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Title: Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin
Author: James, Eighth Earl of Elgin, 1811-1863
Language: English
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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


_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

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

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

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

[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

[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

[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

[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

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

[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

[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

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

    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

    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

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

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

    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

    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

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

[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

    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

    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

[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

    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

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

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

[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

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

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

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

    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

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

[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

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

    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

       *       *       *       *       *

[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

    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

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

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

    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

    _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

    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

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

    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

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

    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




[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,

    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

[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,

[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

    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

    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

[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

    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

[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

[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

    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

[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

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

[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

       *       *       *       *       *

    _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

       *       *       *       *       *

[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

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

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

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

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

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

    _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

    _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

[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

[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

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

[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

    _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

    _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

    _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

    _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

[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

    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

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

    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

    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

[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

[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

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

    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

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

    _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

    _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

[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

[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

[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

    _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

[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

    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

[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

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

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

[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

    _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

    _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

[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

[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

[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

[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

[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

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

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

[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

[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

[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

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

[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

    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

[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

[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

[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

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

[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

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

    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

[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

[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

[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

[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

[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

    _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

[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

[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

[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

    _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

[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

[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-

    _'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

    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

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

    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 family. It is
    a good name, and you must try and bear it nobly and bravely, as those
    who have borne it before you have done. If you look at their lives you
    will see that they always considered in the first place what they
    ought to do, and only in the second what it might be most pleasant and
    agreeable to do. This is the way to steer a straight course through
    life, and to meet the close of it, as your dear Uncle did, with a
    smile on his lips.

[Sidenote: The hot season.]

From this time his journal contains more and more frequent notices of the
oppressive heat of the weather, and its effects upon his own health and
comfort. He remained, however, at his post at Calcutta, with the exception
of a brief stay at a bungalow lent to him by Mr. Beadon at Bhagulpore; his
pleasantest occupation being the arrangement of plans for smoothing the
path of Lady Elgin, who had settled to join him in India.

    _August 2nd._--Yesterday, I received your letter, with all the sad
    details.... It was truly a lovely death, in harmony with the life that
    preceded it.... It is indeed a heavy blow to all.... This is a sad
    letter, but my heart is heavy. It is difficult to make plans, with
    such a break-down of human hopes in possession of all my thoughts.

    _Calcutta.--August 8th._--It is now dreadfully hot.... In search of
    something to stay my gasping, I mounted on to the roof of the house
    this morning, to take my walk there, instead of in my close garden,
    where there are low shrubs which give no shade, but exclude the
    breeze. I made nothing, however, by my motion, for no air was stirring
    even there. I had a solitary and ghastly stroll on the leads,
    surrounded by the _adjutants_,--a sort of hideous and filthy vulture.
    They do the work of scavengers in Calcutta, and are ready to treat one
    as a nuisance, if they had a chance.... There is much sickness here

    _August 9th._--... The 'Ferooz' will not reach Suez till about the
    middle of November, so you had better not arrive there till after that
    time. You will have the best season for the voyage, and time to rest
    here before we go up the country.

    _Calcutta.--August 17th._--... I told you that I was feeling the
    weather.... I am going to-morrow for change of air, to a place about
    300 miles from Calcutta, on the railway. It is not cooler, but drier,
    and the doctor strongly recommends the change. This is our worst
    season, and I suppose we may expect six weeks more of it. If this
    change is not enough, I may perhaps try and get a steamer, and go over
    to Burmah. But there is some difficulty in this at present.

[Sidenote: Bhagulpore.]

    _Bhagulpore.--August 19th._--We made out our journey to this place
    very well yesterday. The morning was cloudy, with drizzling rain, and
    much cooler than usual, and we had the great advantage of little sun
    and no dust all day. At the station of Burdwan, the inhabitants of the
    station, some of them ladies, met us, and in a very polite manner
    presented flowers. We kept our time pretty well in our special train,
    and reached our abode at about 7 P.M. The air here is sensibly fresher
    than at Calcutta.... The house is a regular bungalow,--a cottage, all
    on the ground-floor. It is situated on a mound overlooking the Ganges.
    There is no garden about it, but a grass field, with a few trees here
    and there. Between the window at which I am writing and the river is
    an open shed, in which two elephants are switching their tails, and
    knocking about the hay which has been given them for their breakfast.
    This is a much more quiet and rural place than any which I have
    visited since I have been in India; for Barrackpore is a great
    military station, and the park, &c., there are quite public. Here
    there are not altogether above five or six European families.... We
    have a train twice a day from Calcutta, so I can get my boxes as
    regularly as I do there.

[Sidenote: Monghyr.]

    _Bhagulpore.--August 25th._--On Saturday, we made an expedition to a
    place called Monghyr, about forty-five miles from here, where there is
    a hot spring, and something like _hills_. (I am told also, that on a
    particularly clear day I can see from here the highest mountain in the
    world.)  We did not leave this till 3 P.M., and were back again by 8
    P.M., having travelled some ninety miles by rail, and driven in
    carriages about ten or twelve more,--the fastest thing, I should
    think, ever done in India. There has been a good deal of rain, and I
    still feel well here, but I suppose on the 29th I must return to the
    Calcutta steam-bath. This forenoon I paid a visit to a school, one of
    the Government schools. The boys (upwards of 200) are not of the
    lowest class. They all read English very well and when asked the
    meaning of words, gave synonymes or explanatory phrases with
    remarkable readiness. During their early years, I should certainly say
    that they are quicker than English children. They fall off when they
    get older.

    _August 31st.--Calcutta._--We returned to this place on Thursday. It
    is cooler than when I left, but I fear we have not done with the heat
    yet. All agree that September is about the worst month in the year

    _Calcutta.--September 8th._--I do not think that Dr. M. is
    particularly proud of the way in which I am bearing up against this
    oppressive and depressing season.... I wish that we were going to the
    Neilgherries instead of to Simla. The climate is, I believe, better,
    and the place more agreeable, but it is entirely out of the way of
    business for me now, whereas Simla is a natural stage to the most
    important part of my government.

    _September 17th._--... I have given up my morning walks. It is now
    always sultry before sunrise, and the dullness of pacing up and down my
    garden at that hour is intolerable. So I walk till daylight in my

    _September 23rd._--... It seems strange to think that this is one of
    the last letters which you will receive from me in England, but yet it
    is still a long time before I can hope to see you here. The poor boys!
    You will be preparing to part from them, and all will be sad. Give
    them my love and blessing.

[Sidenote: Business revived.]

In the month of November the sittings of the Legislative Council, which had
been suspended during the hot weather, were resumed, and the monotonous
routine of the autumn was exchanged for more active, though hardly more
laborious, work in maturing legislative measures. As President of this
Council Lord Elgin threw himself with his usual zeal and assiduity into the
discussion of the various administrative questions which demanded solution.

As the cold weather came on, he suffered much from the transition. Writing
on the 4th of November to Sir C. Wood, he says: 'At the commencement of the
cool season, on which we are now entering, we suffer from all manner of
minor ailments; so I hope you will excuse a short letter.' And again on the
9th: 'I am half blind and rather shaky from fever still, so that again I
shall be brief in my epistle to you.' Soon, however, these ailments
disappeared, and in the cooler temperature he regained to a great extent
his usual health.

[Sidenote: Arrival of Lady Elgin.]

A few weeks later the long dreary months of separation from all that he
most loved were happily ended by the arrival of Lady Elgin, who with his
youngest daughter, Lady Louisa Bruce,  reached Calcutta on the 8th of
January 1863.

[Sidenote: State of India.]

In passing from the personal narrative of these months, to their public
history, it is necessary to bear in mind what was the state of the Indian
Empire at the moment when Lord Elgin undertook its government.

[Sidenote: Peace.]

    'India,' to use his own words, 'was at peace; at peace in a sense of
    the term more emphatic and comprehensive than it had ever before borne
    in India. The occurrences which had taken place during the period of
    Lord Dalhousie's government had established the prestige of the
    British arms as against external foes. Lord Canning's Vice-royalty had
    taught the same lesson to domestic enemies.  No military operations of
    magnitude were in progress, to call for prompt and vigorous action on
    the part of the ruling authority, or to furnish matter for narrations
    of thrilling interest. On the contrary, a hearty acquiescence in the
    belief that no such opportunities existed, and that it was incumbent
    upon him, by all practicable means, to prevent their recurrence, was
    the first duty which the situation of affairs prescribed to a new

[Sidenote: Questions to be solved.]

There were indeed grave questions awaiting solution; questions of great
perplexity and embarrassment, though of a domestic and peaceful character;
some of them the more perplexing because they bore upon 'those jealousies
of race which are the sources of almost all our difficulties in India.' But
as regards such questions his habitual caution, as well as the philosophic
turn of his mind, led him to study very carefully all the conditions of
each problem before attempting to propound any solution of his own; and in
the meantime he felt that his duty was to employ any personal influence
which he could acquire in smoothing the course of such measures as had been
set in operation by the authority of others. 'The first virtue,' he said to
one of his colleagues, 'which you and I have to practise here at present is
Self-denial. We must, for a time at least, walk in paths traced out by

But though, for the reasons above stated, it would be a mistake to look in
the records of the time for any great measures, executive or
administrative, on which he had set his mark, his various speeches and
letters, more especially the full and frank communications which he
addressed from time to time to the Secretary of State for India, Sir
Charles Wood, show with what keenness of interest, as well as with what
sagacity, he approached the study of Indian questions. A few extracts from
his correspondence are here given to illustrate this; and as affording some
indication of the unremitting industry with which he laboured at this
period, searching into and maturing his views upon one difficult subject
after another, as well as the whole plan of Indian government.

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, April 9th, 1862.

[Sidenote: The Army.]

    Now for the Army. I must observe, in the first place, that in the
    reasoning employed here in favour of the maintenance of a large army,
    native and European, there is a good deal that is circular, and
    puzzling to a beginner.

    When I ask why so considerable a native army is required, I am told
    that the native must bear a certain proportion to the European force;
    that Europeans cannot undertake cantonment duties, or, speaking
    generally, any of the duties which the military may from time to time
    be called to render in support of the civil power, during peace; that
    in war, again, they are admirable on the battle-field, but that they
    cannot turn their victories to account by following up a discomfited
    foe, unless they have the aid of native troops, nor perform many other
    services which are not less indispensable than great battles to
    success against an enemy who knows the ground and is inured to the

    This line of argument very naturally raises the question, wherefore
    then is the maintenance of so large a European army necessary?
    Rebellion has been crushed, and European troops are not suited for the
    repression of such local disturbances as occasionally occur. There is
    little present prospect of war from without, though Persia is moving
    towards Herat, and apparently preparing for Dost Mohammed's death. The
    answer which I invariably receive is this--'You cannot tell what will
    happen in India. Heretofore you have held the Sikhs in subjection by
    the aid of the Sepoys, and the Sepoys by means of the Sikhs. But see
    what is happening now. The Sikh soldiers are quartered all over India.
    They are fraternising with the natives of the South--adopting their
    customs and even their faith. Half the soldiers in a regiment lately
    stationed at Benares were converted to Hindooism before they left that
    holy place. Beware, or you will shortly have to cope in India with a
    hostile combination more formidable than any of those which you have
    encountered before.' If you draw from all this the inference that what
    you really dread is your native army, you get into the vicious circle

    Do not suppose that I am tempted by these logical paradoxes to run to
    hasty conclusions. I am aware that for many reasons we must now
    entertain, and probably shall long find it necessary to entertain, a
    large army, native and European, in India. Practically, what we have
    to do is to endeavour, by a judicious system of recruiting,
    organisation, and distribution, to render our army as serviceable and
    as little a source of peril as may be. But I do think that they go far
    to prove that, notwithstanding our vast physical superiority to
    anything which can be brought against us, we should find it a
    difficult task to maintain our authority in India by the sword alone;
    and that they justify a very jealous scrutiny of all schemes of
    expenditure for military objects which render necessary the imposition
    or maintenance of taxes which occasion general discontent, or deprive
    the Government of the funds requisite for carrying on works of
    improvement that have the double advantage of stimulating the growth
    of wealth in the country, and increasing the efficiency of the means
    of self-defence which we possess.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To a Friend in Scotland, interested in the Cultivation of Cotton._

    Calcutta, May 21st, 1862.

[Sidenote: Cultivation of cotton.]

    I beg to assure you that I do not yield to yourself in my desire to
    promote the extension of cotton cultivation in India, and, above all,
    improvement in the quality of the staple. I consider that the
    interests of India are involved in this improvement to a greater
    degree even than those of Great Britain; for, no doubt, if the quality
    of the Indian product were so far raised as to admit of its competing
    on terms approaching to equality with that of America, it would obtain
    a permanent footing in the great market to which it has access now
    only at moments of extraordinary dearth.

    Moreover, I do not scruple to confess to you that I am not so bigoted
    in my adhesion to the dogmas of political economy, as to be unwilling,
    at a season of crisis like the present, to entertain proposals for
    accelerating this result, merely because they contravene the
    principles of that science. On the contrary, I receive thankfully
    suggestions for accomplishing an object which I have so much at heart,
    more especially when they emanate from persons deeply interested and
    thoroughly conversant with the subject, like yourself--even when they
    fall within the category of what you style 'extraordinary measures.'

    But you will surely allow that the _onus probandi_ lies very heavily
    on a Government which adopts measures of this class; and that if, by
    abnormal interference, it checks the natural and healthy operation of
    the laws of demand on capitalists and cultivators, it incurs a weighty

    Even as regards the specific recommendation which you have made, and
    which has much to justify it in my eyes--because I would go great
    lengths in the direction of aiding the Ryots to improve their staple,
    if I could see my way to effect this object without doing more harm
    than good--I must observe that there are questions which have to be
    very gravely and carefully examined before it can be acted upon.

    In the first place, it is right that I should tell you that the
    opinion which obtains here respecting the result of recent operations
    in Dharwar, in so far as the case furnishes a precedent for the
    interference of Government officers in such matters, differs widely
    from that entertained by you.

    But, setting this point aside, and assuming for the sake of argument
    that the interposition at Dharwar was attended by unmixed benefit to
    all concerned, does it follow that corresponding success would
    accompany the mission of fifty military officers to the cotton
    districts of India for the purpose of inducing the Ryots to substitute
    exotic for native cotton in their cultivation?

    In order to do this exotic cotton justice, it must be treated with
    some care, especially at the time of its introduction into districts
    where it has been previously unknown. Conditions of climate as well as
    of soil must be taken into consideration in determining the time and
    method of cultivation. The climate of Dharwar, where the monsoons
    meet, differs widely from that of many parts of India, where the
    seasons are divided between a deluge of rain and a period of baking
    heat. Am I likely to find fifty young military officers who would be
    competent to advise the Ryots on points of so much delicacy? And if
    the Ryots, following their counsels, were disappointed in the
    expectations which they had been led to form, what would be the effect
    on the prospects of cotton cultivation in India?

    I do not say all this in condemnation of your scheme, but in order to
    point out to you how much has to be thought of before it can be acted

    Meanwhile there are measures for promoting the interests of cotton
    cultivation in India, which the Government can adopt without
    abandoning its proper sphere of action; not only without danger, but
    with a high probability, perhaps I might say a certainty, of benefit
    to the great cause which we have in hand.

    We can facilitate the establishment in India of European cultivators
    and landholders, who are the natural and legitimate advisers of the
    native peasantry on such questions as those to which I have been

    We can improve communication so as to render the transport of the raw
    material to the ports of shipment more cheap and rapid.

    To these and similar measures the attention of the Government of India
    is earnestly directed; with every disposition to take such further
    means of stimulating production as prudence may justify.

    I have written at some length, but the importance of the subject and
    my respect for your opinion are my excuse.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, May 9th, 1862.

[Sidenote: Orientals not satisfied with show of power.]

    I know that it is customary with certain people whose opinions are
    entitled to respect, to act on the assumption that all Orientals are
    children, amused and gratified by external trappings and ceremonies
    and titles, and ready to put up with the loss of real dignity and
    power if they are only permitted to enjoy the semblance of it. I am
    disposed to question the correctness of this assumption. I believe, on
    the contrary, that the Eastern imagination is singularly prone to
    invest outward things with a symbolic character; and that relaxations
    on points of form are valued by them, chiefly because they are held
    necessarily to imply concessions on substantial matters.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, June 21st, 1862.

[Sidenote: Imprudence of a missionary.]

    You may be interested by reading a letter (of which I enclose a copy)
    written by the officer commanding the cavalry at Delhi on the subject
    of an alleged assault by a native trooper on a missionary. I should
    think that the cause of Christian truth and charity would be as well
    served by preaching in a church or a building of some sort, as by
    holding forth in the streets in a city full of fanatical unbelievers.
    If I am told that the Apostles pursued the latter course, I would
    observe that they had the authorities as well as the mob against them,
    and took not only the thrashings of the latter, but also the judicial
    penalties inflicted by the former, like men. It is a very different
    matter when you have a powerful Government to fall back upon, and to
    quell any riots which you may raise. However, these are burning
    questions, and one must handle them cautiously.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Mr. Edmonstone, Lieut.-Governor of the N.W. Provinces._

    Calcutta, May 27th, 1862.

[Sidenote: Rumours of disaffection.]

    I am much obliged to you for your letter of the 19th inst., and I beg
    that you will make a habit of writing to me whenever anything occurs
    respecting which you may desire to communicate with me confidentially.

    I do not, I confess, attach any great importance to such incidents as
    the circulation of the prophecy which you have enclosed to me. It is
    quite as probable that it may be the act of some mischievous person
    who desires to keep alive excitement in the popular mind, as the
    indication of an excitement already existing.

    It must, moreover, be observed that the English press throughout India
    has taken advantage of the advance of Sooltan Jan on Furrah to
    descant, at great length and with much fervour, on all perils, present
    and prospective, to which British rule in India is, or may be,
    exposed. That the Mahommedan mind, thus stimulated and encouraged,
    should altogether eschew such speculations, could hardly be expected.

    It is impossible, however, to be too vigilant in watching these
    manifestations of opinion; and I trust that you will not fail to put
    me in possession of all the symptoms of disquietude which may reach
    you, however trivial they may seem to be.

    I need hardly point out to you how important it is that your inquiries
    should be so conducted as to give no countenance to the impression
    that they are prompted by any nervous anxiety, or that we should be
    much discomposed even if the 12th Imaum himself were to make his

    For my own part, I am firmly resolved to put down with promptitude and
    severity any attempt at disturbance which may be made in any part of
    India, and I do not care how generally my determination on this point
    is known. I shall pursue this policy, not because I fear for the
    stability of our empire in the East, but because tranquillity is
    essential to the progress of the country, and because lenity to the
    guilty originators of such machinations leads invariably to the
    severest punishment and suffering of misguided followers.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, June 17th, 1862.

[Sidenote: Groundless alarms at Delhi.]

    The follies which are committed by the military panicmongers in the
    North-west are very vexatious, and pregnant with mischief of all
    kinds.... I made up my mind yesterday to set off in person and go
    straight to Delhi, if the thing goes on. As a rising of troops against
    us in places where the Europeans have all the artillery, and at least
    equal the native forces in number, is rather too strong a dose even
    for the weakest nerves, the stock in trade now is the  existence of
    designs for the  assassination of Europeans.... These topics are
    probably the conversation at every mess-table, indulged in before the
    native servants, who would be the agents in such plots if they were to
    be carried out. It is a remarkable fact that, although secret murder
    by poison and otherwise is not unknown among natives between
    themselves, as directed against Europeans, it is, I believe, almost
    entirely unexampled. It is not impossible, however, that constant
    discussions on the subject may familiarise the native mind with the

    But talking is not all. The commanding officer at Agra has acted on
    these suspicions, and, in the face of the native population, taken
    extraordinary precautions on the assumption that the wells are
    poisoned. We have no report as yet on the subject. All we know is from
    the newspapers; but of the fact, I fear, there can be little doubt. If
    there be disaffected persons in that locality (and no doubt there are
    many such), it will be strange indeed if they do not profit by so
    broad a hint. Then again, this panic beginning with the officers
    spreads to the men. Some cases of terrorism have occurred at Delhi
    which are a disgrace to our race. And of course we know what follows.
    Cowardice and cruelty being twins, the man who runs terror-stricken
    into his barrack to-night because he mistook the chirp of a cricket
    for the click of a pistol, indemnifies himself to-morrow by beating
    his bearer to within an inch of his life.

    All this is very bad, and very difficult to control. After the lesson
    of 1857 it will not do for me to adopt the happy-go-lucky tone, and to
    pooh-pooh what professes to be information. To preach common sense
    from a safe distance is equally futile. It therefore occurred to me
    that the only thing practically to do, would be to go to the head-
    quarters of the panic, surround myself by native troops, and put a
    stop to the nonsense by example.

    If I had been anywhere else except in India, I should have acted upon
    this determination at once; but here there are such enormous physical
    difficulties in the way, that one is obliged to think twice before
    setting out on such an expedition. However, I have not abandoned the
    intention, and shall certainly carry it out, if this sort of thing
    goes on. We cannot afford to have the progress of the country arrested
    by such _misères_. The alarmists succeeded in bringing down the price
    of our stocks a few days ago.

    By the bye, last night was fixed upon by my anonymous correspondents
    for my own assassination.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, June 22nd, 1862.

[Sidenote: The murder of a native.]

    I have had, this week, a very painful matter to deal with. A man of
    the name of Budd, a soldier who had obtained his discharge in order to
    accompany an officer of the name of ---- to Australia, killed a native
    in the Punjâb some months ago under the following circumstances. He
    was desired by ---- to procure a sheep for him. He went to a native,
    from whom he appears to have procured sheep before, and took one. The
    native protested against his taking this particular sheep, because it
    was with lamb, but said he might take any other from the flock. Budd
    paid no heed to this remonstrance, put the sheep on the back of
    another native, and marched off. The owner followed, complaining and
    protesting. On tins Budd first fired two barrels over his head, then
    threw stones at him, and finally went into the house, brought out
    another gun, fired at him, and killed him on the spot. Besides
    imploring that his sheep might be restored to him, it does not appear
    that the native did anything at all to provoke this proceeding.

    The perpetrator of this outrage being a European, the case could not
    be tried on the spot. It was accordingly transferred to Calcutta;
    witnesses, &c., being sent 1,000 miles at the public expense. Before
    it came on, however, the counsel for the defence requested a
    postponement in order to obtain further evidence. The request was
    granted, and the trial deferred till another term.

[Sidenote: Punished by death.]

    The trial came on a few days ago, and the jury, much to their honour,
    found the prisoner guilty. On this an agitation was got up to obtain a
    commutation of the sentence of death which had been passed by the
    judge. A petition, with a great number of signatures, was presented in
    the first instance to the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal; but he was
    advised that, the crime having been committed in the Punjab, he had
    nothing to do with the case. It was then transmitted to me. There was
    quite enough doubt as to my power of acting, to have justified me in
    referring the case to the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjâb. But I
    felt that the delay, and, above all, the appearance of a desire to
    shrink from the responsibility of passing a decision on the case,
    which this step would involve, would be so mischievous, that, having
    obtained from the Advocate-General an opinion that I had the requisite
    authority, I determined to take the matter into my own hands. The
    verdict was clearly borne out by the evidence. The sentence was in
    accordance with the law, and the judge, to whom I referred, saw no
    reason to question it. The decision of the Governor-General in Council
    was, that the law must take its course.

[Sidenote: Little value put on native life.]

    It is true that this murder was not committed with previous
    preparation and deliberation. It had not, therefore, this special
    quality of aggravation. But it was marked by an aggravation of its
    own, not less culpable, and unfortunately only too frequently
    characteristic of the homicides perpetrated by Europeans on natives in
    this country. It was committed in wanton recklessness, almost without
    provocation, under an impulse which would have been resisted if the
    life of the victim had been estimated at the value of that of a dog.
    Any action on my part which would have seemed to sanction this
    estimate of the value of native life, would have been attended by the
    most pernicious consequences.

    It is bad enough as it is. The other day a station-master, somewhere
    up country, kicked a native who was, as he says, milking a goat
    belonging to the former. The native fell dead, and the local paper,
    without a word of commiseration for the victim or his family,
    complains of the hardship of compelling the station-master to go to
    Calcutta, in this warm weather, to have the case inquired into. Other
    instances in which the natives have died from the effect of personal
    chastisement administered by Europeans have occurred since I have been

    I have gone at some length into this case, both because you may hear
    of it, and also because it exemplifies what is really our greatest
    source of embarrassment in this country--the extreme difficulty of
    administering equal justice between natives and Europeans.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    July 16th, 1862.

[Sidenote: Against interference in Afghanistan.]

    I am very much averse to any interference on our part in the quarrel
    which is now on foot in Afghanistan; and, indeed, I do not very well
    see my way as to how any such interference can be managed without
    entailing responsibilities which we may regret at a later period. You
    are doubtless aware that we have no agent with the Dost. He
    particularly requested that no one should be sent to his court in that
    capacity, and we assented to his views on this point. All we know of
    what is going on there is derived from the reports of a native vakeel,
    who reports more or less faithfully what he hears and sees, but who is
    not, and I apprehend, could not be employed to speak on our behalf to
    the Ameer. In order, therefore, to communicate with him, we must
    either send a special agent, or write. Now it must be observed that in
    this affair the Dost has not been the aggressor. The Herat chief
    attacked him without any provocation. We offered him no assistance,
    made no remonstrance, and left him to take care of himself. He has
    asked us for nothing, and we have given him nothing. It is now
    proposed that we should inform the Dost that if he goes beyond a
    certain point, and Persia comes into the field to support Herat, he
    must not expect any assistance from us. If we had an agent there it
    would be easy to instruct him to make such an intimation; and if the
    Dost were to ask us for any support, an answer which would convey this
    hint might be given. But situated as we are, we must move cautiously
    in this matter. If the Dost stops on our suggestion, and if (as is
    frequently the case with Orientals), the enemy, ascribing his
    moderation to weakness, presses him with increased vigour, what are we
    to do then? Are we to stand by and laugh at our dupe, telling him that
    though our advice got him into the scrape, he must find his own way
    out of it? or are we to set to work to check his opponents? and if we
    undertake the latter task, how far will it lead us?

    It is quite impossible in these affairs, and with people of this
    description, to say what an hour may bring forth. A shower of rain may
    convert a victorious army into a baffled one, and an advance into a
    retreat. The death of a man of eighty years of age will probably throw
    all Afghanistan into confusion, convert friends into foes and _vice
    versâ_. Instructions framed in Calcutta to meet one set of
    circumstances may arrive in Afghanistan when the whole scene has
    changed. I own that I am strongly of opinion that our true policy is
    to leave these kinds of neighbours as much as possible alone; to mix
    ourselves up as little as may be in their miserable intrigues, which
    generally entail obligations which bind us and not them, and not
    unfrequently lead to most unexpected issues. We should only speak when
    we have a case of self-interest so clear that we can speak with
    determination, and follow up our talk if necessary with a blow.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    August 9th, 1862.

[Sidenote: Withdrawal of vakeel.]

    After a good deal of consideration as to how I can, with least risk of
    getting this Government into trouble, put a spoke into the Dost's
    wheel in his progress towards Herat, I have despatched to Sir R.
    Montgomery the telegram of which I enclose a copy. The order sent to
    our vakeel, desiring him to leave the Ameer's camp, and return to
    India, if the Dost proceeds to extremities against Herat, will
    sufficiently show that we discountenance any such proceeding; while at
    the same time the measure commits us to nothing, gives the Dost no
    such claim upon us as he would naturally have if we tendered advice to
    him, and induced him to abandon his own projects in order to follow
    it, and leaves us free to shape our policy as the shifting current of
    events may prescribe. I pointed out to you in my letter of July 16,
    that we are awkwardly situated for interfering with the Ameer. He is
    our friend, and we said nothing when he was attacked. He has set to
    work to redress his own injuries, asking us for no aid, and paying his
    own way. We are quite entitled to say, 'Your hostile advance on Herat
    has not our approval, and we must show that you are making it without
    our sanction.' This we do in the most emphatic manner, by withdrawing
    the only British official who is with him. But I do not like to go
    farther in the direction of interference. It is impossible to say how
    matters may terminate in Afghanistan. It is possible that the Ameer
    may get the whole country into his hands. It is possible that he may
    come to an understanding with Sultan Jan, who is his connection by
    marriage. It is very desirable that we should be free to accept the
    _status in quo_, whatever it may be.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, September 9th, 1862.

[Sidenote: Lord Canning's policy.]

    A doubt naturally suggests itself as to whether the received notion
    respecting the relations which Canning sought to establish between the
    native chiefs and the British Government in India be altogether
    correct, or, (as it perhaps would be more accurate to say) altogether
    complete--whether, in short, that portion of it which was a policy of
    circumstance has been duly distinguished from that which was a policy
    of principle: a doubt by no means unimportant, now that this policy,
    whatever it be, is crowned by the double aureole of success and death;
    so that while, on the one hand, it is naturally set up as an example
    for imitation, on the other, we have not the author to refer to when
    difficulties arise respecting its application.

[Sidenote: (1) Clemency.]

    In approaching the consideration of this very momentous question we
    must, in the first place, be careful lest we suffer ourselves to draw
    erroneous conclusions from the warm expressions of gratitude and
    affection lavished upon Canning by the natives generally. If I were to
    venture to compare great things with small, I should say that their
    feelings towards him were due to causes somewhat similar to those
    which earned for me the good will and confidence of the French
    Canadians in Canada. Both he and I adopted on some important points
    views more favourable to the subject races than those which had been
    entertained by our respective predecessors. So far we established
    legitimate and substantial claims on their regard. But it was not so
    much the intrinsic merit of those views, still less was it the extent
    to which we acted upon them, which won for us the favour of those
    races; we owed that mainly to the uncompromising hostility, the bitter
    denunciations, and the unmeasured violence which the promulgation of
    those views provoked from those who were regarded by them as their
    oppressors. I used often to say to my Scotch friends in Lower Canada,
    when they were heaping every indignity upon me, and even resorting to
    open violence (for there they did not hold their hands off), 'You are
    playing my game. I want to win the confidence of the French Canadians;
    but I know the nature of that people: they are touchy and suspicious
    as races who feel that they are inferior, and believe that they are
    oppressed; invariably are. By measures of simple justice towards them
    (and beyond that line I do not intend to proceed an inch), I despair
    of being able to effect my object; but if you continue for a year to
    act as you are now acting, denouncing me as your enemy and their
    friend, and proving the sincerity of your belief by outrage and
    violence, you will end by convincing them that I am to be trusted, and
    I shall win the day.'--The result proved the accuracy of this

    The feeling of the natives of India towards Canning was in some
    measure due to a similar cause. The clamour for blood and
    indiscriminate vengeance which raged around him, and the abuse poured
    upon him because he would not listen to it, imparted in their eyes to
    acts which carried justice to the verge of severity the grace of

[Sidenote: (2) Consideration for native chiefs.]

    I could give you plenty of proofs of this.... The following sentences
    occur in a letter written from Delhi during our recent panic, by an
    officer.... 'The native force here is much too small to be a source of
    anxiety, and unless they take the initiative it is my opinion that
    there can be no important rising. The Mussulmans of Delhi are a
    contemptible race. Fanatics are very rare on this side of the Sutlej.
    The terrors of that period when every man who had two enemies was sure
    to swing are not forgotten. The people declare that the work of Nadir
    Shah was as nothing to it. His executions were completed in twelve
    hours. But for months after the last fall of Delhi, no one was sure of
    his own life or of that of the being dearest to him for an hour.' The
    natives not unnaturally looked with gratitude to the man who alone had
    the will and power to put an arrest on this course of proceeding, and
    to prevent its extension all over the land. No doubt, as I have said,
    Canning earned a substantial claim to the gratitude of the native
    chiefs by adopting a more liberal and considerate policy towards them
    than that pursued by his predecessor. It was perhaps not surprising
    that he should have done so. Situated as we are in this country--a
    small minority ruling a vast population that differs from us in blood,
    civilisation, colour and religion, monopolising in our own territories
    all positions of high dignity and emolument, and exercising even over
    States ostensibly independent a paramount authority--it is manifest
    that the question of how we ought to treat that class of natives who
    consider that they have a natural right to be leaders of men and to
    occupy the first places in India, must always be one of special
    difficulty. If you attempt to crush all superiorities, you unite the
    native populations in a homogeneous mass against you. If you foster
    pride of rank and position, you encourage pretensions which you cannot
    gratify, partly because you dare not abdicate your own functions as a
    paramount power, and, partly, because you cannot control the arrogance
    of your subjects of the dominant race. Scindiah and Holkar are
    faithful to us just in proportion as they are weak, and conscious that
    they require our aid to support them against their own subjects or
    neighbours: and among the bitterest of our foes during the Mutiny were
    natives who had been courted in England.... Canning saw the evils
    which the crushing policy of his predecessor was entailing, and he
    reversed it. It was a happily timed change of policy. The rebellion
    broke out while it was yet recent; and no doubt, the hopes and
    gratification inspired by it had their effect in inducing a certain
    number of chiefs to pause and to require more conclusive proof that
    the British Raj was to kick the beam, before they cast their weight
    into the opposite scale of the balance.

    After the rebellion was suppressed, the inducement to persevere in
    this line of policy was still more stringent. To grant to native
    Potentates who were trembling in their shoes, and ready to receive the
    boon on any terms which you might prescribe, the reversion of States
    which had become vacant because you had, of your own authority and
    mere motion, hanged their chiefs, and declared them to be escheated,
    was a wise, a graceful, and under the circumstances a perfectly safe
    policy. The same may be said of the measures taken to put the
    talookdars of Oude on their legs, and which were preceded by the
    confiscation of all their properties. I believe that this policy, like
    the policy of Clemency, was sound and right in principle; but in
    forming a just estimate of its success and of its applicability to all
    seasons and emergencies, it is necessary to take into account the
    specialities of the time to which I have referred.

[Sidenote: (3) Assertion of British sovereignty.]

    What then was the scope and extent of application which Canning in
    action was prepared to give to this policy? Here is the important
    question, and it is not altogether an easy one to answer. For like
    most wise administrators, Canning dealt with the concrete rather than
    the abstract, and it would not be difficult to cull from his decisions
    sentiments and sentences which seem to clash. When you meet with an
    individual ruling which appears not to tally with what you have
    assumed to be his general principles, you say it is 'unnatural.' This
    is one way out of the difficulty. But is it the right way? My own
    opinion is, that Canning never intended to let the chiefs get the bit
    into their mouths, or to lose his hold over them. It is true that he
    rode them with a loose rein, but the pace was so killing during the
    whole of his time, that it took the kick out of them, and a light hand
    and silken thread were all that was required. His policy of deference
    to the authority of native chiefs was a means to an end, the end being
    the establishment of the British Raj in India; and when the means and
    the end came into conflict, or seemed likely to do so, the former went
    to the wall. Even in the case of the chieftainship of Amjherra, he
    looked, as the Yankees say, 'ugly,' when Scindiah, having got what he
    wanted, showed a disposition to withhold the grants to loyal
    individuals which he had volunteered to make from the revenues of the
    chieftainship. It is true that the ostensible ground of Canning's
    dissatisfaction was the violation of a promise, but what title had he
    to claim this promise, or to exact its fulfilment, if the escheat
    belonged as of right to Scindiah? Again, when I came to this country,
    I found that he was walking pretty smartly into a parcel of people in
    Central India who were getting up a little rebellion on their own
    account, a tempest in a teapot, not against us, but against their own
    native rulers. In this instance he interfered, no doubt, as head
    policeman and conservator of the peace of all India. But observe, if
    we lay down the rule that we will scrupulously respect the right of
    the chiefs to do wrong, and resolutely suppress all attempts of their
    subjects to redress their wrongs by violence, which, in the absence of
    help from us, is the only redress open to them, we may find perhaps
    that it may carry us somewhat far--possibly to annexation--the very
    bugbear from which we are seeking to escape. Holkar, for instance,
    unless common fame traduces him, has rather an itching for what Mr.
    Laing calls 'hard rupees.' His subjects and dependents have decided,
    and not altogether unintelligible, objections to certain methods which
    he adopts for indulging this propensity. When they--those of them more
    especially who have Treaty claims to our protection, come to us to
    complain, and to ask our help--are we to say to them:--'We have too
    much respect for Holkar's independence to interfere. Bight or wrong
    you had better book up, for we are bound to keep the peace, and we
    shall certainly be down upon you if you kick up a row'? In the
    anomalous position which we occupy in India, it is surely necessary to
    propound with caution doctrines which, logically applied, land us in
    such dilemmas.

[Sidenote: Problems for a time of peace.]

    At a future time, if I live, and remain here, it is possible that I
    may take the liberty of submitting to you some views of my own on
    these questions. It may perhaps turn out that a time of peace is
    better fitted than one of revolution for the discovery of the true
    theory according to which our relations with native States ought to be
    conducted; or, it may be, for the discovery that no theory can be
    framed sufficiently elastic to fit all those relations and the
    complications which arise out of them, and that, after all, we must in
    a great measure rely on the rule of common sense and of the thumb.
    When the circumstances of the time are such that it is deemed right
    and proper to abrogate all law, and to establish over the land a reign
    of terror and of the sword--to pour out, in deference to the paramount
    claims of the safety of the state, public money, whether obtained from
    present taxation or the mortgage of posterity, with profusion
    absolutely uncontrolled--to decree confiscation on a scale of
    unprecedented magnitude; it is obvious that a reputation for clemency,
    economy, and respect for the native rights of property, is obtainable
    under conditions that are not strictly normal. If you want to
    ascertain whether your system will stand in all weathers, you must
    test it when the rule of law and order have replaced that of arbitrary
    will--when men present themselves, not as the scared recipients of
    bounty, but as the assertors of admitted rights. We shall see how far,
    in such piping times, it may be possible for the Governor-General to
    enforce on the British local authorities the claims of public economy,
    without resorting to any interference which can be supposed to
    militate against the hypothesis that the said authorities understand a
    great deal better than he does what their wants are, and how they
    ought to be supplied; or to maintain the peace of India without
    questioning the indefeasible title of the native chiefs to do what
    they like with their own.

    Meanwhile all I want as regards this matter is, to learn what
    Canning's policy really was, and to follow it out faithfully. It is
    neither fair to him nor to the cause, that we should misjudge its
    character by founding our estimate of it on a partial or incomplete

       *       *       *       *       *

    _To Sir Charles Wood._

    Calcutta, December 23rd, 1862.

[Sidenote: Consideration of the natives.]

    As to consideration of the natives, I can only say that during a
    public service of twenty years I have always sided with the weaker
    party, and it is so strongly my instinct to do so, that I do not think
    the most stringent injunctions would force me into an opposite course
    of action. But I am quite sure that it is not true kindness to the
    weaker party, to give the stronger an excuse for using to the utmost
    the powers of coercion which they possess, by seeming to be unwilling
    to listen to any statement of grievances which they may desire to
    make, or to suspect their motives when they suggest remedies.... It is
    quite possible that such views as you instance may prevail to a
    considerable extent with our agitating people; but it is equally
    certain that many who join them would indignantly repudiate the
    imputation of being actuated by any motives of the kind. My study
    always is, to keep those who _profess_ moderate and reasonable views
    right, and to prevent them from going over arms and baggage to the
    enemy, by taking for granted that they mean what they profess, and,
    when they propose objectionable remedies, arguing against them on
    their own premises. Some, of course, would rather abandon their sound
    premises than their illogical conclusions, when they are driven in
    this way to the wall; but a large number come over to the right side
    when they find that the consideration of their alleged grievances is
    approached without any prepossession against them. Of course, this is
    all a matter of tact, and cannot be reduced to any definite formula.
    But you speak of our Press as hopeless on some of these subjects. Have
    you observed the comparative mildness of its tone lately,
    notwithstanding the action of Government in the matter of the Waste
    Lands, and Contract Law? Does not that argue a better state of feeling
    in the European Community; and do not you think that it is for the
    benefit of the Ryots, that their interloping landlords should not be
    in a humour to employ vindictively the vast powers which, whether you
    disallow Contract Laws or not, they, as proprietors, possess over

[1] Vide _supra_, p. 329.

[2] It was sometimes complained that on these occasions he was so
    little communicative: drawing out the opinions of others, without
    expressing his own. But it requires very little reflection to see that
    this complaint is really a commendation.

[3] He died in London from the effects of a fever caught in the




[Sidenote: Duty of a Governor-General to visit the Provinces.]

At a very early period of his stay in India, Lord Elgin formed the opinion,
which was indeed strongly impressed upon him by Lord Canning, that it was
'of the greatest importance to the public interest that the Governor-
General should see as much as possible of men and things, in all parts of
the vast empire under his control; and that a constant residence in the
narrow atmosphere of Calcutta had a tendency to impair his efficiency.'
Writing to Sir C. Wood on the 17th of September, 1862, he said:--

    No man can govern India in ordinary times, such as those in which we
    are living, if he is to be tied by the leg to Calcutta, and prevented
    from visiting other parts of the Empire. Canning, although he lived in
    times by no means ordinary, and although he was compelled by
    circumstances to be more stationary than he would otherwise have been,
    was as clear on this point as anyone. He urged me most strongly to
    proceed northwards at the earliest moment at which I could contrive to
    do so. When I referred to the difficulty which the assembling of the
    Council for legislative purposes might occasion, he assured me that he
    had never intended to make himself a slave of the Council; that he had
    taken the chair at the commencement of the proceedings, but that he
    should certainly have objected to the establishment of the principle
    that his presence was indispensable to its deliberations. He was
    especially anxious that I should tour, in order that I might satisfy
    myself as to how his arrangements affecting natives, &c., worked,
    before modifying them in any degree. And, apart from Canning's opinion
    altogether, this is a point on which I have had some personal
    experience. I have been now steadily in Calcutta for a whole hot
    season. No man, I venture to affirm, in the situation I occupy, has
    ever been more accessible to those who have anything to say, whether
    they be civilians, soldiers, or interlopers. But there is a blot on my
    escutcheon which can easily be hit by anyone dissatisfied with a
    judgment pronounced in my name. It can always be said: "What does Lord
    Elgin know of India? He has never been out of Calcutta. He is
    acquainted only with Bengal civilians and other dwellers in (what is
    irreverently styled) 'the ditch.'" Indeed, I fear that I am exposed to
    the same reproach in your circle. I see no remedy for this evil, if I
    am to remain constantly here.

[Sidenote: Projected tour.]

Starting from these premises he came to the conclusion, that 'it was better
to organise a tour on a comprehensive scale, even though it involved a long
absence from Calcutta, than to attempt to hurry to distant places and back
again during successive winters.' Accordingly, it was arranged that as soon
as the business of the Legislative Council was concluded, he should start
for the north, and travel by easy stages to Simla, visiting all the places
which he ought to see on his way. After spending the hot weather at the
Hills, he was to proceed early in the next winter to the Punjab, inspecting
it thoroughly, and returning before the summer heats either to Simla again,
or to Calcutta, as public business might determine. For the Session, if so
it might be called, of 1863-4, he was to summon his councillors to meet him
somewhere in the north-west, at some capital city, 'not a purely military
station, but where the Council might obtain some knowledge of local and
native feeling such as did not reach Calcutta.' The spot ultimately fixed
upon was Lahore, the capital of the large and loyal province of that name.
The earlier part of the tour was to be made chiefly by railway, with a
comparatively small retinue; but for the latter part of it he was to be
accompanied by a camp, furnished forth with all the pride, pomp, and
circumstance belonging to the progress of an Eastern Monarch, and necessary
therefore in order to produce the desired effect on the minds of the

[Sidenote: Railway to Benares.]

It was on the 5th of February, 1863, that the Vice-regal party left
Calcutta. They travelled by railway to Benares, which they reached on the
evening of the 6th. The first phenomenon which struck them, as Lord Elgin
afterwards wrote, was the 'very sensible change of climate which began to
make itself felt at some 250 miles from Calcutta.'

    The general character (he said) of the country continued to be as
    level as ever; but the air became more bracing, the surface of the
    soil more arid, and the vegetation less rank. Hot mid-days, and cold
    nights and mornings, are substituted for the moist and comparatively
    uniform temperature of Lower Bengal, to a greater and greater degree
    with every step that the traveller takes towards the north.

    The railway, with the exception of a portion near Calcutta, is a
    single line; but it is perfectly constructed, and with no great regard
    to cost. The vagaries of the water-floods, which, during the rainy
    season, sometimes pour down in unmanageable force from the Ganges and
    sometimes rush towards it from the opposite side of the railway line,
    have constituted the great engineering difficulty of the work. Some
    very remarkable bridges and other constructions of this class, to
    permit the free passage of water under the line, have been built. The
    most critical point has been to obtain a secure foundation in the
    sandy soil for these erections; and, strange to say, the principle
    adopted by our engineers, under the name of the 'Sunken Well' system,
    is the same as that followed by the great architects who built the
    famous 'Taj' of Agra. It will, it is to be hoped, prove successful;
    and these important works will remain an enduring monument of the
    benefits conferred on India during the present reign. Nothing that has
    been done by the British in India has affected the native mind so
    powerfully, and produced so favourable an impression, as these railway

[Sidenote: Durbar.]

On the day after his arrival at Benares he held a Durbar--his first truly
Oriental Durbar--which, though not comprising any independent chiefs, was
attended by several native gentlemen of high consideration and large
possessions. In addressing them, he took the opportunity of dwelling upon
the improvement which recent measures had effected in their position, and
the consequent increase of their responsibilities:

    'It is the desire (he said) of Her Majesty the Queen that the native
    gentlemen of India should be represented in the Council of the
    Governor-General, in order that when laws are made for India their
    opinions, and wishes, and feelings may receive due consideration. It
    is my intention and duty to do everything in my power to give effect
    to Her Majesty's gracious intention in this respect. Among the rajahs
    and gentlemen here to-day are many who have large estates in the
    neighbourhood and along the line of railway which we travelled over
    yesterday. The value of those estates will be greatly enhanced by the
    completion of the important work of which we are about to-day to
    celebrate the opening. I need hardly remind them that they will owe
    this advantage to the introduction of British engineering skill and
    British capital into this country. I trust that the consideration of
    this fact, and of similar facts which are of daily occurrence, will
    tend to produce a kindly feeling between the races, by showing them to
    what an extent they may be mutually useful to each other. Meanwhile, I
    hope that the gentlemen whom I am addressing will turn these
    advantages to account by doing their utmost to improve their
    properties, and to promote the happiness and welfare of their ryots
    and dependents.'

[Sidenote: Railway dinner.]

In the afternoon of the same day he was present at a dinner given in
celebration of the opening of the railway from Jumalpore to Benares. In the
course of a speech which he made on that occasion, after referring to the
fact that both his predecessors had taken part in similar celebrations, he

    In looking over the published report of these proceedings a few days
    ago, my attention was arrested by an incident which brought forcibly
    home to my mind one painful circumstance in which my position here to-
    day contrasts sadly with that which Lord Canning then occupied. At a
    stage in the proceedings of the evening, corresponding to that at
    which we have now arrived, he departed from the routine prescribed by
    the programme, and invited the company to join him in drinking the
    health of his noble predecessor, the Marquis of Dalhousie, who had, as
    he justly observed, nursed the East Indian Railway in its infancy, and
    guided it through its first difficulties. It is not in my power to
    make any similar proposal to you now. A mysterious dispensation of
    Providence has removed from this world's stage, where they seemed
    still destined to play so noble and useful a part, both the proposer
    of this toast, and its object. The names of both are written in
    brilliant characters on some of the most eventful pages of the history
    of India, and both were removed at a time when expectation as to the
    services which they might still render to India was at its height. I
    shall not now dwell on the great national loss which we have all
    sustained in this dispensation; but, perhaps, I may be permitted to
    say that to me the loss is not only a public one, but a private and
    personal calamity likewise. Both of these distinguished men were my
    contemporaries, both, I believe I may without presumption say, my
    intimate friends. It is a singular coincidence that three successive
    Governors-General of India should have stood towards each other in
    this relationship of age and intimacy. One consequence is that the
    burden of governing India has devolved upon us respectively at
    different periods of our lives. Lord Dalhousie when named to the
    Government of India was, I believe, 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 at least nearer to the verge of it than either of my
    contemporaries who have preceded me. Indeed, when I was leaving
    England for India, Lord Ellenborough, who is now, alas! the only
    surviving ex-Governor-General of India, 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.'

Passing from these personal topics, after noticing the good fortune which
had placed the formation of the railway system of India in the hands of a
man who had in a special manner made that subject his own, he proceeded to
speak of the future of Indian Railways, insisting especially on a point
about which he felt very strongly, the necessity of their ceasing to de