Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

the right policy to pursue. He had resolved on nothing short of the establishment of his authority in the midst of the turbulent tribes that had disturbed his frontier, and, although momentarily undecided by a succession of reverses, he returned to the original plan with fresh confidence and energy as soon as he realized that in Tchaohoei he had found a worthy successor to Panti.

Having conquered the regions of Jungaria, and the favoured district of Hi, Keen Lung next turned his attention to the bestowing of the advantages of a settled government upon the inhabitants of those territories. At first he attempted to rule the tribes by means of native chiefs and princes, on whom he conferred the dignity of Khan. The plan did not work well. Many of them turned out incapable, and those whose ability increased their importance chafed at the restrictions placed upon their liberty and rebelled against Keen Lung. The Emperor's first scheme for the administration of his new possessions thus fell through, and it became necessary to devise another which should leave the people their liberty while it would place greater control in the hands of his officials. During this period of disturbance the Chinese commanders acted with marked severity, and the Eleuths suffered for the crimes and ambition of their chiefs.

Those who disturbed the tranquillity of the new Chinese possession were encouraged to do so by the knowledge that the country south of the Tian Shan mountains, known as Little Bokhara or Kashgaria, offered an asylum in the event of defeat. The authority of the Khoja Barhanuddin, who had been established in the place of power by the assistance of Amursana, was still recognized in the greater portion of that region; and neither at the time of Amursana's overthrow, nor during the period of the rule of the four Khans whom the Emperor had nominated as his viceroys, did Barhanuddin consider it to be necessary for him to make any overtures to Keen Lung's representatives, or to enrol himself as one of the Chinese well-wishers. Yet, according to Keen Lung's view of the situation, the conquest of the kingdom of the Eleuths carried with it the proper subordination if not the open surrender to him of the territory of its vassals. Of these EMBASSY MASSACRED. 683

the principal was Little Bokhara, the incorporation of which with the Empire was stated by Tchaohoei to be necessary to the permanent and tranquil possession of Hi.

The Chinese writers assume for their country the credit of having released Barhanuddin and of having restored him to the seat of his ancestors at the time of Panti's invasion, but the fact seems to have been that he owed his liberty and restoration more to Amursana than to the Chinese general. When Amursana departed from the stipulations of his arrangement with the Emperor, and suffered at the hands of his more powerful allies, Barhanuddin allowed himself to forget all considerations of prudence in the fervour of his indignation against the Chinese. There was room for hope that a hostile collision might be averted until Barhanuddin and his brother laid violent hands upon the persons of an envoy and his suite, sent by Tchaohoei to discover whether a pacific understanding with these neighbours could not be arranged. The massacre of this embassy precluded that idea being any further entertained, and the Chinese troops were collected for the invasion of Little Bokhara just as a few months previously they had been assembled for the conquest of Amursana and his dominions. The murder of his representatives afforded Keen Lung the strongest reason for sanctioning the proposals of his general. This outrage compelled him to again draw the sword which he had only just placed in the sheath. "March," he wrote, "against the perfidious Mahomedans, who have so insolently abused my favours; avenge your companions who have been the unhappy victims of their barbarous fury."

Although Keen Lung simply reports that his generals duly set out on their enterprise, and that in a very short time they had subdued and annexed the country of Altyshahr, some of the details of this interesting campaign have been preserved in other quarters. The Chinese crossed the frontier in two bodies, one under the command of Tchaohoei, the other under that of Fouta. Such feeble resistance as Barhanuddin and his brother attempted was speedily overcome; the principal cities, Kashgar and Yarkand, were occupied, and the ill-advised-rulers lately rejoicing in all the conviction of security were compelled to seek their personal safety by a precipitate flight. The two brothers fled over the Pamir into the remote state of Badakshan, but so great was the terror caused by the successes of the Chinese that the prince of that country not only refused to receive them, but caused them to be slain, and sent their heads as a gift of propitiation to the Celestials. Fouta had followed hard upon their track, and succeeded in inflicting two reverses upon them in the elevated region of the Pamir. The more important of these battles took place near Sirikul, and the followers of the Khoja princes were driven from the field with heavy loss. Of the vanquished there escaped from the pursuit of the Chinese, and from the perfidy of their reputed friends, only the boy Sarimsak, who became the ancestor of the Khoja adventurers of a later period. Thus satisfactorily terminated the campaign in Little Bokhara, the conquest and annexation of which completed the task that Tchaohoei * had been charged to

• Tchaohoei described in a letter to Keen Lung his entry into Kashgar. The following are its principal passages. It was written from the camp before Kashgar on a date which corresponded with the 13th of September, 1759. "The two Hotchom" (Barhanuddin and his brother) "having learnt that your Majesty's troops were marching against them, abandoned their amusements in repairing the fortifications of Kashgar and Yarkand. They at once perceived that it would be impossible for them to resist your arms. They fled from their cities, and they dragged themselves and their families from hiding-place to hiding-place. The inhabitants of Kashgar, like those of Yarkand"—who had surrendered to Tchaohoei without offering any resistance before he advanced on Kashgar—" surrendered to us with every demonstration of joy, which was a sign that they asked for nothing better than to live under the laws of your Majesty, to experience in their turn the effects of the goodness of your great heart which embraces all the world. They came before us, bringing refreshments, which I accepted, and caused to be distributed among the soldiers, whilst giving in all cases to those who brought them small pieces of silver, or other money, not under the name of payment, but rather as a reward. They appeared to me to be very well satisfied with the arrangement. I entered the city by one gate, and left it by another. The inhabitants covered me with honour. Some accompanied me throughout my progress, crying out frequently, 'Long live the great Emperor of China.' Others lined the streets through which I had to pass. They were kneeling, and remained in that posture the whole time that I was making my progress. I made them a short address, in which I pointed out the happiness that they were about to enjoy, if they remained faithful in their duty to your Majesty. At the same time I announced that those CHINESE SUPREMACY. 685

accomplish. Keen Lung's main idea had been realized. His authority was set up in the midst of the turbulent tribes who had long disturbed the Empire, and who first learnt peaceful pursuits as his subjects. At the cost of considerable sacrifices he had attained his object; and it only remained for experience to test and for time to show the soundness of his views and the practical advantage of what he had accomplished.

The Chinese commanders followed up this decisive success by the despatch of several expeditions into the adjoining states, although the exact extent and results of these campaigns • have not been preserved as historical facts of which we can feel quite certain. The ruler of Khokand was either so impressed by his neighbours' prowess, or, as there is much reason to believe, experienced himself the weight of their power by the occupation of his principal cities, Tashkent and Khokand, that he hastened to recognize the authority of the Emperor of China, and to enrol himself among the tributaries of the Son of Heaven. The tribute which he consented to pay was regularly delivered at Kashgar by himself and his successor, and it was not until fifty years later that its discontinuance afforded some proof of the relaxing of Chinese vigour.

What the prince of a considerable state like Khokand consented to allow, the petty chiefs of the scattered Kirghiz hordes could not well refuse. One chief after another of these tribes sent in his acknowledgment of Chinese supremacy, and in return for their courtesy and friendly expressions they received various titles of honour and presents. Whereas the

amongst them who had followed the side of the rebels would be sent to Hi, and that that would be the only punishment for a crime for which they deserved to lose their lives. I was frequently interrupted by fresh cries of, 'Long live the great Emperor of China! May he and his descendants give us laws for ever!' I at once gave orders for the preservation of public tranquillity, and for the prompt re-establishment of all things on their ordinary basis." The rcm.iinder of the letter is filled with a description of the Emperor's new province, which is very interesting, but which we need not quote.—See "Mlmoires concemant les Chinois " (Amiot), torn. i. pp. 384-9$.

* Sir H. Howorth says that the effect of these successes was to strengthen "a Mahotnedan superstition that the Chinese would one day conquer the whole globe, when there would be an end to the world."

overthrow of Amursana and the incorporation of the kingdom of the Eleuths with the Empire had brought neither tranquillity to the Chinese nor prosperity to the new subjects on whom they had forced their yoke, the conquest of Kashgaria and the chastisement of its Mahomedan neighbours were very soon followed by the establishment of a firm peace throughout the whole of this region, and by its attendant era of prosperity. So far as was compatible with the preservation of Keen Lung's authority, Tchaohoei, when he drew up the scheme of administration, left the inhabitants as much liberty as he could, and the executive to which the charge of Chinese dominion was entrusted consisted of a native and Mahomedan official class.

For the present we can leave the Chinese victorious in Central Asia. Whether the results justified the means in this case, or repaid the cost must be matter of opinion, but it must be remembered that at no previous epoch in history has the western frontier of China been less disturbed by hostile attack than during the last one hundred and thirty years. This triumph had been won by the military skill of the two generals Tchaohoei and Fouta, as well as by the indomitable will and resolution of Keen Lung. Its results were assured and consolidated mainly, if not solely, by the admirable tact and moderation of Tchaohoei.

One event, and one only, remains to be recorded before concluding this description of the Chinese conquest of Central Asia. The Tourguts were the neighbours of the Eleuths in the days when Tse Wang Rabdan raised high his pretensions as the sovereign of Jungaria, and Ayouka was their chief. Not himself without courage and ambition, he feared in the Eleuth the qualities which he knew that he possessed, and which under more favourable auspices he might have exercised with practical effect. Ayouka saw in Tse Wang Rabdan an opponent too powerful to be resisted, and one of whom he could not but stand in awe. The Tourgut felt that the one chance of avoiding the danger that menaced him lay in a prompt withdrawal from the neighbourhood of the aggressive Rabdan. His followers shared his love of liberty, and, recognizing the gravity of the emergency, agreed to adopt his

« AnteriorContinua »