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of lives, millions of money, oceans of glory or of shame; yet it is scarcely too much to say, that, except when the gravity of some dangerous crisis startles us into care and conscience, we habitually appoint our envoys and plenipotentiaries with less caution, less sense, and less integrity than we should employ in selecting a coachman for our wife, or a tutor for our

We could point to a long list of names in verification of our statement, were it not that we should impart too personal a character to our pages; but when we can point to Sir John Bowring as plenipotentiary in China, with Mr. Chisholm Anstey as his legal adviser, we need go no further for an illustration. Yet these men were appointed by some of the best and most esteemed of our ministers. Their sponsors were Lord Aberdeen, Lord Palmerston, Lord John Russell, Lord Clarendon, and Sir William Molesworth.


One concluding word on the Chinese dispute. The apparently principal object of Sir John Bowring's war,-an object which our statesmen have stipulated for by treaty, and which all English residents at Canton seem most earnestly to desire, --is, the right of free ingress into the city and the interior. We cannot, of course, pretend to place our opinion in hostility to that of numbers whose local or official position should qualify them to arrive at a sounder judgment; but we cannot avoid thinking, that a remembrance of our Indian history should render us less urgent for a beginning which may terminate in a repetition of that singular catastrophe. The admission of energetic Europeans into the country of stagnant and feeble Asiatics is like the letting out of water. Quarrels occur between insolent natives and reckless Englishmen: the Chinese authorities allege the fear of these and their consequences as their reason for deprecating our admission into Canton. Very probably the natives are in the wrong in these quarrels : at all events, we think so, and we demand reparation and amends. The next

, step is, to require, - reasonably enough, --some pied-à-terre where we may intrench and protect ourselves. Fresh disputes lead to an introduction of British soldiers, and an enlargement of the said pied-à-terre for their accommodation. Renewed quarrels entail repeated indemnities and satisfactions; which at first are pecuniary, and in time territorial. The natives become alarmed at our gradual encroachments: they attack us, are worsted, and are compelled as a penalty to surrender some further desirable or coveted locality. They quarrel among themselves, and one party asks our aid : we give it in an evil hour, and become a native puissance. Henceforth our course is inevitable, as it was in Hindostan. Aggrandisement is forced

upon us. We advance; we absorb; we protest; we become lords-paramount ;-at last we find we have a new empire to govern at the distance of twelve thousand miles. Bearing in mind, then, both the recent past and this “looming” future, we say that we ought resolutely to forbid any step, and to resist any temptation, which can by possibility lead to our acquisition, by treaty or by seizure, of one single square-yard of Chinese soil

. Abjure, as suggestions of the devil, those wild dreams of ambition which have already begun to inflame some imaginations, which would place our seat of empire at Simlah or Delhi, and extend its boundaries from the Persian Gulf to the Yellow Sea.

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