« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
on the center table, and the marriage contract and gold seals on the side tables. The two commissioners then retire and leave the arrangements in charge of the eunuchs belonging to the Empress's residence.
On the 26th of February, all being ready, four princesses will proceed to the Empress's residence at 12 o'clock a. m. (sic), to assist in robing the Empress. The robes that she will have to wear are :
A red silk head-dress decorated with pearls, chrysophrases, coral, rubies, carnelians, amethysts, and jasper, and blue feathers.
An embroidered court robe decorated with pearls, with jewels on the overlaps.
The Einpress will rest after being robed, and then a eunuch will come to the hall and invito her to come out and receive the marriage contract and gold seal. She will be attended by two princesses, while a eunuch holds the contract in both hands and reads it to her. This done, the Empress will retire to her hall and again rest. A eunach then takes the gold scepter and seal and hands them to the chief commissioner, who replaces them in their pavilions, all the proper officers and attendants being in their places. Another eunuch will fix the auspicious time, and then eight eunuchs will carry the Empress's chair into the hall, the chair containing a scepter inlaid with jade. This scepter will be taken out by two princesses, and Landed to a eunuch who will give it to the officer of the imperial household, who will replace it in its pavilion.
The princesses will then help the Empress to take her seat in her chair, after giv. ing her an apple, the chair having been fumigated with a piece of Thibetan incense, and having been placed in the position of "Pleasing God.” The whole procession will then escort the Empress to the imperial palace by the main front entrance, the Ta Ching gate. Princesses and noble ladies will enter by the back gate, the Shên Wu gate, and will await the arrival of the procession at the palace. Onits arrival at the Chien.ching gate, the attendants must stop, and the pavilions having been replaced here, the ministers of the board of rites will take out the gold seal and marriage contract from these pavilions and place them on the tables arranged at the Chiao-tai palace, where eunuchs will be in waiting to receive them. During this time the officials of the board of music will perform, and then eight eunuchs will carry the Empress's chair into the Chien-ching palace, where she will be requested to alight, and will be transferred to another chair decorated with peacocks' feathers, in which she will be carried to the Chung-tsui palace. Here a brazier of live coals will have been made ready, over which her chair will be carried. The appointed princess will then ask her to alight, and present her with an apple. The scepter, inlaid with jade, will then be taken out of her chair and she will be presented with a precious bottle" containing pearls and gold coins.
A bow and arrow and a saddle have been previously placed on the threshold of the bridal chamber, and the Emperor having arrived in full costume to meet his bride, takes the bow and arrow and shoots at the saddle on the threshold, and then removes the bride's veil. Two princesses then conduct the Empress to the bridal chamber where the Emperor sits on the left hand of the bed, and the Empress on the right, face to face. The princesses then request the imperial couple to drink by joining their wine cups. When night comes, some of the ladies of the court offer them the pudding called the “pudding of sons and grandsons," and the broth called the “broth of long life.”. This having been done the princesses will arrange the bed, scepters inlaid with jade being put at the four corners of the bedstead.
At 3 a. m. on the 27th of February the princesses go to tho bridal chamber to help the Empress to dress. The Emperor also puts on his full dress, and the proper in. structions are given to the imperial couple as to kneeling, kotowing, and rising. The Emperor then conducts the Empress to worship the Gods of Heaven, Earth, and the Household, which they do by kneeling and kotowing nine times. This done, they repair to the Hwu Huang temple where they burn Tibetan incense and kotow nine times; thence to the Cheng-chien palace where thoy kotow nine times before the images of their grandfather, father, and brother. Thence they come to the Chu-bsii palace, where they present scepters to the Empress Dowager and kotow nine times. The Empress Dowager gives them her own scepter, and they return to the palace, where the Empress kneels to present her scepter inlaid with jade to the Emperor, and kotows nine times. The Emperor confers his scepter inlaid with jade on the Em. press, who then takes her seat, and the two secondary empresses kneel down and kotow nine times to the Empress.
On the 3d of March a proclamation will make known the imperial marriage throughout the whole empire.
On the 5th of March the viceroys, governors, generals-in-chief, and brigadier-generals of the eighteen provinces, and nobles and high officials of the first and second rank in Peking, will congratulate the Emperor, each presenting him with a scepter inlaid with jade. On the following day the Emperor graciously gives a banquet to his ministers, and the envoys of his vassal kingdoms, which, by the gracious permission of the Empress Dowager is attended by the noble ladies of the court.
Note.-The Empress's gold scepter, decorated with pearl, signifies that the Empress guards her virtue as hard as gold, and as pure as pearl. The Empress's gold seal is made by the board of works, and' is engraved with hieroglyphic characters as her standard authority.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, March 8, 1889. (Received, April 23.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the reply of the prince and ministers of the foreign office to my communication conveying the felicitations of the President to His Majesty the Emperor, on the occasion of his marriage. I have, etc.
(Inclosure in No. 842.]
The Tsung-li Yamên to Mr. Denby.
PEKING, March 6, 1839. Your EXCELLENCY: The prince and ministers have had the honor to receive your excellency's communication conveying the felicitations of the President of the United States to His Majesty, the Emperor of China, on the occasion of his marriage, with the request that the same be made known to His Majesty. This fully evinces a sincere purpose on the part of the President to cultivate a good and kindly feeling, and of your excellency's good desire to maintain amicable relations, for which the prince and ministers express their sincere gratification.
The prince and ministers have presented in a memorial to the Emperor the sentiments conveyed in your excellency's communication, and, as in duty bound, send this reply for your information.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.
LEGATION OF TIE UNITED STATES,
Peking, March 8, 1889. (Received April 23.) SIR: I bave the honor to report that yesterday, the 7th of the month, I went with my suite, as also the entire diplomatic corps, to the Tsung-li Yamên, in answer to their invitation to a dinner, ordered by the decree of Her Majesty, the Empress Regent, Tzi An.
The affair, as by a royal decree, was a very unusual one. From a native stand-point the preparations were of a most elaborate nature, and to any eye cultured or artistic were extremely picturesque. Special buildings had been erected for the banquet at a reported cost exceeding 6,000 taels.
On entering the outer gates of the inclosure large panels of lacquered wood were discovered, bearing gilt and red Chinese characters wishing us all “ prosperity," " longevity," "happiness” and “ official promo
tion." His Imperial Highness, Prince Ching, a second cousin to His Majesty and the president of the Tsung-li Yamên, welcomed us cordially, and after him all the ministers and secretaries, clad in their robes of rank and office.
Arriving in the first or reception-room, everything showed pains and expense in preparation, Old decorations had given place to new and handsomer ones, and whether in compliment to their guests or in keeping with their ideas of luxury, foreign carpets covered the floors.
In the center of this room, on handsomely lacquered and painted tables, were exhibited a large number of presents, intended for the several foreign ministers, of scepters of jade carved in bas relief, satins, and embroidered trinkets for personal use.
The banqueting hall was built of woods richly painted and frescoed, glass of fantastic shape and design, the whole being profusely hung with rare native paintings, mottoes of friendly purport and stuff in wool and silk, the imperial color, yellow, largely prevailing. All the tables and seats were covered with valuable embroideries, and the service of silver, porcelain, and glass was entirely new for the occasion. Ivory “kwai tsz," i. e., “pimble lads” or “chop sticks” were at each cover, and the menu comprised such national delicacies as “ birds' nests soup," "shark's fins,” and “bamboo shoots "—these last from the valuable furniture wood of tbat name in its earlier and tender stage.
The place of honor, the left of his Imperial Highness, according to Chinese etiquette, was given of course to our Doyen, the next on his right to myself.
I inclose herewith a copy of his Imperial Highness' speech of welcome, and also the Doyen's toast to the health of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager and His Majesty the Emperor, and my own to his bighness Prince Ching and their excellencies the ministers of the Tsung-li Yainên. I have, etc.,
(Inclosure 1 in No. 815.)
Speeches of Prince Ching.
We are entertaining your excellencies at the banquet given at this Yamên to-day in obedience to the commands of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager. In the decree in which these commands were promulgated, allusion has been made to the close relations of friendship existing between China and foreign countries, and Her Majesty has referred in complimentary terms to the merits of your excellencies here assembled. Not only do your excellencies, I presume, attend this banquet with pleasurable feelings, but it is a source of extreme satisfaction to myself and my colleagues, the ministers of the Yamôn, to entertain you as commanded by Her Majesty. The relations between China and foreign countries are now growing more intimate day by day, while trade is flourishing in a correspondingly satisfactory ratio. This happy state of things is attributable to the gracious merits and beneficent and successful efforts of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager during the past thirty years, and the policy thus laid down will be sedulously followed by my august sovereign in obedience to the teachings of Her Majesty, thereby securing in our relations with foreign countries the blessings of continued prosperity and peace. The banquet that we are celebrating to-day is a token of the friendly relations that have existed between us for so many years past, and is an augury of the perpetual maintenance of these friendly relations in the days to come, while the record of this auspicious gathering will find a place in the histories of foreign countries. On the tablet which is to be seen on the portals of this Yamên, four characters are inscribed, Chung-wai-ship-fee, meaning “may all prosperity attend Chinese and foreigner.” The banquet of to-day renders this sentiment especially appropriate. I raise this glass in respectful salotation to the Emperors and Empresses, the Kings and Queens, and the Presidents of foreign nations. I wish them continuous prosperity and long life, and the blessings of peace and happiness to the people over whoin they rule.
Yonr excellencies have reported to your respective Governments the two important events tbat have recently taken place, the retirement of Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager, from the duties of government, and the marriage of His Majesty, the Emperor. In some cases imperial or royal letters have been sent, in others telegrams of congratulation have been received, or the dispatch of valuable presents has been announced. Your excellencies have further been good enough to hoist the flags of your respective legations on the 26th of February and the 4th of March, in honor of the occasion, and it is our duty to offer you our thanks for the compliment. Answers to the letters will be dispatched in die course, and meanwhile I wonld propose the health of the foreign representatives and the members of their respective staffs, to whom we wish prosperity in all their oudertakings, and hope that their desires may be fulfilled as well in their private as in their public life.
(Inclosure 2 in No. 845.)
Speech of the Doyen.
It is in my quality of Doyen of the diplomatic body that I have the honor and privilege to express to your highness the thanks of my colleagues and myself for the eloquent words with which, in the name of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager, you have proposed the health of the sovereigus and chiefs of government of the treaty powers, and spoken of the friendly international relations of China, past, present, and future. The last few days have marked a very eventful epoch in the history of China and of the dynasty which has done so much for the country. The imperial marriage, the withdrawal of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager from the active duties of government, and the assumption of the same by His Majesty the Emperor, have been events that excited general interest and sympathy much beyond the confines of the Chinese Empire. When, nearly thirty years ago, Her Majesty the Empress Dowager assumed with cares the responsibilities of government, many an anxious thought must have beset her mind, and it must be with a feeling of well-founded pride and satisfaction that her majesty looks back upon the troubled times and compares them with the peace and union that now exist all over the great empire she has governed for so long a time. During the last thirty years great changes have taken place; China, which formerly it took many months to reach, and which from our point of view was considered as the farthest part of the globe, has been brought into close contact with the outer world, and it is now by weeks that the time is reckoned which it takes to reach it from Europe or America. It is therefore with so much greater satisfaction and syinpathy that my colleagues and myself have welcomed the words of Her Majesty referring to the foreign relations of China in the imperial edict that is the cause of our meeting here to-day the high ministers of state, charged with the maintenance of these relations. My colleagues and myself hope and trust that they may remain, what they so happily are, a faithful expression of the mutual desire to cultivate and observe the eternal principles of right and justice, forbearance and progress. It is in this sense and with this bope that I have the honor to request your highness to place before Her Majesty the expression of these feelings as well as of our gratitude for the honor dope to us by the terms of the imperial edict, to-day's banquet, and the rich presents that we shall always value as a remembrance of Her Majesty's gracious approval of the spirit in which we have worked and shall continue to work for the maintenance and the strengthening of the friendly and intimate relations between China and the treaty powers. In the name of my colleagues and my own, I have the honor to propose the health of Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager, and to drink to her happiness, to the continuation of those relations with the outer world she has so happily inangurated and maintained, and to the welfare of the great empire which will always remember her with pride and gratitude. At the same time we drink to the health of His Majesty, the Emperor, whose assumption of the government has been celebrated a few days ago, as also to that of Her Majesty, the Empress. May their majesties long live in health and happiness.
(Inclosure 3 in No. 845.)
Speech of Mr. Denby, United States Minister.
Your IMPERIAL HIGUNESS AND Your EXCELLENCIES:
On behalf of the diplomatic representatives I have much pleasure in proposing the health of your Imperial Highness and your excellencies. It is a source of gratifica tion to know that your Imperial Highness and your excellencies have always shown great courtesy and bave been actuated by friendly feeling in the administration of public business between our respective countries, and we are sure that your Imperial Highness and your excellencies will continue to evince the same friendliness in the future administration of diplomatic questions. Our wish is that your Imperial Highness and your excellencies may be blessed with a long, happy, and prosperous career. The health of your Imperial Highness and your excellencies.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, March 12, 1889. (Received April 23.) SIR: I have the honor to report that the provisional judge of Kuangtung, Wang Chi-chun, has submitted to the throne an important memorial, of which I send the following abstract:
1. China should possess an abundance of steam-ships. The favoring of the China Merchants Navigation Company by the Government is criticised, and the advantages of steam-vessels during time of war is strongly set ont.
2. China should purchase machinery to further her industrial purposes. She must provide herself with iron forging machines, to be used for the manufacture of arms with native iron. Needful capital should be provided for manufacturing cotton cloth on a large scale. The importations now exceed fifty millions of taels in value. China should take measures to manufacture these cottons and she can easily take the business out of the hands of foreigners.
3. The military competitive examinations should be modified. The dynasty owes its existence to the use of foot and mounted archery, and for this reason these two branches are held in the bighest esteem. But the conditions of warfare have changed. In place of the bow and arrow we have the iron.clad and cannon to deal with. The rifle should take the place of the bow at examinations, and successfui competitors sbould teach its use to their towns-people and neighbors.
4. Canals should be dug in dangerous places to divert the water in the Yellow River. Economy in buying materials should be observed. The soldiers in Shan-tung should be made to do the work. These suggestions are eminently practicable and indicate progress. I have, etc.,
Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine. No. 885.1
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Peking, May 10, 1889. (Received June 19.) SIR: I bave the honor to inclose herewith a copy of my communication to the foreign office of the 4th instant, relating to the missionary troubles at Cbi-nan-fu.
I inclose also a translation of the reply of the Yamên thereto.
The facts as reported to me by the head of the Presbyterian mission are stated in my communication.
In my dispatch No. 723 of October 6, 1888, I deemed it my duty to suggest to your predecessor that, in the event of all other means failing,