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A linguist soon arrived at the factory, bringing a letter from Mr. Smith to the Captain of his ship, desiring he would send up the gunner, or some other person, to be tried by the mandarins; and this was forwarded on the 29th to Whampoa, backed by a letter from the Council. On the 30th the unfortunate gunner, an old man, was brought to Canton, and sent into the city, with an address,“ signed by the English Council, and the representatives of the foreign nations, in his favour. He was received by a mandarin of superior rank who verbally stated that no apprehensions need be entertained as to his life, and that when the Emperor's answer had been obtained he should be restored. In about an hour after, Mr. Smith returned to his factory, stating that he had been very civilly treated. On the 8th January following, the unhappy gunner was strangled!
This was the last instance of the kind to which the English had to submit in China, although not the last which has occurred at Canton; for the case of the poor innocent Italian, Terranova, given up by the Americans in 1821, was very similar.
Our own countrymen, warned of what they had to expect from Chinese justice and good faith, have on all subsequent occasions been ready to undergo any extremities rather than be parties to the death of an innocent man; and their exertions have in several instances been crowned with signal success.
Soon after the above unfortunate occurrence, in 1784, the attention of the British Government was naturally drawn to the growing magnitude and importance of the trade at Canton ; and it cannot be denied that since the mission of Lord Macartney to Peking, the general condition of the English at that place has been considerably bettered. It was in fact only four years after the death of the gunner that Colonel Cathcart was sent from England, (in 1788), in the Vestal frigate, as ambassador to
MISSION OF EARL MACARTNEY.
China. His death on the passage out, in the Straits of Sunda, put an entire stop to the mission for the time, and the frigate returned to England*; nor was it until 1792 that the project was renewed on a larger scale. In the month of January of that year, Mr. Dundas set on foot the proposal of a Chinese embassy, grounded on the consideration of our trade having gradually increased until its actual amount exceeded that of all other nations; to which it was added, that the intercourse of almost every other country with that empire had been attended with special missions to Peking. It was hoped that such a measure might relax the various trammels by which the commerce with China was shackled, relieve it from some of its exactions, and place our countrymen at Canton on a footing of greater respectability, as well as security, in relation to the local government. Lord Macartney accordingly proceeded from England in the Lion, a sixty-four gun-ship, in September, 1792, accompanied by Sir George Leonard Staunton, as Secretary of Legation. The occurrences and result of that embassy are so well known from the celebrated work of the last-named individual, as well as from the relation of Mr. Barrow, that it would be superfluous to dwell upon them here.
One of the principal effects of the mission was to draw a much greater share of the public attention towards China, and to lead gradually to the study of the language, literature, institutions, and manners of that vast and singular empire-a field which had hitherto been occupied almost exclusively by the French.
* The tomb of Colonel Cathcart is still marked by a handsome monument, visible from the anchorage of ships at Anjier Point.
Objects and Results of the Embassy of 1793—Affair of the Providence
Schooner-American Flag hoisted in 1802 ; hauled down in 1832— First Expedition to Macao-Mission to Cochin-China-Admiral Linois repulsed by China Fleet-Ladrones, or Chinese Pirates—a Chinese killed by a Sailor; who is not delivered up-Second Expedition to Macao -Ill Success of Admiral Drury-Interdict against Mr. Roberts, at Canton-A Linguist seized-His Majesty's ship Duris–Trade stopped by the Committee, who succeed in their objects-Mission of Lord Amherst, Question of the Ko-tow-Forts silenced by the Alceste Frigate-Cases of Homicide in 1320 and 1821-His Majesty's ship Topaze-Trade re opened --Fire of Canton-Failure of Hong Merchants-Discussions with Chinese--Factory invaded by Fooyuen-Letter from Governor-General to Viceroy-Voyage of the Amherst—Fighting between Smuggling Ships and Chinese-Termination of the Company's Charter.
One of the principal objects of Earl Macartney's mission to Peking was to obtain, if possible, the permission of the Emperor to trade at Ningpo, Chusan, Tien-tsin, and other places besides Canton. All discussions upon these points, and indeed every matter of business, were studiously avoided by the Chinese ministers and mandarins, during the residence of the embassy at Peking; but, in his letter to the King of England, the Emperor did not omit to state distinctly, that the British commerce must be strictly limited to the port of Canton. 6 You will not be able to complain,” adds he, “ that I had not clearly forewarned you. Let us therefore live in peace and friendship, and do not make light of my words.”
Were a judgment to be formed from the experiment which took place, in that same year, to trade at Chusan with the specific leave of the Emperor, the privilege would not seem to be a very valuable one. Captain