was not all that could be desired, and when the old system of assaults on the persons of Europeans, and the inevitable reprisals, began again, the efforts of the English representatives altogether failed to bring about an understanding with Commissioner Yeh, and the position was finally rendered intolerable by the unlucky incident of the lorcha 'Arrow.' It was singularly unfortunate that, as in the case of the first war there was the colourable excuse of the opium trade to be urged by our opponents, so in the instance of the second war the immediate provocation was the controvertible question of the Arrow.' Mr. Boulger does not seem to see that it is possible to regard the affair as a mistake; he does not by any means agree with Mr. Justin McCarthy in his estimate of the action of Sir John Bowring and Sir Harry (then Mr.) Parkes. To him it is merely a matter of an insult to the English flag which came as the last straw after a series of humiliations to provoke a reassertion of our national dignity. Just as in the earlier war the opium was only part of the reason for hostilities, and not the chief reason, so now the lorcha Arrow' was but an item in the indictment which the English Chief Superintendent had to bring against the Chinese authorities. This is certainly true, and in the second as in the first war the vital question was whether China was to preserve her pretensions to superb isolation. Still many people regard the 'Arrow' affair as a poor ground for a declaration of hostilities. The nationality of the vessel was sufficiently doubtful to give the Chinese some colour of defence for their conduct, and if the boat was not technically English no insult was involved in hauling the flag down. This is a very common view of the matter, to which Mr. Boulger does not, we think, give sufficient attention. Lord Elgin himself privately described the 'Arrow' incident as a wretched business' and 'a scandal,' and it is an open question whether, if our representatives had been less peremptory, we might not peaceably have obtained the concessions which we had to extort by force, and this consideration must make us more indulgent to the not dissimilar action of the French.


It may be doubted, however, whether anything short of force would have obtained that final triumph over the last barrier of Chinese inaccessibility which was gained by the march on Peking in 1860, and the appearance of the allied troops in the very heart of the capital. The concession involved in the appointment of a British minister to the court of Peking was the final blow to the long-cherished

theory of superb isolation. The 'foreign devils' had now at last obtained what they were working for all along-direct intercourse with the Central Government-and the reception for the first time by the Emperor himself of the foreign representatives in 1873, without the submissive kotow, was the almost unhoped-for result of this last struggle. Mr. Boulger's view of the second war, and the sequel at Peking, is instructive :

'The object which the more far-seeing of the English residents had, from the first hour of difficulty, stated to be necessary for satisfactory relations-direct intercourse with the Peking Government-was thus obtained after a keen and bitter struggle of thirty years. The first war, closing with the treaty of Nanking, had contributed little more to the solution of the question than to place a few additional facilities in the way of trade. The provisions which might perhaps have possessed greater importance were never enforced, and were tacitly allowed to drop. A single disastrous war had not sufficed to bring the Peking Government to reason or to warn it from traditions always remembered with a feeling of pride. The years following the signature of that treaty were not without their clouds and causes of anxiety. The refusal alone to open the gates of Canton was a most serious breach of treaty. It was followed, as we have seen, by many acts of hostility, and by a general line of policy quite incompatible with friendship. The appointment of Yeh was made for very much the same reasons as that of Lin had been-to humiliate the foreigner. It had been followed by an increased tension in the relations between the Canton Yamen and the English authorities. The too-much-debated "Arrow" case came as the last of a long series of deeds in which all diplomatic courtesy was laid aside; and, when once the English Government resorted to force, it was compelled to continue it until satisfactory results were produced, and its object attained. Success at first seemed to come for the asking. Sir Michael Seymour's victorious operations round Canton and at the mouth of the Peiho simplified the task of diplomacy; and Lord Elgin, despite the original disadvantage under which he laboured from the outbreak of the Indian mutiny and the diversion of the China expedition, was enabled, by the success of the Admiral, to conclude a favourable treaty at Tientsin.

'With the attempt, twelve months later, to obtain its ratification, the whole complication was suddenly reopened. Admission to the Peiho was refused, and when an English squadron attempted to carry its way by force, it was repulsed with heavy loss. The defeat was the more important, insomuch as it was admittedly due, not to any mistake or rashness on the part of the Admiral, but to the strength of the defences which the Chinese had erected in less than a year. Another twelve months were employed in the fitting out and despatch of an expedition of 20,000 men in all, to bring the court of Peking to a more reasonable frame of mind, and Lord Elgin was again sent to China to complete the work he had himself accomplished. We have

seen how these purposes were effected, and how the superiority of European arms and discipline was again established over another brave but ill-prepared antagonist. Although vanquished, the Chinese may be said to have come out of this war with an increased military reputation. The dissension within the empire-for, as we have yet to see, the revival of a foreign difficulty had led to increased activity on the part of the Taepings-prevented their utilising the one great advantage they might have possessed of superior numbers; and, had the other conditions of warfare been more equal, the steadiness and stubbornness of the Chinese, whenever encountered between the sea and the ramparts of Peking, were such as to justify the belief that with proper arms and under efficient leading they would have successfully defended the approach to the capital. The lesson of that campaign has been taken to heart, but after more than twenty years of reorganisation the military progress of the main Chinese army remains more problematical than their best friends could desire.

They have

always been slow, painfully slow, to apply the lessons of their own experience.

'The war closed with a treaty enforcing all the concessions made by its predecessor. The right to station an ambassador at Peking signified that the great barrier of all had been broken down. The old school of politicians was put completely out of court, and a young and intelligent prince, closely connected with the emperor, assumed the personal charge of the foreign relations of the country. As one who had seen with his own eyes the misfortunes of his countrymen, he was the more disposed to adhere to what he had promised to perform. Under his direction the ratified treaty of Tientsin became a bond of union instead of an element of discord between the cabinets of London and Peking, and a termination was put, by an arrangement carried at the point of the sword, to the constant friction and recrimination, which had been the prevailing characteristic of their intercourse for a whole generation. The Chinese had been subjected to a long and bitter lesson. They had at last learned the virtue of submitting to necessity; but, although they had profited to some extent, both in peace and war, by their experience, it requires some assurance to declare that they have even now accepted the inevitable. That remains the problem of the future; but in 1860 Prince Kung came to the sensible conclusion that for that period, and until China had recovered from her internal confusion, there was nothing to be gained and much to be lost by protracted resistance to the peoples of the West. Whatever could be retained by tact and finesse were to form part of the natural rights of China, but the privileges only to be asserted in the face of Armstrong guns and rifles were to be abandoned with as good a grace as the injured feeling of a nation can ever display.' (Vol. iii. pp. 527-530.)

We have dwelt at some length upon the history of European relations with China, because it is the portion of the general history that most concerns and interests English people, and because it is the best part of Mr. Boulger's work. The relation of the long struggle between European

intrusion and Chinese obstruction occupies nearly half of the third volume, and in it Mr. Boulger appears to the greatest advantage. He possesses a clear, pleasant style, and groups his facts with skill and judgement. By omitting minor details, and laying stress upon the large features of the contest, he has succeeded in leaving a clear and definite impression upon the mind of his reader. He is perhaps too much of a partisan, and too little open to the arguments of those who take a different view of events and politics, to rank among the scanty number of impartial historians, but on the whole his opinions are just and statesmanlike, and are supported by genuine and weighty evidence. If he gives but one side of the question, it is the side which has probably most in its favour, and undoubtedly it is that which is most pleasing to our national sensibility.

The principal topic treated in the third volume, besides the main theme of European intercourse, is the history of the Taeping rebellion, of which we need only say that Mr. Boulger's account compares favourably in point of clearness and succinctness with some of the numerous works that have recently been published on General Gordon's early exploits. The two other great revolts, that of the Mohammedans in Yunnan, and the wide defection in Central Asia, are less fully treated, although their importance in a history of the Chinese people can hardly be exaggerated. Mr. Boulger's separate work on the Athalik Ghazi' is scarcely a sufficient reason for passing with so very light a hand over an insurrection which for many years deprived China of nearly the whole of her Central Asian provinces, and at one time threatened to bring her into conflict with Russia.

Mr. Boulger's history, useful and readable as it is, and as a whole much the best history of China we possess, deals with but a very small branch of what makes up the record of a nation. His is a history of China, but not a history of the Chinese people, nor in any sense what we can describe as a philosophic account of the growth of a nation. In the third volume, which is much superior to the first two, we look in vain for information as to the developement or decay of the national character, the change of institutions, the nature of the provincial system of government, the working of the competitive method in the public service, the financial organisation, and a thousand other matters which an historian of a Western nation would scarcely have omitted to mention. And if this is so in the third volume, where ample materials were to hand in European works, it is even more



conspicuously wanting in the first and second volumes, where Mr. Boulger has been compelled, by his ignorance of Chinese, to rely almost wholly on Mailla's great work. Mailla is practically a translation of the Chinese annalists, but with a curious limitation. No nation possesses so complete and methodical a system of historical records as China. From time immemorial the annalists of the different dynasties have carefully recorded the events of each reign, and as their records were prepared, not to produce an effect upon the public, but for the guidance of the chief ministers of the empire, they are more impartial and trustworthy than could be expected. But the method of these annalists was to subdivide their subject into various sections-politics, economics, social and material progress, were treated separately. Mailla's work was limited to the political division of the imperial annals, and the result is that in him and in his follower, Mr. Boulger, we find only one side of the national history recorded, and scarcely a word of the other, but certainly no less important, branches of Chinese life. We look in vain in Mr. Boulger's history for any account of the growth of the Chinese people into a nation, of the infiltration of other races, and the effects of the mixture upon the national character. We read little of the advances in material progress made from time to time by this peculiar people. Even so important a subject as the invention of printing is passed over in the slightest fashion in a single footnote, in which the reader will not suspect the true history of the developement of the art, from the custom of taking blackened squeezes from engraved texts and pictures, as early, probably as the first century of our era, to the invention of moveable blocks by Pi-shing in 1045. Still less would one gather that the use of the new discovery was but sporadic until it was revived under the influence of the Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century. We search fruitlessly for information as to the economic conditions of the people at different epochs, or for any examination into the physical influences of climate and geological formation, although the subject has been elaborately discussed by Baron von Richthofen, and other Continental scholars. It is not that there were really no materials upon which a philosophic history might have been founded, but that Mr. Boulger has not used them. The Parisian Bibliotheca Sinica,' the many and various brochures of Plath and Pfizmaier, the numerous researches of English and foreign scholars, published in the Transactions of learned societies,

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