MANCHU, a race who, in A.D. 1644, became rulers in China. The original seat of the reigning Manchu Tartar dynasty is the north-east of China. The dynasty has given every encouragement to the Chinese forms of education, and has admitted the learned men of the Chinese to a share in the administration, while retaining the higher offices for the Manchu. The emperor has numerous titles, all indicating some attribute of virtue or greatness, besides the most commonly used one of IIwang-ti. The family name of the dynasty is Gioro or Golden, so called from its original founder, Aisin Gioro. All members of the blood are registered in the Clan Court. Those who are descended from an emperor have the privilege of wearing a yellow girdle ; those from the Manchu chiefs before they had become Chinese sovereigns may only wear a red girdle. They all enjoy an allowance, but this is gradually reduced the further they recede from the throne, until at last it barely suffices to procure the necessaries of life. There are four grand secretaries, but their power is very limited. They are called Ta-his-sze, and two of them are Manchus, and the others are Chinese. • The senior post was always reserved for a Manchu, Li Hung Chang, about 1883, being the first Chinese to possess the pre eminence. There are two under-secretaries—one Manchu and the other Chinese—with ten sub ordinates. Upon these sixteen officials devolves the work of placing all public matters before the emperor, and of receiving the answers which are to be sent forth as the official decisions. The fact of being a grand secretary does not prevent the official from holding other offices. The forma tion of the Grand Secretariat goes back to the first half of the 17th century, when the present dynasty was placed upon the throne, and the principal value of membership is that it gives social pre eminence. The general council or Kiun-ki Chun was founded in 1730 by the emperor Yung-Ching. The members of this council rarely exceed four. They meet every morning in a chamber set apart for their deliberations in the interior of the palace.
Next to these come the six boards of administra tion, which have existed under slightly varying forms from a remote antiquity. The senior of these is that of Civil Office or the Li Pu. The work of this board is very heavy, and it is divided into four departments. The next in order of rank is the Board of Revenue or Hu I'u.
All girls of Manchu race, on attaining the age of twelve, ought to appear before the emperor for him to make selections for his harem, and the families that have personal objects of ambition to attain consider it highly desirable to obtain admis sion in this way for ono of their members into the palace. The Board of Revenue is charged with the task of keeping and revising a complete list of the Manchu maidens. The next board, that of Rites, supervises all the ritual performances and court ceremonies. Its members possess great power and influence at a court where everything is decided in strict accordance with precedent as established by the Book of Rites. The Board of War comes fourth, and all matters appertaining to either the army or the navy come under its purview. The fifth board, that of Punishments, the Hing Pu, has power in both civil and criminal cases. The Court of Censors, in conjunction with the Board of Punishments, forms the highest judicial authority in the kingdom. The most onerous as well as the most dangerous duty which a censor has to perform is to remonstrate with the emperor for any acts that may seem unworthy of his rank and injurious to his reputation as a good and wise prince. The sixth and last of these boards is that of Works. It has the supreme direction of all public works throughout the realm. These include the state of the canals, the high roads, and the rivers, in addition to that of the fortifications of the towns and of the arsenals ; it provides the stores of the army, and attends to the sewers and the cleansing of the gutters of the capital.