and loot-hungry mobs of soldiery constitute indeed a Yellow Peril; and of late, with the disappearance of constituted authority and the loosening of the old ethical restraints, the army has realised its opportunities and its power.

Of the good qualities of the rank and file, of their powers of endurance, and occasional élan of enthusiasm, there has been ample evidence; but for proof of scientific organisation, of efficiency, cohesion, esprit de corps, and trained intelligence amongst their leaders, we seek in vain. Here and there, amidst

, the mass of cowardly, corrupt, or incompetent officials, we find earnest and brave men like Li Yuan-hung, the Revolutionary leader, and General Chang Hsün, the Imperialist Commander at Nanking. The latter appears, indeed, to be a fighting man of the stamp of Tso Tsung-t'ang; yet even his martinet authority proved insufficient to prevent his troops from looting the city of Hsüchoufu. But the number of energetic and efficient leaders has been insignificant, and their example has completely failed to stem the tide of general demoralisation. Even at Nanking, where the loss of life on both sides was comparatively heavy, it was the rank and file who fought bravely, most of their officers displaying gross cowardice and incompetence. Repeated instances occur, in authentic reports from the provinces, of officers of the regular and militia forces using their positions for purely selfish ends, or lending themselves to the purposes of politicians and student agitators.

The military profession is no longer a thing of reproach in China; to be a soldier, as times go, is to enjoy opportunities which appeal to every man with predatory lust or instincts of self-preservation; therefore it is that everyone wears a uniform who can, and the number of irregular troops and police claiming arrears of salary is likely to increase rapidly with the tale of looted cities and the disappearance of all effective authority. It is not pleasant to contemplate the prospects that, under these conditions, confront the defenceless traders and peasantry of the interior. For the craze for loot has spread like wildfire and become epidemic; from all parts of the country comes the same pitiful story of the systematic and businesslike despoiling of peaceful citizens by licentious soldiery. Peking, Tientsin, Paotingfu, Hangchow, Soochow, Fouchow, Canton, Ninghsiafu, Taianfu, and many other cities, have suffered, without resistance, all the pains and penalties of civil war; and the end is not yet. From Sianfu comes one of the most astounding of all these pitiful tales of unrest. Telegraphing on the 22nd of March, Reuter reported that the Kansu army (Loyalist Mahomedan troops, under General Sheng Yün, professedly marching on Peking to restore the dynasty) had arrived at Sianfu, the capital

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of Shensi. The Chinese garrison of Republican troops, 'fearing that the Mahomedans would loot the city, began looting it themselves; whereupon the Mahomedans retired.' Yet these are the forces whose pay is to be provided, for the salvation of China, by means of huge foreign loans! And while these things are taking place all over the country, the National Assembly continues solemnly to proclaim the advantages of Republicanism, and self-governing societies in every provincial capital discourse of progress and prosperity. Despite its dominant note of grim tragedy, the situation is not without humorous aspects.

Considering the question of the Yellow Peril, however, as a matter ultimately dependent upon the military instincts of the Chinese people, it is interesting to observe that, in the opinion of experts, the balance of efficiency and courage rests so far with the Northern troops. Had it not been for the inefficiency and vacillation displayed by General Yin Chang, Admiral Sah, and the high authorities at Peking; had the Imperialist troops been allowed to follow up their first victories, it may fairly be assumed that the rebellion in the Yangtsze provinces would have been quickly stamped out; but incompetent or disloyal leaders, truces, delays, and the ignominious withdrawal from Wuchang, led to discouragement and the rapid growth of indiscipline and lawlessness.

A noteworthy feature of the fighting at Nanking was the superiority of the Shantung and Chihli men as compared with the Hunanese regiments of the Imperialist forces. Many competent critics in recent years have been led to the conclusion that the high military reputation of the Hunanese was founded rather on noisy professions than on any performance of valour. I remember discussing in 1902 the business of warfare with a Hunanese private of the garrison of Shanhaikuan, and his frank declaration that the profession of arms was well enough in times of peace, but that no sensible man would incur serious risks of being killed on a salary of fifteen shillings a month. An eyewitness of the fighting which took place during the investment of Nanking in November last tells a tale which shows that this worthy man's opinions were not an isolated instance of discretion, and that the average Hunanese has no desire to go to his grave for any fantasy or trick of fame. The batteries on Lion Hill, manned by Hunanese Imperialists, bad for some time been engaged in an artillery duel with the Republicans on Tiger Hill, without apparent damage to either side. Inquiries into the cause of this futile expenditure of ammunition elicited the following explanation, which may well be given in the correspondent's own words :

It appears that the Imperialist artillerymen on Lion Hill were also men from Hunan, and that after the capture of Tiger Hill by the

Republicans a mutual agreement had been come to by the men in the two forts that neither party would materially damage the other. Accordingly, for some days the shells went wide, some short, into the hillsides away below the guns, and some high over the top of the crests. Then one day the Imperialist General, Chang Hsün, was watching the shooting in person from Lion Hill, and by the evidence of his own eyes grasped the fact that something was wrong. The range was a comparatively easy one of 3800 yards, and instead of nearly every shot being a hit, as it should have been at that distance, very few of them were going anywhere near the target at all. Without more ado, Chang Hsün threatened to decapitate two of the eight-inch gun-layers there and then on the spot, and he promised that divers still worse penalties should follow for the remainder if the shooting didn't improve forthwith.

So it came about that, in order to save their necks, the gunners on Lion Hill began to make things unpleasantly hot for their fellow-provincials on Tiger Hill, with the result that the latter, thinking that they had been grossly deceived by their friends the enemy, began in their turn to shoot as straight as they knew how. This state of affairs continued for the best part of a day, until the true reason for the apparent defection of Lion Hill was brought in by spies.

Thereupon through the same agency a new scheme to prevent mutual injury was devised. It was simply that a defined interval, said by the men to be about a minute of time, should always be allowed to elapse between the firing of a gun and the answering shot from the other side. This would give ample time for the crew of the gun which had last fired to clear out of harm's way downstairs into the bomb-proof shelter below the concrete emplacement. Honour and General Chang Hsün would seemingly thus be satisfied, and all chance of unpleasantness, which neither party in the least desired, would thereby be avoided. Apparently the plan worked well, as after its adoption no casualty occurred on either side.

On the other hand, the Chekiang regiments which took the leading part in the Republican assault and capture of Purple Mountain showed a fine courage. Yet these same troops, upon their return to Hangchow at the end of March, mutinied and threatened to burn their General's yamen.

Every day's experience of the Revolutionary movement justifies the conclusion that the Chinese, as a race, retain their instinctive aversion to fighting for fighting's sake, although, given good leaders and stern discipline, the inhabitants of certain regions (notably hill-men) are capable of making good troops. Every day's experience shows also that many long years of educative processes must elapse before the nation can produce the leaders and the spirit of discipline to make the Chinese army the formidable host of the Yellow Peril prophets. A new spirit has been aroused, beyond all question, amongst the educated classes of China ; a spirit of vigorous, almost defiant, nationalism, which chafes under China's humiliations; which seeks, through political and social reforms, to put from her the reproach of weakness; but, in the absence of an organised, self-respecting and productive middle-class, there can be no immediate prospect of their

attaining the height of their ambitions or the fulfilment of their dreams. Intellectual activity of no mean order is theirs, and many good qualities; but the moving spirits of the present unrest have failed collectively to display the discipline, constructive ability, and personal integrity requisite for efficient organisation of the body politic. In the present ferment of iconoclasm, and all its resultant lawlessness, lies the real Yellow Peril- for a weak and disorganised China means the danger of chronic unrest in the Far East.

Another, and equally real, Yellow Peril lies in the pressure which these millions of thrifty, patient toilers, inured to the sternest privations, threaten, sooner or later, to bring to bear upon the economic and industrial equilibrium of the Western world. Throughout their long history the Chinese have seldom been obsessed by dreams of expansion and conquest, but they have repeatedly denationalised and overcome their conquerors. Their ready adaptability to environment, untiring industry, skilled craftsmanship, and unconquerable power of passive resistance have never been equalled by any race of men, unless it be the Hebrews. , America and Australia have felt, and guarded themselves against, the menace of this pressure of seething humanity. Its effects, and the hopeless inferiority of white man against yellow in the grim economic struggle for life, may be seen to-day in the Straits Settlements, the Dutch Indies, and the islands of the South Seas, in the Treaty Ports of China, and the Russian railway towns of Manchuria. Where white man and yellow live and work side by side, the balance of economic power passes slowly but surely into the hands of the Asiatic. Within the memory of man, the wealth of the Straits Settlements and Hongkong has gravitated to the Chinese ; already, at Harbin and Tsitsihar, in Chinese territory, Russian railway porters are cheerfully carrying the baggage of first-class Chinese passengers. If there be any menace to Europe in Cathay, it lies in the fierce struggle for life of three hundred million men who are ready to labour unceasingly for wages on which the white races must inevitably starve.


HORACE AND THE SOCIAL LIFE OF ROME. By a printer's error some words were omitted from a quotation on the last page of Mr. Hamilton-Hoare's article in the April number. The remonstrance from Augustus to Horace should of course commence as follows: ‘I am much annoyed with you because in what you write of this kind

you address yourself to other people before you address yourself to me.' -EDITOR, Nineteenth Century and After.

The Editor of THE NINETEENTH CENTURY cannot undertake

to return unaccepted MSS.

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The recent proposal, which must be taken as seriously meant, that a Royal Commission should be appointed to inquire into the causes of social and industrial ‘unrest'is one which, if taken in a limited sense, may be useful; but if its sense is extended beyond limits which are very strict and definite, it is more suited to the atmosphere of one of the political burlesques of Aristophanes than to that of serious politics. As I propose to point out briefly in the following pages, the causes of this unrest are not only various in their details but are also various in their character; and certain of them-and these the most important-are such that, if made the subject of official inquiry of any kind at all, are more fit for the investigations of the confessional or the psychological laboratory than for those of a Parliamentary chairman and a committee of officials and politicians.

That such is the case is made sufficiently evident by facts which are familiar to everyone. Those who propose that the causes of social' unrest’ should be subjected to an official inquiry VOL. LXXI-No. 424 1029

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