Web and Book design,
Copyright, Kellscraft Studio
(Return to Web Text-ures)
Difficulty in procuring black-tea manufacturers Return to Shanghae City taken by a band of rebels Chief magistrate murdered Strange prejudices of foreign residents Their professions of neutrality Chinese warfare Dr. Lockhart's hospital and patients Value of medical missions Public opinion changes Shanghae evacuated by the rebels Entered by the Imperialists Cruelty of soldiers Effects of the rebellion on the face of the country.
THE arrangements I had been making during the summer months with farmers and tea-cultivators for supplies of plants and seeds in the autumn, were brought to a successful termination in the end of August. But as tea-seed does not ripen in China until October or November, I had two months before me to attend to another and equally important part of my duties. This was to procure and forward to India some first-rate black-tea manufacturers a task which I found much more difficult than that of selecting and exporting seeds and plants. The Chinese are supposed to be an erratic race, and are found almost populating such places as the straits of Malacca, Java, and Manilla. Of late years shiploads of coolies have been sent to the West Indies, while thousands have emigrated to the gold-fields of California and Australia. But nearly all these are natives of the province of Canton, and the southern part of Fokien, and moreover are men who have either been brought up in seaport towns, or only a short distance inland. Had such men suited my purpose, I could easily have procured them in any number. But unfortunately the best black-tea districts of China are far inland; the natives of such districts are simple countrymen who have never seen the sea in the course of their lives, and who have a very indistinct idea of countries which lie beyond it. And besides, such men as I wanted were able to earn good wages at home, and consequently less inclined to push their fortunes abroad. Although it would, therefore, have been the simplest thing possible to procure Chinamen, it was a very different matter to get hold of good tea-manufacturers.
There were two ways of accomplishing the object in view, either by going to the homes of such men myself, or by getting them through respectable Chinese at one of the northern ports. The first of these methods was not very likely to succeed; it is not probable that a stranger and a foreigner could induce such men to leave their homes, however liberal the offers he might make them might be. They could, or at least they would, have had no confidence in the fulfilment of such promises. I had, therefore, adopted the second mode of gaining the desired end, and now determined to return to Shanghae for a few days in order to see what progress had been made in the matter by the Chinese who had promised me their assistance.
On returning to Shanghae I found no progress whatever had been made, and indeed men's minds were so full of the rebellion raging in the country at the time that little else could have been expected. In the end of August and beginning of September rumours were current that the Fokien and Canton men, who are rather numerous at this port, were about to rise and hoist the standard of the new Emperor, T'hae-ping-wang, in this ancient city. The authorities, who had long felt their weakness, issued proclamations denouncing a man named Le, who, with some forty others, was taken up and detained for some hours at the office of the magistrate. The official, however, did not dare to punish these persons: indeed, he was coolly informed that if he did so his own head would pay the penalty. This threat had the desired effect: le and his companions were set at liberty, and it is needless to say grew bolder and more unruly than ever they had been before. As a further step to preserve the peace of the city, a body of lawless men belonging to a secret society, who could not be controlled, were taken into the pay of the Government. This was a last resource, and placed the Government upon a mine which could be sprung at any moment for its destruction.
The morning of the 7th of September, being the day on which the mandarins usually pay their visit to sacrifice in the temple of Confucius, was chosen by the rebels for the attack upon the city. Without knowing anything about their plans, I happened to pay a visit to the city soon after daybreak. On entering at the north gate I observed a number of men looking earnestly at some object in the guard-house, and saw at a glance that something of an unusual nature had taken place. Ascending the steps of the guard-room with the Chinese, I was horrorstruck at finding the mats and pillows belonging to the guard saturated with human blood. Upon inquiry, I found that a band of men, believed to be composed chiefly of the members of the secret society already noticed, and called the "Small Sword Society," had entered the city and were then on their way to the houses of the chief mandarins, namely, the Taoutae and Che-heen. They had met with some feeble resistance from the guard, whom they soon overpowered and made themselves masters of the gate.
When the rebels reached the centre of the city, they divided themselves into two divisions, one of which marched to the Che-heen's office, and the other to the Taoutae's. The guard at the Che-heen's, consisting of about forty men, fled without making the slightest resistance, and are supposed to have been in league with the rebels. Some one ran to inform the magistrate that his house was attacked, and the old man came out and endeavoured to pacify the rebel mob with a few fair words and promises for the future. He was told, however, that such promises were now too late, upbraided for his former conduct, and barbarously murdered on the spot.
The division which marched to the Taoutae's was equally successful, and met with no resistance. Report says this officer who was the highest in Shanghae behaved very bravely on this trying occasion. Having been informed of the intended attack a minute or two before it took place, he dressed himself in his official robes and came out to meet the rebels. Most of his attendants had fled, and, seeing that the few men who remained true were a very unequal match for the rebels, he prevented them from offering any resistance. "If you want my life," said he, "you have the power to take it, see, I am unarmed and defenceless." The rebel chief replied that they did not want his life, but that he must forthwith hand over the official seals, and take an oath not to molest those who were now the masters of the city. He immediately gave up the seals, and retired to his own apartment, where he was allowed to remain unmolested while the other parts of the buildings were plundered and gutted.
In the afternoon I paid another visit to the city with the Rev. Mr. Edkins, of the London Missionary Society. On arriving at the north gate we found a strong guard stationed there, who, after some little persuasion, allowed us to pass in. From the appearances which presented themselves at every turning, it was evident the rebels had made a good use of their time. Not only were all the gates strongly guarded, but patrols of two men each were marching through the city in all directions and preserving order. These guards had strict orders to preserve the property of the inhabitants from thieves of all kinds, and to punish in a summary manner all who might be caught stealing. Two men who were taken in the act were immediately put to death without judge or jury or trial of any kind. The order which prevailed in all quarters, considering the lawless bands who were in possession of the city, was very remarkable.
Threading our way through the narrow streets, in the direction of the public offices, which had been the scene of such disturbances in the morning, we were everywhere treated with marked respect both by the inhabitants and by the various patrols. When we reached the house of the Cheheen a strange scene was presented to our view. Hundreds of people were busily engaged in ransacking the premises and carrying off everything which could be taken away. The furniture of the various rooms and all moveable articles had gone first, and the crowd were now busily employed in taking down the windows, doors, all kinds of framework, wooden pillars, and indeed everything which could be converted into use. This crowd was not what in England we would call a mob, but a set of respectable, orderly plunderers, or perhaps luters would be a better word, whose proceedings were sanctioned by the victorious rebels now in possession of the city. However particular the latter seemed with reference to the preservation of private property, that of the mandarins and Government seemed to be given over to the people for plunder as a matter of course. When we reached the upper end of the collection of buildings which formed the official residence of the Che-heen, we observed a crowd of people, who seemed to be lookers-on like ourselves, moving to some apartments on one side of the central hall. Following in their steps, we came to a court, or small Chinese garden, containing a few ornamental plants in pots and a pretty arbour covered with the Glycine sinensis. In a small room, now in ruins, at the upper end of the court, a crowd of people were observed gazing intently at some object on the floor, and from the expression on every countenance we readily conjectured that this must be the body of the Che-heen, who had been murdered in the morning, and which we were now desirous of seeing. As we approached the spot, the crowd readily made way, when a melancholy and shocking sight was presented to our view. On a mat, in the middle of the room, lay the body of the murdered magistrate, covered with the wounds which had been inflicted by his ruthless countrymen. It was a sickening sight, so we turned away and made our way out through the busy crowd, who were still employed in what appeared to be considered a kind of legal plunder.
Leaving the offices of the magistrate, we now proceeded to the residence of the Taoutae, or highest civil officer in the city. Here a scene of a different kind, but scarcely less curious, was presented to us. This place had been made the head-quarters of the rebels, and we found the doors strictly guarded by their men. The guards allowed us to pass without question; and, walking up a straight path to the furthest end of the buildings, we found a large hall filled with armed men, engaged in arranging some matters connected with their food and wages. A more blackguard or unruly looking collection of human beings I had never before seen. Some were armed with short swords, others with muskets or pistols, and a number with rusty-looking spears of all forms and sizes. Here and there we observed some busily engaged in grinding their swords, and every now and then feeling their edges like a butcher about to slay an animal for his stall. The greater number were taking part in a hot discussion which was then going on with their leaders, all talking at the same time, and, apparently, in the greatest disorder; but, as this is Chinese custom, it gave us but little surprise or concern. The uniform worn by this motley band was most varied in its character; but each man wore a distinguishing badge of some kind, either round his head, or as a sash round his body, or on his breast. The Fokien bands had generally a red band tied round the head; while the Canton men had a white one, said to be a badge of mourning for the Ming dynasty their ancient kings.
Having seen quite enough of these unruly spirits, we left their halls, and walked quietly homewards through the streets of the city. Every place was perfectly quiet: some of the shops were open, and the people generally seemed to be looking on with Chinese indifference.
In the new foreign town measures were taken by the English and American residents for their own protection. On the morning after the occurrences had taken place which I have just been narrating, the pretty Chinese Custom-house, which is so great an ornament to the foreign town, and which had been evacuated by the authorities, was completely gutted by the Chinese, and no one interfered to prevent them. It was attacked by no mob of lawless vagabonds, but by the sober and industrious people in the neighbourhood, who seemed to consider its contents a kind of lute to which they were justly entitled. Every one agreed, when too late, that it was a pity to allow such a proceeding within our own boundary, more particularly when a single consulate official, or a single sailor from one of the men-of-war in port, could have prevented it, without any force being necessary further than to stand at the door and warn the people off.
The description which I have thus attempted to give of the taking of Shanghae by this rebel band will throw some light upon the character of the Chinese, but it is difficult to give to civilised nations in the West a correct idea of this extraordinary people. Will it be credited that a city containing upwards of 200,000 inhabitants walled and fortified, and, to a certain extent, prepared for an attack allowed itself to be taken by a band of marauders scarcely numbering 500 men, badly armed, undisciplined, and bent on plunder? And yet such is the fact, for, however strict the rebels appeared to be in their endeavours to preserve private property, they were robbing the Government and "squeezing" some of the more wealthy among the inhabitants. It seemed to be generally acknowledged that they had, as yet, no connexion with the Kwang-si rebels, although they expected to have shortly. It was, no doubt, the intention of many of them to "feather their own nests" pretty well in the first place, and then hand over the conquered city to any one who chose to take it off their hands. In the mean time the poor people suffered, trade, both foreign and native, was paralyzed, and one trembled for the fearful calamities which now hung over this unhappy country.
For this state of things in Shanghae the foreign residents have been greatly to blame, inasmuch as they not only did not endeavour to prevent them, but actually encouraged the attack. I do not mean that they ought to have taken to arms and fought on the side of the Imperialists, but the moral force in their hands was very great; and had it been generally known that foreigners were opposed to any attack upon Shanghae, it is more than probable such an attack would never have been attempted. But a course very different from this was pursued. The sympathies of foreigners generally were all enlisted on the side of the rebels and against the government of the country. It was no secret that we as a body, instead of opposing an attack upon the city, would hail it with pleasure, and wish it success, although we would otherwise remain neutral. Civil and naval officers, missionaries, merchants, and shopkeepers, all with a few honourable exceptions were in favour of the debauched band of robbers who took the city of Shanghae on the 7th of September. The unprejudiced observer of these events had now to witness a most extraordinary and anomalous proceeding, namely, that of our men-of-war gallantly putting down the hordes of pirates which were infesting the coast, while the land pirates, such as those who took the city of Shanghae, were encouraged and applauded. And why? Because the latter spent their days and nights in smoking opium, in drunkenness, and in all kinds of debauchery, and gave out they were followers of Tai-ping-wang, or, as he was called, the Christian King!
It would be too sweeping an assertion to place the whole of these men in the same class. Some perhaps were patriots anxious for the good of their country, but I am afraid these characters were comparatively rare. And yet the good ones were probably amongst those who held out to the last, and who suffered the greatest obloquy when "public opinion" changed.
Public opinion, when by this is understood the intelligence of a people, is generally correct; and it is difficult to account for the errors of the Shanghae community, more particularly when it is considered that it consists of men of education and sound common sense. The supposed Christian character of the Kwang-si rebels had no doubt a tendency to interest and captivate, and perhaps the corrupt nature of the present government of the empire might make many wish for a change. But whatever the main body of the rebels at Nanking might be and the visits of foreigners to that camp had been too few and brief in duration to enable them to form a correct estimate of their politics and religion there surely could be no doubt as to the character of those who claimed connexion with them in Shanghae. And add to this, that there was but one opinion regarding them shared by all respectable Chinese in this part of the country and that was that they were nothing more than thieves and robbers and one wonders still the more.
For more than a year this band held possession of the ancient city of Shanghae. A large force was sent against them by the government, and encamped at various points round the city-walls, and at a safe distance from the ramparts. The object of the Imperialists appeared to be not so much to drive them out by hard fighting as by gradually cutting off their supplies to starve them into capitulation. Here again their plans were to a certain extent frustrated by neutral foreigners. The foreign settlement, as it is called, occupies a large tract of ground situated on the north-east side of the city just outside the walls, and is bounded on the east by the Shanghae river. Notwithstanding the complaints and remonstrances of the government of the country, many persons were unscrupulous enough to keep supplying the insurgents with arms and ammunition of all kinds in large quantities, for which they were liberally paid with the spoils stolen from the public treasury or wrung from the inhabitants. Some were in the habit of making large sums of money by running cargoes of gunpowder, carrying it into the city, advising and counselling the rebels, and then when danger approached sneaking back to the foreign settlement for the protection which the flags of England or America afforded them. Nor was this conduct effectually checked by either of these governments for a considerable length of time, although they had full power to have done so. And this is what we call being neutral!
The battles or skirmishes which took place every few days betwixt the besiegers and besieged during the time the city was in the hands of the rebels were most amusing performances.
During the time of the siege Dr. Lockhart's Chinese hospital was crowded with patients. Some came to have limbs amputated, others to have balls extracted, and others again to have their wounds dressed. All were attended to in the kindest manner "without money and without price." It did not signify to the Christian missionary whether the person carried to his door for medical aid was an imperialist or a rebel; it was enough that he was a human being suffering pain and desiring to be relieved. And hence the wounded of both parties met in the same hospital, and each had his wounds attended to by the same friendly hand.
In his report for 1854 Dr. Lockhart relates the following circumstance: "One Sunday afternoon two wounded persons were brought in; one was a Canton man, an artilleryman at the battery on the eastern side of the river, or Poo-tung; he had fired his gun once, and was reloading it when the charge exploded and so severely injured his arm that it had to be amputated below the elbow, and he did well. The first shot that he fired had crossed the river, and struck a woman near the city-wall on the leg, destroying all the soft part from one side of the limb. These two patients met at the hospital about an hour afterwards." He then tells us: "A man was brought in one morning whom a rebel had caught, supposing him to be an imperial soldier, and tried to behead(!), but owing to the man's struggles he was unable to effect this, though he inflicted most severe injuries upon him." Then a beggar is brought in who had been struck on the leg by a cannon-ball; his wound is dressed, he is lodged and fed and sent away cured. An old fisherman was dropping his anchor at the mouth of the river on a windy day, when his hand got entangled in the cable, so that it was almost twisted off. The thumb was found to be much mangled, the back of the hand was almost destroyed, and the metacarpal bones fractured, so that the fingers and palm were all that were left. The result of skilful treatment is that the hand "is now almost well, though the man will not have much motion in his fingers."
Such are the labours of the medical missionaries; skilful, unwearied, and free to all as their native air, or their refreshing streams. The soldier, the sailor, merchant, mechanic, farmer, and labourer, high and low, rich and poor, have the benefits of the hospital freely offered to them. In 1853 no fewer than 11,028 patients had been operated upon, or treated in some way, while in 1854 the number amounted to 12,181.
But the Medical Missionary Society have objects which are even of a higher nature than "healing the sick and curing all manner of diseases." When the patients assemble for medical treatment in the hall of the hospital they have the Gospel preached to them by one of the members of the London Mission. Private religious instruction is also given to patients in the different wards. And thus, while the heart of the cold and unfeeling Chinese is softened and opened up by kindness--which he feels to be disinterested, and which acts like spring showers upon plants the seeds of the Gospel of Christ are sown upon it, and, it is hoped, in many, very many instances, they may vegetate and produce their fruits in after years when the patients have returned to their homes.
The charitable labours of the medical missionary are not confined to the hospital within the bounds of the foreign settlement. He has also a dispensary in the midst of the crowded city, which he visits on stated days and attends to outdoor patients, many of whom may not be able to come as far as the hospital. Indeed, wherever his labours are required he is to be found ministering to the wants of the sick, and doing all he can to alleviate pain. The following extract from one of Dr. Lockhart's reports will show that the jails are also visited, and give a good illustration of the cold-blooded cruelty of the Chinese government:
"In the beginning of the summer, attention was called by some of the natives in the city to the fact that there were a number of men who had been severely wounded in the Che-hλen's (or magistrate's) jail; a visit was immediately paid to the place, when it was ascertained that, in a yard which was one of the departments of the inner prison, about fifty pirates, all Canton and Fokien men, had been confined; but that on the morning of the day when it was visited they had tried to break out of prison and were very riotous, on account of some additional hardship that the officers intended to inflict on them, and also because some of the party were to be separated from the rest. The soldiers of the garrison had been called out, who fired several rounds of musketry into the yard and the prisoners' cells, till the rioters were rendered quiet, or at least disabled; when the soldiers rushed in and beat them with wooden poles for some time. After this the whole of the prisoners were loaded with extra manacles, and those who had not been severely wounded were forthwith submitted to the bastinado till they could hardly walk.
"The scene presented in the yard, and the cells around it, was one of perhaps common occurrence in Chinese prisons, but, it is to be hoped, not often seen elsewhere. Four men were killed, and lay at the door in a heap, just as they had been thrown down; one man had compound fracture of the thigh; three had compound fracture of the tibia, the result of gun-shot; others had fractures of the leg and arm. On inquiring from these what had caused their injuries, they said they were occasioned by blows from the poles with which they were attacked by the soldiers after the firing had ceased; several had received severe sword-cuts, and others had bullet-wounds in various parts of the body and limbs. About twenty were wounded in the affray; the remainder had the skin of their backs, thighs, and legs beaten off by the bastinado; and the moans and cries that proceeded from all parts of the yard were heartrending. The men that had the compound fractures had not only chains on their hands, and bars of wood chained to their feet, but also on one knee a band or oval hoop of iron, placed over the knee, while the leg was flexed on the thigh, and to confine this in its place a rod of iron was thrust through the middle of the hoop at the ham and locked, so that it could not be removed; the knee was thus kept forcibly bent, causing much agony to the wretched prisoners.
"It was then late in the afternoon, and almost dark; all that could be done, however, was effected as speedily as possible; bullets cut out, wounds dressed, fractured limbs bound up and put in position, as far as time and circumstances would allow; and the next day, bandages, splints, ointment, and whatever else was wanted, were taken and applied to the sufferers. Attempts were made, by application to the officers, to induce them to take off the hoops and chains from the fractured limbs, but the application was refused; and at a later period, when the request was more urgently pressed, the officers said that they would not do it, and that they hoped the men would all die, and the sooner the better; also that they wished no help or relief to be afforded to them.
"However, the pirates themselves were very thankful for the relief they experienced, and they assisted and nursed one another very kindly. The way in which orders were given, and relief administered, in the cells, was a curious process; one of the occupants was an intelligent young man, and spoke English very well; he had been beaten on the thighs, and had logs of wood chained to his legs, so that he could not walk; this man was put on the back of another, who had chains only on his hands, and was thus carried about from cell to cell to receive instructions, and give directions as to what was to be done in the intervals of the visits. The bodies of the four dead men remained in an outer cell for more than a week, but a mass of ice was thrown upon them to keep them from putrefaction to some extent, until the affair had been examined into, and reported to the superior officers. One or two more died, and in process of time the rest recovered of their wounds, after rather a large consumption of plasters and bandages. When the city was afterwards taken by the Triads, the young man above alluded to was found to be in command of a detachment of men, and in charge of the Little East gate; and being dressed up in velvet and satin, presented a very different appearance from what he had done when loaded with chains and covered with rags in the prison."
The Chinese as a people are cold and indifferent to religion of any kind: humanly speaking, nothing less than a miracle will convert them to Christianity. Missionaries have been in China for many years; larger numbers have been sent out from England and America since the last war, when the country was partially opened up to foreigners. These men have been labouring there, I believe, in most instances, most conscientiously, and with an ardour and single-mindedness of purpose which is worthy of all praise, and yet what is the result? How few have "believed their report"! The Chinese as a nation are jealous, selfish, and eminently conceited; it is therefore difficult to convince such minds that nations many thousand miles distant will subscribe large sums of money merely for their religious benefit, or that men are to be found who will leave friends and home with no other views than to convert them from heathenism to Christianity. And hence it would seem that the labours of the medical missionary societies would prove a powerful auxiliary in aiding the spread of the Gospel amongst such a people. All nations, even the most cold and selfish, have some kindly feelings in their nature capable of being aroused and acted upon. If anything will warm such feelings in the minds of the Chinese, the labour of the medical missionary is well calculated to do so. The blind receive their sight, the lame are enabled to walk, and the wounded are cured. And when the better feelings of the man are thus expanded into something like gratitude, his prejudices are more likely to give way, and thus his mind may become softened and more apt to receive religious impressions.
Having been led to make these remarks upon the value of medical missions, I will now return to the Shanghae rebellion. For many months the army of the Imperialists seemed to make no impression upon the rebel bands who held the city. Battles, such as has been described, were fought every few days, the success, such as it was, being sometimes on the one side and sometimes on the other. Mines were dug and sprung, breaches were made in the walls and as quickly repaired, and it seemed as if the siege was likely to last for an indefinite period of time. But public opinion began to waver, and then changed altogether; it was found out at last that the bands who had taken and held possession of the city were not patriots fighting for their country's good, but merely a set of land-pirates, whose brethren we had been taking means to destroy on the high seas. The commanders of the French ships of war in the port, who had never viewed them with a friendly eye, and who had had some disputes with them on various occasions, now took a decided part against them and in favour of the Imperialists. A breach was made in the city wall and the rebels attacked in their stronghold, which they defended with much skill, and eventually forced the French to retreat after having lost some of the best and bravest of their officers.
But this trifling success was unavailing. The imperial government, having frequently remonstrated with the foreign consuls against their settlement being used as a communication with the city, was at length listened to, and allowed to build a high wall in order that this connexion might be cut off. The insurgents thus hemmed in on all sides and likely to be eventually starved, bombarded by the French ships, having to repulse the attacks of the Imperialists, and deserted by nearly all their friends, at length came to the determination to evacuate.
When the rebels evacuated the city, the brave Imperialists entered it and immediately set it on fire in various places. The evening on which this took place was perfectly calm, and the scene must have been one of the grandest and at the same time one of the most painful ever beheld. The fire was first seen running along the ramparts and destroying tent after tent these having been occupied only a few hours before by the insurgents. Then the city was observed to have been set fire to in several places, and, owing to the construction of the houses (they are built chiefly with pine and bricks), the fire spread with fearful rapidity. The whole city, about three miles in circumference, appeared to be in flames guilty and innocent were perishing together, thousands were rendered houseless and driven from their homes, and where to go they knew not. In the midst of all this terror and confusion the imperial soldiers were plundering what had been left by the rebels, which I believe was not very much, and hunting down the unfortunate, in order to cut their heads off and claim the promised reward. Some of the latter, as a last resource, hid themselves in coffins, hoping thus to escape their ruthless pursuers. Many of them were discovered and slain, and then the soldiers used this as a pretence for breaking open the coffins of the dead, in order to get the money or gold and silver ornaments which are often deposited with the bodies after death. Of all that band of marauders who fled from Shanghae that night, but few remained either to fight or to steal. The numerous heads which were afterwards seen on poles, and trees, and walls, the fearful stench which poisoned the air for many weeks during the hot weather which followed, told a sickening tale of crime and blood. The bravery displayed by them on many occasions showed plainly of what stuff the Chinese are made, and what as a nation China may yet become, and made one regret it had not been shown in a better cause.
When I arrived at Shanghae, a few days after the evacuation, I found fully one-third of this ancient city in ruins. The poor inhabitants were wandering about looking out for the spots where their dwellings formerly stood, and in many instances marking their boundaries with a few stones or bricks. Most of them seemed completely heartbroken and paralysed, and were taking no steps to rebuild their former homes. The gardens and nurseries in the city and suburbs have necessarily suffered severely. It was quite melancholy to look into many of them. One just outside the north gate, which furnished me with some of my finest plants when I was collecting for the Horticultural Society of London, was completely destroyed. A fine Glycine sinensis, which formerly covered a large trellis, was now half-buried in ruins, but still putting forth its long racemes of blue flowers half-covered with the broken tiles and bricks, and told in mournful accents its tale of peaceful times. A noble tree of the carnation-flowered peach, which in former years used to be loaded with rose, white, and striped blossoms, and admired by all who saw it, had been cut down for firewood, and the stump alone remained to tell where it grew. Hundreds of pot-plants were huddled together, broken, and destroyed. The little house where the gardeners used to live was levelled with the ground; and the old lady, the proprietor whom I had known for some years, and who managed the concern after her husband's death, was gone no one knew where. In the city many places were in the same condition. A great portion of the celebrated tea-gardens was destroyed. Here there was one little garden situated in front of a gentleman's house and surrounded with high walls. In addition to numerous plants in pots, it contained two pretty specimens of Sophora japonica pendula, grafted high, as we see the weeping-ash in England, and presenting an appearance not unlike it in the distance. The house and high walls were in ruins, and the trees, which had somehow escaped, could now be seen a long way off, budding and becoming green amidst this scene of desolation. The face of the country for some miles from the city walls was also entirely changed. Formerly it had a rich appearance, and was studded all over with clumps of trees. All had been cut down for firewood for the imperial army. Clumps of Cryptomeria japonica, Juniperus sphζrica, and bamboos had entirely disappeared. The celebrated peach-gardens near the south and west gates of the city, which at this time of year (April) used to be one sheet of bloom, had now nothing remaining except the stumps of the trees. What I regretted as much as anything was some noble specimens of Salisburia adiantifolia the "Ging-ko" of the Japanese. This is apparently indigenous to this part of China, and attains to a very large size; indeed, it is by far the largest tree in the district. Its fruit, which at first sight has somewhat the appearance of the almond, is much esteemed by the Chinese, and consequently abundant in the markets.
Such are some of the effects of rebellion in a half-civilised country like China. The picture which I have endeavoured to paint applies, unfortunately, to many other parts of the country besides Shanghae. Hundreds of towns and villages were in the same state; their inhabitants had been driven from their homes by fire and sword, the innocent in many instances perished with the guilty, and even women and children were not spared. One party was just as bad as the other, and the "tender mercies" of both "were cruel." Amongst foreigners residing in this country enthusiasm had generally given way to common sense, and they had now no hopes of the Christian character of the Canton or Shanghae rebellion indeed there has ever been strong proof that thieves or pirates would be a much more appropriate name to apply to the rebels in these towns than the sacred one of Christian. Let us hope for better things as regards the Nanking insurgents and their leader Tai-ping-wang, when we know them as intimately as we have known their countryman at Shanghae and Canton.
Although the picture which I have given of some parts of China is a melancholy one, it must not be supposed to represent the general condition of the empire. China is a large country, and those parts disturbed by rebellion bear but a small proportion to the remainder, which is perfectly undisturbed. Indeed, even a mile or two away from a place in the hands of the rebels we find the country quiet and the husbandman engaged in cultivating his land. Thus it is that notwithstanding all these disturbances we have no lack of tea, silk, and the other articles which form the bulk of our exports.