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murdered; but every other foreign representative had been attacked, and if he is alive it is no fault of his assailants. As a matter of fact no German troops took part in the rescue of the legations, because no Germans reached Peking
We may, therefore, take Count von Waldersee's appointment as a hint of what Germany would like to do rather than what she will be able to do, or will even try to do. That she will not go counter to any steadfastly held wish or intention of Russia may be regarded as certain. All the Powers having disclaimed any intention of dismembering China, or of seizing sınall patches of Chinese territory, we may credit them with sincerity, no matter what the real reason prompting the disclaimer may be. Equal confidence may be felt in the sincerity of their declarations that they must insist on compensation for the wrongs done them and security for permanent international good behaviour on the part of the Chinese for the future—these being precautions too obvious to be omitted. If the concert of the Powers can be maintained, it is not to be doubted that the objects specified can be secured.
It is possible to attach undue importance to the question of keeping military possession of Peking or of evacuating it and occupying some other place—for example, Tientsin. In spite of the stories which reach Western newspapers from the Far East, the Chinese have had a lesson which they are not likely to forget soon. They do not wish to see a third hostile re-occupation of their capital; and the Imperial family-for every reason that can have weight with an Oriental dynasty—must be keenly alive to the risks that it would run were it again compelled to undergo the humiliation of ignominious flight from a foreign army. It is true that, in the late operations, the Chinese exhibited a daring and a knowledge of modern warfare which were unexpected; but it is also true that these did not avail to save the Court from expulsion, nor the capital from occupation by foreigners. No one will dispute the moral, and, perhaps, the military, advantages of retaining possession of Peking; but it would be a very high price to pay for those advantages, if they are to be bought only by exhibiting to the Chinese disagreement amongst the interested Powers. It is, therefore, to be hoped that-whatever decision may be come toit will be one to which these all may unanimously agree.
The Russian proposal for the evacuation of Peking, we are now informed, has been amended by force of circumstances.' The Tsar's Minister left on September 29, and,
though Russian troops are being withdrawn from the city, a respectable force remains. An important communication made to other Governments by that of Germany is, at the moment of writing, under consideration. All the Powers are agreed on certain points. They desire that the real authors of the recent hideous outrages on foreigners should be punished; that proper compensation should be given by China ; and that arrangements should be made rendering it impossible for the late occurrences to be repeated. Germany considered that a preliminary condition of entering upon
diplomatic dealings with the Chinese Government is the 'surrender of those persons regarding whom it has been • ascertained that they were the original and real instigators
of those crimes against the law of nations which were com‘mitted in Peking. It is, therefore, proposed that the Cabinets concerned should invite their representatives in Peking to designate those leading Chinese personages regarding whose guilt there can be no reasonable doubt. The only reply to this communication as yet (October 1) made public is that of the United States. The gist of this reply is that the punishment of the real authors of the wrongs committed in China should be 'a condition to be embraced and provided for in the negotiations for a final settlement, and that 'no punitive measures will be so effective' as those inflicted by the Imperial Chinese authority itself. Many reports of the attitude of the various Powers towards the German proposal have been published in the newspapers of Continental countries, but most of these reports are but little worthy of belief. It is likely, however, that several Governments incline more to the view of the United States than to that of Germany. This is corroborated by what looks like an inspired statement in a Berlin journal, that the German Government is ready to renounce the idea of making the surrender of the chief culprits in China a preliminary condition of negotiations. The adoption of the German view might, and probably would, have been followed by a refusal on the part of the Chinese to give up the culprits in question, which must have led to a long and difficult campaign. In dealing with Orientals, no greater mistake can be made than demanding what you are not certain of being able to compel them to give. The Powers generally appear to understand this.
Towards the end of September Chinese Imperial edicts were issued directing the degradation and trial of Prince Tuan and other princes and high officials; and the Emperor
of China addressed to the German Emperor a letter expressing sorrow at the murder of the latter Sovereign's Minister, and containing a special earnest appeal' that early negotiations for peace might be allowed. If we may assume that these steps have been taken in sincerity, we may look upon them as indications of a desire to satisfy the reasonable demands of the foreign Powers. Count von Waldersee has arrived in Northern China, and the allied forces there number some 70,000. Of these, the German contingent amounts, or soon will amount, to 22,000. The ebullient enthusiasm aroused in Germany by Count von Waldersee's nomination as Generalissimo of the Allies and by the despatch of troops to the Far East has now cooled down. It has, in fact, given place to what is described as ‘national discouragement and anxiety.' If the Chinese give satisfactory proof of an honest desire to arrive at a settlement, the moment is not unfavourable ; and it ought to be within the capacity of Occidental diplomacy to formulate one promising to be durable. The withdrawal of the German forces without their having seen active service cannot but be unpleasant to those valiant troops; but, if the feeling in Germany strongly demands it, it will be carried out, though the garrison of Kiao-chow may receive a large and permanent addition.
ART. IX.-Burnet's History of My own Time.
A new edition, based on that of M. J. Routh, D.D., by OSMUND Airy, M.A. Part I. The Reign of Charles the Second. In two volumes. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897, 1900. HEN, after the death of Queen Anne, the clouds of
oblivion most happily began to settle down on the volcanic mountain of feuds and hatreds that for a hundred years of civil strife had been daily cast up with fire and dirt and turmoil of hell, it seemed as if nothing would ever again disturb the mists of ignorance under which the era of the Stuarts was shut off from the sympathy of succeeding generations. But now that in our own era these mists are rolling away before the searching breeze of inquiry, or are being sucked up by the sun of a warmer charity, although in the deepest gullies the clouds still roll and cluster, we are at last beginning to see the true form of that once fiery mountain that now stands cold and magnificent in the light of history.
Few men of that time gain more by this dispersal of prejudice and of ignorance than Bishop Gilbert Burnet, whose last care in this life was to offer up his reputation on the altar of posterity by leaving behind him for publication a “ history of his own time. He had
He had many adversaries, and he chose to write a book calculated to give them at once the deepest offence and the liveliest cause of exultation, In this book he recorded what he knew about the secret history of that discreditable series of great events which led from the Restoration of Charles II. to the final establishment of English liberty. This book was based on no proofs and attested by no documents; it was merely the record of what Burnet himself had learnt, sometimes at first hand, sometimes by rumour in high places. It was inevitable that such a book should be denounced by the indignant Tories as a pile of malicious inventions, and that his reputation for prejudice and inaccuracy should have become permanent and proverbial. Dean Swift read the book and wrote his terrible comments along the margin of his copy; in 1823 these notes were given to a delighted public in Dr. Routh's edition of Burnet.* But now that,
* The best of Swift's notes are kept in Mr. Airy's edition. They are conspicuous for fierce brevity; e.g. in one place Burnet employs an unusual expression : 'Is this a Scotch word ?' asks Swift. In
in the light of modern investigation, and by the help of newly published documents, it has at last become possible to estimate the real trustworthiness of this strange book, it is remarkable how just is its estimate of the character and purpose of statesmen, how accurate its general conclusions as to the tendency of events. In matters of detail its inaccuracy is the same as that of all memoirs written without correction from documents.
The fact is that Burnet's materials, though not documentary, were better than his contemporaries believed. They knew that his pride and imagination exaggerated his intimacy with the great, and they held it impossible that so indiscreet a man should ever have been admitted to the inner counsels of statesmen. Yet his other qualities, his honesty in a venal world, his charity and moderation in a time of violent counsels, had in truth won for him from his boyhood upwards the intimacy of men in power, Tory as well as Whig.
But he had not only more of the knowledge, but more of the impartiality requisite for an historian, than his enemies would admit. His views were more moderate and his mind less partial than was supposed by many whom he outraged by the impulsive frankness of his conversation or offended by the arrogance of his personal carriage. If he snorted in church when the prayer was read for King James while the more decorous rebels around him chimed in with a hypocritical Amen, he had been one of the few Whigs who, when James's co-religionists were being murdered, regarded the Popish Plot not as a heaven-sent party occasion, but as a foul outrage on humanity and justice. A latitudinarian from his youth up, the bosom friend of the gentle peacemaker Archbishop Leighton, Burnet, in spite of his lack of humility, on the whole carried more of the Christian code of ethics about his burly person than either his Dissenting friends or his High Church foes. The violent apostle of toleration, he was always against the Whigs when they transgressed, and never hot in his denunciation of the Tories when they observed, the limits of reason and humanity.
In no part of Burnet's work does his real knowledge of secret history, his essential fairness to all men, or the moderation of his political views, appear so clearly as in his
another place Burnet says Leighton's style was rather too fine.' * Burnet is not guilty of that,' says Swift. VOL. CXCII. NO. VOCXCIV.