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him, the child should become the heir by adoption to the Emperor just then deceased. His Majesty regrets the failure of this arrangement, owing to his own ill-health, and the impossibility of his having a son born to him, and aunounces that the Empress-Dowager has, at his own request, selected an heir to the late Emperor in the person of one of his near relatives.
In the same issue of the "Peking Gazette" there were published three other Decrees with reference to the newly-appointed heirapparent. The first of these directed that he should represent the Emperor in the performance of the ceremonies to celebrate the New Year (31st January) in three of the Palace halls; the second appointed Ch'ung Yi and Hsü Tung as tutors to superintend his education; and the third prescribed a congratulatory ceremonial at the Palace on the 26th instant.
The young Prince P'u Chün, who has been thus selected to sueceed to the Throne, is a grandson of Prince Tun, known as the Fifth Prince, that is the fifth son of the Emperor, whose reign was styled Tao-Kuang (1821-51). The present Emperor is the son of the seventh Prince, so that the new heir-apparent is the first cousin once removed of the reigning Sovereign. He is 14 years old.
For a full account of the genealogy of the reigning family, of the system of adopting heirs, of the peculiarities of the succession of the present Emperor, and of the reasons why the elder branches of the family were passed over in his favour, I have the honour to refer your Lordship to two interesting despatches written by Sir Thomas Wade at the time when the present Emperor came to the throne of the 19th and 26th January, 1875.
Of the two high officials above mentioned as having been appointed tutors to the heir-apparent, Ch'ung Yi is a Manchu, who was father-in-law of the late Emperor (Tung Chih), and has since held high office. He has had no intercourse with foreigners, and is said to be of conservative tendencies. The other, Hsü T'ung, is a Chinese bannerman, also of exalted rank, who is reputed to be a hater of foreigners and all their ways. He lives in the street where most of the foreign Legations are situated, and has borne out this reputation by the consistent opposition which he has offered to the macadamizing of this street and to all other material reforms.
In the Gazette of the 27th January appeared a Decree appointing his Highness Prince Ching (well known to foreigners as President of the Tsung-li Yamên), and a Mongol Prince named Na, to be "Anta" to the young Prince; "Anta" being a Manchu word signifying the supervisor of children in a Prince's household. Prince Ching is a good type of the ordinary Manchu conservative statesman; and the selection of the future Emperor's advisers would seem to be based on the desire to prevent him from being
carried away by those impulses towards sudden reform which the Empress-Dowager has had to repress so vigorously in his pre
Rumours of the impending abdication or deposition of the Emperor have been prevalent in the capital and elsewhere for some months past, and the news of the appointment of a successor to the throne has undoubtedly given such rumours a fresh life.
Possibly with a view to quieting the general uneasiness in this regard, the Empress-Dowager issued a Decree on the 28th instant, directing that the Emperor's next birthday, marking the completion of his 30th year, should be celebrated with all the ceremonies proper to the occasion. This Decree was succeeded on the following day, 29th January, by four Decrees on the subject of the 30th birth day celebrations, purporting to be in the name of the Emperor himself, the effect of which is that the ceremonies of worshipping Heaven, and of ascending the throne to receive congratulations, are not to be observed on the occasion; that the high provincial authorities are not to memorialize for permission to come to Peking to offer congratulations; that ceremonial robes are to be worn for seven days; and that special examinations are to be held by Imperial grace in honour of the auspicious year.
The only other authentic indication which I am able to record as to the Emperor's real position is that afforded by the Court Circular in yesterday's Gazette, by which it is notified that the Emperor is to receive in person the usual obeisances to- lay-the first day of the I have, &c.,
CLAUDE M. MACDONALD.
The Marquess of Salisbury.
(Inclosure.)-Extract from the "Peking Gazette" of January 24,
Imperial Decree (Appointment of Heir to the Throne).
WHEN at a tender age we entered into the succession to the throne, Her Majesty the Empress-Dowager graciously undertook the rule of the country as Regent, taught and guided us with diligence, and managed all things, great and small, with unremitting care, until we ourself assumed the government. Thereafter the times again became critical. We bent all our thoughts and energies to the task of ruling rightly, striving to requite Her Majesty's loving kindness, that so we might fulfil the weighty duties intrusted to us by the late Emperor Mu Teung Yi (T'ung Chih).
But since last year we have suffered from ill-health, affairs of
State have increased in magnitude and perplexity, and we have lived in constant dread of going wrong.
Reflecting on the supreme importance of the worship of our ancestors and of the spirits of the land, we therefore implored the Empress-Dowager to advise us in the government. This was more than a year ago, but we have never been restored to health, and we have not the strength to perform in person the great sacrifices at the altar of heaven and in the temples of the spirits of the land.
And now the times are full of difficulties. We see Her Gracious Majesty's anxious toil by day and by night, never laid aside for rest or leisure, and with troubled mind we examine ourself, taking no comfort in sleep or food, but ever dwelling in thought on the labours of our ancestors in founding the dynasty, and ever fearful lest our strength be not equal to our task.
Moreover, we call to mind how, when we first succeeded to the throne, we reverently received the Empress Dowager's Decree that as soon as a Prince should be born to us he should become the heir by adoption to the late Emperor Mu Tsung Yi (T'ung Chih). This is known to all the officials and people throughout the Empire.
But we suffer from an incurable disease, and it is impossible for us to beget a sou, so that the Emperor Mu Tsung Yi has no posterity, and the consequences to the lines of succession are of the utmost gravity. Sorrowfully thinking on this, and feeling that there is no place to hide ourself for shame, how can we look forward to recovery from all our ailments ?
We have therefore humbly implored Her Sacred Majesty carefully to select from among the near branches of our family a good and worthy member, who should found a line of posterity for the Emperor Mu Tsung Yi (Tung Chih), and to whom the throne should revert hereafter. After repeated entreaties, Her Majesty has now deigned to grant her consent that P'u Chün, son of Tsai Yi, Prince Tuan, should be adopted as the son of the late Emperor Mu Tsung Yi (Tung Chib). We have received Her Majesty's Decree with unspeakable joy, and in reverent obedience to her gracious instruction we appoint P'u Chün, son of Tsai Yi, as Prince Imperial, to carry on the dynastic succession.
Let this Decree be made known to all men.
Sir C. MacDonald to the Marquess of Salisbury.—(Received
Peking, March 5, 1900. IN my despatch of the 31st January I had the honour to forward to your Lordship copy of an identic note addressed to the
Yamên on the 27th January by myself, my American, French, German, and Italian colleagues, in which we asked that a Decree should be issued specifically denouncing the anti-Christian Societies in Shantung and Chihli.
Receiving no answer, we wrote again on the 21st February, pressing for a reply, and on the 25th February we each received the note, of which I inclose copy herewith. Your Lordship will observe that in this note the Yamên misquote the note to which it is a reply, make no mention of either of the Societies whose suppression we had demanded, and merely state that a Decree had been issued ordering the Governors of the provinces to put an end to the disturbances.
This was considered so unsatisfactory by myself and the Representatives of the other four Powers that we decided to ask for an interview with the Yamêa, at which Prince Ch'ing should be present, and we prepared an identic note, copy of which is inclosed, to be delivered at the interview, in which we repeated the demand already made, with the additional stipulation that the Decree we asked for should be published in the official Gazette, in the same way as the harmful Decree of the 11th January.
The interview was arranged for the 2nd instant, and on the evening of the 1st instant we each received from the Yamên the note and inclosure of which I have the honour to forward translation herewith. The inclosure consists of a Proclamation by the Governor-General of Chihli, embodying an Imperial Decree, in which the "Boxers" are denounced in unambiguous terms.
Had this note been sent in the first instance as a reply to the identic note it would, as I subsequently informed the Yamên, have probably been accepted as satisfactory by the Representatives of the five Powers concerned. In view, however, of the tardiness with which the Chinese Government had dealt with this matter, and of the aggravated suspicion as to the meaning of the Decree concerning Societies caused by the evasive terms of the Yamên's note of the 24th February, it was decided at a conference held before we started for the Yamên that we should adhere to the demand formulated in the identic note which we had already prepared.
Mr. Conger, United States' Minister, Baron von Ketteler, German Minister, Marquis Salvago, Italian Minister, Baron d'Anthouard, French Chargé d'Affaires, and myself were received at the Yamên by Prince Ch'ing and Learly all the Ministers. On behalf of myself and my colleagues I recapitulated the circumstances, as detailed above, which had led to the demand which we now made. My colleagues all expressed to the Prince and Ministers their entire concurrence with the language I used. Mr. Conger
reminded the Yamên of the incredulity with which they had listened to his representations regarding these disturbances over three months ago, and the promises they had been making ever since, from which nothing had resulted.
Baron von Ketteler laid special stress on the fact that in the Decree just communicated no mention was made of the "Ta Tao Hui," or 66 Big Knife Society," the denunciation of which, equally with that of the "I-Ho-Ch'uan," or "Fist of Righteous Harmony," had been demanded.
The Prince and Ministers protested emphatically that the Throne was earnest in its determination to put a stop to the outrages committed by these Societies. They maintained that the method adopted for promulgating the Imperial Decree, that of sending it to the Governors of the provinces concerned, to be embodied in a Proclamation and acted upon, was much speedier and more effective than that of publishing a Decree in the "Peking Gazette," as suggested by us. With regard to the omission of the term "Ta Tao Hui" from the Decree, they declared that this Society was now the same as the "I-Ho-Ch'uan."
While we acknowledged the sincerity displayed by the Imperial Decree and its promulgation by Proclamation, none of the arguments employed by the Yamên convinced us that there was any real objection, beyond a dislike to obeying foreign dictation, to the publication of a Decree in the Gazette in the terms we demanded, and we therefore handed in the identic notes which we had prepared.
The Yamên promised to consider the question, and to send a reply. I have, &c.,
The Marquess of Salisbury.
CLAUDE M. MACDONALD.
(Inclosure 1.)-The Tsung-li Yamén to Sir C. MacDonald.
Peking, February 25, 1900. On the 21st instant we received your Excellency's note stating that you had some time since addressed us with regard to rebellious ruffians who in Shantung and elsewhere formed Societies and made disturbances, requesting us to memorialize the Throne to issue a Decree in terms of strict prohibition; that you had not yet received a reply, and asking us to immediately memorialize the Throne as originally requested, and to reply.
We have the bonour to state that, on the 19th instant, we had already memorialized the Throne on the subject, and at once received an Imperial Decree directing the Governor-General of Chihli and