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we shall need only fair women to keep the
peace.

CHAOU. In return for your majesty's bounties, it is
your handmaid's duty to brave death to serve you. I
will cheerfully do this to preserve a peace, and in
doing so shall leave behind me a name ever green in
the garden of history. But my love for your majesty
how am I to lay that aside?

EMP. Alas! the thing is no easier for myself.

PRES. I entreat your majesty to sacrifice your own
feelings of love, and consider the security of your
dynasty. Hasten, sir, to send the princess on her way.

EMP. Let it be, then! To-morrow we will witness
her departure, and then return home to hate that
traitor Maou-en-show.

PRES. It is most unwillingly that we advise that
the princess be sacrificed for the sake of peace: but
from ancient times how often has a nation suffered
from a woman's beauty!

CHAOU. Though I go into exile for the nation's
good, how ill can I bear this parting from your majesty!

The cool manner in which this little
transaction is managed is perfectly consistent with
the Chinese character, which never varies.
As it was a couple of thousand years ago, it
remains to-day. Compromise is the traditionary
policy, whether dealing with Han-
chan-yu or with Lord Elgin.

The fourth act opens with the parting.
The princess, who alone displays a particle of
heroism, is speaking when the weeping
Emperor enters:

CHAOU. There is no remedy! I must yield myself
to propitiate the invaders. Yet how shall I be able to
bear the rigorous winds and biting frosts of that
northern clime! It has been truly said of old, that
perfect joy is coupled with an unhappy fate, and
surpassing beauty often meets a cruel end. But, while I
grieve at the sad effects of my own attractions, let it
be without entertaining fruitless resentment towards
others.

EMP. Let the attendants delay awhile, till we
have partaken of the parting cup.

ENVOY [Enters.] Lady, I must urge you to
proceed on your way. Already the sky darkens, and
night is coming on.

CHAOU. Alas! when shall I again behold your
majesty! I will take off these robes of honour, and
leave them behind. To-day in the palace of Hán—
to-morrow I shall be espoused to a stranger. Yes, I
will cease to wear these splendid garments; no longer
shall my beauty be adorned in the eyes of men.

ENVOY. Again, let me urge you, princess, to
depart. We have delayed too long already!

EMP. 'Tis done! Princess, when you are gone,
let your thoughts forbear to dwell on us with sorrow
and resentment. [They part.] And am I indeed the
great monarch of the line of Hán?

PRES. Let your majesty cease to grieve on this
subject.

EMP. She is gone! In vain have we maintained
that mighty host on the frontier. Mention but swords
and spears, and their hands quiver, their cheeks blanch;
they tremble like a young deer. The princess has,
this day, done the work which belonged to them, and
yet they dare to call themselves men!

PRES. Your majesty is entreated to return to the
palace. Dwell not so bitterly, sir, on her memory.
Forget her!

EMP. If I were not to think of her I should have a
heart of iron,—a heart harder than iron. My tears of
grief for her stream down in a thousand channels.
This evening shall her likeness be suspended in the
palace; there will I burn incense before it, and tapers
with their silver light shall illuminate her chamber.

PRES. Let your majesty return to the palace. The
princess is already far distant!

The scene then changes to the frontier.
The Envoy, accompanied by the Princess, has
returned to the Khan; who, well satisfied, has
broken up the camp, and is marching home.
They have reached the river Amoor, when
Cheou-keun asks, what place is this?

ENVOY. The river of the Black Dragon, the frontier
of the Tartar and Chinese territories. All the south
is the Emperor's. To the north are the Khan's
dominions.

CHEOU. Great king! suffer me to take one cup of
wine, and pour a libation towards the south, as my
last farewell to the Emperor. Emperor of the line of
Hán, this life is finished! I await thee in the next!

Thus saying, she throws herself into the
river. No effort to save her appears to be
made; but great consternation ensues. The
Khan laments her loss, and orders a memorial
to be erected on the river's bank, to be called
The Verdant Tomb,—a monument which
exists, it is said, to this day, and is green all
the year round, even in the most parching
weather.

The lovely casus belli having been thus
removed, the Tartar resolves to join again in
alliance with the Emperor of China, and to
give up Maou-en-show; who, he considers,
"can only prove a root of misfortune."

In the last act we find the Emperor in
great griefnot at the death of Chaoun-keun;
for he has not yet heard of it,—but at her
departure. He is watching her portrait, and
paying all possible honours to it. It is evening.
He drops off to sleep; and, in a dream,
sees the princess approaching him. As she
begins to speak, a Tartar soldier rushes in,
and carries her off to the ghost-region
allotted to the Tartars. The Emperor starts
up, and resumes his cogitations.

Presently he hears the voice of the wild
goose. This bird is regarded by the Chinese
as the emblem of love and fidelity: it is
worshipped by newly married couples. It is said
that it never pairs again after losing its mate,
but ever afterwards wanders about alone.
The Emperor laments again.

ATTENDANT. Let your majesty desist from this
sorrow, and have some regard to your sacred person.

But the Emperor grows only the more
eloquent in grief.

Finally, an envoy comes from the Khan, to
offer terms of peace; to tell of the death of
Chaoun-keun, and to render up the traitor
Maou-en-show, whose head the Emperor not
only orders to be forthwith cut off, but, this
time, sees that it is done, that the shades of

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