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Demetrius Charles Boulger

The Project Gutenberg EBook of China, by Demetrius Charles Boulger
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Title1 China
2uthor1 Demetrius Charles Boulger
*elease Date1 3ctober, 4556 7EBook 89/5:;
7$es, we are more than one year ahea of scheule;
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D'rontispieceDHHThe Emperor *eceiving the Diplomatic Corps
+ong Aong
CantonHHThe 'lower Pagoa
Aang, the *eformer
2s China has now fairly taken her place in the family of nations, it is
unnecessary to elaborate an argument in support of even the humblest
attempt to eluciate her history! #t is a subject to which we can no
longer remain inifferent, because circumstances are bringing every ay
more clearly into view the important part China must play in the changes
that have become imminent in 2sia, an that will affect the security of
our position an empire in that continent! 2 goo unerstaning with China
shoul be the first article of our Eastern policy, for not only in Central
2sia, but also in #noHChina, where 'rench ambition threatens to create a
fresh Egypt, her interests coincie with ours an furnish the soun basis
of a fruitful alliance!
This book, which # may be parone for saying is not an abrigment of my
original work, but entirely rewritten an rearrange with the view of
giving prominence to the moern history of the Chinese Empire, may appeal,
although they generally treat 2siatic subjects with regrettable
inifference, to that wier circle of English reaers on whose opinion an
efforts the evelopment of our political an commercial relations with the
greatest of 3riental ,tates will mainly epen!
D! C! B3?>GE*, 2pril 4:, -:.=!
C+2PTE* #
T+E E2*>$ 2GE,
The Chinese are unIuestionably the olest nation in the worl, an their
history goes back to a perio to which no pruent historian will attempt
to give a precise ate! They speak the language an observe the same
social an political customs that they i several thousan years before
the Christian era, an they are the only living representatives toHay of
a people an government which were contemporary with the Egyptians, the
2ssyrians, an the <ews! ,o far as our knowlege enables us to speak, the
Chinese of the present age are in all essential points ientical with
those of the time of Confucius, an there is no reason to oubt that
before his time the Chinese national character ha been thoroughly forme
in its present mol! The limits of the empire have varie from time to
time uner circumstances of triumph or isunion, but the Bile Aingom,
or China Proper, of the eighteen provinces has always possesse more or
less of its e)isting proportions! 2nother striking an peculiar feature
about China is the small amount of influence that the rest of the worl
has e)ercise upon it! #n fact, it is only uring the present century that
that influence can be sai to have e)iste at all! ?p to that point China
ha pursue a course of her own, carrying on her own struggles within a
efinite limit, an completely inifferent to, an ignorant of, the
ceaseless competition an contests of mankin outsie her orbit, which
make up the history of the rest of the 3l &orl! The long struggles for
supremacy in &estern 2sia between 2ssyrian, Babylonian an Persian, the
triumphs of the Greek, followe by the absorption of what remaine of the
Baceonian conIuests in the Empire of *ome, even the appearance of #slam
an the Bohammean conIuerors, who change the face of ,outhern 2sia from
the Ganges to the >evant, an long threatene to overrun Europe, ha no
significance for the people of China, an reacte as little on their
estiny as if they ha happene in another planet! &hatever avantages the
Chinese may have erive from this isolation, it has entaile the penalty
that the early history of their country is evoi of interest for the lest
of the worl, an it is only when the long inepenent courses of China
an Europe are brought into pro)imity by the Bongol conIuests, the efforts
of the meieval travelers, the evelopment of commerce, an the wars
carrie on for the purpose of obtaining a secure position for foreigners
in ChinaHHfour istinct phases covering the last seven centuriesHHthat any
confience can be felt in successfully attracting notice to the affairs of
China! $et, as a curiosity in human e)istence, the earlier history of that
country may justly receive some notice! Even though the etails are not
recite, the recollection of the antiIuity of ChinaGs institutions must be
ever present with the stuent, as afforing an inispensable clew to the
character of the Chinese people an the composition of their government!
The first Chinese are suppose to have been a noma tribe in the province
of ,hensi, which lies in the northwest of China, an among them at last
appeare a ruler, 'ohi, whose name at least has been preserve! +is ees
an his person are mythical, but he is creite with having given his
country its first regular institutions! 3ne of his successors was +wangti
Jwhich means +eavenly EmperorK, who was the first to employ the imperial
style of Emperor, the earlier rulers having been content with the inferior
title of &ang, or prince! +e aopte the convenient ecimal ivision in
his aministration as well as his coinage! +is ominions were ivie into
ten provinces, each of these into ten epartments, these again into ten
istricts, each of which hel ten towns! +e regulate the calenar,
originating the Chinese cycle of si)ty years, an he encourage commerce!
+e seems to have been a wise prince an to have been the first of the
great emperors! +is granson, who was also emperor, continue his goo
work an earne the reputation of being "the restorer or even founer of
true astronomy!"
But the most famous of +wangtiGs successors was his greatHgranson $ao who
is still one of the most revere of all Chinese rulers! +e was "iligent,
enlightene, polishe an pruent," an if his wors reflecte his actions
he must have been most solicitous of the welfare of his people! +e is
specially remarkable for his an)iety to iscover the best man to succee
him in the government, an uring the last twentyHeight years of his reign
he associate the minister Chun with him for that purpose! 3n his eath he
left the crown to him, an Chun, after some hesitation, accepte the
chargeL but he in turn hastene to secure the coHoperation of another
minister name $u in the work of aministration, just as he ha been
associate with $ao! The perio covere by the rule of this triumvirate is
consiere one of the most brilliant an perfect in Chinese history, an
it bears a resemblance to the age of the 2ntonines! These rulers seem to
have passe their leisure from practical work in framing moral a)ioms, an
in carrying out a moel scheme of government base on the purest ethics!
They consiere that "a prince intruste with the charge of a ,tate has a
heavy task! The happiness of his subjects absolutely epens upon him! To
provie for everything is his utyL his ministers are only put in office
to assist him," an also that "a prince who wishes to fulfill his
obligations, an to long preserve his people in the ways of peace, ought
to watch without ceasing that the laws are observe with e)actitue!" They
were stanch upholers of temperance, an they banishe the unlucky
iscoverer of the fact that an into)icating rink coul be obtaine from
rice! They also hel fast to the theory that all government must be base
on the popular will! #n fact, the reigns of $ao, Chun an $u are the ieal
perio of Chinese history, when all Iuestions were ecie by moral right
an justice, an even now Chinese philosophers are sai to test their
ma)ims of morality by the egree of agreement they may have with the
conuct of those rulers!
&ith them passe away the practice of letting the most capable an
e)perience minister rule the ,tate! ,uch an impartial an reasonable moe
of selecting the hea of a community can never be perpetuate! The rulers
themselves may see its avantages an may eneavor as honestly as these
three Chinese princes to carry out the arrangement, but the ay must come
when the family of the able ruler will assert its rights to the
succession, an take avantage of its opportunities from its close
connection with the government to carry out its ens! The Emperor $u, true
to the practice of his preecessors, nominate the presient of the
council as his successor, but his son Tiki seiMe the throne, an became
the founer of the first Chinese ynasty, which was calle the +ia, from
the name of the province first rule by his father! This event is suppose
to have taken place in the year 4-./ B!C!, an the +ia ynasty, of which
there were seventeen emperors, rule own to the year -//9 B!C! These +ia
princes present no features of interest, an the last of them, name Aia,
was epose by one of his principal nobles, Ching Tang, Prince of Chang!
This prince was the founer of the secon ynasty, known as Chang, which
hel possession of the throne for 9N6 years, or own to --44 B!C! &ith the
e)ception of the founer, who seems to have been an able man, this ynasty
of twentyHeight emperors i nothing very noteworthy! The public morality
eteriorate very much uner this family, an it is sai that when one of
the emperors wante an honest man as minister he coul only fin one in
the person of a common laborer! 2t last, in the twelfth century before our
era, the enormities of the Chang rulers reache a clima) in the person of
Chousin, who was epose by a popular rising heae by &ou &ang, Prince of
This successful solier, whose name signifies the &arrior Aing, foune
the thir Chinese ynasty of Chow, which governe the empire for the long
space of :9/ years own to 499 B!C! During that protracte perio there
were necessarily goo an ba emperors, an the Chow ynasty was renere
specially illustrious by the appearance of the great social an religious
reformers, >aoutse, Confucius an Bencius, uring the e)istence of its
power! The founer of the ynasty institute the necessary reforms to
prove that he was a national benefactor, an one of his successors, known
as the Bagnificent Aing, e)tene the authority of his family over some of
the ,tates of Turkestan! But, on the whole, the rulers of the Chow ynasty
were not particularly istinguishe, an one of them in the eighth century
B!C! was weak enough to resign a portion of his sovereign rights to a
powerful vassal, ,iangkong, the Prince of Tsin, in consieration of his
unertaking the efense of the frontier against the Tartars! 2t this
perio the authority of the central government passe uner a clou! The
emperorGs prerogative became the shaow of a name, an the last three
centuries of the rule of this family woul not call for notice but for the
genius of >aoutse an Confucius, who were both great moral teachers an
religious reformers!
>aoutse, the founer of Taouism, was the first in point of time, an in
some respects he was the greatest of these reformers! +e foun his
countrymen sunk in a low state of moral inifference an religious
infielity which correspone with the corruption of the times an the
isunion in the kingom! +e at once set himself to work with energy an
evotion to repair the evils of his ay, an to raise before his
countrymen a higher ieal of uty! +e has been calle the Chinese
Pythagoras, the most eruite of sinologues have pronounce his te)t
obscure, an the mysterious Taouism which he foune hols the smallest or
the least assignable part in what passes for the religion of the Chinese!
2s a philosopher an minister >aoutse will always attract attention an
e)cite speculation, but as a practical reformer an politician he was far
surpasse by his younger an less theoretical contemporary Confucius!
Confucius was an official in the service of one of the great princes who
ivie the governing power of China among themselves uring the whole of
the seventh century before our era, which behel the appearance of both of
these religious teachers an leaers! +e was a traine aministrator with
long e)perience when he urge upon his prince the necessity of reform, an
avocate a policy of union throughout the ,tates! +is e)hortations were
in vain, an so far illHtime that he was oblige to resign the service of
one prince after another! #n his ay the authority of the Chow emperor ha
been reuce to the lowest point! Each prince was unto himself the supreme
authority! $et one carinal point of the policy of Confucius was
submission to the emperor, as implicit obeience to the hea of the ,tate
throughout the country as was pai to the father of every Chinese
househol! 2lthough he faile to fin a prince after his own heart, his
e)ample an precepts were not thrown away, for in a later generation his
reforms were e)ecute, an own to the present ay the best points in
Chinese government are base on his recommenations! #f "no intelligent
monarch arose" in his time, the greatest emperors have since sought to
conform with his usages an to rule after the ieal of the great
philosopher! +is name an his teachings were perpetuate by a ban of
evote isciples, an the book which containe the moral an
philosophical a)ioms of Confucius passe into the classic literature of
the country an stoo in the place of a Bible for the Chinese! The list of
the great Chinese reformers is complete by the name of Bencius, who,
coming two centuries later, carrie on with better opportunities the
reforming work of Confucius, an left behin him in his ,heking the most
popular book of Chinese poetry an a crowning tribute to the great Baster!
'rom teachers we must again pass to the chronicle of kings, although few
of the later Chow emperors eserve their names to be rescue from
oblivion! 3ne emperor suffere a severe efeat while attempting to
establish his authority over the troublesome tribes beyon the frontierL
of another it was written that "his goo Iualities merite a happier ay,"
an the general character of the age may be inferre from its being
esignate by the native chroniclers "The warlike perio!" 2t last, after
what seeme an interminable ol age, marke by weakness an vice, the Chow
ynasty came to an en in the person of @an &ang, who, although he reigne
for nearly si)ty years, was epose in ignominious fashion by one of his
great vassals, an reuce to a humble position! +is conIueror became the
founer of the fourth Chinese ynasty!
During the perio of internal strife which marke the last four centuries
of the Chow ynasty, one family ha steaily wa)e stronger an stronger
among the princes of China1 the princes of Tsin, by a combination of
pruence an aring, graually mae themselves supreme among their
fellows! #t was sai of one of them that "like a wolf or a tiger he wishe
to raw all the other princes into his claws, so that he might evour
them!" ,everal of the later Tsin princes, an particularly one name Chow
,iang &ang, showe great capacity, an carrie out a systematic policy for
their own aggraniMement! &hen @an &ang was approaching the en of his
career, the Tsin princes ha obtaine everything of the supreme power
short of the name an the right to wear the imperial yellow robes! Ching
&ang, or, to give him his later name as emperor, Tsin Chi +wangti, was the
repute greatHgranson of Chow ,iang &ang, an uner him the fame an
power of the Tsins reache their culminating point! This prince also
prove himself one of the greatest rulers who ever sat on the Dragon
throne of China!
The country ha been so long istracte by internal strife, an the
authority of the emperor ha been reuce to such a shaow, that peace was
welcome uner any ruler, an the hope was inulge that the Tsin princes,
who ha succeee in making themselves the most powerful feuatories of
the empire, might be able to restore to the central government something
of its ancient power an splenor! @or was the e)pectation unreasonable or
ungratifie! The Tsins ha fairly earne by their ability the confience
of the Chinese nation, an their principal representative showe no
iminution of energy on attaining the throne, an e)hibite in a higher
post, an on a wier fiel, the martial an statesmanlike Iualities his
ancestors ha isplaye when builing up the fabric of their power as
princes of the empire! Their supremacy was not acIuiesce in by the other
great feuatories without a struggle, an more than one campaign was
fought before all rivals were remove from their path, an their authority
passe unchallenge as occupants of the #mperial office!
#t was in the mile of this final struggle, an when the result might
still be hel oubtful, that Tsin Chi +wangti began his eventful reign!
&hen he began to rule he was only thirteen years of age, but he Iuickly
showe that he possesse the instinct of a statesman, an the courage of a
born commaner of armies! 3n the one han he sowe issension between the
most formiable of his opponents, an brought about by a stratagem the
isgrace of the ablest general in their service, an on the other he
increase his army in numbers an efficiency, until it became
unIuestionably the most formiable fighting force in China! &hile he
eneavore thus to attain internal peace, he was also stuious in
proviing for the general security of the empire, an with this object he
began the construction of a fortifie wall across the northern frontier to
serve as a efense against the troublesome +iongnou tribes, who are
ientifie with the +uns of 2ttila! This wall, which he began in the first
years of his reign, was finishe before his eath, an still e)ists as the
Great &all of China, which has been consiere one of the woners of the
worl! +e was careful in his many wars with the tribes of Bongolia not to
allow himself to be rawn far from his own borer, an at the close of a
campaign he always withrew his troops behin the Great &all! Towar
Central 2sia he was more enterprising, an one of his best generals,
Boungtien, crosse what is now the Gobi Desert, an mae +ami the frontier
fortress of the empire!
#n his civil aministration +wangti was aie by the minister >isseh, who
seems to have been a man of rare ability, an to have entere heartily
into all his masterGs schemes for uniting the empire! &hile +wangti sat on
the throne with a nake swor in his han, as the emblem of his authority,
ispensing justice, arranging the etails of his many campaigns, an
superintening the innumerable affairs of his government, his minister was
eIually active in reorganiMing the aministration an in supporting his
sovereign in his bitter struggle with the literary classes who avocate
archaic principles, an whose animosity to the ruler was inflame by the
contempt, not unmi)e with ferocity, with which he treate them! The
empire was ivie into thirtyHsi) provinces, an he impresse upon the
governors the importance of improving communications within their
jurisiction! @ot content with this general precept, he issue a special
ecree orering that "roas shall be mae in all irections throughout the
empire," an the origin of the main routes in China may be foun with as
much certainty in his reign as that of the roas of Europe in the ays of
#mperial *ome! &hen avise to assign some portion of his power to his
relatives an high officials in the provinces he refuse to repeat the
bluners of his preecessors, an lai own the permanent truth that "goo
government is impossible uner a multiplicity of masters!" +e centraliMe
the power in his own hans, an he rew up an organiMation for the civil
service of the ,tate which virtually e)ists at the present ay! The two
salient features in that organiMation are the inisputable supremacy of
the emperor an the nonHemployment of the officials in their native
provinces, an the e)perience of two thousan years has prove their
practical value!
&hen he conIuere his internal enemies he resolve to complete the
pacification of his country by effecting a general isarmament, an he
orere that all weapons shoul be sent in to his capital at +ienyang!
This "skillful isarming of the provinces ae aily to the wealth an
prosperity of the capital," which he proceee to embellish! +e built one
palace within the walls, an the +all of 2uience was ornamente with
twelve statues, each of which weighe twelve thousan pouns! But his
principal resience name the Palace of Delight, was without the walls,
an there he lai out magnificent garens, an ae builing to builing!
#n one of the courts of this latter palace, it is sai he coul have rawn
up -5,555 soliers! This eye to military reIuirements in even the builing
of his resience showe the temper of his min, an, in his efforts to
form a regular army, he ha recourse to "those classes in the community
who were without any fi)e profession, an who were possesse of
e)ceptional physical strength!" +e was thus the earliest possessor in
China of what might be calle a regular staning army! &ith this force he
succeee in establishing his power on a firm basis, an he may have hope
also to insure permanence for his ynastyL but, alas0 for the fallacy of
human e)pectations, the structure he erecte fell with him!
Great as an aministrator, an successful as a solier, +wangti was
unfortunate in one struggle that he provoke! 2t an early perio of his
career, when success seeme uncertain, he foun that his bitterest
opponents were men of letters, an that the literary class as a boy was
hostile to his interests an person! #nstea of ignoring this opposition
or seeking to overcome it by the same agency, +wangti e)presse his hatre
an contempt, not only of the literary class, but of literature itself,
an resorte to e)treme measures of coercion! The writers took up the gage
of battle thrown own by the emperor, an +wangti became the object of the
wit an abuse of every literate who coul use a pencil! +is birth was
asperse! #t was sai that he was not a Tsin at all, that his origin was
of the humblest, an that he was a substitute chil foiste on the last
of the Tsin princes! These personal attacks were accompanie by
unfavorable criticism of all his measures, an by censure where he felt
that he eserve praise! #t woul have been more pruent if he ha shown
greater inifference an patience, for although he ha the satisfaction of
triumphing by brute force over those who jeere at him, the triumph was
accomplishe by an act of (analism, with which his name will be Iuite as
closely associate in history as any of the wise measures or great works
that he carrie out! +is vanIuishe opponents left behin them a legacy of
hostility an revenge of the whole literary class of China, which has
foun e)pression in all the national histories!
The struggle, which ha been in progress for some years, reache its
culminating point in the year 4-= B!C!, when a Gran Council of the empire
was summone at +ienyang! 2t this council were present not only the
emperorGs chief military an civil officers from the ifferent provinces,
but also the large literary class, compose of aspirants to office an the
members of the acaemies an College of Censors! The opposing forces in
China were thus rawn up face to face, an it woul have been surprising
if a collision ha not occurre! 3n the one sie were the supporters of
the man who ha mae China again an empire, believers in his person an
sharers in his gloryL on the other were those who ha no amiration for
this ruler, who eteste his works, proclaime his successes angerous
innovations, an Iuestione his right to bear the royal name! The purpose
of the emperor may be etecte when he calle upon speakers in this
assembly of his friens an foes to e)press their opinions of his
aministration, an when a member of his househol rose to e)tol his work
an to eclare that he ha "surpasse the very greatest of his
preecessors!" This courtierHlike eclaration, which woul have been
e)cusable even if it ha ha a less basis of truth than it unIuestionably
possesse in the case of +wangti, was receive with murmurs an marks of
issent by the literati! 3ne of them rose an enounce the speaker as "a
vile flatterer," an proceee to e)patiate on the superior merit of
several of the earlier rulers! @ot content with this unseasonable eulogy,
he avocate the restoration of the empire to its ol form of
principalities, an the conseIuent unoing of all that +wangti ha
accomplishe! +wangti interrupte this speaker an calle upon his
favorite minister >isseh to reply to him an e)plain his policy! >isseh
began by stating what has often been sai since, an in other countries,
that "men of letters are, as a rule, very little acIuainte with what
concerns the government of a country, not that government of pure
speculation which is nothing more than a phantom, vanishing the nearer we
approache to it, but the practical government which consists in keeping
men within the sphere of their proper uties!" +e then proceee to
enounce the literary class as being hostile to the ,tate, an to
recommen the estruction of their works, eclaring that "now is the time
or never to close the mouths of these secret enemies an to place a curb
on their auacity!" The emperor at once from his throne ratifie the
policy an orere that no time shoul be lost in e)ecuting the necessary
measures! 2ll books were proscribe, an orers were issue to burn every
work e)cept those relating to meicine, agriculture, an such science as
then e)iste! The estruction of the national literature was carrie out
with terrible completeness, an such works as were preserve are not free
from the suspicion of being garble or incomplete versions of their
original te)t! The burning of the books was accompanie by the e)ecution
of five hunre of the literati, an by the banishment of many thousans!
By this sweeping measure, to which no parallel is to be foun in the
history of other countries, +wangti silence uring the last few years of
his life the criticisms of his chief enemies, but in revenge his memory
has ha to bear for two thousan years the sully of an ine)cusable act of
tyranny an narrowHmineness! The price will be pronounce too heavy for
what was a momentary gratification!
The reign of +wangti was not prolonge many years after the burning of the
books! #n 4-5 B!C! he was seiMe with a serious illness, to which he
succumbe, partly because he took no precautions, an partly, no oubt,
through the incompetence of his physicians! +is funeral was magnificent,
an, like the +uns, his grave was ug in the be of a river, an with him
were burie his wives an his treasure! This great ruler left behin him
an e)ample of vigor such as is selom foun in the list of Chinese kings
of effete physiIue an apathetic life! +e is the only Chinese emperor of
whom it is sai that his favorite e)ercise was walking, an his vigor was
apparent in every epartment of ,tate! 3n one occasion when he place a
large army of, it is sai, 955,555 men at the isposal of one of his
generals, the commaner e)presse some fear as to how this huge force was
to be fe! +wangti at once replie, ">eave it to me! # will provie for
everything! There shall be want rather in my palace than in your camp!" +e
oes not seem to have been a great general himself, but he knew how to
select the best commaners, an he was also so Iuick in iscovering the
merits of the generals oppose to him, that some of his most notable
victories were obtaine by his skill in etaching them from their service
or by ruining their reputation by some intrigue more astute than
honorable! $et, all euctions mae, Tsin Chi +wangti stans forth as a
great ruler an remarkable man!
The Tsin ynasty only survive its founer a few years! +wangtiGs son
Eulchi became emperor, but he reigne no more than three years! +e was
foolish enough to get ri of the general Boungtien, who might have been
the buttress of his throneL an the minister >isseh was poisone, either
with or without his connivance! Eulchi himself share the same fate, an
his successor, #ng &ang, reigne only si) weeks, committing suicie after
losing a battle, an with him the Tsin ynasty came to an en! #ts chief,
nay its only claim to istinction, arises from its having prouce the
great ruler +wangti, an its estiny was @apoleonic in its brilliance an
>ooking back at the long perio which connects the mythical age with what
may be consiere the istinctly historical epoch of the Tsins, we fin
that by the close of the thir century before the Christian era China
possesse settle institutions, the most remarkable portion of its still
e)isting literature, an mighty rulers! #t is harly open to oubt that
the Chinese annalist fins in these remote ages as much interest an
instruction as we shoul in the recor of more recent times, an proof of
this may be iscovere in the fact that the history of the first four
ynasties, which we must ismiss in these few pages, occupies as much
space in the national history as the chronicle of events from Tsin Chi
+wangti to the en of the Bing ynasty in -966, at which ate the official
history of China stops, because the history of the Banchu ynasty, which
has occupie the throne ever since, will only be given to the worl after
it has cease to rule! &e must not be surprise at this iscursiveness,
because the teachings of human e)perience are as clearly marke in those
early times as they have been since, an Chinese historians aim as much at
establishing moral an philosophical truths as at giving a complete recor
of events! The conseIuences of human folly an incompetence are as patent
an conspicuous in those ays as they are now! The ruling power is lost by
one family an transferre to another because the prince neglects his
business, gives himself over to the inulgence of pleasure, or fails to
see the signs of the times! Cowarice an corruption receive their ue an
inevitable punishment! The founers of the ynasties are all brave an
successful warriors, who are superior to the cant of a hyperciviliMe
state of society, which covers eclining vigor an marks the first phase
of effeteness, an who see that as long as there are human passions they
may be mole by genius to make the many serve the few an to buil up an
autocracy! @or are the lessons to be learne from history applicable only
to iniviuals! The faults of an emperor are felt in every househol of
the community, an injure the ,tate! #nifference an obtuseness at the
capital entaile weakness on the frontier an in the provincial capitals!
The barbarians grew efiant an aggressive, an efeate the imperial
forces! The provincial governors asserte their inepenence, an foune
ruling families! The empire became attenuate by e)ternal attack an
internal ivision! But, to use tho phrase of the Chinese historians,
"after long abiing isunion, union revive!" The strong an capable man
always appears in one form or another, an the Chinese people, impresse
with a belief in both the ivine mission of their emperor an also in the
value of union, welcome with acclaim the avent of the prince who will
restore their favorite an ieal system of oneHman government! The time is
still hien in a farHistant an uniscoverable future when it will be
otherwise, an when the Chinese will be rawn away from their consistent
an ancient practice to pursue the ignis fatuus of European politics that
seeks to combine human eIuality with goo practical government an
national security! The Chinese have another an more attainable ieal, nor
is there any likelihoo of their changing it! The fall of ynasties may,
nees must, continue in the orinary course of nature, but in China it
will not pave the way to a republic! The imperial authority will rise
triumphant after every struggle above the storm!
C+2PTE* ##
T+E '#*,T @2T#3@2> D$@2,T$
2s the Chinese are still prou to call themselves the sons of +an, it will
be unerstoo that the perio covere by the +an rulers must be an
important epoch in their history, an in more than one respect they were
the first national ynasty, &hen the successors of Tsin Chi +wangti prove
unable to keep the throne, the victorious general who profite by their
iscomfiture was name >iu Pang! +e ha been a truste official of the
Emperor +wangti, but on fining that his escenants coul not bear the
buren of government, he resolve to take his own measures, an he lost no
time in collecting troops an in making a bi for popularity by
eneavoring to save all the books that ha not been burne! +is career
bears some resemblance to that of Bacbeth, for a soothsayer meeting him on
the roa preicte, "by the e)pression of his features, that he was
estine to become emperor!" +e began his struggle for the throne by
efeating another general name Pawang, who was also ispose to make a
bi for supreme power! 2fter this success >iu Pang was proclaime emperor
as Aao +wangti, meaning >ofty an 2ugust Emperor, which has been shortene
into Aaotsou! +e name his ynasty the +an, after the small state in which
he was born!
Aaotsou began his reign by a public proclamation in favor of peace, an
eploring the evils which follow in the train of war! +e calle upon his
subjects to ai his efforts for their welfare by assisting in the
e)ecution of many works of public utility, among which roas an briges
occupie the foremost place! +e remove his capital from >oyang in +onan
to ,inganfoo in ,hensi, an as ,ingan was ifficult of access in those
ays, he constructe a great highroa from the center of China to this
somewhat remote spot on the western frontier! This roa still e)ists, an
has been escribe by several travelers in our time! #t was constructe by
the labor of one hunre thousan men through the most ifficult country,
crossing great mountain chains an broa rivers! The Chinese engineers
employe on the making of this roa, which has e)cite the amiration of
all who have traverse it, first iscovere an carrie into e)ecution the
suspension brige, which in Europe is Iuite a moern invention! 3ne of
these "flying briges," as the Chinese calle them, is one hunre an
fifty yars across a valley five hunre feet below, an is still in use!
2t regular intervals along this roa Aaotsou constructe restHhouses for
travelers, an postalHstations for his couriers! @o Chinese ruler has one
anything more useful or remarkable than this amirable roa from >oyang to
,inganfoo! +e embellishe his new capital with many fine builings, among
which was a large palace, the graneur of which was intene to correspon
with the e)tent of his power!
The reign of Aaotsou was, however, far from being one of uncheckere
prosperity! 2mong his own subjects his popularity was great because he
promote commerce an improve the aministration of justice! +e also
encourage literature, an was the first ruler to recogniMe the claims of
Confucius, at whose tomb he performe an elaborate ceremony! +e thus
acIuire a reputation which inuce the Aing of @anhaiHHa state compose
of the southern provinces of China, with its capital at or near the moern
CantonHHto tener his allegiance! But he was estine to receive many
slights an injuries at the hans of a foreign enemy, who at this time
began a course of active aggression that entaile serious conseIuences for
both China an Europe!
*eference has been mae to the +iongnou or +un tribes, against whom Tsin
+wangti built the Great &all! #n the interval between the eath of that
ruler an the consoliation of the power of Aaotsou, a remarkable chief
name Beha, or Beta, ha establishe his supremacy among the isunite
clans of the Bongolian Desert, an ha succeee in combining for purposes
of war the whole fighting force of what ha been a isjointe an
barbarous confeeracy! The Chinese rulers ha succeee in keeping back
this threatening torrent from overflowing the fertile plains of their
country, as much by sowing issension among these clans an by bribing one
chief to fight another, as by superior arms! But BehaGs success renere
this system of efense no longer possible, an the esert chieftain,
realiMing the opportunity of spoil an conIuest, etermine to make his
position secure by invaing China! #f the enterprise ha faile, there
woul have been an en to the paramounce of Beha, but his rapi success
convince the +uns that their proper an most profitable policy was to
carry on implacable war with their weak an wealthy neighbors! BehaGs
success was so great that in a single campaign he recovere all the
istricts taken from the Tartars by the general Boungtien! +e turne the
western angle of the Great &all, an brought own his frontier to the
river +oangho! +is light cavalry raie past the Chinese capital into the
province of ,Mchuen, an returne laen with the spoil of countless
cities! These successes were crowne by a signal victory over the emperor
in person! Aaotsou was rawn into an ambuscae in which his troops ha no
chance with their more active aversaries, an, to save himself from
capture, Aaotsou ha no alternative but to take refuge in the town of
Pingching, where he was closely beleaguere! #t was impossible to efen
the town for any length of time, an the capture of Aaotsou seeme
inevitable, when recourse was ha to a stratagem! The most beautiful
Chinese maien was sent as a present to propitiate the conIueror, an
Beha, either mollifie by the compliment, or eeming that nothing was to
be gaine by riving the Chinese to esperation, acIuiesce in a
convention which, while it seale the ignominious efeat of the Chinese,
rescue their sovereign from his preicament!
This isaster, an his narrow personal escape, seem to have unnerve
Aaotsou, for when the +uns resume their incursions in the very year
following the Pingching convention, he took no steps to oppose them, an
contente himself with enouncing in his palace Beha as "a wicke an
faithless man, who ha risen to power by the murer of his father, an one
with whom oaths an treaties carrie no weight!" @otwithstaning this
opinion, Aaotsou proceee to negotiate with Beha as an eIual, an gave
this barbarian prince his own aughter in marriage as the price of his
abstaining from further attacks on the empire! @ever, wrote a historian,
"was so great a shame inflicte on the Bile Aingom, which then lost its
ignity an honor!" Beha observe this peace uring the life of Aaotsou,
who foun that his reputation was much iminishe by his coming to terms
with his unciviliMe opponent, but although several of his generals
rebelle, until it was sai that "the very name of revolt inspire Aaotsou
with apprehension," he succeee in overcoming them all without serious
ifficulty! +is troubles probably shortene his life, for he ie when he
was only fiftyHthree, leaving the crown to his son, +oeiti, an
injunctions to his wiow, >iuchi, as to the conuct of the aministration!
The brief reign of +oeiti is only remarkable for the rigor an terrible
acts of his mother, the Empress >iuchi, who is the first woman mentione
in Chinese history as taking a supreme part in public affairs! 2nother of
AaotsouGs wiows aspire to the throne for her son, an the chief
irection for herself! >iuchi nippe their plotting in the bu by
poisoning both of them! ,he marke out those who iffere from her, or who
resente her taking the most prominent part in public ceremonies, as her
enemies, to be remove from her path by any means! 2t a banIuet she
eneavore to poison one of the greatest princes of the empire, but her
plot was etecte an baffle by her son! #t is perhaps not surprising
that +oeiti i not live long after this episoe, an then >iuchi rule in
her own name, an without filling up the vacancy on the throne, until the
public issatisfaction warne her that she was going too far! ,he then
aopte a supposititious chil as her granson an governe as regent in
his name! The mother of this youth seems to have mae inconvenient emans
on the empress, who promptly put her out of the way, an when the son
showe a isposition to resent this action, she cause him to be poisone!
,he again rule without a puppet emperor, hoping to retain power by
placing her relatives in the principal officesL but the issatisfaction
ha now reache an acute point, an threatene to estroy her! #t may be
oubte whether she woul have surmounte these ifficulties an angers,
when eath suenly cut short her aventurous career! The popular legen
is that this Chinese >ucretia Borgia ie of fright at seeing the
apparitions of her many victims, an there can be no oubt that her crimes
i not conuce to make woman government more popular in China!
#t says much for the e)cellence of AaotsouGs work, an for the hol the
+an family ha obtaine on the Chinese people, that when it became
necessary to select an emperor after the eath of >iuchi the choice shoul
have fallen unanimously on the Prince of Tai, who was the illegitimate son
of Aaotsou! 3n mounting the throne, he took the name of &enti! +e began
his reign by remitting ta)es an by appointing able an honest governors
an juges! +e orere that all ol men shoul be provie with corn, meat
an wine, besies silk an cotton for their garments! 2t the suggestion of
his ministers, who were alive to the angers of a ispute succession, he
proclaime his elest son heir to the throne! +e purifie the
aministration of justice by eclaring that prince an peasant must be
eIually subject to the lawL he abolishe the too common punishment of
mutilation, an ha the satisfaction of seeing crime reuce to such low
proportions in the empire that the jails containe only four hunre
prisoners! &enti was a strong avocate of peace, which was, inee,
necessary to China, as it ha not recovere from the effects of the last
+un invasion! +e succeee by iplomacy in inucing the Prince at Canton,
who ha shown a isposition to assert his inepenence, to recogniMe his
authority, an thus averte a civil war! #n his relations with the +uns,
among whom the authority of Beha ha passe to his son, >ao Chang, he
strove to preserve the peace, giving that chief one of his aughters in
marriage, an showing moeration in face of much provocation! &hen war was
force upon him by their rais he i everything he coul to mitigate its
terrors, but the ill success of his troops in their encounters with the
Tartars broke his confience, an he ie prematurely after a reign of
twentyHthree years, which was remarkable as witnessing the consoliation
of the +ans! The goo work of &enti was continue uring the peaceful
reign of si)teen years of his son Aingti!
The ne)t emperor was (outi, a younger son of Aingti, an one of his
earliest conIuests was to a the ifficult an inaccessible province of
'uhkien to the empire! +e also eneavore to propitiate the +uns by giving
their chief one of the princesses of his family as a wife, but the opinion
was gaining groun that it woul be better to engage in a war for the
overthrow of the national enemy than to purchase a hollow peace! &ang Aua,
a general who ha commane on the frontier, an who knew the +un moe of
warfare, represente that success woul be certain, an at last gaine the
emperorGs ear! (outi ecie on war, an raise a large army for the
purpose! But the result was not auspicious! &ang Aua faile to bring the
+uns to an engagement, an the campaign which was to prouce such great
results ene ingloriously! The unlucky general who ha promise so much
anticipate his masterGs ispleasure by committing suicie! ?nfortunately
for himself, his iea of engaging in a mortal struggle with the Tartars
gaine groun, an became in time the fi)e policy of China!
@otwithstaning this check, the authority of (outi continue to e)pan! +e
anne)e ,Mchuen, a province e)ceeing in siMe an population most European
states, an he receive from the ruler of Banchuria a formal tener of
submission! #n the last years of his reign the irrepressible +un Iuestion
again came up for iscussion, an the episoe of the flight of the $uchi
from Aansuh affors a break in the monotony of the struggle, an is the
first instance of that western movement which brought the tribes of the
Gobi Desert into Europe! The $uchi are believe to have been allie with
the <ats of #nia, an there is little or no oubt that the ,acae, or
,cythians, were their escenants! They occupie a strip of territory in
Aansuh from ,hachow to >anchefoo, an after suffering much at the hans of
the +uns uner Beha, they resolve to seek a fresh home in the unknown
regions of &estern 2sia! The Emperor (outi wishe to bring them back, an
he sent an envoy name Chang Aeen to inuce them to return! That officer
iscovere them in the 3)us region, but all his arguments faile to
incline them to leave a Iuarter in which they ha recovere power an
prosperity! Powerless against the +uns, they ha more than hel their own
against the Parthians an the Greek kingom of Bactria! They retaine
their preominant position in what is now Bokhara an Balkh, until they
were gathere up by the +uns in their western march, an hurle, in
conjunction with them, on the borers of the *oman Empire! Beantime, the
war with the +uns themselves entere upon a new phase! 2 general name &ei
Tsing obtaine a signal victory over them, capturing -N,555 prisoners an
the spoil of the Tartar camp! This success restore longHlost confience
to the Chinese troops, an it was followe by several other victories! 3ne
Chinese e)peition, compose entirely of cavalry, marche through the +un
country to ,oponomo on the Tian ,han, carrying everything before it an
returning laen with spoil, incluing some of the golen images of the +un
religion! Encourage by these successes, (outi at last took the fiel in
person, an sent a formal summons to the Tartar king to make his
submission to China! +is reply was to imprison the bearer of the message,
an to efy the emperor to o his worst! This bolness ha the effect of
eterring the emperor from his enterprise! +e employe his troops in
conIuering $unnan an >eaoutung instea of in waging another war with the
+uns! But he ha only postpone, not abanone, his intention of
overthrowing, once an for all, this most troublesome an formiable
national enemy! +e raise an enormous force for the campaign, which might
have prove successful but for the mistake of intrusting the comman to an
incompetent general! #n an illHavise moment, he gave his brotherHinHlaw,
>i Awangli, the supreme irection of the war! +is incompetence entaile a
succession of isasters, an the only reeeming point ami them was that
>i Awangli was taken prisoner an renere incapable of further mischief!
>iling, the granson of this general, was intruste with a fresh army to
retrieve the fortunes of the warL but, although successful at first, he
was outmaneuvere, an reuce to the unpleasant pass of surrenering to
the enemy! Both >i Awangli an >iling aapte themselves to circumstances,
an took service uner the Tartar chief! 2s this conuct obtaine the
approval of the historian ,sematsien, it is clear that our views of such a
proceeing woul not be in harmony with the opinion in China of that ay!
The long war which (outi wage with the +uns for half a century, an which
was certainly carrie on in a more honorable an successful manner than
any previous portion of that historic struggle, close with iscomfiture
an efeat, which ashe to the groun the emperorGs hopes of a complete
triumph over the most formiable national enemy!
2fter a reign of fiftyHfour years, which must be pronounce glorious,
(outi ie, ami greater troubles an an)ieties than any that ha beset
him uring his long reign! +e was unIuestionably a great ruler! +e ae
several provinces to his empire, an the success he met with over the +uns
was far from being inconsierable! +e was a @imro among the Chinese, an
his principal enjoyment was to chase the wilest animals without any
attenants! >ike many other Chinese princes, (outi was prone to believe in
the possibility of prolonging human life, or, as the Chinese put it, in
the raught of immortality! #n connection with this weakness an anecote
is preserve that will bear telling! 2 magician offere the emperor a
glass containing the pretene eli)ir of eternal life, an (outi was about
to rink it when a courtier snatche it from his han an raine the
goblet! The enrage monarch orere him to prepare for instant eath, but
the reay courtier at once replie, "+ow can # be e)ecute, since # have
runk the raught of immortalityO" To so convincing an argument no reply
was possible, an (outi live to a consierable age without the ai of
magicians or Iuack meicines! 3f him also it may be sai that he ae to
the stability of the +an ynasty, an he left the throne to Chaoti, the
youngest of his sons, a chil of eight, for whom he appointe his two most
e)perience ministers to act as governors! 2s these ministers were true to
their uty, the interregnum i not affect the fortunes of the ,tate
aversely, an several claimants to the throne pai for their ambition
with their lives! The reign of Chaoti was prosperous an successful, but,
unfortunately, he ie at the early age of thirtyHone, an without leaving
an heir!
2fter some hesitation, ChaotiGs uncle >iucho was proclaime emperor, but
he prove to be a boor with low tastes, whose sole iea of power was the
license to inulge in coarse amusements! The chief minister, +o Awang,
took upon himself the responsibility of eposing him, an also of placing
on the throne ,iuenti, who was the greatHgranson, or, accoring to
another account, the granson, of (outi! The choice was a fortunate one,
an "+o Awang gave all his care to perfecting the new emperor in the
science of government!" 2s a knowlege of his connection with the #mperial
family ha been carefully kept from him, ,iuenti was brought from a very
humble sphere to irect the estinies of the Chinese, an his greater
energy an more practical isposition were probably ue to his not having
been bre in the enervating atmosphere of a palace! +e, too, was brought
at an early stage of his career face to face with the Tartar Iuestion, an
he ha what may be pronounce a uniIue e)perience in his wars with them!
+e sent several armies uner commaners of reputation to wage war on them,
an the generals uly returne, reporting ecisive an easily obtaine
victories! The truth soon leake out! The victories were Iuite imaginary!
The generals ha never venture to face the Tartars, an they were given
no option by their enrage an isappointe master but to poison
themselves! 3ther generals were appointe, an the Tartars were inuce to
sue for peace, partly from fear of the Chinese, an partly because they
were isunite among themselves! ,uch was the reputation of ,iuenti for
justice that several of the Tartar chiefs carrie their grievances to the
foot of his throne, an his army became known as "the troops of justice!"
#t is sai that all the tribes an countries of Central 2sia as far west
as the Caspian sent him tribute, an to celebrate the event he built a
kilin or pavilion, in which he place statues of all the generals who ha
contribute towar his triumph! 3nly one incient marre the tranIuillity
of ,iuentiGs reign! The great statesman, +o Awang, ha sunk Iuietly into
private life as soon as he foun the emperor capable of governing for
himselfL but his wife +ohien was more ambitious an less satisfie with
her position, although she ha effecte a marriage between her aughter
an ,iuenti! This lay was only one of the Iueens of the ruler, an not
the empress! +ohien, to further her ens, etermine to poison the
empress, an succeee only too well! +er guilt woul have been ivulge
by the octor she employe, but that +o Awang, by an e)ercise of his
authority, prevente the application of torture to him when thrown into
prison! This narrow escape from etection i not keep +ohien from crime!
,he ha the satisfaction of seeing her aughter proclaime empress, but
her gratification was iminishe by the son of the murere +iuchi being
selecte as heir to the throne! +ohien resolve to poison this prince, but
her esign was iscovere, an she an all the members of her family were
orere to take poison! The minister, +o Awang, ha taken no part in these
plots, which, however, injure his reputation, an his statue in the
#mperial pavilion was left without a name!
,iuenti i not long survive these events, an $uenti, the son of +iuchi,
became emperor! +is reign of si)teen years presents no features of
interest beyon the signal overthrow of the Tartar chief, Chichi, whose
hea was sent by the victorious general to be hung on the walls of ,ingan!
$uenti was succeee by his son Chingti, who reigne twentyHsi) years, an
who gaine the reputation of a Chinese (itellius! +is nephew Gaiti, who
was the ne)t emperor, showe himself an able an wellHintentione prince,
but his reign of si) years was too brief to allow of any permanent work
being accomplishe! 3ne measure of his was not without its influence on
the fate of his successors! +e ha isgrace an ismisse from the
service an official name &ang Bang, who ha attaine great power an
influence uner Chingti! The ambition of this iniviual prove fatal to
the ynasty! 3n GaitiGs eath he emerge from his retirement, an, in
conjunction with that princeGs mother, seiMe the government! They place
a chil, granson of $uenti, on the throne, an gave him the name of
Pingti, or the Peaceful Emperor, but he never governe! Before Pingti was
fourteen, &ang Bang resolve to get ri of him, an he gave him the
poisone cup with his own hans! This was not the only, or perhaps the
worst, crime that &ang Bang perpetrate to gain the throne! Presse for
money to pay his troops, he committe the sacrilege of stripping the
graves of the princes of the +an family of the jewels eposite in them!
3ne more puppet prince was place on the throne, but he was soon got ri
of, an &ang Bang proclaime himself emperor! +e also ecree that the +an
ynasty was e)tinct, an that his family shoul be known as the ,in!
&ang Bang the usurper was certainly a capable aministrator, but in
seiMing the throne he ha attempte a task to which he was uneIual! 2s
long as he was minister or regent, respect an regar for the +an family
prevente many from revolting against his tyranny, but when he seiMe the
throne he became the mark of popular inignation an official jealousy!
The +uns resume their incursions, an, curiously enough, put forwar a
proclamation emaning the restoration of the +ans! #nternal enemies
sprang up on every sie, an &ang BangGs attempt to terrify them by
severity an wholesale e)ecutions only aggravate the situation! #t became
clear that the struggle was to be one to the eath, but this fact i not
assist &ang Bang, who saw his resources graually reuce an his enemies
more confient as the contest continue! 2fter twelve yearsG fighting,
&ang Bang was besiege at ,ingan! The city was soon carrie by storm, an
&ang Bang retire to the palace to put an en to his e)istence! But his
heart faile him, an he was cut own by the foe! +is last e)clamation an
the irge of his shortHlive ynasty, which is enie a place in Chinese
history, was, "#f +eaven ha given me courage, what coul the family of
the +ans have oneO"
The elest of the surviving +an princes, >iu +iuen, was place on the
throne, an the capital was remove from ,ingan to >oyang, or +onan!
@othing coul have been more popular among the Chinese people than the
restoration of the +ans! #t is sai that the ol men crie for joy when
they saw the banner of the +ans again waving over the palace an in the
fiel! But >iu +iuen was not a goo ruler, an there might have been
reason to regret the change if he ha not wisely left the conuct of
affairs to his able cousin, >iu ,ieou! 2t last the army eclare that >iu
,ieou shoul be emperor, an when >iu +iuen attempte to form a faction of
his own he was murere by 'anchong, the leaer of a confeeracy known as
the Crimson Eyebrows, on whose coHoperation he counte! The Crimson
Eyebrows were so calle from the istinguishing mark which they ha
aopte when first organiMe as a protest against the tyranny of &ang
Bang! 2t first they were patriots, but they soon became brigans! 2fter
murering the emperor, 'anchong, their leaer, threw off all isguise, an
seiMing ,ingan, gave it over to his followers to pluner! >iu ,ieou, on
becoming emperor, took the style of Awang (outi, an his first task was to
overthrow the Crimson Eyebrows, who ha become a public enemy! +e
intruste the comman of the army he raise for this purpose to 'ongy, who
justifie his reputation as the most skillful Chinese general of his ay
by gaining several victories over a more numerous aversary! &ithin two
years Awang (outi ha the satisfaction of breaking up the formiable
faction known as the Crimson Eyebrows, an of holing its leaer 'anchong
as a prisoner in his capital!
Awang (outi was engage for many more years in subuing the numerous
potentates who ha repuiate the imperial authority! +is efforts were
invariably crowne with success, but he acIuire so great a istaste for
war that it is sai when his son aske him to e)plain how an army was set
in battle array he refuse to reply! But the love of peace will not avert
war when a ,tate has turbulent or ambitious neighbors who are resolve to
appeal to arms, an so Awang (outi was engage in almost constant
hostilities to the en of his ays! Chingtse, the Eueen of Aaochi, which
may be ientifie with the moern 2nnam, efie the Chinese, an efeate
the first army sent to bring her to reason! This reverse necessitate a
still greater effort on the part of the Chinese ruler to bring his
neighbor to her senses! The occupant of the Dragon throne coul not sit
own tamely uner a efeat inflicte by a woman, an an e)perience
general name Bayuen was sent to punish the Eueen of Aaochi! The Boaicea
of 2nnam mae a valiant efense, but she was overthrown, an gla to
purchase peace by making the humblest submission! The same general more
than hel his own on the northern an northwest frontiers! &hen Awang
(outi ie, in 2!D! N/, after a brilliant reign of thirtyHthree years, he
ha firmly establishe the +an ynasty, an he left behin him the
reputation of being both a brave an a just prince!
+is son an successor, Bingti, was not unworthy of his father! +is acts
were characteriMe by wisom an clemency, an the country enjoye a large
measure of peace through the policy of Bingti an his father! 2 general
name Panchow, who was perhaps the greatest military commaner China ever
prouce, began his long an remarkable career in this reign, an, without
the semblance of an effort, kept the +uns in orer, an maintaine the
imperial authority over them! 2mong other great an important works,
Bingti constructe a ike, thirty miles long, for the relief of the
+oangho, an the 'rench missionary an writer, Du +ale, states that so
long as this was kept in repair there were no floos! The most remarkable
event of BingtiGs reign was unoubtely the official introuction of
Buhism into China! ,ome knowlege of the great #nian religion an of
the teacher ,akya Buni seems to have reache China through either Tibet,
or, more probably, Burma, but it was not until Bingti, in conseIuence of a
ream, sent envoys to #nia to stuy Buhism, that its octrine became
known in China! ?ner the irect patronage of the emperor it mae rapi
progress, an although never unreservely popular, it has hel its groun
ever since its introuction in the first century of our era, an is now
ine)tricably intertwine with the religion of the Chinese state an
people! Bingti ie after a successful reign of eighteen years in /N 2!D!
+is son, Changti, with the ai of his mother, Bachi, the aughter of the
general Bayuen, enjoye a peaceful reign of thirteen years, an ie at an
early age lamente by his sorrowing people!
2fter Changti came his son, +oti, who was only ten at the time of his
accession, an who reigne for seventeen years! +e was a virtuous an
wellHintentione prince, who institute many internal reforms, an uring
his reign a new writing paper was invente, which is suppose to have been
ientical with the papyrus of Egypt! But the reign of +oti is renere
illustrious by the remarkable military achievements of Panchow! The
success of that general in his operations with the +uns has alreay been
referre to, an he at last forme a eliberate plan for riving them away
from the Chinese frontier! 2lthough he enjoye the confience of his
successive sovereigns, the imperial sanction was long withhel from this
vast scheme, but uring the life of Changti he began to put in operation
measures for the realiMation of this project that were only mature uner
+oti! +e raise an traine a special army for frontier war! +e enliste
tribes who ha never serve the emperor before, an who were specially
Iualifie for esert warfare! +e forme an alliance with the ,ienpi tribes
of Banchuria, who were probably the ancestors of the present Banchus, an
thus arrange for a flank attack on the +uns! This systematic attack was
crowne with success! The pressure brought against them compelle the
+iongnou to give way, an as they were ouste from their possessions, to
seek fresh homes further west! #n this they were, no oubt, stimulate by
the e)ample of their ol opponents, the $uchi, but PanchowGs energy
supplie a still more convincing argument! +e pursue them wherever they
went, across the Gobi Desert an beyon the Tian ,han range, taking up a
strong position at moern Aulja an Aashgar, sening his e)peitions on
to the Pamir, an preparing to complete his triumph by the invasion of the
countries of the 3)us an <a)artes! &hen +oti was still a youth, he
complete this programme by overrunning the region as far as the Caspian,
which was probably at that time connecte with the 2ral, an it may be
suppose that Ahiva marke the limit of the Chinese generalGs triumphant
progress! #t is affirme with more or less show of truth that he came into
contact with the *oman empire or the great Thsin, as the Chinese calle
it, an that he wishe to establish commercial relations with it! But
however uncertain this may be, there can be no oubt that he inflicte a
most material injury on *ome, for before his legions fle the +uns, who,
less than four centuries later, ebase the majesty of the imperial city,
an whose leaer, 2ttila, may have been a escenant of that Beha at whose
hans the Chinese suffere so severely!
2fter this brilliant an memorable war, Panchow returne to China, where
he ie at the great age of eighty! &ith him isappeare the goo fortune
of the +an ynasty, an misfortunes fell rapily on the family that ha
governe China so long an so well! +otiGs infant son live only a few
months, an then his brother, Ganti, became emperor! The real power reste
in the hans of the wiow of +oti, who was elevate to the post of regent!
Ganti was succeee in 2!D! -46 by his son, Chunti, in whose time several
rebellions occurre, threatening the e)tinction of the ynasty! ,everal
chilren were then elevate to the throne, an at last an ambitious noble
name >eangki, whose sister was one of the empresses, acIuire the supreme
irection of affairs! +e gave a great eal of trouble, but at last,
fining that his ambitious schemes i not prosper, he took poison, thus
anticipating a ecree passe for his e)ecution! +wanti, the emperor who
ha the courage to punish this powerful noble, was the last able ruler of
the +ans! +is reign was, on the whole, a brilliant one, an the ,ienpi
tribes, who ha taken the place of the +iongnou, were, after one aruous
campaign, efeate in a pitche battle! The Chinese were on the verge of
efeat when their general, Twan Aang, rushe to the front, e)claiming1
"*ecall to your mins how often before you have beaten these same
opponents, an teach them again toHay that in you they have their
2fter +wantiGs eath the ecline of the +ans was rapi! They prouce no
other ruler worthy of the throne! #n the palace the eunuchs, always
numerous at the Chinese court, obtaine the upper han, an appointe
their own creatures to the great governing posts! 'ortunately this
issension at the capital was not attene by weakness on the frontier,
an the ,ienpi were again efeate! The battle is chiefly memorable
because the ,ienpi eneavore to frighten the Chinese general by
threatening to kill his mother, who was a prisoner in their hans, if he
attacke! @ot eterre by this menace, Chow Pow attacke the enemy, an
gaine a ecisive victory, but at the cost of his motherGs life, which so
affecte him that he ie of grief shortly afterwar! 2fter some time
issensions rose in the +an family, an two halfHbrothers claime the
throne! Pienti became emperor by the skillful support of his uncle,
General +otsin, while his rival, +ienti, enjoye the support of the
eunuchs! 2 ealy feu ensue between the two parties, which was
aggravate by the murer of +otsin, who rashly entere the palace without
an escort! +is soliers avenge his eath, carrying the palace by storm
an putting ten thousan eunuchs to the swor! 2fter this the last
emperors possesse only the name of emperor! The practical authority was
ispute among several generals, of whom Tsow Tsow was the most
istinguishe an successfulL an he an his son Tsowpi foune a ynasty,
of which more will be hear hereafter! #n 2!D! 445 +ienti, the last +an
ruler, retire into private life, thus bringing to an en the famous +an
ynasty, which ha governe China for four hunre an fifty years!
2mong the families that have reigne in China none has obtaine as high a
place in popular esteem as the +ans! They renere e)cellent work in
consoliating the empire an in carrying out what may be calle the
imperial mission of China! $unnan an >eaoutung were mae provinces for
the first time! Cochin China became a vassal state! The writ of the
emperor ran as far as the Pamir! The wealth an trae of the country
increase with the progress of its armies! ,ome of the greatest public
works, in the shape of roas, briges, canals, an aIueucts, were
constructe uring this perio, an still remain to testify to the glory
of the +ans! 2s has been seen, the +ans prouce several great rulers!
Their fame was not the creation of one man alone, an as a conseIuence the
ynasty enjoye a lengthene e)istence eIuale by few of its preecessors
or successors! @o ruling family was ever more popular with the Chinese
than this, an it manage to retain the throne when less favore rulers
woul have e)piate their mistakes an shortcomings by the loss of the
empire! &ith the strong support of the people, the +ans overcame
innumerable ifficulties, an even the natural process of ecayL an when
they mae their final e)it from history it was in a graceful manner, an
without the e)ecration of the masses! That this feeling retains its force
is shown in the prie with which the Chinese still proclaim themselves to
be the sons of +an!
C+2PTE* ###
2 >3@G PE*#3D 3' D#,?@#3@
The ignominious failure of the usurper &ang Bang to foun a ynasty was
too recent to encourage any one to take upon himself the heavy charge of
aministering the whole of the +an empire, an so the state was split up
into three principalities, an the perio is known from this fact as the
,ankoue! 3ne prince, a member of the late ruling family, hel possession
of ,Mchuen, which was calle the principality of Chow! The southern
provinces were governe by a general name ,unkiuen, an calle 3u! The
central an northern provinces, containing the greatest population an
resources, forme the principality of &ei, subject to Tsowpi, the son of
Tsow Tsow! 2 struggle for supremacy very soon began between these princes,
an the balance of success graually eclare itself in favor of &ei! #t
woul serve no useful purpose to enumerate the battles which marke this
struggle, yet one ee of heroism eserves mention, the efense of
,inching by Changte, an officer of the Prince of &ei! The strength of the
place was insignificant, an, after a siege of ninety ays, several
breaches ha been mae in the walls! #n this strait Changte sent a message
to the besieging general that he woul surrener on the hunreth ay if a
cessation of hostilities were grante, "as it was a law among the princes
of &ei that the governor of a place which hel out for a hunre ays an
then surrenere, with no prospect of relief visible, shoul not be
consiere as guilty!" The respite was short an it was grante! But the
isappointment of the besieger, alreay counting on success, was great
when a few ays later he saw that the breaches ha been repaire, that
fresh efenses ha been improvise, an that ,inching was in better
conition than ever to withstan a siege! 3n sening to inIuire the
meaning of these preparations, Changte gave the following reply1 "# am
preparing my tomb an to bury myself in the ruins of ,inching!" 3f such
gallantry an resource the internecine strife of the ,ankoue perio
presents few instances, but the progress of the struggle steaily pointe
in the irection of the triumph of &ei!
The Chow ynasty of the >ater +ans was the first to succumb to the princes
of &ei, an the combine resources of the two states were then irecte
against the southern principality of 3u! The supreme authority in &ei ha
before this passe from the family of Tsowpi to his best general,
,semachow, who ha the satisfaction of beginning his reign with the
overthrow of the Chow ynasty! #f he ha earne out the wishes of his own
commaner, Tengai, by attacking 3u at once, an in the flush of his
triumph over Chow, he might have complete his work at a stroke, for as
Tengai wrote, "2n army which has the reputation of victory flies from one
success to another!" But ,semachow preferre a slower an surer moe of
action, with the result that the conIuest of 3u was put off for twenty
years! ,semachow ie in 2!D! 49N, an his son ,semachu foune the new
ynasty of the >ater Tsins uner the name of (outi, or the warrior prince!
The main object with (outi was to a the 3u principality to his
ominions, an the escenants of ,unkiuen thought it best to ben before
the storm! They sent humble embassies to >oyang, e)pressing their loyalty
an submission, but at the same time they mae strenuous preparations to
efen their inepenence! This ouble policy precipitate the collision
it was intene to avert! (outi pai more hee to the acts than the
promises of his neighbor, an he orere the invasion of his territory
from two sies! +e place a large fleet of war junks on the $angtsekiang
to attack his opponent on the Tunting >ake! The campaign that ensue was
ecie before it began! The success of (outi was morally certain from the
beginning, an after his army ha suffere several reverses ,unhow threw
up the struggle an surrenere to his opponent! Thus was China again
reunite for a short time uner the ynasty of the >ater Tsins! +aving
accomplishe his main task, (outi gave himself up to the pursuit of
pleasure, an impaire the reputation he ha gaine among his somewhat
severe fellowHcountrymen by entertaining a theatrical company of five
thousan female comeians, an by allowing himself to be riven in a car
rawn by sheep through the palace grouns! (outi live about ten years
after the unity of the empire was restore, an his son, ,semachong, or
+weiti, became emperor on his eath in 2!D! 4.5! 3ne of the great works of
his reign was the briging of the +oangho at Bongtsin, at a point much
lower own its course than is brige at the present time!
The reign of +weiti was marre by the ambitious vinictiveness of his
wife, Aiachi, who murere the principal minister an imprisone the wiow
of the Emperor (outi! The only goo service she renere the state was to
iscern in one of the palace eunuchs name Bongkwan a great general, an
his achievements bear a strong resemblance to those of @arses, who was the
only other great commaner of that unfortunate class mentione in history!
&herever Bongkwan commane in person victory attene his efforts, but
the efeats of the other generals of the Tsins neutraliMe his success! 2t
this moment there was a recruescence of Tartar activity which prove more
fatal to the Chinese ruler than his many omestic enemies! ,ome of the
+iongnou tribes ha retire in an easterly irection towar Banchuria when
Panchow rove the main boy westwar, an among them, at the time of which
we are speaking, a family name >in ha gaine the foremost place! They
possesse all the avantages of Chinese eucation, an ha marrie several
times into the +an family! ,eeing the weakness of +weiti these >in chiefs
took the title of Aings of +an, an wishe to pose as the liberators of
the country! +weiti bent before the storm, an woul have mae an
ignominious surrener but that eath save him the trouble!
+is brother an successor, +waiti, fare somewhat better at first, but
notwithstaning some flashes of success the >in Tartars marche further
an further into the country, capturing cities, efeating the best
officers of the Tsins, an threatening the capital! #n 2!D! =-5 >insong,
the +an chief, invae China in force an with the full intention of
ening the war at a blow! +e succeee in capturing >oyang, an carrying
off +waiti as his prisoner! The capital was pillage an the Prince *oyal
e)ecute! +waiti is consiere the first Chinese emperor to have fallen
into the hans of a foreign conIueror! Two years after his capture, +waiti
was compelle to wait on his conIueror at a public banIuet, an when it
was over he was le out to e)ecution! This foul murer illustrates the
character of the new race an men who aspire to rule over China! The
Tartar successes i not en here, for a few years later they mae a fresh
rai into China, capturing +waitiGs brother an successor, Bingti, who was
e)ecute, twelve months after his capture, at Pingyang, the capital of the
Tartar +ans!
2fter these reverses the enfeeble Tsin rulers remove their capital to
@ankin, but this step alone woul not have suffice to prolong their
e)istence ha not the >in princes themselves suffere from the evils of
isunion an been compelle to remove their capital from Pingyang to
,ingan! +ere they change their name from +an to Chow, but the work of
isintegration once begun proceee rapily, an in the course of a few
years the >in power crumble completely away! *elease from their most
pressing anger by the fall of this family, the Tsin ynasty took a new
lease of life, but it was unable to erive any permanent avantage from
this fact! The last emperors of this family were weak an incompetent
princes, whose names nee not be given outsie a chronological table!
There woul be nothing to say about them but that a humble iniviual
name >inyu, who owe everything to himself, foun in the weakness of the
government an the confusion in the country the opportunity of
istinction! +e prove himself a goo solier an able leaer against the
successors of the >in family on one sie, an a formiable pirate name
,unghen on the other! Dissatisfie with his position, >inyu murere one
emperor an place another on the throne, an in two years he compelle
his puppet, the last of the >ater Tsins, to make a formal abication in
his favor! 'or a consierable portion of their rule they governe the
whole of China, an it is absolutely true to say that they were the least
worthy family ever intruste with so great a charge! 3f the fifteen
emperors who rule for one hunre an fiftyHfive years there is not more
than the founer whose name calls for preservation on his own merits!
2lthough >inyuGs success was complete as far as it went, his ynasty, to
which he gave the name of ,ong, never possesse e)clusive power among the
Chinese! #t was only one aministration among many others, an uring his
brief reign of three years he coul o nothing towar e)tening his power
over his neighbors, although he may have establishe his own the more
firmly by poisoning the miserable Tsin emperor whom he epose! +is son
an successor, Chowti, was epose an murere after a brief reign of one
year! +is brother &enti succeee him, an he was soon rawn into a
struggle for power, if not e)istence, with his northern neighbor the Aing
of &ei, who was one of the most powerful potentates in the empire! The
principal an immeiate bone of contention between them was the great
province of +onan, which ha been overrun by the &ei ruler, but which
&enti was resolve to recover! 2s the +oangho ivies this province into
two parts, it was e)tremely ifficult for the &ei ruler to efen the
portion south of it, an when &enti sent him his eclaration of war, he
replie, "Even if your master succees in seiMing this province # shall
know how to retake it as soon as the waters of the +oangho are froMen!"
&enti succeee in recovering +onan, but after a protracte campaign,
uring which the &ei troops crosse the river on the ice, his armies were
again e)pelle from it, an the e)hauste combatants foun themselves at
the close of the struggle in almost the same position they ha hel at the
commencement! 'or a time both rulers evote their attention to peaceful
matters, although Topatao, king of &ei, varie them by a persecution of
the Buhists, an then the latter concentrate all his forces with the
view of overwhelming the ,ong emperor! &hen success seeme certain,
victory was enie him, an the &ei forces suffere severely uring their
retreat to their own territory! This check to his triumphant career
injure his reputation an encourage his enemies! 2 short time after this
campaign, Topatao was murere by some iscontente officers!
@or was the ,ong ruler, &enti, any more fortunate, as he was murere by
his son! The parricie was kille in turn by a brother who became the
Emperor (outi! This ruler was fon of the chase an a great eater, but, on
the whole, he i no harm! The ne)t two emperors were cruel an
bloothirsty princes, an uring their reigns the e)ecutioner was
constantly employe! Two more princes, who were, however, not members of
the ,ong family, but only aopte by the last ruler of that house,
occupie the throne, but this weakness an unpopularityHHfor the Chinese,
unlike the people of #nia, scout the iea of aoption an believe only in
the rights of birthHHaministere the finishing stroke to the ,ongs, who
now give place to the Tsi ynasty, which was foune by a general name
,iaotaoching, who took the imperial name of Aaoti! The change i not
bring any improvement in the conitions of China, an it was publicly sai
that the Tsi family ha attaine its prie of place not by merit, but by
force! The Tsi ynasty, after a brief an ignominious career, came to an
en in the person of a youthful prince name +oti! 2fter his eposition,
in 2!D! N54, his successful enemies ironically sent him in prison a
present of gol! +e e)claime, "&hat nee have # of gol after my eathO a
few glasses of wine woul be more valuable!" They complie with his wish,
an while he was runk they strangle him with his own silken girle!
2fter the Tsi came the >eang ynasty, another of those insignificant an
unworthy families which occupy the stage of Chinese history uring this
long perio of isunion! The new Emperor (outi was soon brought into
collision with the state of &ei, which uring these years ha regaine all
its power, an ha felt strong enough to transfer its capital from the
northern city of Pingching to +onan, while the >eang capital remaine at
@ankin! The progress of this contest was marke by the consistent success
of &ei, an the prince of that kingom seems to have been as superior in
the capacity of his generals as in the resources of his state! 3ne
incient will be sufficient to show the evotion which he was able to
inspire in his officers! During the absence of its governor, (outi
attempte to capture the town of Ginching, an he woul certainly have
succeee in his object ha not Bongchi, the wife of that officer,
anticipating by many centuries the conuct of the Countess of Bontfort an
of the Countess of Derby, thrown herself into the breach, harangue the
small garrison, an inspire it with her own inomitable spirit! (outi was
compelle to make an ignominious retreat from before Ginching, an his
troops became so isheartene that they refuse to engage the enemy,
notwithstaning their taunts an their marching roun the imperial camp
with the hea of a ea person ecke out in a wiowGs cap an singing a
oggerel balla to the effect that none of (outiGs generals was to be
feare! #n the ne)t campaign (outi was able to restore his eclining
fortunes by the timely iscovery of a skillful general in the person of
&eijoui, who, taking avantage of the ivision of the &ei army into two
parts by a river, gaine a ecisive victory over each of them in turn! #f
(outi ha listene to his generalGs avice, an followe up this success,
he might have achieve great an permanent results, but instea he
preferre to rest content with his laurels, with the result that the &ei
prince recovere his military power an confience! The natural
conseIuences of this was that the two neighbors once more resorte to a
trial of strength, an, notwithstaning the valiant an successful efense
of a fortress by another lay name >iuchi, the fortune of war eclare in
the main for (outi! This may be consiere one of the most remarkable
perios for the isplay of female capacity in China, as the great state of
&ei was governe by a Iueen name +ouchiL but the general conition of the
country oes not support an argument in favor of female government!
The tenure of power by +ouchi was summarily cut short by the revolt of the
&ei commanerHinHchief, Erchu <ong, who got ri of his mistress by tying
her up in a sack an throwing her into the +oangho! +e then collecte two
thousan of her chief avisers in a plain outsie the capital, an there
orere his cavalry to cut them own! Erchu <ong then forme an ambitious
project for reuniting the empire, proclaiming to his followers his
intention in this speech1 "&ait a little while, an we shall assemble all
the braves from out our western borers! &e will then go an bring to
reason the si) epartments of the north, an the following year we will
cross the great Aiang, an place in chains ,iaoyen, who calls himself
emperor!" This scheme was nippe in the bu by the assassination of Erchu
<ong! 2lthough the eath of its great general signifie much loss to the
&ei state, the Emperor (outi e)perience bitter isappointment an a rue
awakening when he attempte to turn the event to his own avantage! +is
army was efeate in every battle, his authority was reuce to a shaow,
an a mutinous officer complete in his palace the overthrow begun by his
hereitary enemy! (outi was now eighty years of age, an ill able to stan
so rue a shock! 3n being epose he e)claime1 "#t was # who raise my
family, an it was # who have estroye it! # have no reason to complain"L
an he ie a few ays later, from, it is sai, a pain in his throat which
his jailers refuse to alleviate with some honey! 3n the whole, (outi was
a creitable ruler, although the Chinese annalists blame him for his
superstition an enounce his partiality for Buhism!
(outiGs preiction that his family was estroye prove correct! +e was
succeee in turn by three members of his family, but all of these ie a
violent eath! 2 general name Chinpasien foune a fresh ynasty known as
the Chin, but he ie before he ha enjoye power many years! 2t this
perio also isappeare the &ei state, which was issolve by the eath of
Erchu <ong, an now merge itself into that of Chow! The growth of this
new power prove very rapi, an speeily e)tinguishe that of the
unfortunate Chins! The Chow ruler took the name of Aaotsou &enti, an
rule over a great portion of China! +e change the name of his ynasty to
the ,oui, which, although it i not hol possession of the throne for
long, vinicate its claim to supremacy by successful wars an amirable
public works! This prince showe himself a very capable aministrator, an
his acts were marke by rare generosity an breath of view! +is son an
successor, $angti, although he reache the throne by the murer of a
brother, prove himself an intelligent ruler an a benefactor of his
people! +e transferre his capital from @ankin to +onan, which he resolve
to make the most magnificent city in the worl! #t is eclare that he
employe two million men in embellishing it, an that he cause fifty
thousan merchants to take up their resience there! But of all his works
none will compare with the great system of canals which he constructe,
an in connection with which his name will live forever in history!
2lthough he reigne no more than thirteen years, he complete nearly five
thousan miles of canals! ,ome of these, such as the Gran Canal, from the
+oangho to the $angtsekiang, are spleni specimens of human labor, an
coul be mae as useful toay as they were when first constructe! The
canal name is forty yars wie an is line with soli stone! The banks
are borere with elms an willows! These works were constructe by a
general corvee or levy en masse, each family being reIuire to provie one
ableHboie man, an the whole of the army was also employe on this
public unertaking! #t is in connection with it that $angtiGs name will be
preserve, as his wars, especially one with Corea, were not successful,
an an ignominious en was put to his e)istence by a fanatic! +is son an
successor was also murere, when the ,oui ynasty came to an en, an
with it the magnificent an costly palace erecte at >oyang, which was
enounce as only calculate "to soften the heart of a prince an to
foment his cupiity!"
There now ensues a break in the long perio of isunion which ha
prevaile in China, an for a time the supreme authority of the emperor
recovere the general respect an vigor which by right belonge to it! The
eposer of the ,ouis was >iyuen, who some years before ha been given the
title of Prince of Tang! #n the year 2!D! 9-/ he proclaime himself
emperor uner the style of Aaotsou, an he began his reign in an
auspicious manner by proclaiming an amnesty an by stating his "esire to
foun his empire only on justice an humanity!" &hile he evote his
attention to the reorganiMation of the aministration at ,ingan, which he
chose for his capital, his secon son, >ichimin, was intruste with the
comman of the army in the fiel, to which was assigne the task of
subjecting all the provinces! >ichimin prove himself a great commaner,
an his success was both rapi an unIualifie! +e was eIually victorious
over Chinese rebels an foreign enemies! +is energy an skill were not
more conspicuous than his courage! 2t the hea of his chosen regiment of
cuirassiers, carrying black tiger skins, he was to be foun in the front
of every battle, an victory was ue as often to his personal intrepiity
as to his tactical skill! &ithin a few years the task of >ichimin was
brought to a glorious completion, an on his return to ,ingan he was able
to assure his father that the empire was pacifie in a sense that ha not
been true for many centuries! +is entry into ,ingan at the hea of his
victorious troops remins the reaer of a *oman triumph! ,urroune by his
chosen boyguar, an followe by forty thousan cavalry, >ichimin,
wearing a breastplate of gol an accompanie by the most important of his
captives, roe through the streets to make public offering of thanks for
victory achieve, at the Temple of his ancestors! +is success was enhance
by his moeration, for he grante his prisoners their lives, an his
reputation was not imme by any acts of cruelty or blooshe!
The magnitue of >ichiminGs success an his conseIuent popularity arouse
the envy an hostility of his eler brother, who aspire to the throne!
The intrigues against him were so far successful that he fell into
isgrace with the emperor, an for a time withrew from the court! But his
brother was not content with anything short of taking his life, an forme
a conspiracy with his other brothers an some prominent officials to
murer him! The plot was iscovere, an recoile upon its authors, who
were promptly arreste an e)ecute! Then >ichimin was formally proclaime
heir to the throneL but the event sinks into comparative insignificance
besie the abication of the throne by Aaotsou in the same year! The real
cause of this step was probably not isconnecte with the plot against
>ichimin, but the official statement was that Aaotsou felt the weight of
years, an that he wishe to enjoy rest an the absence of responsibility
uring his last ays! Aaotsou must be classe among the capable rulers of
China, but his fame has been overshaowe by an merge in the greater
splenor of his son! +e survive his abication nine years, ying in 2!D!
9=N at the age of seventyHone!
3n ascening the throne, >ichimin took the name of Taitsong, an he is one
of the few Chinese rulers to whom the epithet of Great may be given
without fear of its being challenge! The noble task to which he at once
set himself was to prove that the Chinese were one people, that the
interests of all the provinces, as of all classes of the community, were
the same, an that the pressing nee of the hour was to revive the spirit
of national unity an patriotism! Before he became ruler in his own name
he ha accomplishe something towar this en by the successful campaigns
he ha conucte to insure the recognition of his fatherGs authority! But
Taitsong saw that much more remaine to be one, an the best way to o it
seeme to him to be the prosecution of what might be calle a national war
against those enemies beyon the northern frontier, who were always
troublesome, an who ha occasionally foune governments within the
limits of China like the Topa family of &ei! #n orer to achieve any great
or lasting success in this enterprise, Taitsong saw that it was essential
that he shoul possess a large an wellHtraine staning army, on which he
coul rely for efficient service beyon the frontier as well as in China
itself! Before his time Chinese armies ha been little better than a rue
militia, an the military knowlege of the officers coul only be
escribe as contemptible! The soliers were, for the most part, peasants,
who knew nothing of iscipline, an into whose hans weapons were put for
the first time on the eve of a war! They were not of a martial
temperament, an they went unwillingly to a campaignL an against such
active opponents as the Tartars they woul only engage when superiority of
numbers promise success! They were easily seiMe with a panic, an the
celerity an ash of Chinese troops only became perceptible when their
backs were turne to the foe! ,o evient ha these faults become that more
than one emperor ha eneavore to recruit from among the Tartar tribes,
an to oppose the national enemy with troops not less brave or active than
themselves! But the employment of mercenaries is always only a half
remey, an not free from the risk of aggravating the evil it is intene
to cure! But Taitsong i not attempt any such palliationL he went to the
root of the Iuestion, an etermine to have a traine an efficient army
of his own! +e raise a staning army of nine hunre thousan men, which
he ivie into three eIual classes of regiments, one containing one
thousan two hunre men, another one thousan, an the thir eight
hunre! The total number of regiments was eight hunre an ninetyHfive,
of which si) hunre an thirtyHfour were recruite for home service an
two hunre an si)tyHone for foreign! By this plan he obtaine the
assure services of more than a Iuarter of a million of traine troops for
operations beyon the frontier! Taitsong also improve the weapons an
armament of his soliers! +e lengthene the pike an supplie a stronger
bow! Bany of his troops wore armorL an he relie on the coHoperation of
his cavalry, a branch of military power which has generally been much
neglecte in China! +e took special pains to train a large boy of
officers, an he institute a Tribunal of &ar, to which the supreme
irection of military matters was intruste! 2s these measures greatly
shocke the civil manarins, who regare the emperorGs taking part in
reviews an the physical e)ercises of the soliers as "an impropriety," it
will be allowe that Taitsong showe great moral courage an surmounte
some peculiar ifficulties in carrying out his scheme for forming a
regular army! +e overcame all obstacles, an gathere uner his banner an
army formiable by reason of its efficiency an eIuipment, as well as for
its numerical strength!
+aving acIuire what he eeme the means to settle it, Taitsong resolve
to grapple bolly with the everHrecurring anger from the Tartars, ?ner
ifferent names, but ever with the same object, the tribes of the vast
region from Corea to Aoko @or ha been a trouble to the Chinese
agriculturist an government from time immemorial! Their sole ambition an
object in life ha been to harry the lans of the Chinese, an to bear
back to their camps the spoils of cities! The +uns ha isappeare, but in
their place ha sprung up the great power of the Toukinei or Turks, who
were probably the ancestors of the 3ttomans! &ith these turbulent
neighbors, an with others of ifferent race but of the same isposition
on the southern frontier, Taitsong was engage in a bitter an aruous
struggle uring the whole of his lifeL an there can be little or no oubt
that he owe his success to the care he bestowe on his army! The Great
&all of Tsin +wangti ha been one barrier in the path of these enemies,
but, hel by a weak an cowarly garrison, it ha prove inaeIuate for
its purpose! Taitsong supplie another an a better efense in a
consistent an energetic policy, an in the provision of a formiable an
confient army!
The necessity for this military reform was clearly shown by the e)perience
of his first campaign with these implacable enemies, when, in the year of
his accession an before his organiMation ha been complete, a hore of
these barbarians broke into the empire an carrie all before them, almost
to the gates of the capital! 3n this occasion Taitsong resorte to
iplomacy an remonstrance! +e roe almost unattene to the Tartar camp,
an reproache their chiefs with their breach of faith, remining them
that on his sening one of his sisters to be the brie of their chief they
ha sworn by a solemn oath to keep the peace! +e aske1 "2re these
proceeings worthy, # will not say of princes, but of men possessing the
least spark of honorO #f they forget the benefits they have receive from
me, at the least they ought to be minful of their oaths! # ha sworn a
peace with themL they are now violating it, an by that they place the
justice of the Iuestion on my sie!" The Chinese chroniclers eclare that
the Tartars were so impresse by TaitsongGs majestic air an remonstrances
that they agree to retire, an fresh vows of frienship an peace were
sworn over the boy of a white horse at a convention conclue on the
Pienkiao brige across the &eichoui *iver! The only safe euction from
this figurative narrative is that there was a Tartar incursion, an that
the Chinese army i not rive back the invaers! Their retreat was
probably purchase, but it was the first an last occasion on which
Taitsong stoope to such a measure!
The peace of Pienkiao was soon broken! The tribes again rew their forces
to a hea for the purpose of invaing China, but before their plans were
complete Taitsong anticipate them by marching into their territory at the
hea of a large army! Taken by surprise, the Tartars offere but a feeble
resistance! ,everal of their khans surrenere, an at a general assembly
Taitsong proclaime his intention to govern them as Ahan of their khans,
or by the title of Tien Ahan, which means Celestial *uler! This was the
first occasion on which a Chinese ruler formally took over the task of
governing the noma tribes an of treating their chiefs as his
lieutenants! Down to the present ay the Chinese emperor continues to
govern the Bongol an other nomaic tribes uner this very title, which
the *ussians have renere as Bogo Ahan! The success of this policy was
complete, for not only i it give tranIuillity to the Chinese borers,
but it greatly e)tene Chinese authority! Aashgaria was then, for the
first time, forme into a province uner the name of >onugsi, an
>ichitsi, one of the emperorGs best generals, was appointe &aren of the
&estern Barches! ,ome of the most influential of TaitsongGs avisers
isapprove of this avance policy, an attempte to thwart it, but in
vain! Carrie out with the vigor an consistency of Taitsong there cannot
be two opinions about its wisom an efficacy!
During this reign the relations between China an two of its neighbors,
Tibet an Corea, were greatly evelope, an the increase intercourse was
largely brought about by the instrumentality of war! The first envoys from
Tibet, or, as it was then calle, Toufan or Toupo, are reporte to have
reache the Chinese capital in the year 9=6! 2t that time the people of
Tibet were rue an unlettere, an their chiefs were little better than
savages! Buhism ha not taken that firm hol on the popular min which
it at present possesses, an the power of the lamas ha not arisen in what
is now the most priestHrien country in the worl! 2 chief, name the
,anpouHHwhich means the brave lorHHha, about the time of which we are
speaking, mae himself supreme throughout the country, an it was sai
that he ha crosse the +imalaya an carrie his victorious arms into
Central #nia! Curiosity, or the esire to we a Chinese princess, an
thus to be place on what may be terme a favore footing, inuce the
,anpou to sen his embassy to ,inganL but although the envoys returne
laen with presents, Taitsong ecline to trust a princess of his family
in a strange country an among an unknown people! The ,anpou chose to
interpret this refusal as an insult to his ignity, an he eclare war
with China! But success i not atten his enterprise, for he was efeate
in the only battle of the war, an gla to purchase peace by paying five
thousan ounces of gol an acknowleging himself a Chinese vassal! The
,anpou also agree to accept Chinese eucation, an as his rewar Taitsong
gave him one of his aughters as a wife! #t is state that one of his
first reforms was to abolish the national practice of painting the face,
an he also built a walle city to proclaim his glory as the sonHinHlaw of
the Emperor of China! During TaitsongGs life there was no further trouble
on the sie of Tibet!
Taitsong was not so fortunate in his relations with Corea, where a
stubborn people an an inaccessible country impose a bar to his ambition!
2ttempts ha been mae at earlier perios to bring Corea uner the
influence of the Chinese ruler, an to treat it as a tributary state! 2
certain measure of success ha occasionaly attene these attempts, but on
the whole Corea ha preserve its inepenence! &hen Taitsong in the
plenitue of his power calle upon the Aing of Corea to pay tribute, an
to return to his suborinate position, he receive a efiant reply, an
the Coreans began to encroach on ,inlo, a small state which threw itself
on the protection of China! The name of Corea at this time was Aaoli, an
the supreme irection of affairs at this perio was hel by a noble name
Chuen Gaisoowun, who ha murere his own sovereign! Taitsong, irritate
by his efiance, sent a large army to the frontier, an when Gaisoowun,
alarme by the storm he ha raise, mae a humble submission an sent the
proper tribute, the emperor gave e)pression to his ispleasure an
isapproval of the regicieGs acts by rejecting his gifts an announcing
his resolve to prosecute the war! #t is never pruent to rive an opponent
to esperation, an Gaisoowun, who might have been a goo neighbor if
Taitsong ha accepte his offer, prove a bitter an etermine
antagonist! The first campaign was marke by the e)pecte success of the
Chinese army! The Coreans were efeate in several battles, several
important towns were capture, but Taitsong ha to amit that these
successes were purchase at the heavy loss of twentyHfive thousan of his
best troops! The secon campaign resolve itself into the siege an
efense of 2nshu, an important town near the $aloo *iver! Gaisoowun raise
an enormous force with the view of effecting its relief, an he attempte
to overwhelm the Chinese by superior numbers! But the better iscipline
an tactics of the Chinese turne the ay, an the Corean army was riven
in rout from the fiel! But this signal success i not entail the
surrener of 2nshu, which was gallantly efene! The scarcity of supplies
an the approach of winter compelle the Chinese emperor to raise the
siege after he ha remaine before the place for several months, an it is
state that as the Chinese broke up their camp the commanant appeare on
the walls an wishe them "a pleasant journey!" 2fter this rebuff Taitsong
i not renew his attempt to anne) Corea, although to the en of his life
he refuse to hol any relations with Gaisoowun!
During the first portion of his reign Taitsong was greatly helpe by the
labors of his wife, the Empress ChangsunHchi, who was a woman of rare
gooness an ability, an set a shining e)ample to the whole of her court!
,he sai many wise things, among which the most Iuotable was that "the
practice of virtue conferre honor upon men, especially on princes, an
not the splenor of their appointments!" ,he was a patron of letters, an
an #mperial >ibrary an College in the capital owe their origin to her!
,he was probably the best an most trustworthy aviser the emperor ha,
an after her eath the energy an goo fortune of Taitsong seeme to
ecline! ,he no oubt contribute to the remarkable treatise on the art of
government, calle the "Golen Birror," which bears the name of Taitsong
as its author! Taitsong was an arent amirer of Confucius, whom he
e)alte to the skies as the great sage of the worl, eclaring
emphatically that "Confucius was for the Chinese what the water is for the
fishes!" The Chinese annalists tell many stories of TaitsongGs personal
courage! +e was a great hunter, an in the pursuit of big game he
necessarily ha some narrow escapes, special mention being mae of his
slaying singleHhane a savage boar! 2nother instance was his struggle
with a Tartar attenant who attempte to murer him, an whom he kille in
the encounter! +e ha a still narrower escape at the hans of his elest
son, who forme a plot to assassinate him which very nearly succeee! The
e)cessive an)iety of Prince >ichingkien to reach the crown cost him the
succession, for on the iscovery of his plot he was epose from the
position of heirHapparent an isappeare from the scene!
2fter a reign of twentyHthree years, uring which he accomplishe a great
eal more than other rulers ha one in twice the time, Taitsong ie in
2!D! 96., leaving the unisturbe possession of the throne to his son,
known as the Emperor Aaotsong! There nee be no hesitation in calling
Taitsong one of the greatest rulers who ever sat on the Dragon Throne, an
his eath was receive with e)traorinary emonstrations of grief by the
people he ha rule so well! ,everal of his generals wishe to commit
suicie on his bier, the representatives of the tributary nations at his
capital cut off their hair or sprinkle his grave with their bloo, an
throughout the length an breath of the lan there was mourning an
lamentation for a prince who ha realiMe the ieal character of a Chinese
emperor! @or oes his claim to amiration an respect seem less after the
lapse of so many centuries! +is figure still stans out bolly as one of
the ablest an most humane of all Chinese rulers! +e not only reunite
China, but he prove that union was for his country the only sure basis of
prosperity an power!
?ner Aaotsong the power of the Tangs showe for thirty years no
iminution, an he triumphe in irections where his father ha only
pointe the way to victory! +e began his reign with a somewhat risky act
by marrying one of his fatherGs wiows, who then became the Empress &on!
,he was perhaps the most remarkable woman in the whole range of Chinese
history, acIuiring such an ascenency over her husban that she
practically rule the state, an retaine this power after his eath! #n
orer to succee in so e)ceptional a task she ha to show no e)cessive
elicacy or scrupulousness, an she began by getting ri of the other
wives, incluing the lawful empress of Aaotsong, in a summary fashion! #t
is state that she cast them into a vase fille with wine, having
previously cut off their hans an feet to prevent their e)tricating
themselves! But on the whole her influence was e)erte to promote the
great schemes of her husban!
The Tibetan Iuestion was revive by the warlike proclivities of the new
,anpou, who, notwithstaning his bloo relationship with the Chinese
emperor, sought to e)ten his ominion at his e)pense towar the north an
the east! 2 esultory war ensue, in which the Chinese got the worst of
it, an Aaotsong amitte that Tibet remaine "a thorn in his sie for
years!" 2 satisfactory termination was given to the struggle by the early
eath of the ,anpou, whose warlike character ha been the main cause of
the ispute! ,trangely enough the arms of Aaotsong were more triumphant in
the irection of Corea, where his father ha faile! 'rom 2!D! 9N: to 9/5
China was engage in a bitter war on lan an sea with the Coreans an
their allies, the <apanese, who thus intervene for the first time in the
affairs of the continent! 3wing to the energy of the Empress &ou victory
reste with the Chinese, an the <apanese navy of four hunre junks was
completely estroye! The kingom of ,inlo was mae a Chinese province,
an for si)ty years the Coreans pai tribute an cause no trouble! #n
Central 2sia also the Chinese power was maintaine intact, an the e)tent
of ChinaGs authority an reputation may be inferre from the Aing of
Persia begging the emperorGs governor in Aashgar to come to his ai
against the 2rabs, who were then in the act of overrunning &estern 2sia in
the name of the Prophet! Aaotsong coul not sen ai to such a istance
from his borers, but he grante shelter to several Persian princes, an
on receiving an embassy from the 2rabs, he impresse upon them the wisom
an magnanimity of being lenient to the conIuere! Aaotsong ie in 9:=,
an the Empress &ou retaine power until the year /56, when, at the age of
eighty, she was compelle to abicate! +er inepenent rule was marke by
as much vigor an success as uring the life of Aaotsong! ,he vanIuishe
the Tibetans an a new Tartar race known as the Ahitans, who appeare on
the northern borers of ,hensi! ,he place her son in confinement an wore
the robes assigne for an emperor! The e)tent of her power may be inferre
from her venturing to shock Chinese sentiment by offering the annual
imperial sacrifice to heaven, an by her erecting temples to her
ancestors! $et it was not until she was broken own by age an illness
that any of her foes were bol enough to encounter her! ,he survive her
eposition one year, an her banishe son Chongtsong was restore to the
Chongtsong i not reign long, being poisone by his wife, who i not
reap the avantage of her crime! ,everal emperors succeee without oing
anything to attract notice, an then Bingti brought both his own family
an the Chinese empire to the verge of ruin! >ike other rulers, he began
well, Iuoting the ma)ims of the "Golen Birror" an proclaiming Confucius
Aing of >iterature! But efeats at the hans of the Ahitans an Tibetans
imbittere his life an iminishe his authority! 2 solier of fortune
name Ganlochan revolte an met with a rapi an une)pecte success owing
to "the people being unaccustome, from the long peace, to the use of
arms!" +e subue all the northern provinces, establishe his capital at
>oyang, an compelle Bingti to seek safety in ,Mchuen, when he abicate
in favor of his son! The misfortunes of Bingti, whose most memorable act
was the founing of the celebrate +anlin College an the institution of
the "Pekin GaMette," the olest perioical in the worl, both of which
e)ist at the present ay, foretol the isruption of the empire at no
remote ate! +is son an successor ,outsong i something to retrieve the
fortunes of his family, an he recovere ,ingan from Ganlochan! The empire
was then ivie between the two rivals, an war continue unceasingly
between them! The successful efense of Taiyuen, where artillery is sai
to have been use for the first time, 2!D! /N/, by a lieutenant of the
Emperor ,outsong, consoliate his power, which was further increase by
the murer of Ganlochan shortly afterwar! The struggle continue with
varying fortune between the northern an southern powers uring the rest
of the reign of ,outsong, an also uring that of his successor, Taitsong
the ,econ! This ruler showe himself unworthy of his name, abanoning his
capital with great pusillanimity when a small Tibetan army avance upon
it! The census returns threw an e)pressive light on the conition of the
empire uring this perio! ?ner Bingti the population was given at fiftyH
two millionL in the time of the secon Taitsong it ha sunk to seventeen
million! 2 great general name Awo Tsey, who ha riven back the Tibetan
invaers, enable Tetsong, the son an successor of Taitsong, to make a
goo start in the government of his ominion, which was saly reuce in
e)tent an prosperity! This great statesman inuce Tetsong to issue an
eict reproving the superstitions of the times, an the prevalent fashion
of rawing auguries from reams an accients! The eict ran thus1 "Peace
an the general contentment of the people, the abunance of the harvest,
skill an wisom shown in the aministration, these are prognostics which
# hear of with pleasureL but Ge)traorinary clous,G Grare animals,G
Gplants before unknown,G Gmonsters,G an other astonishing prouctions of
nature, what goo can any of these o men as auguries of the futureO #
forbi such things to be brought to my notice!" The early eath of Awo
Tsey eprive the youthful ruler of his best aviser an the mainstay of
his power! +e was a man of magnificent capacity an evotion to uty, an
when it was suggeste to him that he shoul not be content with any but
the supreme place, he prouly replie that he was "a general of the
Tangs!" #t seems from the inscription on the stone foun at ,ingan that he
was a patron of the @estorian Christians, an his character an career
have suggeste a comparison with Belisarius!
Tetsong live twentyHfour years after the eath of his champion, an these
years can only be characteriMe as unfortunate! The great governors
claime an e)acte the privilege that their ignities shoul be mae
hereitary, an this surrener of the imperial prerogative entaile the
usual eterioration of the central power which precee a change of
ynasty! ?npopularity was incurre by the imposition of ta)es on the
principal articles of prouction an consumption, such as tea, an, worst
symptom of all, the eunuchs again became supreme in the palace! 2lthough
the ynasty survive for another century, it was clear that its knell was
soune before Tetsong ie! ?ner his granson +ientsong the mischief
that ha been one became more clearly apparent! 2lthough he enjoye some
military successes, his reign on the whole was unfortunate, an he was
poisone by the chief of the eunuchs! +is son an successor, Boutsong,
from his inifference may be suspecte of having been privy to the
occurrence! 2t any rate, he only enjoye power for a few years before he
was got ri of in the same summary fashion! ,everal other nonentities came
to the throne, until at last one ruler name &entsong, whose intentions at
least were stronger than those of his preecessors, attempte to grapple
with the eunuchs an forme a plot for their e)termination! +is courage
faile him an the plot miscarrie! The eunuchs e)acte a terrible revenge
on their opponents, of whom they kille nearly three thousan, an
&entsong passe the last year of his life as a miserable puppet in their
hans! +e was not allowe even to name his successor! The eunuchs ignore
his two sons, an place his brother (outsong on the throne!
The evils of the ay became specially reveale uring the reign of $tsong,
who was scarcely seate on the throne before his troops suffere several
efeats at the hans of a rebel prince in $unnan, who completely wreste
that province from the empire! +e was as pronounce a patron of Buhism
as some of his preecessors ha been oppressors, an he sent, at enormous
e)pense, to #nia a mission to procure a bone of BuhaGs boy, an on its
arrival he receive the relic on bene knees before his whole court! +is
e)travagance of living lane the Chinese government in fresh
ifficulties, an he brought the e)cheIuer to the verge of bankruptcy! @or
was he a humane ruler! 3n one occasion he e)ecute twenty octors because
they were unable to cure a favorite aughter of his! +is son +itsong came
to the throne when he was a mere boy, an at once e)perience the epth of
misfortune to which his family ha sunk! +e was riven out of his capital
by a rebel name +wang Chao, an if he ha not foun an une)pecte ally in
the Turk chief >ikeyong, there woul then have been an en to the Tang
ynasty! This chief of the Chato immigrantsHHa race suppose to be the
ancestors of the Bohammean Tungani of more recent timesHHat the hea of
forty thousan men of his own race, who, from the color of their uniform,
were name "The Black Crows," marche against +wang Chao, an signally
efeate him! The conition of the country at this time is painte in
eplorable colors! The emperor i not possess a palace, an all the great
towns of Central China were in ruins! >ikeyong took in the situation at a
glance, when he sai, "The ruin of the Tangs is not far istant!"
>ikeyong, who was create Prince of Tsin, i his best to support the
emperor, but his power was inaeIuate for coping with another general
name Chuwen, prince of >eang, in whose hans the emperor became a mere
puppet! 2t the safe moment Chuwen murere his sovereign, an ae to
this crime a massacre of all the Tang princes upon whom he coul lay his
hans! Chao ,iuenti, the last of the Tangs, abicate, an a few months
later Chuwen, to make assurance oubly sure, assassinate him! Thus
isappeare, after two hunre an eightyHnine years an after giving
twenty rulers to the state, the great Tang ynasty which ha restore the
unity an the fame of China! #t forms a separate chapter in the long
perio of isunion from the fall of the +ans to the rise of the ,ungs!
2fter the Tangs came five ephemeral an insignificant ynasties, with the
fate of which we nee not long etain the reaer! #n less than si)ty years
they all vanishe from the page of history! The struggle for power between
Chuwen, the founer of the soHcalle >ater >eang ynasty, an >ikeyong was
successfully continue by the latterGs son, >itsunhiu, who prove himself
a goo solier! +e won a ecisive victory at +oulieoupi, an e)tinguishe
the >eang ynasty by the capture of its capital an of ChuwenGs son, who
committe suicie! >itsunhiu rule for a short time as emperor of the
>ater >eangs, but he was kille uring a mutiny of his turbulent soliers!
This ynasty ha a very brief e)istenceL the last ruler of the line,
fining the game was up, retire with his family to a tower in his palace,
which he set on fire, an perishe, with his wives an chilren, in the
flames! Then came the >ater Tsins, who only hel their authority on the
sufferance of the powerful Ahitan king, who reigne over >eaoutung an
Banchuria! The fourth an fifth of these ynasties, name the >ater +ans
an Chows, ran their course in less than ten yearsL an when the last of
these petty rulers was epose by his prime minister a termination was at
last reache to the long perio of internal ivision an weakness which
prevaile for more than seven hunre an fifty years! The stuent reaches
at this point firmer groun in the history of China as an empire, an his
interest in the subject must assume a more efinite form on coming to the
beginning of that perio of unite government an settle authority which
has been establishe for nearly one thousan years, uring which no more
than four separate families have hel possession of the throne!
C+2PTE* #(
T+E ,?@G, 2@D T+E A#@,
3ne fact will have been notice uring the latter portion of the perio
that has now close, an that is the increasing interest an participation
in Chinese affairs of the races neighboring to, but still outsie, the
empire! 2 large number of the successful generals, an several of the
princely families which attaine inepenence, were of Tartar or Turk
originL but the founer of the new ynasty, which restore the unity of
the empire, was of pure Chinese race, although a native of the most
northern province of the country! Chow Awang $u was born in Pechihli, at
the small town of $eoutou, on the site of which now stans the moern
capital of Pekin! +is family ha provie the governor of this place for
several generations, an Chow himself ha seen a goo eal of military
service uring the wars of the perio! +e is escribe as a man of
powerful physiIue an majestic appearance, to whose courage an presence
of min the result of more than one great battle was ue, an who ha
become in conseIuence the iol of the soliery! The ingenuity of later
historians, rather than the creulity of his contemporaries, may have
iscovere the signs an portents which inicate that he was the chosen
of +eavenL but his army ha a simple an convincing metho of eciing the
estiny of the empire! >ike the legionaries of *ome, they e)claime, "The
empire is without a master, an we wish to give it one! &ho is more worthy
of it than our generalO" Thus i Chow Awang $u become the Emperor Taitsou
an the founer of the ,ung ynasty!
Taitsou began his reign by proclaiming a general amnesty, an he sent the
proclamation of his paron into provinces where he ha not a shre of
authority! The step was a politic one, for it informe the Chinese people
that they again ha an emperor! 2t the same time he orere that the gates
an oors of his palace shoul always be left open, so that the humblest
of his subjects might have access to him at any time! +is own wors were
that "his house shoul resemble his heart, which was open to all his
subjects!" +e also evote his attention to the improvement of his army,
an particularly to the training of his officers, who were calle upon to
pass an e)amination in professional subjects as well as physical
e)ercises! 2 'rench writer sai, forty years ago, that "The laws of
military promotion in the states of Europe are far from being as rational
an eIuitable as those introuce by this Chinese ruler!" +is solicitue
for the welfare of his soliers was evince uring a campaign when the
winter was e)ceeingly severe! +e took off his own fur coat, an sent it
to the general in comman, with a letter stating that he was sorry that he
ha not one to sen to every solier in the camp! 2 solier himself, he
knew how to win a solierGs heart, an the affection an evotion of his
army never wavere nor ecline! +e ha many opportunities of testing it!
+is first war was with the Prince of +an, aie by the Aing of >eaoutung,
whom he speeily vanIuishe, an whose capacity for aggression was much
curtaile by the loss of the frontier fortress of >oochow! +is ne)t
contest was with an ol comraeHinHarms name >i Chougsin, whom he ha
treate very well, but who was seiMe with a foolish esire to be greater
than his ability or power warrante! The struggle was brief, an >i
Chougsin felt he ha no alternative save to commit suicie!
The tranIuillity gaine by these successes enable Taitsou to institute a
great reform in the civil aministration of the empire, an one which
struck at the root of the evil arising from the e)cessive power an
irresponsibility of the provincial governors! ?p to this ate the
governors ha possesse the power of life an eath without reference to
the capital! #t ha enable them to become tyrants, an ha simplifie
their path to complete inepenence! Taitsou resolve to eprive them of
this prerogative an to retain it in his own hans, for, he sai, "2s life
is the earest thing men possess, shoul it be place at the isposal of
an official who is often unjust or wickeO" This raical reform greatly
strengthene the emperorGs position, an weakene that of the provincial
viceroysL an Taitsou thus inaugurate a rule which has prevaile in China
own to the present ay, where the life of no citiMen can be taken without
the e)press authority an orer of the emperor! Taitsou then evote his
attention to the subjugation of those governors who ha either isregare
his aministration or given it a gruging obeience! The first to feel the
weight of his han was the viceroy of +onanL but his measures were so well
taken, an the military force he employe so overwhelming, that he
succeee in ispossessing him an in appointing his own lieutenant
without the loss of a single man! The governor of ,Mchuen, believing his
power to be greater than it was, or trusting to the remoteness of his
province, publicly efie Taitsou, an prepare to invae his ominions!
The emperor was too Iuick for him, an before his army was in the fiel
si)ty thousan imperial troops ha crosse the frontier an ha occupie
the province! By these triumphs Taitsou acIuire possession of some of the
richest provinces an forty millions of Chinese subjects!
+aving compose these internal troubles with enemies of Chinese race,
Taitsou resume his military operations against his ol opponents in
>eaoutung! Both sies ha been making preparations for a renewal of the
struggle, an the fortress of Taiyuen, which ha been specially eIuippe
to withstan a long siege, was the object of the emperorGs first attack!
The place was valiantly efene by a brave governor an a large garrison,
an although Taitsou efeate two armies sent to relieve it, he was
compelle to give up the hope of capturing Taiyuen on this occasion! ,ome
consolation for this repulse was affore by the capture of Canton an the
istricts epenent on that city! +e ne)t proceee against the governor
of Aiangnan, the ual province of 2nhui an Aiangsu, who ha taken the
title of Prince of Tang, an striven to propitiate the emperor at the same
time that he retaine his own inepenence! The two things were, however,
incompatible! Taitsou refuse to receive the envoys of the Prince of Tang,
an he orere him to atten in person at the capital! &ith this the Tang
prince woul not comply, an an army was at once sent to invae an
conIuer Aiangnan! The campaign laste one year, by which time the Tang
power was shattere, an his territory resume its ol form as a province
of China! &ith this consierable success TaitsouGs career may be sai to
have terminate, for although he succeee in etaching the >eaoutung
ruler from the sie of the Prince of +an, an was hastening at the hea of
his forces to crush his ol enemy at Taiyuen, eath cut short his career
in a manner closely resembling that of Ewar the 'irst of Englan!
Taitsou ie in his camp, in the mist of his soliersL an, acting on the
avice of his mother, given on her eathHbe a few years before, "that he
shoul leave the throne to a relation of mature age," he appointe his
brother his successor, an as his last e)hortation to him sai, "Bear
yourself as becomes a brave prince, an govern well!" Bany pages might be
fille with the recitation of TaitsouGs great ees an wise sayingsL but
his work in uniting China an in giving the larger part of his country
tranIuillity speaks for itself! +is character as a ruler may be gathere
from the following selection, taken from among his many speeches1 "Do you
think," he sai, "that it is so easy for a sovereign to perform his
utiesO +e oes nothing that is without conseIuence! This morning the
thought occurs to me that yesteray # ecie a case in a wrong manner,
an this memory robs me of all my joy!"
The new emperor took the style of Taitsong, an uring his reign of
twentyHthree years the ,ung ynasty may be fairly consiere to have grown
consoliate! 3ne of his first measures was to restore the privileges of
the escenant of Confucius, which inclue a hereitary title an
e)emption from ta)ation, an which are enjoye to the present ay! 2fter
three yearsG eliberation Taitsong etermine to renew his brotherGs
enterprise against Taiyuen, an as he ha not assure the neutrality of
the Aing of >eaoutung, his task was the more ifficult! 3n the avance of
the Chinese army, that ruler sent to eman the reason of the attack on
his frien the Prince of +an, to which the only reply Taitsong gave was as
follows1 "The country of the +ans was one of the provinces of the empire,
an the prince having refuse to obey my orers # am etermine to punish
him! #f your prince stans asie, an oes not mele in this Iuarrel, #
am willing to continue to live at peace with himL if he oes not care to
o this we will fight him!" 3n this the >eaou king eclare war, but his
troops were repulse by the covering army sent forwar by Taitsong, while
he prosecute the siege of Taiyuen in person! The fortress was well
efene, but its oom was never in oubt! Taitsong, move by a feeling of
humanity, offere the Prince of +an generous terms before elivering an
assault which was, practically speaking, certain to succee, an he ha
the goo sense to accept them! The subjugation of +an complete the
pacification of the empire an the triumph of TaitsongL but when that
ruler thought to a to this success the speey overthrow of the Ahitan
power in >eaoutung he was estine to a rue awakening! +is action was
certainly precipitate, an marke by overconfience, for the army of
>eaoutung was compose of soliers of a warlike race accustome to
victory! +e avance against it as if it were an army which woul fly at
the sight of his stanar, but instea of this he iscovere that it was
superior to his own forces on the banks of the Aaoleang *iver, where he
suffere a serious efeat! Taitsong was fortunate enough to retain his
conIuests over the southern +an states an to fin in his new subjects in
that Iuarter faithful an valiant soliers! The success of the >eaou army
was also largely ue to the tactical skill of its general, $eliu +iuco,
who took a prominent part in the history of this perio! &hen Taitsong
eneavore, some years later, to recover what he ha lost by the ai of
the Coreans, who, however, neglecte to fulfill their part of the
contract, he only invite fresh misfortunes! $eliu +iuco efeate his army
in several pitche battles with immense lossL on one occasion it was sai
that the corpses of the slain checke the course of a river! The capture
of $angyeh, the ol +an efener of Taiyuen, who ie of his wouns,
complete the triumph of the >eaou general, for it was sai, "#f $angyeh
cannot resist the Tartars they must be invincible!" TaitsongGs reign
close uner the clou of these reversesL but, on the whole, it was
successful an creitable, marking an improvement in the conition of the
country an the people, an the triumph of the ,ungs over at least one of
their natural enemies!
+is son an successor, Chintsong, must be pronounce fortunate in that the
first year of his reign witnesse the eath of $eliu +iuco! The irect
conseIuence of his eath was that the Chinese were, for the first time,
successful in their campaign against the >eaous! But this satisfactory
state of things i not long continue, an the >eaous became so aggressive
an successful that there was almost a panic among the Chinese, an the
removal of the capital to a place of greater security was suggeste! The
firm counsel an the courageous emeanor of the minister Aaochun prevente
this course being aopte! +e figuratively escribe the evil conseIuences
of retreat by saying, "$our majesty can, without serious conseIuences,
avance a foot further than is absolutely necessary, but you cannot
retire, even to the e)tent of an inch, without oing yourself much harm!"
Chintsong, fortunately for himself an his state, aopte this courseL an
the Tartars thought it best to come to terms, especially as the Chinese
emperor was willing to pay annually an allowance in silk an money as the
rewar of their respecting his frontier! The arrangement coul not have
been a ba one, as it gave the empire eighteen years of peace, The
country, no oubt, increase greatly in prosperity uring this perioL but
the reputation of Chintsong steaily ecline! +e seems to have been
naturally superstitious, an he gave himself up to fortune tellers an
soothsayers uring the last years of his reignL an when he ie, in 2!D!
-544, he ha impaire the position an power of the imperial office! $et,
so far as can be juge, the people were contente, an the population
rose to over one hunre million!
Chintsong was succeee by his si)th son, <intsong, a boy of thirteen, for
whom the government was carrie on by his mother, a woman of capacity an
goo sense! ,he took off objectionable ta)es on tea an saltHHprime
necessaries of life in ChinaHHan she institute surer measures against
the spiritualists an magicians who ha flourishe uner her husban an
acIuire many aministrative offices uner his patronage! 2fter ruling for
ten peaceful years she ie an <intsong assume the personal irection of
affairs! During the tranIuillity that ha now prevaile for more than a
generation a new power ha arisen on the Chinese frontier in the
principality of Tangut or +ia! This state occupie the moern province of
Aansuh, with some of the ajacent istricts of Aoko @or an the Gobi
Desert! Chao $uen, the prince of this territory, was an ambitious warrior,
who ha rawn roun his stanar a force of one hunre an fifty thousan
fighting men! &ith this he wage successful war upon the Tibetans, an
began a course of encroachments on Chinese territory which was not to be
istinguishe from open hostility! Chao $uen was not content with the
appellation of prince, an "because he came of a family several of whose
members ha in times past borne the imperial ignity," he aopte the
title of emperor! +aving taken this step, Chao $uen wrote to <intsong
e)pressing "the hope that there woul be a constant an soli peace
between the two empires!" The reply of the Chinese ruler to this insult,
as he terme it, was to eclare war an to offer a rewar for the hea of
Chao $uen!
#t was soon mae evient that Chao $uen possesse the military power to
support an imperial ignity! +e efeate the emperorGs army in two pitche
battles at ,anchuen an $ang Boulong, an many years elapse before the
,ung rulers can be hel to have recovere from the loss of their best
armies! The Ahitans of >eaoutung took avantage of these misfortunes to
encroach, an as <intsong ha no army with which to oppose them, they
capture ten cities with little or no resistance! The Chinese government
was compelle to purchase them back by increasing the annual allowance it
pai of gol an silk! 2 similar policy was resorte to in the case of
Chao $uen, who consente to a peace on receiving every year one hunre
thousan pieces of silk an thirty thousan pouns of tea! @ot content
with this payment, Chao $uen subseIuently e)acte the right to buil
fortresses along the Chinese frontier! ,oon after this Chao $uen was
murere by one of his sons, whose betrothe he ha taken from him! #f
<intsong was not fortunate in his wars he i much to promote eucation
an to encourage literature! +e restore the colleges foune by the
Tangs, he built a school or acaemy in every town, he irecte the public
e)aminations to be hel impartially an freIuently, an he gave special
priMes as a rewar for elocution! ,ome of the greatest historians China
has prouce live in his reign, an wrote their works uner his
patronageL of these ,Memakwang was the most famous! +is history of the
Tangs is a masterpiece, an his "Garen of ,Memakwang" an iyll! +e was
remarkable for his soun jugment as well as the elegance of his style,
an uring the short time he hel the post of prime minister his
aministration was marke by ability an goo sense! The character of
<intsong was, it will be seen, not without its goo points, which gaine
for him the affection of his subjects espite his ba fortune against the
national enemies, an his reign of thirty years was, generally speaking,
prosperous an satisfactory! 2fter the brief reign of his nephew,
$ngtsong, that princeGs son, Chintsong the ,econ, became emperor!
The career of &anganchi, an eccentric an socialistic statesman, who
wishe to pose as a great national reformer, an who long possesse the
ear an favor of his sovereign, lens an interest to the reign of the
secon Chintsong! &anganchi i not possess the confience or the
amiration of his brother officials, an subseIuent writers have generally
terme him an impostor an a charlatan! But he may only have been a
misguie enthusiast when he eclare that "the ,tate shoul take the
entire management of commerce, inustry, an agriculture into its own
hans, with the view of succoring the working classes, an preventing
their being groun to the ust by the rich!" The avocacy of such a scheme
is calculate to earn popularity, as few of those who are to benefit by it
stop to e)amine its feasibility, an &anganchi might have been remembere
as an enlightene thinker an enthusiastic avocate of the rights of the
masses if he ha not been calle upon to carry out his theories! But the
proof of e)perience, like the touch of #thurielGs spear, reveale the
practical value of his suggestions, an issolve the attractive vision
raise by his perfervi eloIuence an elevate enthusiasm! +is honesty of
purpose cannot, however, be ispute! 3n being appointe to the post of
chief minister he took in han the application of his own project! +e
e)empte the poor from all ta)ation! +e allotte lans, an he supplie
the cultivators with sees an implements! +e also appointe local boars
to superinten the efforts of the agricultural classes, an to give them
assistance an avice! But this paternal government, this system of making
the state o what the iniviual ought to o for himself, i not work as
it was e)pecte! Those who counte on the agricultural laborer working
with as much intelligence an energy for himself as he ha one uner the
irection of a master were oome to isappointment! &ant of skill, the
fitfulness of the small holer, aggravate perhaps by national calamities,
rought, floo, an pestilence, being felt more severely by laborers than
by capitalists, le to a graual shrinkage in the area of cultivate lan,
an at last to the suffering of the classes who were to specially benefit
from the scheme of &anganchi! The failure of his scheme, which, to use his
own wors, aime at preventing there being any poor or overHrich persons
in the state, entaile his isgrace an fall from power! But his work an
his name have continue to e)cite interest an speculation among his
countrymen own to the present ay! +is memory has been asperse by the
writers of China, who have generally enounce him as a freeHthinker an a
nihilist, an although, twenty years after his eath, a tablet bearing his
name was place in the +all of Confucius as the greatest Chinese thinker
since Bencius, it was remove after a brief perio, an since then both
the name an the works of &anganchi have been consigne to an oblivion
from which only the curiosity of European writers has rescue them!
ChintsongGs reign was peaceful, but he seems to have only avoie war by
yieling to all the emans of the Tartars, who encroache on the frontier
an seiMe several Chinese cities! +is son Chetsong was only ten when he
became emperor, an the aministration was carrie on by his mother, the
Empress Tefei, another of the capable women of Chinese history! +er early
eath left Chetsong to rule as he liste, an his first acts of
inepenent authority were not of happy augury for the future! +e ha not
been on the throne many months before he ivorce his principal wife
without any apparent justification, an when remonstrate with he merely
replie that he was imitating several of his preecessors! The censorGs
retort was, "$ou woul o better to imitate their virtues, an not their
faults!" Chetsong i not have any long opportunity of oing either, for
he ie of grief at the loss of his favorite son, an it is recore that,
as "he i not e)pect to ie so soon," he omitte the precaution of
selecting an heir! 'ortunately the mischief of a ispute successor was
avoie by the unanimous selection of his brother +oeitsong as the new
emperor! +e prove himself a vain an superstitious ruler, placing his
main faith in fortune tellers, an e)pecting his subjects to yiel
implicit obeience to his opinions as "the master of the law an the
prince of octrine!" 2mong other fallacies, +oeitsong cherishe the belief
that he was a great solier, an he aspire to rank as the conIueror of
the ol successful enemy of China, the Ahitans of >eaoutung! +e ha no
army worthy of the name, an the southern Chinese who forme the mass of
his subjects were averse to war, yet his personal vanity impelle him to
rush into hostilities which promise to be the more serious because a new
an formiable power ha arisen on the northern frontier!
The @iuche or Chorcha Tartars, who ha assume a istinct name an place
in the vicinity of the moern Aalgan, about the year -555 2!D!, ha become
subservient to the great Ahitan chief 2paoki, an their seven hores ha
remaine faithful allies of his family an kingom for many years after
his eath! But some of the clan ha preferre inepenence to the
maintenance of frienly relations with their greatest neighbor, an they
ha withrawn northwar into Banchuria! 'or some unknown reason the @iuche
became issatisfie with their Ahitan allies, an about the year --55 2!D!
they ha all rawn their forces together as an inepenent confeeracy
uner the leaership of a great chief name 2kouta! The @iuche coul only
hope to establish their inepenence by offering a successful resistance
to the Aing of >eaoutung, who naturally resente the efection of a tribe
which ha been his humble epenents! They succeee in this task beyon
all e)pectation, as 2kouta inflicte a succession of efeats on the
hitherto invincible army of >eaoutung! Then the @iuche conIueror resolve
to pose as one of the arbiters of the empireGs estiny, an to foun a
ynasty of his own! +e collecte his troops, an he aresse them in a
speech reciting their ees an his pretensions! "The Ahitans," he sai,
"ha in the earlier ays of their success taken the name of Pintiei,
meaning the iron of Pinchow, but although that iron may be e)cellent, it
is liable to rust an can be eaten away! There is nothing save gol which
is unchangeable an which oes not estroy itself! Boreover, the family of
&angyen, with which # am connecte through the chief +anpou, ha always a
great fancy for glittering colors such as that of gol, an # am now
resolve to take this name as that of my imperial family! # therefore give
it the name of Ain, which signifies gol!" This speech was mae in the
year ---N, an it was the historical introuction of the Ain ynasty,
which so long rivale the ,ung, an which, although it attaine only a
brief lease of power on the occasion referre to, was remarkable as being
the first appearance of the ancestors of the present reigning Banchus!
>ike other conIuerors who ha appeare in the same Iuarter, the Ains, as
we must now call them, owe their rise to their military Iualifications
an to their high spirit! Their tactics, although of a simpler kin, were
as superior to those of the >eaous as the latterGs were to the Chinese!
Their army consiste e)clusively of cavalry, an victory was generally
obtaine by its furious attacks elivere from several sies
simultaneously! The following escription, taken from BaillaGs translation
of the Chinese official history, gives the best account of their army an
moe of fighting1
"2t first the @iuche ha only cavalry! 'or their sole istinction they
mae use of a small piece of brai on which they marke certain signs, an
they attache this to both man an horse! Their companies were usually
compose of only fifty men each, twenty of whom, clothe in strong
cuirasses, an arme with swors an short pikes, were place in the
front, an behin those came the remaining thirty in less weighty armor,
an with bows an arrows or javelins for weapons! &hen they encountere an
enemy, two men from each company avance as scouts, an then arranging
their troops so as to attack from four sies, they approache the foe at a
gentle trot until within a hunre yars of his line! Thereupon charging
at full spee, they ischarge their arrows an javelins, again retiring
with the same celerity! This maneuver they repeate several times until
they threw the ranks into confusion, when they fell upon them with swor
an pike so impetuously that they generally gaine the victory!"
The novelty, as well as the impetuosity, of their attack supplie the want
of numbers an of weapons, an when the Ahitans raise what seeme an
overwhelming force to crush the new power that venture to play the rival
to theirs in @orthern China, 2kouta, confient in himself an in his
people, was not ismaye, an accepte the offer of battle! #n two
sanguinary battles he vanIuishe the Ahitan armies, an threatene with
early e)tinction the once famous ynasty of >eaoutung! &hen the ,ung
emperor hear of the efeats of his ol opponents, he at once rushe to
the conclusion that the appearance of this new power on the flank of
>eaoutung must reoun to his avantage, an, although warne by the Aing
of Corea that "the Ains were worse than wolves an tigers," he sent an
embassy to 2kouta proposing a joint alliance against the Ahitans! The
negotiations were not at first successful! 2kouta conclue a truce with
>eaoutung, but took offense at the style of the emperorGs letter! The
peace was soon broken by either the Ains or the Ahitans, an +oeitsong
consente to aress 2kouta as the Great Emperor of the Ains! Then 2kouta
engage to attack >eaoutung from the north, while the Chinese assaile it
on the south, an a war began which promise a speey termination! But the
tariness an inefficiency of the Chinese army prolonge the struggle, an
covere the reputation of +oeitsong an his troops with ignominy! #t was
compelle to beat a hasty an isastrous retreat, an the peasants of
>eaoutung sang ballas about its cowarice an insufficiency!
But if it fare baly with the Chinese, the armies of 2kouta continue to
be victorious, an the Ahitans fle not less precipitately before him than
the Chinese i before them! Their best generals were unable to make the
least stan against the Ain forces! Their capital was occupie by the
conIueror, an the last escenant of the great 2paoki fle westwar to
seek an asylum with the Prince of +ia or Tangut! +e oes not appear to
have receive the protection he claime, for after a brief stay at the
court of +ia, he mae his way to the esert, where, after unergoing
increible harships, he fell into the hans of his Ain pursuers! &ith his
eath soon afterwar the Ahitan ynasty came to an en, after enjoying its
power for two hunre years, but some members of this race escape across
the Gobi Desert, an foune the briefHlive ynasty of the Aara Ahitay in
Turkestan! 2kouta ie shortly before the final overthrow of the >eaoutung
power, an his brother 3ukimai rule in his place!
The illHsuccess of +oeitsongGs army in its joint campaign against
>eaoutung cost the emperor his share in the spoil! The Ains retaine the
whole of the conIuere territory, an the ,ung prince was the worse off,
because he ha a more powerful an aggressive neighbor! The ease of their
conIuest, an the evient weakness of the Chinese, raise the confience
of the Ains to such a high point that they eclare that the ,ungs must
surrener to them the whole of the territory north of the +oangho, an
they prepare to secure what they emane by force of arms! The Chinese
woul neither acIuiesce in the transfer of this region to the Ains nor
take steps to efen it! They were riven out of that portion of the
empire like sheep, an they even faile to make any stan at the passage
of the +oangho, where the Ain general eclare that "there coul not be a
man left in China, for if two thousan men ha efene the passage of
this river we shoul never have succeee in crossing it!" +oeitsong
Iuitte his capital Aaifong to seek shelter at @ankin, where he hope to
enjoy greater safety, an shortly afterwar he abicate in favor of his
son Aintsong! The siege of Aaifong which followe ene in a convention
bining the Chinese to pay the Ains an enormous sumHHten millions of small
gol nuggets, twenty millions of small silver nuggets, an ten million
pieces of silkL but the Tartar soliers soon realiMe that there was no
likelihoo of their ever receiving this fabulous spoil, an in their
inignation they seiMe both +oeitsong an Aintsong, as well as any other
members of the royal family on whom they coul lay their hans, an
carrie them off to Tartary, where both the unfortunate ,ung princes ie
as prisoners of the Ains!
2lthough the Ains wishe to sweep the ,ungs from the throne, an their
general &alipou went so far as to proclaim the emperor of a new ynasty,
whose name is forgotten, another of the sons of +oeitsong, Prince Aang
&ang, ha no ifficulty in establishing his own power an in preserving
the ,ung ynasty! +e even succeee in imparting a new vigor to it, for on
the avice of his mother, who pointe out to him that "for nearly two
hunre years the nation appears to have forgotten the art of war," he
evote all his attention to the improvement of his army an the
organiMation of his military resources! Prince Aang &ang, on becoming
emperor, took the name of Aaotsong, an finally remove the southern
capital to @ankin! +e was also riven by his financial necessities to
largely increase the issue of paper money, which ha been introuce uner
the Tangs! 2s both the Ains an the Bongols ha recourse to the same
e)peient, it is not surprising that the ,ungs shoul also have aopte
the simplest moe of compensating for a eplete treasury! Consiering the
une)pecte ifficulties with which he ha to cope, an the low ebb to
which the fortunes of China ha fallen, much might be forgiven to
Aaotsong, who foun a courageous counselor in the Empress Bongchi, who is
reporte to have aresse him as follows1 "2lthough the whole of your
august family has been le captive into the countries of the north, none
the less oes China, which knows your wisom an fine Iualities, preserve
towar the ,ungs the same affection, fielity, an Meal as in the past!
,he hopes an e)pects that you will prove for her what Awang (outi was for
the +ans!" #f Aaotsong i not attain the height of this success, he at
least showe himself a far more capable prince than any of his immeiate
The successful employment of cavalry by the Ains naturally le the Chinese
to think of employing the same arm against them, although the inhabitants
of the eighteen provinces have never been goo horsemen! Aaotsong also
evote his attention especially to the formation of a corps of
charioteers! The chariots, fourHwheele, carrie twentyHfour combatants,
an these vehicles rawn up in battle array not only presente a very
formiable appearance, but affore a very material shelter for the rest
of the army! Aaotsong seems to have been better in imagining reforms than
in the task of carrying them out! 2fter he ha originate much goo work
he allowe it to languish for want of efinite support, an he Iuarrele
with an isgrace the minister chiefly responsible for these reforms! 2
short time after this the Ains again avance southwar, but thanks to the
improvement effecte in the Chinese army, an to the skill an valor of
Tsongtse, one of AaotsongGs lieutenants, they i not succee in gaining
any material avantage! Their efforts to capture Aaifong faile, an their
general @iyamoho, recogniMing the improvement in the Chinese army, was
content to withraw his army with such spoil as it ha been able to
collect! Tsongtse followe up this goo service against the enemy by
bringing to their senses several rebellious officials who thought they saw
a goo opportunity of shaking off the ,ung authority! 2t this stage of the
war Tsongtse e)horte Aaotsong, who ha Iuitte @ankin for $angchow, to
return to Aaifong to encourage his troops with his presence, especially as
there never was such a favorable opportunity of elivering his august
family out of the hans of the Ains! Tsongtse is reporte to have sent as
many as twenty formal petitions to his sovereign to o this, but Aaotsong
was eaf to them all, an it is sai that his obtuseness an want of nerve
cause Tsongtse so much pain that he ie of chagrin!
The eath of Tsongtse inuce the Ains to make a more strenuous effort to
humiliate the ,ungs, an a large army uner the joint comman of 2koutaGs
son, 3lito, an the general @iyamoho, avance on the capital an capture
$angchow! Aaotsong, who save his life by precipitate flight, then agree
to sign any treaty rawn up by his conIueror! #n his letter to @iyamoho he
sai, "&hy fatigue your troops with long an aruous marches when # will
grant you of my own will whatever you emanO" But the Ains were
ine)orable, an refuse to grant any terms short of the unconitional
surrener of Aaotsong, who fle to Canton, pursue both on lan an sea!
The Ain conIuerors soon foun that they ha avance too far, an the
Chinese rallying their forces gaine some avantage uring their retreat!
,ome return of confience followe this turn in the fortune of the war,
an two Chinese generals, serving in the har school of aversity,
acIuire a military knowlege an skill which mae them formiable to even
the best of the Ain commaners! The campaigns carrie on between --=- an
--=6 iffere from any that ha precee them in that the Ain forces
steaily retire before 3ukiai an Changtsiun, an victory, which ha so
long remaine constant in their favor, finally eserte their arms! The
eath of the Ain emperor, 3ukimai, who ha uphel with no ecline of
luster the ignity of his father 2kouta, complete the iscomfiture of the
Ains, an contribute to the revival of Chinese power uner the last
emperor of the ,ung ynasty! The reign of 3ukimai marks the pinnacle of
Ain power, which uner his cousin an successor +ola began steaily to
The possession of +onan forme the principal bone of contention between
the Ains an ,ungs, but after consierable negotiation an some fighting,
Aaotsong agree to leave it in the hans of the Ains, an also to pay them
a large annual subsiy in silk an money! +e also agree to hol the
remainer of his states as a gift at the hans of his northern neighbor!
Thus, notwithstaning the very consierable successes gaine by several of
the ,ung generals, Aaotsong ha to unergo the mortification of signing a
humiliating peace an retaining his authority only on sufferance!
'ortunately for the inepenence of the ,ungs, +ola was murere by
Ticounai, a granson of 2kouta, whose ferocious character an illHforme
projects for the subjugation of the whole of China furnishe the Emperor
Aaotsong with the opportunity of shaking off the control asserte over his
actions an recovering his ignity! The e)tensive preparations of the Ain
government for war warne the ,ungs to lose no time in placing every man
they coul in the fiel, an when Ticounai rushe into the war, which was
all of his own making, he foun that the ,ungs were Iuite reay to receive
him an offer a strenuous resistance to his attack! 2 peace of twenty
yearsG uration ha allowe of their organiMing their forces an
recovering from an unreasoning terror of the Ains! Boreover, there was a
very general feeling among the inhabitants of both the north an the south
that the war was an unjust one, an that Ticounai ha embarke upon a
course of lawless aggression which his tyrannical an cruel proceeings
towar his own subjects serve to inflame!
The war began in --9- 2! D!, with an ominous efeat of the Ain navy, an
when Aaotsong nerve himself for the crisis in his life an place himself
at the hea of his troops, Ticounai must have felt less sanguine of the
result than his confient eclaration that he woul en the war in a
single campaign inicate! Before the two armies came into collision
Ticounai learne that a rebellion ha broken out in his rear, an that his
cousin 3ulo challenge both his legitimacy an his authority! +e believe,
an perhaps wisely, that the only way to eal with this new anger was to
press on, an by gaining a signal victory over the ,ungs annihilate all
his enemies at a blow! But the victory ha to be gaine, an he seems to
have unerestimate his opponent! +e reache the $angtsekiang, an the
,ungs retire behin it! Ticounai ha no means of crossing it, as his
fleet ha been estroye an the ,ung navy stoo in his path! ,uch river
junks as he possesse were annihilate in another encounter on the river!
+e offere sacrifices to heaven in orer to obtain a safe passage, but the
powers above were eaf to his prayers! Discontent an isorer broke out
in his camp! The army that was to have carrie all before it was stoppe
by a mere river, an TicounaiGs reputation as a general was ruine before
he ha crosse swors with the enemy! #n this ilemma his cruelty
increase, an after he ha sentence many of his officers an soliers to
eath he was murere by those who foun that they woul have to share the
same fate! 2fter this tragic ening of a ba career, the Ain army
retreate! They conclue a frienly convention with the ,ungs, an
Aaotsong, eeming his work one by the repulse of this grave peril,
abicate the throne, which ha prove to him no be of roses, in favor of
his aopte heir +iaotsong! Aaotsong rule uring the long perio of
thirtyHsi) years, an when we consier the trouble time through which he
passe, an the many vicissitues of fortune he unerwent, he probably
rejoice at being able to spen the last twentyHfive years of his life
without the responsibility of governing the empire an free from the cares
of sovereignty!
The new Ain ruler 3ulo wishe for peace, but a section of his turbulent
subjects clamore for a renewal of the e)peitions into China, an he was
compelle to ben to the storm! The Ain army, however, ha no cause to
rejoice in its bellicoseness, for the Chinese general, Changtsiun,
efeate it in a battle the like of which ha not been seen for ten years!
2fter this a peace was conclue which prove fairly urable, an the
remainer of the reigns of both 3ulo an +iaotsong were peaceful an
prosperous for northern an southern China! Both of these princes showe
an aversion to war an an appreciation of peace which was rare in their
ay! The Ain ruler is state to have mae this noble retort when he was
solicite by a traitor from a neighboring state to seiMe it1 "$ou eceive
yourself if you believe me to be capable of approving an act of treason
whatever the presume avantage it might procure me! # love all peoples of
whatever nation they may be, an # wish to see them at peace with one
another!" #t is not surprising to learn that a prince who was so
thoroughly imbue with the spirit of civiliMation shoul have cause the
Chinese classics to be translate into the Ain language! 3f all the Ain
rulers he was the most intellectual an the most an)ious to elevate the
stanar of his people, who were far ruer than the inhabitants of
southern China!
+iaotsong was succeee by his son Awangtsong, an 3ulo by his granson
Baacou, both of whom continue the policy of their preecessors!
Awangtsong was save the trouble of ruling by his wife, the Empress >ichi,
an after a very short space he resigne the empty title of emperor, which
brought him neither satisfaction nor pleasure! @ingtsong, the son an
successor of Awangtsong, venture on one war with the Ains in which he was
worste! This the last of the Ain successes, for Baacou ie soon
afterwar, just on the eve of the avent of the Bongol peril, which
threatene to sweep all before it, an which eventually burie both Ain
an ,ung in a common ruin! The long competition an the bitter contest
between the Ains an ,ungs ha not resulte in the ecisive success of
either sie! The Ains ha been strong enough to foun an aministration in
the north but not to conIuer China! The ,ungs very naturally represent in
Chinese history the national ynasty, an their misfortunes rather than
their successes appeal to the sentiment of the reaer! They showe
themselves greater in aversity than in prosperity, an when the Bongol
tempest broke over China they prove the more oughty opponent, an the
possessor of greater powers of resistance than their uniformly successful
aversary the Ain or Golen Dynasty!
C+2PTE* (
T+E B3@G3> C3@E?E,T 3' C+#@2
&hile the Ains were absorbe in their contest with the ,outhern Chinese,
they were oblivious of the growth of a new an formiable power on their
own borers! The strength of the Bongols ha acIuire serious imensions
before the Ains realiMe that they woul have to fight, not only for
supremacy, but for their very e)istence! Before escribing the long wars
that resulte in the subjection of China by this northern race, we must
consier the origin an the growth of the power of the Bongols, who were
certainly the most remarkable race of conIuerors 2sia, or perhaps the
whole worl, ever prouce!
The home of the Bongols, whose name signifies "brave men," was in the
strip of territory between the 3non an Aerulon rivers, which are both
tributaries or upper courses of the 2mour! They first appeare as a
separate clan or tribe in the ninth century, when they attracte special
attention for their physical strength an courage uring one of ChinaGs
many wars with the chilren of the esert, an it was on that occasion
they gaine the appellation uner which they became famous! The earlier
history of the Bongol tribe is obscure, an baffles investigation, but
there seems no reason to oubt their affinity to the +iongnou, with whose
royal house Genghis himself claime bloo relationship! #f this claim be
amitte, Genghis an 2ttila, who were the two specially typical ,courges
of Go, must be consiere members of the same race, an the probability
is certainly strengthene by the close resemblance in their methos of
carrying on war! Buantsar is the first chief of the +ouse of Genghis
whose person an achievements are more than mythical! +e selecte as the
aboe of his race the territory between the 3non an the Aerulon, a region
fertile in itself, an well protecte by those rivers against attack! #t
was also so well place as to be beyon the e)treme limit of any
triumphant progress of the armies of the Chinese emperor! #f Buantsar ha
accomplishe nothing more than this, he woul still have one much to
justify his memory being preserve among a free an inepenent people!
But he seems to have incite his followers to pursue an active an
temperate life, to remain warriors rather than to become rich an laMy
citiMens! +e wrappe up this counsel in the e)hortation, "&hat is the use
of embarrassing ourselves with wealthO #s not the fate of man ecree by
heavenO" +e sowe the see of future Bongol greatness, an the heaship of
his clan remaine veste in his family!
#n ue orer of succession the chief ship passe to Aabul Ahan, who in the
year --=N began to encroach on the ominion of +ola, the Ain emperor! +e
seems to have been inuce to commit this act of hostility by a prophecy,
to the effect that his chilren shoul be emperors, an also by
iscourteous treatment receive on the occasion of his visit to the court
of 3ukimai! &hatever the cause of umbrage, Aabul Ahan mae the Ains pay
early for their arrogance or shortHsighte policy! +ola sent an army
uner one of his best generals, +ushahu, to bring the Bongol chief to
reason, but the inaccessibility of his home stoo him in goo stea! The
Ain army suffere greatly in its futile attempt to cross the esert, an
uring its retreat it was harasse by the pursuing Bongols! &hen the Ain
army eneavore to make a stan against its pursuers, it suffere a
crushing overthrow in a battle at +ailing, an on the Ains sening a
larger force against the Bongols in --=., it ha no better fortune! Aabul
Ahan, after this secon success, cause himself to be proclaime Great
Emperor of the Bongols! +is success in war, an his ambition, which reste
satisfie with no seconary position, inicate the path on which the
Bongols proceee to the acIuisition of supreme power an a paramount
military influence whithersoever they carrie their name an stanars!
The work begun by Aabul was well continue by his son Autula, or Aublai!
+e, too, was a great warrior, whose ees of prowess arouse as much
enthusiasm among the Bongols as those of Coeur e >ion evoke in the ays
of the Plantagenets! The struggle with the Ains was renere more bitter
by the e)ecution of several Bongols of importance, who happene to fall
into the hans of the Ains! &hen Autula ie the chiefship passe to his
nephew, $issugei, who greatly e)tene the influence an power of his
family among the tribes neighboring to the Bongol home! Bany of these, an
even some Chinese, joine the military organiMation of the ominant tribe,
so that what was originally a small force of strictly limite numbers
became a vast an everHincreasing confeeracy of the most warlike an
aggressive races of the Chinese northern frontier! #mportant as $issugeiGs
work in the evelopment of Bongol power unoubtely was, his chief
historical interest is erive from the fact that he was the father of
Genghis Ahan!
There are several interesting fables in connection with the birth of
Genghis, which event may be safely assigne to the year --94! 3ne of these
reas as follows1 "3ne ay $issugei was hunting in company with his
brothers, an was following the tracks of a white hare in the snow! They
struck upon the track of a wagon, an following it up came to a spot where
a womanGs yart was pitche! Then sai $issugei, GThis woman will bear a
valiant son!G +e iscovere that she was the amsel 3gelen Eke Ji!e!, the
mother of nationsK, an that she was the wife of $eke $ilatu, chief of a
Tartar tribe! $issugei carrie her off an mae her his wife!" #mmeiately
after his overthrow of Temujin, chief of one of the principal Tartar
tribes, $issugei learne that the promise "valiant son" was about to be
born, an in honor of his victory he gave him the name of Temujin, which
was the proper name of the great Genghis! The village or encampment in
which the future conIueror first saw the light of ay still bears the ol
Bongol name, Dilun Bolak, on the banks of the 3non! &hen $issugei ie,
Temujin, or Genghis, was only thirteen, an his clan of forty thousan
families refuse to recogniMe him as their leaer! 2t a meeting of the
tribe Genghis entreate them with tears in his eyes to stan by the son of
their former chief, but the majority of them mocke at him, e)claiming,
"The eepest wells are sometimes ry, an the harest stone is sometimes
broken, why shoul we cling to theeO" Genghis owe to the heroic attitue
of his mother, who flung abroa the cowHtaile banner of his race, the
acceptance of his authority by about half the warriors who ha obeye his
father! The great avantage of this step was that it gave Genghis time to
grow up to be a warrior as famous as any of his preecessors, an it
certainly averte what might have easily become the irretrievable
isintegration of the Bongol alliance!
The youth of Genghis was passe in one ceaseless struggle to regain the
whole of his birthright! +is most formiable enemy was Chamuka, chief of
the <uriats, an for a long time he ha all the worst of the struggle,
being taken prisoner on one occasion, an unergoing the inignity of the
cangue! 3n making his escape he rallie his remaining followers roun him
for a final effort, an on the avice of his mother, 3gelen Eke, who was
his principal aviser an stanchest supporter, he ivie his forces into
thirteen regiments of one thousan men each, an confine his attention to
the efense of his own territory! Chamuka, le away by what he eeme the
weakness of his aversary, attacke him on the 3non with as he consiere
the overwhelming force of thirty thousan menL but the result ispelle
his hopes of conIuest, for Genghis gaine a ecisive victory! Then was
furnishe a striking instance of the truth of the saying that "nothing
succees like success!" The espise Temujin, who was thought to be
unworthy of the post of ruling the Bongols, was laue to the skies, an
the tribes eclare with one voice, "Temujin alone is generous an worthy
of ruling a great people!" 2t this time also he began to show the
Iualities of a statesman an iplomatist! +e forme in --.6 a temporary
alliance with the Ain emperor, Baacou, an the richness of his rewar
seems to have e)cite his cupiity, while his e)perience of the Ain army
went to prove that they were not so formiable as ha been imagine! The
iscomfiture of Chamuka has been referre to, but he ha not abanone the
hope of success, an when he succeee in etaching the Aerait chief, &ang
Ahan, from the Bongols, to whom he was boun by ties of gratitue, he
fancie that he again hel victory in his grasp! But the intrigue i not
realiMe his e)pectations! &ang Ahan eserte Genghis while engage in a
joint campaign against the @aimans, but he was the principal sufferer by
his treachery, for the enemy pursue his force, an inflicte a heavy
efeat upon it! #n fact, he was only rescue from estruction by the
timely ai of the man he ha betraye!
But far from inspiring gratitue, this incient inflame the resentment of
&ang Ahan, who, throwing off the cloak of simulate frienship, eclare
publicly that either the Aerait or the Bongol must be supreme on the great
steppe, as there was not room for both! ,uch was the superiority in
numbers of the Aerait, that in the first battle of this long an keenlyH
conteste struggle, &ang Ahan efeate Temujin near 3urga, where the
mouns that cover the slain are still shown to the curious or skeptical
visitor! 2fter this serious, an in some egree une)pecte reverse, the
fortunes of Genghis sank to the lowest ebb! +e was reuce to terrible
straits, an ha to move his camp rapily from one spot to another! 2
small section of his followers, minful of his past success an prowess,
still clung to him, an by a suen an aring coup he change the whole
aspect of the contest! +e surprise &ang Ahan in his camp at night, an
overwhelme him an his forces! &ang Ahan escape to his ol foes, the
@aimans, who, isregaring the laws of hospitality, put him to eath! The
eath of &ang Ahan signifie nothing less than the wholesale efection of
the Aerait tribe, which joine Genghis to the last man! Then Genghis
turne westwar to settle the Iuestion of supremacy with the @aimans, who
were both hostile an efiant! The @aiman chief share the opinion of &ang
Ahan, that there coul not be two masters on the Tian ,han, an with that
vigorous illustration which has never been wanting to these illiterate
tribes, he wrote, "There cannot be two suns in the sky, two swors in one
sheath, two eyes in one eyepit, or two kings in one empire!" Both sies
mae strenuous efforts for the fray, an brought every fighting man they
coul into the fiel! The ecisive battle of the war was fought in the
heart of <ungaria, an the star of Genghis rose in the ascenant! The
@aimans fought long an well, but they were borne own by the heavier
arme Bongols, an their esperate resistance only ae to their loss!
Their chief ie of his wouns, an the triumph of Genghis was renere
complete by the capture of his ol enemy, Chamuka! 2s Genghis ha sworn
the oath of frienship with Chamuka, he woul not slay him, but he hane
him over to a relative, who promptly e)acte the rough revenge his past
hostility an treachery seeme to call for! 3n his way back from this
campaign the Bongol chief attacke the Prince of +ia, who reigne over
Aansuh an Tangut, an thus began the thir war he wage for the e)tension
of his power! Before this assume serious proportions he summone a Gran
Council or Auriltai, at his camp on the 3non, an then erecte outsie his
tent the royal Bongol banner of the nine white yakHtails! #t was on this
occasion that Temujin took, an was proclaime among the Bongol chiefs by,
the highly e)alte name of Genghis Ahan, which means (ery Bighty Ahan! The
Chinese character for the name signifies "Perfect &arrior," an the
earlier European writers affirm that it is suppose to represent the soun
of "the bir of heaven!" 2t this assemblage, which was the first of a long
succession of Bongol councils summone at the same place on critical
occasions, it was propose an agree that the war shoul be carrie on
with the richer an less warlike races of the south! 2mong soliers it is
necessary to preserve the spirit of preHeminence an warlike Meal by
granting rewars an ecorations! Genghis realiMe the importance of this
matter, an institute the orer of Baturu or Bahaur, meaning warrior! +e
also mae his two leaing generals Buhula an Porshu princes, one to sit
on his right han an the other on his left! +e aresse them before the
council in the following wors1 "#t is to you that # owe my empire! $ou
are an have been to me as the shafts of a carriage or the arms to a manGs
boy!" ,eals of office were also grante to all the officials, so that
their authority might be the more evient an the more honore!
#n -45/ Genghis began his war with the state of +ia, which he ha
etermine to crush as the preliminary to an invasion of China! #n that
year he contente himself with the capture of &uhlahai, one of the borer
fortresses of that principality, an in the following year he establishe
his control over the tribes of the esert more fully, thus gaining many
AirghiM an @aiman au)iliaries! #n -45. he resume the war with +ia in a
etermine spirit, an place himself in person at the hea of all his
forces! 2lthough the +ia ruler prepare as well as he coul for the
struggle, he was really unnerve by the magnitue of the anger he ha to
face! +is army was overthrown, his best generals were taken prisoners, an
he himself ha no resource left but to throw himself on the consieration
of Genghis! 'or goo reasons the Bongol conIueror was lenient! +e marrie
one of the aughters of the king, an he took him into subsiiary alliance
with himself! Thus i Genghis absorb the +ia power, which was very
consierable, an prepare to enroll it with all his own resources against
the Ain empire! #f the causes of Bongol success on this occasion an
afterwar are inIuire for, # cannot o better than repeat what #
previously wrote on this subject1 "The Bongols owe their military success
to their amirable iscipline an to their close stuy of the art of war!
Their military supremacy arose from their superiority in all essentials as
a fighting power to their neighbors! Buch of their knowlege was borrowe
from China, where the art of isciplining a large army an maneuvering it
in the fiel ha been brought to a high state of perfection many centuries
before the time of Genghis! But the Bongols carrie the teaching of the
past to a further point than any of the former or contemporary Chinese
commaners, inee, than any in the whole worl, ha oneL an the
revolution which they effecte in tactics was not less remarkable in
itself, an i not leave a smaller impression upon the age, than the
improvements mae in military science by 'reerick the Great an @apoleon
in their ay! The Bongol playe in a large way in 2sia the part which the
@ormans on a smaller scale playe in Europe! 2lthough the lanmarks of
their triumph have now almost wholly vanishe, they were for two centuries
the ominant caste in most of the states of 2sia!"
+aving thus prepare the way for the larger enterprise, it only remaine
to fin a plausible prete)t for attacking the Ains! &ith or without a
prete)t Genghis woul no oubt have mae war, but even the ruthless Bongol
sometimes showe a regar for appearances! Bany years before the Ains ha
sent as envoy to the Bongul encampment Chonghei, a member of their ruling
house, an his mission ha been not only unsuccessful, but ha le to a
personal antipathy between the two men! #n the course of time Chonghei
succeee Baacou as emperor of the Ains, an when a Ain messenger brought
intelligence of this event to Genghis, the Bongol ruler turne towar the
south, spat upon the groun, an sai, "# thought that your sovereigns
were of the race of the gos, but o you suppose that # am going to o
homage to such an imbecile as thatO" The affront rankle in the min of
Chonghei, an while Genghis was engage with +ia, he sent troops to attack
the Bongol outposts! Chonghei thus place himself in the wrong, an gave
Genghis justification for eclaring that the Ains an not he began the
war! The reputation of the Golen ynasty, although not as great as it
once was, still stoo sufficiently high to make the most aventurous of
esert chiefs wary in attacking it! Genghis ha alreay secure the coH
operation of the ruler of +ia in his enterprise, an he ne)t conclue an
alliance with $eliu >iuko, chief of the Ahitans, who were again
manifesting iscontent with the Ains! Genghis finally circulate a
proclamation among all the esert tribes, calling upon them to join him in
his attack on the common enemy! This appeal was heartily an generally
respone to, an it was at the hea of an enormous force that Genghis set
out in Barch, -4--, to effect the conIuest of China! The Bongol army was
le by Genghis in person, an uner him his four sons an his most famous
general, Chepe @oyan, hel commans!
The plan of campaign of the Bongol ruler was as simple as it was bol!
'rom his camp at Aarakoram, on the Aerulon, he marche in a straight line
through Auku Ahoten an the 3ngut country to Taitong, securing an
unoppose passage through the Great &all by the efection of the 3ngut
tribe! The Ains were unprepare for this suen an vigorous assault
irecte on their weakest spot, an successfully e)ecute before their
army coul reach the scene! During the two years that the forces of
Genghis kept the fiel on this occasion, they evastate the greater
portion of the three northern provinces of ,hensi, ,hansi, an Pechihli!
But the borer fortress of Taitong an the Ain capital, Tungking,
successfully resiste all the assaults of the Bongols, an when Genghis
receive a serious woun at the former place, he reluctantly orere the
retreat of his army, laen with an immense Iuantity of spoil, but still
little avance in its main task of conIuering China! The success of the
Ahitan $eliu >iuko ha not been less consierable, an he was proclaime
Aing of >eaou as a vassal of the Bongols! The planting of this ally on the
very threshol of Chinese power facilitate the subseIuent enterprises of
the Bongols against the Ains, an represente the most important result of
this war!
#n -4-= Genghis again invae the Ain ominions, but his success was not
very striking, an in several engagements of no very great importance the
Ain arms met with some success! The most important events of the year
were, however, the eposition an murer of Chonghei, the murer of a Ain
general, +ushahu, who ha won a battle against the Bongols, an the
proclamation of ?tubu as emperor! The change of sovereign brought no
change of fortune to the unlucky Ains! ?tubu was only able to fin safety
behin the walls of his capital, an he was elighte when Genghis wrote
him the following letter1 ",eeing your wretche conition an my e)alte
fortune, what may your opinion be now of the will of heaven with regar to
myselfO 2t this moment # am esirous to return to Tartary, but coul you
allow my soliers to take their eparture without appeasing their anger
with presentsO" #n reply ?tubu sent Genghis a princess of his family as a
wife, an also "five hunre youths, the same number of girls, three
thousan horses, an a vast Iuantity of precious articles!" Then Genghis
retire once more to Aarakoram, but on his march he staine his reputation
by massacring all his prisonersHHthe first gross act of inhumanity he
committe uring his Chinese wars!
&hen ?tubu saw the Bongols retreating, he thought to provie against the
most serious conseIuences of their return by removing his capital to a
greater istance from the frontier, an with this object he transferre
his resience to Aaifong! The majority of his avisers were against this
change, as a retirement coul not but shake public confience! #t ha
another conseIuence, which they may not have contemplate, an that was
its proviing Genghis with an e)cuse for renewing his attack on China! The
Bongol at once complaine that the action of the Ain emperor implie an
unwarrantable suspicion of his intentions, an he sent his army across the
frontier to recommence his humiliation! 3n this occasion a Ain general
eserte to them, an thenceforwar large boies of the Chinese of the
north attache themselves to the Bongols, who were steaily acIuiring a
uniIue reputation for power as well as military prowess! The great event
of this war was the siege of $enkingHHon the site of which now stans the
capital PekinHHthe efense of which ha been intruste to the Prince
#mperialL but ?tubu, more an)ious for his sonGs safety than the interests
of the state, orere him to return to Aaifong! The governor of $enking
offere a stout resistance to the Bongols, an when he foun that he coul
not hol out, he retire to the temple of the city an poisone himself!
+is last act was to write a letter to ?tubu begging him to listen no more
to the pernicious avice of the man who ha inuce him to murer +ushahu!
The capture of $enking, where Genghis obtaine a large supply of war
materials, as well as vast booty, opene the roa to Central China! The
Bongols avance as far as the celebrate Tunkwan Pass, which connects
,hensi an +onan, but when their general, ,amuka, saw how formiable it
was, an how strong were the Ain efenses an garrison, he ecline to
attack it, an, making a etour through very ifficult country, he marche
on Aaifong, where ?tubu little e)pecte him! The Bongols ha to make their
own roa, an they crosse several ravines by improvise "briges mae of
spears an the branches of trees boun together by strong chains!" But the
Bongol force was too small to accomplish any great result, an the
impetuosity of ,amuka nearly le to his estruction! 2 prompt retreat, an
the fact that the +oangho was froMen over, enable him to e)tricate his
army, after much fatigue an reuce in numbers, from its awkwar
position! The retreat of the Bongols inspire ?tubu with sufficient
confience to inuce him to attack $eliu >iuko in >eaoutung, an the
success of this enterprise imparte a gleam of sunshine an creit to the
e)piring cause of the Ains! $eliu >iuko was riven from his newlyHcreate
kingom, but Genghis hastene to the assistance of his ally by sening
Buhula, the greatest of all his generals, at the hea of a large army to
recover >eaoutung! +is success was rapi an remarkable! The Ains were
speeily overthrown, $eliu >iuko was restore to his authority, an the
neighboring Aing of Corea, impresse by the magnitue of the Bongol
success, hastene to acknowlege himself the vassal of Genghis! The most
important result of this campaign was that Genghis intruste to Buhula the
control of all military arrangements for the conIuest of China! +e is
reporte to have sai to his lieutenant1 "@orth of the Taihing Bountains #
am supreme, but all the regions to the south # commen to the care of
Buhula," an he "also presente him with a chariot an a banner with nine
scalops! 2s he hane him this last emblem of authority, he spoke to his
generals, saying, G>et this banner be an emblem of sovereignty, an let
the orers issue from uner it be obeye as my own!G" The principal
reason for intrusting the conIuest of China to a special force an
commaner was that Genghis wishe to evote the whole of his personal
attention to the prosecution of his new war with the Aing of Ahwaresm an
the other great rulers of &estern 2sia!
Buhula more than justifie the selection an confience of his sovereign!
#n the year -4-:H-. he invae +onan, efeate the best of the Ain
commaners, an not merely overran, but retaine possession of the places
he occupie in the Ain ominions! The ifficulties of ?tubu were
aggravate by an attack from @ingtsong, the ,ung emperor, who refuse any
longer to pay tribute to the Ains, as they were eviently unable to
enforce the claim, an the Ain armies were as eIually unfortunate against
their southern opponents as their northern! Then ?tubu eneavore to
negotiate terms with Buhula for the retreat of his army, but the only
conitions the Bongol general woul accept were the surrener of the Ain
ruler an his resignation of the imperial title in e)change for the
principality of +onan! ?tubu, low as he ha sunk, ecline to abase
himself further an to purchase life at the loss of his ignity! The
suen eath of Buhula gaine a brief respite for the istresse Chinese
potentate, but the avantage was not of any permanent significanceL first
of all because the Ains were too e)hauste by their long struggle, an,
seconly, because Genghis hastene to place himself at the hea of his
army! The news of the eath of Buhula reache him when he was encampe on
the frontier of #nia an preparing to a the conIuest of that country to
his many other triumphs in Central an &estern 2sia! +e at once came to
the conclusion that he must return to set his house in orer at home, an
to prevent all the results of BuhulaGs remarkable triumphs being lost!
&hat was a isavantage for China prove a benefit for #nia, an possibly
for Europe, as there is no saying how much further the Bongol encroachment
might have e)tene westwar, if the irection of Genghis ha not been
withrawn! &hile Genghis was hastening from the Cabul *iver to the
Aerulon, across the +inoo Aoosh an Tian ,han ranges, ?tubu ie an
@inkiassu reigne in his stea!
3ne of the first conseIuences of the eath of Buhula was that the young
king of +ia, believing that the fortunes of the Bongols woul then wane,
an that he might obtain a position of greater power an inepenence,
threw off his allegiance, an aopte hostile measures against them! The
prompt return of Genghis nippe this plan in the bu, but it was mae
Iuite evient that the conIuest of +ia was essential to the success of any
permanent anne)ation of Chinese territory, an as its prince coul ispose
of an army which he boaste numbere half a million of men, it is not
surprising to fin that he took a whole year in perfecting his
arrangements for so grave a contest! The war began in -44N an continue
for two years! The success of the Bongol army was ecisive an
unIualifie! The +ias were efeate in several battles, an in one of them
fought upon the froMen waters of the +oangho! Genghis broke the ice by
means of his engines, an the +ia army was almost annihilate! The king
>eseen was epose, an +ia became a Bongol province!
7#llustration1 +3@G A3@G
#t was immeiately after this successful war that Genghis was seiMe with
his fatal illness! ,igns ha been seen in the heavens which the Bongol
astrologers sai inicate the near approach of his eath! The five
planets ha appeare together in the southwest, an so much impresse was
Genghis by this phenomenon that on his eathHbe he e)presse "the earnest
esire that henceforth the lives of our enemies shall not be unnecessarily
sacrifice!" The e)pression of this wish unoubtely tene to mitigate
the terrors of war as carrie on by the Bongols! The immeiate successors
of Genghis conucte their campaigns after a more humane fashion, an it
was not until Timour revive the early Bongol massacres that their
opponents felt there was no chance in appealing to the humanity of the
Bongols! (arious accounts have been publishe of the cause of his eathL
some authorities ascribing it to violence, either by an arrow, lightning,
or rowning, an others to natural causes! The event seems to have
unIuestionably happene in his camp on the borers of ,hansi, 2ugust 4/,
-44/, when he was about si)tyHfive years of age, uring more than fifty of
which he ha enjoye supreme comman of his own tribe!
The area of the unertakings conucte uner his eye was more vast an
inclue a greater number of countries than was the case with any other
conIueror! @ot a country from the Eu)ine to the China ,ea escape the
tramp of the Bongol horsemen, an if we inclue the achievements of his
immeiate successors, the conIuest of *ussia, Polan, an +ungary, the
plunering of Bulgaria, *oumania, an Bosnia, the final subjection of
China an its southern tributaries must be ae to complete the tale of
Bongol triumph! The sphere of Bongol influence e)tene beyon this large
portion of the earthGs surface, just as the conseIuence of an e)plosion
cannot be restricte to the immeiate scene of the isaster! #f we may
inclue the remarkable achievements of his escenant Baber, an of that
princeGs granson 2kbar, in #nia three centuries later, not a country in
2sia enjoye immunity from the effect of their successes! Perhaps the most
important result of their great outpouring into &estern 2siaHHwhich
certainly was the arrest of the Bohammean career in Central 2sia, an the
iversion of the current of the fanatical propagators of the ProphetGs
cree against EuropeHHis not yet as fully recogniMe as it shoul be! The
oubt has been alreay e)presse whether the Bongols woul ever have risen
to higher rank than that of a noma tribe but for the appearance of
Genghis! >eaving that supposition in the category of other interesting but
problematical conjectures, it may be asserte that Genghis represente in
their highest forms all the Iualities which entitle his race to e)ercise
governing authority! +e was, moreover, a military genius of the very first
orer, an it may be Iuestione whether either Caesar or @apoleon can as
commaners be place on a par with him! Even the Chinese sai that he le
his armies like a go! The manner in which he move large boies of men
over vast istances without an apparent effort, the jugment he showe in
the conuct of several wars in countries far apart from each other, his
strategy in unknown regions, always on the alert, yet never allowing
hesitation or overcaution to interfere with his enterprise, the sieges
which he brought to a successful termination, his brilliant victories, a
succession of "suns of 2usterlitM," all combine make up the picture of a
career to which Europe can offer nothing that will surpass, if inee she
has anything to bear comparison with it! 2fter the lapse of centuries, an
in spite of the inifference with which the great figures of 2siatic
history have been treate, the name of Genghis preserves its magic spell!
#t is still a name to conjure with when recoring the great revolutions of
a perio which behel the eath of the ol system in China, an the avent
in that country of a newer an more vigorous government which, slowly
acIuiring shape in the hans of Aublai an a more national form uner the
Bings, has attaine the pinnacle of its utility an strength uner the
influence of the great emperors of the Banchu ynasty! But great as is the
reputation Genghis has acIuire it is probably short of his merits! +e is
remembere as a relentless an irresistible conIueror, a human scourgeL
but he was much more! +e was one of the greatest instruments of estiny,
one of the most remarkable molers of the fate of nations to be met with
in the history of the worl! +is name still overshaows 2sia with its
fame, an the tribute of our amiration cannot be enie!
The eath of Genghis i not seriously retar the progress of the war
against the Ains! +e e)presse the wish that war shoul be carrie on in a
more humane an less vinictive manner, but he i not avocate there
being no war or the abanonment of any of his enterprises! +is son an
successor 3gotai was inee specially charge to bring the conIuest of
China to a speey an victorious conclusion! The weakness of the Bongol
confeeracy was the elay connecte with the proclamation of a new Ahan
an the necessity of summoning to a Gran Council all the princes an
generals of the race, although it entaile the suspension an often the
abanonment of great enterprises! The eath of Genghis save #nia but not
China! 2lmost his last instructions were to raw up the plan for attacking
an turning the great fortress of Tunkwan, which ha provie such an
efficient efense for +onan on the north, an in -4=5, 3gotai, who ha
alreay partitione the territory taken from the Ains into ten
epartments, took the fiel in person, giving a joint comman to his
brother Tuli, uner whom serve the e)perience generals $eliu Chutsia,
2ntchar, an ,ubutai! 2t first the Bongols met with no great success, an
the Ains, encourage by a momentary gleam of victory, venture to reject
the terms offere by 3gotai an to insult his envoy! The only important
fighting uring the years -4=5H=- occurre roun 'ongsian, which after a
long siege surrenere to 2ntchar, an when the campaign close the Ains
presente a bol front to the Bongols an still hope to retain their
power an ominions!
#n -4=4 the Bongols increase their armies in the fiel, an attacke the
Ains from two sies! 3gotai le the main force against +onan, while Tuli,
marching through ,hensi into ,Mchuen, assaile them on their western
flank! The ifficulties encountere by Tuli on this march, when he ha to
make his own roas, were such that he entere the Ain territories with a
much reuce an e)hauste army! The Ain forces gaine some avantage over
it, but by either a feigne or a force retreat, Tuli succeee in
baffling their pursuit, an in effecting a junction with his brother
3gotai, who ha met with better fortune! Tuli estroye everything along
his line of march, an his massacres an sacks revive the worst
traitions of Bongol ferocity! #n these straits the Ains eneavore to
floo the country roun their capital, to which the Bongols ha now
avance, but the Bongols fell upon the workmen while engage in the task,
an slew ten thousan of them! &hen the main Ain army accepte battle
before the town of $uchow, it was signally efeate, with the loss of
three of its principal generals, an @inkiassu fle from Aaifong to a
place more remove from the scene of war! The garrison an townspeople of
AaifongHHan immense city with walls thirtyHsi) miles in circumference, an
a population uring the siege, it is sai, of one million four hunre
thousan families, or nearly seven million peopleHHoffere a stubborn
resistance to the Bongols, who intruste the conuct of the attack to
,ubutai, the most aring of all their commaners! The Bongols employe
their most formiable engines, catapults hurling immense stones, an
mortars ejecting e)plosives an combustibles, but twelve months elapse
before the walls were shattere an the courage an provisions of the
efeners e)hauste! Then Aaifong surrenere at iscretion, an ,ubutai
wishe to massacre the whole of the population! But fortunately for the
Chinese, $eliu Chutsai was a more humane an a more influential general,
an uner his avice 3gotai rejecte the cruel proposal!
2t this moment, when it seeme impossible for fate to have any worse
e)perience in store for the unfortunate Ains, their ol enemies, the
,ungs, wishing to give them the Dcoup e graceD, eclare war upon
them, an place a large army in the fiel uner their best general,
Bongkong, of whom more will be hear! The relics of the Ain army, uner
their sovereign @inkiassu, took shelter in Tsaichau, where they were
closely besiege by the Bongols on one sie an the ,ungs on the other!
Driven thus into a corner, the Ains fought with the courage of espair an
long hel out against the combine efforts of their enemies! 2t last
@inkiassu saw that the struggle coul not be prolonge, an he prepare
himself to en his life an career in a manner worthy of the race from
which he sprang! &hen the enemy broke into the city, an he hear the
stormers at the gate of his palace, he retire to an upper chamber an set
fire to the builing! Bany of his generals, an even of his soliers,
followe his e)ample, preferring to en their e)istence rather than to a
to the triumph of their Bongol an ,ung opponents! Thus came to an en in
-4=6 the famous ynasty of the Ains, who uner nine emperors ha rule
@orthern China for one hunre an eighteen years, an whose power an
military capacity may best be gauge by the fact that without a single
ally they hel out against the allHpowerful Bongols for more than a
Iuarter of a century! @inkiassu, the last of their rulers, was not able to
sustain the buren of their authority, but he at least showe himself
eIual to ening it in a worthy an appropriately ramatic manner!
The folly of the ,ungs ha complete the iscomfiture of the Ains, an ha
brought to their own borers the terrible peril which ha beset every
other state in 2sia, an which ha in almost every case entaile
estruction! +ow coul the ,ungs e)pect to avoi the same fate, or to
propitiate the most implacable an insatiable of conIuering racesO They
ha one this to a large e)tent with their eyes open! Bore than once in
the early stages of the struggle the Ain rulers ha sent envoys to beg
their alliance, an to warn them that if they i not help in keeping out
the Bongols, their time woul come to be assaile an to share in the
common ruin! But @ingtsong i not pay hee to the warning, an scarcely
conceale his gratification at the misfortunes of his ol opponents! The
nearer the Bongols came, an the worse the plight to which the Ains were
reuce, the more i he rejoice! +e forgave Tuli the violation of ,ung
territory, necessary for his flank attack on +onan, an when the knell of
the Ains soune at the fall of Aaifong, he hastene to help in striking
the final blow at them, an to participate, as he hope, in the
istribution of the pluner! By this time >itsong ha succeee his cousin
@ingtsong as ruler of the ,ungs, an it is sai that he receive from
Tsaichau the armor an personal spoils of @inkiassu, which he ha the
satisfaction of offering up in the temple of his ancestors! But when he
reIueste the Bongols to comply with the more important part of the
convention, by which the ,ung forces ha joine the Bongols before
Tsaichau, an to evacuate the province of +onan, he e)perience a rue
awakening from his ream that the overthrow of the Ains woul reoun to
his avantage, an he soon realiMe what value the Bongols attache to his
alliance! The military capacity of Bongkong inspire the ,ung ruler with
confience, an he calle upon the Bongols to e)ecute their promises, or
to prepare for war! The Bongol garrisons mae no movement of retreat, an
the utmost that >itsong was offere was a portion of +onan, if it coul be
practically ivie! The proposition was probably meant ironically, but at
all events >itsong rejecte it, an sent Bongkong to take by force
possession of the ispute province! The Bongol forces on the spot were
fewer than the Chinese, an they met with some reverses! But the hope of
the ,ungs that the fortune of war woul eclare in their favor was soon
estroye by the vast preparations of the Bongols, who, at a special
kuriltai, hel at Aarakoram, eclare that the conIuest of China was to be
complete! Then >itsongGs confience left him, an he sent an appeal for
peace to the Bongols, giving up all claim to +onan, an only asking to be
left in unisturbe possession of his original ominions! #t was too late!
The Bongols ha passe their ecree that the ,ungs were to be treate like
the Ains, an that the last Chinese government was to be estroye!
#n -4=N, the year following the immolation of @inkiassu, the Bongols
place half a million men in the fiel for the purpose of estroying the
,ung power, an 3gotai ivie them into three armies, which were to
attack >itsongGs kingom from as many sies! The Bongol ruler intruste
the most ifficult task to his son Autan, who invae the inaccessible an
vast province of ,Mchuen, at the hea of one of these armies!
@otwithstaning its natural capacity for offering an avantageous efense,
the Chinese turne their opportunities to poor account, an the Bongols
succeee in capturing all its frontier fortresses, with little or no
resistance! The shortcomings of the efense can be inferre from the
circumstances of the Chinese annalists making special mention of one
governor having ha the courage to ie at his post! 'or some reason not
clearly state the Bongols i not attempt to retain possession of ,Mchuen
on this occasion! They withrew when they were in successful occupation of
the northern half of the province, an when it seeme as if the other lay
at their mercy! #n the two ual provinces of Aiangnan an +oukwang, the
other Bongol armies met with consierable success, which was imme,
however, by the eath of Auchu, the son an proclaime heir of 3gotai!
This event, entailing no inconsierable oubt an longHcontinue isputes
as to the succession, was followe by the withrawal of the Bongol forces
from ,ung territory, an uring the last si) years of his life 3gotai
abstaine from war, an gave himself up to the inulgence of his gluttony!
+e built a great palace at Aarakoram, where his ancestors ha been content
to live in a tent, an he intruste the government of the ol Ain
ominions to $eliu Chutsai, who acIuire great popularity among the
Chinese for his clemency an regar for their customs! $eliu Chutsai
aopte the Chinese moe of ta)ation, an when 3gotaiGs wiow, Turakina,
who acte as regent after her husbanGs eath, orere him to alter his
system an to farm out the revenues, he sent in his resignation, an, it
is sai, ie of grief shortly afterwar! 3gotai was one of the most
humane an amiable of all the Bongol rulers, an $eliu Chutsai imitate
his master! 3f the latter the Chinese contemporary writers sai "he was
istinguishe by a rare isinteresteness! 3f a very broa intellect, he
was able, without injustice an without wronging a single person, to amass
vast treasures JDG3hsson says only of books, maps, an picturesK, an to
enrich his family, but all his care an labors ha for their sole object
the avantage an glory of his masters! &ise an calculating in his plans,
he i little of which he ha any reason to repent!"
During the five years following the eath of 3gotai, the Bongols were
absorbe in the Iuestion who shoul be their ne)t Great Ahan, an it was
only after a warm an protracte iscussion, which threatene to entail
the isruption of Bongol power, an the revelation of many rivalries among
the escenants of Genghis, that Auyuk, the elest son of 3gotai, was
proclaime emperor! 2t the kuriltai hel for this purpose, all the great
Bongol leaers were present, incluing Batu, the conIueror of +ungary, an
after the Bongol chiefs ha agree as to their chief, the captive kings,
$aroslaf of *ussia an Davi of Georgia, pai homage to their conIueror!
&e owe to the monk Carpino, who was sent by the Pope to convert the
Bongol, a graphic account of one of the most brilliant ceremonies to be
met with in the whole course of Bongol history! The elay in selecting
Auyuk, whose principal act of sovereignty was to issue a seal having this
inscription1 "Go in +eaven an Auyuk on earthL by the power of Go the
ruler of all men," ha given the ,ungs one respite, an his early eath
procure them another! Auyuk ie in -46:, an his cousin, Bangu, the son
of Tuli, was appointe his successor! By this time the Bongol chiefs of
the family of Genghis in &estern 2sia were practically inepenent of the
nominal Great Ahan, an governe their states in complete sovereignty, an
wage war without reference to Aarakoram! This change left the Bongols in
their original home of the 2mour absolutely free to evote all their
attention to the final overthrow of the ,ungs, an Bangu eclare that he
woul know no rest until he ha finally subjecte the last of the Chinese
ruling families! #n this resolution Bangu receive the hearty support of
his younger but more able brother, Aublai, to whom was intruste the
irection in the fiel of the armies sent to complete the conIuest of
Aublai receive this charge in -4N-, so that the ,ungs ha enjoye, first
through the pacific isposition of 3gotai, an, seconly, from the family
isputes following his eath, peace for more than fifteen years! The
avantage of this tranIuillity was almost nullifie by the eath of
Bongkong, a general whose reputation may have been easily gaine, but who
certainly enjoye the confience of his soliers, an who was thought by
his countrymen to be the best commaner of his ay! &hen the Chinese
emperor, >itsong, saw the storm again approaching his northern frontier,
he foun that he ha lost the main support of his power, an that his
military resources were inferior to those of his enemy! +e ha allowe
himself to be lulle into a false sense of security by the long inaction
of the Bongols, an although he seems to have been an amiable prince, an
a typical Chinese ruler, honoring the escenants of Confucius with the
hereitary title of uke, which still remains in that family, an is the
only title of its kin in China, an encouraging the literary classes of
his country, he was a ba sovereign to be intruste with the task of
efening his realm an people against a bol an etermine enemy!
Aublai prepare the way for his campaigns in ,outhern China by following a
very wise an moerate policy in @orthern China similar to that begun by
Buhula, an carrie out with greater effect by $eliu Chutsai! +e ha
enjoye the avantage of a Chinese eucation, imparte by an able tutor
name $aochu, who became the princeGs private secretary an mentor in all
Chinese matters! 2t his instigation, or, at least, with his coHoperation,
Aublai took in han the restoration of the southern portion of +onan,
which ha been evastate uring the wars, an he succeee in bringing
back its population an prosperity to that great province of Central
China! +e thus secure a base for his operations close to the ,ung
frontier, while he attache to his person a large section of the Chinese
nation! There never was any concealment that this patronage of Chinese
officials, an these measures for the amelioration of many millions of
Chinese subjects, were the well calculate preliminaries to the invasion
of ,outhern China an the e)tinction of the ,ung ynasty!
#f Aublai ha succeee in obtaining a wise aviser in $aochu, he was not
less fortunate in procuring a great general in the person of ?riangkaai,
the son of ,ubutai, an his remarkable an unvarying successes were
largely ue to the efforts of those two men in the cabinet an the fiel!
The plan of campaign, rawn up with great care an forethought by the
prince an his lieutenant, ha the ouble merit of being both bol an
original! #ts main purpose was not one that the ,ung generals woul be
likely to ivine! #t was etermine to make a flank march roun the ,ung
ominions, an to occupy what is now the province of $unnanL an, by
placing an army in the rear of their kingom, to attack them eventually
from two sies! 2t this time $unnan forme an inepenent state, an its
ruler, from his position behin the ,ung territory, must have fancie
himself secure against any attack by the Bongols! +e was estine to a
rue awakening! Aublai an ?riangkaai, marching across ,Mchuen an
crossing the Ainchakiang, or "river of golen san," which forms the upper
course of the Great *iver, on rafts, burst into $unnan, speeily
vanIuishe the frontier garrisons, an lai siege to the capital, Talifoo!
That town i not hol out long, an soon Aublai was in a position to
return to his own state, leaving ?riangkaai with a consierable garrison
in charge of $unnan! That general, believing that his position woul be
improve by his resorting to an active offensive, carrie the stanar of
his race against the many turbulent tribes in his neighborhoo, an
invae Burma whose king, after one campaign, was gla to recogniMe the
supremacy of the Bongols! The success an the bolness, which may have
been consiere temerity, of this campaign, raise up enemies to Aublai at
the court of Aarakoram, an the min of his brother Bangu was poisone
against him by many who eclare that Aublai aspire to complete
inepenence! These esigns so far succeee, that in -4N/ Bangu finally
eprive Aublai of all his commans, an orere him to procee to
Aarakoram! 2t this harsh an unmerite treatment Aublai showe himself
incline to rebel an ispute his brotherGs authority! #f he ha one
this, although the provocation was great, he woul have confirme the
charges of his accusers, an a war woul have broken out among the Bongols
which woul probably have rent their power in twain in Eastern 2sia! But
fortunately $aochu was at han to give pruent avice, an after much
hesitation Aublai yiele to the impressive e)hortations of his
e)perience an sagacious minister! +e is reporte to have aresse
Aublai in the following terms1 "Prince0 $ou are the brother of the
emperor, but you are not the less his subject! $ou cannot, without
committing a crime, Iuestion his ecisions, an, moreover, if you were to
o so, it woul only result in placing you in a more angerous
preicament, out of which you coul harly succee in e)tricating
yourself, as you are so far istant from the capital where your enemies
seek to injure you! By avice is that you shoul sen your family to
Bangu, an by this step you will justify yourself an remove any
suspicions there may be!"
Aublai aopte this wise course, an proceee in person to Aarakoram,
where he succeee in proving his innocence an in iscomfiting his
enemies! #t is sai that Bangu was so affecte at the mere sight of his
brother that he at once forgave him without waiting for an e)planation an
reinstate him in all his offices! To ratify this reconciliation Bangu
proclaime that he woul take the fiel in person, an that Aublai shoul
hol joint comman with himself! &hen he forme this resolution to procee
to China in person, he appointe his ne)t brother, 2rikbuka, to act as his
lieutenant in Bongolia! #t is necessary to recollect this arrangement, as
Bangu ie uring the campaign, an it le to the separation of the
Chinese empire an the Bongolian, which were ivie after that event
between Aublai an 2rikbuka!
Bangu i not come to his resolution to prosecute the war with the ,ungs
any too soon, for ?riangkaai was beginning to fin his isolate position
not free from anger! >arge as the army of that general was, an
skillfully as he ha eneavore to improve his position by strengthening
the fortresses an recruiting from the warlike tribes of $unnan,
?riangkaai foun himself threatene by the collecte armies of the ,ungs,
who occupie ,Mchuen with a large garrison an menace the aring Bongol
general with the whole of their power! There seems every reason to believe
that if the ,ungs ha acte with only orinary promptitue they might have
estroye this Bongol army long before any ai coul have reache it from
the north! 3nce Bangu ha forme his resolution the rapiity of his
movements left the ,ungs little or no chance of attacking ?riangkaai!
This campaign began in the winter of -4N/, when the troops were able to
cross the froMen waters of the +oangho, an the immense Bongol army was
ivie into three boies, while ?riangkaai was orere to march north
an effect a junction with his ol chief Aublai in ,Mchuen! The principal
fighting of the first year occurre in this part of China, an Bangu
hastene there with another of his armies! The ,ung garrison was large,
an showe great courage an fortitue! The ifficulty of the country an
the strength of several of their fortresses secone their efforts, an
after two yearsG fighting the Bongols felt so oubtful of success that
they hel a council of war to ecie whether they shoul retreat or
continue to prosecute the struggle! #t has been sai that councils of war
o not come to bol resolutions, but this must have been an e)ception, as
it ecie not to retreat, an to make one more etermine effort to
overcome the Chinese! The campaign of -4N. began with the siege of +ochau,
a strong fortress, hel by a valiant garrison an commaner, an to whose
ai a Chinese army uner >uwenti was hastening! The governor, &angkien,
offere a stout resistance, an >uwenti succeee in harassing the
besiegersL but the fall of the fortress appeare assure, when a new an
more formiable efener arrive in the form of ysentery! The Bongol camp
was ravage by this foe, Bangu himself ie of the isease, an those of
the Bongols who escape beat a hasty an isorerly retreat back to the
north! 3nce more the ,ungs obtaine a brief respite!
The eath of Bangu threatene fresh isputes an strife among the Bongol
royal family! Aublai was his brotherGs lawful heir, but 2rikbuka, the
youngest of the brothers was in possession of Aarakoram, an supreme
throughout Bongolia! +e was hostile to Aublai, an ispose to assert all
his rights an to make the most of his opportunities! @o Great Ahan coul
be proclaime anywhere save at Aarakoram, an 2rikbuka woul not allow his
brother to gain that place, the crale of their race an ynasty, unless
he coul o so by force of arms! Aublai attempte to solve the ifficulty
by holing a gran council near his favorite city of Cambaluc, the moern
Pekin, an he sent forth his proclamation to the Bongols as their Ahan!
But they refuse to recogniMe one who was not electe in the orthoo)
fashion at AarakoramL an 2rikbuka not merely efie Aublai, but summone
his own kuriltai at Aarakoram, where he was proclaime Ahakhan in the most
formal manner an with all the accustome ceremonies! 2rikbuka was
unoubtely popular among the Bongols, while Aublai, who was regare as
half a Chinese on account of his eucation, ha a far greater reputation
south of the wall than north of it! Aublai coul not tolerate the open
efiance of his authority, an the contempt shown for what was his
birthright, by 2rikbukaL an in -49- he avance upon Aarakoram at the
hea of a large army! 2 single battle suffice to ispose of 2rikbukaGs
pretensions, an that prince was gla to fin a place of refuge among the
AirghiM! Aublai prove himself a generous enemy! +e sent 2rikbuka his full
paron, he reinstate him in his rank of prince, an he left him virtually
supreme among the Bongol tribes! +e retrace his steps to Pekin, fully
resolve to become Chinese emperor in reality, but prepare to waive his
rights as Bongol Ahan! Bangu Ahan was the last of the Bongol rulers whose
authority was recogniMe in both the east an the west, an his successor,
Aublai, seeing that its ol significance ha eparte, was fain to
establish his on a new basis in the fertile, ancient an wieHstretching
ominions of China!
Before Aublai compose the ifficulty with 2rikbuka he ha resume his
operations against the ,ungs, an even before BanguGs eath he ha
succeee in establishing some posts south of the $angtsekiang, in the
impassability of which the Chinese fonly believe! During the year -495
he lai siege to &ochow, the moern &ouchang, but he faile to make any
impression on the fortress on this occasion, an he agree to the truce
which >itsong propose! By the terms of this agreement >itsong
acknowlege himself a Bongol vassal, just as his ancestors ha subjecte
themselves to the Ains, pai a large tribute, an forbae his generals
anywhere to attack the Bongols! The last stipulation was partly broken by
an attack on the rear of ?riangkaaiGs corps, but no serious results
followe, for Aublai was well satisfie with the manner in which the
campaign terminate, as there is no oubt that his avance across the
$angtsekiang ha been precipitate, an he may have thought himself lucky
to escape with the appearance of success an the conclusion of a
gratifying treaty! #t was with the reputation gaine by this nominal
success, an by having mae the ,ungs his tributaries, that Aublai
hastene northwar to settle his rivalry with 2rikbuka! +aving
accomplishe that object with complete success, he ecie to put an en
to the ,ung ynasty! The Chinese emperor, acting with strange fatuity, ha
given fresh cause of umbrage, an ha provoke a war by many petty acts of
iscourtesy, culminating in the murer of the envoys of Aublai, sent to
notify him of his proclamation as Great Ahan of the Bongols! Probably the
,ung ruler coul not have averte war if he ha shown the greatest
forbearance an humility, but this cruel an ine)cusable act precipitate
the crisis an the e)tinction of his attenuate authority! #f there was
any elay in the movements of Aublai for the purpose of e)acting
reparation for this outrage, it was ue to his first having to arrange a
ifficulty that ha arisen in his relations with the Aing of Corea! That
potentate ha long preserve the peace with his Bongol neighbors, an
perhaps he woul have remaine a frien without any interruption, ha not
the Bongols one something which was construe as an infraction of Corean
liberty! The Corean love of inepenence took fire at the threatene
iminution of their rights, they rose en masse in efense of their
country, an even the king, &angtien, who ha been, well ispose to the
Bongol rulers, eclare that he coul not continue the alliance, an
place himself at the hea of his people! ,eeing himself thus menace with
a costly war in a ifficult country on the eve of a more necessary an
hopeful contest, Aublai resorte to iplomacy! +e aresse &angtien in
complimentary terms an isclaime all intention of injuring the Coreans,
with whom he wishe to maintain frienly relations, but at the same time
he pointe out the magnitue of his power an ilate on the e)tent of the
Bongol conIuests! +alf by flattery an half by menace Aublai brought the
Corean court to reason, an &angtien again entere into bons of alliance
with Cambaluc an renewe his ol oaths of frienship!
2t this point of the long struggle with the ,ungs it will be appropriate
to consier what was the e)act position of Aublai with regar to his own
Chinese subjects, who now forme the backbone of his power! By this time
Aublai ha become to all practical intents an purposes a Chinese emperor!
+e ha accepte all the traitional functions of the typical +wangti, an
the etiIuette an splenor of his court rivale that of the ,ungs! +e ha
not merely aopte the Chinese system of ta)ation an the form of
aministration to which the larger portion of his officials, being of
Chinese race, ha been accustome, but he eclare himself the patron of
learning an of Buhism, which ha gaine a hol on the mins of the
Bongols that it has not lost to the present ay! 3ne of the most popular
of his early measures ha been the orer to liberate all the literate
class among his Chinese prisoners, an they ha forme the nucleus of the
civil service Aublai attache to his interests an utiliMe as his empire
e)pane! #n his relations with Buhism Aublai showe not less
astuteness, an in realiMing that to attain urable success he must appeal
to the religious sie of human character, he showe that he ha the true
instincts of a statesman!
2t this time two facts were clearly apparent! The Chinese were sunk in a
low state of religious isbelief, an the ,ung rulers were not ispose to
play the part of regenerators of their country! The secon fact was that
the only vigorous religion in China, or, inee, in Eastern 2sia, was
Buhism, which, since the establishment of Brahmanism in #nia, ha taken
up its heaIuarters in Tibet, where, however, the supreme authority was
still secularHHthat is to say, it was investe in the hans of a prince or
king, an not in those of a priest or Gran >ama! #t so happene that
there was resient at AublaiGs court a Tibetan priest, of the family which
ha always supplie the ,anpou with his minister, who gaine the ear of
Aublai, an convince him how politic an avantageous to him personally
it woul be if he were to secure the coHoperation an sympathy of his
priestly orer! Aublai fell in with his plans, an proclaime his frien
Pakba >ama, an sent him back to Tibet, there to establish the
ecclesiastical authority, which still e)ists in that country, in intimate
alliance an sympathy with the Chinese rulers! By this an other similar
proceeings Aublai gaine over to his sie several influential classes
among the Chinese people, an many reflecting persons thought they saw in
him a true regenerator of the empire, an a worthy successor of their
greatest rulers! #t was, therefore, with a thoroughly pacifie country,
an to a great e)tent a contente people, that Aublai began his last war
with the rulers of ,outhern China!
#n -49= Aublai issue his proclamation of war, calling on his generals "to
assemble their troops, to sharpen their swors an their pikes, an to
prepare their bows an arrows," for he intene to attack the ,ungs by
lan an sea! The treason of a Chinese general in his service name >itan
serve to elay the opening of the campaign for a few weeks, but this
incient was of no importance, as >itan was soon overthrown an e)ecute!
Brief as was the interval, it was marke by one striking an important
eventHHthe eath of >itsong, who was succeee by his nephew, Chowki,
calle the Emperor Toutsong! >itsong was not a wise ruler, but, compare
with many of his successors, he might be more accurately style
unfortunate than incompetent! Toutsong, an his weak an arrogant
minister, Aiassetao, hastene to show that there were greater heights of
folly than any to which he ha attaine! 2cting on the avice of a
renegae ,ung general, well acIuainte with the efenses of ,outhern
China, Aublai altere his propose attack, an prepare for crossing the
$angtsekiang by first making himself supreme on its tributary, the +an
*iver! +is earlier attack on &ouchang has been escribe, an his
compulsory retirement from that place ha taught him the evil of making a
premature attack! +is object remaine the same, but instea of marching
irect to it across the $angtsekiang he took the avice of the ,ung
general, ari attacke the fortress of ,ianyang on the +an *iver, with the
object of making himself supreme on that stream, an wresting from the
,ungs the last firstHclass fortress they possesse in the northwest! By
the time all these preliminaries were complete an the Bongol army ha
fairly taken the fiel it was -49:, an Aublai sent si)ty thousan of his
best troops, with a large number of au)iliaries, to lay siege to ,ianyang,
which was hel by a large garrison an a resolute governor! The Bongol
lines were rawn up roun the town, an also its neighbor of 'anching,
situate on the opposite bank of the river, with which communication was
maintaine by several briges, an the Bongols built a large fleet of
fifty war junks, with which they close the +an *iver an effectually
prevente any ai being sent up it from +ankow or &ouchang! >iuwen +oan,
the commanant of ,ianyang, was a brave man, an he commane a numerous
garrison an possesse supplies, as he sai, to stan a ten yearsG siege!
+e repulse all the assaults of the enemy, an, unaunte by his
isolation, replie to the threats of the Bongols, to give him no Iuarter
if he persiste in holing out, by boasting that he woul hang their
traitor general in chains before his sovereign! The threats an vaunts of
the combatants i not bring the siege any nearer to an en! The utmost
that the Bongols coul achieve was to prevent any provisions or reH
enforcements being thrown into the town! But on the fortress itself they
mae no impression! Things ha gone on like this for three years, an the
interest in the siege ha begun to languish, when Aublai etermine to
make a supreme effort to carry the place, an at the same moment the ,ung
minister came to the conclusion to relieve it at all haMars!
The campaign of -4/5 began with a heroic episoeHHthe successful ispatch
of provisions into the besiege town, uner the irection of two Chinese
officers name Changkoua an Changchun, whose names eserve to be long
remembere for their heroism! The flotilla was ivie into two boies,
one compose of the fighting, the other of the storeHships! The Bongols
ha mae every preparation to blockae the river, but the suenness an
vigor of the Chinese attack surprise them, an, at first, the Chinese ha
the best of the ay! But soon the Bongols recovere, an from their
superior position threatene to overwhelm the assailing Chinese sIuaron!
#n this perilous moment Changchun, evoting himself to eath in the
interest of his country collecte all his warHjunks, an making a
esperate attack on the Bongols, succeee in obtaining sufficient time to
enable the storeships uner Changkoua to pass safely up to ,ianyang! The
life of so great a hero as Changchun was, however, a heavy price to pay
for the temporary relief of ,ianyang, which was more closely besiege than
ever after the arrival of Aublai in person!
2fter this affair the Bongols pushe the siege with greater vigor, an
instea of concentrating their efforts on ,ianyang they attacke both that
fortress an 'anching from all sies! The Bongol commaner, 2lihaya, sent
to Persia, where the Bongols were also supreme, for engineers traine in
the working of mangonels or catapults, engines capable of throwing stones
of -95HpounsG weight with precision for a consierable istance! By their
ai the briges across the river were first estroye, an then the walls
of ,ianyang were so severely amage that an assault appeare to be
feasible! But 'anching ha suffere still more from the Bongol
bombarment, an 2lihaya therefore attacke it first! The garrison offere
a etermine resistance, an the fighting was continue in the streets!
@ot a man of the garrison escape, an when the slaughter was over the
Bongols foun that they ha only acIuire possession of a mass of ruins!
But they ha obtaine the key to ,ianyang, the weakest flank of which ha
been protecte by 'anching, an the Chinese garrison was so iscourage
that >iuwen +oan, espairing of relief, agree to accept the terms offere
by Aublai! Those terms were e)presse in the following noble letter from
the Bongol emperor1 "The generous efense you have mae uring five years
covers you with glory! #t is the uty of every faithful subject to serve
his prince at the e)pense of his life, but in the straits to which you are
reuce, your strength e)hauste, eprive of succor an without hope of
receiving any, woul it be reasonable to sacrifice the lives of so many
brave men out of sheer obstinacyO ,ubmit in goo faith to us an no harm
shall come to you! &e promise you still moreL an that is to provie each
an all of you with honorable employment! $ou shall have no grouns of
iscontent, for that we plege you our imperial wor!"
#t will not e)cite surprise that >iuwen +oan, who ha been, practically
speaking, eserte by his own sovereign, shoul have accepte the
magnanimous terms of his conIueror, an become as loyal a lieutenant of
Aublai as he ha shown himself to be of the ,ung Toutsong! The eath of
that ruler followe soon afterwar, but as the real power ha been in the
hans of the Binister Aiassetao, no change took place in the policy or
fortunes of the ,ung kingom! 2t this moment Aublai succeee in obtaining
the services of Bay an, a Bongol general who ha acIuire a great
reputation uner Ahulagu in Persia! Bayan, whose name signifies the noble
or the brave, an who was popularly known as Bayan of the +unre Eyes,
because he was suppose to see everything, was one of the greatest
military leaers of his age an race! +e was intruste with the comman of
the main army, an uner him serve, it is interesting to state, >iuwen
+oan! ,everal towns were capture after more or less resistance, an Bayan
bore own with all his force on the triple cities of +ankow, &ouchang, an
+anyang! Bayan concentrate all his efforts on the capture of +anyang,
while the Bongol navy uner 2rtchu compelle the Chinese fleet to take
refuge uner the walls of &ouchang! @one of these towns offere a very
stubborn resistance, an Bayan ha the satisfaction of receiving their
surrener one after another! >eaving 2lihaya with 65,555 men to guar
these places, Bayan marche with the rest of his forces on the ,ung
capital, >ingan or +angchow, the celebrate Aincsay of meieval travelers!
The retreating fleet an army of the ,ungs carrie with them fear of the
Bongols, an the everHincreasing representation of their e)traorinary
power an irresistible arms! #n this juncture public opinion compelle
Aiassetao to take the lea, an he calle upon all the subjects of the
,ung to contribute arms an money for the purpose of national efense! But
his own incompetence in irecting this national movement eprive it of
half its force an of its natural chances of success! BayanGs avance was
rapi! Bany towns opene their gates in terror or amiration of his name,
an >iuwen +oan was freIuently present to assure them that Aublai was the
most generous of masters, an that there was no wiser course than to
surrener to his generals!
The Bongol forces at last reache the neighborhoo of the ,ung capital,
where Aiassetao ha succeee in collecting an army of -=5,555 menL but
many of them were illHtraine, an the splenor of the camp provie a
poor eIuivalent for the want of arms an iscipline among the men!
Aiassetao seems to have been ignorant of the anger of his position, for
he sent an arrogant summons to the Bongols to retire, stating also that he
woul grant a peace base on the $angtsekiang as a bounary! BayanGs
simple reply to this notice was, "#f you ha really aime at peace you
woul have mae this proposition before we crosse the Aiang! @ow that we
are the masters of it, it is a little too late! ,till if you sincerely
esire it, come an see me in person, an we will iscuss the necessary
conitions!" (ery few of the ,ung lieutenants offere a protracte
resistance, an even the isolate cases of evotion were confine to the
official class, who were more loyal than the mass of the people! Chao
Baofa an his wife $ongchi put an en to their e)istence sooner than give
up their charge at Chichow, but the garrison accepte the terms of the
Bongols without compunction, an without thinking of their uty! Aiassetao
attempte to resist the Bongol avance at Aien Aang, the moern @ankin,
but after an engagement on lan an water the ,ungs were riven back, an
their fleet only escape estruction by retiring precipitately to the sea!
2fter this success @ankin, surrenere without resistance, although its
governor was a valiant an apparently a capable man! +e committe suicie
sooner than surrener, an among his papers was foun a plan of campaign,
after perusing which Bay an e)claime, "#s it possible that the ,ungs
possesse a man capable of giving such pruent counselO #f they ha pai
hee to it, shoul we ever have reache this spotO" 2fter this success
Bayan presse on with increase rather than iminishe energy, an the
,ung emperor an his court fle from the capital! Aublai showe an
inclination to temporiMe an to negotiate, but Bayan woul not brook any
elay! "To rela) your grip even for a moment on an enemy whom you have
hel by the throat for a hunre years woul only be to give him time to
recover his breath, to restore his forces, an in the en to cause us an
infinity of trouble!"
The ,ung fortunes showe some slight symptoms of improving when Aiassetao
was isgrace, an a more competent general was foun in the person of
Chang Chikia! But the Bongols never abate the vigor of their attack or
rela)e in their efforts to cut off all possibility of succor from the
,ung capital! &hen Chang Chikia hope to improve the position of his sie
by resuming the offensive he was estine to rue isappointment! Baking
an attack on the strong position of the Bongols at @ankin he was repulse
with heavy loss! The ,ung fleet was almost annihilate an /55 warHjunks
were taken by the victors! 2fter this the Chinese never are to face the
Bongols again on the water! This victory was ue to the courage an
capacity of 2rtchu! Bayan now returne from a campaign in Bongolia to
resume the chief conuct of the war, an he signaliMe his return by the
capture of Changchow! 2t this town he is sai to have sanctione a
massacre of the Chinese troops, but the facts are enwrappe in
uncertaintyL an Barco Polo eclares that this was only one after the
Chinese ha treacherously cut up the Bongol garrison! 2larme by the fall
of Changchow, the ,ung ministers again sue for peace, sening an
imploring letter to this effect1 "3ur ruler is young an cannot be hel
responsible for the ifferences that have arisen between the peoples!
Aiassetao the guilty one has been punisheL give us peace an we shall be
better friens in the future!" BayanGs reply was severe an
uncompromising! "The age of your prince has nothing to o with the
Iuestion between us! The war must go on to its legitimate en! 'urther
argument is useless!" The efenses of the ,ung capital were by this time
remove, an the unfortunate upholers of that ynasty ha no option save
to come to terms with the Bongols! Barco Polo escribes Aincsay as the
most opulent city of the worl, but it was in no position to stan a
siege! The empressHregent, acting for her son, sent in her submission to
Bayan, an agree to procee to the court of the conIueror! ,he abicate
for herself an family all the pretensions of their rank, an she accepte
the favors of the Bongol with ue humility, saying, "The ,on of +eaven
Jthus giving Aublai the correct imperial styleK grants you the favor of
sparing your lifeL it is just to thank him for it an to pay him homage!"
Bayan mae a triumphal entry into the city, while the Emperor Aongtsong
was sent off to Pekin! The majority of the ,ung courtiers an soliers
came to terms with Bayan, but a few of the more esperate or faithful
eneavore to uphol the ,ung cause in ,outhern China uner the general,
Chang Chikia! Two of the ,ung princes were supporte by this commaner,
an one was proclaime by the empty title of emperor! Capricious fortune
rallie to their sie for a brief space, an some of the Bongol
etachments which ha avance too far or with unue precipitancy were cut
up an estroye!
The Bongols seem to have thought that the war was over, an the success of
Chang ChikiaGs efforts may have been ue to their negligence rather than
to his vigor! 2s soon as they realiMe that there remaine a flickering
flame of opposition among the supporters of the ,ungs they sent two
armies, one into Awantung an the other into 'uhkien, an their fleet
against Chang Chikia! Desperate as was his position, that officer still
e)claime, "#f heaven has not resolve to overthrow the ,ungs, o you
think that even now it cannot restore their ruine throneO" but his hopes
were ashe to the groun by the capture of Canton, an the e)pulsion of
all his forces from the mainlan! 3ne puppet emperor ie, an then Chang
proclaime another as Tiping! The last supporters of the cause took refuge
on the islan of Tai in the Canton estuary, where they hope to maintain
their position! The position was strong an the garrison was numerousL but
the Bongols were not to be frightene by appearances! Their fleet bore
own on the last ,ung stronghol with absolute confience, an, although
the Chinese resiste for three ays an showe great gallantry, they were
overwhelme by the superior engines as well as the numbers of the Bongols!
Chang Chikia with a few ships succeee in escaping from the fray, but the
emperorGs vessel was less fortunate, an fining that escape was
impossible, >ousionfoo, one of the last ,ung ministers, seiMe the emperor
in his arms an jumpe overboar with him! Thus ie Tiping, the last
Chinese emperor of the ,ungs, an with him e)pire that illHfate ynasty!
Chang Chikia renewe the struggle with ai receive from TonIuin, but when
he was leaing a forlorn hope against Canton he was caught in a typhoon
an he an his ships were wrecke! +is invocation to heaven, "# have one
everything # coul to sustain on the throne the ,ung ynasty! &hen one
prince ie # cause another to be proclaime emperor! +e also has
perishe, an # still live0 3h, heaven, shall # be acting against thy
esires if # sought to place a new prince of this family on the throneO"
soune the irge of the race he ha serve so well!
Thus was the conIuest of China by the Bongols complete! 2fter half a
century of warfare the kingom of the ,ungs share the same fate as its
ol rival the Ain, an Aublai ha the personal satisfaction of completing
the work begun by his granfather Genghis seventy years before! 3f all the
Bongol triumphs it was the longest in being attaine! The Chinese of the
north an of the south resiste with e)traorinary powers of enurance the
whole force of the greatest conIuering race 2sia ha ever seen! They were
not skille in war an their generals were generally incompetent, but they
hel out with esperate courage an obstinacy long after other races woul
have given in! The stuent of history will not fail to see in these facts
striking testimony of the e)traorinary resources of China, an of the
capacity of resistance to even a vigorous conIueror possesse by its inert
masses! Even the Bongols i not conIuer until they ha obtaine the ai
of a large section of the Chinese nation, or before Aublai ha shown that
he intene to prove himself a worthy Emperor of China an not merely a
great Ahan of the Bongol +ores!
C+2PTE* (#
A?B>2# 2@D T+E B3@G3> D$@2,T$
&hile Bayan was winning victories for his master an riving the Chinese
armies from the fiel, Aublai was engage at Pekin in the ifficult an
necessary task of consoliating his authority! #n -4/- he gave his ynasty
the name of $uen or 3riginal, an he took for himself the Chinese title of
Chitsou, although it will never supersee his Bongol name of Aublai!
,ummoning to his court the most e)perience Chinese ministers, an aie
by many foreigners, he succeee in founing a government which was
imposing by reason of its manyHsieness as well as its inherent strength!
#t satisfie the Chinese an it was gratifying to the Bongols, because
they forme the buttress of one of the most imposing aministrations in
the worl! 2ll this was the istinct work of Aublai, who ha enjoye the
special favor of Genghis, who ha preicte of him that "one ay he will
sit in my seat an bring you goo fortune such as you have ha in my
time!" +e resolve to make his court the most spleni in the worl! +is
capital Cambaluc or AhanbaligHH"the city of the Ahan"HHstoo on or near
the present site of Pekin, an was mae for the first time capital of
China by the Bongols! There were, accoring to Barco Polo, twelve gates,
at each of which was statione a guar of -,555 men, an the streets were
so straight an wie that you coul see from one en to the other, or from
gate to gate! The e)tent given of the walls varies1 accoring to the
highest estimate they were twentyHseven miles roun, accoring to the
lowest eighteen! The khanGs palace at Chanu or Aaipingfoo, north of
Pekin, where he built a magnificent summer palace, kept his stu of
horses, an carrie out his love of the chase in the immense park an
preserves attache, may be consiere the &insor of this Chinese monarch!
The position of Pekin ha, an still has, much to recommen it as the site
of a capital! The Bings, after proclaiming @ankin the capital, mae
scarcely less use of it, an Chuntche, the first of the Banchus, aopte
it as his! #t has since remaine the sole metropolis of the empire!
&hen Aublai permanently establishe himself at Pekin he rew up consistent
lines of policy on all the great Iuestions with which it was likely he
woul have to eal, an he always eneavore to act upon these set
principles! #n framing this system of government he was greatly assiste
by his ol frien an tutor $aochu, as well as by other Chinese ministers!
+e was thus able to eal wisely an also vigorously with a society with
which he was only imperfectly acIuainteL an the impartiality an insight
into human character, which were his main characteristics, greatly
simplifie the ifficult task before him! +is impartiality was shown most
clearly in his attitue on the Iuestion of religionL but it partook very
largely of a har materialism which conceale itself uner a nominal
inifference! 2t first he treate with eIual consieration Buhism,
Bohammeanism, Christianity, an even <uaism, an he sai that he treate
them all with eIual consieration because he hope that the greatest among
them woul help him in heaven! #f some oubt may be felt as to the
sincerity of this statement, there can be none as to AublaiGs effort to
turn all religions to a political use, an to make them serve his turn!
,ome persons have thought he showe a preilection for Christianity, but
his measures in support of Buhism, an of his frien the Pakba >ama, are
a truer inication of his feelings! But none were amitte into his
private confience, an his acts evince a politic tolerance towar all
crees! But his religious tolerance or inifference i not e)ten to
personal matters! +e insiste on the proper prayers being offere to
himself an the e)treme reverence of the kowHtow! Priests were appointe
an specially enjoine to offer up prayers on his behalf before the
people, who were reIuire to atten these services an to join in the
responses! #mages of himself were also sent to all the provincial towns
for reverence to be offere! +e also followe the Chinese custom of
erecting a temple to his ancestors, an the coins that passe current bore
his effigy! Thus i Aublai more an more ientify himself with his
Chinese subjects, an as he foun his measures crowne with success he
became himself more wee to Chinese views, less tolerant of averse
opinions, an more ispose to assert his sovereign majesty!
+aving embellishe his capital, it is not surprising to fin that he rew
up a strict court ceremonial, an that he proscribe gorgeous resses for
those who were to be allowe to approach him! +is banIuets were of the
most sumptuous escription! ,trangers from foreign states were amitte to
the presence, an ine at a table set apart for travelers, while the
great king himself feaste in the full gaMe of his people! +is courtiers,
guar, an ministers attene by a host of servitors, an protecte from
enemies by 45,555 guars, the flower of the Bongol armyL the countless
wealth seiMe in the capitals of numerous kingomsL the brilliance of
intellect among his chief aherents an supportersL the martial character
of the race that lent itself almost as well to the pageantry of a court as
to the stern reality of battleL an finally the majesty of the great king
himselfHHall combine to make AublaiGs court an capital the most
spleni, at that time, in the worl! 2lthough AublaiGs instincts were
martial, he gave up all iea of accompanying his armies in the fiel after
his war with 2rikbuka! 2s he was only fortyHfour when he forme this
ecision, it must be assume that he came to it mainly because he ha so
many other matters to atten to, an also, no oubt, because he felt that
he possesse in Bayan a worthy substitute!
The most fortunate an successful monarch rarely escapes without some
misfortune, an Aublai was not estine to be an e)ception to the rule!
The successes of the Bongol navy unoubtely le Aublai to believe that
his arms might be carrie beyon the sea, an he forme the efinite plan
of subjecting <apan to his power! The ruling family in that kingom was of
Chinese escent, tracing back its origin to Taipe, a fugitive Chinese
prince of the twelfth century before our era! The Chinese in their usual
way ha asserte the superior position of a ,uMerain, an the <apanese ha
as consistently refuse to recogniMe the claim, an ha maintaine their
inepenence! 2s a rule the <apanese abstaine from all interference in
the affairs of the continent, an the only occasion on which they eparte
from this rule was when they aie Corea against China! #n -499 Aublai
sent two embassaors by way of Corea to <apan with a letter from himself
complaining that the <apanese court ha taken no notice of his accession
to power, an treate him with inifference! The mission never ha a
chance of success, for the Coreans succeee in frightening the Bongol
envoys with the terrors of the sea, an by withholing their assistance
prevente them reaching their estination! The envoys returne without
having been able to eliver their letter! Aublai ecie that the <apanese
were hostile to him, an he resolve to humble them! +e calle upon the
Aing of Corea to raise an au)iliary force, an that prince promise to
supply -,555 ships an -5,555 men! #n -4/6 he sent a small force of =55
ships an -N,555 men to begin operations in the irection of <apanL but
the <apanese navy came out to meet it, an attacking it off the islan of
Tsiusima, inflicte a crushing efeat! 2s this e)peition was largely
compose of the Corean contingent Aublai easily persuae himself that
this efeat i not inicate what woul happen when he employe his own
Bongol troops! +e also succeee in sening several envoys to <apan after
his first abortive attempt, an they brought back consistent reports as to
the hostility an efiance of the <apanese, who at last, to leave no
further oubt on the subject, e)ecute his envoy in -4:5! 'or this outrage
the haughty monarch swore he woul e)act a terrible revenge, an in
-4:5H:-, when the last of his campaigns with the ,ungs ha been brought
to a triumphant conclusion, he collecte all his forces in the eastern
part of the kingom, an prepare to attack <apan with all his power!
'or the purposes of this war he raise an army of over -55,555 men, of
whom about oneHthir were BongolsL an a fleet large enough to carry this
host an its supplies was gathere together with great ifficulty in the
harbors of Chekiang an 'uhkien! #t woul have been wiser if the
e)peition ha starte from Corea, as the sea voyage woul have been
greatly reuceL but the ifficulty of getting his army to that country,
an the greater ifficulty of feeing it when it got there, inuce him to
make his own maritime possessions the base of his operations! 'rom the
beginning misfortunes fell thick upon it, an the <apanese, not less than
the English when assaile by the ,panish armaa an Boulogne invasions,
owe much to the alliance of the sea! Aublai ha felt boun to appoint a
Chinese generalissimo as well as a Bongol to this host, but it i not
work well! 3ne general fell ill an was supersee, another was lost in a
storm, an there was a general want of harmony in the Bongol camp an
fleet! ,till the fleet set sail, but the elements eclare themselves
against Aublai! +is shattere fleet was compelle to take refuge off the
islets to the north of <apan, where it attempte to refit, but the
<apanese grante no respite, an assaile them both by lan an sea! 2fter
protracte but uneIual fighting the Bongol commaner ha no choice left
but to surrener! The conIuerors spare the Chinese an Coreans among
their prisoners, but they put every Bongol to the swor! 3nly a stray junk
or two escape to tell Aublai the tale of the greatest efeat the Bongols
ha ever e)perience! Thirty thousan of their best troops were
slaughtere, an their newlyHcreate fleet, on which they were founing
such great e)pectations, was annihilate, while /5,555 Chinese an Coreans
remaine as prisoners in the hans of the victor! Aublai e)ecute two of
his generals who escape, but it is clear no one was to blame! The Bongols
were vanIuishe because they unertook a task beyon their power, an one
with which their military e)perience i not fit them to cope! The most
formiable portion of their army was cavalry, an they ha no knowlege of
the sea! @or coul their Chinese au)iliaries supply this eficiencyL for,
strange as it may appear, the Chinese, although many of them are goo
fishermen an sailors, have never been a powerful nation at sea! 3n the
other han, the <apanese have always been a bol an capable race of
mariners! They have freIuently prove that the sea is their natural
element, an all the power an resources of Aublai availe not against the
skill an courage of these hary islaners! Aublai was reluctant to
acIuiesce in his efeat, an he eneavore to form another e)peition, but
the Chinese sailors mutinie an refuse to embark! They were supporte by
all the Chinese ministers at Pekin, an Aublai felt himself compelle to
yiel an abanon all esigns of conIuest beyon the sea!
The ol success of the Bongols i not esert them on lan, an Aublai
receive some consolation for his rue repulse by the <apanese in the
triumph of his arms in Burmah! The momentary submission of the Aing of
Burmah, or Bien, as it was, an is still, calle by the Chinese, ha been
followe by a fit of truculence an open hostility! This monarch ha
crosse over into #nian territory, an ha assume the title of Aing of
Bengala in aition to his own! Embolene by his success, he i not
conceal his hostility to the Bongols, sent a efiant reply to all their
representations, an even assume the offensive with his frontier
garrisons! +e then eclare open war! The Bongol general, @asiuin,
collecte all the forces he coul, an when the Burmese ruler crosse the
frontier at the hea of an immense host of horse, foot, an elephants, he
foun the Bongol army rawn up on the plain of $ungchang! The Bongols
numbere only -4,555 select troops, whereas the Burmese e)ceee :5,555
men with a corps of elephants, estimate between :55 an 4,555, an an
artillery force of si)teen guns! @otwithstaning this numerical
isavantage the Bongols were in no way ismaye by their opponentsG
manifest superiorityL but selom has the struggle between iscipline an
brute force prove closer or more keenly conteste! 2t first the charge of
the Burmese cavalry, aie by the elephants an artillery, carrie all
before it! But @asiuin ha provie for this contingency! +e ha
ismounte all his cavalry, an ha orere them to fire their arrows
e)clusively against the elephant corpsL an as the Bongols were then not
only the best archers in the worl, but use the strongest bows, the
estruction they wrought was consierable, an soon threw the elephants
into hopeless confusion! The crow of elephants turne tail before this
ischarge of arrows, as i the elephants of Pyrrhus, an threw the whole
Burmese army into confusion! The Bongols then mounting their horses,
charge an complete the iscomfiture of the Burmese, who were riven
from the fiel with heavy loss an tarnishe reputation! 3n this occasion
the Bongols i not pursue the Burmese very far, an the Aing of Burmah
lost little or no part of his ominions, but @asiuin reporte to Pekin
that it woul be an easy matter to a the kingom of Bien to the Bongol
empire! Aublai i not act on this avice until si) years later, when he
sent his kinsman ,ingtur with a large force to subue Burmah! The king
took shelter in Pegu, leaving his capital 2mien at the mercy of the
conIueror! The Bongol conIuests were thus brought own to the very borer
of 2ssam! #n TonIuin an 2nnam the arms of Aublai were not so successful!
AublaiGs son Togan mae an abortive campaign in these regions! &henever an
open force ha to be overcome, the Bongol army was successful, but when
the Bongols encountere the ifficulties of a amp an inclement climate,
of the absence of roas, an other isavantages, they were isheartene,
an suffere heavily in men an morale! &ith the loss of his two generals,
an the main portion of his army, Togan was lucky in himself escaping to
China! Aublai wishe to make another effort to subue these inhospitable
regions an their savage inhabitants, but Chinese public opinion prove
too strong, an he ha to yiel to the representations of his ministers!
Aublai was the more compelle to sacrifice his feelings on this point,
because there were not wanting inications that if he i not o so he
woul fin a Chinese rebellion on his hans! @otwithstaning his many
successes, an his evient esire to stan well with his Chinese subjects,
it was alreay clear that they bore their new leaer little love! ,everal
of the principal provinces were in a state of veile rebellion, showing
that the first opportunity woul be taken to shake off the Bongol yoke,
an that AublaiGs authority really reste on a Iuicksan! The preictions
of a fanatic were sufficient to shake the emperor on his throne, an such
was AublaiGs apprehension that he banishe all the remaining ,ung
prisoners to Bongolia, an e)ecute their last faithful minister, who went
to the scaffol with a smile on his face, e)claiming, "# am contentL my
wishes are about to be realiMe!" #t must not be suppose from this that
AublaiGs authority ha vanishe or become effete! #t was absolutely
supreme over all eclare enemies, but below the surface was seething an
amount of popular hostility an iscontent ominous to the longevity of the
Bongol ynasty! The restless ambition of Aublai woul not be satisfie
with anything short of recognition, in some form or other, of his power by
his neighbors, an he conseIuently sent envoys to ail the kingoms of
,outhern 2sia to obtain, by lavish presents or persuasive language, that
recognition of his authority on which he ha set his heart! #n most cases
he was gratifie, for there was not a power in Eastern 2sia to compare
with that of the Bongol prince seate on the Dragon Throne of China, an
all were flattere to be brought into connection with it on any terms!
These successful an gratifying embassies ha only one untowar result1
they inuce Aublai to revert to his iea of repairing the overthrow of
his son Togan in 2nnam, an of finally subjugating that troublesome
country! The intention was not wise, an it was renere more impruent by
its e)ecution being intruste to Togan again! 2nother commaner might have
fare better, but great as was his initial success, he coul not hope to
permanently succee! Togan began as he formerly commence by carrying all
before him! +e won seventeen separate engagements, but the further he
avance into the country the more evient i it appear that he only
controlle the groun on which he stoo! The Aing of 2nnam was a fugitiveL
his capital was in the hans of the Bongols, an apparently nothing more
remaine to be one! 2pachi, the most e)perience of the Bongol
commaners, then counsele a prompt retreat! ?nfortunately the Bongol
prince Togan woul not take his avice, an the 2nnamites, gathering fresh
forces on all sies, attacke the e)hauste Bongols, an compelle them to
beat a precipitate retreat from their country! 2ll the fruits of early
victory were lost, an ToganGs isgrace was a poor consolation for the
culminating iscomfiture of AublaiGs reign! The people of 2nnam then mae
goo their inepenence, an they still enjoy it, so far as China is
concerneL though 2nnam is now a epenency of the 'rench republic!
&e cannot oubt that the failure of the emperorGs eneavor to populariMe
his rule was as largely ue to the tyrannical acts an oppressive measures
of some of his principal ministers as to unpopular an unsuccessful
e)peitions! @otwithstaning the popular islike of the system, an
AublaiGs efforts to put it own, the Bongols resorte to the ol plan of
farming the revenue, an the e)tortion of those who purchase the right
rove the Chinese to the verge of rebellion, an mae the whole Bongol
regime hateful! ,everal ta) farmers were remove from their posts, an
punishe with eath, but their successors carrie on the same system! The
eclining years of AublaiGs reign were therefore marre by the growing
iscontent of his Chinese subjects, an by his inability or unwillingness
to put own official e)tortion an mismanagement! But he ha to cope with
a still greater anger in the hostility of some members of his own family!
The rivalry between himself an his brother 2rikbuka forme one incient
of his earlier career, the hostility of his cousin Aaiu prove a more
serious peril when Aublai was stricken in years, an approaching the en
of his long reign!
Aaiu was one of the sons of 3gotai, an conseIuently first cousin to
Aublai! +e hel some high post in Bongolia, an he represente a
reactionary party among the Bongols, who wishe the aministration to be
less Chinese, an who, perhaps, sighe for more worls to conIuer! But he
hate Aublai, an was jealous of his preHeminence, which was, perhaps, the
only cause of his revolt! The hostility of Aaiu might have remaine a
personal grievance if he ha not obtaine the alliance of @ayan, a Bongol
general of e)perience an ability, who ha long been jealous of the
superior reputation of Bayan! +e was long engage in raising an army, with
which he might hope to make a bi for empire, but at last his preparations
reache the ear of Aublai, who etermine to crush him before his power
ha grown too great! Aublai marche against him at the hea of -55,555
men, an all the troops @ayan coul bring into the fiel were 65,555,
while Aaiu, although hastily gathering his forces, was too far off to
rener any timely ai! Aublai commane in person, an arrange his orer
of battle from a tower supporte on the backs of four elephants chaine
together! Both armies showe great heroism an ferocity, but numbers
carrie the ay, an @ayanGs army was almost estroye, while he himself
fell into the hans of the victor! #t was contrary to the practice of the
Bongols to she the bloo of their own princes, so Aublai orere @ayan to
be sewn up in a sack, an then beaten to eath! The war with Aaiu ragge
on for many years, an there is no oubt that Aublai i not esire to
push matters to an e)tremity with his cousin! +aving restore the fortunes
of the war by assuming the comman in person, Aublai returne in a short
time to Pekin, leaving his opponent, as he hope, the proverbial golen
brige by which to retreat! But his lieutenant, Bayan, to whom he
intruste the conuct of the campaign, favore more vigorous action, an
was an)ious to bring the struggle to a speey an ecisive termination! +e
ha gaine one remarkable victory uner consierable isavantage, when
Aublai, either listening to his etractors or esirous of restraining his
activity, ismisse him from his military posts an, summoning him to
Pekin, gave him the uncongenial office of a minister of ,tate! This
happene in -4.=, an in the following year Aublai, who was nearly eighty,
an who ha occupie the throne of China for thirtyHfive years, sickene
an ie, leaving behin him a great reputation which has survive the
criticism of si) centuries in both Europe an China!
AublaiGs long reign marke the clima) of the Bongol triumph which he ha
all the personal satisfaction of e)tening to China! &here Genghis faile,
or attaine only partial success, he succeee to the fullest e)tent, thus
verifying the prophecy of his granfather! But although he conIuere their
country, he never vanIuishe the prejuices of the Chinese, an the
Bongols, unlike the Banchus, faile completely to propitiate the goo will
of the historiographers of the +anlin! 3f Aublai they take some
recognition, as an enlightene an wellHmeaning prince, but for all the
other emperors of the $uen line they have nothing goo to say! Even Aublai
himself coul not assure the stability of his throne, an when he ie it
was at once clear that the Bongols coul not long retain the supreme
position in China!
But AublaiGs authority was sufficiently establishe for it to be
transmitte, without popular isturbance or any insurrection on the part
of the Chinese, to his legal heir, who was his granson! ,uch risk as
presente itself to the succession arose from the issensions among the
Bongol princes themselves, but the prompt measures of Bayan arreste any
trouble, an Prince Timour was proclaime emperor uner the Chinese style
of Chingtsong! 2 few months after this signal service to the ruling
family, Bayan ie, leaving behin him the reputation of being one of the
most capable of all the Bongol commaners! &hether because he coul fin
no general worthy to fill BayanGs place, or because his temperament was
naturally pacific, Timour carrie on no military operations, an the
thirteen years of his reign were marke by almost unbroken peace! But
peace i not bring prosperity in its train, for a consierable part of
China suffere from the ravages of famine, an the cravings of hunger
rove many to become brigans! TimourGs an)iety to alleviate the public
suffering gaine him some small measure of popularity, an he also
eneavore to limit the opportunities of the Bongol governors to be
tyrannical by taking away from them the power of life an eath! Timour
was compelle by the sustaine hostility of Aaiu to continue the struggle
with that prince, but he confine himself to the efensive, an the eath
of Aaiu, in -=5-, eprive the contest of its e)treme bitterness although
it still continue!
Timour was, however, unfortunate in the one foreign enterprise which he
unertook! The ease with which Burmah ha been vanIuishe an reuce to a
tributary state embolene some of his officers on the southern frontier
to attempt the conIuest of PapesifuHHa state which may be ientifie with
the moern >aos! The enterprise, commence in a thoughtless an lightH
hearte manner, reveale une)pecte peril an prove isastrous! 2 large
part of the Bongol army perishe from the heat, an the survivors were
only rescue from their perilous position, surroune by the numerous
enemies they ha irritate, by a supreme effort on the part of Aoko, the
viceroy of $unnan, who was also TimourGs uncle! The insurrectionary
movement was not confine to the outlying istricts of 2nnam an Burmah,
but e)tene within the Chinese borer, an several years elapse before
tranIuillity was restore to the frontier provinces!
Timour ie in -=59 without leaving a irect legitimate heir, an his two
nephews +aichan an 2iyuli Palipata were hel to possess an eIual claim to
the throne! +aichan was absent in Bongolia when his uncle ie, an a
faction put forwar the pretensions of +onanta, prince of Gansi, who seems
to have been TimourGs natural son, but 2iyuli Palipata, acting with great
energy, arreste the pretener an proclaime +aichan as emperor! +aichan
reigne five years, uring which the chief reputation he gaine was as a
glutton! &hen he ie, in -=--, his brother Palipata was proclaime
emperor, although +aichan left two sons! PalipataGs reign of nine years
was peaceful an uneventful, an his son Chutepala succeee him!
Chutepala was a young an ine)perience prince who owe such authority as
he enjoye to the courage of Baiju, a brave solier, who was specially
istinguishe as the lineal escenant of the great general, Buhula! The
plots an intrigues which compasse the ruin of the $uen ynasty began
uring this reign, an both Chutepala an Baiju were murere by
conspirators! The ne)t emperor, $esun Timour, was fortunate in a peaceful
reign, but on his eath, in -=4:, the troubles of the ynasty accumulate,
an its en came clearly into view! #n little more than a year, three
emperors were proclaime an ie! Tou Timour, one of the sons of +aichan,
who rule before Palipata, was so far fortunate in reigning for a longer
perio, but the most interesting episoe in his barren reign was the visit
of the Gran >ama of Tibet to Pekin, where he was receive with
e)ceptional honorL but when Tou Timour attempte to compel his courtiers
to pay the representative of Buhism special obeisance he encountere the
opposition of both Chinese an Bongols!
2fter Tou TimourGs eath the imperial title passe to Tohan Timour, who is
best known by his Chinese title of Chunti! +e foun a champion in Bayan, a
escenant of the general of that name, who successfully efene the
palace against the attack of a ban of conspirators! #n -==/ the first
istinct rebellion on the part of the Chinese took place in the
neighborhoo of Canton, an an orer for the isarmament of the Chinese
population aggravate the situation because it coul not be effectually
carrie out! Bayan, after his efense of the palace, became the most
powerful personage in the state, an to his arrogance was largely ue the
aggravation of the Bongol ifficulties an the imbittering of Chinese
opinion! +e murere an empress, tyranniMe over the Chinese, an outshone
the emperor in his apparel an eIuipages, as if he were a &olsey or a
Buckingham! 'or the last offense Chunti coul not forgive him, an Bayan
was epose an isgrace! &hile these issensions were in progress at
Pekin the Chinese were growing more aring an confient in their efforts
to liberate themselves from the foreign yoke! They ha aopte re bonnets
as the mark of their patriotic league, an on the sea the piratical
confeeracy of 'angkue Chin vanIuishe an estroye such navy as the
Bongols ever possesse! But in open an regular fighting on lan the
supremacy of the Bongols was still incontestable, an a minister, name
Toto, restore the sinking fortunes of Chunti until he fell the victim of
a court intrigueHHbeing poisone by a rival name +amar! &ith Toto
isappeare the last possible champion of the Bongols, an the only thing
neee to insure their overthrow was the avent of a capable leaer who
coul give coherence to the national cause, an such a leaer was not long
in making his appearance!
The eliverer of the Chinese from the Bongols was an iniviual name Choo
$uen Chang, who, being left an orphan, entere a monastery as the easiest
way of gaining a livelihoo! #n the year -=6N, when Chunti ha been on the
throne twelve years, Choo Iuitte his retreat an joine one of the bans
of Chinese who ha thrown off the authority of the Bongols! +is physiIue
an fine presence soon gaine for him a place of authority, an when the
chief of the ban ie he was chosen unanimously as his successor! +e at
once showe himself superior to the other popular leaers by his humanity,
an by his wise efforts to convince the Chinese people that he ha only
their interests at heart! 3ther Chinese soHcalle patriots thought mainly
of pluner, an they were not less terrible to peaceful citiMens than the
most e)acting Bongol commaner or governor! But Choo strictly forbae
plunering, an any of his ban caught robbing or illHusing the people met
with prompt an summary punishment! By this conuct he gaine the
confience of the Chinese, an his stanar among all the national leaers
became the most popular an attracte the largest number of recruits! #n
-=N9 he capture the city of @ankin, which thereupon became the base of
his operations, as it was subseIuently the capital of his ynasty! +e then
issue a proclamation eclaring that his sole object was to e)pel the
foreigners an to restore the national form of government! #n this
ocument he sai, "#t is the birthright of the Chinese to govern foreign
peoples an not of these latter to rule in China! #t use to be sai that
the $uen or Bongols, who came from the regions of the north, conIuere our
empire not so much by their courage an skill as by the ai of +eaven! 2n
now it is sufficiently plain that +eaven itself wishes to eprive them of
that empire, as some punishment for their crimes, an for not having acte
accoring to the teaching of their forefathers! The time has now come to
rive these foreigners out of China!" &hile the Bongols were assaile in
every province of the empire by insurgents, Choo heae what was the only
organiMe movement for their e)pulsion, an his alliance with the pirate,
'angkue Chin, ae the comman of the sea to the control he ha himself
acIuire over some of the wealthiest an most populous provinces of
Central China! The isunion among the Bongols contribute to their
overthrow as much as the valor of the Chinese! The Emperor Chunti ha
Iuite given himself up to pleasure, an his ebaucheries were the scanal
of the ay! The two principal generals, Chahan Timour an Polo Timour,
hate each other, an refuse to coHoperate! 2nother general, 2louhiya,
raise the stanar of revolt in Bongolia, an, while he eclare that his
object was to regenerate his race, he, unoubtely, aggravate the
embarrassment of Chunti!
#n -=99, Choo, having carefully mae all the necessary preparations for
war on a large scale, ispatche from 'ankin two large armies to conIuer
the provinces north of the $angtsekiang, which were all that remaine in
the possession of the Bongols! 2 thir army was intruste with the task of
subjecting the provinces epenent on Canton, an this task was
accomplishe with rapiity an without a check! ,uch Bongol garrisons as
were statione in this Iuarter were annihilate! The main Chinese army of
4N5,555 men was intruste to the comman of ,uta, ChooGs principal
lieutenant an best general, an avance irect upon Pekin! #n -=9/ ,uta
ha overcome all resistance south of the +oangho, which river he crosse
in the autumn of that year! The Bongols appeare emoraliMe, an
attempte little or no resistance! Chunti fle from Pekin to Bongolia,
where he ie in -=/5, an ,uta carrie the capital by storm from the
small Bongol garrison which remaine to efen it! Choo hastene to Pekin
to receive the congratulations of his army, an to prove to the whole
Chinese nation that the $uen ynasty ha cease to rule! The resistance
offere by the Bongols prove surprisingly slight, an, consiering the
value of the priMe for which they were fighting, Iuite unworthy of their
ancient renown! The real cause of their overthrow was that the Bongols
never succeee in propitiating the goo opinion an moral support of the
Chinese, who regare them to the en as barbarians, an it must also be
amitte that the main force of the Bongols ha rifte to &estern 2sia,
where the great Timour revive some of the traitions of Genghis! 2t the
en of his career that mighty conIueror prepare to invae China, but he
ie shortly after he ha begun a march that boe ill to the peace an
welfare of China! Thus, with the flight of Chunti, the Bongol or $uen
ynasty came to an en, an the Bongols only reappear in Chinese history
as the humble allies of the Banchus, when they unertook the conIuest of
China in the seventeenth century!
C+2PTE* (##
T+E B#@G D$@2,T$
+aving e)pelle the Bongols, Choo assume the style of +ongwou, an he
gave his ynasty the name of Bing, which signifies "bright!" +e then
reware his generals an officers with titles an pecuniary grants, an
in -=9., the first year of his reign after the capture of Pekin, he
erecte a temple or hall in that city in honor of the generals who ha
been slain, while vacant places were left for the statues of those
generals who still hel comman! But while he reware his army, +ongwou
very carefully avoie giving his government a military character, knowing
that the Chinese resent the superiority of military officials, an he
evote his main efforts to placing the civil aministration on its ol
an national basis! #n this he receive the corial support of the Chinese
themselves, who ha been kept in the backgroun by their late conIuerors,
whose aministration was essentially military! +ongwou also patroniMe
literature, an enowe the celebrate +anlin College, which was neglecte
after the eath of Aublai! +e at once provie a literary task of great
magnitue in the history of the $uen ynasty, which was intruste to a
commission of eighteen writers! But a still greater literary work was
accomplishe in the coifie Book of >aws, which is known as the Panects
of $unglo, an which not merely simplifie the aministration of the law,
but also gave the people some iea of the laws uner which they live! +e
also passe a great measure of gratuitous national eucation, an, in
orer to carry out this reform in a thoroughly successful manner, he
appointe all the masters himself! +e also foune many public libraries,
an he wishe to establish one in every town, but this was beyon the
e)tent of his power! @ot content with proviing for the mins of his
subjects, +ongwou i his utmost to supply the nees of the age! +e cut
own the court e)penses an issue sumptuary laws, so that he might evote
the sums thus economiMe to the support of the age an sick! +is last
instructions to the new officials, on proceeing to their posts, were to
"take particular care of the age an the orphan!" Thus i he show that
the Chinese ha foun in him a ruler who woul revive the ancient glories
of the kingom!
The frugality an moesty of his court have alreay been referre to! The
later Bongols were fon of a lavish isplay, an e)pene large sums on
banIuets an amusements! 2t Pekin one of their emperors ha erecte in the
grouns of the palace a lofty tower of porcelain, at enormous e)pense, an
ha arrange an ingenious contrivance at its base for enoting the time!
Two statues soune a bell an struck a rum at every hour! &hen +ongwou
saw this eifice, he e)claime, "+ow is it possible for men to neglect the
most important affairs of life for the sole object of evoting their
attention to useless builingsO #f the Bongols in place of amusing
themselves with these trifles ha applie their energies to the task of
contenting the people, woul they not have preserve the scepter in their
familyO" +e then orere that this builing shoul be raMe to the groun!
@or i this action stan alone! +e reuce the siMe of the harem
maintaine by all the Chinese as well as the Bongol rulers, an he
institute a rigi economy in all matters of state ceremonial! Changtu,
the Fanau of Colerige, the famous summer palace of Aublai, ha been
estroye uring the campaigns with the Bongols, an +ongwou
systematically iscourage any attempt to embellish the northern capital,
Pekin, which, uner the Ain an $uen ynasties, ha become ientifie with
foreign rulers! Pekin, uring the whole of the Bing ynasty, was only a
seconHrate city, an all the attention of the Bing rulers was given to
the embellishment of @ankin, the truly national capital of China!
The e)pulsion of the Bongols beyon the Great &all an the eath of
Chunti, the last of the $uen emperors, by no means ene the struggle
between the Chinese an their late northern conIuerors! The whole of the
reign of +ongwou was taken up with a war for the supremacy of his
authority an the security of his frontiers, in which he, inee, took
little personal part, but which was carrie on uner his irections by his
great generals, ,uta an 'uyuta! The former of these generals was engage
for nearly twenty years, from -=9: to -=:N, in constant war with the
Bongols! +is first campaign, fought when the Chinese were in the full
flush of success, resulte in the brilliant an almost blooless conIuest
of the province of ,hansi! The neighboring province of ,hensi, which is
separate from the other by the river +oangho, was at the time hel by a
semiHinepenent Bongol governor name >issechi, who believe that he
coul hol his groun against the Bings! The principal fact upon which
this hope was base was the breath an assume impassability of that
river! >issechi believe that this natural avantage woul enable him to
hol out inefinitely against the superior numbers of the Chinese armies!
But his hope was vain if not unreasonable! The Chinese crosse the +oangho
on a brige of junks, an Tsinyuen, which >issechi ha mae his capital,
surrenere without a blow! >issechi abanone one fortress after another
on the approach of ,uta! E)pelle from ,hensi he hope to fin shelter an
safety in the ajoining province of Aansuh, where he took up his resience
at >intao! 'or a moment the avance of the Chinese army was arreste while
a great council of war was hel to ecie the further course of the
campaign! The majority of the council favore the suggestion that i not
involve immeiate action, an wishe ,uta to abanon the pursuit of
>issechi an complete the conIuest of ,hensi, where several fortresses
still hel out! But ,uta was of a more resolute temper, an resolve to
ignore the ecision of the council an to pursue >issechi to >intao! The
vigor of ,utaGs ecision was matche by the rapiity of his march! Before
>issechi ha mae any arrangements to stan a siege he foun himself
surroune at >intao by the Bing army! #n this plight he was oblige to
throw himself on the mercy of the victor, who sent him to the capital,
where +ongwou grante him his life an a small pension!
The overthrow of >issechi prepare the way for the more formiable
enterprise against @inghia, where the Bongols ha rawn their remaining
power to a hea! @inghia, the ol capital of Tangut, is situate in the
north of Aansuh, on the western bank of the +oangho, an the Great &all
passes through it! ,trongly fortifie an amirably place, the Bongols,
so long as they possesse this town with its gates through the Great &all,
might hope to recover what they ha lost, an to make a fresh bi for
power in @orthern China! @orth an west of @inghia stretche the esert,
but while it continue in their possession the Bongols remaine on the
threshol of China an hel open a oor through which their kinsmen from
the 2mour an Central 2sia might yet reHenter to revive the feats of
Genghis an Bayan! ,uta etermine to gain this place as speeily as
possible! Biway between >intao an @inghia is the fortifie town of
Aingyang, which was hel by a strong Bongol garrison! ,uta lai close
siege to this town, the governor of which ha only time to sen off a
pressing appeal for ai to Auku Timour, the governor at @inghia, before he
was shut in on all sies by the Bing army! Auku Timour apparently i his
best to ai his compatriot, but his forces were not sufficient to oppose
those of ,uta in the open fiel, an Aingyang was at last reuce to such
straits that the garrison is sai to have been compelle to use the slain
as foo! 2t last the place mae an unconitional surrener, an the
commanant was e)ecute, not on account of his stubborn efense, but
because at the beginning of the siege he ha sai he woul surrener an
ha not kept his wor! 2fter the fall of Aingyang the Chinese troops were
grante a wellHearne rest, an ,uta visite @ankin to escribe the
campaign to +ongwou!
The eparture of ,uta embolene Auku Timour so far as to lea him to take
the fiel, an he hastene to attack the town of >anchefoo, the capital of
Aansuh, where there was only a small garrison! @otwithstaning this the
place offere a stout resistance, but the Bongols gaine a ecisive
success over a boy of troops sent to its relief! This force was
annihilate an its general taken prisoner! The Bongols thought to terrify
the garrison by paraing this general, whose name shoul be preserve,
$ukwang, before the walls, but he baffle their purpose by shouting out,
"Be of goo courage, ,uta is coming to your rescue!" $ukwang was cut to
pieces, but his timely an courageous e)clamation, like that of DG2ssas,
save his countrymen! ,oon after this incient ,uta reache the scene of
action, an on his approach Auku Timour broke up his camp an retire to
@inghia! The Chinese commaner then hastene to occupy the towns of
,ouchow an AiaHyuHkwan, important as being the southern e)tremity of the
Great &all, an as isolating @inghia on the west! Their loss was so
serious that the Bongol chief felt compelle to risk a general engagement!
The battle was keenly conteste, an at one moment it seeme as if success
was going to eclare itself in favor of the Bongols! But ,uta ha sent a
large part of his force to attack the Bongol rear, an when this movement
was completely e)ecute, he assaile the Bongol position at the hea of
all his troops! The struggle soon became a massacre, an it is sai that
as many as :5,555 Bongols were slain, while Auku Timour, thinking @inghia
no longer safe, fle northwar to the 2mour! The success of ,uta was
heightene an renere complete by the capture of a large number of the
e)HBongol ruling family by >y &enchong, another of the principal generals
of +ongwou! 2mong the prisoners was the elest granson of Chunti, an
several of the ministers avise that he shoul be put to eath! But
+ongwou instea conferre on him a minor title of nobility, an e)presse
his policy in a speech eIually creitable to his wisom as a statesman an
his heart as a man1
"The last ruler of the $uens took hee only of his pleasures! The great,
profiting by his inolence, thought of nothing save of how to enrich
themselvesL the public treasures being e)hauste by their malpractices, it
neee only a few years of earth to reuce the people to istress, an
the e)cessive tyranny of those who governe them le to the forming of
parties which isturbe the empire even to its founations! Touche by the
misfortunes with which # saw them oppresse, # took up arms, not so much
against the $uens as against the rebels who were engage in war with them!
#t was over the same foe that # gaine my first successes! 2n if the $uen
prince ha not eparte from the rules of wise government in orer to give
himself up to his pleasures, an ha the magnates of his court performe
their uty, woul all honorable men have taken up arms as they i an
eclare against himO The misconuct of the race brought me a large number
of partisans who were convince of the rectitue of my intentions, an it
was from their hans an not from those of the $uens that # receive the
empire! #f +eaven ha not favore me shoul # have succeee in estroying
with such ease those who withrew into the esert of ,hamoO &e rea in the
Chiking that after the estruction of the Chang family there remaine more
than ten thousan of their escenants who submitte themselves to the
Chow, because it was the will of +eaven! Cannot men respect its ecreesO
>et them put in the public treasureHhouse all the spoil brought back from
Tartary, so that it may serve to alleviate the peopleGs wants! 2n with
regar to Baitilipala JChuntiGs gransonK, although former ages supply
e)amples of similar sacrifice, i &ou &ang, # ask you, when e)terminating
the Chang family, resort to this barbarous policyO The $uen princes were
the masters of this empire for nearly one hunre years, an my
forefathers were their subjects, an even although it were the constant
practice to treat in this fashion the princes of a ynasty which has
cease to reign, yet coul # not inuce myself to aopt it!"
These noble sentiments, to which there is nothing contraictory in the
whole life of +ongwou, woul alone place his reign high among the most
civiliMing an humanly interesting epochs in Chinese history! To his
people he appeare as a real benefactor as well as a just prince! +e was
ever stuious of their interests, knowing that their happiness epene on
what might seem trivial matters, as well as in showy feats of arms an
high policy! +e simplifie the transit of salt, that essential article of
life, to provinces where its prouction was scanty, an when earth fell
on the lan he evote all the resources of his treasury to its
mitigation! +is thoughtfulness for his soliers was shown by sening fur
coats to all the soliers in garrison at @inghia where the winter was
e)ceptionally severe! 2 final instance of his justice an consieration
may be cite in his orering certain Bongol colonies establishe in
,outhern China, to whom the climate prove uncongenial, to be sent back at
his e)pense to their northern homes, when his ministers e)horte him to
procee to e)tremities against them an to root them out by fire an
The pacification of the northern borers was followe by the ispatch of
troops into the southern provinces of ,Mchuen an $unnan, where officials
appointe by the Bongols still e)ercise authority! 3ne of these ha
incurre the wrath of +ongwou by assuming a royal style an proclaiming
himself Aing of +ia! +e was soon convince of the folly of taking a title
which he ha not the power to maintain, an the conIuest of ,Mchuen was so
easily effecte that it woul not call for mention if it were not renere
interesting as proviing +ongwouGs other great general 'uyuta with the
first opportunity of isplaying his skill as a commaner! The selfHcreate
Aing of +ia presente himself laen with chains at the Chinese camp an
begge the favor of his life! The conIuest of ,Mchuen was little more than
complete when the attention of +ongwou was again irecte to the
northwest frontier, where Auku Timour was making one more effort to
recover the footing he ha lost on the fringe of the Celestial Empire, an
for a time fortune favore his enterprise! Even when ,uta arrive upon the
scene an took the comman of the Chinese forces in person, the Bongols
more than hel their own! Twice i ,uta attack the strong position taken
up by the Bongol chief in the esert, an twice was his assault repulse
with heavy loss! 2 etachment uner one of his lieutenants was surprise
in the esert an annihilate! ,upplies were ifficult to obtain, an
iscourage by efeat an the scarcity of foo the Chinese army was place
in an e)tremely angerous position! 3ut of this ilemma it was rescue by
the heroic 'uyuta, who, on the news of the Bongol recruescence, ha
marche northwar at the hea of the army with which he ha conIuere
,Mchuen! +e avance bolly into the esert, operate on the flank an in
the rear of Auku Timour, vanIuishe the Bongols in many engagements, an
so monopoliMe their attention that ,uta was able to retire in safety an
without loss! The war terminate with the Chinese maintaining all their
posts on the frontier, an the retreat of the Bongols, who ha suffere
too heavy a loss to feel elate at their repulse of ,uta! 2t the same time
no soli peace ha been obtaine, an the Bongols continue to harass the
borers, an to e)act blackmail from all who traverse the esert! &hen
+ongwou eneavore to attain a settlement by a stroke of policy his
efforts were not more successful! +is kin reception of th
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