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belligerent Patty than to the two perfectly proper but rather washedout Pierceys whom she has dispossessed, and who unquestionably ought to be the proper objects of our sympathy. We feel ourselves always disposed to extenuate her aggressive attitudes by the circumstances in which she is placed, or, more honestly speaking, into which she has thrust herself; and we are well disposed to make the most of such little traits of goodness as she shows in her thread of affection for the "Softy," and her kindness, not disinterested how ever, to his feeble old father Sir Giles. Against such a woman as Patty poetic retribution would be in vain directed, and Mrs Oliphant has the tact to provide for her more handsomely than the strict moralist would consider that she deserves. After having carried everything before her, and earned renown as the successful heroine


of a civil cause célèbre, Patty becomes satiated and dissatisfied with her position, in which she finds herself painfully isolated, and she at length meets with happiness in the love of a man in her former rank of life, though not before her lover's sense of justice has compelled her to unload of a considerable portion of her spoils. retires from the scene amid a shower of acclamations over her constrained generosity, to a life for which she is more fitted, and where the better qualities of her nature will have fuller play. She is more fortunate than Becky Sharp, to whom she bears considerable affinity; but Patty is prudent where Becky is rash, and her circumspection meets with its natural reward. We are glad to notice that 'The Cuckoo in the Nest' has already run through several editions-a success which it thoroughly merits.

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AT the commencement of the present war between Japan and China, the opinions and the sympathies expressed in the press of Europe were, in general, unfavourable to Japan and favourable to China. The motives of Japan in attacking China were declared in many quarters to be either "insufficient," "discreditable,' "discreditable,” or “unavowable," or all three together; and her ultimate defeat was proclaimed to be inevitable. She had been "foolish and blustering" in attacking a bigger Power than herself, and would have to pay for it. The predictions of her discomfiture-many of which were pronounced in harsh words and with unhesitating precision and certainty -have not, however, been realised thus far. It happens that, on the contrary, Japan has shown herself, hitherto, to be the more capable and therefore the stronger of the two belligerents; the differences which have been revealed between their respective states of preparation, and especially between their totally opposite conditions of organisation and skill, are staring everybody in the face. The army and navy of Japan have proved that they possess the same sort of qualities and can render_very much the same services as European forces; while what are called "the limitless resources " of China have been shown to consist of unavailable materials, which, so far as the present conflict is concerned, can scarcely be got into any organised and utilisable shape. As a natural result, and because nothing

succeeds like success, European opinion is turning round, and is beginning to transfer its goodwill from China to Japan.

The moment may, therefore, be a convenient one for supplying some additional reasons for this change of feeling, and for showing that Japan has right, as well as readiness, capacity, and success, on her side.

The immense number of articles which have appeared about the war in the newspapers and magazines of most of the countries of Europe have, as a rule, treated the subject solely from the point of view of the West; scarcely anything has been published in the interest of the East. There may not be much to say on the side of China, but there is a good deal to urge on the side of Japan; and the intention here is to put together some of the elements of that portion of the subject. With the exception of M. de Blowitz, Sir Edwin Arnold, and one others, no one has spoken up, thus far, for Japan. As a mere matter of fair-play, it is just that what can be said in her behalf should be brought before the public. It is of course difficult to obtain thoroughly reliable information; but enough can be discovered, by any one who takes the pains to search, to render it possible to judge the general situation.

or two

Three main questions are worth examining:

Why did this war begin? Under what conditions is it likely to end?

What will be its ultimate effect

on the position of Japan towards statement of those circumstances other countries, and especially is based, in part, on that article, towards China? with additions from elsewhere. It is difficult to suppose that the statement can be read without recognising that, instead of being the product either of pugnacious self-assertion or of a desire to escape from home difficulties by outside distractions, the war was in reality thrust upon Japan by the march of events, which, in consequence of their long and irritating accumulation, left her at last no alternative but to fight. No one but the parties to a quarrel can determine how much they will endure for the sake of peace; no looker-on can measure the exact degree of provocation which others feel: all that can be fairly asked, in the interest of outsiders, is that arms shall not be employed until a good deal has been endured, and until the provocation has become too intense to be borne any longer. In this case Japan endured much and was provoked much.

Two false ideas are current as to the origin of the war. One is, that Japan is an "aggressive," "precipitate," "conceited" land (these are some of the epithets that have been applied to her), who longed to use her new army and navy, and was delighted to find an opportunity of testing them. The other is, that the Japanese Government have sought to escape from the home difficulties resulting from opposition in the Parliament, by the counter-irritation of a foreign war. It has not occurred, apparently, to any of the writers who have put forward these explanations to examine the real facts of the case; to consider whether they, in themselves and by themselves, do not suffice to explain and justify the course which Japan has been forced to adopt; and to tell the story on those facts, so far, at least, as they can be learnt in Europe.

It has been announced by telegraph that at the opening of the Japanese Parliament in October, Count Ito, the Prime Minister, gave a detailed explanation of the events which led up to the rupture, and read the correspondence exchanged with China. But as the text of his speech has not yet reached us, it cannot be quoted here. The materials for a history of the case must, therefore, for the moment, be taken from less authoritative sources.

There appeared in the Japan Weekly Mail' of 11th August an article headed "The Korean Imbroglio," which gave the completest and most truthful account of the preceding circumstances which has yet been published. The following

But before describing the immediate origin of the war, it is essential to draw attention to two general causes which have been operating for some time, and which have prepared the ground for the present conflict, irrespective of the specific motives which have precipitated it.

The first of those two general causes is the decision adopted by Japan a quarter of a century ago to prepare herself, by the aid of Western methods, to take a very different place in the world at large from that which either she or China had previously filled. China has never forgiven Japan for adopting that decision: she has regarded it as a disgraceful abandonment of Eastern Asiatic conservatism, and has looked on at

its working out with constantly augmenting scorn and rage. A perpetually widening separation has stretched out between the countries in consequence thereof; each despises the other's convictions; motionless China regards advancing Japan as a traitor to the principles and practices which were once common (in a general way) to them both; advancing Japan regards motionless China as a narrow-minded, antiquated bigot. As the Japan Mail' remarks, "the struggle in Korea is not to determine China's shadowy suzerainty or Japan's political supremacy, but is a contest between Japanese progress and Chinese stagnation." There lies the main starting - point of the actual war, which has, as a matter of fact, been becoming more and more inevitable for years past. From the moment when Japan made up her mind to adopt European theories and systems of action, and to build a new power for herself upon them, China, despising the means but fearing the results, became the latent enemy of Japan. A struggle of ill-will commenced; that it would end some day in war has long looked certain to everybody who knew the nature of the relations that were growing up between Japan and China. Korea has supplied a pretext; but the war was in the air, and would and must have come sooner or later, even if Korea had not existed. Japan had diverged from the path which the two nations had so far followed with approximate parallelism, and China for that reason regarded an apostate and a pros

her as pective foe.

The second general cause lay in the ideas and attitude of China towards the small States around her frontiers. She viewed and

treated them for a long time partly as vassals, but mainly as "buffers for softening the shock of foreign contact." In her peculiar tactics, however, they were to be buffers without imposing any responsibilities on the country they fenced in; they were to be vassals without the protection of a suzerain behind them; they were to bear the blows, but China was not to shield them, or even to doctor the wounds they received in her service, unless on each particular occasion she happened to think fit to do so. Her shadow was cast prerogatively over them, but they were not to expect that a strong hand held a sword behind the shadow. They were told they were independent of all the world, excepting China herself; but China took no steps to guard their independence when it was attacked from elsewhere. So one by one the border States have been occupied and annexed by others. the frontier of what used to be called Chinese Turkestan (which is regarded as an inherent part of the empire, and not as a vassal State) China has, thus far, it is true, maintained her claims against Russia; but in Tonquin, Annam, Siam, Burmah, we have seen examples of the fashion in which she behaves towards territories she once pretended to call her own. Her attitude was, until quite recently, equally vague and hesitating towards Korea: no one knew what she claimed there, and it was not unreasonable to suppose that Korea would be left to shift for herself, like the others. All this must be borne in mind in judging the growth of the question we are considering, for the effect of this permanent vacillation has been to convince everybody, Japan included, that China had principles of frontier policy, that



neither her declarations nor her action concerning border States could be relied on, and that, in reality, she had renounced all further influence over them.

And now as to the specific causes which, out of this general situation, have brought about the war. While abandoning, one after the other, her so-called border States, and while leading all the world to suppose that she had given up meddling with them, China seems (from what we have learnt of late) to have put Korea apart. It must be recognised that she had a reason for desiring that Korea, more than any other outlying retainer, should remain, in some way, under her control. The reason was that, if Korea passed into foreign hands, the command of the Gulf of Pachili and of the sea-route to Pekin would pass with it, while Manchuria, the cradle of the present Chinese dynasty, would become threatened. As those consequences would be serious, it was desirable to preserve Korea. But, according to the ways of China, she must be preserved, not by plain speaking, not by telling other people what was meant, not by proclaiming and carrying out a stated policy, but by the traditionary ancient methods of disguise and mental reservations, for to this day China knows no others. Korea was not to be declared a vassal kingdom; no exposition was to be made of the exact nature of her connection with China: on the contrary, that connection was to be left in entire uncertainty, so as to enable China to behave about it in any way she liked, according to what might happen. But at the same time (as has come out now) she was to be kept secretly, by indirect processes, without anybody knowing anything, in the antique position of undefined dependence

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which has failed on other boundaries. She was to be left free towards others, but to be kept subordinate towards China; she was to be independent in public, but dependent in private; she was to be mistress of her own destinies so far as the world could see, but directed by China as between their two selves. As an outcome of these nebulous tactics, Korea concluded in 1876 a direct treaty with Japan, in which she (Korea) declared herself to be an independent State. The exact words employed were, "Korea, being an independent State, enjoys the same rights as does Japan.' Direct treaties implying similar independence were signed successively with other Powers, and Japan became entitled to suppose that, if words meant anything, China had abandoned Korea just as she had abandoned her south-western fringes. But although China kept carefully out of sight, made no objection to the treaties and did not say a word about them, although she appeared to claim no longer any suzerainty over Korea, and almost ceased (externally and visibly) to occupy herself about her, she did not by any means intend, at the bottom of her heart, that the freedom these treaties presupposed on the part of Korea should become an effective reality. Her eternal system of subterfuge, equivocation, and back-stairs intrigue was kept going furtively, but in this case resolutely. Korea was to proclaim herself free to make treaties, but she was not to be free to execute them. To prevent her from executing them a Chinese agent was placed at Söul, with instructions to profit by the disordered condition of the local government in order to organise Chinese influence, and to inaugurate a system of concealed but steady interference in

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