Chinese Gordon

March 10 2014

In the middle of the nineteenth century of the Christian Era, when the T’aip’ing insurrection was on the point of sweeping a degenerate successor of Ch’ien Lung off the Imperial Throne at Peking, the Ts’ing Dynasty obtained a fifty years’ reprieve thanks in large measure to the prowess of a general who came in consequence to be known among his own compatriots as “Chinese Gordon”, but who really – to confess the shocking truth – was a “South Sea Barbarian” whose sword-arm had been hired by the Emperor in his dire extremity though the Son of Heaven knew very well that this mercenary saviour’s barbarous blood had not in it even a tincture of the celestial ichor of the Children of Han.

A Study of History, Vol VI, OUP, 1939

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