Page:Christianity in China, Tartary, and Thibet Volume II.djvu/414

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400 CIirJSTIANITY IN CHINA, ETC. interrupted from morning to evening, and from evening to morning, the empire is on the brink of ruin." Chun-Tchc was not in a state to bear all tliis ex- citement, and a violent fever soon seized on him, and laid him on what proved his death-bed. Father Schall went to see him, but the sick Emperor only ordered tea to be served to him, and did not speak. When he felt his end approaching, he would not allow any stranger to be admitted to his presence. He appeared for some time to be sunk in profound thought, and then, asking for his pencil, wrote twelve decrees, by which he granted a general amnesty to all prisoners except such as were accused of rebellion and parricide ; he bestowed ad- ditional dignities on the great mandarins, and distri- buted to others pecuniary rewards ; he freed the people from various taxes ; showered benefits upon the servants of his household; and, finally, he summoned the four grand dignitaries of the empire, and appointed them regents during the minority of his successor; and after that, he made, in their presence, a sort of general con- fession, which was inserted in the ofiicial paper of Pekin for the edification of all the monarchs and nations of the earth. Chun-Tche accused himself, firstly, of having governed badly the empire which his ancestors had confided to him, and of not having procured for it a solid peace. Secorvdly, of not having profited by favourable oppor- tunities for doing honour to the princes allied to him by ties of blood. Thirdly, of not having listened to the counsels that his mother gave him for the good of the empire. Fourthly, of not having rendered sufficient homage to his father, his grandfather, and the warriors

who had deserved well of the state. Fifthly, of having