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justice. He made a requisition for two hundred probably employed under more unexceptionable Chinese coolies from Hongkong to assist in the officers than the late Secretary of the Peace So. demolition of the forts. The governor writes :- ciety, and an Admiral described by all who know
I immediately sumunoned the Executive Council of the bim as a Christian man, and a model of humanity Colony, and we were unanimously of opinion that it would and generosity. An attempt was even made to be nndesirable to sead up this contingency. A large propor. separate their position, and to show that the Adtion of the Hongkong population is affiliated in the secret societies in China, and the probable mischief resulting from character were found to be very inconvenient. It
miral was irresponsible, because attacks upon bis their presence under official sanction would, in my judgment; failed signally, for the papers in the blue books counterbalance any possible good; the class required prin. cipally belong to the laka races, who are at deadly enmity show that Sir Michael Seymour approved of the with the Cantonese, and whose outbreaks would with difficulty course adopted in every instance, and that he was be restrained.
consulted on every step. We do not believe that A second request from the Admiral induced the the leading members of the Peace Society, or governor to promise the contingent required upon perhaps any members of that body, are chargeable the 5th of November, because he considered “the on account of the flagrant untruths priuted and urgent request of the Admiral, with his accom published, colourably in behalf of their principles, panying reasons, sufficient to outweigh his objec. really for the advancement of the Gladstone and tions to the measure,' which, nevertheless, he Graliam interests, of a party who would rather describes as "somewhat questionable.” At the govern among ruins than serve a prosperous state; same time, a statement, “deploring the necessity and no doubt at their expense. One pamphlet of for these hostile demonstrations,” bad been ad. eight pages gives an account of the Chinese dressed by Consul Parkes to the Chinese, and affair, that would require three times the space to issued. The Chinese coolies were not sent to refute; and yet it was circulated freely over LonCanton from Hongkong, but a number of Lascars don during the elections. Myriads of lives, and incalwere employed in the removal of the debris. culable property, were destroyed; one writer says,
Even the Chinese deputations, who, towards the a commercial city containing a population almost middle of November, and after the fleet of Chinese equal to London, was exposed to the borrors of war junks had been captured by Sir M. Seymour, bombardinent,". and thus he runs waited upon the Admiral, admitted the reasonable series of calamities that exist only in his own ness of the demands made by the British, and imagination ; aud it must be one of a very bad " threw the whole blame upon the personal policy character. The parliamentary papers show the of his Excellency, Yeh."
reverse of these statements. The Coinmissioner The forgetfulness of the ninth commandment and the deputation were told that the squadron by some parties who concern themselves with could bombard the city, but this course was not this subject is a matter for deep regret on their taken. Cominissioner Yel's house was bombarded account, because nothing in Scripture is plainer at the rate of four, and, for a time, six shots an than the fate of “ liars"-of “whosoever loveth or hour. A number of houses in one position was maketh a lic." Politicians who quote Scripture destroyed for strategic purposes, but the people sometimes do that in the spirit of a personage
were warned, and during the previous night they whose name even it bas become polite to leave in removed their goods. One gate of the city wall blank; but he was the "father” of that class of was blown in, and shots were fired regularly to people who have attempted to lie down the charac-keep the entrance opeu, but all the Cantonese ter of their countrymen for years past, whenever liable to injury or loss from this operation were disputes unfortunately arose between them and also warned out of danger's way. After reading foreign nations. Pamphlets were issued and the despatches, the Earl of Clarendou on the 10th widely circulated during the London elections, ap. January last, acquainted the Lords of the Admi. parently by the peace-at any-price gentlemen, who ralty that he approved entirely of Admiral Sey. should begin at the beginning, and suppress the mour's conduct "and the respect which he has police. If we are to be subjected to the indiscri- shown for the lives and properties of the Chinese minate rule of vagabonds, it might not be inadvi- people.” At that date a parliamentary collision sable to try our “ home villains” in the first place, on the subject was not expected. It was an afterand withdraw all opposition to the efforts of ticket. thought. of-leave men. The worst of them is more amiable Admiral Seymour, in writing to Commissioner than, or putting his character in a less questionable Yeh ou the 30th October, says :-- Even yesterday, form, is not so bad as Commissioner Yeh. Very when entering the city, no blood was shed, save few specimens of human demonology have had when my men were assailed, and the property of the means of breaking the sixth commandment to the people was in every case respected.” He adds the extent, and in the number of instances as- " the lives and property of the entire city popula.. cribed to that most uvamiable personage. Still tion are at my mercy, and could be destroyed by we find the opponents of capital punishments at me at any moment that any event might impose home warm friends of the greatest executioner of upon me so sad a necessity.” The detractors of modern times, the greatest, with a few exceptions, Admiral Seymour at home would not have known in history. An armed force was never | dealt more leniently by any other Admiral, unless
one could have been found to run away. Before is Le-ming-tæ ; and another of the crew, by name fire was opened on the Chinese Commissioner's Woo-a jen, deposed before Assistant Magistrate house, “due notice was given to the Consuls of Heu, that Le-ming-tæ told him after an acquaint. the treaty powers, and as far as possible to the ance of two days the particulars of these horrid Chinese in the vicinity.” When firing commenced murders in piracy. Consul Parkes in reference to on the 28th October, " the people of the locality this information says: had previously removed,” and Sir M. Seymour writes on the 29th of that month :
With the allegations bronght against Le-ming-tæ alias
Leang-ming-tæ, it appears to me we have little to do. He I yesterday assumed offensive operations from the Dutch may have committed the crimes imputed to him. Hwang-leenFolly, where I had placed two guns in position, having pre- vral may have been as quick as he states himself to have viously given the fullest warning to the inhabitants in the been in discerning him on board the “ Arrow.” That he vicinity to remove their persons and property, an occupation should have avowed his crime, and told (as stated by the they were engaged in during the whole of the previous Imperial Commissioner) the story to Woo-a-jen, a stranger night.
to him, it would seem, only two days after he shipped on
board the lorcha, seems improbable; but that also is beside We might multiply similar quotations, but the main question, which is, are British ships to be subject, those we have given abundantly show that, whether whenever information happens to be laid against any of the the operations were right or wrong, they were
men on board, to be boarded by the Chinese military, with. not conducted in a severe style, even at the time their national flag hauled down, and their crews carried
out any communication being made to the Consul, to hare Commissioner Yeh published his tariff of blood, away as prisoners ? and urged the Cantonese “not therefore to give way to alarm, or think of removing (from the city), the pamphleteer, whose perversions were so freely
This Hwang-leen-vral is the personage whom but of course to join with each other in measures of revenge."
scattered in London, styles, “a respectable merSir John Bowring in the first volume of “ Siam," chant,” not fearing to assume, and declare as true, p. 105, without any reference to his quarrel with a characteristic of a man respecting whom nobody, The Chinese, says :
living in England at this moment, can give an
opinion, for he says of bimself, according to ComMy experience in China, and many other parts of the missioner Yeh, “I belong to the small town of East, predisposes me to receive with doubt and distrust any Sin-hen, in the usual division of Chin-trun, in the statement of a native, when any the smallest interest would be possibly promoted by falsehood. Nay, I have often district of Shun-tic;” and we rather believe that observed there is a fear of truth, as truth, lest its discovery none of our China merchants have accounts open should lead to consequences of which the inquirer never in the small town of Sin-hen, or can vouch for the dreams, but which are present to the mind of the person respectability of Hwang-leen-vral, or Hwangunder interrogation. little moral disgrace attaches to in. leen-tae--for the final termination varies in these sincerity and untruthfulness; their detection leads to a loss of reputation for sagacity and cunning, but goes no further. documents. We do not deny the respectability of In Siam I was struck with the unusual frankness as to this gentleman-because nothing can be known on matters of fact.
the subject; we only deny the propriety of this
class of fictions, and want to know how tbe moraSir John Bowring bas reason to include certain parties in the British Parliament and press who read them.
lity of those who make them stands with the public in those "parts of the East" where truth is not to be expected “when any the smallest interest
Commissioner Yeh himself appears to have would be possibly promoted by falsehood.” In doubted the respectability of this Sin-ben merchant, the pamphlet we have mentioned as adroitly cir- Parkes restitution of nine out of the twelve men on
or his veracity; for we find him offering to Consul culated in London on the day previous to the the 14th of October ; ten of them on the 21st of polling for the city, “a respectable Chinese merchant" is mentioned as a sufferer by piracy. Com October ; and on the same day he writes to Sir missioner Yeh on 10th October, in reference to
John Bowring that ten of the men were at the disthe seizure of twelve men from the Arrow lorcla, posal of the British authorities; but “it was es. writes that one “Alwang-leen-vral
” deposes that tablished on the trial that Leang-ming-tæ, and his vessel had been attacked by pirates, and plun- Leang keen-foo, were guilty"--namely of the aforedered of all its cargo; while a number of his said piracy. Next day the Commissioner decided,
were killed. This sad calamity occurred to for once in his life, to pardon the “guilty," for be Hwang-leen-vral on the 8th September, in the writes on the 24th of that month :district of Sinning. He escaped, and, on the Sth I find that the rules of propriety have hitherto been in. October, in sailing up the Canton river, he recog. variably observed by your honourable country in your comnised on the Arrow one of the men who had mercial intercourse with China. Now, when the twelve attacked bis ship; and he gave that information October, I at once deputed a special officer to conduct their
men or criminals were seized on board the lorcha, on the 8th to the authorities which led to the seizure of the examination. He found that nine of their number had men on the Arrow. This story would knock our committed no offence, and on the 10th instant ihey were pretty tale of the patriotic young rebel on the returned by an ofhcer to their lorcha; but you, the Consul, bead; but we must see if we cannot shield it declined to receive them. Early on the morning of the
22nd instant, I forwarded to you, with a declaration, Leang. from the stroke. The name of the person ac
ming-tae and Leapg-keen-foo, the two criminals concerned ia cused of piracy in this manner by Hwang-leen-vral the case, Woo-a-jen, the witness, and the abovementioned
vide men; in all twelve. The same day, at 12 o'clock, I, and China Association of London to the Earl of received a statement, in which you make no allusion to this
Clarendon, dated 6th of January last, we take the circumstance.
following extract :Commissioner Yeh may be correct; but a
We therefore hope, if Admiral Seymour should not have letter dated on that day, from Consul Parkes, to
succeeded in effectually and perinanently establishing our bis Excellency appears in the blue-book, from which
right of free ingress and egress into and out of the City of we make the following extract :
Canton, conformably with the treaty, Her Majesty's Govern. As to the offer of your Excellency to send back ten of the
ment will adopt prompt and effectual steps to secure that "Arrow's” crew, it is my duty to represent to you that
important condition, in order to preclude any future collision twelve men having been carried away, the same twelve men
with the local government at Canton. must be returned, and in the manner previously demanded;
The opinion of these gentlemen may be consi. that is they should be taken by the Chinese officers to their vessel , and given over to me there
. If but one of their dered conclusive on the point, especially as they number be missing, I cannot undertake to receive them. say that many of them have personal connexions, But it is very far from my intention to give these men, and a large amount of property at stake in the when thus surrendered to me, their liberty; I shall receive
country. them, but only to detain them in safe custody until all the
The legal right of the Executive Council at requirements of the trealy in their case shall have been ful. alled.
Hongkong to grant these licenses to lorchas has Those who understand the characteristics of it out of existence, or to show that it had been
been denied, and many efforts were made to reason Oriental despotism, will acknowledge the wisdom of compelling Commissioner Yeh to restore the got up for the occasion, all in ignorance of the
various papers on the subject. The shipping remen who had been abducted, with all those circumstances of publicity that attended their arrest, mitted to Her Majesty's Government. An altera
gulations of the Council at Hongkong were suband not to have them privily thrust into the tion suggested by the Imperial autborities here was Arrow. In the extract we have copied, the Consul made, they were then approved, and next transabides by the treaty terins ; and that was the proper mitted to the colony. These rules were devised course for him to pursue. On the 3rd of November, Commissioner Yeh writes to Sir M. Seymour, might have been adopted by piratical vessels.
to check abuses of our flag, at a period when it that the restoration of all the twelve men was
Only Chinese residents of Hongkong, who had offered to the Consul when the examination was
become land tenants of the Crown, could obtain over ; and from all these matters it may be concluded the guilt of the presumed pirates was not gister needs annual renewal. Two securities, in a
these registers. To check irregularities, the reestablished clearly, was not proved. The pamphlet in which “the respectable merchant” is brought very large amount, are also taken for the conduct on the carpet, was published by a respectable of the owner of the ship
, and its employment
, London firm,* and the use of their nanies, for according to the laws of the colony. During all which publishers cannot be altogether responsible, biography of the Arrow, which turns out to be
the correspondence, Commissioner Yeh repeats his contributed to its success among the Dissenting false from stem to stern. He alleges that the communities. The writer apparently believes
owner paid one thousand dollars through a British everything that a Chinese may say or swear, and
house for his register, but that sum was the nothing in contradiction advanced by a British subject. That is the practice of greater men; yet connexion with the register.
balance of the price of the lorcha, and had no it is strange that the merchants appear to have
Hongkong, like Singapore and other settlements, been joined by the missionaries in defending these
is a colony of our Crown. The trade is chiefly proceedings, not surely because they also are con
conducted by natives of the East. These persons cerned in the opiuin trade. Our authorities have been censured for insisting tection of our flag. If that rule is to be aban
while they obey our laws are entitled to the proupon the complete fulfilment of the treaty at Cauton, as in other open ports. Sir John Bowring, that we possess on the continents, and in our
doned we must resign all settlements of this class we were told by higla authorities, in and out of
many islands of the seas.
The same question may Parliament, was a vain person, who had a mono.
arise regarding Gibraltar, an Ionian island, or mania respecting admission to Canton. The Earl
Malta. One small party in the country say that of Derby, we believe, based an argument on this
we should resign them all, blow up, or blow down assumption ; but by the correspondence in this Woolwich, dismantle Portsmouth, and sell " the official publication, we find that Consul Parkes Duke of Wellington” to an emigration company. suggested the necessity of obtaining the observance
We do not agree with them, but we need not of the treaty by remarking, that if he could have met Commissioner Yeh, the misunderstanding argue the question here, for the country rejects could have been prevented, along with the loss of life and of property-au opinion shared by those the cause of Commissioner Yeh, the great decapi
A number of the persons who have advocated merchauls who, having resided in China, are now at home ; for, from the address of the East India tator of the nineteenth century, during the
last month are friends of foreign and political refugees, Ward and Co.
who claim, and rightly claim, for them the shelter
of our power in their distresses. Hitherto Britain | in favour of notorious criminals, both of British has been the home of the friendless. The wrecks and French origin. of revolutions have been dristed to our shore and A great principle is involved in this matter-a welcomed. The discomfited and wandering patriot, hereditary principle ; and we impose not upon whose land refused him help and sought his life, China customs or laws uncommon, or without has with us found a rest. We have not critically precedent among civilised nations, but an interna. or curiously examined the policy of his plans, or tional law, recognised by constitutional aud free the wisdom of his purposes. It was sufficient states, although iu Cuina also secured by special that he was helpless, homeless, with no oppor-treaty. tunity of ever living by industry elsewhere, to The Government could only be responsible for establish his claim for shelter here. This has the acts of their representatives at a distauce, been long the manner of our country. Some who either if they were done in obedience to instrucheve fled here when they could nowbere else gain tions, or had received their approval. The resoprotection bave not been thankful for our shield. lations moved by Mr. Cobden in the Commons, on That is their affair. It is our business to provide which the House divided on the 3rd ultimo, do not that in this respect the policy of our ancestors implicate the home Government, except so far as shall be continued to our descendants.
they, at that date, had supported, or then meant What is Hongkong? A part of the British to vindicate, the policy adopted by their represenempire, like Guernsey, or the Isle of Man, and tatives. We copy them for they have assumed governed by the same great principles. It is near more historical importance than any other resoluthe mainland of China, where a great struggle to tions of the session :overthrow a despotism, by men perhaps equally despotic, has existed for years. Pitiless slaughters whicn have occurred between the British and Chinese au.
That this House has heard with concern of the condicts disgraced both parties. The patriots are all pirates thorities in the Canton river, and without espressing an in the language of Commissioner Yeh. Piracy opinion as to the extent to which the Government of China with bim and bis party is one, and not the least com- may have afforded this country cause of complaint respecting mon, term for rebellion. A very large number of
the nonfulfilment of the Treaty of 1842, this House considers the Chinese, resident in Hongkong, belong to the that the papers which have been laid upon the table fail to
establish satisfactory grounds for the violent ineasures rerebel party. They are entitled to the protection sorted 10 at Canton in the late affair of the Arrow. which we extend to M. Kossuth, Ledru Rollin, M. Mazzini, and their friends, while they obey our But the Government assumed the responsibility. Jaws; but if these poor fellows are not to be We honour Lord Palmerston for standing by au allowed to work their small ships, in obedience to official who had no aristocratic connexions to deour very strict rules, without the fear of being rend him, whose character was maligued for face dragged from under our flag, to the block, upon tious purposes ; whose ruin was projected to gain the evidence of some person whose name a division in the House, but whose conduct the human being in this country ever beard before, Minister “in bis heart," as he said, believed to have but for whose respectability, as a merchant, people been proper and right. living and writing here are prepared to vouch on It is worse for a Cabinet to be dishonest than demand, or to order; they may be as well de to fall. We honour the Prime Minister for standcapitated at once, for the furrows of Hongkong are ing by those poor resugees from China to a rock not upon laud, but on the deep waters. The of our empire, who, unlike Kossuth, Mazzini, or British authorities claim the privilege of sharing Rollin, have not personal friends in London to the investigation into charges made against those plead their cause. It is better that a Government men whom Commissioner Yeh calls pirates, but should perisha tban stand in shame. whose crime may only be rebellion. This is the The Government, however, bas not perished. same power that civilised nations claim in the The story of the elections will vindicate the truth "extradition" of persons charged with crime. It of more than one of our proverbs. Virtue in this is a blunder to assert that we claim any right instance will be its own reward. A similar reward we against China that the United States do not assert trust, may be deserved by the domestic poliey of the against us. If a criminal officer from Paris sought Ministry; for politicians may be well assured that the assistance of our authorities for the appre. not among the classes whose enfranchisement is hension of M. Ledru Rollin, upon a charge of sought here lurks there much of that policy that forgery-we trust the gentleman will excuse our would drag our flag to dishonour for the sake of use of his name in an A B C way—he would not a crotchet; and shiver the empire which in all lands be given up, merely because the charge was made, is still the hope--if the forlorn hope of bleeding, without some investigation. We have no doubt and crushed, and mangled liberty-upon a theory that course would be adopted, as it has been pur- | tricked out by meretricious romances.
The thesuod in a very troublesome way in the States, even ory will bc shivered on the empire.
SIR JOHN BOW RING'S SIA M. *
Two volumes contain an account of the ancient wbo are attended by nearly double that number of kingdom of Siam, and of Sir John Bowring's females. All the nobles of the land have harems intercourse with, and mission to, the king or kings of proportionate extent. All rich men keep a
- fur Siam has two kings, as some communities | plurality of wives, and they allege the self-denial have a Governor and a Deputy-Governor, and on the marriage question required by Christianity, others a President and a Vice-President. Siam is as the cause for their preference of the ancient a Mesopotamia, farther east than the original, creed. As in Siam, like all other countries, the farther East, indeed, than Hindostan or our new number of the sexes must be naturally almost or provinces of Pegu; and stands between us and entirely equal, the bachelorism of the honzes will the Cbinese. Its territory extends in length do no more than balance the over abundant supply nearly twelve bundred miles between the extreme of wives claimed by the Siamese gentlemen. The points, and its greatest breadth is three hundred numerous families overruled by some of these and listy miles. The country is intersected by personages do not compensate for the tendency of many canals and noole rivers, and its soil is equal their systems to keep population within narrow to that of any tropical land; yet tie Siamese have limits. Polygamy is not the only cause operating never been a very numerous people; and the in Siam against the progress of the human race. present inhabitants form a mixed multitude, among Many of the Siamese are slaves.
Creditors may whom the Chinese are likely, ere long, to prevail. enslave debtors without apparently the check of The population given by Pallegoix, quoted by Sir an insolvency act. One-half of the population John Bowring, are composed of four large and apparently are slaves; and the agitation for emancitbree smaller races, in the following proportions :- pation has not reached Bangkok, the present metro
Siamese proper (the Tbai race) 1,900,000 polis of this strange land.
The Siamese are also rather kind to vermin, Laos
1,000,000 who do not reciprocate this tenderness. The Malays ...
1,000,000 Frenclı missionaries could not persuade their garCambodians
deners to kill the serpents who lurked among the Peguans...
50,000 Kareens, Xongs, &c.
bushes, although the viprous community had no
objections, we presume, to kill either missionaries
6,000,000 or servants. We understand that the island of Sir John Bowring considers this estimate an Singapore, which is only disconnected by a narrow exaggeration by from 23 to 25 per cent.; yet this channel from a part of the Siamese empire, is opinion is only founded upon the general propensity afflicted and infested by tigers, wbich swim over of the Orientals to exaggerate facts. Pallegoix is and make themselves at home to dinner,-if they a Roman Catholic Bishop, who superintends the can meet a Chinese labourer, towards whom they missions of his communion to Siam, and who has offer neither more cereinony nor mercy than would travelled over a considerable part of the kingdom. be shown even by Commissioner Yeh. These The population ascribed to a country naturally animals, and other beasts of prey, destroy large fertile, and comprising extensive regions, is very numbers of the inhabitants probably on land. small, but the greater part of the land is covered The rivers abound with crocodiles, who as probably with juugle; and until recently all business in destroy their share of mankind in the water. Siam, or nearly all, was absorbed in the King's Reptiles are a favoured race, and no doubt make monopolies, farmed out to Chinese merchants. the Siamese pay dearly for the superstitions inl'he prevalent religious tenets are a form of dulged in by them on behalf of these creeping and Bbuddism, and the present kings are considered lurking things. The lives lost in the Punjaub by reformers of that idolatry. In endeavouring to wolves is said to be three to four hundred annually. classify the works on the subject, they have ejected The number of persons who die yearly of snakeas non-canonical five hundred volumes in one bites in Scinde is calculated at more than five batch, from which we infer that the number of hundred. One British commissioner, in a district volumes altogether must be considerable, although of India, was alarmed recently at the number of their contents are probably not long and tedious. accideuts from serpents, and be offered eight annas Bhuddism keeps down population. It operates-one shilling – for each serpent of one class, and like Malthusianism. The number of its bonzes or twelve annas-one shilling and sixpence-for each priests, and the polygamy of the king and nobles, of another class; but the price seemed too high, restrain the progress of population, and ex- for the peasantry killed them in numbers, adequate plain the occupation of a large country by few in- nearly to ruin the Exchequer. babitants.
A large portion of the Siamese territory is in The first king of Siam maintains one chief wife, forest and jungle, good for nothing more than the several inferior wives, and six hundred concubines, growth of wood, and the multiplication of noxious
* « The Kingdom and People of Siam, with a Narrative of the Mission to that Country in 1855." By Sir Joho Bowring F.R.S. her Majesty's Plenipotentiary in China. 2 vols. London: John W. Parker and Son.