Kidnapped in London/Appendix

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Kidnapped in London
by Sun Yat-sen
1598364Kidnapped in London — AppendixSun Yat-sen


I APPEND a few of the numerous articles called forth by my arrest. The first is a letter from Professor Holland to The Times, and is headed:


To the Editor of The Times.

Sir,—The questions raised by the imprisonment of Sun Yat Sen are two in number. First, was the act of the Chinese Minister in detaining him an unlawful act? And secondly, if so, what steps could properly have been taken to obtain his release had it been refused?

The reply to the former question is not far to seek. The claim of an Ambassador to exercise any sort of domestic jurisdiction, even over members of his suite, is now little heard of, although, in 1603, Sully, when French Ambassador, went so far as to sentence one of his attachés to death, handing him over to the Lord Mayor for execution. I can recall but one instance of an attempt on the part of a Minister to exercise constraint against a person unconnected with his mission. In 1642, Leitao, Portuguese Minister at the Hague, detained in his house a horse-dealer who had cheated him. The result was a riot, in which the hotel was plundered, and Wicquefort remarks upon the transaction that Leitao, who had given public lectures on the Law of Nations, ought to have known qu'il ne lui estoit pas permis de faire une prison de sa maison. Sun Yat Sen, while on British soil as a subditus temporarius, was under the protection of our Laws, and his confinement in the Chinese Legation was a high offence against the rights of the British Crown.

The second question, though not so simple, presents no serious difficulty. A refusal on the part of the Chinese Minister to release his prisoner would have been a sufficient ground for requesting him to leave the country. If this mode of proceeding would have been too dilatory for the exigencies of the case, it can hardly be doubted that the circumstances would have justified an entry upon the Legation premises by the London police. An Ambassador's hotel is said to be "extra-territorial," but this too compendious phrase means no more than that the hotel is for certain purposes inaccessible to the ordinary jurisdiction of the country in which it stands. The exemptions thus enjoyed are, however, strictly defined by usage, and new exemptions cannot be deduced from a metaphor. The case of Gyllenburg, in 1717, showed that if a Minister is suspected of conspiring against the Government to which he is accredited he may be arrested and his cabinets may be ransacked. The case of the coachman of Mr. Gallatin, in 1827, establishes that, after courteous notice, the police may enter a Legation in order to take into custody one of its servants who has been guilty of an offence elsewhere. There is also a general agreement that, except possibly in Spain and in the South American Republics, the hotel is no longer an asylum for even political offenders. Still less can it be supposed that an illegal imprisonment in a Minister's residence will not be put an end to by such action of the local police as may be necessary.

It seems needless to inquire into the responsibility which would rest upon the Chinese authorities if Sun Yat Sen was, as he alleges, kidnapped in the open street, or would have rested upon them had they removed him through the streets, with a view to shipping him off to China. Acts of this kind find no defenders. What is admitted to have occurred is sufficiently serious, and was doubtless due to excess of zeal on the part of the subordinates of the Chinese Legation. International law has long been ably taught by Dr. Martin at the Tung-wen College of Peking, and the Imperial Government cannot be supposed to be indifferent to a strict conformity to the precepts of the science on the part of its representatives at foreign Courts.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
T. E. Holland.

Oxford, October 24th.

Another legal opinion is referred to below:


Mr. Cavendish, one of the best authorities on the law of extradition, informed an interviewer at Bow Street yesterday that, speaking from memory, he could cite no case at all parallel with the case of Sun Yat Sen. The case of the Zanzibar Pretender was, of course, in no way parallel, for he took refuge in the German Consulate. He threw himself on the hospitality of the German Government, which, following the procedure sanctioned by International Law, refuses to give him up, and conveyed him to German territory on the mainland. Sun Yat Sen's case was that of an alleged Chinese subject, having come within the walls of the Legation of his own country, was arrested by representatives of his own Government for an offence against that Government. Mr. Cavendish assumed that if the facts were as stated, the case could only be dealt with by diplomatic representation on the part of our Foreign Office, and not by any known legal rule.

The next is a letter from Mr. James G. Wood to the same paper discussing some of the points of law raised in Professor Holland's letter:

To the Editor of The Times.

Sir,—The second question proposed by Professor Holland, though fortunately, under the circumstances, not of present importance, is deserving of careful consideration. I venture to think his answer to it unsatisfactory.

It is suggested that on a refusal by the Chinese Minister to release his prisoner, "it can hardly be doubted that the circumstances would have justified an entry on the Legation premises by the London police." But why there should not be such a doubt is not explained. This is not solving the question but guessing at its solution. The London police have no roving commission to release persons unlawfully detained in London houses; and anyone attempting to enter for such a purpose could be lawfully resisted by force.

The only process known to the law as applicable to a case of unlawful detention is a writ of habeas corpus and this is where the real difficulty lies. Could such a writ be addressed to an Ambassador or any member of the Legation? Or if it were, and it were disregarded, could process of contempt follow? I venture to think not; and I know of no precedent for such proceeding.

I agree that the phrase that an Ambassador's hotel is extra-territorial is so metaphysical as to be misleading. It is, in fact, inaccurate. The more careful writers do not use it. The true proposition is not that the residence is extraterritorial in the sense in which a ship is often said to be so, but the Minister himself is deemed to be so; and as a consequence he and the members of his family and suite are said to enjoy a complete immunity from all civil process. It is not a question of what may or may not be done in the residence, but what may or may not be done to individuals. That being so, the process I have mentioned appears to involve a breach of the comity of nations.

To adduce cases where the police have under a warrant entered an Embassy to arrest persons who have committed an offence elsewhere to found the proposition that "the local police may take action to put an end to an illegal imprisonment," begun and continued within the Embassy, does not land us on safe ground. There is no common feature in the two cases.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
James G. Wood.

October 27th.


[From the China Mail, Hong Kong, Dec. 3rd, 1896.]

Sun Yat Sen, who has recently been in trouble in London through the Chinese Minister attempting to kidnap him for execution as a rebel, is not unlikely to become a prominent character in history. Of course, it would not be right to state, until a duly constituted court of law has found, that a man is definitely connected with any illegal movement, or that any movement with which he is connected is definitely anti-dynastic. The only suggestion of Dr. Sun Yat Sen being a rebel in any sense comes from the Chinese Legation in London and the officials of Canton. But without any injury to him it may be safely said that he is a remarkable man, with most enlightened views on the undoubtedly miserable state of China's millions, and that there are many Chinese who feel very strongly on the subject and try now and then to act very strongly. The allegation of the officials is that these people tried to accomplish a revolution in October, 1895, and that Sun Yat Sen was a leader in the conspiracy. Foreigners, even those resident in the Far East, had little knowledge how near the long-expected break-up of China then was. As it happened, the outbreak missed fire, and what little attention it did attract was of the contemptuous sort. The situation was, however, one of as great danger as any since the Tai Pings were suppressed, and the organisation was much more up-to-date and on a more enlightened basis than even that great rebellion. In fact, it was the intelligence of the principal movers that caused the movement to be discountenanced at an early stage as premature, instead of struggling on with a more disastrous failure in view, for the revolution is only postponed, not abandoned for ever. The origin of the movement cannot be specifically traced; it arose from the general dissatisfaction of Chinese with Manchu rule, and it came to a head on the outbreak of war between China and Japan. The malcontents saw that the war afforded an opportunity to put their aspirations into shape, and they promptly set to work. At first, that is to say before China had been so soundly thrashed all along the line, they had in view purely lawful and constitutional measures, and hoped to effect radical changes without resort to violence. Dr. Sun worked hard and loyally to fuse the inchoate elements of disaffection brought into existence by Manchu misgovernment, and to give the whole reform movement a purely constitutional form, in the earnest hope of raising his wretched country out of the Slough of Despond in which it was and is sinking deeper daily. His was the master-mind that strove to subdue the wild uncontrollable spirits always prominent in Chinese reactionary schemes, to harmonise conflicting interests, not only as between various parties in his own country but also as between Chinese and foreigners, and as between various foreign Powers. The most difficult problem was to work out the sequel of any upheaval—to anticipate and be ready in advance to deal with all the complications bound to ensue as soon as the change took place. Moreover he had to bear in mind that any great reform movement must necessarily depend very largely on the aid of foreigners, of nations and individuals as well, while there is throughout China an immense mass of anti-foreign prejudice which would have to be overcome somehow. The task was stupendous, hopeless in fact, but he recognised that the salvation of China depended and still depends on something of the sort being some day rendered possible, and that the only way to accomplish it was to try, try, try again. That is to say, last year's attempt was not likely to succeed, but was likely to bring success a stage nearer, and in that sense it was well worth the effort to an ardent patriot. Dr. Sun was the only man who combined a complete grasp of the situation with a reckless bravery of the kind which alone can make a national regeneration. He was born in Honolulu, and had a good English education. He has travelled extensively in Europe and America, and is a young man of remarkable attainments. He was for some time a medical student in Dr. Kerr's School in Tientsin, and afterwards was on the staff of the Alice Memorial Hospital in Hong Kong. He is of average height, thin and wiry, with a keenness of expression and frankness of feature seldom seen in Chinese. An unassuming manner and an earnestness of speech, combined with a quick perception and resolute judgment, go to impress one with the conviction that he is in every way an exceptional type of his race. Beneath his calm exterior is hidden a personality that cannot but be a great influence for good in China sooner or later, if the Fates are fair. In China, any advocate of reform or any foe of corruption and oppression is liable to be regarded as a violent revolutionist, and summarily executed. It has been the same in the history of every country when freedom and enlightenment were in their infancy, or not yet born. The propaganda had therefore to be disseminated with the greatest care, and at imminent peril. First, an able and exhaustive treatise on political matters was published in Hong Kong, and circulated all over China, especially in the south, where it created a sensation, early in 1895. It was most cautiously worded, and the most censorious official could not lay his finger on a word of it and complain; but it depicted in vivid colours the beauties of enlightened and honest government, contrasted with the horrors of corrupt and tyrannical misgovernment. This feeler served to show how much voluntary reform could be expected of Chinese officialdom, for it had as much effect as a volume of sermons thrown among a shoal of sharks. Then it became no longer possible to control the spirits of insurrection. Steps were at once taken to organise a rebellion, with which it is alleged, but not yet proved, that Dr. Sun Yat Sen was associated. Before the war there had been insurrectionary conspiracies—in fact, such things are chronic in China. The navy was disaffected, because of certain gross injustices and extortions practised on the officers and men by the all-powerful mandarins. The commanders of land forces and forts were not much different, and many civilian officials were willing to join in a rising. No doubt much of the support accorded to the scheme was prompted by ulterior motives, for there are more of that sort than of any other in China. The rebellion was almost precipitated in March, when funds were supplied from Honolulu, Singapore, Australia, and elsewhere; but men of the right sort were still wanting, and arms had not been obtained in great quantity, and wiser counsels prevailed. It would have been better perhaps if wiser counsels had prevailed in October, but wisdom cannot come without experience, and for the sake of the experience the leaders of the abortive revolution do not greatly regret their action. Some indeed drew out as soon as it became certain that violent measures were to be adopted; but the penalty of death would not be obviated by that, and it was at imminent risk of his life that Dr. Sun had been travelling throughout the length and breadth of China, preaching the gospel of good government and gathering recruits for constitutional reform. His allies, never very confident in pacific methods, planned a bold coup d'état, which might have gained a momentary success, but made no provision for what would happen in the next few moments. Men were drafted to Hong Kong to be prepared for an attack on Canton; arms and ammunition were smuggled in cement-casks; money was subscribed lavishly, foreign advisers and commanders were obtained, and attempts were made, without tangible result, to secure the co-operation of the Japanese Government. What would have been the result if the verbal sympathy of Japanese under-officials had been followed by active sympathy in higher quarters, none can tell; the indemnity, the Liao-tung settlement, the commercial treaty, the whole history of the relations between Japan and China and Europe since the war might have been totally different. Every detail of the plot was arranged, but before the time for striking the blow, treachery stepped in. A prominent Chinese merchant of Hong Kong had professed adherence to the reform movement, for he had much to gain by it; then he concluded that he could gain more by playing into the hands of the official vampires, for he was connected with one of the many syndicates formed to compete for railway and mining concessions in China after the war. So he gave information, and the cement was examined, with the result that the whole coup d'état was nothing more than a flash in the pan. Dr. Sun happened to be in Canton at the time, and was accused of active participation in the violent section of the reform movement. In China, to be innocent is not to be safe; an accusation is none the less dangerous for being utterly unfounded. Sun had to fly for his life, without a moment's deliberation as to friends or property or anything else; and for two or three weeks he was a fugitive hiding in the labyrinthine canals and impenetrable pirate-haunts of the great Kwang-tung Delta. A report has been published that forty or fifty of his supposed accomplices were executed, and a reward was offered for his arrest, but he got away to Honolulu and thence to America. The story goes that this indomitable patriot immediately set to work converting the Chinese at the Washington Embassy to the cause of reform, and that afterwards he tried to do the same in London; that one of the Chinese in the Legation at Washington had professed sympathy with the apostle of enlightenment, and then thought more money could be made on the other side, and so telegraphed to the London Embassy to arrest Sun and kidnap him back to China by hook or by crook. However that may be, he was captured and confined in a most outrageous manner in the London Legation, whatever plausible piffle may be put forward by Sir Halliday Macartney, or any servile prevaricator; and it is due to Dr. Cantlie, Sun's friend and teacher in Hong Kong, that one of the best men China has ever produced was rescued by British justice from the toils of treacherous mandarindom. All who know Dr. Cantlie—and he is well known in many parts of the world—agree that a more upright, honourable and devoted benefactor of humanity has never breathed. Dr. Sun is in good hands, and under the protection of such a man as Dr. Cantlie there can be little doubt that he will pursue his chosen career with single-hearted enthusiasm and most scrupulous straightforwardness of methods, until at last the good work of humanising the miserable condition of the Chinese Empire is brought to a satisfactory state of perfection.

A leading article in The Times of Saturday, October 24th, 1896, discusses the question very fully:

While the "Concert of Europe" is supposed to be making steady progress towards the establishment of harmony amongst the constituent Powers, the ordinarily smooth course of diplomatic intercourse has been ruffled by a curious violation of law and custom at the Chinese Legation—a violation which might have led to tragic consequences, but which has so turned out as to present chiefly a ludicrous side for our consideration. Through a communication made on Thursday to our contemporary the Globe it became known that a Chinese visitor to England, a doctor named Sun Yat Sen, was imprisoned at the house of the Chinese Minister, and that it was supposed to be the intention of his captors to send him under restraint to his own country, there to receive such measure of justice as a Chinese tribunal might be expected to extend to an alleged conspirator. Fortunately for the prisoner, he had studied medicine at Hong Kong, where he had made the acquaintance and had won the friendly regard of Mr. Cantlie, the Dean of the Hong Kong Medical College, and of Dr. Manson, both of whom are now residing in London. Sun Yat Sen was sufficiently supplied with money, and he succeeded in finding means of communication with these English friends, who at once took steps to inform the police authorities and the Foreign Office of what was being done, while, at the same time, they employed detectives to watch the Legation, in order to prevent the possibility of the prisoner being secretly conveyed away. Lord Salisbury, as soon as he was informed of what had occurred, made a demand for the immediate release of the prisoner, who was forthwith set at liberty, and was taken away by Mr. Cantlie and Dr. Manson, who attended in order to identify him as the person they had known. He has since furnished representatives of the Press with an account of the circumstances of his capture and detention, an account which differs in important respects from that of the Chinese authorities. If the Chinese had accomplished their supposed object, and had smuggled Sun Yat Sen on board, to be tried and probably executed in China, our Foreign Office would have had to deal with an offence against the comity of nations for which it would have been necessary to demand and obtain the punishment of all concerned. The failure of the attempt may perhaps be held to bring it too near the confines of comic opera to furnish a subject for anything more than serious remonstrance.

The offence alleged against Sun Yat Sen is that his medical character is a mere cloak for other designs, and that he is really Sun Wên, the prime mover in a conspiracy which was discovered in 1894, and which had for its object the dethronement of the present reigning dynasty. The first step of the conspirators was to be the capture of the Viceroy of Canton, who was to be kidnapped when inspecting the arsenal; but the plot, like most plots, leaked out or was betrayed, and fifteen of the ringleaders were arrested and decapitated. Sun Wên saved himself by timely flight, and made his way through Honolulu and America to this country, being all the time carefully watched by detectives. On reaching England, at the beginning of the present month, he called upon his old friends, Mr. Cantlie and Dr. Manson, and prepared to commence a course of medical study in London. A few days later he disappeared, and on the evening of last Saturday Mr. Cantlie was informed of his position. Sun Wên, or Sun Yat Sen, whichever he may be alleges that he was walking in or near Portland Place on the 11th inst., when he was accosted in the street by a fellow-countryman, who asked whether he was Chinese or Japanese; and, being told in reply that he was Chinese and a native of Canton, hailed him as a fellow provincial, and kept him in conversation until a second and then a third Chinaman joined them. One of the three left, while the other two walked slowly on until they reached the Legation, when the others invited Sun to enter, and supported the invitation by the exercise of a certain amount of force. As soon as he was inside, the door was shut and he was conveyed upstairs to a room where, as he alleges, he was seen by Sir Halliday Macartney, and in which he was afterwards kept close prisoner until released by the intervention of Lord Salisbury. The officials of the Chinese Legation, on the other hand, assert that the man came to the Legation of his own accord on Saturday, the 10th, and entered into conversation, talking about Chinese affairs, and appearing to want only a chat with some of his fellow-countrymen, after having which he went away; and that it was not until after he had gone that suspicion was excited that he might be the notorious Sun Wên, who had fled from justice at home, whose passage through America and departure for England had already been telegraphed to the Legation, and who was actually then being watched by a private detective in the employment of the Chinese Government. Sun came to the Legation a second time, on Sunday, the 11th, and then, evidence of his identity having been obtained, he was made prisoner. It had been supposed that he was about to return to Hong Kong as to a convenient base for further operations; and it was the intention of the Chinese Government to ask for his extradition as soon as he arrived there. In the meanwhile the actual presence of the supposed conspirator in the Legation furnished a temptation which it was found impossible to resist, and he was locked up until instructions with regard to him could arrive from Pekin. There can be little doubt that these instructions, if they had been received and could have been acted upon, would have effectually destroyed his power to engage in any further conspiracies; and it may be assumed that the intervention of Lord Salisbury was not too early. Even as it was Sun appears to have suffered considerable anxiety lest the food supplied to him at the Legation should be unwholesome in its character.

The simple process of cutting a knot is often preferable to the labour of untying it, and we are not very much surprised that the Chinese Minister or his representative should have authorized the adoption of the course which has happily failed of success. But we cannot conceal our surprise that Sir Halliday Macartney, himself an Englishman, should have taken any part in a transaction manifestly doomed to failure, and the success of which would have been ruinous to all engaged in it. The Chinese Minister is said to have surrendered his prisoner "without prejudice," as lawyers say, to his assumed rights; but he appears to have claimed a right which is not acknowledged by any civilized country, and which would be intolerable if it were exercised. It would be a somewhat similar proceeding if the Turkish Ambassador were to inveigle some of the leading members of the Armenian colony in London into the Embassy, in order to despatch them, gagged and bound, as an offering to his Imperial Majesty the Sultan, or if Lord Dufferin had in the same way made a private prisoner of Tynan, and had sent him to stand his trial at the Old Bailey. It is well recognised that the house of a foreign mission is regarded as a portion of the country from which the mission is sent, and that not only the Minister himself, but also the recognised members of his suite, enjoy an immunity from liability to the laws of the country to which the Ambassador is accredited; but this hardly entitles the Ambassador to exercise powers of imprisonment or of criminal jurisdiction, and the privileges of the Embassy as a place of refuge for persons unconnected with it are strictly limited to the ground on which it stands. Even if the Chinese Minister could not have been prevented from keeping Sun in custody, he would have been liberated by the police as soon as he was brought over the threshold to be conveyed elsewhere. It is fortunate that he did not suffer from any form of illness; for if he had died during his imprisonment, it is very difficult to say what could have been done in consequence. Evidence would have been very hard to procure; and, even if it had been procured, the persons of the Minister and of his servants would have been sacred. Probably the only course would have been to demand that the Minister should be recalled, and that he should be put upon his trial in his own country; a demand which might perhaps have been readily complied with, but which might not improbably have led to what Englishmen would describe as a miscarriage of justice. We think that this country, almost as much as the prisoner, may be congratulated upon the turn of events; and we have no doubt that the Foreign Office will find ways and means of making the rulers of the Celestial Empire understand that they have gone a little too far, and that they must not commit any similar offence in the future.

This Article called forth a remonstrance from Sir Halliday Macartney, in which he stated his views:

To the Editor of The Times.

Sir,—In your leading article of to-day, commenting on the alleged kidnapping of an individual, a Chinese subject, calling himself, amongst numerous other aliases, by the name of Sun Yat Sen, you make some remarks with regard to me which I cannot but consider as an exception to the fairness which in general characterises the comments of The Times.

After stating the case as given by the two opposite parties, in the surprise which you express at my conduct, you take it for granted that the statement of Sun Yat Sen is the correct one and that of the Chinese Legation the wrong one.

I do not know why you make this assumption, for you undoubtedly do so when you say the case is as if the Turkish Ambassador had inveigled some of the members of the Armenian colony of London into the Embassy with a view to making them a present to his Majesty the Sultan.

Now, I repeat what I have said before—that in this case there was no inveiglement. The statement of Sun Yat Sen—or, to call him by his real name, Sun Wên—that he was caught in the street and hustled into the Legation by two sturdy Chinamen is utterly false.

He came to the Legation unexpectedly and of his own accord, the first time on Saturday, the 10th, the second on Sunday, the 11th.

Whatever the pundits of international law may think of his detention, they may take it as being absolutely certain that there was no kidnapping and that he entered the Legation without the employment of force or guile.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Halliday Macartney.

Richmond House,

49 Portland Place, W.,
Oct. 24th.
Sir Halliday Macartney's remarks about my going under various aliases, is no doubt intended to cast a slur upon my character; but Sir Halliday knows, no one better, that every Chinaman has four names at least to which he is entitled. 1st, the name one's parents bestow on their child. 2nd, the name given by the schoolmaster. 3rd, the name a young man wishes to be known by when he goes out into society. 4th, the name he takes when he is married. The only constant part of the name is the first syllable—the surname, really the family name; the other part of the name varies according as it is the parent, the schoolmaster, etc., chooses. Whilst upon this subject it may not be without interest to know that my accuser has various aliases by which he is known to the Chinese. In addition to the name Ma-Ta-Yen, which means Macartney, His Excellency, he is also known as Ma-Ka-Ni, and as Ma-TsingShan, showing that no name is constant in China except the family name.

From The Speaker, October 31st, 1896.


Sir Halliday Macartney is an official in the service of the Chinese Government. That fact seems to have deprived him of any sense of humour he might otherwise have had, which, we imagine, would in no circumstances have been conspicuous. The Secretary of the Chinese Legation has struck an attitude of injured innocence in The Times. He is like Woods Pasha, when that undiscerning personage stands up for the Turkish Government in an English newspaper. What in a true Oriental would seem natural and characteristic, in the sham Oriental is merely ridiculous. Sir Halliday Macartney assures the world that the Chinese medical gentleman who was lately released from the Portland Place Bastille was not inveigled into that institution. To the obvious suggestion that Sun Yat Sen would never have walked into the Chinese Embassy of his own accord, had he known the real identity of his entertainers. Sir Halliday vouchsafes no reply. It is unquestionable that he saw the captive, and took no measures to set him at liberty, till a peremptory requisition came from the Foreign Office. If it was not intended to deport Sun Yat Sen to China, why was he kept a prisoner? Sir Halliday Macartney is in the pitiable position of an Englishman who is forced by his official obligations to palliate in London what would be the ordinary course of justice at Canton. A purely Chinese emissary would have said nothing. Having failed in his manœuvre, he would have accepted the consequences of defeat with the fatalism of his race and native climate. The spectacle of Sir Halliday Macartney fussing and fuming in the Times like an Englishman, when he ought to hold his peace like a Chinaman, can only suggest to the authorities at Pekin that their English representative here is a rather incompetent person.

On the other hand, there is something in this Chinese kidnapping which is irresistibly diverting. Englishmen can never take the Chinaman seriously, in spite of Charles Pearson's prediction that the yellow man will one day eat us up. The personality of Ah Sin, especially when he wears a pigtail and his native costume, is purely comic to the average sightseer. If the men who decoyed Sun Yat Sen were pointed out to a London crowd, they would be greeted not with indignation, but with mildly derisive banter. It might go hard with any Europeans who had tried the same game; but Ah Sin, the childlike and bland, is a traditional joke. His strategy excites no more resentment than the nodding of the ornamental mandarin on the mantelpiece. The popular idea of Lord Salisbury's intervention in this case is probably that the Chinaman's pigtail has been gently but decisively pulled, and that such a lesson is quite sufficient without any public anger. Had a German or a Frenchman been kidnapped in similar circumstances, the situation would at once have been recognised as extremely serious. The capture and incarceration in Portland Place simply excite a smile. The newspapers have treated the incident as they treat the announcement that Li Hung Chang, promoted to be Imperial Chancellor of China, had at the same time been punished for an unauthorised visit to the Empress Dowager. How can you be angry with a people whose solemnities frequently strike the Occidental mind as screaming farce? It is impossible to pass No. 40 Portland Place with a romantic shudder. That middle-class dwelling, of substantial and comfortable aspect, is now a Bastille pour rire, and excites the mirth of tradesmen's boys, who must feel strongly tempted, by way of celebrating the Fifth of November, to ring the bell and introduce a Celestial guy to the puzzled servitors of the Embassy, with a fluent tirade in pigeon-English.

As for Sun Yat Sen, it cannot escape his notice that there is little curiosity to know the precise reason why he is obnoxious to the Chinese Government. He is said to have taken part in a conspiracy against the Viceroy of Canton, a statement which conveys no vivid impression to the popular mind. Political refugees—Italians, Poles, Hungarians—have commonly inspired a romantic interest in this country. They have figured in our fiction, always a sure criterion of public sympathies. When the storyteller takes the foreign conspirator in hand, you may be sure that the machinations, escapes, and so forth touch a responsive chord in the popular imagination. But no storyteller is likely to turn the adventures of Sun Yat Sen to such account, though they may be really thrilling, and though this worthy Celestial medico may have been quite a formidable person in his native land. Even the realistic descriptions by travellers of Chinese administration, the gentle coercion of witnesses in the courts by smashing their ankles, the slicing of criminals to death, have not given a sinister background to the figure of the Heathen Chinee. The ignominious defeat of the Chinese arms in the late war has strengthened the conception of the yellow man as a rather grotesquely ineffectual object. If Sun Yat Sen were to deliver a lecture on his adventures, and paint the tyranny of the Viceroy of Canton in the deepest colours, or if Sir Halliday Macartney were to show that his late prisoner was a monster of ferocity, compared to whom all the Western dynamiters were angels in disguise, we doubt whether either story would command the gravity of the public. The Chinese have their virtues; they are a frugal, thrifty, and abstemious people; they practise a greater respect for family ties than Western nations. The custom of worshipping their ancestors, though one of the chief stumbling-blocks to the Christian missionaries, probably exercises a greater moral influence than the reverence for genealogy here. But no audience in England or America would accept these virtues as rebukes to the shortcomings of the Anglo-Saxon civilisation. So deep is the gulf between Occident and Orient that the pride of neither will learn from the other, and both are indifferent to the warnings of prophets who foretell the triumph of the Caucasian in the Flowery Land or the submergement of Europe by the yellow flood of immigration. All Western notions are regarded in China with a contempt which even the travels of Li are not likely to dispel; and No. 40 Portland Place can never recover that prestige of harmless nonentity it enjoyed before the pranks of the Chinese Embassy made it a centre of the ludicrous.

The following is a copy of the letter I sent to the newspapers thanking the Government and the Press for what they had done for me:

To the Editor of the ——

Sir,—Will you kindly express through your columns my keen appreciation of the action of the British Government in effecting my release from the Chinese Legation? I have also to thank the Press generally for their timely help and sympathy. If anything were needed to convince me of the generous public spirit which pervades Great Britain, and the love of justice which distinguishes its people, the recent acts of the last few days have conclusively done so.

Knowing and feeling more keenly than ever what a constitutional Government and an enlightened people mean, I am prompted still more actively to pursue the cause of advancement, education, and civilisation in my own well-beloved but oppressed country.

Yours faithfully,
Sun Yat Sen.

46 Devonshire Street,

Portland Place, W.,
Oct. 24.