China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  Chung How's assurances were accepted, the proffered compensation
was received; but the Chinese were informed that in recognition of
France's - Page 600
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Chung How's Assurances Were Accepted, The Proffered Compensation Was Received; But The Chinese Were Informed That In Recognition Of France's Moderation, And In Return For The Reception Of Their Envoy By M. Thiers, The Right Of Audience Should Be Conceded To The French Minister Resident At Pekin.

The Audience Question naturally aroused the greatest interest at Pekin, where it agitated the official mind not merely because it signified another concession to force, but also because it promised to produce a disturbing effect on the mind of the people.

The young emperor was growing up, and might be expected to take a direct share in the administration at an early date. It was not an idle apprehension that filled the minds of his ministers lest he might lay the blame on them for having cast upon him the obligation of receiving ministers of foreign States in a manner such as they had never before been allowed to appear in the presence of the occupant of the Dragon Throne. The youth of the sovereign served to postpone the question for a short space of time, but it was no longer doubtful that the assumption of personal authority by the young Emperor Tungche would be accompanied by the reintroduction, and probably by the settlement, of the Audience Question. It was typical of the progress Chinese statesmen were making that none of them seemed to consider the possibility of distinctly refusing this privilege. Its concession was only postponed until after the celebration of the young emperor's marriage.

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