Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., Ltd,
Text on page 160
SIAM AND CHINA
The new regime is hardly established, and a thousand hidden perils menace its existence. Every citizen has the solemn duty to dedicate himself to his country according to his ability, but I fear that my poor capacity does not permit of my assuming the heavy task which has been entrusted to me.
And yet the Convention of Nanking has paid me the signal honour of electiAg me, according to rules, as President of the Republic.
I feel an inexpressible shame realizing that it is you alone who conceived and founded the actual regime, and that it is I, who without gift, take your place.
I repeat that I have had no other aim than the happiness of the people and the interest of the country. In the critical circumstances through which we are passing, the outcome of which will decide the life or death of our country, the citizens must remind each other of their duty and the difficulties which they have to surmount. [It seems that Yuan-Shi-Kai likes this phrase.]
Should not I then, under such conditions, endeavour to carry out my duties as servant of the State ?
However, the difficulties which I have mentioned are real, and it is in consideration of the friendship which you have always shown me that I have not hesitated to speak sincerely.
I hope you will understand the reasons which actuate me.
As soon as your special Ambassador arrives I shall go over all the points with him. Before all please let me know who is the Ambassador Extraordinary and on what date he leaves.