Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/293

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GREAT RIVER TO GREAT WALL

ancestors, the crowning expression of China's truest religion, ancestor worship. In a few months only, Prince Ch'un, the Regent, whom you have just met driving in state through the Imperial City, standing among his ministers, and acting for the baby emperor, will take the oath, not to the people of China, nor to any representative assembly, but to the imperial ancestors to accept and obey the new constitutional principles. "I, your descendant, P'u Yi," he will say, "have endeavoured to consummate the constitutional programme, but my policy and my choice of officials have not been wise. Hence the recent troubles. Fearing the fall of the sacred dynasty I accept the advice of the National Assembly, and I vow to uphold the nineteen constitutional articles, and to organize a Parliament.…I and my descendants will adhere to it forever. Your Heavenly Spirits will see and understand."

There is unfailing charm and interest in the view over Peking from the top of the wall. Chinese cities are generally attractive, looked down upon from above, because of the many trees, but here the wealth of foliage and blaze of colour are almost bewildering; the graceful outlines of pagoda and temple, the saucy tilt of the roofs, yellow and green, imperial and princely, rising above stretches of soft brown walls, the homes of the people, everything framed in masses of living green; and stretching around it all, like a