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to proceed to the quarter where he had already gained much distinction, although his military ability had not availed to give solid peace to this troubled region. Further engagements followed, but the practical result remained almost the same. The Chinese retained full and unquestioned possession of the cultivated country within the borders of the northwest provinces; but they were unable to destroy, and were beginning to find it unprofitable to challenge, the right of the Tartars to levy black mail on all who passed through the desert.
The Mongols themselves now experienced a more severe loss than the adverse decision of numerous skirmishes in the death of Kuku Timour, whose fortitude and energy had long contributed to the preservation of their cause. The nominal ruler of this race, Gaiourcheritala, whose father's faults had lost him the imperial diadem of China, also died a few months later, but the fact would not possess much significance save for the incident that attended it. Hongwou sent a mission of condolence to his successor. He may have done this in the belief that the new prince would be his former protégé, Maitilipala, but under any supposition the act shows that these border affairs were regaining their normal aspect. The exMongol princes were again becoming the chiefs of a pastoral and nomadic people.
Some sort of assured tranquillity having at last settled down on the northern marches, it was not inappropriate that the long career of Suta should reach its close when the most important portion of his labours had been ratified by the verdict of success. And so it happened, although this great soldier was still, comparatively speaking, a young man, and might have rendered many more years of faithful and useful service to his Sovereign. But that was not to be, and Suta, who during his retirement filled the honorary post of Governor to the Prince Imperial, died peacefully at the capital. With him disappeared the foremost and most notable of the men who had assisted Hongwou in his great enterprises, and the death of Suta heralded the end of this eventful reign. Hongwou mourned for the loss of his favourite general in private, while in public he pronounced a funeral oration over
A CHINESE HERO.
him as the ideal soldier. Suta's statue was placed in the great hall at Nankin, and marked the addition of another celebrity to the list of departed Chinese heroes."
Both in the south, and also in the north, there were further troubles arising out of the wars in Szchuen and Leaoutung ; but these, although fraught with considerable importance as marking further stages in the work of reuniting and pacifying the country, do not call for detailed notice. In Leaoutung, Nahachu had assumed a bolder attitude, and resorted to more vigorous measures. From being a leader in petty raids he advanced to the more dignified position of the commander of an army, and even menaced the hold which Hongwou had established with little trouble to himself over this province. But although he invaded the low country and threatened several strong places, his increased confidence in himself did not bring any greater success; rather may it be said to have contributed to his fall, for it often happens that the confederacy which is formidable in irregular warfare, and if engaged in detachments, is easily overthrown and broken up when it attempts to combine and assume a vigour that it does not possess in reality. Such was the case with Nahachu. His followers were defeated with heavy loss, and he himself escaped with difficulty to the hills, which he never should have quitted. From that time Nahachu gave much less
Suta was only fifty-four years of age, and during thirty of these he had borne arms. Keen Lung, translated by Delamarre (p. 83), said of him :-"Suta spoke little, and was endowed with great penetration. He was always on good terms with the generals acting with him, sharing the good and bad fortune alike of his soldiers, of whom there was not one who, touched by his kindness, would not have done his duty to the death. He was not less pronounced in his modesty. He had conquered a capital, three provinces, several hundreds of towns, and on the very day of his return to court from these triumphs he went without show, and without retinue to his own house, received there some learned professors, and discussed various subjects with them. Throughout his life he was, in the presence of the Emperor, respectful and so reserved that one might have doubted his capacity to speak. The Emperor was in the babit of speaking thus in his praise : My orders received, he forthwith departed ; his task accomplished, he returned without pride and without boasting. He loves not women, he does not amass wealth. A man of sinct integrity, without the slightest stain ; as pure and clear as the sun and moon, there is none like my first general Suta.'”
serious trouble to the officials of Leaoutung” than he had done before, and Hongwou's authority was generally accepted and recognized throughout this province and the north-east. Nor were Hongwou's arms less successful in Yunnan. Two acts of perfidy had embittered the contest there and rendered the subjection of Yunnan a matter of as urgent necessity for the sake of vindicating the majesty of Chinese authority as for regaining possession of another and the last of the provinces of the Empire. Many other pressing affairs required the attention of Hongwou, and the preparations for this campaign being necessarily of a complicated and arduous nature, several years elapsed before the slow-moving arm of Chinese vengeance reached the wrong-doers in this quarter; but not for the lapse of time did the blow fall less heavy, nor did the Chinese forget the full measure of the injury they had suffered. To Fuyuta, whose uniform success had marked the later campaigns against the Mongols, Hongwou entrusted the command of the army which was charged with the task of accomplishing the last of his great military enterprises; and neither the number of the troops nor the details of the preparations left the general cause to doubt the full and speedy triumph of his operations. The invading forces were divided into two bodies; one, under the command of an officer named Koeen, and computed to consist of 50,000 men, advanced through Szchuen on the town of Ousan, menacing Yunnan from the north ; while the second, led by Fuyuta in person, assailed it on the eastern side from Kweichow. Both armies advanced for some distance into the country without encountering any very serious opposition; but at Kinsing, a * To this success must be attributed the resumption of official intercourse between the Courts of China and Corea. In 1369 Wang Jwan, King of Corea, had sent an envoy to Hongwou, and in 1375 it was followed by a formal embassy. Wang Jwan died about the latter year, and was succeeded by his son Yu, who enjoyed possession of the throne for only a short period, as he was deposed and ultimately poisoned. His son Mao, who succeeded him, met with the same fate; and an ambitious minister, Li Chungwei, seized the throne and established a dynasty of his own. The descendants of Li Chungwei still govern the
CONQUEST OF YUNNAN.
427 town situated a short distance north-west of the capital, the Yunnan prince concentrated in a position of considerable strength all his troops, and checked the further progress of the Chinese general. But it was not for long. Fuyuta executed some intricate manœuvres, of which it would be difficult to indicate the significance, but which had the effect of bringing on a general action. The battle was stubbornly contested, and lasted many hours; and at one time it looked as if one-half of the Chinese army, which was separated from the other by a river, would be overwhelmed before assistance could come to it. Fuyuta's promptitude retrieved the day, and the local forces were driven from the field with heavy loss, leaving 20,000 prisoners in his hands. The fall of the capital followed a very short time after this overthrow of the army, and the Prince of Yunnan fled for refuge to the hills of the Burmese frontier. The remainder of Yunnan was soon reduced to subjection, and these successes were obtained with as little bloodshed and trouble as could have been expected under the circumstances.
But the pacification of this region was not to be completed without a tragical incident. The Chinese soldiers had fought with valour, and their generals had shown moderation towards the defeated, so long as open hostilities continued; but when, after a short period of tranquillity, the inhabitants of certain districts rose up against their authority, and entered the field as rebels, the whole attitude of the Chinese underwent a change. From moderation and forbearance they passed at once to the extreme of severity, if not of cruelty. The unfortunate and ill-advised insurgents were butchered, and it is estimated that, before tranquillity was restored, 30,000 of them had suffered at the point of the sword. Such has always been the Chinese practice. In their treatment of an open foe they have generally shown justice, and sometimes magnanimity; but towards rebels their attitude has always been one of stern and relentless cruelty.
The Empire was now thoroughly at peace, and a succession of favourable seasons greatly promoted the prosperity of the people. Within the limits of the provinces of the country there were none left with either thc wish or the power to dispute Hongwou's authority, and the Chinese nation employed itself, with that energy and intuitive skill which are among its principal characteristics, in recovering from the depressing effects of a long season of anarchy and internal strife. And the progress made towards recovery was astonishingly rapid. In contrast with the general happiness and tranquillity of the people, the numerous skirmishes on the remote frontier lose their significance and become merely the ordinary incidents in the daily life of a great governing people.*
The chief, Nahachu, whose raids into Leaoutung have already been mentioned, had again drawn together the Mongol forces in the east, and, having made extensive preparations for a final bid for power, resumed at this conjuncture his operations against the Ming officials in that province. Although it might appear that the danger from this quarter was not of any serious character, yet Hongwou attached sufficient importance to it to induce him to send a large body of fresh troops, under the command of the generals Fongching and Fuyuta, into the province. A desultory campaign, marked rather by a conflict of words than by an interchange of blows, ensued, and in the result Nahachu's followers were dispersed or taken prisoners, while their chief, either by treachery or cajolery, was captured and sent to Nankin. Other successes followed, and the verdict of previous victory was amply ratified by the flight of the Mongol chieftains into the recesses of Manchuria and westwards towards the Tian Shan.
The last eight years of Hongwou's reign were undisturbed by any serious commotion, although a mutiny among a portion of his army, encouraged by an ambitious officer, seemed likely to cause great trouble. The scheme was fortunately divulged in good time, so that the Emperor's measures for the preservation of order were both prompt and effectual. Lanyu, whose share in the campaigns in Leaoutung, to which reference
* The population of China in the year 1394 is given at 16,052,860 households, and 60,545,812 souls. This would not include the inhabitants of the outlying districts and provinces, but it shows how greatly the Chinese people must have suffered from the ravages of these long wars.