Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/310

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This rebellion was finally repressed with the most fearful brutality. The city of Tali was taken by treachery. When the Mohammedans had surrendered and given up their arms, the so-called Sultan came into the Imperial Camp and asked to see the Commander. On being introduced he begged for a cup of water. He then said that he had "nothing to ask but this—'Spare the people' "; then drinking the water he almost immediately expired, he having already taken poison. His head was at once struck off and exposed, and, heedless of his prayers, the victors proceeded to massacre the helpless garrison and town folk.

After the fall of Tali Fu the rebellion was gradually suppressed in other places; the majority of the rebels that remained being glad to become loyal subjects when they had the opportunity of doing so. The ruins, still to be seen in many parts of the province, tell the sad tale of how fearful the struggle must have been, and with the exception of the capital, Yunnan Fu, the province has not even yet recovered its former prosperity. There is little doubt but that the evident sympathy shown to the Mohammedan Pretender by the British and others during the rebellion has not tended at all to promote good feeling towards the foreigner on the part of the Chinese authorities in the province.

The province has sometimes been called "the Switzerland of China," being very mountainous, especially in the west and north. The mountains west of the city of Tali are 8000 feet above the city, and as the city stands 6500 feet above the sea level, the highest peaks of these mountains compare favourably with Mont Blanc. At Likiang, some distance north of Tali Eu, there is snow on the mountains all the year round. To the east of this latter city there is a beautiful lake, which is some 35 miles long and about 7 miles wide. Like the Sea of Galilee, it is subject to sudden squalls of wind, which come down with great force from the mountains on the west of the city, and make navigation at times extremely dangerous.

South of the city of Yunnan Fu there is another fine