Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.
Peking, October 4, 1888. (Received November 16.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of the triennial calendar of the T’ung Wen College. This institution has heretofore received the commendation of the ministers of the United States, in which I heartily join.
It is under the superintendence of H. I. H. Prince Ching and the ministers for foreign affairs, with Sir Robert Hart as inspector ex officio.
The president, as you well know, is our fellow citizen, Dr. W. A. P. Martin. There are professors of chemistry and natural history, mathematics, medicine and physiology, astronomy and meteorology, English, French, German, Russian, and physics. Chinese is taught by three professors and several tutors.
The students are classified as follows: In the English course, 32; in French, 30; in Russian, 17; in German, 16; in astronomy, 5; in physics, 4; in mathematics, 20; in international law, 9; in chemistry, 20; and in medicine, 9.
I had the pleasure-of examining the students in French and found them very well advanced and instructed. At the triennial examination successful competitors received marks of official distinction, and conspicuous merit secures the first step in the nine degrees of official rank, Promotion in the public service ensues.[Page 74]
Students are much engaged on interpretorial duties and aid in the translation of foreign books. They are often sent abroad to the various embassies. Twenty-one are now serving in this capacity.
The full course covers eight years. During the first year the amount allowed to each student by the Government is 3 taels per month. This amount is increased in proportion to the length of service and capacity. A student sent abroad receives 100 taels per month, which sum for student interpreters is increased to 150 taels.
Candidates to a competition in mathematics are hereafter to be admitted to the general governmental examinations.
It is proper to mention in this connection that Dr. J. Edkins has completed the translation of sixteen volumes of science primers. Copies have been presented to the Emperor, who is supposed to be engaged in the study thereof.
I have, etc.,