The situation in Pekin critical--Boxer placard posted in the West City, Pekin--Boxer altars--Drilling of Boxers--Foreigners mobbed--Cataleptic subjects exhibited by Buddhist priests --Vice-AdmiralSeymour in command of Relief Expedition --Rear-AdmiralBruce in command of British Squadron--An alarming message--Force landed.
THE situation in Pekin and the surrounding country was critical. In the city the Boxers assembled undisturbed in the streets, and official placards for the protection of foreigners were torn down by the mob the moment they were put up, while Boxer placards, such as the one here reproduced, were left on the walls, circulated, and eagerly read by thousands of people.
"In a certain street in Pekin some worshippers of the Ih-hwo-Ch'uan at midnight suddenly saw a spirit descend in their midst. The spirit was silent for a long time, and all the congregation fell upon their knees and prayed. Then a terrible voice was heard saying:
"'I am none other than the Great Yü Ti [ god of the unseen world] come down in person. Well knowing that you are all of devout mind, I have just now descended to