Ir is perhaps little remembered by a younger generation that so late as five-and-thirty years ago English sentinels did duty on the walls of the great city of Pekin. There was a reference to this lately in the Press, when it was stated that the capital of China was taken and pillaged within the last fifty years. The assertion is hardly correct. Taken it was ; pillaged it was not, although the sacking and burning of the Emperor’s summer palace, some five miles distant from the city itself, may well have led to that misapprehension. This deed of retribution was a just and very neces- sary reprisal for an act of gross treachery on the part of the Chinese, which led to the torture and cruel death of several Europeans.

In the autumn of 1860 the English expeditionary force, under General Sir Hope Grant, aided by « smaller French contingent, commanded by General Montauban afterwards Comte de Palikao, had taken the celebrated Taku forts, at the mouth of the Pei- Ho, and occupied the city of Tien-Sin thirty-five miles higher up the river. Here the false negotiations, com- menced by the Chinese in order to gain time, having been broken off, and the allied forces in full march upon Pekin, peace was again sued for, and it was agreed on both sides that the preliminaries should take place at

No. 424.—vow. LXxx1.


Tung-Chow, a town at the head of the navigable portion of the Pei-Ho, about ten miles from the walls of the capital city.

With the object, then, of making arrangements for housing and pro. visioning the troops, while the pre- liminaries of peace were being dis- cussed, a party of English officers, interpreters, and officials, to the num- ber of about forty, including Mr. (after- wards Sir Harry) Parkes, Mr. (now Sir Henry) Loch, Mr. Bowlby (special correspondent of Zhe Times), Mr. de Norman and others, together with a like number of French officials, was sent forward in advance of the army to Tung-Chow, escorted by five troopers of the First (King’s) Dragoon Guards and a small detachment of Indian cavalry under Lieutenant An- derson. The party, in high spirits and with light hearts, entered Kung- Chow, little recking of the terri- ble fate which was very shortly to befall them. They had commenced their inspection of the place, and were busily engaged in making the necessary arrangements, when the Chinese army outside the walls, lying between them and our own forces, suddenly got under arms, and, cutting off retreat from the town, enclosed the unsuspicious advance guard like rats in a trap.

General Sir Beauchamp Walker,


| | | | | | |


then a_lieutenant-colonel, with an officer of the Commissariat Depart- ment, Mr. Thompson, and four troopers of the King’s Dragoon Guards, be- coming aware of what was going on outside, sent at once to warn those in the town of their danger. At the same time a French officer, named Ader, and his orderly were suddenly attacked, and Walker with his com- panions galloped off to their rescue. The two Frenchmen made a gallant fight of it, but were presently dis- armed, cut down, and hacked to pieces ; not, however, before the brave oflicer had, by a supreme effort, raised him- self from the ground, and shouted with his last breath to the English- man, Make for the camp, Colonel, and tell them there what these curs are doing.”

Then Walker and his little band dashed forward, sword in hand, and cut their way through the Chinese army amid a storm of bullets. They did not, however, regain the English lines without paying toll. Colonel Walker and Mr. Thompson were both wounded ; the former in the hand, when his sword was wrested from him in the mé/ée, and the latter by a lance- thrust in the back. The four dragoons displayed great coolness and gallantry, but they too had a man hit ; and when the party, galloping and breathless, approached the front of the advancing English troops, a loose horse, wounded and riderless, fell dead at the feet of Sir Hope Grant, who was riding at the head of the column, thus drama- tically announcing that “bad news from the front’ which was now to be fully confirmed by those who had so marvellously escaped.

The allied commanders had pre- viously become aware that a large cavalry force was somewhere in front of them by observing the remnants of their late encampments, and had, none too soon, agreed upon a plan if obliged to fight. General Montau- ban wished to attack at once; but Sir Hope Grant with cooler judgment

Recollections of the Chinese War.

decided to give the Chinese a chance of keeping their promises, rightly say- ing that the first shot from our guns would be the death-warrant of our people in Tung-Chow. He also desired to wait for the return of Mr. Parkes, that able and indefatigable interpre- ter, who, as he remarked, from his intimate knowledge of the Chinese and their ways was worth an army in himself. Now, during all this time and to the very last, the Chinese did not cease to keep up the traitorous farce of sending mandarin after man- darin, some of high rank and with many retainers, to arrange the details of our reception. The last one arrived but an hour before Colonel Walker’s party, chased and wounded, was seen scouring across the plain, and had the effrontery to demand an interview with Lord Elgin, to settle the cere- mony of the Ambassador’s entry into Pekin to ratify the treaty of peace. Sir Hope Grant told him that the ambassadors did not march with the advance guard of the army ; but since it was a question of etiquette, he would like to know why the place appointed for our reception was occu- pied bya Tartar army. The mandarin, not a whit discomfited, coolly replied that there must have been some mis- understanding, and that he would go immediately and order the Tartar army to retire.

That treachery was afoot there could no longer be any possible doubt, and an instant attack was decided on. There was nothing else to be done, for the allied forces did not amount at most to four thousand! all told, and could ill afford to hesitate in front of thirty thousand Orientals. As General Montauban had no cavalry, except a small personal escort of Spahis, Sir Hope Grant had as an act of friendly courtesy lent him a squadron of

1 The force originally embarked at Talien- Wan for the front was eleven thousand English, and six thousand seven hundred French but the ambassadors, not suspecting treachery, had advanced from Tien-tsin with a small force only.

Recollections of the Chinese War.

Sikhs, which he very presently made use of,

The two commanders shook hands in front of the troops, and Montauban dashed off to open the engagement on the right, by advancing and turning the left of the enemy, so as to drive them under the fire of the English guns, After some cannonading Mon- tauban ordered his cavalry to charge. Away went the little band, lances down and heels in, Sikh and Mussul- man knee to knee, with white turban and red burnous fluttering in the wind, and ploughed a big furrow as they went, far as the eye could follow, in the Tartar host. They reached a battery of five bronze guns, which they took, sabring the gunners at their posts,and themselves losing one French officer killed and another wounded.

Montauban continued his advance, and presently came upon sixty bronze guns placed in battery on the bank of the Imperial canal. A flank fire of artillery was brought to bear; they were quickly dismounted, and gradually the Tartar army was thrown into con- fusion, which was the prelude of retreat, after losing eighty pieces of cannon.

It was now two o'clock ; the battle of Chankiawan had been fought and won against Sankolinsin’s best troops, his braves, and his Tiger Guards.! Our troops had been nine hours under arms without food, and it was absolutely necessary to rest for awhile.

But what of our captives at Tung- Chow? As soon as the battle was over, a demand was immediately sent to the Taotai, or governor of Tung- Chow, still a mile or two distant, to

! Sankolinsin was the Chinese commander- in-chief, a man of great repute among them, and his Tiger Guards were dressed in yellow and black striped uniforms, to imitate the beast. He is described as a burly looking Tartar, rather short, and with a red pimply face, as if he indulged too much in samshu, the native spirit of the country. Our soldiers called him Sam Col.inson, and declared, in their fun, that he was a runaway Irishman from the Royal Marines,


give up the prisoners. He replied that they had been taken away, and that he knew nothing moreabout them. We know now, but we did not know then, that they had been bound hand and foot with green withes, thrown into common country carts, and sent off, some first to the summer palace, to gratify the eyes of the Ewperor and his ladies, and then to forts farther up the country, there to be murdered or to die, while others were sent direct to Pekin. At Pekin they were put in cages, horribly treated, and many of them done to death after days of torture. Two,— Captain Brabazon, R.A., and the good Abbé Duluc— were executed on the field, after the battle at Palikao Bridge some days later. Of these nothing was ever found but a small piece of an artillery overall, and a bit of the missionary’s eassock. A year later still, and parental affection brought to China the father of the gallant officer, in search of the remains, or some little relic of his lost son ; but a care- ful and anxious personal examination led to no discovery, and to this day his resting-place remains unknown.

It may be noted, in view of these proceedings, that an edict from the Chinese Emperor had been found in the pocket of a mandarin of high rank, who was killed at Taku, directing all his subjects, soldiers or peaceful citi- zens, townsmen or country iabourers, to kill and destroy the barbarians, as they would malicious odeasts, by all and every means in their power. This manifesto further put a price on ine heads of the ambassadors and generals, of four hundred and eighty and three hundred and twenty pounds respectively, and on those of lower ranks in proportion, After such an invitation from the Son of Heaven to his people, no wonder that cruel- ties of fiendish ingenuity were per- petrated.

The prisoners being no longer in Tung-Chow, and the Chinese army having entirely withdrawn from the




place, it was decided to pass that town and march straight on Pekin.

Now the Chinese mandarins had determined to play their last card, and make a final stand at Palikao Bridge, a handsome white stone structure over the canal which joins Tung-Chow with Pekin and completes the water-way between the capitaland the sea. Here they had assembled a vast mass of cavalry, which, by the way, is said to be their best arm, supported by guns and infantry ; they numbered between fifty and sixty thousand men, the Allies perhaps five thousand. On the morn- ing of the 2]st of September, then, three days after the battle of Chang- kiawan, the Allies marched to the attack, and the battle commenced. The Tartar cavalry maneeuvred silently and with great precision, taking their general orders by flag-signal from a gigantic Tartar, who stood near the head of the bridge, with an enormous flag of black and gold, and acted as a sort of fugle-man to convey the direc- tions of their commander-in-chief.

More than once did the mounted masses charge steadily up to within tifty or sixty yards of the French line, quickly correcting the confusion caused in their leading ranks by a withering infantry fire, and returning in fresh masses to the attack. Enveloping the small allied force was evidently the plan, and several well-executed at- tempts were made to get round our flanks, and also between us and the French ; but Armstrong shells and French shrapnel did their work, and presently the heavy masses began to break, and a gentle, though fairly orderly, movement to the rear commenced. Ere this had set in, however, the English cavalry force, consisting of Fane’s and Pro- byn’s Sikh Irregulars, and two squad- rons of the King’s Dragoon Guards, had a rare opportunity, which they did not fail to seize, the ground being flat and favourable to the action of cavalry. Thirsting for a chance of avenging the base trick which had

Recollections of the Chinese War.

entrapped their comrades, every man’s blood was up when the welcome order came to charge.

Then did lancer and dragoon set their teeth, and with willing arms and braced-up sinews prepare to take signal vengeance on the treacherous Tartars. The English squadrons were on the right, with Fane’s Sikhs on their left, Probyn’s regiment being in reserve. The enemy awaited them on the oppo- site side of a sunken road, with a four- foot drop into it, and a six-foot bank on the other side. The Tartars had chosen their position cunningly, ex- pecting the Barbarians” to tumble into the road, or at any rate to be put into some disorder by it. On came the English, a glittering ava- lance of steel and, although the sunken road and banks shook for an instant the symmetry of the charge, they sur- mounted them, and were in another moment among the Tartars, who, mounted on their stout and hardy cobs, were just the height for the dragoon’s sword-arms. The Sikhs, separated by a village from the Eng- lish, did almost equal execution on the left ; but a ldry ditch put down most of their rear rank, so that they accounted for a hundred and fifty of the enemy, as against two hundred cut down by the dragoons. But justice in China rarely falls on the right shoulders. The mandarins, or govern- ing class, who commit these crimes, take good care to be the first to ab- sent themselves when the day of reckoning comes. The huge signal-man at the bridge-head remained, as if with a charmed life, to the very last. Cool, erect, and regardless of the slaughter around him, he stood his ground with sublime courage; never attempting to budge an inch, even when left alone among the dead, until at last he fell, shattered by a French shell which severed the arm from the body, the great flag falling with it, the hand still grasping the pole. He fell amidst the admiration of his foes.

There was nothing now between

Recollections of the Chinese War. 245

the Allies and the capital, nothing to save it, and yet, notwithstanding all this, with the Barbarians at their gates and the Emperor on the point of flight, the stupid arrogance and incredible pride of the Celestials still held their ground, and the prisoners were not given up. Tenfporising and excuses were again resorted to. The prisoners were very well, it was said; their presence at Pekin was a guarantee of our pacific intentions ; they would be given up when the treaty of peace was signed, and we had withdrawn our troops. Such were the blinds put forward by that same Prince Kung, brother of the Emperor of that time and uncle of the present occupier of the Dragon Throne, who then, as now, was at the head and front of the negotiations. A fortnight had been wasted in foolish talk, which ended in nothing; the prisoners had not been returned ; the cold weather was approaching, and on the 5th of October Lord Elgin found himself obliged to direct the troops to advance upon Pekin.

On the following day the two armies, marching within easy distance and sight of one another, soon found themselves within view of the capital.

Suddenly the French were wissed ; and now occurred a_ circumstance which caused some sore feeling at the time, and much discussion in the future. The French, at the end of the day, found themselves at Yuen- Min-Yuen, the Emperor of China’s world-famed summer palace, situated at the foot of the first range of hills about five miles to the north-west of the capital. They at once proceeded to pillage it, while our cavalry brigade, which had lost touch of our own force and had joined the French, occupied itself in outpost duty round the vast enclosure to guard against surprise. As for the rest of our force, they made unavailing search for the French in every direction during the remainder of the day, and when night fell bivouacked in front of Pekin in the

position Sir Hope Grant had pre- viously agreed upon with General Mon- tauban. Atdaybreak onthe next morn- ing, October 7th, Colonel (now Field- Marshal Viscount) Wolseley, Deputy- Assistant-Quarter-Master-General, was sent out to find our allies. Taking an escort of cavalry, he made a cast or two in the direction of the summer palace, and soon hit off the trail of our cavalry and of the French. Follow- ing it up for some miles, he came upon our busy allies at Yuen-Min-Yuen, and then returned to Pekin to pilot Lord Elgin and Sir Hope Grant to the spot. It may well be that Colonel Wolseley made a shrewd guess as to the most likely direction in which to make his casts, and certain it is that he was very quickly successful.

The French continued their plunder- ing, and they make some plausible and even probable excuses as_ to how the sacking originally commenced, and other palliations (not altogether creditable to the discipline of their troops) as to why it continued ; but neither one nor the other dispose of the main question why they were there at all, seeing that it was our day for marching in front. The English version is, that the two forces, having agreed to march in two columns side by side, the French halted on the way until the English foree was out of sight, and then, without a word of warning, made a flank march direct on the summer palace, leaving the English to do what they liked. The French ! account states that, after halt- ing parallel with the English within sight of Pekin, some prisoners were captured in a neighbouring wood, who confessed that a Tartar camp of ten thousand men was close at hand ; that the French column at once unpiled arms, and marched to attack the left of the camp, while the English column, marching ahead, was to attack the right; that the English gradually widened the distance between the two

1 JounNAL D'UN INTERPRETE EN CHINE par le Comte d’Herisson ; Paris, 1889.

ee ew ee


forces, and were finally lost to view. The ‘Tartar camp was found to be evacuated, and then the French writer goes on to say, A few minutes after- wards, an aide-de-camp of General Grant’s arrived to warn the French commander in-chief that, according to information obtained from his spies, the Tartar army had retired to Yuer- Min-Yuen.” He further proceeds to make the surprising statement that “General Grant announced that he was going there, and prayed his col- league to go there too;” and that thereupon, ‘‘ General Montauban gave the necessary orders for the march to Hai Tien, the village near the palace.”

The record of events hardly bears out this account, At the time spoken of, it would seem that the English had already iost touch of the French, were scouring the country to find them, and did not actually find them until they were discovered next day at the summer palace by Colonel Wolseley. There- fore an aide-de-camp could not have been sent to them with instructions to proceed there. Again, had there been any order given or request made to march on the summer palace, then there could have been no doubt as to where the French column was, and there would have been no need to look for it.

At the same time, I must, in justice to our allies, quote a sentence from a curt diary of events, written on a stained sheet of thin letter-paper, which has been kindly lent to me by Professor Douglas, who does not know by whom it was written, but fancies it may have been the work of our common friend Charles Gordon. In this view I share, for the writing, which is well known to me, I be- lieve to be his. The sentence runs as follows: “October 5th (6th ?): Pushed on to the Tartar camp at the Anting gate, on the north side of the city, intending to rendezvous at the summer palace in the evening. The British General, however, changed his mind and halted at the Tishing

Recollections of the Chinese War.

gate after the Tartars were driven away, but the French pushed on and got possession of the chief gate of the summer palace, which was defended by some eunuchs.” ‘This would cer- tainly seem to throw some doubt on the original destination of the day’s march,

Sir Hope Grant joined his forces to the French at the palace, and then the removal of what remained of the valuables was methodically carried out, the soldiers working in parties under their officers ; a prize committee was appointed, and everything which had been collected was sold by auction at very high prices for the benefit of the prize fund.

To describe the splendours of the summer palace would need a very able pen. I have heard the French at Yuen-Min-Yuen likened to bees on a summer day, going and coming, yellow with gold ornaments and im- perial satins, gold watches hanging to the buttons of their uniforms, their pockets stuffed with splendid embroideries and trumpery_ knick- knacks mixed with priceless pearls and precious stones,» playing magnificent musical boxes as they danced with excitement upon gorgeous silks and furs, which strewed the ground as mere dish-clouts in the mud. At last the wealth so palled upon these busy toilers that, tiring of the work, they turned to divert themselves with smashing the vast mirrors on the walls, It was the very delirium of loot !

The French writer, from whom I have already quoted, notices the curious fact that many of his countrymen were more attracted by a mechanical or clockwork curiosity than by the richest jewels. He describes the din and disturbance of the following night, when the whole camp rang with the drumming of toy rabbits to the shrill accompaniments of toy monkeys beat- ing cymbals, flutes, clarionets, and the singing of various mechanical birds ; these sounds, with the striking of

Recollections of the Chinese War.

alarum clocks and the repertory of a thousand musical boxes in every key, were mingled with the sonorous laugh- ter of “ces gens si faciles & amuser.” He may well say of the scene that it was a nightmare.

But it must not be supposed that the English had no share in all this. It was an act of retaliation in which we too took our part, and, after what may be called the official clearance was over, some valuable prizes were found. For instance, on asking a friend who had entered with the cavalry whether he had secured any- thing of interest, he leisurely put his hand into his pocket and brought out « loose handful of pearls, some as large as the end of one’s third finger, quietly observing, ‘‘ Yes, I got a few of these, and one or two other odd things.” One of the other odd things was a skull, supposed to be that of a former Emperor, lined inside with pure gold, and standing on a solid tripod of the precious metal, with a ladle of the same belonging to it. It was said to be used, on certain festive occasions, as a punch-bowl. Then there was the lucky individual who stumbled across a large joss, or sacred image, about three feet and a half high, which, upset from its pedestal, was lying on the floor rejected by all comers as valueless. But the lucky one had not been through the Indian Mutiny for nothing; a touchstone came from his pocket, and the golden joss found its way to England, where a sum, variously stated at from twelve to fifteen thousand pounds, rewarded the intelligent investigator. A pair of chased gold claret-jugs of European make, no doubt sent out as a present to his Celestial majesty, came into the hands of an acquaintance for the modest price of a sovereign and a bottle of whisky. Comte d’Herisson mentions that his orderly, an Arab Spahi, brought him two handfuls of pearls, which he refused, but which a brother officer bought for a bottle of brandy. True, brandy was expensive,


and cost a hundred franes the bottle ; but the pearls sold afterwards for thirty-five thousand francs. Pearls and beautifully carved lumps of ivory seem to have been the favourite ornaments, strung loosely on to the embroidered tabliers, or ephods, worn in front by the great mandarins. Most of the pearls were in consequence bored, as is usual in the East.

1 take this description of the Summer Palace (which I visited about a week after the sack) from Rennie’s Britisu Arms in Cura.

From the place at which it was first enterel by the French on the 6th of October, it was at least six or seven miles before the last building was reached ; over this large extent of ground were gardens, palaces, temples, and pagodas on artificial hills; some of them three or four hundred feet in height, with forest trees of all kinds covering their sides, through the green foliage of which were seen the yellow tiled roofs of the various imperial residences. A large lake lay buried in the midst of these wooded hills, with two or three islands on it, with picturesque buildings, joined to the mainland by quaint but beautiful stone bridges. On one side of the lake, extending upwards of two miles, winding in and out among grottoes and through flower-gardens, roofed in by fowering creepers, was the favourite walk of the Emperor and his court ; in some places, where the palaces came to the water’s edge, the walk was carried past them on a light and beautiful stone terrace, overhanging the lake. There were forty palaces in all, the imperial yellow everywhere predomina- ting, even to the tiles of the turned-up roofs, as indeed did the five-clawed dragon in all the ornamentation.

The lake was full of gold-fish with many beautiful water-birds on it ; and everywhere about the place roamed little Chinese pug-dogs, sniffing dis- consolately for their lost mistresses. But all the ladies had not departed, as an amusing experience of Comte d’Herisson proves. Having seen enough of looting, he strolled into the park, and jumping into a lacquered gondola rowed off to inspect an island

} ] i



palace in the middle of the lake. On entering the chief room, which was furnished with yellow sofas, like Turk- ish divans, he thought he heard a sound as of some one breathing. With his hand on his sword-hilt he kicked over one of the sofas which seemed rather bulky, when out tumbled a lovely young creature, dressed like an empress, in precious embroi- dered silk tissue, who promptly pros- trated herself with her back to the intruder, striking her forehead on the ground, and discovering her beautiful back tresses fastened by enormous gold pins to match the long golden nails fitted to every finger. When she had been raised and reassured, the other sofa seats began to enlarge them- selves little by little, and shortly the young interpreter found himself sur- rounded by twenty-seven beauteous damsels of the imperial harem. The situation was serious ; but he gallantly took charge and ferried them across the lake, nine at a time, in the gon- dola, disembarking them out of sight at a wash-house containing a gorgeous English carriage (originally sent out with Lord Macartney as a present from George the Third to the Emperor, and apparently never used), and finally despatching them, after an awkward encounter with one of his own sergeants, who wished to share the spoil, on three carts with a safe-con- duct in the direction of Jehol, some hundred miles to the northward, whither their imperial owner had pre- cipitately fled a few days before.

On the 8th of October the army started for Pekin; and on the same day Prince Kung thought fit to give up the prisoners, or rather such of them as remained alive, for half of them had been tortured to death or murdered in cold blood. It was only then that we learned from the lips of the living the fiendish treatment to which they had been subjected. Tied with new ropes, and manacled hand and foot, they were thrown into an open barred court at Pekin, and

Recollections of the Chinese War.

there left without food, exposed to the hot sun by day and to the trying cold of night. -A sentry was placed in the court, who kicked them if they spoke, and forced filth into their mouths if they asked for food. Crowds came to gaze upon them through the bars; water was poured upon the green ropes to tighten them, until they cut into the flesh, and the hands and fingers swelled and burst, exposing the bones of the wrist, until at last gan- grene set in. No wonder, then, that some went mad, and after days of delirium died, their bodies being left with the living for many days; others were murdered outright, and their bodies thrown through a window into a pigsty. Mr. Parkes, Mr. Loch, and one Sikh were taken direct to Pekin, thrown into the filthy common prison with murderers and burglars, but in different dens ; heavy irons were fitted round their waists, necks, hands, and feet, and they were fastened to a beam overhead by a massive chain. Mr. Parkes was frequently dragged out for interrogation in the dead of night, und constantly threatened with execu- tion; the mandarins would not_ be- lieve that he could not stop the ad- vance of the British army and himself arrange the terms of peace. After four days he was taken out of the common jail and given a_ separate room, eight feet square, to share with his four jailers. This change of treat- ment was caused by the supersession of the mandarin who had planned the treachery at Tung-Chow by Prince Kung, a more enlightened man as Chinese mandarins go, although quite young at the time. While in the prison a pathetic attempt had been made by Messrs. Parkes and Loch to communicate with one another by singing “*God save the Queen,” but after the first note their voices had broken with uncontrollable emotion. Among the thrilling incidents of these days of anxious expectation was the discovery in a package of clothes, sent by their friends at the camp, of a

Recollections of the Chinese War. 249

worked handkerchief and embroidered dress-shirt. Such strange articles for two prisoners aroused Mr. Loch’s sus- picions, and he discovered a sentence in Hindustani, almost invisibly worked round in the embroidery, announcing that the bombardment would begin on the third day, and asking for the exact position of their place of cap- tivity. One may conceive how the hopes and fears of the prisoners rose and fell as they read ; how the zeal of their friends was weighed against the risk of instant death on the sound of the first gun. “That shot,” said Hang-ki “will be the signal for your execution.” It was made very plain to them that British bombs would be

answered by prisoners’ heads. <A few days afterwards they were again

warned for execution that evening, and wrote their farewell letters, but were once more reprieved until the morrow. Eventually, on the twenty-first day of their captivity, they were put into carts, with the curtains drawn, told not to show themselves, and sent out of the city through an immense crowd, passing the great gate and finding them- selves in the presence of the first Eng- lish sentry just fifteen minutes before the Emperor’s warrant for their execu- tion arrived from Jehol. Nothing could have prevented that warrant being instantly carried out, so that had the smallest hitch or delay occurred their lives would, after all, have been sacri- ficed. As it was, they owed them almost entirely to the good offices of Hang-ki. Twenty-six English and Sikhs had been entrapped at Tung- Chow, and thirteen Frenchmen. Of these, only eleven English and six French were restored alive.!

The two armies had quartered them- selves in the suburbs of the city, out- side the Anting gate, and the difficulty now was to find any one to negotiate with. All the principal mandarins had taken care of themselves and gone away, leaving only seven or eight in-

1 See Lirk or Sin Harry Parkes; two London, 1894.


significant officials in the city, who had neither the power nor the wish to act. The situation was embarrassing, for, given the city in our possession, which was an easy matter now, still there would be no one to treat with, and our object was, not to have the capital of China upon our hands, but to get the treaty signed ere the severity of winter set in and prevented our leaving the country by the Peiho, which is a frozen river for fully three months in the year. General Ignatieff, the Rus- sian Minister in Pekin, put mat- ters on a better footing. He sent for the small mandarins who were left, impressed upon them the gravity of the situation, told them they would have the city taken and burned before their eyes if they did not act at once, and eventually succeeded in getting them, with fear and trembling, to find and recall Prince Kung to treat for peace. In the meanwhile, the English siege-guns having arrived (the French had only field-pieces), everything was prepared for breaching the wall, unless the Anting gate were given up to the Allies as security for the good faith of the Chinese, while the ambassadors entered the city to sign the treaty.

At twelve o’clock on the 13th of October the guns were to open, unless the gate were surrendered. As the time approached there was no sign from within the city. The scene was an interesting one: the field and breaching batteries were in position ; the gunners, nothing loth, stood to their guns, already sponged out and run back preparatory to loading; the officers awaited the order to commence ; General Sir Robert Napier stood, watch in hand, counting the minutes, as every field-glass was directed to the gate and every eye turned in the same direction. The minute hand had marked five minutes to twelve; the order was almost on the lips of the General, when Colonel Stephenson, (now General Sir Frederick Stephen- son, G.C.B.) gailoped up, and an-





nounced the surrender. A few seconds later the Anting Mun was thrown open, and the Sixty-Seventh Regiment with the Eighth Punjaubees entered the imperial city.

Guards were at once mounted on the walls, of which we and our allies occupied about two miles. Field-guns were placed near the gate, so as to command the inner approaches from the city, and the position generally placed in a state of defence.

Prince Kung, assured of his own safety, had returned to Pekin; but even at this crisis, when the guns were ready to open upon the city, it was the same old story, and every effort was made to postpone giving up the gate. It had to be, however, and on the 24th of October Lord Elgin entered the city in great pomp, with an escort of five hundred men, and proceeded to the Board of Ceremonies, where Prince Kung, with the usual formalities, attached the great seal of the Empire to the treaty, which was thereupon signed and exchanged. Four days later the French treaty was signed, Baron Gros proceeding to the Board of Ceremonies in a sedan-chair, which to the eyes of the Celestials, accustomed to this mode of convey- ance for their own high officials, was possibly a more impressive and dig- nified fashion than riding. A house was set apart for our permanent Km- bassy ; Mr. Adkins, a student-inter- preter, who volunteered to remain in Pekin for the winter, took possession of it; and on the 9th of November Lord Elgin, Sir Hope Grant, and Mr. Bruce (our Minister Elect to the Court of China) quitted Pekin, and the war of 1860 was over.

Before the army quitted Pekin General Michel’s division was sent to burn what remained of the summer palace, as a lasting mark of retribu- tion for the savage treachery planned and carried out by the rulers of the country. The people, with whom we had no quarrel, their homes, and their property were left uninjured; but it

Recollections of the Chinese War.

was very necessary to leave some mark of our presence as victors which would be visible to all, Every day we were hearing of proclamations to the effect that we had petitioned and been al- lowed as a favour to advance and see Pekin, and had afterwards received permission to withdraw, with similar nonsense, which would be, and no doubt was, readily believed by the country folk. With them, however, we were on the best of terms, and they invariably furnished markets for us and brought in supplies.

The war was over, but a large in- demnity (two million sterling) had to be paid by the Chinese Government, and to the families of the murdered prisoners one hundred thousand pounds. Until this was handed over, and our Minister safely installed at Pekin, a strong brigade, consisting of three infantry regiments, (including the Thirty-First, of which [ was then ad- jutant,) Fane’s Horse, two batteries of artillery, and some military train, under Brigadier-General (now Sir Charles) Stanley, occupied the city of Tien-tsin, where they were soon cut off by frost and snow from all communica- tion with the outer world for the succeeding four months. The climate is a severe one, the thermometer con- stantly falling below zero, but as there is little wind and less moisture it is healthy and very bearable. Fur-lined patrol jackets and fur caps were the order of the day, and the Sikhs in their sheepskin tunics, with the wool next the body, seemed to get on very well. We were there for two winters, and on some future occasion I may perhaps give a short account of how we amused ourselves. So long as towns and vil- lages, which are numerous, could be occupied, I can conceive it being quite a possible country for a winter cam- paign, as all the canals are frozen, and the country is open and hard for the transport to pass.

In conclusion, I may perhaps ex- press the opinion that, although we won our battles easily, and things

Recollections of the Chinese War.

seem now to be going all one way for the Japanese, still John Chinaman is an excellent fighting man if properly armed and decently led. He possesses qualities especially fitting him for a soldier. He has no fear of death ; he is strong and of good physique, can live upon much less than a European, is frugal, patient beyond belief, hard- working, persevering, good-tempered, amenable to training and severe dis- cipline, and not resentful of rebuke. He is « good marcher and accustomed to carry heavy weights, is habituated in the north to the extremes of heat and cold; and, lastly, he has that stubborn persistence so valuable in a soldier. All this can be easily proved ;


but the way in which the Chinamen stuck to their wretched guns, fighting them until they were cut down or killed at their posts, and the way in which Gordon’s Ever Victorious Army