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The coup d'état of September, 1898, was an event memorable in the annals of the Manchu Dynasty. In it, the late Emperor Kwang Su was arbitrarily deposed; treasonably made a prisoner of state; and had his prerogatives and rights as Emperor of the Chinese Empire wrested from him and usurped by the late Dowager Empress Chi Hsi.

Kwang Su, though crowned Emperor when he was five years of age, had all along held the sceptre only nominally. It was Chi Hsi who held the helm of the government all the time.

As soon as Kwang Su had attained his majority, and began to exercise his authority as emperor, the lynx eye of Chi Hsi was never lifted away from him. His acts and movements were watched with the closest scrutiny, and were looked upon in any light but the right one, because her own stand in the government had never been the legitimate and straight one since 1864, when her first regency over her own son,