TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
had agents more or less accredited in the city. In 1872, and again in 1874, the King, responding probably to suggestions made to him from not disinterested quarters, sent missions to France. The first of these
King, named Thebaw. At the head of this conspiracy was one of the old kingas wives, a clever, designing woman who, having exercised great power in the past, was unwilling to fall into a position of obscurity
MAUSOLEUM OF KING MENGDON MIN.
diplomatic ventures concluded with the French Government a convention of a somewhat colourless character, but it was not ratified at the time, and in 1874 M. de Rochechouart was sent out by the French Government charged with a mission in connection with this diplomatic arrangement. The envoy substituted for the convention already signed a treaty containing some provisions relative to the supply of arms, to which the British Government took strong exception. The protest was effective, but the seeds were planted at this period of complications which a few years later were to cause the British Government great anxiety.
The Kingas death on October 3, 1878, let loose a flood of intrigue of a kind familiar in Burmese history. Mengdon left thirty sons, and from these, in accordance with the practice followed in Burma, he selected as his successor the Nyoung-yan Prince, a young man of amiable disposition and considerable popularity. The compact was ratified by the entire family in a document which all the sons signed. But before the breath had left the Kingas body a dangerous movement was afoot for upsetting the arrangement and placing 011 the throne another son of the
She had a daughter, Supaya-lat by name, and her scheming brain conceived the idea of mating this girl with Thebaw and so
to proclaim Thebaw King. Anticipating evil, the Nyoung-yan Prince and one of his brothers fled to the British Residency and were given asylum by Mr. Shaw, the Resident. A demand for their surrender met with an uncompromising refusal, and a little later the pair were sent down the river to Rangoon en route for India, where a residence was assigned to them. Towards the end of February, 1879, India, and indeed the whole of the civilised world, was horrified with the news that there had been a general slaughter at Mandalay of all the late kingas sons, with their mothers, wives, and children. The number of unfortunates involved in the holocaust was at first placed at eighty, but investigation showed that there were not more than half that number of victims. It seems to have been a brutal massacre dictated by a frenzied apprehension of the danger of a revolt by partisans of the fugitive princes. A charming story has come down in the authentic narratives of the episode to relieve its blackness. When the time came for execution the eldest son of the late king, turning to his brother who was begging for his life, said, a My brother, it is not becoming to beg for life. Had you been King you would have given the same order. Let us die, since it is fated we must die, and not make an appeal which will not be heard.a
When the news of the massacre penetrated to the outside world, Mr. Shaw sent an indignant remonstrance threatening to haul down
KING THEBAW AND QUEEN SUPAYA-LAT WITNESSING A PWE.
(From a Burmese Painting.)
fixing her grasp on the reins of power. When the critical moment arrived she made herself mistress of the palace and caused the ministers who were her creatures
his flag if there was any continuance of the murders. The reply made by the Burmese Foreign Minister was that the massacre was carried through ain consideration ofhis flag if there was any continuance of the murders. The reply made by the Burmese Foreign Minister was that the massacre was carried through a in consideration of