T HE King's horrifying experiences permanently affected what earlier Western visitors had described as a lively and enquiring

mind, and he was reluctant to leave the security of the Russian Legation. It was February 1897 before he could be persuaded to move, and then no further than a small disused palace nearby which was redecorated and renamed the 'T ksu'. He was then, ironically, persuaded to promote himself to the rank of Emperor, 'Emperor of the Great Han', making him the social equal of the rulers of China and Japan, and an altar was built where, like the Emperor of China, he could have direct dealings with Heaven. The three storey pagodalike 'Temple of Heaven' that stood beside it can still be seen near the City Hall, hedged in by high-rise hotels.