13 FEBRUARY 1904, Page 15



STR,—I am afraid that your correspondent" J. G." (Spectator February 6th) has been the victim of a hoax. There were many canards on the wing during the advance to Pekin in 1860, and about the time "J. G." indicates,—one being that Sangkolinsin, the Chinese Generalissimo, and Sir Hope Grant., the British Commander-in-Chief, were to "fight it out" in single combat near the British headquarters ! "J. G." has gone one better with his absurdity about Lord Elgin and the offer by "the Mandarins in the North." I can assert posi- tively that the story is an entire fiction. Such fables should be contradicted at once, and before they are accepted as true history. I am the sole survivor of the interpretorial staff which accompanied Lord Elgin and Sir Hope Grant during the campaign from start to finish, and when the British force retired to Tientsin I remained in Pekin in charge of the

Long Hyde, near Evesham. Late H.B.M. Consul, Newchwang.