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the earth has witnessed, to the ef- little more than gilt furniture and boxes forts of Liliput? Not so, reader; of sweetmeats, (see Segur,) all had but of what avail is any power un perished that could perish for Russia, der circumstances which forbid it to after which every loss must be a act? The power of gravitation is French loss. Even without the wins the greatest we know of; yet it is ter, the French army was a condemned nothing at all if you would apply it to body after that. There surely was a the sending up of rockets. The Eng. deadly miscalculation. And such a lish navy might as reasonably throw miscalculation is ours in meditating bomb-shells into the crater of Vesu- the retrieval of our losses by war upon vius, by way of bidding it be quiet, this inert and most lubberly of masses. or into the Kingdom of the Birds But perhaps it will be said we shall above us, as seek to make any deep not altogether depend on sea-captures. impression upon such a vast callous We shall seize the island of Formosa; hulk as the Chinese empire. It is may be we shall seize Canton. But defended by its essential non-irritabi. even in those places we shall find nosuch lity, arising out of the intense non- accumulations of government stores as development of its resources; were it would be found in any of our active better developed, China would become and warlike European states. Some an organized state, a power like Bri- old fixtures in the shape of buildings, tain : at present it is an inorganic palaces, halls of justice, &c., will be mass—something to be kicked, but the most that we can count upon as which cannot kick again_having no government property; or perhaps Lin, commerce worth counting-no vast in his hurry of absconding, may leave establishments of maritime industry— his snuff-box behind, his opium-box, no arsenals - no shipbuilding towns or his peacock's feather. But we can -no Portsmouths, Deals, Deptfords, hardly hope to bring the Celestial fix. Woolwiches, Sunderlands, Newcastles, tures to a Demerara “ vendue." It is Liverpools, Bristols, Glasgows; in true there are the revenues. These short, no vital parts—no organs-10 we can divert, either in Canton or in heart—no lungs. As well deliver your Formosa, to our own exchequer. But, broadsides against the impassive air; unless we adopt the French plan of or, in Prospero's words,
instant requisitions, (which, if at any
time fair, would surely be far other. “ Stab the still closing waters
wise in a case where there is no shaWith all-bemock'd-at wounds."
dow of a quarrel with the people, but Indeed, it is a more hopeful concern only with the Government, we must to make war upon the winds and the stay for some years to gather in any waters; for both are known to suffer considerable harvest: because the great great changes during some time after source of Canton wealth will be dried the continued cannonading of a great up by the inland embargo upon the sea-fight; whereas China is, like Rus- tea provinces ; and the Formosa prossia, defensible, without effort of her perity depends much upon coasting men, by her own immeasurable extent, commerce with the mainland of China, combined with the fact of having no which will now be subject to the vulnerable organs-no local concen- hazards of a contraband trade. Betrations of the national power in which sides, these two occupations will rea mortal wound can be planted. There quire a land force; and the very exlay the mistake of Napoleon in his penses of such occupations may very desperate anabasis to Moscow : in the easily be such that we shall all think whole area of interminable Muscovy, it a happy thing if the interrupted lowhich centuries could not effectually cal revenues should satisfy them. traverse with armies, there was but But finally, in dismissing this opium one weak or vulnerable place, and part of the general question, we would that was the heart of the Czar. But wish to press upon the attention of it was too deadly a stake to throw any interested parties, that they should upon that single chance the fate of so not look at the several parts of the vast an army, and the future préstige affair as insulated cases, but should of the French military name. Moscow review the entire series as a whole, having perished, which, after all, was in which the last stage is adapted to a flea-bite even as regarded the annual the first, in which the first movement income of the land; for it contained contemplates the end. This war upon
China may be otherwise useful; weour- ranteeing : that is now impossible. 4 terselves believe it will, and for purposes But, were it not so, two home consien des which we are going to notice. But derations remain: 1st, How many riepas at present we are dealing with it as a mercantile establishments, or their creEren rate measure adopted by our Government ditors, may have gone down whilst alk to meet certain difficulties created waiting ? 2d, If the money principle 2. They (with or without reason) by them- of the war is to pay the merchants in maten. I selves, and defended upon specific the first place, and to leave the costs of tas and grounds. It is those grounds we speak the expeditions as a charge against of conto; we argue ad hominem. The de- the country, hy not, by a simpler mot fence put forward for this war is- process, have created the charge, in
Tibe that thus we shall recover the value the first place, as a direct indemnifi. "defender of the surrendered opium. By whom cation to the merchants, and then the went surrendered ? Not, as one might think, afterwards go a campaigning for glory ball see a by some former thoughtless Tory ad- and repayment ? Unless the proceeds energet ministration ; no, but by themselves, from the expeditions shall be found to
few months ago. Was ever cover both debts, what is this but to such a Penelope's policy, such weav- create a secondary debt for the puring and unweaving, adopted by any pose of covering a primary debt, and
rational Government ? They (for of with the vast disadvantage of certain i inose necessity their undisavowed agent is intermediate bloodshed, with a prodi
they) one fine day give up like lambs gious waste of energy, and by a promore than £2,000,000 worth of pro- cess most absurdly lingering as well
perty, and on another fine day like as childishly circuitous ? tad, ka tigers they say, Let us fetch it back So much for the opium question,
We did a most drunken act which, when probed, does not seem to bring last night: we gave up our watch and colour the state of our foreign rela
purse to a fellow because he had the tions very favourably for the present impudence to ask it. This morning, Administration. But, as it may be being sober, let us pitch into” him thought that the general bearing of and fetch it back.
this review is unfavourable also to the Upon every principle of plain deal- entertainment of a Chinese war, we ing, every British merchant who sur. will now turn to that side of the quesrendered his opium will have a right tion. to say-indemnified or not indemnified War, as a measure of finance--as a by a war, he will have the right- mere resource of a delinquent and fail" Captain Elliot, as commissioner of ing exchequer, is certainly less likely the British Government, as an honours to succeed with an empire like China, able Englishman, one of a nation that so compact, so continental, so remote is generous and noble, (be its faults-and, beyond all other disqualifying otherwise what they may,) and that circumstances, so inorganic—than with disdains all trickery,---can you lay any other in the known world. The your hand upon your heart and look French have an expression for a man me in the face whilst you say, that who is much mixed up in social relaeither I ought to have understood, or sions that he is repandu dans le that you thought I understood, by monde ; or, as Lord Bolingbroke once that solemn guarantee to see me reim- said of Pope, by translating that bursed, simply this remote-this con- phrase, scattered and diffused in sotingent-this fractional chance from ciety. Now this is the very descripsuch a war as we can wage with tion of our own English condition as China ? Will you say that, for my a people ; and, above all other facts, it children's bread, as a thing understood proclaims our indomitable energy, and and recognised between us, I was to our courageous self-dependence. Of all exchange a certain property, in ab- nations that ever have been heard of, solute possession, for
we are the most scattered and exclaims upon some distant fighting ex- ' posed: we are to be reached by a cursion against some place or places thousand wounds in thousands of outunknown, in a kingdom almost be- lying extremities; the very outposts of longing to another planet?" The thing civilisation are held by Englishmen, is too monstrous for evasion : it speaks every where maintaining a reserve of for itself. No reimbursement can reliance upon the mighty mother in clear the honour of the parties gua- Europe-every where looking to her
en is met
in the last extremities for aid, or for rich seaside, a golden coast, that is summary vengeance, in the case of her what we need to make a naval war aid coming too late ; but all alike, in lucrative. But what then? We need the ordinary state of things, relying war for other purposes than instant upon themselves against all enemies; gain. And these purposes it is our and thinking it sufficient matter of next duty to press upon the attention. gratitude to England that she has sent. All our misfortunes or disgraces at them out with stout arms_with a re- Canton have arisen out of one original verence for laws-with constitutional vice in the foundation of our interenergy, and, above all, with a pure re
This began under the unligion. Such are we English people happy baptism of two unequal con. such is the English condition. Now, tracting sponsors ; a great and most what we are in the very supreme de arrogant emperor on the one side, a gree, that is China in the lowest. We
narrow company of mercantile advenare the least defended by massy con- turers on the other. In Europe, gocentration-she the most so. We have vernments treat with governments, the colonial instinct in the strongest merchants with merchants. All, degree—China in the lowest. With therefore, goes rightly. But in Asia, us the impulses of expatriation are ale until we also became a great Asiatic most morbid in their activity- in potentate, the case was constantly as China they are undoubtedly morbid in between the Roman logician armed their torpor.
At one time, and it may with a book, and his imperial opponent be so still
, the Chinese Government backed by thirty legions. In China, absolutely refused to treat, on the for local reasons of shyness towards cheapest terms, for the redemption of all foreigners, the case was worse than certain Chinese captives, or even to elsewhere; there was a simple coundefray their return home on the Ro ting-house and ledger on the one side, man plea, that they had abjured their there was a great throne and its satelcountry : but how ? Not upon the lites on the other. Every cause of Roman principle that, having fled in dispute and repulsion was called into battle, or having yielded to captivity, action between the parties, mutual they had disgraced their sacred mother religious horror being superadded; country and ceased to be her children: and for a cement, for a link, for reci. no; but because, having exiled them- procal attraction, there was but the one selves in quest of bread, they had dared mean principle of reciprocal gain. to think any other more hopeful than Here, however, we pause to notice the Celestial soil. With such prin- one capital oversight in political ecociples it is not to be supposed that nomy. It has been said many scores Chinese colonies can ever prosper, or of times, in derision of our English ever become other than a degraded hold upon China, that in so vast a terlimb of the Chinese state. It is vain ritoryour tea demand, large as it seems, to expect much energy in a direction must be a bagatelle. Must it so ? Now which is habitually frowned upon by mark how three sentences shall put the Chinese authorities and institu- that down. tions. And accordingly, not now only, 1. Our demand is not little in any but for a very long futurity, we must sense : it is great relatively, it is great expect to see sailors, shipbuilders, absolutely. So poor are the majority colonists, foreign capitalists, merchants, of the Chinese, that they never taste &c., thriving only as those thrive who such a beverage as tea; more than are a despised class of offcasts. There Hungarian peasants drink tokay, or is not motion enough in the stagnant French peasants champagne. And it state of Chinese society to hope for has been repeatedly computed that our any material change. And to China English exportation is one clear moias it is—not China as it might be we ety of the crop. must adapt our future relations, which 2. But if it were barely a-tenth inare annually becoming more im- stead of a-half, nay a-fiftieth, it would portant.
operate most powerfully on the Chinese A war for money, a war for indem- funds, were it only for this reason, that nities, cannot be a hopeful war against the tea provinces are but a small part a lazy, torpid body, without colonies, of China. Consequently, whatever loss ships, commerce, and consequently follows any decay of English purwithout any great maritime depots. À chases, falls (after allowing for the
11:43 profits of carriers and the Canton esa unpaid, opium-eating will prosper, and *** tablishments) not upon all China, in the full hail-storm of wrath will deU2 which case the vast subdivision might scend upon the bare skull of Lin, un
make it a trifle to each individual, but til his Tartar pigtail rises in affright, upon a few provinces, enjoying a par- and streams like a meteor to the
ticular soil and climate ; and even in troubled air. All the logic in this el those provinces, as much land is un- world will not get over these three
fitted for the culture of tea, it falls ex- rectifications of the notion that, because standi clusively upon one class of proprietors. China is big, therefore an English * Now, it is idle to say that an English demand for tea must be insignificant. 2. Ta demand annually for forty millions of The truth is, England is not to be valued 'In pounds, suddenly subtracted, could be as to riches upon any scale derived from ran a trifle to any single body of men in her extent. If there are a hundred post any state upon earth. Gathered in million families in China, of which nine
its whole thunders upon one limited ty barely replace their own consump:: class of proprietors, so large a loss, tion, there is no wealth except upon o menu and so sudden a loss, must be over- the ten millions who do more. Wealth whelming.
is the surplus arising after consump3. This last rectification arises by tion is replaced. Now it is certain that is simply substituting for all China the upon every British family, not being mreally small class amongst whom the paupers, such a surplus arises. But
loss must be divided. But there is upon a vast body of the Chinese, living hone another and a worse rectification which on rivers, and eating the garbage rea blows to atoms the notion that our jected by the meanest of the comfort
custom is a matter of indifference to able classes, though not paupers, yet 58 China. Very probably Lin thinks so, no surplus at all arises. No multipli- .
because Lin is not much read in Ri- cation of such classes, in a non-milicardo. But a second year's experience tary state, is any real increase of will tell another tale even to Lin. It strength. Not every twenty-fifth man is shameful that men preaching the is a cipher in this respect to England, doctrines of Ricardo should have over- probably not every tenth man is any
looked their application to China. Thing else in China ; that is, if he does i Suffice it in this place to say, that if, not lessen the national funds, he does
instead of forty million pounds, Eng- not increase them. land called for only a few hundred From this digression upon our purely thousands, even that small addition to commercial relations to China, as afthe previous demand might force into fected by British custom, we recur to culture some inferior soil which would the subject of our social standing necessarily give the regulating price amongst the same people. Merchants for the whole ; immediately after are also men. Now, in the commercial which a rent would take place on the conduct of the Chinese there is not so penultimate quality of tea-ground, a much to complain of. The institution double rent upon the ante-penultimate, of the Hong is, no doubt, tyrannical ; a triple rent upon the pre-ante. penulti- certain usages, also, and prescriptions mate, and so on through all the gra- (local or national) of the Canton trade dations upwards. By parity of pro- may be unjust, or may need revision as cess, on the withdrawal of this English impolitic. But, in general, the Hong stimulus, a corresponding retrocession merchants are admitted to be honest. will take place on every quality of. It is in the social (not the commercial) soil ; every quality must sink in rent treatment of our countrymen, that instantly; for the delay by means of wrongs and indignities have been written leases will only transfer the offered to the British name. And the loss from proprietor to farmer; and initial reason is what we have before the lower qualities, which have only stated; viz. that for two centuries our been called into use because a smaller connexion has been maintained by un. range could not fu
ish the total de equal contracting parties. mand, will be entirely withdrawn in reign who affects to make a footstool so far as that demand is contracted. of the terraqueous globe, and to view So far from not feeling the loss of our all foreigners as barbarians, could not English custom, myriads will be ruined be approached with advantage by a by it out and out. Jails will be filled, body of manly Englishmen. In their suicides will multiply, taxes will be character of merchants they were
already contemptible in Oriental eyes; rank, had really no one common prin. and the language of respectful homage, ciple of appeal in their standards of when coupled with the tone of self-re- morality. To these original defects spect, was viewed with indignation. of position was added the total neglect sende Such a prince could be propitiated of every successive Government at only by the Eastern style of servile home. Our furious party disputes in prostration; and, were this style England, so unspeakably valuable in even steadily adopted, under the infi. sustaining the vigilanee and sincerity nite caprices of absolute despots, it of our political interests, have yet this would but the more certainly court the one collateral disadvantage-that they vilest occasional outrages. Some of leave no leisure or care for remote our anti-national scribblers at home- colonial questions. This very naturala co as of course in vast capitals every va- indifference was sustained by the enor. riety of human nature will be deve. mous distance-virtually double for loped—insisted upon it, that our Eng. the last generation. A voyage of fifglish ambassador ought to have per- teen thousand miles and back made it formed the kotou ; that it was a mere impossible, in the old state of our Oriform; and that the Pekin court usage ental navigation, to receive an answer was the law for those who had occa- to a letter of enquiry, at the very earsion to visit Pekin. Had Lord Am. liest, in less than twelve calendar herst submitted to such a degradation, months. The old calculation of an the next thing would have been a re- Idumean prince, when threatened by quisition from the English factory of a Jewish rival with an allied force from here beautiful English women, according Rome ; viz. that according to all huto a fixed description, as annual pre- man chances, before three such enesents to the Emperor. It is painful to mies could have combined a' hostile add that, according to the degrada- rencontre, either the Jewish threat- en tion which too naturally takes place ener, or his Roman ally, or the object in Canton councils, there have been of their hostilities, one or all must times when such a condition would naturally have perished, and the comment have been favourably received; and bination fall through either by failure the sole demur would have been raised in the means, or by the extinction of B on the possibility of trepanning any the purpose—this mode of argument tar, fit succession of their fair compatriots. applied with triple force to all schemes We know what we are saying. We for connecting Eastern affairs with must all hope that our modern mer. Parliamentary politics. And thus it chants are far too lofty in principle happened that for just 150 years our and feeling for compliances so abject. Eastern settlements were all alike neBut we are speaking of the general ten- glected. The distance, the obscurity for dencies which take place in such east- of the interests, the claims, or the inern mercantile bodies, when so far trigues, together with the local pecuremoved from the salutary control of liarities of thing, person, name, usage po English opinion. Our object is to all united to separate us from these state the evil influences which are splendid theatres of English enterprise ? Can operating and long have operated at as totally as if they had belonged to all our Oriental settlements where the the planet Jupiter. At length came British society is not numerous enough Lord Clive's magnificent career; anto hold potential voice" of moral other empire was created for Eng. control. It cannot be disguised that land; this empire expanded rapidly ; the interests and honour of England vast fortunes were brought home from sometimes require to be supported India. Much of this money, nay, the against the British merchant as well even the money of native Indian prinsip as against the despotic sovereign of ces, was applied to the support of a China. The evil, we have already Parliamentary influence. Charles Fox said, began in the unnatural position, grew ambitious of legislating for In. perfectly ruinous to the growth of all dia. A far greater man, but in this high-toned honour, between contract- instance a petty one, Edmund Burke, ing parties so disproportionately as- grew interested in the Indian governsorted, who could not approach each ment by his personal hatreds. The other, and who, differing in religion, light of enquiry began to unveil the in the modes of their civilisation, and importance of these settlements ; the in language not less than they did in English Government would no longer