The most prominent structure within the city walls is the Heavenly Lord Hall (Tien-chu-tang), the pile of buildings which form the headquarters of the French Mission in the province of Yunnan. It was a master-stroke to secure possession of so important a site. The palace is on a higher level even than the yamen of the Viceroy, and must intercept much of the good fortune that would otherwise flow into the city. The facade of the central hall has been ornamented with a superb cross of porcelain mosaic, which is a conspicuous object from the city wall. A large garden, where the eucalyptus has been wisely planted, surrounds the buildings. In residence in the Heavenly Hall are the venerable Vicaire Apostolique of the province, Monseigneur Fenouil, the Provicaire, and four missionary priests, all four of whom are from Alsace. In the province altogether there are twenty-two French priests and eight ordained Chinese priests - thirty in all; their converts number 15,000. Monseigneur Fenouil is a landmark of Western China; he first set foot in the province in 1847, and is the oldest foreign resident in the interior of China. No Chinaman speaks purer Chinese than he; he thinks in Chinese. Present in the province throughout the Mohammedan insurrection, he was an eye-witness of the horrors of religious warfare. Few men have had their path in life marked by more thrilling episodes. He was elected Bishop, in 1880, by the unanimous vote of all the priests in the province, a vote confirmed by Rome; which is, I am told, the mode of election by which Catholic Missionary Bishops in China are always chosen.

The grand old Bishop seemed much amused at my journey. "I suppose you are riding a mule," he said, "for you English have large bones, and the Chinese ponies are very small." I said that I had come so far most of the way on foot. "You speak Chinese, of course?"

"Hardly at all; I speak only a dozen words of Chinese."

"Then you have a Chinese interpreter? No! An English companion who can speak Chinese? No! A Chinese servant who can speak English? No, and no escort! But without doubt you are armed? No! No escort, no revolver, no companion, and you can live on Chinese food. Ah! you have a brave heart, Monsieur."

At the time of my visit to Yunnan, Pere de Gorostarza, the accomplished Provicaire, was absent at Mungtze deciding a question of discipline. Four months before one of the most trusted converts of the mission had been sent to Mungtze to purchase a property for the use of the mission. He was given the purchase-money of 400 taels, but, when he arrived in Mungtze, and the eye of the mission was no longer upon him, he invested the money, not in premises for the mission, but in a coolie-hong for himself. His backsliding had availed him little. And he was now defending his conduct as best he could before the Bishop's deputy.

Converts of the French Mission in China, it is well to remember, are no longer French subjects or proteges; the objection is no longer tenable that the mission shields bad characters who only become converted in order to escape from the consequences of their guilt.

How wonderful has been the pioneer work done by the Jesuit Missionaries in China! It may almost be said that the foundation of all that we know about China we owe to the Jesuit Missionaries. All maps on China are founded upon the maps of the Jesuit Missionaries employed for the purpose by the Emperor Kanghi (1663-1723), "the greatest prince who ever graced the throne of China." Their accuracy has been the wonder of all geographers for a century past. "Now that the 'Great River' (the Yangtse) has been surveyed," says Captain Blakiston, "for nearly 1600 miles from the ocean, and with instruments and appliances such as were unknown in the days of those energetic and persevering men, no small praise is due to the first Christian explorers for the extraordinary correctness of their maps and records." The reports of the early Jesuit Missionaries even Voltaire describes as the "productions of the most intelligent travellers that have extended and embellished the fields of science and philosophy."

Yet we, as Protestants, are warned by a great missionary that we must not be deluded by these insidious compliments; we must not forget that the work of the Jesuits in China "overtops all other forms of superstition and error in danger, and stands forth an organised conspiracy against the liberties of mankind. The schemes of the Jesuits must be checked."

One Sunday morning Mr. Jensen and I rode round the city wall. This is one of the most massive walls in a country of walled cities. It is built of brick and stone over a body of earth thirty feet thick; it is of imposing height, and wide enough for a carriage drive. When I was mounted on my mule the upper edge of the parapet was on a level with my forehead. There are six city gates. The great north gate is closely barred all through the rains to prevent the entrance of the "Flood God," who, fortunately, his intelligence being limited, knows no other way to enter the city than by this gate. The great turreted south gate is the most important of all, as it is in all Chinese cities. Near this gate the Viceroy's Yamen is situated, and the Yamen of the Futai (Governor of the Province); both buildings, of course, looking to the south, as did the Temple of Solomon and the tombs of the Mings, and as Chinese custom requires that every building of importance shall do, whether temple or yamen, private residence or royal palace. But why should they look south ? Because from the south the sun comes, bringing with it "genial and animating influence," and putting new life into plant and animal after the winter.

The south gate is a double gate in a semi-circular bastion. Beyond it is a splendid triumphal arch erected by a grateful community to the memory of the late viceroy. A thickly-populated suburb extends from here to the wide common, where stands the lofty guardian pagoda of the city, 250 feet high, a conspicuous sight from every part of the great Yunnan plain. Rich temples are all around it, their eaves hung with sweet-toned bells, which tinkle with every breath of wind, giving forth what the Chinese poetically describe as "the tribute of praise from inanimate nature to the greatness of Buddha."

In the early morning the traveller is awakened by the steam whistle of the arsenal, a strange sound to be heard in so far inland a city in China. The factory is under Chinese management, a fact patent to any visitor. Its two foremen were trained partly in the arsenal in Nanking under Dr. Macartney (now Sir Halliday Macartney), and partly in the splendid Shanghai arsenal under Mr. Cornish. I went to the arsenal, and was received as usual in the opium-room. There was nothing to conceal, and I was freely shown everything. The arsenal turns out Krupp guns of 7.5 centimetres calibre, but the iron is inferior, and the workmen are in need of better training. Cartridges are also made here. And in one room I saw two men finishing with much neatness a pure silver opium-tray intended for the Fantai (provincial treasurer), but why made in the arsenal only a Chinaman could tell you. Work in the furnace is done at a disadvantage owing to the shortness of the furnace chimney, which is only 25 feet high. All attempts to increase its height are now forbidden by the authorities. There was agitation in the city when the chimney was being heightened. Geomancers were consulted, who saw the feeling of the majority, and therefore gave it as their unprejudiced opinion that, if the chimney were not stunted, the fungshui (good luck) of the Futai's yamen (provincial governor), and of that portion of the city under its protection, would depart for ever. All the machinery of the arsenal is stamped with the name of Greenwood, Battley and Co., Leeds. Rust and dirt are everywhere, and the 100 workmen for whom pay is drawn never number on the rare pay days more than sixty persons, a phenomenon observed in most establishments in China worked by government. Yet with a foreigner in charge excellent work could be turned out from the factory. The buildings are spacious, the grounds are ample.

The powder factory is outside the city, near the northeastern angle of the wall, but the powder magazine is on some rising ground inside the city. No guns are stationed anywhere on the walls, though they may be in concealment in the turrets; but near the small west gate I saw some small cannon of ancient casting, built on the model of the guns cast by the Jesuit missionaries in China two centuries ago, if they were not the actual originals. They were all marked in relief with a cross and the device I.H.S. - a motto that you would think none but a Chinaman could select for a weapon designed to destroy men, yet characteristic of this country of contradictions. "The Chinese statesman," says Wingrove Cooke, the famous Times correspondent, "cuts off 10,000 heads, and cites a passage from Mencius about the sanctity of human life. He pockets the money given him to repair an embankment and thus inundates a province, and he deplores the land lost to the cultivator of the soil."

Du Halde tells us that "the first Chinese cannon were cast under the directions of Pere Verbiest in 1682, who blest the cannon, and gave to each the name of a saint." "A female saint!" says Hue.

Near the arsenal and drill ground there is a large intramural swamp or reedy lake, the reeds of which have an economic value as wicks for Chinese candles. Dykes cross the swamp in various directions, and in the centre there is a well known Taoist Temple, a richly endowed edifice, with superior gods and censers of great beauty. Where the swamp deepens into a pond at the margin of the temple, a pretty pavilion has been built, which is a favourite resort of the Yunnan gentry. The most chic dinner parties in the province are given here. The pond itself swarms with sacred fish; they are so numerous that when the masses move the whole pond vibrates. Many merits are gained by feeding the fish, and, as it happened at the time of my visit that I had no money, I was constrained to borrow fifteen cash from my chair coolies, with which I purchased some of the artificial food that women were vending and threw it to the fish, so that I might add another thousand to the innumerable merits I have already hoarded in Heaven.

Upon a pretty wooded hill near the centre of the city is the Confucian Temple, and on the lower slope of the hill, in an admirable position, are the quarters of the China Inland Mission, conducted by Mr. and Mrs. X., assisted by Mr. Graham, who at the time of my visit was absent in Tali, and by two exceedingly nice young girls, one of whom comes from Melbourne. The single ladies live in quarters of their own on the edge of a swamp, and surfer inevitably from malarial fever. Mr. X. "finds the people very hard to reach," he told me, and his success has only been relatively cheering. After labouring here nearly six years - the mission was first opened in 1882 - he has no male converts, though there are two promising nibblers, who are waiting for the first vacancy to become adherents. There was a convert, baptised before Mr. X. came here, a poor manure-coolie, who was employed by the mission as an evangelist in a small way; but "Satan tempted him, he fell from grace, and had to be expelled for stealing the children's buttons." It was a sad trial to the mission. The men refuse to be saved, recalcitrant sinners! but the women happily are more tractable. Mr. X. has up to date (May, 1894), baptised his children's nurse girl, the "native helper" of the single ladies, and his wife's cook. Mr. X. works hard, far too hard. He is of the type that never can be successful in China. He was converted when nearing middle age, is narrow and uncompromising in his views, and is as stern as a Cameronian. It is a farce sending such men to China. At his services there is never any lack of listeners, who marvel greatly at the new method of speaking Chinese which this enterprising emissary - in London he was in the oil trade - is endeavouring to introduce into the province. Of "tones" instead of the five used by the Chinese, he does not recognise more than two, and these he uses indifferently. He hopes, however, to be understood by loud speaking, and he bellows at the placid coolies like a bull of Bashan.

I paid an early visit to my countrymen at the Yesu-tang (Jesus Hall), the mission home, as I thought that my medical knowledge might be of some service. I wished to learn a little about their work, but to my great sorrow I was no sooner seated than they began plying me with questions about the welfare of my soul. I am a "poor lost sinner," they told me. They flung texts at my head, and then sang a terrifying ballad by which I learnt for the first time the awful fate that is to be mine. It is something too dreadful to contemplate. And the cheerful equanimity with which they announced it to me! I left the Yesu-tang in a cold sweat, and never returned there.

Missionary work is being pursued in the province with increasing vigour. Among its population of from five to seven millions, spread over an area of 107,969 square miles, there are eighteen Protestant missionaries, nine men and nine ladies (this is the number at present, but the usual strength is twenty-three). Stations are open at Chaotong (1887), Tong-chuan (1891), Yunnan City (1882), Tali (1881), and Kuhtsing (1889). The converts number - the work, however, must not be judged by statistics - two at Chaotong, one at Tongchuan, three at Yunnan City, three at Tali, and two at Kuhtsing.

That the Chinese are capable of very rapid conversion can be proved by numberless instances quoted in missionary reports on China. The Rev. S. F. Woodin (in the Records of the Missionary Conference, 1877, p. 91) states that he converted a "grossly immoral Chinaman, who had smoked opium for more than twenty years," simply by saying to him "in a spirit of earnest love, elder brother Six, as far as I can see, you must perish; you are Hell's child."

Mr. Stanley P. Smith, B.A., who was formerly stroke of the Cambridge eight, had been only seven months in China when he performed that wonderful conversion, so applauded at the Missionary Conference of 1888, of "a young Chinaman, a learned man, a B.A. of his University," who heard Mr. Smith speak in the Chinese that can be acquired in seven months, and "accepted Him there and then." (Records of the Missionary Conference, 1888, i.,.46). Indeed, the earlier the new missionaries in China begin to preach the more rapid are the conversions they make.

Now, in this province of Yunnan, conversions will have to be infinitely more rapid before we can say that there is any reasonable hope of the proximate conversion of the province. The problem is this: In a population of from five to seven millions of friendly and peaceable people, eighteen missionaries in eight years (the average time during which the mission stations have been opened), have converted eleven Chinese; how long, then, will it take to convert the remainder?

"I believe," said a late member of the House of Commons, who was once Lord Mayor of London, speaking at the anniversary meeting of the China Inland Mission in 1884, "I believe God intends to accomplish great things in China," and, undoubtedly, the opinion of an ex-Lord Mayor on such a subject is entitled to great weight.

"The Gospel," he said, "is making rapid progress in China. . . . We are amazed at the great things God hath wrought" (in the conversion of the Chinese).

Let us examine for a moment an instance of the rapid progress which excited the amazement of this good man. No missionary body in China is working with greater energy than the China Inland Mission. Their missionaries go far afield in their work, and they are, what their mission intends them to be, pioneer Protestant missionaries in Inland China. At the present time, the beginning of 1894, the Inland Mission numbers 611 male and female missionaries. They are assisted by 261 paid native helpers, and the combined body of 872 Evangelists baptised during the year just passed (1893) 821 Chinese. These figures, taken from China's Millions, 1894, p. 122, attest a rather lower rate of progress than the other missions can boast of; but a considerable part of the inland work, it must be remembered, is the most difficult work of all - the preaching of the Gospel for the first time in newly-opened districts.

The Viceroy of the two provinces of Yunnan and Kweichow, Wong-wen-shao, is one of the most enlightened rulers in China. No stranger could fail to be impressed with his keen intellectual face and courtly grace of manner. His career has been a distinguished one. Good fortune attended him even at his birth. He is a native of Hangchow, in Chehkiang, a city famous in China for its coffins. Every Chinaman will tell you that true felicity consists in three things: to be born in Peking (under the shadow of the Son of Heaven); to live in Soochow (where the girls are prettiest); and to die in Hangchow (where the coffins are grandest). Twelve years ago he was Governor of the province of Hunan. Called then to Peking as one of the Ministers of State of the "Tsungli Yamen," or Foreign Office, he remained there four years, his retirement being then due to the inexorable law which requires an official to resign office and go into mourning for three years on the death of one of his parents. In this case it was his mother. (A Chinese mother suckles her child two and a half years, and, as the age of the child is dated from a time anterior by some months to birth, the child is three years old before it leaves its mother's breast. Three years, therefore, has been defined as the proper period for mourning). At the termination of the three years, Wong was reappointed Governor of Hunan, and a year and a half later, in May, 1890, he was appointed to his present important satrapy, where he has the supreme control of a district larger than Spain and Portugal, and with a population larger than that of Canada and Australia combined. In May, 1893, he made application to the throne to be allowed to return to his ancestral home to die; but the privilege was refused him.

Before leaving Yunnan city the Mandarin Li kindly provided me with a letter of introduction to his friend Brigadier-General Chang-chen Nien, in Tengyueh. Since it contained a communication between persons of rank, the envelope was about the size of an ordinary pillow-slip. The General was presumably of higher rank than the traveller; I had, therefore, in accordance with Chinese etiquette, to provide myself with a suitable visiting card of a size appropriate to his importance. Now Chinese visiting cards differ from ours in differing in size according to the importance of the person to whom they are to be presented. My ordinary card is eight inches by three, red in colour - the colour of happiness - and inscribed in black with the three characters of my Chinese name

But the card that I was expected to present to the General was very much larger than this. Folded it was of the same size, but unfolded it was ten times the size of the other (eight by thirty inches), and the last page, politely inscribed in Chinese, contained this humiliating indication of its purport: "Your addlepated nephew Mo-li-son bows his stupid head, and pays his humble respects to your exalted Excellency."

I still have this card in my possession; and I should be extremely reluctant to present it to any official in the Empire of lower rank than the Emperor.