MY VISIT TO THE TAIPINGS
was the first one to reach the South Gate, waiting for the rest of the party to come up before entering. We were reported inside of the gate and messengers accompanied us to the headquarters of the Rev. Mr. Roberts, close by the headquarters of Hung Jin, styled Prince Kan.
After our preliminary introduction to the Rev. Mr. Roberts, I excused myself, and leaving the rest of the party to continue their conversation with him, retired to my quarters to clean up and get rested from the long and tedious journey. In fact, I had little or nothing to say while in Mr. Roberts' presence, nor did I attempt to make myself known to him. I had seen him often in Macao when in Mrs. Gutzlaff's school, twenty or more years before, and I had recognized him at once as soon as I set my eyes on him. He certainly appeared old to me, being dressed in his yellow satin robe of state and moving leisurely in his clumsy Chinese shoes. Exactly in what capacity he was acting in Nanking, I was at a loss to know; whether still as a religious adviser to Hung Siu Chune, or playing the part of secretary of state for the Taiping Dynasty, no one seemed able to tell.
The next day (the 19th of November) I was