16 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 3


Da. Mammies book is scarcely equal to the expectations which the reader naturally forms from its title and its general appearance. Nearly half of its contents belong to Part I., in which the geography, and Part II., in which the history, of China is sketched. Both of these could be found elsewhere, given with adequate correctness by writers who cannot boast the almost unique distinction of an acquaintance with the country which dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. We have not taken any pains to check Dr. Martin's state- ments in either branch of knowledge, but we see that he sometimes "nods." A sketch of Confucius begins with the remark that, "born in 549 B.C., he was contemporaneous with Isaiah and Socrates." As a matter of fact, he was more than two centuries later than the historical Isaiah, though he may have synchronised with a possible post-exilic trite- Isaiah, and he was eighty-one years earlier than Socrates. When Dr. Martin, however, comes to speak of matters which fall within his own experience, or about which he has had special opportunities of informing himself, he has an undoubted claim to be listened to. He had been three years in China when the Tai-pings won their first great success by the capture of Nanking. He was among those who were attracted by the Tai-ping profession of Christianity, strange travesty as it turned out to be. He tried to pay their leader a visit, and possibly had reason to thank his boatman for declining to run the blockade. A curious instance of the eager credulity with which the doings of the Tai-pings were watched is to be seen in the story of two Seventh-Day Baptists, who, hearing that they kept Saturday as their day of rest, hastened to fraternise, but found that it was a matter of mistaken reckoning. Dr. Martin estimates these revolutionaries at their true value, but yet seems to regret that the Western Powers did not back them up against the Manchus. In the Arrow ' affair he apportions the blame between Chinese and British. It was certainly unfortunate that when Viceroy Yeh handed over the crew to Consul Parkes that fiery gentleman sent them back because no apology had oome with them. Yell ordered them to be executed at once, and war became in- evitable. In the war with France (in 1884) Dr. Martin had the satisfaction of intervening, so to speak, with good effect. He was in charge of a College for the training of diplomatic agents, and the Chinese Government asked him what theit treatment of non-combatants should be. He gave hie advice, and it was scrupulously followed. This at lease showed a growing respect for the public sentiment of the world, a feeling to which Dr. Martin ascribes the • The Awakening of China. Dy W. A. P. Martin, D.D., LLD. London: Dodder and Stoughton. [16s. net.]

mercy showed to the Emperor in the reactionary crisis of September, 1898. In the "Boxer" War our author was an_ inmate of the British Legation. The siege he has

described elsewhere, but he pays a well-deserved tribute to-the patience and courage of the garrison, and to the

heroism with which Bishop Favior, with his guard of forty marines, defended the native Christians. Of the savage anti- foreign fanaticism of the Empress-Dowager he speaks with emphasis, thinking, it is clear, that it has not been adequately punished. All these events, from the Opium War of 1839 onwards, did much to change China ; but she was, it is probable, more profoundly influenced by the victory which Japan won over Russia. Her colossal self-esteem has dis- appeared.

Nowhere, according to Dr. Martin, is the change greater than in the policy of the Empress-Dowager. From being the moving force of the reaction, she has become the leader of progress. The High Commission which was sent in 1905 to study the institutions of Eastern and Western civilisation is "enough," says our author, "to make her reign illustrious." It is characteristic of Chinese affairs that when we want to find a precedent for this action we have to go back a thousand years beyond the Norman Conquest. The Commission's chief recommendation was the establishment of Constitutional government. An Assembly representing the four hundred millions of China would be indeed a monumental creation. But Parliaments are not easily made. One thing is tolerably certain, that local animosities would be reproduced on a scale which would throw the strife of Germans, Magyars, Croats, Ruthenians, Slays, and the other warring elements of Austria-Hungary into insignificance. Meanwhile really im- portant changes are being made. Education is being reorganised : the complicated system of Chinese writing is to be replaced for common use by a new alphabet, still lumbering, it may be remarked, fifty letters. Railroads, reading-rooms, newspapers, and all the paraphernalia of civilisation are being introduced. Polygamy is to be, to. say the least, discountenanced, and the small foot which marks Chinese gentility is to be abolished.

The chapter on reform is followed by an interesting description of one of the leaders of the movement, the Viceroy Chang. He seems to be a curious mixture of the old and the new. His ideas are new; much in his efforts to realise them is old. Dr. Martin has himself found this out. The Viceroy conceived a great scheme for a University which was to be a training-ground for his officials in international law, and over which Dr. Martin was to preside. Unhappily it "failed to materialise." But the Viceroy loyally fulfilled his personal obligations. The President of the non-existent University regularly received his salary for the three years of his engagement. Other enterprises fared in much the same way. Cotton-mills, glass and iron works, and silk factories were set up, and abandoned or sold. A cotton-mill, for instance, paid nothing while it was managed by a syndicate of-Mandarins. A Canton merchant leased it, and is rapidly growing rich.

Whatever may be changed in China, it is not likely that her aversion to the foreigner will lie really touched. It is "the normal state of the Chinese mind," and there is nothing in the relations between the country and Western nations to remove it ; there is, on the contrary, much to aggravate it. Dr. Martin is not hopeful of any genuine alleviation of the severity of the exclusion laws. " My impression," he writes, " is that, with the exception of the fruit-growers of California and some others, they [the people of the Pacific States] are strongly opposed to what they call 'letting down the bars.' " All that can be hoped for is a little more discrimination. It is the fanaticism of exclusion when two young Chinese, both Christians, who had come to the United States for education were detained for three months in a prison shed, and finally were glad to get back to China tic/ Canada. Altogether, the picture which Dr. Martin draws is full of shadows, if it -is not without light. His conclusion that, "animated by sound science and true religion, it will not be many generations before the Chinese people will take their place among the leading nations of the earth," seems to be more hopeful than his premissea would warrant. But if he is rather giving expression to convictions which a long personal experience has formed, we are glad to receive his *antimony.