent, of the Foreign Customs Revenue must be deducted for running expenses; so that even including Lappa and Kowloon 20,, net is the utmost we can i.
Of the Manchurian tables at the foot of the Chinese totals I shall speak separately. Jamieson's computations as published in the Foreign Office Report.
The three Manchurian provinces are in all cases excluded, and Mr, Jamieson's Foreign Customs are for The fourth column alludes to an official estimate presented to the Emperor by the Board, to which attention was drawn in the Economist of the 3rd of April, Past and Present Head of Revenue.
The main point of the com- parison is that the two rough estimates of myself and the Board agree within , taels ; and that the worked-out estimates of myself and Mr.
Jamieson agree within , taels ; each of the three parties having worked in ignorance of what the other two were doing.
To complete the subject, I append to the Revenue Table for China proper further estimates for Manchuria, a subject upon which I have also addressed two letters to the Times May 23 and August i, PopofTs estimates based upon the Board's documents the total The Pleasure of being cheated 37 population of all Manchuria does not exceed six millions.
The following are his figures for Payers of Land Tax, X The large revenue of Manchuria proper has only been raised within the last two years, and the gold-mines of Tsitsihar are a very uncertain asset Previous to the Japanese war, it may be said in round terms that each of the three Manchurian provinces required a subsidy of , taels a year, but a fearful condition of confusion and peculation reigned in all departments.
Though we are thus able to get near the total revenue figures, it would puzzle the shrewdest firm of chartered accountants to arrive at an exact total for the per contra.
Indeed, were it possible at all clearly to unravel the tangled web of Chinese peculation, the thorough reform of the finances would be merely the matter of a few months' work by Sir Robert Hart and his men.
However, I herewith furnish the best table I can. It will be seen from the last column but one that one-third of the total receipts cannot be accounted for in detail at all, and that the proportion of unaccountability varies with each province.
It is certain that official authorized pay must amount in each case to half a million or a million taels, according to the number of cities.
The local loans must be paid off; the walling in of the reconquered Turkestan cities has to be paid for; the Board and the eunuchs want their " rice money ; " there are many colleges and training schools at Peking, Canton, Nanking, Tientsin, Wuchang, etc There is the copper- mining, under official auspices, of Yun Nan ; official herds in Mongolia and Manchuria ; presents for Mongol princes ; support of parks and hunting-grounds ; and so on.
Of all these, exact statements are lacking. Some of the grain tax is retained to feed provincial Manchu garrisons, and several provinces use up all their own grain tax.
The Palace remittances are certainly now fixed at very near the detailed total I give. The North-East Fund is fixed at 2,,, but for many years it has admittedly been in arrear.
The North-West Fund of 4,, has always been promptly remitted, and all the viceroys and governors con- cerned were thanked for doing so in ; but, as will be seen, I am 1,, taels short in the detail.
Both these funds simply mean "Defence against Russia. The Ku-pht Fund is always steady. The Admiralty Fund is very capricious, and in any event, for some strange reason, only four-fifths of the sums asked need be sent.
In some mysterious way the Railway Fund pretty steady is mixed up with it ; but also. Past and Present by some hocus-pocus, is occasionally "veered" to do duty for the Empress' private pleasures.
The Emperor recently gave orders for seven- tenths to be at once abolished; but each province fights fiercely for its " squeezes.
The Aids in Support like the Sub- sidies on the other side cannot reasonably be counted twice, as they already form part of the total expenditure of the provinces granting them.
I have been tied down to space, and cannot therefore enlarge further upon the subject of expenditure. No attempt has yet been made to draw up a Chinese budget, and I can only hope, therefore, that this skeleton table, which at best is very defective, may be of service in indicating the way for future inquirers.
At present the only plan is to arrest every fugitive statement of ofiicial fact, nail it down, group it, collate it, and dish it up with others of its kind in its presumed place; accepting this as statistics until the moment shall arrive when some financier pounces upon the quarry, and finds it possible to turn chaos into order.
I may make one more remark. The 4,, con- tributed by the provinces to Kan Suh seems to be expended by Kan Suh , and Shen Si , combined; it all depends, however, upon what is meant by "intra- mark" and "extra-mark;" or, in other words, from where the " military" frontier is reckoned.
Moreover, the Chinese department of the Newchwang customs confusingly styled Shan-hai Kwan, though that place is far away seems to be under the Viceroy of Chih Li, at least for some purposes.
In order to strike a balance between the Revenue and the Expenditure Tables, I have been obliged to adopt the device of inserting a minus quantity of , taels under the head of unexplained Kirin outgoings.
Kirin is the one province whose obvious incomings, even including subsidies, are short of its expenditure ; hence the sum is rather an unexplained asset than an unexplained shortage.
The whole question of Manchurian receipts and expenditure is a very loose one, and I only include those three provinces in order to indicate a basis for future inquiry.
All that is to be feared is that amongst such persons the good and the bad may get mixed, and that pretexts may be taken to raise trouble with native Christians.
Brooks in Shan Tung, and later, it appears, of certain Belgian engineers. Moreover, the native newspapers, in which the above decree is published a few days later, note with alarm that the ''Boxer" movement has spread with great rapidity across the province of Chih Li right up to the neighbourhood of Newchwang, where many immature youths in their teens have been gained over by the propaganda.
Nor is that a matter for unqualified regret, for it is now hopelessly corrupt, cowardly, and inefficient ; worst of all, it is vacillating, for a persistent villain is a better administrator to have than a weak old simpleton, willing to be hoodwinked.
But at the same time the Chinese themselves are politically as treacherous as the Manchus, besides being infinitely more crafty ; and therefore, whatever happens, it is highly desirable that European Powers including America and Japan in this term should stand to- gether and prevent the " yellow corpse" from putrefying their own existence.
Whatever our rivalries and jealousies, we Europeans, including even Russia, are all imbued with the one spirit of humanity, justice, and progress, summed up in the word " Christian ; " and this is none the less so though half of us may be atheists, freethinkers, and Jews; for it is the spirit of Christianity imbibed with our mothers' milk which forms our minds, even if we reject the puerilities of this or that dogma ; nor is it any the less so because we happen to be hostile to, and even at war with, each other.
Every Chinese dynasty, and every Tartar dynasty ruling China, has disappeared in a pandemonium of anarchy and butchery. The Manchu dynasty seems bound to go in the same way, and the only thing is to localize the evil and let the anarchists cook in their own juice until they are tired of cooking, taking care that as few European interests as possible are injured.
Compared with Asiatic d masties generally, the Manchu dynasty was at first excellent and intelligent: The well- meaning legitimately selected Emperor is practically a victim to the assassin already.
For whose good is it to support such a dynasty? Being there, the dynasty is convenient to us in so far that it remains a tool which we can handle for our own purposes in a gingerly way without the necessity of hunting for a new tool which might possibly cut us.
But it has no other use under the present usurper and her minions. It is out of the question to substitute a Chinese dynasty, for there is no family in China whose name carries respect and weight throughout the provinces.
But things must not be allowed to come with a rush. If the "Boxers" or any other society once gain headway, a fearful amount of useless bloodshed and wanton destruction will take place ; so the first and most urgent thing is to restore order wherever threatened, and keep the military adventurers on the right side.
It does not in the least matter who runs the machine during this restive 46 China: Past and Present stage, so long as it is run on commission steadily and un- flinchingly.
It is high time now that, after two thousand years of political serfdom, the intelligent and industrious Chinese people, who are excellent municipal and village organizers, should have recognized rights conferred upon them.
K'ang Yu-wei himself should be thrust aside as a dangerous agitator, meddling with matters he only half understands. In the same way Germany may reasonably put Shan Tung in order, without in any way treading upon others' toes.
We and Japan must keep the Shan-hai Kwan open. At the "proper moment" we ourselves should be prepared to hold the gates and the lanes of the Yangtsze ; this we ought to be able to do as easily now as we did during the Taiping rebellion.
France in Hainan, Kwang Si, and parts of Yiin Nan and Kwang Tung ; Japan in Fuh Kien ; Italy in Chfih Kiang; ourselves, again, in Yiin Nan and Kwang Tung ; the Indian Government in Tibet ; the Russians in Hi — here we have work cut out for all; and, starting from these bases, there is no reason why we should not each steadily advance year by year into our respective Hinterlands, and gradually turn the corpse into healthy meat.
It is not necessary to commit acts of aggression or conquest He that fights and runs away 47 Amongst modem missionary reforms, none is more remarkable or worthy of admiration than the Anti-Foot- binding, or Tien-tsu Hwei, started by Mrs.
The fact that so pig-headedly conservative a people as the Chinese are actually rising to the height of this reform amply illustrates how easy our general work will be when the ignorant people discover that we are really labouring for their benefit.
Missionaries of all kinds should have a free handy but under consular control ; and Lord Salisbury never came to a wiser decision than when he accepted Dr.
Temple's recommendation to decline an official status for the Protestant half of them. The occupation of Kiao Chou by the Germans, and the cession to the British of Wei-hai Wei, only increased the uneasy feeling that famines, floods, and the menaces of secret societies had for some time locally aroused in men's minds.