Page:Christianity in China, Tartary, and Thibet Volume II.djvu/234

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220 CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA, ETC. The emperor having received this report, sent it, according to the usual custom, to the prime minister, in order to obtain his advice on the subject. This dignitary wrote upon it, that he agreed witli the con- clusions that had been arrived at, and then returned it to the emperor; who finally took a brush in his own liand, and traced in vermilion the oflicial sign of approbation, " che; " that is to say, " be it done." Whilst they wire iti the midst of the grief occasioned by the death of Father Kicci, this piece of good news afforded great consolation to the Christians, who received it with the most lively demonstrations of joy. It was a strange mixture tliis, of joy and sorrow, }iapi)incss and grief. The great propagator of the Gospel in China was no more; but this imperial decree had, in their eyes, ])laeed his work on an imperishable foundation. The authorities were soon engaged in the search after some place that might be bestowed on Father Pantoja, as the emperor had directed; and they decided at last upon a pagoda surrounded with a beautiful enclosure, which had become the property of a eunuch, then lying under sentence of death in one of the public prisons. An objection was raised that this pagoda not only belonged to a eunuch, but was also then inhabited by Bonzes; but the governor of Pekin took his brush and wrote the following words: — "The temple of Discipline and Goodness belongs to no one, since its proprietor has been condemned to death by the emperor; and as to the Bonzes, who inhabit it, let them be driven out, and the establishment be handed over without delay to Jacques Pantoja and his com-

panions."