No. 135.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 262.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department of the return of Marquis Tseng from the capitals of England and Russia, where he has been accredited as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of China, since 1878. His return is a matter of some interest to foreign residents in China, as he is, perhaps, the most progressive and influential minister that has ever represented China abroad.

The Marquis Tseng is the son of the late Tseng Kuo-fan, the most celebrated among recent Chinese statesmen, and one who was much revered by the Chinese for the wisdom and patriotism believed to actuate his official conduct.

Possessing many of the admirable traits of his father, and belonging to a well-known official family, it is believed by many that the marquis will be in a better position than others who have held similar diplomatic posts to impress on the Chinese bureaucracy the advantages which will accrue to China by the adoption of Western improvements and civilization.

* * * * * * *

His mission in Europe has not been the easiest in the gift of the Emperor. He has had a difficult rĂ´le to play, particularly in matters having relation to the late complications between France and China. He seems to have grasped the situation, and in many cases acted on his own views. * * *

To his credit it may be said that his mission abroad has been a success, and it is to be hoped that his efforts to serve his country at home may be equally successful.

The marquis is at present in Shanghai, where he has spent some time in inspecting the forts there. He is expected in Peking shortly. His present official positions are vice-president of the board of war and assistant lord of the admiralty.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.