An Emperor in Trouble.
A few weeks ago (says the "New York Sun") the young Emperor of China had a narrow escape from a thorough trouncing, if not worse, at the hands of a party of beggars m his capital It is a favorite pastime of the young Exnperor to wander m
ordinary Chinese clothes throu h th< streets of Pekin, to lounge arou ■(! Hit: corners, and to drink his tea i ihs most crowded restaurants, m nrdw that he may learn what his s ) ; t: think of him and his Govern, ','■ He runs no risk of having his i ;. it; discovered, for m Pekin the :vr <A photography is not practised, arc consequently the people at large h^ ,1 idea of the personal appearance o F H;;; sovereign. The Emperor had got but;: : ho; t distance from his palace on >!■!■ of these trips of investigation, li ;.c onv afternoon, when he saw a Cuv^e ! beggar picking the pocket of a ri^peefcable merchant. The Emperor proi.:, I!y caught the beggar by the back i tl:■.■•. blouse, cuffed his ears, and forced m. to return to the merchant th : si I stolen from his pocket. Nc , -h Pekin beggars and pickpocket' ; ; protected by a kind of unwrittei '. Beggary is recognised as a legi i; » employment, and the beggars n ■ r:tute a guild which has for itsprime b i the mutual protection of all me . ;■- ---of the craft. Anyone who intt with a beggar m the prosecul s >• ,-■;'' his employment exposes himself . ■ vengeance of the guild, and this.- !■ geance generally takes the roug :•• ■■[ ready form of the flogging of the loper by as many comrades as c got togetherOf course, the young Emperor nothing about this abuse, whic : obtained for many decades m hi capital. After cuffing the beggars ears he went his way quite unapprehensive, and brought up m a restaurant but a few rods from the scene of the row. He had hardly taken the first sip of his cup of tea when everyone m the restaurant was startled by a wild hullabaloo. The landlord went to the door. He found 50 beggars before his house, under the leadership of the fellow whose ears the Emperor had boxed. They ordered the landlord to hand over immediately to them the young man who had offended against all the unwritten laws and precedents of the Pekin guild of beggars. The landlord recognised their demands as perfectly legitimate, and hurried to quell the disturbance by delivering up the offender. The young Emperor, however, very strenuously objected to being delivered up, and while making his remonstrances spoke such superfine Chinese that the landlord perceived he had to deal with the son of some bigwig. As a special favor, therefore, he offered to parley with the band of beggars till their intended victim could summon some of his friends to his assistance. The Emperor gladly accepted the suggestion. He despatched a messenger at once to the Governor of the Palace, commanding him to hurry to the spot with two companies of soldiers. The Governor and the soldiers came, rescued their Emperor, and lugged the 50 beggars off to gaol. The landlord got £50 for his consideration. The leader of the beggars and three of his comrades, who had helped him to demand the Emperor from the landlord, were executed the next day. The rest of the lioters were imprisoned for terms varying between five and ten years each. The Emperor has given orders to the Pekin officials that the authorised system of begging must cease.
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An Emperor in Trouble., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2455, 1 July 1890
An Emperor in Trouble. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2455, 1 July 1890
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