CHAPTER TEN Tonking, to the end of 1884

TSENG immediately denounced the bombardment of Fuchow to Lord Granville as a piece of barbarism.1 In Peking a Decree was issued, but not communicated to the Corps, which, Parkes cabled, "amounts to declaration of war".2 City merchants suggested that Her Majesty's Government ought to seize the moment to bring about peace, China paying an indemnity--which she deserved, on general principles as it were, to do.3 As Parkes wrote: "The position was very peculiar and embarrassing."4 On the 27th the Yamen announced that China could not guarantee protection of foreigners. Parkes frightened them into retracting.5 One of the Law Officers wrote to Currie that orders must be given for observance of neutrally'. "It is quite clear that France and China are now at war."6

It was now that the French took the step of declaring Shanghai outside the sphere of hostilities;77 a concession to neutral feeling badly needed in the circumstances. Excitement there was very great; the "Shanghai Volunteers" were out parading, to strike awe into the rabble, and as their armament consisted of two brass howitzers chiefly dangerous to themselves, it was felt they ought to be re-equipped.8 The French Consul- General's Proclamation, that no real trouble existed, was described to Parkes by Young as "fantastic"; and "the whole

____________________
1
Tseng to Granville, 27.8. 84), 27.2711.
2
Parkes 31 (recorder), 27.8. 84), 27.2711.
3
Johnstone to Currie, 28.8.84, 27.2711.
4
Parkes 169, 29.8. 84), 27.2711.
5
Parkes 170, 29.8. 84), 27.2711.
6
Sir H. James to Currie, 30.8. 84), 27.2711.
7
Papers printed in B.F.S.P. LXXV, 979 ff.
8
Report by Maj.-Gen. Sergeant, O.C China and Straits, with Parkes 131,31.7.84,17.951.

-145-

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