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as ever.

predominant partner, If other nations refuse to join, England should proceed alone, as she did in Egypt. In doing this no time should be lost, because every day makes the task more difficult. The justification for our action is that our selfinterest requires it; at the same time we ask for nothing that all the world is not welcome to share in. But we owe it as a duty to ourselves and to our posterity to see that our commercial interests are not left dependent on the goodwill of any foreign Power. Finally, we are bound, in the interests of our Indian Empire, to see that there be no such disturbance of the balance of power in the East as will endanger the safety of that great trust.

We have not space enough to refer in detail to what we have termed the latent resources of China. Our readers will understand that when we speak of the decay of China we mean the decay of that system which calls itself the Government. The great mass of the nation is as full of healthy and vigorous life

But, accustomed as they have been through countless generations to obey, they can in no way influence or control their fate. Political evils must be borne as best they can. Their one remedy, when things are desperate, is the sacred right of rebellion. But amid all the misgovernment the work of the nation goes on. The productive powers of the country are as vigorous as ever. If the taxes yield a small amount, it is because of the peculation and corruption that are rampant. If the soldier is inefficient, it is because he is badly paid, badly fed, and placed under ignorant and incompetent officers, who only seek to fill their purses at his expense. All this might be changed by the magician's wand, as has been done in Egypt. With a population sixty times as large as that of Egypt, and of a character far superior to the fellaheen in all the manly virtues, it may easily be perceived what a magnificent country China might become.

We can only notice briefly the latest contribution to our knowledge of China, 'The Yangtze Valley and Beyond. Many and various as Mrs. Bishop's wanderings have been, we doubt whether she ever encountered more formidable difficulties than she did on this journey into the upper regions of the Yangtze basin, difficulties due not so much to natural obstacles—though these were not inconsiderable—as to official opposition and to the unrestrained lawlessness of certain sections of the population. It would have been no small achievement for any one to accomplish a journey of one thousand two hundred miles, occupying a space of four months, through a country without roads and among a people seldom friendly and sometimes

actively hostile. Such a task Mrs. Bishop set herself, with no other escort than some chair coolies hired for the occasion, and one native servant; and she carried it to a successful conclusion, not, however, without serious personal danger, which might easily have had fatal consequences.

We pass over her earlier chapters, which deal with Shanghai, Hankow, and other well-known places on the lower basin of the Yangtze, merely premising that the reader who desires the latest information regarding these places will here find it in a condensed but trustworthy form. From Shanghai to Ichang, a distance of a thousand miles, the journey is performed with ease and rapidity in one of the regular trading steamers. At Ichang begins the section of the river known as the Yangtze Gorges,' leading up to Chungking, the centre of the trade of Szechuen. This part has long been familiar to English readers in the graphic pages of Mr. Little. We note, in passing, that Mr. Little has taken the opportunity of a third edition of his book to add a chapter describing the manner in which he took his small steamer up the rapids. It was a bold piece of work successfully managed, but it does not in the least solve the problem of steam navigation on these waters.

Our own opinion is that, though something may be done to improve the worst rapids by blasting and other agencies, the difference in height between the two termini will always make the carriage of goods by the water route an expensive matter.

The true connecting link between the upper and lower sections of the Yangtze Valley must be a railway, notwithstanding that an extremely mountainous stretch lies between. This, however, by the way. Mrs. Bishop made the journey, like everyone else, in a native boat dragged up the rapids by main force against the stream. She asked a missionary at Ichang what one did to kill time on the way up. • Most people,' said he, "have enough to do looking after their lives.' And certainly for a traveller who wants a little excitement we commend this journey.

Mrs. Bishop's journey proper began at Wanhsien, a point on the Yangtze about half-way between Ichang and Chungking. Thence she struck inland, travelling nearly due west through a region which has never been described before, until she passed beyond the confines of Chinese jurisdiction, and entered one of those semi-independent territories which fringe the western border of Szechuen. Among these people, termed the Mantze, she was received with a politeness and hospitality which contrasted favourably with the rude impertinence and frequent insults which she had been subjected to in some of

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the towns and villages of China proper. Thence she retraced her steps by Chengtu and Chialing, and floated down the Yangtze back to Shanghai.

The general idea conveyed by Mrs. Bishop's book confirms the impression that Szechuen is on the whole the most prosperous and wealthy province in China. Her description of the plain of Chengtu, with its population of four millions in an area of 2,500 square miles (1,600 to the square mile), and of its mode of irrigation, is full of interest. Two thousand years ago an engineer named Li Ping cut a channel 100 feet deep through a bed of solid rock, and diverted the waters of the River Min into thousands of minor channels which carry fertilising rivulets across this plain. On a temple erected to his memory there is inscribed, in letters of gold, the motto which he bequeathed for the guidance of his countrymen : •Dig the bed deep, keep the banks low.' We must find room for one extract:

• With a faithfulness rare in China, Li Ping's motto has been carried out for twenty-one centuries. In March the bed of the artificial Min, which has been closed by a barrier since the previous November, is carefully dug out till the workmen reach two iron cylinders sunk in the bed of the stream, which mark its proper level. The silt of the year, which is from five to six feet thick, is then removed. . . . In late March or early April there is a grand ceremony, sometimes attended by the Viceroy, when the winter dam is cut, and the strong torrent of the Min, seized upon by human skill, is divided and subdivided, twisted, curbed by dams and stone revetments, and is sent into innumerable canals and streams, till, aided by a fall of twelve feet to the mile, there is not a field which has not a continual supply, or an acre of the Chengtu plain in which the musical gurglo of the bright waters of the Tibetan uplands is not heard-waters so abundant that though drought may exist all round, this vast oasis remains a paradise of fertility and beauty.*

It is with regret that we infer from Mrs. Bishop's pages the wide prevalence of a strong anti-foreign feeling. This is all the more remarkable, because Mr. Little on his first trip up the Gorges found none of it. He particularly notices the absence of such opprobrious epithets as · Foreign devil,' to which, unfortunately, we are only too well accustomed in provinces nearer the coast. Mrs. Bishop's experience was very different from that of Mr. Little. She rarely approached a city of any size without being greeted by some hostile demonstration of the kind, and at Liang-shan she barely escaped with her life. The recent growth of this anti-foreign feeling is in all

* «The Yangtze Valley and Beyond,' p. 347.

probability, due to the pernicious influence of the Hunan Tracts which were assiduously circulated some years ago by the society of which the notorious Chow Han was the moving spirit. It is an unpleasant element in the situation, which cannot be ignored, and which it is to be feared may yet cause us trouble in our dealings with the Yangtze Valley.

Mrs. Bishop's .Concluding Remarks' sum up with great accuracy the political situation, and we are glad to find ourselves substantially in accord with the views expressed.

• Commercial and industrial energy is not decaying; the vast fleets of junks are not rotting in barbours; industry, thrift, resourcefulness, and the complete organisation both of labour and commerce meet the traveller at every turn.' On the other band, 'the infamies of Chinese administration to-day have been rivetted upon China by centuries of political retrogression and the gradual lowering of the standard of public virtue in the absence of a wholesome public opinion.'

Mrs. Bishop, we think, takes too roseate a view of the possibilities of internal reform, but she admits that foreign aid is, in present circumstances, indispensable.

• In this turmoil, and with the European nations thundering at her gates, it is impossible for China to attempt any reforms which would not from the nature of the case be piecemeal and superficial. The reform of an administration like hers needs the prolonged and careful consideration of the best minds in the Empire, with such skilled and disinterested foreign advice as was given by Sir Harry Parkes to Japan when she embarked on her new career. China is certainly at the dawn of a new era. Whether the twentieth century shall place her where she ought to be, in the van of Oriental nations, or whether it shall witness her disintegration or decay, depends very largely on the statesmanship and influence of Great Britain.'

We tender to Mrs. Bishop our hearty congratulations on the successful completion of her work. It describes with admirable terseness and lucidity the salient features of the great regia which has been recognised by China as own particular sphere. Whatever the future may be, the magnitude of our interests in this area is undeniable, and an exact knowledge, not merely of its commercial capabilities, but of the character of the people with whom we have to deal, is essential, if we are to grapple successfully with the problem.

our

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ART. II.1. Ave Roma Immortalis. Studies from the Chronicles

of Rome. By F. Marion Crawford. London and New York:

Macmillan, 1898. 2. History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages. By Ferdinand

Gregorovius. Translated from the Fourth German Edition

by Annie Hamilton. London: Bell and Sons, 1894–98. 3. The Remains of Ancient Rome. By Prof. J. H. Middleton.

Second Edition. London and Edinburgh: A. and C. Black,

1892. 4. Rome, the Pagan City. By John Dennie. Third Edition.

New York: Putnam, 1896. 5. Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries. By R. A.

Lanciani. London: Macmillan, 1888. 6. Pagan and Christian Rome. By R. A. Lanciani. London:

Macmillan, 1892. And other works.

HEN the Italian army entered Rome on September 20th,

1870, the Middle Ages came to an end. Straightway the new spirit began to make its presence felt. The streets were swept clean, their pavements set with smooth blocks of Java, their names absorbed in fresh thoroughfares which, ploughing into gardens and vineyards, and sometimes levelled by the explosion of much gunpowder, ran across the city, or ringed it about, and gave it in more than one direction the air of a Parisian boulevard. Tramcars, electric light, advertisements, and the speculative builder seemed to be everywhere. The old dreamy ways were thronged with a population of half a million. The Tiber was tamed with stone embankments, as ugly as they were needful ; and ancient houses, the delight of the antiquary, were torn down to give them a sure footing. Malaria, long known, and almost proud of its name, as the Roman fever, vanished before the science of sanitation. The Ghetto, which was always healthy in spite of its teeming crowds, malodorous rags, and honeycomb of houses packed together, was abolished at a blow. Its area was laid open, and the narrow stage on which Israel for eighteen hundred years had played its part in Rome was put up to auction, but still awaits the highest bidder. When the Jew packed up and marched out of prison, the Pope shut himself up inside the Vatican, from which he has never since emerged. The leavings of ages were swept away, to the dismay of dilettante and pilgrim, while the heart of the politician rejoiced, and the financier drew out his prospectus of a New Rome,

The old, however, was still there. To an incredible extent,

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