Imatges de pàgina


men on the southern side of the Himalayas. The Goorkha capital, Khatmandu, lay almost at their mercy, and it was in nothing short of sheer desperation that the Goorkhas assembled near the village of Nayakot on the Tadi stream, for the purpose of making one last effort to defend their principal city and the seat of their Government.

It is impossible not to admire the resolution with which the Goorkhas defended themselves against the foe, whose righteous indignation they had incurred by their own wanton aggressiveness. Within twenty miles of their capital, after having suffered a succession of defeats that would have demoralized any ordinary army, they made a final stand against their persistent and ruthless antagonist. The Chinese advance was momentarily checked by either the valour of the Goorkhas or the strength of their position; and it was only when Sund Fo, resolved to conquer at any price, turned his artillery against his own troops, and thus compelled them to charge, that the resistance of the mountaineers was overcome. The fire of the Chinese guns was sustained on the mass of combatants until the Goorkhas had been swept over a precipice into the stream of the Tadi. Many Chinese, of course, perished, but even in the numbers slain the greater loss fell upon the Goorkhas.

After this crushing overthrow the Goorkhas gave up further idea of resistance, and sued for peace. Indeed, they had no alternative, unless they were prepared to lose their independence as well as their military reputation. The Chinese general, having assured the attainment of his main object by the destruction of the Goorkha army, was not disinclined to accept the ample concessions offered by the Khatmandu authorities. His own losses had not been slight, and he was anxious before the advent of winter to recross the lofty mountains in his rear. When, therefore, the Goorkha embassy entered his camp, Sund Fo granted peace on terms which were humiliating, but which were still as favourable as a people who had themselves invited so crushing a defeat could expect. The Goorkhas took an oath to keep the peace towards their Tibetan neighbours, to acknowledge themselves the vassals of the Chinese Emperor, to send a quinquennial embassy to China with the required tribute, and lastly to restore all the plunder that had been carried off from Teshu Lumbo. On these terms being accepted and ratified, the Chinese army retired to Tibet in two divisions, and such was the effect of this memorable campaign that the Goorkhas still pay tribute to China, still keep the peace on the Tibetan border, and are still enrolled among the nominal vassals of Pekin. Although the main provisions of this treaty are known, its exact phraseology and terms have never been ascertained—the vanity of the Khatmandu Court refusing to make known what Chinese pride and independence have kept a State secret at Pekin.

The results of this campaign were to greatly strengthen the hold of the Chinese Government upon Tibet, for the people of that country felt they owed to the intervention and protection of China alone their escape from their formidable aggressors. Not only did Keen Lung then avail himself of the opportunity to largely increase the local garrison, but he felt able to assert his authority more emphatically than before in the councils of the Dalai Lama. On the other hand, the ruling lamas recognized the necessity of Chinese protection, which the people were henceforth content to accept as a fixed condition in their political being.

In their distress the Goorkhas had applied for assistance to the Governor-General of India against the Chinese, and their request, like a previous one from the Tibetans, had been refused. A mission, however, was sent, under a British officer, Captain Kirkpatrick, to draw closer the ties of friendship with Khatmandu, and to negotiate a treaty of commerce. The Chinese commander appears to have misunderstood the part taken by the East India Company, and when he returned to Pekin it is said that he inveighed against the English for their duplicity in assisting "the robbers" of the Himalaya. In consequence of his representations the Chinese took increased precautions to prevent commercial intercourse between India and Tibet, and the Khatmandu Durbar, irritated by what it considered the desertion of the English, seconded their object by adopting a policy scarcely less exclusive than that of the Chinese. The passes through TIBET MISSIONS. 709

the Himalayas were closed by means of strong block-houses situated at the northern entrances, and the use of the principal of them, that known as the Kirong, was prohibited to all except those employed on official business. The country of Tibet, with its interesting secrets, has since then remained closed to us, and this great dependency of the Chinese Emperor, touching our possessions in Hindostan along a mountain barrier of some 2,000 miles, remains to this day scaled to our commerce.*

There can be no doubt that, regarded simply as a military exploit, the Chinese campaign in Nepaul was a very remarkable achievement, and one deserving of a high place among the famous wars of Asiatic peoples and countries. It may, perhaps, be said that the Chinese triumphed by sheer weight of numbers, and of course the statement is partially true. But in this respect the Chinese were only following the precepts of the best masters of the art of war in bringing to bear against their opponent a preponderating force. When we consider the difficulties that had to be overcome, first in moving a large army across the barren country between Sining or Szchuen and Tibet, and then in providing for it when assembled at Lhasa, we shall not be disposed to disparage the skill shown by Chinese commanders in organizing their forces for such an arduous campaign. Nor when we recollect that the natural obstacles of Northern and Eastern Tibet are not for a moment to be compared with those to be met with between the Dalai Lama's capital and the scat of the Goorkha dynasty, will our wonder become less at the majiy signal victories obtained by Sund Fo over his adversaries, although the latter always possessed the advantage of position, if not of superior weapons as well. The valiant resistance with which the Goorkhas opposed us in 1814-15,

• After the return of the Bogle and Turner missions there was a long interval of inaction. In 1811, Mr. Thomas Manning, one of the most intrepid and highly gifted of English travellers, succeeded in reaching Lhasa, where he resided for some months—a feat in which, so far as this country is concerned, he stands alone. Thirty years afterwards the French missionaries, MM. Hue and Gabet, \isitcd the same city from China; and again thirty years later they were followed by the Indian explorer, the Pundit Nain Singh.

the courage and intrepidity shown during sixty years of service in the Anglo-Indian army by the Goorkha sepoy, preclude the idea that the Chinese success was due to the craven spirit of their foe. The victories of Sund Fo were gained over the bravest of Indian races under circumstances all in favour of those who were fighting on the defensive; and they serve to show, by what ill-armed and imperfectly trained Chinese soldiers have done in the past against a foe whose military capacity we can gauge, what a well-armed and disciplined Celestial army may be capable of in the future. The successful defence of the Tibetans, the rout of the Goorkhas, and the subjection of Nepaul, form a complete military achievement of the most striking character, and bring to a glorious termination the great and solid exploits in war which have raised the fame of Keen Lung to the highest place among great rulers. The aged prince, then more than an octogenarian, felt able to congratulate himself not merely on the success of his arms, but also on the conviction that his sword had been drawn in a righteous cause, and that the millions of Tibet felt grateful to him for having rescued them from the hands of a cruel and savage race of marauders.

Some years before the Tibetan question had reached the crisis that has been described, and before its settlement had been precipitated by the aggressions of the Goorkhas, the state of affairs in Formosa had caused very great anxiety to the minds of the Pekin authorities, and had rendered a great effort necessary for the recovery of their position as the governing power in Formosa. That island had been styled at a much earlier period of Keen Lung's reign "the natural home of sedition and disaffection ;" but it was not until the year 1786 that the discontent of its inhabitants, or the machinations of a few intriguers, became revealed in acts. Early in that year the news reached Macao that the islanders had risen, massacred the Tartar garrison, and subverted the authority of the Emperor. At first the news was discredited, but later intelligence showed that the report was well-founded.

The control exercised over the subordinate mandarins in China has never been very exacting, and for all questions of FORMOSA. 711

administration and revenue there is scarcely any appeal from the decision of the local official. But if the supervision of the central tribunals over the provincial functionaries was slight on the mainland, it practically did not exist at all beyond the sea in Formosa. The Tartar officials in that island did not abstain from indulging all their rights, and from enforcing to its fullest extent the authority placed in their hands. Despite the smallness of the Tartar garrison, they acted with all the arrogance and reckless indifference to popular prejudices shown by tyrants of an alien race.

When the general opinion among a people is one of dislike, if not of absolute detestation, towards their rulers, it needs but a trivial circumstance to reveal what is uppermost in their minds. Such was the case in Formosa. An individual, named Ling, incurred the displeasure of the principal mandarin, and, because he refused to pay the heavy bribe demanded by this official, he was at once thrown into prison, where his early death was assured if he persisted in refusing to satisfy the demands of the mandarin. Fortunately for himself, and unfortunately for the Pckin Government, Ling was very popular with his neighbours, and apparently a representative man among the people. His arrest proved the signal for a general insurrection on the part of the Chinese in Formosa.

The mandarin was the first victim of this outburst of popular indignation, and the prisoner Ling was released from his place of confinement. At first the Chinese settlers appeared satisfied with what they had accomplished, and might have taken no further steps against the Manchu Government, had a wise oblivion been cast over acts which were due to the tyrannical proceedings of an official. The viceroy of the province of Fuhkien, to which the island of Formosa is dependent, regarded the situation from too lofty a standpoint, and despatched a military mandarin with plenary powers to bring the Formosans to a proper sense of their position and duty towards the central authorities. This officer exercised his jxjwers to their fullest extent, and confounded the innocent with the guilty in the sweeping measures he took against the disaffected. The popular

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