« VorigeDoorgaan »
bridge or arch. Beneath this militant question, repeat the watchword of the gateway the new members are led by society, "Overturn the T'sing and one of the initiated, and thus, in the bring back the Ming." When the mystic language of the society, "pass weary vanguard has answered the the bridge” which separates the world hundred and eleven questions which of loyalty from the camp of disaffec- fall to his lot, the president directs tion.1
that the recruits who express themThe recruits are next introduced to selves willing to join should be admitthe interior of the lodge, where they ted to the ceremony of affiliation; and are instructed in the objects of the at the same time he passes sentence society, and where the iniquities of of death on those who decline memthe present government are emphat- bership. It probably very rarely hapically descanted upon.
Having been pens that this decree has to be proprimed with these essential items of nounced. Chinamen are not cominitial knowledge, they are brought monly made of that stern stuff which into the council-chamber under the induces men to endure persecution charge of the vanguard, who, as their rather than belie their political faith. sponsor, replies to the questions of an To their supple minds it appears inextremely lengthy catechism which finitely preferable to make the best of are addressed to him by the president. both states-sedition and loyalty-by The catechism is curiously arranged, accepting membership with the lips and the answer to each question is while their hearts are far from it, to confirmed by a quatrain of poetry. facing the danger of death in defence For instance, the second question runs of an abstract belief. The processes thus, “What business have you here?” of washing the faces of the recruits, “I
bringing you numberless of divesting them of their ordinary fresh soldiers, iron-hearted and valiant, clothes and attiring them in white who wish to be admitted to the garments of the shape peculiar to the Heaven and Earth Society."
Ming dynasty, are next performed, to "How can you prove that?”
the accompaniment of an intolerable "I can prove it by verse.
deal of very bad poetry. Then fol
lows a prayer addressed to the gods, “The course of events is clear again, and
which concludes with the following sun and moon harmonious; The earth extends to the four seas, and
petition:receives four rivers.
All the benevolent in the two capitals and We have sworn together to protect the
the thirteen provinces have now throne of Chu,
together to beseech Father Heaven and And to help it with all the power of man.
Mother Earth; the three Lights, Sun, To the ordinary mind these lines do Moon, and Stars; all the gods, Saints, not convey any conclusive argument. Genii, Buddhas, and all the Star Princes,
to help them all to be enlightened. This To the initiated, however, they are
night we pledge ourselves and vow this doubtless convincing, and they serve
promise before Heaven, that the brethren as a password in virtue of the acrostic
in the whole universe shall be as from one they form, the first characters of the womb, as if born of one father, as if lines being Tien Ti Hui Jên, or men nourished by one mother, and as if they of the T'ien Ti League-in other were of one stock and origin; that we will words, of the Hung League. In the obey Heaven and act righteously; that our same way the four first characters in faithful hearts shall not alter, and shall the following quatrain, which confirms never change. If a just Heaven assists the vanguard's answer to the next
us to restore the dynasty of Ming, then
happiness will have a place to which to 1 Thian Ti Hwui, The Hung I.eague. By Gustave return.“ Schlegel. 2 The founder of the Ming dynasty.
+ Thian Ti Hwui, The Hung League. By Gustave Schlegel.
3 Thian Ti H wui,
The oath, which almost as long the point of his umbrella, and to ask as the catechism, is now read to the and answer questions which are berecruits, who listen on their knees to wildering in their non-sequiturs. He the thirty-six articles of adjuration is expected also to have the slang which bind them, under dire pains and terms of the Hui on the tip of his penalties, to be incurred here
and tongue. He learns to speak of the hereafter, to be faithful to the league, mandarins as “the enemy," of goveruto be true and just in all their deale ment troops as “a storm,” of men is ings with their brethren, to live in "horses,” and of the common objects friendly terms with the priests of of daily life in strangely disguised Buddha and Tao, to assist brethren in terms. every difficulty, whether they be in It is impossible to study these rites the right or in the wrong, and at all and ceremonies without recognizing a times to be prepared to stand by the strong resemblance between them and league at all hazards. In confirmation some of those of the Freemasons. of this oath the recruits, having par- "The Bridge of Swords” is common to taken conjointly of tea, are presented both societies, as are also the formawith a large bowl filled with wine, tion of lodges and their orientation. over which each man pricks his middle In both societies the members are enfinger with a silver needle, and allows titled brothers, and confirm their oath the resulting blood to pour into the with blood. During the ceremony of vessel. This mixed chalice is passed affiliation the recruits both among the from hand to hand, and is partaken of Freemasons and the Hung League atby all. After having thus served its tire themselves in white garments and mundane purpose, the copy of the oath go through the form of purification by is burnt in the furnace, that its smoke washing. In the Chinese lodges the may ascend into the presence of the triangle is a favorite emblem, and gods as a witness against any false or lamps, steelyards, and scales form perjured recruits who may hereafter part of the ordinary paraphernalia. desert the standards of the league. It is curious to observe also that the
The president next presents every three degrees of Apprentice, Fellowmember with a diploma printed craft, and Master among the Freelinen, on the back of which the name
masons find their analogues in the of the holder is written in cryptograph- Sworn-Brother, Adopted-Brother, and ical symbols. This diploma serves a Righteous Uncle in use in the Chinese double purpose; it is a sign of mem- society. bership, and it is also held to possess Such are some of the regulations of talismanic powers almost as potent in the Hung League, and presumably of times of pressing danger as those of its offshoot the Kolao Hui. Of all the fern-seed. With the possession of the secret societies in China, this last, bediploma the recruit becomes full sides being the largest, is the most member of the association; and he is revolutionary in its aims. As has alstill further fortified by being pre- ready been said, however, the Hui are sented with the laws of the society, not all on the same lines, nor devoted which, like the other documents, cer- to the same objects, but may, speaktainly do not err on the side of brevity. ing generally, be divided into two His first duty is to make himself ac
classes—the Religious and Seditious. quainted with these; and it is also in- The former of these, though using recumbent on him to learn the secret ligious terms as pass-words, and adoptsigns and mystic sayings by which the ing religious formularies, depart, as brethren are known to one another in regards many of their dealings, in 1 the world. He thus learns to lift his marked and complete manner from all teacup with three fingers, to place his objects which can in any way be assofeet in certain positions, to wind his ciated with the cause of religion. Behandkerchief in a particular way lound ing, however, mutual aid societies, and
being unconnected with political ble change. They have, however, had movements, they attract less of the at- to pay the price of their hobby. They tention of the mandarins than their paid it in the attempts at personal govmore revolutionary congenitors. An ernment under constitutional fornis attack on the dynasty is an attack on made during a long reign by George the provincial authorities, and these III. The king had the theory of the · men are engaged in a death-struggle constitution, he had all its names and with the threatening disturbers of the forms upon his side. If he looked into peace. They have no such bitter hos- Blackstone or any other writer on the tility against societies like the “Fuh- constitution, however liberal, he would kien Hui,” which has its headquarters. find not a hint of Cabinet government. in the province of Fuhkien, or the Narrow-minded by nature, and warped “Golden Lily Hui,” which flourishes in by a worse than royal education, how Szech'uan. The existence of these could he be expected to enter into a and many other similar associations is constitutional fiction, to recognize the well known to the provincial authori- Cabinet as the reality, and confess to ties, who not infrequently are called himself that his monarchy was buckupon to deal with the leaders in mat- ram? Whether he had studied Bolingters relating to the civil obligations of broke's “Patriot King,” or formed any the brethren. Their organizations are definite ideal of that kind, may well be an open secret, and we learn, for ex- doubted. But he knew that he wore ample, from a semi-official native state- the crown, and that his, by law, was ment, that the members of the Golden the sovereign power; while the doings Lily Hui are arranged under four mili- of the aristocratic factions, or "connectary flags. Those residing in Hupeh, tions," as they styled themselves, with Hunan, and Kiangsi are marshalled their selfish cabals and scramblings under the white flag; those in Kwang- for place, their intrigues, and their cortung, Kwangsi, and Fuhkien under ruption, afforded as good a pretext as the black flag; those in Yunnan, a monarchist could desire for an atKweichow, Shensi, and Kansu under tempt to revert to anything like nathe red flag; and those in Szech‘uan tional and impartial government. All under the yellow flag.
danger from Jacobitism being at an At the present time, supported as end, the support of the Whig houses China is by the European nations,
longer necessary for the even the most dangerous of these so
crown, while the houses themselves cieties do not threaten any immediate had ceased to be representatives of peril to the State; but China's difficul- any political principle or public cause. ties will always be their opportunity, Prerogative had fallen, never to be and if the time should ever come when restored. But its place during the China may again have to face a for- reign of George III., particularly dureign foe, not the least part of her dan- ing the early part of the reign, was. ger may possibly arise from enemies taken, as Burke said, by Influence, within her own household.
with its patronage, its government boroughs, its civil list, its secret service fund, its royal smiles or frowns, and its King's Friends. Prerogative had been responsible, and had paid for
its encroachments by the loss of its From The Cornhill Magazine. crown or of its head. Influence was GEORGE THE THIRD.
irresponsible, the responsibility being Englishmen are accustomed to con- borne by the ministers. Herein lay gratulate themselves, and with some the mischief of the system. reason, on the flexibility of their un
The portrait of George III. in his written constitution and its capacity youth by Lord Waldegrave is well for practical progress without ostensi- known. It describes him as having
tolerable parts if they are properly ex- A small party is assembled in a room ercised; as strictly honest, but not at Windsor round Mrs. Delaney, an frank or open; as penurious; as sin- old lady whose goodness and amiabilcerely religious, but uncharitable in ity have made her a great favorite with his religion; as having spirit, but not virtuous and pious royalty. One of of the active kind, and resolution al- them, Miss Burney, is an authoress of lowed with obstinacy. “He has great repute. The door opens, and there command of his passions,” says enters a large man in black with a star Waldegrave, “and will seldom do upon his breast. Profound sensation wrong except when he niistakes wrong is caused by his appearance, and the for right; but as often as this shall party, in compliance with a curious happen, it will be difficult to unde etiquette, show their awful sense of ceive him, because he is uncommonly present royalty by huddling up to the indolent, and has strong prejudices. wall. The king talks affectionately to His want of application and aversion the good old lady and with playful apto business would be far less danger- propriateness to her literary friend, ous, was he eager in the pursuit of whose novels he has read with interpleasure; for the transition from est. He has a trick of saying, “What, pleasure to business is both shorter what, what;” but otherwise, unless the and easier than from a state of total report of his conversation has been inaction. He has a kind of unhappi- dressed, he talks not ill. He has read ness in his temper which, if it be not Voltaire and Rousseau. Voltaire, he conquered before it has taken too deep owns, he thinks a monster, as a relia root, will be a source of frequent gious man, without being a great bigot, anxiety. Whenever he is displeased, well might. Rousseau he dislikes less, his anger does not break out into heat and had given him a pension.
He and violence; but he becomes sullen reads the newspapers, though they and silent, and retires to his closet; are far from courtly. He is fond of not to compose his mind by study or plays, and criticises the comedies of contemplation, but merely to indulge his time. He has the misfortune to the melancholy enjoyment of his own let fall the remark to a lady who ill humor. Even when the fit is ended, would record it that “a great part of unfavorable symptoms very frequently Shakespeare is sad stuff, only you return, which indicate that on certain must not say so." But so thought Voloccasions his Royal Highness has too taire and all the devotees of the clascorrect a memory.”
sical rules. George spoke three lanThe indolence which Lord Walde- guages and had a taste for music; so grave notes, was exchanged, when the that, poor as his education in his boyyouth mounted the throne, for close hood had been, as a man he could application to business. To the intel- hardly be called uncultivated or incalectual qualities might have been pable on that account of taking in added a certain insight into the char- large ideas. That George III. was a acter and artfulness in managing men, pattern of personal and domestic virwith a not inconsiderable power of dis- tue, and so long as he was sane would simulation and intrigue. For the have been a worthy country gentlevices of education, first by the nursery man, nobody now denies. His pretty and afterwards by Lord Bute, Lord Quakeress bas vanished. Nor are the Waldegrave makes just allowance. English people to be derided for liking The tendency to insanity he could not to see the family well represented by have foreseen. He might, however, the royal household and valuing the have seen the low forehead and the social influence of a pure court, though prominent eyes by which nature had unhappily the political power gained warned all whom it might concern by private virtue was in this case so that she did not mean this man to rule used that a harem of pretty Quakerhis kind.
esses or the suppers of the French Re
gency would have done less harm to fruits of his and the nation's victories, the nation.
and thrusting into his place the walkThere can be no doubt that George ing gentleman Bute. Then, to illusIII., taking his mother's words, trate the superiority of monarchical “George, be a king!" thoroughly to over aristocratic government in purity, heart, set out with a fixed idea of re- rame the installation of Henry Fox, viving personal government. In vir- the incarnation of all that was most tue of that idea, tenaciously held and impure, as leader of the House of steadily pursued, he may be said to Commons, and the carrying of the uphave a title, though an unhappy one, popular treaty of peace by a process to the name of statesman. Nor was lülich eclipsed in effrontery as well his measure of success contemptible. as in profligacy all previous scandals Besides his qualities, he had the great of corruption. To show that the puhadvantage over the party leaders of lic service under real monarchy permanence of place, familiar would be free from party, civil serquaintance with all the men as well vants, even the humblest, were proas of all the questions, and of never scribed on party grounds. In a few losing the thread of affairs.
months, Bute, the chosen minister of Scarcely was he seated on the throne the patriot monarchy, was going about when he showed his aim by address- guarded by prize-fighters against the ing personal instructions behind the loyalty of a grateful and adoring back of his ministry to the new lord people. lieutenant of Ireland. Froude ap- After the Bute fiasco and the flight plauds the paper for the intention of Bute, George had to bow his neck which it shows of trying the experi- again to the yoke of the aristocratic ment whether Ireland might not be connections, and listen for two hours managed "by open rectitude and real at a stretch to the homilies of George integrity.” He does not mark the de- Grenville. Threats of retiring to Hansire of asserting personal power, or the over, vaporings about his personal apparent duplicity of the proceeding. honor, availed him not. In fact, the Ireland, in the upshot, owed a good vaporings evaporated as soon as he deal less than nothing to George III. saw that he had no choice. Obstinate
The part of patriot king which as he was, he was not wanting in the George had more or less consciously power of self-control. His hatred of set out to play, unluckily for his Chatham lasted to the end. He was scheme, was at that moment already disposed even to resent the erection of filled. Chatham, though uncrowned, a monument if it implied general apwas the patriot king, and he was probation of Chatham's policy as an reigning in a blaze of glory. Chat- insult to himself. Yet it did not prevent ham's ascendency, not oligarchical him from applying to Chatham, or monopoly, it was, that the restorer of
even from courting him, when no aipersonal government had to set him- ternative remained. Chatham's second self first to overthrow. True policy, ministry was far in accordance even in the interest of his own game, with the king's views that it was not would have suggested alliance with a party ministry, but made up, the towering popularity of the great Burke said, like a mosaic with pieces minister who had put aristocratic which had no previous connection with cabal under his feet, especially as each other. George did not give up his Chatham was an almost servile wor
game. He formed a little clique of shipper of monarchy, and at the levées King's Friends who forswore allegibowed, it is said, so low that you could ance to party, devoted themselves to see his nose between his legs.
their royal master, and the things the course taken was that of under- which their royal master bad to give; mining Chatham by a disgraceful proc. while Burke, proba wly overrating both ess of intrigue, throwing away the the numbers and the discipline of this