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of the military expenditure of the Chinese, at a time when they were paying two-fifths of their customs revenue to Great Britain and France. If at this period Foreign governments did give China some assistance, it cannot be denied that the Celestials paid pretty handsomely for it.

Colonel Gordon's opinions as to his position when he took command of the disciplined Chinese were as follows, as expressed in a memorandum he made on the 5th May 1863. In entering on joint command with a Mandarin, Li Adong, it was arranged that the latter should in no way interfere with the discipline of the force or with the appointment of its officers. Lí (who must be distinguished from Lí the Futai or Governor) appeared to Gordon a man well fitted for his position, and likely to be extremely useful, because his influence with the other Mandarins was so great as to prevent the action of all petty intrigues against the force, and because bis knowledge of the country, and skill in obtaining information by means of spies, were of essential service. Colonel Gordon thought that the British Government was desirous that China should have armies able to cope with its internal disorder, and that the best means of assisting it to that end would be to make the disciplined Chinese force the nucleus of a new Chinese native army. The Sungkiang, or any other force entirely irresponsible to the governor of the province, would bave been in a most invidious position ; daily reports about its bad conduct, sent in by the local Mandarins, would have disgusted both the Peking Government and the Foreign Ministers, while its supplies and payment would have been uncertain. At the same time, Colonel Gordon considered that the precarious way in which this army existed from month to month was detrimental to its use

POLICY OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT,

141

fulness and an encouragement to plunder. Its service was by far the most dangerous to its officers of any that he had ever seen, and their apparently high pay was not a dollar too much. If the policy of the British Government was merely, while putting down the Rebellion, to keep China weak, and leave the Imperialists as they were, then he considered that his position would be only that of a mercenary ; but believing, in the absence of special instructions, and being by his commandingofficer appointed * with sanction of the British Minister at Peking, that the object of his Government was to strengthen China and create a national army, he held his command with pleasure.

* This appointment was soon after approved of by her Majesty's Secre tary of State for War, then Lord de Grey.

CHAPTER IX.

GORDON'S FIRST VICTORIES.

BURGEVINE'S VISIT TO PEKING—THE BRITISH MINISTER WISHES HIM

RESTORED TO COMMAND-COLONEL GORDON TAKES COMMAND OF THE E.V.A. -HIS STAFF-CAPTURE OF FUSHAN-GORDON RECEIVES AN IMPERIAL COMMISSION, WITH THE RANK OF TSUNG-PINGGOVERNOR LI'S OPINION OF THE NEW COMMANDER-DESCRIPTION OF THE THEATRE OF WAR - AN AMPHIBIOUS BOAT TAI-PING TREACHERY AT TAITSAN CAPTURE OF TAITSAN - ALLEGED IMPERIALIST CRUELTIES - CHINESE PUNISHMENTS - LETTER FROM COLONEL GORDON -A MUTINY IN THE FORCE SITUATION OF QUINSAN-A DEMON STEAMBOAT- -GREAT DESTRUCTION OF TAIPINGS —CAPTURE OF QUINSAN — IT IS MADE HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCE-ANOTHER MUTINY.

BURGEVINE, of course, was very much dissatisfied with his supercession, and the appointment of a British officer ; and on the 20th of February started for Peking, in order to lay his case before the Foreign Ministers and the Imperial Government. Being a man of gentlemanly and plausible address, he was well received at the capital, and, to some appearance, soon obtained his object. Sir Frederick Bruce evidently was charmed with him, for in a letter to Prince Kung, dated April 2, 1863, the British Minister says, “I have formed a high opinion of General Burgevine's qualifications for the post he occupies. He is brave, honest, conciliatory in his manner, and is sincerely desirous of serving the Chinese Govern

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