[Footnote 5: Chang is regarded as the ablest of China’s viceroys. He published, prior to the coup d’etat, a notable book, in which he argues that China’s only hope is in the adoption of the sciences and arts of the West.]
I called on the old statesman in the summer of 1901, after the last of the treaties was signed. He seemed to feel that his work was finished, but he still had energy enough to write a preface for my translation of Hall’s “International Law,” and before the end of another month his long life of restless activity had come to a close at the age of seventy-nine. By posthumous decree, he was made a Marquis.
In the autumn the court returned to Peking, the way having been opened by Li’s negotiations. Thanks to the lessons of adversity, the Dowager has been led to favor the cause of progress. Not only has she re-enacted the educational reforms proposed by the Emperor, but she has gone a step farther, and ordered that instead of mere literary finish, a knowledge of arts and sciences shall be required in examinations for the Civil Service.
The following words I wrote in an obituary notice, a few days after Li’s death:—
“For over twenty years Earl Li has been a conspicuous patron of educational reform. The University and other schools at Tientsin were founded by him; and he had a large share in founding the Imperial University in Peking. During the last twenty years I have had the honor of being on intimate terms with him. Five years ago he wrote a preface for a book of mine on Christian Psychology,—showing a freedom from prejudice very rare among Chinese officials.
“Another preface which he wrote for me is noteworthy from the fact that it is one of the last papers that came from his prolific pencil. Having finished a translation of ‘Hall’s International Law’ (begun before the siege), I showed it to Li Hung Chang not two weeks ago. The old man took a deep interest in it, and returned it with a preface in which he says ’I am now near eighty; Dr. Martin is over seventy. We are old and soon to pass away; but we both hope that coming generations will be guided by the principles of this book.’
“With all his faults—those of his time and country—Li Hung Chang was a true patriot. For him it was a fitting task to place the keystone in the arch that commemorates China’s peace with the world.”
BY CYRUS C. ADAMS.
Africa is the most ancient and the most recent conquest of the human race. As far as the light of history can be projected into the past, we see Egypt among the first and foremost on the threshold of civilization. The continent discovered last and opened last to the enterprises of the world is still Africa. Why is it that we see there both the dawn of civilization and the tardiest development of human progress?