LORD NAPIER IN CANTON: AN UNLUCKY MISTAKE.
THE folly of appointing inexperienced men to important offices. merely because they happen to have aristocratic connexions, or to be needy aristocrats themselves, has often been exposed in our pages. The ignorance of certain lords and gentlemen who have presided at the Board of Trade, or bungled through the duties of a Treasury Commissioner, have occasior.ed some amusement, but more commonly loss and vexation to the unhappy individuals whose property is at the mercy of such blunderers. It has generally been supposed, however, that the persons who have had the prin- cipal appointments in our Indian empire and the Chinese Factory have been better trained to the performance of their duties. Per- haps this opinion may in part be owing to our general ignorance of the manner in which they really contrive to get through them. But we believe that the Company seldom ventured to appoint any individual to an office of importance, who had not undergone some preparatory schooling for it. They would not, we suspect, have ventured to send Lord NAPIER to Canton as Chief Commissioner, notwithstanding his Lordship had been a Lord of the Bedchamber. They would have considered Mr. MARJORIBANKS, or even their old antagonist Mr. JOHN CRAWF,URD perhaps, better suited for the office. But then, so good a thing was not to be let slip by the Aristocracy; and as Lord NAPIER was a man of unblemished character, and come of a hard-headed family, Lord GREY no doubt imagined that his appointment was an unexceptionable one. He is, we dare say, as well qualified for the office as any other Whig Lord in the Red Book, whose circumstances rendered it con- venient for him to accept it. We recollect, however, that at the time we pointed out its impropriety, on the ground of his Lord- ship's inexperience in business generally, and ignorance of the pe• culiar notions and habits of the Chinese. And we are informed, by a correspondent whose letter reached us by the last arrival from Canton, that a very small blunder apparently, and what we should deem a mere act of -common courtesy, has exposed Lord NAPIER to the loud laughter and universal ridicule of the Chinese. The • lie. 326; September 27. Xing of England, too, comes in for a share of the eon enii:t whit h his representative lotion rs U metier.
It appesrs that Lord NAPIER took formal leave of the Court of Merchants, idler an intervitAir with them, in the way that one gentleman would of another in England. He made his obeisance and retired. This the Chinese consider as supremely despicable in the King's representative; and the English residents in Canton are constantly saluted with the following satiric ml remarks, in re- ference to the unfortunate obeisance. " Very curio° I I no un- erstand ! King man go chin, chin one tea merchant! here fashion!'
Our correspondent informs us, that the next ambassador from England to the Emperor may perform the kou.tou in eve; y pro- vince in China, without in the least diminishing the respect the, Chine:e will pay hint.