MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA
and go into mourning for a period of twenty-seven months, equivalent to three years, and to abstain altogether from public affairs of all kinds. This news threw a cold blanket over my educational scheme for the time being. No sooner had one misfortune happened than another took its place, worst than the first — Wen Seang himself, three months afterwards, was overtaken by death during his retirement. This announcement appeared in the Peking “Gazette,” which I saw, besides being officially informed of it by Governor Ting. No one who had a pet scheme to promote or a hobby to ride could feel more blue than I did, when the cup of joy held so near to his lips was dashed from him. I was not entirely disheartened by such circumstances, but had an abiding faith that my educational scheme would in the end come out all right. There was an interval of at least three years of suspense and waiting between 1868 and 1870. I kept pegging at Governor Ting, urging him to keep the subject constantly before Viceroy Tsang's mind. But like the fate of all measures of reform, it had to abide its time and opportunity.
The time and the opportunity for my educational scheme to materialize finally came. Contrary to all human expectations, the opportunity