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territory in Kiang-hung. It is this foolish policy of mischievously trying to set one nation against the other that has cost China so dear. It is the “policy of the weak," as frankly enunciated by Li Hung-chang. In this particular instance we were not heart-broken at the opportunity of making China pay a just penalty for the silly attempt, and we promptly exacted compensation to suit our convenience on the Burma frontier. Germany, sur ces entrefaites, got no thanks whatever from China, Russia, or France; all three, or, at least, two of the three, too lightly regarding her as a gratuitous intruder (or to-shi, as the Chinese say). If Russia ever felt any gratitude at all, she had now got all she wanted, and made no visible effort to exhibit it. All this was naturally calculated to irritate Germany, who had thus made an enemy of Japan without having anything in hand to show for it. Certainly, from a pure bargainer's point of view, Germany was entitled to expect some reward ; but the Chinese, with their usual slipperiness, evaded all attempts made by her officious friends to obtain a naval station. Germany's opportunity accordingly arose when, on November 1, 1897, two German missionaries were murdered in Shan Tung, and a colony was promptly baptized in the blood of the martyrs. The Russian right to take Kiao Chou on temporary lease had not yet been exercised, and the Cassini Convention said nothing about restricting the rights of other Powers there. Perhaps some involuntary remark which the German Emperor had adroitly caused the Czar to drop at the famous interview which anticipated M. Felix Faure left the German course technically clear. The Germans, according to their own published account, carefully eluded British watchfulness, chose the moment, and slipped into Kiao Chou unawares, taking forcible possession of the place in time of peace, and driving out the Chinese troops without further parley. Baron Heyking proved obdurate in the subsequent negotiations, and the Manchu Government, by not summoning courage to resist on this supreme occasion, sealed their own doom possibly for ever. The next thing was the “ temporary occupation ” of Port Arthur and Ta-lien Wan by Russia, who no doubt could now plead : “ The serpent tempted me, and I did eat,” though that is an inadequate plea in the eyes of justice. The insolent stupidity of the Chinese Government, more especially in missionary matters, had meanwhile so alienated the sympathies of foreigners in China that, shocking though this singular disregard for those international conventions usually known as “international law was universally felt to be, there was a general sentiment that it served China right, more especially as in yielding to Germany the mischievous Celestial statesmen clearly hoped to set foreign nations by the ears, and get Germany turned out. Russia, however, simply took her share. England and France promptly demanded compensation on the ground that: “ If you are going to sit silent and let the adversaries play false cards at the international rubber, we demand the right to play two cards of any suit we like to make the game even." It may not have been a generous thing to do, but, at any rate, it was natural and human, and China brought it on herself by her own pusillanimous action. China, in short, for once overreached herself. This sort of thing had always paid well in bygone times, with ignorant Huns, Turks, Tibetans, and inferior frontier tribes generally; but European nations, though spiteful and jealous of each other, were found to be of tougher material than Tartars, and, moreover, they had the advantage of a more logical and scientific training, better ineans of exchanging views, and more financial “pull." Perhaps the greatest come down of all for Manchu dignity was when Prince Henry exacted, on absolutely equal terms, personal and informal interviews with the Empress-Dowager and the Emperor.
Since then poor China has been going à la derive, and Christian diplomacy, “so sensitive in point of right,” has been like a bee-hive without the queen, “all over the place,” for want of a disinterested leader and a righteous man. Amidst the noisy talk of Kwa-fên, or “ slicing up like a melon,” which succeeded Germany's stunning blow administered to the poor staggering gladiator just as he was recovering a little breath, China bridled up as haughtily as possible in silence, and set to work arming with a will, now trying on the old foolish game of inciting the jealousy of one Power against the other; now making a spasmodic resistance, as in the case of the Italian demands ; and now giving way in sheer desperation to a tremendous and ruinous demand such as that recently advanced by France : this demand is in favour of religious bodies she uses for political purposes in the Far East, but periodically chases away at home.
In 1879-80 China had made an honest effort to get rid of this politico-religious incubus by arranging through Mr. Dunn for a nuncio or legate from the Pope; she was prepared to give the utmost protection and toleration to Catholics and converts provided that mere moral arguments were used with her, and that no force was applied; and the Pope welcomed it, as any honest Christian would have done. But France promptly interposed, as “ Protector of the Catholics” in the Far East, with her political veto, and practically threatened to overturn the Pope's influence in France unless the Holy Father left hers alone in China. The Pope gave way, or his advisers did. Twenty years later we have a repetition of this compromising spirit at the Vatican in the disavowal of the Christian forgiveness extended to an excommunicated King's memory, of the Bishop of Cremona's action, and of the Queen of Italy's harmless hymn of sorrow. The earliest use Germany made of her first Catholic mission in China, and of her successful assertion against French pretensions of her right to protect her own Catholics in the Far East, was in connection with Kiao Chou, when Bishop Anzer adopted the most militant of attitudes in advising the German Emperor. It seems to me an incongruous garb that modern religion is thus decking herself in, and one bearing a suspicious resemblance to
the cloak of the Inquisition. Of course, the double-dealing of the Chinese themselves is largely responsible for this Borgian and Medician type of political Christianity; but, on the other hand, extra - territorialism and missionary zeal is innocently responsible for Chinese intrigue and treachery. What should we think if unkempt and bearded Russian “popes” in their gaberdines had the right to stand up preaching in broken English on a stand at Nelson's monument? Or if a couple of half-shaved, scowling Spanish priests accompanied as advocates to Sir F. Lushington's court a more or less innocent Cockney Catholic youth charged with breaking Protestant windows ? Yet this is what goes on daily all over China. My humble views upon missionary propaganda in China are expressed at length in the Dublin Review for April, 1897. As that is a Catholic journal, and as I distinctly stated at the outset that I was a non-Catholic, and proceeded to criticize the Catholics, it is evident that the missionary case must be fairly stated therein, or the paper would not have been accepted. I will quote a sentence or two: “I could never see that either the ignorant or the educated Chinese cared much for dogma. As the French priests used to say, “Ce sont de tristes Chrétiens.' ... It is the medical missions which are the great success [everywhere]. The French missionaries exact the utmost personal deference; no converts of any rank presume to sit down. ... The Protestant missionaries do good in the following way: They teach poor children to be clean, speak the truth, and behave themselves modestly, chastely, and quietly. As to the adult male converts, I could never convince myself they were in earnest.” The fact is, historically the really well-informed Chinese think they see clearly that Christianity is nothing more than the doctrine of Buddha carried to Syria by Hindoo priests, and modified to suit the ancient religion of the Jews, just as at the same moment other Buddhist emissaries softened the asperities of Shamanism, Taoism, or Confucianism, and carried the gentle doctrine
of equality and mercy to China, Corea, Burma, and Japan. Moreover, when Nestorianism and Buddhism were both working together at Si-an Fu, the Chinese not unreasonably regarded them as different forms of the same religion ; and, in fact, when I witnessed during a year's stay in Burma the simple, unpretending devotion of all ranks, the indifference to wealth, the enormous charity, the respectful gatherings of all sorts of people to hear sermons in the village k'aungs, the decent simplicity and freedom of women, the equality of all “classes,” etc., and compared it with the flaunting worldliness of our own fashionable churches, with their squires' pews, their stingy collections, the simpering of over-dressed women, the shame to be seen kneeling, the squabbles about trumpery points in “doctrine,” upon which Christ Himself never expressed any opinion, and the general snobbery of class distinctions, I often felt that there was more of the genuine spirit of Christianity in frank Buddhism than in our own sanctimonious, worldly sectarianism and pretence. Anyhow, the learned Chinese, rightly or wrongly, regard the whole missionary business as a historical fraud, and they have as much right to do so as we have to criticize their own solemn “idolatrous" farces (as they appear to us). They say: “At the time
“ all this took place, Han Wu Ti had conquered half Asia; Chinese civilization and power were at their zenith ; more than half Europe was still in a state of barbarism. Why should a petty nation called the Jews, who to this day are despised outcasts nearly all over the European world, have had all this tenderness lavished upon them by Heaven, with a reversion of benefits to the uncivilized hordes of Europe, whilst several hundred million Chinese were to be entirely left out in the cold for 2,000 years?" When in addition to the Quixotic absurdity of the entire case (as it seems to them)
to them) from its historical and philosophical aspect, they observe Russian Christians calling themselves Orthodox, having married priests and not proselytizing at all ; Catholic celibate priests getting up a political quarrel