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profits of carriers and the Canton es tablishments) not upon all China, in which case the vast subdivision might make it a trifle to each individual, but upon a few provinces, enjoying a particular soil and climate; and even in those provinces, as much land is unfitted for the culture of tea, it falls exclusively upon one class of proprietors. Now, it is idle to say that an English Idemand annually for forty millions of pounds, suddenly subtracted, could be a trifle to any single body of men in any state upon earth. Gathered in its whole thunders upon one limited class of proprietors, so large a loss, and so sudden a loss, must be overwhelming.
3. This last rectification arises by simply substituting for all China the really small class amongst whom the loss must be divided. But there is another and a worse rectification which blows to atoms the notion that our custom is a matter of indifference to China. Very probably Lin thinks so, because Lin is not much read in Ricardo. But a second year's experience will tell another tale even to Lin. It is shameful that men preaching the doctrines of Ricardo should have overlooked their application to China. Suffice it in this place to say, that if, instead of forty million pounds, England called for only a few hundred thousands, even that small addition to the previous demand might force into culture some inferior soil which would necessarily give the regulating price for the whole; immediately after which a rent would take place on the penultimate quality of tea-ground, a double rent upon the ante-penultimate, a triple rent upon the pre- ante penultimate, and so on through all the gradations upwards. By parity of process, on the withdrawal of this English stimulus, a corresponding retrocession will take place on every quality of. soil; every quality must sink in rent instantly; for the delay by means of written leases will only transfer the loss from proprietor to farmer; and the lower qualities, which have only been called into use because a smaller range could not furnish the total demand, will be entirely withdrawn in so far as that demand is contracted. So far from not feeling the loss of our English custom, myriads will be ruined by it out and out. Jails will be filled, suicides will multiply, taxes will be
unpaid, opium-eating will prosper, and the full hail-storm of wrath will descend upon the bare skull of Lin, until his Tartar pigtail rises in affright, and streams like a meteor to the troubled air. All the logic in this world will not get over these three rectifications of the notion that, because China is big, therefore an English demand for tea must be insignificant. The truth is, England is not to be valued as to riches upon any scale derived from her extent. If there are a hundred million families in China, of which ninety barely replace their own consumption, there is no wealth except upon the ten millions who do more. Wealth is the surplus arising after consumption is replaced. Now it is certain that upon every British family, not being paupers, such a surplus arises. But upon a vast body of the Chinese, living on rivers, and eating the garbage rejected by the meanest of the comfortable classes, though not paupers, yet no surplus at all arises. No multiplication of such classes, in a non-military state, is any real increase of strength. Not every twenty-fifth man is a cipher in this respect to England, probably not every tenth man is any thing else in China; that is, if he does not lessen the national funds, he does not increase them.
From this digression upon our purely commercial relations to China, as affected by British custom, we recur to the subject of our social standing amongst the same people. Merchants are also men. Now, in the commercial conduct of the Chinese there is not so much to complain of. The institution of the Hong is, no doubt, tyrannical; certain usages, also, and prescriptions (local or national) of the Canton trade may be unjust, or may need revision as impolitic. But, in general, the Hong merchants are admitted to be honest. It is in the social (not the commercial) treatment of our countrymen, that wrongs and indignities have been offered to the British name. And the initial reason is what we have before stated; viz. that for two centuries our connexion has been maintained by unequal contracting parties. A sovereign who affects to make a footstool of the terraqueous globe, and to view all foreigners as barbarians, could not be approached with advantage by a body of manly Englishmen. In their character of merchants they were
already contemptible in Oriental eyes; and the language of respectful homage, when coupled with the tone of self-respect, was viewed with indignation. Such a prince could be propitiated only by the Eastern style of servile prostration; and, were this style even steadily adopted, under the infinite caprices of absolute despots, it would but the more certainly court the vilest occasional outrages. Some of our anti-national scribblers at homeas of course in vast capitals every variety of human nature will be developed-insisted upon it, that our Engglish ambassador ought to have performed the kotou; that it was a mere form; and that the Pekin court usage Iwas the law for those who had occasion to visit Pekin. Had Lord Amherst submitted to such a degradation, the next thing would have been a requisition from the English factory of beautiful English women, according to a fixed description, as annual presents to the Emperor. It is painful to add that, according to the degradation which too naturally takes place in Canton councils, there have been times when such a condition would have been favourably received; and the sole demur would have been raised on the possibility of trepanning any fit succession of their fair compatriots. We know what we are saying. We must all hope that our modern merchants are far too lofty in principle and feeling for compliances so abject. But we are speaking of the general tendencies which take place in such eastern mercantile bodies, when so far removed from the salutary control of English opinion. Our object is to state the evil influences which are operating and long have operated at all our Oriental settlements where the British society is not numerous enough to hold a "potential voice" of moral control. It cannot be disguised that the interests and honour of England sometimes require to be supported against the British merchant as well as against the despotic sovereign of China. The evil, we have already said, began in the unnatural position, perfectly ruinous to the growth of all high-toned honour, between contracting parties so disproportionately assorted, who could not approach each other, and who, differing in religion, in the modes of their civilisation, and in language not less than they did in
rank, had really no one common principle of appeal in their standards of morality. To these original defects of position was added the total neglect of every successive Government at home. Our furious party disputes in England, so unspeakably valuable in sustaining the vigilance and sincerity of our political interests, have yet this one collateral disadvantage-that they leave no leisure or care for remote colonial questions. This very natural indifference was sustained by the enor mous distance-virtually double for the last generation. A voyage of fif teen thousand miles and back made it impossible, in the old state of our Oriental navigation, to receive an answer to a letter of enquiry, at the very earliest, in less than twelve calendar months. The old calculation of an Idumean prince, when threatened by a Jewish rival with an allied force from Rome; viz. that according to all human chances, before three such enemies could have combined a hostile rencontre, either the Jewish threatener, or his Roman ally, or the object of their hostilities, one or all must naturally have perished, and the combination fall through either by failure in the means, or by the extinction of the purpose-this mode of argument applied with triple force to all schemes for connecting Eastern affairs with Parliamentary politics. And thus it happened that for just 150 years our Eastern settlements were all alike neglected. The distance, the obscurity of the interests, the claims, or the intrigues, together with the local peculiarities of thing, person, name, usage— all united to separate us from these splendid theatres of English enterprise as totally as if they had belonged to the planet Jupiter. At length came Lord Clive's magnificent career; another empire was created for England; this empire expanded rapidly; vast fortunes were brought home from India. Much of this money, nay, even the money of native Indian princes, was applied to the support of a Parliamentary influence. Charles Fox grew ambitious of legislating for India. A far greater man, but in this instance a petty one, Edmund Burke, grew interested in the Indian government by his personal hatreds. The light of enquiry began to unveil the importance of these settlements; the English Government would no longer
permit such mighty interests to be regulated by merchants; an overruling participation in the power was demanded; a domestic board of control was established; and finally, by many further changes, of which not the least has been the gradual reduction of the Bengal voyage from six months to three, and the organization of overland routes from Bombay in still shorter space of time, the great Indian colonies have long been placed under the close supervision of English domestic counsels.
But that case was a splendid and a : natural exception. There it was no longer a commerce, no longer a provincial factory, but a vast empire which was concerned; an empire that in many parts had resumed the throne and place of the Moguls-the only 1 sovereigns in the Mahometan line who have ever approached to a general Sovereignty over India. The great circumstances accounted for the great change. But elsewhere things continued as they had been. At Canton especially, no symptom of an improved surveillance has been manifested. The E greater distance, the lesser value at stake, explain this neglect for the present. But steam, in conjunction with railway, is rapidly annihilating the first ; and circumstances, which we are now to indicate, will so vary the last, that a great revolution must now be looked for. We shall be compelled to change our system, or ruin is at hand for English interests in China. The nature of the changes to be expected, we shall briefly state.
Up to the year 1785 it is not worth while to trace the little oscillations of our Canton history. It is merely the history of a counting-house, except for the interest attached to national indignities. Little real variation could take place in our relations with the Chinese court, when all trembled before a power that by one word could annihilate their prosperity, unless when some lion-hearted sailor, such as Lord (then Commodore) Anson, touched at Macao for the sake of repairs or refreshments. This gallant race of men, having no alien interests of a money nature to mislead the simplicity of their English feeling, treated the insolence of the Chinese authorities with the disdain it
"crockery ware," (as he irreverently styled their forts at the Bocca,) in such a summary style, with the guns of his old storm-shaken ship the Centurion, that all the tails in Canton stood on end with horror. Frightened as the British factory was at this explosion of naval spirit, they could not hide from themselves that it succeeded for the moment, and left a useful impression behind it for a pretty long period. It was in fact the results from this demonstration of Anson's, that subsequently suggested the two embassies of the Lords Macartney and Amherst. But previously to the era even of Lord Macartney's mission, an affair of the year 1785 had put into everlast ing characters of shame, had inscribed deeply upon a poor murdered victim's gravestone, what is the capacity for evil, how infinite the possible degradation under a venal spirit of moneymaking, when not counteracted and overruled by the public opinion of an honourable Christian community. The case, a memorable one for our English instruction, was this :-Either in firing a salute of honour, or on some festal occasion, a ball from one of the great guns on board an English Indiaman unfortunately killed a Chinese. Never in the history of human affairs was there a more absolute accident as respected the man who fired the gun. The man who loaded it was never discovered. But this wicked nation, who are so thoroughly demoralized as to perceive no moral difference between the purest case of misfortune terminating in a man's death and the vilest murder of premeditating malice, demanded (according to their practice) all the men to be given up who had in any way been parties to the loading, the priming, or the firing of the gun.
The English factory, whose very cowardice had taken a lesson in the policy of making some resistance to monstrous demands, kicked a little at this summons. But the Chinese, being so thoroughly in the wrong, were of course thoroughly in earnest. The usual circle of remonstrances was run through by the factory; the usual insolent retorts came from the Lins of 1785; the usual steps were taken through the Hong for "closing the trade;" and then-upon that magical sesame all scruples of honour, justice, Christian feeling, gave way at once; wide open flew English doors to the vile
Chinese murderers; and, to the ever. lasting shame of poor dishonoured England, the innocent man, who had acted in obedience to absolute orders from his captain, was given up to these Canton devils, in order that they, under colour of avenging an imaginary murder, might perpetrate as real and foul a murder as human annals record. The man who had fired the gun was professionally the gunner of the vessel; and to our feeling it adds to the inhuman base ness of the surrender, that he was an elderly Portuguese, who had for many years sought by preference the service of the British flag. When the wretches came to seek him, he was on board his ship. The boat being ready, he was called to take his place in her; well he knew whither he was going, and what would be his fate. The officer was present under whose orders he had acted, yet he uttered not a murmur. He took his place modestly at a distance from the officers, and when called to take a more honourable seat by their side, again he obeyed the order. One of the captains, pitying the man's case, and admiring his meekness, humility, and fortitude, uttered some words of consolation; and other cap. tains, adding lies to their perfidy and their cowardice, assured him that not a hair of his head should be touched. But the poor Portuguese knew better -he understood the case; he knew the brutal stupidity of the Chinese, and he read his fate in the obstinacy of their pursuit. Still he murmured not; only at these delusive assurances, which added mockery to murder, he shook his head with a mournful significancy. The sequel is soon told -this humble servant of the British flag was solemnly delivered up to his assassins. Some of the better Chinese were themselves startled at the approaching tragedy; for, let it be observed, there was no deviation from the statement here made, even in credulous Canton. The Chinese version of the story differed in no iota from the English. Murmurs began to creep through that timid, servile city. The man's deportment, so humble and submissive, conciliated some pity even from the fools who thought him a criminal. It was found expedient to dispatch a courier to Pekin for further orders. In due course, the fatal mandate returned for the execution to proceed, and this poor injured man
suffered on a Chinese gallows by hanging, for having fulfilled his duty on the deck of a British ship. Baseness and faint-heartedness so complicated, we willingly believe, cannot often have been repeated by British authorities even in a factory. We would even hope that the case must be unique. But it is proper that we should know what are the atrocities which, under the spirit of gain, even free-born Britons can commit, and which, under their accursed system of law, the Chinese can exact.
These precedents, it will be said, belong to a past age. Certainly as regards the British share in the disgrace; but not as regards the Chinese share in the terror. The same scenes are eternally impending. The Chinese laws do not change. It is the very expression of their improgressive state that they cannot. Centuries make no reforms in a land open to no light. That same monstrous principle, upon which a poor dependent of England was then given up to an ignominious death-the principle that, in a certain event, inevitable misfortune and malice aforethought are equally criminal, punishable equally by the death of a dog-this principle never will be abandoned. This principle has, since the year 1785, again and again brought us into terrific embarrassments; and it is idle to suppose that in a seaport, the resort of sailors from the highestspirited nation upon the earth, and liable to perpetual insults from Chinese vagabonds, any vigilance can ever close or seal up this opening to occasional manslaughters. We do not mention, as a separate evil, the liability of our people to be confounded with the Americans; from the identity of their naval costume, this must continually happen: but amongst Chinese idola ters we view the Americans as one with ourselves. They are Christiansthey have our British blood in their veins; and they have inherited from ourselves, as children of enlightened liberty, the same intolerance of wrong. It would be a petty clannish form of nationality to separate our cause from theirs.
But now mark :—as yet, or at least until the last few years, this hor rible Chinese degeneration of moral distinctions has operated only upon a known, distinct, and concentrated surface, upon a body of men under the eye, and partially reined up
tightly by the hand, of cautious superiors. Had any other been the case, long before this the very stones in England would have mutinied for vengeance-such would have been the judicial atrocities committed by the Chinese. At present all things are changing in the aspects of English colonization and of our Asiatic commerce. The mere expansion of our Indian empire, and the widening circle of our Asiatic relations, would gradually = multiply our shipping, our social necessities, and our points of contact with foreigners in all Eastern seas. But, apart from India, the following important changes have recently begun to open :
1st, The colonial importance of New South Wales is now annually strengthening, so much as to send off sub-de. pendencies to other parts of the same great continent. The insular colonies of Van Diemen's will add another nucleus in the same region, which already is connecting itself, by numerous threads, with important settlements in every part of the Eastern ocean.
2dly, The infant colony of New Zealand will soon, of itself, form another and a separate nucleus in the same region of that ocean. This colony has been treated with contradictory harshness by Lord John Russell now drawing back from the most reasonable interposition of Government-now volunteering the most hos tile; this day refusing the slightest expression of maternal grace from England-next day placing England, towards her own suppliant children, in the attitude of a malignant stepmother. But, for all that, New Zealand is destined to a giant's career. It is a youthful Hercules, that will throttle the snakes about its cradle. The clix mate, not too relaxing, the soil, the waters, the interconnexion between the noblest children of civilisation, and by very much the noblest race of savages in the world-these great advantages, combined with two others-(the first being, that a large proportion of capitalists will be concerned in this colonial edifice; and the second, that convicts will be excluded,)-compose a body of inauguration for this enterprise, which wears a promise hardly within the compass of disappointment. The long infancy of all other colonies will be spared to this; 1st, in consequence of the power and light which
are now directed upon the general subject of colonization from the centres of European civilisation; 2dly, in consequence of the peculiar local endowments; and lastly, in consequence of the magical revolution in the arts of locomotion.
3dly, The missionary efforts, from Christian England, are now annually expanding their means, and organizing their forces. Were it merely through the growing knowledge of Eastern languages, this religious interest must go on at a pace liable to sudden accelerations of speed. It is in the nature of such undertakings to kindle as they advance; and, as the separate centres of radiation, begin to link on to each other, gradually interknitting as a chain of posts in active intercommunication.
All these concurring causes will soon multiply our Oriental shipping by twenty-fold. In fact, fresh emporia, such as Singapore, have been rising of late years. Ceylon has been rising rapidly in importance. Our increasing intercourse with the Red Sea, (now strengthened by military stations,) will further abbreviate the intercourse between Europe and the Indian Ocean. These causes, taken by themselves, and apart from the fact that the missionaries have been applying themselves, with peculiar energy, to the vast unguarded sea-coast of China, will avail to carry into Chinese jurisdictions a score of British ships for one that has had occasion to face that danger. Occasional shipwrecks, or calls under stress of weather, will increase in the same proportion. And of this we may be assured, that opportunities for retaliation, in a twenty-fold proportion, will henceforwards offer to this ignoble people in every case where their monstrous laws may happen to be infringed.
It is a subject of just alarm, that not only will the occasions for revenge be multiplied, but the chances of provoking revenge, by offending those unnatural laws, will even outrun our increased scale of intercourse. For it must never be forgotten, that the opening of the trade to China-were there no other change in operationhas, by itself, utterly deranged the old local authority of any superintendents whom the new condition of the commerce will endure. Hitherto the enterprising parties (the final controllers)