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panied them to China. The tenets which these priests taught found an advocate in the emperor's brother, and Budhuism henceforth spread its baneful influence over the minds of the people, and became even more popular than the state religion. This is a remarkable event in Chinese history. Although averse to every thing foreign, and although they looked upon the Hindoos with indescribable contempt, yet they embraced with ardour their gross and debasing system of idolatry; a proof that the human mind, if unenlightened by Divine revelation, readily submits to the most degrading superstitions. Of what importance, then, is the gospel to such a people? It will rescue them from the greatest evils to which a fallen nature is ever prone, and to which the Chinese seem especially exposed.
Ming-te was succeeded by Chang-te, who is celebrated for his victory over the Tartars, and in whose reign literature greatly flourished. After his death, women, eunuchs, and children held the reins of government during successive reigns. Then came the period of the San-Kuo, or Three States," into which the country was divided towards the close of the Han dynasty, and which forms a favourite subject of the historical plays and romances of the Chinese. Three states long struggled for dominion, and numerous were the exploits which the respective generals of the three leaders performed; but, at length, How-te, the legitimate emperor, abdicated the throne in favour of the prince of Wei, and the Han dynasty was no more. It arose in splendour, but it set behind a cloud of misfortune. Notwithstanding the Chinese consider this period as the most
glorious in their history, and to this day they call themselves Han-jin, Sons, or men of Han;" nor does their opinion and their boast appear to be founded in fallacy. During the epoch of the Han dynasty, China produced some of its most celebrated generals, writers, statesmen, and sages. The empire, also, was extended towards the south and the west, and Chinese civilization was carried to the borders of the Indian archipelago and the foot of the Imaus. Moreover, the learning of the country spread its influence extensively, being fostered by the state : but civil wars disturbed the order of the government and the prosperity of the ruling race: they fell before them, A.D. 264.
THE TSIN DYNASTY.
Although this dynasty takes the name as that founded by Ta-che-hwang-te, yet it is designated in Chinese by a different character. It was founded by Sze-ma-yen, who ruled over the Tsin principality, and who, when the three contending states had exhausted each other, stepped forward at the head of his forces, and secured the prize for which they had been struggling.
The family of Woo-te, which is the imperial name of Sze-ma-yen, sat upon the throne for 156 years. During that period fifteen emperors held the reins of government; yet among them all there was not one who attained any celebrity. Their rule was marked by cruelty and usurpations, and war never ceased among the different principalities. To increase the misery of the people, the Tartars ranged themselves under the banners of some tributary princes, and partook
in the general plunder of the country. At length, however, Lew-yu, prince of Sung, having been ill rewarded by his master, Gan-te, for his services against the Tartars, assassinated him, with nearly the whole of the imperial family, and ascended the throne, A.D. 420.
THE SUNG DYNASTY.
The founder of this dynasty, although a man of considerable talent, was wily and cruel. Eight emperors of his family sat upon the throne, but two only were capable of ruling; himself and Wan-te. The rest were debauchees and monsters of cruelty, exhibiting throughout their lives the desperate wickedness of the human heart. Most of them were assassinated, and the last was dethroned by Seaou-taou-ching, prince of Tse, who usurped the sovereignty A.D. 480.
THE TSE DYNASTY.
It is proper to mention here, that on the accession of the Sung dynasty, China became divided into two principal kingdoms. The princes of Wei established a vigorous government in the north, having Honân for their capital ; while the Sung family reigned over the south at Nankin. This state of affairs continued until the Suy dynasty, A.D. 589, when the empire was united under one head. It is of the southern dynasty only, however, of which Chinese historians deign to speak in detail ; for the princes of Wei being Tartars, were looked upon as intruding barbarians : but whether barbarians or no, and albeit though they were ignorant of the doctrines of Confucius, the Tartar princes seem to have
excelled the Chinese in practical wisdom. Whilst the southern provinces suffered from misrule, they governed the northern with complete success.
On ascending the throne, Seaou-taou-ching, who assumed the imperial name of Kaou-te, endeavoured to raise the country from its degraded condition. In this he was successful, for he left the state very prosperous; but his son and grandson were incapable of ruling. The latter was dispossessed of the throne by an intriguing statesman, named Seaou-lun, who created himself emperor under the title of Ming-te. His reign was brief. The northern emperor came up against him, and both the usurper and defender of the rightful heir perished in the struggle. After this, Seaou-yen, a celebrated general, exalted Ho-te to the throne, but he soon deposed him, and having adopted the title of Prince of Leang, reigned himself, A.D. 502.
THE LEANG DYNASTY.
The reign of Leang-woo-te, which was the name assumed by the new emperor, is characterized by a fierce struggle between the two dynasties. His antagonist was a woman, and being defeated by her, he died of despair. His son was slain by one of his own generals, and Yuen-te, a relation of Leang-woo-te, was exalted to the throne. But he did not reign in peace: the same general who had slain his predecessor forced him to abdicate the throne; and when his brother, King-te, ascended it, he was forced to yield to his powerful rival likewise. Shin-pa-seën, which was the name of the victorious general, declared himself prince of Chin, and King-te
yielded up the empire to him without even being requested. He saw the storm gathering around him, and, like a wise man, took shelter in retirement to elude its fury, A.D. 557.
THE CHIN DYNASTY.
The usurper reigned under the name of Kaou-tsoo. His reign was brief, as was also that of his successors, who all spent their lives in inglorious ease. In the mean time the Suy state became very powerful; and its ruler, Yang-keën, being an ambitious man, determined to subject both the northern and southern empire to his sway. In this he succeeded. Both states yielded to the force of his arms, and he thereby became the founder of the Suy dynasty, A.D. 589.
THE SUY DYNASTY.
On ascending the throne, Yang-keën assumed the name of Kaou-tsoo, and fixed the capital of the re-united empire at Honân. His reign was marked with considerable wisdom and vigour. He encouraged literature, and laid the strong arm of the law upon the licentious. In his time the Tartars again appeared on the frontiers of China, and aware of his inability to meet them by force of arms, he sowed discord among their chiefs, and thereby avoided their hostility. He reigned in peace, and died A.D. 604.
Among the other rulers of this dynasty was Yang-te, who is celebrated in Chinese history as a scholar, and for the republication of the works of former dynasties. He was assassinated by Le-yuen, a celebrated general and statesman. Le-yuen raised Kung-te-tung to the throne, but