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built at the confluence of the river Han with the Blue River. The latter is at this point a real inland sea, its waters are furrowed by from 5000 to 6000 junks, around which innumerable porpoises sport about as in the open sea. The aspect of the three cities, U-chang, Han-yang, and Han-ku, the first of which alone boasts of a population of 400,000 souls, and situated on the opposite banks of the rivers, is one of the most imposing in the world. Pagodas of nine stories tower up above the roofs turned up at their edges, and flags of a thousand colours float in the air above a whole forest of masts. This is one of the great commercial centres of the Celestial Empire: the manufactures of Manchester and Glasgow are exchanged here for teas of Moning, porcelain of Ya-u-chang, woods of Kiang-si, salt and smuggled goods, more especially opium.
Great was the dismay at Pekin when it was known that the insurgents were at U-chang-fu, and European merchants began for the first time to tremble for the safety of the empire. Nankin was put in a state of de fence, and levies were made from every town in Kian-nan and Kiang-si; but with what effect may be judged of from the fact that the consular city of Chang-hai, or Shanghai, with a population of 200,000, only furnished a contingent of 100 regular soldiers and 100 volunteers.
An appeal was now also made for the first time to the magnanimity of the English and Americans; this, with the usual astuteness of the Chinese, by the Ta-y-tai, or Intendant of Shanghai, in the first place as a feeler, so that in case of refusal the dignity of any of the great men of the empire should not be ruffled by barbarian insolence. The tone of the request was, at the same time, anything but suppliant, demanding rather than entreating that ships of war should be despatched at once, to act in concert with the Lorchas that were already at Nankin, and which city was at that moment threatened by the patriots. All those most intimate with Chinese diplomacy aver that if the British and American plenipotentiaries had acceded to this request so couched, the emperor would for ever afterwards have numbered those nations among such as are tributary to the Celestial Empire.
The Chang-ti, in the mean time, after having reduced the capital of Hu-pa, continued their descent of the Blue River, successively occupying Kiu-kiang, Gan-king, and U-hu, and at length appearing before Nankin with a formidable fleet and an army of fifty thousand men, commanded by five chiefs, each of whom claimed the insignia of royalty. The news of the arrival of the insurgents at the second city of the empire caused the greatest sensation, not unmingled with alarm, at the Chinese cities of the north that were frequented by Europeans, and attempts were now first made to enter into communications with the mysterious patriots of the interior. With this view Mr. Marshall, the representative of the United States, sailed up the Blue River in the Susquehanna. Unfortunately, when the active co-operation of the English and Americans was requested, and not acceded to, the Intendant of Shanghai, who had already enrolled some Portuguese Lorchas of Macao under the yellow banner, bethought himself of purchasing sundry European vessels and guns, and among others he succeeded in obtaining an old American receiving-ship, called the Science, belonging to the house of Russell, which let it out for 5000 piastres a month.
This old ship was in reality hired for purposes of Chinese diplomacy, and, therefore, worth in reality more than appeared on the surface of things; for no sooner was it obtained possession of than it was sent up the Blue River, with the report that it was but the first of an European feet which was sailing to the succour of the Manchu dynasty. This subterfuge had an unfortunate effect, as it roused the ire of the Chang-ti against Europeans, and, as a consequence, when they saw the Susquehanna coming up the river they closed the mouth of the canal leading from the Blue River to Nankin, and cutting off the head of a mandarin supposed to be in communication with the Europeans, they stuck it, as if in warning, at the end of a bamboo. The Susquehanna, thus hostilely received, was obliged to retrace its steps, Mr. Marshall announcing on his return that sufficient water had not been found to get as far as the quarters of the insurgents.
The insurgents had, it is to be observed, made themselves masters of Nankin as early as the 19th of March. The details of the siege and capture of the imperial city of the Mings are little known, but it is re. ported that, on the day above mentioned, the Chang-ti sprung a mine under the wall near the northern angle, which effected a breach of about twenty or thirty yards in extent. They immediately rushed in by this, encountering only a slight resistance from some of the hereditary garrison of Tartar Bannermen and a few Shan-tung and Kuai-chu troops, who attempted to dispute their progress to the inner city.
The strength of the Chinese imperialists was reckoned at 5106 men, and that of the Bannermen at 7000 to 8000 men. It was expected that these Tartars would have fought desperately in self-defence. They were well armed and trained, and they well knew that the “Heavenly Prince" had openly declared that the first duty of his mission was the utter extermination, not only of themselves, but also of their women and children ; yet they are said scarcely to have raised an arm in defence of their wives and families, but to have thrown themselves on their faces, and implored mercy in the most abject terms, submitting to be butchered like so many sheep. Only 100 are said to have escaped out of a Tartar population of more than 20,000; the rest, men, women, and children, were put to the sword!
On the 31st of March the insurgent fleet of river-craft sent down from Nankin approached Chin-kiang. Only the Macao Lorchas, despatched up the river by the Shanghai intendant, attempted resistance, the rest of the imperial feet flying in dismay at the sight of the enormous number of vessels moving against them. The Lorchas were also soon forced to retreat, and were pursued as far as Silver Island. From this the insurgents returned to Chin-kiang, which they occupied without resistance, the garrison, among whom were 400 Northern Manchus, having fled without firing a shot. The families of the resident Tartars, warned by the fate of their compatriots at Nankin, had also evacuated the place to the number of 20,000 ; only a few hundreds were caught and slain in the surrounding villages. On the following day, the 1st of April, the insurgents occupied Kua-chu, or Kwa-chow, and the large city of Yang-chu, on the northern bank of the Blue River, also without resistance. A long battery of three miles of guns that lined the riverbank fell into their hands--not one had been discharged against them. By the last accounts, Tai-ping-fu, a city of great strength to the westward of Nankin, had fallen, as had also Yang-ping-fu, close to the great city of Fu-chu-fu, or Foo-chow-foo, in the direction of Su-chu. At Canton, also, everything was ready for a general rising, and a simultaneous attack upon the Tartar encampment and the officers of government was to be their death-knell, and a signal that the work was begun.
Amoy, one of the consular cities, was taken on the 19th of May without much loss of life. The public offices were gutted, and the mandarins fled. Not a single private residence was molested. The European residents were treated with civility, and a guard sent to protect their residences. The insurgents in possession of Amoy are said not to be of the same party as the great body of Chang-ti, but members of a secret society, called “Short Knife Society," and to be acting on their own account. As they agree in one point, the overthrow of the Tartar dynasty-no doubt the minor insurrections in the south will be swallowed up ultimately in the greater successes of the Chang-ti, especially when the latter are at Pekin, and a head monarchy is firmly established. Shortly after the fall of Amoy, a much larger city in the same neighbourhood, Chang-chu, to which Amoy is but as a port, fell into the hands of another party of insurgents. Soine slight dissensions that arose among the insurgent chiefs at Amoy induced the Chinese admiral to make an attempt to recover the place; but the imperial forces were driven back, and those that were made prisoners were tried by courtsmartial, at which Europeans were allowed to be present. All the Tartars taken were immediately beheaded, but the Chinese soldiers, being generally pressed men, were usually acquitted. Thus whatever dissensions may exist among the insurgents themselves as to the right to command, none at all events exists as to the determination to exterminate the Tartar race.
Shortly after the unsuccessful expedition of the Susquehanna, a man of remarkable courage and most enterprising spirit presented himself as an envoy to the insurgent camp, in order to ascertain what sentiments the Chang-ti really entertained towards Christian nations. Mr. Meadows, interpreter to the English consulate, started alone on the 9th of April for Su-chu-fu, from whence he intended descending the Great Canal, and joining the insurgents at or near Nankin.
Unfortunately the news that a further lying proclamation had just been issued by the intendant of Shanghai, to the effect that a fleet of foreign steam-ships of war were preparing to act against the insurgents, obliged the envoy to retrace his steps, the report having increased the irritation against Europeans which had been already created by previous misrepresentations. Under these circumstances Sir George Bonham determined at once to proceed in person to Nankin, to explain to the chiefs of the insurrection our perfect neutrality. The Hermes steamer was got in readiness for the purpose, and it proceeded without difficulty to Chin-kiang-fu, where the Grand Canal crosses the Blue River. The insurgents were in great force at this point, and had possession of both sides of the river. Leaving Chin-kiang-fu, the Hermes got to Nankio without any further trouble, and on arriving there Mr. Meadows was allowed to communicate with the leaders. The letter sent by Sir G. Bonham, as well as the very satisfactory answer given by the Chang-ti leaders, have been published at length in the daily papers.
Mr. Meadows was introduced to the second in rank, Pa-wang, King of the North, who said no one was permitted to see the chief, Tai-ping-wang, and who, Mr. Meadows was duly informed, was considered by the Chang-ti as a brother of Jesus. With the usual inconsistency of a false and impious claim, although asserting his divine origin, it being believed by his followers that he had visited heaven, and that the Ruler of the Universe had condescended to visit him on earth, it is stated that the mysterious leader of the insurgents will not allow the title of " holy," or “Celestial,” to be applied to him, but he is styled plainly, Tai-ping-wang, or Prince of Peace. We have no longer here any notice whatsoever of Tian-ta, or had Tian-ta become Tai-ping-wang ? The insurgents were said, at the same time, to be Christians of the Protestant form of worship, but on what grounds, except that they were strict anti-idolators, does not clearly appear. If they acknowledge a younger brother of Jesus, they must be Christians of an entirely new order. They are said to acknowledge one God, the Heavenly Father, the All-wise, All-powerful, and Omnipresent Creator of the world ; with him, Jesus Christ as the Saviour of mankind, and also the Holy Spirit as the last of the three persons of the Trinity. If to this Trinity they add a fourth member, their idea of a triad or triune faith must be very latitudinarian. Their moral code, or as they call them Heavenly Rules, are said to be the Ten Commandments. They attribute all good to the glory of God, as also all evil as chastisement for sins. They refrain from smoking, the use of opium, and all other vices. They insist on the adoption of the new religion by all adherents. During a long ride of ten or twelve miles into the city of Nankin and back, along the streets of a large camp, Mr. Meadows did not hear one of those abusive and derogatory epithets applied to himself or his companions which have always been hitherto so liberally bestowed on passing foreigners by the Chinese.
On her return from Nankin, and while passing Ching-kiang-fu, the Hermes was fired upon from two forts garrisoned by the insurgents, and, after receiving four or five round shot in her rigging and hull, she opened fire, which quickly quieted the forts. Mr. Taylor, an American missionary, who subsequently visited Lu, “the fifth arranger of the forces," at Ching-kiang-fu, ascertained that these acts of hostility arose from a mistake. Lu adverted especially to the Hermes being “ followed by a fleet of impish vessels belonging to the false Tartars," the said “impish vessels of the Tartars following in the wake of European ships.”
Most truly may the Chinese insurrection be looked upon, whatever may be the results—a worship to the glory of God and a true regard for the Trinity, or the superadding of another divinity of human origin-as the greatest religious movement since the days of Muhammad; and, it is much to be feared, as another colossal example of the vagaries of the human mind. This, however, is by no means certain yet, and there are many reasons for hoping better things. The insurgents have the Bible, and that will not teach them to worship Tai-ping-wang. It is even asserted that the Great Pacificator does not wish to be worshipped ; but if so whence the impious title claimed by him, or the sanctity attributed to him by his followers ? It is curious, too, that the mysterious Tian-ta, the representative of Celestial Virtue, who never made his appearance, has, since the capture of Nankin, been totally superseded by Tai-ping-wang, the Great Pacificator,
who is alone looked upon as the future sovereign of China. It seems probable, then, as was surmised at first, that Tian-ta is a myth, an apocryphal personage, around whom the first inaugurators of the insurrection grouped themselves, as a point of unity itself by virtue of its intangible and ideal character, not liable to defeat or disaster of any kind. In such a case it was Tai-ping-wang who removed himself to the mountain, and represented Tian-ta before the envoys of Siu.
Sir John Davis pointed out twenty years ago the importance of the junction of the Grand Canal and the Blue River in a strategetical point of view. “A blockade of the Great Canal and of the Yang-si-kiang,” he said, “ would affect the whole empire, and more especially the capital, which is provisioned from the southern provinces." When the British forces took possession of this leading position, the mandarins came and made submission, for they knew that the enemy held the keys of the empire.
The Chang-ti insurgents have acted evidently upon a knowledge of the same facti They have put a total stop to the provisioning of Pekin -already in a state of great distress and the paid garrison of which alone comprises 100,000 Manchus and their families. Notwithstanding the confiscation of the property of many former ministers, chiefs, and wealthy individuals—measures of a perfectly suicidal character-the government treasuries are said to be quite empty.
As to Tartar chieftains moving down from the north with their people at their own cost, such offers can only have emanated from some of the hereditary Mongol princes, of whom no one knows better than the members of the Manchu court they have never forgotten their descent from Genghis Khan and his associates, the former rulers, not of China merely, but of all Asia, and the east of Europe. They have, indeed, always been objects of apprehension and jealousy to the reigning dynasty.
It is by no means improbable that they and their followers, bred in the saddle, and accustomed to the hardy life of nomadic herdsmen in sterile regions, would, if now brought in, be able to hold all that portion of China north of the Yellow River for years against a dynasty established in the south ; but it is equally probable that they would hold it for themselves, and not for the Manchu sovereign.
Such a Tartar sovereignty would form an excellent frontier between the Chinese and Russian empires. The latter, it is well known, have long been preparing to take part in the struggle of the Chinese for their emancipation. A Russo-Greek monastery has been established in Pekin ever since the time of Peter the Great; and although the reverend missionaries are said to be also commissioned officers in the Russian army, who are changed every ten years, they boast of their 4,000,000 of converts, who had formed themselves into secret societies, ramifications of which had extended themselves throughout the whole empire ; and it has even been suggested that the words Xam ti houoei, “ the religion of the great emperor," borne on the banners of the insurgents, have reference to the Tsar, and not to Tian-ta. The Bible, however, in use with the insurgents has been found to be Gutzlaff's translation; their catechism is Dr. Medhurst's. They call themselves Chang-ti, or Protestants, and they have their own great emperor and great pacificator; although as the latter --Tai.ping-wang-has chosen to declare himself, since the capture of Nankin, to be a younger brother of Jesus Christ, it is not