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of Macao; the price was then about $550 a chest. In 1781, the Company freighted a vessel to Canton with it, but were obliged to sell the lot of 1600 chests at $200 a chest, to Sinqua, one of the hong-merchants, who, not being able to dispose of it to advantage, reshipped it to the Archipelago. The price in 1791 was about $370 a chest, and was imported under the head of medicine at a duty of about $7 a cwt., including charges. The authorities at Canton began to complain of the two ships in Lark's bay in 1793, and their owners being much annoyed by the pirates and revenue boats, and inconvenienced by the distance from Canton, loaded the opium on board a single vessel, and brought her to Whampoa, where she lay unmolested for more than a year. She was then loaded and sent out of the river, and the drug introduced in another ship; this practice continued until 1820, when the governor-general and collector of customs issued an edict, forbidding any vessel to enter the port in which opium was stored, and making the pilots and hong-merchants responsible for its being on board. The Portuguese were also forbidden to introduce it into Macao, and every officer in the Chinese custom-house there was likewise made responsible for preventing it, under the heaviest penalties. “Be careful,” says his excellency in conclusion, “and do not view this document as mere matter of form, and so tread within the net of the law, for you will find your escape as impracticable as it is for a man to bite his own navel.” The importation of this pernicious drug had been prohibited by the emperor, in 1800, under heavy penalties, on account of its wasting the time and destroying the property of the people of the Inner Land, and exchanging their silver and commodities for the “vile dirt” of foreign countries. The supercargoes of the Company therefore recommended the Directors to prohibit its shipment to China from England and India, but this could not be done; and they therefore forbade their own ships bringing it to China. The hongmerchants were required to give bonds, in 1809, that no ship which discharged her cargo at Whampoa had opium on board; but they contrived to evade it. The traffic was carried on at Whampoa and Macao by the connivance of local officers, some of whom watched the delivery of every chest, and received a fee; while their superiors, remote from the scene of smuggling, pocketed an annual bribe for overlooking the violation of the imperial orders.


The system of bribery and overlooking malpractices, so common in China, is well illustrated by a case which occurred in connexion with this business. In September, 1821, a Chinese inhabitant of Macao, who had been the medium of receiving from the Portuguese, and paying to the Chinese officers the several bribes annually given for the introduction of opium, was seized by government for hiring banditti to assault an opponent of his, which they did ; and having got the man in their power, poured quicksilver into his ears, to injure his head without killing him; and having shaved the short hairs from his head, they mixed them with tea, and forced him to drink the potion. The vile wretch who originated this cruel idea and paid the perpetrators of it, was a pettifogging notary, who brought gain to the officials by oppressing and intimidating the people, until he was the pest and terror of the neighborhood. An official enemy at last laid his character and doings before the governor, who had him seized and thrown into prison, when he turned his wrath on his former employers, and confessed that he held the place of bribe-collector, and that all the authorities received so much per chest, even up to the admiral of the station. The governor, though doubtless aware of these practices, was now obliged to notice them; but instead of punishing those who were directly guilty, he accused the senior hong-merchant, a rich man, nicknamed the “timid young lady,” and charged him with neglecting his suretyship in not pointing out every foreign ship which contained opium. It was in vain for him to plead that he had never dealt in opium, nor had any connexion with those who did deal in it; nor could he search the ships to ascertain what was in them, or control the authorities who encouraged and protected the smuggling of opium: notwithstanding all his pleas, the governor was determined to hold him responsible. He was accordingly disgraced, and a paper, combining admonition with exhortation and intreaty, was addressed by his excellency to the foreigners, Portuguese, English, and Americans. The gods, he said, would conduct the fair dealers in safety over the ocean, but over the contraband smug. glers of a pernicious poison, the terrors of the royal law on earth, and the wrath of the infernal gods in hades were suspended. The Americans brought opium, he observed, “because they had no king to rule them.” The opium ships thus being driven from Whampoa, and the Portuguese unwilling or afraid to admit it into Macao unless at a high duty, the mercharks established a floating dépôt of receiving ships at Lintin, an island between Macao and the Bogue. In summer, the ships moved to Kumsing moon, Kapshui moon, Hongkong, and other anchorages off the river, to be more secure against the tyfoons; remaining near Lintin during the north-east monsoon, until 1839.” The mode of introducing the opium into the country, when the fleet was stationed “outside” at Lintin, was by means of brokers resident in Canton. These men went to the foreign merchants, and purchased the opium at the market price, paying for it in specie, and receiving an order on the captain for the amount purchased. The boxes were opened and the drug carefully examined before it was shipped on board native wherries, vulgarly called fast-crabs and scrambling-dragons, which paid a regular fee to the custom-house and military posts, but resisted other official boats; fighting desperately when attacked, for if taken, the men generally lost both life and property. The opium, when carried ashore to the purchasers, was retailed in balls as crude opium, or prepared by themselves, for retail or more convenient transportation further inland. The utensils used in preparing the opium for smoking, consist chiefly of three hemispherical brass pans, two bamboo filters, two portable furnaces, earthen pots, ladles, straining-cloths, and sprinklers. The ball being cut in two, the interior is taken out, and the opium adhering to or contained in the leafy covering is previously simmered three several times, each time using a pint of spring water, and straining it into an earthen pot; some cold water is poured over the dregs after the third boiling, and from half a cake (weighing at first about 28 lbs., and with which this process is supposed to be conducted), there will be about five pints of liquid. The interior of the cake is then boiled with this liquid for about an hour, until all is reduced to a paste, which is spread out with a spatula in two pans, and exposed to to the fire for two or three minutes at a time, till the water is all driven off; during this operation, it is often broken up and re-spread, and at the last drying cut across with a knife. It is all then spread out in one cake, and covered with six pints of water, and allowed to remain several hours or over night for digestion. When suf.

* Chinese Repository, Vol. V., pp. 546—553.


ficiently soaked, a rag filter is placed on the edge of the pan, and the whole of the valuable part drips slowly through the rag into a basket lined with coarse bamboo paper, from which it falls into the other brass pan, about as much liquid going through as there was water poured over the cake. The dregs are again soaked and immediately filtered till found to be nearly tasteless; this weaker part usually makes about six pints of liquid. The first six pints are then briskly boiled, being sprinkled with cold water to allay the heat so as not to boil over, and removing the scum, by a feather, into a separate vessel. After boiling twenty minutes, five pints of the weak liquid are poured in and boiled with it, until the whole is evaporated to about three pints, when it is strained through paper into another pan, and the remaining pint thrown into the pan just emptied, to wash away any portion that may remain in it, and also boiled a little while, when it is also strained into the three pints. The whole is then placed over a slow fire in the small furnace, and boiled down to a proper consistency for smoking; while it is evaporating, a ring forms around the edge, and the pan is taken off the fire at intervals to prolong the process, the mass being the while rapidly stirred with sticks and fanned, until it becomes like thick treacle, when it is taken out and put into small pots for smoking. The boxes in which it is retailed are made of buffalo's horn, of such a size as easily to be carried about the person. The dregs containing the vegetable residuum, together with the scum and washings of the pans, are lastly strained and boiled with water, producing about six pints of thin brownish liquid, which is evaporated to a proper consistence for selling to the poor. The process of seething the crude opium is exceedingly unpleasant to those unaccustomed to it, from the overpowering narcotic fumes which arise, and this odor marks every shop where it is prepared, and every person who smokes it. The loss in weight by this mode of preparation is about one-half. The Malays prepare it in much the same manner. The custom in Penang is to reduce the dry cake made on the first evaporation to a powder; and when it is digested and again strained and evaporated, reducing it to a consistence resembling shoemaker's wax. The opium pipe consists of a tube of heavy wood, furnished at the head with a cup, which serves to collect the residuum or ashes left after combustion; this cup is usually a small cavity in the end of the pipe, and serves to elevate the bowl to a level with the lamp. The bowl of the pipe is made of earthenware, of an ellipsoid shape, and sets down upon the hole, itself having a small rimmed orifice on the flat side. The opium-smoker always lies down; and the singular picture given by Davis, of a “Mandarin smoking an opium-pipe,” dressed in his official robes and sitting up at a table, was probably made to order by some artist who had never seen anybody use it. Lying along the couch, he holds the pipe, aptly called yen tsiang, i.e. smoking-pistol, by the Chinese, so near the lamp that the bowl can be brought up to it without stirring himself. A little opium of the size of a pea, being taken on the end of a spoon-headed needle, is put upon the hole of the bowl, and set on fire at the lamp, and inhaled at one whiff, so that none of the smoke shall be lost. Old smokers will retain the breath a long time, filling the lungs, and exhaling the fumes through the nose. The taste of the half-fluid extract is sweetish and oily, somewhat like rich cream, but the smell of the burning drug is rather sickening. When the pipe has burned out, the smoker lies listless for a moment while the fumes are dissipating, and then repeats the process until he has spent all his purchase, or taken his prescribed dose. When the smoking commences, the man becomes loguacious, and breaks out into boisterous, silly merriment, which gradually changes to a vacant paleness and shrinking of the features, as the quantity increases and the narcotic acts. A deep sleep supervenes from half an hour to three or four hours' duration, during which the pulse becomes slower, softer, and smaller than before the debauch. No refreshment is felt from this sleep, when the person has become a victim to the habit, but a universal sinking of the powers of the body and mind is experienced, and complete recklessness, so be it that the appetite for more be gratified. A novice is content with one or two whiffs, which produce vertigo, nausea, and headache, though practice enables him to gradually increase the quantity; “temperate smokers,” warned by the sad example of the numerous victims around them, endeavor to keep within bounds, and walk as near the precipice as they can without falling over into hopeless ruin. In order to do this, they limit themselves to a certain quantity daily, and take it at, or soon after meals, so that the stomach may not be so much weakened. A “temperate smoker” (though this term is like that of a temperate robber, who only takes shillings from his

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