The Project Gutenberg eBook of Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

Author: Earl of James Bruce Elgin

Release date: January 1, 2004 [eBook #10610]
Most recently updated: December 20, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Robert Connal and PG Distributed Proofreaders from images

generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions






Having been consulted by the family and friends of the late Lord Elgin as to the best mode of giving to the world some record of his life, and having thus contracted a certain responsibility in the work now laid before the public, I have considered it my duty to prefix a few words by way of Preface to the following pages.

On Lord Elgin's death it was thought that a career intimately connected with so many critical points in the history of the British Empire, and containing in itself so much of intrinsic interest, ought not to be left without an enduring memorial. The need of this was the more felt because Lord Elgin was prevented, by the peculiar circumstances of his public course, from enjoying the familiar recognition to which he would else have been entitled amongst his contemporaries in England. 'For' (if I may use the words which I have employed on a former occasion) 'it is one of the sad consequences of a statesman's life spent like his in the constant service of his country on arduous foreign missions, that in his own land, in his own circle, almost in his own home, his place is occupied by others, his very face is forgotten; he can maintain no permanent ties with those who rule the opinion, or obtain the mastery, of the day; he has identified himself with no existing party; he has made himself felt in none of those domestic and personal struggles which, attract the attention and fix the interest of the many who contribute in large measure to form the public opinion of the time. For twenty years the few intervals of Lord Elgin's residence in these islands were to be counted not by years, but by months; and the majority of those who might be reckoned amongst his friends and acquaintances, remembered him chiefly as the eager and accomplished Oxford student at Christ Church or at Merton.'

The materials for supplying this blank were, in some respects, abundant. Besides the official despatches and other communications which had passed between himself and the Home Government during his successive absences in Jamaica, Canada, China, and India, he had in the two latter positions kept up a constant correspondence, almost of the nature of a journal, with Lady Elgin, which combines with his reflections on public events the expression of his more personal feelings, and thus reveals not only his own genial and affectionate nature, but also indicates something of that singularly poetic and philosophic turn of mind, that union of grace and power, which, had his course lain in the more tranquil walks of life, would have achieved no mean place amongst English thinkers and writers.

These materials his family, at my suggestion, committed to my friend Mr. Theodore Walrond, whose sound judgment, comprehensive views, and official experience are known to many besides myself, and who seemed not less fitted to act as interpreter to the public at large of such a life and character, because, not having been personally acquainted with Lord Elgin, or connected with any of the public transactions recorded in the following pages, he was able to speak with the sobriety of calm appreciation, rather than the warmth of personal attachment. In this spirit he kindly undertook, in the intervals of constant public occupations, to select from the vast mass of materials placed at his disposal such extracts as most vividly brought out the main features of Lord Elgin's career, adding such illustrations as could be gleaned from private or published documents or from the remembrance of friends. If the work has unavoidably been delayed beyond the expected term, yet it is hoped that the interest in those great colonial dependencies for which Lord Elgin laboured, has not diminished with the lapse of years. It is believed also that there is no time when it will not be good for his countrymen to have brought before them those statesmanlike gifts which accomplished the successful accommodation of a more varied series of novel and entangled situations than has, perhaps, fallen to the lot of any other public man within our own memory. Especially might be named that rare quality of a strong overruling sense of the justice due from man to man, from nation to nation; that 'combination of speculative and practical ability' (so wrote one who had deep experience of his mind) 'which peculiarly fitted him to solve the problem how the subject races of a civilised empire are to be governed;' that firm, courageous, and far-sighted confidence in the triumph of those liberal and constitutional principles (in the best sense of the word), which, having secured the greatness of England, were, in his judgment, also applicable, under other forms, to the difficult circumstances of new countries and diverse times.

'It is a singular coincidence,' said Lord Elgin, in a speech at Benares a few months before his end, 'that three successive Governors-General of India should have stood towards each other in the relationship of contemporary friends. Lord Dalhousie, when named to the government of India, was the youngest man who had ever been appointed to a situation of such high responsibility and trust. Lord Canning was in the prime of life; and I, if I am not already on the decline, am nearer to the verge of it than either of my contemporaries who have preceded me. When I was leaving England for India, Lord Ellenborough, who is now, alas! the only surviving ex-Governor-General, said to me, '"You are not a very old man; but, depend upon it, you will find yourself by far the oldest man in India."' To that mournful catalogue was added his own name within the brief space of one year; and now a fourth, not indeed bound to the others by ties of personal or political friendship, but like in energetic discharge of his duties and in the prime of usefulness in which he was cut off, has fallen by a fate yet more untimely.

These tragical incidents invest the high office to which such precious lives have been sacrificed with a new and solemn interest. There is something especially pathetic when the gallant vessel, as it were, goes down within very sight of the harbour, with all its accumulated treasures. But no losses more appeal at the moment to the heart of the country, no careers deserve to be more carefully enshrined in its grateful remembrance.


Deanery, Westminster: March 4,1872.




Birth and Parentage—School and College—Taste for Philosophy—Training for Public Life—M.P. for Southampton—Speech on the Address—Appointed Governor of Jamaica.



Shipwreck—Death of Lady Elgin—Position of a Governor in a West Indian
Colony such as Jamaica—State of Public Opinion in the Island—Questions
of Finance, Education, Agriculture, the Labouring Classes, Religion, the
Church—Harmonising Influences of British Connexion—Resignation
—Appointment to Canada.



State of the Colony—First Impressions—Provincial Politics—'Responsible
Government'—Irish Immigrants—Upper Canada—Change of Ministry—French
Habitans—The French Question—The Irish—The British—Discontents; their
Causes and Remedies—Navigation Laws—Retrospect—Speech on Education.



Discontent—Rebellion Losses Bill—Opposition to it—Neutrality of the
Governor—Riots at Montreal—Firmness of the Governor—Approval of Home
Government—Fresh Riots—Removal of Seat of Government from Montreal
—Forbearance of Lord Elgin—Retrospect.



Annexation Movement—Remedial Measures—Repeal of the Navigation Laws
—Reciprocity with the United States—History of the Two Measures—Duty of
Supporting Authority—Views on Colonial Government—Colonial Interests the
Sport of Home Parties—No Separation!—Self-Government not necessarily
Republican—Value of the Monarchical Principle—Defences of the Colony.



The 'Clergy Reserves'—History of the Question—Mixed Motives of the
Movement—Feeling in the Province—In Upper Canada—In Lower Canada—Among
Roman Catholics—In the Church—Secularisation—Questions of Emigration,
Labour, Land-tenure, Education, Native Tribes—Relations with the United
States—Mutual Courtesies—Farewell to Canada—At Home.



Origin of the Mission—Appointment of Lord Elgin—Malta—Egypt—Ceylon
—News of the Indian Mutiny—Penang—Singapore—Diversion of Troops to
India—On Board the 'Shannon'—Hong-Kong—Change of Plans—Calcutta and
Lord Canning—Return to China—Perplexities—Caprices of Climate—Arrival
of Baron Gros—Preparation for Action.



Improved Prospects—Advance on Canton—Bombardment and Capture—Joint
Tribunal—Maintenance of Order—Canton Prisons—Move Northward—Swatow
—Mr. Burns—Foochow—Ningpo—Chusan—Potou—Shanghae—Missionaries.



Advance to the Peiho—Taking of the Forts—The Peiho River—Tientsin
—Negotiations—The Treaty—The Eight of Sending a Minister to Pekin
—Return southward—Sails for Japan.



Embark for Japan—Coast Views—Simoda—Off Yeddo—Yeddo—Conferences—A
Country Ride—Peace and Plenty—Feudal System—A Temple—A Juggler
—Signing the Treaty—Its Terms—Retrospect.



Delays—Subterfuges defeated by Firmness—Revised Tariff—Opium Trade—Up
the Yangtze Kiang—Silver Island—Nankin—Rebel Warfare—The Hen-Barrier
—Unknown Waters—Difficult Navigation—Hankow—The Governor-General
—Return—Taking to the Gunboats—Nganching—Nankin—Retrospect—More
Delays—Troubles at Canton—Return to Hong-Kong—Mission completed
—Homeward Voyage



Lord Elgin in England—Origin of Second Mission to China—Gloomy
Prospects—Egypt—The Pyramids—The Sphinx—Passengers Homeward bound
—Ceylon—Shipwreck—Penang—Singapore—Shanghae—Meeting with Mr. Bruce
—Talien-Whan—Sir Hope Grant—Plans for Landing.



The Landing—Chinese Overtures—Taking of the Forts—The Peiho—Tientsin
—Negotiations broken off—New Plenipotentiaries—Agreement made—Agreement
broken—Treacherous Seizure of Mr. Parkes and others—Advance on Pekin
—Return of some of the Captives—Fate of the rest—Burning of the Summer
Palace—Convention signed—Funeral of the murdered Captives—Imperial
Palace—Prince Kung—Arrival of Mr. Bruce—Results of the Mission.



Leaving the Gulf—Detention at Shanghae—Kowloon—Adieu to China—Island
of Luzon—Churches—Government—Manufactures—General Condition—Island of
Mediterranean—England—Warm Reception—Dunfermline—Royal Academy Dinner
—Mansion House Dinner.



Appointed Viceroy of India—Forebodings—Voyage to India—Installation
—Deaths of Mr. Ritchie, Lord Canning, General Bruce—The Hot Season
—Business resumed—State of the Empire—Letters: the Army; Cultivation of
Cotton; Orientals not all Children; Missionaries; Rumours of Disaffection;
Alarms; Murder of a Native; Afghanistan; Policy of Lord Canning;
Consideration for Natives.



Duty of a Governor-General to visit the Provinces—Progress to the North-
West—Benares—Speech on the Opening of the Railway—Cawnpore—Grand
Durbar at Agra—Delhi—Hurdwar—Address to the Sikh Chiefs at Umballa
—Kussowlie—Simla—Letters: Supply of Labour; Special Legislation;
Missionary Gathering; Finance; Seat of Government; Value of Training at
Head-quarters; Aristocracies; against Intermeddling—The Sitana Fanatics
—Himalayas—Rotung Pass—Twig Bridge—Illness—Death—Characteristics



&c. &c.



[Sidenote: Birth and parentage.]

James, eighth Earl of Elgin and twelfth Earl of Kincardine, was born in London on July 20, 1811. His father, whose career as Ambassador at Constantinople is so well known in connection with the 'Elgin Marbles,' was the chief and representative of the ancient Norman house, whose hero was 'Robert the Bruce.' From him, it may be said that he inherited the genial and playful spirit which gave such a charm to his social and parental relations, and which helped him to elicit from others the knowledge of which he made so much use in the many diverse situations of his after-life. His mother, Lord Elgin's second wife, was a daughter of Mr. Oswald, of Dunnikier, in Fifeshire. Her deep piety, united with wide reach of mind and varied culture, made her admirably qualified to be the depositary of the ardent thoughts and aspirations of his boyhood; and, as he grew up, he found a second mother in his elder sister, Matilda, who became the wife of Sir John Maxwell, of Pollok. To the influence of such a mother and such a sister he probably owed the pliancy and power of sympathy with others for which he was remarkable, and which is not often found in characters of so tough a fibre. To them, from his earliest years, he confided the outpourings of his deeper religious feelings. One expression of such feeling, dated June 1821, may be worth recording as an example of that strong sense of duty and affection towards his brothers, which, beginning at that early age, marked his whole subsequent career. 'Be with me this week, in my studies, my amusements, in everything. When at my lessons, may I think only of them; playing when I play: when dressing, may I be quick, and never put off time, and never amuse myself but in playhours. Oh! may I set a good example to nay brothers. Let me not teach them anything that is bad, and may they not learn wickedness from seeing me. May I command my temper and passions, and give me a better heart for their good.'

[Sidenote: School and college.]

He learned the rudiments of Latin and Greek under the careful teaching of a resident tutor, Mr. Fergus Jardine. At the age of fourteen he went to Eton, and thence, in due time, to Christ Church, Oxford, where he found him self among a group of young men destined to distinction in after-life —Lord Canning, James Ramsay (afterwards Lord Dalhousie), the late Duke of Newcastle, Sidney Herbert, and Mr. Gladstone.

There is little to record respecting this period of his life; but a touching interest attaches to the following extracts from a letter written by his brother, Sir Frederick Bruce, in November, 1865.

'My recollections of Elgin's early life are, owing to circumstances, almost nothing. In the year 1820 he went abroad with my father and mother, and was away for two years. From that time I recollect nothing until he went to Eton; and his holidays were then divided between Torquay, where my eldest brother was, and Broomhall;[1] and of them my memory has retained nothing but the assistance in his later holidays he used to give me in classical studies.

We were together for about a year and a half at Oxford. But he was so far advanced in his studies, that we had very little in common to bring us together; and I hardly remember any striking fact connected with him, except one or two speeches at the Union Club, when in eloquence and originality he far outshone his competitors.[2]

'I do not know whether Mr. Welland is still alive: he probably, better than anyone, could give some sketch of his intellectual growth, and of that beautiful trait in his character, the devotion and abnegation he showed o poor Bruce[3] in his long and painful illness.

'He was always reserved about his own feelings and aspirations. Owing to the shortness of his stay at Oxford, he had to work very hard; and his friends, like Newcastle and Hamilton, were men who sought him for the soundness of his judgment, which led them to seek his advice in all matters. He always stood to them in the relation of a much older man. He had none of the frailties of youth, and, though very capable of enjoying its diversions, life with him from a very early date was "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." Its practical aspect to him was one of anxiety and difficulty, while his intellect was attracted to high and abstract speculation, and took little interest in the every-day routine which is sufficient occupation for ordinary minds. Like all men of original mind, he lived a life apart from his fellows.

'He looked upon the family estate rather as a trust than as an inheritance—as far more valuable than money on account of the family traditions, and the position which in our state of society is given to a family connected historically with the country. Elgin felt this deeply, and he clung to it in spite of difficulties which would have deterred a man of more purely selfish views.'

'It is melancholy to reflect,' adds Sir F. Bruce, 'how those have disappeared who could have filled up this gap in his history.' It is a reflection even more melancholy, that the loved and trusted brother, who shared so many of his labours and his aspirations, no longer lives to write that history, and to illustrate in his own person the spirit by which it was animated.

The sense of the difficulties above referred to strongly impressed his mind even before he went to Oxford, and laid the foundation of that habit of self-denial in all personal matters, which enabled him through life to retain a feeling of independence, and at the same time to give effect to the promptings of a generous nature. 'You tell me,' he writes to his father from college, 'I coin money. I uncoined your last order by putting it into the fire, having already supplied myself.'

About the middle of his Oxford career, a studentship fell vacant, which, according to the strange system then prevalent, was in the gift of Dr. Bull, one of the Canons of Christ Church. Instead of bestowing it, as was too commonly done, on grounds of private interest, Dr. Bull placed the valuable prize at the disposal of the Dean and Censors, to be conferred on the most worthy of the undergraduates. Their choice fell on James Bruce. In announcing this to a member of the Bruce family, Dr. Bull wrote: 'Dr. Smith, no less than the present college officers, assures me that there is no young man, of whatever rank, who could be more acceptable to the society, and none whose appointment as the reward of excellent deportment, diligence, and right-mindedness, would do more good among the young men.'

A letter written about this time to his father shows that the young student, with a sagacity beyond his years, discerned the germs of an evil which has since grown to a great height, and now lies at the root of some of the most troublesome questions connected with University Education.

In my own mind I confess I am much of opinion, that college is put off in general till too late;[4] and the gaining of honours therefore, becomes too severe to be useful to men who are to enter into professions. It was certainly originally intended that the degrees which require only a knowledge of the classics should be taken at an earlier age, in order to admit of a residence after they were taken, during which the student might devote himself to science or composition, and those habits of reflection by which the mind might be formed, and a practical advantage drawn from the stores of knowledge already acquired. By putting them off to so late an age, the consequence has been, that it has been necessary proportionably to increase the difficulty of their attainment, and to mix up in college examinations (which were supposed to depend upon study alone) essays in many cases of a nature that demands the most prolonged and deep reflection. The effect of this is evident. Those who, from circumstances, have neither opportunity nor leisure thus to reflect, must, in order to secure their success, acquire that kind of superficial information which may enable them to draw sufficiently plausible conclusions, upon very slight grounds; and [of] many who have this form of knowledge, most will eventually be proved (if this system is carried to an excess) to have but little of the substance of it.

He had meant to read for double honours, but illness, brought on by over- work, obliged him to confine himself to classics. All who know Oxford are aware, that the term 'Classics,' as there used, embraces not only Greek and Latin scholarship, but also Ancient History and Philosophy. In these latter studies the natural taste and previous education of James Bruce led him to take a special interest, and he threw himself into the work in no niggard spirit.[5] At the Michaelmas Examination of 1832, he was placed in the first class in classics, and common report spoke of him as 'the best first of his 'year.' Not long afterwards he was elected Fellow of Merton. He appears to have been a candidate also for the Eldon Scholarship, but without success. In a contest for a legal prize it was no discredit to be defeated by Roundell Palmer.

[Sidenote: Taste for philosophy.]

Some of his contemporaries have a lively remembrance of the eagerness with which, while still a student, he travelled into fields at that period beyond the somewhat narrow range of academic study. Professor Maurice at one time, Dr. Pusey at another, were his delighted companions in exploring the dialogues of Plato. Mr. Gladstone 'remembers his speaking of Milton's prose works with great fervour when they were at Eton together;' and adds the confession—interesting alike as regards both the young students—'I think it was from his mouth I first learned that Milton had written any prose,' This affection for those soul-stirring treatises of the great advocate of free speech and inquiry he always retained: they formed his constant companions wherever he travelled; and there are many occasions in which their influence may be traced on his thought and language. 'I would rather swallow a bushel of chaff than lose the precious grains of truth which may somewhere or other be scattered in it,' was a sentiment which, though expressed in much later life, was characteristic of his whole career. In this spirit he listened with deep interest to the roll of theological controversy then raging at Oxford, though he was never carried away by its violence.

In after life he had little leisure to pursue the philosophic studies commenced at Oxford; but they took deep and permanent hold on his mind, and formed in fact the groundwork of his great practical ability. This is well stated by Sir Frederick Bruce:—

In Elgin (to use the distinctions of Coleridge, whose philosophy he had thoroughly mastered) the Reason and Understanding were both largely developed, and both admirably balanced. And in this combination lay the secret of his success in so many spheres of action, so different in their characteristics, so alike in their difficulties. The process he went through was always the same. He set himself to work to form in his own mind a clear idea of each of the constituent parts of the problem with which he had to deal. This he effected partly by reading, but still more by conversation with special men, and by that extraordinary logical power of mind and penetration which not only enabled him to get out of every man all he had in him, but which revealed to those men themselves a knowledge of their own imperfect and crude conceptions, and made them constantly unwilling witnesses or reluctant adherents to views which originally they were prepared to oppose. To test the accuracy of their statements and observations, and to discriminate between what was fact and what was prejudice or misconception, he made use of the higher faculty of cultivated Reason, which enabled him, by his deep insight into the universal principles of human nature, of forms of government, &c., to bring to the consideration of particular facts the light of an a priori knowledge of what was to be expected under particular circumstances. The result was, that in an incredibly short time, and with little apparent study or effort, he attained an accurate and clear conception of the essential facts before him, and was thus enabled to strike out a course which he could consistently pursue amidst all difficulties, because it was in harmony with the actual facts and the permanent conditions of the problem he had to solve.

[Sidenote: Training for public life.]

The years which followed the completion of his academical studies—those golden years which generally determine the complexion of a man's future life—were not devoted in his case to any definite pursuit; for though he entered himself of Lincoln's Inn in June, 1835, he does not appear to have ever embarked in the professional study of law.

The scanty notices which remain of this period show him chiefly residing at Broomhall, where, in his father's absence, he takes his place in the affairs of the county of Fife; commands his troop of yeomanry; now presides at a farmers' dinner, for which be has written an appropriate song; now, at the request of Dr. Chalmers, speaks at a public meeting in favour of church extension. At one time we hear of long solitary rides over field and fell, during which the thoughts and feelings that stirred in him would take the shape of a sonnet or a poem, to be confided to one of his sisters; at another time he is keeping up a regular correspondence on abstruse questions of philosophy with his brother Frederick, still at Oxford.

In these pursuits, as well as in the somewhat harassing occupation of disentangling the family property from its embarrassments, be was preparing himself for future usefulness by the exercise of the same industry and patience, the same grasp both of details and of general purpose, which be showed in the political career gradually dawning upon him. It was observed that, whatsoever his hand found to do, he did it with all his might, as well as with a judgment and discretion beyond his years, and a tact akin to genius. He was undergoing, perhaps, the best training for the varied duties to which he was to be called—that peculiarly British 'discipline of mind, body, and heart' to which observers like Bunsen attribute the effectiveness of England's public men.

As early as 1834, when he had barely completed his twenty-third year, he published a Letter to the Electors of Great Britain, with the view of vindicating the policy and the position of the Tory leaders, more especially of the Duke of Wellington. A similar motive, the desire of protesting against a monopoly of liberal sentiments by the Whigs, and showing in his own person that a Tory was not necessarily a narrow bigot, impelled him to offer himself as a candidate at the election of 1837, on the occurrence of an unexpected vacancy in the representation of Fifeshire. But, coming forward at a moment's warning, he never had any chance of success, and was defeated by a large majority.

[Sidenote: M.P. for Southampton.]

In the year 1840, George, Lord Bruce, the eldest son of Lord Elgin by his first wife, died, unmarried, and James became heir to the earldom. On April 22, 1841, he married Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Mr. C.L. Cumming Bruce. At the general election in July of the same year he stood for the borough of Southampton, and was returned at the head of the poll. His political views at this time were very much those which have since been called 'Liberal Conservative.' Speaking at a great banquet at Southampton he said—

I am a Conservative, not upon principles of exclusionism—not from narrowness of view, or illiberality of sentiment—but because I believe that our admirable Constitution, on principles more exalted and under sanctions more holy than those which Owenism or Socialism can boast, proclaims between men of all classes and degrees in the body politic a sacred bond of brotherhood in the recognition of a common warfare here, and a common hope hereafter. I am a Conservative, not because I am adverse to improvement, not because I am unwilling to repair what is wasted, or to supply what is defective in the political fabric, but because I am satisfied that, in order to improve effectually, you must be resolved most religiously to preserve. I am a Conservative, because I believe that the institutions of our country, religious as well as civil, are wisely adapted, when duly and faithfully administered, to promote, not the interest of any class or classes exclusively, but the happiness and welfare of the great body of the people; and because I feel that, on the maintenance of these institutions, not only the economical prosperity of England, but, what is yet more important, the virtues that distinguish and adorn the English character, under God, mainly depend.

[Sidenote: Speech on the Address.]

Parliament met on August 19, and, on the 24th, the new member seconded the amendment on the Address, in a speech, of great promise. In the course of it he professed himself a friend to Free Trade, but Free Trade as explained and vindicated by Mr. Huskisson:—

He should at all times be prepared to vote for a free trade on principles of reciprocity, due regard being had to the interests which had grown up under our present commercial system, without which, as he conceived, the rights of the labouring classes could not be protected. Much had been on various occasions said about the interests of the capitalists and the landlords, but unless the measures of a Government were directed equally to secure the rights of the working classes, they never should be supported by a vote of his. It was true that the landlord might derive some increased value to his property from the increase of factories and other buildings upon it, and that the capitalist might more advantageously invest his capital, or he might withdraw it from a sinking concern; but the only capital of the labourer was his skill in his own particular walk, and it was a mockery to tell him that he could find a satisfactory compensation elsewhere.

But the most characteristic part of his speech was that in which he commented on the 'harsh, severe, and unjust terms' in which it had been the fashion to designate those who had taken an opposite view on these questions to that taken by Her Majesty's Government:—

In a day (he said) when all monopolies are denounced, I must he permitted to say that, to my mind, the monopoly which is the most intolerable and odious is the pretension to the monopoly of public virtue.

The amendment was carried by a large majority. Lord Melbourne resigned, and Sir Robert Peel became Prime Minister. About the same time, by the death of his father and his own succession to the peerage, the young Lord's brief career in the House of Commons was closed for ever; no Scottish peer being eligible, according to the commonly received opinion, to sit in the Lower House. He appears, indeed, to have had at one time an idea of pressing the question; but he abandoned this intention on finding that it had been entertained twenty-five years before by Lord Aberdeen, and given up by him on the ground, that the majority of the Scottish Peers looked upon the proposal as lowering to their body, and as implying inferiority on their part to the English Peers.

[Sidenote: Governor of Jamaica.]

At this time it seemed as if the fair promise of eloquence and statesmanship had been shown to public life only to be withdrawn from it; but a path was about to be opened, leading to a new field of action, distant, indeed, and often thankless, but giving scope for the exercise of gifts, both of mind and character, which can rarely be exhibited in a Parliamentary career. In March 1842, at the early age of thirty, he was selected by Lord Stanley, who was then Secretary for the Colonies, for the important post of Governor of Jamaica.

[1] The family seat In Fifeshire.

[2] The most distinguished of all those competitors has borne his testimony to the truth of this expression. 'I well remember,' Mr. Gladstone wrote after his death, placing him as to the natural gift of eloquence at the head of all those I knew either at Eton or at the University.'

[3] His elder brother.

[4] 'We are disposed, in fact, to regard the question, of University extension, in this sense, as depending entirely on the possibility of reducing the time required for a University degree, and we should like to see more attention paid to this point…. The opinion is strongly and widely entertained, that students now stay too long at the Public Schools and Universities, and that voting men ought not to be engaged in the mere preparatory studies of their life up to the age of twenty-three or twenty-four.'—Times, May 22, 1869.

[5] There remains a memorandum in his handwriting of a systematic course of study to be pursued for his degree, in which two points are remarkable—1st, the broad and liberal spirit in which it is conceived; 2ndly, that the whole is based on the Bible. Ancient History, together with Aristotle's Politics and the ancient orators, are to be read 'in connection with the Bible History,' with the view of seeing 'how all hang upon each other, and develops the leading schemes of Providence.' The various branches of mental and moral science he proposes, in like manner, 'to hinge upon the New Testament, as constituting, in another line, the history of moral and intellectual development.'



[Sidenote: Shipwreck.]
[Sidenote: Death of Lady Elgin.]

Lord Elgin sailed for Jamaica in the middle of April 1842. The West Indian steamers at that time held their rendezvous for the collection and distribution of the mails not, as now, at St. Thomas, but at a little island called Turk's Island, a mere sandbank, hedged with coral reefs. The vessel in which Lord Elgin was a passenger made this island during the night; but the captain, over anxious to keep his time, held on towards the shore. They struck on a spike of coral, which pierced the ship's side and held her impaled; fortunately so, for she was thus prevented from backing out to sea and foundering with all hands, as other vessels did. Though the ship itself became a total wreck, no lives were lost, and nearly everything of value was saved; but from the shock of that night Lady Elgin, though apparently little alarmed at the time, never recovered. Two months afterwards, in giving birth to a daughter, now Lady Elma Thurlow, she was seized with violent convulsions, which were nearly fatal; and though, to the surprise of the medical men, she rallied from this attack, her health was seriously impaired, and she died in the summer of the following year.

[Sidenote: Position of a Governor in a West Indian colony]

There are probably few situations of greater difficulty and delicacy than that of the Governor of a British colony which possesses representative institutions. A constitutional sovereign, but with frail and temporary tenure, he is expected not to reign only but to govern; and to govern under the orders of a distant minister, who, if he has one eye on the colony, must keep the other on home politics. Thus, without any power in himself, he is a meeting-point of two different and generally antagonistic forces—the will of the imperial government and the will of the local legislature. To act in harmony with both these forces, and to bring them into something of harmony with each other, requires, under the most favourable circumstances, a rare union of firmness with patience and tact. But the difficulties were much aggravated in a West Indian colony in the early days of Emancipation.

[Sidenote: such as Jamaica.]

Here the local legislature was a democratic oligarchy, partly composed of landowners, but chiefly of overseers, with no permanent stake in the country. And this legislature had to be induced to pass measures for the benefit of those very blacks of whose enforced service they had been deprived, and whose paid labour they found it difficult to obtain. Add to this that, in Jamaica, a long period of contention with the mother-country had left a feeling of bitter resentment for the past, and sullen despondency as regards the future. Moreover, the balance had to be held between the Church of England on the one hand, which was in possession of all the ecclesiastical endowments, and probably of all the learning and cultivation of the island, and, on the other hand, the various sects, especially that of the Baptists, who, having fought vigorously for the Negroes in the battle of Emancipation, now held undisputed sway over their minds, and who, as was natural, found it difficult to abandon the position of demagogues and agitators.

Lord Elgin was at once fortunate and unfortunate in coming after the most conciliatory and popular of governors, Sir C. Metcalfe. The island was in a state of peace and harmony which had been long unknown to it; but the singular affection, which Metcalfe had inspired in all classes, made them look forward with the most gloomy forebodings to the advent of his successor.

[Sidenote: State of opinion in the island.]

Moreover, to use Lord Elgin's own language, a tone of despondency with reference to the prospects of the owners of property had long been considered the test of a sincere regard for the welfare of Jamaica. He who had been most successful in proclaiming the depression under which the landed and trading interests laboured, had been held to be in the popular acceptation of the term the truest friend to the colony.

Nothing could be more alien to the spirit of inquiry and enterprise which leads to practical improvement. In an enervating climate, with a proprietary for the most part non-resident, and a peasantry generally independent of their employers, much encouragement is requisite to induce managers to encounter the labour and responsibility which attends the introduction of new systems; but, by reason of the unfortunate prepossession above described, the announcement of a belief that the planters had not exhausted the resources within their reach, had been considered a declaration of hostility towards that class.

And truly (wrote Lord Elgin himself) the onus probandi lay, and pretty heavily too, upon the propounder of the obnoxious doctrine of hope. Was it not shown on the face of unquestioned official returns, that the exports of the island had dwindled to one-third of their former amount? Was it not attested even in Parliament, that estates, which used to produce thousands annually, were sinking money year after year? Was it not apparent that the labourers stood in a relation of independence towards the owners of capital and land, totally unknown to a similar class in any fully peopled country? All these were facts and indisputable. And again, was it not equally certain that undeserved aspersions were cast upon the planters? Were they not held responsible for results over which they could exercise no manner of control? and was it not natural that, having been thus calumniated, they should be somewhat impatient of advice?

From the day of Lord Elgin's arrival in the colony, he was convinced that the endeavour to work a change on public opinion in this respect, would constitute one of his first and most important duties; but he was not insensible to the difficulties with which the experiment was surrounded. He felt that a new Governor, rash enough to assert that all was not yet accomplished which ingenuity and perseverance could achieve, might have perilled his chance of benefiting the colony. Men would have said, and with some truth, 'he knows nothing of the matter; his information is derived from A. or B.; he is a tool in their hands; he will undo all the good which others have effected by enlisting the sympathies of England in our favour.' He would have been deemed a party man, and become an object of suspicion and distrust.

It was soon found, however, that the new Governor was as anxious as his predecessor had been to conciliate the good will and promote the interests of all ranks of the community in a spirit of perfect fairness and moderation. The agitation of vexed constitutional questions he earnestly deprecated as likely to interrupt the harmony happily prevailing between the several branches of the legislature, and to divert the attention of influential members of the community from the material interests of the colony to the consideration of more exciting subjects. 'I do not underrate,' he said, 'the importance of constitutional questions, nor am I insensible to the honour which may be acquired by their satisfactory adjustment. In the present crisis of our fortunes, however, I am impressed with the belief that he is the best friend to Jamaica who concentrates his energies on the promotion of the moral well-being of the population, and the restoration of the economical prosperity of the island.'

[Sidenote: Questions of finance]

The finances of the colony were at this time in a state to require the most careful treatment. At a moment when the recent violent change in the distribution of the wealth of the community had left the proprietary body generally in a depressed condition, the Legislature had to provide for the wants of the newly emancipated population, by increasing at great cost the ecclesiastical and judicial establishments; and at the same time it was necessary that a quantity of inconvertible paper recently set afloat should be redeemed, if the currency was to be fixed on a sound basis. Under these conditions it was not easy to equalise the receipts and expenditure of the island treasury; and the difficulty was not diminished by the necessity of satisfying critics at home. Before long an occasion arose to test Lord Elgin's tact and discretion in mediating on such questions between the colony and the mother-country.

Towards the end of 1842 a new tariff was enacted by the legislature of the island. When the Act embodying it was sent home, it was found to violate certain economical principles recently adopted in this country. An angry despatch from Downing Street informed Lord Elgin that it was disapproved, and that nothing but an apprehension of the financial embarrassments that must ensue prevented its being formally disallowed. In terms almost amounting to a reprimand, it was intimated that the adoption of such objectionable enactments might be prevented if the Governor would exercise the legitimate influence of his office in opposing them; and it was added, 'If, unfortunately, your efforts should be unsuccessful, and if any such bill should be presented for your acceptance, it is Her Majesty's pleasure and command that you withhold your assent from it.'

Lord Elgin replied by a temperate representation, that it was but natural that traces of a policy long sanctioned by the mother-country should remain in the legislation of the colony; that the duties in question were not found injuriously to check trade, while they were needed to meet the expenditure: moreover, that the Assembly was, and always had been, extremely jealous of any interference in the matter of self-taxation: lastly, that 'while sensible that the services of a Governor must be unprofitable if he failed to acquire and exercise a legitimate moral influence in the general conduct of affairs, he was at the same time convinced that a just appreciation of the difficulties with which the legislature of the island had yet to contend, and of the sacrifices and exertions already made under the pressure of no ordinary embarrassments, was an indispensable condition to his usefulness.'

The Home Government felt the weight of these considerations, and the correspondence closed with the revocation of the peremptory command above quoted.

[Sidenote: Education.]

The object which Lord Elgin had most at heart was to improve the moral and social condition of the Negroes, and to fit them, by education, for the freedom which had been thrust upon them; but, with characteristic tact and sagacity, he preferred to compass this end through the agency of the planters themselves. By encouraging the application of mechanical contrivances to agriculture, he sought to make it the interest not only of the peasants to acquire, but of the planters to give them, the education necessary for using machinery; while he lost no opportunity of impressing on the land-owning class that, if they wished to secure a constant supply of labour, they could not do so better than by creating in the labouring class the wants which belong to educated beings.

The following extracts from private letters, written at the time to the Secretary of State, contain the freshest and best expression of his views on these and similar questions of island politics:—

In some quarters I am informed, that less desire for education is shown now by the Negroes than during the apprenticeship; and the reason assigned is, that it was then supposed that certain social and political advantages would accrue to those who were able to read, but that now, when all is gained, and all are on a par in these respects, the same zeal for learning no longer prevails. It has been suggested that a great impulse might be given in this direction, by working on the feeling which existed formerly; confining the franchise for instance to qualified persons who could read, or by some other expedient of the same nature. This being an important constitutional question, I have not thought it right to give the notion any encouragement; but I submit it as coming from persons who are, I believe, sincere well-wishers to the Negro. It is not very easy to keep children steadily at school, or to enforce a very rigid discipline on them when they are there. Parents who have never been themselves educated, cannot be expected to attach a very high value to education. The system of Slavery was not calculated to strengthen the family ties; and parents do not, I apprehend, exercise generally a very steady and consistent control in their families. The consequence is, that children are pretty generally at liberty to attend school or not as they please. If the rising generation, however, are not educated, what is to become of this island? That they have withdrawn themselves to a considerable extent from field labour is, I think, generally admitted. It is therefore undoubtedly desirable that all legitimate inducements should be held out, both to parents and children, to encourage the latter to attend school.

In urging the adoption of machinery in aid of manual labour, one main object I have had in view has ever been the creation of an aristocracy among the labourers themselves; the substitution of a given amount of skilled labour for a larger amount of unskilled. My hope is, that we may thus engender a healthy emulation among the labourers, a desire to obtain situations of eminence and mark among their fellows, and also to push their children forwards in the same career. Where labour is so scarce as it is here, it is undoubtedly a great object to be able to effect at a cheaper rate by machinery, what you now attempt to execute very unsatisfactorily by the hand of man. But it seems to me to be a still more important object to awaken this honourable ambition in the breast of the peasant, and I do not see how this can be effected by any other means. So long as labour means nothing more than digging cane holes, or carrying loads on the head, physical strength is the only thing required, no moral or intellectual quality comes into play. But, in dealing with mechanical appliances, the case is different; knowledge, acuteness, steadiness are at a premium. The Negro will soon appreciate the worth of these qualities, when they give him position among his own class. An indirect value will thus attach to education.

Every successful effort made by enterprising and intelligent individuals to substitute skilled for unskilled labour; every premium awarded by societies in acknowledgment of superior honesty, carefulness, or ability, has a tendency to afford a remedy the most salutary and effectual which can be devised for the evil here set forth.

[Sidenote: Agriculture.]

With the view of awakening an interest in the subject of agricultural improvements, Lord Elgin himself offered a premium of 100_l_. for the best practical treatise on the cultivation of the cane, with a special reference to the adoption of mechanical aids and appliances in aid or in lieu of mechanical labour. In forwarding to Lord Stanley printed copies of eight of the essays which competed for the prize, he wrote as follows:—

Much, I believe, is involved in the issue of this and similar experiments. So long as the planter despairs,—so long as he assumes that the cane can be cultivated and sugar manufactured at profit only on the system adopted during slavery,—so long as he looks to external aids (among which I class immigration) as his sole hope of salvation from ruin—with what feelings must he contemplate all earnest efforts to civilise the mass of the population? Is education necessary to qualify the peasantry to carry on the rude field operations of slavery? May not some persons even entertain the apprehension, that it will indispose them to such pursuits? But let him, on the other hand, believe that, by the substitution of more artificial methods for those hitherto employed, he may materially abridge the expense of raising his produce, and he cannot fail to perceive that an intelligent, well-educated labourer, with something of a character to lose, and a reasonable ambition to stimulate him to exertion, is likely to prove an instrument more apt for his purposes than the ignorant drudge who differs from the slave only in being no longer amenable to personal restraint.[1]

One of the measures in which Lord Elgin took the most active interest was the establishment of a 'General Agricultural Society for the Island of Jamaica,' and he was much gratified by receiving Her Majesty's permission to give to it the sanction of her name as Patroness.

I am confident (he writes to Lord Stanley) that the notice which Her Majesty is pleased to take of the institution will be duly appreciated, and will be productive of much good.

You must allow me to remark (he adds) that moral results of much moment are involved in the issue of the efforts which we are now making for the improvement of agriculture in this colony. Not only has the impulse which has been imparted to the public mind in Jamaica been beneficial in itself and in its direct effects, but it has, I am firmly persuaded, checked opposing tendencies, which threatened very injurious consequences to Negro civilisation. To reconcile the planter to the heavy burdens which he was called to bear for the improvement of our establishments and the benefit of the mass of the population, it was necessary to persuade him that he had an interest in raising the standard of education and morals among the peasantry; and this belief could be imparted only by inspiring a taste for a more artificial system of husbandry. By the silent operation of such salutary convictions, prejudices of old standing are removed; the friends of the Negro and of the proprietary classes find themselves almost unconsciously acting in concert, and conspiring to complete that great and holy work of which the emancipation of the slave was but the commencement.

[Sidenote: The labouring classes.]

On a general survey of the state of the labouring classes, taken after he had been a little more than a year in the island, he was able to give a most favourable report of their condition, in all that concerns material prosperity and comfort of living.

The truth is (he wrote) that our labourers are for the most part in the position of persons who live habitually within their incomes. They are generally sober and frugal, and accustomed to a low standard of living. Their gardens supply them in great measure with the necessaries of life. The chief part, therefore, of what they receive in money, whether as wages or as the price of the surplus produce of their provision grounds, they can lay aside for occasional calls, and, when they set their minds on an acquisition or an indulgence, they do not stickle at the cost. I am told that, in the shops at Kingston, expensive articles of dress are not unusually purchased by members of the families of black labourers. Whether the ladies are good judges of the merits of silks and cambrics I do not pretend to decide; but they pay ready money, and it is not for the sellers to cavil at their discrimination. The purchase of land, as you well know, is going on rapidly throughout the island; and the money thus invested must have been chiefly, though not entirely, accumulated by the labouring classes since slavery was abolished. A proprietor told me the other day that he had, within twelve months, sold ten acres of land in small lots, for the sum of 900_l_. The land sold at so high a price is situated near a town, and the purchasers pay him an annual rent of 50_s_. per acre, for provision grounds on the more distant parts of the estate. Again, in most districts, the labourers are possessed of horses, for which they often pay handsomely. A farm servant not unfrequently gives from 12_l_. to 20_l_. for an animal which he intends to employ, not for purposes of profit, but in riding to church, or on occasions of festivity.

Whence then are these funds derived? That the peasantry are generally frugal and sober I have already observed. But they are assuredly not called to tax their physical powers unduly, in order to achieve the independence I have described. Although the estate I lately visited is well managed, and the best understanding subsists between employer and labourers, the latter seldom made their appearance in the field until some time after I had sallied forth for my morning walk. They work on the estate only nine days in the fortnight, devoting the alternate Fridays to the cultivation of their provision grounds, and the Saturdays to marketing and amusements. On the whole, seeing that the climate is suited to their constitutions, that they experience none of the drawbacks to which new settlers, even in the most fertile countries, are subject, that they are by disposition and temperament a cheerful race, I much doubt whether any people on the face of the globe enjoy as large a share of happiness as the Creole peasantry of this island. And this is a representation not over-charged, or highly coloured, but drawn in all truth and sobriety of the actual condition of a population which was, a very few years ago, subjected to the degrading, depressing influences of slavery. Well may you and others who took part in the work of emancipation rejoice in the success of your great experiment.

But was it possible to indulge the same feelings of exultation when contemplating their condition morally, and marking the indications of advance towards a higher state of civilisation? In the island itself controversy was rife as to the degree in which such results had been already achieved, and the promise of further progress. Some of the more enthusiastic and ardent of that class of persons who had been the zealous advocates of the interests of the Negro population at a former period, were now disposed to judge most hardly of their conduct. Their very sympathy with the victims of the system formerly prevailing, led them to conceive unbounded hopes of the benefits, moral and social alike, which a change would effect; the admirable behaviour of the peasantry at the time of emancipation, confirmed such anticipations; and they were now beginning to experience disappointment on finding that all they looked for was not immediately realised. These feelings, however, Lord Elgin did not share.

On the whole (he said) I feel confident that the moral results consequent on the introduction of freedom, have been as satisfactory as could in reason have been expected; and, notwithstanding the very serious pecuniary loss which this measure has entailed in many quarters, few indeed, even if they had the power to do so, would consent to return to the system which has been abandoned. It is gratifying in the highest degree to observe the feelings now subsisting between those who lately stood to each other in the relation of master and slave. Past wrongs are forgotten, and in the every-day dealings between man and man the humanity of the labourer is unhesitatingly recognised.

[Sidenote: Religion.]

We have seen how zealously Lord Elgin exerted himself to realise his own hopes for the prosperity of the colony, by encouraging the spread of secular and industrial education. Not that he regarded secular education as all-sufficient. His sympathies[2] were entirely with those who believe that, while 'it is a great and a good thing to know the laws that govern this world, it is better still to have some sort of faith in the relations of this world with another; that the knowledge of cause and effect can never replace the motive to do right and avoid wrong; that our clergymen and ministers are more useful than our schoolmasters; that Religion is the motive power, the faculties are the machines: and the machines are useless without the motive power.'[3] But, as a practical statesman, he felt that the one kind of education he had it in his power to forward directly by measures falling within his own legitimate province; while the other he could only promote indirectly, by pointing out the need for it, and drawing attention to the peculiar circumstances of the island respecting it. The following are a few of the passages in which he refers to the subject:—

[Sidenote: The Church.]

Much has been done by the island legislature—more, I think, than could reasonably have been looked for under the circumstances—towards making provision for the religious necessities of the population. But the daily formation of small mountain settlements, and the consequent dispersion of large numbers in districts remote from the established places of worship, adds greatly to the difficulty of extending to all these humanising and civilising influences. The Church can keep its footing here only by the exhibition of missionary zeal and devotion, tempered by a spirit of Christian benevolence and conciliation. I regret to say that some of the unhappy controversies which are vexing the Church in England have broken out here of late. Discussions of this nature are singularly unprofitable where the people need to be instructed in the very rudiments of Christian knowledge, and where it is so desirable to keep well with all who profess to have a similar object in view.

A single bishop in a colony, where large funds are provided by the State for Church purposes, and where he is beyond the reach of the public opinion of England, exercises a very great and irresponsible authority. If a zealous man, of extreme views on points of doctrine, the clergy of the diocese, looking to him alone for advancement in their profession, are apt to echo his sentiments; and the wide folding doors of our mother Church, which she flings open for the reception of so many, to use Milton's words, 'brotherly dissimilitudes that are not vastly disproportioned,' are contracted, to the exclusion, perchance, of some whom it were desirable to retain in our communion. If, on the other hand, he be a man of but moderate piety, ability, and firmness, the importunity of friends at a distance, who may wish to provide for dependents or connections, and other considerations which need not be enumerated, may tempt him to lower the standard of ministerial qualification, of which he is, of course, the sole judge. It requires a person of much Christian principle, and singular moderation, discretion, and tact, to administer powers of this nature well. I have every hope that the bishop whom you have sent us will prove equal to the task. For the sake of humanity and civilisation, as well as for the interests of the island, I fervently trust that I may not be disappointed in my expectations on this head.

The complex and thwarting currents of interest and opinion that may exist in a colony respecting the maintenance of a State Church are well illustrated in the following extracts:—

Very soon after I arrived here, I felt satisfied that the conflicts of party in the colony would ere long assume a new character. I perceived that the hostility to the proprietary interests, which was supposed to actuate certain classes of persons who had much influence with the peasantry, was on the decline. Should a state of quiescence prove incompatible with the maintenance of their hold on their flocks, analogy led me to anticipate that the Established Church would, in all probability, become an object of attack.

Considering the facility with which the franchise may be acquired, it is not a little remarkable that the constituency should have hitherto increased so slowly. This phenomenon has not escaped the notice of the opponents of the union of Church and State, and they have ascribed it to the true cause. They are sensible that all uneducated population in easy circumstances, without practical grievances, are not likely to be intent on the acquisition of political privileges. They have, therefore, undertaken to supply them with a grievance, in order to whet their appetite for the franchise, and also to provide them with guides who shall instruct them in the proper use of it. But in attempting to carry this scheme into effect they have encountered an obstacle, which has, for the time, entirely frustrated their intentions. The more educated and intelligent of the brown party listen with disapprobation to the tone in which the Baptist ministers and their adherents arrogate to themselves exclusively the title of friends and leaders of the black population. Many persons of this class have already embarked in public life; some, as members of Assembly, have taken part in those transactions which are the object of the bitterest denunciations of the Anti-Church party. A few are Churchmen, others Wesleyans. The prospect of a Baptist oligarchy ruling in undivided sway disquiets them. They have their doubts as to whether, in the present stage of our civilisation, the peasantry of this Island would evince much discrimination in their selection of a religion if left in that matter entirely to themselves. In the chequered array of colours which our religious world even now presents, comprising every shade, from Roman Catholicism and Judaism, to Myalism, and providing spiritual gratification for every eye, they still think it, on the whole, desirable that predominance should be given to some one over the rest. Many have experienced the bounty of the legislature, which has been most liberal in affording aid to all sects who have applied for it. They are not, therefore, as yet ready for the overthrow of the Church Establishment. But I will not take upon myself to affirm that, as a body, they are prepared to incur political martyrdom in its defence.

But apart from the difficulties—social, moral, and religious—at which we have glanced, there was enough in the political aspect of affairs to fill the Governor of Jamaica with anxiety. The franchise being within the reach of every one who chose to stretch out a hand and grasp it, might at any time be claimed by vast numbers of persons who had recently been slaves, and were still generally illiterate. And the Assembly for which this constituency had to provide members exercised great authority within its own sphere. It discharged a large portion of the functions which usually devolve upon an Executive Government; it initiated all legislative measures, besides voting the supplies from year to year. What hope was there that a body so constituted would wield such powers with discretion?

[Sidenote: Harmonising influence of British institutions.]

Lord Elgin's answer to this question shows that he already cherished that faith in the harmonising influence of British institutions on a mixed population, which afterwards, at a critical period of Canadian history, was the mainspring of his policy.

A sojourner in this sea of the Antilles, who is watching with heartfelt anxiety the progress of the great experiment of Negro emancipation (an experiment which must result in failure unless religion and civilisation minister to the mind that freedom which the enactments of law have secured for the body), might well be tempted to view the prospect to which I have now introduced you with some feelings of misgiving, were he not reassured by his firm reliance on the harmonising influence of British connexion, and the power of self- adaptation inherent in our institutions. On the one side he sees the model Republic of Hayti—a coloured community, which has enjoyed nearly half a century of entire independence and self-rule. And with what issues? As respects moral and intellectual culture, stagnation: in all that concerns material development, a fatal retrogression. He beholds there, at this day, a miserable parody of European and American institutions, without the spirit that animates either: the tinsel of French sentiment on the ground of negro ignorance: even the 'sacred right of 'insurrection' burlesqued: a people which has for its only living belief an ill-defined apprehension of the superiority of the white man, and, for the rest, blunders on without faith in what regards this world or that which is to come.

He turns his eyes to another quarter and perceives the cluster of states which have formed themselves from the breakup of the Spanish continental dominions. What ground of consolation or hope does he discover there?

These illustrations of the working of free systems constructed out of the wreck of a broken-down African Slave Trade are not indeed encouraging; but neither do they, in my opinion, warrant despair. I believe that by great caution and diligence, by firmness and gentleness on the part of the parent state, and much prudence in the instruments which it employs, a people with a heart and soul may be built up out of the materials in our hands. I regard our local constitution as a fait accompli, and have no desire to remove a stone of the fabric. I think that a popular representative system is, perhaps, the best expedient that can be devised for blending into one harmonious whole a community composed of diverse races and colour, and this conviction is strengthened when I read the observations of Sir H. Macleod and Governor Light, on the coloured classes in Demerara and Trinidad. In colonies which have no assemblies, it would appear that aspiring intellects have not the same opportunity of finding their level, and pent up ambitions lack a vent.

In studying the play of the various forces at work around him, and in endeavouring to direct them to good issues, Lord Elgin found the best solace for the domestic sorrow which darkened this period of his life. He lived chiefly in retirement, at a country-house called Craigton, in the Blue Mountains, with his sister, now Lady Charlotte Locker, and his brother Robert, who was also his most able and efficient secretary; seeing little society beyond that occasioned by official intercourse and receptions, which were never intermitted at Spanish Town, the seat of Government. The isolation and monotony of this position, broken only once by a conference held with some of the neighbouring Governors on a question of common interest respecting immigration, could not fail to be distasteful to his active spirit; and when it had lasted over three years, it was not unnatural that he should seek to be relieved from it. Early in 1845 we find him writing to Lord Stanley as follows:—

[Sidenote: Resignation.]

I am warned by the commencement of the year 1845 that I have filled the situation of Governor of Jamaica for as long a time as any of my predecessors since the Duke of Manchester. The period of my administration has not been marked by striking incidents, but it has been one of considerable social progress. Uninterrupted harmony has prevailed between the colonists and the local Government; and it may perhaps, without exaggeration, be affirmed, that the spirit of enterprise which has proceeded from Jamaica during the past two years has enabled the British West Indian colonies to endure, with comparative fortitude, apprehensions and difficulties which might otherwise have depressed them beyond measure. Circumstances have, however, occurred since my arrival in the colony, unconnected with public affairs, which have materially affected my views in life, and which made me contemplate with much repugnance the prospect of an indefinitely prolonged sojourn in this place. Without dwelling at any greater length on these painful topics, I venture to trust that you will acquit me of undue presumption when I assure you, that in my present forlorn and isolated position, nothing enables me to persevere in the discharge of my duties, except the hope that my humble services may earn for me your confidence and the approbation of my Sovereign, and prove not altogether unprofitable to the community over whose interests I am appointed to watch.

He remained, however, at his post for more than a year longer, and quitted it in the spring of 1846 on leave of absence, with the understanding that he should not be required to return to Jamaica.

[Sidenote: Appointment to Canada.]

During nearly the whole period of his government the seals of the Colonial Office had been held by Lord Stanley, to whom he owed his appointment; and at the break-up of the Tory party, in the beginning of 1846, they passed into the hands of his old schoolfellow and college friend, Mr. Gladstone. But he had scarcely arrived in England when a new Secretary arose in the person of Lord Grey, to whom he was unknown except by reputation. It is all the more creditable to both parties that, in spite of their political differences, Lord Grey should first have endeavoured to induce him, on public grounds alone, to retain the government of Jamaica, with the promise of his unreserved confidence and most cordial support; and shortly afterwards, should have offered to him the still more important post of Governor-General of British North America. 'I believe,' wrote his Lordship, in making the offer, 'that it would be difficult to point out any situation in which great talents would find more scope for useful exertion, or are more wanted at this moment, and I am sure that I could not hope to find anyone whom I could recommend to Her Majesty for that office with so much confidence as yourself.'

So splendid an offer, made in a manner so gratifying, might well overcome any reluctance which Lord Elgin felt to embark at once on a fresh period of expatriation, and to resume labours which, however cordially they may be appreciated by a minister, are apt to meet with little recognition from the public.

He accepted it, not in the spirit of mere selfish ambition, but with a deep sense of the responsibilities attached to it, which he portrayed in earnest and forcible words at a public dinner at Dunfermline:—

To watch over the interests of those great offshoots of the British race which plant themselves in distant lands; to aid them in their efforts to extend the domain of civilisation, and to fulfil that first behest of a benevolent Creator to His intelligent creatures—'subdue the earth;' to abet the generous endeavour to impart to these rising communities the full advantages of British laws, British institutions, and British freedom; to assist them in maintaining unimpaired, it may be in strengthening and confirming, those bonds of mutual affection which unite the parent and dependent states—these are duties not to be lightly undertaken, and which may well claim the exercise of all the faculties and energies of an earnest and patriotic mind.

It was arranged that he should go to Canada at the end of the year. In the interval he became engaged to Lady Mary Louisa Lambton, daughter of the first Earl of Durham. They were married on November 7th, and in the first days of the year 1847 he sailed for America.

[1] It is impossible not to be struck with the applicability of these remarks to the condition of the agricultural poor in some parts of England, and the question of extending among them the benefits of education.

[2] Vide inf. p. 156.

[3] See the speech of Mr. W.E. Forster, at Leeds, May 20, 1869.



[Sidenote: View of the state of Canada.]

In passing from Jamaica to Canada, Lord Elgin went not only to a far wider sphere of action, but to one of infinitely greater complication. For in Canada there were two civilised populations of nearly equal power, viewing each other with traditionary dislike and distrust: the French habitans of the Lower Province, strong in their connexion with the past, and the British settlers, whose energy and enterprise gave unmistakable promise of predominance in the future. Canada had, within a few miles of her capital, a powerful and restless neighbour, whose friendly intentions were not always sufficient to restrain the unruly spirits on her frontier from acts of aggression, which might at any time lead to the most serious complications. Moreover, in Canada representative institutions were already more fully developed than in any other colony, and were at this very time passing through the most critical period of their final development.

[Sidenote: Rebellion of 1837.]
[Sidenote: Lord Durham's Report.]
[Sidenote: Lord Sydenham.]
[Sidenote: Sir C. Bagot.]
[Sidenote: Lord Metcalfe.]

The rebellion of 1837 and 1838 had necessarily checked the progress of the colony towards self-government. It has since been acknowledged that the demands which led to that rebellion were such as England would have gladly granted two or three hundred years before; and they were, in fact, subsequently conceded one after another, 'not from terror, but because, on seriously looking at the case, it was found that after all we had no possible interest in withholding them.'[1] But at the time it was necessary to put down the rebels by force, and to establish military government. In 1838 Lord Durham was sent out as High Commissioner for the Adjustment of the Affairs of the Colony, and his celebrated 'Report' sowed the seeds of all the beneficial changes which followed. So early as October 1839, when Poulett Thomson, afterwards Lord Sydenham, went out as Governor, Lord John Russell took the first step towards the introduction of 'responsible government,' by announcing that the principal offices of the colony 'would not be considered as being held by a tenure equivalent to one during good behaviour, but that the holders would be liable to be called upon to retire whenever, from motives of public policy or for other reasons, this should be found expedient.'[2] But the insurrection was then too recent to allow of constitutional government being established, at least in Lower Canada; and, after the Union in 1840, Lord Sydenham exercised, partly owing to his great ability, much more power than is usually enjoyed by constitutional governors. He exercised it, however, in such a manner as to pave the way for a freer system, which was carried out to a great extent by his successor, Sir Charles Bagot; who, though bearing the reputation of an old-fashioned Tory, did not scruple to admit to his counsels persons who had been active in opposing the Crown during the recent rebellion; acting on 'the broad principle that the constitutional majority had the right to rule under the constitution.'[3] Towards the end of 1842, Sir C. Bagot found himself obliged by continued ill-health to resign; and he was succeeded by Lord Metcalfe—a man, as has been before noticed, of singularly popular manners and conciliatory disposition, but whose views of government, formed in India and confirmed in Jamaica, little fitted him to deal at an advanced age with the novel questions presented by Canada at this crisis. A quarrel arose between him and his Ministry on a question of patronage. The ministers resigned, though supported by a large majority in the Assembly. With great difficulty he formed a Conservative administration, and immediately dissolved his Parliament. The new elections gave a small majority to the Conservatives, chiefly due, it was said, to the exertion of his personal influence; but the success was purchased at a ruinous cost, for he was now in the position, fatal to a governor, of a party man. Even from this situation he might perhaps have been able to extricate himself: so great was the respect felt for his rare qualities of mind and character. But a distressing malady almost incapacitated him for the discharge of public business, and at length, in November 1845, forced him to resign. At this time there was some apprehension of difficulties with America, arising from the Oregon question, and, in view of the possibility of war, Mr. Gladstone, who was then at the Colonial Office, appointed Lord Cathcart, the commander of the forces, to be Governor-General.

[Sidenote: Lord Cathcart.]

When the Whig party came into power, and Lord Grey became Secretary for the Colonies, the Oregon difficulty had been happily settled, and it was no longer necessary or desirable that the colony should be governed by a military officer. What was wanted was a person possessing an intimate knowledge of the principles and practice of the constitution of England, some experience of popular assemblies, and considerable familiarity with the political questions of the day.'[4] After much consideration it was decided to offer the post to Lord Elgin, though personally unknown at the time both to the Premier and to the Secretary for the Colonies.

[Sidenote: Principles of Colonial Government.]

The principles on which Lord Elgin undertook to conduct the affairs of the colony were, that he should identify himself with no party, but make himself a mediator and moderator between the influential of all parties; that he should have no ministers who did not enjoy the confidence of the Assembly, or, in the last resort, of the people; and that he should not refuse his consent to any measure proposed by his Ministry, unless it were of an extreme party character, such as the Assembly or the people would be sure to disapprove.[4] Happily these principles were not, in Lord Elgin's case, of yesterday's growth. He had acted upon them, as far as was possible, even in Jamaica; and in their soundness as applied to a colony like Canada he had that firm faith, grounded on original conviction, which alone could have enabled him to maintain them, as he afterwards did, single-handed, in face of the most violent opposition, and in circumstances by which they were most severely tested.

[Sidenote: Crossing the Atlantic.]

It was fortunate that Lord Elgin had arranged to leave his bride in England, to follow at a less inclement season; for he had an unusually stormy passage across the Atlantic—'the worst passage the ship had ever made.'

Writing on the 16th of January to Lady Grey he says:

Hitherto we have had a very boisterous passage. On the 13th we had a hurricane, and were obliged to lie to—a rare occurrence with these vessels. It was almost impossible to be on deck, but I crept out of a hole for a short time, to behold the sea, which was truly grand in its wrath; the waves rolling mountains high, and the wind sweeping the foam off their crests, and driving it, together with the snow and sleet, almost horizontally over the ocean. We lay thus for some hours, our masts covered with snow, pitching and tossing, now in the trough of the sea, and now on the summit of the billows, without anxiety or alarm, so gallantly did our craft bear itself through these perils.

The ship is very full, with half a million of specie, and a motley group of passengers: a Bishop, an ex-secretary of Legation and an ex-consul, both of the United States; a batch of Germans and of Frenchmen; a host of Yankees, the greater part being bearded, which is, I understand, characteristic of young America, particularly when it travels; some specimens of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, and the Rocky Mountains, not to mention English and Scotch. Every now and then, at the most serious moments, sounds of uproarious mirth proceed from a party of Irish, who are playing antics in some corner of the ship. Considering that we are all hemmed in within the space of a few feet, and that it is the amusement of the great restless ocean to pitch us constantly into each other's arms, it is hard indeed if we do not pick up something new in the scramble.

[Sidenote: First impressions.]

On the 25th of January he landed at Boston, and proceeding next day by railway and sleigh, reached Montreal on the 29th. On the 31st he wrote from Monklands, the suburban residence of the governor, to Lady Elgin:—

Yesterday was my great day. I agreed to make my entrance to Montreal, for the purpose of being inaugurated. The morning was unpropitious. There had been a tremendous storm during the night, and the snow had drifted so much that it seemed doubtful whether a sleigh could go from hence to town (about four miles). I said that I had no notion of being deterred by weather. Accordingly, I got into a one-horse sleigh, with very small runners, which conveyed me to the entrance of the town, where I was met by the Mayor and Corporation with an address. I then got into Lord Cathcart's carriage, accompanied by the Mayor, and a long procession of carriages was formed. We drove slowly to the Government House (in the town), through a dense mass of people—all the societies, trades, &c., with their banners. Nothing could be more gratifying. After the swearing in, at which the public were present, the Mayor read another address from the inhabitants. To this I delivered a reply, which produced, I think, a considerable effect, and no little astonishment on some gentlemen who intended that I should say nothing. I have adopted frankly and unequivocally Lord Durham's view of government, and I think that I have done all that could be done to prevent its being perverted to vile purposes of faction.

Various circumstances combined to smooth, for the time, the waters on which Lord Elgin had embarked. The state of political parties was favourable; for the old Tories of the British 'Family Compact' party were in good humour, being in enjoyment of the powers to which they claimed a prescriptive right, while the 'Liberals' of the Opposition were full of hope that the removal of Lord Metcalfe's disturbing influence would restore their proper preponderance. Something also was due to his own personal qualities. Whereas most of his immediate predecessors had been men advanced in years and enfeebled by ill-health, he was in the full enjoyment of vigorous youth—able, if need were, to work whole days at a stretch; to force his way through a Canadian snow-storm, if his presence was required at a public meeting; to make long and rapid journeys through the province, ever ready to receive an address, and give an impromptu reply. The papers soon began to remark on the 'geniality and affability of 'his demeanour.' 'He is daily,' they said, 'making new 'friends. He walks to church, attends public meetings, 'leads the cheering, and is, in fact, a man of the people.' Before long it was added, 'Our new governor is 'the most effective speaker in the province;' and, thanks to his foreign education, he was able to speak as readily and fluently to the French Canadians in French as to the English in English. Added to this, his recent marriage was a passport to the hearts of many in Canada, who looked back to the late Lord Durham as the apostle of their liberties, if not as a martyr in their cause.

[Sidenote: Provincial politics.]

But though the surface was smooth, there was much beneath to disquiet an observant governor. It was not only that the Ministry was so weak, and so conscious of its weakness, as to be incapable even of proposing any measures of importance. This evil might be remedied by a change of administration. But there was no real political life; only that pale and distorted reflection of it which is apt to exist in a colony before it has learned 'to look within itself for the centre of power.' Parties formed themselves, not on broad issues of principle, but with reference to petty local and personal interests; and when they sought the support of a more widespread sentiment, they fell back on those antipathies of race, which it was the main object of every wise Governor to extinguish.

The following extracts from private letters to Lord Grey, written within a few months of his arrival, reflect this state of things. Though the circumstances to which they refer are past and gone, they may not be without interest, as affording an insight into a common phase of colonial government.

Hitherto things have gone on well with me, much better than I hoped for when we parted. I should have been very willing to meet the Assembly at once, and throw myself with useful measures on the good sense of the people, but my ministers are too weak for this. They seem to be impressed with the belief that the regular Opposition will of course resist whatever they propose, and that any fragments of their own side, who happen not to be able at the moment to get what they want, will join them. When I advise them, therefore, to go down to Parliament with good measures and the prestige of a new Governor, and rely on the support of public opinion, they smile and shake their heads. It is clear that they are not very credulous of the existence of such a controlling power, and that their faith in the efficiency of appeals to selfish and sordid motives is greater than mine.

Nevertheless, we must take the world as we find it, and if new elements of strength are required to enable the Government to go on, it is I think very advisable to give the French a fair opportunity of entering the Ministry in the first instance. It is also more prudent to enter upon these delicate negotiations cautiously and slowly, in order to avoid, if possible, giving the impression that I am ready to jump down everybody's throat the moment I touch the soil of Canada.

I believe that the problem of how to govern United Canada would be solved if the French would split into a Liberal and a Conservative party, and join the Upper Canada parties which bear corresponding names. The great difficulty hitherto has been that a Conservative government has meant a government of Upper Canadians, which is intolerable to the French, and a Radical government a government of French, which is no less hateful to the British. No doubt the party titles are misnomers, for the radical party comprises the political section most averse to progress of any in the country. Nevertheless, so it has been hitherto. The national element would be merged in the political if the split to which I refer were accomplished.

The tottering Ministry attempted to strengthen its position by a junction with some of the leaders of the 'French' party; but the attempt was unsuccessful:

I cannot say that I am surprised or disheartened by the result of these negotiations with the French. In a community like this, where there is little, if anything, of public principle to divide men, political parties will shape themselves under the influence of circumstances, and of a great variety of affections and antipathies, national, sectarian, and personal; and I never proposed to attempt to force them into a mould of my own forming.

You will observe that no question of principle or of public policy has been mooted by either party during the negotiation. The whole discussion has turned upon personal considerations. This is, I fancy, a pretty fair sample of Canadian politics. It is not even pretended that the divisions of party represent corresponding divisions of sentiment on questions which occupy the public mind; such as Voluntaryism, Free Trade, &c., &c. Responsible government is the only subject on which this coincidence is alleged to exist. The opponents of the Administration are supposed to dissent from the views held by Lord Metcalfe upon it, though it is not so clear that its supporters altogether adopt them. That this delicate and most debatable subject should furnish the watchwords of party is most inconvenient.

In enumerating the difficulties which surround such questions as Union of the provinces, Emigration, &c., you omit the greatest of them all; viz.: the materials with which I have to work in carrying out any measures for the public advantage. There are half a dozen parties here, standing on no principles, and all intent on making political capital out of whatever turns up. It is exceedingly difficult, under such circumstances, to induce public men to run the risk of adopting any scheme that is bold or novel.

Keenly alive to the evil of this state of things, Lord Elgin was not less sensible that the blame of it did not rest with the existing generation of Canadian politicians, but that it was the result of a variety of circumstances, some of which it was impossible to regret.

Several causes (he wrote) co-operate together to give to personal and party interests the overweening importance which attaches to them in the estimation of local politicians. There are no real grievances here to stir the depths of the popular mind. We are a comfortable people, with plenty to eat and drink, no privileged classes to excite envy, or taxes to produce irritation. It were ungrateful to view these blessings with regret, and yet I believe that they account in some measure for the selfishness of public men and their indifference to the higher aims of statesmanship.

[Sidenote: Responsible government.]

The comparatively small number of members of which the popular bodies who determine the fate of provincial administrations consist, is also, I am inclined to think, unfavourable to the existence of a high order of principle and feeling among official personages. A majority of ten in an assembly of seventy may probably be, according to Cocker, equivalent to a majority of 100 in an assembly of 700. In practice, however, it is far otherwise. The defection of two or three individuals from the majority of ten puts the administration in peril. Thence the perpetual patchwork and trafficking to secure this vote and that, which (not to mention other evils) so engrosses the time and thoughts of ministers, that they have not leisure for matters of greater moment. It must also be remembered that it is only of late that the popular assemblies in this part of the world have acquired the right of determining who shall govern them—of insisting, as we phrase it, that the administration of affairs shall be conducted by persons enjoying their confidence. It is not wonderful that a privilege of this kind should be exercised at first with some degree of recklessness, and that, while no great principles of policy are at stake, methods of a more questionable character for winning and retaining the confidence of these arbiters of destiny should be resorted to. My course in these circumstances is, I think, clear and plain. It may be somewhat difficult to follow occasionally, but I feel no doubt as to the direction in which it lies. I give to my ministers all constitutional support, frankly and without reserve, and the benefit of the best advice that I can afford them in their difficulties. In return for this I expect that they will, in so far as it is possible for them to do so, carry out my views for the maintenance of the connexion with Great Britain and the advancement of the interests of the province. On this tacit understanding we have acted together harmoniously up to this time, although I have never concealed from them that I intend to do nothing which may prevent me from working cordially with their opponents, if they are forced upon me. That ministries and Oppositions should occasionally change places, is of the very essence of our constitutional system, and it is probably the most conservative element which it contains. By subjecting all sections of politicians in their turn to official responsibilities, it obliges heated partisans to place some restraint on passion, and to confine within the bounds of decency the patriotic zeal with which, when out of place, they are wont to be animated. In order, however, to secure these advantages, it is indispensable that the head of the Government should show that he has confidence in the loyalty of all the influential parties with which he has to deal, and that he should have no personal antipathies to prevent him from acting with leading men.

I feel very strongly that a Governor-General, by acting upon these views with tact and firmness, may hope to establish a moral influence in the province which will go far to compensate for the loss of power consequent on the surrender of patronage to an executive responsible to the local Parliament. Until, however, the functions of his office, under our amended colonial constitution, are more clearly defined— until that middle term which shall reconcile the faithful discharge of his responsibility to the Imperial Government and the province with the maintenance of the quasi-monarchical relation in which he now stands towards the community over which he presides, be discovered and agreed upon, he must be content to tread along a path which is somewhat narrow and slippery, and to find that incessant watchfulness and some dexterity are requisite to prevent him from falling, on the one side into the néant of mock sovereignty, or on the other into the dirt and confusion of local factions.

Many of his letters exhibit the same conviction that the remedy for the evils which he regretted was to be found in the principles of government first asserted by Lord Durham; but there is a special interest in the expression of this sentiment when addressed, as in the following extract, to Lord Durham's daughter:—

I still adhere to my opinion that the real and effectual vindication of Lord Durham's memory and proceedings will be the success of a Governor-General of Canada who works out his views of government fairly. Depend upon it, if this country is governed for a few years satisfactorily, Lord Durham's reputation as a statesman will be raised beyond the reach of cavil. I do not indeed know whether I am to be the instrument to carry out this work, or be destined, like others who have gone before me, to break down in the attempt; but I am still of opinion that the thing may be done, though it requires some good fortune and some qualities not of the lowest order. I find on my arrival here a very weak Government, almost as much abused by their friends as by their foes, no civil or private secretary, and an immense quantity of arrears of business. It is possible, therefore, that I may not be able to bear up against the difficulties of my situation, and that it may remain for some one else to effect that object, which many reasons would render me so desirous to achieve.

[Sidenote: Irish immigration,]

With these cares, which formed the groundwork of the texture of the Governor's life, were interwoven from time to time interests of a more temporary character; of which the first in date, as in importance, was connected with the flood of immigration consequent on the Irish famine of 1847.

During the course of the season nearly 100,000 immigrants landed at Quebec, a large proportion of whom were totally destitute, and must have perished had they not been forwarded at the cost of the public. Owing to various causes, contagious fever of a most malignant character prevailed among them, to an unexampled extent; the number confined at one time in hospitals occasionally approached 10,000: and though the mortality among children was very great, nearly 1,000 immigrant orphans were left during the season at Montreal, besides a proportionate number at Grosse Isle, Quebec, Kingston, Toronto, and other places.

In this manner 'army after army of sick and suffering people, fleeing from famine in their native land to be stricken down by death in the valley of the St. Lawrence, stopped in rapid succession at Grosse Isle, and there leaving numbers of their dead behind, pushed upwards towards the lakes, in over-crowded steamers, to burthen the inhabitants of the western towns and villages.'[5]

The people of Canada exerted themselves nobly, under the direction of their Governor, to meet the sudden call upon their charity; but he felt deeply for the sufferings which it entailed upon the colony, and he did not fail to point out to Lord Grey how severe was the strain thus laid on her loyalty:—

[Sidenote: a scourge to the province.]

The immigration which is now taking place is a frightful scourge to the province. Thousands upon thousands of poor wretches are coming here incapable of work, and scattering the seeds of disease and death. Already five or six hundred orphans are accumulated at Montreal, for whose sustenance, until they can be put out to service, provision must be made. Considerable panic exists among the inhabitants. Political motives contribute to swell the amount of dissatisfaction produced by this state of things. The Opposition make the want of adequate provision to meet this overwhelming calamity, in the shape of hospitals, &c., a matter of charge against the Provincial Administration. That section of the French who dislike British immigration at all times, find, as might be expected, in the circumstances of this year, a theme for copious declamation. Persons who cherish republican sympathies ascribe these evils to our dependent condition as colonists—'the States of the Union,' they say, 'can take care of themselves, and avert the scourge from their shores, but we are victims on whom inhuman Irish landlords, &c., can charge the consequences of their neglect and rapacity.' Meanwhile I have a very delicate and irksome duty to discharge. There is a general belief that Great Britain must make good to the province the expenses entailed on it by this visitation. 'It is enough,' say the inhabitants, 'that our houses should be made a receptacle of this mass of want and misery: it cannot surely be intended that we are to be mulcted in heavy pecuniary damages besides.' The reasonableness of these sentiments can hardly be questioned—bitter indignation would be aroused by the attempt to confute them—and yet I feel that if I were too freely to assent to them, I might encourage recklessness, extravagance, and peculation. From the overwhelming nature of the calamity, and the large share which it has naturally occupied of the attention of Parliament and of the public, the task of making arrangements to meet the necessities of the case has practically been withdrawn from the department of the Civil Secretary, and fallen into the hands of the Provincial Administration. In assenting to the various minutes which they have passed for affording relief to the sick and destitute, and for guarding against the spread of disease, I have felt it to be my duty, even at the risk of incurring the imputation of insensibility to the claims of distress, to urge the necessity of economy, and of adopting all possible precautions against waste. You will at once perceive, however, how embarrassing my position is. A source of possible misunderstanding between myself and the colonists is furnished by these untoward circumstances, altogether unconnected with the ordinary, or, as I may perhaps venture to term them, normal difficulties of my situation.

On the whole, all things considered, I think that a great deal of forbearance and good feeling has been shown by the colonists under this trial. Nothing can exceed the devotion of the nuns and Roman Catholic priests, and the conduct of the clergy and of many of the laity of other denominations has been most exemplary. Many lives have been sacrificed in attendance on the sick and administering to their temporal and spiritual need. But the aspect of affairs is becoming more and more alarming. The panic which prevails in Montreal and Quebec is beginning to manifest itself in the Upper Province, and farmers are unwilling to hire even the healthy immigrants, because it appears that since the warm weather set in, typhus has broken out in many cases among those who were taken into service at the commencement of the season, as being perfectly free from disease. I think it most important that the Home Government should do all in their power by enforcing the provisions of the Passengers' Act, and by causing these facts to be widely circulated, to stem this tide of misery.

* * * * *

What is to be done? Private charity is exhausted. In a country where pauperism as a normal condition of society is unknown, you have not local rates for the relief of destitution to fall back upon. Humanity and prudence alike forbid that they should be left to perish in the streets. The exigency of the case can manifestly be met only by an expenditure of public funds.

[Sidenote: The charge should be borne by the mother-country.]

But by whom is this charge to be borne? You urge, that when the first pressure is past, the province will derive, in various ways, advantage from this immigration,—that the provincial administration, who prescribe the measures of relief, have means, which the Imperial authorities have not, of checking extravagance and waste; and you conclude that their constituents ought to be saddled with at least a portion of the expense. I readily admit the justice of the latter branch of this argument, but I am disposed to question the force of the former. The benefit which the province will derive from this year's immigration is, at best, problematical; and it is certain that they who are to profit by it would willingly have renounced it, whatever it may be, on condition of being relieved from the evils by which it has been attended. Of the gross number of immigrants who have reached the province, many are already mouldering in their graves. Among the survivors there are widows and orphans, and aged and diseased persons, who will probably be for an indefinite period a burden on Government or private charity. A large proportion of the healthy and prosperous, who have availed themselves of the cheap route of the St. Lawrence, will, I fears find their way to the Western States, where land is procurable on more advantageous terms than in Canada. To refer, therefore, to the 82,000 immigrants who have passed into the States through New York, and been absorbed there without cost to the mother-country, and to contrast this circumstance with the heavy expense which has attended the admission of a smaller number into Canada, is hardly just. In the first place, of the 82,000 who went to New York, a much smaller proportion were sickly or destitute; and, besides, by the laws of the state, ship-owners importing immigrants are required to enter into bonds, which are forfeited when any of the latter become chargeable on the public. These, and other precautions yet more stringent, were enforced so soon as the character of this year's immigration was ascertained, and they had the effect of turning towards this quarter the tide of suffering which was setting in that direction. Even now, immigrants attempting to cross the frontier from Canada are sent back, if they are either sickly or paupers. On the whole, I fear that a comparison between the condition of this province and that of the states of the neighbouring republic, as affected by this year's immigration, would be by no means satisfactory or provocative of dutiful and affectionate feelings towards the mother-country on the part of the colonists. It is a case in which, on every account, I think the Imperial Government is bound to act liberally.

[Sidenote: Lord Palmerston's tenants.]

Month after month, the tide of misery flowed on, each wave sweeping deeper into the heart of the province, and carrying off fresh victims of their own benevolence. Unfortunately, just as navigation closed for the season, a vessel arrived full of emigrants from Lord Palmerston's Irish estates. They appear to have been rather a favourable specimen of their class; but they came late, and they came from one of Her Majesty's Ministers, and their coming was taken as a sign that England and England's rulers, in their selfish desire to be rid of their starving and helpless poor, cared nothing for the calamities they were inflicting on the colony. Writing on November 12, Lord Elgin says:—

Fever cases among leading persons in the community here still continue to excite much comment and alarm. This day the Mayor of Montreal died,—a very estimable man, who did much for the immigrants, and to whose firmness and philanthropy we chiefly owe it, that the immigrant sheds here were not tossed into the river by the people of the town during the summer. He has fallen a victim to his zeal on behalf of the poor plague-stricken strangers, having died of ship-fever caught at the sheds. Colonel Calvert is lying dangerously ill at Quebec, his life despaired of.

Meanwhile, great indignation is aroused by the arrival of vessels from Ireland, with additional cargoes of immigrants, some in a very sickly state, after our Quarantine Station is shut up for the season. Unfortunately the last arrived brings out Lord Palmerston's tenants. I send the commentaries on this contained in this day's newspapers.[6]

[Sidenote: The flood subsides.]

From this time, however, the waters began to subside. The Irish famine had worked its own sad cure. In compliance with the urgent representations of the Governor, the mother-country took upon herself all the expenses that had been incurred by the colony on behalf of the immigrants of 1847; and improved regulations respecting emigration offer ground for hope that the fair stream, which ought to be full of life and health both to the colony and to the parent state, will not again be choked and polluted, and its plague-stricken waters turned into blood.

[Sidenote: Visit to Upper Canada.]

In the autumn of this year Lord Elgin paid his first visit to Upper Canada, meeting everywhere with a reception which he felt to be 'most gratifying and 'ncouraging;' and keenly enjoying both the natural beauties of the country and the tokens of its prosperity which met his view. From Niagara he wrote to Mr. Cumming Bruce:—

[Sidenote: Niagara.]

I write with the roar of the Niagara Falls in my ears. We have come here for a few days' rest, and that I may get rid of a bad cold in the presence of this most stupendous of all the works of nature. It is hopeless to attempt to describe what so many have been describing; but the effect, I think, surpassed my expectations. The day was waning when we arrived, and a turn of the road brought us all at once in face of the mass of water forming the American Fall, and throwing itself over the brink into the abyss. Then another turn and we were in presence of the British Fall, over which a still greater volume of water seems to be precipitated, and in the midst of which a white cloud of spray was soaring till it rose far above the summit of the ledge and was dispersed by the wind. This day we walked as far as the Table Rock which overhangs one side of the Horse-shoe Fall, and made a closer acquaintance with it; but intimacy serves rather to heighten than to diminish the effect produced on the eye and the ear by this wonderful phenomenon.

The following to Lord Grey is of the same date:—

Our tour has been thus far prosperous in all respects except weather, which has been by no means favourable. I attended a great Agricultural Meeting at Hamilton last week, and had an opportunity of expressing my sentiments at a dinner, in the presence of six or seven hundred substantial Upper Canada yeomen—a body of men not easily to be matched.

It is indeed a glorious country, and after passing, as I have done within the last fortnight, from the citadel of Quebec to the Falls of Niagara, rubbing shoulders the while with its free and perfectly independent inhabitants, one begins to doubt whether it be possible to acquire a sufficient knowledge of man or nature, or to obtain an insight into the future of nations, without visiting America.

A portion of the speech to which he refers in the foregoing letter may be here given, as a specimen of his occasional addresses, which were very numerous; for though the main purposes of his life were such as 'wrote themselves in action not in word,' he regarded his faculty of ready and effective speaking as an engine which it was his duty to use, whenever occasion arose, for the purpose of conciliating or instructing. In proposing the toast of 'Prosperity to the Agricultural Association of Upper Canada,' he said:—

[Sidenote: Speech at an agricultural meeting.]

Gentlemen, the question forces itself upon every reflecting mind, How does it come to pass that the introduction of agriculture, and of the arts of civilised life, into this and other parts of the American continent has been followed by such astonishing results? It may be said that these results are due to the qualities of the hardy and enterprising race by which these regions have been settled, and the answer is undoubtedly a true one: but it does not appear to me to contain the whole truth; it does not appear to account for all the phenomena. Why, gentlemen, our ancestors had hearts as brave and arms as sturdy as our own; but it took them many years, aye, even centuries, before they were enabled to convert the forests of the Druids, and the wild fastnesses of the Highland chieftains, into the green pastures of England and the waving cornfields of Scotland. How, then, does it come to pass, that the labours of their descendants here have been rewarded by a return so much more immediate and abundant? I believe that the true solution of this problem is to be found in the fact that here, for the first time, the appliances of an age, which has been prolific beyond all preceding ages in valuable discoveries, more particularly in chemistry and mechanics, have been brought to bear, under circumstances peculiarly favourable, upon the productiveness of a new country. When the nations of Europe were young, science was in its infancy; the art of civil government was imperfectly understood; property was inadequately protected; the labourer knew not who would reap what he had sown, and the teeming earth yielded her produce grudgingly to the solicitations of an ill-directed and desultory cultivation. It was not till long and painful experience had taught the nations the superiority of the arts of peace over those of war; it was not until the pressure of numbers upon the means of subsistence had been sorely felt, that the ingenuity of man was taxed to provide substitutes for those ineffective and wasteful methods, under which the fertility of the virgin soil had been well-nigh exhausted. But with you, gentlemen, it is far otherwise. Canada springs at once from the cradle into the full possession of the privileges of manhood. Canada, with the bloom of youth yet upon her cheek, and with youth's elasticity in her tread, has the advantage of all the experience of age. She may avail herself, not only of the capital accumulated in older countries, but also of those treasures of knowledge which have been gathered up by the labour and research of earnest and thoughtful men throughout a series of generations.

Now, gentlemen, what is the inference that I would draw from all this? What is the moral I would endeavour to impress upon you? It is this: That it is your interest and your duty to avail yourselves to the utmost of all these unparalleled advantages; to bring to bear upon this soil, so richly endowed by nature, all the appliances of modern art; to refuse, if I may so express myself, to convert your one talent into two, if, by a more skilful application of the true principles of husbandry, or by greater economy of management, you can convert it into ten. And it is because I believe that societies like these, when well directed, are calculated to aid you in your endeavours to effect these important objects, that I am disposed to give them all the protection and countenance, which it is in my power to afford. They have certainly been very useful in other countries, and I cannot see why they should be less serviceable in Canada. The Highland Society of Scotland was the first instituted, and the proud position which Scotland enjoys as an agricultural country speaks volumes of the services rendered by that society. The Royal Agricultural Society of England and the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland followed in its wake, and with similarly beneficial results. I myself was instrumental in establishing an agricultural society in the West Indies, which has already done much to revive the spirits of the planters; and I shall be very much disappointed, indeed, if that society does not prove the means, before many years are past, of establishing the truth so important to humanity, that, even in tropical countries, free labour properly applied under a good system of husbandry is more economical than the labour of slaves.

[Sidenote: Change of Ministry.]

At the close of 1847 the Canadian Parliament was dissolved. When the new Parliament met early in 1848, the Ministry—Lord Metcalfe's Ministry— found itself in a decided minority. A new one was accordingly formed from the ranks of the opposition, 'the members of both parties concurring in expressing their sense of the perfect fairness and impartiality with which Lord Elgin had conducted himself throughout the transactions' which led to this result.[7]

[Sidenote: French habitans.]

The French Canadians, who formed the chief element in the new government, were even at this time a peculiar people. Planted in the days of the old French monarchy, and cut off by conquest from the parent state long before the Revolution of 1789, their little community remained for many years like a fragment or boulder of a distinct formation—an island enshrining the picturesque institutions of the ancien régime, in the midst of an ever-encroaching sea of British nineteenth-century enterprise. The English, it has been truly said, emigrate, but do not colonise. No concourse of atoms could be more fortuitous than the gathering of 'traders, sailors, deserters from the army, outcasts, convicts, slaves, democrats, and fanatics,' who have been the first, and sometimes the only ingredients of society in our so-called colonies. French Canada, on the contrary, was an organism complete in itself, a little model of medieval France, with its recognised gradations of ranks, ecclesiastical and social.

It may, indeed, be doubted whether the highest forms of social life are best propagated by this method: whether the freer system, which 'sows itself on every wind,' does not produce the larger, and, in the long run, the more beneficent results. But if reason acquiesces in the ultimate triumph of that busy, pushing energy which distinguishes the British settler, there is something very attractive to the imagination in the picture presented by the peaceful community of French habitans, living under the gentle and congenial control of their coûtumes de Paris, with their priests and their seigneurs, their frugal, industrious habits, their amiable dispositions and simple pleasures, and their almost exaggerated reverence for order and authority. Politically speaking, they formed a most valuable element in Canadian society. At one time, indeed, the restless anarchical spirit of the settlers around them, acting on the sentiment of French nationality, instigated them to the rebellion of 1837; but, as a rule, their social sympathies were stronger than their national antipathies; and gratitude to the Government which secured to them the enjoyment of their cherished institutions kept them true to England on more than one occasion when her own sons threatened to fall away from her.

By the legislative union of 1840 the barriers which had separated the British and French communities were, to a great extent, broken down; and the various elements in each began gradually to seek out and to combine with those which were congenial to them in the other. But there were many cross currents and thwarting influences; and there was great danger, as Lord Elgin felt, lest they should form false combinations, on partial views of local or personal interest, instead of uniting on broad principles of social and political agreement.

Such were the antecedents of the party which now, for the first time, found itself admitted to the counsels of the Governor. Well might he write to Lord Grey, that 'the province was about to pass through an interesting crisis.' He was required, in obedience to his own principles, to accept as advisers persons who had very lately been denounced by the Secretary of State as well as by the Governor-General, as impracticable and disloyal. On the other hand he reflected, with satisfaction, that in these sentiments he himself had neither overtly nor covertly expressed concurrence; while the most extravagant assertors of responsible government had never accused him of stepping out of his constitutional position. He felt, therefore, that the onus probandi would rest on his new councillors if they could not act with him, and put forth pretensions to which he was unable to accede. At least he was determined to give them a fair trial. Writing on the 17th of March he says:—

The late Ministers tendered their resignations in a body on Saturday 4th, immediately after the division on the address, which took place on Friday. I received and answered the address on Tuesday, and then sent for Messrs. Lafontaine and Baldwin. I spoke to them in a candid and friendly tone: told them that I thought there was a fair prospect, if they were moderate and firm, of forming an administration deserving and enjoying the confidence of Parliament; that they might count on all proper support and assistance from me.

They dwelt much on difficulties arising out of pretensions advanced in various quarters; which gave me an opportunity to advise them not to attach too much importance to such considerations, but to bring together a council strong in administrative talent, and to take their stand on the wisdom of their measures and policy….

I am not without hopes that my position will be improved by the change of administration. My present council unquestionably contains more talent, and has a firmer hold on the confidence of Parliament and of the people than the last. There is, I think, moreover, on their part, a desire to prove, by proper deference for the authority of the Governor-General (which they all admit has in my case never been abused), that they were libelled when they were accused of impracticability and anti-monarchical tendencies.

[Sidenote: News of the French revolution.]

It was only a few days after this that news reached Canada of the revolution of February in Paris. On receipt of it he writes:—

It is just as well that I should have arranged my Ministry, and committed the Flag of Britain to the custody of those who are supported by the large majority of the representatives and constituencies of the province, before the arrival of the astounding intelligence from Europe, which reached us by the last mail. There are not wanting here persons who might, under different circumstances, have attempted, by seditious harangues if not by overt acts, to turn the example of France, and the sympathies of the United States, to account.

[Sidenote: Three difficulties.]

But while congratulating Lord Grey on having passed satisfactorily through a crisis which might, under other circumstances, have been attended with very serious results, and on the fact that 'at no period, during the recent history of Canada, had the people of the province generally been better contented, or less disposed to quarrel with the mother-country,' Lord Elgin did not disguise from himself, or from the Secretary of State, that there were ominous symptoms of disaffection on the part of all the three great sections of the community, the French, the Irish, and the British.

Bear in mind that one-half of our population is of French origin, and deeply imbued with French sympathies; that a considerable portion of the remainder consists of Irish Catholics; that a large Irish contingent on the other side of the border, fanatics on behalf of republicanism and repeal, are egging on their compatriots here to rebellion; that all have been wrought upon until they believe that the conduct of England to Ireland is only to be paralleled by that of Russia to Poland; that on this exciting topic, therefore, a kind of holy indignation mixes itself with more questionable impulses; that Guy Fawkes Papineau, actuated by the most malignant passions, irritated vanity, disappointed ambition, and national hatred, which unmerited favour has only served to exasperate, is waving a lighted torch among these combustibles—you will, I think, admit, that if we pass through this crisis without explosions it will be a gratifying circumstance, and an encouragement to persevere in a liberal and straightforward application of constitutional principles to Government.

I have peculiar satisfaction therefore, under all these circumstances, in calling your attention to the presentment of the grand jury of Montreal, which I have sent you officially, in which that body adverts to the singularly tranquil and contented state of the province.[8]

[Sidenote: The French question.]

With regard to the French he constantly expressed the conviction that nothing was wanted to secure the loyalty of the vast majority, but a policy of conciliation and confidence. In this spirit he urged the importance of removing the restrictions on the use of the French language:—

[Sidenote: Use of the French language.]

I am very anxious to hear that you have taken steps for the repeal of so much of the Act of Union as imposes restrictions on the use of the French language. The delay which has taken place in giving effect to the promise made, I think by Gladstone, on this subject, is one of the points of which M. Papineau is availing himself for purposes of agitation. I must, moreover, confess, that I for one am deeply convinced of the impolicy of all such attempts to denationalise the French. Generally speaking they produce the opposite effect from that intended, causing the flame of national prejudice and animosity to burn more fiercely. But suppose them to be successful, what would be the result? You may perhaps Americanize, but, depend upon it, by methods of this description you will never Anglicize the French inhabitants of the province. Let them feel, on the other hand, that their religion, their habits, their prepossessions, their prejudices if you will, are more considered and respected here than in other portions of this vast continent, who will venture to say that the last hand which waves the British flag on American ground may not be that of a French Canadian?

In the same spirit, when an association was formed for facilitating the acquisition of crown lands by French habitans, he put himself at the head, of the movement; by which means he was able to thwart the disloyal designs of the demagogue who had planned it.

[Sidenote: French unionisation.]

You will perhaps recollect that some weeks ago I mentioned that the Roman Catholic bishop and priests of this diocese had organised an association for colonisation purposes, their object being to prevent the sheep of their pasture (who now, strange as it may appear, emigrate annually in thousands to the States, where they become hewers of wood and drawers of water to the Yankees, and bad Catholics into the bargain) from quitting their fold. Papineau pounced upon this association as a means of making himself of importance in the eyes of his countrymen, and of gratifying his ruling passion by abusing England. Accordingly, at a great meeting convened at Montreal, be held forth for three hours to the multitude (the bishop in the chair), ascribing this and all other French-Canadian ills, real or supposed, to the selfish policy of Great Britain, and her persevering efforts to deprive them of their nationality and every other blessing.

In process of time, after this rather questionable start, the association waited on me with a memorial requesting the co-operation of Government, M. Papineau being one of the deputation.

In dealing with them I had two courses to choose from. I had nothing for it, situated as I was, but either, on the one hand, to give the promoters of the scheme a cold shoulder, point out its objectionable features, and dwell upon difficulties of execution—in which case (use what tact I might) I should have dismissed the bishop and his friends discontented, and given M. Papineau an opportunity of asserting that I had lent a quasi sanction to his calumnies; or, on the other, to identify myself with the movement, put myself in so far as might be at its head, impart to it as salutary a direction as possible, and thus wrest from M. Papineau's hands a potent instrument of agitation.

I was tempted, I confess, to prefer the latter of these courses, not only by reason of its manifest expediency as bearing upon present political contests, but also because I sympathise, to a considerable extent, with the views of the promoters of the movement. No one object, in my opinion, is so important, whether you seek to retain Canada as a colony, or to fit her for independence and make her instinct with national life and vigour, as the filling up of her vacant lands with a resident agricultural population. More especially is it of moment that the inhabitants of French origin should feel that every facility for settling on the land of their fathers is given them with the cordial assent and concurrence of the British Government and its representative, and that in the plans of settlement their feelings and habits are consulted. The sentiment of French Canadian nationality, which Papineau endeavours to pervert to purposes of faction, may yet perhaps, if properly improved, furnish the best remaining security against annexation to the States.

I could not with these views afford to lose the opportunity of promoting this object, which was presented by a spontaneous movement of the people, headed by the priesthood—the most powerful influence in Lower Canada.

The official correspondence which has passed on this subject I hope to send by the next mail, and I need not trouble you with the detail of proceedings on my own part, which, though small in themselves, were not without their effect. Suffice it to say, that Papineau has retired to solitude and reflection at his seignory, 'La Petite Nation'—and that the pastoral letter, of which I enclose a copy, has been read au prône in every Roman Catholic church in the diocese. To those who know what have been the real sentiments of the French population towards England for some years past, the tone of this document, its undisguised preference for peaceful over quarrelsome courses, the desire which it manifests to place the representative of British rule forward as the patron of a work dear to French-Canadian hearts, speaks volumes.

With the same object of conciliating the French portion of the community, he lost no opportunity of manifesting the personal interest which he felt in their institutions. The following letter, written in August 1848, to his mother at Paris, describes a visit to one of these institutions, the college of St. Hyacinthe, the chief French college of Montreal:—

[Sidenote: A French college.]

I was present, the other day, at an examination of the students at one of the Roman Catholic Colleges of Montreal. It is altogether under the direction of the priesthood, and it is curious to observe the course they steer. The young men declaimed for some hours on a theme proposed by the superior, being a contrast between ancient and modern civilisation. The greater part of it was a sonorous exposition of ultra-liberal principles, 'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité,' 'Vox populi, vox Dei,' a very liberal tribute to the vanity and to the prejudices of the classes who might be expected to send their children to the institution or to puff it; with an elaborate pivot à la Lacordaire—that the Church had achieved all that had been effected in this genre hitherto. Au reste, there was the wonderful mechanism which gives that church such advantages—the fourteen professors receiving no salaries, working for their food and that of the homeliest; as a consequence, an education, board and lodging inclusive, costing only 15 l. a year; the youths subjected to a constant discipline under the eye of ecclesiastics day and night. I confess, when I see both the elasticity and the machinery of this church, my wonder is, not with Lacordaire that it should do so much, but that it should not do more.

[Sidenote: The Irish question.]

More formidable at all times than any discontent on the part of the quiet and orderly French habitans was the chronic disaffection of the restless, roving Irish; and especially when connected with a threatened invasion of American 'sympathisers.' When such threats come to nothing, it is generally difficult to say whether they were all mere vapouring, or whether they might have led to serious results, if not promptly met; but at one time, at least, there appears to have been solid ground for apprehending that real mischief was intended. On the 18th July, 1848, Lord Elgin writes:—

[Sidenote: Irish republicans.]

At the moment when the last mail was starting a placard, calling an Irish repeal, or rather republican, meeting was placed in my hands. I enclosed it in my letter to you, and I now proceed to inform you how the movement to which it relates has progressed since then.

An M.P.P.[9], opposed in politics to the present Government, waited on me a few days ago and told me, that he had been requested to move a resolution at the meeting in question by a Mr. O'Connor, who represented himself to be the editor of a newspaper at New York, and a member of the Irish Republican Union. This gentleman informed him that it was expected that, before September, there would be a general rising in Ireland; that the body to which he belonged had been instituted with the view of abetting this movement; that it was discountenanced by the aristocracy of the States, but supported by the great mass of the people; that funds were forthcoming in plenty; that arms and soldiers, who might be employed as drill sergeants in the clubs, were even now passing over week after week to Ireland; that an American general, lately returned from Mexico, was engaged to take the command when the proper time came; that they would have from 700,000 to 800,000 men in the field, a force with which Great Britain would be altogether unable to cope; that when the English had been expelled, the Irish people would be called to determine, whether the Queen was to be at the head of their political system or not. He added that his visit to Canada was connected with these objects; that it was desirable that a diversion should be effected here at the time of the Irish outbreak; that 50,000 Irish were ready to march into Canada from the States at a moment's notice. He further stated that he had called on my informant, because he understood him to be a disappointed man, and ill-disposed to the existing order of things; that with respect to himself and the thousands who felt with him, there was no sacrifice they were not ready to make, if they could humble England and reduce her to a third-rate power.

The place originally selected for the monster meeting, according to the advertisement which I enclose, was the Bonsecour Market, a covered building, under the control of the corporation. When this was announced, however, the Government sent for the mayor (a French Liberal) and told him that they considered it unbecoming that he should give the room for such a purpose. He accordingly withdrew his permission, stating that he had not been before apprised of the precise nature of the assembly. After receiving this check, the leaders of the movement fixed on an open space near the centre of the town for their gathering.

It took place last night, and proved a complete failure. Not a single individual of importance among the Irish Repeal party was present. Some hundreds of persons attended, but were speedily dispersed by a timely thunder shower. O'Connor was violent enough; but I have not yet ascertained that he said anything which would form good material for an indictment. I am of opinion, however, that proceedings of this description on the part of a citizen of another country are not to be tolerated; and, although there is an indisposition in certain quarters to drive things to an extremity, I think I shall succeed in having him arrested unless he takes himself off speedily.

[Sidenote: The British question.]

But the French question and the Irish question were simple and unimportant as compared with those which were raised by the state of feeling recently created in a large and influential portion of the British population, partly by political events, partly by commercial causes.

[Sidenote: The Family Compact.]

The political party, which was now in opposition—the old Tory Loyalists, who from their long monopoly of office and official influence had acquired the title of the 'Family Compact'—were filled with wrath at seeing rebels—for as such they considered the French leaders—now taken into the confidence of the Governor as Ministers of the Crown. At the same time many of the individuals who composed that party were smarting under a sense of injury and injustice inflicted upon them by the Home Government, and by that party in the Home Government by whose policy their own ascendency in the colony had, as they considered, been undermined. Nor was it possible to deny that there was some ground for their complaints. By the Canada Corn Act of 1843 not only the wheat of Canada, but also its flour, which might be made from American wheat, had been admitted into England at a nominal duty. The premium thus offered for the grinding of American wheat for the British market, caused a great amount of capital to be invested in mills and other appliances of the flour trade. 'But almost before these arrangements were fully completed, and the newly built mills fairly at work, the [Free-Trade] Act of 1846 swept away the advantage conferred upon Canada in respect to the corn-trade with this country, and thus brought upon the province a frightful amount of loss to individuals, and a great derangement of the Colonial finances.'[10] Lord Elgin felt deeply for the sufferers, and often pressed their case on the attention of the Secretary of State.

[Sidenote: Discontent due to Imperial legislation.]

I do not think that you are blind to the hardships which Canada is now enduring; but, I must own, I doubt much whether you fully appreciate their magnitude, or are aware of how directly they are chargeable on Imperial legislation. Stanley's Bill of 1843 attracted all the produce of the West to the St. Lawrence, and fixed all the disposable capital of the province in grinding mills, warehouses, and forwarding establishments. Peel's Bill of 1846 drives the whole of the produce down the New York channels of communication, destroying the revenue which Canada expected to derive from canal dues, and ruining at once mill-owners, forwarders, and merchants. The consequence is, that private property is unsaleable in Canada, and not a shilling can be raised on the credit of the province. We are actually reduced to the disagreeable necessity of paying all public officers, from the Governor-General downwards, in debentures, which are not exchangeable at par. What makes it more serious is, that all the prosperity of which Canada is thus robbed is transplanted to the other side of the lines, as if to make Canadians feel more bitterly how much kinder England is to the children who desert her, than to those who remain faithful. For I care not whether you be a Protectionist or a Free-trader, it is the inconsistency of Imperial legislation, and not the adoption of one policy rather than another, which is the bane of the colonies. I believe that the conviction that they would be better off if they were 'annexed' is almost universal among the commercial classes at present, and the peaceful condition of the province under all the circumstances of the time is, I must confess, often a matter of great astonishment to myself.

[Sidenote: How to be remedied.]

His sympathy, however, with the sufferings caused by the introduction of Free-trade was not accompanied by any wish to return to a Protective policy. On the contrary, he felt that the remedy was to be sought in a further development of the Free-trade principle, in the repeal of the Navigation Laws, which cramped the commerce Canada by restricting it to British vessels, and in a reciprocal reduction of the duties which hampered her trade with the United States. In this sense he writes to Lord Grey:—

I am glad to see your bold measure on the Navigation Laws. You have no other course now open to you if you intend to keep your colonies. You cannot halt between two opinions: Free-trade in all things, or general Protection. There was something captivating in the project of forming all the parts of this vast British empire into one huge Zollverein with free interchange of commodities, and uniform duties against the world without; though perhaps, without some federal legislation, it might have been impossible to carry it out. Undoubtedly, under such a system, the component parts of the empire would have been united by bonds which cannot be supplied under that on which we are now entering; though it may be fairly urged on the other side, that the variety of conflicting interests which would, under this arrangement, have been brought into presence would have led to collisions which we may now hope to escape. But, as it is, the die is cast. As regards these colonies you must allow them to turn to the best possible account their contiguity to the States, that they may not have cause for dissatisfaction when they contrast their own condition with that of their neighbours.

Another subject on which I am very solicitous, is the free admission of Canadian products into the States. At present the Canadian farmer gets less for his wheat than his neighbour over the lines. This is an unfortunate state of things. I had a long conversation with Mr. Baldwin about it lately, and he strongly supports the proposition which I ventured to submit for your consideration about a year ago, viz. that a special treaty should be entered into with the States, giving them the navigation of the St. Lawrence jointly with ourselves, on condition that they admit Canadian produce duty free. An arrangement of this description affecting internal waters only might, I apprehend, be made (as in the case of Columbia in the Oregon treaty) independently of the adjustment of questions touching the Navigation Laws generally. I confess that I dread the effect of the continuance of the present state of things on the loyalty of our farmers. Surely the admission of the Americans into the St. Lawrence would be a great boon to them, and we ought to exact a quid pro quo.

He was sanguine enough to hope that these measures, so simple and so obviously desirable, might be brought into operation at once; but they were not carried until many years later, one of them, as we shall see, only by aid of his own personal exertions; and his disappointment on this score deepened the anxiety with which he looked round upon the difficulties of his position, already described. On August 16 he writes:—

The news from Ireland—the determination of Government not to proceed with the measure respecting the Navigation Laws—doubts as to whether the American Congress will pass the Reciprocity of Trade Bill—menaces of sympathisers in the States—all combine at present to render our position one of considerable anxiety.

Firstly, we have the Irish Repeal body. I need not describe them; you may look at home; they are here just what they are in Ireland. Secondly, we have the French population; their attitude as regards England and America is that of an armed neutrality. They do not exactly like the Americans, but they are the conquered, oppressed subjects of England! To be sure they govern themselves, pay no taxes, and some other trifles of this description; nevertheless, they are the victims of British égoisme. Was not the union of the provinces carried without their consent, and with a view of subjecting them to the British? Papineau, their press, and other authorities, are constantly dinning this into their ears, so no wonder they believe it.

Again, our mercantile and commercial classes are thoroughly disgusted and lukewarm in their allegiance. You know enough of colonies to appreciate the tendency which they always exhibit to charge their misfortunes upon the mother-country, no matter from what source they flow. And indeed it is easy to show that, as matters now stand, the faithful subject of Her Majesty in Canada is placed on a worse footing, as regards trade with the mother-country, than the rebel 'over the 'lines.'

The same man who, when you canvass him at an English borough election, says, 'Why, sir, I voted Red all my life, and I never got anything by it: this time I intend to vote Blue,'—addresses you in Canada with 'I have been all along one of the steadiest supporters of the British Government, but really, if claims such as mine are not more thought of, I shall begin to consider whether other institutions are not preferable to ours.' What to do under these circumstances of anxiety and discouragement is the question.

As to any aggressions from without, I shall throw the responsibility of repelling them upon Her Majesty's troops in the first instance. And I shall be disappointed, indeed, if the military here do not give a very good account of all American and Irish marauders.

With respect to internal commotions, I should like to devolve the duty of quelling them as much as possible upon the citizens. I very much doubt whether any class of them, however great their indifference or disloyalty, fancy the taste of Celtic pikes, or the rule of Irish mob law.

Happily the dangers which there seemed so much reason to apprehend were dispelled by the policy at once firm and conciliatory of the Governor: mainly, as he himself was never wearied of asserting, owing to the healthy and loyal feeling engendered in the province by his frank adoption and consistent maintenance of Lord Durham's principle of responsible government. It was one of the occasions, not unfrequent in Lord Elgin's life, that recall the words in which Lord Melbourne pronounced the crowning eulogy of another celebrated diplomatist:—'My Lords, you can never fully appreciate the merits of that great man. You can appreciate the great acts which he publicly performed; but you cannot appreciate, for you cannot know, the great mischiefs which he unostentatiously prevented.'

[Sidenote: Navigation Laws.]

In the course of the discussions on the Repeal of the Navigation Laws, to which reference is made in the foregoing letters, an incident occurred which attracted some attention at the time, and which, as it could not be explained then, ought, perhaps, to be noticed in this place.

Lord George Bentinck, who led the opposition to the measure, saw reason to think that, in the published despatches from Canada on the subject, a letter had been suppressed which would have furnished arguments against the Government; and, under this impression, he moved in the House of Commons for 'copies of the omitted correspondence.' The motion was negatived without a division, on Lord John Russell's pointing out that it involved an imputation on the Governor's good faith; but the Premier himself was probably not aware at the time, how completely the mover was at fault, as is shown in the following letter from Lord Elgin to Mr. C. Bruce, who, being a member of Parliament and a strong Protectionist, had a double interest in the matter:—

You ask me about this mare's nest of Bentinck. The facts are these: the Montreal Board of Trade drew up a memorial for the House of Commons against the Navigation Laws, containing inter alia a very distinct threat of separation in the event of their non-repeal. My secretary (not my private secretary, mark, but my responsible Government Secretary) sent me a draft of a letter to the Board containing very loyal and proper sentiments on this head. I approved of the letter, and sent a copy of it home with the memorial, instead of a report by myself, partly because it saved me trouble, and partly because I was glad to show how perfectly my liberal government had expressed themselves on the point. Two or three weeks later, the Board of Trade, not liking Mr. Sullivan to have the last word, wrote an answer, simply justifying what they had already stated in their memorial, which had already gone with my comment upon it to be laid before the House of Commons. To send such a letter home in a separate despatch would have seemed to me worse than absurd, because it would really have been giving to this unseemly menace a degree of importance which it did not deserve. If I had sent it I must have accompanied it with a statement to the effect, that my sentiments on the point communicated in my former letter remained unchanged; so the matter would have rested pretty much where it did before. Bentinck seems to suppose that, in keeping back a letter which stated that Canada would separate if the Navigation Laws were not repealed, I intended by some very ingenious dodge to hasten their repeal![11]

[Sidenote: Speech on education.]

At the beginning of the winter season of 1848-9, Lord Elgin was present, as patron, at a meeting of the Montreal Mercantile Library Association, to open the winter's course of lectures. It was an association mainly founded by leading merchants, 'with a view of affording to the junior members of the mercantile body opportunities of self-improvement, and inducements sufficiently powerful to enable them to resist those temptations to idleness and dissipation which unhappily abound in all large communities.' He took the opportunity of delivering his views on the subject of education in a speech, parts of which may still be read with interest, after all that has been spoken and written on this fertile topic. It has at least the merit of being eminently characteristic of the speaker, whose whole life was an illustration, in the eyes of those who knew him best, of the truths which he sought to inculcate on the young merchants of Montreal.[12]

After remarking that it was vain for him to attempt, in a cursory address, to fan the fervour of his hearers' zeal, or throw light on subjects which they were in the habit of hearing so effectively treated,

Indeed (he continued) I should almost be tempted to affirm that in an age when education is so generally diffused—when the art of printing has brought the sources of information so near to the lips of all who thirst for understanding—when so many of the secrets of nature have been revealed—when the impalpable and all-pervading electricity, and the infinite elasticity of steam, have been made subservient to purposes of human utility,—the advantages of knowledge, in an utilitarian point of view, the utter hopelessness of a successful attempt on the part either of individuals or classes to maintain their position in society if they neglect the means of self-improvement, are truths too obvious to call for elucidation. I must say that it seems to me that there is less risk, therefore, of our declining to avail ourselves of our opportunities than there is of our misusing or abusing them; that there is less likelihood of our refusing to grasp the treasures spread out before us, than of our laying upon them rash and irreverent hands, and neglecting to cultivate those habits of patient investigation, humility, and moral self-control, without which we have no sufficient security that even the possession of knowledge itself will be a blessing to us. I was much struck by a passage I met with the other day in reading the life of one of the greatest men of his age and country—Watt—which seemed to me to illustrate very forcibly the nature of the danger to which I am now referring as well as its remedy. It is stated in the passage to which I allude, that Watt took great delight in reading over the specifications of inventions for which patent rights were obtained. He observed that of those inventions a large proportion turned out to be entirely worthless, and a source of ruin and disappointment to their authors. And it is further stated that he discovered that, among these abortive inventions, many were but the embodiment of ideas which had suggested themselves to his own mind—which, probably, when they first presented themselves, he had welcomed as great discoveries, likely to contribute to his own fame and to the advantage of mankind, but which, after having subjected them to that rigid and unsparing criticism which he felt it his bounden duty to apply to the offspring of his own brain, he had found to be worthless, and rejected. Now, unquestionably, the powerful intellect of Watt went for much in this matter: unquestionably his keen and practised glance enabled him to detect flaws and errors in many cases where an eye equally honest, but less acute, would have failed to discover them; but can we doubt that a moral element was largely involved in the composition of that quality of mind which enabled Watt to shun the sunken rocks on which so many around him were making shipwreck—that it was his unselfish devotion to truth, his humility, and the practice of self-control, which enabled him to rebuke the suggestions of vanity and self-interest, and, with the sternness of an impartial judge, to condemn to silence and oblivion even the offspring of his own mind, for which he doubtless felt a parent's fondness, when it fell short of that standard of perfection which he had reared? From this incident in the life of that great man, we may draw, I think, a most useful lesson, which we may apply with good effect to fields of inquiry far transcending those to which the anecdote has immediate reference. Take, for instance, the wide region occupied with moral and political, or, as they are styled, social questions: observe the wretched half- truths, the perilous fallacies, which quacks, greedy of applause or gain, and speculating on the credulity of mankind, more especially in times of perturbation or distress, have the audacity to palm upon the world as sublime discoveries calculated to increase, in some vast and untold amount, the sum of human happiness; and mark the misery and desolation which follow, when the hopes excited by these pretenders are dispelled. It is often said in apology for such persons, that they are, after all, sincere; that they are deceived rather than deceivers; that they do not ask others to adopt opinions which they have not heartily accepted themselves; but apply to this reasoning the principle that I have been endeavouring to illustrate from the life of Watt, and we shall find, I think, that the excuse is, in most cases, but a sorry one, if, indeed, it be any excuse at all. God has planted within the mind of man the lights of reason and of conscience, and without it, He has placed those of revelation and experience; and if man wilfully extinguishes those lights, in order that, under cover of the darkness which he has himself made, he may install in the sanctuary of his understanding and heart, where the image of truth alone should dwell, a vain idol, a creature of his own fond imaginings, it will, I fear, but little avail him, more especially in that day when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, if he shall plead in extenuation of his guilt that he did not invite others to worship the idol until he had fallen prostrate himself before it.

These, gentlemen, are truths which I think it will be well for us to lay to heart. I address myself more particularly to you who are entering upon the useful and honourable career of the British merchant; for you are now standing on the lower steps of a ladder, which, when it is mounted with diligence and circumspection, leads always to respectability, not unfrequently to high honour and distinction. Bear in mind, then, that the quality which ought chiefly to distinguish those who aspire to exercise a controlling and directing influence in any department of human action, from those who have only a subordinate part to play, is the knowledge of principles and general laws. A few examples will make the truth of this proposition apparent to you. Take, for instance, the case of the builder. The mason and carpenter must know how to hew the stone and square the timber, and follow out faithfully the working plan placed in their hands. But the architect must know much more than this; he must be acquainted with the principles of proportion and form; he must know the laws which regulate the distribution of heat, light, and air, in order that he may give to each part of a complicated structure its due share of these advantages, and combine the multifarious details into a consistent whole. Take again the case of the seaman. It is enough for the steersman that he watch certain symptoms in the sky and on the waves; that he note the shifting of the wind and compass, and attend to certain precise rules which have been given him for his guidance. But the master of the ship, if he be fit for his situation—and I am sorry to say that many undertake the duties of that responsible office who are not fit for it—must be thoroughly acquainted, not only with the map of the earth and heavens, but he must know also all that science has revealed of some of the most subtle of the operations of nature; he must understand, as far as man can yet discover them, what are the laws which regulate the movements of the currents, the direction of the tempest, and the meanderings of the magnetic fluid. Or, to take a case with which you are more familiar—that of the merchant. The merchant's clerk must understand book-keeping and double-entry, and know how to arrange every item of the account under its proper head, and how to balance the whole correctly. But the head of the establishment must be acquainted, in addition to this, with the laws which regulate the exchanges, with the principles that affect the production and distribution of national wealth, and therefore with those social and political causes which are ever and anon at work to disturb calculations, which would have been accurate enough for quiet times, but which are insufficient for others. I think, therefore, that I have established the truth of the proposition, that men who aspire to exercise a directing and controlling influence in any pursuit or business, should be distinguished by a knowledge of principles and general laws. But it is in the acquisition of this knowledge, and more especially in its application to the occurrences of daily life, that the chief necessity arises for the exercise of those high moral qualities, with the importance of which I have endeavoured, in these brief remarks, to impress you.

[1] Our Colonies: an Address delivered to the members of the
    Mechanics' Institute, Chester, Nov. 12, 1855, by the Right Hon. W. E.
    Gladstone, M.P.

[2] See the Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell's Administration, by
    Earl Grey: a work in which the records of a most important period of
    colonial history are traced with equal ability and authority.

[3] MacMullen's History of Canada, p. 497.

[4] Lord Grey's Colonial Policy, &c., i. 207.

[5] MacMullen's History of Canada.

[6] A pamphlet was published by a member of the Legislative Council, denouncing this and similar instances of 'horrible and heartless conduct' on the part of landed proprietors and their 'mercenary agents;' but it was proved by satisfactory evidence that his main statements were not founded in fact.

[7] Lord Grey's Colonial policy.

[8] See Papers presented to Parliament, May, 1848; or Lord Grey's Colonial Policy, i. 216.

[9] I.e. Member of the Provincial Parliament.

[10] Lord Grey's Colonial Policy, i. 220. Lord Grey was one of the few statesmen who were blameless in the matter, for he voted against the Act of 1843, in opposition to his party.

[11] The personal annoyance which he felt on this occasion was only a phase of the indignation which was often roused in him, by seeing the interests and feelings of the colony made the sport of party-speakers and party-writers at home; and important transactions in the province distorted and misrepresented, so as to afford ground for an attack, in the British Parliament, on an obnoxious Minister.—Vide Infra, p. 113.

[12] 'A knowledge' wrote Sir F. Bruce, 'of what he was, and of the results he in consequence achieved, would be an admirable text on which to engraft ideas of permanent value on this most important question;' as helping to show 'that to reduce education to stuffing the mind with facts is to dwarf the intelligence, and to reverse the natural process of the growth of man's mind; that the knowledge of principles, as the means of discrimination, and the criterion of those individual appreciations which are fallaciously called facts, ought to be the end of high education.'



[Sidenote: Commercial depression.]

The winter of 1848 passed quietly; but the commercial depression, which was then everywhere prevalent, weighed heavily on Canada, more especially on the Upper Province. In one of his letters Lord Elgin caught himself, so to speak, using the words, 'the downward progress of events.' He proceeds:—

The downward progress of events! These are ominous words. But look at the facts. Property in most of the Canadian towns, and more especially in the capital, has fallen fifty per cent. in value within the last three years. Three-fourths of the commercial men are bankrupt, owing to Free-trade; a large proportion of the exportable produce of Canada is obliged to seek a market in the States. It pays a duty of twenty per cent. on the frontier. How long can such a state of things be expected to endure?

Depend upon it, our commercial embarrassments are our real difficulty. Political discontent, properly so called, there is none. I really believe no country in the world is more free from it. We have, indeed, national antipathies hearty and earnest enough. We suffer, too, from the inconvenience of having to work a system which is not yet thoroughly in gear. Reckless and unprincipled men take advantage of these circumstances to work into a fever every transient heat that affects the public mind. Nevertheless, I am confident I could carry Canada unscathed through all these evils of transition, and place the connection on a surer foundation than ever, if I could only tell the people of the province that as regards the conditions of material prosperity, they would be raised to a level with their neighbours. But if this be not achieved, if free navigation and reciprocal trade with the Union be not secured for us, the worst, I fear, will come, and that at no distant day.

[Sidenote: Political discontent.]

Unfortunately, powerful interests in the one case, indifference and apathy in the other, prevented these indispensable measures, as he always maintained them to be, from being carried for many years; and in the meantime a most serious fever of political discontent was in effect worked up, out of a heat which ought to have been as transient as the cause of it was intrinsically unimportant.

[Sidenote: Rebellion Losses Bill.]

Irritated by loss of office, groaning under the ruin of their trade, outraged moreover (for so they represented it to themselves) in their best and most patriotic feelings by seeing 'Rebels' in the seat of power, the Ex-ministerial party were in a mood to resent every measure of the Government, and especially every act of the Governor-General. When Parliament met on January 18, he took advantage of the repeal of the law restricting the use of the French language, to deliver his speech in French as well as in English: even this they turned to his reproach. But their wrath rose to fury on the introduction of a Bill 'to provide for the indemnification of parties in Lower Canada whose property was destroyed during the Rebellion in 1837 and 1838:' a 'questionable measure,' to use Lord Elgin's own words in first mentioning it, 'but one which the preceding administration had rendered almost inevitable by certain proceedings adopted by them' in Lord Metcalfe's time. As the justification of the measure is thus rested on its previous history, a brief retrospect is necessary before proceeding with the account of transactions which formed an epoch in the history of the colony, as well as in the life of the Governor.

[Sidenote: History of the measure.]

Within a very short time after the close of the Rebellion of 1837 and 1838, the attention of both sections of the colony was directed to compensating those who had suffered by it. First came the case of the primary sufferers, if so they may be called; that is, the Loyalists, whose property had been destroyed by Rebels. Measures were at once taken to indemnify all such persons,—in Upper Canada, by an Act passed in the last session of its separate Parliament; in Lower Canada, by an ordinance of the 'Special Council' under which it was at that time administered. But it was felt that this was not enough; that where property had been wantonly and unnecessarily destroyed, even though it were by persons acting in support of authority, some compensation ought to be given; and the Upper Canada Act above mentioned was amended next year, in the first session of the United Parliament, so as to extend to all losses occasioned by violence on the part of persons acting or assuming to act on Her Majesty's behalf. Nothing was done at this time about Lower Canada; but it was obviously inevitable that the treatment applied to the one province should be extended to the other. Accordingly, in 1845, during Lord Metcalfe's Government, and under a Conservative Administration, an Address was adopted unanimously by the Assembly, praying His Excellency to cause proper measures to be taken 'in order to insure to the inhabitants of that portion of the province, formerly Lower Canada, indemnity for just losses by them sustained during the Rebellion of 1837 and 1838.'

In pursuance of this address, a Commission was appointed to inquire into the claims of persons whose property had been destroyed in the rebellion; the Commissioners receiving instructions to distinguish the cases of those persons who had joined, aided, or abetted in the said rebellion, from the case of those who had not. On inquiring how they were to distinguish, they were officially answered that in making out the classification 'it was not His Excellency's intention that they should be guided by any other description of evidence than that furnished by the sentences of the Courts of Law.' It was also intimated to them that they were only intended to form a 'general estimate' of the rebellion losses, 'the particulars of which must form the subject of more minute inquiry hereafter under legislative authority.'

In obedience to these instructions, the Commissioners made their investigations, and reported that they had recognised, as worthy of further inquiry, claims representing a sum total of 241,965_l_. 10_s_. 5_d_., but they added an expression of opinion that the losses suffered would be found, on closer examination, not to exceed the value of 100,000_l_.

This Report was rendered in April 1846; but though Lord Metcalfe's Ministry which had issued the Commission, avowedly as preliminary to a subsequent and more minute inquiry, remained in office for nearly two years longer, they took no steps towards carrying out their declared intentions.

So the matter stood in March 1848, when, as has been already stated, a new administration was formed, consisting mainly of persons whose political sympathies were with Lower Canada. It was natural that they should take up the work left half done by their predecessors; and early in 1849 they introduced a Bill which was destined to become notorious under the name of the 'Rebellion Losses Bill.' The preamble of it declared that in order to redeem the pledge already given to parties in Lower Canada, it was necessary and just that the particulars of such losses as were not yet satisfied, should form the subject of more minute inquiry under legislative authority; and that the same, so far only as they might have arisen from the 'total or partial unjust or wanton destruction' of property, should be paid and satisfied. A proviso was added that no person who had been convicted, or pleaded guilty, of treason during the rebellion should be entitled to any indemnity for losses sustained in connection with it. The Bill itself authorised the appointment of Commissioners for the purpose of the Act, and the appropriation of 90,000_l_. to the payment of claims that might arise under it; following in this respect the opinion expressed by Lord Metcalfe's preliminary Commission of enquiry.

[Sidenote: Excitement respecting it.]

Such was the measure—so clearly inevitable in its direction, so modest in its proportions—which, falling on an inflamed state of the public mind in Canada, and misunderstood in England, was the occasion of riot and nearly of rebellion in the Province, and exposed the Governor-General, who sanctioned it, to severe censure on the part of many whose opinion he most valued at home. His own feelings on its introduction, his opinion of its merits, and his reasons for the course which he pursued in dealing with it, cannot be better stated than in his own words. Writing to Lord Grey on March 1, he says:—

A good deal of excitement and bad feeling has been stirred in the province by the introduction of a measure by the Ministry for the payment of certain rebellion losses in Lower Canada. I trust that it will soon subside, and that no enduring mischief will ensue from it, but the Opposition leaders have taken advantage of the circumstances to work upon the feelings of old Loyalists as opposed to Rebels, of British as opposed to French, and of Upper Canadians as opposed to Lower; and thus to provoke from various parts of the province the expression of not very temperate or measured discontent. I am occasionally rated in not very courteous language, and peremptorily required to dissolve the Parliament which was elected only one year ago, under the auspices of this same clamorous Opposition, who were then in power. The measure itself is not indeed altogether free from objection, and I very much regret that an addition should be made to our debt for such an object at this time. Nevertheless, I must say I do not see how my present Government could have taken any other course in this matter than that which they have followed. Their predecessors had already gone more than half-way in the same direction, though they had stopped short, and now tell us that they never intended to go farther. If the Ministry had failed to complete the work of alleged justice to Lower Canada which had been commenced by the former Administration, M. Papineau would most assuredly have availed himself of the plea to undermine their influence in this section of the province. The debates in Parliament on this question have been acrimonious and lengthy, but M. Lafontaine's resolutions were finally passed by a majority of fifty to twenty-two.

Dissensions of this class place in strong relief the passions and tendencies which render the endurance of the political system which we have established here, and of the connection with the mother-country, uncertain and precarious. They elicit a manifestation of antipathy between races and of jealousy between the recently united provinces, which is much to be regretted. This measure of indemnity to Lower Canada is, however, the last of the kind, and if it be once settled satisfactorily, a formidable stumblingblock will have been removed from my path.

A fortnight later he adds:—

The Tory party are doing what they can by menace, intimidation, and appeals to passion to drive me to a coup d'État. And yet the very measure which is at this moment the occasion of so loud an outcry, is nothing more than a strict logical following out of their own acts. It is difficult to conceive what the address on the subject of rebellion losses in Lower Canada, unanimously voted by the House of Assembly while Lord Metcalfe was governor and Mr. Draper minister, and the proceedings of the Administration upon that address could have been meant to lead to, if not to such a measure as the present Government have introduced.

I enclose a letter which has been published in the newspapers by A. M. Masson, one of the Bermuda exiles,[1] who was appointed to an office by the late Government. This person will be excluded from compensation by the Bill of the present Government, and he positively asserts that Lord Metcalfe and some of his Ministers assured him that he would be included by them.

I certainly regret that this agitation should have been stirred, and that any portion of the funds of the province should be diverted now from much more useful purposes to make good losses sustained by individuals in the rebellion. But I have no doubt whatsoever that a great deal of property was wantonly and cruelly destroyed at that time in Lower Canada. Nor do I think that this Government, after what their predecessors had done, and with Papineau in the rear, could have helped taking up this question. Neither do I think that their measure would have been less objectionable, but very much the reverse, if, after the lapse of eleven years, and the proclamation of a general amnesty, it had been so framed as to attach the stigma of Rebellion to others than those regularly convicted before the Courts. Any kind of extra-judicial inquisition conducted at this time of day by Commissioners appointed by the Government, with the view of ascertaining what part this or that claimant for indemnity may have taken in 1837 and 1838, would have been attended by consequences much to be regretted, and have opened the door to an infinite amount of jobbing, false swearing, and detraction.

[Sidenote: Petitions against it.]
[Sidenote: Neutrality of the Governor.]

Petitions against the measure were got up by the Tories in all parts of the province; but these, instead of being sent to the Assembly, or to the Legislative Council, or to the Home Government, were almost all addressed to Lord Elgin personally; obviously with the design of producing a collision between him and his Parliament. They generally prayed either that Parliament might be dissolved, or that the Bill, if it passed, might be reserved for the royal sanction. All such addresses, and the remonstrances brought to him by deputations of malcontents, he received with civility, promising to bestow on them his best consideration, but studiously avoiding the expression of any opinion on the points in controversy. By thus maintaining a strictly constitutional position, he foiled that section of the agitators who calculated on his being frightened or made angry, while he left a door open for any who might have candour enough to admit that after all he was only carrying out fairly the principle of responsible government.

In pursuance of this policy he put off to the latest moment any decision as to the course which he should take with respect to the Bill when it came up to him for his sanction. As regards a dissolution, indeed, he felt from the beginning that it would be sheer folly, attended by no small risk. Was he to have recourse to this ultima ratio, merely because a parliament elected a year before, under the auspices of the party now in opposition, had passed, by a majority of nearly two to one, a measure introduced by the present Government, in pursuance of the acts of a former one?

If I had dissolved Parliament, I might have produced a rebellion, but most assuredly I should not have procured a change of Ministry. The leaders of the party know that as well as I do, and were it possible to play tricks in such grave concerns, it would have been easy to throw them into utter confusion by merely calling upon them to form a Government. They were aware, however, that I could not for the sake of discomfiting them hazard so desperate a policy: so they have played out their game of faction and violence without fear of consequences.

The other course urged upon him by the Opposition, namely, that of reserving the Bill for the consideration of the Home Government, may appear to have been open to no such objections, and to have been in fact the wisest course which he could pursue, in circumstances of so much delicacy. And this seems to have been the opinion of many in England, who were disposed to approve of his general policy; but it may be doubted whether they had weighed all the considerations which presented themselves to the mind of the Governor on the spot, and which he stated to Lord Grey as follows:—

There are objections, too, to reserving the Bill which I think I shall consider insurmountable, whatever obloquy I may for the time entail on myself by declining to lend myself even to this extent to the plans of those who wish to bring about a change of administration.

In the first place the Bill for the relief of a corresponding class of persons in Upper Canada, which was couched in terms very nearly similar, was not reserved, and it is difficult to discover a sufficient reason, in so far as the representative of the Crown is concerned, for dealing with the one measure differently from the other. And in the second place, by reserving the Bill I should only throw upon Her Majesty's Government, or (as it would appear to the popular eye here) on Her Majesty herself, a responsibility which rests, and ought, I think, to rest, on my own shoulders. If I pass the Bill, whatever mischief ensues may probably be repaired, if the worst comes to the worst, by the sacrifice of me. Whereas, if the case be referred to England, it is not impossible that Her Majesty may only have before her the alternative of provoking a rebellion in Lower Canada, by refusing her assent to a measure chiefly affecting the interest of the habitans, and thus throwing the whole population into Papineau's hands, or of wounding the susceptibilities of some of the best subjects she has in the province. For among the objectors to this Bill are undoubtedly to be found not a few who belong to this class; men who are worked upon by others more selfish and designing, to whom the principles of constitutional Government are unfathomable mysteries, and who still regard the representative of royalty, and in a more remote sense the Crown and Government of England, if not as the objects of a very romantic loyalty (for that, I fear, is fast waning), at least as the butts of a most intense and unrelenting: indignation, if political affairs be not administered in entire accordance with their sense of what is right.

In solving these knotty problems, and choosing his course of action, the necessities of the situation required that he should be guided by his own unaided judgment, and act entirely on his own responsibility. For although, throughout all his difficulties, in the midst of the reproaches with which he was assailed both in the colony and in England, he had the great satisfaction of knowing that his conduct was entirely approved by Lord Grey, to whom he opened all his mind in private letters, the official communications which passed between them were necessarily very reserved. The following extract illustrates well this peculiarity in the position of a British Colonial Governor, who has two popular Assemblies and two public presses to consider:—

Perhaps you may have been annoyed by my not writing officially to you ere this so as to give you communications to send to Parliament. All that I can say on that point is, that I have got through this disagreeable affair as well as I have done only by maintaining my constitutional position, listening civilly to all representations addressed to me against the measure, and adhering to a strict reserve as to the course which I might deem it proper eventually to pursue. By following this course I have avoided any act or expression which might have added fuel to the flame; and although I have been plentifully abused, because it has been the policy of the Opposition to drag me into the strife, no one can say that I have said or done anything to justify the abuse. And the natural effect of such patient endurance is now beginning to show itself in the moderated tone of the organs of the Opposition press. You will perceive, however, that I could not possibly have maintained this position here, if despatches from me indicating the Ministerial policy had been submitted to the House of Commons. They would have found their way out here at once. Every statement and opinion would have formed the subject of discussion, and I should have found myself in the midst of the mêlée a partisan.

To counteract the violent and reckless efforts of the Opposition, Lord Elgin trusted partly to the obvious reasonableness of the proposal under discussion, but more to the growth of a patriotic spirit which should lead the minority to prefer the rule of a majority within the province to the coercion of a power from without. Something also he hoped from the effect of the many excellent measures brought in about the same time by his new Ministry, 'the first really efficient and working Government that Canada had had since the Union.' Nor were these hopes altogether disappointed. Writing on April 12 he observed, that a marked change had taken place within the last few weeks in the tone both of the press[2] and of the leaders of the party, some of whom had given him to understand, through different channels, that they regretted things had gone so far. 'But,' he adds, 'whether the gales from England will stir the tempest again or not remains to be seen.'

[Sidenote: Opinions in England.]

And, in effect, the next post from England came laden with speeches and newspaper articles, denouncing, in no measured terms, the 'suicidal folly of rewarding rebels for rebellion.' A London journal of influence, speaking of the British population as affected by the measure in question, said:— 'They are tolerably able to take care of themselves, and we very much misconstrue the tone adopted by the English press and the English public in the province, if they do not find some means of resisting the heavy blow and great discouragement which is aimed at them.' Such passages were read with avidity in the colony, and construed to mean that sympathy would be extended from influential quarters at home to those who sought to annul the obnoxious decision of the local Legislature, whatever might be the means to which they resorted for the attainment of that end. It may be doubted, however, whether any extraneous disturbance of this kind had much to do with the volcanic outburst of local passions which ensued, and which is now to be related.

[Sidenote: The Bill is passed,]

The Bill was passed in the Assembly by forty-seven votes to eighteen. On analysing the votes, it was found that out of thirty-one members from Upper Canada who voted on the occasion, seventeen supported and fourteen opposed it; and that of ten members for Lower Canada, of British descent, six supported and four opposed it.

These facts (wrote Lord Elgin) seemed altogether irreconcilable with the allegation that the question was one on which the two races were arrayed against each other throughout the province generally. I considered, therefore, that by reserving the Bill, I should only cast on Her Majesty and Her Majesty's advisers a responsibility which ought, in the first instance at least, to rest on my own shoulders, and that I should awaken in the minds of the people at large, even of those who were indifferent or hostile to the Bill, doubts as to the sincerity with which it was intended that constitutional Government should be carried on in Canada; doubts which it is my firm conviction, if they were to obtain generally, would be fatal to the connection.

[Sidenote: and receives the Royal Assent.]

Accordingly, when, on April 25, 1849, circumstances made it necessary for him to proceed to Parliament in order to give the Royal Assent to a Customs Bill which had that day passed the Legislative Council, he considered that, as this necessity had arisen, it would not be expedient to keep the public mind in suspense by omitting to dispose, at the same time, of the other Acts which still awaited his decision, among which was the 'Act to provide for the indemnification of parties in Lower Canada whose property was destroyed during the Rebellion in 1837 and 1838.' What followed is thus described in an official despatch written within a few days after the event:—

[Sidenote: Riots.]

When I left the House of Parliament I was received with mingled cheers and hootings by a crowd by no means numerous which surrounded the entrance to the building. A small knot of individuals, consisting, it has since been ascertained, of persons of a respectable class in society, pelted the carriage with missiles which they must have brought with them for the purpose. Within an hour after this occurrence a notice, of which I enclose a copy, issued from one of the newspaper offices, calling a meeting in the open air. At the meeting inflammatory speeches were made. On a sudden, whether under the effect of momentary excitement, or in pursuance of a plan arranged beforehand, the mob proceeded to the House of Parliament, where the members were still sitting, and breaking the windows, set fire to the building and burned it to the ground. By this wanton act public property of considerable value, including two excellent libraries, has been utterly destroyed. Having achieved their object the crowd dispersed, apparently satisfied with what they had done. The members were permitted to retire unmolested, and no resistance was offered to the military who appeared on the ground after a brief interval, to restore order, and aid in extinguishing the flames. During the two following days a good deal of excitement prevailed in the streets, and some further acts of incendiarism were perpetrated. Since then the military force has been increased, and the leaders of the disaffected party have shown a disposition to restrain their followers, and to direct their energies towards the more constitutional object of petitioning the Queen for my recall, and the disallowance of the obnoxious Bill. The proceedings of the House of Assembly will also tend to awe the turbulent. I trust, therefore, that the peace of the city will not be again disturbed.

The Ministry are blamed for not having made adequate provision against these disasters. That they by no means expected that the hostility to the Rebellion Losses Bill would have displayed itself in the outrages which have been perpetrated during the last few days is certain.[3] Perhaps sufficient attention was not paid by them to the menaces of the Opposition press. It must be admitted, however, that their position was one of considerable difficulty. The civil force of Montreal—a city containing about 50,000 inhabitants of different races, with secret societies and other agencies of mischief in constant activity—consists of two policemen under the authority of the Government, and seventy appointed by the Corporation. To oppose, therefore, effectual resistance to any considerable mob, recourse must be had in all cases either to the military or to a force of civilians enrolled for the occasion. Grave objections, however, presented themselves in the present instance to the adoption of either of these courses until the disposition to tumult on the part of the populace unhappily manifested itself in overt acts. More especially was it of importance to avoid any measure which might have had a tendency to produce a collision between parties on a question on which their feelings were so strongly excited. The result of the course pursued is, that there has been no bloodshed, and, except in the case of some of the Ministers themselves, no destruction of private property.

The passions, however, which appeared to have calmed down, burst out with fresh fury the very day on which these sentences were penned. The House of Assembly had voted, by a majority of thirty-six to sixteen, an address to the Governor-General, expressive of abhorrence at the outrages which had taken place, of loyalty to the Queen, and approval of his just and impartial administration of the Government, with his late as well as with his present advisers. It was arranged that Lord Elgin should receive this Address at the Government House instead of at Monklands. Accordingly, on April 30, he drove into the city, escorted by a troop of volunteer dragoons, and accompanied by several of his suite. On his way through the streets he was greeted with showers of stones, and with difficulty preserved his face from being injured.[4] On his return he endeavoured to avoid all occasion of conflict by going back by a different route; but the mob, discovering his purpose, rushed in pursuit, and again assailed his carriage with various missiles, and it was only by rapid driving that he escaped unhurt.[5]

None but those who were in constant intercourse with him can know what Lord Elgin went through during the period of excitement which followed these gross outrages. The people of Montreal seemed to have lost their reason. The houses of some of the Ministers and of their supporters were attacked by mobs at night, and it was not safe for them to appear in the streets. A hostile visit was threatened to the house in which the Governor-General resided at a short distance from the city; all necessary preparation was made to defend it, and his family were kept for some time in a state of anxiety and suspense.[6]

For some weeks he himself did not go into the town of Montreal, but kept entirely within the bounds of his country seat at Monklands, determined that no act of his should offer occasion or excuse to the mob for fresh outrage.[7] He knew, of course, that the whole of French Lower Canada was ready at any moment to rise, as one man, in support of the Government; but his great object was to keep them quiet, and 'to prevent collision between the races.'

[Sidenote: Firmness of the Governor.]
[Sidenote: Refuses either to use force,]

'Throughout the whole of this most trying time,' writes Major Campbell,[8] 'Lord Elgin remained perfectly calm and cool; never for a moment losing his self-possession, nor failing to exercise that clear foresight and sound judgment for which he was so remarkable. It came to the knowledge of his Ministers that, if he went into the city again, his life would be in great danger; and they advised that a commission should issue to appoint a Deputy-Governor for the purpose of proroguing Parliament. He was urged by irresponsible advisers to make use of the military forces at his command, to protect his person in an official visit to the city; but he declined to do so, and thus avoided what these infatuated rioters seemed determined to bring on—the shedding of blood. "I am prepared," he said, "to bear any amount of obloquy that may be cast upon me, but, if I can possibly prevent it, no stain of blood shall rest upon my name."'

As might have been expected, the Montreal press attributed this wise and magnanimous self-restraint to fear for his own safety. But he was not to be moved from his resolve by the paltry imputation; nor did he even care that his friends should resent or refute it on his behalf.

So little was he affected by it that on finding, some years afterwards, that Lord Grey proposed to introduce some expression of indignation on the subject in his work on the colonies, he dissuaded him from doing so. 'I do not believe,' he said, 'that these imputations were hazarded in any respectable quarter, or that they are entitled to the dignity of a place in your narrative.'

[Sidenote: or to yield to violence.]

But if neither the entreaties of 'irresponsible advisers,' nor the taunts of foes, could move him to the use of force, he was equally firm in his determination to concede nothing to the clamour and violence of the mob. Writing officially to Lord Grey on the 30th of April, when the fury of the populace was at its height, he said:—

It is my firm conviction that if this dictation be submitted to, the government of this province by constitutional means will be impossible, and that the struggle between overbearing minorities, backed by force, and majorities resting on legality and established forms, which has so long proved the bane of Canada, driving capital from the province, and producing a state of chronic discontent, will be perpetuated.

[Sidenote: Tenders resignation.]

At the same time, he thought it his duty to suggest, that 'if he should be unable to recover that position of dignified neutrality between contending parties which it had been his unremitting study to maintain,' it might be a question whether it would not be for the interests of Her Majesty's service that he should be removed, to make way for some one 'who should have the advantage of being personally unobnoxious to any section of Her Majesty's subjects within the province.'

[Sidenote: Approval of Home Government.]

The reply to this letter assured him, in emphatic terms, of the cordial approval and support of the Home Government. 'I appreciate,' wrote Lord Grey, 'the motives which have induced your Lordship to offer the suggestion with which your despatch concludes, but I should most earnestly deprecate the change it contemplates in the government of Canada. Your Lordship's relinquishment of that office, which, under any circumstances, would be a most serious loss to Her Majesty's service, and to the province, could not fail, in the present state of affairs, to be most injurious to the public welfare, from the encouragement which it would give to those who have been concerned in the violent and illegal opposition which has been offered to your Government. I also feel no doubt that when the present excitement shall have subsided, you will succeed in regaining that position of "dignified neutrality" becoming your office, which, as you justly observe, it has hitherto been your study to maintain, and from which, even those who are at present most opposed to you, will, on reflection, perceive that you have been driven, by no fault on your part, but by their own unreasoning violence.

Relying, therefore, upon your devotion to the interests of Canada, I feel assured that you will not be induced by the unfortunate occurrences which have taken place, to retire from the high office which the Queen has been pleased to entrust to you, and which, from the value she puts upon your past services, it is Her Majesty's anxious wish that you should retain.'

[Sidenote: Support in the colony.]

While awaiting, in his retreat at Monklands, the contrecoup from the mother-country of the storm which had burst over the colony, Lord Elgin found a great source of consolation in the numerous sympathetic addresses which poured in from every part of the province: fortifying him in the conviction that the heart of the colony was with him, and that the bitter opposition at Montreal was chiefly due to local causes; especially 'to commercial distress, acting on religious bigotry and national hatred.' One of these addresses, coming from the county of Glengarry, an ancient settlement of Scottish loyalists, appears to have touched the Scotsman's heart within the statesman's. In reply to it he said:—

Men of Glengarry—My heart warms within me when I listen to your manly and patriotic address.

I recognise in it evidence of that vigorous understanding which enables men of the stock to which you belong to prize, as they ought to be prized, the blessings of well-ordered freedom, and of that keen sense of principle which prompts them to recoil from no sacrifice which duty enjoins.

The men of Glengarry need not recapitulate their services. He must be ignorant indeed of the history of Canada who does not know how much they have done and suffered for their Sovereign and their country.

You inhabit here a goodly land. A land full of promise, where your children have room enough to increase and to multiply, and to become, with God's blessing, greater and more prosperous than yourselves. But I am confident that no spell less potent than the gentle and benignant control of those liberal institutions which it is Britain's pride and privilege to bestow on her children, will insure the peaceful development of its unrivalled resources, or knit together into one happy and united family the various races of which this community is composed.

On this conviction I have acted, in labouring to secure for you, during the whole course of my administration the full benefit of constitutional government. It is truly gratifying to me to learn that you appreciate my exertions. Depend upon it, they will not be relaxed. I claim to have something of your own spirit: devotion to a cause which I believe to be a just one—courage to confront, if need be, danger and even obloquy in its pursuit—and an undying faith that God protects the right.

[Sidenote: Debates in the British Parliament.]

In the meantime the unhappy Bill, which had caused such an explosion in the colony, was running the gantlet of the British Parliament. On June 14 it was vehemently attacked in the House of Commons by Mr. Gladstone, as being a measure for the rewarding of Rebels.[9] He, indeed, contented himself with 'calling the attention of the House to certain parts' of the Bill in question; but Mr. Herries, following out the same views to their legitimate conclusion, moved an Address to Her Majesty to disallow the Act of the Colonial Legislature. The debate was sustained with great Vigour for two nights; in the course of which the Act was defended not only by Lord John Russell as leader of the Government, but also, with even more force, by his great opponent Sir Robert Peel. Speaking with all the weight of an impartial observer, he showed that it was not the intention of the measure, and would not be its effect, to give compensation to anyone who could be proved to have been a rebel; that it was only an inevitable sequel to other measures which had been passed without opposition; and, further, that its rejection at this stage would be resisted by all parties in the colony alike, as an arbitrary interference with their right of self-government. On a division the amendment of Mr. Herries was thrown out by a majority of 141. And though, a few nights later, a resolution somewhat in the same sense, moved by Lord Brougham in the Upper House, was only negatived, with the aid of proxies, by three votes, the large majority in the House of Commons, and the firm attitude of the Government on the subject, did much to quiet the excitement in the colony.

The news from England (wrote Lord Elgin) has produced a marked, and, so far as it goes, a satisfactory change in the tone of the Press; in proof of which I send you the leading articles of the Tory papers of Saturday. … The party, it would appear, is now split into three; but on one point all are agreed. We must have done, they say, with this habit of abusing the French; we must live with them on terms of amity and affection. Such is the first fruit of the policy which was to bring about, we were assured, a war of races.

This satisfactory result was also due in part to the wise measures adopted by the Ministry, under direction of the Governor-General, for giving effect to the provisions of the much-disputed Bill.

We are taking steps (he wrote on June 17) to carry out the Rebellion Losses Bill. Having adopted the measure of the late Conservative Government, we are proceeding to reappoint their own Commissioners; and, not content with that, we are furnishing them with instructions which place upon the Act the most restricted and loyalist construction of which the terms are susceptible. Truly, if ever rebellion stood upon a rickety pretence, it is the Canadian Tory Rebellion of 1849.

[Sidenote: Fresh riots.]

Unhappily the flames, which at this time had nearly died out, were re- kindled two months later on occasion of the arrest of certain persons concerned in the former riots; and though this fresh outbreak lasted but a few days, it was attended in one case with fatal consequences.[10] Writing on August 20, Lord Elgin says:—

We are again in some excitement here. M. Lafontaine's house was attacked by a mob (for the second time) two nights ago. Some persons within fired, and one of the assailants was killed. The violent Clubbists are trying to excite the passions of the multitude, alleging that this is Anglo-Saxon blood shed by a Frenchman.

The immediate cause of this excitement is the arrest of certain persons who were implicated in the destruction of the Parliament buildings in April last. I was desirous, for the sake of peace, that these parties should not be arrested until indictments had been laid before the grand jury, and true bills found against them. Unfortunately, in consequence of the cholera, the requisite number of jurors to form a court was not forthcoming for the August term. The Government thought that they could not, without impropriety, put off taking any steps against these persons till November. They were, therefore, arrested last week; all except one, who was committed for arson, were at once bailed by the magistrates; and he too was bailed the day after his committal by one of the judges of the Supreme Court.

All this is simple enough, and augurs no very vindictive spirit in the authorities. Nevertheless it affords the occasion for a fresh exhibition of the recklessness of the Montreal mob, and the demoralisation of other classes in the community.

Again on the 27th he writes:—

We have had a fortnight of crisis consequent on the arrests which I reported to you last week; which may perhaps be the prelude (though I do not like to be too sanguine) to better times. A most violent excitement was got up by the Press against M. Lafontaine more especially, as the instigator of the arrests and the cause of the death of the young man who was shot in the attack on his house. A vast number of men, wearing red scarfs and ribands, attended the funeral of the youth. The shops were shut on the line of the procession; fires occurred during several successive nights in different parts of the town, under circumstances warranting the suspicion of incendiarism.

Upon this the stipendiary magistrates, charged by the Government with the preservation of the peace of the city, represented officially to the Governor that nothing could save it but the proclamation of Martial Law. But he told his Council that he 'would neither consent to Martial Law, nor to any measures of increased vigour whatsoever, until a further appeal had been made to the Mayor and Corporation of the city.'

[Sidenote: Quiet restored.]

This appeal was successful. A proclamation, issued by the Mayor, was responded to by the respectable citizens of all parties; and a large number of special constables turned out to patrol the streets and keep the peace. Meanwhile the coroner's jury, after a very rigorous investigation, agreed unanimously to a verdict acquitting M. Lafontaine of all blame, and finding fault with the civic authorities for their remissness. This verdict was important, for two of the jury were Orangemen, who had marched in the procession at the funeral of the young man who was shot. The public acknowledged its importance, and two of the most violent Tory newspapers had articles apologising to Lafontaine for having so unfairly judged him beforehand. 'From, these and other indications (wrote Lord Elgin) I begin to hope that there may be some return to common sense in Montreal.'

[Removal of Government from Montreal.]

My advisers, however (he proceeds), now protest that it will be impossible to maintain the seat of Government here. We had a long discussion on this point yesterday. All seem to be agreed, that if a removal from this town takes place, it must be on the condition prescribed in the address of the Assembly presented to me last Session, viz. that there shall henceforward be Parliaments held alternately in the Upper and Lower Provinces. A removal from this to any other fixed point would be the certain ruin of the party making it. Therefore removal from Montreal implies the adoption of the system (which, although it has a good deal to recommend it, is certainly open to great objections) of alternating Parliaments. But this is not the only difficulty. The French members of the Administration … are willing to go to Toronto for four years at the close of the present Parliament, but they give many reasons, which appear to have in a great measure satisfied their Upper Canada colleagues, for insisting on Quebec as the first point to be made. Now I have great objection to going to Quebec at present. I fear it would be considered, both here and in England, as an admission that the Government is under French- Canadian influence, and that it cannot maintain itself in Upper Canada. I, therefore, concluded in favour of a few days more being given in order to see whether or not the movement now in progress in Montreal may be so directed as to render it possible to retain the seat of Government there.

This hope was disappointed, and he was obliged to admit the necessity of removal. On September 3 he wrote again:—

We have had, since I last wrote, a week of unusual tranquillity…. but I regret to say that I discover as yet nothing to warrant the belief that the seat of Government can properly remain at Montreal.

The existence of a perfect understanding between the more outrageous and the more respectable fractions of the Tory party in the town, is rendered even more manifest by the readiness with which the former, through their organs, have yielded to the latter when they preached moderation in good earnest. Additional proof is thus furnished of the extent to which the blame of the disgraceful transactions of the past four months falls on all. All attempts, and several have been made, to induce the Conservatives to unite in an address, inviting me to return to the town, have failed; which is the more significant, because it is well known that the removal of the seat of Government is under consideration, and that I have deprecated the abandonment of Montreal.

The existence of a party, animated by such sentiments, powerful in numbers and organisation, and in the station of some who more or less openly join it—owning a qualified allegiance to the constitution of the province—professing to regard the Parliament and the Government as nuisances to be tolerated within certain limits only—raising itself whenever the fancy seizes it, or the crisis in its judgment demands it, into an 'imperium in imperio,'—renders it, I fear, extremely doubtful whether the functions of Legislation or of Government can be carried on to advantage in this city. 'Show vigour and put it down,' say some. You may and must put down those who resist the law when overt acts are committed. But the party is unfortunately a national as well as a political one; after each defeat it resumes its attitude of defiance; and, whenever it comes into collision with the authorities, there is the risk of a frightful race feud being provoked. All these dangers are vastly increased by Montreal's being the seat of Government.

There were other arguments also of no little force. He was assured that some Members had declared that nothing would induce them to come again to Montreal; and he himself felt that it must do great mischief to the members from other parts of the Province, to pass some months of each year in that 'hot-bed of prejudice and disaffection.' Moreover, so long as Montreal retained the prestige of being the Metropolis, it was impossible to prevent its press from enjoying a factitious importance, not only within the province, but also in England and in the States, where it would be looked upon as the exponent of the sentiments of the community at large.

Ultimately, on November 18, Lord Elgin reported to the Home Government, that after full and anxious deliberation he had resolved, on the advice of his Council, to act on the recommendation of the Assembly that the Legislature should sit alternately at Toronto and Quebec, and with that view to summon the Provincial Parliament for the next session at Toronto. This step, 'decided upon in this deliberate and unimpassioned manner,' gave a useful lesson, which was not lost either upon Montreal or the rest of the Province. Nor was this its only good effect. 'The arrangement,' wrote Lord Grey in 1852, 'by which the seat of Government and the sittings of the Legislature were fixed alternately at Toronto and Quebec, has contributed not a little towards removing the feelings of alienation from each other of the inhabitants of French and of British descent. The French Canadians have thus been brought into closer communication than formerly with the inhabitants of the Western division of the province, and an increase of mutual esteem and respect, with the removal of many prejudices by which they were formerly divided, have been the result of the two classes becoming better acquainted with each other.'[11]

[Sidenote: Visit to Upper Canada.]

While these arrangements were under discussion, in the autumn following the stormy events above described, in spite of the threats thrown out by the extreme party, Lord Elgin, after a progress in Upper Canada in which he was accompanied by his family, made a short tour in the Western districts, the stronghold of British feeling, attended only by one aide-de-camp and a servant, 'so as to contradict the allegation that he required protection.' Everywhere he was received with the utmost cordiality; the few indications of a different feeling, on the part of Orangemen and others, having only the effect of heightening the enthusiasm with which he was greeted by the majority of the population.

[Sidenote: Continued animosities.]

From this time we hear no more of such disgraceful scenes as it has been necessary to record; but it was long before the old 'Family-Compact' party forgave the Governor who had dared to be impartial. By many kinds of detraction they sought to weaken his influence and damage his popularity; detractions probably repeated in all sincerity by many who were honestly incapable of understanding his real motives for forbearance. And as the members of this party, though they had lost their monopoly of political power, still remained the dominant class in society, the disparaging tone which they set was taken up not only in the colony itself, but also by travellers who visited it, and by them carried back to infect opinion in England. The result was that persons at home, who had the highest appreciation of Lord Elgin's capacity as a statesman, sincerely believed him to be deficient in nerve and vigour; and as the misapprehension was one which he could not have corrected, even if he had been aware how widely it was spread, it continued to exist in many quarters until dispelled by the singular energy and boldness, amounting almost to rashness, which he displayed in China.

[Sidenote: Forbearance of Lord Elgin.]

The more we remember the vehemence with which these injurious reports were circulated, the more remarkable appears the resolution not to yield to the provocation they involved, and the determination to accept the whole responsibility of the situation at whatever personal cost.

The following letters are among those which disclose the motives of his resolute forbearance. The last of them, written to an intimate friend nearly two years later, and summing up the feelings with which he looked back on the struggles of 1849, may close the personal records of this troubled year.

[Sidenote: Its motives.]

I do not at all wonder that you should be disposed to question the wisdom of my course in respect to Montreal; I think it was the best I could have taken under the circumstances; but I do not presume to say that it may not be criticised—justly criticised. My choice was not between a clearly right and a clearly wrong course: how easy is it to deal with such cases, and how rare are they in life! But between several difficulties, I think I chose the least. I think, too, that I am beginning to reap the reward of my policy. I do not believe that such enthusiasm was ever manifested towards anyone in my situation in Canada, as has been exhibited during my recent tour. But more than this. I do not believe that the function of the Governor-General under constitutional government as the moderator between parties, the representative of interests which are common to all the inhabitants of the country, as distinct from those which divide them into parties, was ever so fully and so frankly recognised. Now, I do not believe that I could have achieved this if I had had blood upon my hands. I might have been quite as popular, perhaps more so; for there are many, especially in Lower Canada, who would gladly have seen the severities of the law practised upon those from whom they believe that they have often suffered much, unjustly. But my business is to humanize—not to harden. At that task I must labour, through obloquy and misrepresentation if needs be. At the same time I admit that I must, not for the miserable purpose of self-glorification, but with a view to the maintenance and establishment of my moral influence, recover the prestige of personal courage of which some here sought to deprive me. Before I have travelled unattended through the towns and villages of Upper Canada, and met 'the bhoys' as they are called, in all of them on their own ground, I think I shall have effected this object, in so far as the province is concerned. To right myself in England will be more difficult; but doubtless, if I live, the opportunity of so doing, even there, will sooner or later present itself. Hitherto any impertinences which have reached me from the other side have been anonymous.

* * * * *

[Sidenote: Afterthoughts.]

I believe that the sentiments expressed in the newspaper extract of which you acknowledge the receipt in your last, with respect to the merits of the policy of forbearance adopted by me at the great crisis, are beginning to obtain very generally among the few who trace results to their causes. But none can know what that crisis was, and what that decision cost. At the time I took it, I stood literally alone. I alienated from me the adherents of the Government, who felt, or imagined (having been generally, in times past, on the anti-Government side), that if the tables had been turned—if they and not their adversaries had been resisting the law of the land, and threatening the life of the Queen's representative—a very different course of repressive policy would have been adopted. At the same time I gained nothing on the other side, who only advanced in audacity; and added the charge of personal cowardice to their other outrages. At home, too, I forfeited much moral support; for although the Government sustained me with that honourable confidence which entitles a Government to be well served, they were puzzled. The logic of the case was against me. Lord Grey and Lord J. Russell both felt that either I was right or I was wrong. If the latter, I ought to be recalled; if the former, I ought to make the law respected. And, lastly, I lost any chance of moral support from the opinion of our neighbours in the States; for, like all primitive constitutionalists, the ideas of government they hold in that quarter are very simple. I have been told by Americans, 'We thought you were quite right; but we could not understand why you did not shoot them down!'

I do not, as you may suppose, often speak of these matters; but the subject was alluded to the other day by a person (now out of politics, but who knew what was going on at the time, one of our ablest men), and he said to me, 'Yes; I see it all now. You were right—a thousand times right—though I thought otherwise then. I own that I would have reduced Montreal to ashes before I would have endured half what you did; and,' he added, 'I should have been justified, too.' 'Yes,' I answered, 'you would have been justified, because your course would have been perfectly defensible; but it would not have been the best course. Mine was a better one.' And shall I tell you what was the deep conviction on my mind, which, apart from the reluctance which I naturally felt to shed blood (particularly in a cause in which many who opposed the Government were actuated by motives which, though much alloyed with baser metal, had claims on my sympathy), confirmed me in that course? I perceived that the mind of the British population of the province, in Upper Canada especially, was at that time the prey of opposing impulses. On the one hand, as a question of blood and sensibility, they were inclined to go with the anti-French party of Lower Canada; on the other, as a question of constitutional principle, they felt that I was right, and that I deserved support. Depend upon it, if we had looked to bayonets instead of to reason for a triumph, the sensibilities of the great body of which I speak would soon have carried the day against their judgment.

And what is the result? 700,000 French reconciled to England—not because they are getting rebel money—I believe, indeed, that no rebels will get a farthing; but because they believe that the British Governor is just. 'Yes;' but you may say 'this is purchased by the alienation of the British.' Far from it; I took the whole blame upon myself; and I will venture to affirm that the Canadian British never were so loyal as they are at this hour; and, what is more remarkable still, and more directly traceable to this policy of forbearance, never, since Canada existed, has party-spirit been more moderate, and the British and French races on better terms than they are now; and this, in spite of the withdrawal of protection, and of the proposal to throw on the colony many charges which the Imperial Government has hitherto borne.

    Pardon me for saying so much on this point; but 'magna est

[1] I.e. one of the rebels of 1837, who had been banished to Bermuda by Lord Durham.

[2] One of the Conservative papers of the day wrote:—'Bad as the payment of the rebellion losses is, we do not know that it would not be better to submit to pay twenty rebellion losses than have what is nominally a free Constitution fettered and restrained each time a measure distasteful to the minority is passed.'

[3] 'I confess,' he wrote in a private letter of the same date, 'I did not before know how thin is the crust of order which covers the anarchical elements that boil and toss beneath our feet.'

[4] 'When he entered the Government House he took a two-pound stone with him which he had picked up in his carriage, as evidence of the most unusual and sorrowful treatment Her Majesty's representative had received.'—Mac Mullen, p. 511.

[5] 'Cabs, caleches, and everything that would run were at once launched in pursuit, and crossing his route, the Governor-General's carriage was bitterly assailed in the main street of the St. Lawrence suburbs. The good and rapid driving of his postilions enabled him to clear the desperate mob, but not till the head of his brother, Colonel Bruce, had been cut, injuries inflicted on the chief of police. Colonel Ermatanger, and on Captain Jones, commanding the escort, and every panel of the carriage driven in.'—Mac Mullen, p. 511.

[6] In the midst of this time of anxiety and even of danger to himself and his family, his eldest son was born at Monklands, on May 16. Her Majesty was graciously pleased to become godmother to the child, who was christened Victor Alexander.

[7] The motives, he afterwards said, which induced him to abstain from forcing his way into Montreal, might be correctly stated in the words of the Duke of Wellington, who, when asked why he did not go to the city in 1830, is reported to have answered, 'I would have gone if the law had been equal to protect me, but that was not the case. Fifty dragoons would have done it, but that was a military force. If firing had begun, who could tell when it would end? one guilty person would fall and ten innocent be destroyed. Would this have been wise or humane for a little bravado, or that the country might not be alarmed for a day or two?'

[8] His valued Secretary, to whose personal recollections most of these details are due.

[9] Some years afterwards, in the 'Address' already quoted, Mr. Gladstone made something of an amende for this attack; but he does not appear to have been fully informed, even then, either as to the intention with which the Act was framed, or as to the manner in which it had been carried out.

[10] 'This,' observes Lord Grey, 'owing to the extreme forbearance of Lord Elgin and his advisers, was the only life lost throughout these unhappy disturbances.'

[11] Lord Grey's Colonial Policy, &c. i. 234. In 1858, however, this 'perambulating system' having proved expensive and inconvenient, the Queen was asked to designate a permanent abode for the Legislature. Her Majesty was graciously pleased to name Ottawa, the present capital of the Dominion; and the selection of this central spot, with, its singular facilities of communication, has greatly aided in the consolidation of the province.



[Sidenote: Annexation movement]

The disturbances which followed the passing of the 'Rebellion Losses Bill' have been described in the preceding chapter chiefly as they affected the person of the Governor. But it may be truly said that this was the aspect of them that gave him least concern. He felt, indeed, deeply the indignities offered to the Crown of England through its representative. But there was some satisfaction in the reflection that, by taking on himself the whole responsibility of sanctioning the obnoxious Bill, he had drawn down upon his own head the chief violence of a storm which might otherwise have exploded in a manner very dangerous to the Empire. 'I think I might say,' he writes, 'with less poetry but with more truth, what Lamartine said when they accused him of coquetting with the Rouges under the Provisional Government: "Oui, j'ai conspiré! J'ai conspiré comme le paratonnerre conspire avec le nuage pour désarmer la foudre."' But the thunder-cloud was not entirely disarmed; and it burst in a direction which popular passion in Canada has always been too apt to take, threats of throwing off England and joining the American States. As far back as March 14, 1849, we find Lord Elgin drawing Lord Grey's attention to this subject.

There has been (he writes) a vast deal of talk about 'annexation,' as is unfortunately always the case here when there is anything to agitate the public mind. If half the talk on this subject were sincere, I should consider an attempt to keep up the connection with Great Britain as Utopian in the extreme. For, no matter what the subject of complaint, or what the party complaining; whether it be alleged that the French are oppressing the British, or the British the French—that Upper Canada debt presses on Lower Canada, or Lower Canada claims on Upper; whether merchants be bankrupt, stocks depreciated, roads bad, or seasons unfavourable, annexation is invoked as the remedy for all ills, imaginary or real. A great deal of this talk is, however, bravado, and a great deal the mere product of thoughtlessness. Undoubtedly it is in some quarters the utterance of very sincere convictions; and if England will not make the sacrifices which are absolutely necessary to put the colonists here in as good a position commercially as the citizens of the States—in order to which free navigation and reciprocal trade with the States are indispensable—if not only the organs of the league but those of the Government and of the Peel party are always writing as if it were an admitted fact that colonies, and more especially Canada, are a burden, to be endured only because they cannot be got rid of, the end may be nearer at hand than we wot of.

In these sentences we have the germs of views and feelings which time only made clearer and stronger;—indignation at that tendency, so common in all minorities, to look abroad for aid against the power of the majority; faith in the idea of Colonial Government, if based on principles of justice and freedom; and, as regards the particular case of Canada, the conviction that nothing was wanted to secure her loyalty but a removal of the commercial restrictions which placed her at a disadvantage in competing with her neighbours of the Union. To understand the scope of his policy during the next few years, it will be necessary to dwell at some length on each of these points; but for the present we must return to the circumstances which gave occasion to the letter which we have quoted.

[Sidenote: Manifesto.]

While ready, as that letter shows, to make every allowance for the utterances of thoughtless folly, or of well-founded discontent on the part of the people, Lord Elgin felt the necessity of checking at once such demonstrations on the part of paid servants of the Crown. Accordingly, when an elaborate manifesto appeared in favour of 'annexation,' bearing the signatures of several persons—magistrates, Queen's counsel, militia officers, and others—holding commissions at the pleasure of the Crown, he caused a circular to be addressed to all such persons with the view of ascertaining whether their names had been attached with their own consent. Some of these letters were answered in the negative, some in the affirmative, and others by denying the right of the Government to put the question, and declining to reply to it. Lord Elgin resolved, with the advice of his executive council, to remove from such offices as are held during the pleasure of the Crown, the gentlemen who admitted the genuineness of their signatures, and those who refused to disavow them.

[Sidenote: Remedial measures.]

'In this course, says Lord Grey,[1] 'we thought it right to support him; and a despatch was addressed to him signifying the Queen's approval of his having dismissed from Her service those who had signed the address, and Her Majesty's commands to resist to the utmost any attempt that might be made to bring about a separation of Canada from the British dominions,' But the necessity for such acts of severity only increased Lord Elgin's desire to remove every reasonable ground of complaint and discontent; to shut out, as he said, the advocates of annexation from every plea which could grace or dignify rebellion. He felt, indeed, an assured confidence that, by carrying out fearlessly the principle of self-government, he had 'cast an acorn into time,' which could not fail to bring forth the fruit of political contentment. But, in the meantime, for the immediate security of the connection between the colony and the mother-country he thought, as we have already seen, that two measures were indispensable, viz. the removal of the existing restrictions on navigation, and the establishment of reciprocal free trade with the United States.

Judging after the event we may, perhaps, be inclined to think that the importance which he attached to the latter of these measures was exaggerated; especially as the annexation movement had died away, and content, commercial as well as political, had returned to the Province long before it was carried. But we cannot form a correct view of his policy without giving some prominence to a subject which occupied, for many years, so large a share of his thoughts and of his energies.

Writing to Lord Grey on November 8, 1849, he says:—

[Sidenote: 'Reciprocity.']

The fact is, that although both the States and Canada export to the same neutral market, prices on the Canada side of the line are lower than on the American, by the amount of the duty which the Americans levy. So long as this state of things continues there will be discontent in this country; deep, growing discontent You will not, I trust, accuse me of having deceived you on this point. I have always said that I am prepared to assume the responsibility of keeping Canada quiet, with a much smaller garrison than we have now, and without any tax on the British consumer in the shape of protection to Canadian products, if you put our trade on as good a footing as that of our American neighbours; but if things remain on their present footing in this respect, there is nothing before us but violent agitation, ending in convulsion or annexation. It is better that I should worry you with my importunity, than that I should be chargeable with having neglected to give you due warning. You have a great opportunity before you— obtain reciprocity for us, and I venture to predict that you will be able shortly to point to this hitherto turbulent colony with satisfaction, in illustration of the tendency of self-government and freedom of trade, to beget contentment and material progress. Canada will remain attached to England, though tied to her neither by the golden links of protection, nor by the meshes of old-fashioned colonial office jobbing and chicane. But if you allow the Americans to withhold the boon which you have the means of extorting if you will, I much fear that the closing period of the connection between Great Britain and Canada will be marked by incidents which will damp the ardour of those who desire to promote human happiness by striking shackles either off commerce or off men.

Even when tendering to the Premier, Lord John Russell, his formal thanks on being raised to the British peerage—an honour which, coming at that moment, he prized most highly as a proof to the world that the Queen's Government approved his policy—he could not forego the opportunity of insisting on a topic which seemed to him so momentous.

It is (he writes) of such vital importance that your Lordship should rightly apprehend the nature of these difficulties, and the state of public opinion in Canada at this conjuncture, that I venture, at the hazard of committing an indiscretion, to add a single observation on this head. Let me then assure your Lordship, and I speak advisedly in offering this assurance, that the disaffection now existing in Canada, whatever be the forms with which it may clothe itself, is due mainly to commercial causes. I do not say that there is no discontent on political grounds. Powerful individuals and even classes of men are, I am well aware, dissatisfied with the conduct of affairs. But I make bold to affirm that so general is the belief that, under the present circumstances of our commercial condition, the colonists pay a heavy pecuniary fine for their fidelity to Great Britain, that nothing but the existence to an unwonted degree of political contentment among the masses has prevented the cry for annexation from spreading, like wildfire, through the Province. This, as your Lordship will perceive, is a new feature in Canadian politics. The plea of self-interest, the most powerful weapon, perhaps, which the friends of British connection have wielded in times past, has not only been wrested from my hands, but transferred since 1846 to those of the adversary. I take the liberty of mentioning a fact, which seems better to illustrate the actual condition of affairs in these respects than many arguments. I have lately spent several weeks in the district of Niagara. Canadian Niagara is separated from the state of New York by a narrow stream, spanned by a bridge, which it takes a foot passenger about three minutes to cross. The inhabitants are for the most part U.E. loyalists,[2] and differ little in habits or modes of thought and expression from their neighbours. Wheat is their staple product—the article which they exchange for foreign comforts and luxuries. Now it is the fact that a bushel of wheat, grown on the Canadian side of the line, has fetched this year in the market, on an average, from 9_d_. to 1_s_. less than the same quantity and quality of the same article grown on the other. Through their district council, a body elected under a system of very extended suffrage, these same inhabitants of Niagara have protested against the Montreal annexation movement. They have done so (and many other district councils in Upper Canada have done the same) under the impression that it would be base to declare against England at a moment when England has given a signal proof of her determination to concede constitutional Government in all its plenitude to Canada. I am confident, however, that the large majority of the persons who have thus protested, firmly believe that their annexation to the United States would add one-fourth to the value of the produce of their farms.

I need say no more than this to convince your Lordship, that while this state of things subsists (and I much fear that no measure but the establishment of reciprocal trade between Canada and the States, or the imposition of a duty on the produce of the States when imported into England, will remove it), arguments will not be wanting to those who seek to seduce Canadians from their allegiance.

Shortly afterwards he writes to Lord Grey:—

It is not for me to dispute the point with free-traders, when they allege that all parts of the Empire are suffering from the effects of free-trade, and that Canadians must take their chance with others. But I must be permitted to remark, that the Canadian case differs from others, both as respects the immediate cause of the suffering, and still more as respects the means which the sufferers possess of finding for themselves a way of escape. As to the former point I have only to say that, however severe the pressure in other cases attendant on the transition from protection to free-trade, there is none which presents so peculiar a specimen of legislative legerdemain as the Canadian, where an interest was created in 1843 by a Parliament in which the parties affected had no voice, only to be knocked down by the same Parliament in 1846. But it is the latter consideration which constitutes the specialty of the Canadian case. What in point of fact can the other suffering interests, of which the Times writes, do? There may be a great deal of grumbling, and a gradual move towards republicanism, or even communism; but this is an operose and empirical process, the parties engaged in it are full of misgivings, and their ranks at every step in advance are thinned by desertion. Not so with the Canadians. The remedy offered to them, such as it is, is perfectly definite and intelligible. They are invited to form a part of a community, which is neither suffering nor free- trading, which never makes a bargain without getting at least twice as much as it gives; a community, the members of which have been within the last few weeks pouring into their multifarious places of worship, to thank God that they are exempt from the ills which afflict other men, from those more especially which afflict their despised neighbours, the inhabitants of North America, who have remained faithful to the country which planted them.

Now, I believe, that if these facts be ignored, it is quite impossible to understand rightly the present state of opinion in Canada, or to determine wisely the course which the British Government and Parliament ought to pursue. It may suit the policy of the English free-trade press to represent the difficulties of Canada as the consequence of having a fool for a Governor-General; but, if it be permitted me to express an opinion on a matter of so much delicacy, I venture to doubt whether it would be safe to act on this hypothesis. My conviction on the contrary is, that motives of self-interest of a very gross and palpable description are suggesting treasonable courses to the Canadian mind at present, and that it is a political sentiment, a feeling of gratitude for what has been done and suffered this year in the cause of Canadian self-government, which is neutralising these suggestions.

Again, on December 29,1849, he writes as follows:—

[Sidenote: Free navigation.]

I believe that the operation of the free navigation system will be what you anticipate, to a great extent at least, and that it will tend materially to equalise prices on the two sides of the line. At the same time I do think, that there are circumstances in this country which falsify, in some degree, the deductions at which one arrives from reasoning founded on the abstract principles of political economy. One of these circumstances is the power which the farmers in the Western States, having no rents to pay, have of holding back their grain when prices do not suit them. You must have observed what hoards they poured forth when they were tempted by the famine prices of 1847; and I cannot but think that this power of hoarding, coupled with an indifferent harvest, must account for the great disparity of price, which has obtained during the course of the present year in the New York market for bonded grain, and grain for the home consumption. I fully expect, however, to see the price of Canadian grain, bonded at New York, rise, now that it can be exported to Liverpool in the New York liners, which will carry it for ballast. Nevertheless, I think that Sir Robert Peel's dictum with respect to the Repeal of the Corn Laws, on the day on which he retired last from office, when he observed that thenceforward, even when the poor suffered from the high price of bread, they would not ascribe that suffering to the fact of their bread being taxed, applies with at least equal force to the reciprocity question as affecting the Canadian farmers. For sure am I that, so long as there is a duty on their produce when it enters the States, and none on the introduction of United States produce into England, they will ascribe to this cause alone the differences of price that may occasionally rule to their disadvantage.

The history of the two measures which Lord Elgin so ardently desired, and which in the foregoing and many similar letters he so urgently pressed, was eminently characteristic of the two Legislatures, through which they had respectively to be carried.

[Sidenote: Repeal of Navigation Laws.]

In England, the repeal of restrictive Navigation Laws was contended for by thoughtful statesmen on grounds of public policy. The protective and conservative instincts of the old country, fortified by the never-absent spirit of party, resisted the change. When fairly beaten by force of argument in the House of Commons, they entrenched themselves ha the House of Lords; and it was only after a hot struggle that the Act was passed in June 1849, of which one effect was, by lowering freights, to increase the profits of the Canadian trade in wheat and timber, and thus to advance, in a very important degree, the commercial prosperity of the colony.

[Sidenote: Reciprocity Treaty.]

The delays which retarded the settlement of the Reciprocity Treaty were due to causes of another kind. The difficulty was to induce the American Congress to pay any attention at all to the subject. In the vast multiplicity of matters with which that Assembly has to deal, it is said that no cause which does not appeal strongly to a national sentiment, or at least to some party feeling, has a chance of obtaining a hearing, unless it is taken up systematically by 'organizers' outside the House. The Reciprocity Bill was not a measure about which any national or even party feeling could be aroused. It was one which required much study to understand its bearings, and which would affect different interests in the country in different ways. It stood, therefore, especially in need of the aid of professional organizers; a kind of aid of which it was of course impossible that either the British or the Canadian Government should avail itself. Session after session the Bill was proposed, scarcely debated, and set aside. At last, in 1854, after the negotiations had dragged on wearily for more than six years, Lord Elgin himself was sent to Washington in the hope—'a forlorn hope,' as it seemed to those who sent him—of bringing the matter to a successful issue. It was his first essay in diplomacy, but made under circumstances unusually favourable. He was personally popular with the Americans, towards whom he had always entertained and shown a most friendly feeling. They appreciated, moreover, better perhaps than it was appreciated at home, the consummate ability, as well as the rare strength of character, which he had displayed in the government of Canada; and the prestige thus attaching to his name, joined to the influence of his presence, and his courtesy and bonhomie, enabled him in a few days to smooth all difficulties, and change apathy into enthusiasm. Within a few weeks from the time of his landing he had agreed with Mr. Marcy upon the terms of a Treaty of Reciprocity, which soon afterwards received the sanction of all the Governments concerned.

The main concessions made by the Provinces to the United States in this treaty were, (1) the removal of duties on the introduction, for consumption in the Provinces, of certain products of the States; (2) the admission of citizens of that country to the enjoyment of the in-shore sea-fishery; (3) the opening-up to their vessels of the St. Lawrence and canals pertaining thereto.

A good deal of misconception prevailed at the time as to the amount of the concession made under the second head. The popular impression on this point was, that a gigantic monopoly was about to be surrendered; but this was far from being the case. The citizens of the United States had already, under the Convention of 1818, access to the most important cod-fisheries on the British coasts. The new treaty maintained in favour of British subjects the monopoly of the river and freshwater fisheries; and the concession which it made to the citizens of the United States amounted in substance to this, that it admitted them to a legal participation in the mackerel and herring fisheries, from illegal encroachments on which it had been found, after the experience of many years, practically impossible to exclude them.[3]

The duration of the Treaty was limited to ten years, and has not been extended; but it is not too much to hope that it has had some effect in engendering feelings of friendliness, and of community of interest, which may long outlast itself.

[Sidenote: Views of Government.]

It has been already noticed that the 'annexation movement' of 1849 died away without serious consequences; and extracts which have been given above sufficiently show to what cause Lord Elgin attributed its extinction. The powerful attraction of the great neighbouring republic had been counteracted and overcome by the more powerful attraction of self- government at home. The centrifugal force was no longer equal to the centripetal. To create this state of feeling had been his most cherished desire; to feel that he had succeeded in creating it was, throughout much obloquy and misunderstanding, his greatest support.

[Sidenote: Duty of supporting authority,]

From the earliest period of his entrance into political life he had always had the strongest sense of the duty incumbent on every public man of supporting, even in opposition, the authority of Government. The bitterest reproach which he cast upon the Whigs, in his first Tory 'Letter to the Electors of Great Britain' in 1835, was that when they found they could not carry on the government themselves, they tried to make it impossible for any other party to do so. Nor was he less severe, on another occasion, in his reprehension of 'a certain high Tory clique who are always cavilling at royalty when it is constitutional; circulating the most miserable gossip about royal persons and royal entertainments,' &c.; busily 'engaged in undermining the foundations on which respect for human institutions rests.' Writing, in May 1850, to Mr. Gumming Bruce, a Tory and Protectionist, he said—

I shall not despair for England whether Free-traders or Protectionists be in the ascendant, unless I see that the faction out of power abet the endeavours of those who would make the Government of the country contemptible. Read Montalembert's speeches. They are very eloquent and instructive. He had as full a faith in his religion, and what he considered due to his religion, as you can have in your Corn Laws. Yet observe how bitterly he now repents having aided those who have undermined in the French public all respect for authority and the powers that be.

If all that your Protectionist friends want to do is to put themselves, or persons in whom they have greater confidence than the present Ministry, in office, their object is, I confess, a perfectly legitimate one. What I complain of is the system of what is termed damaging the Government, when resorted to by those who have no such purpose in view; or at least no honest intention of assuming responsibilities which they are endeavouring to render intolerable to those who are charged with them.

[Sidenote: especially in Colonies.]

But if this 'political profligacy' was, in his judgment, the bane of party government at home, a still stronger but, perhaps, more excusable tendency to it threatened to defeat the object of responsible government in Canada. Accustomed to look abroad for the source and centre of power, a beaten minority in the Colonial Parliament, instead of loyally accepting its position, was never without a hope of wresting the victory from its opponents, either by an appeal to opinion in the mother-country, always ill-informed, and therefore credulous, in matters of colonial politics, or else by raising a cry of 'separation' or 'annexation.'

The evil effects of this state of things need hardly be pointed out. On the one hand the constant reference to opinion in England, not in the shape of constitutional appeal but by ex-parte statements, produced a state of chronic irritation against the mother-country. 'There is nothing,' wrote Lord Elgin, 'which makes the colonial statesman so jealous as rescripts from the Colonial Office, suggested by the representations of provincial cliques or interests, who ought, as he contends, to bow before the authorities of Government House, Montreal, rather than those of Downing Street.' On the other hand it was not easy to know how to deal with politicians who did not profess to own more than a qualified and provisional allegiance to the constitution of the Province and the Crown of England. The one hope in both cases was to foster a 'national and manly tone' of political morals; to lead all parties alike to look to their own Parliament, and neither to the London press nor the American hustings, for the solution of all problems of Provincial government.

But while thus zealously defending, the fortress of British connection committed to his care, Lord Elgin was dismayed to find that its walls were crumbling round him? undermined by the operations of his own Mends; that there had arisen at home a school of philosophic statesmen, strong in their own ability, and strengthened by the support of the Radical economists, according to whom it was to be expected and desired that every colony enjoying constitutional government should aim at emancipating itself entirely from allegiance to the mother-country, and forming itself into an independent Republic. With such views he had no sympathy. The 'Sparta' which had fallen to his lot was the position of a colonial governor, and that position he felt it his duty to 'adorn' and to maintain. Moreover, believing firmly in the vitality of the monarchical principle, as well as in its value, he contended that it is an error to suppose that a constitutional monarchy, in proportion as it becomes more liberal, tends towards republicanism; and further, that if such tendency existed it would be retrograde rather than progressive.

The views of Colonial Government, its objects and its difficulties, which have been here briefly epitomised, are displayed in full in the following letters, together with a variety of opinions on kindred topics. They are given as characteristic of Lord Elgin; but they may, perhaps, have an interest of their own, as bearing on important questions which still await solution.

To the Earl Grey.

November 16,1849.

[Sidenote: Maintenance of British connection.]

Very much, as respects the result of this annexation movement, depends upon what you do at home. I cannot say what the effect may be if the British Government and press are lukewarm on the subject. The annexationists will take heart, but in a tenfold greater degree the friends of the connection will be discouraged. If it be admitted that separation must take place, sooner or later, the argument in favour of a present move seems to be almost irresistible. I am prepared to contend that with responsible government, fairly worked out with free-trade, there is no reason why the colonial relation should not be indefinitely maintained. But look at my present difficulty, which may be increased beyond calculation, if indiscreet expressions be made use of during the present crisis. The English Government thought it necessary, in order to give moral support to their representative in Ireland, to assert in the most solemn manner that the Crown never would consent to the severance of the Union; although, according to the O'Connell doctrine, the allegiance to the Crown of the Irish was to be unimpaired notwithstanding such severance. But when I protest against Canadian projects for dismembering the empire, I am always told 'the most eminent statesmen in England have over and over again told us, that whenever we chose we might separate. Why, then, blame us for discussing the subject?'

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

January 14,1850.

[Sidenote: Colonial interests the sport of home parties.]

I am certainly less sanguine than I was as to the probability of retaining the colonies under free-trade. I speak not now of the cost of their retention, for I have no doubt but that, if all parties concerned were honest, expenses might be gradually reduced. I am sure also that when free-trade is fairly in operation it will be found that more has been gained by removing the causes of irritation which were furnished by the constant tinkering incident to a protective system, than has been lost by severing the bonds by which it tied the mother-country and the colonies together. What I fear is, that when the mystification in which certain questions of self-interest were involved by protection is removed, factions both at home and in the colonies will be more reckless than ever in hazarding for party objects the loss of the colonies.[4] Our system depends a great deal more on the discretion with which it is worked than the American, where each power in the state goes habitually the full length of its tether: Congress, the State legislatures, Presidents, Governors, all legislating and vetoing, without stint or limit, till pulled up short by a judgment of the Supreme Court. With us factions in the colonies are clamorous and violent, with the hope of producing effect on the Imperial Parliament and Government, just in proportion to their powerlessness at home. The history of Canada during the past year furnishes ample evidence of this truth. Why was there so much violence on the part of the opposition here last summer, particularly against the Governor-General? Because it felt itself to be weak in the province, and looked for success to the effect it could produce in England alone.

And how is this tendency to bring the Imperial and Local Parliaments into antagonism, a tendency so dangerous to the permanence of our system, to be counteracted? By one expedient as it appears to me only; namely, by the Governor's acting with some assumption of responsibility, so that the shafts of the enemy, which are intended for the Imperial Government, may fall on him. If a line of demarcation between the questions with which the Local Parliaments can deal and those which are reserved for the Imperial authority could be drawn, (as was recommended last session by the Radicals), it might be different; but, as it is, I see nothing for it but that the Governors should be responsible for the share which the Imperial Government may have in the policy carried out in the responsible-government colonies, with the liability to be recalled and disavowed whenever the Imperial authorities think it expedient to repudiate such policy.

* * * * *

To the Duke of Newcastle.

Quebec: February 18, 1853.

[Sidenote: Distribution of honours.]

Now that the bonds formed by commercial protection and the disposal of local offices are severed, it is very desirable that the prerogative of the Crown, as the fountain of honour, should be employed, in so far as this can properly be done, as a means of attaching the outlying parts of the empire to the throne. Of the soundness of this proposition as a general principle no doubt can, I presume, be entertained. It is not, indeed, always easy to apply it in these communities, where fortunes are precarious, the social system so much based on equality, and public services so generally mixed up with party conflicts. But it should never, in my opinion, be lost sight of, and advantage should be taken of all favourable opportunities to act upon it.

There are two principles which ought, I think, as a general rule to be attended to in the distribution of Imperial honours among colonists. Firstly, they should appear to emanate directly from the Crown, on the advice, if you will, of the Governors and Imperial Ministers, but not on the recommendation of the local executives. And, secondly, they should be conferred, as much as possible, on the eminent persons who are no longer actively engaged in political life. If these principles be neglected, such distinctions will, I fear, soon lose their value.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto: March 23,1850.

[Sidenote: Speech of Lord J. Russell.]
[Sidenote: Colonial existence not provisional.]

Lord John's speech on the colonies seems to have been eminently successful at home. It is calculated too, I think, to do good in the colonies; but for one sentence, the introduction of which I deeply deplore—the sting in the tail. Alas for that sting in the tail! I much fear that when the liberal and enlightened sentiments, the enunciation of which by one so high in authority is so well calculated to make the colonists sensible of the advantages which they derive from their connection with Great Britain, shall have passed away from their memories, there will not be wanting those who will remind them that, on this solemn occasion, the Prime Minister of England, amid the plaudits of a full senate, declared that he looked forward to the day when the ties which he was endeavouring to render so easy and mutually advantageous would be severed. And wherefore this foreboding? or, perhaps, I ought not to use the term foreboding, for really to judge by the comments of the press on this declaration of Lord John's, I should be led to imagine that the prospect of these sucking democracies, after they have drained their old mother's life-blood, leaving her in the lurch, and setting up as rivals, just at the time when their increasing strength might render them a support instead of a burden, is one of the most cheering which has of late presented itself to the English imagination. But wherefore then this anticipation—if foreboding be not the correct term? Because Lord John and the people of England persist in assuming that the Colonial relation is incompatible with maturity and full development. And is this really so incontestable a truth that it is a duty not only to hold but to proclaim it? Consider for a moment what is the effect of proclaiming it in our case. We have on this continent two great empires in presence, or rather, I should say, two great Imperial systems. In many respects there is much similarity between them. In so far as powers of self-government are concerned it is certain that our colonists in America have no reason to envy the citizens of any state in the Union. The forms differ, but it may be shown that practically the inhabitants of Canada have a greater power in controlling their own destiny than those of Michigan or New York, who must tolerate a tariff imposed by twenty other states, and pay the expenses of war undertaken for objects which they profess to abhor. And yet there is a difference between the two cases; a difference, in my humble judgment, of sentiment rather than substance, which renders the one a system of life and strength, and the other a system of death and decay. No matter how raw and rude a territory may be when it is admitted as a state into the Union of the United States, it is at once, by the popular belief, invested with all the dignity of manhood, and introduced into a system which, despite the combativeness of certain ardent spirits from the South, every American believes and maintains to be immortal. But how does the case stand with us? No matter how great the advance of a British colony in wealth and civilisation; no matter how absolute the powers of self-government conceded to it, it is still taught to believe that it is in a condition of pupilage from which it must pass before it can attain maturity. For one I have never been able to comprehend why, elastic as our constitutional system is, we should not be able, now more especially when we have ceased to control the trade of our colonies, to render the links which bind them to the British Crown at least as lasting as those which unite the component parts of the Union…. One thing is, however, indispensable to the success of this or any other system of Colonial Government. You must renounce the habit of telling the Colonies that the Colonial is a provisional existence. You must allow them to believe that, without severing the bonds which unite them to Great Britain, they may attain the degree of perfection, and of social and political development, to which organised communities of free men have a right to aspire.

Since I began this letter I have, I regret to say, confirmatory evidence of the justice of the anticipations I had formed of the probable effect of Lord John's declaration. I enclose extracts from two newspapers, an annexationist, the Herald of Montreal, and a quasi annexationist, the Mirror of Toronto. You will note the use they make of it. I was more annoyed however, I confess, by what occurred yesterday in council. We had to determine whether or not to dismiss from his offices a gentleman who is both M.P.P., Q.C., and J.P., and who has issued a flaming manifesto in favour, not of annexation, but of an immediate declaration of independence as a step to it. I will not say anything of my own opinion on the case, but it was generally contended by the members of the Board, that it would be impossible to maintain that persons who had declared their intention to throw off their allegiance to the Queen, with a view to annexation, were unfit to retain offices granted during pleasure, if persons who made a similar declaration with a view to independence were to be differently dealt with. Baldwin had Lord John's speech in his hand. He is a man of singularly placid demeanour, but he has been seriously ill, so possibly his nerves are shaken—at any rate I never saw him so much moved. 'Have you read the latter part of Lord J. Russell's speech?' he said to me. I nodded assent. 'For myself,' he added, 'if the anticipations therein expressed prove to be well founded, my interest in public affairs is gone for ever. But is it not hard upon us while we are labouring, through good and evil report, to thwart the designs of those who would dismember the Empire, that our adversaries should be informed that the difference between them and the Prime Minister of England is only one of time? If the British Government has really come to the conclusion that we are a burden to be cast off whenever a favourable opportunity offers, surely we ought to be warned.'

I replied that while I regretted as much as he could do the paragraph to which he referred, I thought he somewhat mistook its import: that I believed no man living was more opposed to the dismemberment of the Empire than Lord J. Russell: that I did not conceive that he had any intention of deserting the Colonies, or of inviting them to separate from England; but that he had in the sentence in question given utterance to a purely speculative, and in my judgment most fallacious, opinion, which, was shared, I feared, by very many persons both in England and the Colonies: that I held it to be a perfectly unsound and most dangerous theory, that British Colonies could not attain maturity without separation, and that my interest in labouring with them to bring into full play the principles of Constitutional Government in Canada would entirely cease if I could be persuaded to adopt it. I said all this I must confess, however, not without misgiving, for I could not but be sensible that, in spite of all my allegations to the contrary, my audience was disposed to regard a prediction of this nature, proceeding from a Prime Minister, less as a speculative abstraction than as one of that class of prophecies which work their own fulfilment. I left the Council Chamber disheartened, with the feeling that Lord J. Russell's reference to the manhood of Colonies was more likely to be followed by practical consequences than Lamartine's famous 'quand l'heure aura sonné' invocation to oppressed nationalities. It is possible, indeed, that I exaggerate to myself the probable effects of this declaration. Politicians of the Baldwin stamp, with distinct views and aims, who having struggled to obtain a Government on British principles, desire to preserve it, are not, I fear, very numerous in Canada; the great mass move on with very indefinite purposes, and not much inquiring whither they are going. Of one thing, however, I am confident; there cannot be any peace, contentment, progress, or credit in this colony while the idea obtains that the connection with England is a millstone about its neck which should be cast off, as soon as it can be conveniently managed. What man in his senses would invest his money in the public securities of a country where questions affecting the very foundations on which public credit rests are in perpetual agitation; or would settle in it at all if he could find for his foot a more stable resting-place elsewhere? I may, perhaps, be expressing myself too unreservedly with reference to opinions emanating from a source which I am no less disposed than bound to respect. As I have the means, however, of feeling the pulse of the colonists in this most feverish region, I consider it to be always my duty to furnish you with as faithful a record as possible of our diagnostics. And, after all, may I not with all submission ask, Is not the question at issue a most momentous one? What is it indeed but this: Is the Queen of England to be the Sovereign of an Empire, growing, expanding, strengthening itself from age to age, striking its roots deep into fresh earth and drawing new supplies of vitality from virgin soils? Or is she to be for all essential purposes of might and power, Monarch of Great Britain and Ireland merely—her place and that of her line in the world's history determined by the productiveness of 12,000 square miles of a coal formation, which is being rapidly exhausted, and the duration of the social and political organization over which she presides dependent on the annual expatriation, with a view to its eventual alienization, of the surplus swarms of her born subjects? If Lord J. Russell, instead of concluding his excellent speech with a declaration of opinion which, as I read it, and as I fear others will read it, seems to make it a point of honour with the Colonists to prepare for separation, had contented himself with resuming the statements already made in its course, with showing that neither the Government nor Parliament could have any object in view in their Colonial policy but the good of the Colonies, and the establishment of the relation between them and the mother-country on the basis of mutual affection; that, as the idea of maintaining a Colonial Empire for the purpose of exercising dominion or dispensing patronage had been for some time abandoned, and that of regarding it as a hot-bed for forcing commerce and manufactures more recently renounced, a greater amount of free action and self-government might be conceded to British Colonies without any breach of Imperial Unity, or the violation of any principle of Imperial Policy, than had under any scheme yet devised fallen to the lot of the component parts of any Federal or imperial system; if he had left these great truths to work their effect without hazarding a conjecture which will, I fear, be received as a suggestion, with respect to the course which certain wayward members of the Imperial family may be expected to take in a contingency still confessedly remote, it would, I venture with great deference to submit, in so far at least as public feeling in the Colonies is concerned, have been safer and better.

[Sidenote: 'Separation' and 'annexation.']

You draw, I know, a distinction between separation with a view to annexation and separation with a view to independence. You say the former is an act of treason, the latter a natural and legitimate step in progress. There is much plausibility doubtless in this position, but, independently of the fact that no one advocates independence in these Colonies except as a means to the end, annexation, is it really tenable? If you take your stand on the hypothesis that the Colonial existence is one with which the Colonists ought to rest satisfied, then, I think, you are entitled to denounce, without reserve or measure, those who propose for some secondary object to substitute the Stars and Stripes for the Union Jack. But if, on the contrary, you assume that it is a provisional state, which admits of but a stunted and partial growth, and out of which all communities ought in the course of nature to strive to pass, how can you refuse to permit your Colonies here, when they have arrived at the proper stage in their existence, to place themselves in a condition which is at once most favourable to their security and to their perfect national development? What reasons can you assign for the refusal, except such as are founded on selfishness, and are, therefore, morally worthless? If you say that your great lubberly boy is too big for the nursery, and that you have no other room for him in your house, how can you decline to allow him to lodge with his elder brethren over the way, when the attempt to keep up an establishment for himself would seriously embarrass him?

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto: November 1, 1850.

Sir H. Bulwer spent four days with us, and for many reasons I am glad that he has been here. He leaves us knowing more of Canada than he did when he came. I think too that both he and Sir E. Head return to their homes re-assured on many points of our internal policy, on which they felt doubtful before, and much enlightened as to the real position of men and things in this province.

[Sidenote: Self-government not republican.]

With one important truth 1 have laboured to impress them, and I hope successfully. It is this: that the faithful carrying out of the principles of Constitutional Government is a departure from the American model, not an approximation to it, and, therefore, a departure from republicanism in its only workable shape. Of the soundness of this view of our case I entertain no doubt whatever; and though I meet with few persons to whom it seems to have occurred (for the common belief of superficial observers is that we are republicanising the colonies), I seldom fail in bringing it borne to the understanding of any intelligent person with whom I have occasion to discuss it. The fact is, that the American system is our old Colonial system with, in certain cases, the principle of popular election substituted for that of nomination by the Crown. Mr. Filmore stands to his Congress very much in the same relation in which I stood to my Assembly in Jamaica. There is the same absence of effective responsibility in the conduct of legislation, the same want of concurrent action between the parts of the political machine. The whole business of legislation in the American Congress, as well as in the State Legislatures, is conducted in the manner in which railway business was conducted in the House of Commons at a time when it is to be feared that, notwithstanding the high standard of honour in the British Parliament, there was a good deal of jobbing. For instance our Reciprocity measure was pressed by us at Washington last session, just as a Railway Bill in 1845 or 1846 would have been pressed in Parliament. There was no Government to deal with. The interests of the Union, as a whole and distinct from local and sectional interests, had no organ in the representative bodies; it was all a question of canvassing this member of Congress or the other. It is easy to perceive that, under such a system, jobbing must become not the exception but the rule.

Now I feel very strongly, that when a people have been once thoroughly accustomed to the working of such a Parliamentary system as ours, they never will consent to revert to this clumsy irresponsible mechanism. Whether we shall be able to carry on the war here long enough to allow the practice of Constitutional Government and the habits of mind which it engenders to take root in these provinces, may be doubtful. But it may be worth your while to consider whether these views do not throw some light on affairs in Europe. If you part with constitutional monarchies there, you may possibly get something much more democratic; but you cannot, I am confident, get American republicanism. It is the fashion to say, 'of course not; we cannot get their federal system;' but this is not the only reason, there are others that lie deeper. Look at France, where they are trying to jumble up the two things, a head of the State responsible to the people who elect him, and a ministry responsible to the Parliament.

* * * * *

To the Duke of Newcastle.

March 26, 1853.

It is argued that, by the severance of the connection, British statesmen would be relieved of an onerous responsibility for colonial acts of which they cannot otherwise rid themselves. Is there not, however, some fallacy in this? If by conceding absolute independence the British Parliament can acquit itself of the obligation to impose its will upon the Colonists, in the matter, for instance, of a Church Establishment, can it not attain the same end by declaring that, as respects such local questions, the Colonists are free to judge for themselves? How can it be justifiable to adopt the former of these expedients, and sacrilegious to act upon the latter?

The true policy, in my humble judgment, is to throw the whole weight of responsibility on those who exercise the real power, for, after all, the sense of responsibility is the best security against the abuse of power; and, as respects the connection, to act and speak on this hypothesis—that there is nothing in it to check the development of healthy national life in these young communities. I believe that this policy will be found to be not only the safest, but also (an important consideration in these days) the most economical.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto: December 17, 1850.

Although, as you observe, it seems to be rather idle in us to correspond on what may be termed speculative questions, when we have so much pressing business on hand, I venture to say a few words in reply to your letter of the 23rd ult., firstly, because I presume to dissent from some of the opinions which you advance in it; and, secondly, because I have a practical object of no small importance in view in calling your attention to the contrasts which present themselves in the working of our institutions, and those of our neighbours in the States. My practical object is this: when you concede to the Colonists Constitutional Government in its integrity, you are reproached with leading them to Republicanism and the American Union. The same reproach is hurled with anathemas against your humble servant. Lord Stanley, if I rightly remember, in the debate on Ryland's case last year, stated amid cheers, that if you were in the habit of consulting the Ministers of the Crown in the Colony before you placed persons on the colonial pension List, he had no hesitation in saying you had already established a republic in Canada! Now I believe, on the contrary, that it may be demonstrated that the concession of Constitutional Government has a tendency to draw the Colonists the other way; firstly, because it slakes that thirst for self-government which seizes on all British communities when they approach maturity; and, secondly, because it habituates the Colonists to the working of a political mechanism, which is both intrinsically superior to that of the Americans, and more unlike it than our old Colonial system.

Adopting, however, the views with respect to the superiority of the mechanism of our political system to that of our neighbours, which I have ventured to urge, you proceed to argue that the remedy is in their hands; that without abandoning their republicanism they and their confrères in France have nothing to do but to dismiss their Presidents and to substitute our constitution without a King, the body without the head, for their own, to get rid of the inconveniences which they now experience; and you quote with approbation, as an embodiment of this idea, the project submitted by M. Grévy and the Red Republicans to the French Constituent Assembly.

[Sidenote: Value of the monarchical principle.]

Now here I confess I cannot go along with you, and the difference between us is a very material one; for if the monarch be not an indispensable element in our constitutional mechanism, and if we can secure all the advantages of that mechanism without him, I have drawn the wrong moral from the facts. You say that the system the Red Republicans would have established in France would have been the nearest possible approach to our own. It is possible, I think, that we may be tending towards the like issues. It is possible, perhaps probable, that as the House of Commons becomes more democratic in its composition, and consequently more arrogant in its bearing, it may cast off the shackles which the other powers of the State impose on its self-will, and even utterly abolish them; but I venture to believe that those who last till that day comes, will find that they are living under a very different constitution from that which we now enjoy; that they have traversed the interval which separates a temperate and cautious administration of public affairs resting on the balance of powers and interests, from a reckless and overbearing tyranny based on the caprices and passions of an absolute and irresponsible body. You talk somewhat lightly of the check of the Crown, although you acknowledge its utility. But is it indeed so light a matter, even as our constitution now works? Is it a light matter that the Crown should have the power of dissolving Parliament; in other words, of deposing the tyrant at will? Is it a light matter that for several months in each year the House of Commons should be in abeyance, during which period the nation looks on Ministers not as slaves of Parliament but servants of the Crown? Is it a light matter that there should still be such respect for the monarchical principle, that the servants of that visible entity yclept the Crown are enabled to carry on much of the details of internal and foreign administration without consulting Parliament, and even without its cognisance? Or do you suppose that the Red Republicans, when they advocated the nomination of a Ministry of the House of Assembly with a revocable mandat, intended to create a Frankenstein endowed with powers in some cases paramount to, and in others running parallel with, the authority of the omnipotent body to which it owed its existence? My own impression is, that they meant a set of delegates to be appointed, who should exercise certain functions of legislative initiation and executive patronage so long as they reflected clearly, in the former the passions, and in the latter the interests of the majority for the time being, and no longer.

It appears to me, I must confess, that if you have a republican form of government in a great country, with complicated internal and external relations, you must either separate the executive and legislative departments, as in the United States, or submit to a tyranny of the majority, not the more tolerable because it is capricious and wielded by a tyrant with many heads. Of the two evils I prefer the former.

Consider, for a moment, how much more violent the proceedings of majorities in the American Legislatures would be, how much more reckless the appeals to popular passion, how much more frequently the permanent interests of the nation and the rights of individuals and classes would be sacrificed to the object of raising political capital for present uses, if debates or discussions affected the tenure of office. I have no idea that the executive and legislative departments of the State can be made to work together with a sufficient degree of harmony to give the maximum of strength and of mutual independence to secure freedom and the rights of minorities, except under the presidency of Monarchy, the moral influence of which, so long as a nation is monarchical in its sentiments, cannot, of course, be measured merely by its recognised power.

[Sidenote: Influence of a Governor, under responsible Government.]

Those who are most ready to concur in these views of Colonial Government, and to admire the vigour with which they were defended, and the consistency with which they were carried out, may still be inclined to ask whether the maintenance of them did not involve a species of official suicide: whether the theory of the responsibility of provincial Ministers to the provincial Parliament, and of the consequent duty of the Governor to remain absolutely neutral in the strife of political parties, had not a necessary tendency to degrade his office into that of a mere Roi fainéant. He had in 1849, as Sir C. Adderley expresses it, 'maintained the principle of responsible Government at the risk of his life.' Was the result of his hard-won victory only to empty himself of all but the mere outward show of power and authority?

Such questions he was always ready to meet with an uncompromising negative. 'I have tried,' he said, both systems. In Jamaica there was no responsible Government: but I had not half the power I have here with my constitutional and changing Cabinet.' Even on the Vice-regal throne of India, he missed, at first, at least, something of the authority and influence which had been his, as Constitutional Governor, in Canada.[5] He was fully conscious, however, of the difficult nature of the position, and that it was only tenable on condition of being penetrated, or possessed, as he said, with the idea of its tenability. In this strain he wrote to his intimate friend. Mr. Cumming Bruce, in September 1852, with reference to a report that he was to be recalled by the Ministry which had recently come into power.

As respects the matter of the report, I am disposed to believe that, viewing the question with reference to personal interests exclusively, my removal from hence would not be any disadvantage to me. But, as to my work here—there is the rub. Is it to be all undone? On this point I must speak frankly. I have been possessed (I use the word advisedly, for I fear that most persons in England still consider it a case of possession) with the idea that it is possible to maintain on this soil of North America, and in the face of Republican America, British connection and British institutions, if you give the latter freely and trustingly. Faith, when it is sincere, is always catching; and I have imparted this faith, more or less thoroughly, to all Canadian statesmen with whom I have been in official relationship since 1848, and to all intelligent Englishmen with whom I have come in contact since 1850—as witness Lord Wharncliffe, Waldegrave, Tremenheere, &c. &c. Now if the Governor ceases to possess this faith, or to have the faculty of imparting it, I confess I fear that, ere long, it will become extinct in other breasts likewise. I believe that it is equally an error to imagine with one old-fashioned party, that you can govern such dependencies as this on the antiquated bureaucratic principle, by means of rescripts from Downing Street, in defiance of the popular legislatures, and on the hypothesis that one local faction monopolises all the loyalty of the Colony; and to suppose with the Radicals that all is done when you have simply told the colonists 'to go to the devil their own way.' I believe, on the contrary, that there is more room for the exercise of influence on the part of the Governor under my system than under any that ever was before devised; an influence, however, wholly moral—an influence of suasion, sympathy, and moderation, which softens the temper while it elevates the aims of local polities. It is true that on certain questions of public policy, especially with regard to Church matters, views are propounded by my ministers which do not exactly square with my pre-conceived opinions, and which I acquiesce in, so long as they do not contravene the fundamental principles of morality, from a conviction that they are in accordance with the general sentiments of the community.

It is true that I do not seek the commendation bestowed on Sir F. Head for bringing men into his councils from the liberal party, and telling them that they should enjoy only a partial confidence; thereby allowing them to retain their position as tribunes of the people in conjunction with the prestige of advisers of the Crown by enabling them to shirk responsibility for any acts of government which are unpopular. It is true that I have always said to my advisers, 'while you continue my advisers you shall enjoy nay unreserved confidence; and en revanche you shall be responsible for all acts of government.'

But it is no less certain that there is not one of them who does not know that no inducement on earth would prevail with me to bring me to acquiesce in any measures which seemed to me repugnant to public morals, or Imperial interests; and I must say that, far from finding in my advisers a desire to entrap me into proceedings of which 1 might disapprove, I find a tendency constantly increasing to attach the utmost value to my opinion on all questions, local or generals that arise.

The deep sense which he entertained of the importance of a correct understanding on this point is shown by his devoting to it the closing words of the last official despatch which he wrote from Quebec, on December 18, 1854.

I readily admit that the maintenance of the position and due influence of the Governor is one of the most critical problems that have to be solved in the adaptation of Parliamentary Government to the Colonial system; and that it is difficult to over-estimate the importance which attaches to its satisfactory solution. As the Imperial Government and Parliament gradually withdraw from legislative interference, and from the exercise of patronage in Colonial affairs, the office of Governor tends to become, in the most emphatic sense of the term, the link which connects the Mother-country and the Colony, and his influence the means by which harmony of action between the local and imperial authorities is to be preserved. It is not, however, in my humble judgment, by evincing an anxious desire to stretch to the utmost constitutional principles in his favour, but, on the contrary, by the frank acceptance of the conditions of the Parliamentary system, that this influence can be most surely extended and confirmed. Placed by his position above the strife of parties—holding office by a tenure less precarious than the ministers who surround him—having no political interests to serve but that of the community whose affairs he is appointed to administer—his opinion cannot fail, when all cause for suspicion and jealousy is removed, to have great weight in the Colonial Councils, while he is set at liberty to constitute himself in an especial manner the patron of those larger and higher interests— such interests, for example, as those of education, and of moral and material progress in all its branches—which, unlike the contests of party, unite instead of dividing the members of the body politic. The mention of such influences as an appreciable force in the administration of public affairs may provoke a sneer on the part of persons who have no faith in any appeal which is not addressed to the lowest motives of human conduct; but those who have juster views of our common nature, and who have seen influences that are purely moral wielded with judgment, will not be disposed to deny to them a high degree of efficacy.

[Sidenote: Defence of the colony,]

Closely akin to the question of the maintenance of the connection between the Colony and Great Britain, especially when viewed as affected by the commercial and financial condition of the former, was the question of throwing upon it the expense of defending itself; a problem which was then only beginning to attract the attention of liberal statesmen. For though it may be true that the practice of defending the Colonies with the troops and at the cost of the mother-country was an innovation upon the earlier Colonial system, introduced at the time of the great war, it is not the less certain that to the generation of colonists that had grown up since that time the abandonment of it had all the effect of novelty. It was a question on which, as affecting Canada, Lord Elgin was in a peculiar degree 'between two fires;' exposed to pressure at once from the Government at home and from his own Ministers, and seeing much to agree with in the views of both.

[Sidenote: against internal disorder;]

In the first place, as regards the preservation of order within the province, he thought it clear that, as a general rule, the cost of this should fall on the Colony itself wherever it enjoyed self-government; but there were peculiar circumstances in Canada which made him hesitate to apply the doctrine unreservedly there. Owing to the contiguity of the United States, the abettors of any mischief in the Colony might count on help constantly at hand, not indeed from the Government of the Union, which never acted disloyally,[6] but from the Unruly spirits that were apt to infest the borders; and it seemed to him at least doubtful, whether both justice and policy did not require that Great Britain should afford to the supporters of order some material aid to counterbalance this. Again, the peculiar social and political state of Lower Canada, arising mainly from the conditions under which it had passed into the hands of England, and from the manner in which England had fulfilled those conditions, created special difficulties as to the maintenance of internal quiet. On the one hand England's respect for treaty obligations had induced her to resist all attempts to break down by fraud or violence those rights and usages of the French population, which had tended to keep alive among them feelings of distinctive nationality; while on the other hand the effect of the working of the old system of colonial administration had been to confer upon British or American settlers a disproportionate share in the government of the province. It followed that the French-Canadian majority and the Anglo- Saxon minority were dwelling side by side in that section of the Colony without, to any sensible extent, intermingling, and under conditions of equilibrium which could never have been established but for the presence on the same scene of a directing and overruling power. In this state of things, while confidently hoping that an impartial adherence to the principles of constitutional government would by degrees obliterate all national distinctions, he saw reason to fear that the sudden withdrawal of Britain's moderating control, whether as the result of separation or of a change of Imperial policy, would be followed at no distant period by a serious collision between the races.

[Sidenote: against foreign attack.]

Similarly, as regards defence against foreign attack, while agreeing that a self-governing colony should be self-dependent, Lord Elgin felt that the peculiar position of Canada, having no foreign attack to apprehend except hi quarrels of England's making, made her case somewhat exceptional. And any wholesale withdrawal of British troops he strongly deprecated, as likely to imperil her connection with the mother-country, if it took place suddenly, before the old notion—the 'axiom affirmed again and again by Secretaries of State and Governors, that England was bound to pay all expenses connected with the defence of the Colony'—had lost its hold on men's minds, and a feeling of the responsibilities attaching to self- government had had time to grow up.

His first letter on the subject is to Lord Grey, written so early as April 26,1848:—

The question which you raise in your last letter respecting the military defence of Canada is a large one, and, before irrevocable steps be taken, it may be well to look at it on all sides.

The first consideration which offers itself in connection with this subject is this, 'Why does Canada require to be defended, and against whom?' A very large number of persons in this community believe that there is only one power from which they have anything to dread, and that this power would be converted into the fastest friend, bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh, if the connection with Great Britain were abandoned.

In this respect the position of Canada is peculiar. When you say to any other colony 'England declines to be longer at the expense of protecting you,' you at once reveal to it the extent of its dependence and the value of Imperial support. But it is not so here. Withdraw your protection from Canada, and she has it in her power to obtain the security against aggression enjoyed by Michigan or Maine: about as good security, I must allow, as any which is to be obtained at the present time.

But you may observe in reply to this, 'You cannot get the security which Michigan and Maine enjoy for nothing; you must purchase it by the surrender of your custom houses and public lands, the proceeds of which will be diverted from their present uses and applied to others, at the discretion of a body in which you will have comparatively little to say.' The argument is a powerful one, so long as England consents to bear the cost of the defence of the Colony, but its force is much lessened when the inhabitants are told that they must look to their own safety, because the mother-country can no longer afford to take care of them.

On the other hand very weighty reasons may be adduced in favour of the policy of requiring the province to bear some portion at least of the charge of its own protection. The adoption of free-trade, although its advocates must believe that it tends to make the Colonies in point of fact less chargeable than heretofore, will doubtless render the English people more than ever jealous of expenditure incurred on their behalf. I am, moreover, of opinion, that the system of relieving the colonists altogether from the duty of self-defence is attended with injurious effects upon themselves. It checks the growth of national and manly morals. Men seldom think anything worth preserving for which they are never asked to make a sacrifice.

My view, therefore, would be that it is desirable that a movement in the direction which you Lave indicated should take place, but that it ought to be made with much caution.

The present is not a favourable moment for experiments. British statesmen, even Secretaries of State, have got into the habit lately of talking of the maintenance of the connection between Great Britain and Canada with so much indifference, that a change of system in respect of military defence incautiously carried out, might be presumed by many to argue, on the part of the mother-country, a disposition to prepare the way for separation. Add to this, that you effected, only a few years ago, a union between the Upper and Lower Provinces by arbitrary means, and for objects the avowal of which has profoundly irritated the French population; that still more recently you have deprived Canada of her principal advantages in the British markets; that France and Ireland are in flames, and that nearly half of the population of this Colony are French, nearly half of the remainder Irish.

That Canada felt no need of bulwarks except against England's foes was a point on which he constantly insisted. On one occasion he wrote:—

Only one absurdity can be greater, pardon me for saying so, than the absurdity of supposing that the British Parliament will pay £200,000 for Canadian fortifications; it is the absurdity of supposing that Canadians will pay it themselves.

£200,000 for defences! and against whom? against the Americans. And who are the Americans? Your own kindred, a flourishing swaggering people, who are ready to make room for you at their own table, to give you a share of all they possess, of all their prosperity, and to guarantee you in all time to come against the risk of invasion, or the need of defences, if you will but speak the word!

[Sidenote: Recommends gradual reduction of forces.]

On the whole he was of opinion that the Government should quietly, and sans phrase, remove their troops altogether from some points, reduce them in others, and 'aim at the eventual substitution of a Major-General's command for that of a Lieutenant-General in Canada; but that nothing should be done hastily or per saltum, so as to alarm the Colonists with the idea that some new and strange principle was going to be applied to them.'

You may if you please (he wrote) largely reduce the staff, and more moderately the men, leaving the remainder in the best barracks. I think you may do this without, in any material degree, increasing the tendency towards annexation; provided always that you make no noise about it…. But, I repeat it, you must not, unless you wish to drive the Colony away from you, impose new burdens upon the Colonists at this time.[7]

The course thus sketched out he himself steadily pursued; and his last letters on the subject, written early in 1853 to the Duke of Newcastle, who had recently become Secretary for the Colonies, were occupied in recommending a continuance of the same quietly progressive policy:

When I came here we had a Commander-in-Chief and two Major-Generals. We have now only one General on the Station, and the staff has undergone proportional diminution. If further reductions are to be made, let them be effected in the same quiet way without parade or the ostentatious adoption of new principles as applicable to the defence of colonies which are exposed, as Canada is by reason of their connection with Great Britain, to the hazard of assaults from organised powers.

Continue then, if you will pardon me for so freely tendering advice, to apply in the administration of our local affairs the principles of Constitutional Government frankly and fairly. Do not ask England to make unreasonable sacrifices for the Colonists, but such sacrifices as are reasonable, on the hypothesis that the Colony is an exposed part of the empire. Induce her if you can to make them generously and without appearing to grudge them. Let it be inferred from your language that there is in your opinion nothing in the nature of things to prevent the tie which connects the Mother-country and the Colony from being as enduring as that which unites the different States of the Union, and nothing in the nature of our very elastic institutions to prevent them from expanding so as to permit the free and healthy development of social, political, and national life in these young communities. By administering colonial affaire in this spirit you will find, I believe, even when you least profess to seek it, the true secret of the cheap defence of nations. If these communities are only truly attached to the connection and satisfied of its permanence (and, as respects the latter point, opinions here will be much influenced by the tone of statesmen at home), elements of self-defence, not moral elements only but material elements likewise, will spring up within them spontaneously as the product of movements from within, not of pressure from without. Two millions of people, in a northern latitude, can do a good deal in the way of helping themselves when their hearts are in the right place.

[1] Colonial Policy, i. 232.

[2] 'United Empire Loyalists,' i.e. descendants of the original Loyalists of the American War.

[3] Despatch of the Earl of Elgin, Dec. 18, 1854.

[4] Compare Junius:—'Unfortunately for his country, Mr. Grenville
    was at any rate to be distressed, because he was Minister: and Mr.
    Pitt and Lord Camden were to be the patrons of America, because they
    were in opposition. Their declaration gave spirit and argument to the
    Colonies; and while, perhaps, they meant no more than the ruin of a
    Minister, they in effect divided one half of the empire from the

[5] 'Perhaps I may see reason after a little more experience here to modify
    my opinion on these points. If I were to tell you what I now think of
    the relative amount of influence which I exercised over the march, of
    affairs in Canada, where I governed on strictly constitutional
    principles, and with a free Parliament, as compared with that which
    the Governor-General wields in India when at peace, you would
    accuse me of paradox.'—Letter to Sir C. Wood, December 9,1862.

[6] Vide infra, p. 159.

[7] In entire accordance with this view, Be recommended that Great Britain should take upon herself the payment of the Governor's salary, 'with a view to future contingencies, and to calls which at a period more or less remote we may have to make on the loyalty and patriotism of Canadians.'



[Sidenote: The 'Clergy Reserves']

We have had frequent occasion to observe that the guiding principle of Lord Elgin's policy was to let the Colony have its own way in everything which was not contrary either to public morality or to some Imperial interest. It was in this spirit that he passed the Rebellion Losses Act; and in this spirit he watched the contest which raged for many years on the memorable question of the 'Clergy Reserves.'

[Sidenote: History of the question.]

By the Canada Act of 1791 one-seventh of the lands then ungranted had been set apart for the support of a 'Protestant Clergy.' At first these reserves were regarded as the exclusive property of the Church of England; but in 1820 an opinion was obtained from the Law Officers of the Crown in England, that the clergy of the Church of Scotland had a right to a share in them, but not Dissenting Ministers. In 1840 an Act was passed in which the claims of other denominations also were distinctly recognised. By it the Governor was empowered to sell the reserves; a part of the proceeds was to be applied in payment of the salaries of the existing clergy, to whom the faith of the Crown had been pledged; one-half of the remainder was to go to the Churches of England and Scotland, in proportion to their respective numbers, and the other half was to be at the disposal of the Governor- General for the benefit of the clergy of any Protestant denomination willing to receive public aid.

But the old inveterate jealousy of Anglican ascendency, aggravated, it is said, by the political conduct of Bishop Strachan, who had identified his Church with the obnoxious rule of the Family Compact, was not content with these concessions. Allying itself with the voluntary spirit, caught from the Scottish Free Church movement in 1843, it took the shape of a fanatical opposition to everything in the nature of a public provision for the support of religion; and the cry was raised for the 'Secularisation of the Clergy Reserves.' Eagerly taken up, as was natural, by the Ultra-radicals, or 'Clear-grits,' the cry was echoed by a considerable section of the old Tory party, from motives which it is less easy to analyse; and so violent was the feeling that it threatened to sweep away at one stroke all the endowments in question, without regard to vested interests, and without even waiting for the repeal of the Imperial Act by which these endowments were guaranteed. More loyal and moderate counsels however prevailed, owing chiefly to the support which they received from the Roman Catholics of Lower Canada, at one time so violently disaffected. In 1850 the Assembly voted an Address to the Queen, praying that the Act referred to might be repealed, and that the Local Legislature might be empowered to dispose of the reserved lands, subject to the condition of securing to the existing holders for their lives the stipends to which they were then entitled. To this Address a favourable answer was returned by Lord Grey; who, while avowing the preference of Her Majesty's Government for the existing arrangement, by which a certain portion of the public lands of Canada were applied to religious uses, admitted at the same time that the question of maintaining it was one so exclusively affecting the people of Canada, that its decision ought not to be withdrawn from the Provincial Legislature.

A Bill for granting to the Colony the desired powers was intended to be introduced into Parliament during the session of 1851, but owing to the pressure of other business it was deferred to the next year. It was to have been brought forward in a few days, when the break-up of Lord John Russell's Ministry caused it to be again postponed; and it was not till May 9, 1853, that the long looked-for Act received the Queen's assent.

No action could be taken in the matter by the Colonial Parliament for that year, as its session closed on June 14; and when it met again next year a ministerial crisis, followed by a dissolution and a change of Ministers, caused a postponement of all legislation. Finally, on October 17, 1854, a Bill for the 'Secularisation of the Clergy Reserves' was introduced into the Assembly. The more moderate and thoughtful men of every party are said to have been at heart opposed to it; but it was impossible for them to stand against the current of popular feeling. The Bill speedily became law; the Clergy Reserves were handed over to the various municipal corporations for secular uses; and though by this means 'a noble provision made for the sustentation of religion was frittered away so as to produce but few beneficial results,'[1] a question which had long been the occasion of much heart-burning was at least settled, and settled for ever. A slender provision for the future was saved out of the wreck by the commutation of the reserved life-interests of incumbents, which laid the foundation of a small permanent endowment; but, with this exception, the equality of destitution among all Protestant communities was complete.[2]

The various stages through which this question passed may be traced in the following letters, of which the first was written to Lord Grey on July 5, 1850:

Two addresses to the Queen were voted by the Assembly a few days ago and brought up by the House to me for transmission. The one is an address, very loyal in its tone, deprecating all revolutionary changes.

[Sidenote: Address to the Queen.]

The other address is not so satisfactory. It prays Her Majesty to obtain the repeal of the Imperial Act on the Clergy Reserves passed in 1840, and to hand them over to the Canadian Parliament to deal with them as it may see fit—guaranteeing, however, the life interests of incumbents. The resolutions on which this address was founded were introduced by a member of the Government, which has treated the question as an open one.

You are sufficiently acquainted with Canadian history to be aware of the fact, that these unfortunate Clergy Reserves have been a bone of contention ever since they were set apart. I know how very inconvenient it is to repeal the Imperial Act which was intended to be a final settlement of the question; but I must candidly say I very much doubt whether you will be able to preserve the Colony if you retain it on the Statute Book. Even Lafontaine and others who recognise certain vested rights of the Protestant churches under the Constitutional Act, advocate the repeal of the Imperial Act of 1840: partly because Lower Canada was not consulted at all when it was passed; and, secondly, because the distribution made under that Act is an unfair one, and inconsistent with the views of the Upper Canadian Legislature, as expressed at the time but set aside in deference, as it is alleged, to the remonstrances of the English bishops. Some among the Anglo-Saxon Liberals, and some of the Orange Tories, I suspect, share these views.

A considerable section is for appropriating the proceeds of the reserves at once, and applying them to education, without any regard to the rights either of individuals or of churches. These persons are furious with the supporters of the address for proposing to preserve the life interests of incumbents. The sentiments of the remainder are pretty accurately conveyed by the terms of the address.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto, July 19, 1850.

[Sidenote: Reasons for agreeing.]

The 'Clear Grit' organs, which have absorbed a large portion of the 'Annexationists,' talk very big about what they will do if England steps in to preserve the 'Clergy Reserves.' That party would be only too glad to get up a quarrel with England on such a point. It is, of course, impossible for you to do anything with the Imperial Act till next session. A little delay may perhaps enable us to see our way more clearly with respect to this most perplexing subject.

Lord Sydenham's despatch of January 22,1840, is a curious and instructive one. It accompanies the Act on the 'Clergy Reserve' question, which he induced the Parliament of Upper Canada to pass, but which was not adopted at home; for the House of Lords concocted one more favourable to the Established Churches. He clearly admits that the Act is against the sense of the country, and that nothing but his own great personal influence got it through, and yet he looks upon it as a settlement of the question. I confess I see few of the conditions of finality in measures which are passed under such circumstances.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto, March 18,1851.

I am far from thinking that the 'Clergy Reserves' will necessarily be diverted from religious purposes if the Local Parliament has the disposal of them. I should feel very confident that this would not be the case, were it not that the tone adopted by the Church of England here has almost always the effect of driving from her even those who would be most disposed to cooperate with her if she would allow them.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto, June 14,1851.

On the whole the best chance for the Church interest as regards the question, in my judgment, is that you should carry your empowering bill through the Imperial Parliament this session, and that we should get through our session and the general election, which is about to follow, with as little excitement as possible. The province is prosperous and the people contented; and at such a time, if no disturbing cause arise, moderate and reasonable men are likely to be returned. At the same time the 'Clergy Reserve' question is sufficiently before the public to insure our getting from the returns to Parliament a pretty fair indication of what are the real sentiments of the people upon it. I need not say that there can be no security for the permanence of any arrangement which is not in tolerable conformity with those sentiments.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

July 12,1851.

[Sidenote: Movement not prompted by Roman Catholics.]

As to the insinuation that the movement against the endowments of the Church of England is prompted by the Romans, events will give the lie to it ere long. The following facts, however, seem to be wholly irreconcilable with this hypothesis. Before the Union of the Provinces there were very few, if any, Roman Catholic members in the Upper Canada Parliament; they were all-powerful in the Lower. Now it is recorded in history, that the Upper Canadian Legislative Assembly kept up year after year a series of assaults on the 'Clergy Reserves;' in proof of which read the narrative part of the Address to Her Majesty on the 'Clergy Reserves' from the Legislative Assembly last year. And it is equally a fact that the Lower Canadian Legislative Assembly never meddled with them, except I think once, when they were invited to do so by the Government.

Some months later, in the beginning of 1852, Lord John Russell's Administration was broken up, and Lord Grey handed over the seals of the Colonial Office to Sir John Pakington. One of the first subjects on which the new Secretary asked to be furnished with confidential information was as to the state of public feeling in Canada upon the question of the future disposal of the 'Clergy Reserves.' Lord Elgin replied as follows:

[Sidenote: Feeling in the Province;]

You require, if I rightly understand your letter, that I should state, in the first place, whether I believe that the sentiments of the community in reference to the subject-matter of this Address are faithfully represented in the votes of the Assembly. I cannot answer this question otherwise than affirmatively. Not that I am by any means disposed to under-rate the importance of the petitions which may have been sent home by opponents of the measure. The clergy of the Church of England and of that portion of the Presbyterian Church which preserves its connection with the Established Church of Scotland, are generally unwilling that the question of the reserves should be left to the decision of the Local Legislature. They are, to a considerable extent, supported by their flocks when they approach the throne as petitioners against the prayer of the Assembly's Address, although it is no doubt an error to suppose that the lay members of these communions are unanimous, or all alike zealous in the espousal of these views. From this quarter the petitions which appear to have reached Lord Grey and yourself have, I apprehend, almost exclusively proceeded. Other bodies, even of those which participate in the produce of the reserves, as for example the Wesleyans and the Roman Catholics of Upper Canada, have not, that I am aware of, moved in the matter, unless it be in an opposite direction.

[Sidenote: in Upper Canada;]
[Sidenote: in Lower Canada;]

Can it then be inferred from such indications that public opinion in the province does not support the cause taken by the Assembly in reference to the 'Clergy Reserves'? or, what is perhaps more to the purpose, that a provincial administration, formed on the principle of desisting from all attempts to induce the Imperial Government to repeal the Imperial statute on this subject, would be sustained? I am unable, I confess, to bring myself to entertain any such expectation. It is my opinion, that if the Liberals were to rally out of office on the cry that they were asserting the right of the Provincial Government to deal with the question of the 'Clergy Reserves' against a Government willing, at the bidding of the Imperial authorities, to abandon this claim, they would triumph in Upper Canada more decisively than they did at the late general election. I need hardly add, that if, after a resistance followed by such a triumph, the Imperial Government were to give way, it would be more than ever difficult to obtain from the victorious party a reasonable consideration for Church interests. These remarks apply to Upper Canada. It is not so easy to foresee what is likely to be the course of events in Lower Canada. The party which looks to M. Papineou as its leader adopts on all points the most ultra-democratic creed. It professes no very warm attachment to the endowments of the Roman Catholic Church, and is, of course, not likely to prove itself more tender with respect to property set apart by royal authority for the support of Protestantism. The French- Canadian Representatives who do not belong to this party are, I believe, generally disinclined to secularisation, and would be brought to consent to any such proposition, if at all, only by the pressure of some supposed political necessity. They are however, almost without exception, committed to the principle that the 'Clergy Reserves' ought to be subject to the control of the Local Legislature. While the battle is waged on this ground, therefore, they will probably continue to side with the Upper Canada Liberals, unless the latter contrive to alienate them by some act of extravagance….

I am aware that there lie, beyond the subjects of which I have treated, larger considerations of public policy affecting this question, on which I have not ventured to touch. On the one hand there are persons who contend that, as the 'Clergy Reserves' were set apart by a British Sovereign for religious uses, it is the bounden duty of the Imperial authorities to maintain at all hazards the disposition thus made of them. This view is hardly, I think, reconcilable with the provisions of the statute of 1791; but, if it be correct, it renders all discussion of subordinate topics and points of mere expediency, superfluous.

[Sidenote: In the Church;]

On the other hand even among the most attached friends of the Church, some are to be found who doubt whether on the whole the Church has gained from the Reserves as much as she has lost by them—whether the ill-will which they have engendered, and the bar which they have proved to private munificence and voluntary exertion, have not more than counter-balanced the benefits which they may have conferred; and who look to secularisation as the only settlement that will be final and put an end to strife.

Up to this time Lord Elgin appears to have entertained at least a hope, that, if the Colony were left to itself, it would settle the matter by distributing the reserved funds according to some equitable proportion among the clergy of all denominations. But as time went on, this hope became fainter and fainter. In his next letter he recounts a conversation with a person (not named) 'of much intelligence, and well acquainted with Upper Canada,' not a member of the Church of England, but favourable to the maintenance of an endowment for religious purposes, who, after remarking on the infatuation shown by the friends of the Church in 1840, expressed a decided opinion that the vantage ground then so heedlessly sacrificed was lost for ever, so far as colonial sentiment was concerned; and that 'neither the present nor any future Canadian Parliament would be induced to enact a law for perpetuating the endowment in any shape.' The increasing likelihood, however, of a result which he regarded as in itself undesirable could not abate his desire to see the matter finally settled, or shake his conviction that the Provincial Parliament was the proper power to settle it. With his correspondent it was not so; nor can it be wondered at that the organ of a Tory Government should have declined to accede to the prayer of an Address, which could hardly have any other issue than secularisation. But the decision was not destined to be left in the hands of the Tories. Before the end of 1852 Lord Derby was replaced by Lord Aberdeen, and Sir J. Pakington by Lord Elgin's old friend the Duke of Newcastle, who saw at once the necessity of conceding to the Canadian Parliament the power of settling the question after its own fashion. Accordingly on May 21, 1853, Lord Elgin was able to write to him as follows:

[Sidenote: Empowering Bill passed.]

I was certainly not a little surprised by the success with which you carried the Clergy Reserves Bill through the House of Lords. I am assured that this result was mainly due to your own personal exertions. I am quite confident that both in what you have done, and in the way you have done it, you have best consulted the interests of the Province, the Church, and the Empire. I trust that what has happened will have here the favourable moral effect which you anticipate. It cannot fail to have this tendency.

As respects the measures which will be ultimately adopted on this vexed subject, I do not yet venture to write with confidence. If the representation of the Bishop of Toronto, as to the feelings which exist among the great Protestant denominations on the question, were correct, there could be no doubt whatsoever in regard to the issue. For you may depend upon it the Roman Catholics have no wish to touch the Protestant endowment; although, when they are forced into the controversy, they will contend that it does not rest on the same basis as their own. But I confess that I place no reliance whatsoever on these calculations and representations. Almost the greatest evil which results from the delegation to the Imperial Parliament of the duty of legislating on Colonial questions of this class, is the scope which the system affords to exaggeration and mystification. Parties do not meet in fair conflict on their own ground, where they can soon gain a knowledge of their relative strength, and learn to respect each other accordingly; they shroud themselves in mystery, and rely for victory on their success in outdoing each other in hard swearing. Many men, partly from good nature and partly from political motives, will sign a petition spiced and peppered to tickle the palate of the House of Lords, who will not move a yard, or sacrifice a shilling, on behalf of the object petitioned for. I much fear that it will be found that there is much division of opinion even among members of the laity of the Church, with respect to the propriety of maintaining the 'Clergy Reserves;' and that, even as regards a certain section of the clergy, owing to dissatisfaction with the distribution of the fund and with the condition of dependence in which the missionaries are kept, there is greater lukewarmness on the subject than the fervent representations you have received would lead you to imagine.

Meanwhile there is a very good feeling in the Province—a great absence of party violence. Your course has tended to confirm these favourable symptoms. We must prevent anything being done during this session of the Provincial Parliament to commit parties with respect to the 'Clergy Reserves,' and as respects the future we must hope for the best.

[Sidenote: The Reserves secularised.]

The result has been already stated. The 'Clergy Reserves' were secularised, contrary, no doubt, to the individual wishes of Lord Elgin; but the general principle of Colonial self-government had signally triumphed, and its victory more than outweighed to him the loss of any particular cause.

One other measure remains to be noticed, on which Lord Elgin had the satisfaction of inducing the Home Government to yield to the wishes of the Colony, viz. the Reform of the Provincial Parliament.

[Sidenote: Reform of the Provincial Parliament.]

By the Constitution of 1840 the legislative power was divided between two chambers: a council, consisting of twenty persons, who were nominated by the Governor, and held their seats for life; and a House of Assembly, whose eighty-four members were elected in equal proportions from the two sections of the province. As the population of the Colony grew—and between 1840 and 1853 it nearly doubled itself—it was natural that the number of legislators should be increased; and there were other reasons which made an increase desirable.

[Sidenote: Increase of representation.]

The Legislative Assembly (wrote Lord Elgin early in 1853) is now engaged on a measure introduced by the Government for increasing the representation of the province. I consider the object of the measure a very important one; for, with so small a body as eighty members, when parties are nearly balanced, individual votes become too precious, which leads to mischief. I have not experienced this evil to any great extent since I have had a liberal administration, which has always been strong in the Assembly; but, with my first administration, I felt it severely.

To this change no serious opposition was offered, either in the Colony or in the Imperial Parliament; and the members of the two Houses were raised to one hundred and thirty, and seventy-two, respectively. It was otherwise, however, with the proposal to make the Upper House elective; a measure certainly alien to English ideas, but one which Lord Elgin appears to have thought necessary for the healthy working of the constitution under the circumstances then existing in the province. As early as March, 1850, he wrote to Lord Grey:—

[Sidenote: Proposal to make the Upper House elective.]

[Sidenote: Reasons in favour.]

A great deal is said here at present about rendering our second branch of the Legislature elective. As the advocates of the plan, however, comprise two classes of persons, with views not only distinct but contradictory, it is difficult to foresee how they are to agree on details, when it assumes a practical shape. The one class desire to construct a more efficient Conservative body than the present Council, the other seek an instrument to aid them in their schemes of subversion and pillage. For my own part, I believe that a second legislative body, returned by the same constituency as the House of Assembly, under some differences with respect to time and mode of election, would be a greater check on ill-considered legislation than the Council as it is now constituted. Baldwin is very unwilling to move in this matter. Having got what he imagines to be the likest thing to the British constitution he can obtain, he is satisfied, and averse to further change. In this instance I cannot but think that he mistakes the shadow for the substance. I admire, however, the perseverance with which he proclaims, 'Il faut jeter l'ancre de la constitution,' in reply to proposals of organic change; though I fully expect that, like those who raised this cry in 1791, he will yet, if he lives, find himself and his state-ship floundering among rocks and shoals, towards which he never expected to steer.

Three years later he held the same language to the Duke of Newcastle. Writing on March 26, 1853, to inform him that the Bill for increasing the representation had been carried in the Assembly by a large majority, he adds:—

The Lords must be attended to in the next place. The position of the second chamber in our body politic is at present wholly unsatisfactory. The principle of election must be introduced in order to give to it the influence which it ought to possess; and that principle must be so applied as to admit of the working of Parliamentary Government (which I for one am certainly not prepared to abandon for the American system) with two elective chambers. I have made some suggestions with this view, which I hope to be able to induce the Legislature to adopt.

When our two legislative bodies shall have been placed on this improved footing, a greater stability will have been imparted to our constitution, and a greater strength, I believe, if England act wisely, to the connection.

[Sidenote: The Act passed.]

The question did not come before the British Parliament till the summer of 1854, after Lord Elgin's visit to England, during which he had an opportunity of stating his views personally to the Government. At his instance they brought in a Bill to enable the Colonial Legislature to deal with the subject; and the measure was carried, with few dissentients, although vehemently denounced by Lord Derby in the House of Lords. The principles of colonial policy which Lord Durham had expressed so powerfully in 1888, and on which Lord Grey and Lord Elgin had been acting so consistently for many years, had at last prevailed; and many of those who most deprecated the proposed reform as a downward step towards pure democracy, yet acknowledged that, as it had been determined upon by the deliberate choice of the Colony, it ought not to be thwarted by the interference of the mother-country.

[Sidenote: Speech of Lord Derby.]

In the course of the speech above referred to, Lord Derby made use of the following eloquent words:—

I have dreamed—perhaps it was only a dream—that the time would come when, exercising a perfect control over their own internal affairs, Parliament abandoning its right to interfere in their legislation, these great and important colonies, combined together, should form a monarchical government, presided over either by a permanent viceroy, or, as an independent sovereign, by one nearly and closely allied to the present royal family of this country.

I have believed that, in such a manner, it would be possible to uphold the monarchical principle; to establish upon that great continent a monarchy free as that of this country, even freer still with regard to the popular influence exercised, but yet a monarchy worthy of the name, and not a mere empty shadow. I can hardly believe that, under such a system, the friendly connection and close intimacy between the colonies and the mother-country would in any way be affected; but, on the contrary, I feel convinced that the change to which I have referred would be productive of nothing, for years and years to come, but mutual harmony and friendship, increased and cemented as that friendship would be by mutual appreciation of the great and substantial benefits conferred by a free and regulated monarchy.

But pass this Bill, and that dream is gone for ever. Nothing like a free and regulated monarchy could exist for a single moment under such a constitution as that which is now proposed for Canada.

From the moment that you pass this constitution, the progress must be rapidly towards republicanism, if anything could be more really republican than this Bill.

The dream has been realised, at least in one of its most important features; the gloomy forebodings have hitherto happily proved groundless. But the speaker of these words, and the author of the measure to which they refer, would probably have been alike surprised at the course which events have taken respecting the particular point then in question. For once the stream that sets towards democracy has been seen to take a backward direction; and the constitution of the Dominion of Canada has returned, as regards the Legislative Council, to the Conservative principle of nomination by the Crown.

* * * * *

It does not fall within the scope of this memoir to give an account of the numerous administrative measures which made the period of Lord Elgin's Government so marked an epoch in the history of Canadian prosperity. It may be well, however, to notice a few points to which he himself thought it worth while to advert in official despatches, written towards the close of his sojourn in the country, and containing a statistical review of the marvellously rapid progress which the Colony had made in all branches of productive industry.

The first extracts bear upon questions which have lost none of their interest or importance—the kindred questions of emigration, of the demand for labour, and of the acquisition and tenure of land.

[Sidenote: Emigration.]

The sufferings of the Irish during that calamitous period [1847] induced philanthropic persons to put forward schemes of systematic colonisation, based in some instances on the assumption that it was for the interest of the emigrants that they should be as much as possible concentrated in particular portions of the territories to which they might proceed, so as to form communities complete in themselves, and to remain subject to the influences, religious and social, under which they had lived previously to emigration. It was proposed, if I rightly remember, according to one of those schemes, that large numbers of Irish with their priests and home associations should be established by Government in some unoccupied part of Canada. I believe that such schemes, however benevolent their design, rest on a complete misconception of what is for the interest both of the Colony and of the emigrants. It is almost invariably found that emigrants who thus isolate themselves, whatever their origin or antecedents, lag behind their neighbours; and I am inclined to think that, as a general rule, in the case of communities whose social and political organisation is as far advanced as that of the North American Colonies, it is for the interest of all parties that new comers, instead of dwelling apart and bound together by the affinities whether of sect or party, which united them in the country which they have left, should be dispersed as widely as possible among the population already established in that to which they transfer themselves.

It may not be altogether irrelevant to mention, as bearing on this subject, that the painful circumstances which attended the emigration of 1847 created for a time in this Province a certain prejudice against emigration generally. The poll tax on emigrants was increased, and the opinion widely disseminated that, however desirable the introduction of capitalists might be, an emigration of persons of the poorer classes was likely to prove a burden rather than a benefit. Commercial depression, and apprehensions as to the probable effect of the Free-trade policy of Great Britain on the prosperity of the Colonies, had an influence in the same direction. To counteract these tendencies which were calculated, as I thought, to be injurious in the long run both to the Mother-country and the Province, public attention was especially directed, in the Speech delivered from the Throne in 1849, to emigration by way of the St. Lawrence, as a branch of trade which it was most desirable to cultivate (irrespective altogether of its bearing on the settlement of the country) in consequence of the great excess of exports over imports by that route, and the consequent enhancement of freights outwards. These views obtained very general assent, and the measures which have been adopted since that period to render this route attractive to emigrants destined for the West (the effect of which is beginning now to be visible in the yearly increasing amount of emigration by way of Quebec from the continent of Europe), are calculated not only to promote the trade of the Province, but also to make settlers of a superior class acquainted with its advantages.[3]

[Sidenote: Ottawa Valley.]

This important region (the valley of the Ottawa) takes the name by which it is designated in popular parlance from the mighty stream which flows through it, and which, though it be but a tributary of the St. Lawrence, is one of the largest of the rivers that run uninterruptedly from the source to the discharge within the dominions of the Queen. It drains an area of about 80,000 square miles, and receives at various points in its course the waters of streams, some of which equal in magnitude the chief rivers of Great Britain. These streams open up to the enterprise of the lumberman the almost inexhaustible pine forests with which this region is clothed, and afford the means of transporting their produce to market. In improving these natural advantages considerable sums are expended by private individuals. £50,000 currency was voted by Parliament last session for the purpose of removing certain obstacles to the navigation of the Upper Ottawa, by the construction of a canal at a point which is now obstructed by rapids.

[Sidenote: Demand for labour.]

From the nature of the business, the lumbering trade falls necessarily in a great measure into the hands of persons of capital, who employ large bodies of men at points far removed from markets, and who are therefore called upon to make considerable advances in providing food and necessaries for their labourers, as well as in building slides and otherwise facilitating the passage of timber along the streams and rivers. Many thousands of men are employed during the winter in these remote forests, preparing the timber which is transported during the summer in rafts, or, if sawn, in boats, to Quebec when destined for England, and up the Richelieu River when intended for the United States. It is a most interesting fact, both in a moral and hygienic view, that for some years past intoxicating liquors have been rigorously excluded from almost all the chantiers, as the dwellings of the lumbermen in these distant regions are styled; and that, notwithstanding the exposure of the men to cold during the winter and wet in the spring, the result of the experiment has been entirely satisfactory.

The bearing of the lumbering business on the settlement of the country is a point well worthy of notice. The farmer who undertakes to cultivate unreclaimed land in new countries, generally finds that not only does every step of advance which he makes in the wilderness, by removing him from the centres of trade and civilisation, enhance the cost of all he has to purchase, but that, moreover, it diminishes the value of what he has to sell. It is not so, however, with the farmer who follows in the wake of the lumbermen. He finds, on the contrary, in the wants of the latter, a ready demand for all that he produces, at a price not only equal to that procurable in the ordinary marts, but increased by the cost of transport from them to the scene of the lumbering operations. This circumstance, no doubt, powerfully contributes to promote the settlement of those districts, and attracts population to sections of the country which, in the absence of any such inducement, would probably remain for long periods uninhabited.[4]

[Sidenote: Wild land.]

The large amount of wild land held by individuals and corporations, renders the disposal of the public domain a question of less urgency in this than in some other colonies. Opinion in the Province runs strongly in favour of facilitating its acquisition in small lots by actual settlers, and of putting all possible obstacles in the way of its falling into the hands of speculators. This opinion is founded no doubt in part on a jealousy of great landholders; but it is mainly, I apprehend, attributable to a sense of the inconvenience and damage which are experienced in young countries, when considerable tracts of land are kept out of the market in the midst of districts that are in course of settlement. To this feeling much of the hostility to the 'Clergy Reserves' was originally due. The upset price of Government wild land in Canada varies from 7_s_. 6_d_. currency to 1_s_. currency an acre, according to quality, and by the rules of the Crown Land Department now in force, it is conceded at these rates, except in special cases, in lots of not more than 200 acres, on condition of actual settlement, of erecting a dwelling-house, and clearing one-fourth of the lot before the patent can be obtained. The price is payable in some parts of the country in ten yearly instalments; in others in five; with interest in both cases from the date of sale.

I have little faith in the efficacy of such devices to compel actual settlement. They hinder the free circulation of capital, are easily evaded, and seem to be especially out of place where wild lands are subject to taxation for municipal purposes, as is the case in Upper Canada.[5]

[Sidenote: Seigniorial tenure.]

A good deal of land in Lower Canada is held in seigniory, under a species of feudal tenure, with respect to the conditions of which a controversy has arisen which threatens, unless some equitable mode of adjusting it be speedily devised, to be productive of very serious consequences. A certain class of jurists contend, that by the custom of the country, established before its conquest by Great Britain, the seigniors were bound to concede their lands in lots of about 100 acres to the first applicant, in consideration of the payment of certain dues, and of a rent which, never, as they allege, exceeded one penny an acre; and they quote edicts of the French monarchs to show that the governor and intendant, when the seignior was contumacious, could seize the land, and make the concession in spite of him, taking the rent for the Crown. The seigniors, on the other hand, plead the decisions of the courts since the conquest in vindication of their claim to receive such rents as they can bargain for. Independently of this controversy, the incidents of the tenure are in other respects calculated to exercise an unfavourable influence on the progress of the Province; and its abolition, if it could be effected without injustice, would, no doubt, be a highly beneficial measure.[6]

Still more important and interesting at this time is the following sketch of the Educational System of Upper Canada; the 'Common Schools' and 'Public School Libraries,' which have attracted so much the attention of our own educationists. Nor is it uninstructive to note the contrast between what had been achieved in the colony nearly twenty years ago, and the still unsettled condition of similar questions in the mother-country: a contrast which may perhaps call to mind the remarks of Lord Elgin already quoted, as to the rapid growth which ensues when the seeds that fall from ancient experience are dropped into a virgin soil.[7]

[Sidenote: Education.]

In 1847 the Normal School, which may be considered the foundation of the system, was instituted, and at the close of 1853, the first volume issued from the Educational Department to the Public School Libraries, which are its crown and completion…. The term school libraries does not imply that the libraries in question are specially designed for the benefit of common school pupils. They are, in point of fact, public libraries intended for the use of the general population; and they are entitled school libraries because their establishment has been provided for in the School Acts, and their management confided to the school authorities.

[Sidenote: Public School Libraries.]

Public School Libraries then, similar to those which are now being introduced into Canada, have been in operation for several years in some states of the neighbouring Union, and many of the most valuable features of the Canadian system have been borrowed from them. In most of the States, however, which have appropriated funds for library purposes, the selection of the books has been left to the trustees appointed by the different districts, many of whom are ill-qualified for the task; and the consequence has been, that the travelling pedlars, who offer the most showy books at the lowest prices, have had the principal share in furnishing the libraries. In introducing the system into Canada, precautions have been taken which will, I trust, have the effect of obviating this great evil.

In the School Act of 1850, which first set apart a sum of money for the establishment and support of school libraries, it is declared to be the duty of the chief superintendent of education to apportion the sum granted for this purpose by the legislature under the following condition: 'That no aid should be given towards the establishment and support of any school library unless an equal amount be contributed or expended from local sources for the same;' and the Council of Instruction is required to examine, and at its discretion recommend or disapprove of text books for the use of schools, or books for school libraries; 'provided that no portion of the legislative school grant shall be applied in aid of any school in which any book is used that has been disapproved of by the Council, and public notice given of such disapproval.'

[Sidenote: Common schools.]

The system of public instruction in Upper Canada is engrafted upon the municipal institutions of the Province, to which an organisation very complete in its details, and admirably adapted to develop the resources, confirm the credit, and promote the moral and social interests of a young country, was imparted by an Act passed in 1849. The law by which the common schools are regulated was enacted in 1850, and it embraces all the modifications and improvements suggested by experience in the provisions of the several school Acts passed subsequently to 1841, when the important principle of granting money to each county on condition that an equal amount were raised within it by local assessment, was first introduced into the statute-book.

[Sidenote: Local superintendence.]

The development of individual self-reliance and local exertion, under the superintendence of a central authority exercising an influence almost exclusively moral, is the ruling principle of the system. Accordingly, it rests with the freeholders and householders of each school section to decide whether they will support their school by voluntary subscription, by rate bill for each pupil attending the school (which must not, however, exceed 1_s_. per month), or by rates on property. The trustees elected by the same freeholders and householders are required to determine the amount to be raised within their respective school sections for all school purposes whatsoever, to hire teachers from among persons holding legal certificates of qualification, and to agree with them as to salary. On the local superintendents appointed by the county councils is devolved the duty of apportioning the legislative grant among the school sections within the county, of inspecting the schools, and reporting upon them to the chief superintendent. The county boards of public instruction, composed of the local superintendent or superintendents, and the trustees of the county grammar school, examine candidates for the office of teacher, and give certificates of qualification which are valid for the county; the chief superintendent giving certificates to normal school pupils which are valid for the Province; while the chief superintendent, who holds his appointment from the Crown, aided in specified cases by the Council of Public Instruction, has under his especial charge the normal and model schools, besides exercising a general control over the whole system..

The question of religious instruction as connected with the common school system, presented even more than ordinary difficulty in a community where there is so much diversity of opinion on religious subjects, and where all denominations are in the eye of the law on a footing of entire equality. It is laid down as a fundamental principle, that as the common schools are not boarding but day schools, and as the pupils are under the care of their parents or guardians during the Sunday, and a considerable portion of each week day, it is not intended that the functions of the common school teacher should supersede those of the parent and pastor of the child. Accordingly, the law contents itself with providing on this head, 'that in any model or common school established under this act, no child shall be required to read or study in or from any religious book, or to join in any exercise of devotion or religion, which shall be objected to by his or her parents or guardians; provided always, that within this limitation pupils shall be allowed to receive such religious instruction as their parents or guardians shall desire, according to the general regulations which shall be provided according to law.' And it authorises under certain regulations the establishment of a separate school for Protestants or Roman Catholics, as the case may be, when the teacher of the common school is of the opposite persuasion.

Clergymen recognised by law, of whatever denomination, are made ex officio visitors of the schools in townships, cities, towns, or villages where they reside, or have pastoral charge. The chief superintendent. Dr. Ryerson, remarks on this head:

[Sidenote: The clergy.]

'The clergy of the county have access to each of its schools; and we know of no instance in which the school has been made the place of religious discord, but many instances, especially on occasions of quarterly public examinations, in which the school has witnessed the assemblage and friendly intercourse of clergy of various religious persuasions, and thus become the radiating centre of a spirit of Christian charity and potent cooperation in the primary work of a people's civilisation and happiness.'

He adds with reference to the subject generally, 'The more carefully the question of religion in connection with a system of common schools is examined, the more clearly, I think, it will appear, that it has been left where it properly belongs—with the local school municipalities, parents, and managers of schools; the Government protecting the right of each parent and child, but beyond this, and beyond the principles and duties of morality common to all classes, neither compelling nor prohibiting; recognising the duties of pastors and parents as well as of school trustees and teachers, and considering the united labours of all as constituting the system of education for the youth of the country.'

Lord Elgin himself had always shown a profound sense of the importance of thus making religion the groundwork of education. Speaking on occasion of the opening of a normal school, after noticing the zealous and wisely- directed exertions which had 'enabled Upper Canada to place itself in the van among the nations, in the great and important work of providing an efficient system of general education for the whole community' he proceeded:—

[Sidenote: What is education?]

And now let me ask this intelligent audience, who have so kindly listened to me up to this moment—let me ask them to consider, in all seriousness and earnestness, what that great work really is. I do not think that I shall be chargeable with exaggeration when I affirm, that it is the work of our day and generation; that it is the problem in our modern society which is most difficult of solution; that it is the ground upon which earnest and zealous men unhappily too often, and in too many countries meet, not to co-operate but to wrangle; while the poor and the ignorant multitudes around them are starving and perishing for lack of knowledge. Well, then, how has Upper Canada addressed herself to the execution of this great work? How has she sought to solve this problem—to overcome this difficulty? Sir, I understand from your statements—and I come to the same conclusion from my own investigation and observation—that it is the principle of our common school educational system, that its foundation is laid deep in the firm rock of our common Christianity. I understand, sir, that while the varying views and opinions of a mixed religious society are scrupulously respected, while every semblance of dictation is carefully avoided, it is desired, it is earnestly recommended, it is confidently expected and hoped, that every child who attends our common schools shall learn there that he is a being who has an interest in eternity as well as in time; that he has a Father, towards whom he stands in a closer and more affecting, and more endearing relationship than to any earthly father, and that Father is in heaven; that he has a hope, far transcending every earthly hope—a hope full of immortality—the hope, namely, that that Father's kingdom may come; that he has a duty which, like the sun in our celestial system, stands in the centre of his moral obligations, shedding upon them a hallowing light, which they in their turn reflect and absorb—the duty of striving to prove by his life and conversation the sincerity of his prayer, that that Father's will may be done upon earth as it is done in heaven. I understand, sir, that upon the broad and solid platform which is raised upon that good foundation, we invite the ministers of religion, of all denominations—the de facto spiritual guides of the people of the country—to take their stand along with us; that, so far from hampering or impeding them in the exercise of their sacred functions, we ask and we beg them to take the children—the lambs of the flock which are committed to their care—aside, and to lead them to those pastures and streams where they will find, as they believe, the food of life and the waters of consolation.

One more extract must be given from the despatch already quoted, because it illustrates a feature in his character, to which the subsequent course of his life gave such marked prominence—his generous and tender feeling of what was due to subject or inferior races; a sad feeling in this case, and but faintly supported by any hope of being able to do anything for their benefit.

[Sidenote: Aboriginal tribes.]

It is painful to turn from reviewing the progress of the European population and their descendants established in this portion of America, to contemplate the condition and prospects of the aboriginal tribes. It cannot, I fear, be affirmed with truth, that the difficult problem of reconciling the interests of an inferior and native race with those of an intrusive and superior one, has as yet been satisfactorily solved on this continent. In the United States, the course of proceeding generally followed in this matter has been that of compelling the Red man, through the influence of persuasion or force, to make way for the White, by retreating farther and farther into the wilderness; a mode of dealing with the case which necessarily entails the occasional adoption of harsh measures, and which ceases to be practicable when civilisation approaches the limits of the territory to be occupied. In Canada, the tribes have been permitted to dwell among the scenes of their early associations and traditions, on lands reserved from the advancing tide of White settlement, and set apart for their use. But this system, though more lenient in its operation than the other, is not unattended with difficulties of its own. The laws enacted for their protection, and in the absence of which they fall an easy prey to the more unscrupulous among their energetic neighbours, tend to keep them in a condition of perpetual pupillage, and the relation subsisting between them and the Government, which treats them, partly as independent peoples, and partly as infants under its guardianship, involves many anomalies and contradictions. Unless there be some reasonable ground for the hope that they will be eventually absorbed in the general population of the country, the Canadian system is probably destined in the long run to prove as disastrous to them as that of the United States. In 1846 and 1847 the attempt was first made to establish among them industrial boarding schools, in part supported by contributions from their own funds. If schools of this description be properly conducted, it may, I think, be expected that, among the youth trained at them, a certain proportion at least will be so far civilised, as to be capable of making their way in life without exceptional privileges or restraints. It would be, I am inclined to believe, expedient that any Indian, showing this capacity, should be permitted, after sufficient trial, to receive from the common property of the tribe of which he was a member (on the understanding of course that neither he nor his descendants had thenceforward any claim upon it), a sum equivalent to his interest in it, as a means to enable him to start in independent life. The process of transition from their present semi-barbarous condition could hardly fail to be promoted by a scheme of this description if it were judiciously carried out.

* * * * *

[Sidenote: Relations with the United States.]

No sketch of a Governor's life in Canada would be complete which did not contain some account of his relations with the great neighbouring republic.

We have seen that, at the beginning of his government, Lord Elgin's cares were increased by threats, and more than threats, of interference on the part of 'sympathisers' from some of the American States; and that he looked upon the likelihood of lawless inroad, not to speak of the possibility of lawful war, as affording solid reason for England's maintaining a body of troops in the Colony. But it must not be supposed that his attitude towards the Government or people of the States was one of jealousy or hostility. The loyal friendliness of the Government in repressing the intemperate sympathies of certain of its citizens, he cordially acknowledged; and with the people he did his utmost to encourage the freest and friendliest intercourse, social and commercial, not only in order that the inhabitants of the two countries might provoke one another to increased activity in the good work of civilisation, but also that they might know and understand one another; and that he might have in the public opinion of the United States that intelligent support which he despaired of finding in England, owing to the strange ignorance and indifference which so unfortunately prevails there on all colonial subjects.

The following letters refer to some of the occasion on which mutual civilities were interchanged:

To Mr. Crampton, British Minister at Washington.

Montreal, May 21, 1849.

[Sidenote: their loyal conduct in 1849.]

I am much indebted to you for your letter of the 10th, conveying an intimation of the intentions of the American Government with reference to improper interference on the part of American citizens in Canadian affairs, which is so honourable to General Taylor and his cabinet. If I should receive any information leading me to believe that any such interference is contemplated, I shall not fail to communicate with you at once on the subject. My impression is, that there is not at present much to be apprehended on that score; for although there is unhappily considerable excitement and irritation in Canada, the subject in dispute[8] is not one which is likely to conciliate much sympathy among our neighbours. I do not, however, less highly appreciate the good feeling and cordiality evinced by the Executive Government of the United States.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey

Toronto, June 14,1850.

[Sidenote: Mutual Courtesies.]

Our expedition to the Welland Canal went off admirably, the only drawback being that we attempted too much. Mr. Merritt, who planned the affair, gave it out that we were to pass through the canal, and to touch at Buffalo on our way from Lake Erie to the Falls of Niagara, in one day. On this hint the Buffalonians made preparations for our reception on the most magnificent scale…. As might have been expected, however, what with addresses, speeches, and mishaps of various kinds, such as are to be looked for in canal travelling on a large scale (for our party consisted of some three hundred), night overtook us before we reached Lake Erie, and Buffalo had to be given up. I very much regret this, as I fear the citizens were disappointed. Some of our party went there the next day, and were most hospitably received.

* * * * *

To the Earl Grey.

Toronto, August 16, 1850.

Our Session has closed with great éclat. On Thursday week our Buffalo friends, with other persons of distinction from different parts of the Union, arrived here, to the number of about two hundred. They were entertained that evening at a ball in the City Hall, which did great credit to the good taste and hospitality of the hosts. Next day there was a review in the forenoon and a fête at my house, which lasted from half-past four to twelve. I succeeded in enabling a party of five hundred to sit down together to dinner; and, what with a few speeches, fireworks, and dances, I believe I may say the citizens went away thoroughly pleased.[9] On Saturday, at noon, many of the party assisted at the prorogation.

These matters may seem trivial to you among the graver concerns of state; nevertheless, I am sanguine enough to hope that the courtesies which have passed this year between the Buffalonians and us will not be without their fruit. The bulk of those who came here from Buffalo, including the Mayor—a very able man and powerful speaker—are of the democratic party, and held some years ago very different views from those which they expressed on this visit. They found here the warmest and most cordial welcome from all, Her Majesty's representative not excepted. But they saw, I venture to say almost with certainty, nothing to lead them to suppose that the Canadians desire to change their political condition; on the contrary, the mention of Her Majesty's name evoked on all occasions the most unbounded enthusiasm; and there was every appearance of a kindly feeling towards the Governor General, which the Americans seemed not disinclined themselves to share.

'To render annexation by violence impossible, and by any other means as improbable as may be,' is, as I have often ventured to repeat, the polar star of my policy. In these matters, small as they may appear, I believe we have been steering by its light. Again, as respects ourselves. I trust that the effects of this Buffalonian visit will be very beneficial. I took occasion in my speeches, in a joking way which provoked nothing but laughter and good humour, to hint at some of the unreasonable traits in the conduct of my Canadian friends. I am sure that the Americans go home with very correct views as touching our politics, and with the best sentiments towards myself. It is of very great importance to me to have the aid of a sound public opinion from without, to help me through my difficulties here; and, as I utterly despair of receiving any such assistance from England (I allude not to the Government but to the public, which never looks at us except when roused by fear ignorantly to condemn), it is of incalculable importance that I should obtain this support from America.

[Sidenote: Boston Jubilee.]

In the autumn of 1851, the inhabitants of Boston held a Three Days' Jubilee, to celebrate the completion of various lines of communication, by railroad and steamship, destined to draw closer the bonds of union between Canada and the United States; and Lord Elgin gladly accepted an invitation to be present. Writing on September 26, 1851, he mentions having 'met there all the United States, President included;' and describes a 'dinner on the Boston Common for 3,500 persons, at which many good speeches were made, Everett's especially so.' He adds:—

Nothing certainly could be more cordial than the conduct of the Bostonians throughout; and there was a scrupulous avoidance of every topic that could wound British or Canadian susceptibilities.

To the general harmony and good feeling no one contributed more than Lord Elgin himself, by his general courtesy and affability, and especially by his speeches, full of the happiest mixture of playfulness and earnestness, of eloquence and sound sense, of ardent patriotism with broad international sympathies. 'It was worth something,' he wrote afterwards, 'to get the Queen of England as much cheered and lauded in New England as in any part of Old England;' and the reflection faithfully represents the spirit of expansive loyalty which characterised all his dealings with his neighbours of the States.

These qualities, added to the reputation of a wise and liberal Governor, won for him an unusual amount of regard from the American people. At a dinner given to him in London, during his short visit to England in the spring of 1854—a dinner at which the Colonial Secretaries of five different Governments, Lord Monteagle, Lord John Russell, Lord Grey, Sir J. Pakington, and the Duke of Newcastle met to do him honour—no one spoke more warmly or more discriminatingly in his praise than the American Minister, Mr. Buchanan.

[Sidenote: Speech of Mr. Buchanan.]

'Lord Elgin,' he said, 'has solved one of the most difficult problems of statesmanship. He has been able, successfully and satisfactorily, to administer, amidst many difficulties, a colonial government over a free people. This is an easy task where the commands of a despot are law to his obedient subjects; but not so in a colony where the people feel that they possess the rights and privileges of native-born Britons. Under his enlightened government Her Majesty's North American provinces have realised the blessings of a wise, prudent, and prosperous administration; and we of the neighbouring nation, though jealous of our rights, have reason to be abundantly satisfied with his just and friendly conduct towards ourselves. He has known how to reconcile his devotion to Her Majesty's service with a proper regard to the rights and interests of the kindred and neighbouring people. Would to Heaven we had such governors-general in all the European colonies in the vicinity of the United States!'

[Sidenote: Reciprocity Treaty.]

A signal proof of his popularity and influence in America was given a few months later, on the occasion already referred to, when he visited Washington for the purpose of negotiating the Reciprocity Treaty; and, chiefly by the effect of his personal presence, carried through, in a few weeks, a measure which had been in suspense for years.

In returning from this visit he was received with special honours at Portland, the terminus of the international railway which he had exerted himself so much to promote; and he used the opportunity not only to please and conciliate his entertainers, but also to impress them with the respect due to the Canadians, as a flourishing and progressive, above all as a loyal, people. Speaking of the alienation which had existed, a few years earlier, between the Provinces and the States, he said:[10]

[Sidenote: Speech at Portland.]

When I look back to the past, I find what tended in some degree to create this misunderstanding. In the first place, as I believe, the government of these provinces was conducted on erroneous principles, the rights of the people were somewhat restrained, and large numbers were prevented from exercising those privileges which belong to a free people. From this arose, very naturally, a discontent on the part of the people of the Provinces, with which the people of the States sympathised. Though this sympathy and this discontent was not always wise, it is not wonderful that it existed.

What have we now done to put an end to this? We have cut off the source of all this misunderstanding by granting to the people what they desired—the great principle of self-government. The inhabitants of Canada at this moment exercise an influence over their own destinies and government as complete as do the people of this country. This is the only cause of misunderstanding that ever existed; and this cannot arise when the circumstances which made them at variance have ceased to exist.

The good feeling which has been so fully established between the States and the Provinces has already justified itself by its works. In the British Provinces we have already had many evidences to prove your kindness towards us; and within the last seven years, more than in any previous seven years since the settlement of the two countries.

Let me ask you, who is the worse off for this display of good feeling and fraternal intercourse? Is it the Canadas? sir, as the representative of Her Majesty, permit me to say that the Canadians were never more loyal than at this moment. Standing here, on United States ground, beneath that flag under which we are proud to live, I repeat that no people was ever more loyal than are the Canadas to their Queen; and it is the purpose of the present Ministers of Her Majesty's Government to make the people of Canada so prosperous and happy, that other nations shall envy them their good fortune.

This was the last occasion of his addressing American citizens on their own soil; nor did the course of his after-life bring him often in contact with them. But the personal regard which he had won from them descended, some years later, as a valuable heritage to his brother, Sir Frederick, when appointed to the difficult post of Minister at Washington after the close of the American Civil War.[11]

[Sidenote: Parting from Canada.]

The parting of Lord Elgin from Canada was spread, so to speak, over several years; for though he did not finally quit its shores till the end of 1854, from 1851 onwards he was continually in expectation of being recalled; and, towards the end of 1853, he came to England, as we have already seen, on leave of absence. The numerous speeches made, and letters written on the occasion of these different leave-takings, contain ample proof how cordial was the feeling which had grown up between the Colony and its Governor. It may be enough to give here two specimens. The first is an extract from a farewell speech at Montreal, listened to with tears by a crowded audience in the very place where, a few years before, he had been so scandalously outraged and insulted.[12]

[Sidenote: Farewell to Montreal.]

For nearly eight years, at the command of our beloved Queen, I have filled this position among you, discharging its duties, often imperfectly, never carelessly, or with indifference. We are all of us aware that the period is rapidly approaching when I may expect to be required by the same gracious authority to resign into other, and I trust worthier, hands, the office of Governor-General, with the heavy burden of responsibility and care which attaches to it. It is fitting, therefore, that we should now speak to each other frankly and without reserve. Let me assure you, then, that the severance of the formal tie which binds us together will not cause my earnest desire for your welfare and advancement to abate. The extinction of an official relationship cannot quench the conviction that I have so long cherished, and by which I have been supported through many trials, that a brilliant future is in store for British North America; or diminish the interest with which I shall watch every event which tends to the fulfilment of this expectation. And again permit me to assure you, that when I leave you, be it sooner or later, I shall carry away no recollections of my sojourn among you except such as are of a pleasing character. I shall remember—and remember with gratitude—the cordial reception I met with at Montreal when I came a stranger among you, bearing with me for my sole recommendation the commission of our Sovereign. I shall remember those early months of my residence here, when I learnt in this beautiful neighbourhood to appreciate the charms of a bright Canadian winter day, and to take delight in the cheerful music of your sleigh bells. I shall remember one glorious afternoon— an afternoon in April—when, looking down from the hill at Monklands, on my return from transacting business in your city, I beheld that the vast plain stretching out before me, which I had always seen clothed in the white garb of winter, had assumed, on a sudden, and, as if by enchantment, the livery of spring; while your noble St. Lawrence, bursting through his icy fetters, had begun to sparkle in the sunshine, and to murmur his vernal hymn of thanksgiving to the bounteous Giver of light and heat. I shall remember my visits to your Mechanics' Institutes and Mercantile Library Associations, and the kind attention with which the advice which I tendered to your young men and citizens was received by them. I shall remember the undaunted courage with which the merchants of this city, while suffering under the pressure of a commercial crisis of almost unparalleled severity, urged forward that great work which was the first step towards placing Canada in her proper position in this age of railway progress. I shall remember the energy and patriotism which gathered together in this city specimens of Canadian industry, from all parts of the province, for the World's Fair, and which has been the means of rendering this magnificent conception of the illustrious Consort of our beloved Queen more serviceable to Canada than it has, perhaps, proved to any other of the countless communities which have been represented there. And I shall forget—but no—what I might have had to forget is forgotten already; and therefore I cannot tell you what I shall forget.

The remaining extract is from parting words, spoken after a ball which he gave at Quebec on the eve of his final departure in December, 1854.

[Sidenote: Farewell to Quebec.]

I wish I could address you in such strains as I have sometimes employed on similar occasions, strains suited to a festive meeting; but I confess I have a weight on my heart, and that it is not in me to be merry. For the last time I stand before you in the official character which I have borne for nearly eight years. For the last time I am surrounded by a circle of friends with whom I have spent some of the most pleasant days of my life. For the last time I welcome you as my guests to this charming residence which I have been in the habit of calling my home.[13] I did not, I will frankly confess it, know what it would cost me to break this habit, until the period of my departure approached; and I began to feel that the great interests which have so long engrossed my attention and thoughts, were passing out of my hands. I had a hint of what my feelings really were upon this point—a pretty broad hint too—one lovely morning in June last, when I returned to Quebec after my temporary absence in England, and landed in the Coves below Spencerwood (because it was Sunday, and I did not want to make a disturbance in the town), and when with the greetings of the old people in the Coves who put their heads out of the windows as I passed along, and cried 'Welcome home again,' still ringing in my ears, I mounted the hill and drove through the avenue to the house door. I saw the dropping trees on the lawn, with every one of which I was so familiar, clothed in the tenderest green of spring, and the river beyond, calm and transparent as a mirror, and the ships fixed and motionless as statues on its surface, and the whole landscape bathed in a flood of that bright Canadian sun which so seldom pierces our murky atmosphere on the other side of the Atlantic. I began to think that persons were to be envied who were not forced by the necessities of their position to quit these engrossing interests and lovely scenes, for the purpose of proceeding to distant lands, but who are able to remain among them until they pass to that quiet corner of the Garden of Mount Hermon, which juts into the river and commands a view of the city, the shipping, Point Levi, the Island of Orleans, and the range of Lawrentine; so that through the dim watches of that tranquil night, which precedes the dawning of the eternal day, the majestic citadel of Quebec, with its noble train of satellite hills, may seem to rest for ever on the sight, and the low murmur of the waters of St. Lawrence, with the hum of busy life on their surface, to fall ceaselessly on the ear. I cannot bring myself to believe that the future has in store for me any interests which will fill the place of those I am now abandoning. But although I must henceforward be to you as a stranger, although my official connection with you and your interests will have become in a few days matter of history, yet I trust that through some one channel or another, the tidings of your prosperity and progress may occasionally reach me; that I may hear from time to time of the steady growth and development of those principles of liberty and order, of manly independence in combination with respect for authority and law, of national life in harmony with British connection, which it has been my earnest endeavour, to the extent of my humble means of influence, to implant and to establish. I trust, too, that I shall hear that this house continues to be what I have ever sought to render it, a neutral territory, on which persons of opposite opinions, political and religious, may meet together in harmony and forget their differences for a season. And I have good hope that this will be the case for several reasons, and, among others, for one which I can barely allude to, for it might be an impertinence in me to dwell upon it. But I think that without any breach of delicacy or decorum I may venture to say that many years ago, when I was much younger than I am now, and when we stood towards each other in a relation somewhat different from that which has recently subsisted between us, I learned to look up to Sir Edmund Head with respect, as a gentleman of the highest character, the greatest ability, and the most varied accomplishments and attainments.[14] And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have only to add the sad word Farewell. I drink this bumper to the health of you all, collectively and individually. I trust that I may hope to leave behind me some who will look back with feelings of kindly recollection to the period of our intercourse; some with whom I have been on terms of immediate official connection, whose worth and talents I have had the best means of appreciating, and who could bear witness, at least, if they please to do so, to the spirit, intentions, and motives with which I have administered your affairs; some with whom I have been bound by the ties of personal regard. And if reciprocity be essential to enmity, then most assuredly I can leave behind me no enemies. I am aware that there must be persons in so large a society as this, who think that they have grievances to complain of, that due consideration has not in all cases been shown to them. Let them believe me, and they ought to believe me, for the testimony of a dying man is evidence, even in a court of justice, let them believe me, then, even I assure them, in this the last hour of my agony, that no such errors of omission or commission have been intentional on my part. Farewell, and God bless you.

* * * * *

[Sidenote: At home.]

The two years which followed Lord Elgin's return from Canada were a time of complete rest from official labour. For though, on the breaking up of Lord Aberdeen's Ministry in the spring of 1855, he was offered by Lord Palmerston the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster, with a seat in the Cabinet, he declined the offer, not on any ground of difference from the new Ministry, which he intended to support; but because, having only recently taken his seat in the House of Lords, after a long term of foreign service, during which he had necessarily held aloof from home politics, he thought it advisable, for the present at least, to remain independent. He found, however, ample and congenial occupation for his time in the peaceful but industrious discharge of home duties at Broomhall. Still his thoughts were constantly with the distant Provinces in which he had laboured so long.

Whenever he appeared in public, whether at a dinner given in his honour at Dunfermline, or on occasion of receiving the freedom of the city of Glasgow, or in delivering a lecture at the annual opening of the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute—it was with the same desire of turning to account the knowledge gained abroad, for the advantage of the Colonies, or of the mother-country, or for the mutual benefit of both; with the same hope of drawing closer the bonds of union between them, and dispelling something of that cloud of ignorance and indifference which has often made the public opinion of Great Britain a hindrance rather than a support to the best interests of her dependencies.

[Sidenote: In the House of Lords.]

It was only very rarely that he took any part in the business of legislation; and of the two occasions on which he was induced to break silence, one was when the interests of Canada appeared to him to be imperilled by the rumoured intention of Government to send thither large bodies of troops that had just returned from the Crimea. He thought it his duty to protest earnestly against any such proceeding, as likely, in the first place, to complicate the relations of Canada with the United States, and, in the second place, to arrest her progress in self-dependence.

[Sidenote: Crimean War.]

The other occasion of his speaking was in May 1855, when Lord Ellenborough had moved an Address to the Crown, condemnatory of the manner in which the Crimean War had been and was being conducted. Having been out of England when hostilities were begun, he had not to consider the question whether it was a glorious, or even a necessary, war in which we were engaged; and his one feeling on the subject was that which he had previously expressed to the citizens of Glasgow.

My opinion (he then said) [on the question of the war] I can easily state, and I have no hesitation in avowing it. I say that now we are in the war, we must fight it out like men. I don't say, throw away the scabbard; in the first place, because I dislike all violent metaphors; and, in the second place, because the scabbard is a very useful instrument, and the sooner we can use it the better. But I do say, having drawn the sword, don't sheathe it until the purpose for which it was drawn is accomplished.

In the same spirit he now defended the Ministry against Lord Ellenborough's attack; not on party grounds, which he took pains to repudiate, but on what he conceived to be the true patriotic principle—viz. to strengthen, at such a time, the hands of the existing Government, unless there be a distinct prospect of replacing it by a stronger.

After mentioning that he had not long before informed Lord Palmerston, that 'while he was resolved to maintain an independent position in Parliament, it was nevertheless his desire and intention, subject to that qualification and reserve, to support the Government,' he proceeded:

I formed this resolution not only because I had reason to believe that on questions of public policy my sentiments would generally be found to be in accordance with those of the present Government, nor yet only because I felt I owed to the noble Viscount himself, and many at least of his colleagues, a debt of obligation for the generous support they uniformly gave me at critical periods in the course of my foreign career; but also, and principally, because in the critical position in which this country was placed—at a time when we had only recently presented to the astonished eye of Europe the discreditable spectacle of a great country left for weeks without a Government, and a popular and estimable Monarch left without councillors, during a period of great national anxiety and peril; when there was hardly a household in England where the voice of wailing was not to be heard, or an eye which was not heavy with a tear—it appeared to me, I say, under such circumstances, to be the bounden duty of every patriotic man, who had not some very valid and substantial reason to assign for adopting a contrary course, to tender a frank and generous support to the Government of the Queen.

Having come to that determination, he had now to ask himself whether circumstances were so altered as to make it his duty to revoke the pledge spontaneously given? To this conclusion he could not bring himself.

It seems to me (he said) these Resolutions divide themselves naturally into two parts. The first part has reference to what I may call the general policy of the Government with respect to the war; and that portion of them is conceived in strains of eulogy and commendation—I may almost say in strains of exultation. The Resolutions speak of firm alliances, of brotherhood in arms, of a sympathetic and enthusiastic people; but not a word of regret for national friendships of old standing broken—desolation carried into thousands of happy homes—Europe in arms—Asia agitated and febrile—America sullenly expectant.

This exuberance of exultation, he said, was amply met by the exuberance of denunciation which characterises the latter part of the Address; but it was to his mind even less just than the former.

But even (he continued) if I could bring myself to believe, which I have failed in doing, that censure might be passed in the terms of these Resolutions upon Her Majesty's present Government without injustice, I should still be unwilling to concur in them, unless I could find some better security than either the Resolutions themselves afford, or, as I regret to be obliged to add, the antecedents and recorded sentiments of Noble Lords opposite afford, that by bringing about the change of administration which these Resolutions are intended to promote, I should be doing a benefit to the public service. My Lords, I cannot but think that at a time when it is most important that the Government of this country should have weight and influence abroad, frequent changes of administration are primâ facie most objectionable. I happened to be upon the Continent when the last change of Government in this country took place; and I must say it appeared to me, that a most painful impression was created in foreign states with respect to the instability of the administrative system of this country by these frequent changes of administration. I do think, indeed, that not the least of the many calamities which this war has brought upon us is the fact, that it has had a tendency in many quarters to throw discredit on that constitutional system of Government of which this country has hitherto been the type and the bright example among the nations.

After all, what is chiefly valuable to nations as well as to individuals, and the loss of which alone is irreparable, is character; and it appears to me that, viewed in this light, many of the other calamities which we have had to deplore during the course of this war have been already accompanied by a very large and ample measure of compensation. To take, for instance, the military departments: notwithstanding the complaints we have heard of deficiencies in our military organisation, I believe we can with confidence affirm, that the character of the British soldier, both for moral qualities and for powers of physical endurance, has been raised by the instrumentality of this war to an elevation which it had never before attained. In spite of the somewhat unfavourable tone which, I regret to say, has been adopted of late by a portion of the press of America, I have myself seen in influential journals in that country commentaries upon the conduct of our soldiers at Alma, at Balaklava, and at Inkerman, which no true-hearted Englishman could read without emotion: and I have heard a tribute not less generous and not less unqualified borne to the qualities of our troops by eminent persons belonging to that great military nation with which we are now so happily allied. To look to another quarter—to contemplate another class of virtues not less essential than those to which I have referred to the happiness and glory of nations—I have heard from enthusiastic, even bigoted, votaries of that branch of the Christian Church which sometimes prides itself as having alone retained in its system room for the exercise of the heroic virtues of Christianity,—I say I have frequently heard from them the frank admission, that the hospitals of Scutari have proved that the fairest and choicest flowers of Christian charity and devotion may come to perfection even in what they are pleased to call the arid soil of Protestantism. But, my Lords, can we flatter ourselves with the belief that the character of our statesmen, of our public men, and of our Parliamentary institutions has risen in a like proportion? Is it not, on the contrary, notorious that doubts have been created in quarters where such doubts never existed before as to the practical efficiency of our much-vaunted constitution, as to its fitness to carry us unscathed through periods of great difficulty and danger? I believe, my Lords, that there is one process only, but that a sure and certain process, by which these doubts may be removed. It is only necessary that public men, whether connected with the Government or with the Opposition, whether tied in the bonds of party or holding independent positions in Parliament, should evince the same indifference to small and personal motives, the same generous patriotism, the same disinterested devotion to duty, which have characterised the services of our soldiers in the field, and of the women of England at the sick-bed. And, my Lords, I cannot help asking in conclusion, if—which God forbid—it should unhappily be proved that, in those whom fortune, or birth, or royal or popular favour has placed in the van, these qualities are wanting, who shall dare to blame the press and the people of England, if they seek for them elsewhere?

From the tone of this speech it will be seen that Lord Elgin had not at this time joined either of the two parties in the State. He was, in truth, still feeling his way through the mazes of home politics to which he had been so long a stranger, and from which, as he himself somewhat regretfully observed, those ancient landmarks of party had been removed, 'which, if not a wholly sufficient guide, are yet some sort of direction to wanderers in the political wilderness.' While he was still thus engaged, events were happening at the other ends of the earth which were destined to divert into quite another channel the current of his life.

[1] Mac Mullen's History of Canada, p. 527.

[2] It Is a singular fact, as illustrating the tenacity and coherence of the Church of Rome, that while all Protestant endowments were thus indiscriminately swept away, no voice was raised against the retention, by the Roman Catholic clergy, of the vast possessions left to them by the old French capitulation.—Mac Mullen, p. 528.

[3] Despatch of December 18, 1854.

[4] Despatch of August 16,1853

[5] Despatch of December 18, 1854.

[6] Despatch of December 18,1854. The abolition was shortly afterwards, satisfactorily effected.

[7] Vide supra, p. 48.

[8] The Rebellion Losses Bill.

[9] Some years afterwards, when speaking of these festivities, the Mayor of Buffalo said: 'Never shall I forget the admiration elicited by Lord Elgin's beautiful speech on that occasion. Upon the American visitors (who, it must be confessed, do not look for the highest order of intellect in the appointees of the Crown) the effect was amusing. A sterling Yankee friend, while the Governor was speaking, sat by my side, who occasionally gave vent to his feelings as the speech progressed, each sentence increasing in beauty and eloquence, by such approving exclamations as "He's a glorious fellow! He ought to be on our side of the line! We would make him mayor of our city!" As some new burst of eloquence breaks from the speaker's lips, my worthy friend exclaims, "How magnificently he talks! Yes, by George, we'd make him governor—governor of the state!" As the noble Earl, by some brilliant hit, carries the assemblage with a full round of applause, "Ah!" cries my Yankee friend, with a hearty slap on my shoulder, "by Heaven, if he were on our side, we'd make him President—nothing less than President!"'

[10] The report of his words is obviously imperfect, but their substance is probably given with sufficient accuracy.

[11] The great abilities of Sir F. Bruce, and the nobility of his character, fitted him in a singular manner for this post. He died suddenly at Boston, on September 19, 1867, too early for extended fame, but not unrecognised as a public servant of rare value. The Times, which announced his death, after commenting on the calamitous fate by which, 'within a period of four years, the nation had lost the services of three members of one family, each endowed with eminent qualifications for the important work to which they severally devoted their lives,' proceeded thus with regard to the youngest of the three brothers. 'The country would have had much. reason to deplore the death of Sir Frederick Bruce whenever it had happened; but his loss is an especial misfortune at a time when, negotiations of the utmost intricacy and delicacy are pending with a Government which is not always disposed to approach Great Britain in a spirit of generosity and forbearance. Seldom has a citizen of another country visited the United States who possessed so keen an insight into the political working of the Great Republic, and at the same time ingratiated himself so thoroughly with every American who approached Him…. Although naturally somewhat impulsive in temperament, he invariable exhibited entire calmness and self-command when the circumstances of his position led him into trial…. This imperturbable temperament in all his official relations served him well on many occasions, from the day when he succeeded to the laborious duties relinquished by Lord Lyons; but never was it of greater advantage than in the protracted and difficult controversy concerning the Alabama claims. This discussion it fell to the lot of Sir F. Bruce to conduct on the part of Her Majesty; and we divulge no secret when we state that it was in accordance with the late Minister's repeated advice and exhortations that a wise overture towards a settlement was made by the present Government. He had succeeded in establishing for himself relations of cordial friendship with Mr. Seward and the President, and probably there are few outside the circle of his own family who will be more shocked at the tidings of his death than the astute and keen-eyed old man with whom he had sustained incessant diplomatic fence.'

[12] It certainly was not without truth, that one of the local papers most opposed to him remarked that 'Lord Elgin had, beyond all doubt, a remarkable faculty of turning enemies into friends.'

[13] Spencerwood, the Governor's private residence.

[14] Sir Edmund Head, who succeeded Lord Elgin as Governor-General of Canada in 1854, had examined him for a Merton Fellowship in 1833. Those who knew him will recognise how singularly appropriate, in their full force, are the terms in which he is here spoken of.



'The earlier incidents of the political rupture with the Chinese Commissioner Yeh, which occurred at Canton during the autumn of 1856, and which led to the appointment of a Special Mission to China, were too thoroughly canvassed at the time to render it necessary to renew here any discussion on their merits, or recall at length their details. As the "Arrow" case derived its interest then from the debates to which it gave rise, and its effects on parties at home, rather than from any intrinsic value of its own, so does it now mainly owe its importance to the accidental circumstance, that it was the remote and insignificant cause which led to a total revolution in the foreign policy of the Celestial Empire, and to the demolition of most of those barriers which, while they were designed to restrict all intercourse from without, furnished the nations of the West with fruitful sources of quarrel and perpetual grievances.'

These words form the preface to the 'Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan,' by Laurence Oliphant, then private secretary to Lord Elgin. To that work we must refer our readers for a full and complete, as well as authentic, account of the occurrences which gave occasion to the following letters. A brief sketch only will here be given.

[Sidenote: Origin of the Mission.]

On October 8, 1856, a lorcha named 'Arrow,' registered as a British vessel, and carrying a British flag, was boarded by the authorities of Canton, the flag torn down, and the crew carried away as prisoners. Such was the English account. The Chinese denied that any flag was flying at the time of the capture: the British ownership of the vessel, they maintained, was never more than colourable, and had expired a month before: the crew were all their own subjects, apprehended on a charge of piracy.

The English authorities refused to listen to this. They insisted on a written apology for the insult to their flag, and the formal restitution of the captured sailors. And when these demands were refused, or incompletely fulfilled, they summoned the fleet, in the hope that a moderate amount of pressure would lead to the required concessions. Shortly after, finding arms in their hands, they thought it a good opportunity to enforce the fulfilment of certain 'long-evaded treaty obligations,' including the right for all foreign representatives of free access to the authorities and the city of Canton. With this view, fort after fort, suburb after suburb, was taken or demolished. But the Chinese, after their manner, would neither yield nor fight; and contented themselves with offering large rewards for the head of every Englishman.

When this state of matters was reported to England, it was brought before the House of Commons on a motion by Mr. Cobden, condemnatory of 'the violent measures resorted to at Canton in the late affair of the "Arrow."' The motion, supported by Mr. Gladstone in one of his splendid bursts of rhetoric, was carried against the Government by a majority of sixteen, in a full and excited house, on the morning of February 26, 1857. But Lord Palmerston refused to accept the adverse vote as expressing the will of the people. He appealed to the constituencies, candidly telling the House that, pending that appeal, 'there would be no change, and could be no change, in the policy of the Government with respect to events in China.' At the same time he intimated that a special Envoy would be sent out to supersede the local authorities, armed with full powers to settle the relations between England and China on a broad and solid basis.

[Sidenote: Appointment of Lord Elgin.]

But where was the man who, at a juncture so critical, in face of an adverse vote of the House of Commons, on the chance of its being rescinded by the country, could be trusted with so delicate a mission; who could be relied on, in the conduct of such an expedition against a foe alike stubborn and weak, to go far enough, and yet not too far—to carry his point, by diplomatic skill and force of character, with the least possible infringement of the laws of humanity; a man with the ability and resolution to insure success, and the native strength that can afford to be merciful? After 'anxious deliberation,' the choice of the Government fell upon Lord Elgin.

How, on the voyage to China, he was met half-way by the news of the Indian Mutiny; how promptly and magnanimously he took on himself the responsibility of sacrificing the success of his own expedition by diverting the troops from China to India; how, after many weary months of enforced inactivity, the expedition was resumed, and carried through numberless thwartings to a successful issue—these are matters of history with which every reader must be acquainted. But those who are most familiar with the events may find an interest in the following extracts from private letters, written at the time by the chief actor in the drama. They are taken almost exclusively from a Journal, in which his first thoughts and impressions on every passing occurrence were hurriedly noted down, from day to day, for transmission to Lady Elgin.

[Sidenote: Malta.]

H.M.S. 'Caradoc'—May 2nd.—I have just returned to my ship after spending a few hours on shore and visiting Lord Lyons in his magnificent Prince Albert…. How beautiful Malta is with its narrow streets, gorgeous churches, and impregnable fortifications. I landed at about six, and walked up to the Palace, and wrote my name in the Governor's book, who resides out of town. I then took a turn through the town, and went to the inn to breakfast….

[Sidenote: Chance meetings.]

By way of conversation with the waiter, I asked who were in the house: 'Only two families, one of them Lord Balgonie[1] and his sisters.' I saw the ladies first, and, at a later hour, their brother, in his bed. Poor fellow! the hand of death is only too visibly upon him. There he lay; his arm, absolutely fleshless, stretched out: his large eyes gleaming from his pale face. I could not dare to offer to his broken- hearted sisters a word of comfort. These poor girls! how I felt for them; alone! with their brother in such a state. They go to Marseilles by the next opportunity, probably by the packet which will convey to you this letter, and they hope that their mother will meet them there. What a tragedy! … I had been incog. at the hotel till Sir W. Reid[2] found me there. When the innkeeper learned who I was, he was in despair at my having been put into so small a room, and informed me that he was the son of an old servant at Broomhall, Hood by name, and that he had often played with me at cricket! How curious are these strange rencontres in life! They put me in mind of Heber's image, who says that we are like travellers journeying through a dense wood intersected by innumerable paths: we are constantly meeting in unexpected places, and plunging into the forest again!

[Sidenote: Alexandria.]

_Alexandria.—May 6th.—_I made up my letter last night, not knowing how short the time of my sojourn at Alexandria might be. But at about one in the morning I received a letter from Frederick,[3] telling me that the steamer due at Suez had not yet arrived, that an official reception was to be given me, and that I had better not land too early…. Notwithstanding which, washing decks, the morning gun, and a bright sun, broke my slumbers at an early hour, and I got up and dressed soon after daybreak. At about 6.30 A.M. a boat of the Pacha's, with a dignitary (who turned out to be a very gentleman-like Frenchman), arrived, and from him I learnt that the Governor of Alexandria, with a cortege of dignitaries and a carriage and four, was already at the shore awaiting my arrival; but Frederick did not come till about half-past nine, and it was nearly ten before I landed. I was then conducted by the authorities to the palace in which I am now writing, consisting of suites of very handsome rooms, and commanding a magnificent view of the sea. About a dozen attendants are loitering about and watching every movement, not curiously, but in order to supply any possible want. At this very moment a mild-looking Turk is peeping into my bed-room where I am writing this letter, and supposing that I may wish to be undisturbed, has drawn a red cloth portière across the open doorway. This palace, which is set apart for the reception of distinguished strangers, is situated in the Turkish quarter of the town, and all the houses around are inhabited by Mussulmans. The windows are all covered with latticed wooden shutters, through which the wretched women may, I suppose, peer as they do through the grating at the House of Commons, but which are at least as impermeable to the mortal eye from without. The streets are very empty, as it is the Ramadan, during which devout Turks fast and sleep throughout the day, and indemnify themselves by eating, drinking, and amusing themselves all night.

Cairo.—May 7th.—Most of yesterday afternoon was spent in drinking coffee and smoking long pipes, two ladies partaking of the latter enjoyment after dinner at Mr. Green's. One of them told me that she had dined with the Princess (the Pacha's wife) a few days ago. She went at seven and left at half-past twelve, and with the exception of a half hour of dinner, all the rest of the time was spent in smoking and drinking coffee. After dinner, the mother of the Pacha's only child came in and joined the party. She was treated with a certain consideration as being the mother of this child, although she was not given a pipe. The Princess seemed on very good terms with her. This child (a boy three years old) has an English nurse, and this nurse has persuaded the Pacha to allow her to take the child to England on a visit. The mother, who has picked up a little English from the nurse, said to Mrs. Green, 'I am very unhappy; young Pacha' (her boy) 'is going away.' The mother is no more thought of in this arrangement than I am. What a strange system it is!… We passed through the wonderful Delta to-day, and certainly the people looked more comfortable than those of Alexandria. The beasts too, camels, oxen, donkeys, showed signs of the fertility of the soil in their sleekness. What might not be made of this country if it were wisely guided!

[Sidenote: Crossing the Desert.]

Steamer 'Bentinck.'—Sunday, May 10th.—I write to you from the neighbourhood of Mount Sinai, which we passed at an early hour this morning, gliding through a sea of most transparent glass, with so little motion that there is hardly an excuse for bad writing…. I must, however, take you back to Cairo. We began to move at a very early hour, about three, on Saturday (yesterday) morning. We were actually in the railway carriages at half-past four. I was placed in a coupé before the engine, in order that I might see the road; and in this somewhat formidable position ran over about forty miles of the Desert in about an hour and a half. It is a wonderful sight this strange barren expanse of stone and gravel, with here and there a small encampment of railway labourers, after passing through the luxuriant Valley of the Nile, teeming with production and life, animal and vegetable. In the morning air there was a healthy freshness, which was very delightful. At the end of our hour and a half we reached the termination of the part of the railway which is already completed, and embarked in two-wheeled four-horse vans (such as you see in the Illustrated News), to pass over about five miles of trackless desert, lying between the said terminus and a station on the regular road across the Desert, at which we were to breakfast. This part of our journey was rough work, and took us some time to execute. Our station was really a very nice building; and while we were there a caravan of pilgrims to Mecca, some women in front and the men following, all mounted on their patient camels, passed by. After we were refreshed we started for Suez; and you will hardly believe me when I tell you, that we travelled forty-seven miles over the Desert in a carriage as capacious and commodious as a London town coach, in four hours and a half, including seven changes of horses and a stoppage of half an hour. In short, we got over the ground in about three hours and three-fourths. We had six horses to our carriage, and a swarthy Nubian, with a capital seat on horseback, rode by us all the way, occasionally reminding our horses that it was intended they should go at a gallop.

[Sidenote: Retrospect of Egypt.]
[Sidenote: Egyptian ladies.]

May 11th.—I am glad to have had two days in Egypt. It gave one an idea at least of that country; in some degree a painful one. I suppose that France and England, by their mutual jealousies, will be the means of perpetuating the abominations of the system under which that magnificent country is ruled. They say that the Pacha's revenue is about 4,000,000_l_., and his expenses about 2,000,000_l_.; so that he has about 2,000,000_l_. of pocket-money. Yet I suppose that the Fellahs, owing to their own industry, and the incomparable fertility of the country, are not badly off as compared with the peasantry elsewhere. We passed, at one of our stopping-places between Cairo and Suez, part of a Turkish regiment on their way to Jeddah. These men were dressed in a somewhat European costume, some of them with the Queen's medal on their breasts. There was a hareem, in a sort of omnibus, with them, containing the establishment of one of the officers. One of the ladies dropped her veil for a moment, and I saw rather a pretty face; almost the only Mahommedan female face I have seen since I have reached this continent. They are much more rigorous, it appears, with the ladies in Egypt than at Constantinople. There they wear a veil which is quite transparent and go about shopping: but in Egypt they seem to go very little out, and their veil completely hides everything but the eyes. In the palace which I visited near Cairo (and which the Pacha offered, if we had chosen to take it), I looked through some of the grated windows allowed in the hareems, and I suppose that it must require a good deal of practice to see comfortably out of them. It appears that the persons who ascend to the top of the minarets to call to prayer at the appointed hours are blind men, and that the blind are selected for this office, lest they should be able to look down into the hareems. That is certainly carrying caution very far.

[Sidenote: Aden.]

Steamship 'Bentinck,' off Socotra.—May 19th.—I left my last letter at Aden. We landed there at about four P.M., under a salute from an Indian man-of-war sloop and the fort, to which latter place I was conveyed in a carriage which the Governor sent for me. It was most fearfully hot. The hills are rugged and grand, but wholly barren; not a sign of vegetation, and the vertical rays of a tropical sun beating upon them. The whole place is comprised in a drive around the hills of some three or four miles, beyond which the inhabitants cannot stray without the risk of being seized by the Arabs. I cannot conceive a more dreary spot to dwell in, though the Governor assured me that the troops are healthy. He received me very civilly, and insisted that I should remain with him until the steamer sailed, which involved leaving his abode (the cantonment) at about half-past three in the morning. He took me to see some most extraordinary tanks which he has recently discovered, and which must have been constructed with great care and at great expense, at some remote period, in order to collect the rain-water which falls at rare intervals in torrents. These tanks are so constructed that the overflow of the upper one fills the lower, and in this way, when the fall is considerable, a great quantity can be gathered. They were all filled with rubbish, and it is very possible that there may be many besides these which have been already discovered, but when they are cleared out they are in perfect preservation. Some of them are of great capacity, and it is difficult to understand how they come to have been filled up so completely. The Governor told me that he had, a few months before, driven in his gig over the largest, which I went with him to see. At that time he had no idea of its existence.

[Sidenote: Gloomy prospects.]

May 22nd.—As each of these wearisome days passes, I cannot help being more and more determined that, in so far as it rests with me, this voyage shall not have been made for nothing. However, the issues are in higher hands.

Sunday, 24th.—We are now told we shall reach Ceylon in two days…. I have got dear Bruce's[4] large speaking eyes beside me while I am writing, and mine (ought I to confess it) are very dim, while all these thoughts of home crowd upon me. There is nothing congenial to me in my present life. I have no elasticity of spirits to keep up with the younger people around me. It may be better when the work begins; but I cannot be sanguine even as to that, for the more I read of the blue-books and papers with which I have been furnished, the more embarrassing the questions with which I have to deal appear.

[Sidenote: First news of the Indian Mutiny.]

It was at Ceylon that he caught the first ominous mutterings of the terrible storm which was about to burst over India, and which was destined so powerfully to affect his own expedition. The news of the first serious disturbance, the mutiny of a native Regiment at Meerut on the 11th of May, had just been brought by General Ashburnham, the commander of the expeditionary force, who had left Bombay a few hours after the startling tidings had been received through the telegraph. Lord Elgin's first feeling was that these disturbances in India furnished an additional reason for settling affairs in China with all possible speed, so as to be free to succour the Indian Government. It was only when fuller intelligence came from Lord Canning, with urgent entreaties for immediate help, that he determined, in consultation with General Ashburnham, who cordially entered into all his views on the subject, to sacrifice for the present the Chinese expedition, in order to pour into Calcutta all the troops that had been intended for Canton.

Galle, Ceylon.—May 26th.—This is a very charming place, so green that one almost forgets the heat. Ashburnham is here; we go on together to Singapore this evening. Bad news from India. I think that I may find in this news, if confirmed, a justification for pressing matters with vigour in China, and hastening the period at which I may hope to see you again.

Steamship 'Singapore.'—May 27th.—General Ashburnham brought with him a report of a most serious mutiny in the Bengal army. Perhaps he sees it in the worst light, because he has always (I remember his speaking to me on the subject at Balbirnie) predicted that something of the kind would occur; but, apart from his anticipations, the matter seems grave enough. The mutineers have murdered Europeans, seized the fort and treasure of Delhi; and proclaimed the son of the Great Mogul. There seems to be no adequate European force at hand to put them down, and the season is bad for operations by Europeans. Such is the sum and substance of this report, as conveyed by telegraph to Elphinstone, the evening before Ashburnham left Bombay. I was a good deal tempted to remain at Galle for a few hours, in order to await the arrival of the homeward-bound steamer from Calcutta, and to get further news; but, on reflection, I came to the conclusion, that the best course to take was to view this grave intelligence as an inducement to press on to China. I wrote officially to Clarendon to say, that if this intelligence was confirmed, it might have a tendency to lower our prestige in the East, and to increase the influence of the party opposed to reason in China; that this state of affairs might make it more than ever necessary that I should endeavour to bring matters in China to an issue at the earliest moment, so as to anticipate this mischief, and to place the regiments destined for China at the disposal of Government for service elsewhere.

May 29th.—We are now near the close of our voyage, and the serious work is about to begin. Up to this point I have heard nothing to throw any light upon my prospects. It is impossible to read the blue-books without feeling that we have often acted towards the Chinese in a manner which it is very difficult to justify; and yet their treachery and cruelty come out so strongly at times as to make almost anything appear justifiable.

[Sidenote: Penang.]
[Sidenote: Bishop of Labuan.]
[Sidenote: Character of Chinese.]

Penang.—June 1st.—We have just returned to our vessel after a few hours spent on shore; or, rather, I have just emerged from a bath in which I have been reclining for half an hour, endeavouring to cool myself after a hot morning's work. We made this place at about eleven last night, running into the harbour by the assistance of a bright moon. The water was perfectly smooth, and I stood on the paddle-box for some hours, watching the distant hills as they rose into sight and faded from our view, and the bright phosphorescent light of the sea cut by our prow, and which, despite the clearness of the night, was sometimes almost too brilliant to be gazed at. When we dropped our anchor, the captain still professed to doubt whether or not he would have to proceed immediately; but he gave me to understand that, if he could not accomplish this, he would not wish to leave until twelve to- day, so that I should in that case have an opportunity of landing and ascending the mountain summit. On this hint I had a bed prepared on deck (fearing the heat of the cabins), and tried, though rather in vain, to take a few hours' sleep. At five A.M. I was told that the Resident, Mr. Lewis, was on board, that carriages and horses were ready, and that, if I wished to mount the hill, the time had arrived for the operation. I immediately made a hasty toilette, and set forth accompanied by the General, some of the others following. We were conveyed in a carriage three miles, to the foot of the hill, and on pony-back as much more up it, through a dense tropical vegetation which reminded me of my Jamaica days. At the end of the ride we arrived at the Government bungalow, and found one of the most magnificent views I ever witnessed; in the foreground this tropical luxuriance, and beyond, far below, the glistening sea studded with ships and boats innumerable, over which again the Malay peninsula with its varied outline. I had hardly begun to admire the scene, when a gentleman in a blue flannel sort of dress, with a roughish beard and a cigar in his mouth, made his appearance, and was presented to me as the Bishop of Labuan! He was there endeavouring to recruit his health, which has suffered a good deal. He complained of the damp of the climate, while admitting its many charms, and seemed to think that he owed to the dampness a very bad cold by which he was afflicted. Soon afterwards his wife joined us. They were both at Sarawak when the last troubles took place, and must have had a bad time of it. The Chinese behaved well to them; indeed they seemed desirous to make the Bishop their leader. His converts (about fifty) were stanch, and he has a school at which about the same number of Chinese boys are educated. These facts pleaded in his favour, and it says something for the Chinese that they were not insensible to these claims. They committed some cruel acts, but they certainly might have committed more. They respected the women except one (Mrs. C., whom they wounded severely), and they stuck by the Bishop until they found that he was trying to bring Brooke back. They then turned upon him, and he had to run for his life. The Bishop gave me an interesting description of his school of Chinese boys. He says they are much more like English boys than other Orientals: that when a new boy comes they generally get up a fight, and let him earn his place by his prowess. But there is no managing them without pretty severe punishments. Indeed, he says that if a boy be in fault the others do not at all like his not being well punished; they seem to think that it is an injustice to the rest if this is omitted. I am about to do with a strange people; so much to admire in them, and yet with a perversity of disposition which makes it absolutely necessary, if you are to live with them at all, to treat them severely, sometimes almost cruelly. They have such an overweening esteem for themselves, that they become unbearable unless they are constantly reminded that others are as good as they…. The Bishop seemed to think that it would be a very good thing if the Rajah were to go home for a time, and leave the government to his nephew, whom he praises much…. When we came down from the mountain we went to the house of the Resident on the shore, and there I found all the world of Penang assembled to meet me; among them a quantity of Chinese in full mandarin costume. It was not easy, under the circumstances, to make conversation for them, but it was impossible not to be pleased with their good-humoured faces, on which there rests a perpetual grin. We had a grand 'spread,' in which fresh fish, mangosteen, and a horrible fruit whose name I forget (dorian), but whose smell I shall ever remember, played a conspicuous part. After breakfast we returned to our ship to be broiled for about an hour, then to bathe, and now (after that I have inserted these words in my journal to you) to finish dressing.

[Sidenote: Singapore.]

June 3rd.—Just arrived at Singapore. Urgent letters from Canning to send him troops. I have not a man. 'Shannon' not arrived.

Singapore.—June 5th.—I am on land, which is at any rate one thing gained. But I am only about eighty miles from the equator, and about two hundred feet above the level of the sea. The Java wind, too, is blowing, which is the hot wind in these quarters, so that you may imagine what is the condition of my pores. I sent my last letter immediately after landing, and had little time to add a word from land, as I found a press of business, and a necessity for writing to Clarendon by the mail; the fact being, that I received letters from Canning, imploring me to send troops to him from the number destined for China. As we have no troops yet, and do not well know when we may have any, it was not exactly an easy matter to comply with this request. However, I did what I could, and, in concert with the General, have sent instructions far and wide to turn the transports back, and give Canning the benefit of the troops for the moment.

[Sidenote: Diversion of troops to India.]

The importance of the determination, thus simply announced, can hardly be exaggerated. 'Tell Lord Elgin,' wrote Sir William Peel, the heroic leader of the celebrated Naval Brigade, after the neck of the rebellion was broken, 'tell Lord Elgin that it was the Chinese Expedition that relieved Lucknow, relieved Cawnpore, and fought the battle of the 6th December.' Nor would it be easy to praise too highly the large and patriotic spirit which moved the heads of the Expedition to an act involving at once so generous a renunciation of all selfish hopes and prospects, and so bold an assumption of responsibility. Proofs were not wanting afterwards that the sacrifice was appreciated by the Queen and the country; but these were necessarily deferred, and it was all the more gratifying, therefore, to Lord Elgin to receive, at the time and on the spot, the following cordial expressions of approval from a distinguished public servant, with whom he was himself but slightly acquainted—Sir H. Ward, then Governor of Ceylon:—

"You may think me impertinent in volunteering an opinion upon what in the first instance only concerns you and the Queen and Lord Canning. But having seen something of public life during a great part of my own, which is now fast verging into the "sere and yellow leaf," I may venture to say that I never knew a nobler thing than that which you have done in preferring the safety of India to the success of your Chinese negotiations. If I know anything of English public opinion, this single act will place you higher, in general estimation as a statesman, than your whole past career, honourable and fortunate as it has been. For it is not every man who would venture to alter the destination of a force upon the despatch of which a Parliament has been dissolved, and a Government might have been superseded. It is not every man who would consign himself for many months to political inaction in order simply to serve the interests of his country. You have set a bright example at a moment of darkness and calamity; and, if India can be saved, it is to you that we shall owe its redemption, for nothing short of the Chinese expedition could have supplied the means of holding our ground until further reinforcements are received."

For the time the disappointment was great. His occupation was gone, and with it all hope of a speedy end to his labours. Six weary months he waited, powerless to act and therefore powerless to negotiate, and feeling that every week's delay tended to aggravate the difficulties of the situation in China.

Singapore.—June 5th.—It is, of course, difficult to conjecture how this Indian business may affect us in China, and I shall await our next news from India with no little anxiety. Await it, I say, for there is no prospect of my getting on from here at present. There is no word of the 'Shannon' and till she arrives I am a fixture.

[Sidenote: Convict establishment.]

June 6th.—This morning the Governor took me on foot to the convict establishment, at which some 2,500 murderers, &c., from India are confined, and some fifty women, who are generally, after about two years of penal servitude, let out on condition that they consent to marry convicts. I cannot say that their appearance made me envy the convicts much, although some of them were perhaps better-looking than the women one meets out of the prison. In truth, one meets very few women at all, and those that sees are far from attractive. Au reste, the convicts go about apparently very little guarded, with a chain round the waist and each leg. The church, which we afterwards visited, is rather an imposing edifice, and is being built by convict labour, at the cost of the Indian Government.

[Sidenote: Opium-shops.]

June 8th.—This morning I visited, in my walk, some of the horrid opium-shops, which we are supposed to do so much to encourage. They are wretched dark places, with little lamps, in which the smokers light their pipes, glimmering on the shelves made of boards, on which they recline and puff until they fall asleep. The opium looks like treacle, and the smokers are haggard and stupefied, except at the moment of inhaling, when an unnatural brightness sparkles from their eyes. After escaping from these horrid dens, I went to visit a Chinese merchant who lives in a very good house, and is a man of considerable wealth. He speaks English, and never was in China, having been born in Malacca. I had tea, and was introduced to his mother, wife, and two boys and two girls. He intends to send one of his sons to England for education. He denounces opium and the other vices of his countrymen, and their secret societies. All the well-to-do Chinese agree in this, but they have not moral courage to come out against them. Indeed, I suppose they could hardly do so without great risk…. Alas! still no sign of the 'Shannon.'

[Sidenote: Captain Peel.]
[Sidenote: Ignorance of the Chinese language.]

June 11th.—At half-past four this morning the 'Shannon' arrived. Captain Peel came up to breakfast. He has made a quick passage, as he came almost all the way under canvas: such were his orders from the Admiralty. He says that his ship is the fastest sailer he has ever been on board of; that he has the best set of officers; in short, all is very cheery with him. I told him I should not start till after the arrival of the steamer from England, and he requires that time to get ready, as it appears that he had only twelve hours' notice that he was to take me when he left England. On Tuesday, at noon, the Chinese arrived with an address to me. I had a reply prepared, which was translated into Malay, and read by a native. It is a most extraordinary circumstance that, in this place, where there are some 60,000 or 70,000 Chinese, and where the Europeans are always imagining that they are plotting, &c., there is not a single European who can speak their language. No doubt this is a great source of misunderstanding. The last row, which did not end in a massacre, but which might have done so, originated in the receipt of certain police regulations from Calcutta. These regulations were ill translated, and published after Christmas Day. The Chinese, believing that they authorised the police to enter their houses at all periods, to interfere with their amusements at the New Year, &c., shut up their shops, which is their constitutional mode of expressing dissatisfaction. It was immediately inferred in certain quarters that the Chinese intended, out of sympathy with the Cantonese, to murder all the Europeans. Luckily the Governor thought it advisable to explain to them what the obnoxious ordinances really meant before proceeding to exterminate them, and a few hours of explanation had the effect of inducing them to re-open their shops, and go on quietly with their usual avocations. Just the same thing happened at Penang. There too, because the Chinamen showed some disinclination to obey regulations of police which interfered with their amusements and habits, a plot against the Europeans was immediately suspected, and great indignation expressed because it was not put down with vigour!

[Sidenote: The Sultan of Johore.]
[Sidenote: Frères Chrétiens.]
[Sidenote: Soeurs.]

June 13th.—I have just been interrupted to go and see the Sultan of Johore. These princes in this country, and indeed all over the East, are spoilt from their childhood, all their passions indulged and fostered by their parents, who say, 'What is the use of being a prince, if he may not have more ghee, etc. etc. than his neighbours?' I do not see what can be done for them. At the school I visited this morning are two sultan's sons (of Queddah), but they were at home for some holidays, when they will probably be ruined. During my morning's walk I heard something like the sound of a school in a house adjoining, and I proposed to enter and inspect. I found an establishment of Frères chrétiens, and one of them (an Irishman) claimed acquaintance, as having been with Bishop Phelan when he visited me in Canada. We struck up a friendship accordingly, and I told him that if there were any Soeurs I should like to see them. He introduced me to the Vicar Apostolic, a Frenchman, and we went to the establishment of the Soeurs. I found the Supérieure a very superior person, evidently with her heart in the work, and ready for any fate to which it might expose her, but quiet and cheerful. I told her that a devout lady in Paris had expressed a fear that my mission to China would put an end to martyrdom in that country. She smiled, and said that she thought there would always be on this earth martyrdom in abundance. The Sisters educate a number of orphan girls as well as others. All the missionary zeal in these quarters seems to be among the French priests. Some one once said that it was not wonderful that young men took away so much learning from Oxford as they left so little behind them. The same may, I think, be said of the French religion. It seems all intended for exportation.

[Sidenote: View from Singapore.]

June 15th.—I see from my window that a French steamer has just come into the harbour and dropped her anchor. This reminds me that I have not yet told you what I see from this window—if I may apply the term window to a row of Venetian blinds running all round the house or bungalow, for this residence is not dignified by the title 'house.' I am on an eminence about 200 feet above the sea; immediately below me the town; on one side a number of houses with dark red roofs, surrounded with trees, looking very like a flower-garden, and confirming me in my opinion of the beauty of such roofs when so situated; on the other, the same red-roofed houses without trees, which makes all the difference. Beyond, the harbour, or rather anchorage, filled with ships, the mighty 'Shannon' in the centre—a triton among the minnows. Beyond, again, a wide opening to the sea, with lowish shores, rocky, and covered with wood, running out on either side. Such is the prospect ever before me, a very fine one during the day, still more interesting at night when it all sparkles with lights, and the great tropical moon looks calmly down on the whole.

[Sidenote: On board the 'Shannon.']

H.M.S. 'Shannon.'—June 24th.—I daresay you will consider me an object of envy when I describe to you where I am,—on board of a magnificent ship-of-war, carrying sixty 68-pounders, our foremast and mainmast sails set, and gliding through the water with just motion enough to tell us that the pulse of the great sea is beating. The temperature of the air is high, but the day is somewhat cloudy, and the sails throw a shadow on the deck. The only thing I regret is, that having no poop, the high bulwarks close us in and shut out both the air and prospect. One can only get these by climbing up on a sort of standing-place on the side…. Our departure from Singapore was very striking…. Not only were all the troops and volunteers under arms, with Chinamen and merchants in crowds, but (may I mention it) the fair ladies of Singapore were drawn up in a row to give us a parting salute. We moved off in our boats, under a salute from the battery, which was repeated by the 'Spartan' as I passed her, and by the 'Shannon' when I got on board, both these vessels manning yards. The French admiral honoured me also with a salute as I passed him after getting under weigh, although the sun had already set.

July 1st.—Another month begun. Last night, at dinner, we were startled by hearing that we seemed to be running on a rock or shoal, where no rock or shoal was known to exist. We backed our screw, and finally went over the alarming spot, and on sounding found no bottom. The sea was discoloured, but whether it was by the spawn of fish or sea-weed we could not discover. Peel took up water in a bucket, but could discover nothing. If we had not been a screw, and had had nothing but sails to rely on, we should have kept clear of this apparent danger, and the result would have been that a shoal would have been marked on the charts, where, in point of fact, no shoal exists. Captain Keppel's adventure makes captains cautious.

[Sidenote: Arrival at Hongkong.]

Hong-Kong.—July 3rd.—I am headachy and fagged, for I have had some hours of the most fatiguing of all things—a succession of interviews, beginning with the Admiral, General, &c,… I found the Admiral strong on the point that Canton is the only place where we ought to fight…. However, I hope we may get off to the North in about ten days,—as soon as we have sent off these letters, and got (as we ought) two mails from home.

July 9th.—An interval … during which I have been doing a good many things, my greatest enjoyment and pleasure being the receipt at last of two sets of letters from home…. I have a great heap of despatches, some of which seem rather likely to perplex me. I daresay, however, that I shall see my way through the mist in a day or two…. I had a levee last evening, which was largely attended. The course which I am about to follow does not square with the views of the merchants, but I gave an answer to their address, which gave them for the moment wonderful satisfaction…. A document, taken in one of the Chinese junks lately captured, states that 'Devils' heads are fallen in price,'—an announcement not strictly complimentary, but reassuring to you as regards our safety.

[Sidenote: Change of plans.]

Up to this time Lord Elgin had not entirely given up the hope that the troops which he had detached to Calcutta might be restored to him before the setting in of winter should make it impossible to proceed, as his instructions required, to the mouth of the Peiho, and there open negotiations with the Court of Pekin. But on the 14th of July came letters from Lord Canning, written in a strain of deeper anxiety than any that had preceded; and giving no hope that any troops could be spared from India for many months to come. At the same time Lord Elgin learned that the French, on whose co-operation he counted, could not act until the arrival of the chief of the mission, Baron Gros, who was not expected to reach China till the end of September. In this state of things, to remain at Hong-Kong was worse than useless. The sight of his inaction, and the knowledge of the reasons which enforced it, could not fail to damage the position of England with the public of China, both Chinese and foreign. He formed, therefore, the sudden resolution to proceed in person to Calcutta, where he would be within easier reach of telegraphic instructions from England; where he would have the advantage of personal communication with Lord Canning, and of learning for himself at what time he might expect to have any troops at his command; and where, moreover, his appearance might have a moral effect in support of the Government greater than the amount of any material force at his disposal.

[Sidenote: Sails for Calcutta.]

H. M. S 'Shannon'—July 19th.—I wonder what you will think when you receive this letter; that is, if I succeed in despatching it from the point where I wish to post it. Will you think me mad? or what will your view of my proceedings be?… Here I am actually on my way to Calcutta! To Calcutta! you will exclaim in surprise. The reasons for this step are so numerous, that I can hardly attempt to enumerate them. I found myself at Hong-kong, without troops and without competent representatives of our allies (America and France) to concert with; doomed either to aborder the Court of Pekin alone, without the power of acting vigorously if I met a repulse, or to spend three months at Hong-kong doing nothing, and proclaiming to the whole world that I am waiting for the Frenchman; i.e. that England can do nothing without France. I considered the great objections which existed to either of these courses. Sur ces entrefaites, came further letters from Canning, begging for more help from me, and showing that things are even worse with him than they were when I first heard from him. It occurred to me that I might occupy the three months well in running up to Calcutta, taking with me what assistance I can collect for him and obtaining thereby an opportunity of conferring with him, and learning from him what chance I have of getting before the winter the troops which I have detached to his support. Sir M. Seymour approved the plan warmly. It occurred to me on Tuesday evening, and on Thursday I was under weigh. Alas! l'homme propose, mais Dieu dispose! The monsoon is against us, and as this ship is practically useless as a steamer, as she can only carry coals for five days, we are beating against the wind, and making little progress. Perhaps my whole plans may fail, because I have the misfortune to be in one of H.M.'s ships instead of in a good merchant steamer, which would be going at ten miles an hour in a direct line, while we are going at six in an oblique one. However, we must hope for the best.

Whether we are to have peace or war with China, either object will be much more effectually accomplished, when the European forces are acting together, than when we are alone; the Russians meanwhile, no doubt, hinting to the Emperor that we are in a bad way in India. The plan, then, if we can accomplish it, is this: To run up as fast as I can to Calcutta, and to return so as to meet Baron Gros, who is not expected till the middle of September. There will just be time to communicate with the Court of Pekin before winter. I have mentioned the reasons for these proceedings, derived from my own position; but, of course, I am mainly influenced by a consideration for Canning. In both his letters he has expressed a desire to see me, and I am told that my appearance there with what the Indian public will consider the first of a large force, will produce a powerful moral effect. I ought to be there at least two months before he can receive a man from England.

[Sidenote: Birthday.]

July 20th.[5]—Would that I were at home to-day! You say that I do not appreciate anniversaries, but it is chiefly because it is so sad when the days come when they cannot be celebrated as of yore. 'Nessun maggior dolore.' Do not anniversaries stir this great fountain of sadness? I feel sad when I look at this inhospitable sea, and think of the smiling countenances with which I should have been surrounded at home, and the joyous laugh when papa, with affected surprise, detected the present wrapped up carefully in a paper parcel on the breakfast table. Is it not lawful to be sad?

July 25th.—The consequences of being at so great a distance from head-quarters are very singular, e.g. in this case I shall not hear whether the Government approve or not of this move of mine until it has become matter of history; until, in all probability, I have carried out my plan of visiting the Peiho with the French Ambassador. It certainly contrasts very strongly with the position of a diplomatic functionary in Europe now, when reference is made by telegraph to headquarters in every case of difficulty…. This seems a very solitary sea. We have passed in all, I think, two ships. This morning once or twice we have met a log floating with one or two birds standing upon it. Yesterday great excitement was created by the discovery of a cask floating on the surface of the sea. Telescopes were braqués from every part of the ship upon this unhappy cask, which went bobbing up and down, very unconscious of the sensation it was creating. This incident will convey to you an idea of how monotonous our life is.

July 27th.—At about four yesterday another excitement, greater than that created by the floating cask. Peel informed me that there was a steamer in sight, coming towards us. Many were the speculations as to what she could be. It was generally agreed that she was the 'Transit,' as she was due about this time. As we neared her, however, she dwindled in size, and proved a rather dirty-looking merchant-craft with an auxiliary screw. On asking whence she came, she informed us that she was from Calcutta, and that she had a letter for me. It proved to be from Canning, in no respect more encouraging than his former letters, and therefore, in so far, confirmatory of the propriety of my present move.

July 31st.—En route for Calcutta. We reached Singapore on the 28th, at about two P.M. I landed and went to my old quarters at the Governor's. I found it deliciously cool, much more so than it was during my former visit…. My friends at Singapore were very cordial in their welcome of me, and the merchants immediately drew up an address expressive of their satisfaction at my move on Calcutta. We have taken on board 100 men of the detachment of the 90th which was on board the 'Transit,' and put the remainder into the 'Pearl,' so that we are crammed to the hilt. Please God we may reach Calcutta in about a week or less, and then a new chapter begins. Just as we were starting yesterday, an opium-ship from Calcutta arrived, and brought me a letter and despatch from Canning, more urgent and gloomy than any of the preceding ones. The 'Simoom' and 'Himalaya' had both arrived, but he was clamorous for more help, and broadly tells me that I must not expect to get any of my men back. So here I am deprived of the force on which I was to rely in China!… Canning's letter is dated the 21st, and therefore contains the latest intelligence. Nothing can be worse. I am happy to say that I have already sent to him even more than he has asked…. I trust that I may do some good, but of course things are so bad that one fears that it may be too late to hope that any great moral effect can be produced by one's arrival. However, I have with me about 1,700 fighting men, and perhaps we may have more, if we find a transport in the Straits, and take it in tow.

[Sidenote: Arrival at Calcutta.]

On the 8th August the 'Shannon' reached Calcutta. Her arrival is thus described by Mr. Oliphant[6]:—

'As we swept past Garden Reach, on the afternoon of the 8th August, the excitement on board was increased by early indications of the satisfaction with which our appearance was hailed on shore. First our stately ship suddenly burst upon the astonished gaze of two European gentlemen taking their evening walk, who, seeing her crowded with the eager faces of men ready for the fray, took off their hats and cheered wildly; then the respectable skipper of a merchant-man worked himself into a state of frenzy, and made us a long speech, which we could not hear, but the violence of his gesticulations left us in little doubt as to its import; then his crew took up the cheer, which was passed on at intervals until the thunder of our 68-pounders drowned every other sound; shattered the windows of sundry of the 'palaces;' attracted a crowd of spectators to the Maidan, and brought the contents of Fort William on to the glacis.

'As soon as the smoke cleared away, the soldiers of the garrison collected there sent up a series of hearty cheers; a moment more and our men were clustered like ants upon the rigging, and, in the energy which they threw into their ringing response, they pledged themselves to the achievement of those deeds of valour which have since covered the Naval Brigade with glory. After the fort had saluted, Lord Elgin landed amid the cheers of the crowd assembled at the ghaut to receive him, and proceeded to Government House, gratified to learn, not merely from the popular demonstrations, but from Lord Canning himself, that though happily the physical force he had brought with him was not required to act in defence of the city, still that the presence of a man of war larger than any former ship that ever anchored abreast of the Maidan, and whose guns commanded the city, was calculated to produce upon both the European and native population a most wholesome moral effect, more especially at a time when the near approach of the Mohurrum had created in men's minds an unusual degree of apprehension and excitement.'

Speaking afterwards of this scene, Lord Elgin himself said, 'I shall never forget to my dying day—for the hour was a dark one, and there was hardly a countenance in Calcutta, save that of the Governor-General, Lord Canning, which was not blanched with fear—I shall never forget the cheers with which the "Shannon" was received as she sailed up the river, pouring forth her salute from those 68-pounders which the gallant and lamented Sir William Peel sent up to Allahabad, and from those 24-pounders which, according to Lord Clyde, made way across the country in a manner never before witnessed.'

[Sidenote: Peel's naval brigade.]
[Sidenote: Lord Canning.]

Calcutta.—August 11th.—Here I am, writing to you from the Governor-General's palace at Calcutta! Altogether it is one of the strangest of the péripéties of my life…. I think my visit has entirely answered as regards the interests of India. I have every reason to believe that it has had an excellent effect here. I have agreed to give up the 'Shannon,' in order that Peel and his men may be formed into a naval brigade, and march with some of their great guns on Delhi. Peel, for this work, is, I believe, the right man in the right place, and I expect great things from him. He is delighted, and Canning and Sir P. Grant have signified in strong terms their appreciation of the sacrifice I am making, and the service I am rendering. They are in great want of artillery, and no such guns as those of the 'Shannon' are in their possession. The vessel itself, with a small crew, will remain in the river opposite Calcutta, able, if need were, to knock all the city to bits. I shall get a steamer for myself, probably one of the Peninsular and Oriental Company's, to convey me to Hong-kong, and to remain with me till I am better suited. Canning is very amiable, but I do not see much of him. He is at work from five or six in the morning till dinner-time. No human being can, in a climate like this, and in a situation which has so few délassements as that of Governor-General, work so constantly without impairing the energy both of mind and body, after a time…. Neither he nor Lady C. are so much oppressed by the difficulties in which they find themselves as might have been expected.

[Sidenote: Treatment of inferior races.]

August 21st.—It is a terrible business, however, this living among inferior races. I have seldom from man or woman since I came to the East heard a sentence which was reconcilable with the hypothesis that Christianity had ever come into the world. Detestation, contempt, ferocity, vengeance, whether Chinamen or Indians be the object. There are some three or four hundred servants in this house. When one first passes by their salaaming one feels a little awkward. But the feeling soon wears off, and one moves among them with perfect indifference, treating them, not as dogs, because in that case one would whistle to them and pat them, but as machines with which one can have no communion or sympathy. Of course those who can speak the language are somewhat more en rapport with the natives, but very slightly so, I take it. When the passions of fear and hatred are engrafted on this indifference, the result is frightful; an absolute callousness as to the sufferings of the objects of those passions, which must be witnessed to be understood and believed.

August 22nd. —— tells me that yesterday, at dinner, the fact that Government had removed some commissioners who, not content with hanging all the rebels they could lay their hands on, had been insulting them by destroying their caste, telling them that after death they should be cast to the dogs, to be devoured, &c., was mentioned. A rev gentleman could not understand the conduct of Government; could not see that there was any impropriety in torturing men's souls; seemed to think that a good deal might be said in favour of bodily torture as well! These are your teachers, O Israel! Imagine what the pupils become under such leading!

[Sidenote: Fears for Lucknow.]

August 26th.—The great subject of anxiety here now is Lucknow, where a small party of soldiers, with some two hundred women and an equal number of children, are beleaguered by a rebel force of 15,000. The attempts hitherto made to relieve them have failed; and General Havelock, who commands, says he can do nothing unless he gets the 5th and 90th Regiments, the two I sent from Singapore on my own responsibility. The men of the 'Pearl' and 'Shannon' and the marines are guarding Calcutta, or on their way up to Allahabad, so that it is impossible to say what would have become of Bengal if these reinforcements had not come.

August 30th.—The mail from England has arrived. No letters, of course, for me. I gather from the newspapers and Canning's letters that some troops, though only to a small extent, I fear, are to be sent to Hong-kong, to replace those which have been diverted to India. From Palmerston's speeches I gather that he adheres to the policy of my first visiting the North, and making amicable overtures; and, secondly, taking Canton, if these overtures fail. I believe I have adopted the only mode of carrying out that policy. It is rather perplexing, however, and sometimes a little amusing, to be working at such a distance from head-quarters, as one never knows what is thought of one's proceedings until it is so much too late to turn to account the criticisms passed upon them.

[Sidenote: Return to China.]

There remained now nothing to keep him longer at Calcutta; a body of troops was on its way to Hongkong, to take the place of those that had been diverted to India, and the end of September was the time at which he had arranged to meet Baron Gros in the China seas. On the 3rd of September, therefore, he turned his face once more eastward, to resume the proper duties of his mission.

[Sidenote: Fever.]

Steamer 'Ava'—September 10th.—I have had a very bad time of it since I finished my last letter on my way down the Hooghly. Probably it may have been something of the Calcutta fever brought with me…. But on the second night after our departure, it came on to blow hard towards morning. I was in my cot on the windward side. First, I got rather a chill, and then the ports were shut, leaving me very hot. I remained all day in a state of feverish lethargy, unable to rise, and constantly falling off into dreamy dozes; kaleidoscopes, with the ugliest sides of everything perpetually twirling before my eyes. I panted so for air that they opened my ports towards evening as an experiment. It turned out better than might have been expected. A sea washed in, and filled my cot half full of water, which decided me on rising. No gentler hint would have mastered my lethargy. After I got on deck, as you may imagine, it was about as difficult, or rather more so, to overcome the vis inertiae which fixed me there. So a bed was made for me under the awning. I remained on deck for four nights; the fourth, in a cot slung up to the boom, and though I slept little, it was cool. Last night I came down to the cabin again. I have taken the turn, and am on the mend, though I do not yet feel the least inclination for food, and my nerves are so shaky that I can hardly write. That little pretty book[7] of Guizot's which you sent me, I have been trying to read, but I find that it is too touching for me, and I have been obliged to lay it aside.

September 11th.—I am now at Singapore again, which is my kind of oasis in this desert of the East; the only place where I have felt well or comfortable, and where there has been a sort of cordiality in the people, which makes one feel somewhat at home. I shall stay here two days, to gain a little strength before plunging again into the sea.

[Sidenote: Perplexities.]

Hong-Kong.—September 20th.—I did not attempt to write on my way from Singapore to this place, because, though we were much favoured by the weather (as this is the worst month in the China seas and the most subject to typhoons), the motion of the screw in the 'Ava' is so bad, that it is almost impossible to write when she is going at full speed. However, I may now tell you that we made out our voyage in six days of beautiful weather, and that I have gone on gradually recovering my health, which I lost between Calcutta and Singapore. I believe I do not look quite as blooming as usual; but it is of no use my claiming sympathy on this score, for, as the Bishop of Labuan appears to have said, I always have a more florid appearance than most people, and never therefore get credit for being ill, however ill I may feel. I found two mails from home…. The Government approves of my having sent my troops to India, and Clarendon's letter seems to imply that they are not quite insensible to the difficulties of my position…. As it is, I now find myself in a very puzzling position. If I go to the North I shall lose prestige, and perhaps also time; it is even possible that I may force the Emperor to declare himself against us, and to direct hostilities against us at the northern ports, where hitherto we have been trading in peace. On the other hand, if I do not go to the North, and make pacific overtures to the Emperor, I shall go dead against my instructions, and against the policy which Palmerston has over and over again told Parliament I am to pursue.

[Sidenote: Hong-kong.]

Hong-Kong.—September 25th.—I used to dislike to begin writing a letter, when I thought I should receive one from my correspondent before it was finished; but I have got over all these scruples now. Our correspondence is kept up in a kind of constant flow, and our letters so cross each other, that we hardly know where one is begun or ended. Therefore, although I sent off one this forenoon, and although I may calculate on hearing from you again before this is despatched, I feel that it is quite natural to take up my pen, and to have some talk with you this evening before I retire to my cot. I have been dining with the Admiral quietly, at 3 P.M., and I went on shore with him afterwards to take a walk. We strolled through the Chinese part of the town, crowded with Chinese all returning from their work, and looking good-humoured as usual. The town is more extensive than I had supposed it to be; but it was close and hot, and I was rather glad when we got into our boat again to pull off to our ship, which is lying about 2- 1/2 miles from the shore. It was calm and cool on the water; and after reaching my ship, I have sat down to my writing desk, having placed one of the ship's attendants (a disbanded sepoy, I believe) at the punkah which has lately been fitted up in my cabin. It is wonderful what a comfort these punkahs are! I was suffocated with heat before my sepoy began to pull, and every now and then I have to halloo to him when he seems disposed to take a nap….

[Sidenote: Caprices of climate.]

October 1st.—What a climate! after raining cats and dogs for forty- eight hours incessantly, it took to blowing at about twelve last night, rain still as heavy as ever. Our captain, who is a man of energy, apprehending that he might run ashore or foul of some ship, got up steam immediately, and set to work to perform the goose step at anchor in the harbour. You may imagine the row,—wind blowing, rain splashing, ropes hauled, spars cracking, everybody hallooing:—'A stroke a-head! ease her! faster! stop her!' and other variations of the same tune. All this immediately over my head! After expending the conventional number of hours in my cot, in the operation of what is facetiously called sleeping, I mounted on deck at about 5 A.M…. I wish I could send you a sketch of that gloomy hill at the foot of which Victoria lies, as it loomed sullenly in the dusky morning, its crest wreathed with clouds, and its cheeks wrinkled by white lines that marked the track of the descending torrents. It was still blowing and raining as hard as ever, but I took my two hours' exercise notwithstanding, clad in Mackintosh. Frederick and Oliphant, who went on shore the day before yesterday to dine with Sir J. Bowring, have not yet returned.

[Sidenote: After the storm.]

Seven P.M.—The weather cleared about noon. I remained in my cabin as usual till after five, when I ordered my boat and went on shore. There were signs of the night's work here and there. Masts of junks sticking out of the water, and on land verandahs mutilated, &c. Loch accompanied me, and we walked up the hill to a road which runs above the town. The prospect was magnificent—Victoria below us, running down the steep bank to the water's edge; beyond, the bay, crowded with ships and junks, and closed on the opposite side by a semi-circle of hills, bold, rugged, and bare, and glowing in the bright sunset…. When we got beyond the town, the hill along which we were walking began to remind me of some of the scenery in the Highlands—steep and treeless, the water gushing out at every step among the huge granite boulders, and dashing with a merry noise across our path. After somewhat more than an hour's walk we turned back, and began to descend a long and precipitous path, or rather street, for there were houses on either side, in search of our boat. By the time we had embarked the tints of the sunset had vanished, a moon nearly full rode undisputed mistress in the cloudless sky, and we cut our way to our ship through the ripple that was dancing and sparkling in her beams.

[Sidenote: Better news from India.]

Hong-kong.—October 8th.—On the 6th, I went to the anchorage of the French fleet, about twelve miles off. On our way back we made the tour of the island. Every spot at the foot of the hills on which anything will grow is cultivated by the industrious Chinese, whose chief occupation in these parts seems, however, to be fishing. Last evening I dined with our own admiral. An opium-ship from India had just arrived, so we had a plentiful crop of topics of conversation. The news from India is rather better. The whole of Bengal was dependent not only on the China force, but on that portion of it which I took or sent them on my own responsibility. The 5th and 90th regiments are marching to the relief of Lucknow. The crews of the 'Shannon' and 'Pearl' are protecting other disturbed districts, and the marines garrisoning Calcutta…. It cannot therefore be said that I have not done Canning a good turn. I think, however, that there is a disposition, both in Calcutta and in England, to underrate our needs in China, and I am disposed to write to Canning a despatch which will bring this point out…. If we take Canton by naval means alone, we shall probably not be able to hold the city; in which case we shall probably occasion a great deal of massacre and bloodshed, without influencing in the slightest degree the Court of Pekin.

[Sidenote: Continued perplexities.]

October 9th.—I do not think that the naval actions here have really done anything towards solving our questions, and perhaps they may have been injurious, in so far as they have enabled the Government and the Press to take up the tone that we could settle our affairs without troops. All these partial measures increase the confidence of the Chinese in themselves, and confirm them in the opinion that we cannot meet them on land. They have never denied our superiority by sea.

October 13th.—No steamer from England yet. I have just despatched letters to Canning, in the sense I have already explained to you…. General Ashburnham's position is a very cruel one,—at the head of a whole lot of doctors and staff-officers of all kinds, without any troops. The enormous amount of supplies sent out passes belief. Oceans of porter, soda-water, wine of all sorts, and delicacies that I never even heard of, for the hospitals. I am told, even tea and sugar, but that may be a calumny. This is the reaction, after the economies practised in the Crimea, and will be persevered in, I suppose, till Parliament gets tired of paying, and then we shall have counteraction the other way.

On the 16th of October the French ambassador reached Hong-kong, having been delayed by the breaking down of an engine, which made it necessary for him to stay at Singapore to refit. The relations of the two ambassadors, at first somewhat distant and diplomatic, soon ripened into mutual feelings of cordial regard.

[Sidenote: Arrival of Baron Gros.]

October 18th.—The instructions brought by the last mail give me much greater latitude of action; in fact, untie my hands altogether. I hope I shall get Baron Gros to go with me; but if not, I shall go at Canton alone. The Admiral is quite ready for the attempt, as soon as his marines arrive.

[Sidenote: A sister's death.]

October 30th.—How little was I prepared for the sad intelligence brought to me by your last![8] How constantly we shall all feel the absence of that good genius!—that Providence always on the watch to soothe the wretched and to console the afflicted. I had never thought of her early removal by death; and yet one ought to have done so, for she complained much of suffering last year, and all who knew her well must have felt that to make her complain her sufferings must have been great. She is gone; and she will leave behind her a blank in many existences…. Many years ago we were much together. She was then in the full vigour of her faculties…. I had ample opportunity then of appreciating the remarkable union of heart and head and soul which her character presented. Many of her letters written in those days were of rare excellence…. I feel for you.

October 31st.—I shall hardly recognise Scotland without her, so much did she, in her unobtrusive and quiet way, make herself the point to which, in all difficulties and joys, one looked…. Poor Maxwell has the satisfaction of knowing that all that was great and lovable in her flourished under his protection and with his sympathy. Perhaps that is the best consolation which a person bereaved as he is can enjoy. It is not a consolation which will arrest his progress along the path which she has trodden before, but it is one which will strew it with flowers…. Already, when this letter reaches you, the green weeds will have begun to creep over the new-made grave, and the crust of habit to cover wounds which at first bled most freely. It is also a soothing reflection that hers was a life of which death is rather the crown than the close; so that it will not be in gloom, but in the soft sunset light of memory that they who have been wont to walk with her, and are now deprived of her companionship, will have henceforward to tread their weary way. I see in that sunset light the days when we were much together—when she used to call herself my wife. In those days her nervous system was stronger than it was when you became acquainted with her. Her soul spoke through more obedient organs. Nothing could exceed the eloquence and beauty of her letters in those days, when written under the influence of strong feeling. She is gone. I do not expect ever to see her like again.

November 1st.—Poor Balgonie, too. It is another loss; very sad, though different in its character. When I saw him at Malta, I had not a conception that he would last so long…. On November 1st I am reading your thoughts of September 1st. How far apart this proves us to be!… I sympathise deeply in all those feelings…. To whatever side one looks there is the sad blank effected by her removal; even in my public interests, I cannot say how much, since I returned home, I owed to her thoughtfulness and affection…. Cut off as we are here at present from all immediate contact with home interests, it is difficult to realise her removal and its consequences to the full. It is a stunning blow from which one recovers gradually to a consciousness of a great and undefined loss. God bless you!… and grant that you may share her inexpressible comfort.

[Sidenote: Visit to Macao.]

November 8th.—I have been absent for four days on a tour…. I liked Macao, because there is some appearance about it of a history, —convents and churches, the garden of Camoëns, &c. The Portuguese have been in China about three hundred years. Hong-kong was a barren rock fifteen years ago. Macao is Catholic, Hong-kong Protestant. So these causes combined give the former a wonderful superiority in all that is antique and monumental.

November 14th.—I have received your letters to September 24th…. The Government approve entirely of my move to Calcutta, and Lord Clarendon writes very cordially on the subject.

November 15th.—I have seen the Russian Plenipotentiary…. He has been at Kiachta and the mouth of the Peiho, asking for admission to Pekin, and got considerably snubbed at both places, as I should have been if I had gone there. It will devolve on me, I apprehend, to administer the return, which is not, I think, a bad arrangement for British prestige in the East.

[Sidenote: Beginning of serious work.]

Steamer 'Ava,' Hong-kong.—November 17th.—My serious work is about to begin. I must draw up a challenge for Yeh, which is a delicate matter. Gros showed me a projet de note when I called on him some days ago. It is very long, and very well written. The fact is, that he has a much better case of quarrel than we; at least one that lends itself much better to rhetoric. An opium-ship came in from Calcutta yesterday. It brought me nothing from Canning. It is clear, however, that things are getting better with him. I think it probable that my despatch anticipating a favourable turn of affairs there, and founding on that anticipation a demand for reinforcements, will reach England at the very time when the news from India justifying that anticipation will be received…. The Government and public in England would not believe there was any danger in India for a long time, and consequently allowed the season for precautionary measures to pass by, and then made up for their apathy by the most exaggerated apprehensions. My mind has been more tranquil, for it has not presented these phases. As soon as I heard of Canning's difficulties, I determined to do what I could for him; but it never occurred to me that we were to act as if the game was up with us in the East.

[Sidenote: How to govern a democracy.]

The secret of governing a democracy is understood by men in power at present. Never interfere to check an evil until it has attained such proportions that all the world see plainly the necessities of the case. You will then get any amount of moral and material support that you require; but if you interfere at an earlier period, you will get neither thanks nor assistance! I am not at all sure but that the time is approaching when foresight will be a positive disqualification in a statesman. But to return to our own matters. The Government and public are thinking of nothing but India at present. It does not however follow, that quite as strong a feeling might not be got up for China in a few months. If we met with anything like disaster here, that would certainly be the case.

[Sidenote: Description of Hong-kong.]

Head-Quarters House, Hong-kong.—November 22nd.—I wish you could take wings and join me here, if it were even for a few hours. We should first wander through these spacious apartments. We should then stroll out on the verandah, or along the path of the little terrace garden which General Ashburnham has surrounded with a defensive wall, and from thence I should point out to you the harbour, bright as a flower-bed with the flags of many nations, the jutting promontory of Kowloon, and the barrier of bleak and jagged hills that bounds the prospect. A little later, when the sun began to sink, and the long shadows to fall from the mountain's side, we should set forth for a walk along a level pathway of about a quarter of a mile long, which is cut in its flank, and connects with this garden, and from thence we should watch this same circle of hills, now turned into a garland, and glowing in the sunset lights, crimson and purple, and blue and green, and colours for which a name has not yet been found, as they successively lit upon them. Perhaps we should be tempted to wait (and it would not be long to wait, for the night follows in these regions very closely on the heels of day), until, on these self-same hills, then gloomy and dark and sullen, tens of thousands of bright and silent stars were looking down calmly from heaven.

Macao.—December 2nd.—Baron Gros and I have been settling our plans of proceeding, which we are conducting with a most cordial entente…. As he is well versed in all the forms and usages of diplomacy, he is very useful to me in such points…. I have been living here in the house of Mr. Dent, one of the merchant princes of China. He is very obliging, and I have remained at his request a day longer than I intended. I return, however, to-day. I like Macao with its air of antiquity, in some respects almost of décadence. It is more interesting than Hong-kong, which has only existed fifteen years, and is as go-a-head and upstart and staring as 'one of our cities,' as my American friend informed me a few days ago.

Hong-kong.—December 5th.—When I went out to walk with Oliphant, I was informed by a person I met in a very public walk just out of the town, that a man had been robbed very near where we were. I met the person immediately afterwards. He was rather a mesquin-looking Portuguese, and he said that three Chinamen had rushed upon him, knocked him down, thrown a quantity of sand into his eyes, and carried off his watch. This sort of affair is not uncommon. I have bought a revolver, and am beginning to practise pistol-shooting.

[Sidenote: Preparation for action.]

December 9th.—Baron Gros came here on Monday. We have been busy, and all our plans are settled. I sent up this evening to the Admiral my letter to Yeh, which is to be delivered on Saturday the 12th. He is to have ten days to think over it, and if at the end of that time he does not give in, the city will be taken. We are in for it now. I have hardly alluded in my ultimatum to that wretched question of the 'Arrow,' which is a scandal to us, and is so considered, I have reason to know, by all except the few who are personally compromised. I have made as strong a case as I can on general grounds against Yeh, and my demands are most moderate. If he refuses to accede to them, which he probably will, this will, I hope, put us in the right when we proceed to extreme measures. The diplomatic position is excellent. The Russian has had a rebuff at the mouth of the Peiho; the American at the hands of Yeh. The Frenchman gives us a most valuable moral support by saying that he too has a sufficient ground of quarrel with Yeh. We stand towering above all, using calm and dignified language, moderate in our demands, but resolute in enforcing them. If such had been our attitude from the beginning of this controversy it would have been well. However, we cannot look back; we must do for the best, and trust in Providence to carry us through our difficulties.

[1] One of his Fifeshire neighbours.

[2] The Governor of the island.

[3] His brother, then Consul-general of Egypt.

[4] His eldest son.

[5] His birthday, and also his father's.

[6] Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission, i. 55.

[7] Life of Lady Rachel Russell.

[8] The death of his elder sister, Lady Matilda Maxwell.



[Sidenote: Improved prospects.]

On the same day on which the ultimatum of the Envoys was delivered to Yeh, i.e. on the 12th of December, 1857, the glad news reached Lord Elgin that Lucknow had been relieved: the more welcome to him as carrying with it the promise of speedy reinforcement to himself, and deliverance from a situation of extreme difficulty and embarrassment. 'Few people,' he might well say, 'had ever been in a position which required greater tact—four Ambassadors, two Admirals, 'a General, and a Consul-general; and, notwithstanding 'this luxuriance of colleagues, no sufficient force.' And what he felt most in the insufficiency of the force was not the irksomeness of delay, still less any anxiety as to the success of his arms. 'My greatest difficulty.' he wrote, 'arises from my fear that we shall be led to 'attack Canton before we have all our force, and led 'therefore to destroy, if there is any resistance, both life 'and property to a greater extent than would otherwise 'be necessary.' The prospects of immediate reinforcements from India diminished his fears on this score, and sent him forward with a better hope of bringing the painful situation to a speedy and easy close.

[Sidenote: Changed quarters.]

_H.M.S. 'Furious,' Canton River.—December 17th.—_You see from my date that I am again in a new lodging. It promises to be, I think, more agreeable than any of our previous marine residences. We have paddles instead of a screw. Then the captain has not only given up to me all the stern accommodation, but he has also done everything in his power to make the place comfortable…. He is the Sherard Osborn of Arctic regions notoriety. I am on my way to join Gros, in order to decide on our future course of action. I mentioned yesterday that Honan was occupied, and that I had received a letter from Yeh, which must, I suppose, be considered a refusal. This was the fair side of the medal. The reverse was an ugly quarrel up the river, which ended in the loss of the lives of some sailors and the destruction of a village,—a quarrel for which our people were, I suspect, to some extent responsible. I fear that, under cover of the blockade instituted by the Admiral, great abuses have taken place…. It makes one very indignant, but unfortunately it is very difficult to bring the matter home to the culprits. All this, however, makes it most important to bring the situation to a close as soon as possible. It is clear that there will be no peace till the two parties fight it out. The Chinese do not want to fight, but they will not accept the position relatively to the strangers under which alone strangers will consent to live with them, till the strength of the two parties has been tested by fighting. The English do want to fight.

[Sidenote: Yeh's reply.]

December 18th.—This does not promise to be a lively sojourn. We are anchored at present at a point where the river forks into the Whampoa and Blenheim reaches. We have the Blenheim reach, and my suite wish me to go up it to the Macao Fort, from which they think they would have a good view of what goes on when the city is attacked. I wish, however, to be with Gros, and he will go up the Whampoa reach as far as his great lumbering ship will go. Meanwhile we are here confined to our ships, as it would not of course do for me to go on shore to be caught. Poor Yeh would think me worth having at present. What will he do? His answer is very weak, and reads as if the writer was at his wits' end; but with that sort of stupid Chinese policy which consists in never yielding anything, he exposes himself to the worst consequences without making any preparations (so far as we can see) for resistance. Among other things in his letter he quotes a long extract from a Hong-kong paper describing Sir G. Bonham's investiture as K.C.B., and advises me to imitate him for my own interest, rather than Sir J. Davis, who was recalled. Davis, says Yeh, insisted on getting into the city, and Bonham gave up this demand. Hence his advice to me. All through the letter is sheer twaddle.

[Sidenote: Advance on Canton.]

December 22nd.—On the afternoon of the 20th, I got into a gunboat with Commodore Elliot, and went a short way up towards the barrier forts, which were last winter destroyed by the Americans. When we reached this point, all was so quiet that we determined to go on, and we actually steamed past the city of Canton, along the whole front, within pistol-shot of the town. A line of English men-of-war are now anchored there in front of the town. I never felt so ashamed of myself in my life, and Elliot remarked that the trip seemed to have made me sad. There we were, accumulating the means of destruction under the very eyes, and within the reach, of a population of about 1,000,000 people, against whom these means of destruction were to be employed! 'Yes,' I said to Elliot, 'I am sad, because when I look at that town, I feel that I am earning for myself a place in the Litany, immediately after "plague, pestilence, and famine."' I believe however that, as far as I am concerned, it was impossible for me to do otherwise than as I have done. I could not have abandoned the demand to enter the city after what happened last winter, without compromising our position in China altogether, and opening the way to calamities even greater than those now before us. I made my demands on Yeh as moderate as I could, so as to give him a chance of accepting; although, if he had accepted, I knew that I should have brought on my head the imprecations both of the navy and army and of the civilians, the time being given by the missionaries and the women. And now Yeh having refused, I shall do whatever I can possibly do to secure the adoption of plans of attack, &c., which will lead to the least destruction of life and property…. The weather is charming; the thermometer about 60° in the shade in the morning; the sun powerful, and the atmosphere beautifully clear. When we steamed up to Canton, and saw the rich alluvial banks covered with the luxuriant evidences of unrivalled industry and natural fertility combined; beyond them, barren uplands, sprinkled with a soil of a reddish tint, which gave them the appearance of heather slopes in the Highlands; and beyond these again, the white cloud mountain range, standing out bold and blue in the clear sunshine,—I thought bitterly of those who, for the most selfish objects, are trampling under foot this ancient civilisation.

[Sidenote: Summons to Yeh.]

December 24th.—My letter telling Yeh that I had handed the affair over to the naval and military commanders, and Gros's to the same effect, were sent to him to-day; also a joint letter from the commanders, giving him forty-eight hours to deliver over the city, at the expiry of which time, if he does not do so, it will be attacked. I postponed the delivery of these letters till to-day, that the expiry of the forty-eight hours might not fall on Christmas Day. Now I hear that the commanders will not be ready till Monday, which the Calendar tells me is 'the Massacre of the Innocents!' If we can take the city without much massacre, I shall think the job a good one, because no doubt the relations of the Cantonese with the foreign population were very unsatisfactory, and a settlement was sooner or later inevitable. But nothing could be more contemptible than the origin of our existing quarrel. We moved this evening to the Barrier Forts, within about two miles of Canton, and very near the place where the troops are to land for the attack on the city. I have been taking walks on shore the last two or three days on a little island called Dane's Island, formed of barren hills, with little patches of soil between them and on their flanks, cultivated in terraces by the industrious Chinese. The people seemed very poor and miserable, suffering, I fear, from this horrid war. The French Admiral sent on shore to Whampoa some casks of damaged biscuit the other day, and there was such a rush for it, that some people were, I believe, drowned. The head man came afterwards to the officer, expressed much gratitude for the gift, but said that if it was repeated, he begged notice might be given to him, that he might make arrangements to prevent such disorder. The ships are surrounded by boats filled chiefly by women, who pick up orange-peel and offal, and everything that is thrown overboard. One of the gunboats got ashore yesterday, within a stone's-throw of the town of Canton, and the officer had the coolness to call on a crowd of Chinese, who were on the quays, to pull her off, which they at once did! Fancy having to fight such people!

Christmas Day.—Who would have thought, when we were spending that cold snowy Christmas Day last year at Howick, that this day would find us separated by almost as great a distance as is possible on the surface of our globe! and that I should be anchored, as I now am, within two miles of a great city, doomed, I fear, to destruction, from the folly of its own rulers and the vanity and levity of ours. We have moved a little farther up the river this morning, and as we are, like St. Paul, dropping an anchor from the stern, I have had over my head for several hours the incessant dancing about and clanking of a ponderous chain-cable, till my brains are nearly all shaken out of their place.

December 26th.—I have a second letter from Yeh, which is even more twaddling than the first. They say that he is all day engaged in sacrificing to an idol, which represents the God of Physic, and which is so constructed that a stick in its hand traces figures on sand. In the figures so traced he is supposed to read his fate.

Early on Monday the 28th the attack began; and Lord Elgin was reluctantly compelled to witness what he had been reluctantly compelled to order—the bombardment of an unresisting town. Happily the damage both to life and property proved to be very much less serious than at the time he supposed it to be.

[Sidenote: Bombardment.]

December 28th, Noon.—We have been throwing shells, etc., into Canton since 6 A.M., without almost any reply from the town. I hate the whole thing so much, that I cannot trust myself to write about it.

December 29th.—The mail was put off, and I add a line to say that I hope the Canton affair is over, and well over…. When I say this affair is over, perhaps I say too much. But the horrid bombardment has ceased, and we are in occupation of Magazine Hill, at the upper part of the city, within the walls.

[Sidenote: Capture of the city.]
[Sidenote: Looting.]

H.M.S. 'Furious,' Canton River.—January 2nd, 1858.—The last week has been a very eventful one: not one of unmixed satisfaction to me, because of course there is a great deal that is painful about this war, but on the whole the results have been successful. On Monday last (the 28th) I was awakened at 6 A.M. by a cannon-shot, which was the commencement of a bombardment of the city, which lasted for 27 hours. As the fire of the shipping was either not returned at all, or returned only by a very few shots, I confess that this proceeding gave me great pain at the time. But I find that much less damage has been done to the town than I expected, as the fire was confined to certain spots. I am on the whole, therefore, disposed to think that the measure proved to be a good one, as the terror which it has excited in the minds of the Cantonese is more than in proportion to the injury inflicted, and therefore it will have the effect, I trust, of preventing any attempts on their part to dislodge or attack us, which would entail very great calamities on themselves. At 10 A.M. on Monday the troops landed at a point about two miles east of the city, and marched up with very trifling resistance to Lin Fort, which they took, the French entering first, to the great disgust of our people. Next morning at 9 A.M., they advanced to the escalade of the city walls, and proceeded, with again very slight opposition, to the Magazine Hill, on which they hoisted the British and French flags. They then took Gough fort with little trouble, and there they were by 3 P.M. established in Canton. The poor stupid Chinese had placed some guns in position to resist an attack from the opposite quarter—the quarter, viz. from which Gough attacked the city; and some people suppose that if we had advanced from that side we should have met with some resistance. My own opinion is, that the resistance would have been no great matter in any case, although, no doubt, if we had made the attempt in summer, and with sailors only, as some proposed when I came here in July, we should probably have met with disaster. As it is, my difficulty has been to enforce the adoption of measures to keep our own people in order, and to prevent the wretched Cantonese from being plundered and bullied. This task is the more difficult from the very motley force with which we have to work, composed, firstly, of French and English; secondly, of sailors to a great extent—they being very imperfectly manageable on shore; all, moreover, having, I fear, a very low standard of morality in regard to stealing from the Chinese. There is a word called 'loot,' which gives, unfortunately, a venial character to what would, in common English, be styled robbery…. Add to this, that there is no flogging in the French army, so that it is impossible to punish men committing this class of offences…. On the other hand, these incomprehensible Chinese, although they make no defence, do not come forward to capitulate; and I am in mortal terror lest the French Admiral, who is in the way of looking at these matters in a purely professional light, should succeed in inducing our chiefs to engage again in offensive operations, which would lead to an unnecessary destruction of life and property. I proposed to Gros that we should land on the first day of the year, and march up to Magazine Hill. He consented, and the chiefs agreed, so we landed about 1 P.M. at a point on the river bank immediately below the south-east angle of the city wall, which is now our line of communication between the river and Magazine Hill. As we landed, all the vessels in the river hoisted English and French flags, and fired salutes. We walked up to the hill along the top of the wall, which is a good wide road, and which was all lined with troops and sailors, who presented arms and cheered as we passed. We reached the summit at about three. The British quarter, which is a sort of temple, stands on the highest point, the hill falling pretty precipitously from it on all sides. The view is one of the most extensive I ever saw. Towards the east and north barren hills of considerable height, and much of the character of those we see from Hong-kong. On the west, level lands cultivated in rice and otherwise. Towards the south, the town lying still as a city of the dead. The silence was quite painful, especially when we returned about nightfall: but it is partly owing to the narrowness of the streets, which prevents one from seeing the circulation of population which may be going on within. We remained at the top of the hill till about half-past five, during which time we blew up the Blue Jacket Fort and Gough Fort, and got back to our ships about 8 P.M., having spent a very memorable first of January, and made a very interesting expedition; although I could not help feeling melancholy when I thought that we were so ruthlessly destroying the prestige of a place which had been, for so many centuries, intact and undefiled by the stranger, and exercising our valour against so contemptible a foe.

January 4th.—I have not given you as full a description as I ought to have done of the views and ceremony of Friday, because I saw 'Our own Correspondent' there, and I think I can count on that being well done in the Times…. This day is a pour of rain, rather unusual for the season…. Some of the Chinese authorities are beginning to show a desire to treat, and some of the inhabitants are presenting petitions to us to protect them against robbers, native and foreign.

[Sidenote: Capture of Yeh.]

January 6th.—Yesterday was a great day. The chiefs made a move which was very judicious, I think, and which answered remarkably well. They sent bodies of men at an early hour into the city from different points, and succeeded in capturing Yeh, the Lieutenant-Governor of the city, and the Tartar General, &c. This was done without a shot being fired, and I believe the troops behaved very well, abstaining from loot, &c. Altogether the thing was a complete success, and I give them great credit for it. Yeh has been carried on board the 'Inflexible' steamer as a prisoner of war. He is an enormous man. I can hardly speak to his appearance, as I only saw him for a moment as he passed me in a chair on his way to his vessel. Morrison, who has taken a sketch of him, speaks favourably of him; but it is the fashion to abuse even his looks. The Lieutenant-General has been allowed to depart, but the Lieutenant-Governor and Tartar General are still in custody at head-quarters. At my suggestion a proposal was made to the Lieutenant-Governor to-day to continue to govern the city under us; but the stolidity of the Chinese is so great that there is no saying what he may do. We have given him till to-morrow to determine whether he will accept. My whole efforts have been directed to preserve the Cantonese from the evils of a military occupation; but their stupid apathetic arrogance makes it almost impossible to effect this object. Yeh's tone when he was taken was to be rather bumptious. The Admiral asked him about an old man of the name of Cooper, who was kidnapped. At first he pretended that he knew nothing about him. When pressed he said, 'Oh! he was a prisoner of war. I took him when I drove you away from the city last winter. I took a great deal of trouble with him and the other European prisoners, but I could not keep them alive. They all died, and if you like I'll show you where I had them buried.' Morrison says that when he saw him on board the 'Inflexible,' he was very civil and piano. He takes it easy, eats and drinks well, &c. He said to his captain, that if it was not an indiscreet question, he would be glad to know whether it was likely that we should kill him. The captain had no difficulty in re-assuring him on that point.

January 8th.—We had rather an important day's work yesterday. The Lieutenant-Governor showed some symptoms of a willingness to govern on our conditions. This gives some chance of our getting out of the difficulties of our situation. You may imagine what it is to undertake to govern some millions of people (the province contains upwards of 20,000,000), when we have in all two or three people who understand the language! I never had so difficult a matter to arrange…. Each man has his own way of seeing things, and the real difficulties of the question being enormous, and the mysteries of the Chinese character almost unfathomable,… the problem is well nigh insoluble. However yesterday we seemed to make some progress towards an understanding. We walked up to the front along the wall as usual, and very hot it was; but we returned through the town itself with the General and Admiral and a large escort. I rode on a pony. It was a strange and sad sight. The wretched-looking single-storied houses on either side of the narrow streets almost all shut up, only a few people making their appearance, and these for the most part wan and haggard, and here and there places which the fire from our ships had destroyed, all presented a very melancholy spectacle; and one could hardly help asking one's self, with some disgust, whether it was worth while to make all the row which we have been making, for the sake of getting into this miserable place. However, I presume that the better part of the population have either fled or hid themselves. I daresay if they had returned, and the shops had been opened, the aspect of the town would have been different.

[Sidenote: Establishment of a joint tribunal.]

January 9th.—Yesterday I went up again to the front without Gros, and pressed matters forward towards a solution. The result was, that my plan of getting the Governor of the province to consent to return to his Yamun and resume his functions, a board of our officers, supported by a large body of troops, being appointed to inhabit his Yamun with him, and to aid him in the maintenance of order, prevailed…. To-day we went, Gros and I, in great procession to the Governor's Yamun, to reinstate him in his office on the above conditions. We were carried in chairs through the town, attended by a large escort. The city seemed fuller of people than on the occasion of my former visit, and they looked more cheerful.

January 10th.—By a ludicrous mistake, no orders had been given to release the Governor and Tartar General, so that, after waiting for them for an hour, we heard that the sentry would not let them leave the room in which they were confined. The consequence was that it was getting late, and as I wished to get my escort out of the streets before it was dark, we were obliged to hurry through the ceremony a little. We began with a kind of squabble about seats; but after that was over, I addressed the Governor in a pretty arrogant tone. I did so out of kindness, as I now know what fools they are, and what calamities they bring upon themselves, or rather on the wretched people, by their pride and trickery. Gros followed, in a few words endorsing what I had said. The Governor answered very satisfactorily. I then rose, saying that we must depart, and that we wished him and the Tartar General all sorts of felicity. They were good-natured- looking men, the General being of great size. They conducted us to the front door, where we ought to have found our chairs; but they had disappeared, to the infinite wrath of Mr. Parkes…. I say the front door; but in fact the house consisted of a series of one-storied pavilions, placed one behind the other, and connected by a covered way with trellis-work panels running through a sort of garden. We got at last into the chairs, and hastened off to the city wall, which we reached just as it was getting dark, having thus terminated about the strangest day which has yet occurred in Chinese history,—the Governor of this arrogant city of Canton accepting office at the hand of two barbarian chiefs!

Wednesday, January 13th.—You get the least agreeable picture of the concerns in which I am engaged; because, as I write this record from day to day, all my anxieties and their causes are narrated. On the whole I think the last fortnight has been a very successful one. I walked through the city to-day with the Admiral and an escort, and saw evident signs of improvement in the streets. The people seemed to be resuming their avocations, and the shops to be re-opening. My 'Tribunal' is working well. In short, I hope that the evils incident to the capture of a city, and especially of a Chinese city, have been in this instance very much mitigated. The season is very changing. Three nights ago the thermometer did not fall below 72°, and last night it fell to 40°. There is a cold wind; and it was necessary to walk briskly to-day to keep one's-self warm.

[Sidenote: Exodus.]

January 16th.—Though I was able to send off the last despatches with something of a satisfactory report, we are by no means, I fear, yet out of the wood. I took a long walk in the city of Canton yesterday. I visited the West Gate, where I found a stream of people moving outwards, and was told by the officer that this goes on from morning to night. They say, when asked, that they are going out of town to celebrate the New Year, but my belief is that they are flying from us. The streets were full, and the people civil. Quantities of eating stalls, but a large proportion of the shops still shut. As we got near the wall in our own occupation, some people ran up to us complaining that they had been robbed. We went into the houses and saw clearly enough the signs of devastation. I have no doubt, from the description, that the culprits were French sailors. If this goes on one fortnight after we have captured the town, when is it to stop?… It is very difficult to remedy…. Nothing could, I believe, be worse than our own sailors, but they are now nearly all on board ship, and we have the resource of the Cat…. All this is very sad, but I am not yet quite at the end of my tether. If things do not mend within a few days I shall startle my colleagues by proposing to abandon the town altogether, giving reasons for it which will enable me to state on paper all these points. No human power shall induce me to accept the office of oppressor of the feeble.

[Sidenote: A sober population.]
[Sidenote: Maintenance of order.]

January 20th.—I hinted at my ideas as to the evacuation of the city, and it has had an excellent effect…. There is a notable progress towards quiet in the city. Still, I fear the tide of emigration is going on. Parkes is exerting himself with considerable effect, and he is really very clever. There were a great many more shops open in the streets yesterday than I had seen before…. What a thing it is to have to deal with a sober population! I have wandered about the streets of Canton for some seven or eight days since the capture, and I have not seen one drunken man. In any Christian town we should have had numbers of rows by this time arising out of drunkenness, however cowed the population might have been. The Tribunal convicted a Chinaman the other day for selling 'samshoo' to the soldiers. I requested Parkes to hand him over to the Governor Pehkwei for punishment. This was done, and the arrangement answered admirably. The Governor was pleased, he presented himself before the Chinese as the executor of our judgments, and at the same time we, to a certain extent, seemed to be conceding to the Chinese the principle of exterritoriality which we assert as against them…. I have no 'responsible ministers' here, though the presence of a colleague, and, since military operations began, the position of the naval and military Commanders-in-Chief, have required me to act with some caution, in order to make the wheels of the machine work smoothly and keep on the rails. For this reason it was that I suggested a few days ago the plan of evacuation. The maintenance of order in a city under martial law was, I felt, an affair rather for the Commander-in-Chief than for me, therefore I was in a false position when I meddled with it directly. But the question of remaining in the city or not was a political one. By letting it be known that I had there my lines of Torres Vedras, upon which I should fall back if necessary, I obtained the influence I required for insuring, as far as possible, the adoption of satisfactory arrangements within the city. I must add that this evacuation plan was not intended by me to be a mere threat. I have it clearly matured in my mind as a thing feasible, and which would be under certain circumstances an advisable plan to adopt. In taking Canton we had, as I understand it, two objects in view: the one to prove that we could take it; the other to have in our hands something to give up when we come to terms with the Emperor,—'a material guarantee.' I believe that the capture of the city, followed by the capture of Yeh, has settled the former point. Indeed, from all that I hear, I infer that the capture of Yeh has had more effect on the Chinese mind than the capture of the city. I believe, therefore, that we might abandon the city without losing much if anything on this head. No doubt we should lose on the second head; we should not have Canton to give up when a treaty was concluded, if we had given it up already. Even then however we might, by retaining the island of Honan, the forts, &c., do a good deal towards providing a substitute; so that you see my threat was made bonâ fide. I certainly should have preferred the loss to which I have referred, to the continuance of a state of things in which the Allied troops were plundering the inhabitants.

January 24th.—Baron Gros and I were conversing together yesterday on affairs in this quarter, and among other things he told me that we were both much reproached for our laxity, and that I was more blamed on that account than he. I said to him: 'I can praise you on many accounts, my dear Baron, but I cannot compliment you on being a greater brute than I am.'

Whatever was the feeling of the British residents, and whatever excuses may be made for it, the consistent humanity shown both in the taking and in the occupation of the city did not fail to strike Mr. Reed, the Plenipotentiary of the United States, who wrote to Lord Elgin: 'I cannot omit this opportunity of most sincerely congratulating you on the success at Canton, the great success of a bloodless victory, the merit of which, I am sure, is mainly due to your Lordship's gentle and discreet counsels. My countrymen will, I am sure, appreciate it.' 'This,' observes Lord Elgin, from the representative of the United States, is gratifying both personally and politically.'

January 28th.—I am glad to say that this mail conveys, on the whole, a satisfactory report of the progress of affairs, though this letter puts you in possession of all the ebbs and flows which have taken place during the fortnight. I send a leaf of geranium, which I culled in the garden of the Tartar general.

[Sidenote: Canton prisons.]

January 31st.—I visited yesterday two of the Canton prisons, and witnessed there some sights of horror beyond what I could have pictured to myself. Many of the inmates were so reduced by disease and starvation, that their limbs were not as thick as my wrist. One man who was in this condition was in the receptacle for untried prisoners, and said he had been there seven years. In one of the courts which we entered, there was a cell closed in by a double row of upright posts, which is the common style of gate at Canton, and I was attracted to it by the groans of its inmates. I desired it to be opened, and such a spectacle as it presented! The prisoners were covered with sores, produced by severe beatings; one was already dead, and the rats,—but I cannot go further in description. The others could hardly crawl, they were so emaciated, and my conviction is that they were shut in there to die. The prison authorities stated that they had escaped at the time of the bombardment for which they had been punished as we saw. If the statement was true, they must have been systematically starved since their recapture. Our pretext for visiting the prisons was to discover whether any Europeans, or persons who had been in the service of, or had had relations with Europeans, were confined in them. We took out some who professed to belong to the latter classes. I went a step further, by taking out a poor boy of fifteen, whom we found in chains, but so weak that when we took them off he was unable to stand. I told Mr. Parkes to take him to Pehkwei from me, as a sample of the manner in which his prisons are managed.

February 2nd.—Pehkwei was very indignant at our visit to his prisons, and hinted that he would make away with himself, in a letter which he wrote to me on the subject. However, he was obliged to admit that some of the things we found were very bad, and quite against the Chinese law. On reviewing the whole I must admit, that, except in the case of the one cell that I have described, it was rather neglect, want of food, medical care, cleanliness, &c., than positive cruelty, of which one found evidence in the prisons.

* * * * *

[Sidenote: Move northwards.]

Canton the impregnable had been taken, and was in the military occupation of the allied forces; Yeh, the Terror of Barbarians, was a captive beyond the seas; so completely was all resistance crushed, that it was found possible to raise the blockade of the Canton River, and to let trade return to its usual channels. Still nothing was achieved so long as the Emperor remained aloof, and could represent the affair as a local disturbance not affecting the imperial power. To any permanent settlement it was essential that he should be a party; the next step, therefore, was to move northwards to Shanghae, and there open direct negotiations with the Court of Pekin; and, for the success of these negotiations, it was obviously of great importance that the envoys of England and France should have the co- operation of the representatives of Russia and the United States.

February 4th.—Still no letters. To-morrow, Frederick is to go to Macao, to take to Messrs. Reed and Putiatine copies of all my diplomatic correspondence with Yeh, &c., and an invitation to each that he will join us in an attempt to settle matters by negotiation at Shanghae. It is the commencement of the third act in this Chinese affair.

February 6th.—I have a letter from Mr. Reed, saying that he is going to the North this day, so that perhaps Frederick will not find him. This would be a great disappointment.

Sunday, February 7th.—A month without news is very long to wait. Perhaps time passes a little more quickly than when one was dawdling and doing nothing at Hong-Kong; but still this life is tiresome enough. I do not suppose that there ever was a town of the same extent, or a population of the same number, more utterly uninteresting than the town and population of Canton—low houses, narrow streets, temples containing some hideous idols, which are not apparently in the least venerated by their own worshippers. The only other resource is the curiosity shops, and, as you know, I have not the genius for making collections.

February 9th.—Things have taken a better turn. F. by steaming at night from Macao to Hong-Kong caught Reed about an hour before that fixed for his departure for the North. He was delighted with my communication, and has written undertaking to co-operate cordially with us. This is, I think, a very great diplomatic triumph, because it not only smooths the way for future proceedings, but it greatly relieves our anxiety about Canton, as the Americans are the only people who would be likely to give us trouble during the military occupation.

February 10th.—We have got Putiatine's letter for Pekin. It is very good; perhaps better than any of the lot…. However, the entente is now established. My mind, too, is a good deal relieved to-day by seeing the wretched junks, which have been shut up so long by the blockade, with their sails set, gliding down the river. I sent Mr. Wade to visit Yeh yesterday, to see how he took the notion of being sent out of the country to Calcutta or elsewhere. He adhered to his policy of indifference, real or affected, I cannot tell which. I suppose it is a point of pride with him never to complain.

[Sidenote: Adieu to Canton.]

H.M.S. 'Furious.'—February 20th.—I am now off from Canton, never I hope to see it again. Two months I have been there—engaged in this painful service—checking, as I have best been able to do, the disposition to maltreat this unfortunate people…. On the whole I think I have been successful. There never was a Chinese town which suffered so little by the occupation of a hostile force; and considering the difficulties which our alliance with the French (though I have had all support from Gros, in so far as he can give it) has occasioned, it is a very signal success. The good people at Hong- Kong, &c., do not know whether to be incredulous or disgusted at this policy…. I am told a parcel of ridiculous stories about arming of Braves, &c. I heard that in the western suburb the people 'looked ill- natured,' so I have been the greater part of my two last days in that suburb, looking in vain into faces to discover these menacing indications. Yesterday I walked through very out-of-the-way streets and crowded thoroughfares with Wade and two sailors, through thousands and thousands, without a symptom of disrespect…. I know that our people for a long time used to insist on every Chinaman they met taking his hat off. Of course it rather astonished a respectable Chinese shopkeeper to be poked in the ribs by a sturdy sailor or soldier, and told, in bad Chinese or in pantomime, to take off his hat, which is a thing they never do, and which is not with them even a mark of respect. I only mention this as an instance of the follies which people commit when they know nothing of the manners of those with whom they have to deal…. We are steaming down to Hong-Kong on a beautiful fresh morning. I feel as if I was a step on my way home.

At Hong-Kong he remained nearly a fortnight, that his ship might be fitted to go to the North: his letter for Pekin being sent on, in the meantime, to Shanghae, by the hands of his secretary, Mr. Oliphant.[1]

February 26th.—To-morrow this letter goes, and still no mail from England. I think of starting in a few days, and calling at the other ports—Foochow, Amoy, and Ningpo. I have a line from Oliphant, who took up my letter to Shanghae, and made a quick though rough passage. We shall be a good deal longer on the way, and my captain advises me to be off, to anticipate the equinox. I have just written a despatch to Lord Clarendon, to tell him that perhaps I may go direct from Shanghae to Japan, and so home. It is almost too good a prospect to be realised.

[Sidenote: Home news.]

February 27th.—I had Reed to dine with me yesterday. He is off this morning to Manila, en route for Shanghae. The Russian returns on Monday, and we are going to Shanghae by the same route most fraternally…. Your accounts of the boys make me feel as if I had been an age away from home. God grant that I may get through this business soon, and return to find you all flourishing!

March 1st.—I received your letters yesterday…. How I wish that I had joined that merry dance on Christmas Day at Dunmore, and seen B. and R. performing their reel steps, and F.[2] snapping his fingers! You knew now how differently my New Year was passed—traversing that vast city of the dead—meditating over that 28th December which Herod had already hallowed…. These letters are my conscience and memory, the only record I keep of passing emotions and events…. Depend upon it the true doctrine is one I have before propounded to you: Do nothing with which your own conscience can reproach you; nothing in its largest sense; nothing, including omission as well as commission; not nothing only in the meaning of having done no ill, but nothing also in the meaning of having omitted no opportunity of doing good. You are then well with yourself. If it is worth while to be well with others—SUCCEED.

[Sidenote: Swatow.]

H.M.S. 'Furious,' Swatow.—March 5th.—I am again on the wide ocean, though for the moment at anchor…. The settlement here is against treaty. It consists mainly of agents of the two great opium- houses, Dent and Jardine, with their hangers-on. This, with a considerable business in the coolie trade—which consists in kidnapping wretched coolies, putting them on board ships where all the horrors of the slave-trade are reproduced, and sending them on specious promises to such places as Cuba—is the chief business of the 'foreign' merchants at Swatow. Swatow itself is a small town some miles up the river. I can only distinguish it by the great fleet of junks lying off it. The place where the foreigners live is a little island, barren, but nicely situated at the mouth of the river. A number of Chinese are resorting to it, and putting up rather good houses for Chinese. The population has a better appearance than the Cantonese. The men powerful and frank-looking, and some of the women not quite hideous. Our people get on very well with the natives here. They have no consuls or special protection; so they act, I presume, with moderation, and matters go on quite smoothly. I went into the house of one of the 'Shroffs' (bankers or money-dealers) connected with Jardine's house, and I found the gentleman indulging in his opium-pipe. He gave us some delicious tea…. The Shroffs here are three brothers. They came from Canton, their father remained behind. The mandarins wanting money to carry on the war with us, called upon him to pay 12,000 taels about 4,000_l_. They used him as the screw to get this sum from his sons who were in foreign employ. Though the old man had resolved to leave his home and his patch of ground rather than pay, his sons provided the money and sent him back. Such cases are constantly occurring here, and they show bow strong the family affections are in China.

[Sidenote: Rough justice.]

Another case was mentioned to me yesterday, which illustrates the very roundabout way in which justice is arrived at among us all here. The coolies in a French coolie ship rose. The master and mate jumped overboard, and the coolies ran the ship on shore, where the crew had their clothes, &c., taken from them, but were otherwise well treated. On this a French man-of-war comes, proceeds to Swatow, which is fifty miles from the scene of the occurrence, and informs the people that they will bombard the place immediately unless 6,000 dollars are paid. They got the money, but the mandarins at once squeezed it out of these same Shroffs, saying, that as they brought the barbarians to the spot, they must pay for the damages they inflicted. Meanwhile, the 'foreigners' have it, I apprehend, much their own way. They are masters of the situation, pay no duties except tonnage dues, which are paid by them at about one-third of the amount paid by native vessels of the same burthen!

[Sidenote: Mr. Burns.]

Hearing that Mr. Burns, a missionary, whose case is narrated in the series of 'insults by the Chinese authorities' submitted to Parliament (he having been in fact very kindly treated, as he himself acknowledges), was at the island, I invited him to breakfast. I found him a very interesting person, really an enthusiastic missionary, and kindly in his feelings towards the Chinese. He wears the Chinese attire, not as a disguise, but to prevent crowds being attracted by his appearance. He does not boast of much success in converting, but the Chinese are very willing to listen to him and to take books. They approve of all books that inculcate virtue, morality, &c., but they have no taste for the distinctive doctrines of Christianity. As Yeh said, when a Bible was presented to him from the Bishop:—'I know that book quite well, a very good book. It teaches men to be virtuous, like the Buddhistic books;' and then turning very politely to his captain, 'Will you be good enough to take care of this book till I want it.'

The country in this neighbourhood is very lawless. Burns, a few days before he was arrested, slept with his two companions, two native Christians, in a large village. During the night the house he was in was broken into, and all they had stolen. Nothing remained but a few of their books, which they carried tied to sticks over their shoulders. A peasant came up to him and said, 'I see you are not accustomed to carry loads,' and took his burden and carried it for him six miles, asking for nothing in return. Other natives bought the books (they had previously given them gratuitously), and thus they got money enough to go on with. When they got into this principal town, and were arrested by the police, the authorities seemed rather to regret it. They underwent some interrogatories which Burns seems to have turned into a sort of sermon, for he went at length into Christian teaching, and the judges listened most complacently. They confined them in prison, but did everything they could to make Burns himself comfortable. His companions were not so well treated. He joined them at one time at his own request, under circumstances curiously illustrative of Chinese manners. A subordinate of the gaoler with whom he was lodged died from swallowing opium. The gaoler was at once held responsible, and his house was mobbed. On which Mr. Burns, not knowing the cause of the disturbance, asked to rejoin his companions. He found them shut up in a very loathsome cell, with several other prisoners; a place something like my Canton prisons; but he said they did very well while there, for they were able to preach to the other prisoners. At one of the interrogatories, one of his companions, the more zealous of the two, on being asked why he had brought a foreigner to the place, answered that it was because he was a Christian, and that their books said, 'It is better to die with the wise than to live with fools.' This sentiment was not considered complimentary by the mandarins, who immediately ordered him to be beaten, upon which he got ten blows on each side of his face with an instrument like the sole of a shoe. Mr. B. told this story, but added that he believed the beating had been determined on before, for his other companion, who was the more worldly of the two, and who had probably found his way to the heart of the gaoler, was told that he too would be beaten that day, but that the blows would be laid on by a friendly hand, and that if he kept his cheek loose, he would not feel them much.

[Sidenote: Amoy.]

March 8th.—We are entering Foochow; a most beautiful day; the sea smooth as glass. We left Amoy last night. I went to church in the forenoon at the Consulate. An American missionary preached. There are several missionaries at Amoy. They have, as they say, about 300 converts. The foreigners and natives get on very well there. The town is a poor enough place, and the island seems rocky and barren. How it can sustain the great population which inhabits the villages that cover it is a mystery.

March 14th.—A vessel from Shanghae brought me this morning a letter from Oliphant, which shows that he has got well through the business which I entrusted to him.[3] He went with my letter for the Prime Minister of the Emperor to a city named Soochow, which is not open to foreigners, and which is moreover the seat of beauty and fashion in the empire, and he seems to have been well received. This is a good sign. An edict has moreover been issued by the Emperor degrading Yeh, and moderate in its tone as regards foreigners. All this looks as if there would be at Pekin a disposition to settle matters. God grant that it may be so, that I may get home, and not be required to do farther violence to these poor people.

[Sidenote: Foochow.]

The scenery of Foochow and its neighbourhood struck him as singularly beautiful. Even in an official despatch we find him writing of it as follows:—

With the exception perhaps of Chusan, I have as yet seen no place in China which, in point of beauty of scenery, rivals Foochow. The Min river passes to the sea between two mountain ranges, which, wherever the torrents have not washed away every particle of earth from the surface, are cultivated by the industrious Chinese in terraces to their very summits. These mountain ranges close in upon its banks during the last part of its course: at one time confining it to a comparatively narrow channel, and at another suffering it to expand into a lake; but in the vicinity of the Pagoda Island they separate, leaving between them the plain on which Foochow stands. This plain is diversified by hill and dale, and comprises the Island of Nantai, which is the site of the foreign settlement. At the season of my visit, both hills and plain were chiefly covered with wheat; but I was informed that the soil is induced, by irrigation and manure applied liberally, to yield in many cases, besides the wheat crop, two rice crops during the year. We walked with perfect freedom, both about the town and into the surrounding country. Nothing could be more courteous than the people of the villages, or more quaint than the landscape, consisting mainly of hillocks dotted with horseshoe graves, and monuments to the honour of virtuous maidens and faithful widows, surrounded by patches of wheat and vegetables. Kensal Green or Père la Chaise, cultivated as kitchen gardens, would not inaptly represent the general character of the rural districts of China which I have visited.

In some respects, however, the impression was not so satisfactory. In his journal he says:—

The people whom we met in our peregrinations were perfectly civil. The Consul, too, and Europeans were civil likewise. They were willing to give me information. I do not know that I carried much away with me, except the general impression, that our trade is carried on on principles which are dishonest as regards the Chinese, and demoralising to our own people.

[Sidenote: American missionaries.]

At Foochow, I saw one of the American missionaries, a very worthy man I should think, but not of the stamp of Mr. Burns. He had been about eight years at Foochow, and he computed the converts made by himself and his brother missionaries at fifteen. He said that they were particular as to the conduct of their converts; but I cannot affirm that he satisfied me that they accepted in any very earnest way the peculiar doctrines of Christianity. However, I daresay that these missionaries do good, for the Chinese are not fanatics, and it must do them a benefit to see among them some foreigners who are not engaged exclusively in money-making.

[Sidenote: Chinhae.]

March 16th.—We are at anchor off Chinhae at the mouth of the river which leads to Ningpo. We have just returned from a walk on shore. We passed through a small walled town, and climbed up a hill to a temple on the summit, from which we had a magnificent prospect. On the east and north, the sea studded with the islands of the Chusan group; on the west, a rich plain, through which the river meanders on its way from Ningpo; on the north, a succession of mountain ranges. We were accompanied by some curious but good-natured Chinamen, who seemed anxious to give us information. A very dirty lad, without a tail, proved to be the priest. After looking about us for some time, we entered the building; which contained a sort of central shrine, in which were some gilt figures of large size, besides rows of smaller gilt figures round the walls. I observed a number of slips of paper with Chinese characters upon them; and being told that they were used for divination purposes, I asked how it was done: upon which one of the Chinamen took from before the shrine a thing like a match-holder, full of bits of stick like matches, and kneeling down on a hassock, began to shake this case till one of the bits of stick fell out. He picked it up, and finding a single notch upon it, selected from the slips of paper which I had noticed the one which had a corresponding mark. We carried it away, and I intend to get Mr. Wade to translate it that I may send it to you. The other Chinamen present seemed very much amused at what was going on. They do not appear to have a particle of reverence for their religion, and yet they spend a good deal of money on their temples.

Wade's teacher (so the Chinaman who aids him in the work of interpretation is styled) has told him that the lot which fell to me at the Buddhist temple is the No. 1 lot, the most fortunate of all. Their system of divination is rather complicated, but, as I understand it, it appears to be that Noah, or some one who lived about his time, discovered eight symbols on the back of a tortoise. These, multiplied into themselves, make sixty-four, which constituted the Book of Fate. It appears that my lot is the first of the eight, and therefore the best that can be got!

[Sidenote: Ningpo.]

Ningpo.—March 18th.—We arrived here yesterday, and I have been walking both days about the town with Mr. Meadows, the author, who is vice-consul here. I am disappointed with the city, of which I had heard a great deal. But the people are even more amiable than at any other place I have visited. Oliphant has rejoined us in high spirits, after his visit to Soochow. I cross-examined a Church of England clergyman about his converts. When pressed, he could only name one who seemed to be conscious of the want which we believe to be supplied by the Atonement. About 100, however, including children, attend churches in Ningpo, of whom thirty have been baptized.

Ningpo was one of the places which had been treated with more than ordinary severity in the last war. It was also one of the places in which the natives showed the most friendly disposition towards foreigners. To the resident traders the inference was obvious: the severity was the cause of the friendly disposition, and it had only to be applied elsewhere to produce the like results. With evident satisfaction Lord Elgin sets himself, in an official despatch, to refute this reasoning. After observing that the natives showed rather an exaggeration than a defect of the desire to live peaceably with foreigners, he proceeds:—

The state of Ningpo in this respect furnishes their favourite and, perhaps, most plausible argument, to that class of persons who advocate what is styled a vigorous policy in China; in other words, a policy which consists in resorting to the most violent measures of coercion and repression on the slenderest provocations. They say, 'Remember what happened at Ningpo during the last war, and observe the consideration and respect which is evinced towards you there. Treat other towns in China likewise, and the result will be the same.' I question the soundness of this inference. Ningpo is situated on the south-eastern verge of the mighty valley of the Yang-tze-kiang, which is inhabited by a population the most inoffensive, perhaps, both by disposition and habit, of any on the surface of the earth. Their amenity towards the foreigner is due, I apprehend, to temperament, as much, at least, as to the recollection of the violence which they may have sustained at his hands.

I have made it a point, whenever I have met missionaries or others who have penetrated into the interior from Ningpo and Shanghae, to ask them what treatment they experienced on those expeditions, and the answer has almost invariably been that, at points remote from those to which foreigners have access, there was no diminution, but on the contrary rather an enhancement, of the courtesy exhibited towards them by the natives.

[Sidenote: Missionary schools.]

H.M.S. 'Furious.'—March 20th.—Yesterday, I called on a clergyman to see Miss Aldersey,—a remarkable lady, who came out here immediately after the last war, and has been devoting herself and her fortune to the education and Christianisation of the Chinese at Ningpo. She seems a nice person, but I could not get as much conversation with her as I wished, because the Bishop, &c., were present all the time. She has to pay the girls a trifle, as an equivalent for what their labour is worth, for coming to her school, or to board them and keep them, as it is not at all in the ideas of the Chinese that women should be educated. She does not seem to have got the entrée into Chinese houses of the richer class. Mrs. Russell (wife of the English clergyman), who speaks the language, has obtained it a little. I cannot make out that, when she visits them, they ever talk of anything except where she got her dress, &c.; but on great occasions, when they assemble for ceremonies in the temples, they seem very devout. In private they treat these matters with great indifference. I had some of the missionaries to dinner. They put the converts at a larger number than I understood Mr. Russell to do, but otherwise their report did not differ materially from his.

[Sidenote: Chusan.]
[Sidenote: French missionary.]

Chusan.—March 21st.—This is a most charming island. How any people, in their senses, could have preferred Hong-Kong to it, seems incredible. The people too, that is to say, the lower orders, seem really to like us. We walked through the town of Tinghae, and asked at the shop of a seller of perfumed sticks for the 'Mosquito tobacco,' but in vain. We then passed through the further gate of the city into the country beyond, and seeing something like a chapel, made towards it. A man, dressed as a Chinaman, came out to meet us. He addressed us in French, and proved to be a Roman Catholic priest. He was very civil, and asked us into his house, where he gave us some tea, grown on his own farm. He has been here two years quite alone, and he was ten years before in the province of Kiangsù. He says that he has some 200 converts. Some twenty boys, deserted children, he brings up, and works on his farm. I saw them, and I must say I never beheld a more happy and well-conditioned set of boys. In the town was an establishment for younger children, chiefly girls, under the charge of a Chinese female convert. After he had given us tea, the missionary accompanied us in our walk. He first took us to a sort of cottage- villa, belonging to one of the rich inhabitants, consisting of about a couple of acres of ground, covered by kiosks and grottos and dwarf- trees, and ups and downs and zigzags,—all in the most approved Chinese fashion. From thence we clambered up a mountain of, I should think, some 1,200 feet in height, from which we had a very extensive view, and beheld ranges of hills, separated by cosy valleys, on one side; on the other, the walled city of Tinghae, surrounded by rice- fields; beyond, the sea studded with islands of the Chusan group. It was a beautiful view, and we returned to the ship very much pleased with our scramble.

[Sidenote: Scenery.]

March 22nd.—I have just returned from a walk to the top of a hill, on the opposite side of the flat on which the town is situated from that which we mounted yesterday. The day is charming, clear, with a fanning, bracing air. We had a finer view almost than yesterday. The same character of scenery all round the island. Spacious flats on the sea-board under irrigation; about one-half of the fields covered (now) with water, and the other half in crop, chiefly beans, wheat, and rape, which, with its yellow flower, gives warmth to the colouring of the landscape; these flats, fringed by hills of a goodly height—say from 600 to 1,200 feet,—which cluster together as they recede from the sea-board, compressing the flats into narrow valleys, and finally extinguishing them altogether. The hills themselves barren, with patches here and there of Chinese cultivation and fir plantations, the first I have seen in China. Turn your eyes to the sea, and you have before you innumerable islands dotting its surface, the same in character, though smaller in size, than that on which you are standing. I have seldom seen a more delightful spot. In going on our walk, we passed by the burying-ground of the British who died while we occupied the island, and we did something to put order among their neglected graves. On our return, we passed by a cottage where an old lady was seated at her spinning-wheel. I entered. She received us most courteously, placed chairs for us, and immediately set to work to prepare tea. When she found that one of the party was a doctor, a son (grown up) was produced who was suffering from ague. We brought him on board, and gave him some quinine. He showed us the medicine he was taking. It appeared to be a sort of mash of bits of bamboo and all sorts of vegetable ingredients. The doctor who tried it said it had no taste. I should mention that at the landing-place we met some of the French, missionary's boys, who brought me a present of eggs and fowls and salad from the farm, in return for a dollar which I gave them yesterday to buy cakes withal.

[Sidenote: Potou.]
[Sidenote: Bonzes.]

March 23rd.—We set off this morning to visit Potou.[4] After lauding on the beach, we proceeded along a spacious paved path to a monastery, in a very picturesque spot under the grey granite hills. We entered the buildings, which were like all other Buddhistic temples —the same images, &c.—and were soon surrounded by crowds of the most filthy and miserable-looking bonzes, some clad in grey and some in yellow. All were very civil, however, and on the invitation of the superior—who had a much more intelligent look than the rest—we went into an apartment at the side of the temple and had some tea. After a short rest we proceeded on our way, and mounted a hill about 1,500 feet in height, passing by some more temples on the way. I never saw human beings apparently in a lower condition than these bonzes, though some of the temples were under repair, and on the whole tolerably cared for. The view from the top of the hill was magnificent, and there was glorious music here and there, from the sea rolling in upon the sandy beach. We met some women (not young ones) going up the hill in chairs to worship at the temples, and found, in some, individuals at their devotions. In one there was a monk, hidden behind a great drum, repeating in a plaintive tone, over and over again, the name of Buddha, 'ameta fo,' or something like that sound. I observed some with lumps on the forehead, evidently produced by knocking it against the ground. The utter want of respect of these people for their temples, coupled with this asceticism and apparent self-sacrifice in their religion, is a combination which I cannot at present understand. It has one bad effect, that in the plundering expeditions which we Christians dignify with the name of war in these countries, idols are ripped up in the hope of finding treasure in them, temple ornaments seized, and in short no sort of consideration is shown for the religious feelings of the natives.

The following notice of the same sacred island occurs in one of his despatches:—

I trust that I may be permitted to offer one remark in reference to Potou, an islet adjoining Chusan, which I touched at on my way from the latter place to Chapoo. Little information, of course, was to be gathered there on questions directly affecting trade or politics, for it is a holy spot, exclusively appropriated to temples in tinsel and bonzes in rags; but it was impossible to wander over it as I did, visiting with entire impunity its most sacred recesses, without being forcibly reminded of the fact that one, at least, of the obstacles to intercourse between nations, which operates most powerfully in many parts, especially of the East, can hardly be said to exist in China. The Buddhistic faith does not seem to excite in the popular mind any bigoted antipathy to the professors of other creeds. The owner of the humblest dwelling almost invariably offers to the foreigner who enters it the hospitable tea-cup, without any apparent apprehension that his guest, by using, will defile it; and priests and worshippers attach no idea of profanation to the presence of the stranger in the joss-house. This is a fact, as I humbly conceive, not without its significance, when we come to consider what prospect there may be of our being able to extend and multiply relations of commerce and amity with this industrious portion of the human race.

The private journal proceeds:—

March 24th.—We are gliding through a perfectly smooth sea, with islands on both sides of us, on a beautifully calm and clear day, warmer than of late, but still tart enough to feel healthy. We passed a fleet of some hundreds of junks, proceeding northward under convoy of some lorchas of the 'Arrow' class, carrying flags which they probably have no right to. These lorchas exact a sort of black mail from the junks, and plunder them whenever it is more profitable to do so than to protect them. They often have Europeans on board. Poor Yeh has suffered severely for our sins in respect to this description of craft. We are on our way to Chapoo now, a port not opened to trade, but one which I am ordered by the Government to induce the Chinese to open. As it is very little out of the way to Shanghae, I wish to look at it in passing.

[Sidenote: Chapoo.]

March 25th.—We reached Chapoo at about 5 P.M. I did not land, but some of the party did, and mounted a hill from whence they looked down upon a walled town of no great size, and a plain, perfectly flat, stretching for any number of miles beyond it. The people, as usual, were civil, and made no difficulties, although we have no right to land there. The bay in which we anchored is open, and not in any particular way interesting. At about three this morning we started, and have been favoured with as good a day as yesterday. We have had nothing of the bold coasts of previous days, and passed occasionally islands flatter than those seen before. We are now in the mouth of the Yang-tze-kiang, with a perfectly flat and low shore on one side, and an equally flat one just discoverable with the aid of the telescope on the other. A good many junks are sailing about us, their dark sails filled with a lively breeze. Before us is a large man-of-war, which I am just told is the American 'Minnesota.' So our cruise is coming to an end, which I regret, as it has been a very pleasant break, and at least for the time has kept me out of reach of the bothers of my mission. We have reason too to be most thankful for the weather with which we have been favoured, and if Mr. Reed is before me he cannot complain, as I am here on the very day on which I said I should reach Shanghae. This is a very strange coast. The sea seems to be filling up with the deposits of the rivers. We have an island (inhabited) beside us, which did not exist a few years ago. We have not during all yesterday and to-day had ever more than eight fathoms of water.

[Sidenote: Shanghae.]

Shanghae had been named as the rendezvous for the Allied Powers. There, as he had written to the Emperor's Prime Minister, 'the Plenipotentiaries of England and France would be prepared to enter into negotiations for the settlement of all differences existing between their respective Governments and that of China with any Plenipotentiary, duly accredited by the Emperor, who might present himself at that port before the end of the month of March.' There he still fondly hoped to find his Hercules' Pillar. 'If I can only conclude a treaty at Shanghae,' so he wrote when starting from Canton, 'and hasten home afterwards!'

The place was well chosen for the purpose; not only as the most northerly of the Treaty ports, and therefore nearest to the capital, but also as the most flourishing stronghold of European influence and civilisation then existing in China. 'I was struck,' wrote Lord Elgin in one of his despatches, 'by the thoroughly European appearance of the place; the foreign settlement, with its goodly array of foreign vessels, occupying the foreground of the picture; the junks and native town lying up the river, and dimly perceptible among the shadows of the background; spacious houses, always well, and often sumptuously, furnished; Europeans, ladies and gentlemen, strolling along the quays; English policemen habited as the London police; and a climate very much resembling that which I had experienced in London exactly twelve months before, created illusions which were of course very promptly dissipated.'

[Sidenote: Message from Pekin.]

Dissipated too was the hope in which he had indulged, of a speedy termination to his labours; for he was met by a message from the Prime Minister, that 'no Imperial Commissioner ever conducted business at Shanghae; that a new Commissioner had been sent to Canton to replace Yeh; and that it behoved the English Minister to wait in Canton, and there make his arrangements.' This, of course, was not to be thought of; and nothing remained but to move onwards towards Pekin, and apply some more direct pressure to the Emperor and his capital.

March 29th.—Shanghae.—Here I am in the Consul's house, a very spacious mansion. The climate, character of the rooms, &c., all make me feel in Europe again. I reached this harbour on the 26th, but only landed to-day. Mr. Reed and Count Putiatine arrived before me, but Baron Gros has not yet made his appearance. The Prime Minister of the Emperor says that he cannot write to me himself, but sends me a message through the Governor-General of the province to say that a Commissioner has been sent to Canton by the Emperor to replace Yeh, and that I must go there and settle matters with him. This will never do, so I must move on to the mouth of the Peiho. I am only waiting for Gros and the Admiral before I start. The Shanghae merchants presented an address to me to-day, and as I was obliged to say something in reply, I thought that I might as well take advantage of the opportunity to let the Chinese (who are sure to get a translation of my answer) know, that there is no chance of my going back to Canton. I also endeavoured to give the British manufacturers a hint that they must exert themselves and not trust to cannon if they intend to get a market in China.

The views to which he here refers were expressed in his reply in the following forcible language:—

[Sidenote: Reply to merchants' address.]

In my communication with the functionaries of the Chinese Government, I have been guided by two simple rules of action: I have never preferred a demand which I did not believe to be both moderate and just, and from a demand so preferred I have never receded. These principles dictated the policy which resulted in the capture and occupation of Canton. The same principles will be followed by me, with the same determination, to their results, if it should be necessary to repeat the experiment in the vicinity of the capital of the Emperor of China.

The expectations held out to British manufacturers at the close of the last war between Great Britain and China, when they were told 'that a new world was opened to their trade so 'vast that all the mills in Lancashire could not make stocking-stuff sufficient for one of its provinces,' have not been realised; and I am of opinion that when force and diplomacy shall have done all that they can legitimately effect, the work which has to be accomplished in China will be but at its commencement.

When the barriers which prevent free access to the interior of the country shall have been removed, the Christian civilisation of the West will find itself face to face, not with barbarism, but with an ancient civilisation in many respects effete and imperfect, but in others not without claims on our sympathy and respect. In the rivalry which will then ensue, Christian civilisation will have to win its way among a sceptical and ingenious people, by making it manifest that a faith which reaches to Heaven furnishes better guarantees for public and private morality than one which does not rise above the earth.

At the same time the machina-facturing West will be in presence of a population the most universally and laboriously manufacturing of any on the earth. It can achieve victories in the contest in which it will have to engage only by proving that physical knowledge and mechanical skill, applied to the arts of production, are more than a match for the most persevering efforts of unscientific industry.

The journal proceeds as follows, under date of the 29th of March:—

I shall be a little curious to see my next letters. The truth is, that the whole world just now are raving mad with a passion for killing and slaying, and it is difficult for a person in his sober senses like myself to keep his own among them. However I shall be glad to see what Parliament says about Canton.

[Sidenote: Baths for the million.]
[Sidenote: Malevolence towards Chinese.]

March 30th.—Baron Gros arrived to-day. I forgot to mention that I visited the town of Shanghae yesterday, and among other things went into a bathing establishment, where coolies were getting steamed rather than bathed at rather less than a penny a head, which penny includes, moreover, a cup of tea. So that these despised Chinamen have bathing-houses for the million. With us they are a recent invention: they have had them, I believe, for centuries. I am told that they are much used by the labouring class. I was struck by an instance of the malevolence towards the Chinese, which I met with to-day. Baron Gros told me that a boat with some unarmed French officers and seamen got adrift at a place called the Cape of Good Hope, as he was coming up from Hong-Kong. They found themselves off an island, on the shore of which a crowd of armed Chinese collected. Their situation was disagreeable enough. Next day, however, the body of the Chinese dispersed, and a few who remained came forward in the kindest manner offering them food, &c. They stated that they came down in arms to defend themselves, fearing that they were pirates, but that as they were peaceful people they were glad to serve them. I have heard the first part of this story from two other quarters, but the latter part was in both cases omitted.

[Sidenote: Burial practices.]

April 3rd.—I took another walk yesterday into the country, and saw a kind of tower where dead children, whom the parents are too poor to bury, are deposited. It is a kind of pigeonhouse about twenty feet high, and the babies are dropped through the pigeon-holes. After that I walked into a spacious building where coffins containing dead bodies are stored, awaiting a lucky day for the burial, or for some other reason. The coffins are so substantial and the place so well ventilated that there was nothing at all disagreeable in it. There is something touching in the familiarity with which the Chinese treat the dead.

[Sidenote: Roman Catholic mission.]

Shanghae.—Easter Sunday.—I have been at church…. In the afternoon I walked to the Roman Catholic cathedral, which is about three miles from the Consulate. I found a really handsome, or at any rate spacious, building, well decorated. The priests were very civil. They count 80,000 converts (a considerable portion, I take it, descendants of the Christian converts made by the missionaries ages ago) in this province. It is impossible to help contrasting their proceedings with those of the Protestants. They come out here to pass the whole of their lives in evangelising the heathen, never think of home, live on the same fare and dress in the same attire as the natives. The Protestants (generally) hardly leave the ports, where they have excellent houses, wives, families, go home whenever self or wife is unwell, &c. I passed an American missionary's house yesterday. It was a great square building, situated in a garden, and at the entrance gate there was a modest barn-like edifice, large enough to hold about twenty sitters, which on inquiry I found to be the church. These people have excellent situations, good salaries, so much for every child, allowances for sickness, &c. They make hardly any converts, but then they console themselves by saying, that the Roman Catholics who make all these sacrifices do it from a bad motive, teach idolatry, &c. I cannot say, but I must admit that the priests whom I met to-day talked like very sensible men, and that the appearance of the young Chinamen (séminaristes) whom I saw was most satisfactory. They had an intelligent, cheerful look, greatly superior to that of the Roman Catholic seminarists generally in Europe. The priests bear testimony to their aptitude in learning, their docility and good conduct. They have an organ in the cathedral, the pipes of which are all made of bamboo. It seems to have an excellent tone.

[Sidenote: and college.]

April 7th.—I went on Monday to visit a college which the priests have about six miles off, with about seventy scholars. It appeared to be in good order. I walked back with a priest who had been in Canada in our time. He was talkative, and gave me a good deal of information about the Jesuits. It came on to rain very hard as we returned, but we found our letters from home to reward us on our arrival…. No doubt, as you say, one cannot help sometimes regretting that one is mixed up with so bad a business as this in China, but then in some respects it is a great opportunity for doing good, or at least for mitigating evil.

[Sidenote: American missionary.]

I had a visit to-day from Dr. B., who is, I believe, the most eminent of the American missionaries in China. He began by expressing his gratitude to me for the merciful way in which matters had been conducted at Canton, adding that they were bad people, that they insulted foreigners. He had lived among them fifteen years, and had never been insulted when alone. He always went about without even a stick, and they knew that he did not wish to injure them, &c. I then asked him whether there was not some inconsistency in what he had said about their treatment of himself and the epithet 'bad' which he had applied to them. He said that perhaps the word was too strong, that he was much attached to the Chinese, but that certain classes at Canton were no doubt very hostile to foreigners, and that the chastisement they had received was quite necessary. I really believe that what Dr. B. said is pretty nearly the truth of the case, and it is satisfactory to me that the fact that I laboured to spare the people should be known, known not only by those who approve, but by those who abhor clemency.

From the foregoing and similar extracts, it will be seen how much interest he took in the labours of the missionaries, and at the same time with what breadth and calmness of view he handled a subject peculiarly liable to exaggeration on one side or the other. During his stay at Shanghae, it was brought before him officially in the shape of an address from the Protestant missionaries of the port, praying him, in the first place, to obtain a separate decree of toleration in favour of Protestantism, distinct from that which the French had already obtained for the 'Religion of the Lord of Heaven;' and, in the second place, to procure for them greater liberty of travelling and preaching in all parts of China. His reply contained words of grave warning, which have a special interest when read by the light of recent events. After saying that 'it certainly appeared to him to be reasonable and proper that the professors of different Christian denominations should be placed in China on a footing of equality,' he proceeded as follows:—

[Sidenote: Reply to address of Protestant missionaries.]

I should be wanting in candour, however, if I were not to state that, in my opinion, the demands which you prefer involve, in some of their details and consequences, questions of considerable nicety.

Christian nations claim for their subjects or citizens, who sojourn in the East under heathen Governments, privileges of exterritoriality. They are bound, therefore, when they seek to extend their rights of residence and occupation, to take care that those exceptional privileges be not abused, to the prejudice of the countries conceding them.

I cannot say that I think that the Christian nations who have established a footing in China, under the sanction of treaty stipulations obtained by others, or in virtue of agreements made directly by the Chinese Governments with themselves, have in all cases duly recognised this obligation.

Unless I am greatly misinformed, many vile and reckless men, protected by the privileges to which I have referred, and still more by the terror which British prowess has inspired, are now infesting the coasts of China. It may be that for the moment they are able, in too many cases, to perpetrate the worst crimes with impunity; but they bring discredit on the Christian name; inspire hatred of the foreigner where no such hatred exists; and, as some recent instances prove, teach occasionally to the natives a lesson of vengeance, which, when once learnt, may not always be applied with discrimination.

But if the extension of the privileges of foreigners in China involves considerations of nicety, still more delicate are the questions which arise when it is proposed to confer by treaty on foreign Powers the right to interfere on behalf of natives who embrace their religion. It is most right and fitting that Chinamen espousing Christianity should not be persecuted. It is most wrong and most prejudicial to the real interests of the Faith that they should be tempted to put on a hypocritical profession in order to secure thereby the advantages of abnormal protection.

[1] Mr. Oliphant's 'Narrative' contains an interesting account of the places which he visited in the execution of this mission.

[2] Bruce, Robert, and Frederick, his three sons.

[3] See his 'Narrative,' vol. i. c. xi.

[4] A sacred island, in the 'sea of water-lilies.'



The establishment of the principle of direct communication with the Imperial Government at the capital had always been regarded as one of the most important objects of Lord Elgin's mission. When, therefore, in reply to his letter addressed to the Prime Minister, there came an answer from a provincial officer, he returned it at once, and wrote again to the Prime Minister, pointing out that, by refusing to correspond with him directly, the Minister had broken the existing treaty, by which it was agreed that 'Her Britannic Majesty's Chief High Officer shall correspond with the Chinese High Officers, both at the capital and in the provinces, under the term "communication;"' and announcing that he should proceed at once to the North, in order that he might place himself in more immediate communication with the High. Officers of the Imperial Government at the capital. Accordingly, he arranged with Baron Gros that they should meet in the Gulf of Pecheli, at the mouth of the Peiho, backed by their respective fleets, and with the moral support of the presence of the Russian and American Plenipotentiaries.

In carrying out these plans everything depended, in his judgment, on acting promptly; and he was therefore most desirous that the supporting force should collect at once at the appointed spot, and that it should include a considerable number of gunboats of light draught, capable of passing over the mud-banks which form a bar at the mouth of the Peiho river. In this, however, he was disappointed, and many weeks elapsed before any vigorous measures could be taken. The delay, as may be supposed, caused him much annoyance and anxiety at the time; and he especially regretted it afterwards, because it prevented him from personally visiting Pekin, as he might have done at this time under circumstances peculiarly favourable; and thus left the delicate question of access to the capital to be settled by his successor, with no such advantage.[1]

[Sidenote: Advance to the Peiho.]

H.M.S. 'Furious,' at sea.—April 11th.—Here we are, gliding through the smoothest possible sea, with a gentle wind, and this time favourable, which relieves us of all the smoke and ashes of the funnel,—an advantage for our eyes as well as conducive to our comfort. We are in the midst of the Yellow Sea, going about eight knots, dragging a gunboat astern to save her coal. This is the only gunboat I have got. I trust, both on private and public grounds, that we may succeed, because otherwise the consummation might be put off for a year, or at least till the autumn, and God knows what might happen in the interval. The Russian Plenipotentiary, with his own small vessel—dragging behind him, however, a junk well laden with coals and provisions—sailed the day before me. I followed on the 10th (yesterday). The French and American are to follow. It is amusing to see how we play our parts. Putiatine and I are always together, visiting every port, looking into everything with our own eyes. Our colleagues, with their big ships, arrive sooner or later at the great places of rendezvous.

[Sidenote: Aground.]

April 13th, Nine P.M.—We had an adventure this afternoon. I was on the paddle-box bridge watching, as we passed between the town of Tung- Chow Foo (a long wall, as it seemed, stretching for about four miles, with a temple at the nearest end) and the island of Meantau, when I felt a shock,—and, behold! we were aground. Our gunboat, which we towed, not being able to check its speed at a moment's notice, ran foul of us, and we both suffered a little in the scuffle. We got off in about two hours. On the whole, I am rather glad that we have a gunboat with us, for if anything serious did happen, it would be rather awkward, under existing circumstances, to be cast on the coast of China. It is as well to have two strings to one's bow.

April 14th.—This morning it was thick and pretty rough. It is now (4 P.M.) very bright and comparatively smooth. We have seen no land to-day, nor, indeed, anything but sea and a few junks. Shall we meet any vessels at the rendezvous? A few hours will tell.

[Sidenote: The rendezvous.]

April 15th.—We saw, at about 5 P.M. yesterday, Russian at anchor, and went towards her, but were afterwards obliged to remove to some distance, as we had not water enough where she is. While we were going to our berth, the 'Pique' came in sight. So here we are—'Pique' 'Furious' and 'Slaney' (gunboat), in an open sea, land not even risible. Captain Osborn started off this morning, in the gunboat, to sound and find out what chance we have of getting over the bar at the mouth of the Peiho. Putiatine came on board this morning. He has sent to the shore a note announcing his arrival. I am not disposed to do anything of the kind. The best plan, as it appears to me, is to move steadily up the river as soon as we can get ever the bar, and let the Chinese stop us if they dare. Putiatine says that he will follow me, if I pass without any resistance being offered, but that he must not go first, as his Government forbids him to provoke hostilities. This division of labour suits me very well.

April 19th.—I have nothing to write about. You may imagine what it is to be at anchor in this gulf with nothing to do…. If I had had my gunboats, I might have been up the Peiho ere this. I might perhaps have brought the Emperor to his senses…. Meanwhile Reed is arrived. Gros is last, but he is bringing his Admiral and force with him.

April 21st.—Gros arrived last evening. He is very well disposed, and ready to act with me. The French Admiral may be expected any day. We are going to make a communication to Pekin to invite a Plenipotentiary to meet us here, as we cannot go up to Tientsin.

About a week afterwards the bar was crossed; but it was not until three more weeks had passed that the forts at the mouth of the river were taken, in order to secure the passage of the Envoys up to Tientsin.

[Sidenote: Taking of the forts.]

May 21st.—I have spent during the last three weeks the worst time I have passed since 1849, and really I have not been capable of writing. The forts were taken yesterday. The Chinese had had several weeks to prepare, and their moral was greatly raised by our hesitations and delays. The poor fellows even stood at their guns and fired away pretty steadily. But as they hardly ever hit, it is of very little consequence how much they fire. As soon as our men landed they abandoned the forts and ran off in all directions. We have hardly had any loss, I believe; but the French, who blundered a good deal with their gunboats, and then contrived to get blown up by setting fire to a powder magazine, have suffered pretty severely. I fancy that we have got almost all the artillery which the Chinese Empire possesses in this quarter…. This affair of yesterday, in a strategical point of view was a much more creditable affair than the taking of Canton. Our gunboats and men appear to have done well, and though they were opposed to poor troops, still they were troops, and not crowds of women and children, who were the victims of the bombardment at Canton.

May 22nd.—Would that you had been a true prophet! Yet there is something of inspiration in your writing on the 1st of March: 'I was fancying you even now, perhaps, ascending the Peiho with a train of gunboats!'

May 23rd.—These wretched Chinese are for the most part unarmed. When they are armed, they have no notion of directing their firearms. They are timorous, and without either tactics or discipline. I will venture to say that twenty-four determined men, with revolvers and a sufficient number of cartridges, might walk through China from one end to another.

May 25th.—No news since I began this letter, except a vague report that the Admirals are moving up the river slowly, meeting with no resistance, rather a friendly reception, from the people. I am surprised that we have not yet heard anything from Pekin. I hope the Emperor will not fly to Tartary, because that would be a new perplexity. I am not quite in such bad spirits as last week, because at least now there is some chance of our getting this miserable war finished, and thus of my obtaining my liberty again…. We ought to have a mail from England any day…. Changes of Government have this inconvenience, that of course the new-comers cannot possibly take time to read over previous correspondence, so that they must be but partially informed on many points,… but no doubt at this distance it is practically impossible for Government to give instructions, and all the responsibility must rest on the agent on the spot. At this moment, when I am moving up to Pekin, I am receiving the despatches of the Government commenting upon the Canton proceedings, and asking me: What do you intend to do next?

May 27th.—I have been pacing the deck looking at the dancing waves sparkling under a bright full moon. It is the third time, I think, that I have seen it since I have been in this gulf. I had a message last night late from the Admiral, stating that he is within two miles of Tientsin! I sent Frederick up that he might see what is going on, and let me know when I ought to advance. I had also a communication from the Chinese Plenipotentiaries, but it was not of much importance. I do not think that these poor, timorous people have any notion of resisting. I only trust that they may make up their minds to concede what is requisite at once, and enable us all to have done with it.

May 28th.—The last news from Canton shows that the kind of panic which had been, in my opinion most needlessly, got up, is subsiding, and the General has sent up a few men—for which I ought to thank him, as he had only been asked whether he could supply any if wanted.

May 29th.—I have a short despatch from the new Government, giving me latitude to do anything I choose if I will only finish the affair. Meanwhile Frederick writes from Tientsin to recommend me to proceed thither, and I intend to be off this afternoon. There appears to be on the part of the Chinese no attempt at resistance, but on the other hand no movement to treat. This passivity is, of course, our danger, and it is one which slowness on our part tends to increase. However, we must hope for the best.

[Sidenote: On the Peiho.]
[Sidenote: Tientsin.]

Yamun, Tientsin.—May 30th.—Only look at my date, does it not astonish you? I hardly yet realise to myself where I am. I started at about 4.30 P.M. yesterday from the 'Furious,' crossed the bar, at the forts at the entrance of the river, picked up Gros and the French mission, whose vessel could not get on, and moved on to this place. The night was lovely—a moon nearly full. The banks, perfectly flat and treeless at first, became fringed with mud villages, silent as the grave, and trees standing like spectres over the stream. There we went ceaselessly on through this silvery silence, panting and breathing flame. Through the night-watches, when no Chinaman moves, when the junks cast anchor, we laboured on, cutting ruthlessly and recklessly through the waters of that glancing and startled river, which, until within the last few weeks, no stranger keel had ever furrowed! Whose work are we engaged in, when we burst thus with hideous violence and brutal energy into these darkest and most mysterious recesses of the traditions of the past? I wish I could answer that question in a manner satisfactory to myself. At the same time, there is certainly not much to regret in the old civilisation which we are thus scattering to the winds. A dense population, timorous and pauperised, such would seem to be its chief product. I passed most of the night on deck, and at about 4 A.M. we reached a point in the centre of the suburb of Tientsin, at which the Great Canal joins the Tientsin or Peiho river. There I found the Admirals, Frederick, &c. Frederick had got this yamun for us, half of which I have had to give to my French colleague. It consists of a number of detached rooms, scattered about a garden. I have installed myself in the joss-house, my bedroom being on one side, and my sitting-room on the other, of the idol's altar. We have a letter informing us that the Emperor has named two great Officers of State to come here and treat, and our Admirals are in very good humour, so that matters look well for the present.

June 1st.—I found my joss-house so gloomy and low, that I have returned to my first quarter in the garden, on a mound overlooking the river. It consists, of a single room, part of which is screened off by a curtain for a bedroom. It is hot during the day, but nothing much to complain of. I took a walk yesterday. The country is quite flat, cultivated in wheat, millet, &c. Instead of the footpaths of the southern parts of China, there are roads for carriages, and wheeled carts dragged by mules in tandem going along them. I have not been in the town, but some of the party were there this morning, and one had his pocket picked, which is a proof of civilisation. They say it is a poor place, the people stupid-looking and curious, but not as yet unfriendly.

June 4th.—I am to have an interview with the Chinese Plenipotentiaries to-day. I devoutly hope it may lead to a speedy and satisfactory pacific settlement; but I am sending to Hong-Kong for troops, in order to be prepared for all eventualities. In sum, my policy has resulted in this:—I have complete military command of the capital of China, without having broken off relations with the neutral Powers, and without having interrupted, for a single day, our trade at the different ports of the empire.

[Sidenote: Negotiations.]

Tientsin.—June 5th—After sending off your letter yesterday, I went to have my first official interview with the Chinese Plenipotentiaries. I made up my mind, disgusting as the part is to me, to act the rôle of the 'uncontrollably fierce barbarian,' as we are designated in some of the confidential reports to the Chinese Government which have come into our hands. These stupid people, though they cannot resist, and hardly even make a serious attempt to do so, never yield anything except under the influence of fear; and it is necessary therefore to make them feel that one is in earnest, and that they have nothing for it but to give way. Accordingly I got a guard of 150 marines and the band of the 'Calcutta,' and set off with all my suite in chairs, tambour battant for the place of rendezvous. It was about two-and-a-half miles off, and the heat of the sun very great. The road carried us through several narrow streets of the suburb, then across a plain, till we reached a temple at which the Plenipotentiaries were awaiting us. A dense crowd of Chinese men—I saw not one woman—lined the route. Curiosity chiefly was depicted on their countenances; some looked frightened; but I observed no symptoms of ill-will. At the entrance of the temple were two blind musicians, playing something like squeaking bagpipes. This was the Chinese band. We marched in with all our force, which drew up in a sort of court before an open verandah, where refreshments were set out, and the dignitaries awaited us. I was received by the Imperial Commissioner, and conducted to a seat at a small table covered with little plates of sweetmeats, &c. One of the Chinese Plenipotentiaries sat on either side of me. It was a very pretty scene, and the place was decorated in very good taste with flowers, &c. As my neighbours showed no disposition to talk, I began by asking after their health and that of the Emperor. They then said that they had received the Emperor's orders to come down to treat of our affairs. I answered, that although I was much grieved by the neglect of the Prime Minister to answer the letters I had addressed to him, yet as they had on their cards stated that they had 'full powers,' I had consented to have this interview in order that we might compare our powers, and see whether we could treat together. I told them that I had brought mine, and I at once exhibited them, giving them a translation of the documents. They said they had not powers of the same kind, but a decree of the Emperor appointing them, and they brought out a letter which was wrapped up in a sheet of yellow paper. The chief Plenipotentiary rose and raised the paper reverentially over his head before unfolding it. I thought the terms of this document rather ambiguous, besides which I was desirous to produce a certain effect; so when it had been translated to me, I said that I was not sufficiently satisfied with it to be able to say on the spot whether I could treat with them or not; that I would, if they pleased, take a copy of it and consider the matter; but that I would not enter upon business with them at present. So saying I rose, moved to the front of the stage, and ordered the escort to move and the chairs to be brought. This put the poor people into a terrible fluster. They made great efforts to induce me to sit down again, but I acted the part of the 'uncontrollably fierce' to perfection, and set off for my abode. I had hardly reached it when I received two cards from my poor mandarins, thanking me for having gone so far to meet them, &c.

June 12th.—I have gone through a good deal since we parted. Certainly I have seen more to disgust me with my fellow-countrymen than I saw during the whole course of my previous life, since I have found them in the East among populations too timid to resist and too ignorant to complain. I have an instinct in me which loves righteousness and hates iniquity, and all this keeps me in a perpetual boil.

[Sidenote: Treaty signed.]

June 29th.—I have not written for some days, but they have been busy ones…. We went on fighting and bullying, and getting the poor Commissioners to concede one point after another, till Friday the 25th, when we had reason to believe all was settled, and that the signature was to take place on the following day…. On Friday afternoon, however, Baron Gros came to me with a message from the Russian and American Ministers, to induce me to recede from two of my demands—1. A resident minister at Pekin; and, 2. Permission to our people to trade in the interior of China; because, as they said, the Chinese Plenipotentiaries had told them that they had received a decree from the Emperor, stating that they should infallibly lose their heads if they gave way on these points…. The resident minister at Pekin I consider far the most important matter gained by the Treaty; the power to trade in the interior hardly less so…. I had at stake not only these important points in my treaty, for which I had fought so hard, but I know not what behind. For the Chinese are such fools, that it was impossible to tell, if we gave way on one point, whether they would not raise difficulties on every other. I sent for the Admiral; gave him a hint that there was a great opportunity for England; that all the Powers were deserting me on a point which they had all, in their original applications to Pekin, demanded, and which they all intended to claim if I got it; that therefore we had it in our power to claim our place of priority in the East, by obtaining this when others would not insist on it? Would he back me?… This was the forenoon of Saturday, 26th. The Treaty was to be signed in the evening. I may mention, as a proof of the state of people's minds, that Admiral Seymour told me that the French Admiral had urged him to dine with him, assuring him that no Treaty would be signed that day! Well, I sent Frederick to the Imperial Commissioners, to tell them that I was indignant beyond all expression at their having attempted to communicate with me through third parties; that I was ready to sign at once the Treaty as it stood; but that, if they delayed or retracted, I should consider negotiations at an end, go to Pekin, and demand a great deal more, &c…. Frederick executed this most difficult task admirably, and at 6 P.M. I signed the Treaty of Tientsin…. I am now anxiously waiting some communication from Pekin. Till the Emperor accepts the Treaty, I shall hardly feel safe. Please God he may ratify without delay! I am sure that I express the wish just as much in the interest of China as in ours. Though I have been forced to act almost brutally, I am China's friend in all this.

[Sidenote: Articles of the Treaty.]

It may be well here to recapitulate the chief articles of the Treaty thus concluded, which may be briefly summed up as follows:—

The Queen of Great Britain to be at liberty, if she see fit, to appoint an Ambassador, who may reside permanently at Pekin, or may visit it occasionally, at the option of the British Government;

Protestants and Roman Catholics to be alike entitled to the protection of the Chinese authorities;

British subjects to be at liberty to travel to all parts of the interior, under passports issued by their Consuls;

British ships to be at liberty to trade upon the Great River (Yangtze);

Five additional ports to be opened to trade;

The Tariff fixed by the Treaty of Nankin to be revised;

British subjects to have the option of clearing their goods of all transit duties by payment of a single charge, to be calculated as nearly as possible at the rate of 2-1/2 per cent. ad valorem;

The character 'I' (Barbarian) to be no longer applied in official documents to British subjects;

The Chinese to pay 2,000,000 taels (about 650,000_l._) for losses at
Canton, and an equal sum for the expenses of the war.

[Sidenote: Reasons for moderation.]
[Sidenote: Right of sending an ambassador,]

In bringing this Treaty to a conclusion Lord Elgin might have said of himself as truly as of the brother who had so ably helped him in arranging its terms, that he 'felt very sensibly the painfulness of the position of a negotiator, who has to treat with persons who yield nothing to reason and everything to fear, and who are at the same time profoundly ignorant both of the subjects under discussion and of their own real interests.' Moreover he had constantly to recollect that, under the 'most favoured nation' clause, every concession made to British subjects would be claimed by the subjects, or persons calling themselves the subjects, of other Powers, by whom they were only too likely to be employed for the promotion of rebellion and disorder within the empire, or for the establishment of privileged smuggling and piracy along its coasts and up its rivers. In all these circumstances he saw grounds for exercising forbearance and moderation; and his forbearance and moderation were rewarded by the readiness with which the Emperor sanctioned the Treaty, and the amicable manner in which its details were subsequently settled. One exception there was to this moderation on his part, and to this readiness on theirs; viz. his insisting, against the earnest remonstrances of the Imperial Commissioners, backed by the intercession of the Russian and American envoys, on the right of sending an ambassador to Pekin. But it was an exception of that kind which is said to prove the rule; for the stipulation was one which could not lead to abuses, and which would be conducive, as he believed, in the highest decree to the true interests of both the contracting parties. He was convinced that so long as the system of entrusting the conduct of foreign affairs to a Provincial Government endured, there could be no security for the maintenance of pacific relations. On the one hand the Provincial Governors were entirely without any sentiment of nationality, caring for nothing but the interests of their own provinces: nor were they in a position to exercise any independence of judgment, their lives and fortunes being absolutely at the disposal of a jealous Government, so that it was generally their most prudent course to allow any abuses to pass unnoticed rather than risk their heads by reporting unwelcome truths. On the other Land the central Government, in which alone a national feeling and an independent judgment were to be looked for, was profoundly ignorant on all questions of foreign policy, and must continue to be so as long as the Department for Foreign Affairs was established in the provinces. For these reasons he regarded the principle that a British minister might henceforth reside at Pekin, and hold direct intercourse with imperial ministers at the capital, as being, of all the concessions in the Treaty, the one pregnant with the most important consequences.[2]

[Sidenote: to be kept in reserve.]

But, the right once secured, he was very desirous that it should be exercised with all possible consideration for the long-cherished prejudices of the Chinese on the subject, who looked forward with the utmost horror to the invasion of their capital by foreign ministers, with, their wives and establishments; these latter being, as it appeared, in their eyes more formidable than the ministers themselves. Accordingly, when the Imperial Commissioners addressed to him a very temperate and respectful communication, urging that the exercise of the Treaty-right in question would be of serious prejudice to China, mainly because, in the present crisis of her domestic troubles it would tend to cause a loss of respect for their Government in the minds of her subjects, he gladly forwarded their memorial to the Government in England, supporting it with the strong expression of his own opinion, that 'if Her Majesty's Ambassador should be properly received at Pekin when the ratifications were exchanged next year, it would be expedient that Her Majesty's Representative in China should be instructed to choose a place of residence elsewhere than at Pekin, and to make his visits either periodical, or only as frequent as the exigencies of the public service might require.' With much shrewdness he pointed out that the actual presence of a minister hi a place so uncongenial, especially during the winter months, when the thermometer falls to 40° below zero, might possibly be to the Mandarin mind less awe-inspiring than the knowledge of the fact that he had the power to take up his abode there whenever the conduct of the Chinese Government gave occasion; and that thus the policy which he recommended would 'leave in the hands of Her Majesty's Government, to be wielded at its will, a moral lever of the most powerful description to secure the faithful observance of the Treaty in all time to come.'

[Sidenote: Return southward.]

At Sea, Gulf of Pecheli.—July 5th.—At last I am actually off—on my way home? May I hope that it is so? I got on Sunday the Emperor's assent to the Treaty, in the form in which I required it; sent immediately down to stop the troops, and set off myself on Tuesday at noon for the Gulf. We sailed yesterday afternoon, with the intention, if possible, of seeing the great Wall of China on our way to Shanghae, but we have not been very successful, and have now put about, and are moving southwards…. Frederick is going home with the Treaty, and I proceed via Japan….

July 14th.—Frederick embarks to-night, and sails to-morrow morning at four. I shall not know all that I lose, publicly and privately, by his departure, till he is gone….

Shanghae, Sunday, July 18th.—I have just returned from church. Such an ordeal I never went through. If a benevolent lady, sitting behind me, had not taken compassion on me, and handed me a fan, I think I should have fainted…. Everyone says that the heat here surpasses that felt anywhere else. They also affirm that this is an exceptional season.

July 19th.—Writing has been an almost impossible task during these few last days. The only thing I have been able to do has been to find a doorway, or some other place, through which a draught was making its way, and to sit there reading…. In sending Frederick away, I have cut off my right arm, but I think, on the whole, it was better that he should take the Treaty home,… and of course he is better able than anyone else to explain what has been the real state of affairs here…. It is impossible to acknowledge too strongly the obligation I am under to him for the way in which he has helped me in my difficulties.

[Sidenote: Yeh]

July 21st.—As for Yeh, I cannot say very much for him; but the account given of him by the Captain of the 'Inflexible,' who took him to Calcutta, differs as widely as possible from that of the Times' Correspondent. He was very courteous and considerate, civil to everybody, and giving no trouble. I suppose that there is no doubt of the fact that he executed a vast number of rebels, and I, certainly, who disapprove of all that sort of thing, am not going to defend that proceeding. But it is fair to say that rebels are parricides by Chinese law, and that, in so far as we can judge, nothing could have been more brutal or more objectless than this Chinese rebellion. They systematically murdered all—men, women, and children—of the dominant race, and their supporters, on whom they could lay their hands. Certain Americans and Europeans took them up at first because they introduced a parody of some Christian doctrines into their manifestoes. But these gentlemen are now, I think, heartily ashamed of the sympathy which they gave them.

July 26th.—I heard yesterday a good piece of news. The Emperor has named my friends, the Imperial Commissioners, to come down here to settle the tariff, &c. This, I think, proves that the Emperor has made up his mind to accept the Treaty and carry it out. I hope also that it will enable me to settle the Canton affair.

A few days later, finding that some weeks must elapse before the Imperial Commissioners could arrive, he sailed for Nagasaki, in order to turn the interval to account by endeavouring to negotiate a treaty with the Japanese Government in accordance with the instructions which he had received when leaving England.

[1] Those who remember the somewhat angry discussion which, arose afterwards about this delay, its causes and its consequences, may be struck with the fact that the subject is scarcely alluded to in any of the extracts here given. The omission is intentional: Lord Elgin's friends having no desire to rate up an extinct controversy which he would have been the last to wish to see revived, and respecting which, they have nothing to add to—as they have nothing to withdraw from— what he himself stated in the House of Lords on February 21, 1860.

[2] Another article of the Treaty, though of less importance in itself, has been brought by recent events into so much prominence that it may be desirable to give in full the views of its author respecting it. In his despatch of July 12, having mentioned, as one of the principal commercial advantages obtained by British subjects, the settlement of the vexed question of the transit duties, he proceeds:—

This subject presented considerable difficulty. As duties of octroi are levied universally in China, on native as well as foreign products, and as canals and roads are kept up at the expense of the Government, it seemed to be unreasonable to require that articles, whether of foreign or native production, by the simple process of passing into the hands of foreigners, should become entitled to the use of roads and canals toll-free, and should, moreover, be relieved altogether from charges to which they would be liable if the property of natives. On the other hand, experience had taught us the inconvenience of leaving the amount of duties payable under the head of transit-duties altogether undetermined. By requiring the rates of transit-duty to be published at each port; and by acquiring for the British subject the right to commute the said duties for a payment of 2-1/2 per cent. on the value of his goods (or rather, to speak more correctly, for the payment of a specific duty calculated at that rate), I hope that I have provided for the latter as effectual a guarantee against undue exactions on this head as can be obtained without an entire subversion, of the financial system of China.



[Sidenote: Embark for Japan.]

'On the last day of July, 1858,' writes Mr. Oliphant, we embarked on board the "Furious," delighted, under any circumstances, to escape from the summer heats of Shanghae, were it only for a few weeks; but our gratification increased by the anticipation of visiting scenes which had ever been veiled in the mystery of a jealous and rigid seclusion.'… There was a charm also in the very indefiniteness and uncertainty of the objects of the expedition. 'I do not exactly know,' wrote Lord Elgin, 'what I shall do when I get to Nagasaki; but, at any rate, I shall ascertain what my chances are of making a satisfactory treaty with Japan.'

The 'Furious' was accompanied by the 'Retribution' and by the 'Lee' gunboat; and it was arranged that the Admiral should join them at Nagasaki.

Nagasaki.—August 3rd.—We have had beautiful weather, and have reached this point,—a quiet, small-looking town, fringing the bottom of a bay, which is itself the close of a channel passing between ranges of high volcanic hills, rugged and bold, but luxuriant with vegetation and trees, and cultivated in terraces up to their summits. I have seen nothing so beautiful in point of scenery for many a long day. No sort of difficulty has been made to our progress up to the town. The only symptom of objection I observed was an official in a boat, who waved a fan, and when he saw we took no notice, sat down again and went on with a book which he seemed to be reading. On both sides of the channel, however, there is a very formidable display of cannons and works of defence, which I apprehend would not be very formidable in action. I have heard little in the way of news yet, but I am disposed to believe that nothing can be accomplished here, and that if anything is to be done we must go on to Yeddo. It is still hot, but the air, which comes down from these lofty hills, is, I think, fresher than that which passes over the boundless level in the vicinity of Shanghae.

August 4th.—I have just had a visit from the Vice-Governor of Nagasaki. One of his own suite did the interpretation. These are the nicest people possible. None of the stiffness and bigotry of the Chinese. I gave them luncheon, and it was wonderful how nicely they managed with knives and forks and all other strange implements. The Admiral arrived this forenoon. He now finds that his instructions direct him to send the 'Emperor' yacht (which is to be a present) to Yeddo. I shall take advantage of this and go to Yeddo myself at once. I may do something, or find out what I can do.

August 5th.—Four P.M.—The heat yesterday, and for the two nights at Nagasaki, was very great. It must be a charming place when the temperature is low enough to admit of walks into the country. As it is we have just passed into the sea, through what Captain Osborn calls a succession of Mount Edgecumbes. I went ashore yesterday and this morning, chiefly to make purchases. Things here are really beautiful and cheap. The town is wonderfully clean after China. Not a beggar to be seen. The people clean too; for one of the commonest sights is to see a lady in the front of her house, or in the front-room, wide open to the street, sitting in a tub washing herself. I never saw a place where the cleanliness of the fair sex was established on such unimpeachable ocular evidence.

[Sidenote: Gales.]

August 6th.—Four P.M.—At anchor off the southernmost point of Japan. It has been blowing hard all day, and our captain proposed, that instead of rounding this point and facing the sea and wind, against which we should not be able to make any way, we should creep in under it and anchor. We intend to remain till the gale abates. Nothing can be finer than the coast. We have passed to-day some very high hills, one especially on an island to the right, and a conical- shaped one on the left, on the Japan mainland. I see little sign of population on this coast off which we are anchored: only one little fishing village. There were a good many junks yesterday. It is very hot though, and I find it difficult to sit at my table and write.

August 7th.—Three P.M.—Still at anchor in the same spot. The storm has not abated, and the wind is dead against us. My time is so short that I cannot well afford to lose any.

August 10th.—Ten A.M.—I wonder if I shall be able to write a few lines legibly. There is still a good deal of motion, but a cool breeze, which is such a relief after the sweltering six weeks we have spent. Ahead of us is a great conical-shaped mountain, the sacred mountain of Fusiama (etymologically 'the matchless mountain'), and somewhere nearer on the long range of bold coast which we are approaching, we expect to find Simoda. But I must tell you of our two past days—days of suffering. At about twelve during the night of the 7th, the wind shifted and began to blow into our anchorage, so as to make it unsafe to stay there, and to promise us a fair wind if we proceeded on our way; so off we started. We have had our fair wind, but a great deal of it; and as the 'Furious' is both a bad sailer and a good roller, we have passed a very wretched time,—every hole through which air could come closed. However, we have made good progress and burnt little coal, which is good for the public interest. We see now in the distance two sails, which we suppose may be our consorts, the 'Emperor' and 'Retribution.' We have travelled some 1000 miles since we left Shanghae, besides spending two days at Nagasaki.

[Sidenote: Coast view.]

Same day.—Noon.—It is a magnificent prospect which we have from the paddle-box. Immediately before us a bold junk, its single large sail set, and scudding before the breeze. Beyond, a white cloud, slight at the base, and swelling into the shape of a balloon as it rises. We have discovered that it rests on a mountain dimly visible in the distance, and which we recognise as the volcanic island of Oosima. Towards the right the wide sea dotted with two or three rocky islets. On the left of the volcano island a point of land rising into a bold and rocky coast, along which the eye is carried till it encounters a mighty bank of white clouds piled up one upon another, out of which rises clear and blue, with a white streak upon the side which seems to tell of perpetual snow, the cone-shaped top of Fusiama. Passing on the eye from this magnificent object to the left still farther, the rocky coast is followed till it loses itself in the distance. What is almost more charming than the scene is the fresh breeze which is carrying off the accumulated fever of weeks.

[Sidenote: Simoda.]

August 12th.—At sea again. (Grouse day. I am following different game.) We dropped anchor in the harbour of Simoda on the 10th at about 3 P.M. I went off immediately to see the American Consul-General, Mr. Harris, the only foreigner resident at Simoda. I found him living in what had been a temple, but what in point of fact makes a very nice cottage, overlooking the bay. As soon as we anchored we began to feel the heat, though not so great as at Shanghae. I found that the Consul had contrived to make a pretty good treaty with Japan, evidently under the influence of the contrecoup of our proceedings in China. He had had an interview with the Emperor, but it transpired that he had a letter of credence, which I have not, and that Putiatine, not having one, is not permitted to go to Yeddo. I also learnt that there is no way of communicating with the Japanese officials except through the Dutch language. Being without a Dutch interpreter, and without letters of credence, my case looked bad enough. However, I made great friends with the American, and the result is that he has lent me his own interpreter, who is now beside me translating into Dutch a letter from me to the Foreign Minister of the Japanese Emperor. You see how I was situated. The problem I had to solve was:—How to make a treaty without time (for I cannot stay here above a few days), interpreter, or credentials !! When I say credentials, I do not mean full powers. These I have, but prestige is everything in the East, and I should not like to be prevented from seeing the Emperor, now that the American has been received. We shall see how we can get out of all this.

The lack of credentials was practically supplied by the steam-yacht 'Emperor,' which he had to present to the Tycoon as a gift from her Majesty; and the duties of interpreter were discharged for him throughout in the most efficient manner by the gentleman above referred to, Mr. Heusken, the American Secretary, whom he found 'not only competent for his special work, but also in the highest degree intelligent and obliging.'

[Sidenote: Amiability.]
[Sidenote: Cleanliness.]
[Sidenote: Temples.]

Same date.—Simoda is a pretty place, lying on flat ground at the head of a short bay, with rocky volcanic-looking hills, covered with fine trees and intersected by valleys all around. The people seem the most amiable on earth. Crime and pauperism seem little known. All anxious to do kindnesses to strangers, and steadily refusing pay. There are innumerable officials with their double-swords, but they appear to be on the most easy terms with the people. To judge from the amount of clothing worn by both sexes, it does not seem likely that there will be any great demand for Manchester cotton goods. I cannot say what it may be in winter, but in summer they seem to place a very filial reliance on nature. They are the cleanest people too. The floors of their houses are covered with mats which are stuffed beneath, and which serve for beds, floors, tables, &c. It is proper to take off the shoes or sandals on entering the houses or temples. I looked into one or two bathing-houses, which are most unlike those I saw at Shanghae;—an inner room which is a kind of steam-bath, and an outer room where the process of drying goes on. The difference in China is, that it is only the men that clean themselves there, whereas the rights of the fair sex on this point are fully recognised in Japan, and in order that there may be no inequality in the way they are exercised, all bathe together. I visited some temples. Though Buddhistic, they had not the hideous figures which are seen in the Chinese temples. They were generally prettily situated near the foot of the rocky and wood-covered cliffs, with flights of steps running up to shrines among the rocks. They were surrounded by numerous monuments to the departed, consisting generally of little pilasters, squared on the sides, and bearing inscriptions, surrounded by a coping or ball. On the pedestal, &c., in front of the pilaster, generally, were one or two branches of what looked like myrtle stuck into pieces of bamboo which serve for flower-pots. These monuments, crowded together around the temples and overshadowed by the lofty trees, had a very graceful effect.

We have just committed an act of vigour. In place of going into the harbour of Kanagawa where Count Putiatine is at anchor, I have determined to proceed to a point several miles higher up nearer to Yeddo. We completely foil by our audacity all the poor Japanese officials. I have said nothing of the bazaar of Simoda, where there were a great many pretty things, of which I bought some, nor of a visit which the Governor paid to me. He was a very jolly fellow, liked his luncheon and a joke. He made the conventional protests against my going on, &c., but when he saw it was of no use, he dropped the subject. The Japanese are a most curious contrast to the Chinese, so anxious to learn, and so prévenants. God grant that in opening their country to the West, we may not be bringing upon them misery and ruin.

[Sidenote: Off Yeddo.]
[Sidenote: Sanctity of custom.]

Off Yeddo.—August 14th.—We moved yesterday to within about one mile of the shore off the suburb of Yeddo. The shore is flat, and the buildings of the town, interspersed with trees and enclosures, seem to stretch to a great distance along the crescent-shaped bay. Immediately in front of the town and opposite to us are five large batteries. Four Japanese men-of-war built on European models are anchored beside us. Three princes came off to see me yesterday. They were exceedingly civil, but very anxious to get me to go back to Kanagawa, a port about ten miles down the bay, from which they said they would convey me by land to Yeddo. Of course I would not agree to this. They were very much puzzled (and no wonder) by my two names. I complimented the prince on the beautiful Fusiama, calling it a high mountain. 'Oh!' he said at once, 'I have seen a scale of mountains, and I know that there are many much higher than Fusiama.' There were persons in the suite taking down in shorthand every word that passed in conversation, and I thought I saw in one of their note-books a sketch of my face. No doubt these were spies also, to watch and report on the proceedings of the officials, for that seems to be the great means of government in Japan. Still there is no appearance of oppression or fear anywhere. It seems to be a matter of course that every man should fill the place and perform the function which custom and law prescribe, and that he should be denounced if he fail to do so. The Emperor is never allowed to leave the precincts of his palace, and everybody, high and low, is under a rigid rule of convenances, which does not seem to be felt to be burdensome. I am afraid they are not much disposed to do things in a hurry, and that I must discover some means of hastening them, if I am to get my treaty before returning to Shanghae.

[Sidenote: Hereditary princes.]

August 16th.—Princes, five in number, arrived on board yesterday at about 3 P.M. Among them was the Lord High Admiral, a very intelligent well-bred man. It was agreed that I was to land to-day, and some discussion took place as to the house I was to inhabit. They said that they could give me the choice of two, but that they recommended the one farthest from the palace as being in best repair. I chose the one nearest the palace, because one is always obliged to be on one's guard against slights, but it has ruined so much to-day that I have sent to say that I will not land till to-morrow, and to inquire where I can really be best lodged. I have handed to the authorities a draft of my treaty. The chief interpreter, by name Moriama (the 'wooded mountain'), a very acute and smooth-spoken gentleman, who told one of my party yesterday that the princes who have come off to me are Free Traders, and that this is the spirit of the Government, but that some of the hereditary princes are very much opposed to intercourse with foreigners, and that some little time ago it was apprehended that they would raise a rebellion against the Government, in consequence of the concessions it is making. The official princes are named by the Emperor for life, but the hereditary ones are great feudal chiefs owing rather a qualified allegiance to the Emperor. Moriama pretended that he and his friends had seen the arrival of our ship with pleasure, but of course one never knows whether to believe a word they say.

[Sidenote: Yeddo.]
[Sidenote: The 'Castle.']

Yeddo.—August 18th, Seven A.M.—Here I am installed in a building which forms the dependence of a temple. It consists of some small rooms forming two sides of a square, with a verandah running in front of them. From the verandah you step into a garden not very well kept, with a pond and trees, and some appearance of care in laying it out. In the centre is the temple, with a back-door opening into the garden. I entered it yesterday, and found a 'buddha' coming out of the lotus, looking very freshly gilt and well cared for. There were in the temple two or three priests, who seem to live there; at any rate, one was asleep on the matting, which, as I told you, is in Japanese houses laid on the top of a bed of straw. They are charmingly soft and clean, as all shoes are put off on entering. The natives use neither tables, chairs, nor beds. They lie, sit, and feed on this matting. They have made considerable exertions, however, to fit up our houses on European principles. We landed yesterday at noon. The day was fine, and the procession of boats imposing. An immense crowd of good-natured, curious people lined both sides of the streets along which we passed. The streets are wide and handsome. We were preceded and accompanied by officers to keep off the crowd, but a blow with a fan was the heaviest penalty that I saw inflicted on anyone breaking the line. At every fifty yards, or so, the street was crossed by large gates, which were closed as soon as our procession passed through, which prevented a rush after us. On arriving, as I had nothing else to do, I proposed a ride through the town, to the considerable consternation of our attendants. We set off on saddles made of hard and rather sharp bits of wood, stirrups which I can't undertake to describe, and our knees in our mouths. However, we made our way to the quarter of the Palace or Castle. As we approached it, we passed through streets inhabited by princes. I did not enter any of their houses, but they seem to be constructed somewhat on the principle of the entre cour et jardin houses in parts of Paris. On the street front the offices, substantially built, and often with very handsome gateways. The 'Castle' is surrounded by three concentric enclosures, consisting of walls and moats. They are at a considerable distance from each other, and the Emperor resides in the innermost enclosure, from which he never goes out. The intervals between the enclosures are filled up with handsome houses, &c. We passed over the first moat, and rode up to the second. When we came up to the second we discovered a spectacle which was really very grand. The moat was some forty or fifty yards wide; beyond it a high bank of grass nicely kept, with trees rather like yews every here and there dropped upon it. The crest of the bank seemed to be crowned by a temple, surrounded by trees. The stone wall was on a grand scale, and well finished. In short, the whole thing would have been considered magnificent anywhere. After China, where everything is mesquin, and apparently en decadence, it produces a great effect. I did not see a single beggar in the streets; and as in this ride of yesterday we took our own way, without giving any notice, we must have seen the streets in their usual guise.

My poor, dear friends, the Japanese, object to everything and always give way.[1] It is a bad plan, because it forces one to be very peremptory and overbearing. Nothing can be milder than their objections, but they lose time. I have told them that I must see the Foreign Minister to-day, and that I must have another house, as the situation of this one is not sufficiently aristocratic. I do not know, however, whether I shall press the latter point, as it will put myself to much inconvenience.

August 19th.—In the evening, I visited the Foreign Minister, or rather, the two Foreign Ministers (I believe there are three, but one is unwell). I took my whole staff, but only my secretary and interpreter remained in the room when we came to talk of business. There has been a change of Government, and the present Foreign Secretaries seem stupid enough. The Government seems to be a sort of oligarchy in the hands of the hereditary princes. Count Putiatine, who has just been with me, tells me that he does not consider the officers, with whom we are negotiating, princes at all. They have the title of Kami, but it is not hereditary, and they are altogether inferior to the others. Both have the title of Kami, but the hereditary princes are also called Daimios.

[Sidenote: Conference.]
[Sidenote: A country ride.]

August 21st.—On the 19th, the Plenipotentiaries appointed to treat with me came. They are six in number. We exchanged our full powers, and I made some difficulty about theirs, but was satisfied by their explanations. After the séance, I went out riding through the streets. I had not given notice, and we went through a densely peopled quarter, which gave me an opportunity of seeing something of the popular feeling. We were followed by immense crowds, among whom some boys took to hooting, and by degrees to throwing stones. This got rather disagreeable, so at length we took to stopping at the gates, turning right about, and facing the mob with our horses, until the gates were shut. It proves to me, however, that it is not prudent to go about without a good Japanese escort. Yesterday we had a most charming expedition into the country. We started at about 11 A.M., rode first to the road I have already described, and which runs along the moat of the second enclosure of the Emperor's domain. We passed alongside of this enclosure. The effect of the domain within, with its dropping trees (not yews, I see, but pines of some sort, many of them with spreading branches like cedars), being somewhat that of a magnificent English park. This, mind you, in the centre of a city of two or three millions of inhabitants.

Sunday, August 22nd.—We then passed through the gate of the outermost enclosure on the opposite side, and entered some crowded streets beyond, through which we made our way, passing on our right the palace of the greatest of the hereditary princes, really an imposing mass of building. Beyond, we got into the country, consisting at first of a sort of long street of quaint cottages with thatched or tiled roofs, embosomed in gardens, and interspersed with avenues conducting to temples. Further on were cultivated fields, with luxuriant crops of great variety: rice, sweet potato, egg-plant, peas, millet, yams, taro, melons, &c. &c. At last, we reached a place of refreshment, consisting of a number of kiosques, on the bank of a stream, with a waterfall hard by, and gardens with rock-work (not mesquin, as in China, but really pretty and in good taste) opposite. Here we had luncheon. Fruits, and a kind of Julienne soup; not bad, but rather maigre, served to us by charming young ladies, who presented on their knees the trays with the little dishes upon them. The repast finished, we set out on our return (for we had overshot our mark), and visited the gardens, which were the object of our expedition. They had the appearance of nursery gardens, with rows of pots containing dwarf-trees and all manner of quaint products; all this, moreover, in a prettily accidenté country, abounding in forest trees and luxuriant undergrowth. We got back at about 7 P.M., having met with no mishap.

[Sidenote: Peace and plenty.]
[Sidenote: Good temper.]

On the whole, I consider it the most interesting expedition I ever made. The total absence of anything like want among the people; their joyous, though polite and respectful demeanour; the combination of that sort of neatness and finish which we attain in England By the expenditure of great wealth, with tropical luxuriance, made me feel that at last I had found something which entirely surpassed all the expectations I had formed. And I am bound to say, that the social and moral condition of Japan has astonished me quite as much as its material beauty. Every man, from the Emperor (who never leaves his palace) to the humblest labourer, lives under a rigid rule, prescribed by law and custom combined; and the Government, through its numerous agents, among whom are hosts of spies, or more properly inspectors (for there is no secresy or concealment about this proceeding), exercises a close surveillance over the acts of each individual; but, in so far as one can judge, this system is not felt to be burdensome by any. All seem to think it the most natural thing in the world that they should move in the orbit in which they are placed. The agents of authority wear their two swords; but, as they never use them except for the purpose of ripping themselves up, the privilege does not seem to be felt to be invidious. My interpreter, a Dutchman, lent to me by the United States Consul-General, has been two years in the country, and he assures me that he never saw a Japanese in a passion, and never saw a parent beat a child. An inexhaustible fund of good temper seems to prevail in the community. Whenever in our discussions on business we get on rough ground, I always find that a joke brings us at once upon the level again. Yesterday, at a formal audience with the Foreign Ministers (to settle about the handing over of the yacht), they began to propose that, in addition to the Commissioners, I should allow some other officers (probably spies or inspectors) to be present at our discussions on the clauses of the Treaty. After treating this seriously for some moments, without settling it to their satisfaction, I at once carried the day, by saying laughingly, that as they were six to one already, they ought not to desire to have more chances in their favour. This provoked a counterlaugh and a compliment, and no more was said about the spies. When the Commissioners came yesterday afternoon to go through the clauses of the Treaty with me, I was much pleased with the manner in which they took to their work, raising questions and objections in a most business-like manner, but without the slightest appearance of captiousness or a desire to make difficulties. Their interpreter, Moriama, is a very good Dutch scholar, and, of course, being a remarkably shrewd gentleman withal, has a leading part in the proceedings; but all seem to take an intelligent share.

[Sidenote: Temples.]

I went into the temple of which this building forms a part, this morning. Two priests came up to me, knelt down, and laid before me two pages of paper, holding out to me at the some time the painting-brush and Indian inkstand, which is the inseparable companion of every Japanese, and making signs which I interpreted into a request that I would write down my name. I sat down on the floor, and complied with their request, which seemed to please them. The priests appear by no means so wretched here as in China, and the temples are in much better case. I have not, however, seen many of them.

[Sidenote: Political condition.]

It is difficult, of course, to speak positively of the political condition of a country of which one knows so little; but there seems to be a kind of feudal system in vigour here. The hereditary princes (Daimios), some 360 in number (I doubt much their being all equally powerful), exercise extensive jurisdiction in their respective domains. A Dutch officer, who visited one of these domains in a Japanese man-of-war, found that the chieftain would not allow even the officers of the Japanese Emperor to land on his territory. The only control which the Emperor exerts over them is derived from his requiring all their wives and families to live at Yeddo permanently. The Daimios themselves spend half the year in Yeddo, and the other half at their country places. The Supreme Council of State appears to be in a great measure named by the Daimios, and the recent change of Government is supposed to have been a triumph of the protectionist or anti-foreign party. There is no luxury or extravagance in any class. No jewels or gold ornaments even at Court; but the nobles have handsome palaces, and large bodies of retainers. A perfectly paternal government; a perfectly filial people; a community entirely self- supporting; peace within and without; no want; no ill-will between classes. This is what I find in Japan in the year 1858, after one hundred years' exclusion of foreign trade and foreigners. Twenty years hence, what will be the contrast?

August 27th.—Here I am at sea again. It is 9 P.M. I have just been on deck. A lovely moon, nearly full, gliding through cloudless blue, spangled here and there with bright twinkling stars. I begin to feel as if at last I was really on my way home. Both my treaties are made, and I am steering westwards! Is it so or am I to meet some great disappointment when I reach China? I feel a sort of terror when I contemplate my return to that place. My trip to Japan has been a green spot in the desert of my mission to the East.

[Sidenote: A temple.]
[Sidenote: A juggler.]

But I must tell you how I have been spending my days since the 22nd, when I last added a word to this letter. On the afternoon of that day, I had a long sitting with the Japanese Plenipotentiaries, and we went over the clauses of the Treaty which we had not reached on the previous day. On the 23rd they returned, and we agreed finally on all the articles. It was also settled that the signature should take place on the 26th (the very day two months after the signature of the Treaty of Tientsin), and that the delivery of the yacht should take place on the same day; the Japanese agreeing to salute the British flag with twenty-one guns from their batteries—a proceeding unheard of in Japan. On the 24th, we took a ride into the country, in the opposite direction to our former ride. We passed through a long suburb on the shore of the sea, and eventually emerged into a rural district, rich and neat as that we had formerly visited; but as the country was flat, it was hardly so interesting. The object of our visit was a temple, far the finest I have seen either in China or Japan. We had some luncheon in a tea-house, and got back at about 7 P.M. On the 25th, we went to another temple, through the most crowded part of the city (where we were stoned before). We were followed by large multitudes, but nothing disagreeable took place. At the temple we found a scene somewhat resembling Greenwich Fair. Immense numbers of people amusing themselves in all sorts of ways. Stalls covered with toys and other wares; kiosques for tea; show places, &c. &c. Life seems an affair of enjoyment in Japan. We made some purchases, and got home by about 5 P.M., in order to receive a party. I had invited the Imperial Commissioners to dine with me, and requested that they would send a juggler to perform before dinner. They tried to fight shy after having accepted, I suppose because they considered it infra dig. to attend at the performance of the juggler; but they came at last, and enjoyed the dinner part of the affair thoroughly. The juggler was good, but one particular feat was beyond praise. He twisted a bit of paper into the shape of a butterfly, and kept it hovering and fluttering, lighting here or there, on a fan which he held in his other hand, on a bunch of flowers, &c.,—all by the action on the air, produced by a fan which he held in the right hand. At one time he started two butterflies, and kept them both on the wing. It was the most graceful trick I ever saw, and entirely an affair of skill, not trick. The juggler was succeeded by the dinner, which I wound up by giving sundry toasts, with all the honours, to the great amusement of my Commissioners. Thursday morning was occupied in paying bills, which was a most difficult matter, as the Government will not allow the people to take money in the shops, and the complication of accounts was very great. The accuracy of the Japanese in these matters is, however, very great.

[Sidenote: Signing the Treaty]

At 1 P.M. the Commissioners came to sign the Treaty. We have agreed to make the Dutch copy the original, as it is the language both parties understand. The Dutch copy, written by their man Moriama, was so beautifully written, that I have kept it to send to England. After the signature, I lunched on a dinner sent me by the Emperor; not so bad, after all. About 3 P.M. I set off to go on board the 'Emperor' yacht, which I reached at about 5; immediately after which the Japanese fort saluted the British flag with twenty-one guns (ten-inch guns); as good a salute as I ever heard, an exact interval of ten seconds between each gun. The Japanese flag was then hoisted on the 'Emperor,' and saluted by the 'Retribution' and 'Furious' with twenty-one guns each. We ended the day with a collation on board the 'Retribution,' and trip in the 'Emperor;' and as I was pacing the deck of the 'Furious,' before retiring to rest, after my labours were over, to my great surprise I observed that the forts were illuminated! Imagine our daring exploit of breaking through every consigne, and coming up to Yeddo, having ended in an illumination of the forts in our honour! At 4 A.M. this morning we weighed anchor, and are now some 140 miles on our way to Shanghae.

[Sidenote: Articles of the Treaty.]

The principal advantages secured to England by this Treaty, so amicably and rapidly settled, were the following:—

Power to appoint a Diplomatic Agent to reside at Yeddo, and Consuls at the open ports;

Ample recognition of Consular jurisdiction and of the immunities of exterritoriality;

The opening to British subjects, at specified periods, of several of the most important ports and cities of Japan;

Power to land and store supplies for the use of the British navy at
Kanagawa, Hakodadi, and Nagasaki, without payment of duty;

Power to British subjects to buy from and sell to Japanese subjects directly, without the intervention of the Japanese authorities;

Foreign coin to pass for corresponding weights of Japanese coin of the same description;

Abolition of tonnage and transit dues;

Reduction of duties on exports from 35 per cent. to a general rate of 5 per cent. ad valorem.

The concessions obtained from the Japanese by the Treaty of Yeddo were not, in some important particulars, so considerable as those which had been made by China in the Treaty of Tientsin. It was, however, a material advance on all previous treaties with Japan, and it opened the door to the gradual establishment of relations of commerce and amity between the people of the West and that of Japan, which might become, as Lord Elgin hoped and believed, of the most cordial and intimate character, 'if the former did not, by injudicious and aggressive acts, rouse against themselves the fears and hostility of the natives.'

[Sidenote: Retrospect.]

August 30th.—Eleven A.M.—We are again plunging into the China Sea, and quitting the only place which I have left with any feeling of regret since I reached this abominable East,—abominable, not so much in itself, as because it is strewed all over with the records of our violence and fraud, and disregard of right. The exceeding beauty external of Japan, and its singular moral and social picturesqueness, cannot but leave a pleasing impression on the mind. One feels as if the position of a Daimio in Japan might not be a bad one, with two or three millions of vassals; submissive, but not servile, because there is no contradiction between their sense of fitness and their position.

[1] Not so, however, in the actual work of negotiating. In a despatch of later date he writes: 'I was much struck by the business-like manner in which they did their work; making very shrewd observations, and putting very pertinent questions, but by no means in a captious or cavilling spirit. Of course their criticisms were sometimes the result of imperfect acquaintance with foreign affairs, and it was occasionally necessary to remove their scruples by alterations in the text which were not improvements; but on the whole, I am bound to say that I never treated with persons who seemed to me, within the limits of their knowledge, to be more reasonable.'—See also infra, p. 270.



[Sidenote: Delays.]

Arriving at Shanghae on the 2nd of September, Lord Elgin found that the Imperial Commissioners whom he came to meet had not yet appeared, and were not expected for four or five weeks. All this time, therefore, he was obliged to remain idle at Shanghae, hearing from time to time news from Canton which made his presence there desirable, but unable to proceed thither till the arrangements respecting the Treaty were completed.

Shanghae.—Sunday, September 5th.—I wish to be off for England: but I dread leaving my mission unfinished…. I feel, therefore, that I am doomed to a month or six weeks more of China.

September 6th.—It is very weary work staying here really doing for the moment little. But what is to be done? It will not do to swallow the cow and worry at the tail. I have been looking over the files of newspapers, and those of Hong-Kong teem with abuse;—this, notwithstanding the fact that I have made a Treaty which exceeds everything the most imaginative ever hoped for. The truth is, they do not really like the opening of China. They fear that their monopoly will be interfered with.

September 11th.—I am amused with the confident way in which the ladies here talk of going home after five years with fortunes made. They live in the greatest luxury,—in a tolerable climate, and think it very hard if they are not rich enough to retire in five years…. I do not know of any business in any part of the world that yields returns like this. No wonder they dislike the opening of China, which may interfere with them.

[Sidenote: Arrival of Commissioners.]

It was not till the 4th of October that the arrival was announced of the Imperial Commissioners, including among their number his old friends Kweiliang and Hwashana. While they were on the road, circumstances had come to Lord Elgin's knowledge which gave him reason to fear that they might be disposed to call in question some of the privileges conceded under the Treaty, and that they might found on the still unsettled state of affairs in the South a hope of succeeding in this attempt. He thought it better to dispel all such illusions at once, by taking a high and peremptory tone upon the latter subject. Accordingly, when his formal complaint against Hwang, the Governor-General of the Two Kiang, for keeping up hostilities in spite of the Treaty, was met by a promise to stop this for the future by proclamation, he refused to accept this promise, and demanded the removal of Hwang and the suppression of a Committee which had been formed for the enrolment of volunteers; intimating at the same time, through a private channel, that unless he obtained full satisfaction on the Canton question, it was by no means improbable that he might return to Tientsin, and from that point, or at Pekin itself, require the Emperor to keep his engagements. This had the desired effect. The Commissioners at once undertook, not only to issue a pacific proclamation couched in becoming terms, but also to memorialise the Emperor for the recall of the Governor- General, and the withdrawal of all powers from the Committee of Braves. It may be added, that the immediate success which attended the proclamation afforded striking confirmation of what Lord Elgin had always said, that the best way of suppressing provincial disturbances was by bringing pressure to bear on the Imperial power.

[Sidenote: Subterfuges,]
[Sidenote: defeated by firmness.]

Shanghae.—Sunday, October 10th.—We have not done much yet, which is the cause of my having written less than usual during the last few days. I have reason to suspect that the Commissioners came here with some hope that they might make difficulties about 'some of the concessions obtained in the Treaty, with a kind of notion perhaps that they might continue to bully us at Canton. If I had departed, I think it probable enough that everything would have been thrown into confusion, and the grand result of proving that my Treaty was waste paper might have been attained. I have thought it necessary to take steps to stop this sort of thing at once, so I have sent some very peremptory letters to the Commissioners about Canton, refusing to have anything to say to them till I am satisfied on this point, &c. I have also, through a secret channel, had the hint conveyed to them, that if they do not give me full satisfaction at once I am capable of going off to Tientsin again,—a move which would no doubt cost their heads to both Kweiliang and Hwashana. I have already extorted from them a proclamation announcing the Treaty, and I have now demanded that they shall remove the Governor-General of the Canton provinces from office, and suppress the War Committee of the gentry.

October 16th.—Yes, the report of the conclusion of a Treaty which was conveyed so rapidly overland to St. Petersburg was true, and yet I am not on my way home!… Do not think that I am indifferent to this delay. It is however, for the moment, inevitable. Everything would have been lost if I had left China. The violence and ill-will which exist in Hong-Kong are something ludicrous…. As it is, matters are going on very fairly with the Imperial Commissioners, and I expect an official visit from them this day at noon. The English mail arrived yesterday…. The visit of the Commissioners went off very well. I think that they have accepted the situation, and intend to make the best of it.

October 19th.—Yesterday I returned the visit of the Commissioners, going in state, with a guard, &c., into the city. We had a Chinese repast—birds'-nest soup, sharks' fins, &c. I tried to put them at their ease, after our disagreeable encounters at Tientsin. They seemed disposed to be conversable and friendly. The Governor-General of this province, who is one of them, is considered a very clever man, and he appears to have rather a notion of taking a go-ahead policy with foreigners.

[Sidenote: The tariff.]

The chief matter that remained to be arranged was the settlement of certain trade-regulations, supplemental to the Treaty, involving a complete revision of the tariff.

[Sidenote: The opium trade.]

A tariff is not usually a matter of general interest; but this tariff is of more than mere commercial importance, as having for the first time regulated, and therefore legalised, the trade in opium.[1] Hitherto this article had been mentioned in no treaty, but had been left to the operation of the Chinese municipal law, which prohibited it altogether. But the Chinese would have it; there was no lack of foreign traders, chiefly British and American, ready to run the risk of smuggling it for the sake of the large profits to be made upon it; and the custom-house officials, both natives and foreign inspectors, hardly even kept up the farce of pretending to ignore the fact. At one port, indeed, the authorities exacted from the opium traders a sort of hush-money, equivalent to a tax about 6 per cent. ad valorem. It might well be said that 'the evils of this illegal, connived at, and corrupting traffic could hardly be overstated; that it was degrading alike to the producer, the importer, the official, whether foreign or Chinese, and the purchaser.'

To remedy these evils two courses were open. One was effective prohibition, with the assistance of the Foreign Powers; but this, the Chinese Commissioners admitted, was practically hopeless, mainly owing to the inveterate appetite of their people for the drug. The other remained: regulation and restriction, by the imposition of as high a duty as could be maintained without giving a stimulus to smuggling. It was not without much consideration that Lord Elgin adopted the latter alternative; and it was a great satisfaction to him that his views on this subject were ultimately shared by Mr. Reed, the Envoy of the United States, who had come to the country with the intention of supporting the opposite opinion.

In the course of the conferences on these points, which were carried on in the most friendly spirit, Lord Elgin induced the Commissioners to make a separate agreement that he should be permitted, irrespectively of the conditions imposed by the Treaty, to make an expedition up the great river Yangtze Kiang; a permission of which he gladly availed himself, not only for the sake of exploring a new and most interesting country, but even more with the view of marking how entirely and cordially his Treaty was accepted.

Shanghae.—November 2nd.—You will, I am sure, see how necessary it has been for me to protract my stay to this time. The systematic endeavour to make it appear that my work was a failure could be counteracted only by my own presence. The papers, &c., from England are complimentary enough about the Treaty, but some of the accounts which have gone home are somewhat exaggerated, and perhaps there will be a reaction…. More particularly, I find a hope expressed that we have plundered the wretched Chinese to a greater extent than is the case…. Meanwhile, I have achieved one object, which will be, I think, the crowning act of my mission. I have arranged with the Imperial Commissioners that I am to proceed up the river Yangtze. The Treaty only provides that it shall be open when the Rebels have left it. I daresay this will give rise to comments. If so, I shall have anticipated them, by going up the river myself. I shall take with me my own squadron (what I had in Japan). The weather is beautiful; quite cool enough for comfort. We shall visit a region which has never been seen, except by a stray missionary. I shall lose by this move some three weeks, but I do not think they will be really lost, because it will give so very complete a demonstration of the acceptance of the Treaty by the Chinese authorities, that even Hong-Kong will be silenced.

November 6th.—I hoped to have started to-day, but am obliged to put off till Monday, as the tariff is not yet ready for signature. I grieve over every day lost, which protracts our separation. I see that in the very flattering article of the Times of September 7th, which you quote, it is implied that when I signed the Treaty, I had done my work, and that the responsibility of seeing that it was carried out rests with others. If this be true—and you will no doubt think so—I might have returned at once, at least after Japan. But is it true? Could I, in fairness to my country, or, in what I trust you believe comes second in the rank of motives with me, to my own reputation, leave the work which I had undertaken unfinished?… Besides, I own that I have a conscientious feeling on the subject. I am sure that in our relations with these Chinese we have acted scandalously, and I would not have been a party to the measures of violence which have taken place, if I had not believed that I could work out of them some good for them. Could I leave this, the really noblest part of my task, to be worked out by others? Anyone could have obtained the Treaty of Tientsin. What was really meritorious was, that it should have been obtained at so small a cost of human suffering. But this is also what discredits it in the eyes of many, of almost all here. If we had carried on war for some years; if we had carried misery and desolation all over the Empire; it would have been thought quite natural that the Emperor should have been reduced to accept the terms imposed upon him at Tientsin. But to do all this by means of a demonstration at Tientsin! The announcement was received with a yell of derision by connoisseurs and baffled speculators in tea. And indeed there was some ground for scepticism. It would have been very easy to manage matters here, so as to bring into question all the privileges which we had acquired by that Treaty. Even then we should have gained a great deal by it; because when we came to assert those rights by force, we should have had a good, instead of a bad casus belli. But I was desirous, if possible, to avoid the necessity for further recurrence to force; and it required some skill to do this. This has been my motive for protracting my stay.

[Sidenote: The tariff signed.]

H.M.S. 'Furious.'—November 8th.—I write a line to tell you that I got over the signature of my tariff, &c., very satisfactorily this morning, and set off in peace with all men, including Chinese Plenipotentiaries, and colleagues European and American, on my way up the Yangtze Kiang. We are penetrating into unknown regions, but I trust shortly to be able to report to you my return, and all the novelties I shall have seen.

[Sidenote: Afloat on the Yangtze Kiang.]

This morning at ten, I went to a temple which lies exactly between the foreign settlement and the Chinese town of Shanghae, to meet there the Imperial Commissioners, and to sign the tariff. We took with us the photographs which Jocelyn had done for them, and which we had framed. They were greatly delighted, and altogether my poor friends seemed in better spirits than I had before seen them in. We passed from photography to the electric telegraph, and I represented to them the great advantage which the Emperor would derive from it in so extensive an empire as China; how it would make him present in all the provinces, &c. They seemed to enter into the subject. The conference lasted rather more than an hour. After it, I returned to the consulate, taking a tender adieu of Gros By the way. I embarked at 1, and got under weigh at 2 P.M…. The tide was very strong against us, so we have not made much way, but we are really in the Yangtze river. We have moored between two flats with trees upon them; the mainland on the left, and an island (Bush Island), recently formed from the mud of the river, on the right. Though the earth has been uninteresting, it has not been so with the sky, for the dark shades of night, which have been gathering and thickening on the right have been confronted on the left by the brightest imaginable star, and the thinnest possible crescent moon, both resting on a couch of deep and gradually deepening crimson. I have been pacing the bridge between the paddle-boxes, contemplating this scene, until we dropped our anchor, and I came down to tell you of this my first experience of the Yangtze. And what will the sum of those experiences be? We are going into an unknown region, along a river which, beyond Nankin, has not been navigated by Europeans. We are to make our way through the lines of those strange beings the Chinese Rebels. We are to penetrate beyond them to cities, of the magnitude and population of which fabulous stories are told; among people who have never seen Western men; who have probably heard the wildest reports of us; to whom we shall assuredly be stranger than they can possibly be to us. What will the result be? Will it be a great disappointment, or will its interest equal the expectations it raises? Probably before this letter is despatched to you, it will contain an answer more or less explicit to these questions.

Sunday, November 14th.—Six P.M.—We have just dropped anchor, some eighty miles from Woosung. I wish that you had been with me on this evening's trip. You would have enjoyed it. During the earlier part of the afternoon we were going on merrily together. The two gunboats ahead, the 'Furious' and 'Retribution' abreast, sometimes one, sometimes the other, taking the lead. After awhile we (the 'Furious') put out our strength, and left gunboats and all behind. When the sun had passed the meridian, the masts and sails were a protection from his rays, and as he continued to drop towards the water right ahead of us, he strewed our path, first with glittering silver spangles, then with roses, then with violets, through all of which we sped ruthlessly. The banks still flat, until the last part of the trip, when we approached some hills on the left, not very lofty, but clearly defined, and with a kind of dreamy softness about them, which reminded one of Egypt. Altogether, it was impossible to have had anything more charming in the way of yachting; the waters a perfect calm, or hardly crisped by the breeze that played on their surface. We rather wish for more wind, as the 'Cruiser' cannot keep up without a little help of that kind.

[Sidenote: Aground.]
[Sidenote: Silver Island.]

November 16th.—Noon.—A bad business. We were running through a narrow channel which separates Silver Island from the mainland, in very deep water, when all of a sudden we were brought up short, and the ship rolled two or three times right and left, in a way which reminded me of a roll which we had in the 'Ava' immediately after starting from Calcutta. On that occasion we saw beside us the tops of the masts of a ship, and were told it had struck on the same sand- bank, and gone down about an hour before. Our obstacle on this occasion is a rock; a very small one, for we have deep water all around us. However, here we are. I hope our ship will not suffer from the strain. It is curious that in this narrow pass, where fifty ships went through and returned in 1842, this rock should exist and never have been discovered. Six P.M.—The sun has just set among a crowd of mountains which bound the horizon ahead of us, and in such a blaze of fiery light that earth and sky in his neighbourhood have been all too glorious to look upon. Standing out in advance on the edge of this sea of molten gold, is a solitary rock, about a quarter of the size of the Bass, which goes by the name of Golden Island, and serves as the pedestal of a tall pagoda. I never saw a more beautiful scene, or a more magnificent sunset; but alas! we see it under rather melancholy circumstances, for after six hours of trying in all sorts of ways to get off, we are as fast aground as ever. We are now lightening the ship. Silver Island is a kind of sacred island like Potou, but very much smaller.[2] I went ashore, and walked over it with a bonze, who conversed with Lay. He told us that the people in the neighbourhood are very poor, and will be glad that foreigners should come and trade with them. The bonzes here are much like their brethren of Potou, the most wretched-looking of human beings. Our friend told us that they have no books or occupation of any kind. Four times a day they go through their prayers. He had twelve bald spots on his head, which, were the record of so many vows he had taken to abstain from so many vices, which he enumerated. I gave them five dollars when I left the island, which seemed to astonish them greatly. I asked him what would happen if he broke his vows. He said that he would be beaten and sent away. If he kept them he hoped to become in time a Buddha.

November 17th.—Six P.M.—After taking 150 tons out of the ship, we have just made an attempt to get her off—in vain. The glorious sun has again set, holding out to us the same attractions in the west as yesterday, in vain! Here we remain, as motionless as the rock on which we are perched. I have not been quite idle, however. I landed about noon on the shore opposite Silver Island, and walked about three miles to the town of Chin-kiang. It was taken by us in the last war, and sadly maltreated, but since then it has been captured by the Rebels and re-captured by the Imperialists. I could hardly have imagined such a scene of desolation. I do not think there is a house that is not a ruin. I believe the population used to be about 300,000, but now I suppose it cannot exceed a few hundreds. The people are really, I believe, glad to see us. They hope we may give them free trade and protection from the Rebels. A commodore and post-captain in the Chinese navy came off to us this afternoon. They were very civil, offering to do anything for us they could. They tell us we can go in this ship to Hankow and the Poyang Lake. We have found another rock beside us, and only think that this should not have been known by our Navy!

[Sidenote: Afloat again.]

November 18th.—Eight P.M.—At about 6 P.M. I was crossing on a plank over a gully, on my return from an expedition to Golden Island, when three rounds of cheers from the 'Furious,' about a mile off, struck my ear. Three rounds of cheers, followed by as many from the other ships. She was off the rock! Some 250 tons were taken out, and when the tide rose she came off—nothing the worse! and our time has not been quite lost, for this is an interesting place, if only because of the insight which it gives into the proceedings of the Rebels. Golden Island is about five miles from here. It was a famous Buddhist sanctuary, and contained their most valuable library. Its temples are now a ruin.

November 20th.—Noon.—Yesterday I took a long walk, not marked by any noteworthy incidents. We went into some of the cottages of the small farmers. In one we found some men smoking opium. They said that they smoked about 80 cash (fourpence) worth a day: that their wages when they worked for hire were 120 cash (sixpence). The opium was foreign (Indian): the native was not good. I asked how they could provide for their wives and families if they spent so much on opium. They said they had land, generally from two to three acres apiece. They paid about a tenth of the produce as a tax. They were very good- humoured, and delighted to talk to Wade and Lay. They appear to welcome us more here than in other places I have visited in China.

[Sidenote: Fired on from Nankin.]

Eight P.M.—We have been under fire. The orders given on our approach to Nankin were, that the 'Lee' should go in advance; that if fired on, she should hoist a flag of truce; if the flag of truce was fired on, she was not to return the fire until ordered to do so. It was a lovely evening, and the sun was sinking rapidly as we approached Nankin, the 'Lee' about a mile in advance. I was watching her, and saw her pass the greater part of the batteries in front of the town. I was just making up my mind that all was to go off quietly, when a puff of smoke appeared from a fort, followed by the booming of a cannon. The 'Lee' on this hoisted her white flag in vain; seven more shots were fired from the forts at her before she returned them. Then, to be sure, we began all along the line, all the forts firing at us as we came within their range. I was on the paddlebox-bridge till a shot passed very nearly over our heads, and Captain Osborn advised me to go down. We were struck seven times; one of the balls making its way into my cabin. In our ship nobody was hit; but there was one killed and two badly wounded in the 'Retribution.' We have passed the town; but I quite agree with the naval authorities, that we cannot leave the matter as it now stands. If we were to do so, the Chinese would certainly say they had had the best of it, and on our return we might be still more seriously attacked. It is determined, therefore, that to-morrow we shall set to work and demolish some of the forts that have insulted us. I hope the Rebels will make some communication, and enable us to explain that we mean them no harm; but it is impossible to anticipate what these stupid Chinamen will do.

[Sidenote: Retribution.]

November 21st.—Eleven A.M.—We had about an hour and a half of it this morning. We began at 6 A.M. at the nearest fort, and went on to two or three others. We pounded them pretty severely, and very few shots were fired in return. They seemed to have exhausted themselves in last night's attack. As soon as my naval chiefs thought that we had done enough for our honour, I begged them to go on, as I did not want to have to hand over the town to the Imperialists, who are hemming it round on every side. I am sorry that we should have been forced to do what we have done; but I do not think we could have acted with greater circumspection…. A set of Imperialist junks set to work to fire at the town as we were leaving off, throwing their shot from a most wonderfully safe distance.

[Sidenote: Apologies.]

November 22nd.—Last night a letter came off from our 'humble younger brother' (the Rebel chief), praying us to join them in annihilating the 'demons' (Imperialists). I sent them in reply a sort of proclamation which I had prepared in the morning, intimating that we had come up the river pacifically; had punished the Nankin forts for having insulted us, from which persons repeating the experiment would learn what they had to expect. Later at night a present of twelve fowls and two pieces of red bunting came to the river bank, from some villagers, I believe. When Captain Ward was on shore surveying, two Chinamen came to him, stating that an express had come from Nankin to say that the attack on us was a mistake, and we were taken for Imperialists, &c. &c. I hope, therefore, that we shall have no more trouble of this description.

[Sidenote: Woohoo.]

November 23rd.—Six P.M.—Arrived off Woohoo at about 3 P.M. We passed the town, and anchored just above it. It is in the hands of the Rebels, but no hostility was shown to us. Wade has been on shore to communicate with the chiefs, who are very civil, but apparently a low set of Cantonese. The place where he landed is a kind of entrenched camp; the town about three miles distant. An Imperialist fleet is moored a few miles up the river. I sent Lay to communicate with the commanding officer, and he recommends the 'Retribution' to go a little farther on to a place in the possession of the Imperialists.

[Sidenote: Rebel warfare.]

November 24th.—Ten A.M.—We set off this morning at about 6 A.M. In passing the fleet we begged from the commander the loan of a pilot. He proves to be a Cantonese, so that the active spirits on both sides seem to come from that quarter. We asked him why the Imperialists do not take Woohoo. He says they have no guns of a sufficient size to do anything against the forts, but that about twice a month they have a fight on shore. They cut off the heads of Rebels, and vice versâ, when they catch each other, which does not seem to happen very often. The war, in short, seems to be carried on in a very soft manner, but it must do a great deal of mischief to the country. While I was dressing I was called out of my cabin to see a fight going on, on the right bank of the river. The Rebels occupied some hills, where they were waving flags gallantly, and the Imperialists were below them in a plain. We saw only two or three cannon shots fired while we passed. As things are carried on, one does not see why this war should not last for ever. My friends, the Commissioners, seem to have acted in good faith towards me, for the Chinese naval authorities all inform me that they had been forewarned of our coming, and ordered to treat us with every courtesy.

[Sidenote: The Imperial fleet.]

November 25th.—Ten A.M.—We have just passed a bit of scenery on our left, which reminds me of Ardgowan,—a range of lofty hills in the background, broken up by deep valleys and hillocks covered with trees; dark-green fir, and hard wood tinted with Canadian autumn colours, running up towards it from the river. With two or three thousand acres—what a magnificent situation for a park! There are so many islets in this river that it is not easy to speak of its breadth, but its channel still continues deep, and, with occasional exceptions, navigable without difficulty. Six P.M.—A very pretty spectacle closed this day. The sun was dropping into the western waters before us as we approached a place called Tsong-yang, on the left bank. We knew it was the station of an Imperial fleet, and as we neared it we found about thirty or forty warjunks, crowded with men and dressed in their gaudiest colours. Flags of every variety and shape. On one junk we counted twenty-one. You cannot imagine a prettier sight. We anchored, supposing that the authorities might come off to us. As yet, however, they have shown no disposition to do so. I presume, however, that the display is a compliment. Figure to yourself the gala I have described at the mouth of a broad stream running at right angles to the river Yangtze, and up which the town lies, about two miles off— the river, plains, town and all, surrounded by an amphitheatre of lofty hills—and you will have an idea of the scene in the midst of which we are anchored, and from which, the golden tints of sunset are now gradually fading away.

[Sidenote: Under fire again.]

November 26th.—Noon.—We have just had another sample of this very unedifying Chinese warfare. About an tour ago we came off the city of Nganching, the capital of the province of Aganhoci—the last station (so we are assured) in the hands of the Rebels. As we neared a pagoda, surrounded by a crenelated wall, we were fired upon two or three times. We thought it necessary to resent this affront by peppering the place for about ten minutes. We then moved slowly past the town, unassaulted till we reached the farther corner, when the idiots had the temerity to fire again. This brought us a second time into action. It is a sorry business this fighting with the people who are so little a match; but I do not suppose we did them much harm, and it was, I presume, necessary to teach them that they had better leave us alone. Osborn, who was aloft, saw from that point a curious scene. The Imperialists (probably taking advantage of our vicinity) were advancing on the town from the land side in skirmishing order, waving their flags and gambolling as usual. The Pagoda Rebels ran out of it as soon as we began to fire, and found themselves tumbling into the arms of the Imperialists. We passed this morning a narrow rocky passage, otherwise the navigation has been easy.

[Sidenote: A pilot.]

Six P.M.—Anchored off Tunglow, a walled town, nicely situated on the river. The sun is sinking to his repose through a mist, red and round, like a great ball of fire. The pilot is the most vivacious Chinaman I have seen,—inquiring about everything, proposing to go to England, like a Japanese. It was from the naval commander at Kiewhein that we got him. Lay was present when the commodore sent for him. He fell on his knees. The chief informed him that he must go up the river with us, and pilot us. 'That is a public service,' says the man, 'and if your Excellency desires it I must go; but I would humbly submit that I have a mother and sister who must be provided for in my absence.' 'Certainly,' said the chief. 'Then,' answered our man, 'I am ready;' and without further a-do he got into the boat with Lay and came off to us.

November 27th.—Eight A.M.—We started well, but there is such a fog that we are obliged to stop till it clears. Our pilot went ashore last night at Tunglow, and has returned with the front part of his head cleanly shaved. I asked him what the people had thought of our appearance. He answered that they were greatly afraid lest we should fire upon them, and their hearts at first went pit-a-pat; but when they heard from him how well we treated him, and that we were no friends to the Rebels, they said 'Poussa' ('that's Buddha's doing' or 'thank God').

[Sidenote: Sand storm.]

November 28th.—Eleven A.M.—The morning began as usual: calm, fair, and hazy. At about nine it began to blow, and gradually rose to a gale, causing our river ripple to mimic ocean waves, and the dust and sand to fly before us in clouds, obscuring earth and sky. About ten we approached a mountain range, which had been for some time looming on the horizon. We found we had to pass through a channel of about a quarter of a mile wide; on our left, a series of barren hills, bold and majestic-looking in the mist; on the right, a solitary rock, steep, conical-shaped, and about 300 feet high. On the side of it a Buddhist temple, perched like a nest. The hills on the left were crowned by walls and fortifications built some time ago by the Rebels, and running over them in all manner of zigzag and fantastic directions. I have seldom seen a more striking bit of scenery. When we had passed through we found more hills, with intervals of plains, in one of which lay the district city of Tongtze, enclosed by walls which run along the top of the hills surrounding it. The inhabitants crowded to the shore to witness the strange apparition of foreign vessels.

[Sidenote: The 'Hen Barrier.']

I mentioned a rocky passage through which we passed on the morning of the 26th. Ellis, in his account of Lord Amherst's Embassy, speaks of it as a place of great difficulty. A series of rocks like stepping- stones run over a great part, and the passage is obtained by sticking close to the left bank. Our pilot tells us that it is named the 'Hen Barrier,' and for the following reason: Once on a time, there dwelt on the right bank an evil spirit, in the guise of a rock, shaped like a hen. This evil spirit coveted some of the good land on the opposite side, and proceeded to cross, blocking up the stream on her way. The good spirits, in consternation, applied to a bonze, who, after some reflection, bethought himself of a plan for arresting the mischief. He set to work to crow like a cock. The hen rock, supposing that it was the voice of her mate, turned round to look. The spell was instantly broken. She dropped into the stream, and the natives, indignant at her misdeeds, proceeded into it and cut off her head!

I have been skimming over a Chinese book, translated by Stanislas Julien: the travels of a Buddhist. It is full of legends of the character of that which I have now narrated.

[Sidenote: Peasants.]

November 29th.—12.30 P.M.—We have been very near the bank this morning. I see more cattle on the farms than in other parts of China. They are generally buffaloes, used for agricultural purposes; and when out at pasture, a little boy is usually perched on the back of each to keep it from straying. Six P.M.—I went ashore to pass the time, and got into conversation with some of the peasants. One man told us that he had about three acres of land, which yielded him about twenty piculs (1-1/3 ton) of pulse or grain annually, worth about forty dollars. His tax amounted to about three-fourths of a dollar. There was a school in the hamlet. Children attending it paid about two dollars a year. But many were too poor to send their children to school. We went into another cottage. It was built of reeds on the bare ground. In a recess screened off were two young men lying on the ground, with their lamp between them, smoking opium.

[Sidenote: Unknown waters.]
[Sidenote: Kew-kiang.]

November 30th.—We are now in waters which no Englishman, as far as is known, has ever seen. Lord Amherst passed into the Poyang Lake through the channel I described yesterday, and so on to Canton. We are proceeding up the river Yangtze. Hue came down this route, but by land. I mentioned the sand-drifts two days ago. Some of the hills here look like the sand-hills of Egypt, from the layers of sand with which they are covered. What with inundations in summer and sand-drifts in winter, this locality must have some drawbacks as a residence. Noon.—Anchored again. We have before us in sight the pagoda of Kew- kiang; one of the principal points which we proposed to reach when we embarked on this expedition…. We have not much to hope for from our Chinese pilot. Our several mishaps have disheartened him. He said to- day with a sigh, when reminded that we had found no passage in the channel he had specially recommended: 'The ways of waters are like those of men, one day here, another there, who can tell!'—a promising frame of mind for one's guide in this intricate navigation! Five P.M.—We found a channel in about an hour, and came on swimmingly to Kew-kiang. From the water it looked imposing enough. An enclosing wall of about five miles in circuit, and in tolerable condition. I landed at 3 P.M. What a scene of desolation within the wall! It seems to have suffered even more than Chin-kiang Foo. A single street running through a wilderness of weeds and ruins. The people whom we questioned said the Rebels did it all. The best houses we found were outside the city in the suburb. We were of course very strange in a town where the European dress has never been seen, but the people were as usual perfectly good-natured, delighted to converse with Lay, and highly edified by his jokes. We did some commissariat business. We had with us only Mexican dollars, and when we offered them at the first shop the man said he did not like them as he did not know them. Lay said, 'Come to the ship and we will give you Sycee instead.' 'See how just they are,' said a man in the crowd to his neighbour; 'they do not force their coin upon him.' This kind of ready recognition of moral worth is quite Chinese, and nothing will convince me that a people who have this quality so marked are to be managed only by brutality and violence.

[Sidenote: Difficult navigation.]
[Sidenote: Highland scenery.]

December 1st.—1.30 P.M.—We have just anchored. About an hour ago, we turned sharply to our left, and found on that hand a series of red sand-bluffs leading to a range of considerable blue hills which faced us in the distance; the river, as has been the case since we left the Rebel country, was covered with small country junks, and here and there a mandarin one, covered with flags, and with its highly-polished brass gun in the prow. The scene had become more interesting, but the navigation more difficult, for the gunboats began hoisting '3' and '4,' and all manner of ominous numbers. So we had: 'Hands to the port anchor,' 'slower,' and 'as slow as possible,' 'a turn astern,' and after a variety of fluctuations, 'drop the anchor.' Six P.M.—We had to go a short way back, and to pass, moreover, a very shallow bit of the river; that done we went on briskly, and bore down upon the mountain range which we descried in the forenoon. At about four we came up to it and turned to the right, with the mountains on our left and the town of Wooseuh on our right, while the setting sun, glowing as ever, was throwing his parting rays over one of the most beautiful scenes I ever witnessed. The whole population crowded to the river bank to see this wonderful apparition of the barbarian fire-ships. The hills rising from the water had a kind of Loch Katrine look. We have made some thirty-five miles to-day, but have still, I fear, about 100 to go.

December 2d.—Eleven A.M.—A very prosperous forenoon. Mountains soon rose to the right, similar to those on the left. We cut our way through deep calm water, amid these hills of grey rock and fir woods, for some three hours and might really have imagined ourselves in the finest loch scenery of the Highlands. Numbers of little boats dotted the river, and moved off respectfully to the right and left as we approached. At about ten we passed out of the mountain range, and soon after neared Chechow, from which the population seemed to be moving, as we inferred from the numbers of small-footed women hobbling along the bank with their household effects. We were boarded by a mandarin- boat, the officer of which informed me that he had been sent by the Governor-General to pay his respects. He said that the Rebels were at no great distance, and the people were flying for fear of their attacking the town. He added, however, that they (the Imperialists) had a large force of cavalry in the neighbourhood, and that they would check the exodus of the inhabitants. Between Imperialists and Rebels, the people must have a nice time of it. His best piece of news was that we are only about fifty miles from Hankow. I trust that it may be so, for, despite my love of adventure, I shall be glad when we are able to turn back and proceed homewards.

[Sidenote: Popular view of the religion of the Rebels.]

The reason which the pilot assigns for the destruction of the temples by the Rebels is the following: 'At present,' says he, 'the rich have a great advantage over the poor. They can afford to spend a great deal more in joss-sticks and other offerings, so that, of course, the gods show them a very undue allowance of favour. The Rebels, who do not approve of these invidious distinctions, get rid of them by destroying the temples altogether.' This is evidently a popular version of the religious character of the Rebel movement. A Buddhist priest, whom I saw at Kew-kiang, said that the Rebels had destroyed some forty temples there. 'They do not worship in temples,' he said, 'but they have a worship of their own.' The room in which Mr. Wade saw the Rebel chief at Woo-how was said to be their place of worship. It had no altar, nor anything to distinguish it as such.

December 4th.—Six P.M.—Anchored again for the night, not half a mile farther than yesterday. An island in process of formation, covered at high water, separates the two anchorages. We had to go back, &c., and ended the day's work by getting through a very tight place in a most masterly manner; leadsmen sounding at the bow and stern, as well as at the two paddles, and the 'Lee' and 'Cruiser' stationed as pivots at the edges of the shoal. We had to perform a sort of letter S round them, and we passed by the latter so near, that we might have shaken hands with the crew. I should be amused with these triumphs, were it not for the reflection that we have to repeat them all in returning, with a favouring current, which will make our task more difficult.

[Sidenote: Hankow.]

December 6th.—Three P.M.—At Hankow; four weeks, almost to a minute, since we left Shanghae. We have brought this ship to a point about 600 miles from the sea,—a feat, I should think, unprecedented for a vessel of this size. We have reached the heart of the commerce of China. At first sight, I am disappointed in the magnitude of the place. I am anchored off the mouth of the river Han, which separates Hankow and Han-yang on the left bank of the Yangtze. On its right bank is Ouchang Foo. I do not see room for the eight millions of people, at which rumour puts the population of these three towns. The scene is very animated. We are surrounded by hundreds of boats, and the banks are a sea of heads. My gentlemen are gone ashore. I think I shall get through the streets more conveniently to-morrow morning.

December 7th.—Four P.M.—I have just returned from a walk through Hankow. Like all the places we have visited on this trip, it seems to have been almost entirely destroyed by the Rebels; but it is recovering rapidly, and exhibits a great deal of commercial activity. The streets are wider and shops larger than one generally finds them in China. When 'foreign' parties landed yesterday, they were a good deal pestered by officious mandarin followers, who, by way of keeping order, kept bambooing all the unhappy natives who evinced a desire to see the foreigners. In order to defeat this plan, which was manifestly adopted with the view of preventing us from coming in contact with the people, I landed near Han-yang, on the side of the river Han opposite to Hankow, and walked in the first instance to the top of a hill where there is a kind of fortress, from which we had a good view of Ouchang, Han-yang, and Hankow. The day was rather misty, but we saw enough to satisfy us that there must have been great exaggeration in previous reports of the magnitude of these places. Some of the mandarin satellites tried to accompany us on our walk, but we soon sent them about their business. After seeing all we wished of the view, we descended and crossed the river Han in a sampan to Hankow, where we walked about for some hours, followed by a crowd of perfectly respectable people. As some hint was conveyed to me implying, that it was hoped we would not go to Ouchang, I have sent a letter to the Governor-General of the Two Hoo, who resides there, informing him that I intend to call upon him to-morrow. I shall go with as large an escort as I can muster. These Chinamen are such fools that, with all my desire to befriend them, I find it sometimes difficult to keep patience with them. They are doing all they can to prevent us from having any dealings with the people; refusing our dollars, sending us supplies as presents, &c. I have sent back the presents, stating that I must have supplies, and that I will pay for them.

December 8th.—Eleven A.M.—An officer has been off from the Governor-General, proposing that my visit should take place to-morrow, in order that there may be sufficient time for the preparations. He was very profuse in his protestations of good-will, but as usual there were a number of little points on which it was necessary to take a half-bullying tone. 'I could not have a chair with eight bearers; such a thing had never been seen at Ouchang. There were not thirty chairs (the number for which we had applied) in the whole place.' 'Lord Elgin won't land with less, do as you please,' was the answer given. Of course, the difficulties immediately vanished. Considerable indignation was expressed at the fact that some of our officers had been prevented from entering the town of Ouchang yesterday. A hope was expressed that nobody would land on the Ouchang side to-day; all would be arranged by to-morrow to our satisfaction, &c. &c. So, after an interview, in which there was the necessary admixture of the bitter and the sweet, the officer was sent back to his master. Supplies are coming off in abundance to the ships. In short, the people are most desirous to buy and sell, if the authorities will only leave them alone. Six P.M.—I have had a long walk on the same side of the river as yesterday. We first went through the whole depth of Hankow, on a line parallel with the river Han. We estimated our walk in this direction at about two miles, but a good deal of it was along a single street flanked on both sides by ruins. We then embarked in a sanpan and came down the Han, passing through a multitude of junks of great variety in shape and cargo. We landed near its mouth on the Han-yang side, and walked to that town, which is a Foo or prefectoral city, and walled. It contains the remains of some buildings of pretension, triumphal arches, &c., which, imply that it must have been a place of some distinction, but it has been sadly maltreated by the Rebels.

December 9th.—Four P.M.—The day is rainy, and the purser complains of difficulty in making his purchases yesterday, and that coal is not coming off to us as promised, &c.; so I thought it expedient to do a little in the bullying line to keep all straight. When the Governor- General therefore sent off this morning to say that he was ready to receive me, I despatched Wade and Lay to inform him in reply that the day was too bad for me to land, and that I had to complain of the difficulties put in my way about money, &c. He received them in person, and was very gracious; said that he had been at Canton; that he understood all about us; that if he had been there, Yeh would never have behaved as he did; that in former days the Chinese Government had bullied us; that we had bullied them of late years; that it was much better that henceforward we should settle matters reasonably; that he was desirous to show me every attention in his power; that when the port should be open he would do all he could to promote commerce and good understanding. In short, he spoke very sensibly. It is exceedingly probable that if he had not got a little check, he might have kept us at as great a distance as possible; but, be that as it may, it is just another proof of how easy it is to manage the Chinese by a little tact and firmness. We are now loading coal, flour, &c., as fast as we can take it on board.

[Sidenote: Visit to Governor-General.]

December 10th.—Six P.M.—This day broke fine and clear, so I sent off to the Governor-General to tell him that if he would receive me I would visit him at 2 P.M. We went with considerable pomp. A salute going and returning. A guard of eighty marines and sailors, and a party of about thirty in chairs. We passed through about a mile of the town of Ouchang Foo, and were received by the Governor-General and his suite, dressed in their best. The ceremony was as usual; conversation and tea in the front room, followed by a more substantial repast in the second. I have never, however, seen a reception in China so sumptuous, the authorities so well got up, and the feeding so well arranged. The Governor-General is a good-looking man, less artificial in his manner than Chinese authorities usually are. He is a Mantchoo. It is rather hard to make conversation when one is seated at the top of a room surrounded by some hundred people, and when, moreover, one has nothing to say, and that nothing has to be said through an interpreter. However, the ceremony went off very well. After it, I got rid of my ribbon and star, and took a stroll incog. through Hankow, where we bought some tea. Ouchang seems a large town with some good houses and streets, but sadly knocked about by the Rebels. We are getting all our supplies, &c., on board, and hope to start to-morrow evening.

[Sidenote: Return visit.]

December 11th.—Six P.M.—This day the Governor-General paid me a return visit. We received him with all honour; manned yards of all four ships, and gave him a salute of three guns from each. It has been a beautiful day, and the scene was a striking one when he came off in a huge junk like a Roman trireme, towed by six boats, bedizened by any number of triangular flags of all colours. A line of troops, horse and foot, lined the beach along which he passed from the gate of the city to the place of embarkation; quaint enough both in uniform and armament, but still with something of a pretension to both about them. I have seen nothing in China with so much display and style about it as the turn-out of the Governor-General of the Two Hoo, both to-day and yesterday. We showed him the ship, feasted him, photographed him, and entertained him one way or another for upwards of three hours. After he had departed, I landed on the Ouchang side, and walked through the walled city. Some objection was made to our entering, as we went through a side instead of the main gate, but we persevered and carried our point. The city is a fine one, about the size of Canton, but much in ruins. To-morrow at six, please God, we set forth on our return. I may mention as an illustration of the state of Ouchang, that in walking over a hill in the very centre of the walled town, we put up two brace of pheasants!

[Sidenote: Retro-sum.]

December 12th.—Eleven A.M.—We are on our way back to Shanghae. I am very glad of it, because we have accomplished all the good we could possibly expect to effect at Hankow, and I am becoming very tired of the length of time which our expedition has lasted. It is a feat to have reached this point with these big ships at this season of the year, and I think the effect of our visit will be considerable. The people evidently have no objection to us, and the resistance opposed by the authorities can always be overcome by tact and firmness.

December 13th.—Nine A.M.—At about eight we heaved anchor, having carefully buoyed this very awkward passage. The current ran about four miles an hour, and at some points where the leadsmen were calling out sixteen and seventeen feet, the channel was not much greater than the width of the ship, and we draw about fifteen and a half feet of water, so it was a nervous matter to get through. To make the vessel answer the helm it was necessary to go faster than the current, and difficult to do this without proceeding at such a rapid rate as would, if we had chanced to take the ground, have stuck us upon it immovably. We skirted our several buoys in a most masterly manner, and are now anchored till they have been picked up…. Six P.M.—'Where we had eighteen feet as we came up, we cannot find fourteen now,' are the ominous words which Captain Osborn has just addressed to me as he reached the deck from a surveying expedition…. It looks a little serious, for I fear there is a worse place beyond.

[Sidenote: Peasantry.]

December 14th.—Six P.M.—I went on shore this morning when there was no prospect of moving…. We took a long walk, conversing with the peasants who live in a row of cottages with their well-cultivated lands in front and rear of their dwellings; the lands are generally their own, and of not more than three or four acres in extent I should think, but it is difficult to get accurate information from them on such points. We found one rather superior sort of man, who said he was a tenant, and that he paid four out of ten parts of the produce of his farm to the landlord. They gave me the impression of being a well-to- do peasantry. Afterwards I walked through the country town of Pâho, which is built of stone, and seemingly prosperous. The Rebels had destroyed all the temples.

December 15th.—Four P.M.—At about one we had passed the village of Hwang-shih-kiang, and were entering that part of the river I described as a fine site for a Highland deer forest, when the 'Lee' hoisted the 'negative' (the signal to stop). She had got on a rock, where, on our way up, we had found no bottom at ten fathoms. I landed immediately, and found the people engaged in quarrying and manufacturing lime from the hills on the right bank. We had a pleasant walk; the day being beautiful, and the scenery very fine. They sell their lime at about 17$. per ton (200 cash a picul), and buy the small coal which they employ in their kilns at about 25$. (300 cash a picul). I wish I could do as well at Broomhall!

[Sidenote: Hunting for a channel.]
[Sidenote: Literary degrees.]

December 17th.—Ten A.M.—The gunboats are hunting for a channel…. I am going ashore. On this day last year I embarked on board this ship for the first time. What an eventful time I have spent since then! Four P.M.—I have returned from my walk, but, alas! no good news to greet me. Only eleven feet of water, where we found seventeen on the way up…. Our walk was pleasant enough, though it rained part of the time. Some of the gentlemen shot, for the whole of China is a preserve, the game hardly being molested by the natives. We went into the house of a small landowner of some three or four acres; over the door was a tablet to the honour of a brother who had gained the highest literary degree, and was therefore eligible for the highest offices in the State. The owner himself was not so literary, and had bought the degree of bachelor for 108 taels (about 35_l_.). If he tried to purchase the degree of master he would have, he said, 1,000 taels to pay, besides passing through some kind of examination. We asked him about the Rebels. He said that when they visited the rural districts, they took whatever they pleased, saying that it belonged to their Heavenly Father. Before meat they make a prayer to the Heavenly Father, ending with a vow to destroy the 'demons' (Imperialists). 'But,' added my informant, 'they are poor creatures, and their Heavenly Father does not seem to do much for them.' We also visited a manufactory where they were extracting oil from cotton-seed.

December 18th.—Six P.M.—We are to try a channel, such as it is, to-morrow morning. I landed for a walk. Wade took a gun with him. We saw quantities of waterfowl of all kinds. The plain on the left bank of the river is bounded on the other side by a pretty lake. The plain is subject to inundations, and seems to be covered by a bed of sand of about five feet in thickness. The people cultivate it by trenching for the clay beneath, and mixing it with the sand.

December 19th.—10.30 A.M.—The 'Cruiser' went through this bad passage safely. We followed, and are now aground. Anchors are being laid out in hopes of dragging the ship over.

[Sidenote: Pressing through the mud.]

December 20th.—Eleven A.M.—Our difficulty yesterday was not unexpected,… but we were compelled to make the attempt. The mud was very soft, and as we pressed against it, kept breaking away; but the difficulty was, that as we moved the shoal, the tide was forcing us towards it, and preventing our getting clear of it. At night we fixed the ship securely by three anchors, and left it to make its own way, which it did so effectually, that at 4 A.M. we slipped into deep water. We did not get off till 10 A.M., and the first thing we had to do was to turn in a channel which was exactly the length of the ship, and not a foot more. This very clever feat we performed with the help of an anchor dropped from the stern, and are now in the main river…. Two P.M.—We have anchored below Kew-kiang, at the spot where we anchored on November 30th. The 'Dove' met us an hour ago with the ominous signal, 'Afraid there is no passage.' Six P.M.—Captain Osborn has returned from an exploration, which will be continued to- morrow. It would be very sad if the 'Furious' had to be left behind. Meanwhile I landed and took a walk. It is a pretty country, on the right bank, consisting of wooded hillocks with patches of cultivated valley, and sometimes lakes of considerable size. Cosy little hamlets nestle in most of the valleys; the houses built of sun-dried bricks, and much more substantial than those we saw yesterday, &c., where the walls generally were made of matting, probably because of the inundations.

[Sidenote: Taking to the gunboats.]

December 23rd.—Noon.—At about six Captain Osborn returned from an exploration of the north channel, which he found rocky, and twelve feet of water the utmost that could be found. Captain Bythesea was disposed to try and lighten the 'Cruiser;' but I determined that I would run no risk of the kind. As yet no harm has happened to any of our ships, and the delay at this point of some of the squadron for three months, is more an inconvenience to me than a disadvantage in any other way. On public grounds it will even be attended with benefit, as it will insure the Yangtze being kept open; for supplies will be sent up to them from Shanghae, and they will have an opportunity of examining the Poyang Lake besides. If any of the vessels were lost or seriously injured, it would be a very different matter. I have therefore resolved that we shall all pack into the 'Lee' (the 'Dove' being crammed already), and with the aid of two junks for servants and baggage, make our way to the 'Retribution.' We shall have to pass Nganching, but it is to be hoped that the Rebels will not repeat the experiment they made when we were on our way up. Au reste, Dieu dispose.

December 24th.—Noon.—On board the 'Lee.'_—We have just passed the shallow behind which we were anchored for three days; but we have passed it only by leaving our big ships behind us. At 10 A.M. I had all the ship's company of the 'Furious' on deck, and made a short farewell speech to them, which was well received by a sympathetic audience. The whole Mission is on board this gunboat, pretty closely packed as you may suppose: the servants in a Chinese boat astern, and the effects in another, astern of the 'Dove.' The 'Dove' leads, and we follow. It is raining and blowing unpleasantly. I am very sorry to have left the 'Furious.'… If the Rebels let us pass them unattacked, it will be well; if they do not, we shall be obliged in self-defence to force a passage through their lines, in order to carry supplies to our ships. Either way, the object of opening the Yangtze will be attained. Yesterday the Prefect of Kew-kiang came on board the 'Furious.' He was very civil, and undertook to supply Captain Osborn with all he wanted…. In the little cabin where I am now writing, five of us are to sleep!

Christmas Day.—Many happy returns of it to you and the children!… It is the second since we parted…. We are now (3 P.M.) approaching Nganching. I have resolved to communicate with the authorities to express my indignation at what happened when we passed up the river, and tell them that if it is repeated I shall be obliged reluctantly to take the town. This may seem rather audacious language, considering that my whole force now consists of two gunboats. However, I think it is the proper tone to take with the Chinese.

[Sidenote: Ngan-ching.]

December 26th.—One P.M.—It grew so dark before we anchored near Nganching last night, that we abandoned the idea of communicating till this morning, and found, when day broke, that we were nearer the town than we had anticipated. It was raining heavily, with a slight admixture of sleet, and some of the heights in rear of the town were covered with snow. We heaved anchor at about seven, and dropped it again at about half a mile from the wall of the city. Wade went off in a boat. He steered to a point where there was an officer waving a flag somewhat ominously, and a crowd behind him, generally armed with red umbrellas. When he got to the shore, he was informed that the officer was third in command, and a Canton man, as the other chiefs also appeared to be. He told them that it was our intention to pass up and down the river; that I had come with a good heart (i.e. without hostile intentions); that nevertheless we had been scandalously fired at, &c. &c. They at once, in the manner of Chinamen, confessed their error, and said that the firing had been a mistake; that it was the act of some of the local men, who did not know the ships of 'your great nation:' that it should not happen again, &c. Wade told them that the same thing had occurred at Nankin, and that we had destroyed the peccant forts. They answered that they were aware of what had then happened. He added, that we did not wish to interfere in their internal disputes, but that they must know, if we were driven to it, we should find it an easy matter to sweep them out of the city. They admitted the truth of all he said, offered presents, begged him to go into the city and see their chief (both which proposals he declined); in short, they were contrite and humble. On his return to the 'Lee,' she and her consort lifted their anchors, and we steamed quietly past the city, under the very walls, and within easy gingall shot, for so we were compelled to do by the narrowness of the channel.

[Sidenote: Nankin.]

December 29th.—11 A.M.—We are now approaching Nankin. I have sent Oliphant, Wade, Lay, and a Mr. W. (a missionary) ahead in the 'Dove,' to land, if possible, at the first fort, with the view of going into the town and calling on the authorities. The 'Dove' will then proceed past the other forts to an anchorage on the farther side of the city, to which point the 'Lee' and 'Retribution' will follow her. My emissaries will inform the Nankin authorities that I am pleased that they should have apologised for their scandalous conduct towards us on our way up; that we have no intention of meddling with them if they leave us alone; but that we intend to move ships up and down the river, and that they must not be molested. They have sent me a letter written on a roll of yellow silk, about three fathoms long. It seems to be a sort of rhapsody, in verse, with a vast infusion of their extraordinary theology. It is now snowing heavily, so we cannot see far ahead. It would, I think, be awkward for me to have any intercourse with the Rebel chiefs, so I do not, as at present advised, intend to land.

[Sidenote: Wildfowl.]

December 30th.—About 7 P.M., the 'Dove' rejoined us with the emissaries. It appears that they had a long way to go on horseback,— some seven or eight miles—before they reached the Yamun of the chief, who received them. They do not seem to have learnt much from him. He professed to be third in the hierarchy of the Rebel Government of Nankin, but was a rather commonplace person. He said that our bombardment had killed three officers and twenty men, and that they had beheaded the soldiers who fired at us! Arrangements were made for the free passage of vessels communicating with the 'Furious.' They describe their ride through Nankin as if it had been one through a great park,—trees, and the streets wider than usual in China; but no trade is allowed, and the place seems almost deserted. There was not quite so much appearance of destruction, but more of desolation, than in any town previously visited by us. The officer who guided them to the Yamun asked Wade to take him away with us, and on being told that was impossible, applied for opium, saying that he smoked himself, and that about one in three of the force in Nankin did the same. Whether the original Taiping chief, 'Hung-Seu-Cheun,' is still alive or not, we have not been able to discover. Some say he remains shut up with about 300 wives. At any rate he is invisible…. The only thing remarkable which I have observed to-day is the quantity of wildfowl. I saw one flock this morning which was several miles long. It literally darkened the sky. I suppose the cold weather is driving them inwards from the sea.

[Sidenote: Aground once more.]

December 31st.—Five P.M.—I hardly expected to have to record another grounding, but so it is. We have been going on gallantly all day, leaving the other ships some ten miles behind us. We had passed the Lunshan Hills, off which we spent two days, and from which I sent you my last letter. We were abreast of Plover Point, when suddenly the water shoaled so much that we had to drop anchor. Alas! the ebbing tide was too strong for us, and drove us on a bank, where we are now sticking. If we get off before morning it will not matter much; but if the 'Retribution' comes down and finds us here, we shall look horribly small.

[Sidenote: Reach Shanghae.]

January 1st, 1859.—Many, many returns of the New Year! It is a beautiful day, and we are just anchoring at Shanghae, at 3 P.M. As soon as the tide rose (about midnight) it lifted us off our shoal. We had to go cautiously sometimes to-day; but we have closed this eventful expedition successfully.

The general results and chief incidents of the interesting expedition thus happily completed, were reported to the Government in England in a despatch, dated January 5th, 1859, from which are taken the following extracts:—

[Sidenote: Difficulty of getting at facts.]

The knowledge of the Chinese language possessed by Messrs. Wade and Lay enabled me to enter, without difficulty, into communication with the inhabitants of the towns and rural districts which we visited. At various points in our progress we wandered, unarmed and unattended, in parties of three or four, to a distance of several miles from the banks of the river, and we never experienced at the hands of the natives anything but courtesy, mingled with a certain amount of not very obtrusive curiosity. Notwithstanding, however, these favourable opportunities, the budget of statistical facts which I was able to collect was hardly as considerable as I could have desired. Chinamen of the humbler class are not much addicted to reflection, and when subjected to cross-examination by persons greedy of information, they are apt to consider the proceeding a strange one, and to suspect that it must be prompted by some exceedingly bad motive. Moreover, having been civilised for many generations, they carry politeness so far, that in answering a question it is always their chief endeavour to say what they suppose their questioner will be best pleased to hear. If, therefore, the knowledge of a fact is to be arrived at, it is, above all things, necessary that the inquiry bear a tint so neutral that the person to whom it is addressed shall find it impossible to reflect its colour in his reply. He will then sometimes, in his confusion, blunder into a truthful answer, but he does so generally with a bashful air, indicative of the painful consciousness that he has been reluctantly violating the rules of good breeding. A search after accurate statistics, under such conditions, is not unattended with difficulty.

[Sidenote: Exaggerated reports of population.]

I am confirmed, by what I have witnessed on this expedition, in the doubts which I have long entertained as to the accuracy of the popular estimates of the amount of the town population of China. The cities which I have visited are, no doubt, suffering at present from the effects of the rebellion; but I cannot bring myself to believe that, at the best of times, they can have contained the number of inhabitants usually imputed to them. M. Hue puts the population of the three cities of Woo-chang-foo, Han-yang-foo, and Hankow, at 8,000,000. I doubt much whether it now amounts, in the aggregate, to 1,000,000; and even when they were flourishing, I cannot conceive where 3,000,000 of human beings could have been stowed away in them.

[Sidenote: Rural population.]
[Sidenote: Town population.]

What 1 have seen leads me to think that the rural population of China is, generally speaking, well-doing and contented. I worked very hard, though with only indifferent success, to obtain from them accurate information respecting the extent of their holdings, the nature of their tenure, the taxation which they have to pay, and other kindred matters. I arrived at the conclusion that, for the most part, they hold their lands, which are of very limited extent, in full property from the Crown, subject to certain annual charges of no very exorbitant amount; and that these advantages, improved by assiduous industry, supply abundantly their simple wants, whether in respect of food or clothing. In the streets of cities in China some deplorable objects are to be met with, as must always be the case where mendicity is a legalised institution; but I am inclined to think that the rigour with which the duties of relationship are enforced, operates as a powerful check on pauperism. A few days ago a lady here informed me that her nurse had bought a little girl from a mother who had a surplus of this description of commodity on hand. I asked why she had done so, and was told that the little girl's husband, when she married, would be bound to support the adopting mother. By the judicious investment of a dollar in this timely purchase, the worthy woman thus secured for herself a provision for old age, and a security, which she probably appreciates yet more highly, for decent burial when she dies.

[Sidenote: Manufactures.]

My general impression is, that British manufacturers will have to exert themselves to the utmost if they intend to supplant, to any considerable extent, in the native market, the fabrics produced in their leisure hours, and at intervals of rest from agricultural labour, by this industrious, frugal, and sober population. It is a pleasing but pernicious fallacy to imagine, that the influence of an intriguing mandarin is to be presumed whenever a buyer shows a preference for native over foreign calico.

In returning to Shaughae, Lord Elgin had hoped to find the objects of his mission so far secured, that there would be nothing to prevent, his sailing for England at once: but nearly two more months elapsed before he was able to turn his back on the Celestial Empire.

Shanghae.—January 17th.—The 'Furious' and 'Cruiser' arrived here safely on the 10th…. I have just accomplished the Herculean task of looking over a two-months' supply of newspapers, and this occupation, interlarded with a certain number of letters and visits to and from the Imperial Commissioners, and, to-day, an address from the British community of Shanghae, has pretty fully occupied my time.[3] The home mail is due to-day, and 1 am anxiously waiting to learn from it what the Government intends to do about relieving me…. I trust that your many disappointments as to my return may have been somewhat relieved by the conviction that I am following the right course. This opening up of the East is not a light matter…. The comet was most magnificent here. Did I ever mention it in my letters? During the whole period of its visit in this quarter it had night after night a clear blue cloudless sky, spangled with stars innumerable, to disport itself in…. Canton is coming round to tranquillity as fast as we ever had any right to expect; but the absurd thing is that these funny people at Hong-Kong are beginning to praise me!

[Sidenote: Troubles at Canton.]

January 20th.—I had hardly written the words 'Canton is coming round to tranquillity.' when I heard that there had been fighting there again. It is a good thing in my opinion, as it will enable us to demonstrate our superiority to the Braves, if the General and Admiral improve the opportunity properly; not by a great deal of slaughter, that is quite unnecessary, but by promptitude, and striking a blow at the right moment. The Chinese do not care much about being killed, but they hate being frightened, and the knowledge of this idiosyncrasy of theirs is the key of the position. I have just written a letter to my friends the Imperial Commissioners here, which will, I think, shake their nerves considerably, and bring them to a manageable frame of mind.

In fact, when he found that Governor-General Hwang had not been recalled, nor the Committee of Gentry suppressed, and that the Canton Braves were still making war upon our troops, he felt that the Chinese were trying to evade the performance of their promises, and that there was nothing for it but to 'appeal again to 'that ignoble passion of fear which was unhappily the one primum mobile of human action in China.'[4] Accordingly he wrote to the Imperial Commissioners that, as the Emperor did not carry out what they undertook, he would have nothing more to say to them on the subject; that the English soldiers and sailors would take the Braves into their own hands; and that he or his successor would in a month or two have an opportunity of ascertaining at Pekin itself whether or not the Emperor was abetting the persons who were creating disturbances in the South.

The journal continues, under date of January 20:—

[Sidenote: Town of Shanghae.]

Yesterday I took a walk through the town of Shanghae with a missionary who is a very good cicerone. We went into a good many ateliers of silversmiths, ribbon-makers, tobacco-manufacturers, carvers in wood, and the like. The Chinese are skilful manipulators, but they are singularly uninventive. Nothing can be more rude than their labour- saving processes. We visited also a foundling establishment. There was a drawer at the entrance in which the infants are deposited, as is, I believe, the case at Paris. The children seem tolerably cared for, but there were not many in the house. The greater portion are given out to nurse. We went also into a large inn or lodging-house, frequented by a respectable class of visitors—silk merchants, &c. The rooms seemed comfortable, quite as good as the accommodation provided for commercial travellers at an English inn. A good many books seemed to form part of the luggage of the occupant of each room that we entered. It is curious that I should have been engaged in so many enterprises of rather an out-of-the-way character since I have been out here. I confess that in my own opinion the voyage up the Yangtze is not the least important one.

January 22nd.—Mail arrived. Frederick's appointment[5] is very satisfactory, and I am sure it is the best the Government could have made for the public interest. It is a great comfort to me to know that he will wind up what I cannot finish.

[Sidenote: Return to Hong-Kong.]

Shanghae.—January 25th.—After full consideration I have resolved to go at once to Hong-Kong, and take the Canton difficulty in hand. A variety of circumstances lead me to the conclusion that the Court of Pekin is about to play us false. Ho, the Governor-General of the Two Kiang; the Tautai of this port; and the Treasurer of the district, all well-disposed to foreigners, have been gradually removed from the councils of the Commissioners. Some papers which we have seized also indicate that the Emperor is by no means reconciled to some of the most important concessions obtained in the Treaties. This row at Canton is therefore very opportune. I have taken a high tone, informed the Commissioners that I am off to the South to punish disturbers of the peace there, and that when I have taught them to respect treaties, I (or my successor) will return to settle matters still pending here, pacifically or otherwise as the Emperor may prefer. It is to be hoped that this language will bring them to their senses, or rather bring the Court to its senses, for I do not suppose that the Commissioners are so much to blame. I had already asked all the society here to a party this evening, so it will be a farewell entertainment, and I shall embark as soon as it is over.

[Sidenote: Pirate-hunting.]

At Sea, near Hong-Kong.—Tuesday, February 1st.—Two war-steamers and a gunboat have just passed us on some expedition after pirates. It may be all right, but I fear we do some horrible injustices in this pirate-hunting. The system of giving our sailors a direct interest in captures is certainly a barbarous one, and the parent of much evil; though perhaps it may be difficult to devise a remedy. The result, however, is, that not only are seizures often made which ought not to be made at all, but also duties are neglected which do not bring grist to the mill. B. once said to me, in talking of the difficulty of exercising a police over even English vessels which carry coolies to foreign ports:—'Men-of-war have orders to seize vessels breaking the law; but as they are not prizes, and the captain if he seizes them wrongfully is liable to an action for damages, how can you expect them to act?'

[Sidenote: March into the interior.]

February 11th.—I ought to tell you that on the 8th, a body of troops about 1,000 strong started on an expedition into the interior, which was to take three days. I accompanied or rather preceded them on the first day's march, about twelve miles from Canton. We rode through a very pretty country, passing by the village of Sheksing, where there was a fight a fortnight ago. The people were very respectful, and apparently not alarmed by our visit. At the place where the troops were to encamp for the night, a cattle fair was in progress, and our arrival did not seem to interrupt the proceedings.

February 13th.—The military expedition into the country was entirely successful. The troops were received everywhere as friends. Considering what has been of yore the state of feeling in this province towards us, I think this almost the most remarkable thing which has happened since I came here. Would it have happened if I had given way to those who wished me to carry fire and sword through all the country villages? Or if I had gone home, and left the winding-up of these affairs in the hands of others?… I say all this because I am anxious that you should appreciate the motives which have made me prolong my stay in this quarter.

On the 15th he started, intending to join General Straubenzee in an expedition up the West River; but finding that his presence would be of no use, and might be an embarrassment, he resolved instead to spend the time in visiting the port of Hainan, the southernmost port opened by the new Treaty. Unfortunately, when he arrived off Hainan, a wind blowing on shore, and very imperfect charts, prevented his entering the port; but on his way he had an opportunity of revisiting one of the few places on the coast possessing any historical interest, namely Macao, the residence of Camoëns; and also of touching at St. John, the scene of the labours and death of Francis Xavier.

[Sidenote: Macao.]

February 11th.—We reached Macao yesterday morning. I visited the garden of Camoëns, and wandered among the narrow up-and-down streets, which with the churches and convents, and air of quiet vétusté, remind one of a town on the continent of Europe.

[Sidenote: St. John.]

February 20th.—Sunday.—We have just anchored in a quiet harbour, on the island of St. John, or Sancian, as Huc calls it; the first place in China where the Portuguese settled. Here, too, St. Francis Xavier died. I should land and look at his tomb if I thought it was in this part of the island, but it is late (5 P.M.), and a long way to pull.

On returning to Hong-Kong he found that his letter to the Chinese
Government had had the effect which he desired and anticipated.

[Sidenote: Mission completed.]

Hong-Kong.—February 23rd.—I have good news from the North. As I was walking on the deck this morning at 8 A.M., Mr. Lay suddenly made his appearance. He had come by the mail-packet from Shanghae, with a letter from the Imperial Commissioners, announcing that the seal of Imperial Commission had been taken from Hwang, the Governor-General of this province, and given to Ho, the Governor-General of the provinces in which Shanghae is situated. Lay further states that his friend the Tautai informed him that they are prepared to receive the new Ambassador peacefully at Pekin, when he goes to exchange ratifications. If so, I think that I shall be able to return with the conviction that the objects of my mission have been accomplished.

The details of his Treaty having been now definitively arranged, Canton pacified, and its neighbourhood overawed by the peaceful progress through it of a military expedition, there remained nothing to detain him in the East.[6]

[Sidenote: Homeward bound.]
[Sidenote: Hong-Kong factory.]

Canton River.—March 3rd.—I am really and truly off on my way to England, though I can hardly believe that it is so. The last mail brought me not a word either from Frederick or about his plans; only, what was very satisfactory, the approval of the Government of my arrangement respecting the residence of the British Minister in China. I have, however, determined to start, and to take my chance of meeting him somewhere en route. Unless I were to go back to Shanghae, I could not do much more here now; and if I put off, I shall have the monsoon against me, and great heat in the Red Sea. Having resolved on this course, I invited the Hong-Kong merchants to come up with me to Canton, to look at the several factory sites. In their usual way they have been dictating the choice of a site to me, abusing me for not fixing upon it; and I found out that very few of them had even taken the trouble of looking at the ground. In short I found that, in my short visits, I had seen a great deal more of the sites than they had done, who live constantly on the spot, and are personally interested in the matter. I started from Hong-Kong yesterday morning, and to-day I went over the ground with them. The rain poured, and I got a good wetting…. As I was starting from the town in a gunboat to rejoin my ship, I met the military and naval expedition, which has been absent for more than two weeks, returning. I had not time to communicate with the officers, but they seemed in good spirits. It is a curious wind-up of this most eventful mission, that as I am starting from China, I should meet an Anglo-French force returning from a pacific invasion into the very heart of the province of Kwan-tung!—the pépinière of the Canton Braves, of whom we have heard so much.

March 4th.—Eleven A.M.—I have been calculating that if Frederick does not leave England till the mail of the 25th of February, I may, by pushing on, catch him at Galle. This would be a great point. I must push on and take my chance.

[Sidenote: Pulo Sapata.]

March 8th.—We are passing Pulo Sapata, a bald, solitary rock, standing in the midst of the China Sea, the resort of seafowl, as is indicated by its guano-like appearance. There it stands day after day, and year after year, affronting the scorching beams of this tropical sun. All ships pass by it between Singapore and China. So I am looking at it for the fourth time—the last time, we may hope. We have made fully 200 miles a day—a great deal for this ship.

March 10th.—We are now very near the Line, and the breeze has nearly failed us; so you may imagine we are not very cool, but we hope to reach Singapore to-morrow. These Tropics are very charming when they do not broil one; and I passed a pleasant hour last night on the top of the paddle-box, with a balmy air floating over my face from the one side, a crescent moon playing hide-and-seek behind a cloud on the other, and right above me a legion of bright stars, shining through the atmosphere as if they could pierce one with their glance.

March 11th.—We have passed the Horsburgh lighthouse, and entered the Straits. Wooded banks on either side, diversified by hillocks, and a ship or two, give some animation to the scene. It is very hot, and I have been on the paddle-box getting what air I can, and watching a black wall of cloud covered with fleecy masses, which rests on the bank to our right, and seems half inclined to sweep over us with one of those refreshing pelts of which we had a succession last night. It is this habit of showers which renders the vicinity of the Line more bearable than the summer heat of other parts within the Tropics. However, the cloud sticks to the shore, so I have come down to write this line to you.

[Sidenote: Singapore.]

Singapore.—Sunday, March 13th, Seven A.M.—This place looks wonderfully green and luxuriant after China. The variety of costumes and colours too, Malay, Indian, Chinese, &c., and the pretty villas perched on each hillock among flowering trees, give it a festival air. Heavy showers of rain also keep the temperature down…. 3.30 P.M.—I went to church and embarked immediately after; and here we are, about ten miles from Singapore, going well through a calm sea, with a slight breeze rather against us. Twenty months ago I left this place at about the same hour with poor Peel for Calcutta.

March 21st.—Six A.M.—I have been an hour on deck watching the great bright stars eclipse themselves, and the sun break through the clouds right astern of us. It is a lovely day, and we are a little bent over by a breeze from the shore of Ceylon, along which we are now running. Noon.—Just anchored at Galle, after a run of about 270 miles in twenty-four hours…. We are surrounded by curious boats about two feet wide, prevented from capsizing by outriggers—beams of wood floating on the water on one side of them, and attached to them by poles of about eight feet in length. I believe these boats are wonderfully fast and safe.

[Sidenote: Ceylon.]

Colombo.—Sunday, March 27th.—We came yesterday to this place. A drive of seventy-two miles through an almost uninterrupted grove of cocoa-nut trees, interspersed with bread-fruit, jack-fruit, and other foliage, with occasional gleams of the Gloriosa superba. The music of the ocean waves hissing and thundering on the shore accompanied us all our journey. The road was good and the coach tolerable, so it was pleasant enough. To-day the heat is very great; hardly bearable at church. All Sir H. Ward's family are on the hill—Newra Elyia—some 6,000 feet above the sea; this being the hottest season in Ceylon. My writing is not very good, for I cannot sit still for the heat. I am walking about the room in very light attire, taking up my pen from time to time to indite a few words.

H.M.S. 'Furious.'—At Sea, April 9th.—Will this letter be delivered to you by the post or by the writer in person? Chi sa?… You will like to have a complete record of my experiences during my long absence. I am now again at sea, and I cannot say how this fact rejoices me. I was tired of Ceylon; and my longing to get home increases as the prospect of my doing so becomes more real. I was ill, too, at Ceylon. The heat was very great; and I was, I fear, somewhat imprudent. On the day after I despatched my last letter to you from Colombo, I started for Kandy, a pretty little countrytown seated in the centre of a circle of hills. I reached it at 5 P.M., time enough to walk about the very beautiful grounds of the 'Pavilion,' the Governor's residence. Next day, after seeing the shrine which contains the famous tooth of Buddha, I set off for the mountains, and reached a coffee estate of Baron Delmar's at about 6 P.M. We found ourselves in a fine cool climate, at about 3,000 feet above the sea. That night, however, I felt a shiver as I went to bed. I had a bad headache next morning, and when I arrived at Newra Elyia, the famous sanatarium, 6,000 feet above the sea, I was obliged to go to bed, and send for the doctor. I could not remain quiet, however, as the packet from England might be at Galle on the 3rd; so I had to hurry down on Friday from the mountain to Kandy and Colombo, where I arrived on Saturday evening more dead than alive. Sir H. Ward's doctor declared me to be labouring under an attack of jungle fever…. I sent for the 'Furious,' which conveyed me from Colombo to Galle on Monday the 4th. Frederick did not arrive till the 6th; so all ended well. It was an unspeakable comfort to me to meet Frederick at last We had a day to talk over our affairs, as he did not proceed till the afternoon of the 7th…. I am pleased with Ceylon, notwithstanding my mishaps. For a tropical climate it is healthy and bearable; but we happened to be there at the very hottest season. At Newra Elyia it is really cold, and, at the height of the coffee estates, very tolerable to vegetate in.

The rapid homeward journey along a beaten route offered little of interest to write about, especially as he was likely to be the bearer of his own letter. On the 19th of May he reported to the Foreign Office his arrival in London.

[1] The text of the Article respecting opium is as follows:—'Opium will henceforth, pay thirty taels per picul import duty. The importer will sell it only at the port. It will be carried into the interior by Chinese only, and only as Chinese property; the Foreign trader will not be allowed to accompany it. The provisions of Article IX. of the Treaty of Tientsin, by which British subjects are authorised to proceed into the interior with passports to trade, will not extend to it, nor will those of Article XXVIII. of the same Treaty, by which the transit-dues are regulated; the transit-dues on it will be arranged as the Chinese Government see fit; nor, in future revisions of the Tariff, is the rule of revision to be applied to opium as to other goods.'

[2] In an official despatch he describes it as 'a solitary rock of about 300 feet in height, picturesquely clothed with natural timber and ruined temples, around which are to be seen, at all hours of the day, groups of bonzes, in their grey and yellow robes, devoutly lounging, and conscientiously devoting themselves to the duty of doing absolutely nothing.'

[3] His reply to the Merchants' address contained the following passage: 'Allow me to express the satisfaction which it gives me to find that you specify the benefits that are likely to accrue to the inhabitants of these countries themselves, as among the most important of the results to be expected from our recent treaties with China and Japan. On this head we have no doubt incurred very weighty responsibilities. Uninvited, and by methods not always of the gentlest, we have broken down the barriers behind which these ancient nations sought to conceal from the world without the mysteries, perhaps also, in the case of China at least, the raps and rottenness of their waning civilisations. Neither our own consciences nor the judgment of mankind will acquit us if, when we are asked to what use we have turned our opportunities, we can only say that we have filled our pockets from among the ruins which we have found or made.'

[4] Despatch of Jan. 22, 1859.

[5] As Minister at the Court of Pekin.

[6] In a parting letter he pointed out to the Admiral how desirable it was that the ambassador who went to Pekin to exchange the ratifications of the Treaty should be supported by an imposing force, and suggested that with this view a sufficient fleet of gunboats should be concentrated at once at Shanghae.



[Sidenote: Lord Elgin in England.]

When Lord Elgin returned, in 1854, from the Government of Canada, there were comparatively few persons in England who knew or cared anything about the great work which he had done in the colony. But his brilliant successes in the East attracted public interest, and gave currency to his reputation; and when he returned from China in the spring of 1859 he was received with every honour. Two great parliamentary chiefs, Lord Derby and Lord Grey, from opposite sides of the House of Lords, contended for the credit of having first introduced him into public life. Lord Palmerston, who was at the time engaged in forming a new Administration, again offered him a place in it, and he accepted the office of Postmaster-General. The students of Glasgow paid him the compliment of electing him as their Lord Rector; and the merchants of London showed their sense of what he had done for their commerce, first by the enthusiastic reception which they gave him at a dinner at the Mansion House, and afterwards by conferring upon him the freedom of their city.

Lord Elgin was not one of those men, if any such there be, who are indifferent to the appreciation of their fellows. He could, indeed, in a mock-cynical humour, write of what a man must do 'if he thinks it worth while to stand well with others:'[1] but in himself there was nothing of the cynic, and to stand well with others was to his genial nature a source of genuine and undisguised gratification. It was well said of him afterwards in reference to the honours paid to him at this period, that while he did not require the stimulus of praise, or even sympathy, to keep him to his work, but would have worked on for life, whether appreciated or overlooked, still 'he whose sympathies were always ready and warm enjoyed himself being understood and valued; and that welcome in the City was very cheering to him after his long experience of English indifference about Canada and what he had done there.'

He was not destined, however, to enjoy for long either the tranquil dignities of his new position or the comfortable sense of a work accomplished and completed. Fresh troubles broke out in the East; and, on the 26th of April, 1860, within less than a year after his arrival in England, he was again crossing the Channel on his way back to China.

[Sidenote: Origin of Second Mission to China.]

The Chinese Government, tractable enough under the present influence of a bold and determined spirit, had returned to its old ways when that pressure was removed. It had been agreed that the Treaty of Tien-tsin should be formally ratified within the year, that is, before the 26th of June, 1859; and, when the time approached, Mr. Bruce was commissioned to proceed to Pekin for the purpose of exchanging the ratifications. On arriving, however, at the mouth of the Peiho, he found the Taku forts, which guard the mouth of the river, fortified against him; and when the men-of-war which accompanied him went forward to remove the barriers that had been laid across the river, they were fired upon from the forts. As no such resistance had been expected, no provision had been made for overcoming it; and Mr. Bruce had no choice but to return to Shanghae, and report to the Government at home what had occurred.

For some time it seems to have been hoped that the Emperor of China, when fully informed of the misconduct of his officers in firing upon British ships without notice, would have been ready to make the proper amende; but when this hope was dispelled, it became clear that such an outrage must be summarily dealt with. A large force, both naval and military, was ordered from England and India to the China seas, to co-operate there with forces sent by the French, who felt themselves scarcely less aggrieved than the English by the repudiation of the common Treaty.

For the command of this expedition there was one man whom all parties alike regarded as marked out at once by character and ability, and by previous experience. On the 17th of April, 1860, Lord Russell, who was then Foreign Secretary, wrote officially to Lord Elgin that 'Her Majesty, resolved to employ every means calculated to establish peace with the Emperor of China, had determined to call upon him again to give his valuable services to promote this important object, and had signified her intention of appointing him to proceed to China as her Ambassador Extraordinary to deal with these matters.' His instructions were necessarily of the vaguest. After touching upon some of the awkward contingencies that might arise, Lord Russell proceeded: 'In these circumstances your 'Lordship and your enlightened colleague, Baron Gros, will be required to exercise those personal qualities of firmness and discretion which have induced Her Majesty and her Ally to place their confidence in you and the French Plenipotentiary.' The only conditions named as indispensable were, (1) an apology for the attack on the Allied forces at the Peiho; (2) the ratification and execution of the Treaty of Tientsin; (3) the payment of an indemnity to the Allies for the expenses of naval and military preparations.

To be called away from the happy home which he so rarely enjoyed and enlightened, and to be sent out again to the ends of the world on such a service, was no light sacrifice even to his patriotic spirit; and the feeling of this was perhaps aggravated by the half-hope cherished during the first few weeks, that any day he might be met by tidings that the Chinese had made the required concessions, and that the affair was settled. The following extracts from his Journal reflect something of this.

[Sidenote: Gloomy prospects.]

Sunday, April 29th.—Off Sardinia.—So much for my chronicle; but I write it with a certain feeling of repugnance and self-reproach. It was very well on the occasion of my first voyage, when I wished to share with you whatever charm the novelty of the scenes through which I was passing might supply to mitigate the pain of our separation. But this time there is no such pretext for the record of our daily progress. I am going through scenes which I have visited before, on an errand of which the issue is almost more than doubtful. When I see my friend Gros I feel myself doubly guilty, in having consented to undertake this task, and thus compelled him to make the same sacrifice. And Frederick—what will he think of my coming out? It is a dark sky all around. There is only one bright side to the picture. It is very unlikely that my absence can be of long duration. If such ideas were to prevail in England as those which are embodied in an article on China, which is to appear in the forthcoming Blackwood, I might be detained long enough in that quarter; but these are not the views of the public or the statesmen of England. What is desired is a speedy settlement, on reasonable terms—as good terms as possible; but let the settlement be speedy. This, I think, is the fixed idea of all. Gros tells me that when he took leave the Emperor grasped both his hands, thanked him with effusion, and said that not one man in fifty would make such a sacrifice as he (Gros) was doing.

Monday, 30th.—I do not know whether I shall do much more to this letter before I reach Malta, for we are both rolling and pitching, which is not favourable to writing, the climate has now changed. It is very near perfection in point of temperature. If we could only keep it so all the way! We expect to reach Malta this evening, and remain about four hours. Where are you now?… Have you returned to your desolate home? I think I see B. looking up to you with his thoughtful eyes, and dear little L. putting pointed questions, and, in her arch way, saying such kind and tender words!… You must continue to write, as you did last time, all you are doing and thinking, that I may reproduce, as faithfully as I can, the life which you are living. I do the same by you, though it is with a more leaden pen than formerly…. Poor Gros has retired to his cabin in order to take a horizontal position. Many of my companions are in the same way.

[Sidenote: Old letters.]

May 3rd.—Are you still shivering in the cold, while I am gliding through the calm sea under an awning, and going against a breeze sufficiently light to do no more than fan us pleasantly? If it would never go beyond this, there is certainly something very delightful in such a climate; the clear atmosphere, bright stars, light nights, and soft air; and to be wafted along through all this, as we now are, at the rate of some twelve miles an hour, with so little motion that we hardly know that we are making progress. It will be a different story, I fear, when we get into the Red Sea, where we may expect a wind behind us, and around us the hot air of the Desert!… I have been employing myself for a good part of to-day in a sad work. I took with me a number of letters of very old date, and have been looking over them, and tearing up a great part of them, and throwing them overboard. I thought it would be an occupation suited to this heavy tropical sea-life. I shall be sorry when it is over, as it is also soothing, and brings back many pleasing memories which had nearly faded away. Some few I keep, because they are landmarks of my past life.

[Sidenote: The Pyramids.]
[Sidenote: The Sphinx.]

Steamer 'Simla.'—May 9th.—I had only a few moments to write before we left Suez, and my writing, such as it was, I performed under difficulties, as the bustle of passengers finding their cabins, and conveying to them their luggage, or such portions of it as they could rescue from its descent into the hold, was going on all around me. I had, therefore, only time to tell you that our visit to the Pyramids has been a success. It was one of the greatest which I ever achieved in that line. It came about in this way. When Baron Gros and I, accompanied by Betts Bey, the chief director of the railway, were journeying in our pachalic state-carriage from Alexandria to Cairo, a question arose as to how we were to spend the few hours which we should have to remain at the latter place. I expressed a desire to see the Pyramids, as I had witnessed all the other lions of Cairo. But Betts Bey observed, that to go there during the day, at this season of the year, was a service of considerable danger, the risk of sunstroke being more than usually great. We were, in fact, traversing Egypt during the period (of about six weeks' duration) when the wind from the south blows, and the only air one receives is like the blast of a furnace heavily charged with sand. He added, however, that it was not impossible to go to the Pyramids at night, remain there till dawn, see the sunrise from the summit, and return before the great heats of the day. When I found myself at Cairo, I proposed to my entourage that we should undertake this expedition. My proposal was eagerly accepted, especially by 'Our own Correspondent,' Mr. Bowlby, who is a remarkably agreeable person, and has become very much one of our party. It was arranged that we should dine at the table d'hote at 7 P.M., start at 9, in carriages to the crossing of the Nile (about four miles), and on donkeys from Gieja (about six miles). The Pasha's state-coach came to the door at the appointed hour; we started, our own party, Mr. Bowlby, Captain F., and M. de B., Gros' secretary. Gros himself, having twice seen the Pyramids, declined going with us. The moon was very nearly full, and but for the honour of the thing we might have dispensed with the torch-bearers, who ran before the carriage and preceded the donkeys, after we adopted that humbler mode of locomotion. Our row across the river to the chant of the boatmen invoking the aid of a sainted dervish, and our ride through the fertile borders of the Nile, covered with crops and palm-trees, were very lovely, and, after about an hour and a half from Cairo, we emerged upon the Desert. The Pyramids seemed then almost within reach of our outstretched arms, but lo! they were in fact some four miles distant. We kept moving on at a sort of ambling walk; and the first sign of our near approach was the appearance of a crowd of Arabs who poured out of a village to offer us their aid in various ways. We had been told before we started, that a party who had visited the Pyramids the night before had been a good deal victimised by these Arabs, who, alas! in these degenerate days, have no other mode of indulging their predatory propensities than by exacting the greatest possible amount of 'backshish' from travellers who visit the Pyramids. We pushed on over the heaps of sand and débris, or probably covered-up tombs, which surround the base of the Pyramids, when we suddenly came in face of the most remarkable object on which my eye ever lighted. Somehow or other I had not thought of the Sphinx till I saw her before me. There she was in all her imposing magnitude, crouched on the margin of the Desert, looking over the fertile valley of the Nile, and her gaze fixed on the East as if in earnest expectation of the sun-rising. And such a gaze! The mystical light and deep shadows cast by the moon, gave to it an intensity which I cannot attempt to describe. To me it seemed a look, earnest, searching, but unsatisfied. For a long time I remained transfixed, endeavouring to read the meaning conveyed by this wonderful eye; but I was struck after a while by what seemed a contradiction in the expression of the eye and of the mouth. There was a singular gentleness and hopefulness in the lines of the mouth, which appeared to be in contrast with the anxious eye. Mr. Bowlby, who was a very sympathique inquirer into the significancy of this wonderful monument, agreed with me in thinking that the upper part of the face spoke of the intellect striving, and striving vainly, to solve the mystery—(What mystery? the mystery, shall we say, of God's universe or of man's destiny?)—while the lower indicated a moral conviction that all must be well, and that this truth would in good time be made manifest.

We could hardly tear ourselves away from this fascinating spectacle to draw nearer to the Great Pyramid, which stood beside us, its outline sharply traced in the clear atmosphere. We walked round and round it, thinking of the strange men whose ambition to secure immortality for themselves had expressed itself in this giant creation. The enormous blocks of granite brought from one knows not where, built up one knows not how; the form selected solely for the purpose of defying the assaults of time; the contrast between the conception embodied in these constructions and the talk of the frivolous race by whom we were surrounded, and who seemed capable of no thought beyond a desire for daily 'backshish,'—all this seen and felt under the influence of the dim moonlight was very striking and impressive. We spent some time in moving from place to place along the shadow cast by the Pyramid upon the sand, and observing the effect produced by bringing the moon sometimes to its apex and sometimes to other points on its outline. I felt no disposition to exchange for sleep the state of dreamy half- consciousness in which I was wandering about; but at length I lay down on the shingly sands, with a block of granite for a pillow, and passed an hour or two, sometimes dozing, sometimes wakeful, till one of our attendants informed me that the sun would shortly rise, and that it was time to commence to ascend the Pyramid, if we intended to witness from its summit his first appearance. We had intended to spend the night in the tombs, but it was so hot that we were only too glad to select the spot in which we could get the greatest amount of air. A very soft and gentle breeze, wafted across the Desert from an unknown distance, fanned me as I slept. The ascent was, I confess, a much more formidable undertaking than I had anticipated; and our French friend gave in after attempting a few steps. The last words which had passed between him and me before we retired to rest, were interchanged as we were standing in front of the Sphinx, and were characteristic: Ah! que c'est drôle! was the reassuring exclamation which fell from his lips while we were there transfixed and awestruck. As far as the ascent of the Pyramid was concerned, I am not sure but that I was sometimes tempted to follow his example, when I found how great was the effort required to mount up, in the hot air, the huge blocks of granite, and the unpleasantness of feeling every now and then with what facility one might topple downwards. This sensation was most disagreeably felt when, as generally happened at any very critical place, my Arab friends, who were helping me up, began to talk of 'backshish,' and to insinuate that a small amount given at once, and before the ascent was completed, would be particularly acceptable. However, after a while the summit was reached. I am not sure that it repaid the trouble; at any rate, I do not think I should ever wish to make the ascent again. We had a horizon all around tinted very much like Turner's early pictures, and becoming brighter and more variegated as the dawn advanced, until it melted into day. Behind, and on two sides of us, was the barren and treeless Desert, stretching out as far as the eye could reach. Before us, the fertile valley of the Nile; the river meandering through it, and, in the distance, Cairo, with its mosques and minarets, the highest, the Citadel Mosque, standing out boldly upon the horizon. It was a fine view, and had a character of its own, but still it was not in kind very different from other views which I have seen from elevated points in a flat country. It does not stand forth among my recollections as a spectacle unique, and never to be forgotten, as that of the night before does. Very soon after the sun rose the heat became painful on our elevated seat, and we hastened to descend-an operation somewhat difficult, but not so serious as the ascent had been. We mounted our donkeys, and after paying a farewell visit to the Sphinx, we returned to Cairo as we had come, all agreeing that our expedition was one of the most agreeable and interesting we had ever made. I confess that it was with something of fear and trembling that I returned to the Sphinx that morning. I feared that the impressions which I had received the night before might be effaced by the light of day. But it was not so. The lines were fainter, and less deeply marked, but I found, or thought I found, the same meaning in them still.

[Sidenote: Passengers homeward bound.]

May 10th.—We are now passing some islands, nearly opposite to Mocha: to morrow at an early hour we shall probably reach Aden. Shall we find any Chinese news there? And if we do, what will be its character? We have not yet heard a syllable to induce us to think that matters will be settled without a conflict, but then we have seen nothing official. We met, at the station-house on the Nile, between Alexandria and Cairo, the passengers by the last Calcutta mail-steamer. There were some from China among them, but I could gather from them nothing of any interest. It was a curious scene, by the way, that meeting: 260 first-class passengers, including children, pale and languid-looking, thrown into a great barn-like refectory, in which were already assembled our voyage companions (we ourselves had a separate room), jovial-looking, and with roses in their cheeks, which they are doubtless hastening to offer at the shrine of the sun. These two opposing currents, bearing such legible records of the climes from which they severally came, met for a moment on the banks of the Nile, time enough to interchange a few hasty words, and then rushed on in opposite directions. As I am not like the Englishman in 'Eothen,' who passes his countryman in the Desert without accosting him, I had as much talk as I could with all the persons coming from China whom I could find, though, as I said, without obtaining any information of value.

[Sidenote: Perim.]

May 11th.—Seven A.M.—Before I retired last night, I saw, through the starlight (we have little moon now) Perim. On the right is an excellent safe channel, eleven miles wide; so that it will be impossible to command the entrance of the Red Sea from Perim. There is a good anchorage on this side, so says our captain; but of course we could not see it. I am sorry we passed it so late, as I should have liked Gros to have seen it, in order that he might calm the susceptibilities of his Government in respect to its formidable character. I enclose a little bit of a plant which I gathered on my return from the Pyramids. The botanist on board says it is a species of camomile. It is a commonplace plant, with a little blue flower, but I took a fancy to it, because it had the pluck to venture farther into the Desert, and to approach nearer the Pyramids than any other which I saw.

[Sidenote: Aden.]

On Shore at Aden.—Noon.—I am at the house of Captain Playfair, who represents the Resident during his absence. A very pleasant breeze is blowing through the wall of reeds or bamboo, which encloses the verandah in which I am writing. I am most agreeably disappointed by the temperature; and, strange to say, both Captain P. and his wife do not complain of Aden! So it is with all who live here. And yet, when one looks at the place, dry as a heap of ashes, glared upon by a tropical sun, without a single blade of grass to repose the eye, or a drop of moisture from above to cool the air, save only about once in two years, when the sluices of Heaven are opened, and the torrents come down with a fury unexampled elsewhere, one feels at first inclined to doubt whether it can be possible for human beings to live here. I suppose that it is the reaction, produced by finding that it is not quite so bad as it appears, that reconciles people to their lot, and makes them so contented. We have got some scraps of China news; and what there is, seems to be pacific.

[Sidenote: Books.]

At Sea.—May 15th.—If we go on to China, if we take the matter in hand, then I think, coûte que coûte, we must finish it, and finish it thoroughly. I do not believe that it will take us long to do so; but the indispensable is, that it should be done. This is my judgment on the matter, and I tell it to you as it presents itself to my own mind; but how much wiser is Gros, who does not peer into the dim future, but awaits calmly the dispersion of the mists which surround it!… He has been reading the book on Buddhism (St. Hilaire's), which I got on your recommendation, and have lent him. I have myself read Thiers; the Idylls over again; some other poems of Tennyson's, &c. &c. The first of these is very interesting. The passion of the French nation for the name of Napoleon seems more and more wonderful when one peruses the record of the frightful sufferings which he brought upon them; and yet, at the time when his reign was drawing to its close, the disgust occasioned by his tyranny seemed to be the ruling sentiment with all classes. As to the Idylls, on a second perusal I like 'Enid' better than on the first; 'Vivien' better; 'Elaine' less; and 'Guinevere' still best of all. Nothing in the volume can approach the last interview between Arthur and the Queen.

May 19_th._—We are to reach Galle to-morrow or next day…. I think of you and the dear small ones, to whom I feel myself drawn more closely than ever; for, in spite of my preoccupations, I became better acquainted with them during my last eleven months at home, than ever before-dear B.'s full and thoughtful eye; L.'s engaging and loving ways. Oh that I could be at home and at peace to enjoy all this!

[Sidenote: Ceylon.]

Ceylon, May 21_st._—Last night was black and stormy, and when I came on deck this morning, I was told that we did not know exactly where we were; that we had turned our ship's head homewards, and were searching for Ceylon. We found it after a while, and landed in a pelt of rain at about noon…. On landing, I asked eagerly for China news. Hardly any to be obtained; little more than vague surmises. Nothing to justify an arrest of our movements, so we must go on. I do not know how it is, but I feel sadder and more depressed than I have felt before. I cannot but contrast my position when in this house a year ago with my present position. Then I was returning to you, looking forward to your dear welcome, complete success having crowned my mission to China, I am now going from you on this difficult and unwelcome errand…. I feel as if I knew every stone of the place where I passed so many weary hours, waiting for Frederick, with a fever on me, or coming on. Gros is in the next room bargaining for rubies and sapphires; but I do not feel disposed to indulge in such extravagances…. The steamer in which we are to proceed to-morrow looks very small, with diminutive portholes. We shall be a large party, and, I fear, very closely packed.

[Sidenote: Russell on the Indian Mutiny.]

May 22nd.—Have you read Russell's book on the Indian Mutiny? I have done so, and I recommend it to you. It has made me very sad; but it only confirms what I believed before respecting the scandalous treatment which the natives receive at our hands in India. I am glad that he has had courage to speak out as he does on this point. Can I do anything to prevent England from calling down on herself God's curse for brutalities committed on another feeble Oriental race? Or are all my exertions to result only in the extension of the area over which Englishmen are to exhibit how hollow and superficial are both their civilisation and their Christianity?… The tone of the two or three men connected with mercantile houses in China whom I find on board is all for blood and massacre on a great scale, I hope they will be disappointed; but it is not a cheering or hopeful prospect, look at it from what side one may.

[Sidenote: Shipwreck.]

Galle, May 23rd.—L'homme propose, mais…. I ended my letter yesterday by telling you that I was about to embark for Singapore amid torrents of rain and growlings of thunder; but I little thought what was to follow on this inauspicious embarkation. We got on board the Peninsular and Oriental steamer 'Malabar' with some difficulty, there was so much sea where the vessel was lying; and I was rather disgusted to find, when I mounted the deck, that some of the cargo or baggage had not yet arrived, and that we were not ready for a start. I was already half wet through, and there was nothing for it but to sit still on a bench under a dripping awning. About twenty minutes after I had established myself in this position, the wind suddenly shifted, and burst upon us with great fury from the north-east. The monsoon, now due, comes from the south-west, and therefore a gale from the north-east was unexpected, though I must say that, as we were being assailed by constant thunderstorms, we had no right, in my opinion, to consider ourselves secure on any side against the assaults of the wind. Be this however as it may, the gale was so violent that I observed to some one near me that it reminded me of a typhoon. I had hardly made this remark, when a severe shock, accompanied by a grating sound, conveyed to me the disagreeable information that the stern of the vessel was on the rocks. Whether we tad two anchors out or one; whether our cables were hove taut or not; whether we had thirty fathoms out or only fifteen, are points still in dispute; but at any rate we had no steam; so, after we once were on the rock, we had for some time no means of getting off it. During this period the thumping and grating continued. It seemed, moreover, once or twice, to be probable that we should run foul of a ship moored near us. However, after a while, the engines began to work, and then symptoms of a panic manifested themselves. The passengers came running up to me, saying that the captain was evidently going to sea, that there were merchant captains and others on board who declared that the certain destruction of the ship and all on board would be the consequence, and begging me to interfere to save the lives of all, my own included. At first I declined to do anything,—told them that I had no intention of taking the command of the ship, and recommended them in that respect to follow my example. At last, however, as they became importunate, I sent Crealock[2] to the captain, with my compliments, to ask him whether we were going to sea. The answer was not encouraging, and went a small way towards raising the spirits of my nervous friends around me. 'Going to sea,' said the captain, 'why, we are going to the bottom.' The fact is that we were at the time when that reply was given going pretty rapidly to the bottom. The water was rising fast in the after-part of the ship, and to this providential circumstance I ascribe our safety. The captain started with the hope that he would be able to pump into his boilers all the water made by the leak. If he had succeeded, the chances are that by this time the whole concern would have been deposited somewhere in the bed of the ocean. The leak was, however, too much for him, and he had nothing for it but to run over to the opposite side of the anchorage, where there is a sandy bay, and there to beach his ship. We performed this operation successfully, though at times it seemed probable that the water would gain upon us so quickly as to stop the working of the engines before we reached our destination. If this had happened we should have drifted on some of the rocks with which the harbour abounds. When we had got the stern of the vessel into the sand we discovered that we had not accomplished much, for the said sand being very loose, almost of the character of quicksand, and the sea running high, the stern kept sinking almost as rapidly as when it had nothing but water below it. The cabins were already full of water, and the object was to land the passengers. As usual, there was the greatest difficulty in launching any of the ship's boats, and none of the vessels in the harbour, except one Frenchman (and one English I have since heard, but its boat was swamped, and therefore I did not see it), saw fit to send a boat to our assistance. In order to prevent too great a rush to the boats, I thought it expedient to announce that the women must go first, and that, for my own part, I intended to leave the ship last.[3] This I was enabled to do without unnecessary parade, as the first boat lowered was offered to me,—and no doubt the announcement had some effect in keeping things quiet and obviating the risk of swamping the boats, which was the only danger we had then to apprehend. Such were our adventures of yesterday afternoon. I had a presentiment that something would happen at Galle, though I could hardly have anticipated that I should be wrecked, and wrecked within the harbour!… Five P.M.—I have just been on the beach looking at our wreck. The stern, and up to the funnel is now all under water. A. jury of 'experts' have sat on the case, and their decision is, that nothing can be done to recover what is in the after part of the vessel (passenger's luggage and specie) until the next monsoon sets in—some five or six months hence! A wardrobe which has spent that period of time under the sea will be a curiosity!

This untoward accident detained him for a fort-night at Galle, occupied in superintending and pressing on the operation of fishing up what could be saved from the wreck. By the aid of divers, his 'Full Powers' and his decorations were recovered, together with most of his wearing apparel; but his 'letter of credence' was gone, and he had to telegraph to the Foreign Office for a duplicate.

[Sidenote: News from China.]

In the meantime the lingering hope which he had cherished of an immediate return to England was dispelled by accounts from China, which made it clear that he must proceed thither and go through with the expedition.

May 28th.—Seven A.M.—This will be a sad letter to you, and I write it with a heavy heart, though we have much to be thankful for in the issue of this adventure…. I trust that Providence reserves for us a time of real quiet and enjoyment. I go to China with the determination, God willing! to bring matters there to a speedy settlement. I think that this is as indispensable for the public as for my own private interest. Gros is of the same opinion. I still hope, therefore, that with the change of the monsoon we may be wending our way homewards.

[Sidenote: Missionary station.]

June 3rd.—Nothing has occurred to mark the lapse of time except a visit we paid two days ago to a place called Ballagam, some ten miles from here. It is a missionary station, built by the money of the Church Missionary Society, or by funds raised through the Society. It is situated on rising ground, and consists of an excellent bungalow for the missionary, a church, and a school. A good part of the building is upon an artificial terrace supported by masonry, and must have cost a great deal of money. It appears that at one time, while the work was going on, and cash was abundant, the congregation of so- called Christians numbered some 400. It is now reduced to thirty adults and about fifty children. The European missionary has left the place, and it is in the hands of a native missionary. It gave me a lively idea of the way in which good people in England are done out of their money for such schemes.

June 4th.—This morning I was awakened by the appearance of Loch in my room, carrying a bag with letters from England. I jumped up and opened yours, ended on the 10th of May. Your letter is a great compensation for our shipwreck and delay, and it is at once a strange coincidence and contrast to what happened on the last occasion. Then your first letters to me were shipwrecked, and delayed a month in reaching me. This time I have been shipwrecked myself almost in the same place, and I have got your dear letter a month sooner than I had anticipated. How differently do events turn out from our expectations!… I suppose we shall get off to-morrow, though the steamer for China is not yet arrived…. I have saved a considerable portion of my effects, some a good deal damaged. But some of my staff have lost much more, as they travel with a greater quantity of clothing, &c., than I do.

At last, on the 5th of June, they were able to leave Ceylon; and they reached Penang, after a rough passage, on the 11th.

[Sidenote: Penang.]

Steamer 'Pekin,' Straits of Malacca.—June 12th.—You may perhaps remember that, when I first visited Penang in 1857, the Chinese established there mustered in force to do me honour. There was a sketch in the 'Illustrated News,' which portrayed our landing. No similar demonstration took place on this occasion; whether this was the result of accident or design, I cannot tell…. I have every inducement to labour to bring my work to a close; to reach sooner that peaceful home-life towards which I am always aspiring…. I think that I have a duty to perform out here; but as to any advantage which will accrue to myself from its performance, I am, I confess, very little hopeful…. It is terrible to think how long I may have to wait for my next letters. If we go on to the North at once, we shall be always increasing the distance that separates us. It is wearisome, too, passing over ground which I have travelled twice before. No interest of novelty to relieve the mind. Penang and Ceylon are very lovely, but one cares little, I think, for revisiting scenes which owe all their charm to the beauties of external nature. It is different when such beauties are the setting, in which are deposited historical associations, and the memories of great deeds or events. I do not feel the slightest desire to see again any even of the most lovely of the scenes I have witnessed in this part of the world. Indeed, so tired am I of this route, that I sometimes feel tempted to try to return by way of the Pacific, if I could do so without much loss of time…. This is only a passing idea, however, and not likely to be realised.

[Sidenote: Singapore.]

June 13th.—Singapore.—We arrived at about noon. I find a new governor, Colonel Cavanagh…. I am to take up my abode at the Government House. Not much news from China, but a letter from Hope Grant, asking me to order to China a Sikh regiment, which has been stopped here by Canning's orders, and I think I shall take the responsibility of reversing C.'s order, with which the men were very much disgusted.

The next day he was afloat again, on his way to Hong-Kong.

June 14th.—When you receive this, you will be thinking of dear Bruce's school plans. Would that I could share your thoughts and anxieties!… I have been reading a rather curious book—the 'Life of Perthes,' a Hamburg bookseller. It reveals something of the working of the inner life of Germany during the time of the first Napoleonic Empire. It might interest you.

[Sidenote: Books.]

June 17th.—Another Sunday. How many since we parted? I cannot count them. It seems to me as if a good many years had elapsed since that sad evening at Dover. But here I am going on farther and farther from home! We hope to reach Hong-Kong on Thursday next; but that is not the end of my voyage, though it is the beginning of my work. I am still comparatively idle, ransacking the captain's cabin for books. The last I have read is Kingsley's 'Two Years Ago.' I do not wonder that you ladies like Kingsley, for he makes all his women guardian angels.

June 19th.—I have read Trench's 'Lectures on English' since yesterday. I think you know them, but I had not done more than glance at them before. They open up a curious field of research if one had time enough to enter upon it. The monotony of our life is not broken by many incidents. Tennyson's poem of the 'Lotus-Eaters' suits us well, as we move noiselessly through this polished sea, on which the great eye of the sun is glaring down from above. We passed a ship yesterday with all sails set. This was an event; to-day a butterfly made its appearance. In two days I may be forming decisions on which the well-being of thousands of our fellow-creatures may be contingent.

June 20th.—Still it is sad, sometimes almost overwhelming, to think of the many causes of anxiety from which you may be suffering, of which for months I can have no knowledge, and with which these letters when you receive them may seem to have no sympathy…. I can only pray that you may have in your troubles a protection and a guidance more effectual than any which I could afford when I was with you…. As to my own particular interests, I mean those connected with my mission, I can hardly form any conjectures…. I am glad that the time for work is arriving, though I cannot but feel a little nervous anxiety until I know what I shall learn at Hong-Kong respecting our prospects with the Chinese, &c. &c.

Arrived at Hong-Kong on the following day, he found letters from his brother Frederick—'generous and magnanimous as ever'—giving him some hope of there being an opening for diplomacy, and a chance of settling matters speedily. In this hope he pressed on to Shanghae, whither the naval and military authorities with whom he was to act had preceded him.

Steamship 'Ferooz.'—At Sea.—June 27th.—We are rolling a great deal and very uncomfortably,—a more disagreeable passage than I made last time in the month of March. So much for all the talk about the monsoon…. Writing is no easy matter; and I shall probably also have little time after reaching Shanghae to-morrow, as the mail is likely to leave on Saturday next, and I may have despatches to send which will occupy my time…. I cannot go much farther, for already I am separated from you by nearly one-half of the globe. I sometimes think of how I am to return for a change,—by the Pacific, by Siberia. It would be rather a temptation to take this overland route. Thurlow,[4] it appears, has already written to St. Petersburg to ask leave for himself and Crealock to return through Russia. Alas! these are castles in the air, very well to indulge in before we reach Shanghae and the stern realities of the mission.

[Sidenote: Shanghae.]

At Shanghae he had the happiness of meeting his brother, and the benefit of hearing from his own lips a full account of the past, and discussing with him their common plans for the future. The noble qualities of that brother, shining out the more brightly in adverse circumstances, filled him with admiration which his affectionate nature delighted to express.

[Sidenote: Mr. Bruce.]

Shanghae.—June 30th.—Frederick is a noble-hearted man; perhaps the noblest I have ever met with in my experience of my fellows…. He has had a most difficult task here to perform, and to the best of my judgment has performed it with great ability.

Shanghae, July 1st.—Frederick, partly from generosity of character, and partly from sympathy with the Admiral and admiration of his valour, abstained from stating in his own justification all the circumstances of the unfortunate affair at the Peiho last year. Moreover, Frederick's policy at the mouth of the Peiho was one which required success to justify it in the eyes of persons at a distance. After the failure, no matter by whose fault, he could not have escaped invidious criticism, however clear might have been his demonstration that for that failure he was not directly or indirectly responsible. Therefore I think it probable that the result will prove that, in following the dictates of his own generous nature, he adopted the course which in the long-run will be found to have been the wisest…. I do not like to speak too confidently of the future. Of course their victory of last year has increased the self-confidence of the Chinese Government, and rendered it more arrogant in its tone. Nevertheless, I am of opinion that the result will prove that I estimated correctly their power of resistance; that we have spent in our armaments against them three times as much as was necessary; and that, if we have difficulties to encounter, they are likely to be due not to the strength of the enemy, but to the cumbrous preparations of ourselves and allies, and the loss of time and hazards of climate, and other embarrassments which we are creating for ourselves. My last remark to Lord Palmerston was, that I would rather march on Pekin with 5,000 men than with 25,000.

On board the 'Ferooz.'—July 5th.—Four P.M._—We have passed out of the Shanghae river into the Yangtze-kiang. It is delightfully cool, and the wind which is now against us will be with us when we get out to sea, and direct our course to the North. … Frederick's conduct has won for him, and most justly, general admiration. A hint was given to me before I started, that an ambassador would meet me at the mouth of the Peiho as soon as I arrived. If a proceeding of this nature on the part of the Court of Pekin precedes our capture of the forts, it will be a great embarrassment to me. The poor old 'Furious' was lying at anchor at Shanghae. To see her brought back many feelings of 'auld lang syne.' Shanghae altogether excited in my mind a good deal of a home feeling. It was the place at which, during my first mission, I tad enjoyed most repose. … Frederick remains there until I have completed my work in the North, and I think he is right in doing so, although I should have been glad of his company and assistance.

July 6th.—It does not do to be sanguine in this world, still I have cause to hope that our business in the North will be speedily settled, if we can only get the French to begin at once. What I have to consider is how best to prevent my mission from impairing in any degree Frederick's authority and prestige. As regards his own countrymen there is little danger of this result; he already stands so high in their esteem. With the Chinese there may be more fear of this result; but it is so much in accordance with their notions that an elder brother should take the part which I am now doing, that I do not think the risk is great, and were it so, even, I should find some means of counteracting the evil.

[Sidenote: Talie-Whan]

The place appointed for the assembling of the English forces was the bay of Talien-Whan, near the southern extremity of a promontory named Regent's Sword, which, running down from the north into the Yellow Sea, cuts off on its western side a large gulf, of which the northern part is known by the name of Leao-Tong, the southern by the name of Pecheli. The rendezvous of the French was at Chefoo, about eighty miles south of Talien-Whan, on the opposite side of the strait which forms the entrance of the large gulf already mentioned. Both places are about 200 miles distant from the mouth of the Peiho, which is at the western extremity of the gulf.

It was on the 9th of July that Lord Elgin reached the shores where lay already congregated the formidable force, for the employment of which, as the secular arm of his diplomacy, he was henceforth to be responsible.

July 9th.—Eight A.M.—It is a calm sea and scorching sun, very hot, and it looks hotter still in that bay, protected by bare rocky promontories and islets, and backed by hills, within which we discover a fleet at anchor. What will this day bring forth? How much we are in the hand of Providence 'rough-hew our ends as we may!' In little more than an hour we shall probably be at our journey's close for the time.

[Sidenote: Country-people.]

I have just heard a story of the poor country-people here. A few days ago, a party of drunken sailors went to a village, got into a row, and killed a man by mistake. On the day following, three officers went to the village armed with revolvers. The villagers surrounded them, took from them the revolvers (whether the officers fired or not is disputed), and then conducted them, without doing them any injury, to their boat. An officer, with an interpreter, was then sent to the village to ask for the revolvers. They were at once given up, the villagers stating that they had no wish to take them, but that as one of their number had been shot already, they objected to people coming to them with arms.

July 10th.—What will the House of Commons say when the bill which has to be paid for this war is presented? The expense is enormous: in my opinion, utterly disproportionate to the objects to be effected. The Admiral is doing things excellently well, if money be no object.

July 12th.-We are in a delightful climate. Troops and all in good health. I shall not, however, dilate on these points, because I am sure you will read all about it in the Times. 'Our Own Correspondent' is in the next cabin to me, completing his letter. I leave it to him to tell all the agreeable and amusing things that are occurring around us. My letters to you are nothing but the record of incidents that happen to affect me at the time; trifling things sometimes; sometimes things that irritate; things that pass often and leave no impression, as clouds reflected on a lake.

[Sidenote: Cavalry camp.]
[Sidenote: Sir Hope Grant.]

Talien-Whan Bay.—July 14th.—Yesterday, at an early hour, the French Admiral and General arrived. It was agreed that they should go over to the cavalry camp on the other side of the bay, some ten miles off, and that I should accompany them. No doubt you will see in the Times a full account of all that took place on the occasion. Nothing could be more perfect than the condition of the force, both men and horses. The picturesqueness of the scene; the pleasant bay, with its sandy margin and background of bleak hills, seamed by the lines of the cavalry tents; the troops drawn up in the foreground in all their variety of colour and costume, from the two squadrons of H.M.'s Dragoon Guards on the right to the two squadrons of Fane's light-blue Sikh Irregulars on the left; the experiments with the Armstrong guns—from one of which a shell was fired which went over the hills and vanished into space, no one knows whither—will all be described by a more graphic pen than mine. The weather was excellent. Enough covering over the sky to prevent the rays of the sun from striking us too fiercely, and yet no rain. The proceedings of the day terminated by some tours de force of the Sikh cavalry and their officers; wrenching tent-pegs from the ground with their lances, and cutting oranges with their sabres when at full gallop. Everything went to confirm the favourable opinion of the state of the army here which I expressed in my last letter. Hope Grant seems very much liked. It can hardly be otherwise, for there is a quiet simplicity and kindliness about his manner which, in a man so highly placed, must be most winning. I am particularly struck by the grin of delight with which the men of a regiment of Sikhs (infantry) who were with him at Lucknow, greet him whenever they meet him. I observed on this to him, and he said: 'Oh, we were always good friends. I used to visit them when they were sick, poor fellows. They are in many ways different from the Mohammedans. Their wives used to come in numbers, and walk over the house where Lady Grant and I lived.' The contrast with what I saw when I was in China before, in regard to the treatment of the natives, is most remarkable. There seems to be really no plundering or bullying. In so far as I can see, we have here at present a truly model army and navy: not however, I fear, a cheap one.

The Admiral told me last night he had written to the Admiralty to say that, looking to the future, he believed there were two distinct operations by which the Pekin Government could be coerced,—either by a military force on a large scale such as this, or by a blockade of the Gulf of Pecheli, undertaken early in the year, &c. I was glad to hear him say this, because I recommended the latter course immediately after we heard of the Peiho disaster, with a view to save all this expenditure; and I still think that if the measures which I advised had been adopted, including the sending up to the north of China two or three regiments (enough, with the assistance of the fleet, to take the Taku Forts), much of this outlay might have been spared.

Sunday, July 15th.—I have been on board the Admiral's ship for church. Afterwards I had some talk with him in regard to future proceedings. … The problem we have to solve here is a very difficult one; for while we are up here for the purpose of bringing pressure to bear on the Emperor, as a means of placing our relations with China on a proper footing, we have news from the South which looks as if the Government of the Empire was about to pass out of his feeble hands into those of the Rebels, who have upon us the claim that they profess a kind of Christianity.

[Sidenote: A birthday.]

July 20th.[5]—I know that you will not forget this day, though it can only remind you of the declining years and frequent wanderings of one who ought to be your constant protector, and always at your side. It is very sad that we should pass it apart, but I can say something comforting upon it. The Admiral and General came here yesterday, and agreed with the French authorities that the two fleets are to start for the rendezvous on the 26th. Ignatieff, the Russian, who made his appearance here to-day, said, 'After your force lands, I give you six days to finish everything.' If he says what he thinks, it is a promising view of things. Six days before we start, six days to land the troops, and six days to finish the war! Eighteen days from this, and we may be talking of peace. Alas! what resemblance will the facts bear to these anticipations?

[Sidenote: Chefoo.]
[Sidenote: Plans for landing.]

Talien-Whan.—July 21st.—Now for a word about Chefoo. I had agreed to dine with the General, Montauban, on the night of my arrival, so, after visiting Gros, I went to his headquarters. I found him in a very well-built, commodious Chinese house. I must tell you that, as we were entering the bay, we descried a steamer a-head of us, and it turned out to be a vessel sent by the French to examine the spot (south of the Peiho Forts), which had been selected for the place of their debarkation when the attack comes off. On the evening of our dinner, the General did not enter into particulars, but gave me to understand that the result of the exploration had been very unsatisfactory, and that his scheme for landing was altogether upset. I heard this with considerable dismay, as I feared that it might be employed as a reason for delay. Before we parted that night, I agreed to land next morning, to see his artillery, &c. He read me the unfavourable report of his exploring party, which was headed by Colonel Schmid, a great friend of the Emperor's, and the best man (so they say) they have got here. He contends that all along the line of coast there is a band of hard sand, at a considerable distance from low-water mark; that the water upon it is very shallow; and that, beyond, there is an interval of soft mud, over which cannon, &c., could not be carried. The French are no doubt very much behind us in their preparations, but then it is fair to say that they have not spent a tenth part of the money, and with their small resources they have done a good deal. It was wonderful how their little wild Japanese ponies had been trained in a few days to draw their guns. After the review we took a ride to the top of a hill, from whence we had a very fine prospect. It is a much more fertile district than this, beautifully cultivated, and the houses better than I have seen anywhere else in China. The people seemed very comfortable, and their relations with the French are satisfactory, as we may infer from the abundant supplies brought to market. On the following morning the English Admiral and General arrived. They had their interview with the French authorities, and settled that on the 26th the fleets should sail from Talien-Whan and Chefoo respectively to the rendezvous, somewhere opposite Taku. From that point the Admirals and Generals are to proceed on a further exploration, and to effect a disembarkation on the earliest possible day. So the matter stands for the present. The state of Europe is very awkward, and an additional reason for finishing this affair.[6] For if Russia and France unite against us, not only will they have a pretty large force here, but they will get news viâ Russia sooner than we do, which may be inconvenient.

July 22nd, Sunday.—The thirteenth since we parted. It seems like as many months or years. Some one said to-day at breakfast that it is the last quiet one we are likely to have for a while. In one sense I hope this may turn out to be true…. To-morrow our cavalry and artillery are to be embarked. This takes place on the other side of this bay, and I intend to go over to see the operation.

July 26th.—Noon.—I am now starting (having witnessed the departure of the fleet) for the scene of action in the Gulf of Pecheli. The sight of this forenoon has been a very striking one, just enough breeze to enable the vessels to spread their sails. We have about 180 miles to go to the point of rendezvous…. Meanwhile, one has as usual one's crop of small troubles. The servants threatened to strike yesterday, but they were soon brought to reason.

[Sidenote: The rendezvous.]
[Sidenote: Jesuit letters.]

July 27th.—Ten A.M.—We have reached our destination after a most smooth passage, during which we have followed close in the wake of the Admiral…. I am reading the 'Lettres édifiantes et curieuses,' which are the reports of the Jesuit missionaries who were established in China at the commencement of the last century. They are very interesting, and the writers seem to have been good and zealous people. At the same time one cannot help being struck by their puerility on many points. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration pushed to its extreme logical conclusions, as it is by them, leads to rather strange practical consequences. Starting from the principle that all unbaptized children are certainly eternally lost, and all baptized (if they die immediately) as certainly saved, they naturally infer that they do more for the kingdom of heaven by baptizing dying children than by any other work of conversion in which they can be engaged. The sums which they expend in sending people about the streets, to administer this sacrament to all the moribund children they can find; the arts which they employ to perform this office secretly on children in this state whom they are asked to treat medically; and the glee with which they record the success of their tricks, are certainly remarkable. From some passages I infer that, in the Roman Catholic view of the case, the rite of baptism may be administered even by an unbeliever.

[Sidenote: The Pey-tang.]

Two P.M.—Hope Grant has teen on board. He tells me that the mouth of the Pey-tang is not staked, and that the 'Actaeon's' boat went three miles up the river. This river is seven or eight miles from the Peiho, and the Chinese have had a year to prepare to resist us. It appears that there is nothing to prevent the gunboats from going up that river.

July 28th—Eleven A.M.—The earlier part of last night was very hot, … and I got feverish and could not sleep. Towards morning the good luck of the leaders in this expedition came again into play; a breeze sprang up from the right quarter, so that the whole of the sailing ships have been helped marvellously on their way. When I went on deck the whole line of the French fleet—it consists almost exclusively of steamers—was coming gallantly on, Gros at the head. He is quite cutting me out this time. The farther distance was filled by our sailing transports scudding before the wind. They have been filing past us ever since, dropping into their places, which are rather difficult to find, as the Admiral has changed all his dispositions since his arrival here. The captain of the 'Actaeon' dined here yesterday. He told me he had gone a mile or two up the Pey-tang river, been allowed to land, seen the fort, which is quite open behind, and contains about a hundred men. Thirty thousand English (fleet and army) and ten thousand French ought to be a match for so far-sighted an enemy. However, I suppose we must not crow till we see what the Tartar warriors are. Three P.M.—The French Admiral has just been here. He tells me that we are to move from the anchorage to a place nearer Pey- tang on Monday, and that on Tuesday a reconnaissance in force is to be made on that place, with the intention, I presume, of taking it.

[1] Vide supra, p. 226.

[2] Colonel Crealock, military secretary to the Embassy.

[3] 'The absence of any panic was very creditable to the passengers. It, however, was mainly due to the conduct of the two Ambassadors, who, during the whole time, remained quietly seated on the poop conversing together, as if no danger 'impended.'—Personal Narrative of Occurrences during Lord Elgin's Second Embassy to China, by H.B. Loch Private Secretary.

[4] The Honourable T.J. Hovell Thurlow, attaché to the Embassy.

[5] His birthday.

[6] The reference apparently is to the uneasiness produced in Europe by the annexation of Savoy to France.



[Sidenote: The landing.]

On the 1st of August the landing of the allied troops was effected in perfect order, without the slightest opposition on the part of the inhabitants, at the point already mentioned, viz. near the little town of Pey-tang which is situated at the mouth of a river of the same name, about eight miles north of the mouth of the Peiho. What Lord Elgin saw of the operations is described in the following letter:—

August 2nd.—There have been a few days' interval since I wrote, and I now date from Pey-tang, and from the General's ship the 'Granada,' a Peninsular and Oriental steamer; for I owe it to him that I am here. I need hardly tell you the events that have occurred—public events I mean—since the 28th, as they will all be recorded by 'Our Own.' We moved on the 29th to a different anchorage, some five miles nearer Pey-tang. … All the evidence was to the effect that the Pey-tang Forts were undefended, at least that there were no barricades in the river, and therefore that the best way of taking them would be to pass them in the gunboats as we did the Peiho Forts in 1858, and as we also passed Nankin that year … but it was resolved that we should land a quantity of men in the mud about a mile and a half below them. This was to have taken place on the 30th, and those of my gentlemen who intended to leave me, as better fun was to be found elsewhere, kept up a tremendous bustle and noise from about 4 A.M. However, at about 6, they were informed that the orders for landing were countermanded, on the plea that there was too much sea to admit of the horses being transferred from the vessels to the gunboats. Next day, the 31st, it was raining, and the sea seemed rougher in the morning. However, at about 9, the gunboats began to move. The General had agreed that I should have his ship, and that I should move either over the bar or as near to it as I could manage. … I anchored the 'Granada' outside the bar, and as I did not choose to lose the sight of the landing, I got into my row-boat … going at last on board the 'Coromandel,' the Admiral's ship. The landing went on merrily enough. It was a lovely, rather calm evening. We were within a long-range shot of the Forts; and if shot or shell had dropped among the boats and men who were huddled up on the edge of the mud-bank, it would have been inconvenient. Our enemy, however, had no notion of doing anything so ungenerous; so the landing went on uninterruptedly, the French carrying almost all they wanted on their backs, our men employing coolies, &c., for that purpose. We saw nothing of the enemy except the movements of a few Tartar horsemen out of and into the town, galloping along the narrow causeway on which our troops were to march. At midnight eight gunboats—six English and two French—steamed past the Forts. It was a moment of some excitement, because we did not know whether or not they would be fired at. However, nothing of the kind took place; and, about an hour after they had started, three rockets that soared and burst over the village intimated that they had reached the place appointed to them. Having witnessed this part of the proceedings I lay down on the deck with my great-coat over me; but not for long, for at half-past two, Captain Dew (my old friend)[1] arrived with the announcement that, having been on an errand to the lines of the troops, he had met a party of French soldiers who were obliging some Chinese to carry a wooden gun which they had captured in the fort, declaring that they had entered it, found it deserted, and possessed of no defences but two wooden guns. It turned out that they had not entered first, but that an English party, headed by Mr. Parkes, had preceded them. This rather promised to diminish the interest of the attack on the forts which had been fixed for half-past four in the morning. But there was another fort on the opposite side of the river, perhaps there might be some resistance there. Alas! vain hope. Three shots were fired at it from the gunboats which had passed through during the night, and some twenty labourers walked out of it to seek a more secure field for their industry in some neighbouring village. Afterwards our troops went in and found it empty as the other; so ended the capture of Pey-tang.

We came over the bar in the evening, and I went to see Hope Grant at the captured fort, where he has fixed his abode. While there we discovered a strongish body of Tartar cavalry, at a distance of about four miles along the causeway which leads from this to Tientsin and Taku. I urged the General to send out a party to see what these gentry were doing, lest they should be breaking up the causeway, or doing any other mischief; and I heard from him this morning that he had arranged with General Montauban to do so, and that a party of 2,000 men started on that errand early. The Tartars seem to be in greater force than was supposed. The officer in command (rightly or wrongly, I know not which) resolved to consider the expedition merely a reconnaissance, and to retire after staying on the ground a short time. Of course the Tartars will consider this a victory, and will he elated by it; but perhaps this is a good thing, as it may induce them to face us on the open. The ground on which they were found is firm and fit for cavalry, and is about four miles from the Peiho Forts. This is a very nasty place. The country around is all under water, and it is impossible to get through it except by moving along the one or two causeways that intersect it. The military are, therefore, glad to find sound footing at no great distance.

[Sidenote: Chinese overtures.]

Up to this time no communication of any kind had passed between the Special Ambassadors and any Chinese officials. An ultimatum had been presented by Mr. Bruce in March, demanding an apology for the attack on our ships of war, the immediate ratification of the Treaty, and prompt payment of the indemnity of 4,000,000 taels, as therein stipulated. As these demands had been formally refused by the Chinese Government, there was no room for diplomacy. Even the bare announcement of his arrival Lord Elgin feared they might interpret as an invitation to treat, and use as an excuse for dilatory and evasive negotiations. The justice of this view was proved by what took place on the 5th of August. Having occasion to station one of his ships near the shore for the purpose of getting water, the Admiral sent a flag of truce to warn some Tartar troops posted near the spot, that 'his ship had not gone there with the view of making an attack, but that it would fire on the Tartars if they approached too near it.' The Governor- General at once took advantage of the opening this gave him. Affecting to believe that the flag of truce came from Lord Elgin, he addressed to him a despatch full of professions of amity, and saying that he 'had received instructions to discuss and dispose of all questions with the British Minister,' but containing no mention of the ultimatum. To this and numerous similar missives, which came for a time in rapid succession, Lord Elgin had but one reply—that he could discuss nothing until the demands already made had been satisfied.

August 9th.—My diplomacy began yesterday, for I received in the morning a communication from the Governor-General of the province, not frankly conceding our demands, but making tolerably plausible proposals for the sake of occasioning delay. I have refused to stay the march of the military on such overtures; but the great slowness of our operations is likely to lead me into diplomatic difficulties. The Chinese authorities, if they become frightened, are clever enough to advance propositions which it may be impossible to accede to without compromising the main objects of this costly expedition, and by refusing which I shall, nevertheless, expose myself to great animadversion. There was a reconnaissance again this morning, and I hope from the report of Crealock (who accompanied it, and who is doing very well) that the enemy will prove quite as little formidable as I have always expected. The serious advance was positively to have taken place to-morrow, but I almost fear there will be another delay. I am anxious to conclude peace as soon as possible after the capture of the Peiho Forts, because, from what I have seen of the conduct of the French here, I am sure that they will commit all manner of atrocities, and make foreigners detested in every town and village they enter. Of course their presence makes it very difficult to maintain discipline among our own people.

[Sidenote: Taking of the forts.]

The 'serious advance' took place on the 12th, and was completely successful. On that day the Allies took possession of the little town of Sinho: two days later they occupied Tangkow. The forts, however, which guarded the entrance of the Peiho—the Taku Forts, from which the British forces had been so disastrously repulsed the year before—remained untaken. Opinions were divided as to the plan of operations. The French were for attacking first the great fortifications on the right or southern bank of the river; but Sir Robert Napier urged that the real key to the enemy's position was the most northerly of the forts, on the left or northern bank. Happily his counsels prevailed. On the 21st this fort was taken by assault, with but little loss of life; and the soundness of the judgment which selected the point of attack was proved by the immediate surrender of all the remaining defensible positions on both sides of the river.

During the greater part of this time Lord Elgin was on board the 'Granada,' moored off Pey-tang, suffering all the anxieties of an active spirit condemned to inactivity in the midst of action: responsible generally for the fate of the expedition, yet without power to control any detail of its operations; fretting especially at the delays which are, perhaps, necessarily incident to a divided and subdivided command. Writing after the surrender of the Taku Forts he said:—

I have torn up the earlier part of this letter, because it is needless to place on record the anxieties I felt at that time. To revert to the portion of my history which was included in the part of my letter that I have destroyed, I must tell you that it was on the 12th that the troops first moved out of Pey-tang. I saw them defile past, and in the afternoon rode out to the camp, but was turned back by a large body of Tartar cavalry, who menaced my flank, and as some of my people had just discovered, in the apartment of the Tartar General at Sinho, a letter stating that they were determined to capture the 'big barbarian himself' this time, I thought it better to retrace my steps. The second action took place on the 14th, and on the 15th I rode out to see the General, and had a conference with him. On the 17th I went to the gulf to see Gros. I have had dozens of letters from the Chinese authorities, and I have answered some of them, not in a way to give them much pleasure. All these details were given at full length in my annihilated letter, but already they seem out of date.

Tangkow.—August 23rd.—Grant has been marvellously favoured by the weather, for the rain, which arrests all movements here, stopped the day before he moved out of Pey-tang, and began again about an hour after he had taken the Taku Fort, which led to the surrender of the whole. I must also say that the result entirely justified the selection which he made of his point of attack, and, as this was against the written opinion of the French General, it is a feather in Grant's cap. The Chinese are just the same as they were when I knew them formerly. They fired the cannons with quite as little accuracy, but there was one point of difference in their proceedings. On previous occasions we have always found their forts open on one side; so that, when they were turned, the troops left them and escaped. In this instance they were enclosed with ditches, palisades, stakes, &c., so that the poor fellows had nothing for it but to remain in them till they were pushed out by bayonets. Almost all our casualties occurred during the escalade. I went through the hospitals yesterday, and found very few who had been struck by round shot. A very small portion of the force was engaged, so that my opinion of its unnecessary magnitude is not shaken. I need not describe the action for you, as you will no doubt see elsewhere a detailed account of it. My own personal history will not be indifferent to you. I left the 'Granada' at about 5.30 P.M. on the 20th (Monday). Found some dinner and a tent at the camp at Sinho. Started next morning at about 5.30 A.M.; rode into Tangkow, where I now am, and mounted to the top of the Head-quarters' House, whence I had a very good view of the operations. I was dislodged after a while, because a battery opened fire at about fifteen hundred yards from us, and some of the balls fell so near, that we began to think they were perhaps firing at me. On being dislodged from my Belvidere, I took some breakfast to console myself; and soon after, seeing the British flag on the fort which we had been attacking, I rode over to it. We met a good many of our own wounded, and all round the fort were numbers of the poor Chinamen, staked and massacred in all sorts of ways. I found the two Generals there, and soon after the Admiral came up from his ship under a flag of truce. Two letters came to me from the Chinese; but, true to my policy of letting the fighting men have all the prestige of taking the Forts, I would not have anything to say to them. The messengers were told that they must give up the forts to the Commanders-in-Chief before I would listen to them; and that, in the meantime, the army would proceed with its operations. They moved on accordingly, and I returned to my post of observation at Tangkow. I had hardly reached it when the rain began, and in about an hour the roads had become absolutely impassable for artillery, and nearly so for everything else. The troops met with no resistance at the second fort, and the indefatigable Parkes having gone over to the unfortunate Governor-General, extorted from him a surrender of the whole, which he brought to the Commanders-in-Chief on the morning of the 22nd, having, I believe, dictated its terms. Of course, Grant's triumph is complete, and deservedly so. … The system of our army involves such an enormous transportation of provisions, &c., that we make, however, but slow progress. I have, therefore, urged the Admiral, who has got through the barriers at the mouth of the Peiho (and who is not unwilling to go ahead), to proceed up the river with his gunboats: if he meets with any obstructions which are serious, he can stop his progress, and await the arrival of troops. If he meets none, he will soon reach Tientsin.

August 24th.—This morning, at about four, Grant awoke me with a letter from the Admiral, saying that he had experienced in going up the river exactly what we did in 1858—the poor people coming down in crowds to offer submission and provisions, and no opposition of any kind. He wrote from ten miles below Tientsin, which place he was going to occupy with his small gunboat force. The General has agreed to despatch a body of infantry in gunboats, and to make his cavalry march by land; and I am only awaiting the return of the Admiral to move on. So all is going on well. Grant has also agreed to send a regiment to Shanghae in case there should be trouble there. … It really looks now as if my absence would not be protracted much beyond the time we used to speak of before I started. … At the same time, I do not like to be too confident.

[Sidenote: The Peiho.]

August 25th.—Noon.—High and dry at about fifteen miles below Tientsin. This must remind you of some of my letters from the Yangtze, two years ago. We started this morning at 6.30 in the 'Granada:' the General and I, with both our staffs. We had gone on famously to this point, scraping through the mud occasionally with success. In rounding a corner, however, at which a French gunboat had already stuck before us, we have run upon a bank. It is very strange to me to be going up the Peiho river again. The fertility of the plain through which it runs strikes me more than it did formerly. The harvest is at hand, and the crops clothe it luxuriantly. The poor people in the villages do not appear to fear us much. We treated them well before, and they expect similar treatment again. The Admiral did his work of occupying Tientsin well…. He has great qualities.

[Sidenote: Tientsin.]

Tientsin.—Sunday, August 26th.—We reached this place about midnight. It was about the most nervous operation at which I ever assisted, going round the sharp turns with this long ship by moonlight. I had a moment of painful saisissement when I felt almost certain that we should run into my dear colleague Gros, who had grounded in a little gunboat at one of the worst bends of the river. We only saved him by dropping an anchor from the stern, and going backwards full speed. The Yangtze was bad enough, but we never used to go on at night, and there was no danger of collisions. This ship looks also as if she would go head over heels much more easily than the 'Furious.' I am waiting for Parkes and the General before I decide as to landing, &c. Is it not strange to be here? Immediately ahead of us is the yamun where Gros and I spent the eventful weeks in 1858, which preceded the signature of the treaties of Tientsin! Two P.M.—We are to have the yamun in which Reed and Putiatine were lodged in 1858; a much better quarter than our old one; and the General, Gros, and I are all to lodge in it together.

[Sidenote: Chinese yamun.]

Tientsin.—August 27th.—I had a very bad headache after I had sent off the mail yesterday. … Our ship had, moreover, got aground, and was lying over so much on one side that it seemed possible that she might topple over altogether. Under these circumstances, and having the prospect of a very noisy night on board, I determined to land and sleep in my yamun. The portion of it dedicated to me consists of a regular Chinese garden, with rockwork and bridges, and ponds full of lotus leaves, and flowerpots of all dimensions with shrubs and flowers in them, surrounded on two sides by wooden buildings, containing rooms with carved woodwork and other Chinese neatnesses. It is the only house of a Chinese gentleman I have ever inhabited, for when I was here before I dwelt in a temple. The mosquitoes were a little troublesome at first, but I got my net up, and slept tolerably, better than I should have done here; for the iron ships get so heated by the sun during the day that they are never cool, however fresh the night air may be.

[Sidenote: Negotiations.]

August 29th.—I intended to have told you that I was sending a stiff letter to my old friend Kweiliang; but, in fact, it has taken some time and consultation with Gros to settle its terms, and it is only now being translated. Yesterday afternoon the long-expected mail arrived. … Shall I really eat my Christmas dinner with you? Really many things are more improbable than that. I hoped at one time that this letter might be despatched from Pekin; but as we have to meet Commissioners here, and to make a kind of supplementary treaty before proceeding thither, it is doubtful whether we shall accomplish this. I am not sure that I like my present domicile as well as I did my domicile here in 1858, because, although it is a great deal more orné, it is proportionably hotter, being surrounded by walls which we cannot see over. It is a great place, with an infinite number of courts and rooms of all sizes. I should think several families must live in it, unless the establishment of a Chinese gentleman is very large indeed. If Kweiliang and Co. come into our terms, my present intention is to send at once to Frederick officially, and request him to come on to Pekin. … He has been having some very troublesome work at Shanghae with the Rebels; indeed, there is at present work enough for both of us in China.

September 1st.—Kweiliang arrived last night, and sent me a hint that he intended to call on me to-day. I sent one in return, to say that I would not see him until he had answered my letter. I fear a little more bullying will be necessary before we bring this stupid Government up to the mark. Both yesterday and to-day I took a ride in the morning with Grant. I rode a horse of his, a very nice one. The sun becomes powerful very early, but it is a charming climate now. The abundance of all things wonderful: beef and mutton at about threepence a pound; peaches, grapes, and all sorts of vegetables in plenty; ice in profusion. I daresay, however, that in six weeks' time it may be very cold.

At one moment, on the 2nd of September, it really seemed as if the object of the mission was achieved; for the Imperial Commissioners—one of whom was the same Kweiliang who had conducted the negotiations in 1858—in a formal despatch gave a positive assurance that the Treaty of Tientsin should be faithfully observed, and that all the demands hitherto made should be conceded in full. A draft of convention was accordingly prepared on this basis; but, when it came to the point, Kweiliang and his colleagues declared that they had no authority to sign it without referring to Pekin; and it became obvious that he either did not possess, or did not at that moment wish it to be supposed that he possessed, powers equal to those which he held in 1858, although his previous language had been calculated to convey the opposite impression.

[Sidenote: Broken off.]

Here was clearly a deliberate design to create delay, with the view of dragging on negotiations into the winter. It was indispensable, Lord Elgin thought, to check this policy by an act of vigour; and accordingly, with the concurrence of Baron Gros, he intimated to the Imperial Commissioners that, in consequence of the want of good faith exhibited by them in assuming the title of Plenipotentiaries when they could not exercise the authority which it implied, and of the delays which the alleged necessity of constant reference to Pekin would occasion, he had determined to proceed at once to Tung-chow, in the immediate neighbourhood of the capital, and to enter into no further negotiations with them until he should have reached that place.

September 8th.—I am at war again! My idiotical Chinamen have taken to playing tricks, which give me an excellent excuse for carrying the army on to Pekin. It would be a long affair to tell you all the ins and outs, but I am sure from what has come to pass during the last few days, that we must get nearer Pekin before the Government there comes to its senses. The blockheads have gone on negotiating with me just long enough to enable Grant to bring all his army up to this point. Here we are, then, with our base established in the heart of the country, in a capital climate, with abundance around us, our army in excellent health, and these stupid people give me a snub, which obliges me to break with them. No one knows whether our progress is to be a fight or an ovation, for in this country nothing can be foreseen. I think it better that the olive-branch should advance with the sword. I am afraid that this change in the programme—a hostile instead of a peaceful march on Pekin—will keep me longer here, because I cannot send for Frederick till peace is made; and I cannot, I suppose, leave Pekin till he arrives there.

Sunday, September 9th.—Kweiliang and Co. wanted very much to call on me yesterday, but I would not receive them. The junior Commissioner, who was at Canton with Parkes, and knows him well, told him that, in fact, the people here had been urging them to make an effort to prevent war, saying: 'If we were sure that the foreigners would have the best of it, we should not care; but if they are worsted they will fall back on us, and wreak their vengeance upon us.' This does not seem a very formidable state of mind as far as we are concerned. We have behaved well to the people, except at Peytang and Sinho, and the consequence is that we can move through the country with comparative ease. If the people tried to cut off our baggage, and refused us supplies, we should find it very difficult to get on. … Noon.—I have just returned from a service on board the 'Granada,' where the clergyman administered the sacrament to a small congregation. At four we march to the wars; but as I go to bear the olive, it is not so bad a Sunday's work. You may very likely hear through Siberia of the result of our march before you receive this letter announcing that it is to take place. I shall not, therefore, speculate upon it.

Yang-tsun, about twenty miles above Tientsin.—September 10th.—Two P.M.—This morning we started at about five, and reached this encampment soon after seven. A very nice ride, cool, and through a succession of crops of millet; a stiff, reedy stem, some twelve or fourteen feet high, with a tuft on the top, is the physiognomy of the millet stalk. It would puzzle the Tartar cavalry to charge us through this crop. As it is, we have seen no enemy; and Mr. Parkes has induced the inhabitants to sell us a good many sheep and oxen. Our tents were not pitched till near noon; so I sat during most of the forenoon under the shade of a hedge. There has been thunder since, and a considerable fall of rain. I hope it will not make the roads impassable; but if it fills the river a little it will do us good, for we may then use it for the transport of our supplies, and it is now too low. We do not know much what is ahead of us, but we hear of Tartar troops farther on; and at Tung-chow it is said that a large army is collected under Sang-ko-lin-sin himself (their great general). I am now enjoying the life of a camp; writing to you seated on my portmanteau, with my desk on my only chair. It is perhaps better than my hothouse at Tientsin.

[Sidenote: New Plenipotentiaries.]

September 11th.-Six A.M.—Parkes and Wade have just been in my tent with a letter from two new Plenipotentiaries—really some of the highest personages in the empire—stating that they are under orders to come to Tientsin to settle everything, and deprecating a forward movement.[2] I shall of course stick by my programme, and decline to have anything to say to them till I reach Tung-chow. Of course this proceeding on their part augurs well for peace. It poured all last evening, and the General determined not to march this morning; but as it is fine now, I think we may start at noon, and make out our allotted march. It is cooler this morning, and I think it not improbable that the thunder of yesterday may close the hot season. However, the sun is coming out in his strength, so one cannot say what the day may bring forth. Ten A.M.—All our cart-drivers, with their animals, disappeared during last night, leaving the carts behind them. Probably they got a hint from the Chinese authorities. I am sorry for it, for if we begin to resort to measures of violence to supply ourselves, we may entirely alter the footing on which we have hitherto stood with the people. We are putting all our surplus goods into junks, in order to reduce our baggage.

[Sidenote: Chinese gentleman-farmer.]

Nan-tsai-tsun.—September 12th.—Where will this letter be sent from? It is begun at a small town on the close of our march of to-day, which ought to have been our march of yesterday. It was a very mild one—about eight miles—through a nice country, more wooded than former marches, and with bright sunshine, and a fresh, almost frosty air. The sunshine we had not at first, for we started before the sun had appeared on the horizon. Instead of trusting to our tents, we have this day taken up our abode in the house of a Chinese gentleman- farmer, the owner of about 1,000 acres. It is nearly as large as the house I occupied at Tientsin; at least it has nearly as many courts. The gentleman has a good library, in which I have established myself; and he seems, poor man, very anxious to accommodate us, though his appearance is not that of a man entirely at his ease. As I was starting this morning I got a second letter from the new Plenipotentiaries, rather more defiant in its tone, and saying that there are troops at our next station, with whom we shall come into collision, if we advance with an army. Parkes is gone on with an escort, and we shall soon know from him what the state of the case really is.

[Sidenote: Ho-see-woo.]
[Sidenote: Monastery.]

Ho-see-woo.—September 14th.—We had a charming march to this place yesterday morning. The country much more beautiful than before, and hills in the distance. All around us the most luxuriant crops, and hamlets embosomed in clumps of willows. The temperature was delicious; almost too cold at starting, but, later, a fresh breeze in our faces gave the requisite coolness and no more. Our march was about twelve miles, and on reaching its close I was conducted to a temple where I now am. It is a monastery, with very nice apartments, and quantities of stabling, grain, agricultural implements, &c., all indicative of a very prosperous community. I have seen no bonzerie on anything like so comfortable a scale. I had a second letter from my Commissioners in the evening of the last day on which I wrote a page of this journal, more humble in its tone then the preceding one, and as my General was getting uneasy about his supplies, &c., I thought it necessary to make a kind of proposition for an arrangement. … Our soldiers do so little for themselves, and their necessities are so great, that we move but slowly. Our present party consists of about 1,500 fighting men; but we count about 4,000 mouths, and all must have abundantly of the best. The French (I admit that they take more out of the country, and sometimes perhaps by rougher methods) carry on their backs several days' provisions. They work in all sorts of ways for the army. The contrast is, I must say, very striking. … I therefore thought it better to send Wade and Parkes to the new Imperial Commissioners, to see whether they intended to resist or not, and to make a proposal to test this. They set out last night, and I have just heard from them, that, as they did not find the Commissioners at the place they expected (Matow), they are gone on to Tung-chow, the place where I intend to sign the Convention. Parkes is one of the most remarkable men I ever met; for energy, courage, and ability combined, I do not know where I could find his match; and this, joined to a facility of speaking Chinese, which he shares only with Lay, makes him at present the man of the situation.

[Sidenote: Terms agreed to.]

After eight hours' discussion the Chinese Commissioners conceded every point; agreeing among other things that the army should advance to a place called Five-li Point, within six miles of Tung-chow, and there remain while the Ambassador proceeded with an escort of 1,000 men to Pekin. In the high character and standing of the two Commissioners, one the Minister of War, the other a Prince of the Blood Imperial, and in their repeated assurances that 'what they signed was as though the Emperor signed it,' and that 'no comparison could be drawn between the authority vested in them and that held' by previous Commissioners, there appeared to be everything necessary to justify the belief that their word might be trusted. Unhappily the confidence which the Allies were thus led to repose in them was destined to be deceived; not however, so far as appears, owing to bad faith on their part, but owing to the fact that their pacific influence at court was overborne on this occasion by that of the war party, headed by the Commander-in-Chief, Sang-ko-lin-sin.[3]

On the return of the two secretaries from the conference, Lord Elgin at once acquainted Baron Gros and Sir Hope Grant with its results; and it was agreed that the Commanders-in-Chief should move forward on Monday the 17th from Ho-se-woo to the place already mentioned, Five-li Point, which they expected to reach in two days' march; and that, at the same time, or rather before the departure of the army, Mr. Parkes and some members of the Ambassador's suite should proceed to Tung-chow to prepare for his reception, and to procure means of transport, accompanied by an officer of the Quarter-master General's Department, and another of the Commissariat, and escorted by a small body of troops.[4]

Sunday, September 16th.—We have had service in my temple. The General and Staff attended. … Wade and Parkes did good work at Tung- chow. It is arranged now that the General and bulk of the force proceed to-morrow on their way to the point at which (if the Chinese Plenipotentiaries come in to all our terms) we are to stay the progress of the main body, going on from that point with an escort of 1,000 men. This place is about five miles from Tung-chow, and twenty from Pekin; and so I hope to effect my pacific entry into Pekin. … This place has been, I am sorry to say, much maltreated, for the people ran away, and when that takes place, it is impossible to prevent plundering. The present plan is, that I remain here till the army has taken up its new position, and all is arranged for my reception at Pekin and Tung-chow, when I shall move on. Gros is here. He has just been with me, and is in a great state because our soldiers, in their zeal to drive away all Chinese robbers, have driven away all his coolies.

September 17th.—I rode out very early this morning to see my General before he started, and to give him a hint about the looting, which has been bad here. He disapproves of it as much as I do. … Parkes went off again this morning to Tung-chow, with another missive from me to my Prince (the new Plenipotentiary), rather stiff and plain-spoken; and Loch is gone with him to get carts, &c., as I have no means of conveying my goods and chattels. I shall probably hear to- morrow whether there is any hitch; but even if all be right, I hardly expect to get on before Thursday, for want of transport.

[Sidenote: Agreement broken.]

September 18th.—Noon.—There is firing in front of us; and I have a letter from Parkes from Tung-chow, stating that the Prince and his colleagues made great difficulties about an audience with the Emperor. If I was sure that Parkes and Co. were well out of Tung-chow, and that we should push on well, I should not regret the firing. Five P.M.—M. de Bastard, Gros' secretary, has just returned from Tung-chow. He reports that the Tartars this morning were in possession of the ground on which, according to the understanding entered into with the Prince and Co., we were to have encamped. He had to ride through their army, to his no small alarm; but he met Parkes (who knows not what fear is) riding back to Tung-chow to tell the Prince, &c., of the position of the Tartar army, and that they should be held responsible for the consequences. Loch was with the General. I wonder he is not come to inform me of what has happened.

[Sidenote: Treacherous seizure of Mr. Parkes and others.]

At the time when these words were written, nearly the whole of the party which had ridden forth the morning before, 'in high spirits at the prospect of an early and successful termination of the war,' had been treacherously seized by the soldiers of Sang-ko-lin-sin, and Mr. Parkes and Mr. Loch were being violently hurried off, with their hands tied behind their backs, in a rude springless cart, over a badly-paved road, to the prisons of Pekin. The details of their capture and imprisonment, together with such particulars as could afterwards be ascertained of their companions' fate, may be read in the very interesting narrative of one of the victims.[5] We can here touch only upon those points in which their story is mixed up with public events.

[Sidenote: Cause of the change.]

As to the origin and cause of the renewal of hostilities, it is impossible to speak with certainty; nor is it probable that we shall ever arrive at a better opinion on the subject, than that which was formed by Lord Elgin on the spot. In his report to the Government he wrote:—

To hazard conjectures as to the motives by which Chinese functionaries are actuated is not a very safe undertaking; and it is very possible that further information may modify the views which I now entertain on this point. I am, however, disposed at present to doubt there having been a deliberate intention of treachery on the part of Prince Tsai and his colleague; but I apprehend that the General-in-Chief, Sang-ko- lin-sin, thought that they had compromised his military position by allowing our army to establish itself so near his lines at Chang-kia- wan. He sought to counteract the evil effect of this by making a great swagger of parade and preparation to resist when the Allied armies approached the camping-ground allotted to them. Several of our people, Colonel Walker, with his escort, my private Secretary, Mr. Loch, Baron Gros' Secretary of Embassy, Comte de Bastard, and others, passed through the Tartar army during the course of the morning on their way from Tung-chow without encountering any rudeness or ill-treatment whatsoever. At about a quarter to ten, however, a French Commissariat officer was assaulted by some Tartar soldiers under circumstances which are not very clearly ascertained; and this incident gave rise to an engagement, which soon became general. On the whole, I come to the conclusion that, in the proceedings of the Chinese Plenipotentiaries and Commander-in-Chief in this instance, there was that mixture of stupidity, want of straightforwardness, suspicion, and bluster, which characterises so generally the conduct of affairs in this country; but I cannot believe that, after the experience which Sang-ko-lin-sin had already had of our superiority in the field, either he or his civil colleagues could have intended to bring on a conflict in which, as the event has proved, he was so sure to be worsted.

[Sidenote: Firm measures.]

Late on the night of the 18th, Lord Elgin received at the same time the report of a successful engagement, and the intelligence of the capture of his friends. From this moment he felt that, until the prisoners were given up, there could be no further negotiation. A notification was at once issued, that 'all English and French subjects were required to return to the head-quarters of their respective armies; and that if any impediment was put in the way of their return, the city of Pekin would forthwith be attacked and taken.' Even when offers came that they should be restored on condition of his withdrawing his troops, he refused to listen to such terms; convinced that any sign of yielding on his part would be as dangerous to their safety as it would be fatal to all hope of success in the objects of his mission.[6]

September 23rd.—I have had a very busy time since I last wrote in this journal. I have, moreover, been separated from it, and from all my effects. On the 21st we had another battle with the Tartars. I accompanied the army, and saw it all. Considering that the Tartars are so wretchedly armed and led, they did pretty well. We are now about six miles from Pekin, but I believe the Generals will not move for a week. We learn that Parkes and his companions, viz. Loch, De Norman, Bowlby, Captain Brabazon, Lieutenant Anderson, nineteen Sikhs, and one of the Dragoon Guards, are in Pekin, but we have had no communication with them yet.

[Sidenote: Pali-chiao]

Pali-chiao.—September 27th.—I closed my last letter somewhat in haste, for I had been separated for three days from it and my desk, and when we met again, I was busy with my despatches, &c. The arrest of Parkes and the others is a very disagreeable incident, and we do not yet know what it may lead to. I sent word yesterday to the Emperor's brother, who is now named to treat with me, that unless they are returned to the camp within three days' time, and a pledge is given that the Convention I drew up at Tientsin is signed, Pekin will be assaulted. We are anxious, until we receive an answer to this ultimatum. It was a reply to a letter from the Prince to me, in which he coolly stated that the prisoners should be returned when our army and fleet had retired from the country. … Meantime we have an army in excellent health, abundantly supplied, and which, in five actions with the enemy, has lost some twenty killed! … I think I told you at the close of my last letter, that at midnight on the 18th I received a note in pencil from the General, telling me what had led to the conflict of that day. At 3.30 A.M. I sent an answer by Crealock, and at five set off with an escort of thirty Irregulars, to ride about twenty miles to the General's camp.

We then agreed that the Commanders-in-Chief should send a notification to the chief mandarin of Tung-chow, to the effect that, unless our countrymen were forthwith restored, Pekin would be assaulted. No notice was taken of this. So on the 21st we advanced, and attacked a large body of Tartars, encamped between Tung-chow and Pekin. I accompanied the infantry and artillery during the day's proceedings. We encamped after the battle, where we now are, among some trees. We sleep in tents, but we have a house where we mess. I am living with the General, as my establishment has not yet been brought up from Ho- see-woo. I rode over yesterday to see the Russian Minister, who, with his sixteen Cossacks, is occupying the village, or rather town, of Chin-kia-wan, which was taken after the affair of the 18th. It is a sad scene of desolation. General Ignatieff was very obliging and friendly, as I have indeed found him to be throughout. He and I entirely agree as to how the Chinese should be fought. … I may be very near the close of this China business, or I may be at the commencement of a new series of difficulties. All is very uncertain at present. … The climate is pleasant here, were it not for the quantity of dust, which is overwhelming. We have abundance of grapes, and some other good fruit.

September 29th.—At midnight of the 27th I was roused by Wade, who brought me a letter from Prince Kung (the Emperor's brother), a good deal milder than the last, but still implying that Parkes, &c., were not to be returned until the treaty, &c., was signed. The comparative mildness of the tone of this communication was clearly attributable to the firmness of my last letter, and I therefore induced those with whom I act to agree to nay adhering to it in my reply. I accordingly wrote to say that the army would advance unless the prisoners should return in the course of to-day; but that I do not intend to add to the Convention which I have already furnished to the Chinese Plenipotentiaries, and that I will sign that at once, and close the war, if they choose. I hardly expect to see our friends to-day. The Generals will not advance to-morrow, but they say they will on Monday. Meanwhile it is raining; a sort of English rain, not tropical; and if we have not too much of it, it will do good.

October 1st.—Yesterday morning came another letter, proposing that the army should retire to Chin-kia-wan, and that then the treaty should be signed and the prisoners restored. This was clearly inadmissible, as the Chinese would infer from it that whenever they had a difficulty with us they had only to kidnap some of our people to bring us to terms. So we have again handed the matter over to the Generals, from whose hands indeed it would not now have been taken if they had not urged me to make this last overture to Prince Kung. I do not know when they will advance.

October 3rd.—We have moved about two miles, and are now lodged in a mosque—a nice building, a good deal ornamented—which is for the nonce turned to profane uses. The army was to have advanced to attack Sang-ko-lin-sin's force to-morrow, but now I am told the French are not ready. … These delays give the Chinese fresh heart, and they are beginning to send people to fire on our convoys, &c., coming up from Tientsin. … There was a letter sent to me yesterday by Prince Kung, signed by Loch and Parkes. Loch managed in his signature to convey to us in Hindostanee that the letter was written under compulsion. As it was in Chinese the information was hardly necessary. It said that they two were well treated, complimented Prince Kung, and asked for some clothes. We have heard nothing about the others who are missing.

[Sidenote: Advance on Pekin.]

October 5th.—We left our mosque this morning at about seven. The whole army was drawn up in contiguous columns of regiments, and had a good appearance. The cavalry on the right, then the artillery, and then the infantry. The French were on our left. In this way we advanced about four miles, when we reached a place from which we saw one of the gates of Pekin at about a mile and a half distance. We met with no enemy, but we heard of him about three miles farther on. However, the French declined to go any farther; so here we remain for the night, and we have got into a joss-house, which is lucky, for we have no tents with us—only a very light kit and three days' provisions for each person. We hear that the Emperor has left for Tartary, which is very probable. We might have stopped him if we had marched on immediately after the 21st ultimo; but that was, in the judgment of the Generals, impossible.

[Sidenote: Suburbs.]

October 6th.—Five P.M.—We are lodged in a Lamaserie in the north-west suburb of Pekin. Our move began at seven. We streamed along narrow roads in a long line. I got a scolding from the General for outflanking the skirmishers, which I did to get out of the dust. At about nine we reached a brick-kiln, from whence we had a view of Pekin, and of a mound, behind which, as we were assured, Sang-ko-lin- sin and his army were encamped. We halted for some time and then advanced; we on the right, the French on the left, towards these supposed camps. The French were to attack in front, we were to take the enemy in flank. I was with the second division of our force. When we arrived abreast of the entrenchment we could see nothing of an enemy. After a while I rode to the top of the mound at the corner of the entrenchment, and found the French General and Staff. The Tartars had all decamped the night before. I then rejoined our army and advanced with it to this point. With the exception of a few shots exchanged with a picket of the enemy, we know of no fighting which has taken place to-day; but, strange to say, our cavalry which went off far to the right in the morning has not been heard of yet, and we cannot discover what has become of the French. It is a nice country, covered with clumps of trees and suburban villas. The temperature of the air is cool, but the sun was very hot all day.

[Sidenote: The Summer Palace.]

Sunday, October 7th.—We hear this morning that the French and our cavalry have captured the Summer Palace of the Emperor. All the big- wigs have fled, nothing remains but a portion of the household. We are told that the prisoners are all in Pekin. … Five P.M.—I have just returned from the Summer Palace. It is really a fine thing, like an English park—numberless buildings with handsome rooms, and filled with Chinese curios, and handsome clocks, bronzes, &c. But, alas! such a scene of desolation. The French General came up full of protestations. He had prevented looting in order that all the plunder might be divided between the armies, &c. &c. There was not a room that I saw in which half the things had not been taken away or broken to pieces. I tried to get a regiment of ours sent to guard the place, and then sell the things by auction; but it is difficult to get things done by system in such a case, so some officers are left who are to fill two or three carts with treasures which are to be sold…. Plundering and devastating a place like this is bad enough, but what is much worse is the waste and breakage. Out of 1,000,000 l. worth of property, I daresay 50,000 l. will not be realised. French soldiers were destroying in every way the most beautiful silks, breaking the jade ornaments and porcelain, &c. War is a hateful business. The more one sees of it, the more one detests it.

[Sidenote: Return of some of the captives.]

Pressed thus closely up to the walls of the capital, the Chinese Regent—for the Emperor had retired to Tartary, 'being obliged by law to hunt in the autumn'—yielded at last to save the storming of the city. In the afternoon of the 8th of October the English and French prisoners detained in Pekin, numbering eight in all, were sent into the camp.[7]

October 9th.—Yesterday at 4 P.M., Parkes, Loch, and one of Fane's Irregulars arrived. With them were four French soldiers and M. d'Escayrac (the head of a scientific commission). The hands and wrists of the latter were in a sad condition, they had been so hurt by the cords tied round them. Bowlby, De Norman, and the rest, do not seem to be in Pekin as we had hoped. Parkes and Loch were very badly treated for the first ten days; since then, conciliation has been the order of the day, and, I have no doubt, because I stood firm. If I had wavered, they would have been lost; because the Chinese, finding they had a lever with which they could move us, would have used their advantage unsparingly. Parkes and Loch have behaved very well under circumstances of great danger. The narrative of their adventures is very interesting, but I cannot attempt to give it in this letter. They seem to be in good health notwithstanding the hardships they have gone through.

In a public despatch of the same date, announcing the restoration of the captives, he wrote:-

To no one of their numerous friends is the return of these gentlemen a matter of more heartfelt gratification than it is to me. Since the period of their arrest, I have been compelled, by a sense of duty, to turn a deaf ear to every overture for their restoration which has involved the slightest retrograde movement of our army, or the abandonment of any demands previously preferred by me against the Chinese Government. I have felt that any such concession on my part would have established a most fatal precedent, because it would have led the Chinese to suppose that by kidnapping Englishmen they might effect objects which they are unable to achieve by fair fighting or diplomacy. I confess that I have been moreover, throughout, of opinion, that in adopting this uncompromising tone, and boldly setting the national above the personal interest, I was in point of fact best consulting the welfare of our friends who were in durance. But it was not to be expected that all persons would view in the same light a question of policy so obscure; and apart from the warm personal interest which I feel in their safety, your Lordship can well understand that it relieves me from a great load of anxiety to learn from the result that the course which I have followed was not ill- calculated to promote it.[8]

Later in the same despatch he expressed himself anxiously yet hopefully about the captives who were still missing:—

It is a matter of great concern to me, that we know as yet nothing certain respecting the fate of Mr. Bruce's Attaché, Mr. de Norman, Mr. Bowlby, the special correspondent of the Times, and the nineteen troopers (consisting of eighteen Sikhs and one Dragoon) who formed the escort, and were under the command of Lieutenant Anderson, of Fane's Irregular Horse. This portion of the party became separated from Messrs. Parkes and Loch, when the latter, at the commencement of the conflict of the 18th ultimo, were taken up to Sang-ko-lin-sin, for the ostensible object of obtaining a safe-conduct from him. Since that time we have heard nothing authentic about them, but we are assured that, though they are not now in Pekin, they will soon be restored to us.

[Sidenote: Fate of the rest.]

Unhappily the hopes thus raised were not destined to be realised. On the 12th of October nine more prisoners were returned to the camp—eight troopers of Fane's Irregular Horse and one French soldier; but the evidence given by them left no doubt that two at least of the remainder, Lieutenant Anderson and Mr. De Norman had perished, having sunk under circumstances of much suffering from the consequences of the maltreatment to which they were subjected. 'I was not personally acquainted' wrote Lord Elgin, 'with Lieutenant Anderson, but he is spoken of by all who knew him as an excellent officer. Mr. De Norman was a young man of remarkable promise. With considerable abilities, great assiduity, singular steadiness of character, and courage of no mean order, he had every promise of achieving eminence in his profession. We all mourn most bitterly his untimely end.'[9]

There were others whose fate remained at that time unknown; among them Mr. Bowlby, the correspondent of the Times, whose corpse was afterwards recovered and recognised. The warmth of regard which Lord Elgin had learnt to feel for him, is shown in many passages of his journal. Officially he wrote, 'I deplore his loss, not only because he was a highly-accomplished and well-informed gentleman, but also because, from the conscientious and liberal spirit in which he addressed himself to the investigation of the singularly complicated problems presented by the moral, social, political, and commercial condition of China, I had conceived the hope that he would be the means of diffusing sound information on many points on which it is most important for the national interests that the British public should be correctly informed.'[10]

The journal, during these anxious and troubled days, is naturally imperfect. One brief entry sums up his feeling on the main subject.

Camp near Pekin.—October 14th.—We have dreadful news respecting the fate of some of our captured friends. It is an atrocious crime, and, not for vengeance, but for future security, ought to be severely dealt with.

[Sidenote: Burning of the Summer Palace.]

The form which the retribution took is well known. The Palace of Yuen-ming- yuen, the Summer-palace of the Emperor, the glory and boast of the Chinese Empire, was levelled with the ground.

The reasons which led Lord Elgin to decide upon this act are fully stated in a despatch dated the 25th of October. After dwelling on the necessity of inflicting some punishment at once severe and swift, that should leave Pekin untouched (for he had engaged not to harm the city) and should fall specially on the Emperor, who was personally responsible for the crimes that had been committed, he goes on to discuss the different courses that were open to him. He might inflict a fine; but it could not be exacted except by appropriating a further portion of the Chinese revenue, already seriously trenched upon by our previous demands. Or he might require the surrender of the individuals guilty of violating the flag of truce: but if he named no one, some miserable subordinates would be given up; if he specified the real culprit, Sang-ko-lin-sin, the demand would infallibly be refused and could not be enforced. Dismissing these alternatives he proceeds:—

Having, to the best of my judgment, examined the question in all its bearings, I came to the conclusion that the destruction of Yuen-ming- yuen was the least objectionable of the several courses open to me, unless I could have reconciled it to my sense of duty to suffer the crime which had been committed to pass practically unavenged. I had reason, moreover, to believe that it was an act which was calculated to produce a greater effect in China, and on the Emperor, than persons who look on from a distance may suppose.

It was the Emperor's favourite residence, and its destruction could not fail to be a blow to his pride as well as to his feelings. To this place he brought our hapless countrymen, in order that they might undergo their severest tortures within its precincts. Here have been found the horses and accoutrements of the troopers seized, the decorations torn from the breast of a gallant French officer, and other effects belonging to the prisoners. As almost all the valuables had already been taken from the palace, the army would go there, not to pillage, but to mark, by a solemn act of retribution, the horror and indignation with which we were inspired by the perpetration of a great crime. The punishment was one which would fall, not on the people, who may be comparatively innocent, but exclusively on the Emperor, whose direct personal responsibility for the crime committed is established, not only by the treatment of the prisoners at Yuen- ming-yuen, but also by the edict, in which he offered a pecuniary reward for the heads of the foreigners, adding, that he was ready to expend all his treasure in these wages of assassination.

On Thursday, the 18th of October, the extensive buildings of the palace were given to the flames; and during the whole of the 19th they were still burning. 'The clouds of smoke,' says Mr. Loch, 'driven by the wind, hung like a vast black pall over Pekin;' well calculated to enforce with their lurid gloom the lesson conveyed to the citizens in a proclamation which Lord Elgin had caused to be affixed in Chinese to all the buildings and walls in the neighbourhood, to the effect 'that no individual, however exalted, could escape from the responsibility and punishment which must always follow the commission of acts of treachery and deceit; and that Yuen-ming-yuen was burnt as a punishment inflicted on the Emperor for the violation of his word, and the act of treachery to a flag of truce.'

[Sidenote: Convention signed.]

Five days later, on the 24th of October, the Convention, which had been the subject of so much dispute, was finally signed, and Lord Elgin exchanged with the Emperor's brother the ratifications of the Treaty of Tientsin.

Camp near Pekin.—October 26th.—This will be one of the shortest letters which you have received from me since we parted, and yet perhaps it will not be the one which you will welcome the least, because it will convey to you the news that I have signed my treaty, and that the specific object for which I came out is therefore accomplished. I have not written my daily journal lately, because it would have been filled with my difficulties. … However, I have succeeded at last in a sort of way. Loch is going home with the treaty, and will make a point of seeing you, and giving you all our news. … I cannot decide as to my own return until I see Frederick. … The deaths of poor Bowlby and the others who were with him were very sad! Loch's escape was most providential. With 5,000 men led on without delay, as ought to be done in China, nothing of this kind would have occurred. I told Palmerston so before I started; but the delays incident to conveying so large an army as ours without risking anything, have nearly made the whole thing break down.

October 27th.—Nine A.M.—Loch tells me he must be off, so I must end my brief epistle. I take up my abode in Pekin to-day, in the palace of the Prince of I., who played me false at Tung-chow.

Pekin, Prince of I.'s Palace.—October 30th.—I have been in bed for two days with an attack of influenza, but I am better to-day, though not by way of going out. Here we (the General and I) are occupying a great enclosure containing a series of one-storied wooden buildings with covered passages and verandahs. There is a good deal of aristocratic seclusion about the place, as it is surrounded by walls, and entirely cut off from the world without; but there is little appearance of luxury and comfort about it. It rained yesterday and the day before, and I had considerable difficulty in reading in my bed, as my paper windows, which keep out the cold pretty well, keep out also a good deal of light. They are not transparent, so the view through them is not lively. To-day there is a beautiful sunshine, and I have been walking about a little in the court before my room door. The present arrangement is that we remain here till the 8th. I had some difficulty in obtaining this; but it is of great importance that, before the army goes, I should get a decree from the Emperor sanctioning the publication of the Treaty all over the empire. … The French General will not, however, consent to remain.

[Sidenote: Funeral of the murdered captives.]

October 31st.—Another fine day, but I have not left the house, partly from consideration for the remains of my cold, and partly because I have had letters to finish. I have had visits from both my colleagues, Gros and Ignatieff. The latter and I are always very good friends. Perhaps he takes advantage of my simplicity; but at any rate we always seem to agree remarkably. He is wide awake to the Jesuit intrigues here. By the way, I should mention that the French had a wonderful funeral on Sunday, in honour of the murdered captives. I could not attend, being in bed at the time. Several speeches in bad taste were delivered, and a remarkable series of performances took place. Among other things, each soldier (this is, I believe, the French practice on such occasions) fired his musket into the grave, so that the coffins were covered with cartridges. The Chinese say that it was because they were not sure whether the occupants were really dead. On the day following, they inaugurated the old Jesuit cathedral, which they have recovered from the Chinese Government; and the bishop who preached, in order to make amends for the omission of all reference to us at the ceremony of the funeral, complimented Queen Victoria and her digne représentant for having come to China to set up the Roman Catholic cathedral in Pekin. This reflection will comfort ——[11] when he comes to vote next year the balance of the £10,000,000 spent. I have no news of Frederick yet; so I am no further advanced with my own plans than I was when Loch left me.

[Sidenote: Imperial Palace.]
[Sidenote: Visit from Kung.]

Pekin.—November 2nd.—Yesterday, after the mail had left, I mounted on horseback, and with an escort, and Parkes and Crealock, proceeded to the Imperial City, within which is the Imperial Palace. We obtained access to two enclosures, forming part of the Imperial Palace appendages: both elevated places, the one ascended by a pathway in regular Chinese rockwork on a large scale, and really striking in its way; and the other being a well-wooded park-like eminence, crowned by temples with images of Buddha. The view from both was magnificent. Pekin is so full of trees, and the houses are so low, that it hardly had the effect of looking down on a great city. Here and there temples or high gateways rose above the trees, but the general impression was rather that of a rich plain densely peopled. In the distance the view was bounded by a lofty chain of mountains, snow-capped. From the park-like eminence we looked down upon the Imperial Palace—a large enclosure crowded with yellow-roofed buildings, generally low, and a few trees dotted among them. It is difficult to imagine how the unfortunates shut up there can ever have any exercise. I don't wonder that the Emperor preferred Yuen-ming-yuen. The yellow roofs, interspersed here and there with very deep blue ones, had, however, a very brilliant effect in the sunshine. After enjoying these views I went to the Russian Minister's, and found him installed in a house got up à l'Européenne, and looking very comfortable, with his national stoves. He showed me his chapel also. This morning I got a letter from Gros telling me that, in opposition to my advice, he had been to see Prince Kung. I told him he ought to let the Prince come to him first; but the Jesuits think that they can curry favour with the Chinese by making him condescend. They are quite wrong, as I am sure the result will prove. The Prince came to see me to-day before returning Gros' visit, which goes for something in this land of ceremony. I received the Prince with all honour, and had a good deal of talk with him through the interpreters, in a style which reminded me of the dialogue at the commencement of 'Eothen.' I have, I believe, secured the edict for which we have been waiting; so I have done everything except see the Emperor, which I am not likely to do, as he is at Jehol. We ended by photographing the Prince, a proceeding which I do not think he much liked.

[Sidenote: Return visit.]

November 7th.—There has not been much to report since the 2nd. I returned Kung's visit the next day, and we had a more coulant conversation than I have before had with any Chinese authority. It is something to get at men who are so high placed that they are not afraid—or at any rate are less afraid—of being denounced if they listen to foreigners. I dined the night before with the Russian Minister, who was very hospitable. On Sunday I went to see two temples in the Chinese city, the one being that to which the Emperor goes four times a year to offer sacrifices to Heaven, the other the Temple of Agriculture.

[Sidenote: Arrival of Mr. Bruce.]
[Sidenote: Interview with Prince Kung.]

November 10th.—I had got so far when a note from Frederick reached me, saying that he had started at 1 A.M. on the 6th from Tientsin to ride to Pekin, and had been obliged, by fatigue, to rest at Ho-see- woo. We were to have left Pekin on the 8th, so I was obliged to send to beg one day's respite from the General. It was impossible to make Frederick start back to Tientsin on the very day following his arrival. At about noon he reached Pekin. It was a great relief to me, because I had been choosing a house for him, and there were other matters concerning which it was most important that he should be consulted. I found him very well disposed to stay on at Pekin, but on finding that both Gros and Ignatieff were opposed to leaving their legations there for the moment, we both agreed that it would be better to act as they had resolved to do. I therefore wrote to Prince Kung acknowledging the good faith which he had shown about the Emperor's edict and the publication of the treaty (both of which things have been done in the most complete manner), and adding that the English army would, in accordance with the terms of the convention, retire at once from Pekin. I went on to inform him that I proposed to call on him to take leave, and at the same time to introduce to him Mr. Bruce, who had just arrived at Pekin. We proceeded, accordingly, to his palace, at 4 P.M. on the 8th, with an imposing military escort. After we had conversed some time together, I told Parkes to explain to the Prince that in England the individual who represents the sovereign, whatever his personal rank, always takes precedence of all others; that, as my task in China was completed, Mr. Bruce would henceforward occupy that position, and that, therefore, with the Prince's permission, I would give up to him the seat of honour on which I was placed and take his seat instead. I then rose and changed seats with Frederick. This little bit of acting answered very well. It put Frederick into direct relations with the Prince, and did away with the impression (if it existed) of my having superior rank to him. The Prince was civil, and said, rather neatly, that he hoped they would conduct business satisfactorily, not only because he was British Minister, but brother to Lord Elgin, with whom he had had such pleasant relations. On the following day (the 9th), before we started, he came to our abode to return our visit. I made Frederick receive him, telling the interpreters to say that I had no business to speak of, but that I should come into the room before he left the house to take leave of him. The consequence was that Frederick had a long and, to all appearance, satisfactory conversation with him.

[Sidenote: Leaves Pekin.]

After this we set out for Tung-chow. We had to wait there all night, as our boats were not ready, and we are now (10th November, noon) gliding down the river, each in a chop boat (a little boat with a very convenient cabin, in which one can sleep, read, write, &c.), on a lovely autumn day, low temperature, and bright sunshine. I think that this wind-up at Pekin was very promising. It is probable that there may be some reaction when the Emperor and the bad advisers whom he has about him return, and even Ignatieff did not choose to remain at Pekin during that moment of reaction. At the same time, it is evident that Kung, who is his brother, has committed himself to the peace policy, and that his intercourse with us has been much more satisfactory to him than he at one time expected. It is probable that the Emperor will for once hear something of the truth. Kung will claim credit for having induced us to remove from Pekin to Tientsin, while the fact that we are still as near as Tientsin will be an in terrorem argument in support of his policy of conciliation. If Kung weathers the difficult moment which he will have to traverse when the Emperor returns, I have hopes that all the benefit which I have expected to derive from our minister's residence at Pekin will be achieved. Our Sinologues are fine fellows. It is refreshing to see their spirit and pluck. Wade, Parkes, and Morrison, all put their services at our disposal, and offered to remain alone at Pekin. My choice, however, fell on a younger man, of whom I have a very good opinion, and who has been with me as assistant-interpreter.[12] I thought it better, for many reasons, to leave a person who had smaller pretensions than any of those I have named. The gossip is that the Emperor is occupying his time at Jehol by marrying a fourth wife (a rather expensive proceeding) and getting tipsy. I am afraid he is not much worth; although, if the papers in the vermilion pencil, which we found in the Summer Palace, are his writing, he is not such a fool as people suppose. … Frederick brought with him your letters to September 10th. I pray that you may now be rejoicing in the belief that Bruce is getting on well and happily at school.

[Sidenote: Tientsin.]
[Sidenote: Its climate.]

Tientsin.—November 14th.—Here I am again in the house which I occupied two and a half months ago, and which is by far the nicest Chinese house I have seen, and its exposure to the sun is now most agreeable. The climate is at present charming. If nothing else had been done by these recent proceedings, the fact of placing our troops and embassy here, instead of in the south of China, would have been almost worth the trouble. It is also a much drier climate than that of Shanghae. We have had about seven days of rain in all, since I left Shanghae in July. Frederick had nineteen days consecutively just before he left Shanghae. He was not well himself then, but he is all right now. His ride to Pekin—eighty miles in thirty hours—set him up again. I found the Admiral very cordial. … Gros is not yet come, and I do not like to depart from here without seeing him.

He was detained at Tientsin for several days, arranging a variety of matters of detail; and it was not till the morning of the 26th of November that he found himself once more afloat on the Gulf of Pecheli, on board the 'Ferooz,' homeward bound.

[Sidenote: Results of the mission.]

The general results obtained by the mission thus happily terminated cannot be better summed up than in the words of the despatch in which the Foreign Minister, Lord J. Russell, conveyed to Lord Elgin Her Majesty's 'full approbation of his conduct in the various particulars' above described.

'The convention,' he wrote, 'which you concluded with the Prince of Kung on the 24th of October is entirely satisfactory to Her Majesty's Government. It records the reparation made by the Emperor of China for his disregard in the previous year of his Treaty engagements; it sets Her Majesty's Government free from an implied engagement not to insist in all particulars on the fulfilment of those engagements; it imposes upon China a fine, in the shape of an augmented rate of indemnity; it affords an additional opening for British trade; it places on a recognised footing the emigration of Chinese coolies, whose services are so important to Her Majesty's colonial possessions; it relieves Her Majesty's colony of Hong Kong from a source of previous annoyance; and it provides for bringing generally to the knowledge of the Chinese the engagements into which the Emperor has entered towards Great Britain.

'These are all solid advantages; and, coupled with the provisions of the Treaty of Tientsin, they will, it may be hoped, place the relations between the two countries on a sound footing, and insure the continuance of peace for a long period to come.'

[1] Captain Roderick Dew had been engaged at the capture of Canton in
    December, 1857, and also in May, 1858, at the taking of the Taku

[2] The new Plenipotentiaries were Tsai, Prince of I., a cousin of the
    Emperor, and Muh-yin, President of the Board of War: with whom was
    joined Hang-ki, a member of the previous commission.

[3] 'A prisoner taken on the 21st of September, in the course of conversation, volunteered the remark that the fighting was all the doing of Sang-ko-lin-sin, who was as anxious for it as Prince Tsai was opposed to it. This accords with other reports.'—Mr. Wade's Memorandum.

[4] In view of the tragic events which followed, the reflection will naturally arise that, if this party had not been thus sent forward in advance of the army, those events would not have occurred. On the other hand it must be borne in mind, (1) that it was a matter of necessity that some one should go forward to arrange with the Chinese authorities as to the place where the Allied armies were to encamp; (2) that the practice of sending one or other of the Chinese scholars within the enemy's lines had long been habitual, having been followed, with the best results, on many occasions, not only in this but in former expeditions; and that the Chinese, whatever might be their faults, had never shown any disposition to disregard a flag of truce; (3) that, accordingly, no one concerned appears to have had any idea that there was danger to be braved; and that, putting aside Lord Elgin, Baron Gros, and Sir Hope Grant, the readiness of Mr. Parkes, not only to go himself—that in one who 'knew not what fear was' proves nothing—but to take with him several friends who were not called by duty, shows that, in the judgment of a man of great shrewdness and unrivalled knowledge of the Chinese character, who was moreover fully cognisant of all the circumstances, there existed no ground for apprehension; (4) lastly, that all the evils that followed were due, so far as it is possible now to judge, to a circumstance which no one could have foreseen at the time, viz. to a change of policy and of party within the Chinese Government.

[5] 'Personal Narrative of Occurrences during Lord Elgin's Second Embassy to China,' 1860. By Henry Brougham Loch, Private Secretary to the Earl of Elgin.

[6] With generous candour, Mr. Loch, in his 'Narrative,' bears testimony to the correctness of this view.

[7] The British subjects thus restored were Mr. Parkes, Mr. Loch, and a trooper of Probyn's Horse; the French subjects were M. l'Escayrac de Lauture, who was at the head of a scientific mission, and four soldiers.

[8] In a subsequent letter, Lord Elgin paid to Mr. Parkes this well-merited tribute. 'Mr. Parkes' consistent refusal to purchase his own safety by making any pledges, or even by addressing to me any representations which might have embarrassed me in the discharge of my duty, is a rare example of courage and devotion to the public interest; and the course which he followed in this respect, by leaving my hands free, enabled me to work out the policy which was best calculated to secure his own release, as well as the attainment of the national objects entrusted to my care.'

[9] The language used by Mr. Bruce, in reporting to the Foreign Office Mr. De Norman's death, is still more striking; and it has an additional interest as being eminently characteristic of the writer: 'It has not been my fortune,' he says, 'to meet with a man whose life was so much in harmony with the Divine precept, "not slothful in business, serving the Lord." With a consistency unparalleled in my experience he brought to bear on the discharge of every duty, and to the investigation of every subject however minute, the complete and undivided attention of the sound abilities, the good sense, and the indefatigable industry with which God had endowed him. A character so morally and intellectually conscientious, striving to do everything in the most perfect manner, neglecting no opportunity of acquiring fresh and of consolidating previous knowledge, promised a career honourable to himself, and, what he valued far more, advantageous to the public, had it pleased God to spare him.

'Now there remains to those who knew him intimately only this consoling conviction, that death, however sudden, could not find him unprepared.'

[10] The only English prisoner ultimately unaccounted for was Captain Brabazon, Deputy-Assistant Quarter-Master-General of Artillery, an officer whose finished talent and skill in drawing had often been of the greatest service in taking sketches of the country for the military operations. His body was never found; but it was believed that he had been beheaded by order of a Chinese General in his exasperation at a wound received in the action of the 21st of October.

[11] A well-known Protestant M.P.

[12] Mr. Adkins.



The first part of the homeward voyage, along coasts already so well known, offered little to dwell upon except the thankful recollection of what had been accomplished, and the joyful anticipation of happy meetings to come. The journal contains the following entries:—

[Sidenote: Leaving the Gulf.]

'Ferooz,' Gulf of Pecheli.—November 27th.—So far on my way home. I left Tientsin on the 25th at about 7 A.M. We had to plough our way through ice until we reached the Taku Forts, at 8.30 P.M. We found the Admiral in the 'Coromandel.' He was very civil, and would have given me accommodation for the night; but I had so many people with me, that I thought it better to push on; so at about midnight we crossed the bar of the Peiho river. There was so much broken ice on the inner side of it, that it reminded one of some of the pictures of the arctic voyages. We forced our vessel through—a little Indian river-boat—and found on the outside enough sea to make us very glad when we reached the 'Ferooz' at 2.30 A.M. It was about 4 A.M. when I was able to lie down to rest. Since then we have been waiting for Parkes, who stayed at Tientsin for a letter from Pekin about the opening of the Yangtze river, which I am anxious to take with me to Shanghae. … Yesterday was a lovely day; a bright sun, and the air frosty enough to stimulate one to walk briskly. This morning there was a strong gale from the north-west, but it subsided after midday. I had a very satisfactory time at Tientsin. We got through a good deal of business; and, what is most pleasant to me, Frederick seems perfectly satisfied with the whole affair, and the part I have taken in it. … The Admiral, who is very strong in support of me, had given orders that the whole fleet should be illuminated with blue lights, if I reached the 'Ferooz' at night. This I did not know, or I should not have chosen so unseasonable an hour. The consequence was that the illumination was not complete, but it had a fine effect so far as it went. Scores of transports have taken their departure, which is a great blessing, for they have been costing fabulous sums. Too many troops are still left; but I hope soon to get them reduced.

November 28th.—Two P.M.—We are off. All the vessels in the English fleet here manned yards and saluted as we passed; and, when we reached the French fleet, all the yards were manned, and the Admiral saluted. I thought we could not do less than return the latter. It was all a very fine sight, the day being favourable. Parkes arrived last night while we were at dinner, but without the letter which he had waited for. The latter, however, reached me this morning, and is very satisfactory; so that I shall have accomplished the great object of opening the Yangtze to trade.

After a few days of 'lovely weather,' enjoyed to the full in the 'Ferooz'— 'certainly a most splendid yacht—such a fine deck, and quieter than a Royal Navy vessel'—he reached Shanghae on the 3rd of December.

[Sidenote: Shanghae.]

Shanghae.—December 4th.—We reached this place at 3 P.M. yesterday. I have received your letters to October 9th. How I grieve for your anxiety about Bruce's illness! How glad I am he is near the ——'s. He could not be watched over by kinder friends.

Eagerly as he desired to hurry homewards he found it necessary to stay at Shanghae for some weeks, in order to complete the detailed arrangements for opening the river Yangtze to British traders, and also to settle the awkward question of the relations which should subsist between the British residents, and the Chinese Rebels in their neighbourhood.

Shanghae.—December 14th.—I am a good deal puzzled about my departure. The opening of the Yangtze and the Rebel question are serious matters, and I do not like to leave them unsettled: on the other hand, I can hardly, even if I were so inclined, remain here till they are settled. I think it will end in my staying till the next mail comes in from the North.

Sunday, December 16th.—Eight A.M.—The mornings are lovely here now; a bright sun, rising about half-past six; and not exactly frost, but a mere hint of its presence in the air. I take walks, and have just returned from one; generally the tour of the race ground, which is the only walk here. While I humbly pace along, the clerks of the Hongs—such of them at least as are careful of their healths, and moderate in their supper arrangements—flaunt past me on their chargers. I march on, thinking whether it would not in a new existence be advisable to begin life as a tea-taster.

December 21st.—The wind has changed to the north, and my walk this morning was a colder one. Yesterday I made a tour of the town of Shanghae, and find that the French, by way of protecting it, burnt down about one-half of the suburbs during the summer. They have destroyed it to a greater extent than we destroyed Canton in 1857 by our bombardment. 'Save me from my friends,' the poor Chinaman may well say. The French have some method in their madness, for they want the ground of the burnt district, and they insist on having it now at the cost of the land, 'as there are no houses upon it.' At Canton, in the same way, they have seized land in the most unjustifiable way, to build churches on.

Shanghae.—December 31st.—Yesterday was a torrent of rain, and I never left the house. As I have a comfortable room, and no great interruptions, I get through a good deal of my reading. … There was a fortnight of the 'Times' to begin with. The Reviews. … Trollope's novel of 'Dr. Thorne;' 'Aurora Leigh' (which I admire greatly); then Sir Robert Wilson's 'Russian Campaign,' which contains some curious revelations; Darwin's 'Origin of Species,' which is audacious; &c. &c. In short, you will allow that I have not been quite idle during the fortnight.

January 1st, 1861.-This is the first time I sign the new year. May it bring much happiness to you!… It was introduced here by dancing. But I was not in a lively humour, and retired as soon as I could…. No mail yet, and I would start without it, were it not that I expect three mails by it.

[Sidenote: Hong-Kong.]

At length, on the 4th of January, he writes, 'Hurrah! I am off, with a fair wind.' On the 8th he reached Hong-Kong, where he found little to detain him; the most important matter being the formal taking possession, in the Queen's name, of the recently ceded peninsula of Kowloon.

Hong-Kong.—January 10th.—I presume, from the apologetic tone of a speech (very civil in itself) made by Lord J. Russell in the city, and quoted in the 'Home News,' that I was being well abused in England when the mail left. It is all miserable enough, but I had rather that it had blown over before I reach home, as I might seem to reflect on others if I defended myself, and you say truly that we have had enough of that kind of thing.

January 15th.—I find that the new Factory site [at Canton], about which I had such a fight with the merchants last time, is a great success.[1] Its merit is now acknowledged by the blindest.

In a subsequent letter, referring to the last days of his stay at Hong-
Kong, he wrote:-

[Sidenote: Kowloon.]

We had a sort of ceremonial on Saturday the 19th. I went to Kowloon, and proclaimed formally the annexation of that territory to the dominions of the Queen. This acquisition, the good site at Canton, and the opening-up of the North of China and Japan, have added at least twenty per cent. to the value of European life in China.

[Sidenote: Adieu to China.]

On the 21st of January he bade a final adieu to the shores of China, and directed his course to Manila; desiring to avoid this time the dreary line to Singapore which he had traversed so often, and attracted also by the new fields which the Spanish and Dutch colonies offered for his observation.

[Sidenote: Manila.]

At Sea, near Manila.—January 24th.—I wrote a very shabby line to you as I was leaving Hong-Kong, but it may not perhaps be an unwelcome one, as it informed you I had started. We have had rough weather, and I take up my pen to-day for the first time. We are now under the lee of some of the Philippines, so we get less of the great swell which has been rolling down from the north-east, and of the gale which blows during this monsoon down the channel that separates the island of Formosa from the Philippines as through a funnel.

Manila.—January 26th, Eight A.M.—I sent off a few lines to you yesterday, to tell you of my very inopportune arrival off this town, at a moment when all the world, functionaries, &c., are on tiptoe expecting a new Captain-General to make his appearance at any hour. However, Castilian hospitality is not to be taken in default, and at 4 P.M. we landed with great ceremony, and after being conducted to the palace, and exchanging a few glances with the acting Governor, who cannot speak a word of any language known to me, I was shown a magnificent suite of apartments destined for me and my following, and then conveyed for a drive in one of the carriages-and-four (vide Sir J. Bowring's book), escorted by a guard of lancers. It is very curious to see a state of things so different from ours. Such a number of troops; gens-d'armes on horseback; not a person meeting us (the Governor-General was with me) who did not take off his hat. At dinner I sat next the Admiral, who also speaks nothing but Spanish; so we passed our time in looking at each other unutterable things.

[Sidenote: Churches.]

Ten A.M.—I have just got rid of my uniform, in which I thought it proper to attire myself in order to receive all the officers, naval and military, who came at nine o'clock to pay their respects. I had strolled out much earlier incognito, and wandered into several churches. They abound here, as do monks of all orders. The decorations seemed tinselly enough, but there was the Catholic ritual, with its sublime suggestions and trivial forms, repeating itself under the equator in the extreme East, as it repeats itself at Paris or Madrid, and under Arctic or Antarctic circles. And here, as there, at these early morning services, were a few solitary women assisting; some of them commonplace-looking enough, but others, no doubt, with a load of troubles to deposit at the altar, or in the ear of the monk in the box, heavy enough to furnish the burden of many such romances as those which thrill the public sensibilities in our days. After all, when the horrors which have brought about the result are past and forgotten, there is something gained by that truculent Spanish system which forces the faith upon all who come within its reach. Fais-toi chrétienner, ou je t'arrache l'âme, as Charlemagne (not a Spaniard, by the way, so there my illustration halts) said to his heathen enemies. There is something, I say, gained by it when the origin is forgotten, because the bond of a common creed does do a little towards drawing these different races together. They are not separated from each other by that impassable barrier of mutual contempt, suspicion, and antipathy, which alienates us from the unhappy natives in those lands where we settle ourselves among inferior orders of men. An administrative net of a not very flexible nature encloses all, and keeps each member of the body politic pretty closely to the post allotted to him; but the belief in a common humanity, drawn perhaps rather from the traditions of the early, than from the practice of the modern church, runs like a silken thread through the iron tissue. One feels a little softened and sublimated when one passes from Hong-Kong, where the devil is worshipped in his naked deformity, to this place where he displays at least some of the feathers which he wore before he fell. So you must pardon me, if my letter reflects in some measure the phase through which my mind is passing.

[Sidenote: State of the Island.]

I found next me at breakfast the Chief of the Secrétariat, an intelligent man, speaking French. He confirmed a good many of the impressions which my own observations had led me to form respecting the state of affairs here. The army is composed of natives; officers and non-commissioned officers, Spanish. The artillery, or a portion of it, also Spanish. The native Indians pay a capitation tax of $1 a head; half-castes double; Chinese $50, $30, or $12. As usual, my poor Chinamen are hated and squeezed. They are not obliged to become Catholics, but the native Indian women can/will not marry them unless they are, and they are not allowed to make public profession of any other religion…. After breakfast came in an English merchant, who made the passage from Suez to Singapore with me in 1857. He says foreigners are very well treated here, but they have some difficulties about customs duties, which I have asked him to state in writing to me, that I may say a word about them if occasion offers. The greater part of the trade here is in English hands.

[Sidenote: Indian women.]

To pass from the higher thoughts which suggested themselves when I visited the churches this morning, I may tell you that I saw some of the devout Indian women when they left the churches on their return. They were generally very plain, to say the least of it. Round their waists and over their under-dress they pass a piece of silk, which is wrapped tight round the person. The result is as nearly as possible the opposite to the effect produced by a crinoline.

[Sidenote: Cigar making.]

I have returned from a very hot drive to visit a sugar refinery and a cigar manufactory. I saw little to interest at the former, except the process of making chocolate by mixing cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar. At the latter, some 8,000 girls were employed, not very pretty, but cheerful-looking. A skilful worker can make 200 a day, so that these young ladies can poison mankind to the tune of 1,600,000 cigars a day.

[Sidenote: The cathedral.]

Sunday, January 27th.—Ten A.M.—In my early morning's walk I again visited the churches, which were in greater activity than yesterday. In the cathedral I came in for a sermon which began 'Illustrissimo Señor' so I suppose the Archbishop was present, and probably had me in his eye. I could understand very little, so I did not stay it out. It was delivered without notes (having evidently been learnt by heart), in rather a monotonous way; with a sort of little action, all confined to a slight movement of the hands and flipping of the fingers…. The Archbishop is, I am told, very bigoted. He did not come to dinner yesterday (a grand full-dress dinner given in my honour), and some say it was because of my being a heretic. I take it I was in error yesterday in speaking of the Spanish system of compelling conformity of belief as necessarily beginning in harshness. I fancy the monks have won over the simple Indians here to a great extent by gentle methods. They protect them, and manage their affairs, and know all their secrets through the confessional, and amuse them with no end of feast-days, and gewgaws, and puerile ceremonies. The natives seem to have a great deal of our dear old French Canadian habitans about them, only in a more sublime stage of infantine simplicity.

[Sidenote: A pueblo.]

January 28th.—I drove this morning to a village (pueblo) about seven miles off, starting at 5.30. The weather nice and cool. The country very rich. The cottages of bamboo and leaves, and all raised on bamboo posts of about ten feet in height, seemed very comfortable. I never saw a more cheerful-looking rural population. All nicely and modestly dressed. The women completely emancipated from all eastern seclusion. I visited in this pueblo another great cigar manufactory; 8,000 girls employed. I must say that this colony appears to be a great success, as far as the natives are concerned, and I almost regret that I am not going to see something more of the interior. Crealock has been through the barracks, which he says are in admirable condition. The native soldiers appear to be very well treated. We dined yesterday with the Admiral. Just before we set out for this dinner, a procession was announced, and I went to the balcony to see it. The students of a college, some 350 in number, were escorting about two spangled and sparkling images of the Virgin, and a variety of flags. Each carried a lighted torch, and they lined both sides of the road, the interval between their rows being occupied by the images, three or four bands of music, the flags, &c. As all the bands played at once, and as loud as they possibly could, the noise was tremendous, and the cathedral bell helped, by tolling its deepest tone as the procession passed. These processions are the great religious stimulant here, and they form another point of resemblance with the French part of Canada.

After little more than three days' stay among the Spaniards of Luzon, he embarked again on the 29th on board the 'Ferooz,' and passing by Sarawak and the north-west coast of Borneo, crossed the Line to visit the Dutch settlement of Java.

[Sidenote: Crossing the Line.]

February 6th.—A fine morning, and we are going through the Gaspar Strait in about 2° 30' south, not very far from where Lord Amherst was wrecked in the 'Alceste.' We anchored again last night, but in a calm. Yesterday morning Neptune made his appearance, and those of us who had not passed the Line had to pay the penalty. I compounded for his claims on me, and the crew had a good lark in shaving with tar and ducking some other novices. We are now in mid-summer, having passed at a bound from mid-winter. There is little difference, however, in these latitudes, between one part of the year and another. The principal difference consists in the rainy and dry seasons, and as near the Line as this there is, I suppose, always more or less rain. Two P.M.—I went on deck this morning at eight, after writing, to discover why we were stopping, and I found that a squall had closed in all around us, and hid the land. It lasted only about an hour, when we set off again, passing through a great many little islets all covered with trees, so different from the barren Pulo Sapata and Pulo Condor, which we pass on the route between Singapore and Hong-Kong! The weather is delicious, and I am confirmed in my doctrine, that if you are compelled to be in or in the vicinity of the Tropics, the nearer the Line the better. You have not the interminably long summer days which you have at more remote points, and constant showers veil the sun and cool the air. This makes Singapore comparatively so bearable, and I suppose Sarawak has some of the same advantages.

[Sidenote: Java.]
[Sidenote: Residence of the Governor-General.]

Java.—February 8th. Three P.M.—Here I am looking out from my window upon a piece of park-like scenery,—a sheet of water, drooping trees, and deer feeding among them. The only drawback is that it is raining, and this is not an unqualified evil, because the rain cools the air. The place I am at is the residence of the Governor-General of Java (or of the Indies, I believe his title is), about forty miles from Batavia, the chief town, at which I landed yesterday, at 5 P.M., with much honour in the way of salutes, &c. We were conveyed in carriages-and-six, with an escort, to the Governor's town palace, which I was told to consider placed at my disposal. It consists chiefly of a very spacious room on the ground-floor, paved in marble, and looking very brilliant, lit up with wax candles in chandeliers. Some of the high officials came to dinner, and we were waited on by black servants in state liveries and bare feet, who moved noiselessly over the marble floor. The original town of Batavia is unhealthy for Europeans, so they live in villas which extend from the town for some miles, on both sides of the main road into the interior. The villas looked very nice, and white women seemed to abound in them. It was hinted to me that the Governor-General would like to see me at his residence, so I set out for this place at about seven this morning, performing thirty-six miles in two hours and fifty minutes, in a comfortable carriage drawn by six ponies, changed every five miles. I need hardly say that we always went at full gallop. The country was not very interesting, being chiefly low and rice-bearing, nor did I see the cheerful firm-looking maidens who struck me so much at Manila. This island is exploité entirely for the Government and dominant race, and with no little success, for I am told that the surplus revenue last year was £6,000,000, £4,000,000 of which were remitted to Holland. I shall end by thinking that we are the worst colonisers in the Eastern world, as we neither make ourselves rich, nor the governed happy.

[Sidenote: Botanic Garden.]
[Sidenote: Monument to Lady Raffles.]

February 9th.—I took a drive at six this morning, and then a walk through the botanic garden, which is attached to this house and has a great reputation. I am no judge, as you know, but everything seems in beautiful order, and it is of great extent. After a light repast I got a carriage to take me down to a spacious swimming-bath, paved with marble and shaded by magnificent trees, in which I felt rather tempted to spend the day. I should mention that, before dinner yesterday, when the rain slackened, I went into the garden, and was arrested as I wandered along the paths musingly, by a monument with an English inscription. It is to the wife of Sir Stamford Raffles, who died here in 1814, while the colony was in our hands; died here, that is, at Buitenzorg, for this inscription has taught me the name of the place, which I had not been able to catch before. I see little of my host. We dined at half-past six; nobody but his staff and daughter and my rather numerous following, who are not, I fear, all as well dressed as he approves of; a short séance after dinner, and then to our private apartments. Today we met in the same stiff way at twelve, for breakfast. I have not seen a book or a paper in the house, but that may be because I am not admitted to the parts of the mansion where they are to be found. An expedition has been organised for me, and I start tomorrow morning. It will occupy four days, but it would be absurd to come to such a place as this, and to leave it without seeing anything. The Governor-General has spent thirty-one years of his life here, but for a time (six years) he was colonial minister in Holland. His daughter's husband was killed by a native running a'muck (this is a Javanese expression) some years ago. She seems a gentle person, and has a daughter eight years old. We all speak French, which is an improvement on my Manila experiences.

They started at six on the morning of the 10th, in three carriages-and-six, and slept the first night at a place called Chipana, where they 'were to have ascended' a mountain 9,000 feet high, but were prevented by the 'rain.' The next day's journey brought them to the high table-land of Bantong.

[Sidenote: Bantong.]
[Sidenote: Javanese soirée.]

February 11th.—Bantong.—About 120 miles from Batavia, on a plain about 3,000 feet above the level of the sea. The weather comparatively cool, though this is the hot season. I have just (10 P.M.) returned from a Javanese soirée. The Regent (a sort of native lord- lieutenant) invited me to his house to see some dancing. This Regent is very rich, about £12,000 a year, which he receives from a tithe paid to him by all producers in his regency. The dancing was performed by four girls wearing strange helmet-shaped head-dresses, and garments of a close-fitting stiff character reaching to the ground. They swayed their bodies to and fro in a melancholy way to a very monotonous plaintive sort of music, but their chief art consisted in the wonderful success with which they twisted their arms and fingers. In a second dance they carried bows and arrows, and went through a kind of pantomimic fight. After this was over, as I had expressed a wish to see more of his house, I was taken across a court to another ground- floor room, and was startled by finding myself suddenly introduced to Madame la Régente, an odd little woman, with a wizened face, and mouth and teeth blackened by betel nut. I was rather put into a difficulty in finding conversation for her, for I did not know whether she would like being complimented on the ballet we had just seen. I then went to look at the musicians and their instruments, the latter consisting chiefly of coffee canes struck by a sort of gong-sticks. The sound at a distance was bell-like and not unpleasing. I was informed that the Regent had paid £500 for his set of instruments. After this I returned to my inn in my carriage. How I got to this place I shall tell later. I must now go to bed, as we start at 5 A.M. on an expedition to see an active crater.

[Sidenote: A crater.]

February 12th.—Six P.M.—We started nearly as early as was proposed. Two hours of carriage work along a road made heavy by rain, and about two hours more of riding up a steep mountain side, covered with tall trees sinking under a load of creepers and orchideous plants, not so wild and bold as the mountain scenery of Jamaica, but with somewhat of the same character. We ascended about 4,300 feet from our starting-point, so that when we reached our goal we were 6,500 feet above the sea. Our goal was a covered shed overlooking a crater, not in a very active state, but puffing sulphurous smoke from numerous chinks and chasms. Beyond this first crater was a second very similar to it; and beyond both, far below, the plain of Bantong, where we now are, lay green and smiling. We could not see a great extent of it, for the heavy clouds were already mustering for the rain which at this season falls always in the afternoon. (It is now pouring, with thunder and lightning.) But the scene was very striking, and the clouds added to the mystery. We returned through a quinine plantation, which is an experiment, and promises to be a successful one, and then through a coffee plantation, different, and much prettier to look at than those of Ceylon and Jamaica, for here the bushes are allowed to grow to their full height (about twenty feet), and have a graceful pyramid- like shape; whereas there they are all pruned down to about five feet in height. There are also here some large trees left to give shade to the coffee bushes. I can conceive nothing more lovely than these plantations must be at the time of flowering. We got back to our hotel at 2 P.M., since when I have had breakfast, hath, and reading, and am now preparing for dinner.

[Sidenote: A second soirée.]

Ten P.M.—Another Javanese soirée. No ladies this time. To begin with: two kinds of marionettes; the first behind a kind of crape screen,—strange figures cut very beautifully out of buffalo hide, and jumping about to a very noisy vocal and instrumental accompaniment. The second, something like Italian marionettes, worked by a man's fingers, but without any attempt to conceal the operator. Both sets, I believe, represented historical subjects. When we had had enough of these, we went into another room, where were assembled a priest, and a whole lot of followers from a mosque. The amusement here consisted in seeing boys from the mosque stick into their cheeks, &c., daggers and pointed weapons, which the priest blessed, and which were therefore innocuous; a milder specimen of the supernatural I certainly never witnessed. All took place at the Regent's palace, from which I have just returned. His son, a boy of about fourteen, was present to-night and last night. A rather nice-looking boy. He never came near his father without crouching on his heels or knees, and putting his hands up to his face in an attitude of submission, if spoken to by him.

[Sidenote: Chipana.]

February 13th.—Ten P.M.—Chipana.—(The place we slept at on the night of the 10th.) On this, as on the former occasion, the population make a sort of festival of my visit, and turn out to perform dances, &c. The performances are not so refined as at the Regent's, but they are more picturesque and lively. The ladies move about in the same dreamy way about lamps, or rather torches, but here they have partners to dance with them. The noise is tremendous, and has not yet ceased, although I have retired, on the understanding that the entertainment is to come to an end, as we again start to-morrow at 6 A.M. To-night, all the dancing has been in the open air. It was a wild, barbarous- looking scene; but I do not know that I should much care to see it again. We started this morning at six, and travelled, as we have always done, at full gallop on the level or down hill, and with the aid of four buffalos in front of our six ponies when we came to mount steep hills, of which there are many. The roads are excellent. They are made by forced labour, and, what seems rather hard, the natives with their carts, &c., are not allowed to use them. I found here a bath formed by a hot iron or sulphur spring, into which I plunged before dinner. These Javanese seem the most timorous of mankind. A11, men and women, crouch on their heels and knees when our carriage approaches; and they do this, I believe, to all white people, as well as to their own chiefs. But it is not only this crouching; they have, moreover (especially the women), a way of turning their heads aside, as if they were afraid to look at one. The natives of the eastern part of the island are said not to be so timid.

Starting from Chipana early on the following morning, they continued their rapid descent by Buitenzorg to Batavia; and on the 16th embarked again on board the 'Ferooz,' for Ceylon, where he expected to find an accumulation of four mails. 'Two months of news!' (he wrote). 'I always feel nervous as to what so long an interval may bring forth.'

[Sidenote: Strait of Sunda.]

'Ferooz,' at Sea.—February 16th.—One P.M.—We are entering the Strait of Sunda, which separates Java and Sumatra. When through it we have a clear sea-way to Galle. Two P.M.—We have just passed the high land which forms the north-western point of Java, and is called Cape St. Nicholas. It is beautifully rich-looking; the bright green of its grass and crops embroidered over by the darker green of the clumps of trees which are scattered upon it. Farther down to the south, on the same side, is the flat promontory known as Angen Point. On the other side we have the coast of Sumatra, wooded and broken, with mountains in the background, and green islets tossed out from it upon the ocean, in the foreground; and a sailing ship moving along it in the same direction with ourselves, her sails flapping idly in the calm.

Sunday, February 24th.—We have just had service on deck, under a double awning. A little fanning breeze from the north-east seemed to say that we are at last getting back into the region of that monsoon which we left when we went to the south of the Line. I have been some days without writing, for there has been nothing to tell, and we have had a good deal of bad weather, rain, and rolling and pitching; but we must not complain, as it was more convenient to have it here in the open sea, than if we had encountered it in a narrow passage, such as we have passed through. We expect to reach Galle in three days, and I cannot but feel a little nervous as to the news I may find there. We are in God's hands, and this sort of doubt makes us feel the more that we are so.

[Sidenote: Retrospect of Java.]

Altogether, I was much interested by Java. As I have said, it is ruled entirely for the interest of the governing race. No attempt is made to raise the natives. I believe that the missionaries are not allowed to visit the interior. I asked about schools, and ascertained that in the province of which the regency of Bantong forms a part, and which contains some 600,000 inhabitants, there were five; not, I suspect, much attended. It was clear from the tone of the officials that there was no wish to educate the natives. There is a kind of forced labour. They pay a tithe of the produce of their rice-fields; are obliged (in certain districts) to plant coffee, and to sell the produce at a rate fixed by the Government; in others, to work on sugar estates, and, in all, to make roads. Nevertheless, I am not satisfied that they are unhappy, or that the system can be called a failure. In those districts which I visited there was no appearance of their being overworked; and I was assured that, on the sugar estates, the proprietors have no power of punishing those who do not work; that it rests with the officials exclusively to do so. The tone of the officials on the subject is, that no punishment is necessary, because, although they are so lazy that if they had the choice they would never do anything, they do not make any difficulty about working when they are told to do so. Economically it is a success. The fertility of the island is very great, so that the labour of the natives leaves a large surplus after their own subsistence is provided for. There are twenty provinces, in each of which the chief officer is the president—a Dutchman; but the native chief (Regent) has the more direct relations with the people, arranges about their labour, &c. The Dutch officials look after him, and see that he does not abuse his power.

[Sidenote: Ceylon.]

Pressing eagerly forward, he reached Ceylon, the scene of so many anxieties and disasters, on the last day of February.

Ceylon, March 2nd.—I found here your letters to January 10th, and am relieved… Where is our meeting to be?… If I can, I shall take the route through Trieste and Paris.

On the 20th he writes from the neighbourhood of Mount Sinai:—

[Sidenote: Sinai.]

March 20th.—Noon.—We are now in the Gulf of Suez. On the right side a row of arid mountains with serrated crests, and a margin of flat dry sand at the base, and behind them what is reputed to be Mount Sinai. Only a glimpse of the latter can, however, be caught at one point, where there is a depression in the nearer range. On the left there are mountains of a similar character, overtopped by one 10,000 feet high. The sea is deeply blue and the sun scorching, but the air cool—almost cold. We have had a good deal of wind and sea against us for the last three days; but we passed the Straits of Jubal early this morning, and hope to be at Suez during the night.

On the 24th he was once more enjoying the fresh and invigorating breezes of

[Sidenote: The Mediterranean.]

Sunday, March 24th.—On board H.M.S. 'Terrible.'—Here is a change of scene! The last words of this journal were written in the Gulf of Suez, on board the 'Ferooz.' I now write from the Mediterranean, off the island of Candia, whose snow-capped mountains are looking down upon us; very different from the parched ranges of hills wrapped in perpetual heat haze, which I described to you four days ago.

[Sidenote: Greece.]

March 26th.—Seven A.M.—I have been about two hours on deck. A beautiful morning, and smooth sea. On our right the coast of Albania, hilly and wooded. On our left the land is low, and covered apparently with olive trees. Before us the southern end of Corfu, which we are approaching. Farther on, the channel along which we are gliding seems to be closed in as a lake, the Corfu mountains and those of Greece overlapping each other. The snow-covered crests of some of the latter gleam in the sunshine. It is a lovely scene. Yesterday we passed Cape Matapan, Zante, &c., all on our right; but there was a good deal of wind and sea, and an unusual amount of motion for the 'Terrible.' Navarino, too, we passed; but I did not know it at the time. We propose to call in at Corfu, take in coal, and see what can be seen during the day. But I hope to be off for Trieste to-morrow morning.

[Sidenote: Corfu.]

March 27th.—We found at Corfu three line-of-battle ships and Admiral Dacres, who came on board to see me. I landed at 11 A.M., and went to the Government House, where I found Sir H. Storks. He took me a drive of about thirteen miles, to the top of a pass in the mountains called Pantaleone, from which there is a very extensive view. It is a beautiful island. The day bright and sunny. Nothing can be more picturesque than the town. The people, too, seem to me very handsome. I saw this morning the captain of a sloop-of-war who has been visiting various ports in the Adriatic. He was received at Ancona with a furore of enthusiasm, and exceedingly well treated at Venice, Trieste, &c., by the Austrians, who are burning to revenge themselves on the French, and anxious to ally themselves with us for that purpose…. We have been steaming through a narrow channel, with the snow-covered mountains of Albania on our right; but we are now emerging into the open Adriatic.

[Sidenote: England.]

By Trieste and Vienna he travelled rapidly to Paris, where he was met by Lady Elgin; and on the 11th of April 1861, within a few days of the anniversary of his departure, he found himself once more on British soil.

[Sidenote: Warm reception.]
[Sidenote: Dunfermline.]

The reception which awaited him at home was even warmer than that which he had met with two years before. What gratified him, perhaps, more than any of the many similar expressions of good-will was the cordial welcome with which he was greeted by his old friends and neighbours at Dunfermline: friends from whom he had been, as he told them, so long an unwilling absentee. His answer to their address was the simple and natural expression of this feeling.

It is pleasant (he said)—perhaps it is one of the sweetest flowers we cull on the path of this rugged life—to find ourselves among old friends after a long absence, and to find their hearts beat as true and warm as ever. I am deeply gratified by the flattering terms in which my public services have been referred to in this address, but I am still more gratified by the welcome which you have tendered to me to-day…. Gentlemen, I have been for many years very much, perhaps too much of a wanderer, and it has been my fortune to receive from our countrymen established in different parts of the world tokens of their regard and consideration. The very last address of felicitation I received before I landed at Dover the other day was from a body of my countrymen established in the Philippines—a group of Spanish islands in the far East, near the equator. But allow me to say that among all these tokens, those most grateful and agreeable to me are those which I receive from friends and neighbours at home. And, perhaps, I appreciate these tokens the more highly, because I am conscious that the very fact of my having been so much of a wanderer, has prevented me from acquiring some of those titles to their personal regard which I might have hoped to establish if I had been constantly resident among them.

[Sidenote: Royal Academy dinner.]

About the same time he was received with marked distinction at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy in London; and the words which he spoke on that occasion have more than a mere passing interest, as illustrating the speaker's frank and straightforward manner of dealing with a question of great delicacy, and also as containing some striking and suggestive remarks on certain mental and moral peculiarities of the Chinese people.

I am especially gratified (he said) by the great and very unexpected honour which you have done to me in drinking my health, because I trust that I may infer from it that in your judgment, Sir, and in that of this company, I am not so incorrigibly barbarous as to be incapable of feeling the humanising influences which fall upon us from the noble works of art by which we are surrounded. And, as I have ventured to approach so nearly to the margin of a burning question, I hope that I may be allowed to take one step more in the same direction, and to assure you that no one regretted more sincerely than I did the destruction of that collection of summer-houses and kiosks, already, and previously to any act of mine, rifled of their contents, which was dignified by the title of Summer Palace of the Chinese Emperor. But when I had satisfied myself that in no other way, except, indeed, by inflicting on this country and on China the calamity of another year of war, could I mark the sense which I entertained, which the British army entertained—and on this point I may appeal to my gallant friend who is present here this evening, and who conducted that army triumphantly to Pekin with so much honour to himself and to those under his command—and which, moreover, I make bold in the presence of this company to say, the people of this country entertained—of an atrocious crime, which, if it had passed unpunished, would have placed in jeopardy the life of every European in China, I felt that the time had come when I must choose between the indulgence of a not unnatural sensibility and the performance of a painful duty. The alternative is not a pleasant one; but I trust that there is no man serving the Crown in a responsible position who would hesitate when it is presented to him as to the decision at which he should arrive.[2] And now, Sir, to pass to another topic, I have been repeatedly asked whether, in my opinion, the interests of art in this country are likely to be in any degree promoted by the opening up of China. I must say, in reply, that I do not think that in matters of art we have much to learn from that country, but I am not quite prepared to admit that even in this department we can gain nothing from them. The distinguishing characteristic of the Chinese mind is this—that at all points of the circle described by man's intelligence, it seems occasionally to have caught glimpses of a heaven far beyond the range of its ordinary ken and vision. It caught a glimpse of the path which leads to military supremacy when it invented gunpowder, some centuries before the discovery was made by any other nation. It caught a glimpse of the path which leads to maritime supremacy when it made, at a period equally remote, the discovery of the mariner's compass. It caught a glimpse of the path which leads to literary supremacy when, in the tenth century, it invented the printing press; and, as my illustrious friend on my right (Sir E. Landseer) has reminded me, it has caught from time to time glimpses of the beautiful in colour and design. But in the hands of the Chinese themselves the invention of gunpowder has exploded in crackers and harmless fireworks. The mariner's compass has produced nothing better than the coasting junk. The art of printing has stagnated in stereotyped editions of Confucius, and the most cynical representations of the grotesque have been the principal products of Chinese conceptions of the sublime and beautiful. Nevertheless, I am disposed to believe that under this mass of abortions and rubbish there lie hidden some sparks of a diviner fire, which the genius of my countrymen may gather and nurse into a flame.

[Sidenote: Dinner at the Mansion House.]

A few days afterwards, at a dinner given at the Mansion House in his honour, he was again greeted with more than common enthusiasm. In responding, after giving an account of the objects that had been sought and the results that had been achieved in the East, he concluded his speech by impressing on the merchants of England, in words which may be regarded as his final and farewell utterance on the subject, that with them must now chiefly lie the responsibility of aiding or retarding the development of China, and thus of determining the place she shall hold in the commonwealth of nations.

My Lord Mayor (be said), I should be very much to blame if, having an opportunity of addressing an assembly in this place, I omitted to call attention to the fact that the occasional misconduct of our own countrymen and other foreigners in China is one of the greatest, perhaps the very greatest, difficulties with which the Queen's representatives there have to deal. We send out to that country honourable merchants and devout missionaries, who scatter benefits in every part of the land they visit, elevating and raising the standard of civilisation wherever they go. But sometimes, unfortunately, there slip out from among us dishonest traders and ruffians who disgrace our name and set the feelings of the people against us. The public opinion of England can do much to encourage the one class of persons and discourage the other. I trust that the moral influence of this great city will always be exerted in that direction. In addressing the merchants of Shanghai some three years ago, at the time when I announced to them that it was my intention to seek a treaty in Pekin itself if I could not get it before I arrived there, I made this observation—that when force and diplomacy should have effected in China all that they could legitimately accomplish, the work which we had to do in that empire would still be only in its commencement. I repeat that statement now. My gallant friend who spoke just now has returned his sword to the scabbard. The diplomatist, as far as treaty- making is concerned, has placed his pen on the shelf. But the great task of construction—the task of bringing China, with its extensive territory, its fertile soil, and its industrious population, as an active and useful member, into the community of nations, and making it a fellow-labourer with ourselves in diffusing over the world happiness and well-being—is one that yet remains to be accomplished. No persons are more entitled or more fitted to take a part in that work than the merchants of this great city. I implore them, then, to devote themselves earnestly to its fulfilment, and from the bottom of my heart I pray that their endeavours towards that end may be crowned with success.

[1] Vide supra, p. 310.

[2] It may not be out of place here to quote the words used later in the evening by Sir Hope Grant, in returning thanks for his own health: 'With regard (he said) to what Lord Elgin has said about the destruction of the Summer Palace of the Emperor of China, I must say that I do candidly think it was a necessary act of retribution for an abominable murder which had been committed, and the army, as Well as myself, entirely concurred with him in what he did.'



From this time forward the story of Lord Elgin's life is no longer a record of stirring incidents, of difficulties triumphantly overcome, or novel and entangled situations successfully mastered. The career indeed is still arduous, and the toil unremitting, but the course is well-defined. Compared with the varied conflicts and anxieties of the preceding period, there is something of the repose of declining day, after the heat and dust of a brilliant noon; something even, young as he was in years, of the gloom of approaching night. It seems almost as if a shadow, cast by the coming end, rested upon his path.

[Sidenote: Vice-royalty of India.]

He had not been more than a month at home when the Vice-royalty of India, about to be vacated by Lord Canning, was offered to him, in the Queen's name, by Lord Palmerston. The splendid offer of the most magnificent Governorship in the world was accepted, but not without something of a vague presentiment that he should never return from it. This feeling was expressed with his usual frankness and simplicity, when in the course of an address delivered at Dunfermline, some months before his departure, after referring to former partings, uniformly followed by happy meetings, he said:—

[Sidenote: Forebodings.]

But, Gentlemen, I cannot conceal from myself, nor from you, the fact that the parting which is now about to take place is a far more serious matter than any of those which have preceded it; and that the vast amount of labour devolving upon the Governor-General of India, the insalubrity of the climate, and the advance of years, all tend to render the prospect of our again meeting more remote and uncertain.

Independently of any such forebodings, there were sorrows on which it is hardly necessary to dwell, but which were felt keenly by one so devoted to 'that peaceful home-life towards which he was always aspiring;'[1] the pain of tearing himself again from the children now growing up to need in an especial manner a father's presence, and of leaving the mother of these children, for a time at least, to contend alone with cares and anxieties from which it would have been his greatest happiness to shield and protect her. Something, too, there may have been of the depression which breathes in the poet's complaint, 'the roll of mighty poets is made up'—a feeling that the work of pacifying and settling India had been so thoroughly accomplished by Lord Dalhousie and Lord Canning, that the field no longer contained any laurels to be reaped by their successor. 'I succeed,' he used to say, 'to a great man and a great war, with a humble task to be humbly discharged.'

[Sidenote: Visit to Osborne.]
[Sidenote: Sails for India.]

But these thoughts and feelings, though they may have dimmed the brightness of his anticipations, could not for long overcloud that 'unfailing cheerfulness' which contributed much to make him throughout life so successful himself, and so helpful to others: still less could they for a moment check the alacrity with which he set himself to prepare for his new duties. For some time he remained in London; after which he spent several pleasant months in Scotland, laying up a store of happy recollections to which his thoughts in after days often turned. Early in January 1862, accompanied by Lady Elgin, he went to Osborne on a visit to the Queen; who even in those early days of widowhood, roused herself to receive the first Viceroy of India ever appointed by the sole act of the Crown. On the 28th of the same month he quitted the shores of England; and, after a rapid and uneventful journey, reached Calcutta on March 12. As Lady Elgin was unable to accompany him, he resumed the habit of conversing with her, so to speak, through the medium of a journal; from which some brief extracts are here given, less for the sake of the few incidents which they record, than for the glimpses which they give into the mind and heart of the writer:-

[Sidenote: Man overboard!]

H.M.S. 'Banshee.'—Marseilles.—January 31st.—Only think of my writing again from Marseilles! I was breakfasting yesterday, when there was a cry of 'A man overboard!' We went on deck. After a while, the man—who had enormous water-boots on, but who was fortunately a good swimmer—appeared on the surface, caught hold of a life-preserver which had been thrown out to him, was picked up by a boat, and hoisted on board. After a bumper of brandy, he seemed none the worse. But in the meantime we had sprung our rudder-head (the same sort of accident as befell the 'Great Eastern'). It must have been bad, or it could not have gone as it did. The captain said to me: 'We may go on for a few hours, and see what we can do, and then return if necessary.' I did not see the fun of this plan, and suggested that we had better at once find out what was the matter. We returned to port, and, after a long deliberation, a scheme of patching was resolved upon…. It is most vexatious to be doing nothing, when my moments have been of late so precious and so hurried.

* * * *

'Ferooz.'—Gulf of Suez.—February 9th.—When I got on board this morning my heart smote me a little for having discouraged your coming out with me, for nothing can be more comfortable than this ship has been made, with a view to the accommodation of poor Lady Canning and you. Eight P.M.—It is very lonely to be spending this Sunday evening by myself, after the many happy ones I have enjoyed with you and the children during the past three months; and yet I would not forego the recollection of those happy days though it deepens the gloom of the present. Surely, whatever may happen to us all, it is something gained to have this retrospect in store.

[Sidenote: Old MSS.]

February 12th.—Going on as smoothly as ever…. I have been reading over some old manuscript books, written from twenty to twenty-five years ago, and containing a record of my thoughts and doings at that remote time. It is very interesting and useful to look back. I was working very hard during those years, searching after truth and right, with no positive occupation but that of managing the Broomhall affairs, and riding at a sort of single anchor with politics. Would it have been better for me if I had had more engrossing positive work? There is something to be said on both sides in answering that question. However, these books will not be again read by me, for I shall consign them to the Red Sea.

February 13th.—The breeze is freshening and dead ahead…. I have been thinking of the past, and remembering that just twenty years ago, at this same season, I set out on my first visit to the Tropics. What a strange career it has been! How grateful I should be to Providence for the protection I have enjoyed! How wild it seems, to be about, at the close of twenty years, to begin again.

[Sidenote: A gale.]

Sunday, February 16th.—A bad time since I last wrote. We have had a very strong gale…. There is less motion to-day, probably because we are under the lee of the Arabian coast. I could not wish that you had been with me while we were undergoing this misery; and we have made slow progress, but may reach Aden to-morrow. It has been a sad time…. I could not read, and have been lying down, thinking over so many things!… But there may, please God, be a good time beyond. I have been thinking of the little party in your room on this day, and endeavouring to join with you all.

[Sidenote: A moonlight night.]

February 19th.—Gulf of Aden.—Seven A.M.—I have just had my first walk on deck for this day. It is fine, and the head wind keeps up a cool draught of air for us. The night was pleasant and cool, and I spent an hour before I went to bed, walking up and down the bridge, between the paddle-boxes, looking at a great moon, a little past the full, climbing up the heavens before us, and (as Coleridge says, I think in the notes to the Ancient Mariner, of the stars) entering unannounced among the groups of stars as a guest certainly expected —and yet there is a silent joy on her arrival.

February 27th.—Near Ceylon.—According to the account of our captain, who hails from Bombay, the Governor there must be very well off as regards climate. He has the sea air at Bombay itself; 2,000 feet of elevation at Poonah; and 5,000 on a mountain accessible in two days from Bombay. So that his family may always live in a cool climate, and he can join them when business permits. Perhaps at some future time the convenience of the situation of Bombay, its greater vicinity to England, &c., may place the Governor-General there; but this will not happen in our time.

[Sidenote: White ants.]

As I went into my cabin yesterday before dinner, I observed a swarm of white flies with long wings, by the side of one of my open ports. I found out that they were white ants which had burst through the wood- work, and which seem to be provided with wings under such circumstances, in order that they may migrate. The wood-work inside near the place from which they burst out, was completely destroyed by them, and reduced to a pulp. It appears that there are quantities of these creatures in this ship. It is believed that they are only in the scantling or upper wood-work. It is to be hoped that this may be so; for they devour timber with wonderful rapidity, and ships have been lost by their eating away portions under water.

[Sidenote: Madras.]

March 7th.—Madras.—Reached the anchorage at 4.30 P.M. We soon got into one of the country boats made for landing in the surf (without nails, and all the planks sewn together). We were hoisted by the waves upon the beach, and found there a considerable crowd, with the Governor, Sir W. Denison; Sir H. Grant, etc., and a guard of honour, to receive us; Sir W.D. drove me out to this place, Guindy, which is about eight miles from the town, and consists of a charming airy house, in a large park. There was a full-dress dinner party and reception last night…. I have decided to proceed to Calcutta to- morrow.

'Ferooz.'—March 9th.—Sunday.—It was very hot during the service under the awning. But you and the little ones were remembered on this sweltering Bengal sea…. My visit to Madras was pleasant, and an agreeable change…. And I collected there papers and official documents enough to keep me going till I reach Calcutta.

[Sidenote: Calcutta.]
[Sidenote: Installation.]

It was on the evening of March 11th that the 'Ferooz' anchored in 'Diamond Harbour,' the same anchorage at which, in the 'Shannon,' he had spent the night of August 8, 1857. The following day he was formally installed as Viceroy and Governor-General; receiving every kindness from Lord Canning, whom he describes as not looking so ill as he expected to find him, 'but,' he adds, 'those about him say he is far from right in health.' Six days later Lord Canning took his departure, and Lord Elgin was left to enter upon his new duties.

[Sidenote: Death of Mr. Ritchie.]

He had not been a fortnight in office when the uncertainty of life in Calcutta was brought home to him in a striking and ominous manner by the sudden death of an esteemed member of his Legislative Council, Mr. Ritchie. Writing on March 23 to Sir Charles Wood, who was then Secretary of State for India, he said:—

We are truly here in the case of the women grinding at the mill. Who would have supposed a few days ago that poor Ritchie would have been the first summoned? About two days before Canning's departure, I asked him to come and see me; he talked with me for an hour. In the evening a note was received from his wife to say that they could not dine at Government House, as he was seriously indisposed. He appears to have felt the first symptom of his malady while he was sitting with me. This afternoon I attend his funeral. He is a great loss; he seems to have been very much liked and esteemed.

The death of Mr. Ritchie, followed by the appointment of Sir B. Frere to the Government of Bombay, the promotion of Mr. Beadon to the Lieutenant- Governorship of Bengal, and the retirement of Mr. Laing owing to ill health, left only Sir R. Napier remaining of the five members of Council whom Lord Elgin found in office; and, though the vacant places were soon afterwards most ably filled, the change of councillors necessarily added to the labours of a new Governor-General. He did not, however, during the first comparatively cool months, find the work too much for him. 'On the contrary,' he wrote, 'time would be heavy on hand if I had not enough to fill it.'

[Sidenote: Mode of Life.]

The days (he wrote to Lady Elgin) are very uniform in their round of occupations, so I have little to record that is interesting. As long as one has health, it is easy to do a good deal of work here, because for twelve hours in the day (from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.) there is no inducement to leave the house. I have hitherto had a little exercise before and after those hours. I rush into the garden when I awake, and return when the sun appears, glowing and angry, above the horizon.

In another letter he describes the plan, characteristic of his sociable and genial temperament, which he adopted in order at once to get through his work, and to obtain a competent knowledge of persons whose opinions were worth having.

I have two or three people to dine with me on every day on which I have not a great dinner. By this means I get acquainted with individuals, and if my bees have any honey in them I extract it at the moment of the day when it is most gushing.[2] It is very convenient, besides, because it enables me to converse by candlelight with persons who want to talk to me about their private affairs, instead of wasting daylight upon them. Unless I get out of sorts, I hope to become personally acquainted in this way with everyone, whose views may be useful to me, before I leave Calcutta, even to go to Barrackpore.

As the season went on, the heat became greater. 'For the last few days,' he wrote on June 1, 'it has been very hot; quite as hot, they say, as it ever is. I am longing for the rains, which are to cool us, I am told.' The rains came, and, so long as they continued to fall, the temperature was lower: but 'the heavy, dull, damp, calm heat between the falls,' he found most trying.

[Sidenote: Death of Lord Canning.]

On July 6 came a fresh shock to his feelings—a fresh omen of evil to himself—in a telegraphic report of the death of the friend whose place he had so recently taken. At first he could hardly bring himself to credit the news.

Is it indeed true (he wrote to Lady Elgin)? The last rumour of the kind was the report of my death, when I was mistaken for Eglinton; but this time I fear it is only too true! It will add to the alarm which India inspires. But poor Canning certainly never gave himself a good chance; at least not during the last year or two of his reign here. He took no exercise, and not even such relaxation of the mind as was procurable, though that is not much in the situation of Governor- General. When I told him that I should ask two or three people to dine with me daily, in order to get acquainted with all the persons I ought to know, and to talk matters over with them by candlelight, so as to save daylight for other work, he said: 'I was always so tired by dinner-time that I could not speak.' Perhaps he was only referring to his later experience; but still it was enough to break down any constitution, to wear oneself out for ever by the same train of thought, and the same routine of business. I think there was more in all this than met the eye, for work alone could not have done it. We shall have no confirmation of this rumour in letters for a fortnight or more…. Poor Canning! He leaves behind him sincere friends, but no one who was much dependent on him.

In another letter he wrote:—

So Canning and his wife, as Dalhousie and his, have fallen victims to India! Both however ruled here in stirring times, and accomplished great things, playing their lives against a not unworthy stake. I do not think that their fate is to be deplored.

A few days later he wrote from Barrackpore, where he had gone to seek the change of air which his health now began imperatively to require:—

This place looks wonderfully green. At the end of the broad walk on which I am gazing from my window, is Lady Canning's grave; it is not yet properly finished. Who will attend to it now? Meanwhile, it gives a melancholy character to the place, for the walk which it closes is literally the only private walk in the grounds. The flower garden, park, &c., are all open to the public…. Although Canning did not die at his post, I thought it right, as his death took place so soon after his departure from India, to recognise it officially, which I did by a public notification, and by directing a salute of minute guns to be fired.

While still oppressed with these sad thoughts, he received a blow which
went even deeper home, in the intelligence of the death of his brother
Robert, so well-known and so highly valued as Governor of the Prince of

[Sidenote: Death of General Bruce.]

Barrackpore.—July 26th.—I went into Calcutta on the morning of the 23rd, in time to write by the afternoon packet; but I did not write, for I was met on my arrival by a telegraphic rumour, which quite overwhelmed me…. I should hardly have allowed myself to believe that the sad report could be true, had it not been for the account of Robert's illness, which your last letters had conveyed to me…. Next day another telegram by the Bombay mail of the July 3rd left no doubt as to the name…. A week, however, must elapse before letters arrive with, the intelligence…. I hurried over my business, and came back here yesterday evening. It is more quiet than Calcutta; and sad, with its one walk terminating (as I have told you) at Lady Canning's grave. Poor Robert, how little did I think when we parted that I was never to see him again! How little at least, that he would be the defaulter! He has left few equals behind him: so true, so upright, so steady in his principles, and so winning in his manners. Of late years we have been much apart, but for very many we were closely together, and perhaps no two brothers were ever more mutually helpful. Strange, that with Frederick and me in these regions, he should have been carried off first, by a malady which belongs to them.[3]… I write at random and confusedly, for I have nothing to guide me but that one word. And yet how much in that one word! It tells me that I have lost a wise counsellor in difficulties; a stanch friend in prosperity and adversity; one on whom, if anything had befallen myself, I could always have relied to care for those left behind me. It tells, too, of the dropping of a link of that family chain which has always been so strong and unbroken.

In writing to his second boy he touched the same chords in a different tone.

You have lost (he said) a kind and good uncle, and a kind and good godfather, and you are now the only Robert Bruce in the fami