It was not, however, for some time, that the significance of this pamphlet was generally understood. It was such an amazing departure from old precedents for the Peking Government to lend itself to public propaganda as a revolutionary weapon that the mind of the people refused to credit the fatal turn things were taking. But presently when it became known that the “Society for the Preservation of Peace” was actually housed in the Imperial City and in daily relations with the President’s Palace; and that furthermore the Procurator-General of Peking, in response to innumerable memorials of denunciation, having attempted to proceed against the author and publishers of the pamphlet, as well as against the Society, had been forced to leave the capital under threats against his life, the document was accepted at its face-value. Almost with a gasp of incredulity China at last realized that Yuan Shih-kai had been seduced to the point of openly attempting to make himself Emperor. From those August days of 1915 until the 6th June of the succeeding year, when Fate had her own grim revenge, Peking was given up to one of the most amazing episodes that has ever been chronicled in the dramatic history of the capital. It was as if the old city walls, which had looked down on so much real drama, had determined to lend themselves to the staging of an unreal comedy. For from first to last the monarchy movement had something unreal about it, and might have been the scenario of some vast picture-play. It was acting pure and simple—acting done in the hope that the people might find it so admirable that they would acclaim it as real, and call the Dictator their King. But it is time to turn to the arguments of Yang Tu and allow a Chinese to picture the state of his country:
A DEFENCE OF THE MONARCHICAL MOVEMENT
Mr. Ko (or “the stranger"): Since the establishment of the Republic four years have passed, and upon the President depends the preservation of order at home and the maintenance of prestige abroad. I suppose that after improving her internal administration for ten or twenty years, China will become a rich and prosperous country, and will be able to stand in the front rank with western nations.
Mr. Hu: No! No! If China does not make any change in the form of government there is no hope for her becoming strong and rich; there is even no hope for her having a constitutional government. I say that China is doomed to perish.
Mr. Ko: Why so?