The French at Foochow

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Printed at the "Celestial Empire" Office, 1884 - China - 49 pages
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Page 43 - ... host of petty officials. Each viceroy raises his own army and navy, which he pays, or sometimes, unfortunately, does not pay, out of the revenues of his government. He levies his own taxes, and, except in particular cases, is the final court of appeal in all judicial matters within the limits of his rule. But in return for this latitude allowed him he is held personally responsible for the good government of his territory. If by any chance serious disturbances break out and continue unsuppressed,...
Page 43 - ... of Works, and several minor offices, all charged with the superintendence of the affairs of the eighteen provinces into which the empire is divided. Fifteen of these provinces are grouped into eight viceroyalties, and the remaining three are administered by governors. Each province is autonomous, or nearly so, and the supreme authorities, whether viceroys or governors, are practically independent so long as they act in accordance with the very minute regulations laid down for their guidance....
Page 43 - ... administered by governors. Each province is autonomous, or nearly so, and the supreme authorities, whether viceroys or governors, are practically independent so long as they act in accordance with the very minute regulations laid down for their guidance. The principal function of the Peking government is to see that these regulations are carried out, and in case they should not be, to call the offending viceroy or governor to account. Subordinate to the viceroys are the governors of each province,...
Page 28 - Our readers may remember the two ships on the stocks. Of these the one nearest completion was totally destroyed, while the other was left untouched; of the two completed ships one was left intact with the exception of small shot in her spars and masts, and the other was burnt to the water's edge. Strewn along the beach are rafters, masts, and other belongings of the numerous junks that were destroyed, the larger part of their timbers floating seaward.
Page 28 - Cowen, op. ctt., p. 25. pilots, withstood the conflagration of Saturday night and Sunday morning, but in the afternoon it fell in ruins. The machinery is twisted and bent out of shape, and probably of no more use. The boiler shop is in the same condition. The engine and pump houses were not struck by any large shot, but the Hotchkiss balls perforated them and damaged the interior to a great extent. Along the front of the yard is a quantity of wreckage. "Our readers may remember the two ships on the...
Page 44 - ... rule is just and beneficent, it is equally incumbent on them to resist his authority, to depose him, and even to put him to death in case he should desert the paths of rectitude and virtue. As a matter of fact, however, it is very difficult to say what extent of power the emperor actually wields. The outside world sees only the imperial bolts, but how they are forged, or whose is the hand that shoots them, none can tell. Of course, in the case of unusually able men, such as K'ang-he (1661-1722)...
Page 44 - K'ang-he (16611722) and K'een-lung (1735-1795), the second and fourth rulers of the present dynasty, their influence is more felt than that of less energetic rulers ; but the throne of China is so hedged in with ceremonials, and so padded with official etiquette, that unless its occupant be a man of supreme ability, he cannot fail to fall under the guidance of his ministers and favorites.
Page 44 - ... father's law is supreme, so the emperor exercises complete control over his subjects, even to the extent of holding under certain recognized conditions their lives in his hands. But from time immemorial it has been held by the highest constitutional authorities, by Confucius and Mencius among the rest, that the duties existing between the emperor and his people are reciprocal, and that, though it is the duty of the people to render a loyal and willing obedience to the emperor so long as his rule...
Page 43 - ... proceedings. As has been already said, the affairs of each province are administered by the viceroy or governor and his subordinates, and, speaking generally, their rule is as enlightened and as just as could be expected in an oriental country where public opinion finds only a very imperfect utterance. Official purity and justice must be treated as comparative terms in China.
Page 27 - From this [an obstruction erected by the Chinese in the Min River below Foochow] down to the Navy Yard, no destruction is visible, with the exception of stray shot (mostly from Hotchkiss guns) having struck in some of the villages. Approaching the yard one would imagine the damage done hardly enough for such a fire. A portion of the wall about the coal yard, and the same at the dock, is the only visible evidence of battle, but on landing a different scene presents itself to view. Destruction is on...

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