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offered him. The Crimson Eyebrows disbanded, and Lieou Penti, a younger member of the Han family, whom they had put forward as Emperor, became a state prisoner. Fongy crowned the campaign by a brilliant success over a large army composed of the fragments of several rebel bands. With this victory, won two years after his accession to power, Kwang Vouti had crushed all his domestic opponents, and was able to turn his attention to affairs connected with the state, and its foreign relations.
Although thus far victorious, Kwang Vouti had still many troubles and difficulties before him; in fact, his whole life was spent in the task of overcoming them. A great war in the south was carried on with remarkable vigour and bitterness. It had many phases, and did not conclude until a much later period ; but in the year 29 of our era a general named Keng Kang brought its first phase to a satisfactory conclusion by several victories obtained over superior numbers. The honour of these successes belonged exclusively to Keng Kang, who, although on the eve of being reinforced by the Emperor in person, seized a favourable opportunity for striking a decisive blow against his adversary. When one of his lieutenants recommended that he should defer his attack until the Emperor had come up with fresh troops, Keng Kang is reported to have made the following apposite reply: "The duty of a son and of a subject, when his father or his prince is expected, is to prepare the best wine and to kill the fattest calf for their reception, and to go forth to welcome them in advance; therefore since the Emperor is so close at hand we must give battle to-morrow, in order that we may appear before him as brave and faithful subjects.” The victory was commensurate with the spirit in which it was fought on the side of the Imperial troops. The rebel leaders, indeed, escaped from the field, but discord followed in the train of defeat. Mutual recriminations ensued when one leader, seeing no hope save in recognizing the authority of the Emperor, murdered his comrade and accepted the terms offered him.
Another bitter war was fought with an ambitious prince named Weigao, in the difficult country between Shensi and
A PEACEFUL WARRIOR. Io5
Szchuen, but during many years the result proved dubious. At last this chief died, and, although his son Weichun inherited both his position and his ambition, the Chinese generals then succeeded in bringing the war to a speedy termination. Weichun, having been taken prisoner, was placed in honourable confinement, but, breaking his parole, was recaptured and executed. Kwang Vouti had been twelve years on the throne when this event occurred, and, wearied of the long wars which he had been compelled to wage, he looked forward to peace and tranquillity during the remainder of his life. It is reported that, when his son asked him, about this time, how an army was placed in order of battle, he refused to reply, in the hope that, if an everlasting peace had not been reached, his wars, at least, were over. Events were to prove too strong for him. Desirous of being a man of peace, the necessities of the time made him a warrior. While professing his wish to devote his days to the study of the art of government, and to sheathe a sword he had wielded since his boyhood, the number of his opponents, the confidence of his neighbours that China was in a state of decrepitude, kept his attention directed to the field of active affairs, and prevented the sword of just authority being hidden in the scabbard. So to the end of his days Kwang Vouti remained a man of war. Out of civil disturbance, fostered in some cases by restless neighbours, there arose foreign wars and expeditions against the states adjoining his own. From Leaoutung to Cochin China, on all the borders of the Empire, there was not an ambitious chieftain, or a marauding clan, which did not see a favourable opportunity for encroachment, if only for the purposes of rapine. It was Kwang Vouti's peculiar duty to show that this opinion was a mistaken one, and to restore the diminished splendour of the authority of the Chinese sovereign. Among the most notable of the wars thus occasioned was that with the state of Kaochi, the modern Tonquin and Cochin China. The subjection of a portion of this country will not have been forgotten; and during the crisis of these later years there stood forth in that region a daring woman, who aspired to be the deliverer of her native land. This
heroine, a princess of the native line, was called Chingtse, and, having stirred up her own people and those of the neighbouring states, she led her army to encounter the Chinese troops garrisoning the country. Her skill proved as conspicuous as the intrepidity she had previously shown, and the Chinese garrison was either destroyed or sought safety by making a timely retreat. Chingtse was proclaimed Queen of Kaochi, and for a time she ruled her native land with wisdom and without being disturbed. Kwang Vouti could not acquiesce in so decisive a reverse at the hands of a woman. It was incumbent upon him to act vigorously for the retrieval of a defeat calculated to injure his reputation more seriously than other disasters of greater importance. A vast armament was collected both on land and on sea, the roads to Kaochi were repaired, and after months spent in preparations for carrying on war on a large scale, an immense army was collected in the southern portion of Kwantung for the invasion and reconquest of Kaochi. Mayuen, who ranked with Fongy and Keng Kang as the best generals of the age, was entrusted with the command. Chingtse spared no effort to worthily oppose this host, and in the battle of the war the Chinese historians admit that, had her allies fought with the same resolution as her immediate followers, it might have gone hard with their own troops. In the result, however, Chingtse was completely defeated, and her country again became the vassal of China. No sooner had Mayuen brought this campaign to a successful conclusion, than he volunteered to lead another army against the Hiongnou, saying that it ill became a man of courage to die in his bed surrounded by his family, for a field of battle strewn with arrows, pikes, and swords, was in truth his only bier of honour. Mayuen, elated by previous success, was not completely victorious in this new enterprise, and years were passed in a desultory warfare which, although tending to consolidate the authority of the Emperor, was marked by no event of striking importance. Both the Hiongnou and other Tartar tribes in the west, and the Sienpi in the north were, after twenty years of constant warfare, less reluctant than they had been to accept the generous terms of the Emperor, and
Kwang Vouti's closing years were marked by, if not an assured peace, at least a respectful truce.
In the year A.D. 57 Kwang Vouti died, after a reign of thirty-three years, leaving behind him a reputation for ability, and for a desire to foster the interests of his people, scarcely inferior to that of any of his race. To his ability as a general much of the credit for the restoration of the Hans was due, and it was not the least meritorious feature of his reign that his moderation helped still more towards restoring the popularity of his family. He never pronounced a sentence of death without regret, and until his offers had been spurned, and his acts reciprocated with treachery, he never treated his adversaries with the sternness always meted out in Eastern countries to a foe. He strove above all things to restrain the ambition of the great, and to govern the country in accordance, not with the interests of the few, but with the necessities of the many. China has had greater rulers than Kwang Vouti, but she has never had one more popular with or better loved by his subjects.
Mingti, the fourth of his sons, was chosen to succeed this ruler (A.D. 57), and during his reign of eighteen years gave general satisfaction to his subjects by his wisdom and clemency. The clouds which had so thickly obscured the horizon had to a great extent cleared off, and although there were troubles in the neighbouring kingdoms, only the echo of them penetrated into China. The strength of the Hiongnou had greatly declined in consequence of divisions in their own camp, and a few successes obtained in the Kokonor region by a general named Panchow, who will play a prominent part in the history of the next reign, sufficed to bring the whole of the bordering tribes to their knees. With the exception of this war, in which the Chinese strength was only partly engaged, Mingti's reign was one of peace. Prominent among the great works to which he devoted his attention and surplus wealth, was that of regulating the course of the Hoangho, which had proved a perennial source of destruction to the adjoining provinces. Mingti caused a dyke thirty miles in length to be constructed for the relief of the superfluous waters, and so long as this great work was kept in
repair we hear no more of the overflowing of the Yellow river. Mingti, if not indulging in war, took steps to promote the efficiency of his troops. He restored the military exercise, and rendered it incumbent on all to practise the use of the national bow. Devoted to literature, he still spared time to impress on his generals the precepts of Mayuen, whose daughter Machi he had married. When Mingti died, in A.D. 75, the Hans were firmly reseated on the throne. All rebels had been either vanquished or brought into subjection, and from Corea to Cochin China, from Kokonor to the Eastern Sea, there were none but loyal subjects or contented vassals of the Emperor. The most remarkable event in the reign of Mingti was certainly the official introduction into China of Buddhism, which, although often opposed by subsequent rulers, bitterly hated by all the followers of Confucius, and treated with dislike and indifference by the people as a foreign invention, made good its position in spite of every obstacle, and still remains inextricably entwined with the religious customs of the nation and the state. In consequence of a dream that appeared to Mingti, and interpreted to him as meaning that he had seen the supernatural being worshipped in the West, under the name of Fo or Buddha, the Emperor sent envoys into India, or Tianchow, to learn what they could about this new teacher, and if possible to bring back his law. In this they completely succeeded; and although some rumours of Buddhism, and of the teachings of Sakya Muni, appear to have penetrated into China at a much earlier period, it was not until the first century of our era was far advanced that, at the invitation of a Chinese ruler, Buddhism made its formal entry into the country, and took its place among the creeds in which it was held permissible for rational men to put their faith. On Mingti's death his son Changti, not eighteen years old at the time, became Emperor, and his reign also was one of tranquillity scarcely disturbed by the noise of war. Neither civil brawl nor foreign strife marred the even tenour of his days. It is true that when he assumed authority the embers of a quarrel were still smouldering on the north-western