|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||China Now the Scene of Turmoil|
I China. Z?w the Seem of turmoil Interesting: History of the Real Ruler of the Destinies of the Yellow Kingdom Most I . Interesting Woman in the World at the Present Time. If f- -- -t- -f f .-f....--T.-T--r-r-r-r -r -r-r -r - i w tip i TSI AN, EMPRESS DOWAGER OF CHINA. . . j Just now the Dowaper Empress of China, Tsi An. is the most prominent figure- in all the world. She is a woman of rare ability, is very skillful :n her diplomacy, and has forced her-m-lf to the front in China's affairs by masterful and effective plans. She is a little over (HI years of ape, and lifty years ago she was a slave, without with-out education or sta-ndinp. Because of business reverses her father left his native state, ami journeyed southward in poverty and want. The most severe conditions of hunger forced him to sell Tsi An to the viceroy of the province in which he resided. Later the viceroy made of her a present to the emperor. Vhile her father was forced by business busi-ness reverses to sell his child, he himself him-self was of a family of good standing in his native city. Tsi An was very beautiful, and had no difficulty in winning her way by diplomacy and cunning. She is at present the ruler of 400,Oiin,ono of Chinese, which comprises com-prises about one-third of the population popula-tion of the world. WAR WITH CHINA. (From the Independent. June "S.) We are at war with China; not with the Boxers, but with the Chinense government. gov-ernment. No other interpretation can possibly be put upon the events of the past week. It was the Chinese government gov-ernment that placed mines in the harbor har-bor of Taku to prevent the approach of foreign ships, and then ordered the firing upon them. It is a force of Chinese regulars that with modern arms, including Krupp guns, is attacking attack-ing the foreign settlement at Tien Tsin and has repulsed the relieving force. It is the Chinese army that holds the roads to Pekin and suffers not a single message from the legations in the capital to reach their governments. It is a Chinese general, appointed by the empress dowager herself, who holds Admiral Seymour's relieving force so that not a word has come from it iA two weeks. The simple fact is that ihe empress dowager has thrown down the gage of battle to all the world and' the governments of the 'world have taken it up. and will carry through the contest to the end. Jt is not. indeed, by any means certain cer-tain that there lias been heavy loss in I'ekin. legation street may be per- leeny mr' jor uie present, or so long as it suits the convenience of the palace to continue the fiction of an insurrection beyond the power of the government to control except within its own precincts. It is very probable that the traditional Chinese deference for rank will serve the ambassadors in -rood stead for some time to come, and that even the Manchus will hesitate to burn their bridges behind them completely. com-pletely. So also it may be possible to bold the viceroys of the coast provinces accountable for the safety of the more important treaty ports, and Shanghai. 'anion. Amoy, Xingpo may not share the same fate as Tien Tsin. . After all possible allowances are made, however, the fact is apparent, that the Chinese government is responsible for the situationmust situ-ationmust be held so, and must be I made to ray the penalty of its conniv- nnce at. if not its direct indorsement of. the insurrection. Such being the case, the more prompt nnd effective the action the better. All hesitancy as to the most complete cooperation co-operation with the other powers should be thrown aside at once. Every avail- j able man and ship should be sent wixh all possible speed to Taku. and our representatives should be instructed to join heartily in the plans of the British, llus.'ian, Japanese and other officers. This is essential for several reasons. It will be the most economical both of men and money. It will best assure the safety of such of our representatives representa-tives and fellow-citizens as remain in sections under the control of the Chinese government. ' It will be the only means of securing what we have rejK'atedly hold to be our great purpose pur-pose in all our relations with the empire, em-pire, freedom of intercourse and of j trade, no territorial aggrandizement, a conclusive word in the tinal settlement J the ('liinese question. I The Boxers are already reported to! number o.oixi.etm. The "probability is 1 that even those figures are too small. As a -contributor shows in another I column, they are but a branch of the great society which covers the empire, i jind which numbers its members by many millions. They are officered by men who have realized for some time that their only hope for continuing their power lies in the expulsion of ail foreign influence, and who have committed com-mitted themselves to the effort. Every day of delay, every advance that is repulsed re-pulsed simply adds to the numbers of the rioters and the confidence of the j leaders, and increases by so much the difficulty of the task and the price to be paid for victory. It increases also ilte danger of every American in China. The Chinese government must be made to i will be held responsible TT -?'-'--T--T'------r----'t--T----?-"--T" for those lives, and by a power so overyhelming as to be respected at once. Not less important than these considerations, con-siderations, in view of the future development de-velopment of American interests, is the protection of our policy in regard to that empire. The whole future of eastern "Asia is at stake. Not merely the welfare of China, but that- of Japan, is involved in the avoidance of those schemes of territorial aggrandizement aggrandize-ment which aim to parcel out the world among a few mighty powers. If we hesitate now the whole future will probably be lost, and we can only blame ourselves for our weakness and dilatoriness. Today we can take our share in the counsels of the nations, and that without imperiling in the slightest our cherished principles. If we lose this opportunity we may be forced either to lose the vantage ground already gained or pay a still higher price for its preservation. (Margherita Arlina Hamm, in the Independent.) Inde-pendent.) All through the present century the Catholic ' missionaries in China have been subject to persecution. Not infrequently, in-frequently, as we were reminded by the recent beatification of martyrs, have they been called upon to shed their blood for the sake of the gospel. The outbreaks of pagan hate are especially es-pecially sanguinary at present, and it is feared that something like an international inter-national war will follow. Behind this anti-Christian movement is a woman whose career is of more than passing interest. Here is a character' sketch from the ren of one who has spent some time in the empire. The present situation in Pekin calls attention to the master mind which has brought about these events, the Empress Dowager Tsi An. Many romances ro-mances have been written about this remarkable woman, but none is-as extraordinary ex-traordinary as the truth. A few years ago, when a resident of China, the writer met a Chinese scholar who, unlike most of his class, wa"s "well educated according fo our western standards. Mandarin Tsin. for such was his name, was a great admirer of the empress dowager, and r"as acquainted ac-quainted with both her original and adopted families. According to his statement, her father was a Manchu noble who had held a lucrative post in Pekin, but lost it through no fault of his own. At Pu Chau he suffered the same fate. and drifted to Canton, where, in 1838, he found himself without employment, money or credit and with a wife, son and daughter to support. Rather than starve he sold this daughter to a rich merchant, who had bought what maybe may-be called a "mandarin-shin." The girl was strong and healthy end very comely, from both Manchurian and Mongolian point of view. The two races have different ideals of female fe-male loveliness, the Mongolian favoring favor-ing plumpness and medium 'size, the Manchurian strength and stature. As she was of Manchurian blood her feet wefe not bound, and after being sold her social position as a "pocket daughter." daugh-ter." or family slave, prevented her undergoing the cruel operation of foot-binding. foot-binding. Her "pocket parents," to use the Chinese phrase, were kind and generous. She was ambitious and highly talented, and seemed to have a vague idea of her future beauty. She learned to read and write before she was 8 years of age, and evidenced an aptitude for study. She was . also not confined within the walls of the yamen or family establishment, but went about with the older slaves and saw all the sights of the city. As she grew older she was entrusted with the marketing of the family, and while still a child manifested considerable consid-erable business ability. In 184S the Emperor Hien Fung issued the marriage mar-riage proclamation prescribed by law, in which all eligible maidens of Manchu Man-chu descent between the ages of 15 and 18 were requested to present themselves them-selves at the imperial palace in Pekin, with a view to examination as imperial imper-ial concubines or secondary wives. This is one of the great social and political events of China, and usually brings thousands of applicants to the capital. Tsi An read the proclamation and immediately announced her desire to I enter the list. Her "pocket parents" laughed at first, but she' made so spirited spir-ited and cogent an argument that they finally yielded. They first changed her legal status from a slave girl to an adopted daughter, and did all in their power to prepare her for the examination. examina-tion. They gave her a handsome outfit and enough money to go from Canton to Pekin in the style becoming the rank of a Manchu princess. The court authorities au-thorities pronounced her a faultless specimen of womanhood; well brought up in ethics and possessing all the virtues vir-tues needful to the sex: in the front rank in accomplishments: in intelligence intelli-gence the equal of the graduate of the first imperial examination,. The examinations exam-inations over, to her delight,, although, i it is said, not to her surprise, she was among the first ten of the list of successful suc-cessful candidates. She was taken to the palace and there installed in one of the suites of rooms in the woman's quarter. Here began her wonderful career of intrigue. She paid particular particu-lar attention to the empress, and at the same time conducted herself with such tact and wisdom as to make friends and few or no enemies among the hundreds of other women in the imperial household. By degrees she made herself indispensable to the em press, and in this way was thrown into the company of the emperor. After a time she won his admiration and affection, and finally presented him with a son. As the empress had no mala issue and as Tsi An's son was well loved by the emperor, she induced him to appoint her by proclamation the empress of the west. This action was a master-stroke of diplomacy. The title was an ancient one, but had fallen into abeyance; in fact, it was well nigh forgotten by the great lords of the council. How she unearthed it was at the time and has ever since been a mystery to the scholars schol-ars of the empire. Under the old law it was the highest honor and position a concubine could hold. It put her almost on a par with the empress, whose legal title was the empress of the east. From now on she rose until she became the real power behind the throne. Nevertheless, she never permitted per-mitted her ambitions to thwart the empress proper, who was her senior as well as her legal superior. Hien Fung died in August, 1S60. According to some reports the cause Was a broken heart on account of the great Tai Ping rebellion: according to others, he died from poisoning. He was succeeded by Tsi An's son, who went to the throne under the Official name of Tung Chi. The real governing was done by a regency consisting con-sisting of the two empresses and Prince Kung, the boy's uncle. The new government gov-ernment displayed far greater ability than its predecessor. It attacked the rebels with great vigor, engaged foreign for-eign officers, including the Americans, Ward and Burgevine, and the more famous Englishman, "Chinese Gordon." Gor-don." It opened relations with the European governments and effected many reforms. The credit of this work" has been divided between Tsi An and Prince Kung, but it undoubtedly belongs be-longs to the former. In 1874 Tung Chi. then 19 years of age, began . to display some independence. indepen-dence. There were many intrigues at the imperial palace, and the great men of the state were appointed and dismissed, dis-missed, promoted and degraded, in a manner which showed that a tremendous tremen-dous struggle for mastery was going on. Things looked very dark when the emperor fell sick in a mysterious manner, man-ner, and died shortly afterward, in January, 1S75. He left a wife who was about to become a mother. Soon after her husband's death she also fell sick and died. Her death was ascribed to a broken heart by some, and to poison by others. There being no legal issue the succession now devolved upon the Manchu Man-chu nobles. There were several candidates candi-dates and much wire-pulling and intrigue, in-trigue, but the one favored by Tsi An, a little boy of 4, the son of a loyal Manchurian, was selected, under the official name of Karr Su, the old regency re-gency being continued at the same time. The young Emperor iook more Kindly to the Empress of the last than to Tsi An. The attachment deeDened. causing comment at Peking. Tt. ended, of course, in the death of the Em pt ess-Dowager ess-Dowager Tung Gung, in April, TSJfl. She also is said to have been the victim vic-tim of poison. Since thn Tsi An has been the master of China's destinies. The Emperor Kwang Su was a docile and loving child who allowed himself to be swayed by her strong nature. Some years ago, however, a rumor ran through the Middle Kingdom that Kwang Su was developing independence independ-ence of spirit, and predictions were freely made that ere long he would be deposed and die. One, if not bclh, of these predictions ha-j already come true. "While Tsi An has b"-en the real monarch, she has oeeii support'. i bv at least three-fifths of the great councils coun-cils known as the Nui Kelt nd the Kiun Ki Chu and not the Tsung-K Ya men or .foreign i mice (which is an ir;-ferior ir;-ferior department), as is erroneously reported in the press of the Western world. As the struggle progressed the Emperor Em-peror became more and more a riis-oner riis-oner in his own nali:e, hs friends were attacked and rendered nowevieps. Those high in office vere degraded or beheaded, and those low in office sent to districts where they had no followinfr and did not even know the local language. lan-guage. The Empress-Dowager with superior acumen saw the increasing power of foreign nations and attempted to utilize it on her own behalf. It was she who insisted upon violating all the precedents of her 'jountry by havmg Kwang Su receive the ambassadors in person at Peking. To m the- fvent had little significance. In China it made a shiver throughout the empire. The Book of Rites, which is as sacred to the Orient as the Bible is to the Occident, prescribes that "the Son of Heaven" shall not be looked upon by any common mortal, much less a foreign for-eign devil. When the princes of the realm meet him in council they fall upon their knees and touch their foreheads fore-heads to the earth. This has been the rule for centuries, and when Kwang Su broke through it, it seemed as if the world were coming to an end. The next iconoclasm was the reception of Lady MacDonald and other foreign women of official distinction. The Book of Rites prescribes th same formalities in regard to the Empress Dowager as to'-the Emperor himself. Beyond this, Chinese la.v and custom forbids women to enter tiie presence of men, ancl tueats all guilty of the offense as being disorderly characters. Foreign women who travel alone are viewed as malefactors, suspieiou.-s people peo-ple or lunatics. When,, thereto re, the Empress Dowager received a body of foreign women in her audience chamber cham-ber and talked with them, although they had not kow-towed to her, it made a sensation as deep as that orociuced by the action of the Emperor himself. What part the Empress Dowager is playing in the present insurrection or Boxer movement does not yet aouear. There is deep dissension, almost var, in the Manchu governing class. The Empress Dowager is at the head of the administration, while it is Maid the majority of the Manchu princes are bitterly opposed to the continuation of her rule. There is ta strong public pub-lic sentiment in favor of the Door dethroned de-throned Emperor, and deeper than all is the old antipathy of the Chinese people to their Manchurian rulers. Even today it must not be forgotten forgot-ten that the term fankawi. or foieign devil, is applied colloquially in Ciiir.a as much to the Manchus as to foreign- ( ers. Recent reports from Shanghai de-' clare that the Boxer movement has been abetted if not started by the Empress Em-press Dowager, in order to provoke the armed intervention of the European powers, and through them to suppress the rebellious nobles of the capital.