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made a passage, he rushed into the street, with a sword in from all appeal to persons in power. Yet, as on recent one hand, and a purse in the other, to purchase provisions. occasions, when a small party acted with determination, On learning these treacherous proceedings, Weddell levied and paid no regard to any prohibition, they found little open war, laying waste the adjacent towns and villages, difficulty in penetrating even to the palace of the Isong-tou, attacking and burning several vessels belonging to the im- or viceroy. This was twice effected during that disastrous perial fleet. These cogent arguments brought the authori- year. On the first occasion they saw his excellency himties once more to their senses. The merchants were self, and received some fair promises; but on the second, a requested to write to him, desiring that he would forbear chung-ya, or subordinate mandarin, was deputed to receive any further acts of hostility, and“ all would be well." They them. He treated them roughly, upbraiding them with themselves were set at liberty, and allowed to conclude their very unceremonious mode of entry; and, on their their transactions, which they did with all despatch, though threatening to leave Canton unless redress was obtained, much thwarted by the Portuguese. Mounteney is said to have said, they might go if they pleased; other ships would entered into an agreement, by which his constituents were to come." He complained much of their troubling him about pay annually 2000 taëls, (£666,) in return for free trade and such a trifling affair. They replied, “ that their trade, and residence. 'Rumour seems to have represented this voyage the wrongs endured, were no trifles to them ;" but be told as highly profitable, since the company's agent at Masuli- them “they must apply to the merchants to get them a patam wrote,—“They have been to China, at a place called hearing." They answered very reasonably, “ that as the Canton, where they made such a voyage, that we conceive grievances arose from the merchants, how could it be supnever Englishmen were so richly laden as they are with posed that they would become instruments in any just accugoods, and yet they flow with gold and silver in abundance." sations against themselves; the present case witnessed they There is no mention in the captain's despatch of any such would not." To this no reply was made, but the chung-ya splendid success; nor do the association appear to have finally promised that he would order his people to adjust the taken any steps to follow up the advantage.
disputed points in an equitable manner. "He dismissed The trade continued for some time in a state of depres- them with a strict injunction “never to trouble him again sion. In 1664, the trade in tea commenced, that article on such trifling occasions." being imported to the amount of one hundred pounds. On In the year 1736 the emperor, Këën-lung, (who reigned the 13th of February, the directors wrote thus to Madras : till 1796,) ascended the throne, and the year of his accession “In regard thea is grown to be a commodity here, and we was marked by the abolition of an oppressive duty of 4 per have occasion to make presents therein to our great friends cent., - although the boon was coupled with conditions at court, we would have you send us yearly five or six utterly inadmissible, and which the Chinese were therefore canisters of the very best and freshest thea. That which bribed to connive at the neglect of. About this time, also, will colour the water in which it is infused most of a greenish commenced the security-system, from which the British complexion, is generally best accepted." The import for trade has so severely suffered. A few merchants, called the general use had, it appears, been chiefly a private concern of Hong, were nominated, one of whom was required, on the the officers; but the market had thereby been so much arrival of every English ship, to become security for the over-stocked, that “trash thea from Bantam" had been sold regular payment of the duties; in return for which the refor 4d. and 6d. a-pound. The trade was now, therefore, to presentatives of the company were obliged to allow him a be carried on altogether by the company themselves. Its corresponding advantage. These persons, burdened by the progress, however, was severely checked by the imposition, above obligation, and having also10,0001.to remit in presents in 1689, of an enormous duty of 5s. a-pound, which rendered to the imperial court
, found it necessary to indemnify themit impossible to introduce with advantage any teas except selves by an exorbitant price laid on the commodities. those of the very finest description. In 1693 the staple The increasing annoyance to which the English trade at commodities are said to have been Nan-king silks, damasks, Canton was exposed, led the company to seek to re-open satins, velvets, gold thread, raw-silk, China and lacquered the communication with Amoy. But they found their conware, a good quantity of fine tea, some fans and screens. dition still worse at that port; and were prevented from In 1699, there were ordered 300 tubs (chests) of the finer continuing the attempt, if they had been disposed to do so, green teas, and eighty of Bohea.
by the decree which Këën-lung issued in 1757, strictly In the month of November in this last-mentioned year, limiting the intercourse of Europeans to Canton. This the East India company appointed a president with a coun- made no change in the actual course of the English trade, cil or select committee of four, two factors, and five writers, which had long centred in that port; yet it acted unfavourunder whose commercial jurisdiction were placed “the ably on the interest of the factory. Hitherto, amid all their whole empire of China and the adjacent islands." In 1701 grievances, the threat of removing to another, and thus deChusan, Amoy, and Canton, were the ports with which the priving the mandarins of the emoluments which they derived company's trade was carried on; the first was deemed the from the traffic, had been used with the most beneficial most desirable, but they were compelled to quit it the fol- effect. Now, the only menace left to them was, that of lowing year, though afterwards induced to return. The quitting China altogether,-a design which neither party company soon, however, acknowledged that “they were could believe to be seriously entertained. weary of the trade to Chusan and Amoy;" and they seem In 1759, two years after Canton had obtained a monopoly at one time to have intended to forsake those ports, and use of the trade, when the authorities were no longer restrained Banjarmassin, in the island of Borneo, as a depôt. It was by the apprehension that foreigners would resort elsewhere, found, however, that at Canton the traffic could be conducted the limitation of our dealings to a few licensed Chinese was on a considerable scale; the factors were, indeed, exposed made part of the established system of trade, and those into many hardships, and had ground for heavy complaints, dividuals, designated Security or Hong merchants, were but the increasing importance of the tea-trade made the regularly incorporated under the name of the “Cohong," company willing to encounter many difficulties.
with whom Europeans were permitted to deal; all trans In 1715 the intercourse with Canton, according to Mr. actions with other Chinese, excepting, indeed, petty shopAuber, had assumed somewhat of the character of a regular keepers, being declared illegal. trade. At stated seasons ships were despatched from Eng- In 1771, the supercargoes congratulate themselves on land, each having a supercargo, to conduct the sales and having procured the dissolution of this obnoxious cohong, purchases. These vessels proceeded first to Macao, and at the cost of 100,000 taëls, (from £30,000 to £35,000,) thence to the Bocca Tigris, where the supercargoes were which they actually expended on the occasion. In 1779-80, admitted to an audience with the hoppo, or Chinese com- however, the same cohong appears again in full operation, missioner of customs, with whom they stipulated for certain and was made the instrument, as it has continued ever privileges, such as the enjoyment of free trade with all since, of levying an additional tax on foreign trade, under Chinese, without distinction, liberty to hire Chinese servants, the designation of Consoo Fund, the origin of which is thus to purchase provisions, &c., for their factory and ships, and related. Debts amounting to 3,808,075 Spanish dollars, other similar articles.
were owing by Chinese to British subjects, which the latter In 1720 the formidable confederacy of the cohong first were unable to recover ; and on their representation of the appeared, but only as a combination of private merchants fact to the Madras government, Captain Panton, of his endeavouring to procure a monopoly price for their goods. Majesty's ship, Sea-horse, was requested to proceed to Our countrymen refused to treat with them, and complained China, in order to urge payment, and having instructions to the viceroy, when the parties were called into his pre- from Admiral Sir Edward Vernon, as well as from Sir sence and publicly reprimanded. In 1728 the merchants Edward Hughes, to insist on an audience with the viceroy. were driven almost to despair, by an addition of ten per This audience, after some delay, and not without the use of cent, on their cargoes, while they were studiously excluded | threats on the part of the British commander, was obtained,
when Captain Panton received a fair and satisfactory answer to be placed in a better state of defence, and an opinion was to his application.
offered, that no apprehension need be entertained of embar“This measure," says Captain King, who visited Canton rassment from the Chinese government, if permission were at the period in the Discovery, “had occasioned very serious obtained from the Portuguese for that purpose, although in alarm at Canton. The Chinese merchants who had incurred fact, as it afterwards appeared, the Portuguese were under the debt contrary to the commercial laws of their own a pledge to the Chinese government, not to admit the troops country, and denied, in part, the justice of the demand, of any nation into Macao without their previous consent. were afraid that intelligence of this would be carried to The Bengal government, however, upon the receipt of this Peking; and that the emperor, who has the character of a information, resolved that a military force should be sent to just and rigid prince, might punish them with the loss of occupy Macao; but the commanding officer was directed their fortunes, if not of their lives. On the other hand, the not to take any steps without the knowledge and concurrence select committee, to whom the cause of the claimants was of the select committee, who were cautioned to bear in strongly recommended by the presidency of Madras, were mind the orders issued by Lord Wellesley in 1801, for extremely apprehensive lest they should embroil themselves guarding against the effect of jealousy on the part of the with the Chinese government at Canton, and, by that means, Chinese government. bring, perhaps, irreparable mischief on the company's affairs About the middle of September, Admiral Drury, who in China. For I was further informed that the mandarins commanded the naval part of the expedition, learnt that a were always ready to take occasion, even on the slightest considerable French force was off Java, and suggested the grounds, to put a stop to their trading; and, that it was expediency of applying to the Chinese authorities for leave often with great difficulty, and never without certain expense, to land the troops at Macao. To this the select committee that they could get such restraints taken off. These imposi- objected; and on the 18th of September they resolved, in tions were daily increasing; and, indeed, I found it a pre- opposition to the declared sentiments of the governor of vailing opinion in all the European factories, that they Macao, and to the known feelings of the Chinese, to land should soon be reduced either to quit the commerce of that the troops at once. When the landing took place, a letter country, or to bear the same indignities to which the Dutch was received from the hoppo, or chief officer of customs, are subjected in Japan."
protesting decidedly against the step. The admiral wrote The result was, that the emperor published an edict, to the viceroy, explaining the motives which had led to it; ordering the debts to be paid, but intimating great displea- the reply of the viceroy contained a strong remonstrance sure at their having been contracted, and prohibiting any against the adoption of such a measure without permission, such transaction from taking place in future. To guard and a threat of representing the whole affair to the emperor. against it, he directed that no communication should hence- The Chinese local authorities issued an order for the with. forth be held between the British and the merchants, unless drawal of the troops, and declared that they would entreat through the medium of certain mandarins whom he named. the emperor to interdict in future the commerce of our ships. The dealers alleging, doubtless with truth, that these offi- The Chinese troops, too, were ordered down to compel our cers would not perform this duty without a consideration, troops to evacuate the town; and an intimation was given raised the prices of their teas, while they lowered those of that in the event of non-compliance, they would burn the the company's imports. The hong monopoly, in spite of ships at Whampoa, secure the English, and put to death every remonstrance, has been ever since maintained; or otherwise punish them. A second division of troops was' though it has undergone much practical mitigation. These landed in October; and the select committee asserted "the privileged individuals have lent their name to others, called impossibility of giving way to the Chinese so long as they outside merchants, who are thus enabled to traffic with the persevered in their haughty conduct." They afterwards sent English. For this accommodation, however, a liberal com- a letter to the viceroy, requesting that a person might be pensation is, of course, exacted, which must be laid on the appointed to receive their representation upon the whole price of the goods.
question; and, in reply, were informed that the viceroy had Ever since this period the system of conducting the trade seen the letter, but did not think a compliance necessary, has been through hong merchants. In 1828, in consequence as the troops must be removed, their remaining on shore of the prohibition, under severe penalties, of dealings being contrary to the law of the empire.” In a subsequent between Europeans and native traders not belonging to the
conference with two of the Chinese merchants, the comprivileged body, some foreigners petitioned the hoppo This mittee stated, that during the haughty conduct of the vicefunctionary gave them a very decisive answer, in the usual roy, the admiral could not remove any troops, as it might style of Chinese courtesy: “The said barbarians," he ob-have the appearance of fear." served, “a short time ago, repeatedly presented dunning
The admiral then demanded an audience of the viceroy, petitions for things contrary to the law, which shows their who did not return any answer. Addresses were subsestupid rashness. From pity to the remote barbarians I did quently sent to him, but he remained firm in declaring the not inflict chastisement, but ordered the merchants to delibe- absolute necessity of removing the troops. The admiral rate safely and manage. I likewise ordered them to com- declined advancing any further, as the sword was half out municate my orders to the said barbarian merchants, to of the scabbard, and his duty forbade him making war with obey the fixed regulations in their trade. If the said shop-China." At length the president of the select committee men dare to stir up the barbarian merchants to confused intimated his intention of ordering all British subjects to petitioning, or if they presume to trade with the barbarians, quit Canton in eight-and-forty hours; and declared it to be the moment they are discovered and caught, their crime his opinion that the best effects would follow if his majesty's shall positively be punished with severity. Their perverse- ships wero brought to an anchorage higher up the river. ness and stupidity have reached the acmé."
Two days afterwards the president received a communica
tion, in which the viceroy stated, that his (the viceroy's) OCCUPATION OF MACAO BY THE BRITISH.
conduct had been marked by the greatest forbearance; that In the year 1808, when Buonaparte nad developed his de- he should not commence hostilities, though if we ventured signs for securing the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, an to make war with China he was quite prepared for it; and English force was landed at Macao, in order to occupy that that if the committee thought proper to remove the ships, settlement, and prevent its seizure by the French. This he had no objection, only they must not expect to be perevent, as Mr. Auber remarks, is deserving of particular at- mitted to return. At the same time, troops were brought, tention, as it not only shows that we have recocognised the and encamped on the neighbouring hills; and it was right of the Portuguese to the settlement of Macao, but threatened that fire-vessels should be sent down amongst marks the jealousy with which the Chinese view any ap- | the company's shipping. On the 4th of December the proach to their territories by a foreign force, although with select committee assembled at Macao, to receive the emno hostile intention towards their nation, and evinces their peror's edict for withdrawing the troops before the continudetermination to have withstood, however ineffectually, the ance of the trade could be permitted. “Knowing, as you extreme measures to which Admiral Drury, (then in com- ought to know," said this boasting document, “that the mand of the naval force in India,) manifested his intention Portuguese inhabit a territory belonging to the celestial to resort, in the prosecution of the service in which he was empire, how could you suppose that the French should ever engaged.
venture to molest them? If they dared, our warlike tribes It was in the month of March 1808 that the select com- should attack, defeat, and chase them from the face of the mittee of supercargoes at Canton communicated to the country. Aware of this truth why did you bring your solBengal government; a vague report which had reached diers here? Repent and withdraw immediately; permisthem, of the intention of the French with regard to the sion to trade shall then be restored. But should you persist settlement of Macao. It was suggested that Macao ought and remain, the hatches of your ships shall not be opened.”
A chop was addressed by the viceroy to the admiral, with the following day that the viceroy sent his answer to the the emperor's decree. A similar document was also ad- commanders of the company's fleet; and on that day alsa dressed by him to the senior commander, captains, officers, he wrote to the admiral that he would cause all debts to be petty-officers, and others belonging to the English ships at paid, stating for the last time "that while there remained the port of Whampoa, and "delivered to the said senior a single soldier in Macao and the laws disobeyed, they commander, Captain Milliken Craig, of the Elphinstone, by should not trade," and if he hesitated for a moment, “in. the mandarins deputed by the Tsung-tuh, under a canopy
numerable troops would be sent to destroy him." On the of state, surrounded by Chinese guards, under arms, erected 8th the president gave way, the admiral remonstrating for the occasion on French Island, on the side of a hill, against holding out any longer ; a convention was con. having a Chinese camp on each side on hills, each about cluded on the 10th, and the troops were embarked on the one mile distant, and all in view from the van ships of the 15th. Hon. Company's fleet, moored in line of battle within gun- • Thus," says Mr. Auber, the late secretary of the East shot." This curious document is worthy of perusal. India company, “after fruitless discussion for weeks, and
"I, the mandarin Vui, by favour of my prince Tsung-tuh the adoption of every measure short of hostilities to support of the two provinces of Kwang-tung and Kwang-se, member the original plan of occupying Macao, the Chinese adhered of the Tribunal of War, &c., direct this letter to the cap
to the demand with which they set out, namely, the withtains, officers, passengers, and others, belonging to the drawal of the troops, to which the committee were obliged English ships, to warn you, that being certain that your bad to submit before the trade was permitted to be resumed. kingdom is situated on an island of the sea, and that you | Thus affording another decided proof of the inflexibility originally employed yourselves in making watches, to en- with which the Chinese insist on the observance of their able you to pay your taxes; afterwards, by the especial and laws and regulations." profound goodness of our great emperor, who was desirous Other writers view the matter in a different light, and of benefiting you, he granted you permission to come to think we did not succeed because we did not go far enough. this empire to trade. Behold, what exalted and profound Mr. Gutzlaff thinks that the British national honour was virtues belong to him!!! Notwithstanding this, the admi- stained for ever; and says that a pyramid, recording the ral of your kingdom, regardless of the laws, has brought victory of Chinese cowardice over British imprudence is here, for the first time, foreign soldiers, and, without leave, erected near the spot whence the admiral retreated. “He introduced them into Macao, and your chief supercargo
withdrew with his garrison from Macao; the English nation uniting with him, they are with one accord making distur- was viewed with greater contempt; it was written down in bances. This being the case, I informed the emperor, from
the Chinese anpals, We have beaten the English;' The whom I have just received a decree, in virtue of which I undaunted veterans of the Nile and Trafalgar had reagain send mandarins deputed to inform them that if they treated.” Mr. Mc Leod remarks upon this event, that persist in detaining the soldiers, a great many troops shall after the retreat of Admiral Drury, there was no end to the be immediately despatched to destroy and extinguish them, gasconading of the Chinese. “They considered his retiring and to terminate this business; for the consequences of as a great victory gained, and it is celebrated as such by an which, the admiral and chief supercargo will be responsible; inscription in one of their pagodas :-an inscription, by the but you, captains, officers, passengers, and others, people of way, which ought to come down." the ships, shall be free from all responsibility, if you remain
DISPUTES OF 1829 AND 1830. quietly in the observance of the laws; and, after the soldiers of your nation shall be entirely withdrawn, I shall feel | The years 1829 and 1830 were marked by a series of vexait my duty to inform the emperor, praying him to have the tious discussions, excited apparently, less by Chinese engoodness to permit you to carry on your trade as formerly. croachment, than by a strong desire entertained by the But if you, giving ear to and obeying the admiral and chief committee to liberate themselves from certain annoyances supercargo, unite yourselves to them to create disturbances, to which they had long been exposed. The entry-duty, of when afterwards our innumerable soldiers shall arrive, who 2780 dollars, on every vessel, which had not fallen heavy on shall destroy and burn you, even if you were as hard as the large ships from Éurope, was almost prohibitory on the stone or jasper, I shall then not be able to use you with small craft which carried on the traffic with India. The any indulgence, nor free you from the net of the law in refusal of permission to the English to bring their wives which you will be ensnared; and in order that you may and families to Canton, and to use sedan-chairs, the only be obedient and discreet, I direct this chop to you. In the commodious vehicle which could be procured, was resented 13th year of the emperor Kia-king, on the 17th day of this as a grievance. The exactions, too, levied from the hong10th moon." (3rd December, 1808.)
merchants, by which several of them had been reduced 10 The commanders of the company's ships at Whampoa, in bankruptcy, greatly embarrassed the trade. The committee their reply stated, that they had the exalted honour to seem to have been chiefly encouraged to assume a high tone acknowledge the receipt of his excellency's most gracious by recent observations on the radical weakness of the native letter, delivered to them on French Island, by the two man- government, and the facility with which they yielded to disdarins, whom, they were informed, it had been his conde- plays of superior power. By a repetition of these it was scending pleasure to send to them--that their only object conceived that they might be overawed into granting any in visiting China was commerce—that they endeavoured to reasonable demand. Application was made for a naval venerate and obey its laws, but durst not, however, depart force from Bengal; but the governor-general declined infrom allegiance to their own country, or to those who were terfering, and referred them to the directors at home. They dignified with its most exalted representation-that they had at one time formed, and even announced their resoluunderstood that their admiral, at the request of the Portu- tion, to stop the trade and leave China; but this design was guese, had landed some troops at Macao, to help them to not carried into execution. The natives acceeded to the defend it against attacks from the French-that that wicked wishes of the English, so far as to create new hong-mernation, ever since they murdered their sovereign, had chants in the room of those who had become insolvent. But waged war upon all nations within their reach, and were every other demand was repelled with their usual determiunderstood to be then marching by land to make war upon nation, and even with contumely. In their replies and prothe celestial empire, as the British navy prevented them by clamations, the following expressions occur:“Since the sea—and that they therefore most humbly implored his said foreigners come to trade, it is incumbent on them to excellency to order the trade to be opened, that they might obey implicitly the orders of government. If they dislike thereby find employment in the quiet habits of industry, the restrictions, it is perfectly competent of them not to take &c. The viceroy, in his answer told them that, seeing the trouble to come from so great a distance. The conthey did not think proper to alter their way of thinking, he temptuous resisistance of the foreigners arises from no plainly knew that they had joined their opinions with those other than a special design to coerce us by the circumstance of their superiors, the admiral and president,--that if they of their paying much duty. The celestial empire views did not wish to trade they might take away their ships as these duties as really not of the importance of a fibre or they thought proper, and if they did they must remain particle of dust. How can the chief Baynes (the president peaceable and obey the laws.
of the select committee) resist the prohibition and orders, In the meanwhile the president, instead of relaxing, had and bring with him a barbarian woman (Mrs. Baynes) to begun to be more active in his preparations for defence; the Canton! If she will remove early to Macao, he will avoid batteries of the Bocca Tigris had fired upon the ships going up and down, and obliged one of them to return the fire, and ou itself a small business; but foreigners being in the provin
a severe scrutiny. As to sitting in sedan-chairs, it is in the 6th of December another camp had been observed to be cial city, have hitherto not been allowed to ascend sedan. formed upon the heights of French Island. It was upon chairs. The said foreigners, ignorant how to be excited to
gratitude, turn round, and because of the proclamation dis-, might reside at Macao, was by no means to present himself allowing them to bring barbarian women to Canton, and to at Canton. In pursuance of ihis order, Hou-qua and Mousit in sedan-chairs, present whining petitions. The flowery qua, deputed by the hong, proceeded to Macao, but before nation and the barbarians must be distinctly divided; be- they could reach that place, Lord Napier had set out ; and, tween those inside and outside there must be erected a notwithstanding all their efforts to overtake him, he arrived great boundary. It is incumbent on the said chief and at Canton before them. Next day, a letter from him to the others to take the authoritative decisions which have been viceroy was presented at the city-gates, but was rejected on issued, and promulgate them for information. Why do account of its not being in the form of a petition. The disthey again, and a third time, obstinately refuse to transmit pleasure of the government was immediately manifested by those injunctions, and dun us with requests to give a written the disappearance of all the native servants in the employ of document in return ? Exceedingly does it indicate refrac-| the British. tory stupidity. Hereafter it will be absolutely necessary A strong sensation was now created in the city, and a to yield implicit obedience to the laws and regulations of the report was made to the hoppo, that, on the 18th of the celestial empire, and adhere strictly to old arrangement. present moon, about midnight, "a barbarian ship's boat If, again, any dare to oppose or transgress, and again create had arrived at Canton, bringing four English devils," who disturbance, then, assuredly, in immediate adherence to the took up their abode in the factory. This being connected imperial will, a severe scrutiny will be made, and punish- with the appearance of a British man-of-war in the outer ment inflicted. Decidedly, there will not be the least cle- seas, was represented as a clandestine stealing into Canton. mency or forbearance shown. Tremble at this ! Intensely The governor issued an order, declaring the impossibility, are these commands given !"
that in conformity to the laws of China, this new eye or The court of directors, on these transactions being officer could continue in that city :—“Even England has reported to them, disapproved so entirely of the conduct and its laws; how much more the celestial empire! How views of their agents, that they came to the unanimous reso- flaming bright are its great laws and ordinances, more lution of appointing a new committee. They decidedly terrible than the awful thunderbolt ! Under this whole abjured every intention of coercing the Chinese by threat- bright heaven, none dares to disobey them. Under its ening measures. In a subsequent despatch in 1832, they shelter are the four seas. Subject to its soothing care are say, “The commerce between Great Britain and China is the ten thousand kingdoms.' Actuated, however, by too important to be put to bazard without the most urgent feelings of clemency, and allowing for the ignorance of and imperious necessity, and on no account upon considera- national laws and customs incident to a stranger, he tions of a personal nature. It is a notion so commonly ordains, that if the latter, after having despatched the entertained and acted on by you, and encouraged by foreign business on which he came, shall immediately return to merchants residing at Canton, that nothing is to be gained Macao, and promise never to resort to Canton without from the Chinese by obedience to their laws and edicts, but special permission, the past offence will be overlooked. that much may be obtained by intimidation. You may The hong merchants tried all the means in their power have succeeded for the moment in setting the government to induce Lord Napier to give way; but his lordship having at defiance; but that government has not only taken the been refused access to the imperial officers, declined to comfirst opportunity to assert its dominion, but also, with the municate with the merchants. The latter, frustrated in all view of making you feel the consequences of disobedience, their endeavours, resolved to secure the good-will of their it has almost invariably deprived you of some advantages own government by proposing a suspension of the trade. which it had either tacitly or avowedly yielded to friendly By taking this course they obviated the suspicion of colluremonstrances."
sion, which probably induced the government to lay upon
them so heavy a load of responsibility. In an elaborate OPENING OF THE BRITISH CHINA TRADE.
mandate, issued by Governor Loo, their conduct is declared
to be most highly praiseworthy, “manifesting a profound In the year 1833 an act was passed providing that the ex- knowledge of the great principles of dignity." Yet he clusive trade to China enjoyed by the East India Company does not proceed immediately to take the strong step reshould cease, from April 22, 1834, the company, indeed, commended. He pretends, indeed, that the trade and the being obliged to close all their commercial transactions from duties arising from it, “do not concern the celestial empire, that day. In the same year another act was passed, regu- to the extent of a hair or a feather's down." But knowing lating the manner in which the open trade, thus permitted, the divine wish of his great master to cherish both those should be carried on; and this act provided for the appoint within and those without, he was unwilling to involve ment of a superintendent of the China trade; to whom, thousands of the latter in ruin for the disobedience and residing in China, were granted the powers deemed neces- obstinacy of one individual. He therefore allowed a short sary for the purposes of commerce. The first person ap- interval, that the barbarian eye, said to be "a man of very pointed to this office was the late Lord Napier, a captain in solid and expansive mind, and placid speech," might have the navy; who received instructions to repair to Canton, for an opportunity to reconsider his rash decision. the purpose of discharging its duties. On the 14th of July, At length, on the 2nd of September, the long-threatened 1834, his lordship arrived, in the Andromache, at Macao; order for the entire suspension of the trade was issued. and soon after sailed for Canton, which he reached on the Its effects were immediately apparent. Fresh provisions 25th.
could no longer be procured, and Lord Napier and his · In a former year, the viceroy of Canton, in an edict issued suite were obliged to live on salt meat conveyed from the with reference to the approaching change in the trade, had ships of war. Matters being thus brought to extremities, said, “I hereby issue an order to the said hong-merchants, the resolution was taken to order up his Majesty's ships, that they may forthwith enjoin my command on the said Andromache and Imogene, which were anchored without nation's chief, early to send a letter home, that if, indeed, the Bogue. The ships began to move on the 7th, and the after the thirteenth year of Taou-Kwang, the company be forts defending the entrance of the river fired upon them. dissolved, it will, as heretofore, be incumbent to deliberate, A contest ensued for an hour and three quarters, the time and appoint a chief who understands the business, to come occupied in the winding passage of the channel, and the to Canton, for the general management of the commercial ships then anchored, in consequence of the state of the dealings; by which means affairs may be prevented from wind, until the 9th. On that day they proceeded on their going to confusion, and benefits remain to commerce." way, and a contest again ensued with the forts on the
Before Lord Napier's arrival at Canton, all his movements shore, which, of course, were unable to prevent the passage had been closely watched by the Chinese government. A of the vessels, though they occasioned the death of one report was made that an English vessel of war, having on man in each. board a barbarian eye, (officer of rank,) had anchored at On the 11th another order was issued, in which the Cabreta Point, near Macao. Hereupon Loo, the governor of former demands of the Chinese government were repeated, Canton, having understood that the English company was and the conduct of Lord Napier severely stigmatized. Yet dissolved, and judging that this new officer was to supply it was still intimated to him that, if he would repent of his the place of their tae-pan, or supercargo, issued an order errors and even then obey the laws of the empire, indulthat the hong-merchants should proceed to Macao, and gence would be extended to him. It is unnecessary for us ascertain what were the circumstances under which the to detail the occurrences of the few days following, which trade was now to be conducted, and the regulations that rendered Lord Napier's position a very difficult one. His would thence become necessary. Notice was given at the difficulties now were increased by severe indisposition, same time, that until a sull report was made to the governor, caused by toil and anxiety. Under these circumstances, and his consent obtained, the superintendent, though he he shrunk from the calamities which would ensue from the
continued suspension of intercourse ; and on the 14th be, it is ridiculous, detestable. The military preparations announced his determination to yield, and to quit Canton. being reduced to such a state as this, it is not surprising The ships of war, also, on the demand of the native that the outside barbarians regard them slightingly." By government, were ordered to move out to Lintin. It was a mandate from the tribunal of war, the naval officer imat first intended to bring up a British cutter for his lord-mediately in command, was degraded, and condemned to ship; but, by arrangements afterwards made with the wear the cangue, or wooden pillory, in public at the marihong merchants, two chop-boats were provided, in which time entrance. All the officers on duty at the forts were he embarked on the evening of the 21st. Although there to carry the same disgraceful badge; he, the naval comhad been a full understanding that he should be conveyed mander-in-chief, had, by gross negligence, shown himself in a commodious manner, suited to his dignity and with wholly unworthy of employment, and was therefore deprived the utmost possible despatch, it was soon discovered that of it. Even Governor Loo must have his two-eyed peathey were under the convoy of several armed boats, which cock's feather plucked out and lose some of his titles; but, proceeded so very slowly that they anchored for the night as he had announced certain active measures as now in still in sight of the town. They reached Heang-shan on operation for expelling the barbarians, he was allowed to the 23rd, at midnight, but were there detained for nearly retain the command, with injunctions, to carry his plan into two days, amid a tremendous beating of gongs, noise, and effect. confusion, which severely aggravated his illness. It was The departure of Lord Napier was immediately followed not till after the most urgent representations, that Mr. by the re-opening of the trade, which took place on the Colledge, the surgeon, obtained a pass to proceed; nor did 27th of December following. Speaking of Lord Napier, they reach Macao till the 28th. His lordship's weakness, Mr. Reynolds, the historian of the Voyage of the United however, which, at his departure was so great, that he re- States' Frigate, Potomac, says, that his name will be required to be assisted into the boat, had increased so much, membered as that of a benefactor to the commercial world. that the attentions of his family and medical attendants “The English,” continues this American writer, “have were of no avail, and he expired on the 11th of October. made a good beginning by battering down the Chinese The functions of superintendent then devolved on Mr. forts on the river Canton; we hope they will follow it up, Davis.
and with increased force teach the Chinese a still more The Chinese authorities, according to custom, transmitted impressive lesson of barbarian justice and prowess. A to court a boastful account of this transaction; representing certain amount of fighting is necessary, and the sooner it Lord Napier as having been admitted to mercy only after is done the better." To this sentence there is a note the most humble submission, and then ignominiously driven appended, rather curious for its amusing candour. “The out of Canton. As it had, however, been previously ne- English," says Mr. Reynolds, "who have so often fought cessary to intimate the fact of the ships having forced their the battles of their continental neighbours, will most proway up the river in defiance of the forts, that proud govern- bably perform this service, from which we shall be equally ment, unwilling to own its weakness, threw the whole benefited; and should they now, as formerly, be content blame on the officers employed. In the “vermillion with the glory they may acquire for their pay, we cannot coloured reply," it was said, “ it seems that all the forts are object, provided we increase our trade, and increase it we erected in vain; they cannot beat back two barbarian ships; I will."
END OF THE TWELFTH VOLUME.
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