1 SEPTEMBER 1900, Page 1

The fate of Pekin, considering its history, is rather a

melancholy one, even if it has been well deserved. It was three months ago, in the judgment of at least a fourth of mankind, the Imperial City of Asia; but to-day the Chinese troops and "Boxers" have looted and nearly destroyed its largest or outer section ; the Tartar or inner section has been bombarded and fired, and is now in the hands of foreigners who are sorely tempted to plunder ; the innermost, or For- - bidden City, is empty and strictly guarded ; and the Palace, which is the axle of the wheel, is deserted, its captors await- ing orders to destroy or utilise it. The sources from which wages are drawn must be suspended, and it is not easy to understand bow the population, still exceeding a million in number, obtain food. They used to be supplied by fleets of barges bearing grain, but do those barges arrive now ? Adding to these facts a quite horrible destruction of life, troops, "Boxers," and victors having killed anybody they met, and the sentence paused on the prosperity of the city by the settlement of the Court in Shensi, we arrive at a picture of desolation such as has been infrequent in modern history. If any are thirsting for mere vengeance as apart from just retribution, let them think on the suffering there must be in Pekin, and be content.