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evaded, or that we feared to enforce the right, and shrunk ignominiously from conflict for the right, with the Chinese empire. Against that empire the Government may judge it more seemly to proceed with a bill of wrongs and damage on behalf of the subject, than to mix up its dignity with an account-current of pecuniary injury on its own account. The money sum of mercantile damage is not confined, moreover, only to the confiscated opium. The Co-Hong corporation of Canton stand indebted to foreign merchants, almost entirely British, in 3,000,000 of dollars more, and the Celestial Emperor is the self-constituted guarantee of the Hong.
Later events have complicated our relations with
China still more.
More national outrages have been superadded to the scandalous violations of private rights under national protection. Blood has been wantonly shed, as well as treasure feloniously abstracted. A small British vessel, the Black Joke, has been boarded at
night; and the crew, all unsuspecting and asleep in the security of peace, savagely murdered. A Spanish brig, the Bilbaino, supposed to have British property on board, was burned to the water's edge, and many of the crew, who cast themselves desperately overboard, were drowned. By the last arrival of the overland mail from India, (on the 11th of February,) with dates to the middle of November from Canton, we learn that after a temporary arrangement had been concluded for the partial resumption of trade between Commissioner Lin or his authorized agents and Captain Elliot, it was of a sudden perfidiously cancelled. The agreement was to the following effect:
The reason was the unexpected entry of the Thomas Coutts, merchant ship, into the river, and arrival at Whampoa, after subscribing the humiliating bond, so long resisted and refused by all the rest of the trade, in tations and request of Captain Elliot compliance with the urgent represenhimself. The captain and supercargo, overgreedy of gain, thought to steal a fit over their countrymen. The biter march, and secure a monopoly of proin this instance, as in others, was bit; and crew and vessel were both left at the mercy of the exasperated Chinese. Lin, however, on the strength of this, and concluding that the whole of the British shipping would follow the lead of the Thomas Coutts, subscribe the bond, and throw themselves into his power, scrupled not to break the treaty so made. What followed we shall state from the Bombay Courier of December 24:
"CHINA. Every successive event in this quarter seems to deepen the crisis at which affairs have arrived, and to complicate our relations with the empire. We had scarcely issued an extra on Thursday evening, announcing to our readers that the Imperial Commissioner had broken off the convention which he had concluded with the Superintendent for carrying on a trade outside the Bogue, had renewed his demand for the surrender of the murderer of Linwei-he, and threatened all the shipping at Hong Kong with destruction unless they either entered the port, or took their departure from the coast within three days, when intelligence was brought by the Cornwallis, that her Majesty's ships of war, Volage and Hyacinth, had an engagement with a fleet of war-junks off Chumpee !ending, as might be expected, in the entire discomfiture of the latter, who, it appears, were the first to assume the offensive. The facts, as stated in private correspond
ence, are as follow:-Captain Elliot had proceeded on board of the Volage, with the Hyacinth in company, to Chumpee, to deliver a chop to the Commissioner, when a fleet of twenty-nine war-junks sailed out with the manifest intention of surrounding the two ships of war, and continued to close round them, regardless of repeated and urgent warning as to consequences, until it became necessary to open fire upon them; this was promptly returned by the junks, when a regular engagement ensued, and in less than half an hour five of the junks were sunk, another was blown up, and the remainder, many of them in a disabled state, crowded all sail to escape. This they were permitted to do; the example that had been made of them having been deemed sufficient-or rather, as it is said, Captain Smith of the Volage, having yielded to the entreaties of Captain Elliot to discontinue the destructive fire from the ships, and to permit the escape of the fugitives. It is allowed that the Chinese fought pretty well; but the only damage sustained on our side is stated to be a 12 lb. shot in the mizen-mast of the Hyacinth. The prudence of Adm. Kwan must have
proceeded to exhibit what he considered the present state of our finances. The amount of the deficiency at the close of 1838, was £1,166,000. In the year 1839, there was a deficiency of £1,512,000; making together, at the close of 1839, a sum of £2,678,000. With respect to the charges on the country, there would be an increased charge on the navy estimates this year of £500,000. Adding this to the deficiency of 1839, would make it £2,000,000. Supposing, then, no further increase to the charge, or any other deficiency, the amount at the end of the year 1840, would be £4,678,000. He had said nothing as to the probable deficiency of the Post-Office. He was himself to some extent acquainted with the Post-Office, and he thought there would be there a loss of revenue of from £1,200,000 to £1,400,000. If they added £1,200,000 to the other deficiency, the amount at the close of 1840 would be nearly six millions.”
At the last accounts, the only vessels of war off Canton were the Volage, a small frigate of twenty-eight guns, and the sloop Hyacinth, notwithstand
deserted him ere he thought of measuring ing the Government were fully aware
his strength with the barbarian ships; and there probably never was an occasion in which he stood so much in need of the
guardian aid of his deified progenitor the Mars of China-whose protecting influence he boasted had been so often shed over him in hours of peril! Report said that the admiral had resigned' his command; and that the Commissioner complained, that, in ordering the attack, he had been deceived by the representations of the former into a belief that he would be completely successful in his attempt on the British men-of-war. If this be all he had to complain of on the occasion, we are by no means sorry that he has been taught a very different lesson.'
Thus, then, the die is cast-the war has commenced in good earnest-the sword is drawn, and the scabbard thrown away. Option of peace there is none, unless we consent to drink the cup of degradation and infamy to the very dregs, so deeply drained during a century almost of prostrate meanness and abject submission. Our resources for war, indeed, are none of the brightest, according to the undisputed statement of Mr Herries, in the Commons' House, on the 12th ult.
"Who (said he) did not feel, judging of things abroad and at home, that the finances of the country were in-inconvenient was too light a word-in a deplorable condition? The right honourable gentleman
NO. CCXCIII, VOL. XLVII.
of the critical position of affairs there in the month of July last. If we may trust the Government prints now, mighty are the preparations, and mightier the projects in hand. The Hampshire Telegraph is even grandiloquent in the strain, as may be judged from the following passage:
"There is no doubt whatever that the Government, though taxed with tardiness, have been most actively at work in preparing a serious demonstration against the Chinese; and that it will be vigorously made. It has long been determined to send a land force to compel these besotted celestials to listen to a little reason-not only for the benefit of this country, but all the world; and the delay has been solely caused by the prudence of ascertaining what description of force can be best sent from India. The native army will be employed on the occasion, and not less than 16,000 will be embarked, of which a large proportion will be cavalry, horses for which force can be obtained at the island of Hainan, at the southern extremity of that empire; and having put the city of Canton under contribution, or destroyed it if necessary, and drawn thereby all the Chinese from the northward for the defence of their empire, they will suddenly embark, and, taking advantage of the southerly monsoon, dash on to the Gulf of Petecheelee, and, landing the forces at Takoo, which is within 100 miles of Pekin, they will exact
decency of behaviour in future from the Emperor himself. All this may appear chimerical, but it is all possible. addition to the force from England, ships will be sent from the Cape station and from the Pacific station, and great good must result from the enterprise. If a satisfactory establishment for the future cannot be secured at Canton, the China trade will be removed to some island off the coast further north, possessing a good harbour, to which the Chinese must resort, our cruisers taking care, if necessary, that the Chinese war-junks do not interfere with, or attempt to stop such trade."
We shall see. The Yellow Sea is full of shoals and shallow of water. Where are the steam-vessels of war to come from to transport troops and materiel of war over the shallows? or where the pilots to be procured to steer ships of war drawing deeply through the practicable channels? It is with difficulty that steamers are found to carry the ordinary mails from Bombay to Suez at present.
Here we close the circumstantial narrative of Chinese aggression and British supineness. We have exposed the spurious pretence of Chinese humanity, alleged as the moving cause of the suppression of the opium trade. We have shown its real origin in the baser motive of the prevention of the export of sycee silver. We have up held, and we hope demonstrated, the righteousness of the claim of our oppressed merchants, British and Chinese, to indemnity in full for loss, damage, confiscation of property, and deprivation of personal liberty. We have not pretended to dispute the abstract right of the Chinese to suppress the opium trade, or the positive justice of enforcing the laws against illicit traffic and contrabandists. Nay, more, we shall not deny their clear right to close all dealings, whether in tea, or cottons, or silks, or woollens, upon due notice given and time allowed for the liquidation of accounts and affairs -a period of years and not days; provided always that ample indemnification-indemnification beyond perhaps even the means of China-be proffered and paid for the countless millions of capital embarked in property afloat, or on shore, fixed or moveable, little of it elsewhere available, embarked on the faith of ancient stipulations, and the rights established of commercial intercourse for cen
turies. If that commerce is hereafter to be carried on, and that intercourse maintained, it must be, it can only be, upon covenants fresh drawn, consented, signed, sealed, and lastly ratified with salvoes of British thunder.
Let no one fall into the mistake that war is referable only to opium or sycee silver. The Chinese have long viewed the progress of British arms and British conquest in Central India, in Burmah, in Nepaul, and in the Eastern Archipelago, with secret alarm and wakeful apprehension, which all the external affectation of contempt at Pekin for the light-haired "barbarians" could ill disguise. Long have the Celestial Emperors been preparing silently for defence and for the catastrophe, which, according to an ancient prophecy of one of the race, is to visit the Celestial Empire in the shape of the barbarians so outwardly despised. As British conquest extended to the frontier of Nepaul, the astute Chinese overran Thibet, and secured in its mountains, among the most lofty and inaccessible in the globe, a commanding rampart against British aggression and the hostile interference of Sepoys and Europeans. As the pride of the Burmese was humbled before the victorious arms of British India, the observant and stealthy Chinese covered and subdued Cochin-China with their numberless hosts, and by this extension secured their natural frontier on the south more strongly against contact or invasion. So that China has not remained stationary so far, whilst the world was in motion around her; but has long been arming for the inevitable fight, and preparing for the hour of fate. Could war by any honourable effort be yet shunned and shunned it can only be by indemnity for the past and security for the future-far from us be the repetition of that policy which dictated the march to Affghanistana policy we deprecate not less strongly than the Great Duke himself by which Russia has been attracted already to the shores of the Oxus, equidistant from Cahul on one side and the frontier of British India on the other; and by which she has been taught that the roads of Cabul and the passes of Candahar, before reckoned impracticable and impassable, are open to a Russian as they were to a British
TEN THOUSAND A-YEAR.
"FORTUNA Sævo læta negotio, et Ludum insolentem lude e pertinax Tra smetat incertos honores,
Nunc mihi, nunc ali benigna. Laudo manentem: SI CELERES QUATIT PENNAS, RESIGNO QUE DE DIT. ET MEA VIRTUTE ME INVOLVO, PROBANQUE PAUPERIEM SINE LOTE QUÆRO."
WHILE the lofty door of a house in Grosvenor Street was yet quiver ing under the shock of a previously announced dinner-arrival, one of the servants who were standing behind a carriage which approached from the direction of Piccadilly, slipped off, and in a twinkling, with a thun-thun thunder-under-under, thunder-runder runder, thun-thun-thun! and a shrill thrilling whir-r-r of the bell, announced the arrival of the Duke of
the last guest. It was a large and plain carriage, but perfectly well known; and before the door of the house at which it had drawn up, had been opened, displaying some four or five servants standing in the ball, in simple but elegant liveries, half-a dozen passengers had stopped to see get out of the carriage an elderly, middle-sized man, with a somewhat spare figure, dressed in plain black clothes, with iron-grey hair, and a countenance which, once seen, was not to be forgotten. That was a great man; one, the like of whom many previous centuries had not seen; whose name shot terror into the hearts of all the enemies of old England all over the world, and fond pride and admiration into the hearts of his fellow.countrymen.
"A quarter to eleven!" he said, in a quiet tone, to the servant who was holding open the carriage door while the bystanders took off their hats; a courtesy which he acknow ledged, as he slowly stepped across the pavement, by touching his hat in a mechanical sort of way with his forefinger. The house-door then closed upon him; the handful of onlookers passed away; off rolled the empty carriage; and all without was quiet as before. The house was that of Mr Aubrey, one of the members for the burgh of Yatton, in Yorkshire,
Hor. Carm. Lib. iii. 49.
-a man of rapidly-rising importance in Parliament. Surely his was a pleasant position-that of an indepen-. dent country gentleman, with a clear, unincumbered rent-roll of ten thou sand a year, and already become the spokesman of his class! Farliament having been assembled, in consequence of a particular emergency, at a much earlier period than usual, the House of Commons, in which Mr Aubrey had the evening before delivered a well-timed and powerful speech, had adjourned for the Christ
recess, the House of Lords, being about to follow its example that evening an important division, however, being first expected to take place at a late hour. Mr Aubrey was warmly complimented on his success by several of the select and brilliant circle then assembled, and who were in high spirits-ladies and all-on account of a considerable triumph just obtained by their party, and to which Mr Aubrey was assured, by even the Duke of --- his exertions had certainly not a little contributed. While his Grace was energetically intimating to Mr Aubrey his opinion to this effect, there were two lovely women listening to him with intense eagerness they were the wife and sister of Mr Aubrey. The former was an elegant and interesting woman, of nearly eight-and-twenty; the latter was a really beautiful girl, somewhere between twenty and twenty-one. She was dressed with the utmost degree of simplicity that was consistent with elegance. Mrs Aubrey, a blooming young mother of two as charming children as were to be met with in a day's walk all over both the parks, was, in character and manners, all pliancy and gentleness; about Miss Aubrey there was a dash of spirit that gave an infinite zest to her
beauty. Her blue eyes beamed with the richest expression of feeling—in short, Catharine Aubrey was, both in face and figure, a downright English beauty; and she knew-truth must be told that such she appeared to the Great Duke, whose cold aquiline eye she often felt to be settled upon her with satisfaction. The fact was, that he had penetrated at a first glance beneath the mere surface of an arch, sweet, and winning manner, and detected a certain strength of character in Miss Aubrey which gave him more than usual interest in her, and spread over his iron-cast features a pleasant expression, relaxing their sternness. It might indeed be said, that before her, in his person,
Grim-visaged war had smooth'd his wrinkled front."
'Twas a subject for a painter, that delicate and blooming girl, her auburn hair hanging in careless grace on each side of her white forehead, while her eyes were fixed with absorbed interest on the stern and rigid countenance which she reflected had been, as it were, a thousand times darkened with the smoke of the grisly battle-field. But I must not forget that there are others in the room; and amongst them, standing at a little distance, is Lord De la Zouch, one of Mr Aubrey's neighbours in Yorkshire. Apparently he is listening to a brother peer talking to him very earnestly about the expected division; but Lord De la Zouch's eye is fixed on you, lovely Kate-and how little can you imagine what is passing through his mind? It has just occurred to him that his sudden arrangement for young Delamere -his only son and heir, come up the day before from Oxford-to call for him about half-past ten, and take his place in Mrs Aubrey's drawing-room, while he, Lord De la Zouch, goes down to the House-may be attended with certain consequences. He is speculating on the effect of your beauty burst ing suddenly on his son-who has not seen you for nearly two years; all this gives him anxiety-but not painful anxiety-for, dear Kate, he knows that your forehead would wear the ancient coronet of the De la Zouches with grace and dignity. But Delamere is as yet too young-and if he gets the image of Catharine Aubrey into his head, it will, fears his father, instantly
cast into the shade and displace all the stern visages of those old poets, orators, historians, philosophers and statesmen, who ought, in Lord De la Zouch and his son's tutor's judg ment, to occupy exclusively the head of the aforesaid Delamere for some five years to come. That youngster
happy fellow!-frank, high-spirited, and enthusiastic and handsome to bootwas heir to an ancient title and great estates; all he had considered in looking out for an alliance was-youth, health, beauty, blood-here they all were;fortune-bah! what did it signify to his son-but it's not to be thought of for some years.
"Suppose," said he aloud, though in a musing manner, 66 one were to say-twenty-four".
"Twenty-four!" echoed the Earl of St Clair with amazement, 66 my dear Lord De la Zouch, what do you mean? Eighty-four at the lowvery
"Eh! what? oh-yes, of courseI should say ninety-I mean-hem!— they will muster about twenty-four only."
"Yes, there you're right, I dare say." Here the announcement of dinner put an end to the colloquy of the two statesmen. Lord De la Zouch led down-Miss Aubrey with an air of the most delicate and cordial courtesy ; and felt almost disposed, in the heat of the moment, to tell her that he had arranged all in his own mind—that she was to be the future Lady De la Zouch. He was himself the eleventh
who had come to the title in direct descent from father to son; 'twas a point he was not a little nervous and anxious about-he detested collateral succession and he made himself infinitely agreeable to Miss Aubrey as he sate beside her at dinner. The Duke of. sat on the right hand side of Mrs Aubrey, seemingly in high spirits, and she appeared proud enough of her supporter. It was a delightful dinner-party, elegant without ostentation, and select without pretence of exclusiveness. All were cheerful and animated, not merely on account of the over-night's parliamentary victory, which I have already alluded to, but also in contemplation of the coming Christmas; how, and where, and with whom each was to spend that "righte merrie season,” being the chief topic of conversation. As there was nothing