China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  The officials waxed rich on ill-
gotten wealth, and a few individuals accumulated enormous fortunes, while
the government sank lower - Page 410
China By Demetrius Charles Boulger - Page 410 of 704 - First - Home

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The Officials Waxed Rich On Ill- Gotten Wealth, And A Few Individuals Accumulated Enormous Fortunes, While The Government Sank Lower And Lower In The Estimation Of The People.

It lost also in efficiency and striking power.

A corrupt and effeminate body of officers and administrators can serve but as poor defenders for an embarrassed prince and an assailed government against even enemies who are in themselves insignificant and not free from the vices of a corrupt society and a decaying age, and it was only on such that Hienfung had in the first place to lean against his opponents. Even his own Manchus, the warlike Tartars, who, despite the smallness of their numbers, had conquered the whole of China, had lost their primitive virtue and warlike efficiency in the southern climes which they had made their home. To them the opulent cities of the Chinese had proved as fatal as Capua to the army of the Carthaginian, and, as the self-immolations of Chapoo and Chinkiangfoo proved to have no successors, they showed themselves unworthy of the empire won by their ancestors. For the first time since the revolt of Wou Sankwei, the Manchus were brought face to face with a danger threatening their right of conquest; yet on the eve of the Taeping Rebellion all Hienfung could think of to oppose his foes with was fine words as to his shortcomings and lavish promises of amendment.

Among the secret societies the Triads were the first to give a political and dynastic significance to their propaganda.

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