TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OE BURMA.
despatch another mission to the Burmese Court. Before the step could be taken a revolution of a characteristic Burmese kind occurred, and made it desirable to postpone for a time the execution of the plans. The rising which so inconveniently occurred was promoted by two princes, sons of the King, who resenting the treatment accorded to them by the Crown Prince, the monarch s brother, formed a plot to change the dynasty. Placing themselves at the head of a number of followers, they on August 2, 1866, rushed to the Palace, slew the Crown Prince and one of his ministers, and also killed two princes next in succession to the throne. The King had timely warning of what was happening from one of his wives and managed to escape to another palace within the city. He was, however, promptly pursued by the conspirators, and was in considerable peril until the following morning, when the timely appearance of some of the Crown Prince s troops saved him from the pressing attentions of the rebels. After this, the capital was given over to a ruffianly mob, who pillaged and murdered at will. In view of the anarchical conditions which existed Captain Sladen, the British Resident, decided to withdraw, and he did so after some difficulty created by the reluctance of the King to pait with the British steamer which he had found very useful in the operations against the rebels.
At a somewhat later period the King managed to suppress the rising, but the rebel princes escaped from his clutches by flying into British territory. This failure to intercept the leaders, however, was of little real consequence since they were taken in hand by the British authorities and required to reside at Rangoon under strict surveillance. When peace had been completely restored at about the end of 1866 Colonel Phayre proceeded to Mandalay with the intention of turning the recent events to diplomatic account. He found the King very little inclined to make any advance on his old position. He pleaded that the country was too unsettled to permit of his foregoing the frontier dues or any of his monopolies ; and ended by declining absolutely to entertain any proposals to this end. As a result of the attitude taken up by the King negotiations were abruptly broken off, and a proposal was sent home in favout of the re-imposition of the British duties. The Secretary of State declined to entertain this suggestion, and the course of events soon showed the wisdom of his restraining action. In May 1867, after Lieut.-General Albert Fytche had succeeded Colonel Phayre as Chief Commissioner, the King gave evidence of his desire for conciliation by issuing proc-
lamations abolishing some of the monopolies and reducing the frontier dues. Serious doubts were entertained at the time as to the sincerity of the change of policy, and a further conspiracy at Mandalay, eventually suppressed, did not help to an elucidation of the matter. In the circumstances Lieut.-General Fytche decided to undertake yet another mission to Mandalay, in the hope that he might be able to influence the King in the direction desired. Apart from the general question of relations with Burma, the Chief Commissioner had two objects in view. He was anxious to open out a trade with Upper Burma, both to promote the prosperity of British Burma and to bring about a community of interests between Mandalay and Rangoon. At the same time he was bent on arranging with the King for the despatch of an expedition via Bhamo to Western China for the purpose of discovering the
over the ship, and the conversation degenerated into gossip. What were the dimensions of the Nemesis ? How fast could she go if she put on all her steam ? Could she go out to sea without fear of being swamped by the waves ? What was the name and official position of each member of the mission ? a The next morning the mission landed in great state. The Queen sent for Mrs. Fytche a handsome gilded litter with men in the royal livery to carry it. The Kingas gift to the envoy and his wife was two golden umbrellas accompanied with royal warrants or tablets of authority entitling them to use them. As only princes of the blood were allowed to use golden umbrellas in the capital, the gifts were regarded as of good augury for the success of the mission. The public reception by the King took place on the second day after landing. Again, the envoy regarded himself as favoured, as the audience
(From a Views and Sketches in Burma.' )
cause of the cessation of the trade formerly existing by this overland route between Burma and China. The mission was as complete a success as the preceding ones had been failures. Lieut.-General Fytcheas account of it given in his book, a Burma, Past and Present,a supplies lively reading. Quitting Rangoon 011 September 20, 1867, in two steamers, the Nemesis and Colonel Phayre, the mission party, which included Mrs. Fytche and another lady, reached Mandalay on October 7. They were greeted on arrival by a deputation of ministers who manifested great curiosity in all they saw. a Nothing whatever,a says Lieut.-General Fytche, a was said about the mission or its objects, but many questions were asked respecting our voyage and how far we had enjoyed it. After a while the party began to disperse
was not only given with exceptional promptitude for a Burman sovereign, but the early fixture prevented the reception taking place on certain days known as Kodau or abeg pardon days,a because they were deemed appropriate for propitiating His Majesty by presents and asking forgiveness for faults committed. The King received the mission graciously, and in the several interviews which Lieut.-General Fytche had with him showed a most accommodating disposition. Before the envoy left a treaty had been concluded which was in every way satisfactory to the British. The King abandoned all his monopolies except those relating to earth oil, timber, and precious stones. The duties on merchandise passing between British and Burmese territories were reduced to a uniform rate of 5 per cent, ad valorem ;was not only given with exceptional promptitude for a Burman sovereign, but the early fixture prevented the reception taking place on certain days known as Kodau or a beg pardon days,a because they were deemed appropriate for propitiating His Majesty by presents and asking forgiveness for faults committed. The King received the mission graciously, and in the several interviews which Lieut.-General Fytche had with him showed a most accommodating disposition. Before the envoy left a treaty had been concluded which was in every way satisfactory to the British. The King abandoned all his monopolies except those relating to earth oil, timber, and precious stones. The duties on merchandise passing between British and Burmese territories were reduced to a uniform rate of 5 per cent, ad valorem ;