China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  As he was of too tender an age to rule for himself,
his nomination served the purposes of the two - Page 610
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As He Was Of Too Tender An Age To Rule For Himself, His Nomination Served The Purposes Of The Two Empresses And Their Ally, Prince Kung, Who Thus Entered Upon A Second Lease Of Undisputed Power.

CHAPTER XXII

THE REIGN OF KWANGSU

Thus after a very brief interval the governing power again passed into the hands of the regents who had ruled the state so well for the twelve years following the death of Hienfung. The nominal emperor was a child of little more than three years of age, to whom was given the style of "Kwangsu," or "illustrious succession," and the empresses could look forward to many years of authority in the name of so young a sovereign. The only opposition to their return to power seems to have come from the palace eunuchs, who had asserted themselves during the brief reign of Tungche and hoped to gain predominance in the imperial councils. But they found a determined mistress in the person of Tsi An, the Eastern Empress, as she was also called, who took vigorous action against them, punishing their leaders with death and effectually nipping in the bud all their projects for making themselves supreme.

The return of the empresses to power was followed by a great catastrophe in the relations between England and China. For the moment it threw every other matter into the shade, and seemed to render the outbreak of war between the two countries almost inevitable. In the year 1874 the government of India, repenting of its brief infatuation for the Panthay cause, yet still reluctant to lose the advantages it had promised itself from the opening of Yunnan to trade, resolved upon sending a formal mission of explory under Colonel Horace Browne, an officer of distinction, through Burmah to that province.

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