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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 this 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 hazard 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 full 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 he announced his determination to yield, and to quit Canton. The ships of war, also, on the demand of the native government, were ordered to move out to Lintin. It was at first intended to bring up a British cutter for his lordship; but, by arrangements afterwards made with the hong merchants, two chop-boats were provided, in which he embarked on the evening of the 21st. Although there had been a full understanding that he should be conveyed in a commodious manner, suited to his dignity and with the utmost possible despatch, it was soon discovered that they were under the convoy of several armed boats, which proceeded so very slowly that they anchored for the night still in sight of the town. They reached Heang-shan on the 23rd, at midnight, but were there detained for nearly two days, amid a tremendous beating of gongs, noise, and confusion, which severely aggravated his illness. It was not till after the most urgent representations, that Mr. Colledge, the surgeon, obtained a pass to proceed; nor did they reach Macao till the 28th. His lordship's weakness, however, which, at his departure was so great, that he required to be assisted into the boat, had increased so much, that the attentions of his family and medical attendants were of no avail, and he expired on the 11th of October. The functions of superintendent then devolved on Mr. Davis.
The Chinese authorities, according to custom, transmitted to court a boastful account of this transaction; representing Lord Napier as having been admitted to mercy only after the most humble submission, and then ignominiously driven out of Canton. As it had, however, been previously necessary to intimate the fact of the ships having forced their way up the river in defiance of the forts, that proud government, unwilling to own its weakness, threw the whole blame on the officers employed. In the "vermillioncoloured reply," it was said, "it seems that all the forts are erected in vain; they cannot beat back two barbarian ships;
TRIUMPHAL ARCH, AT CANTON.
it is ridiculous, detestable. The military preparations
The departure of Lord Napier was immediately followed by the re-opening of the trade, which took place on the 27th of December following. Speaking of Lord Napier, Mr. Reynolds, the historian of the Voyage of the United States' Frigate, Potomac, says, that his name will be remembered as that of a benefactor to the commercial world. "The English," continues this American writer, "have made a good beginning by battering down the Chinese forts on the river Canton; we hope they will follow it up, and with increased force teach the Chinese a still more impressive lesson of barbarian justice and prowess.' A certain amount of fighting is necessary, and the sooner it is done the better." To this sentence there is a note appended, rather curious for its amusing candour. "The English," says Mr. Reynolds, "who have so often fought the battles of their continental neighbours, will most probably perform this service, from which we shall be equally benefited; and should they now, as formerly, be content with the glory they may acquire for their pay, we cannot object, provided we increase our trade, and increase it we will."
END OF THE TWELFTH VOLUME.
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