Page:My life in China and America.djvu/256

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Tung Chi, woke in her an ambition to dominate and rule, which grew to be a passion too morbid and strong to be curbed.

In the assertion of his true manhood, and the exercise of his sovereign power, his determination to reform the government made him at once the cynosure of Peking, inside and outside of the Palace. In the eyes of the Dowager Empress Chi Hsi, whose retina was darkened by deeds perpetrated in the interest of usurpation and blinded by jealousy, Kwang Su appeared in no other hght than as a dement, or to use a milder expression, an imbecile, fit only to be tagged round by an apron string, cared for and watched. But to the disinterested spectator and unprejudiced judge, Kwan Su was no imbecile, much less a dement. Impartial history and posterity will pronounce him not only a patriot emperor, but also a patriot reformer — as mentally sound and sane as any emperor who ever sat on the throne of China. He may be looked upon as a most remarkable historical character of the Manchu Dynasty from the fact that he was singled out by an all-wise Providence to be the pioneer of the great reform movement in China at the threshold of the twentieth century.

Just at this juncture of the political condition