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This brief account of the outbreak in Northern China is based for the most part upon letters, written at the time and afterwards, to the 'Manchester Guardian,' and upon articles in the 'Contemporary' and in the 'Monthly Review,' which I have been kindly permitted to use.
I have not attempted any account of the Siege of Peking, and I have only given a mere epitome of the Seymour Expedition, inasmuch as there have already been full narratives of both; but I have described at considerable length the investment and bombardment of the foreign settlements at Tientsin, and the assault and capture of the Tientsin native city, as they were of great interest; nor, so far as I know, has there as yet been any detailed description of them.
For the sake of clearness I have arranged what I have written under three heads: an account of the actual military operations; a discussion of the policies adopted by the various Powers; and a consideration of the position and rights of the Christian
missionaries in China, whose future status is one of the urgent questions with which the Powers have yet to deal; the claim of the Chinese Government to have it regarded from their point of view, as well as from that of the missionaries, having acquired additional force from the recent refusal of the British Government to admit missionaries into the Sudan, and from the action of the French Government towards various religious orders in France. I have tried throughout to present the Chinese view of the different matters in dispute equally with that of the Powers, it being impossible not to feel that the responsibility for the terrible tragedy of last year does not by any means rest wholly upon China.
For my illustrations I am chiefly indebted to Mr. Hamilton Berners and Mr. L. Foster, two young Englishmen who were travelling at the time in the East, and who managed to get up to Peking within a few days of the relief of the Legations.
The two Chinese pictures were taken from a Chinaman who was apprehended and punished for distributing inflammatory placards in Shanghai. They were kindly given to me by Mr. Hewett, a member of the Shanghai Municipal Council.