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COLONEL GORDON AND MR HART.

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its Foreign relationships. To the effects of the confidence which he has inspired may be ascribed the appointment of the Laou-yeh Pin to proceed to Europe in 1866 as a Commissioner from the Imperial Government, the establishment of a College at Peking for the study of European languages and science, and the appointment of Mr Burlinghame as Minister from China to the Treaty Powers. In character, and, to a less extent, in manner, Mr Hart reminds one of an Indian civilian of the higher class, and especially of that school of Indian civilians of which Sir Bartle Frere is facile princeps. The pleasant demeanour of an Irishman has been useful to him at Peking, as it was, many years before, to Earl Macartney. He is more inclined to lead than to drive the Chinese, and has established himself as a power in the country ; but it may be well for him to keep in mind the deserved fate of Mr Lay, and not to lose sight of the fact that, though he has used them well, he has had great opportunities provided to his hand. Hitherto his course has been favoured by that of events; and while he has himself reaped a large share of the resultant rewards, perhaps the most arduous portion of the task of adjusting our international relationships with China has fallen upon those who have received no remuneration or even acknowledgment for their unselfish but invidious labours. Now that he is able in some degree to command events similar to those by which he has been guided, and of which he has so wisely availed himself, it remains to be seen, how far he will be equal to the high responsibilty and grand opportunities of a very powerful position between England and China.

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CHAPTER XVI.

THE FALL OF NANKING AND THE LAST STRUGGLES

OF THE TAI-PINGS.

THE TIEN-WANG'S INDIFFERENGE AND SECLUSION-SWEET DEW

HIS WISDOM AND GOOD FORTUNE-COMPLETE INVESTMENT OF NANKING DESPAIR OF THE FAITHFUL KING LAST DAYS OF HUNG SEW-TSUEN–HIS DEATH AND BURIAL-HIS SON FU-TIEN ASCENDS THE THRONE-THE FALL OF NANKING-CAPTURE OF THE FAITHFUL KING - HIS CHARACTER AND AUTOBIOGRAPHYHIS EXECUTION-FATE OF THE SHIELD KING AND OF THE YOUNG MONARCH STATE OF NANKING WHEN CAPTURED REPORT ON ITS CONDITION BY VICE-CONSUL ADKINS — RECEPTION OF THE NEWS AT PEKING_IMPERIAL DECREE-THE FALL OF WUCHU EXPERIENCES OF PATRICK NELLIS RETREAT OF THE TAI-PING REMNANT THROUGH KIANGSI INTO FUKIEN-THEY APPEAR AT CHANGCHOW, NEAR AMOY - MANIFESTO OF THE ATTENDANT KING-THEIR DISPERSION AND FINAL DISAPPEARANCE---FATE

OF THE I WANG.

WHILE Soochow was in course of being taken in 1863, Tseng Kwo-tsun, the Imperialist General, was engaged with large forces in closely investing Nanking. He intrenched himself so closely and strongly round that city as to be able to cut off all supply of provisions, and easily to defeat the attempts of the Faithful King to bring it relief. That latter prince, however, managed himself to gain admission to the Rebel capital, and besought the Tien Wang to make bis escape and give

the city, as it could no longer be held, and was defi

up

THE TIEN WANG'S INDIFFERENCE.

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cient in the necessaries of life ; but the monarch, according to the Faithful King's Autobiography, was highly displeased at this proposal, and indignantly exclaimed, “ I have received the commands of Shangte (God) and of Jesus to come down upon the earth and rule the empire. I am the sole Lord of ten thousand nations, and what should I fear? You are not asked your opinion upon anything, and the Government does not require your supervision. You can please yourself as to whether you wish to leave the capital or to remain. I hold the empire, hills, and streams with an iron grasp, and if you do not support me there are those who will. You say, “There are no soldiers !' But my troops are more numerous than the streams. What fear have I of the demon Tseng? If you are afraid of death then you will die.” It was in this way only that the Heavenly Monarch would look at practical matters. Burying himself in the depths of his palace, and engrossed with religious exercises and the society of his women, he gave bimself no-concern about either the approach of his enemies or the terrible state of his people. When any one memorialised him on internal affairs, or made suggestions pertinent to the preservation of the kingdom, he would invariably silence them with remarks on heaven and earth, which, as the Chung Wang complains, were

totally irrelevant to the main point in view." When it was mentioned to him that only the very wealthy people in Nanking had any food to eat, he issued a decree that the remainder should support themselves upon “sweet dew," and illustrated his meaning by ordering some herbs from the palace garden to be prepared for his own dinner. His subordinates in the Government were allowed to do as they liked so long as they professed implicit submission to his decrees; but their

1

chief was very particular with them in regard to points of theological phraseology, and threatened to draw any one asunder between five horses who omitted a due use of the term “ Heavenly” in all official documents.

It should not be supposed, however, that such conduct on the part of Hung Sew-tsuen was altogether insane, for it was in great part by following such a course that he had created Tai-pingdom and maintained his supremacy over it. At no period had he personally interfered much in the details of government or in the management of fighting. Even when blaming him for bis inactivity, the Faithful King admits that “the Tien Wang had been inwardly conscious for some time past of an impending crisis and of the insecurity of the capital; but, being of an elevated mind, he did not care to review the past or speculate on the future.” And it is very questionable whether he would have gained anything by admitting the serious nature of the circumstances by which he was now surrounded, for one of the greatest supports of his position was his lofty reliance on the favour of Heaven. It would have been exceedingly dangerous for bim to have shown any signs failing or of apprehension; and his extraordinary past career afforded at least some show of reason for his confidence in Heaven, and his disregard of prudential considerations and of merely human advice. Certainly he had enjoyed the smiles of Fortune for a very long period, and that without any great exertions of his own. He had survived all his colleagues who had issued with him from Kwangsi. Of the four leading Kings who started with him on his journeys, two, those of the South and of the West, did not live to reach Nanking; while the Eastern and the Northern Kings had been put to death for conspiring against his authority. More than

COMPLETE INVESTMENT OF NANKING.

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once before he had been in apparently desperate circumstances, and been relieved not so much by any efforts of bis own or of his subordinates as by a fortunate turn in the course of affairs. Hence it was not altogether bad policy of him to refrain from reviewing the past or speculating on the future with his elevated mind.

The Faithful King was well aware of the desperate state into which matters were falling, but no thought of faithlessness to his Lord seems to have crossed his mind; and it is to his honour that be largely expended his own means in assisting the starving people of Nanking. In the commencement of 1864 Nanking was closely invested on all sides, so that the only road from it open was that to Tayan. The Imperialists had a large flotilla on the Yangtsze. From this river their double, and at some places even treble, intrenchments ran above Nanking to Porcelain Tower Hill, which commanded the city; and on the north extended down from the Tsao-bia creek almost to the hills above the Ming tombs, where the Rebels still held a strong position. The forts below the capital had also been captured by the Imperialists, and when the Faithful King returned to it in January 1864 he lost about 100,000 of his men merely from baving no rations to give them all, and no spot on which to camp them.

When the Ever-Victorious Army was dissolved in June 1864, the capture of Nanking and the final suppression of the Tai-ping Rebellion were events which appeared evidently close at hand. On the 1st of June the investment of the Rebel capital was completed sufficiently to prevent its receiving any further supplies. The Imperialists had exploded several mines at different places beneath the walls, so compelling the garrison to be continually on the watch. The Imperialist lines

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