Imatges de pàgina

the same violent remedy as on the former occasion ; but this event belongs to a later period. The successive massacres of Manilla show, however, that the same principles of government which were carried out by the Spaniards in America against the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru were enforced in the Philippines. In estimating the policy of the Chinese towards Europeans, much of their national dislike must be attributed to the impression produced by these massacres, and all other countries have had to suffer in this matter from the brutal and cowardly cruelty of the representatives of Spain * in the Chinese seas.

While these events were in progress for the establishment of commercial relations, individuals, urged by a laudable zeal to spread the truths of Christianity, had succeeded in gaining admission into China, where they were received with more consideration than would have been shown in Europe to any who came to teach the doctrines of Sakya Muni, or to explain the ethics of Confucius. The advent of these foreigners attracted little notice, and they appear to have been regarded with the complacent satisfaction which a great people always finds in the arrival of strangers from remote countries, whose very presence is an implied compliment to their own fame. Of these missionaries, charged by the Pope to convert the heathen in China, the first to arrive in the year 1581 was Michel Roger, a member of the Order of Jesuits. He was followed, two years later, by Ricci, who gained a ready way to the Emperor's favour by the presents of a repeating watch and a clock. Of Matthew Ricci it may be said that he possessed all the qualities necessary to convey a favourable impression both of his religion and his race; and to his tact

* The Dutch did not appear on the scene until some years later. In 1624 they arrived off Macao, but the Portuguese drove them away. They then established themselves on the west coast of Formosa, where at a later period more will be heard of their doings. The French did not arrive till a much later period (reign of Kanghi), except as missionaries. In 1596 Elizabeth wrote a letter to the Emperor, but it did not reach its destination. Other attempts were made, but English intercourse did not fairly begin until 1634, when Captain Weddell's voyage, which was chiefly remarkable for the discovery of the mouth of the Canton river, and for the valour shown by our sailors and the ability evinced by the commander. FRENCH MISSIONARIES. 493

during a residence of twenty-eight years must be attributed the solid footing which the French missionaries obtained at Pekin, and which they retained, with rare intervals, for nearly two centuries. Others followed in their footsteps, and of these the most notable were Adam Schaal and Verbiest .

The Chinese authorities seem to have regarded with a tolerant and half-amused curiosity these attempts to convert them; but, although two high officials at least were baptized, and extended their protection to the foreign priests, very little progress could be reported in the work they had undertaken. On the other hand, the missionaries were, in a worldly sense, most useful. They reformed—on the recommendation of a Chinese official Li Chitsao, or Peter, President of the Tribunal of Rites at Nankin—the Chinese calendar, and corrected several astronomical errors. The Imperial Observatory flourished under their direction, and more correct maps of the provinces were drawn under their supervision. In short, they placed at the disposal of the Pekin ministers their superior information, and, in return for the practical benefits they were able to confer, they received the rights of residency and fair treatment. But the Chinese * remained cold in any advances towards Christianity.

Wanleh's difficulties had proved unceasing since the first days of his accession to power. Even the Miaotze, those savage and unconquered hillmen of Kweichow, would not spare the anxieties of this unfortunate prince. As early as the year 1586 they had given the authorities much trouble, and obliged them to have recourse to extreme measures. More than thirty years later, in 1617, they broke out afresh, when the disturbances on the northern frontier were embarrassing the Government, and under a leader named Mongchang they committed numerous depredations in the plains. This quarrel was apparently arranged, but the Emperor's representative accepted the amicable expressions of the mountaineers, and did not push the matters with them to extremities.

These petty risings were of very small moment in com

• As M. Hue, himself an ardent missionary, has put it—"A melancholy trait is it in the character of this people, that Christian truth does but glide orer its surface In

parison with the great struggle which was going on in the North with the Manchu Tartars, and which was to give a fresh turn to the destinies of China. We have to consider this important contest in detail; but although it began while Wanleh was still reigning, the other final incidents of his reign may be here briefly summed up.

One of the principal sources of anxiety to Wanleh's ministers was that, having no legitimate children, he had postponed the selection and proclamation of an heir. In 1590 he had been entreated to recognize one of his illegitimate sons as his heir, but his inclinations did not point in that direction. He accordingly rejected the proposition. Eleven years later the popular feeling on this subject had become so strong that Wanleh did not feel able any longer to run counter to it, more especially as there was then no hope of the Empress having a son. In 1601, therefore, Wanleh proclaimed Chu Changlo, the eldest of his children, Heir-Apparent, and on the second, whom he secretly favoured, he conferred the title of Prince Fou Wang. This act of decision did not, however, bring the Emperor that domestic peace for which he may have hoped.

The Prince Fou Wang, whose ambition had been raised by his father's preference for him, did not conceal the dissatisfaction with which he regarded an arrangement that consigned him to a place of secondary importance. His party was composed of men who felt little scruple as to the means they employed to compass their ends so long as they were attained; and the Prince Fou Wang himself appears to have been an accomplished intriguer. He doubled the guards attached to his person, and he spread abroad calumnies about his brother. At last he caused a proclamation to be issued affirming that the Emperor had only chosen Chu Changlo as his heir in consequence of the importunities of the ministers. This announcement excited great agitation, and the ministers insisted on its authors being discovered and punished. Accordingly, Wanleh published an edict to the effect that they should be dealt with according to their deserts, and without regard to either their quality or rank. Several arrests were made, and one courtier, although his innocence EUROPEAN INTERCOURSE. 495

was clearly established, was executed ; but the real culprits escaped. In 1615 an accident revealed the truth, and the ambitious schemes of Fou Wang and his mother, the Queen Chingchi, were laid bare. Even Wanleh's partiality could not overlook so flagrant a wrong, and all the guilty would then have been punished with death but for the intervention of Prince Chu Changlo. To the man whom above any one else they had desired to injure, they owed their lives and the condonation of their crimes.

Wanleh continued to reign until the year 1620, when he died as much from the consequences of mental distress as from any bodily ailment . The perils which had beset him from the first days of his accession to the throne had culminated in the invasion of the Manchu Tartars, and when he died he left his realm exposed to the assaults of its northern foe. The standards of the enemy, to use the words of the historian of the dynasty, were already metaphorically, if not actually, at the gates of his capital. Several emperors of the Ming family, indeed, ascended the Dragon Throne before the final overthrow of the reigning house was completed, but with Wanleh's death a formal invitation to the Manchus to invade the country as conquerors was issued.

Were there no other event to mark out the reign of Wanleh as a distinct epoch in history, the first introduction of Europeans into the country in a character independent of the Government would suffice. Then began that contact with the nations of the West which has resulted in the present vast commercial intercourse of China with the foreigner, and which has not, as yet, proved destructive to cither the institutions or the power of this Empire. That intercourse has now been freed from many of the restrictions which hindered its development, and will yet attain proportions far in excess of those that it has reached. Its origin has been recorded, and the description of its growth will afford one of the most difficult problems in connection with the modern history of the country. We have again to turn our attention to the consideration of that Tartar invasion which was to be marked by another transfer of the ruling power, and which was followed by the accession to the throne of the family that now guides the destinies of the Chinese Empire.



When the Mongols overthrew, in the thirteenth century, the Kin dynasty in Northern China, many of the fugitives retired northwards into the solitudes beyond Leaoutung, where they found themselves secure from pursuit. With the loss of imperial title and position, they lost also the name which their great conqueror Akouta had given them, and resumed the earlier one of Niuche, by which Chinese writers had been in the habit of designating them. The Niuche occupied most of the country stretching from the Chinese province of Leaoutung to the Amour on the north, and their settlements dotted the banks of the Songari and the Usuri. The Niuche were divided into innumerable small clans, none of which possessed either great numbers or much authority; and their management presented to the Chinese officials few of the difficulties that were of such frequent occurrence in their dealings with the Mongols or any other of the Central Asian tribes. Of these small clans, only that which was ruled by the ancestors of the Manchu (the clear) family claims our consideration ; but upon its success the other clans assimilated themselves with it, and became merged in the military confederacy headed by Noorhachu.

The clan which was destined to rise to so lofty a pinnacle of power originally occupied a small district on the Soodsu stream, situated some thirty miles east of Moukden. The principal camp or stockade — for, after all, it was little more—of this family was in the valley of Hootooala, which lies below the Long White Mountains and between the

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