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able, and such Dr Nisbet has provided. I shall only mention one point upon which his advice appears to be founded upon imperfect observation or information. Among birds "decidedly injurious" to growing woods he classes grouse and ptarmigan. Now, admitting that the black grouse and capercaillie do much mischief by feeding on buds and young shoots, no man ever saw red grouse or ptarmigan doing the like. The chapter on the protection of young trees against weeds, including grass, deserves careful study by everybody concerned in planting, whether in forest treatment or ornamental arboriculture. To take a common experience: incalculable waste has been incurred by the practice of setting out small specimen trees, often very expensive,
without any protection against grass. It is a simple measure to keep a small circle of soil open round such plants until they become well established, for a close mat of grass round the stem frequently proves as fatal to growth as a direct poison.
I have endeavoured to draw attention to a few of the features in Dr Nisbet's valuable work. There are many more upon which it is a temptation to dwell. It is very desirable that it should take its place as the standard text-book on British forestry. He who follows its teaching faithfully will not go far astray. Every acre wisely planted and scientifically managed will prove a "stockin' fut for those who come after him—no mean consideration in these days of grinding death-duties.
BY COLONEL G. K. SCOTT MONCRIEFF, C.I.E., R.E.
IT is strange to think, in contemplating the recent débâcle of Russia in the Far East, that only five years ago Russians and Japanese were fighting shoulder to shoulder against a common foe, and that armies of those nations played the most important part in the relief of the besieged Legations at Peking. There were, it is true, at that time in China representatives of three other Powers-Great Britain, France, and the United States, but the British had still the Boer war unfinished, and could only spare a comparatively small force; France could at first only send a few of her colonial troops, very poor specimens of her great army; and America had still plenty of occupation for her "boys" in the Philippines, so her contingent, too, was not a large one. Other nations, such as Germany and Italy, who subsequently sent forces to China, were too late to take part in the relief and in the re-establishment of civilised authority. To Japan and Russia belong the chief credit of success, and the senior general of the allies on that occasion was one of whom we have heard much recently-General Linievitch.
At Tientsin, surrounded in those hot days of July by a circle of Chinese batteries pouring shell into the defenceless streets and gardens of the
Foreign Concessions, it was the timely arrival of Russian reinforcements that enabled the counter-attack to be made, and it was mainly owing to the magnificent assault of the Japanese on the walled city, and especially its eastern gate, that the Chinese troops were forced to evacuate the place, and the siege of Tientsin was raised.
In the beleaguered Legations of Peking, while Americans and British were the mainstay of the defence, there was no more gallant work done than that carried out by Colonel Shiba and his handful of Japanese soldiers and volunteers, while Russians were doing their part also right well close to them.
After the capture of Tientsin by the allies, and while reinforcements were being poured in from beyond the seas in July, the Chinese were deavouring to bar the way to Peking by constructing fortifications near the village of Peitsang, some five miles beyond Tientsin. At the battle of
Peitsang, on the 5th August, it was the Japanese force that turned the enemy's flank and bore the brunt of the fighting; and the next day, though the Americans and British had, at the action of Yangtsun, the chief part of the conflict, Russian troops were well to the fore, and,
with the Japanese, pursued the beaten enemy.
It was, however, on the 14th August, the day of the Relief of the Legations, that the combined operations of Russians and Japanese contributed mainly to the allied victory. The fact that the British were the first to get into the Legations, and achieved this result with a mere trifling loss, has no doubt tended to forgetfulness of the part played by their allies. Had it not been for the furious assault of those allies on another part of the city, the success of the British force would certainly not have been gained so quickly and with such little loss.
To understand the operations of that day, which recalled in some respects the stories of the Indian Mutiny and its famous reliefs, it is necessary to have some idea of the place.
palaces, gardens, and many miscellaneous buildings; and inside that again lies the Forbidden city, a medieval fortress, walled and moated, into which until 1900 no foreigner had ever entered. It was the sanctum sanctorum of the Manchu emperors, containing the throne rooms, pavilions, and the private apartments of the Emperor and Empress.
an outwork a horseshoe similar size
The outer walls of the Tartar city are built on a most colossal scale. Not only is the length all round the square about seventeen miles, but the thickness of the wall is enormous, from 60 to 70 feet, while the height is about 35 feet. Each wall is pierced by great gates, two in each face, except in the south where there are three. Each gate has in front of it, shaped wall of to the main wall. Peking is, broadly speaking, works have also a gate at one divided into two parts, the side-if one can use the word Tartar city and the Chinese "gate" to describe a gigantic city. The former, built by double door with ponderous some man of colossal ideas locks and bars. The great cen500 years ago, is an almost tral gate of the south wall, complete square, of which each called the Chien men, has its side is about four miles long. outwork pierced with three The Chinese city, rectangular gates, one at each side and in shape, lies immediately to one in the centre, opening on the south of the Tartar city. the great broad central street Though its breadth and area of the Chinese city,-a street is less, its length is greater where all the principal merthan the other, so that the chants' shops are situated. The walls at the point of junction great gate opening on this form a re-entrant angle. In street has immediately in front plan the whole city appears of it a handsome marble bridge, like a square block resting and the gate itself is only opened on a broad thick pedestal. on the state occasion when the Emperor passes through on his annual visit to the Temple of Heaven. It may here be par
Inside the Tartar city lies the Imperial city, a walled enclosure containing the Imperial
enthetically observed that at the time of the entry of the allies into Peking this gate was demolished by British sappers, and was left open during the whole period of the allied occupation. Each of the gates has over it a tall pagoda-like structure, similar structures being also built at the corners of the city walls. These erections act partly as observation towers, partly as ornamental features.
In the re-entrant angle between the walls of the Tartar and Chinese cities there is through the wall of the latter an important gate called the Tung-ping men. From this gate a road proceeds along the south of the Tartar city wall by which entrance can be gained through the gates.
The Legation quarter is situated inside the Tartar city, and lies between the south wall of that city and the south wall of the Imperial enclosure. It is divided in two by a broad drain which flows from the inside of the Imperial city under the wall of the Tartar city by means of a bridge or tunnel. The drainage then flows parallel to the wall in a sluggish stream, and finally finds an exit near the Tung-ping men to the east. This drain divides the Lega tion quarter into two nearly equal parts. To the west of it lie the British, Russian, United States, and Dutch Legations. To the east lie the Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Austrian Legations, besides the Hongkong Bank and some other private buildings.
The whole of these Legations
appear to have begun with the British embassy, established after the 1860 campaign in a group of buildings originally a Chinese ducal palace. Like all such aristocratic dwellings in China, this consisted of ceremonial pavilions, ornamental towers, and quadrangles, some of which had been removed to make way for new buildings in European style, but the majority still remained. The other foreign Legations had sprung up in course of years in the same part of the city, around Legation Street, a public thoroughfare passing east and west at right angles to the drain above-mentioned,-a street constructed according to western ideas, and the only one in the whole city which was properly paved, drained, and lighted.
The British Legation was the citadel or nucleus of the defence, in the sense that it was intended to be the position held to the last. It was not only the headquarters of the commander of the defences, Sir Claude MacDonald, but it was the place of refuge for nearly all the European noncombatants of every nation. But it was not a nucleus in the sense of its occupying a central position. On the contrary, it was considerably exposed, being the nearest of all the defended area to the Imperial city walls. Immediately to the north of its line lay the Hanlin library, one of the oldest libraries in the world, and an object of veneration to the whole of literary China. This library, held by the enemy, had been by them,
in an act of unparalleled vandalism, burnt down in the hope of the fire spreading to the British Legation. In this atrocious design they were unsuccessful, but they held the blackened ruins after the fire had burnt out.
On the west side of the British Legation was the Imperial Carriage Park, a large field full of storehouses and sheds, also held by the enemy; while to the east was the great drain previously mentioned. Beyond the drain was a large walled garden belonging to a Chinese prince. It was a scene of fierce fighting chiefly between Japanese, reinforced frequently by British marines, and the Chinese imperial troops.
The whole Legation defences occupied a rough square area of some 600 yards on each side. Most fortunately, one side of this square rested on the main wall of the Tartar city, and especially on the portion whence the great drain had its exit. Had this wall been captured by the enemy, the whole of the interior would have been untenable.
It needs no expert knowledge of the art of war to see that herein lay the key to the relief. If only the allies could gain an entrance into the Chinese city, they could, under cover of its streets and lanes, approach to a point opposite the tunnel where the drain issues, and thence without assaulting any strongly fortified gates they could gain entrance within. The alternative was an attack on some other part
of the formidable walls of the Tartar city, and then miles of street fighting. Sir Claude MacDonald readily perceived that the former method gave a far better promise of success, and he managed to get a message conveyed to the British commander, Sir A. Gaselee, telling him that he would be holding a portion of the main wall of the Tartar city, which would be marked by the British and American flags at either extremity, and suggesting that a rush should be made for this place through the lanes of the Chinese city.
The importance of the defenders' position on the top of the great broad wall was also fully recognised by the enemy, who had fiercely contested the hold thereof, and brought all the strength they could muster to assault this vital point. Whether they had been successful or not was unknown to the relief column; but it was recognised that if the defenders were still holding on to the wall, relief would be possible.
The relieving army had advanced by the river Peiho from Tientsin, following the same route as the Anglo-French army of 1860, and abandoning the more direct line of the railway, by which Sir E. Seymour had made his unsuccessful attempt a few weeks previously. The point on the river nearest to Peking is the walled town of Tungchao, about fourteen miles from the capital, and connected with it by a canal, which has its terminus just outside the eastern wall of the