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he was easily repulsed, and, giving up the futile attempt, fell back with his troops on Sikawai. In his own account of this affair he says that he was induced to go to Shanghai " by some Barbarians residing there;” and, in a communication which he sent in to the Foreign authorities on the 21st August, he expressly accuses the French of having deceived him. This is rather curious, and is not quite explained away by the Hon. Mr Bruce when he remarks, in his despatch of the 4th September 1860, that the French were of all Foreigners the least likely to have made any advances to the Taipings. It is well known that the Roman Catholic priesthood in China—a very powerful body, with a system of underground communication all over the empire—were bitterly hostile to the Rebellion, and it is not at all unlikely that some of their agents may have been employed in luring the Chung Wang on to his injury by false representations of the ease and safety with which Shanghai might be occupied. Another curious point is, that in his sketch the Faithful King asserts he had prepared for a march into Shanghai, and arrangements had been made there for his reception ; but a storm of wind and rain arose, which rendered the ground so slippery that neither man nor horse could obtain firm footing, and so the Foreign Devils who came out to meet him had to return without him. This is not like pure invention, and there was such a storm a day or two before the attack of the 18th August; Mr Bruce also acknowledges that the Rebel attack “took us by surprise;" so that it is far from impossible that the wealthy city of Shanghai had a narrower escape from Tai-ping occupation than it was, or is even yet, aware of.

Having inflicted an immense amount of injury upon the peasantry, the Rebels retreated on the 22d of August,

RETREAT FROM SHANGHAI,

67

and left the vicinity of Shanghai. Passing Sungkiang, which was held by Ward and his contingent, they captured Pinghoo and Kashing bien, * which caused the Imperialist general, Chang Yu-liang, to raise the siege of Kashing fu, which he was again attacking. By the capture of Shemen they managed to get in between Chang and that portion of his force which was stockaded near Kashing fu, and so to cut the latter off from Hangchow, compelling it to surrender, and the general to retreat upon Hangchow. Most of the troops thus taken in September joined the ranks of the Rebels. The Faithful King then proceeded to Soochow, where the distress of the people from famine was very great. It is to his credit that he endeavoured in every way to relieve them, and was so far successful that they erected to him an ornamental arch-a tribute of gratitude which caused them considerable trouble, when, afterwards, the city was recovered by the Imperialists, by whom it was pulled down.

* “Hien ” thus used indicates the chief city of a district, and “ fu” that of a department

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CHAPTER V.

TAI-PING REVERSES IN THE YANGTSZE VALLEY,

AND A CHANGE OF POLICY AT PEKING.

THE TIEN WANG'S INDIFFERENCE TAI-PING PLANS IN 1860 —

FOUR ARMIES SET IN MOTION-BRITISH AGREEMENT WITH THE REBELS-NEUTRALITY STRICTLY ENFORCED-ARREST OF WARDFAILURE OF THE REBEL MOVEMENTS-SUCCESS OF THE TAI-PINGS IN CHEKIANG-REASONS FOR KEEPING THEM FROM SHANGHAI AND NINGPO-DEATH OF THE EMPEROR HIEN-FUNG-PRINCE KUNG'S COUP D'ETAT.

The redoubtable Tseng Kwo-fan, at this time War Commissioner against the Rebels, was now pressing the siege of Nganking; and the Heavenly Prince, being apprehensive for its safety, ordered the Faithful King to return to Nanking, in order to oppose the Imperialists on the Yangtsze. Accordingly the latter left Soochow in charge of Chen Kuan-shu, who was afterwards called the Hu Wang, or Protecting King, but was better known by the name of “ Cockeye,”* one of his optics having been injured by the explosion of a percussion-cap. On the arrival of the Faithful King at the capital, he assembled the various chiefs, and, following Dugald Dalgetty's principles, recommended them to procure provisions so

* Though " Cockeye" is an English slang word, it is well known and often used by the Cantonese, Foreigners in the south having for long been in the habit of applying it to Chinamen, and Chinawomen also, who have certain peculiarities about their eyes.

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