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and totally forgetting that a row of glittering bayonets, surmounted with fire, was thrust into the wall above me, when a warm, uncomfortable feeling upon my right shoulder caused me to turn my head. An ambitious shoulderstrap, glittering and new, with which I had entered the hall, had disappeared, and in its place a frosting, still wet and warm upon the top, composed of the drippings of many candles, occupied its place. And under the shoulderstrap was a new coat, not easily replaced in the wilderness. I turned away in disgust.

"Will you come and see the princess married?" said the Lieutenant, as he laid his hand on my arm.

"Married?" said I; "will Neptune be there?"

He replied with provoking and literal exactness, "No, but the commanding officer of the post will, and desires your presence with his compliments." I found him in his tent surrounded with papers, perplexed and almost indignant. A party of the junior officers were present, who were apparently urging him to do something to which he was disinclined.

"What am I to do about it?" said he, as I entered. "These young gentlemen have persuaded that confounded Indian that he must be married in Christian fashion, and they have come to me to do it. You know we haven't any chaplain."

"So much the better," said I, impressively. "We're living under martial law here. No one within a hundred miles dares dispute your authority, barring a few rebels," added I, as the thought of last night's adventure flashed through my mind; “but they are of no account now Richmond has fallen, and never were recognized, any way. You're not merely the commander of the troops, but you are supreme within certain limits, wherever within the enemy's country your power extends. You are the Fountain of Honor, you are the State, you are the Church." “Enough, enough," said he, waving his hand in a deprecating manner; and the officers disappeared to carry the information.

"The ceremony shall be performed here, and you shall be my legal guide and principal witness," said he.

"It's not to be thought of," said I with emphasis. "I know that young woman; she's the daughter of one soldier, and about to become the wife of another, and a military wedding she must have."

"A military wedding!" said he, with perplexity; "what's that?"

"Leave the details to me- -I'll call you when you are wanted." While he turned to his papers, I looked up the adjutant. "Turn out your best company," said I, "and give me a detail of musicians." The adjutant looked surprised, and would have questioned me. "It's all right and according to orders. Richmond has fallen, you know."

The company was formed and inspected, and then by my direction broken into platoons-the captain having been taken into confidence. The bride and bridegroom were placed between the platoons. Four drummers and as many fifers headed the column, which was drawn up near the tent of the commanding officer, and awaiting with shouldered arms for his coming. I took his arm, and we fell in behind the bride and bridegroom. The word of command was given, and to the single tap of the drum we moved forward.

"What nonsense is this?" said my friend, almost angrily.

"No nonsense at all. We are going to the military wedding of the princess."

What would have happened I know not, had not the column turned, and promptly ascended the broad, slanting pathway that led into the Parker House. The sentry at the door had been instructed, and without a word, with steady tramp we marched into the ball-room. Halting in the full blaze of the light, and amid the astonished gazers, the first platoon was faced about, and at the quick, sharp word of command the butts of fourscore muskets crashed together to the floor. Turning to the commanding officer, I informed him that we awaited his good pleasure. Astonished beyond measure as he was,

he came gallantly up to the work. "Do they understand English?" said he, quietly.

"We have an interpreter," and the soldier who had once belonged to the princess' tribe stood forth.

The bridegroom, a powerfully built man of more than twice the age of the bride, showed a slight shade of anxiety and perplexity on his face, which was marked with hard lines and traces of care. Wearing moccasins and leggins fringed with hair, perhaps from horrid scalps which he himself had taken, the upper portion of his body was covered with a red shirt and a private's military coat not much the worse for wear, and with buttons shining for the occasion. Though commonplace, he looked well and powerful. Not so the bride. Strings of pretty white shells bound up her hair, which was black and abundant. A clean new blanket was thrown over her shoulders, hanging nearly to her feet, yet not wholly concealing a sort of vest or bodice curiously wrought with beads or small many-colored shells. A petticoat of buckskin reaching to the knee, white stockings, and a neat substantial bootthe gift of the admiring sutler-completed the most of her attire, which could be taken in with a glance. Earrings, however, she wore, and fingerrings; and her hands and feet were small.

In a few simple and well-chosen words were explained to them the nature of the ceremony, and the importance attached to it by the whites. I watched the bride with interest, to see if on this sacred occasion any signs of gratified pride or other human feeling would be visible. Allusion was made to the long and painful journey from the Far West which the bridegroom had made to claim his bride, and they were requested to join hands. As they did so, she looked up into his face with a momentary expression of feeling, so womanly and tender, that I was hardly prepared to believe it. In an instant, however, she recovered herself, and a look, not hard, but proud and coldVOL. II.-12

her usual expression-took its place. She is human, then, thought I. Finally they were pronounced man and wife; and with loud words of command, arms were presented, drums rattled, fifes screamed, and the ceremony was


"Is this farce or reality?" said I, half unconsciously.

"As they follow each other in life," answered the Lieutenant gayly. "You know what the Corsican said: 'From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.'"

At length the ball broke up, and Lieutenant de and myself were slowly moving towards his quarters in a distant part of the encampment, when two strange figures passed us, making their way to the woods. One in advance, unburdened with fardels, stepped firmly out with light and sinewy tread; the other moved slowly, almost staggering under a pack, seemingly a load for a mule. To my horror I recognized the Indian brave and his new-made wife.

"And this is what my princess has come to-to be a slave and a pack-horse for that man!"

"True Indian fashion from time immemorial, however," said the Lieutenant.

And if she's not Indian, she's not human, thought I. Tired as we were, we felt little inclination to sleep, and I sat puffing a cigar restlessly at the entrance to the tent, when suddenly a strange, wild cry, now sinking, now rising, plaintive yet powerful, and almost defiant, came distinctly from the direction of the woods. It almost stilled the beating of my heart to hear it.

"No owl made that cry," said the Lieutenant, as if interpreting my thoughts. I made no answer, but puffed away gloomily. Five minutes after, the officer of the day rode up, he having been out to inspect the outposts.

"What cry was that in the direction of the woods a few minutes ago?"

"That?" said he, laughing, but not cheerfully, "it was that infernal Indian.

He nearly frightened the life out of me as I passed him. It was his farewell to civilization, I suppose; " and he rode


And will she abandon the home of her childhood, the pleasant Land of Flowers, and even perchance the hope of the Fountain of Youth, to follow

that howling devil through many weary years, in distant lands and under other skies, patiently bearing a hard lot for his sake? Yes, for she is a woman too, as well as a princess.

"And she'll be the mother of men," said I, as I turned myself in my blanket.


On the 22d day of May, 1868, appeared at New York a remarkable embassy. It came from the far East, and it came through the far West.

Few failed to ask themselves—" What does this imposing embassy mean, and how comes it that at its head stands a distinguished citizen of the United States?" It is a pertinent question, and demands an answer.

Briefly then, it means, that the oldest and most conservative of nations, which for over four thousand years has had a well-defined history and civilization, which covers a vast portion of the Asian world, which numbers in its peoples some four hundred millions of human beings, from whom have come to the occidental world, paper, printing, porcelain, the compass, gunpowder, and tea-this government of such a vast, strange, and yet vital nation, from this day abandons its old policy of isolation and individual development, and, yielding to the pressure of the outside and trading world, steps forth to take its place in the family of nations, as one and an equal. It is an important event, and second to none in its magnitude, and in the influence it is destined to exert upon China first, and then upon all the world. China has taken this step after grave doubts, after many misgivings; but already it was so complicated with other peoples and civilizations, that there seemed no other course open but to go forth fully and frankly upon the ways of modern civilization.

We must congratulate China, and our

selves, and Europe, that its choice of an ambassador has been Mr. Burlingame; and not because he is an American, but because he is inspired and impelled by a generous and comprehensive spirit, which knows no other purpose but to establish relations and organize an intercourse, which shall benefit China, and at the same time be good for all the world.

Of his Chinese coadjutors we know little, except that in their own land they are recognized as scholars and gentlemen; but two others are associated with him in this great work, Mr. Brown, of English birth, and Mr. Des Champs, of French; who, in the years they have been in China, have made themselves masters of the language and the customs of China; from all of them I have obtained most valuable information, some part of which I hope to present to the readers of "Putnam" in an aoceptable shape.

I am sure that at this moment all that pertains to this far-off land and this peculiar people will have more than ordinary interest, and the trouble is to know what to tell in the limits of this paper; what is most desirable and interesting. Whatever it is will centre about PEKING, which now contains a population of one and a half million of souls. What these people now are we may therefore attempt to know; but who can venture to say, even to guess, what they will be, even one hundred years hence, when upon their wonderful industry, economy, and persistency, is engrafted the vast power of our ma

chinery and organization? Who can predict? One thing is remarkable, that with all their conservatism and adoration of the Past, they do accept and adopt readily and quickly many of our ways; as is evidenced by their applying our systems of insurance, of telegraphs, of army organizations, of gunboats, &c., &c.; all of which are now being rapidly adopted there.

Peking is an ancient city, whose date we cannot fix. It was the residence of Kublai-Khan about the year 1264; and in the year 1421 was established as the capital city by Yung Lo, third emperor of the Ming dynasty, and has remained so since that time.

It is in the midst of a wide alluvial plain, in the northern part of the Empire, and not far from the "Great Wall," which still stands. The city is enclosed by a wall, faced with large brick, sixty to seventy feet in height; and is thirty to sixty feet wide on the top. From this wall you look down upon the great city -or cities-its houses, temples, and leafy gardens. Along the wall and at its angles are large and high towers, which are used for barracks for the guards, who always watch over the city.

It is divided into two parts, one the Tartar, or Manchu, the other the Chinese city. The Tartar city has three enclosures, one within the other, the centre of all being the Emperor's city, -sometimes called "The Forbidden City"-containing the imperial palaces and their surroundings. Here the roofs are covered with yellow porcelain, the color of royalty, which glitter in the shining sun. Here is a vast assemblage of palaces, pavilions, porticos, devoted to the Emperor and the ladies and attendants of the royal household. In the centre of the great flower-garden, in which grow a variety of trees, stands the palace of the Emperors. The principal gate or entrance to this is called the gate of the Midday Sun, for through it walks forth the Emperor himself.

A few words as to the present Em

*For Pei, north, and King, capital.

peror and his court: the Emperor is a boy of but twelve years, son of the second wife of the former Emperor; so that the first and second wives are now Empress dowagers, and equal in rank and power. They are in a sort regents, having, however, but little absolute power. The Emperor becomes of age at sixteen, when he assumes the powers of royalty. The Emperor's name is Tsai-chun, which is never employed in speaking or writing of or to him. The style of his reign is Tung-Chih, which is used with more reference to the Calendar than to the Emperor. During life he is only called "The Emperor." At his death a special name will be given him, by which he will ever be spoken of officially. The name Tung-Chih means "Union in the cause of law and order."

It is often supposed that an Emperor is absolute, that his will is law, that his smile opens Paradise, and his frown is death. But this seems not to be so, not even in China. If the Emperor proposes to issue a decree, to enact a law, it must be written out; then it is to be submitted to a secretary, or proper legal adviser, who, familiar with the laws and usages of China, pronounces for or against it. If he is adverse, it may be submitted to another jurisconsult; but unless the proposed decree is acceded to by another tribunal than the Emperor, it does not become a law.

At the head of the cabinet is now Prince Kung. He is a kind of prime minister, and really represents the government. Associated with him are three to five, who form a sort of Cabinet, and who, although not recognized by any Constitution, are the real advisers and rulers of China. The Grand Secretariat, however, is the highest legal official body, and is next to the Emperor. It is a body of six members-three of whom are Tartars and three Chinese. They are, or were lately, as follows:

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Tsung-Kuoh Fan Chinese.
Lo-Ping Chang

A person to be appointed to this post must have taken the highest literary degree at his outset in life. The members of the Grand Secretariat, as such, have little immediate influence in affairs. Their chief duty is to receive all imperial decrees, see that the action taken on them is in accordance with the law of the land, and to forward them to their destination.

Government action is taken either on the direct action of the Emperor or his immediate advisors, or on memorials presented by the high authorities of the capital or provinces. In ordinary cases, the mode of procedure is as follows: the memorial is forwarded through a board of registration to the office of the Grand Council, where it is used and suggestions are made, or draft of a decree drawn up for action thereon. This is laid before the throne, and if approved, is sent to the Grand Secretariat to be copied and despatched.

A peculiar feature of the central government is a body of men who may be known as censors, "Imperial remind""Eyes and Ears of the Emperor." ers," They visit different portions of the Empire, either openly or secretly, to examine and report. They may, and often do, memorialize the government, censuring its own acts in most positive terms, and they do this with impunity.

A brief extract from Williams' "Mid

dle Kingdom" will illustrate two things:

first, the freedom of these censors; and second, the fact that queens are prone to extravagance:

They recommend, therefore, a reduction in the disbursements of the imperial establishment. Among the items mentioned by these oriental Joseph Humes, which they consider extravagant, are a lac of taels * (100,000) for flowers and rouge in the seraglio, and 120,000 in salaries for waiting-boys: two lacs were expended on the gardens of Yuenming, and almost half a million of taels upon the parks of Jeh-ho, while the salaries to officers and presents to women at Yuenming were over four lacs.

They proposed to abolish these "foolish expenditures." Very frank, indeed!

Let it be borne in mind that through all its history, through all wars and convulsions, even the deposing of Em

* A tael is one dollar and three sevenths.

perors, and the changing of dynasties, the laws and constitutions of China never change. They remain-a paternal despotism, founded upon the idea of the family, of which the Emperor is head.

Of the private life of the Emperor and his Queens we can know but little, for but little is known even in China. Besides his city palaces, he has his country palaces among the hills some twelve or fifteen miles from the city, where, during the intense heats of summer, he seeks the delights of coolness and verdure. One of these great palaces was rifled and burned by the English and French troops in their advance upon Peking in 1860. It was described as a luxurious and delicious retreat.

The Button of the Mandarin or dignitary all have heard of, but so far I have seen nothing which defines it. It is a symbol of rank worn on the top of the cap, and is of nine varieties, expressing so many degrees of official distinction: 1. the plain coral; 2. the figured coral; 3. the blue-transparent; 4. the blue-dark; 5. the white-transparent; 6. the white-opake; 7. the plain gold; 8. the figured gold; 9. the silver.

To Peking are gathered the taxes of the Empire, many of which are paid in kind, so that there exist within the walls vast granaries and storehouses for their reception. The land immediately surrounding the city is dry and unproductive, and it demands irrigation; so that most of the food is brought from a distance.

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Clustered around the imperial centre is another enclosure, sometimes called the "Flag City," or 'Imperial City," where live the various princes and officials and their attendants. The color of the roofs here is green. Gathered about them, too, is the vast army of the nation, estimated as counting in Peking nigh half a million of men.

This Tartar city is separated from the Chinese city by a wall and gates, and contains about fifteen square miles. The Chinese city, also protected by walls, is somewhat smaller, but more populous.

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