21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 18

The almost simultaneous death of the Emperor and Empress-Dowager removed

many difficulties. It ensured the restoration of the rightful succession, and saved the country from another regency by the late Empress-Dowager. As things have turned out, there has been no obstacle in the way of the strong and beneficent direction of Yuan Shi-Kai at the head of affairs. Prince Chun, who will be for all practical purposes Emperor for the next twelve years, is said to be an enlightened man, and he is not likely to thwart the statesmanlike aspirations of Yuan Shi-Kai. It is to be hoped that the preparations for a Constitutional regime will now be begun in earnest. The late Emperor has of course been canonised, and many mythical virtues have been discovered in his career. King Edward has sent a sympathetic message to the Regent. All the Legations were invited to the memorial service for the late rulers. This was a notable innovation, and may perhaps be taken as the beginning of the end of the old narrow exclusiveness.