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135 iniindy (W. W.) Canton and the
BoGUE, the Narrative of an Eventful Six
Months in China, post 8vo, cloth, 40c, London,
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2007 with funding from
CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
THE NARRATIVE OF AN EVENTFUL SIX
MONTHS IN CHINA.
WALTEE WILLIAM MUNDY.
10, SOUTHAMPTON STREET, STEAND.
\_The right of translation is reserved.']
CO NT JEN TS.
MARSEILLES TO SUEZ . , , ,
SUEZ— ADEN — GALLE , . . .
SINGAPORE— SAIGON — HONG-KONG .
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY.
SOME REMARKS ON QUESTIONS SUGGESTED
BY OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA
CANTON . . . ' .
RESIDENCE IN CANTON , . . .
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES . . . .
SOMETHING ABOUT " TEA "'
A CHINESE DINNER . , » .
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON . .
THE SPARK OUTRAGE
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA
SUGGESTIONS AS TO SUITABLE MEASURES
FOR REPRESSING ACTS OF PIRACY
THE TYPHOON OF 1874 . . , .
CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
MAESEILLES TO SUEZ.
The shortness of my stay in China may
seem to make it presumptuous for me to
attempt to relate to the puhHc the Httle
that I saw which may be new or inter-
esting to them ; but considering that on
no point is there so much ignorance and
misconception as on all things connected
with the Chinese Empire, and that fewer
books of real merit have appeared about
it than upon any other question of equal
importance, even what I have to say may
prove, in its way, to be not without some
XfA'NTQI^/ AN'h \tHE BOGUE.
interest, and my imperfect knowledge may-
be of some utility. The chief good I
should anticipate from my own observa-
tions would be, that it would be setting
an example to those in whom a longer
residence in and acquaintance with the
country, together with greater powers of
discernment and description, would all
combine to make them produce a book
that should be at once interesting _from
the novelty of their facts, and instructive
from the depth and penetration of their
views and suggestions. This is of course
far beyond my aspirations, and I shall be
more than satisfied if I can with success
play the humbler part of pointing out the
way to those who could achieve a much
more brilliant success.
I may be pardoned prefacing with these
remarks, and will conclude them by ex-
pressing the hope that my readers will
MARSEILLES TO SUEZ.
give me their kind consideration in my
retrospect, which, recalls to me many
events that I need hardly say are of a
very painful nature.
I left England on the 10th of March,
1874, and arrived in due course at Mar-
seilles, where I embarked in the French
mail steamer Tigre, en route for China.
To any person who has never before
undertaken a long journey by sea, and
who is about to become for the first time
a sojourner for weeks on the watery deep,
with all its dangers and hidden mysteries,
there must always be a feeling of excite-
ment at the uncertainty of the futm-e
immediately before him, although it is
sobered down by the solemnity of the
enterprise. It seems as if we were leav-
ing behind us, with the last view of our
fatherland, some landmark that we do our
very best to fix on our memory for ever,
CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
SO that whatever may betide us in the
new life we are just about entering upon,
we at least have all our old one so im-
pressed upon us that it may serve to
solace us in disappointment, or reanimate
us to fresh exertions, in order to be re-
stored to the home we leave behind in
grief intolerable, if it were not lightened
by the hope of a return after a career
more successful than we could with justice
expect to result from a continued residence
in the old country. It is this hope that
alone encourages Englishmen to depart
abroad in pursuit of fortune, seeking for
it under conditions less arduous than are
entailed on those who remain in England;
but also let it be not forgotten that it is
to their efforts that England owes that
empire on which the sun never sets. So
my thoughts were with *'auld lang syne,"
as the fortifications of Marseilles grew
MARSEILLES TO SUEZ.
fainter in the distance, and my imagination
clianged them into the white cliffs I had
a few days previously said good-bye to, as
I believed, for many a long year. How
man proposes to himself a future out of
his own heart, and how illusory it ever is !
I was young, however, and fuU of sanguine
expectations. The prospect before me
seemed to me to be without any draw-
back, and on the horizon of my worldly
career there seemed to be no cloud what-
ever; so I soon with light-hearted gaiety
settled down to make myself comfortable,
and being a good sailor, had not to go
through the painful ordeal of getting my
The Tigre^ although by no means one
of the latest build, is in some degree re-
markable for a length considerably in excess
of her other proportions, and her tonnage
is about 3,000 tons gross. I will not
CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
show my ignorance of nautical matters by
attempting to give any express description
of her, although a certain amount of gra-
titude must always be felt for the good
ship that has performed in safety a journey
of many thousand miles. As a passenger
I was naturally concerned more with her
internal arrangements than with her out-
ward good points, and her cuisine and other
accommodation left nothing to be desired.
Of course, on starting on a long voyage
like this, preparations are made for regular
amusements, in order to make it agreeable
and seem as short as possible. The Eng-
lish passengers, as a rule, compare the
Messageries maritimes unfavourably with
our Peninsular and Oriental in this re-
spect. They say that the French officers
neglect to organize theatricals and musical
soirees to speed the journey, and that fewer
steps are taken to make it a more pleasant
MARSEILLES TO SUEZ.
affair. Although I cannot speak of the
Peninsular and Oriental service from per-
sonal acquaintance, it is most probable that
it is much gayer and not so quiet as it
undoubtedly is on the French line. Still,
the latter has some advantages, which I
will try to enumerate. In the first place,
in many ways the officers are specially
obliging and attentive to English pas-
sengers; who, I regret to say, are, as a
rule, somewhat deficient in reciprocating
their kindnesses. They always made it a
point of having some surprises in the
shape of httle dishes a VAnglaise, and
many of them who could not understand
English on our setting out were suffi-
ciently advanced in a short time to carry
on an ordinary conversation, so eager to'
learn, and so little ashamed to speak a
strange language imperfectly were they.
What a contrast to ourselves, who disHke
CANTON AND THE BOOUE.
to sliow our imperfections in any way, erspe-
cially in conversing in a strange tongue.
Among the passengers were a good
many Dutch, French, and some Ger-
man; the French leaving at Aden for
the Mauritius, and the Dutch at Singa-
pore for Java and Sumatra. I y/as greatly
struck with the courtesy and general in-
formation of the latter, who were very
amusing and intelligent companions. They
were full of praises of everything English,
and some were well read in our literature.
I may here also say that if their views of
our colonial empire may be taken as a
specimen of the general opinion among
them, there is little to he feared from
their jealousy of us, even in the Straits of
Malacca. On this subject I will venture,
however, to make some remarks further
on ; of course I have been speaking of the
European, not of the Colonial Dutchman.
MARSEILLES TO SUEZ.
By the Messageries it is comparatively
an easy thing to get a cabin for oneself,
and more than two are seldom, if ever,
put into one. The French diet, to my
mind, is also more suitable to the limited
exercise possible on board ship than our
own more substantial mode of living.
The weather was everything that could
be desired as far as Naples, where, how-
ever, having the misfortune to meet with
a slight accident, I was unable to land ;
but I had a good view of that unrivalled
bay. Our stoppage was not for long, how-
ever, and that night we passed through
the Straits of Messina, and in the morning
Etna was but a speck far in our rear.
Nothing had occurred to remind me of my
close proximity to Scylla and Charybdis.
So far the weather, though sHghtly cold,
had been fine, but it now changed sud-
denly, and became sufficiently rough to
lo CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
close the ports. We also had to pass
through a thick mist, which ohliged us to
slacken to half speed, and made frequent
soundings necessary. This mist was caused
by the wind blowing clouds of sand from
the deserts of Africa. Through these causes
we were somewhat late in arriving at Port
Said. We immediately went on shore, but
as it was dark we saw very little of the
town. We went to the Casino, which I
thought — even after several-^ days at sea,
when any change is a rehef — very stupid;
and then to the Alcazar, where the per-
formance, which exclusively consisted of
women playing on violins and other stringed
instruments, was well worth seeing. Even
critically observed, the playing was good.
Few of us had much sleep that night,
as the noise from coaling the ship was ter-
rific. We commenced our passage through
the canal early in the morning. Without
MARSEILLES TO SUEZ. - ii
giving any description of this wonderful
piece of engineering, I may mention that
as the main channel is only sufficiently
wide to admit of one ship going through
at a time, there are stations where ships
wait until it comes to their turn, and the
way is clear. The communication is kept
up, and the traffic is regulated by tele-
graph. As far as feasible, everything makes
way for the mail steamers. The best com-
parison to maile to illustrate the mode of
working is to the arrangements on a
single line of railway. The simile is almost
exact. We were stopped some time at
Ismailia, where both the Khedive and M.
de Lesseps have handsome palaces, to let
some vessels pass. Here I saw the mirage^
and it was with some difficulty I could
persuade myself that the sight was de-
ceitful. I felt grateful, however, that the
illusion brought no punishment to me, and
12 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
I shuddered to think how awful the dis-
appointment must be to discover the fallacy
when one's Hfe was at stake in the desert.
The canal regulations oblige all ships to
anchor at night ; so when the captain will
give permission, many go ashore to shoot
jackals, or to visit the caf6 cliantant which
some of the villages possess. I was not
much prepossessed with the inhabitants of
these villages, chiefly employes of the com-
pany ; a greater set of cut-throat looking
vagabonds I never saw.
Just before reaching Suez we were stopped
to let the transport Crocodile^ returning
with troops from India, pass.
The Messageries steamers anchor in a
bay two or three miles from Suez, so I did
not see the town, but the neighbourhood
looked very pretty and nice.
SUEZ— ADEN - GALLE.
SUEZ ADEN GALLE.
The next morning we left Suez, steaming
through the Straits of Jubal/ and saw in
the distance the peaks of St. Catherine,
the supposed Mount Sinai. The weather
was remarkably fine, and the heat soon
became — some days later than usual, though
— so oppressive that a change to thinner
clothing had to be adopted. The '^ pun-
kah " or ^^fan" had also to be kept in
motion. Two days after leaving Suez we
were hailed by a native (Arabian) ship
signalhng for a doctor. We launched our
boat, sending to them ours, who did not
seem to Like the project at all. For some
14 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
reason or other there was some excite-
ment on board, — some even talking of
pirates, whicli had a visible effect on the
courage of the poor doctor. The idea of
a small boat attacking a large steamer was
too ridiculous for the impression to last
long. How it ever arose would be difficult
to imagine. On reaching her they found
it was a hoax. The owners, having lost
their way, wanted to know whereabouts
they were. They signalled for a doctor,
as they knew that is the only one for which
a mail steamer will stop. This vessel was
a very pretty sight, being perfectly white,
even to the masts. Altogether this stop-
page delayed us some hours. We passed
through the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, close
to our strong island of Perim. This island
presents a most repelling appearance, being
nothing but a barren flat without a trace
of vegetation, — the friendly light-house
SUEZ— ADEN— GALLE. 15
being the only thing for which a human
being has to be thankful. This station
for the military is a sort of penal settle-
ment, and the guard has to be changed at
frequent intervals by rehefs from Aden.
Outdoor amusement is an impossibility in
this uninviting oven.
We arrived at Aden some hours later
in the night, landing the next morning,
when we drove to see the sight of the town,
viz., the Tanks, which are some distance
inland, close to the English cantonments.
These cavities are supposed to have existed
as far back as four thousand years ago.
When we took and fortified Aden we con-
structed reservoirs in them, which, as it
often does not rain here for three, some-
times not for ten, years, are most useful in
collecting the water during the wet seasons.
We also connected these tanks ; one now
leading into the other with steps down
i6 CANTON AND THE BOGUE,
them, and planted terraces round tlie sides
of the rocks with acacia and other trees,
which form a great relief to the eye, as
nothing else green can be seen in the
neighbourhood, the whole district being
volcanic : indeed the town of Aden is
supposed to be built in the crater of a
volcano, and the bold precipitous rocks by
which it is surrounded represent the sides.
We drove about in the native carriage,
which is the same at Galle and Singapore,
and is also called '* Gharry " at each of
these places. Strange to say, this inhos-
pitable-looking place is rather liked as a
station by the officers. The reason I be-
lieve is, that it is possible for them to save
on their pay. There is no question at all,
however, about their hospitality, all being
most willing to give everyone a hearty
welcome. It was very amusing to see
the little blackies paddling about in the
SUEZ— ADEN— GALLE. 17
harbour in tiny canoes, from whicli, or
even from the yards of our vessel, they
would dive into the water for money, and
we could see them distinctly fighting
underneath among themselves to get the
prize. They would also dive under one
side of the ship and come up at the other,
chattering all the while like monkeys. I
was not sorry, however, to leave this place
and get on, for by this time the end of the
journey was every day becoming a matter to
be looked forward to with greater pleasure.
On passing Cape Guardafui and the island
of Socotra, we encountered a great swell,
which made us roll very much, — the curious
thing being that the sea to all appearance
was perfectly calm; but I beheve there
was nothing unusual in this. The contrast
to the heavy rollers of the Atlantic was
very great to all appearance, but the effect
on the steadiness of our vessel was cer-
i8 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
tainly not less. From Aden to Galle — by
far the most tedious part of the voyage —
it takes seven to nine days, according to
the monsoon. The weather was so sultry
and oppressive that it was often impossible
to stay between decks, and several nights
I slept on deck in an arm-chair. We saw
lots of flying-iish and shoals of porpoises.
If the days could be complained of on
account of the force of the sun, the nights
were the more enjoyable, for the splendour
of the moon and the evening breezes com-
pensated to some extent for the extra heat
of the day.
We arrived at Galle after nine days'
steaming. The change of scene was ex-
traordinary. I may say, it was not since
leaving Naples that I had seen anything
green. A fortnight's roasting in the Bed
Sea and Indian Ocean would be enough to
make one greet with pleasure the slightest
SUEZ— ADEN— GALLE. 19
shade; but here we had immense woods
coming down to the verge of the water,
which made me long for their refreshing
shelter. I hope I shall not be accused of
exaggeration in saying that Galle struck
me as the prettiest place, externally, I came
across. If anyone doubts it, they had
better make the experiment; and if they
— as they must from England — go the same
route as I did, I feel certain that their
opinion, after the same culinary preparation,
will agree with mine. 'But as to reach the gar-
dens of the Hesperides many obstacles had to
be overcome, so there are dangers to be en-
countered by those desirous of landing here.
In the first place, even to enter the
harbour is no easy matter, and requires
the most careful steering. As a warning,
should we not keep true in the centre of
the passage, there rises above the waves,
only a few yards from us, the hull and
20 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
masts of the Arracan, wrecked here some
months before. Even when we have passed
through this dangerous strait we have only
accomplished half our task. There is so
great a swell that we are obliged to land
in boats, and to get into these boats is very-
awkward and difficult. It requires the
greatest skill in choosing your opportunity,
which must be immediately acted upon, or
you will not escape without a ducking at
the very least. Perhaps I speak with some
of the bitterness of unsuccess, as I was
among the unfortunate, — escaping however,
luckily, with only half the penalty. All
this inconvenience detracts something from
the praise of Galle, especially , as many
ships are periodically lost here. Besides,
there is so obvious and simple a remedy.
Colombo, which is very little out of the
direct line, and is a very thriving and
large town, has a commodious and fine
SUEZ— ADEN— GALLE. 21
harbour, wMch is easy of entrance, and
safe at all seasons. It certainly is slightly
ont of the route, but the advantages that
would arise from making it the port of call
far counterbalance the slight delay that
might be occasioned by the change. But,
somehow, all the world over, it takes a
very long time to effect any improvement
on what is. As far as my experience goes,
I can endorse the saying of an eminent
man — that we are not Conservative, but
Chinese. It may be some consolation to
think that all the world's the same.
We went to the hotel on landing, which
is a capital one. The proprietor fed us
remarkably well, and I tasted here one of
the greatest dainties imaginable. I unfor-
tunately did not get the receipt, but I can
state the chief ingredients : curried prawns,
flavoured with cocoa-nut milk and dry
champagne. It was capital. We took
22 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
gharries, drawn by very fine little ponies,
and drove up into the country, over ex-
cellent roads. The scenery was very pretty,
splendid trees overhanging the roads, and
forming a perfect archway. Through the
vistas of the wood we could see native huts
— to all appearance clean and comfortable
— and now and then a small temple, with
the native gods. These were chiefly re-
markable for the tasty manner in which
they were decorated with flowers. We
drove also to see the cinnamon gardens,
which were some miles inland. The only
drawback that I could see was the quantity
of beggars who, as everywhere else in
the East, pestered us for alms. We drove
back to our hotel, where a crowd of Parsee
merchants had assembled to receive us,
exhibiting their wares, and demanding fancy
and most exorbitant prices for everything.
We were taken by a back way to see their
SUEZ— ADEN— GALLE. 23
shops and all their treasures. They offered
us sapphires, rubies, pearls, etc. ; but though
we were fully awake to their tricks, we found
it difficult to resist their cajoling arts when we
had put ourselves into their den. For a ring
for which they demanded JC50, they accepted
£5. Of course the majority of these fellows
are arrant swindlers, palming off pieces of
glass or bad stones on the unwary as gems
of priceless value. Their whole system is
supported by unlimited credit, they reckon-
ing on catching you on your return. They
are a fearful nuisance, but it rests with
travellers themselves to put them down by
discouraging them. But as a few great
bargains are sometimes made, everyone
tries to do the same, and the result is that
these fellows thrive and make fortunes, as
elsewhere, on the creduHty of mankind.
Our stay here seemed to me too short.
Jt was only for twenty-four hours ; I could
24 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
gladly have enjoyed another stay of equal
length. That evening there was a tre-
mendous storm, the lightning being most
vivid. This I may call our half way
house, it being also in distance only a
little more than half done towards getting
to the end of the journey. I now had
the pleasure of being able to look back on
so much successfully accomplished to sustain
me in the latter half of this lengthy under-
taking. I left. Galle much refreshed by
its pleasant scenery, although there we lost
some of our fellow passengers, who were
much missed and regretted.
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. 25
SINGAPOEE — SAIGON — HONG-KONG.
FouE days after leaving Galle, we were
passing the north part of Sumatra, al-
though at too great a distance to get a
very clear view of Atchin. Our course here
lay through narrow straits between little
islands; and, more or less, this is the de-
scription of the whole of the view of the
strait down to Singapore.
These islands present the most beautiful
appearance. They are absolutely covered
with trees, which run down to the water's
edge. I saw a very splendid sunset
the evening we were passing through.
The sun, sinking behind the tree-crested
26 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
mountains of the islands, lit up the open
sea with a glow of gold, or was reflected
hack from the woods and rocks of various
islets ; while that part of the sea nearest to
the shore, being in close shade, was con-
sequently perfectly dark. The contrast was
most singular and striking. We arrived at
Singapore without noticing anything par-
ticular, for, as I said, one description is
sufficient for the whole of this route. The
entrance to the new and small harbour,
although extremely narrow, is most pretty,
as it is fringed on either side with thickly-
wooded islands ; although here is added
to the scenery some comfortable-looking
and picturesquely-situated villas, and the
smoke rising from behind the trees cheers
the heart with its sign of hospitahty. We
again took gharries and drove to the town
of Singapore, which is about three miles
from the quay ; and having lunched on our
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. 27
arrival, we started to see the Botanical
Gardens, which are ahout four miles inland.
The drive through the jungle the whole
way was remarkably pretty, and the Gar-
dens, even after this preliminary prepara-
tion, did not fall short of my expectations.
We dined with a friend still further up the
country, where I saw a most perfect pun-
kah ; it had five fans, instead of only one.
We also saw the Governor's house, but at
that time without a Governor. Sir Andrew
Clarke had not then commenced his ad-
ministration, although on my return his
success, aided by the well-known gracious-
ness and kindness of Lady Clarke, was the
talk of the place. Everyone out there will
join, w^hile deeply regretting his short stay,
in wishing him every prosperity in his new
At Singapore the diving boys were equally
numerous and amusing, and there they
28 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
showed remarkable quickness in discerning
the English from the French passengers.
To the former they would say, ** Have a
dive ? " — to the latter, *^ A la mer." Here
we lost our agreeable fellow-passengers the
Dutch, who change for Java. I regretted
much to part from them, as they had been
especially kind to me. One of them, who
had been ruined in Holland by giving secu-
rity for a friend, was going out with his wife
to Batavia, to try and make another for-
tune. We all heartily wished him every
As the Straits Settlement seemed but a
short time ago to have assumed a certain
importance as the subject of a political
question, it may not be out of place to
make here a few remarks on that point.
The Dutch, as is well known, were once our
most formidable rivals on the sea. Even
when Blake, Sandwich, and Kodney had in
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. 29
successiye generations fully proved our su-
premacy on that element, Holland still
possessed many colonies, some of which
now belong to us, and might, without un-
truth, claim to be our equal in foreign
possessions. These she owed to the energy
and genius of her own sailors, who for
some time and at a certain period were
unrivalled. Of all that imperial sway, Java
and Sumatra are the two most precious
It is no exaggeration to call these islands,
in richness of soil and quantity and variety
of products, the pearls of the East Indies.
Mismanaged, as they are acknowledged to
be, not a tenth properly cultivated, still
they furnish the home country with a net
profit in the shape of revenue of several
millions. The Dutch in that, part of the
world acknowledge their shortcomings, and
look with envy on what they consider the
30 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
admirable manner in which our Indian
settlements are managed. They are only
too desirous to make the best of their pro-
mising territory; but, whether owing to
real want of energy, or to being hampered
by the home Government, little progress
is made. Opposed to the long sea-board
of Sumatra lie our settlements on the pen-
insula of Malay, with the great emporium
Singapore at its extreme end. They are
thus brought face to face with us ; and in
the necessary course of things, a time must
come when we shall be obliged to take
cognizance of their doings. There is no
doubt but that the Dutch are aware of
our gradual absorption of everything worth
possessing in this direction.
They also see more clearly than we do
ourselves, that Australia — that continent
of the future — is bound to draw nearer to
our Indian Empire. They see that one
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. 3 1
of these days they must meet. They feel
themselves unable, for several reasons, to
oppose any permanent resistance to the
progress of these movements.
While possessing much of the ability
and courage of their forefathers, they have
perhaps allowed a prosperous life in rich
colonies to render them more sluggish and
less likely to seize any favourable oppor-
tunity. Their army is also chiefly composed
of natives or of mercenaries of every country,
and not to be trusted when brought face to
face with regular troops. Even the pluck
of the Atchinese was sufficient to baffle for
long the numbers brought against them.
The Dutch feel the reality of all this ;
and the result is an intense jealousy, which
shows itself by hampering us in all our
intercourse with these islands. It would
be an instructive lesson to anyoae to work
up how it was that, when we were foremost
32 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
amongst the advocates of conquest and
extension of dominion, we permitted these
treasures to escape our grasp. Their
position, their wealth, every reason of
policy, both on its broad principle and on
its narrower one of self-interest, demanded
their occupation. Why did we give up
our hold on Sumatra in Bencoolen in
exchange for Malacca? Of course, this
gives no right to take them now, even if
that were feasible ; and if Holland . were
to manage them properly there might never
be any necessity. But the world is not
large enough nor rich enough to permit
anyone to mismanage that which is meant
for the good of all. And eventually, if we
neglect to interest ourselves in the ques-
tion, if we are so purblind as not to keep
a watchful eye on this quarter, we may
find that some other power, for reasons
certainly not of friendship to ourselves,
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. 33
will secure these prizes, and we with our
eyes closed the whole time. It ought to he
sufficient to point out that, as far as race
goes, Holland is as much German as Alsace
or Holstein; and even the independent
Dutch might not ohject so much as is
imagined to merge themselves in such a
formidable power as Germany would then
become by their alHance. Germany is fast
creating a navy. She would, then, have
harbours and colonies. Those of her sub-
jects who shirk the military obHgations by
leaving the Fatherland would, perhaps the
State might consider, be sufficiently usefully
employed in estabhshing new or strengthen-
ing old colonies to allow them to be excused
from some of the legal penalties they incur
under present circumstances.
On leaving Singapore, and turning our
prow northwards, I may say we were set-
ting out on our last stage, although, by the
34 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
French packet, the journey is broken by a
stoppage at their settlements in Cochin
China. In three days we reached Point
St. James, which is at the month of the
Cambodia or Gamboge river. The contract
of the Company with the French Govern-
ment compels them to go np the river to
Saigon, which is about sixty miles, and
entails a tedious journey of about twenty-
four hours each way ; they are also obliged
to make a stoppage there of twenty-four
hours; so that altogether this arbitrary
and really useless arrangement delays the
arrival in China by three days. The river
is very wide, but so shallow that it is only
possible for ships to go up to Saigon when
the tide is favourable. The banks are very
low, so I could see the jungle extending for
miles inland. The heat here was some-
thing fearful, and the farther we went from
the sea the worse it became.
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. 35
As the Frencli are lield to attach much
importance to this settlement, it is perhaps
some set-off against the delay to get even a
slight glimpse of how they manage their
colonies. Coming from Singapore to Saigon
seems like a return to Europe. With its
straight streets Hned with trees, with its
cafes retreating under the shade, and its
boulevards of handsome shops, it seems
almost exactly like a town of la helle
France, Scarlet trousered officers, bronzed
by an eastern sun to almost blackness,
lounge about; and the political talk is no
less lively than it is on a Parisian boulevard.
Their system of ruling their colony is
exactly similar to that in force in Algeria,
and is purely military. The whole of the
country is dotted over with small stations,
and the natives are subject and must con-
form to the French laws alone.
This is somewhat different and opposed
36 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
to the course we have adopted in the
management of our immense possessions
in India. There we see the miHtary en-
tirely subsidiary to the civil authority.
The Commissioner is the highest power.
We openly acknowledge we only hold our
authority in trust for the benefit of the
natives, and we encourage them to show
themselves capable of assisting us in go-
verning themselves. This is far removed
from the military system, pure and simple,
followed by the French ; and I do not think
its advantages can be questioned.
There is a Jardin des Plantes and a public
park about a mile from the town. There is
a very good show at the former, especially
some magnificent tigers. Close to this is
the Governor's palace, which is reputed to
have cost seven miUion francs, or jC280,000.
Altogether, Saigon would repay a longer
Aisit, and the heavy jungles throughout
SINGAPORE—SAIGON— HONG-KONG. yj
the interior afford a splendid field for sport.
Besides, it lias great advantages as a start-
ing place for explorations inland, and the
opening up of the Cambodia would confer
more advantages on the human race than
the clearing out of the Oxus. The latter
will open up a passage to the rugged steppes
of Khoordistan and the Hindoo Koosh, but
the former will open up the rich treasures
of Siam and Burmah.
We sailed down the river again, and four
days after leaving Point St. James we
reached Hong-Kong. It was a very pretty
sight to see the merchants' gigs, manned by
Chinamen in different coloured costumes,
coming off to welcome old friends from
their own common home, or new ones
who were coming out to be cheered by
My journey was over. Ten thousand
miles, mostly by sea, is, under every cir-
38 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
cumstance, both of comfort and of fine
weather, but a disagreeable and tedious
task. Its end can be only greeted with
relief. But when it is accomplished, al-
though feelings of expectation have been
for weeks uppermost in our mind, we go
back and dwell on all the episodes and
dangers of the journey; and we then, if
but for a few moments, feel some of the
debt we owe to that Almighty Providence
that has carried us with safety to our jour-
There is also grief and a feeling of lone-
liness to think how many a mile lies between
us and cur home, where is all we love.
Only the warmest welcome, only the truest
friendship, only the greatest hope can make
us bear up successfully. These in my case
were all powerfully present, and soon I was
reconciled to my new surroundings.
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 39
A SHOBT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTOEY.
Befoee commencing my narrative of resi-
dence in China, I will devote two ciiapters
to preparatory matter, which will perhaps
serve to give greater interest and consis-
tency to what follows. In this chapter I
will endeavour to give some slight sketch
of the course of China's history, while in
the next I will make some remarks that
may seem naturally suggested by our con-
nexion with the country.
The native accounts date their empire
from a most remote period, but we have
as yet no reliable record of the events
which occurred in the infancy of this
40 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
extraordinary people ; and considering
that the anthentio Mstory was destroyed
by a sovereign (Chi-Noam-to, 200 B.C.)
whose acts the learned disapproved of,
because it was turned again&t him to esta-
blish precedents to prove his own bad
government, it is highly probable that it
will for ever remain shrouded in mystery.
We know that the Komans received am-
bassadors from a country called Cathay,
situated far to the east of the Indus ; and
we may not be wrong in accepting these
emissaries as coming from that country
which is the subject of this book. We are
also aware that some Christian sceptics
are reported to have retired thither in the
first centuries of the Church ; and I believe
attempts have of late years been made to
trace their descendants.
Fo-Hi, one of the first emperors, and the
reputed founder of the empire, lived about
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 41
2000 B.C., and is supposed to be the same as
Noah ; but the first reliable historical per-
sonage we know of, is Confucius, who was
born about 550 b.c. He is to the Chinese
what Moses is to the Jews, and Mahomet to
the Arabs. He is at once their lawgiver
and their prophet, their example of morality
and the highest and grandest type of their
race. The descendants of this distinguished
philosopher form the only hereditary nobility
among the Chinese. During the first cen-
turies the imperial rule was exercised by
the family of Hong, but the rulers for
several generations having fallen into all
the vices of impotency, were, after a period
of anarchy and confusion, succeeded by the
Tang family, which had as its founder the
great Taitsong. Their dynasty faUing into
the same state of effeminacy as their prede-
cessors', gave place to new rulers ; and this
result was repeated several times, until the
42 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
great Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan
overran a great part of the kingdom, and
his grandson Kublai Khan completed the
task of conquest by subduing the whole
country, and he and several of his descend-
ants ruled from Kamschatka to Cochin.
But the old epidemic soon seized the
Mongol emperors as it had previously the
Chinese. Inactivity soon take the place
of energy, and the pleasures of debauchery
succeeded the actions of ambition in the
court of Pekin. The conquered inhabitants,
from being accustomed to sneer at the de-
generacy of their conquerors, soon resorted
to measures to restore themselves to free-
dom and to regain the empire they once
possessed. The revolt was successful, and
their victorious general established himself
at Pekin. He became the founder of the
famous dynasty of Ming ; and, not content
with having expelled a conqueror, led vie-
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 43
torious armies through Thibet and Tartary.
The Ming period is the most popular among
the Chinese, as the time of their chief
greatness ; and it would he unwise to leave
out of consideration the fact that they recur
to the events of that time with extreme
fondness, for as changes of rulers have in
no other kingdom been of more frequent
occurrence, so it is not impossible that one
more revolution may be added, and it can-
not be confidently asserted that it will meet
with no success.
The defeated Mongols sought refuge
among the Tartars on the extreme north-
western frontier of the empire, and several
centuries later their descendants appeared
once more upon the scene under the name
of Mantchoos. For even the sovereigns
of the house of Ming were not to be exempt
for any great length of time from the faults
of their predecessors ; and when the state
44 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
was divided into rival factions, in an evil
liour the aid of the Mantchoos was invoked.
Victory declared for the side they fought
on, and as Hengist and Horsa in our history
from victorious allies made the easy change
to conquerors, so in China these fierce and
irresistible Tartars seized the empire, and
converted their benefactors and friends into
their dependents. The first emperor of
the new race, Chun-tchi, showed himself a
sagacious and tolerant prince by honouring
the prejudices of his new subjects and by
satisfying himself with the real attributes
of power without demanding any of its
The Tartar conquest was consummated
in the year 1644, and Chun-tchi was
succeeded in 1661 by his son Kang-hi,
who in a long reign of sixty years proved
himself to be the most enlightened prince
who ever occupied the throne. His
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 45
measures consolidated tlie power of his
family, and it is mainly to him that it is
due that the state of the country has been
tolerably settled ever since. He at first
had friendly inclinations for foreigners, and
it was in his reign that the Jesuits first
effected a permanent settlement. He made
use of their knowledge to assist him in
compiling a history, and also employed
them on many works of national import-
ance, notably the improvement of the
calendar and the education of the masses.
It was at this time that so many works
were issued on China, and had the place
of the Jesuit observers been as worthily
filled of late years by the Enghsh merchants,
there should be a much greater knowledge
of the people and of their customs than
unfortunately there is. Towards the end
of Kang-hi's reign, however, the Jesuits fell
into disrepute, and they were banished the
46 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
court. Perhaps some of their theories as
to the spiritual supremacy of the Pope
were a little too freely uttered to please
the spiritual father of a distinct religion.
"Whatever the reason, the fact remains
the same, that Jesuit influence was at its
height in his reign, and that, although still,
scattered over the country, where perhaps
no other white man dare venture, may
be found representatives of this powerful
society, it has ever since been on the
Since this reign the internal history of
China has been quiet. The Mantchoos
are still the ruling caste. The djniasty of
Tatsing still sways the sceptre. To all
appearance the native Chinaman is con-
tented, and the Tartar lords it throughout
the land. The even tenor of their rule
has indeed received one shock. I allude
to the Taeping rebelHon; and the result of
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 47
that insurrection remained undecided until
an Englisliman solved the difficulty by
leading an army from victory to victory ;
and Gordon and the Ever Victorious Army
became the heroes of the day. The vanity
of the victors, hurt by having to own their
success as chiefly attributable to a foreigner,
has received some salve in the successful
destruction of the Panthays, who had of
late years formed an independent power
in the south-west ; and military officialism
has become more arrogant than before,
on account of these recent laurels. The
Taepings were indeed crushed ; but the
impressions of foreign residents are con-
flicting as to whether the Chinese are
really well affected to the Mandarins.
Ta-whang-li, or Mighty Emperor, is the
style of the potentate at Pekin, and his power
is as unlimited as the most extended view of
paternal authority sanctions. He is temporal
48 CANTON AND THE BO CUE.
and spiritual cliief ; and his person is con-
sidered so sacred that it is only recently
that audience has heen permitted to the
representatives of foreign powers ; and now
it is done in such a manner as in any other
country would be considered more insult
The Goyernment is carried on by a coimcil
of four ; but at the present moment it is
vested in a Kegency, and the Empress,
mother of the previous sovereign, is the
instigator of policy. The great Viceroys
exercise a vast amount of influence, and in
their respective provinces are supreme, par-
ticularly the ruler of the province of Chihli,
by name Li Hung Chang, or the great Li
as he is more usually called ; who to great
power and wealth adds all the energy and
ambition of his ancestors. In theory, how-
ever, the Tu-che-yiven, or censors, have the
right to superintend all things, and have a
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 49
station independent of the Ministry. They
fill a somewhat similar position in name to
that the Ephors did in fact at Sparta ; but
they are entirely without the power of that
formidable magistracy. They have some
privileges, and may enjoy the doubtful
pleasure of listening to measures being re-
solved upon by the boards of administration
without having any option between silence
and a futile opposition.
It is sufficiently evident even from these
few facts that if the sovereign be not of an
active disposition, and does not really act
the king, there is plenty of field for ambi-
tion ; and that backstair influence is much
called into use to decide the merits of rival
favourites, or to settle the litigations con-
stantly pending between irritated feuda-
tories. When such a state of affairs exists,
there can be neither salutary government at
home nor trustworthy engagements abroad.
so CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
In anotlier point of view, it leaves room for
sudden changes, by holding out an occasion
to ambitious generals to form an empire of
their own out of the surrounding corruption.
And indeed it is a very significant fact what
skilled connoisseurs these eastern potentates
are becoming in the merits of Krupps and
China has remained under the same rulers
for a period of two hundred and thirty
years. But if it be true that all history
repeats itself, we must arrive at the con-
clusion that even a dynasty whose ninth
representative is on the throne, is not safe
from the fate of its predecessors. It is also
a fact not to be lost sight of, that, strictly
speaking, there is no regular army. The
forces correspond more to our militia, re-
siding at their own houses, and not in
barracks, and occupying themselves in trades
or labour of some kind, except on those
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 51
special days when they are summoned to
Our first attempt to open trade inter-
course with China was in 1637, when the
East India Company despatched several
vessels to Macao ; but through the intrigues
of the Portuguese, then as now in possession
of that town, the attempt proved a failure,
and the ships were forced to depart without
effecting their purpose. For more than a
century afterwards a limited traffic was
carried on with Canton by the East India
Company ; but the Chinese were never
cordial about it, and the Portuguese were
not at all chary of spreading reports to our
disadvantage. In 1792, however, an em-
bassy was sent under Lord Macartney, to
see if some better arrangements could not be
concluded,and to bear gifts of friendship from
the conquerors of India ; but it is impossible
to say the success attending . this mission
52 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
was more than dubious. In 1816 tlie Earl
of Amherst again attempted the hopeless
task of pointing out the advantages to
be derived from trade and intercommuni-
cation, but with no better result than
Lord^ Macartney had met with.
In 1834 the monopoly of the East India
Company was abolished, and general traders
had the right granted them to transact busi-
ness with the country. In 1842, after a war
in which Canton was much damaged and
the Chinese Government had to pay a
large indemnity, a treaty of commerce was
ratified between Great Britain and China,
by which five ports were declared open
to EngHsh merchants. They were Canton,
Amoy, Foo-chow, Ningpo, and Shanghai.
Hong-Kong was also ceded to us for
I need not here recapitulate the leading
features of the last war, which resulted in
A SHORT RESUME OF CHINESE HISTORY. 53
the entry into Pekin and the treaty of
Tientsin. The events of that war are suf-
ficiently well known, although I may men-
tion that eight more ports were opened to
the foreigner, viz., Swatow, Tientsin, Chee-
foo, Kiu-Kiang, Hankow, Chin-Kiang,
New Chang, and Formosa.
It is notorious that, even after two
hundred years of some kind of contact, we
are not on as friendly terms as might be, and
that all our efforts to break through the
phlegm of the Chinaman have been only
rewarded with a limited success. We are
looked upon as intruders, we are only per-
mitted to remain on sufferance ; and whether
the future will bring any improvement in
these respects is more than the most san-
guine of us can answer satisfactorily. At all
events, our patience cannot now be com-
plained of, and we have put up for thirteen
years with circumstances that have seemed
54 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
on many occasions about to produce a
quarrel. The question, then, changes to,
Has our complaisance gone too far in the
other direction ?
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 55
SOME REMARKS ON QUESTIONS SUGGESTED BY
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA.
A SINGLE glance at the map is sufficient
to show that the position of China is one
entitling it to play a most prominent part
in, and to attract much attention from
those desirous of participating in, the
pontics of Asia.
The antiquity of its history, the hardly
perceptible difference in the chief charac-
teristics of its inhabitants for thousands
of years, the exclusiveness in which it has
kept itself aloof from western advances,
and the halo of fancy and mystery that
surrounds all those things that are little
56 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
comprehended, combine to make tlie Celes-
tial Empire an interesting subject. To
these, however, mnst now be added the
importance of our commercial relations, —
the fact of our being established in settle-
ments on its soil, and, perhaps more than
all, the feeling that we are there in keen
competition with other nations. It has
not been hitherto held an attribute of the
English race to draw back from any course
for fear of rivals ; rather has it been the
contrary, and we have carried out many
an undertaking merely for the sake of
thwarting some opponent. Its reputed
history dates from about 2,000 years before
the birth of our Saviour. It is thus
synonymous i length with that o f the
Jews empire has passed away
nearly 2,000 years, while that of its far
eastern contemporary seems to be still,
for an Asiatic power, in the fuU strength
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 57
of manhood. Through many changes of
ruhng dynasty, through many a desperate
rebellion, through passing under the sway
of such conquerors as Genghis Khan, it has
come down to our time a relic of the past.
We have an ancient people before us, we
have the unlimited power of the priesthood,
we have the omnipotent majesty of the
sovereign enshrined in the hearts of the
people. More than this : the wonders of our
modern life, what must appear to them the
astonishing results of our mechanical ap-
pliances, seem to be regarded with a certain
apathy and indifference. They nowadays
go abroad; but if they do, they carry China
with them. They never depart with the
idea of no return. They feel satisfied that
even if they do die in the strange world
they have entered upon, their bodies will
be brought back to rest among their fore-
58 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
It is no part of my object to recon-
cile the age of the Chinese institutions
with the Jewish Cosmogony ; but any-
one's eyes are sufficient to show him that
*^ Tartar" is written on every lineament of
a Chinaman. Whether they be the de-
scendants of Tartaric hordes who in pre-
historic times supplanted some aboriginal
race, or whether the Tartar bands of
Mongolia and Central Asia are the off-
shoots of an over-redundant population, is
to my mind an unimportant question.
These Tartars of the desert have been,
however, a by no means trivial anxiety
for the imperial minds at Pekin.
We have seen that their irruptions have
been frequent, that they have left a per-
manent mark in many of the institutions
of the country, that they have not a few
times furnished a ruler to the empire, and
that the present sovereigns are their descend-
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 59
ants. Against these intruders an immense
and fortified wall was erected. That wall,
e\^en if it may seem antiquated to our eyes,
and utterly trivial in these days of rifled
ordnance, has for centuries been regarded
as one of the wonders of the world ; and
might even on a future occasion form a by
no means unimportant opposition to the
attack of anyone in that direction. Its
safest defence on this side is, however, the
character of the obstacles the immense
extent of that northern part of Asia offer to
anyone who should wish to march an army
on that quarter. The south-west of China
is also almost totally unexplored, although
it seemed, a short time ago, that at last this
desirable object was to be accomplished by
an expedition starting from Eangoon. It
is well known how that attempt resulted
in failure, and the murder of a most pro-
6o CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
A quarter of a century ago, it was prog-
nosticated that China was to he a new El
Dorado ; and although those expectations
have heen only realized in a limited degree,
we cannot say that we have exhausted every
means to accomplish that end. As yet the
iron horse has not ploughed up the land ;
the rivers and canals are still traversed hy
the heavy-rigged barges, and news still
travels with the tortoise pace of the courier.
Each province, each village, must rest there-
fore on its own resources in any emergency
that may arise. But yet, as a sign of the
wealth of the country, we have a population
which in certain districts is truly immense.
The national thrift of course accounts for
this in some degree. The real secret,
perhaps, of its wealth, is, however, the
number and size of its rivers. In the ^
centre there is the majestic Yangtse-Kiang ;
in the north there is the equally imposing
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 6i
Ho-ang-Ho; wliile in the south there is
the no less useful Kiu-Kiang.
These highways given by nature perforate
the country in all directions. Not only is
the land copiously irrigated, but these means
of communication require no paternal and
careful legislature to keep them in perma-
nent order. Our chief informants on every
point of Chinese custom and history — the
Jesuits — dwell on the importance of this
fact, and many have carefully and eloquently
detailed the immense advantage of these
Pere Mailla, in his ^^ Histoire Generale
de la Chine," which is a French translation
of the orthodox Chinese History, which I
believe he was also chiefly instrumental in
compiling in the reign of Kang-hi, gives a
most vivid description of the whole country,
in which he resided for a great number of
years. No further information, I may say.
62 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
has been added to that he affords us, and
the history of the Celestial Empire has yet
to be written. Her bold and extensive
seaboard, stretching for hundreds of miles,
from which not even the horrors of the
typhoon can detract its many advantages,
is specially intended for the children of
commerce ; and although it may seem a
paradox, the supposition is not opposed by
The leading merchants along the Straits
of Malacca are, if not Chinese by birth,
certainly so by origin, and are distinguished
by the term " Baba." Their trade with
the Phihppine Isles and Cochin China is
also extensive, and this is carried on chiefly,
if not altogether, in native ships.
The appearance of the Chinese in the
labour market of California has been at-
tended with such success that there are
some who are sanguine enough to point
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 63
to a time when demand for their services
will be universal. What would not some
of our colliery proprietors, and other em-
ployers of labour, they say, give for work-
men who would be content with a fair and
fixed wage, and with no inducement or wish
to strike for higher terms; and these all
the time no unskilled, incapable persons ; —
persons who have proved themselves most
adaptable to strange surroundings ; steady,
sober ; if humoured in some of their re-
ligious and superstitious observances, most
amenable to authority ? If we may despise
many of their characteristics as meannesses ;
if we prefer to pride ourselves on our open-
ness of character, let us not forget that the
reasons for which we contemn them are
the very ones that would render them most
valuable in any civiHzed country which may
at present be agitated to its heart's core by
the difficulty of obtaining men, and by the
64 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
antagonism, every day becoming more em-
bittered, between capital and labour. The
thousands who annually arrive on the shores
of California are so many proofs that there
would be no impossibility in attracting them
from their own country. Australia also is
visited by a considerable number. These
emigrants, of whom the great majority ulti-
mately return to their own country, have
also another significance for us. New ideas
on the white nations must be springing up
in the minds of the natives. The wondrous
tales brought back, if viewed with apathy
and unconcern, must have some effect, and
must leave some impression on their minds.
The presence of ambassadors at the capital ;
the right of audience, so lately conceded ;
the sight of our men-of-war in their rivers ;
the remembrances of our prowess ; and
more than all, perhaps, the knowledge that
it was to English officers they owed the
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 65
suppression of the most formidable rebel-
lion that had disturbed their tranquility
for ages, the severity of which is even now
brought vividly before them by the sight,
of the jungle growing where once was the
temple, and the silent street where of yore
trod the noisy throng, — all these must be
taken as being productive of a gradual
awakening to the realities of civilization;
and if it does not mean any real adoption
of our system, it at all events means tole-
ration of it. Indeed, with a power like
Kussia roaming about somewhere on her
northern frontier ; with the Enghsh and
Americans — not to speak of other nations
— estabhshing themselves in her seaports ;
with free trade openly proclaimed ; and,
more than all, with a neighbouring and
rival power showing an inclination to com-
pete for European popularity, there seem
certainly sufficient topics to make even
66 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
the most conservative of Chinamen desirous
of knowing something from whence these
audacious interlopers spring. At the same
time, they are also bound to confess that
to a great degree they are the most bene-
fited by the connexion. There, therefore,
can be no doubt that the interior of China
will not for much longer continue a terra
incognita ; and although before she fully
opens herself to the foreigner complica-
tions of a lesser or greater seriousness
may arise, they cannot retard the result
In our dealings, political and otherwise,
we should always remember that the rule
with all eastern nations applies with double
force to them, viz., that the slightest hesi-
tation is construed as weakness ; and that
the only true way of discomfiting their
chicanery is an honourable firmness, quick
in conception and unflinching in execution.
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 67
They are perfectly aware of the jealousies
between the different nations trading with
them, and are only too alive to the means
of setting them by the ears with one another.
We are no longer able, as in the last century,
to compel the acknowledgment by the natives
of our pre-eminence by thrashing all our
rivals. We cannot do as Chve did, — conquer
India by overcoming Dupleix. So if we
are debarred from the simplest solution of
the difficulty, it behoves us to be most
careful, and to meet all artifices by that
most powerful of all poHcies, firm and truth-
ful candour. Our interests in China are
most important ; and should the proposed
coal investigations turn out successful, would
increase to a very great 'degree ; and there-
fore we must not permit anyone to oust
us in our foremost position there. We must
not risk present and future advantages by
neglecting any opportunity that may occur.
68 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
We are an old power, wlio may have seen
days of higher repute, but at no time was
our strength greater or of a more lasting
description. So even if we can afford to
brook our European position to be ques-
tioned, our representatives in the colonies
only remember what we were, and, rightly or
wrongly, cannot tolerate the remotest idea
of competition from any quarter whatsoever.
I would here again draw attention to
the late expedition exploratory of South-
west China, which left Eangoon under
Colonel Browne, for the purpose of urging
the necessity for a renewal of the attempt ;
and indeed it is extremely doubtful how we
can start under more favourable auspices,
as it will seem but a natural demand that
a fresh safe-guard to effect this all-important
purpose be one of the first requests on the
Government of Pekin, as some atonement
for the murder of poor Margary.
OUR INTERCOURSE WITH CHINA. 69
It is reported that the capabilities for
cotton planting are here most promising
and extensive. There is no lack of splendid
rivers, nor is there scarcity of labour, and
there certainly is not more — and probably
rather less — ill-will towards foreigners among
This is om- question exclusively. Here
lies our real high road to China. The
impulse that would be given to friendly
relations by the commencement of a trade
in these parts would be such as would leave
little doubt in the minds of the Chinese
who their best and most powerful customers
really were. On the sea-coast we have, and
must always have, formidable rivals. In
this direction there are none to question us.
We can foUow our own plans with dehbera-
tion ; and as the natives would equally
benefit with ourselves, there can be no
doubt of the ultimate success. We might by
70 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
SO doing seem to be entering in a race with
Kussia, who approaches in the north as we
should in the south ; but if we draw back
we are only permitting another power, with
more obstacles to contend against, to ap-
proach the common goal alone.
As I said in a previous chapter, I soon
became accustomed to my new surround-
ings, strange as they at first seemed to
Hong-Kong, situated on an island, but
including in its jurisdiction the neighbour-
ing peninsula of Kow-Loon, at the mouth
of the river Kiu-Kiang, was ceded to the
English as long ago as 1841,
Its capacious harbour affords most ex-
cellent shelter for our shipping, and is
surrounded by a range of hills, one and
even two thousand feet in height, which
are covered with the beautifully-situated
houses of the merchants.
72 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
On landing, the coolies plying for hire
with chairs surrounded us ; and I must say
on entering one, I found to my surprise
that they walked so well together that the
journey was not only done very fast, but
also in the greatest comfort. Sometimes
you unfortunately may, however, get un-
evenly matched carriei*s, when the sensa-
tion is anything but agreeable. The streets
have a very busy look, what with coolies
along the Praya, or quay, carrying bales of
stuffs, and the general bustling about of
the men of commerce. There are several
very fine buildings, notably the club, near
which is the town-hall. At the club there
is a very fair library. All the chief papers
arrive by each mail — TimeSy Pall Mall
Gazette y Gi-arphic, Punchy etc. ; and there
is some accommodation for sleepers. There
are boat-houses, cricket fields, baths, and
racquet courts, where all the great games
of old England are to be seen as much
enjoyed as on any public ground at home.
The evening I was here on this occasion
we had a pleasant drive to Happy Valley,
which is the popular resort, and also
where the races are periodically held. The
road there is a most lively sight,— quite
a miniature Kotten Kow in a less grand
degree : the whole way thronged with all
kinds of traps, driven by all kinds of horses,
— Australian, China ponies, Manilla ponies,
half-breds and thorough-breds, of all hues
and of all ages.
I have detailed the various amusements
at the service of a resident in Hong-Kong,
• — which in this instance may be taken as a
type of the rest of English life in China, —
because nothing struck me more in our
countrymen out there than the little desire
they showed to return home. At first this
surprised me very much ; but when I saw
74 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
the quantity of means at their disposal of
]3assing their leisure pleasantly, the equality
in their positions, the sumptuousness, I
may term it, of their diet, and the dolce far
niente of their whole life, my surprise
ceased, and my own ideas soon became
Who would compare to this the drudging
existence in a London house, the harassing
anxiety of an English career, the impossi-
bility of enjoying to any similar degree the
comforts of life, and the feeling of the
inequality of social status so constantly
brought before us in most disagreeable
ways ? On the one hand, we have every
present requirement, with much future
hope ; on the other, we have monotonous
and heart-wearying toil, with an almost
barren prospect. But now that I have
been compelled to turn my back on this
bright prospect, I am able to see that life
in China makes self, a god everywhere, the
only one. One's moral character suffers
for the sake of his material welfare.
The latest news, both of worldly and of
private interest, arriving now so regularly
and so frequently, makes life abroad much
less irksome and tedious than formerly.
The Chinese boys who serve as valets are
remarkably sharp, and as faithful as any
Chinaman can be. They are also so at-
tentive to you, that when giving a dinner
they have the bad tact to wait upon your-
self in a marked degree, more than on your
guests. This has become such an acknow-
ledged fact, that each one brings his own
boy. The pidgin English which they speak
is often very difficult to understand, and be-
sides, they never get much beyond the pidgin
part of it. *' Pidgin " means *^ business,"
and is used in such idioms as ^* What pidgin
have you done to-day ? " My only night here
76 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
I used mosquitoe curtains, but as I went
to bed late, and had to be up early to
catcb the river steamer, these tormentors
hadn't much time to be a nuisance. The
river packets, which ply daily between
Canton and Hong-Kong, are very fine
steamers — American built — painted white
all over. They have three decks; one for
the Chinese, one for the passengers, and
a small one above for the captain and pilot.
The trip takes from six to eight hours, but
varies according to the tide.
The river Kiu-Kiang (called here, how-
ever, by us, Bocca Tigris, or the Bogue)
is very broad, dotted over with islands ;
but the whole scenery, although pretty, is
very flat. Cultivated fields stretch for miles
along the banks on either side of tha river,
with a small range of hills in the distance,
and nearer at hand a pagoda or two ever
and anon peeping out from over the foliage.
The whole view was pleasant and homely
We stopped at Whampoa, a few miles
from Canton, where all ships with mer-
chandise are loaded, as they cannot pro-
ceed np to Canton. The river, and in
fact all, steamers, however, can go up to
the town ; but sailing ships never proceed
higher than Whampoa. From here I could
distinctly see Canton, with the French
Cathedral towering above the houses. The
whole place seemed a plain of roofs, with
here and there a lofty narrow house rising
through the gloom, which are either places
to look out for fires, or pawn-shops where
most Chinese place their winter clothes,
furs, etc., to be taken care of; things which,
if kept without extra precaution, would spoil
during the summer. The loss, however,
entailed by fire is sometimes very severe
on individuals, and very widely felt ; the
78 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
liability of the care-takers being not at
all legally established. The Government
derives a large revenue from shops, particu-
On coming up the river through the
town, we passed through the city of Sam-
pans, or boats. These, packed closely to-
gether, lay stretched on either side of me.
The numbers who dwell in these cannot
be at all accurately estimated, and add
greatly to the difficulty of even approxi-
mating to the population of Canton. The
banks of the river, on approaching the city,
are lined with pretty little houses, inhabited
by well-to-do Chinamen. These have nice
little gardens running down to the banks
of the river, with a little boat lying at its
anchorage. Then we saw the houses of
the missionaries — nearly all French — quite
surrounded by the native settlements. This
used to be the old factory site before the
war. Then there is Honam, which at one
time was a favourite locality for foreigners ;
but since Shameen has been built, it has
been deserted by all except Parsee mer-
chants or Portuguese clerks, with the
Chinese tea manufactories ; so that all the
EngHsh houses, or Hongs, with one excep-
tion alone, do their business in the settle-
ment, but have to go to Honam to weigh
their teas previous to shipment.
On reaching the wharf, which was
thronged with Chinese, I changed to the
house-boat which awaited me, and I was
rowed up the river to Shameen, the settle-
ment. It would have been almost impos-
sible, and a most tedious undertaking, to
have attempted to have gone through the
streets, owing to their narrowness, and to
the offensive smells prevalent in all Chinese
cities. The river is very broad, and the
view of the country on the opposite side
8o CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
of the river, with hardly any houses to
intercept it, is pretty.
Shameen, originally a mud fiat, was, by
a stipulation of the treaty after the last
war, made, at the Chinese Government's
expense, into a settlement for foreigners.
The little island is walled all round with
a quay, or rampart, to protect it from the
river, and also as some means of keeping
the damp out. The top of this is paved
with chunam — a kind of asphalte — and
being bordered with trees, short though
bushy, forms an agreeable promenade,
where many a pleasant walk have I en-
joyed in the evening. It is known by the
name of the Bund. I called Shameen a
little island, it being divided from the
native town at the back by a canal called
the Creek, but is connected with the main-
land by bridges, at each of which a native
policeman is always stationed to enquire
the business of every native who wants to
enter. The other side is facing the open
river, so that the shape of the island is
very similar to that of an ^gg. In size
it is about one and a half miles round.
Chinese gunboats, commanded by foreigners,
are also stationed opposite the island, for
the better protection of the residents. Two
long rows of houses — although not quite
over the whole extent of the island, as the
French part is not inhabited — run across
it. The settlement is so loved by all, that
it is often called the Paradise, as every-
thing is supposed to be nearly perfection,
all the residents being regarded as fellow-
members of one large family, from which
the backbiting and scandal so rife in small
communities is supposed to have been en-
tirely banished. The roads are of grass,
with beautiful avenues of trees ; outside
these are good paths of chunam. There
82 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
is also a small flower garden, where the
children play. Within the last two years
a capital hall has heen erected, with a
stage and theatre. This is also used very
often for dances. Adjoining is a good
The first night I arrived, there happened
to he a ball given by a resident before
returning to England. As the night was
wet, we had chairs round after dinner to
take us there. Outside the building there
was quite a posse of chair-coolies, all in
different costumes, holding lanterns with
the names of their masters in Chinese
and English. The whole looked fantastic
and somewhat weird. The entrance was
decorated with much taste, and everything
was admirably got up. The great draw-
back was of course the scarcity of ladies,
many having to dance with two or three
gentlemen for one dance.
No one drives in Shameen, but many
keep their ponies for riding in the evening,
although there is such limited space for
horse exercise. There are a racquet court,
boat-houses, and club, the last of which
contains billiard and reading-rooms. The
markers at the tables are Chinese boys,
many of whom play a good game.
Picnics, which are quite the rage, are
often got up, — ^when prettily decorated
boats are called into requisition to convey
gay parties up and down the river to their
destination. Some of these are able to
go up little creeks where rowing is im-
possible ; and often in these pretty retreats
comfortable places can be found to enjoy
the capital lunch always provided for such
occasions. And it has been my good
fortune to have shared in several of these
expeditions, when, beneath a tasty rustic
bridge, and with music from a neighbouring
84 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
temple breaking soothingly upon the ear,
I have done ample justice to game pies and
Shameen's Local Government Board is
a council elected by the residents, and
each member looks after a department ;
e.g.^ one takes the police, another the
roads, another something else, and so on.
The contrast this pleasant retreat bears
to the great bustling native city is soothr
ing and tranquilizing. But the social ties
are no less imposing there than in our
civilized communities. The round of
visits obligatory on all new arrivals no
sooner ceases, than the round of dinners-
out succeeds, and keeps the martyrdom
Two or three days after my arrival, I
took chairs to go to see our consul. Sir
Brooke Eobertson, who resides through
the native city, at a place called the Ya-
men. This was a most tedious and awful
journey, the streets being too narrow to
admit of more than one chair passing at
a time, and the roofs of the houses nearly
meet across the street. Whenever we en-
countered another chair, we had to stand
aside somehow or other, and let it squeeze
past. On my way we were caught in a
storm, the rain coming down in torrents,
— so much so that although my bearers
toiled on knee-deep in it for some time,
they at last were forced to take shelter
in the court of a temple, where I was in
close proximity to one or two life-size gods.
There were also many of the poorer Chinese
sheltering here, who could not restrain
their curiosity, but now and then pulled
my curtains aside and had a peep at me.
All this made me a little nervous, and by
energetic signs I made the coolies, who
couldn't understand even pidgin English,
86 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
go on again, although they had still to
wade knee-deep. After more than an hour's
journey we reached the Yamen. This
proved to be a delightful place, quite a la
chinoise, — fine park with deer, and a pond
in front of the house. The fourth side of
each room is a verandah, and everything
very comfortable and nice : the whole
place surrounded by magnificent trees,
and about the grounds lie some ruins,
mementoes of the last war. From a tower
here I had a splendid view of the country.
The French consul lives somewhere near,
but isolated as it is among natives who
certainly under present circumstances don't
want much incentive to become vindictive
and blood-thirsty, it seemed to me anything
but a pleasant locality to reside in. Sir
Brooke Kobertson, however, said he liked
the quiet very much, and employed most
of his leisure in reading.
I was very glad to get back to the settle-
ment, as this was my first expedition into
the native quarters ; and if my bearers had
deserted me, as at any moment they might
have, I should have found it utterly im-
possible to get out of a maze where right
and left, before and behind, had exactly
the same appearance, and as I could not
speak the language it would have been
impossible for me to discover my road by
The beggars in the streets were a most
horrible sight, and I was told that they live
to a great extent on the vermin off their
bodies. This is almost too disgusting to
be put on paper.
My impressions of a Chinese city from
this journey were anything but prepossess-
ing. The inconvenience owing to the
narrow streets, the offensive smells, the
disagreeableness of being brought into close
88 CANTON AND THE BOGUE,
contact with sucli disgusting sights as these
outcasts, make a visit to the native quarters
no pleasant task, and one seldom wished
to be quickly repeated. To get into one's
bath, and shake off the contamination, was
a relief, and to seek as quickly as possible
forgetfulness in rational comforts and in-
tercourse with others of the knowledge of
what the human race can become through
generations of neglect and misfortune,
through squalor, misery, and poverty, of
a kind that is beyond even the com-
prehension of a East London Samaritan.
Canton, the chief town and residence of
the Grovernor of the province of Quang-
Tung, was the first port, and for a long
time the most important one, with which
the Enghsh carried on trade intercourse ;
although it has of late years — since the
great destruction in Canton during the
war — been eclipsed by its younger rivals,
Shanghai and Foo-Chow, which enjoy the
special advantage of having greater facili-
ties of reaching the tea plantations.
Canton, however, besides being an im-
portant place on accoimt of its commerce,
is also, it must not be forgotten, a great
90 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
Chinese city, and the multitude of harges
and boats that proceed up country are so
many instances of the activity and im-
portance of its inland trade. Its popula-
tion has been estimated at various figures,
some patently exaggerated, and all, owing
to the difficulties attending a census,
founded on insufficient evidence.
It is situated on the Kiu-Kiang, which,
however, has several other names. It is
here a fine broad river ; but to all intents
and purposes Whampoa is its seaport, it
being impossible for sailing ships to come
up the river to load, owing to the shallow-
ness of the river. It, therefore, labours
under this other disadvantage as com-
pared with its rivals ; which can alone be
obviated by the construction of a railway
between Whampoa and Canton. Permis-
sion might be obtained from the viceroy
of Quang-Tung, as the Chinese merchants
themselves would join in advocating for
this local improvement. The funds could
easily he raised, and as there would he no
national opposition, the undertaking would
not run much risk, especially if the pro-
moters were content to commence with a
tramway, to prepare the popular mind for
the more formidable appearance of the
Canton, lying in a plain, is surrounded
on the north by a long range of hills
called the Pak-Wan, or White Cloud,
Mountains. They are very barren, and are
used as the cemetery of the city. These
attain some elevation, and are situate about
seven or eight miles from the walls by
which the city is surrounded. The walls
are about seven miles in circuit, and form
an excellent walking ground, the perambu-
lation of them being the usual preparation
for our Sunday dinner. Outside the walls
92 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
are canals, "whicli are a most disgusting
sight when the tide is out. The view of
the surrounding scenery is good, and from
some of the pagodas situate on them the
prospect is very pretty.
The principal streets, for a native town,
are considered to be clean, although now
and then the odour is most offensive. Curio
Street, one of the best, is the place for
curio and china shops. Some of these are
very fine, and are got up in the most mag-
nificent style, with polished panelling and
gilding freely all round, and with a sort of
bower for the sellers to sit in. Some are so
extensive as to have three or four floors
covered with most exquisite china. How-
ever, in the curio shops particularly, one
has to bargain greatly, as the prices de-
manded are most exorbitant. The better
shops are, however, beginning to have fixed
and tolerably reasonable prices marked on
their wares ; and this good example is
being imitated to some degree by all.
Hoa Ching, the great ivory carver, who
obtained honourable mention at the Vienna
Exhibition, has a shop here; but he has
little ready-made fine carving, so every-
thing has to be ordered, often taking from
three to four years before it is executed.
In hot weather visiting these shops is like
going into an oven.
Canal Koad is a newer street that Curio
Street, but even these fine and chief streets
are quite narrow, and transit is a matter of
much difiiculty. Most of the houses are
only two stories high, and there are few
buildings that attract much attention for
their external appearance. Some of the
joss houses, or temples, are extensive; one
at Honam in particular, covering several
acres. These are not only the temple of
the god, but the residence and cemetery of
94 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
his priests. There is a part of the city set
specially aside for lepers, bearing the name
of the Leper City; and the Chinese also
seem to suffer to a remarkable degree from
stone. It is no unusual sight to see in
boats, which however must keep away from
others, persons suffering from leprosy, who
are fearful and disgusting objects. I forgot
to mention that another disadvantage from
the shops being so close to one another is
that the passengers in the streets receive
the benefit of the mixture of smells, which
is anything but pleasant.
It is a difficult matter to distinguish be-
tween the social ranks at a glance ; but
as a general rule the short coat means in-
feriority and the long coat superiority. Eor
instance, our *^boys," on going home for
a holiday, always put on their long coats,
to show they still retained their old social
position, and out of deference to their
parents ; and some of the hongs, or foreign
houses, had the tact to perceive this trait,
and made them appear in long coats when
waiting at table; but strange to say, for
another reason, they have an objection to
this, as the short coat is more comfortable
to work in. It is by humouring inferior
nations in their superstitious and social
observances that we can alone hope to gain
their affection. Tact and apparent sym-
pathy gain hearts and good opinion all
the world over. The coolies' or labouring
man's ordinary apparel is pajamah-trowsers
and a short tunic made of a brown material,
with an oily appearance much like the can-
vas stuff worn by fishermen at our ports.
Then' whole appearance and conduct is
quiet, and impresses one favourably after
the rowdyism and dissipation of our large
towns. They seem to treat their famihes
well, and if not violently affectionate, are
96 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
at least considerate in their actions with
their own. The merchant classes have the
same characteristics, and show themselves
to be certainly our equals, if not superiors,
in all matters of commercial diplomacy.
Many proofs of this will be adduced in
the course of this narrative, and will be
of more service and easier to supply than
any specified examples of this fact. The
Chinaman is remarkably civil and obliging
in his manner, except when eating. It is
then no easy task to get him away from his
meal of rice — which is generally flavoured
with some greasy substance ; but at all
other times no fault can be found with
his temper. It is that precious quality
that makes him such a formidable customer
to deal with, and few of the arts of plausi-
bility are unknown to either the shopkeeper
or the merchant.
The women are allowed a considerable
amount of liberty, although of course it is
well known that Chinese ladies never walk
abroad. Their feet are therefore remark-
ably small ; and rivahy among beauties is
decided by a comparison of their extremi-
ties. They have to be carried from their
houses to their chairs, in which they alone
go about. But this they are allowed to do,
I may say, without any further escort than
their bearers. As, however, they are cur-
tained in most carefully, there is no real
breach of Eastern etiquette. Their ordi-
nary costume is silk paj amahs and beauti-
fully embroidered white jackets. They wear
their hair brushed up, with numerous pins
in it, and they ornament themselves most
tastefully with flowers, — some even putting
exquisite little ones in their ears as ear-
When one gets a little accustomed to
their features, many points of merit and
98 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
attraction are visible in them, far more
so tlian any Englishman is at first willing
to admit. Little is known of their internal
and domestic relations. I never heard of
any instance of a white man obtaining to
any degree of intimacy in a native family,
although there are many foreigners in the
Government's employ ; still they always
are kept a race apart, and their own pride
assists the native reserve. It is, therefore,
no unusual thing to meet men who have
lived a lifetime in China with scarcely any
knowledge either of their social customs or
of their personal character, beyond business
matters. There are even cases of men who
have never gone into Chinese quarters since
the time when they went for curiosity during
the first months of their arrival out there.
They are content to hve on in the settle-
ment, to be ignorant of the place where
they really dwell, or at the farthest to
accept second-hand information that may
at any time have a most important bearing
on their own affairs ; and to divide their
existence into three parts — their business,
their meals, and their sleep. These have
a great deal to do with the antipathy of
the natives to foreigners. They have never
endeavoured, or done anything whatever,
to meet the race objections of those with
whom they were compelling an intercourse.
On the contrary, their manner and arro-
gance have on many occasions caused more
offence ; and when tact and some fellow-
feeling would have smoothed over many
a difficulty, they have blunderingly made
matters worse by a harsh and off-handed
Of course there have been exceptions ;
there have been some wiser than their
generation, and the gratitude of the whole
community out there is due to their praise-
lOO CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
worthy efforts. Principally for these rea-
sons the Jesuits are alone versed in the
details of real Chinese life ; but as they
openly aim at converting them, they raise
such powerful enemies that the reward of
their tact and good management is per-
verted for another reason.
One of the chief reasons why, when the
Chinese Government came to look upon
trade with foreigners as a necessary evil,
they appointed Canton as the port, was
its distance from Pekin.
Canton, although in the same latitude
as Bengal, enjoys a much milder climate,
and never attains to the immense heat of
India. Snow has been known to stay some
hours on the ground, although it is reported
the natives were then ignorant of its name.
The learned professions are very numerous
throughout the empire ; but it seemed to me
that the power and wealth lay more in the
hands of the military and merchant classes.
The Fehin Gazette, which appears every-
day, and in which all the imperial edicts
and ordinances — even the most trivial —
are promulgated, is a most important and
powerful machine of tyranny. It would
be strange if, as is suggested by some, we
should borrow from a Chinese institution
the idea of starting a similar daily official
paper. We see there its power, the influence
it unavoidably has on men's minds ; and
if in our case it could not be made the
assistant of tyranny, it certainly would, if
only to a slight degree, be made the par-
tisan and supporter of a party ministry.
Interpreters of the Gazette form a regular
profession throughout China, and answer
in some way to the improvisatori of Italy.
This paper is only a production of the
merest court trifles, and eveiything is
viewed in the light of that clique who
?o2 , . .^ CANfb^ 'ANP THE BOGUE.
for tlie time being may be foremost in
the councils at Pekin. It is, therefore,
no rehable exponent of the nation's
sentiments, and it is in no way to be
trusted in our dealings with the country
RESIDENCE IN CANTON. 103
EESIDENCE IN CANTON.
On the opposite side of the river, which
is here about four hundred yards across,
and almost facing the ^^ settlement," are
some very pretty flower and nursery
gardens, known by the name of Fa Tie.
All the flowers for dinner tables and
general use are obtained here. The head
boy or butler makes all the arrangements
for the supply, which is done at a contract
price ; and as flowers are so extensively
used for ornament, this is a very heavy
item in the bills, and generally turns out
a good thing for the contractor. The lotus
flower, worn so much by the native guis
I04 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
in their hair, is perhaps the most con-
spicuous ; but there are also small shrubs,
trained over wire in pots, and fantastically
interwoven into all sorts of designs, such
as foreigners in boots, trowsers, and tall
hats, or dogs, huts, etc. Eemarkable taste
is shown in the blending of colours, and
the workmanship in executing the design
is highly artistic, and is all done by native
workmen. These gardens are a very nice
place to stroll in on a Sunday evening
before dinner, having also a row there
The Hong with which I was being the
only one that transacted their business at
Honam, I enjoyed a pleasant pull every
morning and evening. All the other Hongs
do their work in the settlement, only going
to Honam to weigh the teas. The customs
are collected at Canton by Europeans, and
they form an extensive establishment, su-
RESIDENCE IN CANTON 105
pervised by Commissioners. There are also
interpreters attached to the staff ; but with
none of these did I come much in contact,
as they reside in a large building in the city,
near the Custom House. As an instance of
the httle inducement to anyone to go about
and investigate the place, a globe trotter —
such is the name given to a traveller —
whom I had under my care to show about
the city, was so overcome by the smells
and heat, that after the first day he refused
to stir beyond the house.
Some little way down the river there are
tea gardens ; at least they are called so, as
there are a few tea shrubs here. Of course
it is generally known that Canton itself is
not a tea district. Here one can get a
capital country walk, — although, of course,
there are no roads, only small paths made
by the labourers; and, consequently, it is
as rough work as on a highland moor ; — the
io6 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
whole place quite open, and no boundaries
visible ; — a patch of something grown here
and there, a clump of trees, and all the rest
a wide, open, untilled, uncultivated plain,
swarming with buffaloes, on which the
people ride. As these animals hate a white
face, and often rushed at us, we had to
keep on the alert, and several times had to
place a ditch between them and ourselves.
This was great fun.
The country people are very civil, allow-
ing us to go anywhere, so long as we didn't
touch their crops, and to shoot anything
we saw. They seemed very good-tempered
and not at all ill-disposed towards us ; only
just a little bit curious.
We took a photograph, and stuck it up
as a target to shoot at, to show them what
we could do, and also to amuse them.
After riddling it considerably we gave it to
them, making them understand it was our
RESIDENCE IN CANTON. 107
likeness ; at whicli they rushed away with
it in great excitement, thinking they had
got a prize.
We met altogether a good many labour-
ers, and from none received any incivility
whatever, all kow-towing to us in the most
courteous manner, and we doing the same
in return. It was very pleasant to see
them so friendly disposed, and I really be-
lieve the people themselves have no such
bad feeling towards us as is the received
opinion. Their priests and rulers for their
own motives and advantage stir them up
against foreigners, avaihng themselves of
the popular superstitions and fearful igno-
rance of the masses to prejudice them
against all advances from Europeans. They
have really been kept in leading-strings
ever since our intercourse with the country
has been looked upon as an imminent
danger by the ruling povrers. But this
io8 CANTON AND THE BOGUE,
cannot be done mncli longer. The people
must soon begin to feel their own import-
ance and real power, and then wish to have
some voice in the matter ; and then we
shall find that, imperceptibly it may be at
first, their opinion difi'ers to a very consider-
able degree to that enunciated for them
heretofore by persons who arrogate to them-
selves the right to dictate their line of con-
duct in every important question.
This feeling of hostility to strangers has
been fostered and greatly supported by the
zeal of missionaries, who, if they have been
the forerunners in many instances of the
settler, have also never assisted the settler
in overcoming the repugnance all natives
feel at the forcible adoption of their country
as a home by foreigners. They have always
drawn the fierce polemics of religion into a
question that should be decided by recipro-
cal benefits alone. There is time enough
RESIDENCE IN CANTON 109
to convert them when our higher system of
life has fixed itself on their imagination.
Man has too often been proved to be only
influenced by material considerations to
permit of any doubt of this assertion ; and
he is in that the same, if in nothing else,
whether black or white, whether bond or
The Jesuits, who are the chief mission-
aries in China, have adopted the dress and
external appearance of the inhabitants, in
order to pass the better unnoticed in native
quarters, into which they venture with a
careless recklessness. They have even imi-
tated the national pigtail. Some of them
Uve in huts in the mountains as hermits,
and acquire great reputations for holiness,
and also for skill and power as curers of
illnesses, although the national doctor is
ceaseless prayer alone.
One day we started, a party of five, in a
no CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
yaclit early in the morning to go up the
river for a little trip. These yachts are
somewhat expensive, costing from j£180 to
^200, although a native-hnilt hoat to answer
every necessary purpose can be got for
about <£40 to £60. The expensive yachts
are most comfortable, with a good saloon
large enough for six to sit down to dinner,
a ladies' cabin, a lavatory, and a cooking
place for the boys to prepare a meal. These
are generally used only by two men, who
go away for two or three weeks' shooting ;
but this is done more particularly in the
north, where the sport is better. Down
south we still had the satisfaction of re-
ceiving some of their spoil in the shape of
immense game pies.
The yachts in question are worked by
about six sailors. On this occasion we
were unfortunate in having no wind, so
that we were only able to go up about
RESIDENCE IN CANTON. in
twenty-four miles. The scenery was most
lovely, with pagodas on the tops of the
hills, villages delightfully situated and half-
hidden by trees, — the whole reminding me
very much of the Khine, only, of course,
not quite so elevated. We came to a place
called Kum Shan, where as you turn a
corner you see a very high range of hills
looking very black and formidable ; and the
river here seems to abruptly terminate, or
to go under the mountains.
Here we were caught in one of those
fearful storms which are of frequent and sud-
den occurrence, so that accidents take place
tolerably often ; the boats being worked only
with one sail, capsize very easily. We took
shelter under the shore ; but the moment it
abated, we availed ourselves of the wind to
return, as it might fail us at any moment,
and we did not wish to sleep in the boat.
One of the most curious sights was the
112 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
mode adopted along the river of irrigating
the country. As the banks are much
higher than the river, every hundred yards
or so two men, standing on a sort of wooden
platform, tread away for hard life with
a trough running down into the water, up
which the water was drawn by means of
these men treading and working a long sort
of paddle-wheel. The water is thus thrown
up on the land, and flows through the
country in dykes. Sometimes there were
even five or six men working, and all the
time under a blazing sun.
We met many boats rowed by women;
the chief point about these being that
they wear one long plait down their back,
with their hair cut short across their
foreheads, which is different to the usual
custom, as I explained before. These boat-
women, tanned to a darker colour, had not
at all a prepossessing appearance, and re-
T^ESIDENCE IN CANTON. 113
sembled to a great degree those unfortimate
beings who ply a similar livelihood in barges
on our own canals.
Many petty acts of theft are committed
daily ; for instance, one of us had been
losing jewellery to some extent, and we told
the head boy or butler that he must dis-
cover the culprit, or we should hold him
responsible for the loss. At this he was in
a great fright, but still the thief could not
be discovered. After several more things
being taken, one of the boys disappeared ;
so we sent the chief detective — a very clever
fellow — after him ; and with a little diffi-
culty he found him in a gambhng-house, —
to which all the Chinese when they get a
little money resort : but when he heard
that the detective was coming, he stabbed
himself twice in the stomach, to save him-
self from the thrashing with the bamboo he
would have got at the Yamen, which is the
114 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
punishinent for theft. He was sensible
enougli not to hurt himself very much, as
all I heard of him afterwards was that he
was continually getting better. The head
butler was held responsible, and had to
make up for the losses. The custom is,
when he engages the boys he takes the risk
of any loss that may occur through them.
As an instance of their extreme love of
spirits, this fellow had a bad leg, and was
given at his request a bottle of fine Cognac
to bathe it with. This did him so much
good that he wanted another ; when he had
had three, however, he was given a case of
common stuff brought from Hong-Kong.
This, however, he returned with proud in-
dignation, declaring it was not the good
sort. This made us quite certain where the
first bottles had gone, and, as we didn't
want the poor fellow to become a confirmed
toper, he got no more.
RESIDENCE IN CANTON. 115
The natives are mucli given to imbibing
spirits on every opportunity, and tbeir own
favourite beverage, samshu, is a most power-
ful stimulant distilled from rice.
ii6 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
Theke is no special day in China, like our
Sunday, for universal prayer and rest ; but
the festival and other holy days are quite
sufficient in number to make up for this
deficiency. The great festival I saw while
out there was the Dragon Festival. This
is one of the chief public celebrations,
and preparations are made for it weeks
before its coming off. The performers in
it go in for a course of training just as we
do for our boat races and other athletic
sports. The principal part of the cere-
mony consists in processions of boats up
and down the river. These boats, although
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 117
•often capable of containing eighty or ninety
persons, are only just wide enough to admit
of one sitting down; so anyone can easily
imagine what a length they must be when
they carry nearly a hundred people. The
wonder is that there are not more fre-
quent accidents through upsets. Each of
the rowers has a little paddle, which he
dips into the water very quickly, thus
propelling the boat along at a gooxi
pace. The handles, which they hold with
both hands, are so short that in paddling
they almost touch the water with their
hands. Most, being well trained, keep
capital time. A man standing in the bow
of the boat with a sort of a wand in his
hand, waving it from side to side, invokes
the spirit of the river to give them back
some great sage who lived long ago, and
who conferred great benefits upon his coun-
trymen — I do not think it was Confucius ;
ii8 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
but others say this man in the bow of the
boat is supposed to be distributing corn,
etc., to the river, and praying that a good
and prosperous harvest may be vouchsafed
to them. There are several other legends
attached to this proceeding. Between the
rowers stand men beating gongs and play-
ing other instruments, and there is an
elaborately decorated altar in the middle,
with men holding large silk banners around
it. All the men standing up are dressed
in yellow silk coats, fantastic hats, and blue
or red trowsers ; and I have been told that
these have a very high opinion of them-
selves ever after, from having held such a
post of honour in this day^s festivities. The
noise from the gongs, which are continu-
ally kept going, is something fearful, and
can be heard quite distinctly half a mile
off. In this way they go on all day, going
np and down the river. All the Chinese
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 119
flock to the river banks, and the rival
merits of the boats are as much the topic
of conversation and difference of opinion
as is the case at any of our own national
amusements and public events. On this
day we permit them to come on to the set-
tlement, as the best view is obtained from
there ; but when it was all over we were
only too glad to get rid of them, although
they behaved themselves remarkably well,
and we could find nothing to complain of.
Still, we had to keep ourselves in all day,
not to give them any inducement, with
their religious frenzy about them, of making
a row. Before permission was given them,
it was mooted that it might be advisable
to request the Chinese Viceroy to send
some mihtary on the island for that day,
as an extra precaution. This was not, how-
ever, after careful consideration, deemed to
be necessary. So with this extra reason
120 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
for doubt in our minds, we were greatly
rejoiced at their departure. I felt myself
inclined to question the wisdom of per-
mitting their admittance, thinking that it
would appear more a right than an obliga-
tion to them, and at the same time excite
jealousy by the general appearance of the
wealth of the settlement.
About the same time I saw another very
pretty sight on the river — the feast in
honour of the departed, which continued
for several nights. Immense boats are
hired for this occasion, and covered with
lighted lanterns. These are hung round the
boat, and the masts are ht up with them,
and triangles and all sorts of arches are
formed by these slung on ropes all over the
boat. The richer Chinamen give splendid
dinners on board to their friends, with lots
of music and beautiful girls to dance and
wait upon them. Each of their boats, too.
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 121
have kites and balloons, with variegated
lamps attached to them, and there are
crowds of these boats in all parts of the
river; but the principal place is at the
flower boats, or the regular streets of boats,
which are always stationary, and where all
the Chinese dinners are given. The river
during this season has a very gay appear-
ance, as can be well imagined. Oil is burnt
in the lamps, as well as I could find out,
and the oil bill is one of the heaviest
household items in a family, owing to the
native boys stealing it in such quantities.
They take it home to their people, who
flavour their food with it.
One day while out rowing in a four oared
boat, we came across some of these fellows
practising, on the occasion of the Dragon
Festival, in their long boats. On our com-
ing up to them they raced alongside, and
worked themselves into a tremendous fit of
122 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
good-tempered excitement trying to beat us.
But though no one would believe it when
we mentioned it, we beat them, though not
without much exertion. They grinned and
''Hey-heyed" us the whole way, but took
their defeat in perfect temper, and *' Kow-
towed" us on our leaving them. I did not
see any more festivals, but often met great
processions in the street returning from
something of the sort ; but beyond delay-
ing us in getting along,' as they took up
most of the room, they seemed too en-
grossed in their own antics to bestow any
of their attention on foreigners. So there
is no forced obeisance, as in some Eoman
Catholic countries is imposed on those who
may happen to witness the progress of any
of these religious bodies. As far as I could
see, all the natives did was to stand still,
thus showing their respect. In these pro-
cessions boys come first, dressed in gaudy
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 123
attire, with banners and images, and carry-
ing a ginger-bread sort of thing, with pro-
bably a joss or god inside ; the whole
brought up with men clashing cymbals,
and playing on other instruments which
sound very like the' bag-pipes; and indeed
the whole procession reminded me most
of our Lord Mayor's Show. They, how-
ever, did not strike me as being a very
religious people, although the superstitious
rites and observances seem to have great
hold on their minds.
Some of their temples are fine buildings,
with exquisite carving on the walls, which
are of stone ; but the courtyard is the resort
of the beggars, — what I may call a Chinese
workhouse, or rather casuals ward ; and
they are only turned out when some re-
ligious performance is about to take place.
As I said, the only doctor is prayer.
To give an instance of this, when I was
124 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
at Macao, a tea-boy, who lived with his
family in a lodge near onr house, was very
much afflicted on account of his wife's
illness, as she was supposed to be dying.
But the only thing to be done, he said,
was to call in the priests ; and as he lived
some distance from the house, permission
was given him to have them. The conse-
quence of this to us was that we got little
rest that night. But the priests came in
and dinned their horrid music round her
bed, praying their gods that she might be
cured. In this case their prayers were
efficacious ; but what would any of our
doctors say to this noisy pantomime going
on in a patient's room ? The husband,
however, seemed to be somewhat sceptical
as to the real cause of his wife's recovery ;
a scepticism which perhaps was owing to
the priests requiring a heavy fee. There,
as elsewhere, they don't give their services
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 125
for nothing. But my friend in this case
seemed to be a general free-thinker, and
quite a republican in his politics. He
ranted no less against the evils of man-
darinism than some of our cosmopolitan
friends do against the abuses resulting
from a landed aristocracy. Only do away
with the mandarins, and all would come
right. Such was his universal panacea.
The Chinese would then adopt our customs,
and swear an eternal friendship, if we only
allied ourselves with such pohticians as
my friend, to put down the mandarins.
He was particularly partial to England,
though he resided in a Portuguese settle-
ment, and was very fond of talking of all
our wonderful possessions ; but nothing
seemed to take his fancy so much as our
railways. He told me how, many years
ago, an Englishman came to Canton, and
laid down a line in a room, and had a
126 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
miniature engine and carriages running on
it ; and he invited all tlie influential China-
men to come and see his railway. He
pointed out to them the advantages of
adopting such an improvement, and offered,
if they would only obtain the requisite au-
thority, to construct it, and carry out all
the arrangements for working the railway
when built. Many of the merchants were
greatly pleased with the idea, fully per-
ceiving what immense advantage it would
be to them, and the country generally;
but they were either afraid to ask for, or
failed to obtain, the permission of the man-
darins and other chiefs ; and for some reason
or other, which I am not aware of, the
whole proposal fell through, and has not
since been renewed.
I would here advocate, in as strong terms
as I can, the revival of this idea; and I
would press on the consideration of every
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 127
one who feels any interest in the welfare
of China, the all-importance of this pro-
posal. Where it would be best to make
a commencement, whether from Canton to
Whampoa, or somewhere else, I leave to
those whom a longer residence in China
than mine would authorise to speak with
greater authority and wider knowledge.
But at all events, on its broad principle
of public utility, I submit that the intro-
duction of the steam-engine into China is
a by no means unimportant question ; and
China, ill-cultivated and badly-managed as
it is, would, by the introduction of me-
chanical assistance, make such a rapid
progi'ess in wealth, that not only would
these undertakings quickly repay their
promoters, but be of lasting good to the
country at large. It would, doubtless, be
a task of some difficulty at first to obtain
the consent of the mandarins ; but even
128 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
this opposition, although, they esteem such
a proposal a direct menace at their own
authority, would, in my opinion, be over-
come by conciliatory advances. At all
events, we cannot assert that it is impos-
sible until we have adopted some means
more energetic and pressing to influence
their decision than any that have been
taken as yet.
Perhaps the question, however, may re-
ceive a different and more easy solution.
One of the chief Viceroys has just com-
menced, or is about to, excavations for
coal, although it is uncertain how far he
may feel inclined to carry them ; and it is
rumoured that if these turn out successful,
he will construct what is represented as
an old idea of his — a railway in his own
province. This, however, will probably not
be to benefit foreign trade, but merely to
further his own ambitious designs; so, al-
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. 129
though a beginning in the right direction,
this ought to be no reason for deterring
undertakings in other provinces, especially
when they are intended for a more legiti-
mate and useful purpose.
I30 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
SOMETHING ABOUT *^ TEA."
CoNSiDEKiNG that I have the privilege to
belong to a profession whose special subject
is ^^ tea," it may not seem out of place to
insert here a chapter on this article ; and
as my remarks will apply both to the plant
on the bush and also as it appears to the
consumer in England, what I have to say
about it may prove sufficiently interesting.
It is well known that on its first intro-
duction into Europe it became a great
luxury, and was only procurable by the
very rich, on account of its excessive price.
Eor many years after it was known only to
epicures ; but in this century its use has
SOMETHING ABOUT "TEA:' i3[
greatly increased, and it now is no longer
the beverage of tlie few, but one of the
chief household necessaries of the many.
In quite recent years we have had the
import duty reduced to a mere trifle ; and
indeed some desire that it should be passed
duty free, as an absolute necessary. This is
agitated for chiefly by those who wish to
set up as formidable a rival as possible to
beer and spirit drinking ; but it must not
be lost sighfc of that excess in tea drinking,
like excess in everything else, has its evil
effects. The present tax on tea is also so
moderate, and presses so lightly on every-
body, that it might be unwise in a moment
of impulse to remove it, when it would
become a matter of considerable difficulty
to supply its place in as satisfactory a
I will begin by giving a description of
the manufacture of tea ; but it must first
132 CANTON AND THE BOOUE.
be stated tliat what I say refers to the
mode of procedure in Canton and Macao.
In the north, at Hankow and Shanghai,
the teas are made up near the tea planta-
tions ; but in the south the rough leaf is
put into bags and then conveyed down the
river to Canton or Macao, where this rough
leaf is changed into the household article.
This plan has great advantages for the
tea-man, or man who manufactures the
teas ; for, instead of having all the tea made
after one fashion, and then giving this
stock to his broker to sell to the foreign
merchant, as would be the case if he
received the tea ready-made from the
plantation, he need only make a few
pounds as a sample ; and then, he is also
in a position to judge whether, if he ac-
cepted the foreigner's offer, it would repay
him to make up the whole of the quantity
after the sample at the price offered. Again :
SOMETHING ABOUT ''TEA:' 133
if the style of the sample is not approved
of, he can have it altered to suit the foreign
merchant, who has to consult what is, or
what he may consider to be, the taste of
the hour; and indeed that taste, being
the opinion of the home consumer, is of
a most fickle character, and cannot be
relied upon as a fair criterion of real merit.
But, on the other hand, if this system
has advantages for the tea-man, it places
the buyer, or foreign merchant, under some
disadvantages, especially the following :
the tea-man seldom if ever makes the
bulk of the tea equal to the approved of
'* muster " or sample, and as freight has
been taken for it in the meanwhile in the
home steamer, it is a difficult matter to
throw up the arrangement, and a '* cut,"
or, in plainer language, taking so much off
the stipulated price, is never satisfactory.
Again : there is another drawback in select-
134 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
ing too soon after mannfacture ; for the
muster having come only perhaps a few
minutes before hot from the pan, and its
being fresh and powerful from the short
interval after the scenting operation, any-
one, if at all careless or inexperienced, is
apt to be deceived, and jump to a hasty
conclusion as to its virtues. For if the
scent, though under the circumstances
mentioned seeming so powerful and satis-
factory, has not been properly instilled
(the scenting operation I will explain by
and by), it passes off on the journey, and
on reaching home has lost all the fine
aroma that induced the selection ; and the
worst of this is, that having lost its scent
it is comparatively valueless, as highly
scented teas are the most sought for in
The usual mode of proceeding is for a
great tea-man, just before or at the com-
SOMETHING ABOUT ''TEA:' 135
mencement of the season, which begins
in March and April, to send an experienced
employe to the tea plantations to contract
for the quantity of tea he may desire to
purchase ; and sometimes this contract is
made as it grows on the bushes, sometimes
when it has been gathered and has under-
gone partial drying. In the latter state
I believe it is most difficult for a foreigner
to discern the real quahty of the crop ; and
the experience and knowledge of even old
Chinamen are put to a severe test to find
out its real value. When the purchases
have been made, the plant, after being
packed in bags, is conveyed in barges or
junks down to Canton, to be converted into
the article of sale. Some of the larger
of the foreign firms keep their own fac-
tories, and advance or lend to their tea-man
large sums of money to contract for tea.
This plan has the apparent advantage o
136 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
enabling the foreigner to have his teas
made to his own taste and after his own
fashion, and also he can rely with greater
assurance on the hona fides of his manager
in making the bulk uniform to the sample,
than if he dealt direct with the natives.
But on the other hand there is no incon-
siderable risk, as the man may speculate
unfortunately, and then much money is
lost. Many '^ hongs " have found this plan
so unprofitable as to be compelled to resort
to the safer course of purchasing off the
The tea factories in Canton are situated
chiefly at Honam, and are large buildings,
with only one lofty floor however, which is
divided into several rooms, some of which
are used for firing the tea, others for sort-
ing, and yet again others for the final
operation of weighing and packing. On
first entering the building we see the firing
SOMETHING ABOUT ''TEA:' \yj
room, where there are long ranges of stoves
which> resemble very much the copper to
be found in everyone's back kitchen. A fire
burns underneath each in a brick grate, and
placed on the top is the pan, made of iron
or copper, in a slanting position. It is
easier for the coolie to turn the tea when
the pan is thus placed.
In an ordinarily- sized factory there are
about twenty of these stoves in a range,
and to each is attached a coolie, whose duty
it is to keep continually turning the leaf
round and round the pan; and this opera-
tion, aided by the heat of the fire, makes
the tea assume the shape and size that
may be desired. Of course one firing is
not sufficient to effect this object, but seve-
ral ; and after one or two more firings it
is passed on to other men, who again fire
it, at the same time mixing the scenting-
flower with it; and this is the operation
CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
that fixes the relative value of all teas. If
the flower is mixed when the leaf is half
open, and the intermingling is well sustained
to the last, the aroma will not only he
powerful, but durable. But as this scent-
ing flower costs money, many economise its
use, and in that case the tea is only scented
on the surface, when although, being fresh,
the bouquet may seem powerful, it soon
We then leave the firing-room, and enter
the room for sorting, where hundreds of
women are sitting crosslegged on the floor
with a basket on either side of them.
Some separate the young from the old
leaves, or large from the small, in order to
make them into the different descriptions
so far as name and shape of make decide
that question, — all coming, however, from the
same plantation or bush even. Others take
the scenting-flower from the tea after the
SOMETHING ABOUT " TEAr 139
firing has been finished. If the flower is
found to have lost its power, it is thrown
away ; but, in any case, the flower is not
left in the tea.
In another room, smaller than the others,
it undergoes its last firing. In this case it
is strewn thinly over a sieve, and placed
on a bright charcoal fire. It is then placed
in baskets in a heap. When this is finished
nothing remains to be done but to hand
it over to be weighed, and coohes tread it
into boxes containing twenty pounds each.
After these are filled, others solder the
tops with lead and a hot piece of iron, to
make them perfectly air-tight. Then the
marks and descriptions are pasted on, and
they are ready for inspection by the foreigner
before shipment. These boxes are a well-
known ornament in the windows of small
grocers at home, and the pubHc, seeing
such a veritable Chinese article in the
I40 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
window, argue that the contents must
needs be as pure.
There is an export duty payable to the
Chinese Government, and before a pass to
permit the shipment of the teas will be
given, they have to be sent through the
All teas are usually scented with a white
flower which is grown especially for this
purpose ; but some teas, especially for the
South American market, are scented with
a different flower, or, more correctly, a
seed, called Chulan, and a few very special
ones have been scented with the rose leaf.
Some of the native brokers are not only
very good judges of tea, but also are versed
in the causes of the fluctuations of our own
market, and often at favourable opportuni-
ties ship teas on their own account through
Some little time ago there was consider-
SOMETHING ABOUT ''TEA." 141
able discussion in the papers, and some
grumbling and surprise was manifested at
the fact of Kussia absorbing all the fine
teas ; and assertion was made that the
public were most willing to give a long
price for the genuine article. If such
were the case, it would indeed be sur-
prising if we could not have as much of
the fine growth as we desired. It is not
very difficult to give a proper explanation
of the subject. The Eussian and English
buyers all hasten to Hankow for the opening
of the market, and all are equally able to
secure the best chops, provided they are
wiUing to pay the price. Now, as the
Enghsh market will not pay above 9; certain
price, it is impossible for the buyers for
home use to go higher than the price which
the consumer will pay and the necessary pro-
fits. Whereas for special growths in Kussia
there is a great demand, and therefore their
142 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
buyers can bid prices whicb would be ruin-
ous to any English firm to tbink of offering.
Some English firms do purchase these fine
teas at heavy prices ; but it is not for the
home consumption, — they only enter into
competition with Eussian firms in the
market of that country.
But even labouring under this disadvant-
age of price, it must not be too hastily
supposed that we get no fine teas. The
difference between the best of the teas we
get and those procured by Eussia is such
as to make it very difficult for an uneducated
palate to decide either way; and this diffi-
culty is greatly increased by the fictitious
use of milk and sugar. What I mean to
say is, that our present mode of using tea
kills the real aroma of the plant, and as long
as the present custom prevails it would be
unwise to attempt to introduce a far more
expensive article, which the great majority
SOMETHING ABOUT '' TEAr 143
would consider — and with a certain degree of
truth, for the reasons I mention — no better
than that previously in use. The invari-
able practice among retail dealers is to mix
the fine teas they may buy with a stronger
but infinitely coarser growth, because it is
preferred' by famihes. Strength and not
quality is the test of the virtues of one's
tea grocer, and a tea that looks thin in the
cup is set down as an adulterated article at
once. This vitiated taste has been fostered
to a great extent by the advertisers of
"best tea" at a price at which only very
ordinary stuff can be purchased. For the
practical purpose of every-day use, and in
the persons of the million, there can be
little doubt that the really fine growths of
tea, if introduced, would only produce
dissatisfaction ; and that when the taste, if
ever, for this beverage arrives at a higher
state of culture, the natural consequence
144 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
will result in our receiving as much: as we
like of the finer qualities.
The epicure, however, if he be content
to discard the accessories of milk and sugar,
will certainly, when he has learned to detect
the difference, require the more delicate
flavour of those growths that at present
are monopolized by Eussia ; but under the
most probable event it seems that they will
even then be confined to the epicure.
But, for the reasons I have alleged, it is
clear that to introduce precipitately these
superfine teas to the home market would
be to appeal to a public really ignorant of
their merits, and the only result would be,
loss to the merchant and discontent to the
consumer. When the palate of the latter
has been educated to detect the difference,
— which can only be after he has resolved
to give up his present custom of imbibing
it, — ^then there is no doubt whatever but
SOMETHING ABOUT '' TEAP 145
that he can obtain what he desires. He
must first appreciate its merits, and then
consent to pay a greater sum for the
146 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
A CHINESE DINNEE.
And now let me attempt to give some
description of a Chinese dinner, their chief
meal, and also one of the most important
means at present open to ns affording an
opportunity of gaining any insight into
their customs and character ; when in the
conviviality of the entertainment they
discard some of their reserve, and, if only
to a slight extent, show themselves as they
appear and act towards one another. It
is everywhere the same — if you wish for a
favourahle occasion to understand a man's
feelings, put him in the character of host,
and invite yourself to dine with him. You
A CHINESE DINNER. 147
have him at a disadvantage, and render it
extremely difficult for him to act a feigned
part, as, fettered hy the customs of his post,
he is compelled hy sheer necessity to fall
back on his habitude; and it is decidedly
your own fault if, as the dinner draws
nearer to the "walnuts and the wine," all
restraint is not banished, and you have the
man as he is. It is impossible, unless in
the case of the veriest churl, to remain
unsociable through it all. The Chinese, put
on their metal in the role of host, fall short
in no detail of the most scrupulous courtesy,
and they study the faintest wishes of their
guests. They have, moreover, that true
breeding that sacrifices much of one's own
comfort and practices to the prejudices of
those they entertain. And the best sign
of the success of their efforts is that, despite
the strange surroundings, and not to say
the repugnance an European must feel
148 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
to their repast, it is impossible not to be
thoroughly at home with them, and to be
able to fraternize with them to a very con^
The broker who invited me gave me carte
blanche to bring as many friends as I liked,
and to name my own day, so as to place
no restraint of a fixed appointment npon
my own inclination. He also sent me an
address in Chinese characters, which I was
to give to our head boatman when we
intended to accept the invitation.
Of course this dinner was given at the
Flower Boats, which is a name given to
certain streets in the boat city. The river
where these boats are situated is exceed-
ingly rapid, and if the steersman enters the
wrong street, backing out again is very
awkward, and the risk is great of being
sucked under the surrounding boats.
We, however, managed all right, and
A CHINESE DINNER, 149
met with no contretemps whatever. Wo
arrived at the house or boat about ten
o'clock, where many familiar faces welcomed
me and the only friend who accompanied
me. These acquaintances were specially
asked to meet us, to make the whole thing
more pleasant for us than it would have
been venturing among utter strangers. On
each of these boats is a house of one story,
having one room haK below the deck and
another above it.
These boats moored to each other form
a perfect street, and in front of each of the
houses is a gravelled path. So the scene is
the river avenue forming the road and this
path for foot-passengers, which is also made
quite a promenade of in the evening by per-
sons who come to listen to the music going
on inside the houses. On entering the
house a coolie immediately attached him-
seK to each of us to fan us, while others
ISO CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
broTiglit tea, nuts, — lychees, etc., — and ci-
gars, or a pipe of opium. This latter we
begged to decline.
It may be as well to mention that these
houses are regular dining establishments,
each party hiring one for the occasion, and
the proprietor provides everything as part
of his contract. These dinners for, say ten
persons, usually cost from JC20 to ^25, which
Sitting round the room we first entered,
at several tables were the singers (girls),
who sat rouging their faces and admiring
themselves in looking-glasses. They also
had cups of tea before them, and smoked
in the intervals between singing, which
they did in turns, to the accompaniment
of stringed instruments, played on this night
by two men. The men also sang, but their
voices are exactly the same as a woman's,
which seemed very strange to me when I
A CHINESE DINNER. 151
firsfc noticed it. I had, however, often re-
marked this before, as our servants always
sang over their work at home.
On first hearing a Chinese song, it seems
very monotonous to our ears ; but when a
little more accustomed to it, it loses much
of its discordance, and becomes quite en-
durable and even pleasing. Some of their
ballads are very plaintive, and there is even
some harmony in their arrangement.
These singers were dressed most beauti-
fully, some even having on magnificent
jewellery ; while the painting of their faces
and the pencilHng of their eyebrows, which
they perform themselves, were executed
most artistically. Perhaps the most striking
part of their attire was the splendour of
the flowers in their hair. Their hands
and fingers are perfection in shape ; and
they allow one or two of their nails to grow
to a great length, as a sign of their owner's
152 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
pretensions to beauty. But of course there
is nothing wonderful in the elegance of their
hands, as they do no work of any kind what-
None of them spoke anything but Chinese,
so conversation was out of the question ;
besides, it is not at all sought for by them,
as they shrank away at the slightest sign
of approach on our part, the reason being
that they lose caste among their own people
if a foreigner even chances to touch them.
After some time spent in imbibing tea
and listening to the musical efforts of these
syrens, we were conducted into an inner
room, which was lighted by lamps hung in
chains from the ceiling. Nine of us sat
down to a table covered with different
edibles ; and as soon as one course was
finished, a fresh one immediately took its
place. Beside each of us was placed a
damp cloth to wipe away the perspiration
A CHINESE DINNER. 153
from our faces ; and this was changed once
or twice during the evening. Chop-sticks
were placed for each guest ; but in case we
should fail to manage these satisfactorily, a
sort of small pitchfork was also provided to
help us out of the difficulty. But we were
fully determined to gain popularity ; so we
manfully stuck to the chop-sticks, and with
some advice as to their use, and assistance
in manipulating them, we succeeded in
getting on tolerably well.
This determination pleased our hosts im-
mensely, and they were evidently flattered
by our choosing the national mode of eating.
I won't reveal what agony and how many
abortive attempts that concession cost me !
On taking our seats — mahogany stools —
the singers entered the room, and seated
themselves uround on ottomans behind us ;
to whom the custom is now and then to
hand a nut or seed, or perhaps a cup of
154 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
samshu, in return for which they fan
The post of honour is on the left of the
host. The dinner commenced with birds'-
nest soup, which is a white soup, and very
glutinous ; then came sharks' fins, which
you dip first of aU in various sauces on the
table ; then plovers' eggs ; then chickens
done up in difi'erent ways ; claws of cray-
fish, and every sort of vegetable done up in
as many kinds of sauces; pastry d VAnglaise,
which I found very difficult to get down ;
other kinds of sweets, and stewed pears ;
the whole winding up with a dessert, con-
sisting chiefly of crystallized fruits.
In its way, this was a more than average
dinner, and our friends evidently enjoyed it
immensely, taking of every dish, and that
plentifully. We could not stomach it,
however, and indeed took the precaution
before starting of having a dinner at home
A CHINESE DINNER. 155
to prepare us for our ordeal. I was mticli
relieved when all the eating was over.
One of the greatest condescensions a
Chinaman can make, and one of the greatest
honours he can confer on you, is to take a
bit from his own plate and put it into your
mouth. This was done frequently, which I
did not fail to return as often, much to their
The real task of the evening was, how-
ever, the drink. Beside each of us was
placed a tea-pot containing warmed samshu,
and this we drank out of small and beauti-
fully-shaped china tea-cups. This spirit
is sometimes very strong, but fortunately
for us on this occasion it was rather
weaker than usual. I say fortunately for
us, because they seemed fully determined
to see us under the table before we could
satisfy their hospitable intentions ; and
as they were seven to two, it was very
156 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
hard work for us to defeat their object,
considering that the practice is anyone may
challenge you to drink, when each must
drain a cup of samshu, turning it up to
show that you have done so. Their num-
bers gave them a formidable advantage,
which they seemed determined to make the
most of, repeatedly challenging us to drink
one after the other. After some time, too,
they also tried to shirk the full measure,
only half filling their cups or not quite
emptying them. On remarking this I
immediately filled their cups for them, and
made them turn them up to show they had
drank it all. They were very much sur-
prised at the liquor not having a more
visible effect upon us, and indeed, so were
we ourselves. At last they brought out
champagne, which, although we refused
at first, they made us take, saying they
had procured it specially in honour of our
A CHINESE DINNER, 157
visit. We, however, satisfied them with
tasting it. While at dinner they played
several games ; the chief of which, as well
as I could gather, was for one to hold up a
certain numher of fingers, and to shout out
at the same time a number, when if his op-
ponent failed to guess, without a moment's
consideration, what these made together, he
had to pay the forfeit of drinking a cup of
samshu. They showed remarkable quick-
ness in guessing correctly. This is quite a
national custom, being generally adopted
by the lower classes as an encouragement
to their potations. When this lengthy
repast was finished, we went out to the
outer room again, and reclined on lounges,
and even took a short stroll in the fresh air,
which I found very soothing after our hard
The Chinese occupied themselves with
smoking opium. We were then shown over
158 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
the house. After that we had another and
smaller feed ; and on getting into onr boat
to return home, a girl presented us with a
betel nut done up in a green leaf. They
wanted us to stop longer, but as it was
two o'clock, and we were quite done up
with fatigue, we resolutely declined. They
themselves probably prolonged their orgies
till the morning. As the tide was running
very strong with us, and as we were well
manned, we went home at a tremendous
pace; still, being a very dark night, we
had to keep our eyes about us, to avoid
This was the only native dinner I was at,
but as far as my inclinations go it was quite
sufficient to last for my lifetime.
It can be seen from this description —
which is of a by no means exceptional
event; in fact, it is what they indulge
in more or less every night in the year
A CHINESE DINNER. 159
— that the Chinaman is inclined to be
fastidious in his eating. They linger
over this meal with a fondness that
shows their whole idea of happiness cen-
tres in the indulgence of good living. It is
with the utmost regret that they compel
themselves to leave the table, and I beheve
no human argument could persuade them
to omit enjoying a single course. They
also do not merely touch each separate dish,
but they eat copiously of it. This charac-
teristic is somewhat in contradiction to their
usual abstemious and business-like habits,
although I think the merchant classes, as a
rule, abstain at all other times — particularly
in business hours — and look upon their
dinner, not only as the day's chief event,
but also as the great reward of all their
It cannot be said, either, that their
night's orgy leaves any ill effect after it.
i6o CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
The next day we meet them as cool, as
calculating, and as self-confident as ever;
and while we who may have indulged in a
heavy repast pay the penalty in a height-
ened pulse and a feverish frame, we see the
companions and sharers of our festivities
apparently as unaffected as if it had been
all a dream.
These remarks do not apply to the Man-
darin classes, who keep themselves entirely
distinct, and quite a race apart ; indeed, in
many important traits they are totally dis-
similar to the rest of their countrymen.
But the lower we descend in the social scale
out there, the greater do we find the desire
for social comforts and self-indulgence, and
the vice of excess in drinking is manifest to
a very marked degree ; at the same time,
however, it is not to be seen so much pub-
licly in the streets as it is that it exists
widespread among the people, and is in--
A CHINESE DINNER. i6i
dulged in to a degree that altogether sur-
passes the outward show its victims make.
But if this vice brings its terrible
evils, there is another, no less a vice, and
far more deeply rooted among the masses.
I refer to gambling. The middle classes
are also addicted to it ; but as there are
social, if not legal, punishments inflicted
on them, it is really in the lower classes
that all the evils of this folly are to be seen.
The man who can only even on great oc-
casions risk a trifle, is a more inveterate
gambler at heart than he who can lose his
dollar every night without any serious in-
convenience to himself. No sooner does a
youth — no matter how young — obtain the
smallest coin, than he immediately makes
for the nearest of the gambling booths,
which are very numerous throughout Canton ;
and although he may a hundred times be-
fore have paid the forfeit of all his earn-
i62 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
ings, lie has learned no prudence from Ms
experience, and his recklessness and trust
in some good stroke of fortune that never
has occurred is as great as ever; and in
this respect the most confirmed rou4 who
lost a fortune half a century ago at
Baden or Homburg, and has ever since
tried to regain it by some special and, o
course, infallible system, and by limiting
himself to guineas, does not surpass the
poor Chinaman, who, in the utter credulity
of his heart, and in his firm belief in re-
wards and punishments — of course shaped
to his own invention and desire — on the
earth, rushes to trust his all in the hands
of unscrupulous sharpers, only to find that
again he has thrown away his money,
and that one more unsuccess has swelled
the total of his failures.
This mania for speculation pervades the
whole of the lower orders, and is a true and
A CHINESE DINNER. 163
reliable proof of the real ignorance of the
populace, — an ignorance which has been to
a great extent hidden from us by that which,
however, does not always go hand in hand
with civilization, viz., a good-natured feeling
of tolerance towards one another. The order
of their streets, the absence of open quar-
rels, have imposed upon all observers ; and
they have considered these as signs of an
intelligent understanding, — even if grant-
ing that they still cling tenaciously to the
precedents of antiquity. The wonderful
peace on the Canton river, which is the
home of thousands of boats and junks of
every size and description, is most striking.
It is most unusual to hear even a verbal
quarrel, while resorting to blows is a thing
that never occurs.
And this is on a river where, from the
strength of the current, even the udinost
skill and experience cannot always avert
trivial accidents. All this good behaviour
i64 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
has concealed the fearful ignorance that is
behind it, — and, indeed, superstitions of the
most degrading character are the induce-
ments to these poor people to place an im-
plicit reliance in the imaginary.
There is another evidence of this in the
fact that they never learn to speak a foreign
tongue. It is a wonderful exception to
meet a Chinaman who has even a smatter-
ing of an European language. Nearly all
the interpreters are Europeans. It is a
rare thing to meet with a Chinese inter-
preter. In the upper and middle classes
also the learning is Hmited exclusively to
the sacred hooks, and examinations are
held periodically over the country ; and
proficiency in the works of Confucius
and of Mincius — great as the merits of
these undoubtedly are — is the sole test
of a liberal education. It therefore is
tolerably evident that while there is no
learning or knowledge of any kind among
A CHINESE DINNER. 165
the poorer classes, even that of the upper
is superficial and exceedingly limited in its
A comparison with their neighbours the
Japanese makes their narrow-mindedness
the more apparent. Colleges are being in-
stituted in the one for the propagation of
western science and languages ; and the
European modes of government are being
fast adopted, the management being en-
trusted to foreigners. Yet the other still
remains like a snail coiled up in its own
shell. It indeed seems a useless task to
hope for any improvement from them, as
the power is entirely in the hands of the
Mandarins, who, as a body, are the most
bitter against the admittance of strangers.
But with jealousy for Japan so strong
upon them, and the incompetency of their
navy to attempt to cope with that of their
rival, it seems that sheer necessity will at
length compel them, if only in this way, to
i66 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
make use of the engineering skill of Eng-
land in particular, to enable tliem to en-
counter their enemy on more equal terms.
This, of course, must oblige them to have
more intercourse with us, and to yield us
somewhat greater liberties in our communi-
cations with the country in general. At all
events, the adoption of even one improve-
ment will be a commencement, and will
encourage the most foreseeing among them
to agitate for a more advanced and enlight-
ened policy; and perhaps some day they
may produce a man who will set himself the
Herculean task of removing some of their
prejudices and of improving the general
condition and knowledge of the people ;
when, if successful, he will as certainly earn
their gratitude for having introduced an
order of things that will really increase
their social advantages, and, at the same
time, raise them to a more eminent position
in the family of nations.
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 167
TRIPS IN NEIGHBOUEHOOD OF CANTON; FIRES, ETC,
I PURPOSE in this chapter to give some
account of short trips taken in the imme-
diate vicinity of Canton. These will illus-
trate the kind of hfe English residents
spend out there, besides in some degree
showing how we stand with regard to the
The first of these was to a place called
Lee-Ming- Coon, which is about four miles
up the river, where there is a large joss
house. On this occasion six of us started,
including two ladies, in a gig by water,
while two others went in chairs by land
through the city. This temple contained
i68 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
a great number of small rooms, which are
let out to, and are much frequented by, the
Chinese, who give small dinners in them.
This is hardly indicative of any very
deep religious sentiment, and does not at
all agree with our own feelings as to the
sacredness of a place of worship. Notice
has to be given a day or two before to the
authorities at the temple, who then make
all the preparations necessary.
While waiting for dinner we strolled
about the gardens, which were certainly
very beautifully laid out, and quite main-
tained the high reputation the Chinese have
gained as ornamental horticulturists. Their
general idea is extreme imitation of nature ;
and while everything is as regular and
correct as a Dutch garden, they are not
content with this effect, but introduce
rockeries and variety of trees to simulate
an appearance strictly in accordance with
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 169
reality. The garden is divided into long
avenues, either bordered by trees or low
walls, while the pretty little lakes have
imitation rocks and islets on them, and are
completely covered with Hlies. Arbours
and miniature houses beautifully carved
are also, somewhat too plentifully perhaps,
scattered over the ground. Some of the
trees were very fine, and reminded me
much of our elms.
As soon as dinner was announced we
returned, to find it laid out in a most cosy
little room with a punkah temporarily con-
structed, and the table prettily decorated
with flowers. We were greatly amused by
seeing first one, then another face appear
at the window to get a look at the foreign
visitors. After a short time we had quite
a crowd of the villagers of the place outside.
They were very quiet, and were perfectly
satisfied with the liberty of staring. After
I70 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
dinner we sat in an arbour singing glees and
choruses, mucli to the amusement of our
audience. But we simply astonished them
when we wound up our proceedings with an
impromptu Sir Eoger de Coverley, and they
evidently considered we had lost our senses
to perform such antics on a hot day after
dinner. They Hked, however, to see the
" foreign devils," as they respectfully term
us, enjoying themselves, although I don't
think it ever entered their heads to imagine
that any pleasure could arise from our
exertions. They probably thought it some
religious or national observance, and as such
respected it. Anything connected with
hard work is to their minds utterly opposed
to all idea of pleasure, and they are naturally
so la^y, and so averse to any exertion, that
even walking about is a penalty they shrink
from as much as they can. They always
seem glad to get home, put on a short coat,
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 171
and recline on sofas, having a smoke or
their hair dressed ; and it was very amus-
ing to invent some caase for an unexpected
visit, when on your entrance they imme-
diately start up quite confused, and bustle
about, striving to appear as busy as possible.
They invent all kinds of excuses to make
you believe them, and are most anxious to
discover that they have deceived you.
We did not start on our return till about
ten, when instead of getting into our own
boat we took passage on board a flower boat,
which we had previously hired to take us
back to Canton ; and as it was a very clear
night, the trip was pleasant. We were very
merry, and as it happened to be Her
Majesty's birthday, we sang all the loyal
songs we could remember. The boatmen
admired our loyalty, and attempted to join
in the chorus. These boats are punted
along by about twelve men armed with long
172 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
poles. Down eacli side of tlie boat is a sort
of raised deck or gangway, on which the
polers stand, six on each side ; so when they
work well together they can give a consider-
able impetus to the boat. In the stern is
also an immense oar worked by the women
and children of the boat family, which
besides guiding the boat, helps it along
very much. However, this night it was
slow work, as the current was running
strong against us, and we did not reach
home till long past twelve o'clock.
Another time we started in a yacht in
the evening, also taking canoes to go up
creeks, intending to dine by candle-light on
some hills not a great distance off; but the
wind failed us, and we were obliged to
anchor, and as it was too hot to dine below,
we commenced to do so on deck; but our
lights attracted all the flies in the neigh-
bourhood, so that it was with the greatest
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 173
difficulty we managed to get the better of
our formidable adversaries, and finish our
On another occasion — a Sunday afternoon
— we started to explore one of the neigh-
bouring creeks, when we met with a slight
adventure. After rowing some distance up
this creek, it became too narrow for anything
but paddHng. On one side the banks were
rather high, while on the other they were
quite flat ; but each side was lined with
trees very similar to our poplars, while
orchards seemed to extend for miles inland.
Indeed, it reminded me much of some of
the fruit gardens near London. Soon we
came to a small stone bridge through which
we could only just scrape. At the first
convenient spot we landed, and wandered
about while our boys made some tea. On
the other side to where we were was a large
temple, where some ceremony was being
17+ CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
performed, as we heard the music and got a
glimpse of a procession.
There were some Chinese about, whom
we set down as overseers, or caretakers, of
the fruit, but as they usually don't object to
us intruding, and never before had said
anything about our taking a little fruit, we
unluckily began plucking that which was
about. It chiefly consisted of a flat yellow
fruit, resembling our gooseberry in flavour.
We wandered about for some time, and were
returning to our boat when we heard a man
bellowing, and on looking round saw a
Chinaman rushing towards us. On getting
up to us he called us foreign thieves and
all sorts of bad names, and went on in a
towering passion, making threats. One of
us luckily was sufliciently fluent in Chinese
to represent to him how matters stood, but
as we unfortunately had no money with us,
we could not easily pacify him. Quite a
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 175
crowd of Chinese had by this time collected,
and if they had wished to be quarrelsome
they had us completely at their mercy ; but
they seemed to think the whole affair great
fun, and indeed the fellow appeared to be
only half saved. After half an hour's
palavering, we succeeded in pacifying him
a little, and he was going off, but the
jeers of our boatmen were once or twice
too much for him, and he returned worse
than ever. At last we got rid of him, and
commenced our tea on the river bank,
with the Chinese still around us. We soon
made friends with them by giving their
little ones biscuits. After this we always,
when we took fruit, held it up and showed
those near, and we always found that as-
sent was given freely and by friendly nods.
During these trips 1 often saw even
Chinese men following the national amuse-
ment of kite flying ; some of which, made in
176 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
imitation of birds, are so well formed as to
deceive even a practised eye at some dis-
tance. The other national amusement of
fireworks is much indulged in, although the
chief occasion on which I saw them was on
the American Festival, July 4th, when all
the American houses give grand entertain-
ments, inviting all the missionaries and
some of the chief representatives of other
countries. The whole festivities wind up
with a display of fireworks. Some of the
set pieces are good, especially those repre-
senting pagodas and peach trees in full
bloom. But as a whole, their skill as pyro-
technists is inferior to our own, although
sufficiently good for the practical purpose
of supplying the ships trading there with
rockets and other lights.
Somewhat akin to this is the subject of
fires, the most horrible of all the enemies of
the human race. They are of frequent oc-
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 177
currence at Canton, but since the partial
destruction of the town in 1822 there has
been no general conflagration. Owing to
the great current of air blowing down the
narrow streets, the slightest one would be
soon fanned into alarming proportions, if
there were not an efficient organization to
repress its progress on the first symptoms.
As soon as a fire is announced the neigh-
bours, an effective volunteer force, band
themselves under recognised leaders to op-
pose the common enemy, and their skill
and exertions are so energetic that they are
generally able to prevent it doing wide-
spread damage. It is said some are so
agile that they can run up the walls of the
houses, but I cannot personally vouch for
the correctness of this assertion. At all
events, they must have something more
than good luck to stave off a catastrophe
w^hich often seems imminent. At Macao,
178 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
where I saw a considerable fire, they
formed a line down to the beach, and
handed buckets continually up to the scene
of action. In this case their nimble mode
was attended with success, but it seemed to
me that if a fire once got a hold on any
quarter, their organization would be utterly
powerless, and as they would in all probabi-
lity decline any assistance from foreigners,
the result would be no less disastrous than
that of 1822 was.
The only really useful instruments of
repression they possess are river fire-
engines, and these, of course, could only
avail when it took place in the immediate
vicinity of the river. Fire, therefore — not
to be despised even with all the organiza-
tion of our metropolitan army — is a danger
to be dreaded and prepared for when at any
moment we may find that it is approaching
our* homes with irresistible strides ; and al-
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CANTON. 179
though Shameen is more favourably situ-
ated with regard to that contingency than
the old factory site was, it still behoves
those out there to be on their guard against
a danger that has within our recollection
made many homeless, and may at any
moment be repeated with all its terrible
suffering and loss.
i8o CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
THE SPARK OUTEAGE.
I HAVE now come in the course of my
narrative to this event, which has exercised
such a baneful influence on my fate, and
has blasted all the hopes of success I might
previously have entertained of my worldly
career. The best description I can give of
it is that which was honoured by appearing
in the columns of the Times shortly after
my return to England. To my at that
time necessarily hmited knowledge of some
of the facts Qoncerning the origin of the
catastrophe, I will, however, add after
this extract some of the more important
details, on which also I can thoroughly rely
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. i8i
as authentic. I must add, however, that
some of these appeared in my letter in the
Times of March 29th last :—
'^ Mr. Walter William Mundy, who was
the only English passenger on hoard the
Sjparh, sends us the following interesting
account of the piratical outrage on the
•Canton river : —
** * I emharked on hoard the Sparh on
the 22nd of August, to proceed on business
to Macao. We left Canton at half-past
seven in the morning, and were due at
Macao between four and five the same
afternoon. The Spark had once been a
comfortable boat enough ; but the traffic
had considerably outgrown its proportions,
and complaints had been repeatedly made
to the Company to supply a new packet.
She is a paddle-wheel steamer somewhat
i82 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
larger than our Thames boats. To make
the subsequent events the clearer, I will
endeavour, to the best of my memory, to
describe those parts of the ship with which
my narrative has chiefly to do. The lower
deck was confined exclusively to Chinese
passengers, and a winding staircase near
the stern led to the quarter-deck, which
was for Europeans. Passing from this
gangway forward, first came the saloon,
then the beam of the engine, which was
exposed to view ; close to this, and still
more forward, was the wheel-house and the
captain's cabin, divided by a thin partition.
A large window in the partition enabled
the captain to give his instructions to the
steersman with greater facility. The fore
part of the deck, covered with an awning,
was where the passengers generally sat.
In the centre of this was another gangway
for the use of the sailors, and leading from
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. 183
the lower deck. There were a great many
native passengers, but I had the misfortune
to be the only European, The crew con-
sisted of about twenty men — Chinese and
Portuguese half castes. The captain, poor
Brady, was an American, and, although an
iitter stranger to him previous to our jour-
ney, it has seldom been my good fortune
to have a nicer or more amiable companion.
Shortly after leaving Canton he gave one
trait of his general disposition. The purser
came and told him that there was a man
below who could not pay his passage, and
asked what he was to do. Brady asked
what sort of fellow he was. When on being
told he was a coolie, with no money at all
about him, he said, ^^ Oh, let the fellow
go." We had a capital run to Whampoa.
After leaving here, about nine o'clock, we
breakfasted. The Canton steamer to Hong-
Kong and the return steamer from Hong-
i84 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
Kong ouglit to have passed us soon after
leaving Whampoa ; but from some reason
they were delayed, and did not pass us
till after twelve o'clock, which obliged the
pirates to put off their attack. The river
here, where the outrage was perpetrated, is
about one mile across.
" ' So far, the trip had been most delight-
ful — nothing had occurred to awaken any
suspicion. I was still as wedded to the
humdrum existence and safety of English
life as if I were but taking a trip in the
British Channel, and so little thinking of
any peril, that I dozed over my cigar and
book under the awning forward. I must
have slept here some time, as I certainly
awoke with a start; it may have been a
noise, it may have been instinct of danger
which roused me. Which it really was I
am now unable to tell. But I immediately
perceived a man rushing up the gafi^way
THE SPARK OUTRAGE, 185
towards me with a knife in his hand, and a
gash across his forehead. Surprised and
only half awake, my first thought was that
he was a madman, and I rushed out to
procure help to seize him. In attempting
to do so, I was, however, met by two
other men, who attacked me with knives.
Quickly seeing my mistake, I rushed past
them, and ran on in search of weapons,
endeavouring to find out what it all meant,
and to see whether any resistance was being
made. I now strove to reach the passen-
gers' gangway, to see what the Chinese
were doing. In attempting this I had to
run the gauntlet of several of the pirates,
who wounded me in many places. Two of
them here seized me, tearing my watch off,
and were going to cut my fingers off for
my rings, when, by a desperate effort, I
managed to break loose from them. It
was then that I saw the Chinese passengers
i86 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
sitting below, looking as unconcerned as
possible. I then rushed to the stern, where
I saw the poor purser holding on by his
hands to the side of the ship, preparing to
jump overboard, and a pirate cutting at
him. Here also the chief mate was battling
most courageously with one arm, while with
the other he attempted to loosen a buoy.
I tried to join him, but my wounds were
beginning to tell on my strength, and
numbers easily drove me off. With no
hope left I endeavoured to retrace my steps,
but was immediately attacked by two or
three fresh arrivals. I here managed to
get within striking distance of one, whom
I succeeded in knocking down ; but the
success cost me dear, as his companions
wounded me at the same moment despe-
rately in the left side. How they let me
retire I cannot imagine ; how I was able is
equally difficult for me to explain! But I
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. 187
was again attacked by two others armed
with capstan bars, who successively knocked
me down with these weapons. I rolled out
of their way, and for a time was left in
peace. I staggered to the wheel-house,
but had to support myself on an umbrella
which I picked up. I was now almost in-
sensible, and leaned against the window I
mentioned in my description of the ship.
On looking down into the captain's cabin,
I saw poor Brady lying stretched out on
the floor, with his little dog staring mourn-
fully into his face. This sign of fidelity
consoled me even then somewhat, and,
indeed, my sole wish now centred in the
hope of being able to last long enough to
get some chance of revenge by the arrival
of assistance. After leaning here for ten or
fifteen minutes, I fell on the deck from ex-
haustion and loss of blood. A few minutes
after this the pirates, who had been plunder-
CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
ing tlie ship, returned on deck, battened
down the hatchways, and proceeded to count
their booty close by me. They continually
passed over me, stepping on and kicking me.
On receiving my wound in the side, I,
luckily for myself, had sufficient presence
of mind to shove my handkerchief and
fingers into the aperture to keep my lungs
from breaking out. The pirates, either
imagining I was trying to conceal some-
thing, or in brutal sport, tore my hand
several times from the wound. The agony
I thus endured I can never forget. How I
prayed for unconsciousness ! One of them
motioned to me to throw myself overboard,
and even pretended to do it, lifting me up
in his arms. Another, whom I judged to
be the chief, as he swaggered about in my
hat, with a revolver and cutlass at his belt,
brandishing his sword, pretended to draw
it across my throat several times, to the
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. 189
evident delight of all his comrades. For
what reason he did not carry his perform-
ance into practice I cannot possibly con-
ceive. I was lying on the deck for six
hours with these fellows close to me, but
not for one instant did I lose consciousness.
A junk then came alongside, when the
steamer was stopped for the first time. The
plunder was transferred to the junk, and
they all hastened on board her, after spiking
and breaking the helm.
" ^ Immediately on their leaving, the crew
came on deck, and, rigging a helm in the
stern, commenced working the ship. A
Chinese merchant, procuring assistance,
carried me to the saloon, placed me on a
sofa, and covered me with a tablecloth to
keep the cold from my wounds. All on
board were so overcome that they had to
be kept at their work by a copious supply
of brandy. We were delayed some time in
I90 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
Macao harbour before we were permitted
to land, a regiment of soldiers being drawn
up to receive us on the quay, and no China-
man was allowed to leave before he was
searched and his name and address were
taken. When I recall the whole event, it
seems like a hideous dream. It is only
when I look at the proofs on my body of
its horrible reality that I awake to a full
sense of all my danger, and a feeling of
thankfulness for my miraculous escape
drives every other thought away.' "
The alleged and generally received cause
of this outrage is as follows : —
The gambling tables at Macao had been
losing considerably for some time, and
their partners at Canton were sending a
man to them with a considerable amount
of dollars, said to be in a belt attached to
his person. This rumour got wind in the
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. 191
back slums and gambling haunts of Can-
ton, and a body of loafers and ruined re-
probates, with no character to lose, and only
too eager for a prey to think of any risk,
combined to ease this person of his charge.
Proof of this plot was obtained from one
of the pirates, who was so badly wounded
that he had to give himself up to the
authorities, and eventually died of his in-
juries. He first, however, confessed, and
said that he had received his wounds in a
scuffle among his comrades as to the division
of the spoil. He gave all the names of the
party, and it was chiefly owing to his evi-
dence that some of them were captured. He
also said that an armed junk manned by
forty men was to have boarded the SparTc
while they created a diversion in their
favour. He stated that had there been
more Europeans, or had the ship been better
guarded, they would not have attempted an
192 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
attack, but waited till they reached Macao,
when they could have knocked their man
down, and robbed him in the streets. At
the commencement of the attack, when the
sailors were set upon, separated one from
another among the crowds of passengers,
and could offer no effectual resistance,
either the second engineer or the second
mate, who I believe was a Portuguese,
seeing that things looked hopeless, jumped
overboard, and after floating for two hours
was picked up by a native boat, and then
transferred to a Chinaman's steam yacht
which was close at hand, and must have
witnessed the whole proceeding. But its
owner, with national caution and want
of fellow-feeling, steamed away, although
these yachts are well armed, mounting
several guns ; doubtless deeming the course
entaihng least responsibility to be to inform
a gun-boat — which was, I am sorry to say.
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. 193
commanded by an Englishman — stationed
close at hand. It, however, paid no atten-
tion, although if it had got up steam at
once it would have caught the whole band
red-handed. The name of this boat was the
Fei'Loong^ and it was subsequently lost, with
all hands, in the typhoon. This statement
has been confirmed by our representatives
All praise ought surely to be given to the
endeavours of the Chinese Government for
the steps their officials took to capture the
culprits ! China neglects to fulfil the stipula-
tions of her treaty, she wilfully disregards
her obligations as a friendly power, she in-
culcates into her subjects that any crime
against a foreigner is laudable ; yet there
is no remonstrance raised, no punishment
The Mandarins and local authorities
were, however, too shrewd observers of the
194 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
course of public events, and knew only too
well what a storm the murder of an Eng-
lishman might bring upon their heads, to
neglect the appearance of deep solicitude
for the result, and not to pretend earnest
endeavours for the capture and punishment
of the criminals. They refused all the
rewards offered by the Steam Boat Com-
pany, and by the different Governments,
thinking if they only got off with simply
hanging a few individuals they would indeed
The chief mate's case was a very sad one.
I knew him very well, as he was for some
time stationed on a ship laid up in the
Canton river, the captain of which I knew,
and as I spent several evenings on board
her I saw him tolerably often. When I
met him on the S^par'k he told me he had
just been put on that line. The next and
last time I saw him was when I tried to join
THE SPARK OUTRAGE. 195
him on deck, when he was so gallantly
keeping at bay half-a-dozen assailants. The
poor purser, who was also killed, left a
widowed mother with many children solely
relying on him. He was generally liked,
owing to his quiet and agreeable character.
The captain was reported to have made
a determined resistance, but it is my firm
belief that he was attacked in his cabin and
taken completely by surprise, as I saw him
only a few minutes after the commencement
stretched out on the floor of his cabin quite
dead, looking so placid as to make it evident
that death had been sudden and without
pain. His revolver was found with several
barrels missed fire, and this gave rise to the
conjecture that Brady had attempted to
quell a disturbance. But as this was the
same the pirate chief had fired at me several
times, though fortunately without its going
off, it is plain how the misconception arose.
196 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
The leader of the band was a big powerful
fellow, and I hear when captured fought so
desperately that it cost his captors the lives
of two of their best soldiers to secure him.
These are all the further facts I have been
able to gather, but I think they are sufficient
to make the defence set up for China's non-
responsibility appear in a worse light than
ever. If their acts in punishment are to
be considered to outbalance their neglect
in repression, surely when those acts are
proved to have been really deficient they
are as culpable on the lesser indictment as
they are on the higher one, and the only
line of defence offered for their non-liability
In my next chapter I will endeavour to
give some general account of piracy.
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 197
EEVIEW OF PIEACY IN CHINA.
PiKACY in China may be said in some sense
to owe its origin to praiseworthy intentions
and honourable endeavours, and in a de-
scent of several hundred years the motives
causing it have gone through all the
changes from the lofty impulse of dis-
interested patriotism till they have at last
degenerated into mere greed for gain and
love for a turbulent existence. It may be
interesting to consider under what circum-
stances an evil, to put down which all
civilized countries are now united in
opinion, was not so long ago really worthy
of admiration from all observers, and had
198 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
the history of China at that time been of
interest to the world in general, would
doubtless have attracted all the sympathy
that is usually bestowed upon the unfortunate.
"When the Tartars had overrun the
whole of China, and the Chinese, worsted
in many battles, were totally unable to make
any further resistance on land, there re-
mained but two alternatives — to the timid
and the weak, surrender; to the resolved
and the brave, to try conclusions and tempt
fortune once more on another element.
The bolder ones resolved, if these con-
querors could not be driven back, if to
defend their beloved country was a hope-
less task, that they at least would not swell
their enemies' triumph by their submission,
but would carry to another clime the
memory of their former greatness, and found
an empire under fresh auspices. They
fortunately had amongst them a man who
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 199
combined in his person all the varied re-
quirements of a leader of such a band under
such circumstances. He had all the know-
ledge and intellect to show them what to
do, and all the courage and daring to be
the first to execute as well as to command.
Koshinga — ^such was the leader's name —
may one day be viewed by future Chinese
generations in the same light as we do King
Arthur, ^ — that mythical champion of a race
which, although we have little or no claim
to rank as our ancestors, is endeared to us
all by the name of Britons ; and should
ever the subject race regain the rule of the
country, we may hear more of this gallant
chieftain, and his name may be the rallying
word for those who may rebel against the
at present dominant Tartar. He pointed
out that there was no necessity to seek a
more distant asylum, until it had been
proved that the conqueror — whose prowess
200 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
on the sea liad never been put to the test —
could expel them from the islands along the
coast. They therefore established them-
selves on these islands, especially those at
the mouth of the Canton river. In a few
years, by intrigue and force, they ousted
the Portuguese from the island of Formosa,
and making it their head-quarters, the con-
federacy became so powerful as to defy all
the efforts of their conquerors, and for a
time their voice was supreme in these seas..
No ship was allowed to trade without ac-
knowledging their authority, and it became
a recognised fact that for the present the
Pekin Government was unable to cope with
this predatory force. But when Koshinga
died, the voice that had really kept down
those dissensions that continually arose,
threatening to destroy all the good effects
of their valour and success, was hushed,
and round his deathbed were sown the
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 201
seeds that bore fruit in the dissolution of
the band. His wife succeeded to the com-
mand, but her two chief lieutenants quar-
relling, the whole settlement was divided
into two camps, and there took place at
sea a fearful battle, which, if a victory for
the lieutenant who supported his mistress's
authority, was so far a defeat as to entail
ultimately the annihilation of the commu-
nity. Discord among themselves thus ac-
complished what all the power of a great
conqueror in the full tide of his triumph
could not effect. The thwarted rival se-
ceded, with the remnants of his squadron,
to the established Government ; and in the
course of a few years, intrigue and liberal
promises to the leaders, backed up by what
the disintegration of the band had com-
menced, and what some small reverses con-
tinued, induced the whole force to accept
the general amnesty offered them.
202 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
The breaking np of this force was the
removal of a standing danger to the Pekin
G-overnment, and was the disappearance
of the last vestige of national resistance to
the Tartar conquest. Their rule over the
whole country was as fully acknowledged
as when our Edward ruled from Land's End
to the Grampians, and from Milford Bay to
the Forelands. As the Celt and Saxon had
yielded to the Norman, so had the Chinese
succumbed to the Tartar of the desert.
The few dissentients to this surrender de-
parted for other seas, but communications
were still kept up with their disbanded
comrades on shore ; and such is the supe-
riority in physique of the boating and fish-
ing population of the sea coast, and their
love of adventure and predatory instincts are
so developed as to render them only too sus-
ceptible to the gorgeous stories brought back
to them by these rovers of the sea. This
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 203
being so, recruiting for these piratical junks
was no difficult task, and for more than a
century acts of piracy occurred at frequent
intervals, although no formidable esta-
blished band was organized. Towards the
end of the last century, however, these
pirates had become bolder. No energetic
measures having been taken for years to
repress their actions, they had gradually
become more ambitious in their aims,
attracting to their standard all those who
wished to throw off the trammels of the
law, all the hangers-on of the gambling
booths of Canton, and offering the only
chance of safety to criminals either escaped
from the hands of justice or those dreading
falling into them, it is no wonder that this
force in a short time assumed formidable
proportions. They encamped on the nu-
merous islets at the mouth of the Canton
river, some of which they fortified. These
204 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
afforded them all necessary shelter, a depo-
sitory for their plunder, and a look-out from
which to spy their prey. At first European
merchantmen were unmolested, but soon
even these were compelled to pay toll
to these unpleasant gate-keepers. They,
however, were not especially remarkable for
ferocity, or for any particularly atrocious
action. Two Enghsh gentlemen, who had
the misfortune to fall into their power, have
given a most interesting account of their
customs, which they carefully studied
during their enforced residence amongst
them of several years. This band flourished
for several years, greatly impeding com-
merce ; but no assistance could be expected
from the Pekin Government, who acknow-
ledged their incapacity to deal with the
offenders. An English squadron was at last
despatched from India, and they received
such a lesson at their hands as to respect
REVIEIV OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 205
the English flag for ever after. Their
power being thus crippled, the whole band
melted away, and the Chinese Government
built forts on the islets to keep them in
their possession. This was the last occa-
sion on which they assumed such formida-
ble proportions, but piratical outrages have
been by no means unfrequent ever since,
and indeed boat robberies are a daily oc-
In 1828 the crew of a French mer-
chantman, Le Navigateur, were compelled
through stress of weather to take refuge
on the coast of Cochin China, where,
instead of receiving the hospitable recep-
tion usually accorded to shipwrecked ma-
riners, they received anything but kind
treatment, and were forced to sell their
cargo and ship. They then took passage
on board of a Chinese junk bound for
Macao. On the journey, the native crew,
2o6 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
excited by cupidity — report went that these
Barbarians had many dollars — formed an
atrocious and bloodthirsty plan against
them. On arriving safely within sight of
their destination, the Chinese passengers
were transferred to another junk to land.
Unfortunately this hurried departure did not
arouse any suspicions in the minds of the
victims, and taken off their guard, separated
from one another, they were all murdered
by these villains. One sailor alone — after
fighting courageously — although covered
with wounds, succeeded in jumping over-
board; and after being refused admission
by several boats, was at last picked up and
landed during the night at Macao. The
criminals were captured in their junk, and
all were executed.
I cannot discover what became of the
sole survivor, who recovered from his
wounds, and, I believe, died at a great age
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 207
not very long ago ; and although he was
compensated, I believe there was no satis-
faction rendered to France for the insult to
her as a nation. It was done more in the
light of a private present, than in atone-
ment for suffering caused by their subjects.
For the next thirty years acts of piracy
and cases of robbery occurred at frequent
intervals ; but no formidable band was es-
tablished. Several cases of English sub-
jects claiming compensation on account of ,
loss suffered by them in person, or in the
death of relations, were kept in an unsettled
state for years, and it was only when the
stern arbitrement of war had been appealed
to, and the Chinese had to sue in the form
of the defeated, that these claims were
taken up by our Peace Commissioners, and
demand for compensation was inserted as
one of the provisoes of the treaty.
The treaty of Tientsin deserves some
2o8 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
praise at the hands of all those interested
with our future in China. It is the first
treaty granted to foreigners by that most
conservative of governments, and, as in
every other case, was only wrung from
them when our soldiery were thundering
at the gate of the capital, and polluting
the threshold of their temples and their
palaces. Every foreigner looks to this
treaty and its various stipulations as the
safeguard of his presence in China, — as
the Magna Charta renewing and specially
enunciating his right to stand and trade on
Chinese territory. If all its articles were
fully observed, if all the regulations were as
fuUy carried into practice, would there be
such grumbling and discontent on the part
of our merchants ?
After the war the general feeling of the
populace was so cowed by the valour and
successful superiority of Europeans, that no
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 209
attempts against our mercliaiit ships were
thought of. They confined themselves to
robbing their own countrymen and pillaging
native packets, till at length grown bolder
by impunity, they disregarded, in my case,
the reputed sanctity of white men, by not
only assaulting me, but also by murdering the
captain and officers of the S;parh, The fate
of these officers is too much lost sight of.
Their murders appeal for revenge and re-
dress. They died manfully at their posts ;
and deserting the cause of these gallant
and unfortunate champions of western
interests is hardly a thing to be proud of.
One of the chief facihties afforded to these
pirates to continue their career is, it must be
remembered, supplied by their countrymen
in office. Those Mandarins vested with the
local authority have the power of collecting
the customs ; and they farm this right to the
Hoppo, or tax collector, for a period of five
2IO CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
years. To support this officer in his power-
fol position all the gunboats stationed on
the river are pressed into his service ; and
what with the aid only too voluntarily
given by crafts of every size and descrip-
tion, he finds no difficulty in putting his
authority into execution. These gunboats
employed on such profitable service have,
therefore, little time to spare in hunting up
these river pests who thrive on the com-
munity at large, and are equally willing to
play the part of tax gatherer one day
and pirate the next. Each of these boats
is armed with its letter of marque, in the
shape of a much-beilowered document au-
thorising the collection of custom dues ;
and although you may have paid your
charge several times before, that will not
save you from having to pay it to whomso-
ever else may demand it. This is a dis-
graceful state of things, and our consuls
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 211
are mncli to be blamed for its continuance,
but in a still higher degree our authorities
It may be interesting to describe how
this all-powerful official and despot, the
Hoppo, is elected. The contract he makes
with the Governor of Quang-Toung is for
five years, and for that he pays between
one and two milhon dollars. At the end
of his term he is generally estimated to
have seven milHon dollars. As a rule he
cannot get his term renewed. He is theu
ordered up to Pekin, but at every town on
the way he is taxed. When he reaches
Pekin he is not admitted within the walls
until he pays a heavy fee to the Imperial
Treasury, and receives, moreover, a great
whipping ! He then is permitted to enter
the city and retire into private life, — a not
much richer man, if happily a wiser, than
when he entered into all the perquisites and
212 • CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
honours of the mighty post of Hoppo of the
province of Quang-Toung five years before.
What can be the inducement to any man
with a handsome fortune, which he must
have to obtain the post, to accept a barren
honour for the short space of five years, to
result in such httle benefit and such great
personal ignominy ? I often tried to dis-
cover this, but never got more than the
unsatisfactory reply that the splendour of
the post was the attraction in their eyes.
I have often since thought that it must be
the indirect means of advancing them to
some post at the court of Pekin, and that
their reward is calculated by the amount of
treasure they bring into the Imperial cof-
fers. This is merely my surmise, and an
attempt to give a reason for one of those
things that, being a national custom, there
perhaps exists no known reason for.
At all events, this Hoppo is a very dis-
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 213
agreeable fellow for us, and requires to be
placed within bounds. All power, when
arbitrary, runs to excess and does harm.
His, with no check on his caprice, causes
us much loss, our representatives much
discouragement, and our country much
disparagement in prestige. The Chinese
have a perfect right to certain custom
dues ; but it is unjust to expect us to pay
exorbitant rates, first of all to enrich arro-
gant officials, and eventually to swell the
revenues of the country and the exchequers
of the favourites at Pekin.
The present system of ties 3 pirates is a
small number of land colleagues either in
possession of a junk or in temporary alliance
with one, who join for a certain occasion,
and then part company ; so that if not
detected at once, the difficulty of proving
the real culprits is considerable, as they
speedily lose themselves among the mass
214 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
of their fellow-citizens. Happily for the
detectives, there is the one common attrac-
tion in the gamhling-hooths. To show the
general feeling of insecurity among the
officers of the river boats, several have
told me that they are in continual dread
of attack from some of these rascals, and
never venture about without a loaded re-
volver — as one of them expressed it, '^five
barrels for the blackguards, the sixth for
Therefore if at present there is no power-
ful confederacy to crush, there are wide-
spread among the masses instincts which
furnish all the material for confederacies
similar to those once existant, and it is
only a fitting opportunity that is lacking.
If our large ships are not in daily dread, if
the danger to individuals is not most im-
minent, the inconvenience and uncertainty
caused by the knowledge of what is possible
REVIEW OF PIRACY IN CHINA. 215
is rather the more increased. When the
danger is before us and certain, we can
prepare ourselves to meet it unflinchingly.
When there is just the likelihood of being
murdered in our beds, unarmed and in-
capable of resistance, there is all the agony
of the suffering in an intensified form, and
yet nothing serious may take place. The
whole question is therefore one China can-
not go on shirking, or we neglecting.
Germany's action in her small matter
with them the other day sets us a good
precedent, and one we should be wise to
follow in our deahngs with this power.
We have just signally failed in applying
the high-toned morality of western justice
to an important question in our Indian
empire ; and we have found how im-
possible it is to reconcile eastern chicanery
and subjection with European honour and
dominion. Let us profit by the lesson, which
2i6 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
may eventually lead to bitter things, and
not make the same mistake in our diplo-
matic intercourse with the Celestial Empire,
which we are inclined to view with a far too
lenient and favourable eye.
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 217
SUGGESTIONS AS TO SUITABLE MEASUEES FOE
EEPEESSING ACTS OF PIEACY.
I PEOPOSE in this chapter to offer some
remarks on what measures should be
adopted to put an end to this class of
crime, of which I endeavoured in my last
chapter to give some detailed account, and
the necessity for repressing which none
can deny. I will divide what I would
suggest under the three following heads,
viz., — firstly. What share properly falls on
the Chinese Government ; secondly, What
individual travellers and those companies
which undertake their transport should do
in assistance of legislation ; and, thirdly,
21 8 CANTON AND THE BO CUE.
both these proving iiisu£S.cient to meet the
emergency, how far it is incumbent on
England and other powers to interfere in
the matter, either to compel action on the
part of the Pekin Government, or to take
the case out of their hands, in the interest
of our commerce and society in general,
and carry out repressive measures on their
To answer any or all of these queries
with complete satisfaction would require an
amount of legal knowledge to which I
cannot lay claim ; and what I venture to
say on the subject I submit to the correction
of those who speak with all the authority
of the law. I may indeed preface by ex-
pressing my astonishment that no more
powerful voice than mine has yet been
raised in pointing out the pressing nature
of the question. It seems to me most
astonishing of all, however, that the resi-
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 219
dents out there — those most immediately
concerned — should be so apathetic in the
few precautions they have adopted against
a recurrence of the outrage ; and yet any
one amongst them may at any time meet
with a similar, or even sadder, fate than
Firstly, as to what is incumbent on the
Pekin Government ; which, besides being
the first and most important of all the
queries, seems also at a first blush to be
the only one necessary at all, — as surely
it is the country's duty to see that the
poHce is efficient, as nothing more tends to
its own advantage, or to make it more
respected abroad. When that poHce proves
inefficient, special acts of legislature must
be enacted, special punishments must be
inflicted on the guilty, so as to show that,
when the ordinary course of justice is of no
avail, there are still means left on the side
220 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
of the rulers that can vindicate all the out-
raged majesty of the law. In China more
than this must be demanded at the hands
of the Government. Besides these special
precautions — which have by no means come
into effect — there is a moral obligation to
discourage all acts against the persons of
strangers, which is not inculcated at
all into the rising generation by their
governors. Under the circumstances, we
have a right to demand that some special
social obloquy be attached to deeds of
violence against us. I emphasize the word
social, as punishments of that kind are the
most efficacious in dealing with these
people. If we do not claim our rights,
things will continue getting worse and
worse every day; and the remedy then
will have to be so sharp and decisive, as
to render it doubtful of possibility without
resulting in a war.
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 221
It is a well-kno'wn fact that tlie theory is
deeply rooted in the heart of every China-
man, that it is not only not unjustifiable
but praiseworthy even to hold no law
sacred in his dealings with a *' foreign
devil." Can it therefore be marvelled at,
if, with this first great incentive to take
unfair advantage of any foreigner, added to
their dislike of foreign intercourse (than
which nothing is more natural, considering
how it has been forced upon them), their
thoughts continually run, in the towns we
visit, on the subject of getting the better
of us in every way imaginable ? and when
they proceed to violence, as their crime
carries no disgrace, what deterrent effect
has the punishment inflicted, when the
same breath swells the virtue of the de-
ceased for the sufferings inflicted on one
regarded as hostile by themselves ? The
Chinese themselves, no doubt, are the more
222 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
frequent victims at the hands of these river
pirates, but it is equally beyond doubt that
a packet enlevement is looked upon with
glee and pleasure by a great number of the
population. They may be the same crimi-
nals who but the day before upset poor
Chin out of his boat for the sake of his
small cargo of fish ; the same motives act-
uated them that will to-morrow, perhaps,
make them either murder one another for
his share in the booty, or waylay a native'
merchant on his route home to his villa
near the big city ; but it is beyond all dis-
pute that their attacks on such packets as
the S^arh and the Navigateur command
the sympathy of the masses, and would
meet with lenient treatment indeed if there
was not the standing fear of foreign inter-
vention . I firmly believe that to avoid that
the Chinese would at one time have yielded
any point. I therefore lay special stress on
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 223
the importance of having some change made
in the received opinion, even if it were only
qualified by the public declaration that crimes
against the person of foreigners are as crimi-
nal as if committed against a native. Such
a declaration would not only be our most
important safeguard, but would at the same
time remove the real shield of the culprit.
The Mandarin officials plead in extenuation
that Canton is by no means in an un-
guarded state, and they point for proof of
their assertion to the undoubtedly great
number of gunboats stationed on the river.
These gunboats are well manned, and in
their way by no means to be despised.
Their captains and some of the head officers
— such as master gunners — are Europeans,
mostly English. In numbers those on the
Canton river ought to suffice to put down
and exterminate nests of pirates. But un-
fortunately they are of no real use, and
224 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
afford no protection beyond their immediate
vicinity. They, for the most part, have
fixed stations, which of course are well
known, and are therefore of no avail against
the present system of these freebooters,
who, when they do attack a packet, take
good care not to do so too near where
these guardians of the peace may interfere
with their actions. This system ought to
be altered; strict instructions should be
issued that there should be patrols at
regular hours, and that other gunboats
should, be kept permanently cruising
about. This would be throwing great
difficulties in the way of evil doers, as
it would be almost impossible for them
to expect the good fortune of escaping
with their booty, provided even they suc-
ceeded in carrying out their attack success-
The present easy life on this station
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 225
would doubtless be changed, as tbey cer-
tainly would meet with considerable re-
sistance, — ^very similar probably to that
incurred by our revenue officials in putting
down smuggling ; but that would not be at
all unwelcome, as everywhere action, with
its chances of speedy promotion and prize
money, is preferred to a sedentary and
barren charge. It would be also a matter
of wise and effectual precaution, if before
permitting Chinese passengers to embark
they were to some extent examined, and
all weapons removed from their person ;
and every suspicious character — one, for in-
stance, of notoriously bad associations —
should be declined a passage. A Govern-
ment official might be specially delegated
to this work. Perhaps, however, it may
be thought this is more a question for the
steamboat company to see to, than for the
State to impose any restriction on their
226 CANTON AND THE BOGUE. '
subjects journeying on one of their own
It will be seen that I consider tbe
greatest security the GoYernment can
give is a moral one ; and that the
means of repression are at hand, and
only require to be properly applied to
have the desired effect. It is extremely
doubtful, however, whether any action
will be taken in the matter, unless some
gentle remonstrance be addressed to the
ear of the Governor of the province of
For the second question. What, ought
individual travellers and the Company do
to increase the safety of travelling? This
of course can only be agitated for, and
effected by the weight of public opinion
out there; and it really rests with those
interested in the journeys from Canton
to Hong-Kong or Macao to see that their
Measures for repressing piracy. 227
Company take all the necessary precautions.
But it is at all events certain that the
Company ought to provide guards; that
arms should be freely distributed to the
crew and trustworthy passengers ; that the
division between native and foreign pas-
sengers should be strictly maintained ;
and also that a sentry, with a loaded
rifle, should be stationed at each gang-
way, with instructions to shoot the first
native who attempted to break this all-
important rule. It might also be advisable
to erect in the centre of the vessel a
bulwarked room, occupying the whole
centre of the ship, including the engines
and the helm, which would afford a retreat
if the outer gangways were forced, whence
three or four armed men could expel a
whole host of such rabble as these fellows.
Some of these arrangements were for a
time put in force, but had long before
228 CANTON AND THE BOGVE.
the Sparh affair fallen into disuetude. If
the Packet Company were to make these
or some such regulations, they would be
performing only the duty that is incumbent
on them ; while, by instituting some sort of
check on the character of the passengers
they receive, they would be taking every
reasonable precaution to render an attack
from within a remote and almost impossible
contingency. Against an attack from with-
out, — that is, by force majeure^ — there of
course can be no safeguard of this kind;
but no one would think of demanding it
under those circumstances.
I am also informed that the legal quibble
is that while the Chinese Government
would be liable for a piratical attack in
their realm by boarding, they are not re-
sponsible for any internal outbreak among
the passengers, although the consequences
may, in all likelihood, be quite as disastrous.
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 229
All individuals can do is to assist the Com-
pany to carry out the regulations framed for
their protection, and, in any emergency, to
place themselves at the captain's disposal
and obey orders. The measures should be
concerted between the Company and the
Government officials. What the latter
will do, and also what they expect from
the Company, should be ascertained.
At present there is mutual recrimination ;
and the Mandarins, aware of an unfortunate
feeling out there that the Company is alone
to blame, and alone must be held respon-
sible, take advantage of what I denounce as
a mistaken idea to shift all the onus of the
catastrophe on its shoulders, and argue with
much plausibility that it was its gross
neglect that gave the opportunity to a hand-
ful of ruffians to seize and plunder such a
large boat as the Sjparh, It would be diffi-
cult to imagine what must have been the
230 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
delight of the officials when they found they
had such a good excuse ready made for
them, as to he ahle to shift the blame on to
the shoulders of somebody else ; but it does
not say much for our perspicuity or love of
fair play, if we permit these dastardly syco-
phants to escape from all the penalty by
inculpating somebody else, whose greatest
fault is certainly no more than for not
having taken a few, doubtless necessary,
For the third question, all I will venture
to say, besides suggesting it to our rulers,
is that as we were one of the high contract-
ing powers to the treaty of Tientsin, we are
no less bound than the Chinese to carry out
its stipulations. Why, then, while we have
been quelling a slave trade in one part of
the world, and destroying Malay stockades
in another, have we not seen that some of our
engagements were being properly attended
MEASURES FOR REPRESSING PIRACY. 231
to ? If we could not spare time to attend
to such a paltry affair in person, why not
instruct our representatives in China to see
that something was done in the matter ?
There was a vague rumour going about
that the present Ministry were instituting
some inquiries, and if this had been perse-
vered in, it would have been some manifesta-
tion of a perception of the importance of the
subject beginning at last to dawn on the
minds of our mlers. Unfortunately, this
sudden fit of energy seems to have as quickly
passed away, without any salutary result
People are always sceptical on the im-
portance of anything that does not seem of
pressing moment, or that does not imme-
diately concern themselves ; but a glance at
the dry figures setting forth the state of our
trade with China ; a thought of that impor-
tant beverage, tea ; a mere idea of the vast
232 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
size of the country, teeming with unknown
wealth, and the extraordinary influence its
opening may have on our own affairs and
the world in general; and also that this
piracy is not confined to the Canton river,
but is in force on the Yang-tse, and that it
is one of the most apparent and simplest
means of opposition on the part of the
Chinese to further intercourse, — a sHght
consideration of these reasons ought to be
sufficient to show the all-importance of this
subject, and that it is no trivial matter at all.
A step in the right direction would be
that the general instructions to our consuls
should be modified. At present they run
in characters easily read — interfere on no
account: let individuals shift for them-
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 233
THE TYPHOON OF 1874.
The Chinese, like most barbarous or half-
civilised nations, attach superstitious im-
portance to all those phenomena of nature
which thrill the hearts even of students
of science with a feeling of awe ; so the
comet, the earthquake, even the thunder
and lightning, but above all the typhoon,
have a peculiar significance to their minds,
as the direct manifestation of an offended
deity, and the retribution of their own
transgressions. There is nothing absolutely
ridiculous in these sentiments; all nations
in their early ages have shared them, and
indeed, in their case, the pre-eminent awful-
234- CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
ness of the typhoon would be alone a
sufficient excuse for the fears of a people
not too enlightened as to the causes of
these outbursts of nature.
To illustrate the character of a typhoon,
I will give some description of that of 1874 ;
to find a parallel to which, in the amount of
damage inflicted, and in the immense power
of the hurricane, one must go back more
than a generation.
Typhoon, or Tae-foong — the great wind
— bears a singular resemblance to the Greek
tv4kov, although it can have no direct com-
munication with it. These storms occur
periodically, generally after an interval of
three or four years ; as that interval is ex-
ceeded, so the storms increase in intensity ;
and as on this occasion there had not been
one for some time over the stated period,
the extreme severity of that of 1874 is thus
to a certain extent accounted for. One of
THE TYPHOON Oh 1874. 235
the chief signs of the approach of a typhoon
is the extraordinary fall of the barometer
that takes place ; but sailors experienced in
these regions are also very clever at prognos-
ticating its arrival. Another warning note
is the long and heavy swell which sets
in, without any apparent cause whatever.
These storms do not extend, however, very
much to the north of Canton, and rage
chiefly between latitudes 10° and 30° N. ;
and although they last from twelve to
twenty hours, the great violence of the
storm is only three or four in duration.
This particular typhoon, which had been
expected for some time previous to its oc-
currence by the Chinese prophets, com-
menced on the evening of the 22nd of
In Hong-Kong, where I was at the time,
placards had been put up warning all the
Chinese that it was approaching, and cau-
236 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
tioning them to keep within their houses, and
also to make them as secure as possible from
the 18th to the 25th of September. This
time their calculations — or expectations —
as to its occurrence were nearly correct ;
but this is by no means always the case.
The warning has been issued, the public
have prepared to meet the emergency, the
miserable have become resigned to succumb
to its fury, yet the typhoon has mercifully
declined to come, and everyone has his or
her mind lightened of a load; only, however,
on its next visit it will take a,mple amends
for its neglect in appearing. But in the
face of such a foe no precaution should be
omitted, and the warning, though repeated
without perhaps any need, must not yet be
treated as a mere cry of ^' Wolf." It com-
menced with a wind suddenly arising about
eight in the evening, which went on till
three or four the following morning with
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 237
great violence. From ten to two its force
was at its height, when it was awful in the
extreme. Every door and window was
bolted and made as fast and secure as
possible ; typhoon bars being put up to
doubly secure the windows, which, with
Venetians fastened firmly outside, seemed
to present an impenetrable barrier to the on-
set. When this had been carefully seen to,
there was nothing more for the inhabitants
to do but to wait patiently and to prepare
themselves as best they might for the
ordeal. At the time, I was lying in bed
recovering from my wounds, with one arm
perfectly useless, and my whole system so
shattered as to make me hardly able to
bear this trying shock with equanimity.
As I said, the storm commenced with a
violent wind suddenly springing up, and it
soon became so irresistible in its might
that no obstacle seemed able to retard it.
238 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
As the night wore on, the destruction in-
creased, and each fresh blast of the hurri-
cane was the doom of houses and of ships.
The bars across the windows snapt one
after the other with a report hke that of
cannon ; and the Venetians, torn from their
fastenings and banging against the wall,
increased the noise, till at last the wind
swept them completely off, and rushed
into the house with • a shriek, as if about
to carry everything before it. The washing
stands were in the verandah, and the wind
caught the jugs and basins up as if they
were but leaves, and smashed them in all
directions. The glass doors leading into
the bedrooms were then taken bodily off
their hinges, and fragments of the glass
were scattered throughout the house. Many
pieces fell on my bed, but I escaped with-
out any bad cuts. The doors throughout
the different corridors were the next to
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 239
succumb ; and now the risk became very
great that the wind would Hft the roof com-
pletely off the house, which actually hap-
pened to many other houses in the colony.
To add to the confusion of the scene, the
wind got into the pipes and put the gas
out, leaving us in total darkness.
The danger from the storm is not, how-
ever, the only one to be incurred on this
dreadful occasion. Bobbers take advantage
of the general panic and defencelessness
of the inhabitants, and even proceed to
incendiarism to aid them in their ne-
farious designs. For me personally there
was to be agony piled upon agony. A
bed of sickness, feverish anxiety and
nervousness alone would not have en-
abled me to bear the trying scenes of
that night with any degree of success,
but as if all these were not sufficient, I had^
to endure being deprived of the companion-
240 CANTON AND THE BOGUE,
ship that alone seemed to give me a ficti-
tious strength. As the hong or house I
belonged to were all members of the fire
brigade, on a fire being announced they had
to don their uniform and go to their duty;
thus leaving me alone with a Chinese boy
to look after me, who, however, was quite
as unnerved as myself. In fact, all the
boys of the house collected in one room,
and would not come out for a long time.
Now and then the one who nominally had
charge of me would come and ask me had
I "too muchee fear."
Some of the men returned sooner than
might have been expected, greatly to my
relief. All their efforts had been in vain,
for in the face of such an opponent man's
attempts seemed ridiculous, and the fire,
such as it was, had to be permitted to burn
The storm was now at its height, and it
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 241
was thought absolutely necessary to move
me upstairs to a room that was more safely
situated and altogether stronger than my
own. One by one the remainder of the
men returned, wet to the skin, and hardly
able to walk as their long boots were full
of water. They all took refuge in this
room, and brandy was in constant request
to keep up my spirits, and to refresh them-
selves after their trying but unavailing at-
tepts to avert a fresh danger in a possible
conflagration. This room was divided from
the drawing-room by folding doors, and
these soon showed signs of approaching
destruction. So all the assistance we could
collect in the shape of coolies was called up,
and with their aid drawers and boxes were
piled up against them; but they. were of
very little use, as the wind swept them
away, and they were only erected to fall
again with a crash. Then they got long
242 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
bamboo poles, wedging them in to support
the doors, and they had to use their fire-
man's hatchets as hammers ; but even these
props were of little avail, one giving way
after the other.
All this time we were burning oil lamps,
which gave both a very uncertain light
and also were continually meeting with
accidents. Most of the men again went
out ; some to look after the fire, others to
try and save life from the ships that were
constantly being blown on shore.
How the gusts of wind howled through
the house, and how I dreaded each one as
it came, and with what a sigh of thank-
fulness I followed its departure ! How I
also strove to detect some lessening in its
violence, and with what heart-sinking I
seemed to think each blast but louder and
more terrific than its predecessor !
The poor boys wandered about, keeping
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 243
clear of tlie windows and our temporary
barricades, lest they should come down;
but every now and then my particular
friend would repeat his former inquiry, and
I think it was a great consolation to him
to see a white man almost as frightened
as himself. At last this night of horrors
drew towards a close, and about four in
the morning it became perceptibly quieter,
and had so far softened down that at six
o'clock I was able to get some sleep.
Although by no means long in duration,
the oldest inhabitant at Hong-Kong could
not remember one more severe. Besides
the reason I gave to account for its extra-
ordinary violence, I may mention the follow-
ing, viz., that its extent was more limited,
and we got it from every quarter in the
course of the twelve hours. Generally its
force is divided by its violence being ex-
pended in attacks at different points, sepa-
244 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
rated from each other by hundreds of miles.
In this instance all its might was spent on
that part of the coast bordering on the
Canton river, of which Hong-Kong and
Macao are the seaports. Of course it was
very bad over a much more extended sur-
face, but it was here that it reached its
acme. Most men who before had often
expressed a wish to witness a typhoon,
changed their minds after this experience
of the reality, and their only desire now
was never again to be subjected to its
miseries and horrors.
For a week afterwards there was a com-
plete stoppage of all work, and the various
events of the catastrophe, and each indi-
vidual's experience, were the sole topics of
What a sad and wretched sight Hong-
Kong presented the next day ! In our own
house — one of the best built, and therefore
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 245
one of the most fortunate in the place — the
debris of furniture, of pictures, and of glass-
ware cumhered the floors ; smashed doors,
cracked walls, and frameless apertures, that
once were windows gay with Venetians, on
all sides ! Everything in confusion, every-
thing more or less ruined, as if the whole
place had just heen sacked hy a victorious
foe after a heavy homhardment. And the
work of restoration to anything like order,
beset with difficulties in every way. No
carpenters or skilled workmen to he ob-
tained at any price, so that for two or three
days the house lay open to robbers, who
took every advantage of the general defence-
lessness, until at last we had boards nailed
across as a temporary protection. Hardly
a single house escaped without almost the
total loss of its tiles. A report was circu-
lated that someone had purchased all the
tiles in the town immediately previous to
246 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
the typhoon, and that he made a fortune
by selling his eagerly sought for stock at a
The Praya, or pubHc walk along the quay,
was the .public meeting-place and general
resort of crowds coming to see the ruins of
what once had been the fine quay. This
was Hterally torn up from its foundations,
although constructed of immense blocks of
granite. It looked as if ''the treasure of
nature's germins had tumbled all together,
even till destruction sickened," and walking
on the uneven surface was no easy or plea-
sant task. Many of the contiguous houses
had been breached by some huge block
being hurled against them, as if from a
catapult. Some of these blocks were so
imbedded in the walls as to seem to form'
part of the original structure. Nearly all
the piers were destroyed ; one of them was
cut completely in two by a large steamer,
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 247
which had left its anchors. Two other
steamers, the Alhay and the Leonor, which
had just arrived with a large number of
Chinese passengers, came into collision, and
sank one on the top of the other. By this
latter accident alone, over 150 persons were
supposed to have been drowned ; and during
the next day, and for several days after, the
odour along the quay from dead bodies and
certain kinds of merchandise, carried on
shore by the tide, was extremely offensive.
The Alaska, a Pacific mail steamer, was
beached high and dry on the opposite shore ;
most of the coasting and other steamers
had to loose their anchors and steam about.
The admiral's ship and also the police hulk
drifted from their moorings, and were found
in totally different positions when it had all
subsided. All sailing vessels were more or
less injured, and for days after gunboats
cruised about to bring in water-logged or
248 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
otherwise disabled vessels, of wliich there
were a great many, not a few being too
much damaged to be of any further service.
It must be remembered that the road-
stead of Hong-Kong is considered one of
the safest and most commodious along the
whole coast. Of course the greatest loss of
life occurred amongst the Chinese popula-
tion, especially among those living in boats.
These, stationed round the colony, w^ere
all swamped. It was therefore next to im-
possible to discover the number of persons
kiUed ; but I believe the bodies of over 500
persons were recovered.
The prison at Kow-Loon, or Stonecutter's
Island, had the roof carried off; and the
Town Hall, besides suffering much general
damage, had a rather fine clock spoilt. The
Library also suffered a great deal. The
beauty of Hong-Kong was deprived of one
of its chief ornaments by the destruction
THE TYPHOON OF 1874- 249
of the trees lining the road to Happy Valley.
These were either torn up by the roots and
blocked the road, or were so damaged that
they had to be cut away, as only the stumps,
peeled of their bark, remained. It vras some
days before the road was fit again for traffic.
The Governor's house, at the Peak, was
unroofed, and the flagstaif which signals all
incoming steamers was rendered useless.
The telegraph wires also to Saigon were
broken, so that messages had to be taken
by steamer to Singapore or Shanghai, as the
up-coast wire to Shanghai was also broken.
At Pook-foo-Lun, where the English resi-
dents have built summer bungalows, these
houses, chiefly constructed of matting, were
in great danger. One was blown bodily —
furniture and all — into the sea. Its occu-
pants only escaped with their lives by
rushing out in their sleeping clothes, and
seeking shelter behind the remaining waU
250 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
of the wasli-liouse, where they passed the
remainder of that fearful night, in perfect
misery and wretchedness.
- Cargo hoats used for trans-shipping goods
were in great demand, and could only be
procured by paying a heavy premium. All
the racing and regatta boats, of which there
were a great many, and of which the colony
was very proud, were destroyed by the hulk
of a vessel being blown through the roof of
the boat-house. The swimming baths were
also ruined. Most of the private steam-
launches had either capsized or been
swamped. One of the Canton Steamboat
Company's steamers had a large hole
knocked in her side : and there were manv
other incidents to show the general destruc-
tion, which would, however, be tedious to
It can, therefore, 'easily be imagined how
wretched and sad the harbour looked, with
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 251
wrecked hulks floating about, or the masts
of ships projecting above the surface of the
I understand, however, that Macao suf-
fered to a greater extent even than Hong-
Kong. The bodies of over 4,000 Chinese
were recovered, not a boat was left uninjured
in the place, gunboats were either over-
turned, or landed high and dry, and one
steamer was rejported to have been blown
three miles inland.
The Canton steamer to Macao, White
Cloud, was fouled by a junk, sunk, and was
of no use afterwards.
Fires were also more numerous here than
at Hong-Kong, and some assumed alarming
proportions. These were set down as the
acts of incendiaries, and there were many
daring robberies. The soldiers were <3alled
oat to put down these disorders, but refused
to obey, and the Maoaese had to be armed
252 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
in self-defence, as a last resource to restore
order in the state of anarchy and turmoil
that was rampant in the island for several
days. The destruction was so extensive,
that when I left China it was considered
extremely douhtful whether such a poor
place could ever recover. The only pros-
pect was that the Chinese might think it
worth their Avhile to rebuild it themselves.
So ended the great typhoon of 1874,
which, for its violence and for the damage
inflicted by it, may compare with any of the
greatest catastrophes that have become his-
torical. It must be remembered that,
besides the direct loss, there was much
injury done to the country by the wind
blowing the salt inland for miles, which
cast a blight on all vegetation. It cannot
be accurately estimated how much damage
was inflicted, but it certainly cannot have
been less than several millions sterling in
this neighbourhood alone.
THE TYPHOON OF 1874. 253
While the natives seemed during its dura-
tion completely crushed with terror, after-
wards, when they were able to review their
altered circumstances, their natural apathy
returned to enable them to bear the accu-
mulated losses they found they had incurred.
But although, with care and hard work, a
few years will doubtless remove all traces
of the destruction of property, it will require
a much longer time before the black images
of that terrible night shall be equally blotted
out from their memory. Those who, like
myself, saw it for the first, and also pro-
bably for the last time, must ever retain a
most vivid remembrance of its terrific
grandeur; although I, personally, had no
loss in any way to lament by it ; and indeed
my altered circumstances and departure for
home afforded me too many subjects to
occupy my attention, to permit me to
indulge in any unnecessary recurrence to a
painful and unpleasant event. >
254 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
But a few days elapsed after the occurrence
of the typhoon, when it was decided by my
medical attendants that a return to Europe
was absolutely necessary for me, as longer
residence in China had become an impossi-
bihty, through the shattered state of my
nervous system. I will only look on that
fact as the cause for the end of my narra-
tive. I will make no remark here on the
far more important bearing that decision
had on my own destiny. In the course of
this narrative I have endeavoured — with
what success my readers must determine —
to show the mode of Hfe followed by Eng-
lish residents in China ; while I have at the
same time attempted the more ambitious
task of considering those topics that seem
most pressing in their character, occasioned
by our intercourse with the Chinese. I
am perfectly aware of the responsihihty I
have incurred by commenting as freely as
I have on pohtical subjects that may by
some be considered beyond the province of
such an unpretending book as mine. I may
seem to have neglected the real object of
my story for the sake of saying something
about matters of a more fascinating charac-
ter than the dry details of daily life in Can-
ton. But my answer to such objections is,
that my whole idea in writing this relation
of my brief residence was to famiUarise
— even to such a small degree as I am able
— the public to some knowledge of Chinese
matters. In doing so, where topics of
general interest have seemed naturally
2S6 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
suggested, I have ventured to comment
upon them ; and in this I think I have not
exceeded my right. I have also devoted
three chapters to piracy, and have done
my best to view that public evil in as im-
partial a light as possible.
Eesidence in China may be taken to be a
state of existence that requires much luxury
and amusement to make it endurable ; but
as those necessaries are always obtainable,
there is no discontent on the part of the
English residents. The insecurity always
experienced, and the uncertainty of ap-
proaching events, have, however, greatly
increased since my departure ; and indeed,
if it is generally imagined out there that
they are living on the sides of a volcano that
may any day explode to their destruction,
occurrences of too recent date to need
specific mention have been such as to give
some ground for their worst fears. For it
must be clearly understood that there is no
friendly communication whatever between
the natives and ourselves. We never ask
them to our houses, we never go to theirs ;
we are never seen in general conversation
with any of them; when we do dine to-
gether, it is at the Flower Boats, in a hired
room ; we are not, even on these rare occa-
sions, admitted to any very great degree of
intimacy, although our entertainers are of
course of the more convivial or youthful de-
scription. The restraint is increased by our
ignorance of one another's tongue. An
EngHsh resident for years will only know a
few words, or at the most a smattering of
business verbiage. The Chinaman is still
less proficient. But it is certainly for us to
learn out there ; and a spirit of emulation
ought to possess all Englishmen to attain
to a certain fluency in the native language
as rapidly as possible. Perhaps such know-
258 CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
ledge, besides being of immense practical
use, might be also of some political weight,
and might tend to lessen the prejudices at
present existing on both sides,
I have also ventured to speak strongly in
favour of the speedy introduction of the
steam engine, and believe that the fact of
Whampoa being to all purposes the port of
Canton, presents a very suitable occasion
to inaugurate such an experiment, and one
at the same time presenting no inordinate
difficulties, both because the natives are
there most familiar to the presence of the
foreigner, and also on account of the short-
ness of the journey.
But I will no longer Hnger over what I
have previously narrated. My subject is
one of daily increasing importance. China
is rapidly occupying as much of attention
as India; and papers which before treated
Chinese questions as beneath their notice.
are now continually instructing the public
by articles on their customs, their military
or naval progress, and the movements of
Christian missionaries ; and even the dis-
agreements with ourselves are turned to
profitable account by increasing our ac-
quaintance with this strange nation. There
therefore can be no question as to the im-
portance of my theme ; but when I consider
the manner in which I have been able to
treat it, it is then that I feel my own unfit-
ness to do so in an adequate way. Many
of my readers, I dare say, have spent as
many years in China as I have months ;
some, perhaps, much longer ; others who
have never been there have made her
history a life-long study. What will these
say as to the propriety of my writing, when
they, with all their acquaintance, or with
all their knowledge, have remained silent ?
I may be permitted to say that they are
26o CANTON AND THE BOGUE.
the only proper persons to farnish the reply.
But from the general reader who has fol-
lowed me through my reminiscence of a
happy six months in a far distant land, I
feel assured that I shall receive nothing hut
consideration. That re-awakening of past
events has not been accomplished without
some pain, and to recall how swift was the
passage from a pleasant existence to a bed
of sickness and a blank career has been no
pleasant operation. I will end as I com-
menced, by expressing that the highest
reward I could possibly expect to result
from what I have written would be to set
an example that might be followed with
more brilhant success by those more versed
in Chinese life than myself. If in any way
or on any single point my remarks have
made something more comprehensible, or
have put questions in a clearer light, my
book has served its purpose, and I am con-
tent. To elucidate tlie hidden mysteries of
any national character ; to point in any way,
be it never so slight, to a mode of making
peoples better affected one towards the
other ; to view the actions of those we are
brought in contact with so as to enable us
to appreciate their virtues and condone
their faults, — each one of these objects is
sufficient to honour the attempt of anyone,
were he even such an humble instrument of
use as myseK.
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T) UPERT REDMOND : A Tale of England, Ireland,
•*-^ and America. By Walter Sims Southwell. 3 vols.,
3 IS. 6d.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
Famuel Tinsley's Publications.
SAINT SIMON'S NIECE. By Frank Lee Benedict,
Author of "Miss Dorothy's Charge." 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
From the Spectator, July 24th : — ' ' A new and powerful novelist has arisen
. . . We rejoice to recognise a new novelist of real genius, who knows and
depicts powerfully some of the most striking and overmastering passions of
the human heart ... It is seldom that we rise from the perusal of a story
with the sense of excitement which Mr. Benedict has produced."
From the Scotsman, June nth; — "Mr. Frank Lee Benedict may
not be generally recognised as such, but he is one of the cleverest living
novelists of the school of which Miss Braddon was the founder and remains
the chief He is fond of a 'strong' plot, and besprinkles his stories abun-
dantly with starthng incidents . . . The story is written with remarkable
ability, and its interest is thoroughly well sustained."
ELF-UNITED. By Mrs. Hickes Bryant. 3 vols.,
3 IS. 6d.
Westminster Review : — " 'Self-United' has many marks of no ordinary
kind . . . The style is excellent, the conversation bright and natural, the
plot good, and the interest well sustained up to the last moment."
QHINGLEBOROUGH SOCIETY. 3 vols.,. 31s. 6d.
SIR MARMADUKE LORTON. By the Hon. A. S. G.
Canning. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
SKYWARD AND EARTHWARD : a Tale. By
Arthur Pen rice, i vol., crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
^POILT LIVES. ByMRS. Raper. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
SOME OF OUR GIRLS. By Mrs. Eiloart, Author
of "The Curate's Discipline," "The Love that Lived," "Meg,"
etc., etc. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
' ' A book that should be read. . . . Ably written books directed to this
purpose deserve to meet with the success which Mrs. Eiloart's work will
obtain.'' — Athen<€um.
" Altogether the book is well worth perusing." — ^ohu Bull.
ONS OF DIVES. 2 vols., 21s.
TANLEY MEREDITH: a Tale. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
STRANDED, BUT NOT LOST. By Dorothy
Bromyard. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
SWEET IDOLATRY. By Miss Anstruther.
Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
10 Samuel Tinsley's Publications.
THE ADVENTURES OF MICK CALLIGHIN, M.P.,
a Story of Home Rule ; and THE DE BURGHOS, a
Romance. By W. R..Ancketill. In one Volume, with Illus-
trations. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
npHE BARONET'S CROSS. By Mary Meeke,
-■- Author of " Marion's Path through Shadow to Sunshine."
2 vols., 2 IS.
'-PHE BRITISH SUBALTERN. By an Ex-
-■- Subaltern, i vol., 7s. 6d.
THE D'EYNCOURTS OF FAIRLEIGH. By
Thomas Rowland Skemp. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
npHE HEIR OF REDDESMONT. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
nPHE INSIDIOUS THIEF: a Tale for Humble
-■- Folks. By One of Themselves. Crown 8vo., 5s. Second
nnHE LOVE THAT LIVED. By Mrs. Eiloart, Author
-■- of " The Curate's Discipline," "Just a Woman," " Wom.an's
Wrong," &c. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
"Three volumes which most people will prefer not to leave till they have
read the last page of the third volume." — Pall Mall Gazette.
' ' One of the most thoroughly wholesome novels we have read for some
THE MAGIC OF LOVE. By Mrs. Forrest-Grant,
Author of " Fair, but not Wise." 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
" A very amusing novel." — Scotsman.
THE MISTRESS OF LANGDALE HALL: a
Romance of the West Riding. By Rosa Mackenzie
Kettle. Complete in one handsome volume, with Frontispiece
and Vignette by Percival Skelton. 4s., post free.
*' The story is interesting and very pleasantly written, and for the sake
of both author and publisher we cordially wish it the reception it deserves."
— Saturday Review.
THE SECRET OF TWO HOUSES. By Fanny
Fisher. 2 vols., 21s.
THE SEDGEBOROUGH WORLD. By A. Fare-
brother. 2 vols., 2 IS.
THE SHADOW OF ERKSDALE. By Bourton
Marshall. 3 vols, 31s. 6d.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
Samuel Tinsley's Publications. 11
nPHE SURGEON'S SECRET. By Sydney Mostyn,
-*- Author of " Kitty's Rival," etc. Crown 8vo., los. 6d.
"A most exciting novel — the best on our list. It may be fairly recom-
mended as a very extraordinary book." — yohn Bull.
THE THORNTONS *OF THORNBURY. By Mrs.
Henry Lowther Chermside. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
THE TRUE STORY OF HUGH NOBLE'S
FLIGHT. By the Authoress of "What Her Face Said."
I OS. 6d.
"A pleasant story, with touches of exquisite pathos, well told by one
who is master of an excellent and sprightly style." — Stafidard.
THE WIDOW UNMASKED; or, the Firebrand in
the Family. By Flora F. Wylde. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
TIMOTHY CRIPPLE; or, "Life's a Feast." By
Thomas Auriol Robinson. 2 vols., 21s.
' ' This is a most amusing book, and the author deserves great credit for
the novelty of his design, and the fiuaint humour with which it is worked
out." — Public Opinion.
TIM'S CHARGE. By Amy Campbell. i vol., crown
8vo, 7 s. 6d.
nnoO LIGHTLY BROKEN. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
*• a very pleasing story ...... \&cy ^prQiiWy id\d."- Morning Post.
TOM DELANY. By Robert Thynne, Author of
" Ravensdale." 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
" A very bright, healthy, simply-told story." — Standard.
"All the individuals whom the reader meets at the gold-fields are well-
drawn, amongst whom not the least interesting is 'Terrible Mac.'" — Hour
" There is not a dull page in the book." — Scotsman.
rpoWER HALLOWDEANE. 2 vols., 21s.
'^rOXIE : a Tale. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
TWIXT CUP and LIP. By Mary Lovett-Cameron.
3 vols., 31S. 6d.
* ' Displays signs of more than ordinary promise. . . . As a whole the
novel cannot fail to please. Its plot is one that will arrest attention ; and
its characters., one and all, are full of life and have that nameless charm
which at once attracts and retains the sympathy of the reader." — Daily
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
12 Samuel Tinsley's Publications.
•'^p.WIXT WIFE AND FATHERLAND. 2 vols.,
" A bright, vigorous, and healthy story, and decidedly above the average
of books of this class. Being in two volumes it commands the reader's
unbroken attention to the very end.'' — Standard.
" It is by someone who has caught her (Baroness Tautphoeus) gift of
telling a charming story in the boldest manner, and of forcing us to take
an interest in her characters, which writers, far better from a literary point
of view, can never approach." — AthencBum.
npWO STRIDES OF DESTINY. By S. Brookes
-■- BUCKLEE. 3 vols., 3 IS. 6d.
TINDER PRESSURE. By T. E. Pemberton. 2
^ vols., 2 IS.
'XX/'AGES: a Story in Three Books. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
TITANDERING FIRES. By Mrs. M. C. Despard,
* * Author of " Chaste as Ice," &c. 3 vols., 31s. 6d.
"WEBS OF LOVE. (I. A Lawyer's Device.
'* II. Sancta SimpHcitas.) By G. E. H. i vol., Crown
8vo., los. 6d.
Tl/^EIMAR'S TRUST. By Mrs. Edward Christian.
^^ 3 vols., 3 IS. 6d.
' ' A novel which deserves to be read, and which, once begun, will not
be readily laid aside till the end." — Scotsman.
"WILL SHE BEAR IT? A Tale of the Weald.
^^ 3 vols., 3 IS. 6d.
"This is a clever story, easily and naturally told, and the reader's
interest sustained throughout. ... A pleasant, readable book, such as
we can heartily recommend." — Spectator.
OMAN'S AMBITION. By M. L. Lyons. 1 vol.,
TTE VAMPYRES ! A Legend of the National Betting
-*- Ring, showing what became of it. By the Spectre. In
striking Illustrated Cover, price 2s., post free.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
Samuel Tinsley's Publications. 13
EOBA D'lTALIA; or, Italian Lights and Shadows:
a record of Travel. By Charles W. Heckethorn. In 2
vols., 8vo, price 30s.
'T'HE EMPEROR AND THE GALILEAN: an
-*- Historical Drama. Translated from the Norwegian of
Henrik Ibsen, by Catherine Ray. In i vol., crown 8vo,
Tj^TYMONIA. In i vol., crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
HOW I SPENT MY TWO YEARS' LEAVE ; or. My
Impressions of the Mother Country, ihe Continent of
Europe, the United States of America, and Canada. By an
Indian Officer. In one vol. 8vo. Handsomely bound. Price
FACT AGAINST FICTION. The Habits and
Treatment of Animals Practically Considered. Hydro-
phobia and Distemper. With some remarks on Darwin. By
the Hon. Grantley F. Berkeley. 2 vols., 8vo., 30s.
MALTA SIXTY YEARS AGO. With a Concise
History of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the
Crusades, and Knights Templars. By Col. Claudius Shaw.
Handsomely bound in cloth, los. 6d., gilt edges, 12s.
ON THE MISMANAGEMENT OF THE PUBLIC
RECORD OFFICE. By J. Pym Yeatman, Barrister-
at-Law. In Wrapper, price is.
LETTER TO THE QUEEN ON HER RETIRE-
MENT FROM PUBLIC LIFE. By One of Her Majesty's
most Loyal Subjects. In wrapper, price is., post free.
THE USE AND ABUSE OF IRRATIONAL ANI-
MALS ; with some Remarks on the Essential Moral
Difference between Genuine " Sport " and the Horrors of
Vivisection. In wrapper, price is.
CONFESSIONS OF A WEST-END USURER. In
Illustrated Cover, price is.
THE STOCK EXCHANGE UNMASKED. In
Wrapper, price is.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
14 Samuel Tinsley's Publications.
HARRY'S BIG BOOTS : a Fairy Tale, for " Smalle
Folke." By S. E. Gay. With 8 Full-page Illustrations
and a Vignette by the author, drawn on wood by Percival
Skelton. Crown 8vo., handsomely bound in cloth, price 5s.
' ' Some capital fun will be found in ' Harry's Big Boots. "... The illustra-
tions are excellent, and so is the story." — Pall Mall Gazette.
lyrOVING EARS. By the Ven. Archdeacon Weakhead,
-^*-^ Rector of Newtown, Kent, i vol., crown 8vo., 5s.
A TRUE FLEMISH STORY. By the Author of
■^-^ "The Eve of St. Nicholas." In wrapper, is.
'THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE SECTS. Crown
■^ 8vo., price 5s.
A NOTHER WORLD; or. Fragments from the Star
■^-^ City of Montalluyah. By Hermes. Third Edition, re-
vised, with additions. Post 8vo., price 1 23.
'THE FALL OF MAN : An Ansvi^er to Mr. Darwin's
-*- " Descent of Man ; " being a Complete Refutation, by
common-sense arguments, of the Theory of Natural Selection.
'THE RITUALIST'S PROGRESS ; or, A Sketch of the
-*- Reforms and Ministrations of the Rev. Septimius Alban,
Member of the E.C.U., Vicar of S. Alicia, Sloperton. By
A. B. Wildered, Parishioner. Fcp. 8vo. 2s. 6d. cloth.
MISTRESSES AND MAIDS. By Hubert Curtis,
Author of " Helen," etc. Price id.
EPITAPHIANA; or, the Curiosities of Churchyard
Literature : being a Mis-cellaneous Collection of Epitaphs,
with an INTRODUCTION. By W. Fairley. Crown 8vo., cloth,
price 55. Post free.
"Entertaining." — PaU Mall Gazette.
"A capital collection." — Cou7-t Circular
"A very readable volume. " — Daily Review.
"A most interesting book." — Leeds JMercuty.
" Interesting and amusing." Nonconformist.
" Particularly entertaining." — Public Opinion.
" A curious and entertaining volume." — Oxford Chronicle.
"A very interesting collection." — Civil Service Gazette.
'^rWELVE NATIONAL BALLADS (First Series).
-L Dedicated to Liberals of all classes. By Philhelot,
of Cambridge ; in ornamental cover, price sixpence, post free.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
Samuel Tinsley's Publications. 15
HE DEATH OF ^GEUS, and other Poems. By
W. H. A. Emra, Fcp. 8vo., 5s.
ELEN, and other Poems. By Hubert Curtis.
Fcp. 8vo,,3s. 6d.
MISPLACED LOVE. A Tale of Love, Sin, Sorrow,
and Remorse, i vol., crown 8vo., 5 s.
THE SOUL SPEAKS, and other Poems. By Francis
H. H EMERY. In wrapper, is.
SUMMER SHADE AND WINTER SUNSHINE:
Poems. By Rosa Mackenzie Kettle, Author of" The
Mistress of Langdale Hall." New Edition. 2s. 6d., cloth.
THE WITCH of NEMI, and other Poems. By
Edward Brennan. Crown Svo., los. 6d.
MARY DESMOND, AND OTHER POEMS. By
Nicholas J. Gannon. Fcp. Svo., 4s., cloth. Second
THE GOLDEN PATH : a Poem. By Isabella
Stuart. 6d., sewed.
'I^HE REDBREAST OF CANTERBURY CATHE-
-L DRAL : Lines from the Latin of Peter du Moulin, some-
time a Prebendary of Canterbury. Translated by the Rev.
F. B. Wells, M.A., Rector of Woodchurch. Handsomely
bound, price is.
'T'HETICHBORNE AND ORTON AUTOGRAPHS;
-*- comprising Autograph Letters of Roger Tichborne,
Arthur Orton (to Mary Ann Loder), and the Defendant (early
letters to Lady Tichborne, &c.), in facsimile. In wrapper,
BALAK AND BALAAM IN EUROPEAN COS-
TUME. By the Rev. James Kean, M.A., Assistant to
the Incumbent of Markinch, Fife. 6d., sewed.
ANOTHER ROW AT DAME EUROPA'S SCHOOL.
Showing how John's Cook made an Irish Stew, and
what came of it. 6d., sewed.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
16 Samuel Tinsley's Publications.
NOTICE.— SECOND EDITION.
TTNTRODDEN SPAIN, and her Black Country.
Being Sketches of the Life and Character of the Spaniard of the
Interior. By Hugh James Rose, M.A., of Oriel College, Oxford;
Chaplain to- the Englishf French, and German Mining Companies of
Linaries ; and formerly Acting Chaplain to Her I^Iajesty's Forces at
Dover Garrison. In 2 vols., 8vo., price 30s.
The Times says — " These volumes form a very pleasing commentary on
a land and a people to which Englishmen will always turn with sympathetic
The Saturday Review says— " His title of 'Untrodden Spain' is no
misnomer. He leads us into scenes and among classes of Spaniards where
few English writers have preceded him. . . . We can only recommend our
readers to get it and search for themselves. Those who are most inti-
mately acquainted with Spain will best appreciate its varied excellences,"
The Spectator says — "The author's kindliness is as conspicuous as his
closeness of observation and fairness of judgment ; his sympathy with the
people inspires his pen as happily as does his artistic appreciation of the
country ; and both have combined in the production of a work of striking
novelty and sterling value."
The Athenseum says — " We regret that we cannot make further extracts,
for ' Untrodden Spain ' is by far the best book upon Spanish peasant hfe
tnat we have ever met with."
The Literary Churchman says- -" Seldom has a book of travel come
before us which has so taken our fancy in reading, and left behind it, when
the reading was over, so distinct an impression."
OVER THE BORDERS OF CHRISTENDOM AND
ESLAMIAH ; or, Travels in the Summer of 1875 through
Hungary, Schlavonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Dalmatia, and Mon-
tenegro to the North of Albania. By James Creagh, Author
of " A Scamper to Sebastopol." 2 vols., post 8vo, 25s.
ITALY REVISITED. By A. Gallenga (of The
Times), Author of " Country Life in Piedmont," &c., &c. 2 vols.,
8vo., price 30s.
CANTON AND THE BOGUE : the Narrative of an
Eventful Six Months in China. By Walter William
MUNDY. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
LONDON IN THE WORKS OF CHARLES
DICKENS. By T. Edgar Pemberton, Author of
" Under Pressure." Crown 8vo, 6s.
Samuel Tinsley, 10, Southampton Street, Strand.
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