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named, have led to hostilities, we would now proceed to inquire whether our future relations with them, on a more liberal and solid basis, can be best effected by negociation; or, without advocating any hostile measures, how the fears of this weak people may be wrought upon, so as to convince them that there are other nations on the earth that possess somewhat more of that power, dignity, independence, and intelligence, which they believe to belong to themselves exclusively.
It is very natural to think, considering the character of the East India Company, and the influence they claim, as a body, with the Chinese, that they could be made an eligible medium for peaceable and profitable negociations with the Chinese. And, although strong prejudices exist against them as a monopolizing and grasping junta, yet it will be readily allowed that they would deserve well of their country, did they voluntarily exercise the power they profess to have, and make such arrangements with the Chinese as would lead to the re-opening of the ports formerly abandoned, and again make these ports available to British commerce. We would be the more inclined to believe that the merchants of the East India Company would be the true medium for such negociation, because they know how to adopt, from long experience, that submissive tone, in soliciting the bounty and patronage of his Celestial Majesty, in which alone any kind of petition is permitted to reach the Imperial ear. Between the Emperor of China and the East India Company, it would not be the exalted Sovereign having his vanity oppressed by the proposals of an equal, claiming a joint consideration altogether subversive of the fundamental principles of Chinese policy and consequence; it would simply be the Company still keeping the humble station, as traders, in which Chinese estimation has ever placed them, claiming only, from the bounty of his Celestial Majesty, a renewal of those privileges which, under the beneficence of his Celestial Majesty's ancestors, they had formerly enjoyed. Such a tone of humiliation would be strictly accordant with the previous conduct of the East India Company, as a body, towards the Emperor of China, and would be so highly flattering to his Majesty, that perhaps some good might be effected by it. We have already shown that the Chinese hold merchants, and foreigners connected with any description of traffic, in the lowest estimation; and we are bold enough to affirm that the failure of our splendid embassy to China, some years ago, is chiefly attributable to the intermixture of the representatives of our Sovereign with the merchants of the East India Company. Had that embassy proceeded directly to Pekin as it left this country, a more favourable result would, in all probability, have been the consequence; at least, it would have had a more agreeable reception. But the arrangements made before entering on its object, marked it rather as a deputation from the trafficking Company, than the embassy of the British Sovereign.
On arriving at Macao, this splendid outfit was compounded with the servants of the Company; and, as soon as this became known at Pekin, as a matter of course, it produced on the minds of the proud Chinese a firm belief and galling impression that between the servants of the Company and the Ambassadors of the British Sovereign there was an intercommunity of character and interests. This impression was enough of itself to degrade the embassy in the eyes of the Celestial Monarch and his subjects; and there was consequently a strong feeling of dislike created against the whole concern, before the ostensible object of this country became known. But, when the embassy was ushered in, and first made acquainted with the Chinese, through the agency of the Company itself, the. national vanity received a shock, that rendered any object in view altogether unattainable; and the Chinese all at once determined to treat this magnificent deputation with the greatest contempt, as the only means left him to preserve his own level, and establish his own superiority. We are of the unalterable opinion, that this embassy to China, of which we are speaking, has done an injury so irreparable, that it will require the most skilful management to amend. It augmented the jealousy and alarm of the whole empire; subjected our countrymen to repulse and contempt, and placed us in a far more obnoxious point of view in the eyes of the Chinese than ever we were placed in before. For, besides the amalgamation of the representatives of our Sovereign with the agents of the East India Company, a measure in itself enough to ruin us with the Chinese, what could have been more ill-judged and ill-advised than to place a ponderous embassy upon the shores of a great and jealous nation, and there leave it, (which was actually the case,) without ever consulting the Chinese authorities how far such a step might be agreeable or otherwise. The result proves this: the objections of the Chinese were forthwith manifested, and instructions were given accordingly for instant departure; but it was too late: the ships of war that conveyed the embassy had departed, or were determined. to depart, whatever might be the wishes of the Court of Pekin; and thus the Court found themselves saddled with a band of obnoxious foreigners, which they could not possibly get rid of, without conducting them through a large portion of the provinces of the empire a thing, of all others, which they were known to be averse from, as exciting feelings both of jealousy and alarm, in exposing the internal economy of their country. All these violations of the customs, habits, and feelings of the Chinese took place before one practical step had been taken towards the accomplishment of a single object of the embassy; nor was this all: no sooner did the ships of war quit the port in which they had landed the embassy, than they proceeded to indulge themselves in a system of espionage all along the coasts of the empire than which nothing could be more disgraceful to the embassy itself; and certainly nothing could be more galling to the Chinese, inasmuch as they were not possessed of the power to restrain such proceedings.
One splendid and imposing embassy enjoyed themselves on the land, while the Alceste and Lyra drifted away at sea; and the Chinese found themselves placed, to their great mortification, in such a situation as they were never in before; and which, we have every reason to know, they will endeavour to avert in all future times. One thing more (perhaps more than all that we have stated) tended to lower the persons composing this gorgeous embassy in the opinion of the Chinese; and, trifling as it may appear, we must mention it, as an illustration and corroboration of the character which we previously gave of this singular people. It was simply this: that the principal person belonging to the embassy was advised and permitted himself to accept of several invitations from the Chinese Hong merchants to join in their extraordinary convivialities. These merchants hold a station in Chinese society so low, that they are obliged, in ordinary etiquette, to bow the knee in presence of mandarins of even ordinary rank; and thus was presented, to the wondering eyes of the ignorant but proud Chinese, the extraordinary spectacle of the Ambassador of a Sovereign claiming equal rank with his Celestial Majesty, and who refused to accord to him the usual marks of submission and respect, quietly and contentedly sitting down at table, and feasting with one or more of a class who had been forced into a degrading station in society, probably as a punishment for some delinquency. In short, when the whole proceedings of this embassy are narrowly examined, it will appear to every one, in the least degree acquainted with the prejudices, the customs, and the habits of the Chinese, that nothing could have been worse conducted; and the complete failure of its object is the only evidence which we think it necessary to adduce, in reprehending and condemning the whole of its machinery. The radical fault in the formation of this last embassy was, however, the amalgamation of the representatives of our Sovereign with the servants of the East India Company, as we have already pointed out; and in all future negociations that may take place, this, of all things, ought to be avoided. If our relations with China are to be placed on a permanent and liberal basis, there ought to be no mixture of the statesman and the trader in any future embassy which may be formed. There is no doubt that the failure of the last must be ascribed to the Merchants of the Company, and not to the highly respectable body sent out from this country. The Company, forsooth, on this last occasion must magnify themselves into a most important body in China; they must have a royal embassy, and identify themselves with the representatives of his Britannic Majesty; while the Chinese, on the other hand, would not allow one of them the rank or consideration of the lowest mandarin.
The East India Company, of themselves, might, however, effect a very beneficial change in our relations with China. Could they so far divest themselves of their inordinate propensities after selfinterest and enormous gain, for the general good of their country,
and for a modest, unassuming deputation, to treat with his Celestial Majesty, or his Government, they might do a great deal of good. But this, we fear, there is little or no hope for; not so much on account of the little consideration and respect in which they are held by the Chinese, and that is low enough, but because we believe that the Company would not approach his Celestial Majesty in a way which would be acceptable to him, and at the same time independent and dignified enough as members of a free constitution, and a powerful, enlightened nation. We are therefore bound to conclude, that the only peaceable manner in which this desirable object can be effected, on or before the expiry of the Company's charter, is the formation of another embassy, proceeding directly from this country to the Chinese Court, without reference to the Company's agents, empowered to demand a clear and unequivocal declaration. of the basis upon which our future commerce should rest; enabled to explain the importance and mutual benefits that would undoubtedly attach to both countries by a mutual interchange of their respective productions; that the prosperity and safety of China in a great measure depend on a firin alliance with Great Britain; to represent the outward dangers to which China is, at this moment, exposed by the proceedings in the north and east of Europe; and, finally, to make a clear, undisguised display of our own power as a nation; the means we possess of protecting them in case of danger, or of compelling them in case of refractoriness; of either interrupting or encouraging their coasting-trade, or of disembarking troops, either for their aid or for their subjection, at pleasure. We would not go so far as to say that, like the Roman Ambassadors, our deputies should unfold their cloaks, and abruptly offer peace or war; but that, while our own power was displayed, the olive branch and its concomitants of peace, commerce, and prosperity were the immediate objects of our negociations; that power should only be spoken of as the offspring of peace and prosperity, and war to show the means by which the objects of a powerful people were to be gained, while dealing with a perverse and ill-disposed nation; in short, we would eagerly desire to see the immediate formation of an embassy for the purpose of improving and extending our commerce with the East, and with China particularly, which would force upon the conviction of that narrow-minded and pusillanimous, though valuable, race of men, that, while we gave them an ample degree of weight and consideration in the scale of nations, we were determined that they should know and appreciate our own.
LINES ON THE DEATH OF A YOUTHFUL Brother.
WHY Weep we for the dead?
For theirs is sweet and calm repose,
Is it that dark despair
Points to the future as a shade
Through which nor love, nor light pervade,
Or is it that the mind
Trembles to pierce the veil obscure,
Why weep we for the dead?
They sleep in peace-their sighs are o'er,-
Why grieve we for the blest,
Who smile in skyey realms of peace?
Why, Brother! thou hast gone,
In all thy opening bloom of mind,-
Why, Brother! thou hast died,
When thought was stealing o'er thy mind;
Yes! dear one! thou hast fled,
Released from long protracted woes!
Yet, ah! the feeling heart
Will ache to see the youthful die,
Will shed the tear, and heave the sigh,
Poonah, November, 1827.