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religious community, for fear of rousing suspicion among western Powers, will have nothing to do with it, and, indeed, anxiously avoid any allusion to such a fraternisation.
When, a few years ago, the highly accomplished Ismael Gasprinski, editor of the paper Terdjhuman, published in Bagchbe-Sarai, proposed the idea of holding a Moslem religious congress, Cairo, which stands under the liberal régime of England, was the only place which offered a hospitable reception to the conference. In Constantinople they would have nothing to do with it, although it was explicitly stated that politics should be rigidly excluded, and only purely religious and cultural matters discussed. This precautionary measure, however, was quite unnecessary. Western nations are far too conscious of their material superiority to be frightened by any vague possibility of danger. If the prescribed pilgrimage to the grave of the Prophet has hitherto not been able to give more stable character to the bond of fraternity which unites the Moslems, and has failed to bring their common interests more into prominence-notwithstanding that many thousands of true believers of all colours and nationalities meet year after year in Mecca—it is fairly certain that political efforts will not accomplish it. 'Kulli muminin ihwa' (All true believers are brothers), the Prophet has said, but this brotherhood applies primarily to the province of religion. In temporal affairs the maxim is 'Tacet ecclesia,' as is the case in other religious bodies.
The followers of Mohammed have now to face the great problem how to reach that cultural and political-economic level which will secure their political future and safeguard them against further attacks. Without this all Pan-Islamic schemes are useless; they will have as little effect as the short-lived energy of Sultan Abdul Hamid, whose messengers went through all the Islamic world and brought extensive reports, which were, after all, of very little real help to the politics of the Sublime Porte. But from a moral point of view the common interests of the Islamic world can show a certain degree of progress, which is to be attributed not in the first place to the clergy, nor to the Caliph, but to the untiring zeal of the Press, newly awakened all along the line.
I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that the sudden energy of the Moslem Press is quite unequalled, and the more to be admired as the Molla-world had taken up a very decided attitude against secular literature and accused every newspaper-reader of apostasy. In Bokhara this is still the case, although the young Emir, Mir Alim, who was brought up in the Page Corps at St. Petersburg, is a zealous advocate of reforms and modern civilisation. It is therefore only the Moslem Press, more particularly the Turkish and Persian, which binds together the most distant parts of the Moslem-Asiatic world, and does it so effectively that, for instance, the starving Tartar population of Omsk and Tobolsk receive monetary support from Cairo, Stamboul, Kazan, and Bombay!
When the Turco-Italian war broke out, not only the Ottoman, but also the Tartar, Kirghiz, Caucasian, Indian, and Arab newspapers had long columns of war intelligence, and voluntary subscriptions flowed in much more abundantly than at the time of the last Turco-Russian war, in 1877. I have compared the stated amounts collected then with those now received, and I cannot help seeing in this improvement a sign, which should not be disregarded, of the decided growth of mutual interest between the various Moslem nations. And if now in the present stage of the Pan-Islamic movement we can see no danger for the interests of western influence in Asia, we should, on the other hand, not underestimate the growing symptoms of approach between Moslems and Buddhists and between other mutually hostile elements, such as Moslems and Brahmins. The more the power and authority of the West gains ground in the Old World, the stronger becomes the bond of unity and mutual interest between the separate factions of Asiatics, and the deeper burns the fanatical hatred against Europe.
Half a century ago China, for instance, was waging war against the Mohammedans of Yunnan and East Turkestan; now China does not disdain, as already mentioned, to publish, at the expense of the State, a Turkish newspaper.
The Chinese authorities repair and rebuild mosques at State cost, and the Chinese Mohammedans show their appreciation by expressions of patriotism and by making no secret of their hatred of the Christian world. This approach between the followers of different Oriental religions has become so much more pronounced of late years that already the various nationalities are known by the collective name of Asia as against Europe ; and these two names will be the watchwords in the coming struggle between East and West. It may be that individual Asiatic nations do not sufficiently realise what this movement of fraternisation implies, but the eye of the unprejudiced spectator cannot fail to detect the categorical symptoms of an everripening bond of unity, and in the face of this we ask, Is it wise and expedient by useless provocation and unnecessary attacks to increase the feeling of animosity, to hurry on the struggle between the two worlds, and to nip in the bud the work of modern culture which is nou going on in Asia ?
Surely it is too risky a step to take and too high a price to pay for the chance of conquest.
A. VAMBÉRY. Budapest University,
THE TRIAD SOCIETY AND THE RESTORATION OF THE MING DYNASTY
The recent announcement in the English papers that an aspirant has arisen to the throne of China in the person of the Marquis Chu-Cheng-Yu, who claims to be a descendant of the Ming Emperors, makes one remember the long struggle maintained in the Middle Kingdom by the well-known Triad Society, with the avowed object of restoring the native Chinese dynasty to the ancestral throne. The Triad Society, though often alluded to, is but little understood; it has played a part in most of the revolts in China in comparatively modern times, and now that one portion of the avowed object of the league has been accomplished --namely, the fall of the Tsings or Manchus, it may be of some 'interest to glance at the organisation, statutes and rituals carefully arranged in order to keep alive in the popular mind, not only the expulsion of the Manchus, but the restoration of an ancient dynasty.
Secret societies, generally more or less political in their aims, but, like religious sects, differing in their tenets and objects of worship, have long been rife in China. Some of these societies are merely friendly associations, assisting their members when in sickness or distress, seeing, when necessary, to the proper disposal of the bodies of those who have died away from home, or in circumstances debarring the departed from-to the Chinese that all-important matter-burial in their native land. The Chinese hold that each individual soul is of a Trinitarian nature; after death one division or person of the soul hovering in or around the place where the body lies ; a second entering the consecrated tablet placed in the ancestral hall; and the third person of the soul ascending to the region of spirits, where it is punished or rewarded • according as the acts done when in the body have been bad or good. Each family of any standing has its ancestral hall, usually attached to the family dwelling-house ; while the humbler classes have an ancestral hall in common for each village. It is believed that the spirits of the departed exercise influence over the fortunes of their descendants, an influence benign or the reverse, according as their relations still in the flesh pay due respect and
reverence at the tombs of their ancestors, whose well-being in the land of shades is likewise to some extent ensured by the offerings and worship paid at their graves. It is a touching sight at the great 'grave-sweeping' festival-as it may be literally rendered-to see the crowds resorting to the cemeteries and tombs where lie the parents and forefathers of each family or individual. Bent and frail old men, dainty ladies, whose feet, not more than two inches long, render the support of a waiting woman on either side not altogether a mark of useless dignity; sleek and opulent merchants, hard-working coolie women and toddling infants, plodding farmers, learned literati, all resort at this festival to the family tombs to do reverence and make offerings to the ancestral shades. When a man or woman leaves no descendant to perform this duty, and there is no benevolent person to undertake it, the soul of the departed is a beggar ghost hovering neglected and uncared for in the spirit land. Hence the intense anxiety of the Chinaman that his body may be laid in the family burial-place, and hence the importance that friends or relations should see that the desire is carried out.
The whole trend of feeling and usage in China fosters the tendency towards forming societies and associations. Guilds prevail all over the Empire in almost every large city; even the beggars form a guild, which has its president and its own regulations and ordinances. The clan system exists throughout the Empire, and in itself gives the people the habit and spirit of association, so that leagues and clubs spring naturally into existence, and the individual, little regarded as a unit, as is ever the case in a great democracy such as China, seeks redress for grievances and local oppression by means of the guild or league to which he belongs, which also extends him assistance in illness or distress. Societies, more or less secret, appear to have existed in China at least for the last couple of thousand years, and probably have been known there as long as the Empire has itself existed. Chinese history alludes to many such societies, known by different names. There were the Copper Horses, the Carnation Eyebrows (who, in order to render their appearance terrible in battle, coloured their eyebrows with vermilion), the Iron Shoes, and so on. The women also had societies exclusively to themselves; some of these were more or less secret associations, many were loan societies, from which the members could obtain advances when required.
An association called the White Lotus Society was first heard of about the middle of the thirteenth century, and was animated by a wave of Buddhist enthusiasm. Kublai Khan had conquered and destroyed the Chinese armies ; the boy-emperor, last of the Sung dynasty, had drowned himself at the entrance to the Canton river, and as time went on feeble rulers succeeded to the throne of the Great Kublai. The government of foolish and feeble rulers is usually the worst and most intolerable of tyrannies, and the people groaned under the rule of the degenerate Mongols, and murmured against submitting to the barbarians whom they not only feared but despised. The children in the Provinces of Hupeb and Hunan sang in high falsetto tones :
When stirs the one-eyed man of stone,
This dynasty will be o'erthrown. Men and women heard the song of the children, and wondered and whispered. It was felt that something unusual was about to take place, and suspense and anxiety reigned in the land. Just then, in 1344, the banks of China's Sorrow,' the Yellow River, were undergoing repairs, and lo! the rumour came that at a place called Huang ling Kang, hard by the river, there had been found the stone image of a man with one eye. Immense was the excitement that spread far and wide. The sacred character attaching to the Yellow River-believed to owe its origin to the regions of spirits and genii, and whose usually turbid waters when flowing clear and bright are held to predict the approaching advent of a Sage-no doubt contributed to the enthusiasm caused by the discovery of the image, and soon the movement assumed a religious character, when the chief of the White Lotus Society burnt incense before the figure, and proclaimed the near coming of another Buddha. Multitudes flocked to the standard then raised in rebellion against the rule of the foreign dynasty; the revolt spread rapidly, and before long found a leader endowed with a genius for warfare, in the person of a young Buddhist monk, who finally defeated the ruling powers, and was raised to the imperial throne under the name of Hung Wu, and so became the founder of the Ming Dynasty. Hung Wu proved himself not only a consummate general but a wise and beneficent ruler. Imbued with the simple and frugal tastes he had acquired when a Buddhist monk, on one occasion, when one of the great men of the Court remonstrated with the monarch for restraining its magnificence in the furniture and figures of gold and silver, pointing out that such things lent éclat to his dignity a's sovereign :
The glory of a sovereign [replied the Emperor] does not consist in the costly and superfluous trappings of rank, but in being master of a people whom he renders happy. I have the whole empire for my domain; shall I be less wealthy for wanting these useless ornaments, and if I set an example of luxury how can I condemn it in my subjects ?
Although so able as a general, Hung Wu was a lover of peace, but his desire for that blessing did not blind him to the necessity of embarking on warfare, when so doing would ensure permanent