Imatges de pàgina


the power which Galdan had set up among the nomad and pastoral tribes of his region, and it also showed that the end of his career was approaching. There is no need to enter into the extremities to which Galdan was reduced during the last days of his life, nor would there be sufficient interest in the theme to dwell upon the schemes to which a desperate man thought of resorting for the retrieval of his fortunes. At one moment he sent an envoy to Pekin to express, in abject terms, his desire to surrender, and at another he resumed his overtures to the Russian officials for a close alliance. But the one thing that was clear was that, although he had lost the power, he still clung to the wish, to injure the cause of China among the Mongols and her other vassals of his own race. The Chinese troops were on the eve of renewing the pursuit when the news came of Galdan's death. The nature of his last illness is not clearly known, and his death may be attributed either to the hardships and mental chagrin he had undergone, or, as some say, to the act of his own hand.

The death of Galdan not only removed from Kanghi's mind the anxiety which had so long weighed upon it, but it also closed a career of remarkable adventure. Galdan was a representative man of the class of desert chiefs who, from the earliest days of Chinese history, have troubled the Western borders of the great Empire. We have seen them in the persons of Mcha, Yenta, and others as a cause of anxiety and trouble rather than of absolute danger to the integrity of the State. We have also in the cases of Genghis and Noorhachu found them sufficiently prompt and capable to overthrow the existing dynasty and to substitute that of their own family. Galdan belonged to the former class. Kanghi has himself testified to the remarkable skill and courage of this chieftain. In an edict summarizing the conquests which had made him the greatest potentate in Central Asia, he concludes with the statement that Galdan was "a formidable enemy;" and the energetic and persistent manner with which he had laboured to effect his ruin proves that the Chinese Emperor was fully persuaded of the accuracy of his own statement . But the overthrow of Galdan also shows that, except under abnormal circumstances, which have only occurred twice or, at the most, thrice in history, the unflagging determination and vastly superior resources of the Chinese have always availed to turn the scale against the ambition and even against the love of war of these independent leaders. The vitality of Chinese individuality and imperial power has always asserted itself even after long periods of apparent decay and dissolution.

Galdan overthrown, Kanghi ordered the return of his armies. Feyanku was left with a small force to completely pacify the newly conquered region; but the Emperor hoped that peace had been definitely assured. That this hope was soon dispelled we shall have presently to see; and the manner in which the Galdan episode gave place to a long interval of trouble, and then to the necessity of formulating a distinct Central Asian policy, will constitute one of the most important facts in the history of the next seventy years. With the death of Galdan in 1697, however, Kanghi offered up incense to Heaven in the evidently sincere persuasion that peace had been definitely obtained for himself and his people. So far as his inclination went he had had enough of arduous and unprofitable campaigns beyond China's proper frontier—and the sentiment was the more firmly rooted in his mind because he had undergone the privations of his soldiers, and knew by practical experience that even the strategical skill of his commanders might prove of little avail in face of the passive resistance of natural obstacles.

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TSE WANG RABDAN, whose enmity had contributed to bring about the ruin of Galdan, and whose assistance Kanghi had repaid with various privileges in carrying on trade with China, was left by his uncle's death the undisputed chief both in actual power and in reputation among the Eleuth tribes. The tribal resources, which had failed to support Galdan's ambition, passed by the law of hereditary succession to the son of the murdered Tsenka, and Tse Wang Rabdan soon found that he enjoyed all the temporal power arising from an undisputed sway over the Elcuths. The centre of his authority had indeed been shifted further westwards, and his ambition did not urge him to molest the Khalkas, or to encroach in the direction of China. Hut none the less Tse Wang Rabdan claimed to be a great and independent prince, and he had his own views as to his position in Central Asia

The nature of his pretensions, covering as they did a different ground, might not have brought him into immediate conflict with China, but only too much reason existed for fearing that the relations subsisting between him and the Emperor could not long maintain their cordiality. Causes of friction soon revealed themselves. Kanghi, acting on the Chinese principle that rebels should be extirpated root and branch, had ordered that no pains should be spared to capture the few surviving members of Galdan's family, and a great reward was offered to whoever brought in the body or the bones of Galdan. At the first blush it seems only possible to detect in this malignant pursuit the working of a savage and persistent vengeance, and the cruel maxim of the Chinese system, that " the families of rebels taken open-handed should be extirpated," tends to confirm the impression. A more careful consideration of the subject may, however, result in leading us to take the view that the Chinese wished for nothing more than clear evidence of their chief enemy's death, and for some assurance that no member of his family felt either prepared or willing to carry on his schemes.

The fortune of war had placed in the hands of Tse Wang Rabdan the persons of a son and daughter of Galdan, as well as the bones of that chief. These prizes had fallen to his share after a victory near the town of Hami, where he defeated a neighbour who thought to dispute his authority. The Chinese at once sent a demand for the surrender to them of these relics and representatives of their recent enemy. Tse Wang Rabdan, whose humanity was either aroused, or who felt aggrieved at the dictatorial tone assumed by the Chinese, long evaded the request preferred to him by Feyanku. Instead of showing a spirit of humility towards Kanghi, he busied himself with the extension of his power in both Jungaria and Kashgaria, while the first force of his wrath was vented on the Mahomedan prince of Hami. Kanghi very soon learnt that even the ruin of Galdan would not avail to deter many from imitating him, and that the overthrow of one chieftain would not suffice to ensure permanent peace among races whose principal avocation and amusement had always been a savage and sanguinary strife. The pertinacity of the Chinese carried their point for them in this matter, as well as in other questions. Kanghi sent several embassies to Tse Wang Rabdan's capital, and showed marked insistence on the subject of his demand. At length success crowned his efforts, and in 1701 the Eleuth prince surrendered the ashes or bones of his uncle, and the person of his cousin. With the acquisition of these marks of victory Kanghi remained fully satisfied, and his generous treatment of his defenceless captive showed that he sought to gratify the requirements of a policy, and not the promptings of a poor revenge.

Although Tse Wang Rabdan went at last so far as to TSE WANG RABDAN. 6ai

concede to Kanghi the demand on which he placed so much stress, his general action marked him out rather as the antagonist than as the supporter of Chinese authority in Central Asia. In a less ostentatious but equally efficacious way he was gathering into his hands the superior authority to which Galdan had aspired. His victories over his Kirghiz neighbours gave his position also a degree of stability to which that of his relative had never attained. The result of this feud and of the accompanying strife was that the Kirghiz chief, to whose daughter Tse Wang Rabdan was married, felt himself compelled to coalesce with his son-in-law, and thus the military forces of the Eleuths and the Kirghiz were combined. This alone sufficed to make the military power of Tse Wang Rabdan extend without a break from Hami on the East to Khokand on the West. The opportunity soon presented itself of employing this considerable available force on a larger scene in advancing the influence of the Eleuth prince into a different region.

It had been one of the main objects of Galdan's ambition to assert his right to have a voice in the regulation of the internal affairs of Tibet, and the desire to succeed in this object was strengthened by the knowledge of the reputation that would accrue to him as speaking with the approval of the great spiritual head of Buddhism. The Chinese Government had its own views upon the same subject, and regarded with disfavour any measures having a tendency to weaken its influence and authority at Lhasa. But as yet the direct exercise of Chinese authority in Tibet had not been very great, and the interests of the Jungarian prince were better and more emphatically represented there than those of China and her sovereign. It became one of Kanghi's main objects to alter this condition of affairs, and to bring Tibet and its order of priestly rulers completely under his control. These intrigues and counter-intrigues precipitated the course of events in Tibet, and recalled Kanghi's attention to his Western borders. The boldness of Tse Wang Rabdan brought on a contest that was, perhaps, in any case inevitable, and left the Chinese again no choice save to appeal to the sword. Kanghi had taken his plans with such care, and shown such excellent

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