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justice. He made a requisition for two hundred probably employed under more unexceptionable Cbiuese 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 suminoned the Executive Council of the
bim as a Christian man, and a model of humanity Colony, and we were unanimously of opinion that is would and generosity. An attempt was even made to be tindesirable to send up this contingency. A large propor. separate their position, and to show that the Adtion of the liongkong population is affiliated in the secret
miral was irresponsible, because attacks upon bis societies in China, and the probable mischies resulting from
character were found to be their presence under official sanction wonid, in my judgment,
It counterbalance any possible good; the class required prin: failed signally, for the papers in the blue books cipally belong to the Haka races, who are at deadly enmity show that Sir Michael Seymour approved of the with the Cantouese, 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 chargeablo the 5th of November, because he considered "the on accuunt of the flagrant untruths printed 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 resute; 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 horrors of war junks had been captured by Sir M. Seyniour, bombardinent,” - and thus he 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 ; and 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. Commissioner 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 lie.” 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 has 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 Clarendon on the 10th widely circulated during the London elections, ap. January last, acquainted the Lords of the Admi. parenily by the peace at any-price gentlemen, who ralty that he approved entirely of Admiral Seyshould 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 sabic to try our "home villains” in the first place, on the subject was not expected. It was an after. and 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 tban, or putting his character in a less questionable Yeh on the 30th October, says :—“Even yesterday, form, is not so bad as Commissioner Yeh. Very when entering the city, no blood was shed, save lex specimens of buman demonology have had when my meu 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 Þome would not have
An armed force was never dealt more leniently by any other Admiral, unless
known in history.
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 aster an acquaintthe 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 brought 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 liis crime, and told (as stated by the they were engaged in during the whole of the previons Imperial Commissioner) the story to Woo-a-jen, a straoger 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
out any communication being made to the Consul, to hare not conducted in a severe style, even at the time
their national flag hauled down, and their crews carried 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 “ Siami," 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 Yeli, “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 promo:ed 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-lien, 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 the moraSir John Bowring has reason to include cer
lity of those who make them stands with the public tain parties in the British Parliament and
who read them. in those “parts of the East" where truth is not to be expecied“ when any the smallest interest doubted the respectability of this Sin-hen merchant,
Commissioner Yeh himself appears to have would be possibly promoted by falsehood.” In
, the pamphlet we have mentioned as adroitly cir
or his veracity; for we find him offering to Consul
Parkes restitution of nine out of the twelve men on 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: John Bowring that ten of the men were at the dis
October; and on the same day be writes to Sir missioner Yeh on 10th October, in reference to the seizure of twelve men from the Arrow lorcla, posal of the British authorities ; but “it was es. writes that one “ Hwang-leen-vral” deposes thał 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 afore
said piracy. Next day the Commissioner decided, dered of all its cargo; while a number of his
for once in his life, to pardon the "guilty,” for be crew were killed. This sad calamity occurred to
writes on the 24th of that month :-Hwang.leen-vral on the 8th September, in the district of Sinning. He escaped, and, on the Sth I find that the rules of propriety have hitherto beep in. October, in sailing up the Canton river, he recog. variably observed by your honourable country in your com
mercial intercourse with China.
Now, when the twelve nised on the Arrow one of the men who had 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 Sth 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,
declined to receive them. Early on the morning of the bead; but we must see if we cannot shield it
22nd instant, I forwarded to you, with a declaration, Leang. from the stroke. The name of the person ac- ming.tae and Leang-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
hide 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 onr bis Excellency appears in the blue-book, from which
riglit 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 proinpt 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
dered conclusive on the point, especially as they vessel, and given over to me there. If but one of their 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 tulAlled.
Hongkong to grant these licenses to lorchas has
been denied, and many efforts were made to reasou Those who understand the characteristics of
it out of existence, or to show that it had been Oriental despotism, will acknowledge the wisdom of compelling Commissioner Yeh to restore the got up for the occasion, all in ignorance of the men who had been abducted, with all those cir- gulations of the Council at Hongkong were sub
various papers on the subject. The shipping recumstances of publicity that attended their arrest, mitted to Her Majesty's Government. An alteraand not to have them privily thrust into the Arrow. In the extract we have copied, the Consul made, they were then approved, and next trans
tion suggested by the Imperial authorities here was abides 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 offered to the Consul when the examination was
Only Chinese residents of Hongkong, who had
become land tenants of the Crown, could obtain over ; and from all these matters it may be con
these registers. To check irregularities, the recluded the guilt of the presumed pirates was not gister needs annual renewal. Two securities, in a established clearly
, was not proved. The pamphlet very large amount, are also taken for the conduct in which the respectable merchant” is brought of the owner of the ship, and its employment, on the carpet, was published by a respectable London firm, * and the use of their names, 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 everything that a Chinese may say or swear, and
owner paid one thousand dollars through a Britisha
house for his register, but that sum was the nothing in contradiction advanced by a British
balance of the price of the lorcha, and had no subject
. That is the practice of greater men; yet connexion with the register. it is strange that the merchants appear to have
Hongkong, like Singapore and other settlements, been joined by the missionaries in desending 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 opium trade.
while they obey our laws are entitled to the proOur authorities bave been censured for insisting tection of our flag. If that rule is to be abanupon 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 high authorities, in and out of
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
A number of the persons who have advocated life and of property-au opinion shared by those the cause of Commissioner Yeh, the great decapimerchants who, having resided in China, are now
tator of the nineteenth century, during the last at home ; for, from the address of the East India
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 drifted 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 lim 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 internaor curiously examined the policy of his plans, or tional law, recognised by constitutional aud free the wisdom of his purposes. It was sufficient states, althouglı iu Cuina also secured by special that he was helpless, homeless, with no oppor-treat.y. 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 distance, been long the manner of our country. Some who either if they were done in obedience to instrucheve fled here when they could nowhere else gain tions, or had received their approval. The resoprotection have not been thankful for our shield. lutions 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 Goverument, except so far as shall be continued to our descendants.
tbey, at that date, lad supported, or tben 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
That this House las heard with concern of the conflicts despotic, has existed for years. Pitiless slaughters
whien bave occurred between the British and Chinese ab. disgraced both parties. The patriots are all pirates thorities in the Canton river, and without expressing an in the language of Commissioner Yeh. Piracy opinion as to the catent to which the Governmeot of China with him and bis party is one, and not the least com. may have afforded this country cause of complaint rrspecting mon, term for rebellion. A very large number of
the ponfulfilment of the treaty of 1842, this House considers the Chinese, resident in Hongkong, belong to the
that ihe papers which have been laid upon the table fail to
establish satisfactory grounds for the violent measures rerebel party. They are en:itled 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 sellows are not to be We honour Lord Palmerston for standing by an allowed to work their small ships, in obedience to official who had no aristocratic connexions to de our very strict rules, without the fear of being rend him, whose character was maligued for facdragged 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 disbobest than demand, or to order; they may be as well de to fall. We honour tbe Prime Minister for standcapitated at once, for the furrows of Hongkong are ing by those poor refugees from Chiua 10 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 perish tban stand in shame. whose crime may only be rebellion. This is the The Government, however, has 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 niore 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 aniong 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 the suod in a very troublesome way in the States, even ory will be shivered on the empire.
SIR JOHN BOWRING'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 Jolin 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 - sur Siam lias 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, thian Hindostan or our new number of the sexes must be naturally almost or provinces of Pegu; and stands between us and entirely cqual, 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 exireme of wives claimed by the Siamese gentlemen. The poiuts, 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 noble 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 emancithree smaller races, in the following proportions :- pation has not reached Bangkok, the present metro
Siamese proper (the Thai 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 insested 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 Yel. These The population ascribed to a country naturally animals, and otber beasts of prey, destroy large fertile, and comprising extensive regions, is very numbers of the inhabitants probably on lavd. small, but the greater part of the land is covered the rivers abound with crocodiles, who as probably with jungle; 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 lavoured race, and no doubt make monopolies, farmed out to Chinese merchants. the Siamese pay dearly for the superstitions inThe prevalent religious tenets are a form of dulged in by them on behalf of these creeping and Bhuddism, 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 John Bowring F.R.S. her Majesty's Plenipotentiary in China. 2 vols. London : John W. Parker and Son.