Biography in English

Chang Hsün 張勳 T. Shao-hsuan 少軒 H. Sung-shou 松壽

Chang Hsün (14 December 1854-September 1923), military leader, is best known for his unsuccessful attempt to restore the Manchu dynasty in 1917.

The family into which Chang Hsün was born had lived for generations in a small village near the district-city of Fenghsin, west of Nanchang in Kiangsi province. Already poor, the family suffered further privations during the Taiping wars when insurgent forces overran its native district in 1861. By the time Chang was ten years old he had lost both parents and was left to fend for himself. For several years thereafter details of his life are obscure. He was reported fo have made his living at one time as a servant boy and, subsequently, to have traveled to Fukien and then to Hunan. In 1884, when the Sino-French war broke out in Annam, Chang Hsün was in Changsha. Entering military service under the governor of Hunan, P'an Ting-hsin (d. 1888; T. Ch'in-hsuan), he went as a member of P'an's forces to the Kwangsi-Annam border and during 1884-85 took part in several engagements against the French, including the siege and capture of Langson (Liang-shan). Chang's conduct in these engagements won recognition from his superiors, who promoted him to the rank of major. For several years after the war he continued to serve on the Kwangsi frontier under the provincial commander in chief, Su Yuan-ch'un (d. 1908), rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. At that time Chang established a lifelong friendship with another of Su's officers, Lu Jung-t'ing (q.v.), who was to become a prominent military figure in south China during the early part of the republican period. Although little is known of Chang's life during these years, there is a colorful story that while in Kwangsi he was sent by Su Yuan-ch'un with a large sum of money to purchase military supplies in Shanghai, where he promptly squandered the money in brothels and taverns. On being advised by his friends to run away, Chang protested that such conduct would not be manly and decided to return to Kwangsi, where he begged Su to give him the deserved punishment. Feigning anger, Su sentenced him to death, but secretly had him released from prison and sent off with letters of recommendation. While of undetermined reliability, this story may well account for Chang's departure from Kwangsi and his search for a career far away in north China.

In any case, Chang went north and in 1894 joined the so-called Resolute Army under general Sung Ch'ing (1820-1902; ECCP, II, 686-88). Arriving in Mukden two months after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, Chang took command of a cavalry unit and participated in the hostilities. At the conclusion of the war he went to Tientsin, where he made the acquaintance of Yuan Shih-k'ai. Yuan, who had just been assigned the task of building a modernized military organization, engaged him as one of his officers to help train the so-called Newly Created Army, then stationed at his military headquarters at Hsiao-chan. In the years that followed Chang Hsün became one of Yuan's senior military officers. He accompanied Yuan to Shantung when Yuan was appointed governor of that province late in 1899 and, two years later, was transferred to Paoting when Yuan became governor general of Chihli (Hopei) province. During the Boxer Uprising of 1900, Chang took part in the military operations against the rebels.

In December 1901, after order had been restored in the metropolitan province, he commanded the troops sent to Tz'uchow, on the Chihli border, to serve as military escort to the empress dowager, the emperor, and the imperial entourage on the final stage of their journey from Sian back to Peking. At that time he won the special favor of the empress dowager, a fact that may have contributed to his unwavering allegiance to the Manchu dynasty even after its abdication in 1912.

After the imperial party reached Peking, Chang Hsün was granted special honors by the throne, including an appointment to serve with his unit as part of the imperial guard corps stationed at the south gate of the capital. In 1903 he was sent beyond the Great Wall to put down the bandits that infested the Chahar- Shansi border region. In the two years that followed, during the Russo-Japanese war, he remained with his troops in the vicinity of Kalgan to guard the Inner Mongolian pasture lands from armed forays by Russian raiders. In 1906, after the conclusion of hostilities between Russia and Japan in Manchuria, Chang was transferred to Mukden as commander of the military forces in northern Fengtien. Two years later he was promoted to the post of t'i-tu [provincial commander in chief] of Yunnan, then transferred to a similar post in Kansu. In neither case, however, did Chang take up these posts : he was given special orders to continue his duties in Manchuria. In 1910 he was transferred to Pukow on the Yangtze as commander of the defense forces in that region. In the summer of 1911 he became military commander in chief of Kiangnan (Kiangsu and Anhwei) with headquarters in Nanking. Soon after this appointment the revolt of 10 October took place at Wuchang. The revolutionary forces quickly seized the Wuhan cities, Shanghai, and Soochow, and combined to advance upon Nanking. Chang Hsün meanwhile had assumed command of the imperial armies defending Nanking. After stubborn resistance to the superior numbers of the revolutionaries, he abandoned the city on 12 December 1911. Crossing the Yangtze with the remainder of his troops, he withdrew along the Tientsin-Pukow railway as far north as Yenchow (Tz'u-yang) in Shantung province. After the fall of Nanking the embattled Manchu court appointed Chang to the post of governor of Kiangsu and shortly thereafter to the positions of governor general of Liang-Kiang and high commisioner of military and foreign affairs in southern China. Within a few months, however, the Manchu dynasty came to an end, and a republican government was inaugurated in Peking.

Under the new president, Yuan Shih-k'ai, Chang Hsün was given the rank of general in the Chinese army. As a protege of Yuan, Chang was obligated to his former patron and benefactor. His primary allegiance, however, remained with the deposed imperial house. Thus while he agreed not to oppose Yuan as president of the new republic, he insisted that the imperial family be accorded full privileges under the Articles of Favorable Treatment stipulated in the abdication agreement. Throughout Yuan's presidency he continued to defend the interests of the fallen dynasty. As a sign of his personal loyalty he not only retained his own queue but also ordered the troops under his command to do so, thus earning for himself the popular epithet of pien-tzu chiang-chün [the pigtail general]. As self-appointed protector of China's traditional political institutions, he vigorously opposed efforts to abolish the official cult of Confucius, and on one occasion dispatched troops from his base at Yenchow to nearby Ch'ü-fu to preserve the buildings and property of the Confucian temple there from the depredations of the local populace.

To consolidate power over the entire country, Yuan Shih-k'ai gradually strengthened the military units under his subordinates. As a result of this policy Chang Hsün, with increased funds and munitions at his disposal, was able to expand the military forces under his command. With the outbreak of the so-called second revolution in the summer of 1913, Chang was assigned to the Second Peiyang Army, under the over-all command of Feng Kuo-chang (q.v.), and was ordered to attack the Kuomintang forces defending Nanking. In August he moved down along the Tientsin-Pukow railway with his troops and, together with other units of Feng's army, laid siege to the city. On 1 September 1913 Chang's forces stormed the walls. After allowing his troops three full days of looting and rapine, he entered the city in triumph. In recognition of this victory he was made military governor of Kiangsu province. The outrages perpetrated by his troops at Nanking, however, soon aroused the protests of the foreign communities in that city, and after strong pressure from Japanese and other diplomatic representatives in Peking, Yuan Shih-k'ai appointed Feng Kuo-chang to replace Chang as military governor on 16 December 1913. Chang was given the rank of field marshal and the title of inspector general of the Yangtze provinces. Although Yuan had originally conceived of this as a purely titular appointment, Chang Hsün, through his own interpretation of its functions and by virtue of his personal military power, was able to impart considerable prestige and authority to the position. As a result, the title of inspector general (hsun-yueh-shih) came to be sought after eagerly by generals of the Peiyang military clique. On being appointed to this new post, Chang Hsün withdrew his troops from Nanking to take up positions in the vicinity of Hsuchow, the strategic railroad junction in northern Kiangsu; that area was to remain his stronghold until the end of his military career.

In the summer of 1915 the movement to make Yuan Shih-k'ai the new monarch of China was launched. As a supporter of the Manchu dynasty, Chang Hsün indicated strong disapproval, but took no action to oppose the movement. In the spring of 1916, as the new order was confronted by open revolt from the southwestern provinces, Yuan was forced to abolish the short-lived monarchy. He resumed his position as president, but, as the anti-Yuan movement gained momentum, Yuan came under increasing pressure from the southwestern leaders, and even from some of his own subordinates, to step down from the presidency. In April 1916, one of Yuan's top officers, Feng Kuo-chang, then the military governor of Kiangsu, called for a conference in Nanking to discuss the question of Yuan's resignation. The conference was held in the following month. There Chang Hsün's representative, backed by Ni Ssu-ch'ung, the governor of Anhwei, vigorously supported Yuan's position and opposed Feng's efforts to obtain a resolution in favor of Yuan's retirement from the presidency. Dissatisfied with the inconclusive results of the Nanking conference, Chang invited the provincial delegates to attend a conference at his own base in Hsuchow.

Before the new conference opened, however, the question of the presidential succession was resolved by the death of Yuan Shih-k'ai on 6 June 1916 and by the accession of Li Yuan-hung (q.v.) to the presidency. The military leadership of the Peiyang clique passed to the premier, Tuan Ch'i-jui (q.v.). Despite this sudden change in the political situation, the Hsuchow conference was held as scheduled on 9 June 1916. At the meeting Chang Hsün proposed the formation of an association of provincial governors for the purpose of maintaining the solidarity of the Peiyang clique against the southern military leaders. Viewing such an organization as an effective means of strengthening their influence, Tuan and his supporters not only agreed to participate but also had Chang chosen to head the new association. In July, Tuan's regime also appointed Chang tu-chun [military governor] of Anhwei province. In the months that followed, as political opposition to Tuan's regime intensified, Chang was host to a number of additional conferences of the Peiyang leaders held at Hsuchow (September 1916, and January and May 1917).

Although Tuan and his associates regarded the Hsuchow conferences merely as a means of applying pressure on Li Yuan-hung and on Tuan's enemies in the National Assembly, Chang Hsün had another objective in mind. Since the establishment of the republic he had looked upon himself as the protector of the fallen dynasty and had looked forward to the day when he would be able to restore the Manchu emperor to the throne. During the ascendency of Yuan Shih-k'ai, Chang seems to have been unwilling to act against his former patron, but with Yuan's death he began to pursue a policy designed to fulfill his ambitions. Through the formation of an association of provincial governors under his leadership he hoped that he would eventually be able to secure support for his venture from his military colleagues in the Peiyang clique. He also invited to his camp at Hsuchow a number of men well-known for their monarchist inclinations, such as Yang Tu (q.v.), the former leader of the movement to make Yuan monarch, and K'ang Yu-wei (q.v.), the famous classical scholar and former leader of the reform party under the Manchus. Late in the spring of 1917 Chang Hsün believed that the situation was favorable for him to take action. By May, Tuan Ch'i-jui's political feud with Li Yuan-hung and the National Assembly had reached an impasse, and both Tuan and Li had made overtures to Chang to gain his backing. On 21 May, the day before Li dismissed Tuan as premier, Chang called a fourth conference at Hsuchow. Tuan's representative, Hsu Shu-cheng (q.v.), hoping to use Chang to get rid of Tuan's enemies in Peking, led him to believe that Tuan would not oppose the Manchu restoration if Chang succeeded in ousting Li Yuan-hung and the recalcitrant National Assembly from the capital. At the conference it was further decided that all of the provincial governors except Chang Hsün would declare their independence of the Peking government. Chang would go to Peking as a "mediator" in the dispute and then take advantage of his presence there to drive Li and the assembly from office. In accordance with this scheme, Ni Ssu-ch'ung declared his independence on 29 May 1917, and the other provincial governors, with the exception of Chang Hsün, quickly followed suit. Helpless in the face of this revolt, Li Yuan-hung unwittingly played into the hands of the militarists by sending for help to Chang, apparently the only neutral in the conflict, and inviting him to Peking to mediate between the opposing groups.

Beguiled into assuming that he would encounter no opposition to his restoration plans from Tuan Ch'i-jui and other Peiyang leaders, Chang Hsün accepted Li's invitation and left for the north with 5,000 troops, leaving the major part of his forces behind in Hsuchow. Before going to Peking, however, he went to Tientsin on 8 June 1917 for consultation with Tuan and other military chiefs. From Tientsin he dispatched an advance contingent of his troops to take control of Peking and called upon Li Yuan-hung to order the dissolution of the National Assembly as the initial condition of his "mediation." On 14 June, the day after Li had reluctantly complied with this demand, Chang entered Peking with the main body of his black-garbed troops and a number of monarchist supporters. Soon, Chang Hsün went to the imperial palace and paid his respects to the 11 -year-old Hsuan-t'ung emperor, P'u-yi (q.v.), who agreed, reportedly with some reluctance, to Chang's plans to restore him to his throne.

After several days of hasty preparation during which Chang Hsün was joined by K'ang Yu-wei and other Ch'ing loyalists, P'u-yi was installed upon the throne in the early morning hours of 1 July 1917. Later that morning Chang returned to the palace with K'ang and had the imperial seal affixed to some 19 "edicts" announcing the restoration of the Manchu dynasty and the imperial administrative system. Most of the edicts dealt with official appointments, of which the lion's share fell to Chang himself — a clear indication that personal ambition as well as loyalty to the dynasty was behind his efforts to restore the emperor. Chang had himself made Chungyung ch'in-wang [Prince Chung-yung], governor general of Chihli and high commissioner of military and foreign affairs for north China, minister of war in the new imperial cabinet, and one of the six personal counselors to the emperor in matters of government. While he intended to play the predominant role in the new government, Chang was careful to have the Peiyang military leaders confirmed in their positions in the provinces, altering only their official titles to conform to those used under the Ch'ing administration. Through that action he evidently hoped to gain their acceptance of the revived imperial order.

Almost immediately after the announcement of the restoration, however, it became apparent to Chang Hsün that he had been deceived both by the Peiyang leaders and by his own illusions regarding the extent of his power. A flood of telegrams from military and civil officials in the provinces reached Peking denouncing Chang and the coup which he had engineered. On 4 July 1917, the two most formidable leaders of the Peiyang clique, Tuan Ch'i-jui and Feng Kuo-chang, issued ajoint announcement of their intention to oppose the restoration. From his headquarters in Tientsin, Tuan assembled an army that quickly routed and dispersed Chang's outnumbered troops and laid siege to Peking. On 12 July, Tuan's forces stormed the city; Chang, deserted by his monarchist supporters, took refuge in the Dutch legation. After making himself master of Peking, Tuan Ch'i-jui announced the end of the restoration and issued orders for the arrest of Chang Hsün and other leaders of the coup.

After spending more than a year in the political asylum afforded by the Dutch legation, Chang Hsün was pardoned, along with other participants in the restoration movement, by order of Hsu Shih-ch'ang (q.v.), the president, on 23 October 1918. He went to live in seclusion at his home in Peking, moving to Tientsin in the summer of 1920. Despite attempts to bring him back into public life, such as his appointment in January 1921 by Chang Tso-lin to the post of forestation and reclamation commissioner of Jehol province, Chang continued to live in retirement for the rest of his life. He died in September 1923. He was given a magnificent funeral in Tientsin, which the boy emperor P'u-yi attended. In recognition of Chang Hsün's long service to the dynasty, P'u-yi bestowed upon him the posthumous title, Chung-wu loyal and valiant.

Chang Hsün had nine sons, six of whom survived him. His first wife, nee Ts'ao, died in 1893. After his rise to power and affluence, he took several concubines, one a well-known actress in Chinese opera. In a character sketch appearing in the August 1917 issue of the Far Eastern Review, Chang was described as being "high-shouldered, thick-necked, with a sloping forehead, bushy brows, a white skin, and a slender queue," and as being "always thoughtful and serious, stubborn and decided in his arguments, frank in his condemnations, courteously formal with his guests, but ready to smile brilliantly at every touch of humor." Chang was generous, loyal, and open. However, he was also arrogant, ferociously cruel in war, venal, and unscrupulously ambitious. Trained in the rude school of traditional Chinese military life, Chang had little comprehension of such concepts as national interest or representative government.

Although Chang had received only limited education in his youth, it was said that in his later years he became a diligent student of historical works. At the age of 68 sui he published an autobiography, probably ghost-written, entitled Sung-shou lao-jen tzu-hsu. This later was translated into English and included by Reginald F. Johnston in Twilight in the Forbidden City (1934).

Biography in Chinese

张勋 字:少轩 号:松寿

张勋(1854, 12, 14-1923, 9 ),军阀,以他那失败了的1917年复辟活 剧而闻名于世。

张家世世代代住在江西南昌以西奉新县的一个乡村里,张勋在那里出生, 家里很贫穷,1861年太平天国窜犯他的家乡之后更其窘困了。张勋十岁时父母 双亡,不得不自己谋生。这一期间,关于张勋的情况无从确知,只知道他曾充 当童仆,以后流浪到福建、湖南去了。1884年中法战争发生时,张勋正在长 沙,他投入湖南巡抚潘鼎新的队伍,随军出发,在1884-1885年间到桂越边境 参加了几次抗法战役,包括攻占谅山之役。由此得到上司的赏识,被提升为守 备。中法战争后,他投身苏元春部下戍卫桂越边地,提升为参将。此时,他结 识了苏元春的另一部将陆荣廷,建立了终生友谊,陆荣廷是民国初年南方闻名 的军阀。张勋在苏元春军伍中的情况不能确知,只有这样一个传闻:据说,他曾奉苏元春之命,携巨款去上海置办军械,但是张勋到上海吃喝嫖赌,把军械 款挥霍一空。他的伙伴劝他趁机逃走,张勋说:大丈夫不当如此,回广西去向 苏元春请罪。苏元春佯作发怒明令处以死刑,暗中又把他开释放走,而且写信 介绍他投奔别处。这一传闻虽未经证实,但可作为解释张勋为什么离开广西到 遥远的华北找出路的原因。

1894年,张勋到北方投奔宋庆毅军。他到沈阳时,正值中日战争爆发,张 勋率领马队投入战场。中日战争结束,张勋去天津,在那里结识了袁世凯。袁 世凯正在小站练兵,张勋立刻投身其中,成为袁世凯的部属,是袁的一名高级 军官。1889年袁世凯任山东巡抚,两年后迁往保定,升直隶总督,张勋均随同 袁世凯上任。1900年义和团起义,张勋曾率军镇压。

1901年12月,慈禧、光绪从西安回京,张勋曾率军由直隶磁州护驾,由此 得到慈禧宠信,这也是张勋甚至在清帝1912年退位后还死心塌地效忠于清皇室 的原因。

清皇室回京后,张勋为清室重用,特赐以卫戍端门的重任。1903年,张勋 被遣去晋察边地讨伐匪乱。1905年日俄战争期间,驻军张家口阻击俄军骚扰。 1906年日俄战争结束,张勋调沈阳为淮军翼长,两年后递升为云南提督,不久 调甘肃任提督,在此两任期间,他仍兼任原在沈阳的职务。1910年驻浦口总统 江防各军,1911年夏递升为江南(江苏、安徽)提督,驻南京。

辛亥革命爆发,革命军攻占武汉、上海、苏州,向南京进军。张勋奉清政 府命卫戍南京,他与人数占压倒优势的革命军对抗一阵后,于1911年12月12日 弃城逃走,退驻津浦路兖州。清廷任张勋为江苏巡抚,又递升为两江总督、南 洋大臣,准备作殊死战。但是不到几个月,清朝覆亡,北京成立民国政府。

袁世凯新任总统,张勋为其属下的一名将军,张勋原是袁世凯的得意门 徒,虽然对袁感恩,但是他始终效忠于被废黜的清室。他虽同意不反对袁世凯 担任共和国总统,但他坚持按照清帝退位协议中优待条款,给予皇室全部优恵 待遇。在袁世凯任总统期间,张勋始终维护倒了台的清皇朝的利益。为了表示 他对清皇室的忠诚,他不但自己脑后留着长辫,并规定他的军队士兵也必须留 着长辫子,因此他得到了辫子将军的绰号。他自奉为孔圣人的卫道士,反对废 除祀孔典礼,有一次从兖州派兵到曲阜去保护孔庙,制止当地艮众的劫掠。

袁世凯力图加强自己的部队,以巩固他对全国的统治,由此,张勋茯得了 充足的军费和配备,以扩大他所统率的部队。1913年夏,二次革命爆发,张勋 部队编入北洋第二军,由冯国璋统率进袭守卫南京的国民党军队。8月,张勋 部沿津浦路南下,会合冯国璋部,包围南京。1913年9月1日张勋部破城,张 纵使其部队大肆劫掠三整天后,他才得意扬扬进城。张勋因功受命为江苏督 军。张部在南京犯下的暴行立即激起了居住在南京的外国人强烈抗议。驻北京 的日本和其他国家的外交代表施加了强大压力,1913年12月16日袁世凯不得不 任命冯国璋代替张勋任江苏督军。袁授张勋为定武上将军,调张任长江巡阅 使。袁世凯原本给张勋一个空名差使,但经张勋自吹自擂和靠他个人的军事实 力,把他的职位渲染成具有了不起的荣燿和权力,此后,“巡阅使”就成为北 洋军阀竞相争夺的职衔了。张勋任新职后,他的部队自南京撤至苏北的铁路战 略要地徐州,从此徐州成为张勋的军事新据点,直至他的军事生涯的终结。

1915年夏,发动了一场袁世凯称帝的活动,张勋原本是清皇朝的效忠者, 对此心里很反对,但并无具体行动。1916年春,西南各省爆发反袁起义,袁世 凯被迫撤消为时不久的帝制,复大总统原职。但是反袁声势方兴未艾,他遭到 西南各地领导人越来越大的压力,要求免去他总统职务,以至袁的一些亲信也 提出这个要求。1916年4月江苏督军冯国璋提议于南京开会讨论袁世凯的辞职 问题,会议于5月间召开,张勋的代表在会上得到安徽都督倪嗣仲支持,竭力 维护袁世凯的地位,反对冯国璋力图免去袁世凯总统职务的决议案。南京会议 没有结果,张勋邀请各省代表到他的据点徐州开会。

在这次新的会议召开之前,袁世凯于1916年6月6日身死,袁的总统职务 去留问题不复存在,黎元洪继任总统,北洋军阀的军事实权为内阁总理段祺瑞 所掌握。尽管政治局势突变,徐州会议仍按原定时间于1916年6月9日召开。 在会上,张勋提议建立各省都军联合会,以维护北洋军阀间的团结,抗击南方 军事势力。段祺瑞及其支持者鉴于这样一个组织是加强他们势力的有效办法, 因此不仅同意参加,而且推举张勋为这个新组织的首领。7月,段祺瑞任命张 勋为安徽督军。由于反段的声势日涨,北洋军阀首领们于1916年9月、1917年 1月和5月在徐州先后召开会议,商量对策,张勋成为会议的东道主。

段祺瑞及其同伙利用徐州会议来压制黎元洪及国会中的反段势力。张勋则 另有打算,他自从民国成立以来,一直以覆亡了的清皇朝的卫道者自居,他盼 望有朝一日扶清帝复位。当袁世凯活着时,袁处于优势地位,张勋直接反对他 的老上司自有难处,袁世凯一死,他就着手实现他的妄念,希望通过由他挂帅的各省都军联合会的建立,最终能得到北洋军阀中同僚支持他的冒险事业。张 勋还纠集不少主张帝制的魁首,如原来拥袁称帝的首领杨度,原清朝改良派名 儒康有为。

1917年春,张勋认为采取行动的时机已到。5月,段祺瑞同黎元洪和国会 之间的宿怨已达到顶点,段祺瑞和黎元洪都争取张勋支持。5月21日,黎元洪 免去段祺瑞内阁总理前一日,张勋召开第四次徐州会议,段祺瑞的代表徐树铮 为了借用张勋铲除北京的反段势力,使张勋相信只要张能从北京逐走黎元洪和 国会反段势力,段就不会反对恢复满清帝制。徐州会议并决定除张勋外,各省 都军均宣告独立,脱离北京政府。张勋将以纷争的“调解人”身份去北京,趁 机把黎元洪及国会反对势力驱走。按照这个计划,1917年5月29日倪嗣仲宣告 独立,除张勋外,各省都军立即响应。黎元洪面对这种背叛局面,束手无策,不知不觉地中了他们的圈套,竟向表面上中立的张勋求援,请他来北京调解对 立集团间的冲突。

张勋为假象所蔽,认为他的复辟计划不至于受到段祺瑞和其他北洋军阀的 阻挠,因此除在徐州留驻重兵外,接受黎元洪邀请,亲率五千军队北上。1917 年6月8日在天津征询段祺瑞及其他军阀首领的意见,又派出先头部队到北 京,胁迫黎元洪解散国会作为他进京“调解”的先决条件。6月14 日,黎元洪 无可奈何地同意了张勋的要求之后,张勋率领了他那身穿黑色军装的辫子军和 一群复辟派顽固遗老到了北京,他当即去皇宫晋见十一岁的宣统皇帝溥仪,溥 仪同意了张勋拥他重登皇座的计划,据说溥仪当时有点勉强。

经过张勋、康有为和一帮清朝遗老的几天仓卒布置,1917年7月1日凌晨 溥仪重登皇座,天明时,张勋和康有为入朝觐见,颁发“上谕”十九道,宣布 恢复清皇朝和帝制。大部分的“上谕”是官员任命,张勋本人受益最大,这就 表明张勋拥帝复位背后窝藏着他个人的野心。诰命张勋为忠勇亲王、北洋大臣 兼直隶总督,同时又任皇朝内阁政务总长兼议政大臣。张勋对各省北洋军阀督 军谨慎小心,不变动他们的地位,只是依清朝官制改换职称而已,其目的不过 是借此争取他们对清皇室复辟的支持。

不久,事态的发展证明复辟之举只是张勋对北洋首领和他自己实力估计的错误,各省军政官员纷纷函电谴责张勋所策划的政变。1917年7月4日,北洋 军阀中二个最难对付的首领段祺瑞和冯国璋联名通电反对复辟,段祺瑞率领军 队从他天津的大本营出发,一路迅速地击溃了张勋的队伍,包围北京,7月12 日段祺瑞部队破城,张勋的复辟支持者纷纷作鸟兽散,张本人逃往荷兰公使馆 避难。段祺瑞控制了北京,宣称复辟告终并下令缉捕张勋及其他复辟元凶。

张勋在荷兰公使馆政治避难一年多,1918年10月23日,总统徐世昌下令赦 免张勋和其他复辟参与者。张勋蛰居北京,于1920年夏迁往天津。尽管几度有 人让张勋复出,如1921年1月张作霖曾任命张勋为热河林垦督办,但张勋一直 过着隐退生活,度过了他的余生。1923年9月张勋死去,在天津举行了隆重的 葬仪,溥仪亲临致祭,为表彰张勋一生对清朝的忠贞,赐张勋以“忠武”的谥 号。
张勋有九个儿子,张勋死时尚有六子,他的发妻曹氏死于1893年。张勋发 迹得势后,娶了好几房小老婆,有一个是北京名女伶。1917年8月号《远东评 论》杂志上记述他的形象说: “耸肩,粗脖子,浓眉,高额,白皮肤,还有一 根细长辫子”,又说他“认真严肃,固执己见,肆意谩骂,讲究礼仪,一碰到 有趣的事就爱发笑”。张勋是一个慷慨、忠诚、开朗的人,但是他在战争中傲 慢凶残,此外他具有贪婪的野心。由于他受中国旧军人的粗鲁习气的熏染,使 他缺乏国家利益和民主政治的观念。

他幼年时没有受多少教育,据说他在晚年时勤于习读史籍。六十八岁时撰 写自传《松寿老人自叙》,或许是他人代作的,以后译成英文,载入1934年詹 逊所著《紫禁城的曙光》一书中。

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