Mr. Bendy to Mr. Blaine.
Peking, March 8, 1889. (Received April 23.)
Sir: You are no doubt aware that under Chinese usage foreigners are not permitted to take any part in public ceremonies.
On the occasion of the Emperor’s marriage on the 26th ultimo the foreign ministers were ignored except that formal notice was sent to them of the approaching event.
Practically foreigners see and know nothing of what transpires in the “Forbidden City” when the ceremonies are had.
The bride resided with her father in the northeastern part of the city. Upon the announcement of her selection as Empress eunuchs took possession of the family residence, guards were posted in the grounds, and the utmost seclusion was maintained.
At 1 o’clock in the morning of the 26th ultimo the lady was conveyed to the palace. There were reports that she had serious objections to [Page 103] the marriage, but the truth thereof can not be ascertained. She is represented as being several years older than the Emperor, and as being very intelligent.
I inclose from the North China Daily News an account of the imperial marriage ceremony. This description was prepared especially for the News after the ceremony was arranged at Peking. I have made inquiries of competent persons as to the accuracy of this account, and have been assured that it is faithful and correct.
I have, etc.,