chap, xxxvii THEEBAW SUES FOR PEACE 353
than at Mandalay. The Kinwoon and Tyndah, who played the difficult game of trying to keep in favour with twro opposing powers, persuaded the King that the English were not aiming at war and conquest, but simply desired concessions to trade, and that the military force wras merely sent to escort Colonel Sladen to negotiate a peace. They contended that if the King fought, he would probably be beaten and would lose his throne ; on the other hand, if he did not fight, but gave the English all they demanded, he would be allowed to retain his throne with some limitations of his power. They urged therefore that the palace should be thrown open to the English general and envoy, that negotiations be entered into with them at once for the concession of a treaty, and promised that the invading army would then retire to Rangoon and all A member of the hlwot-daw. would be well.
Dismayed and perplexed, King Theebaw took the advice of his ministers, who carefully kept the real facts from him, and he sent an envoy to General Prendergast with a flag of truce, and a letter proposing an armistice in order to negotiate a peace. The general, who doubted the genuineness of the document, returned a reply demanding the surrender of the King's army, of the city of Mandalay, and of King Theebaw in person. The Burmese royal barge returned to Mandalay and