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Legend of Shanghai beach tycoon

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发表于 2011-12-9 13:20:42 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
红顶商人盛宣怀 :上海滩大亨的传奇故事
盛宣怀作为洋务运动的一员干将,一生亦官亦商,亦中亦洋,创造了中国洋务史上的十余项“第一”(即第一家银行,第一家电报公司,第一家钢铁联合企业……),极大地影响了中国近代工商业及教育文化的发展,并给上海这座城市留下极多极深的印记。

(一)非常之人:

1844年11月4日,盛宣怀出生于江苏常州府治的所在地武进县。他的有生之年,始终处在中国千古未有的大变局之中。他矢志不渝地致力于兴办实业、教育和慈善事业,由李鸿章的幕府文秘迅速成长为洋务运动的干将。

(二)出闱入幕:

1864年7月,太平天国首都南京被湘军攻破。两年后,盛宣怀回到常州,参加武进县的童子试,考中了秀才。十多年来,他不仅是家中长子,还像是父亲的幕僚。他真正成为幕僚,是在投身李鸿章的幕府以后。天津成了他“生平事功”的发祥地。李鸿章奏称他“必能干济时艰,为国大用”。

(三)招商风云:

1872年,盛宣怀为自办轮船航运拟定了中国第一个商本商办章程,所提出的筹措资金方法,就是招股,1877年,招商局兼并了旗昌洋行,把旗昌洋行的全部财产收归招商局所有,“起而议其后者”不绝于人,对于招商局的弹劾此伏彼起,弄得慈禧太后一次次下令“严查”。


(四)矿务波折:

1875年1月,盛宣怀办理湖北矿务。他查阅《大冶县志》,得知大冶县北的铁山、白雉山一带皆产铜铁。为了勘查运输通道和为铁厂选址,盛宣怀带着郭师敦等人四处奔波。然而,正当盛宣怀踌躇满志,准备乘势而上的时候,湖北矿务每况愈下,而来自官方的压力却越来越大。盛宣怀的矿务活动是波折重重。

(五)力争利权:

在盛宣怀等人的不懈努力下,中国第一条有线电报干线——全长2724华里的津沪电报线竣工了。1885年8月1日,42岁的盛宣怀出任招商局督办,与此同时,又主持了南至海南,北到黑龙江,西到新疆等地的几十条电报线路的建设。1886年7月,盛宣怀第一次被授予实缺官职:山东登莱青兵备道兼东海关监督。

(六)再图大业:

张之洞由两广总督调任湖广总督,途径上海时,再三催促盛宣怀前来面商怎样在湖北开矿炼铁。张之洞主张官办,直到1892年,看到铁厂费用过高,才想改为商办,并请盛宣怀“在津遥领”。甲午战争爆发,盛宣怀为保障后勤、运输、通信而忙碌。战争结束,清政F国库更加空虚,盛宣怀毅然接手亏损严重的汉阳铁厂,经过数年努力,将铁厂与大冶铁矿、萍乡煤矿合并组成汉冶萍煤铁厂矿有限公司,这是当时亚洲最大的钢铁联合企业。

(七)齐头并进:

修建芦汉铁路的奏议从1889年得到朝廷批准,但长年不见成效,原因在于缺乏资金和工程技术人员。1896年9月2日,张之洞上奏推荐盛宣怀招商承办。光绪帝随即召见盛宣怀,命他督办铁路总公司事务。并授予专折奏事特权。

(八)北洋南洋:

盛宣怀起草的办学章程,经直隶总督王文韶转奏朝廷,获得批准,1895年,中国第一所大学——天津中西学堂也就是北洋大学堂由此正式创立。学堂分为大学本科和预科,学科有工程学、电学、机器学、律例学和他耿耿于怀的矿务学。盛宣怀是首任督办,经费由他自行设法筹款。第二年,他直接上奏,在上海创建南洋公学,仍旧从轮船招商局和电报局筹措经费。

(九)善举义赈:

盛宣怀的有生之年,组织和参与了数十次全国性的赈灾活动。1877年到1880年,华北五省连续发生特大旱灾,史称“丁戊奇荒”。盛宣怀深入直隶河间府展开赈灾工作,首先发动亲友捐粮捐钱,又从南方募捐银子一万两,以救济“极贫之户”。在由义赈来代替官赈这样一个历史性的进步中,他作出了积极的贡献。他的洋务实业生涯,伴随着一次次善举义赈活动。每到一地,他很注意善堂的建设,他掌控下的实业机构,经常被用来充当赈灾的总指挥部。

(十)辛亥前后:

1908年,盛宣怀被任命为邮传部右侍郎,但总理衙门却不让他过问邮传部事务,要他以商约大臣的身份回上海。他掌控的实业,只剩下汉冶萍公司硕果仅存。为了筹措资金,他想尽了办法,不得不向日本借贷。这年8月,他获准赴日本“一面考察厂矿,一面就医”。光绪、慈禧先后去世,摄政王载沣将袁世凯免职,盛宣怀夺回了招商局,并奉命赴邮传部右侍郎本任,还进一步得到重用,被授为邮传部尚书。

一、龙城之望

运河边最富传奇的巷子

常州盛氏是江淮一带的大姓。

据说他们的远祖,是周文王的儿子郕叔武,至穆王时易郕为盛,于是后代就开始姓盛。后来盛氏又分为南北二宗,南宗从古梁迁至广陵,宋王朝南渡时又迁到金陵。到了明朝,有个叫盛睿的老祖宗,带了一支家眷队伍迁居到了常州,在城西北的龙溪河畔筑屋造室,从此在常州扎下了根。久而久之,盛氏子孙枝繁叶茂,族大根深,那地方就成了盛家湾,成了盛氏家族常州一脉的大本营。

常州又称龙城(还有延陵、毗陵、丹德、武进等古称),有龙溪河傍城而过。龙溪河近通运河,远达长江、太湖、东海,兼得襟江带湖之美和渔米舟楫之利,故有“中吴要辅、八邑名都”之誉。然而这个龙城自古并未出过什么龙子龙孙和天王老*土之类,倒是文臣武将、富商巨贾出了不少。到了明清两代,此地更是商贾如云,万舸争流,物华天宝,南北瞩望,惹得康熙帝和乾隆帝各自先后六次大驾光临。现在被称作“御码头”的地方,至今还树立着乾隆帝题写的御碑,共六块,那是皇帝弃舟上岸之处。

盛氏之所以成为地方大姓,不仅是人多,还在于历朝历代出过不少知名的人物。唐朝时有个盛彦师,好读书,少任侠,唐高祖兵陈汾阳时他为大将。史书上称他“晋城一役斩李密及王伯当,以功封葛国公,授武卫将军”,说明他是李唐政权的一员干将。唐贞元年间又有个盛云鹤,学富五车,是个大知识分子,授翰林院侍讲学士,后来当了皇帝的老师。

到了宋朝,盛家出了个盛度,是端拱二年的进士,因治理西部边疆有功,当上了副宰相。宋宣和年间,盛家又出了个有名的忠臣,名盛俊祥,在朝廷里当御史(纪律检查官),南渡后因揭发秦桧篡权误国,被秦氏所不容,被迫“乞病回乡”,回乡后书写了“孝弟忠信,礼义廉耻”八个大字,分授给八个儿子,教育后代,不辱门风。

元明两朝至清代前期,盛氏家族的功名未大显,但是出了几位艺术人才——盛懋是山水画家,盛彧是诗人,盛寅是名医,盛时泰也是画家,盛年则是清代著名的围棋国手。

然而到了清代嘉庆、道光、咸丰年间,盛家的门风又为之一振。先是盛宣怀的祖父盛隆于嘉庆庚午年中举,当上了浙江海宁知州,接着他的父亲盛康于庚子(1840年)中举,进而在甲辰(1844年)考中进士,获得了封建社会的最高学历,当上了湖北武昌盐法道(分管食盐产、运、销的副省长),成了地方实力派。

盛康任职湖北,对于盛家来说最直接的影响是,这期间李鸿章正奉命攻打太平天国,盛康参与操办后勤军务,甚得赞赏,这就为后来他的儿子盛宣怀进入李鸿章的幕府打下了“伏笔”,也为这个家族后来的振兴,做好了最重要的人事铺垫。

盛家两代人居外做官,俸禄日增,家底渐厚,盛宣怀的父亲和叔父就在常州城里买地造屋,建起了前后九进的深宅大院。在盛宣怀的父亲盛康快要告老还乡的时候,又在苏州买下一处偌大的旧式园林,精心修整后,作为盛家的别墅和祠堂所在地。这处园林,就是现在号称苏州四大园林之一的留园。

数年后盛宣怀青出于蓝而胜于蓝,发迹后也在故乡大兴土木,在常州周线巷建起了前后十一进的大宅院。盛家在常州的两处豪宅相距不过百米,重檐叠嶂,钩心斗角,时人莫不以之为瞻。

现在常州市嵌着“盛宣怀故居”大理石碑子的地方,叫马园巷,窄窄的巷道,显得逼仄而潮湿,其实这只是当年盛宣怀之父盛康造的九进大宅的边门,正门则开在马园巷尽头的一条大马路上,现在成了常州市人民法院大厦的所在地。而法院门前的那条大马路,就是古运河边上的、充满传奇故事的青果巷。

盛氏大宅门选址青果巷,可谓占尽天时地利。

初看青果巷,不过一条五六百米的巷子,然而这可是千里运河边最出人物的巷子,也可能是全国最 “富产”人才的巷子。千百年来,文臣武将不知出了多少。近一百年来,名人就出了好几十位,革M家、实业家、科学家、文学家、艺术家、藏书家、银行家、书法家、语言文字学家,几乎遍及各个领域,形成一道极具华彩的人文景观。

青果巷古称千果巷,与常州古运河有着不解之缘。明朝以前的运河从常州西水关穿城而过,流经这一带再东出吴门蜿蜒而去,所以不仅运河成了南来北往的主要交通线,沿运河的重要街区,也都成了集市贸易的“旺铺”。不知从何时起,南来北往的水果贩子爱来这一带河沿卸货设摊,久而久之,就成了南北果品的“专用市场”了,因而有了“千果巷”之美称。明朝万历九年,常州知府在城外又辟新河,过往船只从此改道,而水果市场已成定局,继续火旺,“千果巷”却被讹呼为青果巷而沿用至今。

但是随着岁月的演进,如今这个水果市场不知不觉又变成一个菜市场了,每天一大早,沿河两岸熙熙攘攘。天上若飘着小雨,河边的屋檐下就会出现两道“彩龙”——由各色雨伞、雨衣和雨棚连接起来的买卖摊子,红蓝青绿,沿河排开,自成一景。河中仍有小船 “欸乃”而过,河边那些竹篮、竹筐里的青萝卜、紫菱角、小白菜,都是湿漉漉、水灵灵的,鲜嫩可爱。

如果绕到那些雨伞和雨布连成的“彩龙”背后,在濛濛细雨中寻找和品味那些默默无语的枕河人家,更是别有一番滋味——一道“风蚀”了的旧门槛,一扇残缺了的花格窗,一道不经意的飞檐,一堵依然挺立却已灰尘满面了的封火墙……一不小心,就会勾出一串动人心魄的往事。

青果巷的历史中,著名的住户有抗倭名将唐荆川家族(其故居叫贞和堂,其楠木厅如今还在)。他家的祖先是宋代翰林唐华甫,后代很会读书做官,举人、进士、知府、知州等等,代有人出。著名书法家唐世英和画家唐世宁兄弟都出自这个家族。多年后唐荆川的七世孙唐执玉又爆得大名,是康熙年间的进士,官至刑部尚书、蓟门总督,是从青果巷中走出的两位尚书之一。另一位就是盛宣怀。

唐家后人忠于明王朝,在清初参加了反清复明,于是老房子被抄没,兄弟们隐名埋姓,走伏草莽之间。被抄没的房子后来被官署发卖,一部分被庄氏家族购得。这个庄氏家族也是常州大户,即盛宣怀的继室夫人庄德华(盛氏家族后期的当家人)的娘家。

住在唐家对门的是董家。董家与唐家是世代姻亲,亦为常州著名的富户。盛宣怀的原配夫人董氏就是这个家族的小姐。董家的知名人物也不少,著名藏书家董康就是其中一个,此人出任过伪立法院院长,从日本买回来很多流失东瀛的中国古代珍籍。

青果巷与雪洞巷相接之处是恽家老宅,一个古典的庭院环以雕花的回廊,里面长期住着大画家恽南田的后代。

与盛家老宅相邻的,是清末海派文学大师、谴责小说巨匠李伯元的故居——留余堂。李家原先在沿河一带有六十四间房屋,如今还存有两进三开间的院落,前厅大梁上荷花、寿桃等雕饰依稀可见,是一处被列入地方文化遗产的保护建筑。

从这里走向全国、走向世界的各路俊杰还有很多。他们有的留在了故居,有的只能从常州市志上了解他们曾经的足迹。他们是著名实业家刘国钧,革M家瞿秋白、张太雷,实业家兼藏书家陶湘,著名语言文字学家赵元任,著名画家刘海粟、汤贻汾,著名文学家吴祖光、周有光,著名律师、爱国七君子之一史良,汉冶萍公司萍乡煤矿矿长张赞宸……

于是,常州的老辈人说起青果巷总免不了一番感慨——那可是一块风水宝地啊!

二、大清末世人才:李鸿章乱世得英才

盛家后代在《盛宣怀(杏荪)行述》中说:庚午(1870年)四月,“李文忠公由鄂督师入陕,杨艺舫(芳)京卿宗濂函招府君入幕。”这位介绍盛宣怀入李鸿章幕府的杨艺舫,就是无锡大户杨氏家族的老太爷杨宗濂——北洋军阀时期出任财政总长的杨味云是他的侄子;荣德生先生的女婿杨通谊(荣漱仁的丈夫)是他的侄孙;荣毅仁先生的夫人杨鉴清女士也是他的后代。杨氏家族在晚清官场上的资格,不比盛家低。

杨家与李鸿章的关系,起于杨宗濂的上辈,有着非同一般的交情。

杨宗濂的父亲杨延俊,字菊仙,与李鸿章都是道光丁未年(1847年)的进士,是为同年。当初在考举人的时候(1844年乡试)他们就是同年;考进士的时候还是同一个号舍(同一个考场),在关键时刻杨菊仙还帮了李鸿章大忙——李鸿章在首次“制艺” (第一场考试)结束后突发疾病,全靠同号舍的杨菊仙为之料理汤药,直到三场考试结束,才“扶掖出闱,遂同捷南宫”——两人同时金榜题名(考中进士),所以在同年中,他们两人交情最笃,这是人之常情。

李鸿章对杨氏自然感激不尽,爱屋及乌,在杨菊仙去世之后,就把杨菊仙的三个儿子杨宗濂、杨宗翰、杨以迴三兄弟带进自己的幕府,在与太平军作战中委以重任,加以历练,培养成才——杨宗濂在刘铭传麾下总管粮台,后来担任了淮军总营务;杨宗翰在李鸿章身边司章奏(当秘书);杨以迴佐豫军,转战数省,直至大局平定。太平军被平定后,杨氏兄弟均以战功升任道员,并赏顶戴花翎,他们的家族在无锡逐渐成为望族。

1870年,杨宗濂随李鸿章西征进入陕西剿捻,不久又奉命调到直隶(今河北省)。在赴直隶之前,他深感李鸿章身边缺乏人手,想来想去,于是千里驰函老朋友盛康,劝他不要把儿子老是留在身边,现在军中需人,赶紧送出来锻炼锻炼。杨宗濂还是著名的军事教育家,被神机营(晚清皇家禁卫军)的将军善庆叫去训练部队,1885年又奉命总理天津北洋武备学堂,到袁世凯小站练兵时,几乎所有的将校均出自其门下,可以说是后来的北洋军阀的祖师爷。

关于盛康与李鸿章的交往,盛宣怀的后代在盛的《行述》中写道:“文忠夙与大父雅故”。至于 “雅故”的具体内容则未展开。然而民间则把他们的关系传奇化了——说是李鸿章参加乡试时,盛康是主考官,当李鸿章大汗淋漓,交不出卷时,盛康及时地向他抛出“绣球”,于是李鸿章释然,顺利过关,日后发达之时,便委盛康之子盛宣怀以重任……其实这全是以讹传讹。且不说无论是盛隆还是盛康,都没有当过主考官,而且,盛康进士及第那一年也正是李鸿章中举的那一年(1844年)。盛康自己尚在考进士,如何能成为地方主考官?另外,盛宣怀入幕李鸿章是由杨宗濂推荐的,并不是盛康主动凑上去的,其时盛康早已因丁忧(父亲去世)而乡居数年。况且,盛宣怀初到李鸿章麾下时,正是李鸿章率军北上剿捻的紧张阶段,盛宣怀在军中当一个“文案”(秘书),也是要拿着命上的,根本不是什么享福的事,相反,却是戎马倥偬、席不暇暖、日驰百里、苦头吃尽的差事!

盛康在湖北办粮、办盐的时候,倒确实与李鸿章有一段军务上的交往。

1858年春,时任湖北巡抚的清廷名将胡林翼函招盛康。那时湘军与太平军正在安徽、江西、湖北一带杀得紧,三合镇一役湘军大败,损失严重,急需补充人马和粮草。但邻近省份的“协饷”久不到位,胡林翼要“以楚中一隅之力,供水路六十万人之食”,任务之艰巨,可想而知。盛康不愧为理财能手(据他的后代说,盛康的算盘打得世界一流,速度又快又精准),历来善于经营,到湖北后先后以道员的身份办理税收,以充军粮。那时湖北的“牙釐”创办才一年,一切尚未步入正轨,盛康不得不断然采取各种措施,严杜“偷杜侵蚀,撙浮糜烂”,保证了前方粮草的供应。当时曾国藩正驻节江西和湖北,正谋划以湖北为天下之重地,“以全楚一隅而规吴谋皖”,一时各路俊杰皆聚集于湖北。这都是因为有了充足的饷源,方可作为的事。

1958年冬天李鸿章也到了湖北,入曾国藩幕襄办营务,遂与盛康成为同事。见盛康大办军需,功劳卓著,曾手书“萧何关中、刘晏河北”相推挹。1860年盛康升为湖北粮道,1862年授盐法武昌道,1863年历任布政使、按察使二司,均以擅长理财、办理军需出名。

关于具体的税收方针,李鸿章曾对盛康说:“财赋只可认真于额内,不当于额外求之”。意思是只能在规定的税收额度内严格执行,而不可于规定的额度之外乱收,一旦乱了根据地等于乱了全局。而对于那些占了官位而不做事或做不来事的人,应当严惩不怠。盛宣怀记下了李鸿章当时对其父的提醒:“鄂事若不严惩府州县之泄沓,即桑孔复生,亦无实济。”于是主张“将不能战者杀之,不足惜!汰之惟恐不速!官不能筹饷者劾之,不足惜!罢之惟恐不速!”盛宣怀继续写道:于是“府君之理财用人褒益至当,宽猛交济,皆承文忠教也。”可见他们之间的默契。盛康后来由李鸿章以 “才具优长”推荐朝廷,得以步步高升。1867年盛康的父亲盛隆去世,他去官居家十余年,京外故旧敦促其再出,后来去海宁做官,没几年就回家养老了。这个决定看来是对头的,因为那时他的儿子盛宣怀已经入了李鸿章的幕府,成了李鸿章大办洋务的重要帮手,子承父志,未竟之事可由儿子去完成了。

盛宣怀应付科举考试不是很入门,但是日常公牍还是很能应付的,当年在他父亲的衙署内就曾协助老人家处理过事情。他办事机灵,是个干才,来到李鸿章的麾下不负厚望,吃苦耐劳,精明练达,克勤克俭,很快获得李鸿章的好感。初“派委行营内文案兼充营务处会办,属槖鞬,侍文忠”,是秘书、兼总务处副处长的角色,直接对李鸿章负责。

他到李鸿章在陕西的行营后不久,天津教案发生,奉朝廷之命,部队立马向天津开拔。时值盛夏酷暑,部队常常要“日驰数十百里”,“涉函关,登太行,尽揽山川扼塞形胜”,遇到紧要的公文,盛宣怀能“磨盾草檄,顷刻千言”,同僚们无不刮目相看。不久,他就升任陕甘后路粮台淮军营务处,继而又因军功升任知府、道员,并获赏戴花翎二品顶戴的荣誉。此时距他入李鸿章戎幕,仅一年有余,可见李鸿章对他的器重。

三、洋务巨擘

1、招商局万事开头难

十九世纪六七十年代,随着外国资本的不断渗入,我国沿海一线以及长江内河的航运,几乎全被洋人的轮船占领,中国传统的船运已成衰落之势。尤其是英国的怡和洋行、太古洋行和美国的旗昌洋行,都拥有大规模的船队。他们不仅在沿海和内河各码头沿线揽货,还设法把朝廷的漕运生意(即每年按时运送的官粮)也拉过去,致使中国船队无货可揽,而朝廷专拨的运粮费也大量流入了洋人的口袋。

鉴于这种情况,从1860年代起,一些地方官员和开明之士就联络起来,向朝廷献计献策,主张中国人自办轮船运输,把船运之利从洋人手中夺回来。太平天国被平定之后,“天下承平”,海内似有“中兴”气象,李鸿章办洋务,师夷制夷,图谋振兴,除了军事工业之外,很用心的一件事就是办船运。时李鸿章已升任直隶总督兼北洋通商事务大臣,总揽了清廷外交、通商、洋务大权,成为洋务派的首领。由谁去举办中国人自己的近代船务,全凭他一句话。盛宣怀抓住机会,力劝李鸿章“此大利不可不兴”,并要求让自己前去试一试。他在《上李傅相轮船章程》(1872年)中纵论当今大势:“伏思火轮船自入中国以来,天下商民称便,以是知火轮船为中国不能废之物。与其听中国之利权全让外人,不如藩篱自固。”明确地提出,轮船非办不可。具体的办法,他主张G商合办,或者官督商办。

他在给李鸿章的信中还表示,要尽自己一切努力办好航运这件要政,并要“竭我生之精力,必助我中堂办成铁矿、银行、邮政、织布数事”。他想得很远:“百年之后,或可以姓名附列于中堂传策之后,吾愿足矣。”又说“中堂得无笑我言大而夸乎?职道每念督抚姓名得传后世者几人哉?遣论其下”。这封信写得掏心掏肺,开诚布公,并以传名百世来“激将”李鸿章,表示不仅仅是办船运,而是要将毕生精力投入洋务大业。

李鸿章最初确也有意让盛宣怀前去筹划创办招商局,命他起草一个轮船公司的章程。他要知道,这项中国人从未办过的洋务,究竟该怎么个办法。盛宣怀心领神会,精心研究了外国船运公司的章程和经营办法,构思了一幅中国轮船公司的发展草案。中国的弊病,他看得很透了。像这类前人未做过的事情,尤其是有利可图的事情,没有官股官本是办不成的,因为民间商人力量太小。但光靠官办也办不成,因为官场有太多的累赘。他指出:“中国G商久不联络,在官莫顾商情,在商莫筹国计。夫筹国计必先顾商情。倘不能自立,一蹶不可复振。试办之初,必先为商人设身处地,知其实有把握,不致废弛半途,办通之后,则兵艘商船并造,采商之租,偿兵之费,息息相通,生生不已。务使利不外散,兵可自强。”这段精彩的理论,可算是把中国现实中官与商的相互关系说透了,尤其是他那“顾商情”的观点,实际上是主张在“官”的领导下,官方也入股,加以监督,以“商”为主体去具体操办。

然而事情并非那么简单,官督商办企业乃近代新生事物,官方许多大员均持怀疑态度,连李鸿章左右的亲信如天津海关道陈钦、天津河间兵备道丁寿昌,均主张采用朱其昂的纯官办的办法,以求稳妥。李鸿章在事无七成把握的时候,就来个少数服从多数,采纳了朱其昂的意见,并且委任朱其昂、朱其诏兄弟,负责筹建,因为朱家兄弟是上海宝山的沙船世家,与洋行里的买办关系较熟,或可便于参照洋人的办法,办中国的事情。

结果不出盛宣怀所料,这种纯官府官办的企业,要想争取商人的投资是不容易的。商人为何要为你官办企业投资呢?商人还怕你官方依仗权势欺压商人呢!而且朱其昂兄弟的具体做法也有点保守,仅仅运输漕粮,而不揽载客货,自是起不到与洋商争利的作用。事实上,各地漕运司已有不少与洋商挂钩了,你现在要把生意再拉过去,你给漕司什么好处呢?你的运费能比洋船便宜吗?吸收不到商股,底盘有限,事业就难以发展。果然,这个轮船局1873年1月开办,不到半年时间就困难重重,陷入停顿,只好另想办法。

于是李鸿章回过头来再找盛宣怀,盛宣怀也不搭架子,再次细细谋划,提出了“委任宜专”、“商本宜充”、“公司宜立”、“轮船宜先后分领”、“租价宜酬足”、“海运宜分与装运”等六款,并提出应仿照外国洋商的样子,招集商股五十万两,一百两为一股,认票不认人,“以收银日为始,按年一分支息,一年一小结,总账公阅,三年一大结,盈余公派”。对于来自官场上的骚扰,他也早有预见:“官场来往搭货搭客,亦照例收取水脚”,以使投资者安心勿虑。为使新生的招商局站稳脚跟,不致于一出台就被挤垮,他在这个章程里明文写上,要官方保证每年有四十万担的漕粮交轮船局装运,以“稍藉补苴”……可以看出,他已把这个活计的来龙去脉、营运门槛、关键部门,都做过深入的调查研究了,说出来的都是行话。这六条纲领,是轮船招商局章程最早的雏形。

然而这一回,李鸿章还是没让他担任领衔主管,而是把上海怡和洋行的买办唐廷枢给挖了过来,要其为国家办事。1873年6月,李鸿章任命唐廷枢为招商局总办,又任命宝顺洋行的买办徐润担任会办,指望他们利用他们在商界的影响,招募商股。朱其昂、朱其诏兄弟也是会办。至于盛宣怀,也是个会办,与徐润他们平起平坐。李鸿章如此布局,自有他的道理。因为要举办这样一个投资几十万、上百万银两的大型企业,话虽好说,而集资殊难,没有钱万难总其成。公款有限,只能出二十万两。盛宣怀牛犊出山,初涉洋务,在集资上难有号召力。而唐廷枢、徐润、朱其昂等,已有多年的洋行和商场经验,在商人中号召力极大,他们本人还能带大笔投资进来。权衡下来,李鸿章只能再委屈一下盛氏。

盛宣怀不情愿当这个“牛后”,而李鸿章偏偏要他当这个重要的“牛后”。于是有了这样的分工:唐廷枢、徐润主管揽载、招股等轮运各务,代表商方;朱其昂、朱其诏兄弟主管漕运事宜,代表官方;而盛宣怀地位非常微妙,要兼管漕运和揽载二事,等于兼了 “官”、“商”两个方面的角色,说具体也具体,说架空也架空,实际上是个非常重要但是有点尴尬的位置。李鸿章老谋深算,目的是要通过他察看和掌握轮船招商局的一切。盛宣怀毕竟不是小肚鸡肠之人,尽管不情愿,还是走马上任了,后来果真开创了响当当的局面。

唐廷枢任总办以后,凭借他个人在商界的影响力,招商局资金匮乏的局面一下子改观了,从不足二十万两一跃而为一百万两,其中徐润一个人就投资二十四万两,为企业输了血。唐廷枢的办法原则上与盛宣怀是一致的,只是唐更多地强调了“商”的利益,而盛则更强调“公私合营”,即官督商办。这在轮船招局初办之时还看不出多大优势,然而时间一长,尤其是面临外商激烈竞争时,“官”的力量就成了可靠的后盾。在这一事关前途的大政方针上,盛宣怀绝不是一般商人能望其项背的。

1873年年底,轮船招商局已经有天津、汉口、长崎等十九个分局,该局的“伊敦”轮已经能驶往日本长崎、神户、菲律宾、吕宋岛等地了。1874年7月,招商局公布了第一届结账,盈余两千一百两银。1875年7月第二届结账,已能结余两万四千两银,首次分发花红六千七百余两。全局上下自是皆大欢喜。

1875年秋天,盛宣怀奉命督办湖北煤铁局,同时另外还有其他实业要办,暂时离开了轮船招商局。可是非常奇怪,盛宣怀一离开就出了问题,第二年(1876年7月)结账结下来,居然亏损三万五千两银。

他虽在湖北办矿,但招商局的要紧的事情还是过问的,比如收购美国旗昌公司的事情,他仍是主谋之一。

2、“水线”之战

1880年秋,李鸿章又委派盛宣怀举办电报事业,统筹全国各地电线电缆的铺设,建立国家电报局,把洋人非法在我国铺设的“水线”,该拆的拆,该买的买,以争回电报自主权。这件事“创行之始,人皆视为畏途”,因为这不同于办一般的实业,前面虎狼成群,先得在谈判桌上“推磨”,扫除了障碍,事才能办成,这是一场政治、外交和个人胆识的较量。

早在19世纪60年代,英、美、法等国就数次向清廷提出,要在中国设立电报线。清廷出于维护自身利益,一次次地加以拒绝。当时的江西巡抚沈葆桢讲得好——“倘任其安置飞线,是地隔数千里之遥,一切事件,中国公文尚未递到(那时朝廷的圣旨是靠五百里快骑、六百里快骑、八百里快骑马上传递),彼已先得消息,办事倍形掣肘。且该线偶值损坏,必归咎于官民不为保护,又必丛生枝节。”“外洋之轮船捷于中国之邮递,一切公事已形掣肘,若再任其设立铜线,则千里而遥,瞬息可通,更难保不于新闻纸中造作危言,以骇观听!”可惜那时该巡抚大人虽然看到了电报如此神通广大的作用,却没有建议清廷自办电报,而只是一味限制不让外国人办。在这种思想指导下,官府见有外国人私自铺电缆、架电杆了,就暗中鼓动百姓去拆电线、毁电线杆,进行阻挠。

1870年,清廷作出了外国“电款线沉于海底其线端不得牵引上岸,以分华洋旱线界线”的规定,对他们进行限制。但是他们既然已被允许铺设海底电缆,就必然得寸进尺,想方设法把线头牵引上岸,他们总不能把电报房设在海上吧。

最能跟清廷捣乱的是丹麦人。19世纪70年代初,他们派出一条船,在沙俄军舰的护卫下,悄悄驶出海参崴军港。船开得很慢,一边行驶一边拖着一根长长的“辫子”。原来这是一艘丹麦通信工程船,正在向海底铺设“水线”(即海底电缆)。他们的目标,首先是到日本长崎,然后再伸到上海吴淞口,最后到达位于上海外滩的丹麦大北电报公司。

丹麦一个欧洲小国,何以竟敢在中国的海域铺设海底电缆?原来他们的背后有老沙皇作靠山,老沙皇与丹麦王室有亲戚关系,为在中国设立电信系统,曾多次向清政F提出,要在中国陆上和海底铺设电报线路,并要求在上海设立大北电报公司,索取“水线”登陆权。那时沙俄已把整个东北划入他的势力范围,向清廷施加种种压力,清廷无奈,只好同意“大北电报公司在吴淞口外设置趸船,在船上收发电报”,但“水线不可以牵引上岸”,真的是要他们在水上发报!

然而大北电报公司岂肯长期漂浮海上?他们非要登陆不可,先用一艘停泊在长江口外大戢山岛的轮船,悄悄地把铺设在那里的“水线”牵引上岸,安置在事先盖好的房子里,建立了第一个电报房。接着,看看清廷并没有什么动静,就把“水线’’偷偷地拖进黄浦江,在张华浜对岸的浦东,设立了第二个电报房。随后,又沿黄浦江将“水线”引到外滩。大北电报公司后期的建筑,就是现在外滩盘谷银行所在的那幢漂亮的大楼。

大北电报公司凭借两条海底电缆营业,取得了巨额利润,自然引起了英、美、日等列强的眼红,纷纷要“分切肥肉”,于是向清政F要挟,也要铺设自己的“水线”。

盛宣怀走马上任办电报,首先就面临着列强“争肉”的复杂局面。如果任其发展,那中国电报局势必无利可图,如果用清廷原有的规定来限制他们,那么就要杀鸡给猴看,先拿丹麦大北电报公司开刀。一场艰苦的谈判势不可免。盛宣怀以清廷在1870年做出的关于外国“电缆线沉于海底,其线端不得牵引上岸,以分华洋旱线界线”的规定为依据,命令大北电报公司拆除其非法设置的上岸之线。大北电报公司岂肯让步,无理取闹,盛宣怀就豁出时间来与其对阵。他心里明白,如果这个回合打不下来,后面的麻烦将接踵而至,英国人、美国人的气焰将更加嚣张。如果各国都在中国架线设电报局,僧多粥少,中国电报局就更惨了。

于是盛宣怀坚持“拆丹麦旱线,以保中华国家之权,并以服各国商人之心”的原则,几经交涉,丹麦大北电报公司只好同意拆毁吴淞到外滩的旱线,但拒不答应拆除厦门上岸之线,强调“厦门线端系由海滨岸边由地下直达屋内”,与吴淞旱线不同,盛宣怀反唇相驳,强调厦门之线“虽与私立旱线有别,然毕竟已牵引上岸”,抓住厦门水线确已“上岸”这一基本事实,证明大北公司已违背了清政F的规定,所以一定要拆除不可。最后,经过数轮“唇焦舌敝”的斗争,终于迫使大北公司拆除了岸线。

在大北电报公司在中国铺设海底电缆十年之后,中国终于有了自己的电报公司,清廷委任盛宣怀出任总办。然而形势依然严峻,因为海底电缆是大北和大东的,外洋电报和国内与欧洲的电报畅通与否,均掌握在大北和大东手里。如何与洋人争利、分利,关系到中国电报局的生死存亡。于是盛宣怀主动找上门去谈条件。最后,他们不得不同意签订三家电报公司的“齐价合同”,即仿照轮船招商局与太古、怡和轮船公司签约的做法,对外必须价格一致,不允许任何一家单独行动,亦不允许利用减价来打击任何一方。这个办法的实施,使新生的中国电报局在强敌面前站稳了脚跟。

中国电报局在盛宣怀的主持下,数年中有了很大的发展——1882年架起了苏、浙、闽、粤等省的旱线;次年办长江一线;1884年因海防吃紧,架设了济南至烟台、威海、刘公岛、金线顶等地线路;1886年因东北三省边防需要,遂由奉天接通吉林至珲春线;1887年因郑州黄河决口,为筹办赈灾事宜,又从山东济宁设电线至开封;1888年通九江至赣州、南雄线;1890年因“襄樊地方为入京数省通衢,楚北门户边境冲要”,乃由沙市设线直达襄阳;1896年从武昌线至长沙;1898又设长沙至湘潭、萍乡等地;1901年为迎“两宫回銮”,又添设了潼关至正定一线……主要干线和支线,几乎已覆盖全国。

为此,李鸿章写出专折为盛宣怀请功。他在《盛宣怀请奖片》中称:“……英、丹电报公司且于九龙及上海至吴淞安设陆线,方谓非常之举,中国未必果行,遂群起相争,多方阻挠,该道(指盛宣怀)奉饬设法抵制,相机操纵,一面集资赶设沿海陆线,使彼狡谋废然中止,保我自主之权,尤于国体商情所关匪细。今线路绵亘万数千里,京外军谋要政瞬息可通,成效昭著,其功实未可没。该员才具优长,心精力果,能任重大事件,足以干济时艰。”说明通过电报工程,李鸿章对他更加信任了。

3、糊涂世界中办银行

1895年,中国甲午战败,全国上下对李鸿章一片声讨声。看到自己的顶头上司一生忠心耿耿,权倾朝野,一旦失算,就落得个如此下场,盛宣怀心底不免阵阵凄凉,加上自己长年因劳累过度而体虚内亏,常常夜间咳喘不止,于是一纸奏折上去,申请退休回家。

然而朝廷此时正需要干才。在甲午战败的刺激下,朝廷必须设法挽回一些面子,何况上下内外正一片变法呼声,要自强,要改革,要励精图治,因此朝廷需要盛宣怀出来做事,不仅不同意他退休回家,而且派他大用场,要他出来办银行!

盛宣怀毕竟是朝廷的忠臣,惯于识大体,况且办银行是他多年前就向朝廷建议过的事,如今朝廷真的要你去办了,你却要打道回家,是何居心,能说得清吗?没奈何,只有拼着命上。

此时清廷面对着两亿白银的战争赔款,一筹莫展。光绪皇帝问计于他,如何才能摆脱困境,他直言不讳地和盘托出:仿照泰西各国的样子,办商业银行,“铸银币、开银行两端,实为商务之权舆,亟宜首先创办。不必畏难避嫌,一年即可建成,一年即可收效…… 如任用得人,一呼可集。”又具体设计了公私两方如何集资的总体方案。针对当时时髦的话题,关于变法问题,他劝说皇上头脑要冷静,现在空谈变法的人太多了,然而说起来便当做起来难,立个新法容易,而要收到实效并非那么容易。提醒他不要轻言变法,只管真抓实干好了。

然而中国的事情历来就是复杂的。

不久,京城传出消息,说是海关总税务司、英国人赫德准备组办中英合资银行,要抓中国银行的开办权。盛宣怀此时已失去了李鸿章这个最有力的支持者,有话他也不能天天对着朝廷叨叨,只好去盯张之洞。他给张之洞写信:“闻赫德觊觎银行,此事稍纵即逝。应否预电总署颇有关系。”他惟恐张之洞认识不清此事的极端重要性,过了几天又写信去盯:“华商无银行,商民之财无所依附,散而难聚……若是银行权属洋人,则铁路欲招华股更无办法……铁路既以集华股归商办为主,银行似亦应一气呵成,交相附丽。”

光绪皇帝看到了他的忠诚,接连召其进京问策,他及时地呈进《请设银行片》和《条陈自强大计折》,重申了在中国开办商务银行的极端重要性和紧迫性,折子里尤其强调说:“西人聚举国之财为通商惠国之本,综其枢纽,皆在银行。中国亟宜仿办,毋任洋人银行专我大利。”

那天他进宫向光绪皇帝辞行,皇帝对他说:“你的奏折已交总署讨论,但是事情总是人做的,今天这班督抚大员都在推委延宕之中,你看怎么办呢?”光绪这是有意启发他勇挑重任,因为皇帝也知道,这些年办洋务,成果最显著的就数盛宣怀。果然,圣旨下达仅仅十几天时间,盛宣怀已把最关键的人物搞定了。他选定的八个董事会成员为:张振勋、叶澄衷、严信厚、施则敬、朱葆三、杨廷杲、严潆、陈猷。

这八个人,都是近代上海滩的实力派人物。张振勋是南洋华侨巨擘;叶澄衷是五金行业的巨头,号称五金大王,在上海及各商埠均有支店,又是纶华缲丝厂、燮昌火柴厂的老板,海上巨富;严信厚原是李鸿章的旧属,以盐务起家,积资巨万,是宁波通久源轧花厂、通久源纱厂、通久源面粉厂、上海中英药房等著名企业的老板,华商巨擘;朱葆三原是日商平和洋行的买办,后来自己开设商行,从事进出口贸易,大发其财,在华商中极富号召力;施则敬也是海上华商中举足轻重的大资本家。另外,严潆和陈猷是轮船招商局的会办,能带船局的资本进来;杨廷杲是电报局总办,亦能带大量资本入股。此时的盛宣怀,已经把这些大腕人物掌握在手里,说派用场就能派他们用场的。

三百万商股看来不是很费劲就集起来了。其中仅轮船招商局就有八十万两。他又替王文韶留了五百股的份额,用朝廷里大官投资于此,来进一步安定民心,致使商股招集“甚踊跃”。

然而朝廷则常常是三分钟热度,忽冷忽热的。商股落实了而官款迟迟没有落实。盛宣怀一再催促,不仅迟迟没有下文,反而传出朝廷已批准中俄两国合办华俄道胜银行的消息,而且据说朝廷已拨款五百万两入了股。这么一来,已经入股中国通商银行的商人们议论纷纷,怕朝廷变卦,盛宣怀自然处于非常被动的地位。他一方面加紧向朝廷催促原定二百万两官款的落实,一方面给户部左侍郎张荫桓写信,因他明白,节外生出华俄道胜这一枝,完全是翁同龢的主意。对于盛宣怀牵头办银行,翁氏嘴上不说不支持,却背地把资金分流掉,叫你办也难。

他在信中对张荫桓说:“俄行已入官股五百万,而中国银行转无官款,不足取信,为外人笑,一经洋商之谣言倾轧,必致众商裹足。”他又强调,向政F借这二百万不是作为股份投入银行,而是按照过去办轮船招商局的办法,将此款“存放该银行,按年认缴息银五厘,不计盈亏,六年为限,限满或分年提还,或仍接存。”这种办法“有利无害,而外人知有官款在内,足以取信,可与中俄(道胜银行)争衡”,而且,如无官股,不足以号召各省汇票。张荫桓将盛氏的意见转达户部及朝廷,这帮昏人无以对答。

就在这关键时刻,官场上又有人提出对他的弹劾,说他揽银行、轮船、电报等大权于一身,全为图谋私利等等。这下可把盛宣怀给气火了,心想这些家伙不干正事罢了,专门干给人泼脏水的营生。他接连两次向北洋大臣王文韶(甲午战败以后李鸿章的接班人,时任直隶总督、北洋大臣)提出辞职:“似此糊涂世界,何以尚想做事?!”准备“挈全眷而返”,“举亲耕读,从此再不与人言家国事!”王文韶为官,以圆滑著称。他当然不能允许盛宣怀就此撒手不管。他一方面尽力为盛氏开脱,在朝廷面前说他的好话,另方面积极为之催官款,最后总算打了一半折扣,原拟的二百万两变成了一百万两,也算有了表示。

然而天有不测风云,一会儿又传来朝廷对办银行有所动摇的消息。如此朝三暮四,简直如同儿戏,国家大事,已无章法可循。盛宣怀此时强忍愤怒,耐心地向总理衙门解释,指出中国通商银行势在必办,“中外早已传扬,若届期不开,失信莫大于是。商股必致全散,以后诸事万难招股,不仅银、铁两端也!”苦口婆心,艰苦奋斗,这个眼看就要流产的中国的第一个银行总算诞生了,时为1897年5月27日,地点就是现在外滩6号的那栋三层楼房(现已置换成购物休闲场所)。

盛宣怀气得没有出席开幕的盛典。接到银行已按期揭幕的电报时,他长长地吁了一口气。

中国通商银行如同一个难产儿,在千呼万唤之后,终于在外国银行林立的上海滩站稳了脚根。开办不到一年时间,又先后在天津、汉口、广州、汕头、烟台、镇江和北京等城市开办了七个分行。两年之后,已能每六个月结账一次,除开销外,发给股商利银四十万两,缴呈户部利银十万两……拿盛宣怀的话说就是:“询诸汇丰开办之初,尚无如此景象。”而汇丰银行,当时已在上海开办了三十多年了;英商丽如银行已开办了五十二年了。

4、痛苦的钢铁先驱:汉冶萍

盛宣怀一生致力于办实业,样样都挺干净利索,然而,也碰到了一座巨大的“火焰山”,即办钢铁。他创办的汉冶萍公司,是中国第一个大型钢铁联合企业,先后耗资数千百万,也是盛宣怀一生用力最大、磨难最深、倾注心血最多的一个企业。可悲的是,他一生与洋人争利权,谋振兴,最后使他蒙受“卖国”败名的,竟也是这个企业!

盛宣怀办其它洋务工程,少则一年,多则几年,就被他“搞定”了,而这个难产的汉冶萍却千呼万唤始出来。若从他1896年从张之洞手里接办汉阳铁厂算起,至1907年新炉出钢为止,整整耗去他十一年光阴;若是从1875年李鸿章派他去湖北找煤勘铁时算起,那就是花了他三十二年光阴!盛宣怀绝非办事拖沓之人,相反是个心急火燎、事无巨细都要搞个水落石出的急性子。这三十二年中,自然穿插了许多其它重要工程,如办铁路、赈灾、治河、电线、津海关,中间又经历了甲午之战及庚子之变的轩然大波,然而他毕竟为中国的钢铁工业的创建付出了几十年学费。

那时办钢铁,一是国内没有先例,二要靠洋人技师,三还没有资金,全靠自己去“招商”,更重要的是,那时人们还不明白炼钢尚有酸法、碱法之分,不明白重工业发展有绝不同于轻工业发展的独特规律,更不懂得钢铁工业自身存在的“瓶颈”问题……这可就苦了宫保大人喽!

于是,他就必然地碰到了多次大的挫折。几次大的挫折之后,他又面临着敢否再上的痛苦选择。盛宣怀的过人之处及其人格的伟大,正是在这个倒霉的汉冶萍身上,一再地闪现出光华!

当年他在李鸿章的领导下,亲赴湖北查矿找矿,还向时在福建的张鸿禄要求代为寻觅斯米德翻译的《五金矿论》。当他获得此书的第一卷时,真是如获至宝,喜出望外,同时请赫德(海关总税务司)和中国驻外使节推荐优秀矿师,前来参加工作。经过一段时间的调查,他认为湖北的煤矿铁矿确有开采价值,于1876年1月,与当地道员李墀明一起写了份报告致李鸿章:《湖北开采煤铁总局试办开采章程六条》,主要内容是:地势宜择要审定;开采宜逐渐扩充;用人宜各专其责;官本宜核定支用;售款宜缴还资本;官煤宜广开销路。李鸿章是办事果断之人,当年就会同两江总督刘坤一、湖广总督李瀚章,札委盛宣怀作为督办开采湖北煤铁事宜,拨出官款,立即上马。

为了选择最好的突破口,盛宣怀不辞劳苦地乘小船,涉激流,穿回溪,入深山,力求掌握可靠的第一手资料。当他发现广济一带的煤质并非优质时,又亲自率矿师溯江而上,转到荆州和当阳地区继续勘查。他在写给李鸿章的信中曾道及当时的实情:“(光绪三年)九月十九日,自宜昌启程,二十日行抵荆州府属之沙市。职道(即盛宣怀本人)即舍舟登陆,先赴当阳县属之观音寺,会同地方官查明产煤各山,并晓谕绅民……免疑阻生事端。部署既定,职道仍遄归沙市。于十月初七日亲率矿师乘舟,溯沙江、入漳河,时水竭滩多,日行二三十里,至十三日始获行抵观音寺。逐日督率矿师郭师敦等履勘荆、当所属各矿……拟即率该矿师前赴大冶复勘铁矿。”

盛宣怀千辛万苦地忙碌了一通,却并没有达到“一举成功”的目的,第一个回合败得还很惨。原来,其中一个重要原因是,不知是哪位“好心人”,向他推荐了一个叫马立斯的洋矿师,此人自称擅长勘矿找矿神通广大,而实际上根本就是个“山寨版”,不仅对矿区的储藏、分布、走向都是“毛估估”,对煤质的品级也给你“毛估估”,误把劣质煤当成优质煤,实际上经他“勘定”的煤矿出产的煤,由于质劣根本不能用于炼铁,致使盛宣怀大上其当。等后来又聘请到了有真本事的矿师郭师敦前来任职时,资金已浪费了很多了。

新来的矿师果然能干,不仅勤奋、扎实、能吃苦,而且精通矿务,兼谙采矿机器原理,于化学、绘图也触类旁通。在他的帮助下终于勘明,湖北大冶的铁矿“铁层平厚,一如煤层”,而且“邻境俱属富有铁矿”,储藏量不仅量大而且质好,同时在荆门和当阳一带也找到了优质煤,“能与美国白煤相埒”。终于找到了好铁,又有了好煤,自然是天大好事,终于在1878年炼出了铁样,但此时距最初找矿,已经三年过去了。

然而新的问题又出现了——广济之煤不能应大冶炼铁之需,而新找到的荆门、当阳之煤又距大冶铁矿太远,加上运输成本核算下来,所需资金大大超出原来的预算,也就是说,炼铁的成本太高了,反而不见得比进口铁合算。于是盛宣怀开始考虑舍鄂他图,另找地方再干。然而老上司李鸿章不允许,怕传出去影响不好,松懈了斗志和士气。他对盛说,如果湖北煤铁“规画难成,不得已而改图北来,议其后者将谓不克取效于南,亦必不能取效于北”,仍旧是死命令,只能成功,不能失败,也不许转移阵地,必须在湖北把煤铁办成。盛宣怀心中苦也,退步不成,然而前进又谈何容易?! 延缓到1884年,李鸿章只好下令裁撤。然而那时的“王法”很厉害,事情办不成,官方的投资则要追回的,追不回的部分就要算到你盛宣怀头上,算来算去,盛宣怀还要“吃倒账”,赔款一点六余万串钱!这下盛宣怀惨了,想不到这煤铁如此烫手!

事情还没有就此算完,人若是倒了霉,真的是喝凉水也噎人。1884年又碰上世界性的经济危机,中国的制钱比光绪初年时,也就是比刚开始找矿的时候,每两要少换四百余钱,币值往下跌了不少,原来官款所余十四点三万串生息官本,又吃倒账,被“倒” 去十余万。这笔账,亦“倒”在盛宣怀个人头上。本已失,利尽赔,又赔上加赔,共要赔出十五万两银,他不得不喊出“宣怀以此败家”了。

这是他办矿办铁的第一次挫折。

第二次挫折是办金州矿务。1880年代是清廷大力举办矿业的年代,这期间清廷又要盛宣怀负责山东登州铅矿和辽宁金州铁矿的开采工程。他被任命为金州矿务局督办,他的一个得力助手郑观应任总办,他还亲自草拟了《试办山东滨海各铅矿章程》。盛宣怀于 1882年率矿师亲赴山东登州探矿,随后又到辽宁金州勘查煤矿铁矿。可是最终也不顺利,还得了个“科以降级调用处分”。盛宣怀当然不服,据理力争,最后还是曾国荃为他说了几句良心话。然而清廷为了顾全面子,还是将其“宽免降调处分,改为降二级留任。”接下来的事情,凡是关系到煤铁,仍是不顺。

1896年,办汉阳铁厂办了七年的张之洞,被弄得焦头烂额、赔本赔尽不说,还欠了五百万两债,实在苦撑不下去了,跑到上海来求盛宣怀去接办,这下让盛宣怀看了个大笑话。

当年(1889年)张之洞要办汉阳炼铁厂,曾在上海与盛商议办法。盛宣怀告诉他要商办而决不能官办。商办,入股者均精打细算,心精力果,赔本买卖是不会做的;而官办,大家均不肉痛,反正是官本,死活无关其痛痒,就容易滋生是非,办事拖沓,事倍而功半。然而张之洞不听,他踌躇满志,以为办重工业可像剿捻一样,凭一鼓作气加洋枪洋炮,就可望夺取山头。如今张之洞办不好,你盛宣怀又有什么高招呢?他之所以敢于接下来,就是自有办法。首先他拖上了他的搭档郑观应,让郑出任汉阳铁厂的总办(其继任是李维格,亦为办厂好手),并抓住接办的机会,整顿该厂的要害。但是盛宣怀万万没有想到,事情到了他手里,仍是不顺利。

俗说话“不怕不识货,就怕货比货”。汉阳铁厂出产的钢材不知何故,看样子挺好,可是中看不中用,质量非常脆,动辄就要断裂,与外国进口的钢材实在不可同日而语。这么一来人家就有话讲了,你盛宣怀扛着朝廷和王文韶(李鸿章的继任者)的大牌子,责令各地督抚必须购买国产的钢铁材料,尤其是各地正大力举造铁路,清廷命令必须要买汉阳厂出产的钢轨,以挽回利权,但是你的质量不行又作何讲?钢轨一再断裂,经常更换费时费力且不说,成本必然上扬,更危险的是要是出了车祸,弄得处处惨案,那谁还敢乘火车?无人敢乘敢用,此铁路办之何用?此汉阳铁厂又办之何用?盛宣怀为此大伤脑筋。

人云“祸不单行”。正当盛宣怀为矿务、铁路等实业忙得心力交瘁的时候,他的老父亲盛康去世了。按照清代旧制,父亲去世要回家守制的,曰“丁忧”。在回家守制期间,一切官职公务均要交付掉,这下可给了袁世凯千载难逢的机会,他趁机安插亲信,把电报总公司及轮船招商局的实权夺了去,而这样一来,正在嗷嗷待哺的汉阳铁厂就像没了娘的孩子,日子又难过起来。过去铁厂借钱,是盛宣怀从中操持,并以轮、电二局作为担保,而袁世凯拿到了轮、电二局后就声明,以后不可以借钱给铁厂,更不允许以其资产为彼作抵押,盛、袁间的矛盾即以此始。

产品质量,实乃企业的生命线,盛宣怀立志非要把问题的症结找出来不可。他弄不明白,—样是煤是铁砂,一样是洋人技术和西式机器设备,为什么洋人炼出来的产品就优质,而我们炼出来的就不行呢?国内聘请的洋人技师也讲不清其中所以然,那么就只有一个办法,就是派人跑到国外洋人的炼钢厂里去侦察,一个细节一个细节地对照,看看究竟有什么不同,问题究竟出在哪。

1902年就在他的老父盛康去世的那个月,心力交瘁的盛宣怀,病中提笔向清廷打报告,要求派员出国考察,他在《铁厂派员出洋片》中申诉:“……制.造必取法于人,耳闻不如目见,臣久思亲赴各国一观其布置而未得其暇,只得遘派妥员代往考查。兹查有总办湖北铁厂三品衔候选郎中李维格,心精力果,体用兼赅,本来诸熟方言,近复留心工学,臣与李维格坚明约束,铁厂之成败利钝,悉以付之……臣已代筹资斧派令该员带同洋工程师一名,克日驰赴日本,先阅其新开铁厂,即由日本放洋赴泰西各国,游历各厂,究其工作精奥之大端,彼何以良?我何以楛?彼何以精?我何以粗?他山之石,可以攻错。”为派李维格出洋考察,还专门向朝廷打了报告,可见此事非同小可,关系到成败大计。

李维格(字一琴,继郑观应之后出任汉阳铁厂总办),与盛宣怀为生死至交。他不仅精通英文法文,于近代洋务诸事悉心精研,尤其工科知识渊博,又办事认真,作风踏实,盛宣怀认为是个可依赖、重用之才。其他洋务派大官也看到了他的使用价值,清廷商部和北方实业界巨头周馥、周学熙父子,前后三次要求请调或借用李维格,都被盛宣怀“弹”回去。“三军易得,一将难求”,“铁政关系制.造,各国视为强弱关键,中土仅此一厂一矿,若为大局计,似未便听其蹉跌也”,李维格是位铁厂之“将”,岂能随意搁置?

李维格果真不负厚望,考察国外各厂后,经总结和对比,终于找出了汉阳铁厂炼钢技术上的症结。原来中国国产钢材易脆、易断裂的原因是矿石含磷太多,因而在冶炼的过程中,就理应采取去磷法。而汉阳铁厂当年由张之洞举办时,却忽略了这样一个关键性的技术问题,所采用的机炉,都属使用酸法,这么一来,不仅不能去磷,反而情况更糟。这一南辕北辙式的战略技术错误,使中国的钢铁工业“糜去十余年之光阴,耗尽千余万之成本”,损失惨痛之极。原因自然是自己不懂技术,只好相信洋人,而洋人的技法竟如此不可靠,谁知是“挂羊头卖狗肉”,还是根本就在故意扰乱、阳奉阴违,依据背后人的指示在行事?事过一百年之后来看这个问题,不能不引起人们的怀疑:连李维格这个非内行都能解决的问题,难道那些内行的洋技师真的解决不了?无论是张之洞还是盛宣怀,当初都是花重金聘用他们的,然而问题真正的解决,还是盛宣怀派李维格出洋之后,才弄清了真相。中国钢铁工业起步之艰难,由此可见一斑!

李维格一行赴欧考察,“方若夜行得烛”,情况一目了然。他回国后立即向盛宣怀建议,购置新机,改造旧炉,将原来的贝色麻酸法废弃,改用马丁碱法之炉,同时改进工艺,以去磷质。这样,就使“十余年未解之难题,一朝涣然冰释”。从李维格回国酝酿购置新的设备到炼出合格的钢材,实际用了五年时间,距盛宣怀接手办汉阳铁厂,已耗去十一年光阴;距盛宣怀第一次到湖北找煤办矿,已经三十年过去了……拿出了真正合格的钢材,汉冶萍才算真正站住了脚根。于是,汉冶萍费劲千辛万苦,于1909年正式挂牌宣告成立。编制上改督办为总理,盛宣怀出任第一任总理,李维格出任协理。后来担任过汉冶萍公司经理的浙江兴业银行老板叶景葵先生,曾撰文总结过汉冶萍的曲折经历。

中国人积三十年之沉痛经验,方炼出了第一炉真正合格的钢铁,建立了第一个集煤、铁、钢于一体的大型联合钢铁企业,掀开了中国近代钢铁史的第一篇章,盛宣怀的高兴劲儿真是无以复加。他亲自赶到湖北去验视新钢,“居然媲美欧洲,东西人来阅者,皆称中国亦能做到如此,真出意外,洋报称羡不置”。他还赶到萍乡煤矿,乘“大槽”入井下,又乘电气车在矿井下行走四里许,亲自从井下抱起一大块煤块而出。出井后又见“荒山十里,炉厂如栉”,自忖明年以往,大利将见,“商股争投如水趋壑,二千万元已操左券。”其兴奋之情,可以想见。事情办到了这个份儿上,他总算尝到了钢铁带来的一丝甘甜。

汉冶萍后来的情况确如盛宣怀估计的那样,情况一天天好转:汉阳铁厂出铁从原来的每年二三万吨,上升为十万吨以上,钢产量从一万吨左右上升为六万吨;大冶矿石从十几万吨发展为四十万吨;萍乡煤矿从二十万吨发展为六十万吨,焦炭也相应地提高了产量。由于钢铁材料质量的提高,1909年,汉冶萍接到的订单猛增,铁路、桥梁、轨件均来订货,且有应接不暇之势。

1909年的中国,距辛亥革M只有两年了。两年后辛亥革M爆发,盛宣怀逃亡日本,差不多一年后才回国,汉冶萍经历了一场来自政治因素的剧烈动荡。日本人趁中国之乱,想方设法涉足汉冶萍,加上重工业发展中本身固有的种种矛盾和困难,汉冶萍——这盛宣怀亲手“抱大”的心肝宝贝,直到1916年他离开人世,依旧是一块无法痊愈的心病。

四、力挽中国

1、人在商界而鞭辟中枢

1900年(庚子)是百年来中国最“热闹”的年头之一。

这一年盛宣怀正在全国铁路总公司督办的任上,还是汉冶萍公司、中国电报总局和中国通商银行的老板。一般情况下,晚清政坛上的事是轮不到他管的,他肩上那些“富强要政”已经把他忙得够呛了。但是有时候你不管政治,政治还是要来管你的。眼看北方“拳乱”日起,把他费尽千辛万苦建起来的电报、电话、铁路等设施,一阵旋风似地刮得乱七八糟了。在眼看大局愈发不可收拾的时候,他必须出来“突出”一下政治了。

这年春天他接到上谕,要他去北京与聂缉槼会同总税务司赫德,照会各国公使,着手修改税则事宜,争取能够通过增加进口物品税收的办法,来对付因甲午战败带来的巨额战争赔款。

这年五月,北京城里已经有义和团活动的踪迹,马路上时常可以看到义和团的揭贴,在直隶、山东、山西、河南等地,义和团已成如火如荼之势,烧教堂、杀二毛、拔电线杆、掀翻铁路……凡是有洋人和洋货的地方,大都遭了殃。各国不断向北京发出警告,部队正在集结、进发。

要命的问题是,朝廷内部对于“抚团”还是“剿团”的立场长时间不能确定,两种意见针锋相对,互不相让,慈禧太后忽左忽右,久无定论,督抚大员无法作为,就使得局面越来越乱。以慈禧太后身边的几个“载”字辈的满族亲贵(即载勋、载漪、载濂、载滢,后人称之为西太后身边的“四人帮”)为基干,还有大学士刚毅、大学士徐桐父子、甘军首领董福祥、前任山东巡抚毓贤等,都是力主“抚团灭洋”的“好汉”;而以兵部尚书、汉族大臣徐用仪、光禄寺卿袁昶、吏部侍郎许景澄,以及东南一带的封疆大吏李鸿章、刘坤一、张之洞、袁世凯等人,则是主张“剿杀拳匪”,和平解决教案问题的,主要目的是力争在一个稳定的环境里,师夷之长,加强“新政”,壮大自己。

在此性命交关的紧急关头,老奸巨猾的军机大臣、老佛爷的心腹之臣荣禄却“生病”了,闭门不出,也就不需表态。

这种复杂的局面,精明的盛宣怀在一旁洞若观火,尤其荣禄的态度不明,使他“轧出苗头”,预感到京城将出大乱,于是赶紧收拾行囊,携带家眷,向朝廷奏明“前往上海考察货物时价”,匆匆赶回上海。

盛宣怀毕竟是清廷的忠臣,他家三代受恩于清廷,在此危难时刻,必然以“执政党”的利益为重。于是,他心急火燎地飞驰函电,请求中央赶紧抓住时机,加紧围剿,勿使事态滋蔓。他向两江总督刘坤一通报情况:“拳匪二十九、初一将涿州至卢沟桥丰台铁路车站机厂全行焚毁……”又向朝廷建议:“必须临以纪律严明之大军,方易解散了结。否则养痈成患,滋蔓难图。地方受害,何止铁路!”他又向荣禄等大帅建议: “凡聚众持械,即准格杀,以免统将误会,袖手失机”;津城市教堂三处被毁,聚众不散,病在不肯杀人!”

他甚至直接电奏皇上:“今匪患已著,若再姑容,恐各省会匪愈炽,内外G结,或有举动,更恐各国推广保护使馆之议,派兵分护商埠、教堂、铁路,何堪设想!……似宜趁各省土匪尚未联合,外人尚未启齿,即就现在有力,克期肃清畿辅,消外衅而遏效尤。” 他还劝说总理各国事务衙门,应当尽快主动将“剿拳”、“护洋”的方针照会各国事务衙门,要让他们知道,朝廷已经在派兵剿匪了,并无姑息,以堵洋人的嘴。一旦外衅内乱相因而至,大清王朝危若累卵,后果将不堪设想!也就是说,盛宣怀在五月初九那天的电奏中,就已经预见到了八国联军登陆入京的一幕。

这期间,由于慈禧太后的怂恿姑息,北方的局势一发不可收。京津地区的电线杆全被拔起,电线全被拉断,北京与外界的通讯联络完全中断,琉璃河、长辛店、丰台一带的铁路也全被破坏……朝廷的圣旨只好依靠古老的“八百里快骑”往济南传送,再通过坐镇济南的袁世凯与各地联络。李鸿章这时身在广州,手段也不低,他派大儿子李经方前往济南,与袁世凯共济时艰,济南就成了临时的情报指挥中心。

北方的战火使上海的经济遭受了巨大损失,各地在上海转口的货物无法运出,轮船招商局的营业额不及平时的一半,江海关的税行到了门可罗雀的地步。更为严重的是,英国人已经把三艘军舰分别开到了汉口、南京和吴淞口,以防不测,还放出舆论,一旦形势需要时,英国将出兵占领江阴炮台、江南制.造局以及整个吴淞地区。

盛宣怀再也坐不住了,他不断地致电长江沿线的总督大员张之洞、刘坤一及山东巡抚袁世凯,互通情报,献计献策,同时与宁、汉、沪东各国领事也频频接触,酝酿中东南地区实行“互保”,与朝廷的“抚团灭洋”政策来了个分庭抗礼。这就是说,你朝廷若弄得战火南下,对不起,我们南边要“格杀勿论”。你们要“灭洋”,由你们灭去,我们南边却要联合一起,实行“互为保护”。因为凭他的聪明,他知道清廷并无与洋人打到底的决心与实力,弄到最后,少不了又要与洋人讲和,说不定今天是“借团灭洋”,明天还会“借洋灭团”呢!后来的事实表明,盛宣怀不愧为一大战略家,他把后来的事情全预料到了。

南方的督抚思想基本统一了,可以实行“互保”,而北方的战火何时能灭?盛宣怀这时寄希望于他的老上级李鸿章。李鸿章自甲午战败后已经失势,此时在天涯海角当两广总督。他致电李鸿章,劝他在国家危难的关头出来主持和局。而李老夫子却说:“国事太乱,政出多门,鄙人何能为力!”他又去游说张之洞,对他说:“傅相(指李鸿章)督直二十五年,深得民心,若调回北洋,内乱外衅,或可渐弥。”同一天他又致电刘坤一,希望张、刘二人以封疆重臣的资格,向朝廷推荐李鸿章回镇直隶,拯救万一。

盛宣怀这时还直接向握有兵权的荣禄直接进言,也是建议调李鸿章回京平乱:“李鸿章督直二十五年,久得民心,威名素著,即调令督直,限十日到津,于平内乱及劝阻洋兵进京,必能做到。”

平心而论,荣禄对时局是看得很清楚的。他对老佛爷的“抚团”政策虽不敢公开抗旨,但对于“灭洋”一条,却采取了阳奉阴违的做法。在董福祥的甘军攻打东交民巷的间隙,他想法设法暗中接济外国使馆,送去西瓜、蔬菜和武器,不敢把事做绝,使得双方在谈谈打打中相持了五十多天而使馆始终未被攻下,而围攻使馆的甘军和义和团却死伤千余。当他的部下,中军分统张怀芝来到他的府邸请示,到底要不要听从端王的命令,向东交民巷里发起炮击时,他支吾其辞。张怀芝见此状更不敢自作主张了,便赖在荣府里不走,非等个准信不行。最后荣禄来个个春秋妙语:“横竖炮声一响,里边(指宫里边)也是听得见到。”张怀芝大悟,匆匆赶回城墙上,把进口的德国大炮,对准东交民巷使馆区后面的空地,重炮齐发……

这说明在此危难之际,荣禄与盛宣怀也是英雄见英雄,基本观点是一致的,于是同意了盛宣怀的建议,也力主调李鸿章回京。朝廷遂于7月8日,重新任命李鸿章为直隶总督,以全权大臣的资格与列强谈判。

盛宣怀赶紧电告还在广州的李鸿章:“洋兵到京尚需一月,顷商各领事,如各使尚存,除德国外,似可先议停战之法,或送中堂进大沽,或送外使到上海,彼此可商。事极急迫,务请师速到上海再筹进止。愈迟遇难,此正不待驾而行之时也!”

他仅仅一商界领袖而已,此时却在指挥李鸿章了。

2、“东南互保”中隔江灭火

1900年6月21日,慈禧太后终于发疯了,居然不顾后果,正式下诏与十一国列强同时宣战,并命各省督抚,召集“义民成团,籍御外侮”,在此之前还命总理衙门照会各国公使,限他们二十四小时之内立即离京,否则就不负保护之责……

令下的当天,张之洞等就表示不服。李鸿章则致电盛宣怀:“乱命不可从之!”公然唱起了反调。盛宣怀则更有甚之,他驰电各地,称朝廷的这个命令是假的,因为朝廷已经被义和团所把持,要大家不要执行。同时又密呈各督抚,劝他们勿声张,勿执行,勿转发,否则酿成巨变。这时的盛宣怀真是斗胆包天,他竟敢指使各地官员抗拒朝廷的命令!

事关重大,事不宜迟,北方已乱,现在必须保住江南的稳定。盛宣怀与李鸿章、张之洞、刘坤一、袁世凯等东南一带的督抚大员取得了一致意见,成了串联“东南互保”的中心人物,在他的洋幕僚福开森的帮助下,还草拟了与上海各国领事的“互保”条款八条。 6月24日(即慈禧下令开战的第三天),张、刘二人接到了约款八条的电文,表示同意,并称赞他思虑周密。于是,才有两江总督刘坤一,命令上海道台余联沅,在此八条的基础上,紧急与在上海的各国领事会商,从速订约。

于是,6月26日,长江南北出现了截然不同的局面,北京城里火光冲天,杀气腾腾,而上海却是一派和谈景象:以上海道余联沅为首的中国方面代表团,在未经朝廷许可的情况下,擅自与列强各国驻沪的领事,举行了一次有历史意义的会谈,签订了关于“东南互保”的条约(草约),地点在上海浙江北路的会审公堂,就是沪上老百姓讲的“新衙门”。盛宣怀以特殊身份——既非上海道,亦非长江各地督抚,更非朝廷特使,然而却是这个“东南互保”的幕后策划者,堂而皇之地也入座谈判桌旁。

经过商谈,当即通过了《东南保护条约》(即《中外互保章程》)九条,主要内容是:上海租界归各国共同保护,长江及苏杭等内地归各督抚保护,两不相扰;长江及苏杭各地商民教士产业均归南洋大臣刘坤一、两湖督宪张之洞允认切实加以保护,严拿匪徒…… 根据这一条约,又制定了《中西官议保护上海城厢内外章程》十条,主要内容是:上海租界由各国巡防保护;上海道添募巡捕,严拿流氓土棍;请各国银行照常支持钱庄业拆转输,以免钱庄倒闭,市面破坏;钞票照常使用,中外双方加以支持等等。

这些条款自然符合各国在华的利益,当然也符合中国的当前利益,而且事先都已经密议过来了,所以到了谈判桌上,事情就好办多了,但是还是出现了非常惊险的一幕。

据当天也参加会谈,并为此“互保”出过很大力气的赵凤昌(常州人,张之洞的幕僚,晚年居沪)在他的《惜阴堂笔记》中记载说,那天会谈为排座位的问题,也是颇费考虑的。会谈既然是以上海道牵头,自然由上海道余联沅主持会议,并代表中国方面發言。而盛宣怀是幕后人,不属于签约人,按说位子是不便往前排的。但是,余联沅这位道台大人一向“拙于应付”,临时遇到“突发事件”是拿不出主意的。没办法,只好把盛宣怀以太常寺卿的名义硬安排在余联沅的身边,其次才是各省派来的道员。会前又与余联沅讲好,一旦遇到棘手的问题可以及时与身边的盛宣怀商量后再作答复。

果然,会谈一开始,“突发事件”就来了。外国领事团中的领袖领事、美国人古纳率先发问:“今日各督抚与各国订立互保之约,倘若贵国大皇帝又下旨来杀洋人,你们遵办否?”的确,一周前朝廷已经下令与各国宣战了,你们南方各省难道不听吗?此语颇难应付。只见“余道即转盛踟蹰。盛告余:‘即答以今日订约系奏明办理’。‘奏明办理’四字本公牍恒言,古领向亦解之,意为已获谕允,即诺诺,而两方签约散会。盛回来,深服予之先见,预与余道有约,幸渡危境。予亦极称其迅答四字之圆妙”(赵凤昌《惜阴堂笔记》)。如今看来,盛宣怀的确身手不凡,到了关键时候,该撒谎时就撒谎!

为了贯彻“东南互保”的精神,盛宣怀、张之洞和刘坤一又分别致电其他地方官员,说明这是一个委曲求全之策,要求他们务必顾全大局,一律照办。结果各地聪明的长官一致响应,两广总督李鸿章、闽浙总督许应骙、山东巡抚袁世凯均表示全力支持,这么一来,“互保”的范围就从原来的长江一线,扩展到了苏、赣、鄂、粤、湘等十多个省。而在这个时候,北京城内主和的五位大臣都被砍了头,他们是:前驻俄公使、吏部左侍郎许景澄、太常寺卿袁昶、兵部尚书徐用仪、内阁学士联元、前户部尚书立山。所谓旬日之间连诛五大臣,即是指此。

3、慈禧:“若非汝等,安有今日!”

果然,北京的主战派“战”了没多久就打不下去了,义和团“刀枪不入”的神话在八国联军的炮火下一败涂地。7月14日天津失守,一个月后北京城被攻破,慈禧太后没了咒念,方寸大乱,急忙挟天子赶紧逃命,同时一道道紧急命令发往广东,令李鸿章立马 “入都议和”。

但是,洋人被砍了那么多人头,被烧了那么多洋楼,仇尚未报,气尚未消,怎么可能坐下来跟你讲和?清廷原先的牛气一时全无,只顾一道道“金牌”催李北上。李鸿章7月21日到达上海,与盛宣怀密议了两天,然后由盛宣怀电告张之洞和刘坤一,眼下只能在上海静观时局变化,北京一时还进不去。

8月24日,逃亡中的清廷生怕李鸿章搭架子不肯进京,大拍李鸿章马屁,在“全权大臣”之上又加了“便宜行事”的特权。此时,八国联军占领北京已有十天,其“忿”已大泄,朝野“惩治祸首”的呼声正高,形势到了这个份上,盛宣怀乃安排李鸿章北上,认为和谈的时机差不多了。

而李鸿章要拉盛宣怀一起北上。老李毕竟年近八十,又是要面对十一国列强,他实在需要有盛宣怀这样一个足智多谋的人从中相助,何况与此同时,与李鸿章一起被委为“议和大臣”的庆亲王奕劻,也专电奏调盛宣怀进京“襄办和约”。然而,南方的几员大将不同意。两江总督刘坤一以盛宣怀“内与疆吏联络奏事,外与各领事传达意见,商量止兵,斡旋危机”,无出盛宣怀右者为由,驰电坚请“请毋北辕”。张之洞也来电:“北可无公,南不可无公!”,也反对盛宣怀北上,希望他仍留在南方暗中主持一切。

盛宣怀成了香饽饽,南北都抢。他分身无术,灵机一动,就去请示他老爸盛康,请老爸为其决断。此时盛康虽在苏州留园养老,但对局势看得一清二楚,他对儿子说:“时局如斯,宜退不宜进。”OK,盛宣怀在老上级面前也好交账了:我老爸不容我去。

李鸿章只好独自北上,临行留给盛宣怀一句话:“和议成,我必死。”果真是这样,辛丑条约一签订,“西狩”的慈禧和朝廷尚未回到北京,李鸿章就在北京东城的贤良寺咯血西去了。这也证明了盛康的英明,卖国贼的千古骂名让李鸿章一个人去背了,盛宣怀倒是躲过了一劫。

关于在整个庚子之乱中的种种策划,盛宣怀的儿子盛同颐等在其父的《行状》中还有不少精彩的记叙,与史实查对起来,并不为过溢之词。其中说道:“方事之殷,外馆被围之际,其国人疑其使臣已尽亡,益合力致死于我,设谋之酷,有不忍言者。府君(指盛宣怀)独密呈荣相(荣禄),请允许各使馆通讯本国,先平其愤,而释其疑。不数日,美使康格首有密电至华盛顿(当时北京与外界的通讯联络早已中断,官方通讯全仗荣禄与济南山东巡抚衙门内的“八百里快骑”跑旧驿道,即是荣禄准许他们往本国发电文,概亦是动用了这条渠道——笔者注),美国人大悦,始创保全中国之议。列邦虽不一致,卒皆相率允从,功在宗社,断推此举。又当祸首主战时,曾有停解应还洋款改充军饷之谕,忠诚(刘坤一)亦难之。府君(盛宣怀)谓,洋款一衍期,彼必据我海关,自收自解,且正在议尝兵费,必致藉口干预财政,此大不可。忠诚遂令沪道照解……其他如借设海线以通文告,代撰国书以洽邦交,请惩祸首,罢董军,诛毓贤,宥赵舒翘,恤五忠,撤销矫伪诏旨,皆于当日全局有绝大关系而为世人所不尽知者。”

1903年,天下已是另外一番景象了。4月间,两宫皇太后谒东陵。因盛宣怀父亲盛康去世,正在守制,朝廷准其以素服冠顶在保定迎驾请安。西太后此时还专门召见了盛宣怀,无限感慨地对他说:“若非汝等,力保东南,恐无今日!”还犒赏了一些食品类的东西。盛宣怀在危急关头力挽狂澜,到这时候,总算听到了西太后一句良心话。

五、魂断铁路:铁路之难难于上青天

在晚清政坛上,最早、最起劲地呼吁举办铁路工业的朝廷大员是李鸿章。

早在吴淞铁路建成前二年的1874年,鉴于沿海形势吃紧,日本人出兵侵略我国T灣,英国人借口“马嘉理案”,强迫清廷签订了《烟台条约》……李鸿章就向朝廷呈递过一道著名的《筹议海防折》,提出“火车铁路,屯兵于旁,闻警驰援,可以一日千数百里,则统帅当不至于无事……”主张为筹海防,为使南北沿海七省能连为一气,呼应通联,共同御敌,必须兴办铁路。

可是此折上去如石沉大海,在朝大臣均不置可否,保守势力仍大行其道,两宫皇太后于铁路更是懵懵懂懂,于是采取了最高明的态度:闭口不谈。

身为北洋大臣兼直隶总督的李鸿章心急火燎,曾去游说总理衙门大臣、恭亲王奕忻(就是帮助慈禧太后发动北京政变的那个光绪皇帝的六叔,外号“鬼子六”)。奕忻是朝廷衮衮诸公中洋务细胞较为活跃的一个,李鸿章想从朝廷内部找同盟军。可是“鬼子六”一脸苦涩,他明知铁路是民族自强要策,但他不能在朝廷里树敌太多,他还指望李鸿章等自下而上地“运动”呢。

李鸿章没辙儿,又不甘心,只好玩起他惯用的“灵活方法”——在下面先搞点小动作再说。他先拿唐山的煤铁矿区作为试点,修筑一段运煤的短途铁路。然而这个小试点也费了九牛二虎之力。1878年,由开平煤铁矿总办唐廷枢出面上奏,要求修一条运煤的铁路,资金由矿务局自己筹集,但因遭到反对没有成功。1880年唐廷枢再次上奏,说是要从唐山煤井至胥各庄修一条连接河道的轻便铁路,为了避免朝臣非议,特地声明,这条铁路不设火车头,而用驴马来拖火车车皮,这才得到了“恩准”。

李鸿章当然不会满足于驴马拖载的现状,几经斡旋,得寸进尺,1881年6月9日(以后此日定为中国铁路节),中国人自建的第一条铁路唐胥铁路终于开始动工兴建,于当年的11月8日建成通车,开创了中国铁路事业的历史。这条铁路总共才有十公里长,只有吴淞铁路的三分之二长,采用每米十五公斤的轻型钢轨,使用英国工程师设计、中国工人制.造的“龙号”火车头。可是就这么一条短短的铁路,也遭到了保守派们的攻击,以“机车直驶,震动东陵,且喷出黑烟,有伤禾稼”为名,下令禁止使用火车头,运煤车皮再次被驴马拖曳所替代。这场官司直到1882年才算有了结果,允许恢复使用机车牵引。

李鸿章看看这样“蜗行”下去不行,光打奏折远不能奏效,中国的振兴大业离不开铁路,必须让最高领导层开开眼界才行,要让慈禧太后亲眼看看火车的神奇和威力,于是精心设计了一个实体广告,由法国商人出面送给慈禧一个玩具——一列小型的火车,同时在慈禧居住的西苑(即北、中、南海)建造一条小铁路,这大概是晚清最高层的铁路启蒙教育了。1888年底,中南海里出现了一条一千五百米长的微型铁路,和一辆挂着六节车厢的小火车,从中海紫光阁驶出,经北海后最后抵达静心斋。这条冒烟的小铁龙风驰电掣,为皇家园囿第一次吹进了现代化的劲风,着实令那些皇亲国戚们大开了眼界。慈禧太后是个聪明人,从此悟得这个世界的轮子的确是转得快了,从而由不置可否转向明确地支持修建铁路。李鸿章的一番苦心总算没有白费。

五个月后(即1889年5月5日)清廷终于发布了第一个关于兴办铁路的正式文件,内称铁路 “为自强要策,必应通筹天下全局……但冀有益于国,无损于民,定一至当不易之策,即可毅然兴办”。这个文件的发布,距离李鸿章上的《筹议海防折》已经十五个年头“磨”过去了,尽管如此,至此毕竟宣告了以李鸿章为首的洋务派的胜利,洋务派们可以理直气壮地,不必偷偷摸摸地建铁路了,于是就有了关东铁路的兴建,与芦汉铁路的筹建。

数年后甲午战败,李鸿章失去了昔日的辉煌。朝野上下在一致声讨李鸿章的同时,变法自强的激情也空前高涨,建造铁路这时被提到时务要端,谋划全国主要铁路干线的计划也被提上议事日程。这时候,在全国范围内大规模地规划和营造铁路的重任,就历史地落在了盛宣怀的肩上。当时他在天津任津海关道。

盛宣怀的命运总体还算不错,在失去了李鸿章这个后台之后,又有了张之洞和王文韶两员大将来撑他的腰,他俩联合向朝廷推荐,要盛宣怀来督办全国铁路。张之洞在给朝廷的奏折中讲得很明确:“中国向来风气,官不习商业,商不晓官法,即或勤于官,通于商者,又多不谙洋务。惟该员(指盛宣怀)能兼三长,且招商、电报各局著有成效。今欲招商承办铁路,似惟有该员堪以胜任。”换句话说,他们认为要主办全国铁路,非盛某人不可了。

此时的清廷为图振兴正思贤若渴,见重臣张之洞、王文韶联名具保,两个月后就有了下文。 1896年9月,盛宣怀奉命入京,至总理衙门面呈《拟办铁路说贴》,在这个《说贴》里,他把自己关于举办全国铁路的初步设想全部托出,如特设铁路总公司,先造芦汉铁路,然后建苏沪、粤汉等路,不再另设公司;由总公司招集商股四十万股,每股银百两,拟先收七百万两作为根基,并暂入官股三百万两,以为天下倡率;由总公司先借官款一千万两,续借洋款两千万两,五年之后,分作二十五年归还;铁路总公司悉照公司章程办理,遴选各省公正殷实声望素著之体面绅商十二人为总董……具按西方国家模式,消除官场习气等等。总理衙门认为他的说法确有见地,即奏请准设铁路总公司,并由盛宣怀担任督办。

10月19日,光绪皇帝召见了盛宣怀,向其咨询南北铁路事宜,盛宣怀趁机敷陈大旨,侃侃而谈,深得光绪的赞许。第二天,他的任命下来了:“直隶津海关道盛宣怀着开缺,以四品京堂候补督办铁路总公司事务”,并授予专折奏事特权,从此,他有权直接向皇帝打报告了。不久,又被授予太常寺少卿的头衔。

1897年1月6日,根据盛宣怀的要求,中国铁路总公司在“天下华商以为会归”的上海挂牌开张,开始了他的十年筑路生涯。

补充:红顶商人往事:盛宣怀斗胡雪岩秘招

商场如战场,若再加上政治利益集团的纠葛,斗争起来想必很残酷。红顶商人盛宣怀和胡雪岩之间有场战争堪称典型,盛宣怀使用一个要害手段让胡雪岩的财富大厦在迅速訇然倒塌。这个要害手段究竟是什么?中国经济网援引《追寻历史的真相》一书的内容谈到了这个问题。

胡雪岩与盛宣怀分属不同的利益集团。胡雪岩的后台是左宗棠,盛宣怀的后台是李鸿章,而左宗棠与李鸿章有极深的矛盾。这就是胡、盛争斗的缘由。

盛宣怀击溃胡雪岩的案例非常精彩。他采用直击要害的手段,使胡雪岩的财富大厦在短时间内訇然倒塌。

盛宣怀先来了个“掐七寸”。胡雪岩每年都要囤积大量生丝,以此垄断生丝市场,控制生丝价格。越依靠某种东西时,就越受制于它。盛宣怀恰恰从生丝入手,发动进攻。他通过密探掌握胡雪岩买卖生丝的情况,大量收购,再向胡雪岩客户群大量出售。同时,收买各地商人和洋行买办,让他们不买胡雪岩的生丝,致使胡雪岩生丝库存日多,资金日紧,苦不堪言。

紧跟着,盛宣怀开始“釜底抽薪”,打现金流的主意。胡雪岩胆大,属于敢于负债经营的那种人。他在5年前向汇丰银行借了650万两银子,定了7年期限,每半年还一次,本息约50万两。次年,他又向汇丰借了400万两银子,合计有1000万两了。这两笔贷款,都以各省协饷作担保。

这时,胡雪岩历年为左宗棠行军打仗所筹借的80万两借款已到期,这笔款虽是帮朝廷借的,但签合同的是胡雪岩,外国银行只管向胡雪岩要钱。这笔借款每年由协饷来补偿给胡雪岩,照理说每年的协饷一到,上海道台就会把钱送给胡雪岩,以备他还款之用。盛宣怀在此动了手脚,他找到上海道台邵友濂:“李中堂想让你迟一点划拨这笔钱,时间是二十天。”邵友濂自然照办。

对盛宣怀来说,二十天已经足够,他已事先串通外国银行向胡雪岩催款。这时,左宗棠远在北京军机处,来不及帮忙。由于事出突然,胡雪岩只好将他在阜康银行的钱调出八十万两银子,先补上这个窟窿。他想,协饷反正要给的,只不过晚到二十天。

然而,盛宣怀正要借机给胡雪岩致命一击。他通过内线,对胡雪岩调款活动了如指掌,估计胡雪岩调动的银子陆续出了阜康银行,趁阜康银行正空虚之际,托人到银行提款挤兑。

提款的都是大户,少则数千两,多则上万两。但盛宣怀知道,单靠这些人挤兑,还搞不垮胡雪岩。他让人放出风声,说胡雪岩囤积生丝大赔血本,只好挪用阜康银行的存款;如今,胡雪岩尚欠外国银行贷款八十万,阜康银行倒闭在即。尽管人们相信胡雪岩财大气粗,但他积压生丝和欠外国银行贷款却是不争的事实。很快,人们由不信转为相信,纷纷提款。

挤兑先在上海开始。盛宣怀在上海坐镇,自然把声势搞得很大。上海挤兑初起,胡雪岩正在回杭州的船上。此时,德馨任浙江藩司。德馨与胡雪岩一向交好,听说上海阜康即将倒闭,便料定杭州阜康也会发生挤兑。他忙叫两名心腹到库中提出两万两银子,送到阜康。杭州的局势尚能支持,上海那边却早已失控。胡雪岩到了杭州,还没来得及休息,星夜赶回上海,让总管高达去催上海道台邵友濂发下协饷。邵友濂却叫下人称自己不在家。

胡雪岩这时候想起左宗棠,叫高达赶快去发电报。殊不知,盛宣怀暗中叫人将电报扣下。第二天,胡雪岩见左宗棠那边没有回音,这才真急了,亲自去上海道台府上催讨。这一回,邵友濂去视察制.造局,溜之大吉了。

胡雪岩只好把他的地契和房产押出去,同时廉价卖掉积存的蚕丝,希望能够挺过挤兑风潮。不想风潮愈演愈烈,各地阜康银行门前人山人海,银行门槛被踩破,门框被挤歪。胡雪岩这才明白,是盛宣怀在暗算他。

不久,一代红顶巨商胡雪岩在悲愤中死去。

面对胡雪岩这样的强敌,盛宣怀如果采用“慢战”,胡雪岩可以应付裕如,绝不会破产。他采取速战法,抓住胡雪岩的要害,突然出手,胡雪岩的现金流一时中断,偌大的基业突然崩溃。
发表于 2011-12-9 15:28:18 | 显示全部楼层
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中国第一条有线电报干线全长2724华里的津沪电报线.贡献还是很大的
 楼主| 发表于 2022-2-2 10:53:10 | 显示全部楼层
Sheng Xuanhuai, a Hongding businessman: The Legend of Shanghai beach tycoon

As a member of the Westernization Movement, Sheng Xuanhuai was also an official, business, Chinese and foreign in his life. He created more than ten "firsts" in the history of China's westernization (i.e. the first bank, the first household appliance newspaper company, the first iron and steel complex...), which greatly affected the development of China's modern industry and commerce, education and culture, and left a lot of deep marks on Shanghai.



(1) Extraordinary person:



On November 4, 1844, Sheng Xuanhuai was born in Wujin County, the seat of Changzhou government in Jiangsu Province. In his lifetime, he was always in the midst of great changes that have never happened in China. He was firmly committed to setting up industry, education and charity. Li Hongzhang's secretary of the shogunate quickly grew into a cadre of the Westernization Movement.



(2) Entrance and exit:



In July 1864, Nanjing, the capital of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, was conquered by the Hunan army. Two years later, Sheng Xuanhuai returned to Changzhou to take part in the boy test in Wujin County and passed the scholar test. For more than ten years, he was not only the eldest son of his family, but also like his father's staff. He really became an aide after joining Li Hongzhang's shogunate. Tianjin has become the birthplace of his "life and achievements". Li Hongzhang said that he "will be able to help the times and serve the National Congress".



(3) Investment promotion situation:



In 1872, Sheng Xuanhuai drew up China's first commercial charter for self operated ship shipping, and the proposed method of raising funds was to raise funds. In 1877, China Merchants Group merged Qichang foreign bank and took all the property of Qichang foreign bank into the ownership of China Merchants Group. "The latter is discussed from beginning to end", and impeachment of China Merchants Group rose one after another, So Empress Dowager Cixi ordered "strict investigation" again and again.




(4) Mining twists and turns:



In January 1875, Sheng Xuanhuai handled Hubei mining. He consulted the chronicles of Daye county and learned that copper and iron are produced in Tieshan and baipheasant mountain in the north of Daye county. In order to explore the transportation channel and select the site for the iron plant, Sheng Xuanhuai led Guo shidun and others around. However, just as Sheng Xuanhuai was complacent and ready to take advantage of the trend, Hubei mining industry went from bad to worse, while the pressure from the official was increasing. Sheng Xuanhuai's mining activities are full of twists and turns.



(5) Strive for rights:



With the unremitting efforts of Sheng Xuanhuai and others, China's first wired telegraph trunk line, the Tianjin Shanghai telegraph line, with a total length of 2724 Li, was completed. On August 1, 1885, Sheng Xuanhuai, 42, became the supervisor of China Merchants Group. At the same time, he presided over the construction of dozens of telegraph lines from Hainan in the south, Heilongjiang in the north and Xinjiang in the West. In July 1886, Sheng Xuanhuai was awarded the post of actual vacancy for the first time: Shandong Denglai Qingbing road and East customs supervision.



(6) Re map the great cause:



Zhang Zhidong was transferred from the governor of Guangdong and Guangxi to the governor of Huguang. When passing through Shanghai, he repeatedly urged Sheng Xuanhuai to come to discuss how to open mines and make iron in Hubei. Zhang Zhidong advocated that it should be run by the government. It was not until 1892 that he saw that the cost of the iron factory was too high that he wanted to change it to a commercial office, and asked Sheng Xuanhuai to "receive it remotely in Tianjin". When the Sino Japanese war broke out, Sheng Xuanhuai was busy to ensure logistics, transportation and communication. At the end of the war, the Treasury of the Qing Dynasty became more empty. Sheng Xuanhuai resolutely took over the Hanyang Iron plant with serious losses. After several years of efforts, he merged the iron plant with Daye Iron Mine and Pingxiang coal mine to form Hanyeping coal iron plant and Mine Co., Ltd., which was the largest iron and steel complex in Asia at that time.



(7) Go hand in hand:



The proposal to build Luhan railway was approved by the imperial court in 1889, but it failed for a long time because of the lack of funds and engineering and technical personnel. On September 2, 1896, Zhang Zhidong recommended Sheng Xuanhuai to invite investment. Emperor Guangxu immediately summoned Sheng Xuanhuai and ordered him to supervise the affairs of the railway corporation. And grant special privileges to play music.



(8) Beiyang Nanyang:



The school running charter drafted by Sheng Xuanhuai was approved by the governor of Zhili, Wang Wenshao, who played in the imperial court. In 1895, China's first university, Tianjin Chinese and western school, that is, Beiyang University, was officially founded. The school is divided into undergraduate and preparatory courses. The disciplines include engineering, electricity, machinery, law and regulation and mining. Sheng Xuanhuai was the first supervisor, and he managed to raise funds by himself. The next year, he played directly, founded Nanyang public school in Shanghai, and still raised funds from the Shipping Investment Promotion Bureau and the telegraph Bureau.



(9) Charity relief:



In his lifetime, Sheng Xuanhuai organized and participated in dozens of national disaster relief activities. From 1877 to 1880, five provinces in North China suffered from severe droughts, which was called "Ding Wuqi shortage" in history. Sheng Xuanhuai went deep into Zhili Hejian government to carry out disaster relief work. First, he mobilized relatives and friends to donate food and money, and then raised 10000 liang of silver from the south to relieve "extremely poor households". He made a positive contribution to the historic progress of replacing official relief with relief. His career in Westernization industry was accompanied by charity activities. Everywhere he went, he paid great attention to the construction of Shantang. The industrial institutions under his control were often used as the general headquarters of disaster relief.



(10) Before and after 1911:



In 1908, Sheng Xuanhuai was appointed as the right chamberlain of the Ministry of Posts and communications, but the prime minister's Yamen did not let him interfere with the affairs of the Ministry of Posts and communications and asked him to return to Shanghai as a minister of Commerce. The only industry he controls is Hanyeping company. In order to raise money, he tried his best and had to borrow from Japan. In August of that year, he was allowed to go to Japan to "visit factories and mines while seeking medical treatment". Guangxu and Cixi died one after another. Regent Wang zaifeng dismissed Yuan Shikai, and Sheng Xuanhuai recaptured the China Merchants Group. He was ordered to serve as the right waiter of the Ministry of postal communication. He was further reused and was awarded the Minister of postal communication.
 楼主| 发表于 2022-2-2 10:55:20 | 显示全部楼层
1、 Longcheng hope



The most legendary alley along the canal



The Sheng surname in Changzhou is a surname in the Jianghuai area.



It is said that their distant ancestor was Ying Shuwu, the son of King Wen of Zhou Dynasty. When King Mu came, Ying became prosperous, so their descendants began to take the surname Sheng. Later, the Sheng clan was divided into two groups: the southern clan moved from the ancient Liang Dynasty to Guangling, and the southern clan moved to Jinling during the southern migration of the Song Dynasty. In the Ming Dynasty, an old ancestor named Sheng Rui moved to Changzhou with a family team and built houses and houses by the Longxi River in the northwest of the city. From then on, he took root in Changzhou. Over time, Sheng's children and grandchildren flourished and the family had deep roots. That place became shengjiawan and the headquarters of the Sheng family in Changzhou.



Changzhou is also known as Longcheng (also known as Yanling, piling, Dande, Wujin and other ancient names), and there is Longxi river passing by the city. The Longxi river is close to the canal and reaches as far as the Yangtze River, Taihu Lake and the East China Sea. It enjoys the beauty of the river and the lake and the benefits of fishing, rice and boats. Therefore, it is known as the "important auxiliary city of China and Wu and the famous capital of eight cities". However, the dragon city has not produced any dragon sons, descendants and heavenly kings since ancient times. On the contrary, there have been a lot of literary ministers, military generals and wealthy businessmen. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was full of merchants, with thousands of Ge competing for the flow of goods and treasures, and attracted the attention of the north and the south. Emperor Kangxi and Emperor Qianlong came here six times respectively. The place where the Emperor Qianlong abandoned the wharf is still called "the place where the Emperor Qianlong abandoned the wharf".



The reason why Sheng became a local surname is not only that there are many people, but also that there have been many well-known figures in the past dynasties. In the Tang Dynasty, there was a Sheng Yan master who was good at reading and served as a young Xia. He was a great general when Chen Fenyang was a soldier of the emperor Gaozu of the Tang Dynasty. The history book said that he "killed Li Mi and Wang bodang in the battle of Jincheng, sealed the Duke of Ge with merit and granted general Wu Wei", indicating that he was a cadre of the Li Tang regime. During the Zhenyuan period of the Tang Dynasty, there was another Sheng Yunhe, who was well-educated and a great intellectual. He conferred a bachelor's degree in the Imperial Academy and later became a teacher of the emperor.



In the Song Dynasty, the Sheng family had a prosperous degree. It was a Jinshi in Duangong's second year. Because of his meritorious service in governing the western frontier, he became a deputy prime minister. During the Xuanhe period of the Song Dynasty, another famous loyal minister of the Sheng family, Sheng Junxiang, worked as a censor (discipline inspector) in the imperial court. After crossing the south, the Qin family was forced to "beg for illness and return home" because they exposed Qin Hui's usurpation of power and misappropriation of the country. After returning home, they wrote the eight characters of "filial piety, younger brother, loyalty, courtesy, righteousness, integrity and shame", which were distributed to eight sons to educate future generations and not humiliate the family style.



From the yuan and Ming Dynasties to the early Qing Dynasty, the fame of the Sheng family did not show much, but several artistic talents emerged - Sheng Mao was a landscape painter, Sheng Yu was a poet, Sheng Yin was a famous doctor, Sheng Shitai was also a painter, and Sheng Shitai was a famous go player in the Qing Dynasty.



However, in the years of Jiaqing, Daoguang and Xianfeng in the Qing Dynasty, the family style of Sheng family was revived. First, Sheng long, Sheng Xuanhuai's grandfather, was elected as the governor of Haining, Zhejiang Province in the year of Geng Wu in Jiaqing, and then his father Sheng Kang was elected as a scholar in the year of Geng Zi (1840), and then got the highest academic degree in feudal society in Jiachen (1844). He became the salt law Dao in Wuchang, Hubei Province (the vice governor in charge of salt production, transportation and marketing), and became a local power faction.



Sheng Kang's tenure in Hubei has the most direct impact on the Sheng family. During this period, Li Hongzhang was ordered to attack the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Sheng Kang's participation in logistics and military affairs was greatly appreciated, which laid a "foreshadowing" for his son Sheng Xuanhuai to enter Li Hongzhang's shogunate and paved the most important personnel foundation for the later revitalization of the family.



The two generations of Sheng family lived outside as officials, and their salaries increased day by day. Sheng Xuanhuai's father and uncle bought land and built houses in Changzhou City and built a deep house and courtyard. When Sheng Xuanhuai's father Sheng Kang was about to return home, he bought a huge old garden in Suzhou and carefully repaired it as the location of Sheng's villa and ancestral hall. This garden is now known as one of the four gardens in Suzhou.



A few years later, Sheng Xuanhuai was better than the blue. After becoming famous, he also built a large house in his hometown and built a large house in Zhouxian lane, Changzhou. The two mansions of Sheng's family in Changzhou are only 100 meters apart, with overlapping eaves and intrigues. People look forward to them at that time.



Now, the place where the marble tablet of "Sheng Xuanhuai's former residence" is embedded in Changzhou is called Mayuan lane. The narrow lane seems narrow and humid. In fact, this is only the side door of Jiujin mansion built by Sheng Kang, the father of Sheng Xuanhuai, and the main door is opened on a road at the end of Mayuan lane. Now it has become the seat of Changzhou people's court building. The main road in front of the court is the legendary Qingguo Lane on the Guyun river.



The site of Sheng's big house is located in Qingguo lane, which can be said to occupy the best time and place.



At first glance, Qingguo alley is only a 500-600 meter alley. However, it is the most prominent alley along the Qianli canal and may also be the alley with the most "rich" talents in the country. For thousands of years, I don't know how many civil ministers and military generals have come out. In the past 100 years, there have been dozens of celebrities, including revolutionaries, industrialists, scientists, writers, artists, book collectors, bankers, calligraphers and linguists, all over almost all fields, forming a colorful cultural landscape.



Qingguo lane, called Qianguo Lane in ancient times, has an indissoluble bond with Changzhou ancient canal. The canal before the Ming Dynasty passed through the city from xishuiguan, Changzhou, and then meandered out of Wumen in the East. Therefore, not only did the canal become the main traffic line from south to north, but also the important blocks along the canal became the "prosperous shops" of market trade. I don't know when, fruit traders from south to North love to unload and set up stalls along the river. Over time, it has become a "special market" for fruits from north to south, so it has the reputation of "thousand fruit lane". In the ninth year of Wanli of the Ming Dynasty, the governor of Changzhou opened a new river outside the city, and the passing ships changed their routes from then on. The fruit market has become a foregone conclusion and continues to prosper. "Qianguo lane" has been falsely called Qingguo lane and is still in use today.



However, with the evolution of years, now the fruit market has unconsciously become a vegetable market. Early in the morning, there are bustling along the river. If there is a light rain in the sky, there will be two "colorful dragons" under the eaves of the river - a trading stall connected by various umbrellas, raincoats and rainsheds, red, blue and green, lined up along the river, forming a scene of its own. There are still small boats "ainai" passing by the river. The bamboo baskets along the river and the green radishes, purple water chestnut and cabbage in the bamboo baskets are wet, fresh and lovely.



If you go around behind the "colorful dragons" connected by umbrellas and raincloths, and look for and taste those silent pillow river people in the drizzle, you will have a different taste - an old "wind eroded" threshold, a broken lattice window, a casual cornice, a still standing but dusty fire wall... Accidentally, Will draw a string of soul stirring past events.



In the history of Qingguo lane, famous residents include Tang Jingchuan family, a famous Anti Japanese general (its former residence is zhenhetang, and its nanmu hall is still there today). The ancestor of his family is Tang Huafu, an imperial scholar in the Song Dynasty. His descendants are very good at reading and being officials. They recruit people, scholars, prefects, prefects and so on. Tang Shiying, a famous calligrapher, and Tang shining, a painter, both came from this family. Many years later, Tang Zhiyu, the seventh grandson of Tang Jingchuan, became famous again. He was a Jinshi during the reign of Kangxi. He was one of the two Shangshu who came out of Qingguo Lane from the official to the Minister of justice and the governor of Jimen. The other is Sheng Xuanhuai.



The descendants of the Tang family were loyal to the Ming Dynasty and participated in the fight against the Qing Dynasty and the restoration of the Ming Dynasty in the early Qing Dynasty, so the old house was confiscated, and the brothers hid their names and walked between the grass and the mang. The confiscated houses were later sold by the government office, and some of them were purchased by the Zhuang family. The Zhuang family is also a big family in Changzhou, that is, the mother of Sheng Xuanhuai's stepwife Zhuang Dehua (the leader of the Sheng family in the later stage).



The Dong family lives opposite the Tang family. The Dong family and the Tang family are marriage relatives for generations, and they are also famous rich families in Changzhou. Sheng Xuanhuai's original wife Dong is the young lady of this family. There are also many well-known figures in the Dong family, including the famous librarian Dong Kang, who served as president of the pseudo Legislative Yuan and bought many ancient Chinese precious books lost to Japan from Japan.



At the junction of Qingguo lane and Xuedong lane is Yun's old house, a classical courtyard surrounded by carved corridors, which has long been inhabited by the descendants of the great painter Yun Nantian.



Adjacent to Sheng's old house is Liuyu hall, the former residence of Li Boyuan, a master of Shanghai style literature and a master of condemnation novels in the late Qing Dynasty. Li Jiayuan first had 64 houses along the river. Now there are two into three Bay courtyards. Lotus, longevity peach and other carvings on the girder of the front hall can be seen faintly. It is a protected building listed as a local cultural heritage.



There are many heroes from here to the whole country and the world. Some of them stayed in their former residence, and some can only understand their footprints from Changzhou City chronicles. They are famous industrialist Liu Guojun, Ge M's Qu Qiubai and Zhang Tailei, industrialist and calligrapher Tao Xiang, famous linguist Zhao Yuanren, famous painters Liu Haisu and Tang Yifen, famous writers Wu Zuguang and Zhou Youguang, famous lawyer and one of the seven patriotic gentlemen Shi Liang, and Zhang zanchen, director of Pingxiang coal mine of Hanyeping company



Therefore, the elders in Changzhou can't help feeling when talking about Qingguo Lane - it's a treasure land of Feng Shui!



2、 Talents at the end of the Qing Dynasty: Li Hongzhang got talents in troubled times



The descendants of the Sheng family said in the line of Sheng Xuanhuai (Xing sun): in April of Gengwu (1870), "Duke Li Wenzhong entered Shaanxi from the governor of Hubei, and Zonglian, the king of Yang Yifang (Fang), sent a letter to invite the king of the government to enter the curtain." Yang Yifang, who introduced Sheng Xuanhuai to Li Hongzhang's shogunate, is Yang Zonglian, the old man of the big Yang family in Wuxi. Yang Weiyun, who served as chief financial officer during the period of the northern warlords, is his nephew; Mr. Rong Desheng's son-in-law Yang Tongyi (Rong Shuren's husband) is his nephew and grandson; Mr. Rong Yiren's wife, Ms. Yang Jianqing, is also his descendant. The qualification of the Yang family in the officialdom of the late Qing Dynasty is no lower than that of the Sheng family.



The relationship between the Yang family and Li Hongzhang originated from Yang Zonglian's elders and had an extraordinary friendship.
 楼主| 发表于 2022-2-2 10:56:35 | 显示全部楼层
Yang Zonglian's father Yang Yanjun, named Juxian, and Li Hongzhang were both Jinshi in the year of Ding Wei of Daoguang (1847), the same year. They were in the same year when they took the exam (1844 provincial examination); At the critical moment, Yang Juxian also helped Li Hongzhang a lot - Li Hongzhang had a sudden illness after the first "Craftsmanship" (the first exam), which depended on Yang Juxian of the same house to prepare soup and medicine until the end of the three exams, It is human nature that the two of them had the best friendship in the same year.



Li Hongzhang was very grateful to Yang's nature. He loved his house and Wu. After Yang Juxian died, he brought Yang's three sons, Yang Zonglian, Yang Zonghan and Yang Yihui, into his shogunate. During the war with the Taiping army, he entrusted them with important tasks, trained them and trained them to become talents. Yang Zonglian was in charge of the grain platform under Liu Mingchuan, and later served as the general battalion of the Huai army; Yang Zonghan plays Zhang (as a secretary) beside Li Hongzhang; Yang Yi returned to the army of Henan and fought in several provinces until the overall situation was settled. After the Taiping army was pacified, the Yang brothers were promoted to Taoist priest with their war achievements and wore flower plumes. Their family gradually became a famous family in Wuxi.



In 1870, Yang Zonglian entered Shaanxi with Li Hongzhang in the western expedition to suppress twist, and soon was ordered to be transferred to Zhili (now Hebei Province). Before going to Zhili, he felt that Li Hongzhang was short of manpower and wanted to think about it. Therefore, qianlichi wrote to his old friend Sheng Kang and advised him not to keep his son around all the time. Now the army needs people and send them out for exercise. Yang Zonglian was also a famous military educator. He was called by Shanqing, the general of Shenji camp (the royal guards of the late Qing Dynasty) to train the troops. In 1885, he was ordered by the prime minister Tianjin Beiyang military readiness school. When he went to Yuan Shikai station to train troops, almost all the generals and schools came from his door. It can be said that they were the ancestors of the later Beiyang warlords.



As for the communication between Sheng Kang and Li Hongzhang, Sheng Xuanhuai's descendants wrote in Sheng's "Xingshu": "Wen Zhongsu and his great father Yagu". As for the specific content of "elegant reason", it has not been carried out. However, the people have made their relationship legendary - it is said that when Li Hongzhang took part in the rural examination, Sheng Kang was the examiner. When Li Hongzhang was sweating and couldn't hand in the paper, Sheng Kang threw out the "Hydrangea" to him in time. Therefore, Li Hongzhang was relieved and passed the customs smoothly. When he developed in the future, Sheng Xuanhuai, the son of Sheng Kang, was entrusted with an important task... In fact, this is all wrong. Not to mention that neither Sheng long nor Sheng Kang had ever been an examiner. Moreover, the year of Sheng Kang's graduation was the year cited by Li Hongzhang (1844). Sheng Kang himself is still taking the entrance examination. How can he become a local examiner? In addition, Sheng Xuanhuai and Li Hongzhang were recommended by Yang Zonglian, not by Sheng Kang. At that time, Sheng Kang had lived in the countryside for several years because of Ding you (father's death). Moreover, when Sheng Xuanhuai first came to Li Hongzhang's command, it was the tense stage when Li Hongzhang led the army to the north to suppress twists. When Sheng Xuanhuai was a "copywriter" (secretary) in the army, he also had to take his life. It was not a matter of enjoying happiness at all. On the contrary, it was a job of rushing in military, spending too much time, traveling hundreds of miles a day and suffering too much!



When Sheng Kang was handling grain and salt in Hubei, he did have some military contacts with Li Hongzhang.



In the spring of 1858, Hu Linyi, a famous general of the Qing Dynasty who was then governor of Hubei, sent a letter to recruit Shengkang. At that time, the Hunan army and the Taiping army were fighting closely in Anhui, Jiangxi and Hubei. The Hunan army was defeated in the battle of Sanhe Town, with serious losses. It was in urgent need of people, horses and food. However, the "payment assistance" of neighboring provinces has not been in place for a long time. Hu Linyi wants to "use the power of a corner in the middle of Chu to feed 600000 people on the water supply road". It is conceivable that the task is arduous. Sheng Kang is worthy of being a financial expert (according to his descendants, Sheng Kang's abacus is world-class, fast and accurate). He has always been good at business. After arriving in Hubei, he successively handled taxes as a Taoist to replenish military food. At that time, "Yali" in Hubei was founded only a year ago, and everything had not yet been on track. Shengkang had to take various measures to ensure the supply of grain and grass in front of him. At that time, Zeng Guofan was stationed in Jiangxi and Hubei, and was planning to take Hubei as the most important place in the world, "regulate Wu and plan Anhui with a corner of Chu". At that time, all heroes gathered in Hubei. This is because we can do it only when we have sufficient pay sources.



In the winter of 1958, Li Hongzhang also went to Hubei and joined Zeng Guofan to do business, so he became a colleague with Sheng Kang. Sheng Kang made outstanding contributions to the army Quartermaster. He wrote "Xiao He Guanzhong and Liu Yan Hebei" in calligraphy. Sheng Kangsheng was promoted to Hubei grain road in 1860 and granted Wuchang road of salt law in 1862. In 1863, he successively served as the chief envoy and the second Department of supervision. Both of them are famous for being good at financial management and handling military supplies.



With regard to the specific tax policy, Li Hongzhang once said to Sheng Kang: "wealth can only be seriously within the amount, not for additional requirements". It means that it can only be strictly implemented within the specified tax amount, and can not be collected indiscriminately outside the specified amount. Once the base area is disordered, it is equal to the overall situation. For those who occupy the official position and do nothing or do nothing, they should be severely punished. Sheng Xuanhuai wrote down Li Hongzhang's reminder to his father at that time: "if the matter of Hubei does not severely punish the catharsis of prefectures and counties, that is, sangkong will be reborn, and there will be no real help." Therefore, he advocated that "it is not enough to kill those who cannot fight! It is not enough to eliminate them for fear of not being fast! It is not enough to impeach those who cannot raise wages! It is not enough to forgive them for fear of not being fast!" Sheng Xuanhuai continued: "therefore," the financial management and employment of the government monarch are well rewarded, generous and fierce, and they all inherit literature, loyalty and education. " We can see the tacit understanding between them. Sheng Kang was later recommended by Li Hongzhang to the imperial court for "talent and excellence", and was promoted step by step. Sheng Kang's father Sheng Long died in 1867. He went to the official home for more than ten years. He was urged to go out again outside Beijing. Later, he became an official in Haining and went home to provide for the aged in a few years. This decision seemed right, because at that time, his son Sheng Xuanhuai had joined Li Hongzhang's shogunate and became an important helper in Li Hongzhang's great foreign affairs. His son inherited his father's will, and the unfinished business could be completed by his son.



Sheng Xuanhuai didn't know how to deal with the imperial examination, but he was able to cope with the daily official documents. He helped the elderly deal with things in his father's government office. He was smart and talented. When he came to Li Hongzhang's command, he lived up to his high expectations, worked hard, smart, diligent and thrifty, and soon won Li Hongzhang's favor. At the beginning of the year, he "assigned the Commission to run the camp copywriter and fill the meeting office of the business affairs office, which belongs to the role of secretary and deputy director of the general affairs office, and is directly responsible to Li Hongzhang.



Shortly after he arrived at Li Hongzhang's camp in Shaanxi, the Tianjin church case occurred. Under the order of the imperial court, the troops immediately moved to Tianjin. In the summer, when the army is in full swing, it is often time for its colleagues to "hold on to the official documents", and "when it is too hot, it is time for them to see each other's official documents". Soon, he was promoted to the camp Affairs Office of the grain, Taiwan and Huai army on the back of Shaanxi Gansu road. Then he was promoted to the prefect and Taoist priest for military merit, and was rewarded with the honor of wearing the second grade flower plume. At this time, it was only more than one year before he entered the military curtain of Li Hongzhang, which shows that Li Hongzhang attaches great importance to him.
 楼主| 发表于 2022-2-2 10:57:13 | 显示全部楼层
3、 Westernization giant



1. It is difficult for China Merchants to start everything at the beginning



In the 1960s and 1970s, with the continuous infiltration of foreign capital, almost all the shipping along China's coast and the inland rivers of the Yangtze River were occupied by foreigners' ships, and China's traditional shipping has become a trend of decline. In particular, Jardine Matheson of Britain, Swire Matheson and Qichang of the United States all have large-scale fleets. They not only solicited goods along the coastal and inland river wharves, but also managed to pull over the water transportation business of the imperial court (that is, the official grain transported on time every year), resulting in the lack of goods for the Chinese fleet, and a large number of grain transportation fees allocated by the Imperial court also flowed into the pockets of foreigners.



In view of this situation, since the 1860s, some local officials and enlightened people have contacted and offered advice to the imperial court, advocating that the Chinese run their own ship transportation and take back the benefits of shipping from the foreigners. After the pacification of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, "the world is at peace", and there seems to be a "ZTE" atmosphere at home. Li Hongzhang runs the Westernization affairs, learns from the foreigners and controls the foreigners, and plans to revitalize. In addition to the military industry, one thing he does with great care is shipping. At that time, Li Hongzhang was promoted to governor of Zhili and Minister of Commerce of Beiyang. He took charge of the diplomacy, commerce and westernization of the Qing government and became the leader of the Westernization school. Who will run the Chinese people's own modern shipping depends on his word. Sheng Xuanhuai seized the opportunity to urge Li Hongzhang to "make great profits", and asked him to have a try. In the Charter of Shang Li Fu Xiang's steamship (1872), he talked about the general trend of today: "since the entry of vosihuo steamship into China, the business people all over the world have welcomed it, so they know that Huo steamship is a thing that China can't abandon. It's better to strengthen the fence rather than listen to the interests and rights of China to outsiders." It is clearly stated that the ship must be operated. In terms of specific measures, he advocated g-commerce cooperation or official supervision of Commerce.



In his letter to Li Hongzhang, he also said that he would make every effort to run the important policy of shipping, and "exhaust my energy and help my nave to do iron ore, banking, postal service and weaving". He thought very far: "in a hundred years, I may attach my name to the nave biography. My wish is enough." He also said, "the nave has no laughter. I'm big and boastful. How many people can read the governor's name and pass it on to future generations? Send them to talk about it.". The letter was heartfelt and frank. Li Hongzhang, who has been famous for centuries, said that he would not only do shipping, but also devote his whole life to the great cause of Westernization.



At first, Li Hongzhang also intended Sheng Xuanhuai to plan to establish China Merchants Group and ordered him to draft the articles of association of a shipping company. He wanted to know how to do this Westernization that the Chinese had never done before. Sheng Xuanhuai understood and carefully studied the articles of association and business methods of foreign shipping companies, and conceived a draft of the development of Chinese shipping companies. He has seen through China's ills. Such things that have not been done by predecessors, especially profitable things, can not be done without official shares, because the power of private businessmen is too small. But it cannot be done by government alone, because there are too many burdens in officialdom. He pointed out: "China's g merchants have not been in touch for a long time. They should not pay attention to the business situation when they are in the government, and should not raise national plans when they are in the business. If they can't stand on their own, they can't recover. At the beginning of the trial, they must put themselves in the position of the merchants first, know that they are sure, and don't relax halfway. After the trial is completed, they will build military ships and commercial ships together, adopt the rent of the merchants and pay the expenses of the troops. They are closely connected and endless. Make sure that the benefits don't spread out, Soldiers can improve themselves. " This wonderful theory can be regarded as a thorough explanation of the relationship between officials and businesses in China's reality, especially his view of "considering business conditions". In fact, it advocates that under the leadership of "officials", officials also take shares, supervise and take "businesses" as the main body to carry out specific operations.



However, the matter is not so simple. The official supervision of commercial enterprises is a new thing in modern times, and many senior officials of the government are skeptical. Even close friends around Li Hongzhang, such as Chen Qin of Tianjin Customs Road and Ding shouchang of Tianjin Hejian bingbei Road, all advocate adopting Zhu Qiang's purely official approach in order to be safe. When Li Hongzhang was not sure about the matter, he came to a minority to obey the majority, adopted Zhu Qiang's opinions, and appointed Zhu Qiang and Zhu Qizhao brothers to be responsible for the preparation, because the Zhu brothers are a sand boat family in Baoshan, Shanghai. They are familiar with the comprador relationship in foreign firms, or they can refer to the methods of foreigners to handle Chinese affairs.



As Sheng Xuanhuai expected, this kind of purely government-run enterprise is not easy to win the investment of businessmen. Why should businessmen invest in your government-run enterprises? Businessmen are also afraid that your government will bully businessmen by relying on power! Moreover, the specific practices of the Zhu Qiang brothers are also a little conservative. They only transport grain, but do not carry passengers and goods. Naturally, they can not compete for profits with foreign merchants. In fact, many local water transport companies have been linked with foreign merchants. Now you want to pull the business over again. What benefits do you give to the water transport company? Can your freight be cheaper than foreign ships? Without absorbing commercial stocks and limited chassis, it is difficult for the cause to develop. Sure enough, the steamship Bureau was opened in January 1873. In less than half a year, it was full of difficulties and came to a standstill, so we had to find another way.



So Li Hongzhang turned to Sheng Xuanhuai again. Sheng Xuanhuai didn't put on airs. He made a careful plan again, and put forward six items: "appointment should be special", "business should be full", "company should be established", "ship should be divided successively", "rent should be paid fully", "sea transportation should be divided and shipped", and proposed that 500000 Liang and one hundred liang of commercial shares should be collected in the same way as foreign businessmen, "Starting from the cashier's day, pay interest every year, make a summary every year, make a general ledger public reading, make a major settlement every three years, and make a public distribution of surplus". For the harassment from the officialdom, he also foresaw that "if the officialdom carries goods and passengers, it will also take water as usual" to reassure investors. In order to make the new China Merchants Group stand firm and not be crushed as soon as it is introduced, he explicitly wrote in the articles of association that he wants the official to ensure that 400000 loads of grain will be delivered to the Shipping Bureau for shipment every year, so as to "make up for it with a little help"... It can be seen that he has made in-depth investigation and Research on the context, operation threshold and key departments of this work, and what he said is jargon. These six guidelines are the earliest rudiments of the articles of association of China Shipping Merchants Group.



However, this time, Li Hongzhang still didn't let him be the leading director, but dug up Tang Tingshu, the comprador of Shanghai Yihe foreign firm, and asked him to work for the country. In June 1873, Li Hongzhang appointed Tang Tingshu as the general office of China Merchants Group and Xu run, the comprador of Baoshun foreign firm, as the meeting office, hoping that they would take advantage of their influence in the business community to recruit business shares. Zhu Qiang and Zhu Qizhao brothers are also organized by the association. As for Sheng Xuanhuai, he is also a meeting organizer, on an equal footing with Xu run. Li Hongzhang has his own reason for this layout. This is because to set up such a large enterprise with an investment of hundreds of thousands or millions of silver coins, although it is easy to say, it is very difficult to raise funds. Without money, it is very difficult to complete its assembly. Public funds are limited and can only pay 200000 Liang. Sheng Xuanhuai's calf came out of the mountain and first got involved in Westernization. It is difficult to have appeal in fund-raising. Tang Tingshu, Xu run and Zhu Qiang have many years of experience in foreign firms and shopping malls. They have great appeal among businessmen, and they can bring in a large amount of investment. On balance, Li Hongzhang can only grievance Sheng again.



Sheng Xuanhuai is unwilling to be the "Queen of the ox", while Li Hongzhang wants him to be the important "Queen of the ox". Therefore, there is such a division of labor: Tang Tingshu and Xu run are in charge of loading, offering and other shipping services, representing the business side; Zhu Qiang and Zhu Qizhao brothers are in charge of water transport and represent the government; Sheng Xuanhuai's position is very delicate. To take charge of both water transport and loading is tantamount to playing the roles of "official" and "merchant". In fact, it is a very important but somewhat embarrassing position. Li Hongzhang is resourceful, and his purpose is to see and master everything about China Merchants through him. After all, Sheng Xuanhuai was not a man with a small stomach. Despite his reluctance, he took office. Later, he really created a famous situation.



After Tang Tingshu became the general office, with his personal influence in the business world, the situation of lack of funds in China Merchants Group suddenly changed, from less than 200000 Liang to 1 million Liang, of which Xu run invested 240000 Liang alone, which lost blood for the enterprise. Tang Tingshu's approach is consistent with Sheng Xuanhuai's in principle, except that Tang put more emphasis on the interests of "business", while Sheng put more emphasis on "public-private partnership", that is, official supervision of business. At the beginning of the ship bidding Bureau, we didn't see much advantage. However, over time, especially in the face of fierce competition from foreign investors, the power of "officials" has become a reliable backing. On this major policy concerning the future, Sheng Xuanhuai is by no means comparable to that of ordinary businessmen.



By the end of 1873, China Shipping merchants had 19 branches in Tianjin, Hankou and Nagasaki, and the "Eaton" of the bureau had been able to sail to Nagasaki, Kobe, the Philippines, Luzon and other places in Japan. In July 1874, China Merchants announced the first settlement, with a surplus of 2120 taels of silver. In July 1875, the second settlement had a balance of 24000 liang of silver and distributed more than 6700 liang of bonus for the first time. The whole situation is naturally happy.



In the autumn of 1875, Sheng Xuanhuai was ordered to supervise Hubei coal and Railway Bureau. At the same time, there were other industries to do, so he left the ship Investment Promotion Bureau temporarily. But it was very strange that Sheng Xuanhuai had a problem as soon as he left. The next year (July 1876) he settled the bill and lost 35000 liang of silver.



Although he runs a mine in Hubei, he still cares about the important things of China Merchants, such as the acquisition of Qichang company in the United States. He is still one of the masterminds.



2. Battle of "waterline"



In the autumn of 1880, Li Hongzhang appointed Sheng Xuanhuai to run the telegraph business, coordinate the laying of wires and cables across the country, and establish the national telegraph office to dismantle and buy the "water lines" illegally laid by foreigners in China, so as to regain the autonomy of telegraph. This matter "is regarded as a daunting task by all people at the beginning of the establishment", because it is different from running an ordinary industry. There are groups of tigers and wolves in front. They have to "grind" on the negotiation table and remove obstacles before they can succeed. This is a contest of political, diplomatic and personal courage.



As early as the 1860s, Britain, the United States, France and other countries proposed several times to the Qing government to set up telegraph lines in China. The Qing court refused again and again to safeguard its own interests. Shen Baozhen, the governor of Jiangxi Province at that time, put it well: "if you let him set up a flying line, it will be thousands of miles away, and all events have not been delivered to the Chinese official documents (at that time, the imperial court's imperial edict was passed on by 500 mile fast ride, 600 mile fast ride and 800 mile fast ride) , he has got the news first, and his work is constrained by the double shape. Moreover, the damage to the even value of the line must be attributed to the failure of officials and people to protect, and there must be branches and branches. " "Foreign ships are faster than China's postal service, and all official affairs have been constrained. If they are allowed to set up copper wires again, they will be thousands of miles away and can be connected in an instant. It is even more difficult to avoid making dangerous remarks in newsprint to frighten the audience!" Unfortunately, at that time, although the governor saw such a powerful role of telegrams, he did not suggest that the Qing government run telegrams by itself, but simply restricted them from foreigners. Under the guidance of this thought, when the government saw that foreigners had laid cables and poles without permission, it secretly encouraged the people to dismantle electric wires, destroy electric poles and obstruct them.



In 1870, the Qing government imposed restrictions on foreign countries by stipulating that "the electric money line sank on the seabed and its end shall not be pulled ashore to divide the boundary between China and the ocean". But now that they have been allowed to lay submarine cables, they must advance an inch and try every means to pull the ends of the wires ashore. They can't set up the telegraph room at sea.



The Danes were the ones who could make trouble with the Qing court. In the early 1870s, they sent a ship to sail quietly to the Shenwei military port under the escort of tsarist Russian warships. The ship drove very slowly, dragging a long "braid" while driving. It turned out that this is a Danish communication engineering ship, which is laying a "water line" (i.e. submarine cable) to the seabed. Their goal is first to Nagasaki, Japan, then to Wusongkou, Shanghai, and finally to the Danish Dabei telegraph company located on the Bund of Shanghai.



How dare Denmark, a small European country, lay submarine cables in China's waters? It turned out that there was an old Tsar behind them. The old Tsar had relatives with the Danish royal family. In order to set up a telecommunications system in China, he repeatedly proposed to Qing Zheng f to lay telegraph lines on land and under the sea in China, and asked to set up Dabei Telegraph Company in Shanghai to claim the landing right of "water line". At that time, tsarist Russia had included the whole northeast into his sphere of influence and exerted all kinds of pressure on the Qing court. The Qing court had no choice but to agree that "Dabei telegraph company set up barges outside Wusongkou to send and receive telegrams on board", but "the water line can not be pulled ashore". It really wanted them to send telegrams on the water!



However, how can Dabei Telegraph Company float on the sea for a long time? They had to land. First, they used a ship anchored on daqishan island outside the Yangtze River Estuary to quietly pull the "water line" laid there ashore, place it in a house built in advance, and set up the first telegraph room. Then, seeing that there was no movement from the Qing court, he secretly dragged the "waterline" into the Huangpu River and set up a second telegraph room in Pudong on the other side of Zhanghuabang. Then, he led the "waterline" to the Bund along the Huangpu River. The later building of Dabei Telegraph Company is the beautiful building where the Bund Pangu bank is now located.



By virtue of two submarine cables, Dabei Telegraph Company made huge profits, which naturally attracted the envy of Britain, the United States, Japan and other powers, one after another to "cut fat", so it threatened Qing Zheng f to lay its own "water line".



When Sheng Xuanhuai took office, he first faced the complex situation of "fighting for meat" among the great powers. If it is allowed to develop, China's Telegraph situation will be unprofitable. If the original regulations of the Qing court are used to restrict them, it is necessary to kill the chicken for the monkey. First, take the Danish Dabei Telegraph Company. A hard negotiation is inevitable. Sheng Xuanhuai ordered Dabei Telegraph Company to dismantle its illegally set landing line on the basis of the provisions made by the Qing government in 1870 that "foreign cable lines sink on the seabed and their ends shall not be pulled ashore, and on the basis of dividing the boundary line between China and the ocean". How dare Dabei telegraph company give in and make trouble without reason? Sheng Xuanhuai spared no time to face it. He knew in his heart that if this round could not be fought down, trouble would follow, and the arrogance of the British and Americans would become more arrogant. If there are fewer telegrams in China, there will be more telegrams in all countries.



Therefore, Sheng Xuanhuai insisted on the principle of "dismantling the Danish dry line to protect the rights of the Chinese country and serve the hearts of businessmen from all countries". After several negotiations, the Danish Dabei Telegraph Company had to agree to dismantle the dry line from Wusong to the Bund, but refused to dismantle the Xiamen ashore line, emphasizing that "the end of the Xiamen line is from the seashore to the house directly from the underground", which is different from the Wusong dry line. Sheng Xuanhuai opposes it, It is emphasized that although the Xiamen line is different from the private dry line, it has been pulled ashore after all. Grasping the basic fact that the Xiamen water line has indeed "landed", it proves that Dabei company has violated the provisions of Qing government F, so it must be demolished. Finally, after several rounds of struggle, Dabei company was forced to dismantle the coastline.



Ten years after Dabei telegraph laid submarine cables in China, China finally had its own Telegraph Company, and the Qing government appointed Sheng Xuanhuai as the general office. However, the situation is still grim, because the submarine cable is in the hands of Dabei and Dadong. Whether foreign telegrams and domestic and European telegrams are unblocked or not is in the hands of Dabei and Dadong. How to compete and share profits with foreigners is related to the life and death of China Telegraph and telegraph office. So Sheng Xuanhuai took the initiative to come to the door to talk about conditions. Finally, they had to agree to sign the "equal price contract" of the three telegraph companies, that is, following the practice of signing the contract between China Merchants Group and Swire and Jardine ferry companies, the external price must be the same, and no one is allowed to act alone, nor is it allowed to use the price reduction to attack either party. The implementation of this method has enabled the newborn China telegraph office to gain a firm foothold in the face of strong enemies.
 楼主| 发表于 2022-2-2 10:58:25 | 显示全部楼层
Ten years after Dabei telegraph laid submarine cables in China, China finally had its own Telegraph Company, and the Qing government appointed Sheng Xuanhuai as the general office. However, the situation is still grim, because the submarine cable is in the hands of Dabei and Dadong. Whether foreign telegrams and domestic and European telegrams are unblocked or not is in the hands of Dabei and Dadong. How to compete and share profits with foreigners is related to the life and death of China Telegraph and telegraph office. So Sheng Xuanhuai took the initiative to come to the door to talk about conditions. Finally, they had to agree to sign the "equal price contract" of the three telegraph companies, that is, following the practice of signing the contract between China Merchants Group and Swire and Jardine ferry companies, the external price must be the same, and no one is allowed to act alone, nor is it allowed to use the price reduction to attack either party. The implementation of this method has enabled the newborn China telegraph office to gain a firm foothold in the face of strong enemies.



Under the chairmanship of Sheng Xuanhuai, China telegraph office has made great progress in several years - in 1882, it set up a dry line in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and other provinces; The next year, the first line of the Yangtze River will be established; In 1884, due to the shortage of coastal defense, lines from Jinan to Yantai, Weihai, Liugong Island, jinxianding and other places were set up; In 1886, due to the border defense needs of the three northeastern provinces, the Jilin Hunchun line was connected from Fengtian; In 1887, because the Yellow River burst in Zhengzhou, in order to prepare for disaster relief, an electric wire was set up from Jining, Shandong to Kaifeng; In 1888, the line from Jiujiang to Ganzhou and Nanxiong was opened; In 1890, because "Xiangfan is a thoroughfare to several provinces in Beijing, and the northern portal of Chu rushes to the border", a line was set up from Shashi to Xiangyang; From Wuchang line to Changsha in 1896; In 1898, Changsha, Xiangtan, Pingxiang and other places were set up; In 1901, in order to welcome the "two palaces huiluan", Tongguan Zhengding line was added... The main trunk lines and branches have almost covered the whole country.



To this end, Li Hongzhang wrote a special book to ask for merit for Sheng Xuanhuai. He said in the film "Sheng Xuanhuai asks for an award":... The British and Danish telegraph companies set up land lines from Kowloon and Shanghai to Wusong, which is an extraordinary move. China may not succeed, so they fought together and blocked in many ways I was ordered to try to resist and manipulate the camera. On the one hand, I raised funds to rush to set up the coastal land line, so that his cunning plan would be stopped and my right of autonomy would be guaranteed, especially in the business situation of national sports. Today, the route stretches thousands of miles, and the military outside Beijing can pass through the important politics in an instant. The results are remarkable, and its contribution is indeed indispensable. This member has excellent talent, heart and energy, can take on major events, and is enough to help the times. " It shows that Li Hongzhang trusts him more through the telegraph project.



3. China World Bank



In 1895, China was defeated in the Sino Japanese War, and the whole country denounced Li Hongzhang. Seeing that his immediate boss was loyal all his life and had power over the government and the public. Once he miscalculated, he would end up like this. Sheng Xuanhuai's heart was filled with desolation. In addition, he often coughed and gasped at night because he had been overworked for many years, so he wrote a memorial and applied for retirement home.



However, the imperial court needs talents at this time. If he wants to win the court's victory, he should not only try to win the court's victory, but also try to win the court's victory. If he doesn't want to win the court's victory, he must not only try to win the court's victory, but also try to win the court's victory!



Sheng Xuanhuai, after all, is a loyal minister of the imperial court and is used to understanding the general. Besides, running a bank is something he suggested to the imperial court many years ago. Now the imperial court really wants you to do it, but you have to go home. Can you tell me what your heart is? There's nothing to do but fight for your life.



At this time, the Qing court was faced with 200 million silver war reparations and was at a loss. Emperor Guangxu asked him how he could get out of the dilemma. He bluntly told him that he would set up a commercial bank following the example of western Thailand. "Casting silver coins and opening both ends of the bank are actually the power of business, and it is urgent to start it first. There is no need to be afraid of difficulties and avoid suspicion. It can be completed in a year and effective in a year... If you appoint someone, you can call and collect." It also specifically designs the overall scheme of how public and private parties raise funds. In view of the fashionable topic at that time and the reform issue, he persuaded the emperor to be calm. Now there are too many people talking about the reform. However, it is easier to say than to do. It is easy to establish a new law, but it is not so easy to achieve practical results. Remind him not to change the law lightly, just do it earnestly.



However, things in China have always been complicated.



Soon, there was news in Beijing that the general tax department of customs and the British Hurd were going to organize a Sino British joint venture bank to seize the right to start the Bank of China. Sheng Xuanhuai has lost Li Hongzhang, the most powerful supporter at this time. He can't talk to the imperial court every day, so he has to stare at Zhang Zhidong. He wrote to Zhang Zhidong: "Wen Hurd coveted the bank. This matter is fleeting. It has a lot to do with whether it should be reported to the General Administration of electricity in advance." He was afraid that Zhang Zhidong could not understand the extreme importance of this matter. After a few days, he wrote to stare: "Chinese businessmen have no banks, and the wealth of businessmen has nothing to rely on. It is scattered and difficult to gather... If the bank is owned by foreigners, there is no way for the railway to recruit Chinese shares... Since the railway mainly collects Chinese shares for business, it seems that the bank should also be completed at one go and attached to each other."



Seeing his loyalty, Emperor Guangxu called him to Beijing one after another to ask for advice. He timely submitted the film "please set up a bank" and "a comprehensive plan for self-improvement", reiterating the extreme importance and urgency of setting up a commercial bank in China, In particular, the Zhezi stressed that "the wealth of the whole country gathered by westerners is the foundation of trade and benefit the country, and its hub is in the bank. It is urgent for China to follow suit, and foreign banks should not be allowed to make great profits."



On that day, he went into the palace and said goodbye to Emperor Guangxu. The emperor said to him, "your memorial has been submitted to the General Administration for discussion, but things are always done by people. Today, all the governors and senior officials are delaying the selection committee. What do you think to do?" Guangxu's intention was to inspire him to shoulder important tasks bravely, because the emperor also knew that Sheng Xuanhuai had achieved the most remarkable results in conducting Westernization in recent years. Sure enough, Sheng Xuanhuai has finished the most important person in just more than ten days. The eight members of the board of directors selected by him are: Zhang Zhenxun, ye Chengzhong, Yan xinhou, Shi Zejing, Zhu Baosan, Yang Tinggao, Yan Zhe and Chen you.



These eight people are all powerful figures in modern Shanghai beach. Zhang Zhenxun is an overseas Chinese giant in Nanyang; Ye Chengzhong is a giant in the hardware industry, known as the king of hardware. He has branches in Shanghai and various commercial ports. He is also the boss of Lunhua silk factory and Xiechang match factory. He is a rich man on the sea; Yan xinhou was an old subordinate of Li Hongzhang. He started with salt and accumulated a huge amount of money. He is the boss of famous enterprises such as Ningbo Tongjiuyuan ginning factory, Tongjiuyuan yarn factory, Tongjiuyuan flour factory and Shanghai Sino British pharmacy, and a Chinese businessman giant; Zhu Baosan was originally a comprador of Japanese businessmen Pinghe foreign firm. Later, he set up his own firm, engaged in import and export trade, made a lot of money, and had great appeal among Chinese businessmen; Shi Zejing is also an important big capitalist among Chinese businessmen at sea. In addition, Yan Zhe and Chen you are the meeting office of China Shipping Merchants Group, which can bring in the capital of China Shipping Group; Yang Tinggao is the general office of the telegraph office and can also take a large amount of capital into shares. At this time, Sheng Xuanhuai has mastered these big names and said that they can be used.



Three million commercial shares did not seem to have taken much effort to gather. Among them, the steamship merchants group alone has 800000 Liang. He also reserved 500 shares for Wang Wenshao and used the investment of senior officials in the imperial court to further stabilize the people's hearts, resulting in the "enthusiastic solicitation of commercial shares".



However, the imperial court is often three minutes hot, sometimes cold and sometimes hot. Commercial stocks have been implemented, but the official funds have not been implemented yet. Sheng Xuanhuai urged again and again. Instead of following, it came out that the imperial court had approved China and Russia to jointly run the Sino Russian Daosheng bank, and it was said that the imperial court had allocated 5 million taels of shares. As a result, businessmen who have taken shares in China general commercial bank talked about it one after another, fearing that the imperial court would change its mind. Sheng Xuanhuai is naturally in a very passive position. On the one hand, he hastened to urge the imperial court to implement the original 2 million liang of official funds. On the other hand, he wrote to Zhang Yinhuan, the left servant of the Ministry of household, because he understood that the victory of Chinese and Russian Daosheng outside the festival was entirely Weng Tonghe's idea. For Sheng Xuanhuai to take the lead in running the bank, Weng didn't say he didn't support it, but secretly diverted the funds, which is also difficult for you to do.



In his letter, he told Zhang Yinhuan: "the Bank of Russia has invested 5 million official shares, while the Bank of China has no official funds, which is not enough to win the trust and laugh at outsiders. Once the rumor of foreign businessmen is overturned, it will lead to the foot binding of all businessmen." He also stressed that the 2 million yuan borrowed from Zheng f was not invested in the bank as shares, but "deposited in the bank with an annual interest subscription of 5% of the bank, regardless of profit or loss, within a six-year limit, or withdrawn or still deposited every year, in accordance with the previous method of setting up a shipping China Merchants Bureau." This method is "beneficial and harmless, and outsiders know that there are official funds, which is enough to win trust and compete with China and Russia (Daosheng bank)", and if there is no official shares, it is not enough to call on the bills of all provinces. Zhang Yinhuan conveyed Sheng's opinions to the Ministry of household and the imperial court. These confused people had no answer.



At this critical moment, someone in the officialdom proposed impeachment against him, saying that he took the power of banks, ships, telegrams and so on, all for personal gain and so on. Now Sheng Xuanhuai is angry. He thinks these guys just don't do business. They specialize in splashing dirty water on people. Wang Wenshao, who was the successor of Li Hongzhang after the defeat of the Sino Japanese war in 1894 and then governor of Zhili and Minister of Beiyang, resigned twice in succession: "why do you still want to do things in such a confused world?" Prepare to "pull out all the family members and return", "raise relatives to cultivate and study, and never talk about family and state affairs with others again!" As an official, Wang Wenshao is famous for his tact. Of course, he can't allow Sheng Xuanhuai to let go. On the one hand, he tried his best to excuse Sheng and said good things about him in front of the court. On the other hand, he urged the official money very much. Finally, he gave a half discount. The originally planned 2 million Liang became 1 million Liang, which is also an indication.



However, there was an unexpected situation, and soon came the news that the imperial court had wavered in running the bank. It's like a child's play. There are no rules to follow in national affairs. Sheng Xuanhuai tried to hold back his anger and patiently explained to the prime minister's Yamen that China Commercial Bank was bound to do it. "It has been widely spread at home and abroad that if it failed to open within the time limit, there would be no greater breach of faith. Commercial shares will be completely dispersed. It will be difficult to raise shares in the future, not only at both ends of the bank and the iron bank!" With painstaking efforts and hard work, China's first bank, which was about to miscarry, was finally born on May 27, 1897. The location is the three-story building on No. 6 on the Bund (now replaced with a shopping and leisure place).



Sheng Xuanhuai was too angry to attend the opening ceremony. When he received the telegram that the bank had been opened on schedule, he gave a long sigh of relief.



China Tongshang bank, like a difficult child, has finally established its foothold on the beach full of foreign banks. In less than a year, seven branches have been opened in Tianjin, Hankou, Guangzhou, Shantou, Yantai, Zhenjiang and Beijing. Two years later, I was able to settle accounts every six months. In addition to the expenses, I sent 400000 liang of interest bank to the shareholder and 100000 liang of interest bank to the Ministry of accounts... In Sheng Xuanhuai's words, "at the beginning of the establishment of HSBC, there was no such scene." HSBC, on the other hand, had been operating in Shanghai for more than 30 years; The British commercial bank Liru has been in operation for 52 years.
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