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the further cheapening of the cost resulting from the substitution of steam- for man-power, we have still to wait. That this wait will not be long is the belief of those who know China best. The thin end of the wedge has been inserted, and, from this time on, we may expect to see the revivifying effect of foreign intercourse as potent in Western China as it has been on the Eastern seaboard. There, as in all regions where Chinese come under our rule or influence, wages advance, and the people are better housed and clad, while a general air of prosperous activity prevails. But away from this influence, alike in Peking, the capital in the far North, and in Yunnan, the province bordering on our Burmese possessions, stagnation and decay fill the traveller with pity and bewilderment.
All the travellers, whose names we have placed at the head of this article, are unanimous on two points : one, the richness of the resources and the natural wealth of Western China ; the other, the rudimentary condition of its material development, and the (shall we say-consequent?) deep poverty of the greater number of its inhabitants. "Taking Western, or rather Southwestern, China as consisting of the three provinces of Szechuen, Kueichow, and Yunnan, we find it comprises an area of 340,000 square miles, or about 20,000 square miles more than the combined area of Great Britain, Ireland, and France. Its aggregate population is estimated at about 80,000,000, or much the same number as find subsistence over the corresponding area in Europe. But in China the bulk of this population is concentrated in the fertile lowlands of Eastern Szechun, which province appears to be hopelessly congested with a population of sixty odd millions; while the two provinces of Kueichow and Yunnan are credited with barely twenty millions between them. The much-needed migration does go forward to a small extent; but it is hindered by the want of roads, and the reluctance of the Government to facilitate mining enterprise, except when organized as a purely official undertaking. Hence the settlement of these two provinces, which have been largely cleared of their original inhabitants during the past two decades, proceeds but slowly. The causes of these clearances were : the wellknown Panthay rebellion in Yunnan, which resulted in the practical extermination of its Mussulman population ; and the insubordination of the · Miao-tse,' the aboriginal population of Kueichow, which has led to their being mostly killed off from the northern half of the province; scattered remnants having alone escaped to the more inaccessible regions in the south. These interesting and by no means uncivilized peoples seem, like their Mahometan fellow-subjects in Yunnan, to have been
goaded into rebellion by the exactions and breaches of faith practised upon them by the provincial officials. These men whose aim, with a few honourable exceptions, is simply to pass their three years' term of office in peace and quietness, while amassing as much wealth as can be squeezed out of their district in this limited period, are merciless in the face of any opposition on the part of the people. Held responsible for results, and at a distance which takes months for a despatch to the Central Government to cover, the means are their own affair; and as a local Viceroy had, until quite recently, but a very limited amount of physical force at his back, he felt obliged to maintain his prestige by severity, and to crush ruthlessly disaffection in the bud—a policy usually successful. But the present instances formed exceptions to the rule; and the knowledge that no quarter would be given, compelled the unfortunate Mahometans to fight out the struggle to the bitter end. The final catastrophe was the surrender of Ta-li-fu, then the Panthay capital, and consequent extermination of its inhabitants, men, women and children alike, by the sword, and by drowning in its lovely lake. General . Yang,' who commanded the Imperial forces at the time, was said to have amassed six million taels-about a million and a quarter sterling-for his own share of the plunder; and we well remember meeting the ruffian, who was returning home by the Messageries' coasting steamer with six wives, laid out on the cabin table, being shampooed by two of them. Consul Rocher, who is now the French representative at Mengtse, in Yunnan (a town adjoining the Tonquin border), and who was formerly for many years in the Chinese Customs service, gives a graphic account of this terrible massacre. M. Rocher was sent to deliver in Yunnan the arms of precision, and the European cannon which alone enabled the mandarins to prevail in the end. He thus describes the outbreak of the conflict in 1856:
* This new massacre of St. Bartholomew, so anxiously looked for by the anti-Mahommedan coalition, was at length carried out on the 19th of May, 1856—at least, this was the beginning. Bands of marauders, levied and subsidised by the mandarins, entered upon the campaign, supported by a number of the populace attracted by the prospect of plunder. Notwithstanding that the Mahommedans had been forewarned, few of them took any precautions: they had allowed themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security, in the belief that their friends and neighbours of the day before could not possibly become, all of a sudden and with no apparent motive, their murderers the day after. Meanwhile the people, worked up by the authorities and egged on by promises of booty, became lost to all sense of duty, and threw themselves upon innocent families with that savage fanaticism of which one sees but too many instances in wars of religion in all countries. In regions where their numbers were few, the Mahommedans were cut down without mercy ; in other places, where resistance was attempted, they succumbed to numbers, and the remnant, utterly without resources, set fire to their homes and fled. Old men and children, incapacitated from flight, found no mercy at the hands of their executioners, and the young women whose lives were spared were only reserved to be the victims of worse brutalities.' And its termination in 1873:
The Futai (Governor of the Province) made use of the pretext of celebrating the deliverance of the city (Ta-li) to invite all the Mussulman chiefs to a grand banquet; those who had openly fought against the capitulation suspected a trap, while the prime movers in the surrender, who had been loaded with honours by the Imperial authorities, looked upon the invitation as nothing more than an obligatory ceremony. Yang yü-ko, the Imperial Commander-inChief, alleged illness as an excuse for not being present, and sent one of his lieutenants in his place. The invited guests duly made their appearance, and were cordially received by the Governor; but when the time came for adjourning to the dining-hall, they were seized by soldiers posted in readiness at the doors, and in less than a minute seventeen heads rolled on the floor.
Thereupon the Governor ordered a salute of six guns, the preconcerted signal for the commencement of the massacre in the town. It was the eleventh day of the occupation. What followed is indescribable. The soldiers pitilessly set themselves to massacre their hosts, whose hospitality they were enjoying; and the population, who had flattered themselves that all fighting was over, found themselves taken by surprise, and never attempted any resistance. After three days of this inhuman butchery, the city of Ta-li and its environs presented a heartrending spectacle: out of 50,000 inhabitants, over 30,000 had perished in these ill-fated days, the survivors being totally dispersed. To show that there was nothing more to be feared from the rebellion, at the termination of the massacre the Governor despatched to the capital twenty-four large hampers, making twelve mule-loads, of human ears, sewn together in pairs. This trophy of the capture of Ta-li-fu was there exposed to the public gaze, along with the seventeen heads of the murdered chiefs.'
This final scene reminds us of the analogous piece of treachery perpetrated by Li Hung-chang, the present Viceroy of Chilhi, when, in 1863, the Taiping Wangs, having surrendered their strong fortress of Soochow upon the personal promise of Gordon, that their lives should be spared, were invited by Li to a feast where they were all ruthlessly massacred, Li posing in popular estimation as the hero of the rebellion from that time forth. It is difficult to imagine the ordinarily quiet, effemi
nate-looking Chinaman capable of the savage atrocities which he seems to revel in when once his blood is roused.
Mr. Davenport also tells us of Yunnan :-
I have already described the fearful depopulation of this province, and which invariably accompanies a civil war in this country. The Imperialist soldiers seem to be seized with a kind of frenzy after an action, when nothing less than the destruction of all destructible property, and the slaughter of old men, women and children, will suffice to satisfy their “intense hatred and animosity,” to use the exculpatory language of their commanders. During a short rebellion, such as visited the neighbouring province of Szechuen, the great bulk of the people are enabled, especially in a mountainous district, to seek shelter from the soldiery, and a few years after the termination of the struggle the gap in the population is filled up. In Yunnan, however, the war lasted for eighteen years, many towns were taken and retaken upwards of ten times, while during this long period the people who had taken refuge in the mountains, being unable to cultivate the irrigated bottom lands, died of starvation or its accompanying diseases. . .
* At the census of 1812, the population was estimated at 5,561,320, and the following forty years of peace probably brought the numbers up to 8,000,000. The decrease from 8,000,000 to 1,000,000 will astonish none who have had the opportunity of seeing the country on the sea-board before and after it was devastated by the Tai-p'ing Rebellion. As to recovery, the very few officials in the province who seemed to take an interest in the matter were of opinion that the only possible means was to institute a compulsory immigration of the surplus population of Szechuen, under the management of the Chinese Government. The Chinese are very willing emigrants, even in opposition to the laws of their Empire, to any country under foreign rule where labour is well paid for, and their lives and property, as a general rule, fairly protected; but inside the Great Wall they are very unwilling to change their habitat. In Yunnani
, in particular, beside the usual dread of the authorities and the supposed ferocity of the natives of a strange province, they complain that, owing to want of roads and feasible transportation, rice and everything else they could produce would be of no appreciable value.'
Messrs. Davenport, Hosie, and Rocher, all describe the vast extent of terraced hills and of irrigation works, now abandoned, that cover the whole face of the province as well as the seemingly ubiquitous mines of gold, silver, lead, iron, tin, zinc and copper, besides jade, amber, sapphires, lapis-lazuli, turquoises and agates. Mr. Davenport winds up by saying, “In short, a volume would be required to point out all the mineral wealth of this richlyendowed province.' The province of Szechuen, literally · Four streams,' or, as the
ideographic ideographic characters may be freely rendered, 'encompassed by streams,' is well named. Szechuen is a grand natural basin, watered through a thousand channels by the perennial streams that flow from the lofty Thibetan mountains on its western frontier. Artificially increased and regulated in the plain of Chêng-tu, which thus rejoices in the most perfect system of irrigation in China, one group of these streams goes to form the Min-Kiang, or left fork of the great Yangtse river, which after uniting with the Kin-sha-kiang (Gold-dust river) from farther west washes the walls of Chungking in a mighty stream 800 yards wide, with a deep and rapid current. Other streams from the north unite in the navigable Kia-ling Kiang, which joins the Yangtse at Chungking, the two streams being here divided by the rocky peninsula on which this celebrated city stands. Rain falls almost daily in this favoured province, and the land being high the floods which curse the Yangtse's lower course are here unknown, though navigation is not seldom arrested for a time by the conversion of the Szechuộn streams into raging torrents by the summer rains. The climate is damp and warm, eminently beneficial to vegetation, but less healthy for man than the drier regions to the north and south. A belt of cloud and fog envelopes the province during a great portion of the year, through which the sun's rays pierce intermittently, but with great force. Yunnan, which enjoys a bright and more bracing Climate, althoughinalower latitude, means literally mouth of the clouds,' thus indicating the misty character of the northern province. Yunnan, though lying between the 22nd and 28th parallels is, owing to the average elevation of its valleys being some 5000 feet above the sea, less oppressive, and at the same time less favourable to vegetation than the hothouse atmosphere of Szechuen, situated between the 28th and 33rd parallels of latitude, but on an average level of about 1000 feet only above the sea. And the vegetation of Szechuen sets off the picturesque rockyqutline of its scenery to perfection. Outside the plain of Chêngtu, every stream and streamlet has worn its way through the soft red sandstone, and thus the rolling plateau of Eastern Szechnen is cut up by innumerable glens, each one of which, with its clothing of ferns and wild flowers on the ruddy background of rock, presents a succession of pictures for a landscape painter. Where the transverse ranges of limestone, which break through the sandstone in parallel ridges of about 2000 feet altitude, trending generally N.E. and S.W., are cut through by the larger navigable rivers, we find true gorges with vertical cliffs and deep abyss-like bottoms. All the products of the sub-tropical regions here flourish to perfection with the exception