The Ministers of the various Powers represented at Peking were no longer able to postpone the day of reckoning. A solitary Ambassador was in their midst; his rank shrieked for its prerogatives ; the Ministers gave way reluc tantly and, with heavy hearts, granted him precedence as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

The importance of the position is mainly ceremonial and, for all practical purposes, a Minister of an important power would outrank an Ambassador of some wayward state; but, lest there should be any misunderstanding, the Ministers relegated the importance of the...

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