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tions to educe good out of evil, and make the wrath, the avarice, and the ambition of men to serve his purposes, and advance his own designs, although their intentions may be far otherwise. In this view the last act in the negotiations which ended with the treaty of Whampoa, the qualified permission obtained for the reception and exercise of Christianity, was one of the most important. Its effects will be greater, there can hardly be a doubt, than the commercial stipulations and political arrangements in all the treaties; and its ultimate consequences of the highest moment. The external and internal relations of the Chinese empire at the close of the year 1844, were in a far better state than one would have supposed they could have become in so short a time after such a convulsion. The cities and provinces where the storm of war had beat most violently were reviving, the authority of the officers was becoming re-established, the bands of lawless desperadoes were gradually dispersing, and the people resuming their peaceful pursuits. No ill-will was manifested in Amoy on account of the losses its citizens had sustained, nor at Ningpo or Shanghai for their occupation by English troops. The English consuls at the five ports had all been received, and trade was commencing under favorable auspices. The opium trade, for this dark feature everywhere forces itself into the prospect, was also extending, and opium schooners plying up and down the coast, and lying on the outside limits of every port to deliver the drug. From the close of the year 1844 to the present period, nothing has occurred to disturb the amicable relations existing in general between China and other nations, except the opposition of the citizens of Canton to granting foreigners a larger space for residences there, and freedom to enter the city and ramble in its vicinity. Their hostility proceeded to such a length that the local government became utterly powerless to carry the stipulations of the treaties in these particulars into effect; Governor Davis consequently proceeded to Canton in May, 1847, with several vessels of war, capturing all the guns at the Bogue in his progress up the river, and compelled the authorities to grant a larger space for residences and warehouses, on the south side of the river opposite the factories, to be occupied as soon as arrangements could be made, and also provide for the prospect.
PRESENT CONDITION OF CHINA. 595
ive fulfilment of the other stipulations of the treaty. The dis. like to foreigners exhibited by the people of Canton is owing to a variety of reasons, chiefly growing out of the war; and there is danger that it will not be removed or concealed without some violent outbreak and dreadful example. The well-known wishes of the government to maintain peace, and the good disposition manifested at the other ports, strengthen the hope that collisions there will not involve the whole country. The present position of the Chinese empire is both interesting and critical ; and whether the present government has most to fear the internal or external causes of disturbance, is hard to say, though perhaps the elements of discord within are more likely to cause a revolution than any movement from without. The ignorance of the government respecting its own rights in its intercourse with other nations, and a full understanding of the nature and extent of the demands of western powers for greater privileges and freedom, is to be regretted, since it excites suspicions of their designs, and "a fear that to grant one privilege is only establishing a precedent for another. This ignorance not only disables the officers from proper action when the time for acting arrives; leads them into rash measures and false positions, which they would avoid if they were better informed ; and makes them hesitate as to the course of conduct when they are forced to do something; but it prevents them from wishing to learn anything, because they suppose there is nothing worth learning. Their course of classical education does not enlarge or stimulate the mind, and as the student comes into the busy scenes of life, his prospects, ideas, and conclusions, being bounded by his own country and literature, are all cramped, inconclusive, and erroneous, when applied to affairs beyond that sphere. The mass of people being likewise ignorant, are also easily induced, as at Canton, to resist innovation, and oppose the execution of the stipulations of treaties, or any other plans which their rulers may see to be absolutely necessary. It has been, in some degree, owing to the almost total want of books from which either people or ruler could learn the truth about other countries; for the Chinese student, who might wish to investigate such subjects, had no dictionaries or guides, nothing to aid in understanding other languages, or assist him in his pursuit. Another source of future difficulty in the intercourse of China with western nations is the long-established notion of the emperor's supremacy; which, though it has received a stunning blow by the war with England, in the minds of both the sovereign and his people, is not yet given up, nor even seen to be foolish. Wounded pride easily winces at what, under other circumstances, would be passed by with contempt. The emperor receives nearly divine adulation and homage from his subjects; and even the Romish missionaries, who well knew the meaning of the ceremony, did not hesitate to make the nine prostrations. For a subject to omit this homage, even before his picture, is tantamount to rebellion, and a disavowal of his character, and would be sufficient cause for dismission and disgrace. For the emperor to give up this ceremony, which involves his religious character, would be, in some measure, to part with a portion of his power; for in this case the ceremony itself is power, as, apart from religious scruples, no subject would object to it. If the emperor could not do away with it to his own subjects and tributaries without impairing his influence, he would feel humbled in their sight by admitting despised foreigners to an audience without requiring it; nor could he allow the repetition of such audiences without weakening it in some degree. He would feel mortified at this continual disavowal of his own imperial character on the part of a few foreigners, and decline the audiences altogether, if, in his irritation, he did nothing more unbecoming. This is a fundamental part of the Chinese system of government, which must, so far as can be seen, undergo an entire change, before it is given up. If western powers should require the emperor to receive resident ministers, difficulties would almost unavoidably arise touching the etiquette of his court. No acknowledged representative of any foreign power has ever resided in his borders. Consuls are regarded as headmen over their countrymen, and are not invested with any representative character by the Chinese government; being appointed simply to guide and restrain their own people. A resident minister at Peking from the court of St. Cloud evidently requires that a Chinese envoy live at Paris; but the emperor would be puzzled to know what use either of them could be, since there were no Frenchmen in his capital, nor Chinese at Paris for them to restrain and control. Until the court of Peking places its ceremonies on a different basis, and accepts obeisance instead of
CAUSES OF FUTURE COLLISION. 597
requiring worship, respectful etiquette instead of tributary fealty, and becomes better acquainted with its relations to foreign powers, ministers and ambassadors from abroad had better not be forced on it, though their desirableness and necessity should be constantly impressed on it. The result of the withdrawal of the English resident from Ava has been a cessation of unpleasant feelings on the part of the Burmese"; while he was there, he was looked upon as a spy and busybody, making inquiries into everything, which, in their view, could have no other motive than with reference to ulterior conquest. Such would be the case in China. The novelty of his position inciting the minister to examine into everything, would excite suspicions, and the train of ill consequences likely to spring from them, nurtured as they would be by past experience of the power of one nation, and strengthened by ignorance and misapprehension of the designs of all. A man can judge of what he does not know only by what he does know, and in such a case the conclusion would of course be very incorrect. The irresistible progress of the intercourse now commenced will probably be such as in a few years to lead the court to see the advantage of having the envoys of other powers nearer to it; and then they can be received, too, on well-understood grounds. The three treaties were, it is highly probable, more satisfactorily negotiated, because the plenipotentiaries of England, France, and America, did not make it an indispensable preliminary that they should go to the capital. Another probable cause of collision is the recurrence of popular tumults at the five ports. The citizens of these places once prejudiced by designing persons, it would not be difficult to excite them against the foreign residents, and a riot ensue in which the loss of life and property might be dreadful, before the local authorities could effectually interpose. In such a case, the consul and his government would call on them for indemnification for the past, and security for the future. The Chinese government cannot restrain every outbreak of popular indignation among those whom it can hardly govern itself; nor, when its intentions are peaceable, can it be held in the same measure guilty for the violence of its subjects, and visited with general war because of the misdeeds of a few. In Asia, if any disturbance occur between the native princes or their subjects and foreigners, a resort to force is the first thing talked of. No for.
bearance is to be shown the offending party, but they must be chastised, or they will never learn to treat their visitors well. Little or no allowance is made for the ignorance, the prejudices, the suspicions, and the excitability of the weaker party; nor for the effect of unfounded rumors as to the intentions and conduct of the stronger. Such things are likely to occur often between people so ignorant of each other's habits, and foreigners from Christian countries are usually least ready to respect the prejudices of the heathen. Sir John Davis mentions an instance where the passage of a corpse at the public landing-place in Macao was resisted by the custom-house tidewaiters stationed there, and the sailors immediately prepared to resent the indignity, and a row would have ensued if they had not been told on the spot that no insult was intended, and that it was considered both unlucky and illegal for a dead body to pass over any place appropriated to imperial use. The coffin was consequently landed at another jetty without any opposition. Cases of collision from similar causes are constantly liable to arise, and their repetition breeds a settled dislike, which vents itself in many ways, and grows by its own exhibition. The opium trade is, however, more likely than anything else soonest to give rise to collision. The manner in which this traffic has been left by the treaties apparently allows the Chinese authorities great freedom of action; but whenever attacked, the vessels engaged in it have resisted, under the plea of defending themselves against pirates. It is impossible to say what course of action the government will take in relation to it, but the emperor will be obliged to do something before many years. The prospect in this direction is dark in the extreme, both as respects internal peace, and the continuance of amicable relations with England. Her rulers at home would be sorry to see the trade lessened, and every official effort of the Chinese to stay the dreadful scourge is likely in some way or other to be resisted. The introduction of Christian truth, of liberal principles, of free discussion, of sound knowledge, and of pure religion, among the millions of China, will also tend to break up the long existing state of society. The people will erelong understand and assert their rights; at first the rulers will oppose them, until the pres. sure becomes too strong, when they will either quietly yield, or be overwhelmed in their own opposition. There are many rea