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bassy by deceiving their master, have also been adduced as reasons for its failure. The rejection of this mark of respect from foreign nations, for England in one sense stood as the representative of Christendom, completely placed the Chinese out of the list of civilized nations, and showed the inutility and folly of this mode of approach. There now remained only three modes of procedure:–the resort to force to compel them to enter into some equitable arrangement, entire submission to whatever they ordered, or the withdrawal of all trade, until they proposed its resumption: the course of events continued the second until the first was resorted to, and eventuated in laying open the whole coast to the enterprise of western nations. The journey of the ambassy from Peking to Canton was performed pleasantly, and the journals of Ellis, Abel, Davis, and Morrison, imparted considerable new information upon the habits and condition of the people, and the productions of the country. The conduct of the authorities at Canton was also more civil, thus showing that the ambassy had had some effect; and the decided conduct of Lord Amherst in asserting his right to the first seat at an interview held with the governor-general, and of Captain Maxwell in bringing the frigate Alceste up to Whampoa, and silencing the Bogue forts, further added to the respect or fear shown in their own fashion in a desire to avoid collision and altercation. The effort was made by the chief of the factory in 1829, to compel the Chinese to permit foreigners to live at Canton with their families, and armed sailors and cannon were brought up from Whampoa to resist any attempt to coerce the ladies away, but the governor succeeded in dismissing them after an altercation of several months. The debts of two of the bankrupt hongs, amounting to about two millions of dollars, were also settled and paid by six instalments, and the united responsibility of the co-hong for the debts of any one of its members ordered to cease. This did not, however, take place, nor stop the needy or prodigal among them from borrowing largely of the foreigners. At the close of the East India Company’s exclusive rights in China, the prospect for the continuance of a peaceful trade was rather dubious. The enterprising Mr. Marjoribanks, president of the factory, had planned the experiment of sending a vessel up the coast to ascertain how far trade could be carried on, which resulted in satisfactorily proving that the authorities were able
AMERICAN TRADE TO CHINA. 465
and determined to stop all traffic at those ports, however desirous the people might be for it. The contraband trade in opium was conducted in a manner that threatened erelong to involve the two nations, but the Company’s factory kept themselves aloof from it, by bringing none in their ships: the same Company, however, did everything in India, to encourage the growth and sale of the drug, and received an annual revenue, at the time of its dissolution, of nearly two millions sterling. During its existence in China, the East India Company stood forward as the defenders of the rights of foreigners and humanity, in a manner which no community of isolated merchants could have done; and to some extent compelled the Chinese to treat all more civilly. As a body, it did little for the encouragement of Chinese literature, or the diffusion of Christian truth or of science among the Chinese, except the printing of Morrison's Dictionary, and an annual grant to the Anglo-Chinese college; and although Dr. Morrison was their official translator for twenty-five years, the Directors never gave him the empty compliment of enrolling him in the list of their servants, nor contributed one penny for carrying on his great work of translating and printing the Bible in Chinese. They set themselves against all such efforts, and during a long existence, the natives of that country had no means put into their hands by their agency, of learning that there was any great dif. ference in the religion, science, or civilization of European nations and their own. The trade of the Americans to China commenced in 1784, the first vessel having left New York, February 22d of that year, and returned May 11th, 1785; it was commanded by captain Green, and the supercargo, Samuel Shaw, on his return, gave a lucid narrative of his voyage to chief justice Jay. It has steadily increased since that time, and with the exception of the temporary suspension, when Terranova was judicially murdered, has gone on very quietly, though the citizens of the United States, for sixty years, until the recent mission of Mr. Cushing, had no official dealings with the government. The consuls at Canton were merely merchants, having no salary from their government, no funds to employ interpreters when necessary, or any power over their countrymen; and came and went without the least notice or acknowledgment from the Chinese. The Americans have been usually distinguished from the English among the citizens of Canton, and the officers of government also understand the differ. ence between the two nations; but they have seldom come in collision, or had any official correspondence. The trade and intercourse of the Swedes, Danes, Prussians, Spaniards, Austrians, Peruvians, Mexicans, or Chilians, at Canton, have been attended with no peculiarities or events of any moment. None of these nations ever sent “tribute” to the court of the son of heaven, and their ships traded at Canton on the same footing with the English. The voyage of Peter Osbeck, chaplain to a Swedish East Indiaman in 1753, contains considerable information relating to the mode of conducting the trade at that time, and the position of foreigners, who then enjoyed more liberty, and suffered fewer extortions than in later years. Many of the names given to foreign nations at Canton are derived from their flags. The Austrians, for instance, are called May Ying, or double-headed eagle, and the Prussians, Tan Ying, single eagle; the Danes are known as Hwang ki, or Yellow flag people; and the Americans as Hwë ki, or Flowery flag people. The Russians, French, and Hollanders, have their proper appellations of Ngo-lo-sz’, Fah-lan-si, and Ho-lan ; the Portuguese are called Si Yang, or Western Ocean people, a term originally applied to all Europeans, but now confined to them. Spaniards are called Lui-sung, from Luzon, whence most of their ships come. Such descriptive terms for foreign nations and places, are more congenial to the genius of the people and language, than the transfer of proper names, like A-mi-li-ko for America, Ying-kih-li for England, Po-lu-sz’ for Prussia, &c., though the latter are undoubtedly better. There is, in fact, a mutual inadaptation, and these terms of four or five syllables, destitute of all rhyme or reason to a Chinese, if he reads them otherwise than phonetically, strike him quite as barbarous as Sz'chuen, Hukwang, Yangtsz’ kiang, and such like, do an Englishman. The usual name by which all foreigners are known at Canton, is fankwei, or “foreign devils,” an opprobrious epithet, for which there is not the least excuse, and which a native seldom uses when speaking Chinese to a foreigner. Another term, i, is used in official papers, the proper signification of which has given rise to considerable discussion, some scholars saying it means foreigner, while others translate it barbarian. The term barbarian, as used by the Greeks to denote all who did not speak Greek, or by Shakspeare to ex
CHINESE NAMES FOR FOREIGN NATIONS. 467
press foreigners, nearly conveys the Chinese idea; but the present use of that word meaning savages, without letters or institutions, is too strong. The ancient Chinese books speak of four wild nations on the four sides of the country, viz. the fan, i, tih, man ; the first two have been applied to traders from abroad, one by the common people in the phrase fankwei, the other by officials as a word understood to express some remote and foreign people. It can hardly be supposed that in their ignorance of the position and numbers of the tribes intended by these terms, they have ever attached very specific ideas to them, which moreover explains the discrepancy of those who have endeavored to investigate their meaning. Other terms, as “western ocean men,” “far-travelled strangers,” and “men from afar,” have occasionally been substituted, when i was objected to. When used as a general term, without an opprobrious addition, it is as well adapt. ed as any to denote all foreigners; for like thousands of other words, it will gradually receive new shades of meaning, as the Chinese learn and read more of the geography, science, and religion of western lands.
The East India Company’s commercial privileges ceased in 1834, and it is worthy of note, that an association should have been continued in the Providence of God, as the principal representatives of Christendom among the Chinese, which by its character, its pecuniary interests, and general inclination was bound in a manner to maintain peaceful relations with them, while every other important Asiatic kingdom and island from Arabia to Japan, was at one time or other during that period the scene of collision, war, or conquest between the nations and their visitors. Its monopoly ceased when western nations no longer looked upon these regions as objects of desire, nor went to Rome to get a grant of the pagan lands they might discover and seize; and when, too, Christians began to learn and act upon their duty to evangelize these ignorant races. China and Japan were once open, but during a century and more, no effective measures were taken to translate or distribute the pure word of God in them. Believing that the affairs of the kingdoms of this world are ordered by their Almighty Governor with regard to the fulfilment of his promises and the promulgation of his truth, the war between England and China, two empires excelling in power, resources, population, antiquity and influence, is not only one of great historical interest, but one whose future consequences cannot fail to exercise increasing influence upon many millions of mankind. This war, extraordinary in its origin, as growing chiefly out of a commercial misunderstanding; remarkable in its course, as being waged between strength and weakness, between conscious supe. riority and ignorant pride; and momentous in its conclusion as introducing, on a basis of general good understanding, one half of the world to the other half, without any arrogant demands from the victors, or humiliating concessions from the vanquished; demands a more particular account than has been given to the previous incidents in the foreign intercourse with China.