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The temperature for a week ranged Even the arrival of the English from 86 to 98° Fahrenheit, and on mail hardly served to rouse us from deck, in the shade of our awnings, our lethargic discontent. Canton often stood at 104°. Sunstroke was had become a horrid nightmare, and frequent. Even the Chinese labourers, we were supremely indifferent as to employed in coaling the ship, were the
squabbles of Governor Bowring more than once struck down; the of Hong-Kong, and Mr Commissioner men-of-war lost one or more men by Hwang, Governor - General of the this awfuland sudden death; and even Quang-tung and Quang-si Provinces. as late in the afternoon as 4 P.M., a We could only listlessly glance over European policeman was killed by the terrible edicts they had each coup-de-soleil, through incautiously fulminated against the other. It exposing himself on the bund. Every was too much for us that hot day to one on shore or on board found à attempt to read the tremendous perfect state of mental and bodily despatches of an Indian General, quietude actually necessary for who, with five hundred sailors, solthe preservation of health; and we diers, sepoys, and irregulars, had thought with a sigh of our brethren fought some twenty pitched battles and kindred who, in as high a tem- with a numerous and desperate foe, perature, and almost as insupport- whose flanks he enveloped, whose able a climate-that of Oude or Ro- rear he threatened, whose columns hilcund-were obliged to labour for he crushed, whose centre he pierced, their country's honour in spite of whose line he enfiladed, rolled up, and sunstroke and disease.
came down upon perpendicularly ! At this season all the residents of But we could read and re-read Šir Shanghai look painfully unhealthy, Colin Campbell's clear and soldiersallow, and listless. Those afloat, and like reports, and hoped that, after not acclimatised, suffer much from all, the real fight was where the boils, rush, whitlows, and similar ail- gallant Highlanders led. ments, by which strong constitutions Shortly after the mail arrived, cerseek relief when tried by great heats tain intelligence reached Shanghai and pestiferous exhalations.
from the north of China, that the It is true that the mercantile com- Court of Pekin, acting in perfect munity, feeding and living in an ar- good faith, and in fulfilment of its tificial state, cooled by punkahs, and contract, had already despatched supported by the consolation that in two high officers to Shanghai to arthree or four years time they would range the terms of the future transit return to Europe or America with duties, and to revise the present fortunes, may be able, with Spartan tariff of taxes on foreign imports fortitude, to smile at their sufferings; and exports. These functionaries we were otherwise situated, and can could not arrive for some weeks ; safely aver, after more than twenty and, in the mean time, a good opporyears' wandering through one portion tunity, offered for the British amof the tropics or another, varying bassador to proceed to Japan, and their heat occasionally with extremes there secure to Great Britain the of cold equally objectionable, that a same privileges the Americans and hot calm off the Bondy River in Russians had of late been so active Africa, or the most sultry day Port- in compelling the Japanese governRoyal or Saugor Island can produce, ment to grant them. is Eden itself when compared with Then, amid clouds of coal-dust the foul stew called a hot day in and a tumult of baggage and liveShanghai.
stock, we prepare to bid Shanghai We acknowledge that, for seven good-by-not with a sigh, for who months-ay, and if you please, eight ever sighed or said they were sorry months—the climate of Shanghai is to quit any port in China ? We can delicious ; the ice, the mutton, and sympathise with the poor Highthe game, all are unexceptionable ; flyer's officers and men, who will, but heaven preserve us from a third like those of the frigate Pique, swing time visiting it in the dog-days of daily round over one spot, until beefa Chinese summer!
bones, old boots, and broken bottles, form a dangerous shoal under their year-pothering about in the narrow keel. The great to-morrow, on which rivers, creeks, bays, and dirty water we sail for Japan, will next dawn of China, it was pleasant again to upon us. We go to bed, and dream, see blue, bright blue water, sparkling, not “o green fields,” but of blue laughing, and showing its white water and rattling sea-breezes, bear- teeth under a rattling breeze; and ing us fresh health and strength. oh! how cheering to look again upon
The sun's rays were making a gal- a clear sky, and loose, fleecy, tradelant fight with the malaria-laden wind clouds sailing athwart it! The yellow mists of the Yang-tsi-Keang charm of novelty, too, enhanced the Valley as we weighed for the once feelings we experienced. Our cruise fabled shores of Cipango. A sleepy to Japan was not avowedly one of display of ensigns from the men-of- discovery, but, after all, it was very war of different nations showed that like one. We were going upon a their officers of the watch recognised coast imperfectly surveyed. The only the departure of the British ambas- chart of it was by a German, Dr sador, the Earl of Elgin and Kincar- Siebold, who, whilst forming part of dine, with an escort of two steam- the Dutch commercial establishment frigates, a corvette, and a gunboat.* closely imprisoned at Nangasaki, had Down a winding reach, through miles compiled, from Japanese anthorities, of turbid water, and past fleets of a very fair map and chart of the emjunks and boats, we sped, until the pire, though but poorly adapted for flat shore dropped abruptly out of purposes of navigation. We were sight astern. Then a solitary rock going to Jeddo, the capital of Japan ; or storm-swept islet appeared in though it was said we never should sight, and as quickly disappeared, approach it nearer than ten miles; as we rattled on to the east at a pace and one clause of Admiral Stirling's which made the fisherman, in his treaty of 1854 stipulated that British rickety craft, drop his line, and ships should only go to Nangasaki, watch us with face indicative of wild at the one extreme of the empire, astonishment.
and Hakodadi at the other. Our The reader knows assuredly what ambassador was going to Jeddo to it is to suddenly come on sweet present a yacht from our Queen to grass, and under cool trees, after a an Emperor, who we heard was, by weary walk over a dusty highway. the rules of his empire, never allowed That same sensation of relief and to go beyond the walls of his palace ; pleasure was generally felt and ex- and then he was, by moral force, to pressed as we gradually left the induce him to make a fresh treaty, muddy waters of a great river, which in the face of a clause in that same carries suspended in its stream, they Stirling Treaty which runs as fol. say, earth enough, were it suddenly lows : "7th Art.-When this condeposited, to form another England. vention shall have been ratified, no The emerald green of the deeper por- high officer coming to Japan shall tions of the China sea steadily dark- alter it." So that we might say ened in tint, until we again, on the there were quite as many unknown morrow of our leaving Shanghai, rocks and quicksands ahead of the saw dear mother ocean clad in her diplomatic portion of the expedition glorious robes of blue !
as there were in the track of the
executive. “ Once more upon the waters ! yet once Information of the geography of more !
Japan was most scant. Kämpfer And the waves bound beneath us, as
and Siebold, though most trustwora steed That knows his rider.”
thy in all respects, were ignorant
upon the point on which we as seaAfter months nay, more than a men most anxiously sought for in
* The squadron of his Excellency consisted of the steam-frigate Retribution, 28 gups, Captain C. Barker; the steam-frigate Furious, 16 guns, Captain Sherard Osborn, C.B., on board of which ship his Excellency and suite were embarked ; the gunboat Lee, Lieutenant Graham; and the yacht Emperor, Lieutenant Ward.
formation. The ponderous volumes who, we maintain, was not the first of the American expedition to Japan American citizen, and cared no more had little new in them beyond infor- for the Declaration of Independence mation about Jeddo gulf
. Had Marco than he does for General Washington Polo, in August 1858, sprung from discovered the American continent his grave, it is true that he might in endeavouring to reach that Cathay have been pleased to find that we and Zipangu, of which Marco Polo did not, like his foolish conntrymen, had written, but in which Columbus smile with incredulity at his won- had alone the wit, in after years, to drous tale of Zipangu or Cipango, believe. However that may be, it is but he would have been much as- sincerely to be desired that, if she tonished to find that, after a lapse of believes in her mission, the United five centuries and a half, Europe States may go earnestly about it, and knew very little more about Japan send her commodores, flag-officers, than he did when, in the year 1295, consuls, missionaries, and envoys to he pointed to the eastern margin of do the work steadily and well, forthe Yellow Sea, and said, " there was bidding them to fly to and from a great island there named Zipangu,” China—of which we believe we have peopled by a highly civilised and for a while heard enough ; and when wealthy race, who had bravely rolled Congress, revelling in surplus reback the tide of Tartar conquest in venue, liberally pays the expense of the days of Kublai Khan.
publishing their servants' journals, An eminent American, who goes they had best be tied down to write off occasionally on the wings of that of Japan only, and not wander loosely dreadful eagle with its claws armed to Singapore, Hong-Kong, the Cape with the lightning, and which is ever of Good Hope, and St Helena, for soaring over the Rocky Mountains, the sole purpose of abusing a coloor sweeping across the western waters, nial system which still keeps Great &c. &c., seems to insist that it is the Britain a neck and shoulders ahead high mission of the United States to of the whole world, and enables us do chaperon to Japan, and introduce to care but little what the opinion of her to the ken of the western world, the United States may be as to how all because Christopher Columbus— we treated Napoleon Buonaparte.
The valley of deep water, four hun- but picturesque islets, the outposts dred and fifty miles in a direct line in this direction of the Japanese from the shores of China to those of empire. Miaco-Sima, or the "Asses' Japan, delightful though it was to us Ears,” they are named, because their river-sick seamen, is at present a very peaks run up in a manner not unlike lonely sea. The interdiction of for- the ears of that famous animal. eign trade by the Emperors of Japan Their coasts are bold and craggy, acted upon China as well as Europe, washed by the rollers of a wild and during the centuries in which though narrow sea, whose spray has the flag of Holland alone crossed the left a mark far up the polished wavesea we were traversing, China was worn sides; yet there was green also obliged to confine herself to grass and stout pine-tree immediately sending thirteen junks annually to above the wash of the sea, and vegeand from Nangasaki. We therefore tation made a bold fight reach saw no vessel in our track. Then the summits of the craggy peaks. (excepting great numbers of flying How different from Chinese scenery! fish) there was a dearth of animal we naturally exclaimed, as our good life, whether fish or bird, where, from ship sped past Miaco-Sima, and all our proximity to land, it would have declared themselves perfectly satisbeen natural to have found the re- fied with this first instalment of verse.
Japan : it was evident we were deOn the afternoon of the 2d August, termined to be pleased. The moun1858, we reached a group of rocky tains of Kiu-Siu Island, on which the city of Nangasaki is situated, were the lusty youth of a morning sun; next to rise upon the eastern horizon. -his fierce glance pierced her densThe night proved dark and gloomy, est array, and, in sullen showers and and as in the middle watch the bold flying squalls of wind, night and darkcoasts of Gotto Island were seen to ness passed away; whilst day, bright the northward, warning us that we and beaming, burst fairly upon us with were approaching Japan faster than a shout of welcome. It was a gloriwas prudent, we had, in spite of our ous sight-mountain and plain, valley anxiety to be quickly into port, to and islet, clothed with vegetation, or order the speed to be very much re- waving with trees, and studded with duced. Day-dawn showed us to villages-blue sea for a foreground, have been right in thus acting, for crisped with the breeze, and calm the land about Cape Nomo, the spots with sandy bays; in amongst southern entrance of the bay lead- islands dotted with fishing-boats and ing to Nangasaki, was on our star- native junks. We must not attempt board bow; and thence, stretching far it, for pen or pencil could never reaway to our left, rose peak, mountain, produce such a picture. and table-land, until lost in the dis- Early in the forenoon, H.M.S. tance. Away to the north, a channel, Furious was entering the charming dotted with islets, was seen between series of channels leading through Gotto and Kiu-Siu. It, we knew, led islands to Nangasaki. Cape Nomo to Hirando, or Firando, that port so was now hidden from view, whilst well known to European mariners of on either hand lay the lovely spots centuries now long gone by, when known by the native names of FwoSpaniards and Portuguese, Dutch- sima and Kamino-sima, “Sima” being men and the English, were strug- Japanese for island. They looked gling for a footing in Japan, and like pieces of land detached from the each doing his best to have his bro- best parts of the south coast of Engther Christian exterminated—how land. It is impossible, we believe, they eventually succeeded, and the to pay them a greater compliment ! Dutchman turned up the trump- Their outline was marked and piccard, we will hereafter relate. For turesque, clothed, wherever a tree the present, we must go at full speed could hang or find holding-ground, for å mark in the land ahead, which, with the handsome pine peculiar to the charts tell us, leads us to our the country. Villages and richly haven.
cultivated gardens nestled in every For a while heavy mists swept nook, and flowers, as well as fruitover land and sea. We could only see trees, were plentiful. To our eyes, a mile or so ahead. It was very tan- the multitude of guns and extratalising. Those who had not wit- ordinary number of batteries which nessed day-dawn would not believe covered every landing-place, or surwe had seen Japan, and growled out mounted every height, on these islands, complaints of the nuisance, to use a did not enhance their beauty; and seaman's phrase, of “ being jammed we regretted to see all the male popuin a fog off our port.” All the con- lation, and many more men besides, solation we could offer was, that entering the batteries as we approachpossibly the sun would master the ed. We suspected then, what afterfog ; and it was so, for presently wards proved to be the case, that our there was a play of light along the Transatlantic friends had taken great surface of the sea; the hulls of our care to work upon the fears of the vessels came out sharp and clear. Japanese, by spreading some marvelThen Japanese junks were seen; pre- lous tales of what we Britishers had sently their sails and masts showed; done in China, and intended to do to --the fog was lifting, breaking, and them. The garrisons of the batteries dispersing. Down the mountains of appeared desirous only of showing Kiu-Siu rolled masses of cloud; out of us how prepared they were ; and havevery vale and valley came dense mists ing gone to their guns, quietly sat sweeping down, wrathfulat the enemy down to smoke their pipes, while the that was expelling them. Poor cloud- officers, seated on the parapets, graceland fought at a disadvantage with fully fanned themselves. Yet it will be well for all the world that the folly of those who, in later years, Japanese are jealous of their liberty; had lost the birthright their ancesand now that we have seen Japan, tors had won for them. In happy we can only hope its people will, if ignorance of any treaties made by need should arise, gallantly defend Admiral Stirling and others, H. M. the beautiful land God has given ships steamed on, pretending perfect them.
unconsciousness of the existence of It would be hazardous to say how guard-boats and officials. However, many guns are mounted on the islands it was soon very evident that if they and points commanding the approach could not stop us, it was quite as to Nangasaki ; some of them may be much as their lives were worth not of wood-merely quakers ; but we to be able to report correctly. upon, saw hundreds that decidedly were who, and what we were ; for just as not. The majority were of brass, we had put the helm hard down to some of iron, all mounted on wheeled escape one pair of boats, two others carriages, and looked, from the gun- skilfully tumbled into the wash of gear about them, well found in stores, our paddle-wheels, and the most exand efficient. The batteries were peditious short-hand writers at home evidently very solid, and there was a could not have made their quills fly queer mixture of European and Ja- faster than did these Japanese in panese ideas in their construction-- noting down facts that one of their the result being, that although the party, who stood on tiptoe to peer lower portions would have stood a into the ports, shouted out for their great deal of hammering from an information. Next day we learnt enemy, the unfortunate gunners that the spies had given a very exwould have been too much exposed cellent account of H.M.S. Furious, to have stood long to their guns. and had only missed one gun in the
Our attention was now called from list of her armament. the land to a number of government Past these impediments, and avoidboats, which were dotted about the ing some sunken rocks which lie in water ahead of us : they were always the channel, we had time to observe in pairs, one, doubtless, selon les règles, that the ship appeared as if running watching the other. It was desirable up against the shores of Kiu-siu, to have no communication with these which rose boldly ahead of us until guard-boats—for such we easily recog- they terminated in the now cloudnised them to be-lest they should capped Peaks of Hi - kosan and hand us the copy of some British Tarutagama. Was it that the FuTreaty, or Convention, by which rious was tired of buffeting the some one had pledged Her Most wide sea, and had determined, like Gracious Majesty's subjects not to do the Bounty of Otaheitian fame, this, or not to do that. We happened to place herself in one of the lovely to have found in an old book-the nooks ahead ? No: the channel will only old thing, except sound port, show out presently; the beautiful, but that we ever liked-a Treaty of Peace sadly notorious, island of Takaboko and Amity between the Emperor of bars the view of the entrance to the Japan and James the First, of Great inner harbour. Britain, dated as far back as the year Lonely, yet wicked Takabokoof grace 1613. By it, right of inter- better known as the “Papenberg."course, commerce, and suchlike, was how calm and smiling it looked secured to us for ever; and as only two down upon our wooden home as we centuries and a half 'had elapsed—a swept past, almost touching it! It mere flea-bite in the records of such so peaceful, so full of repose-we all countries as Japan and China-it throb and' noise, routine and forseemed natural we should still adhere mality! There, in that pretty nook, to the privileges secured by bold we should, we felt assuredly, find Captain Saris, of the good ship that rest, that peace which all men Clove of London, belonging unto crave for, but so seldom find! “A the Honourable and Worshipful battery in amongst those trees ! sir," Company of Merchants trading to said the shrill voice of the signal the East Indies — and ignore the midshipman, and “four brass guns