13 MARCH 1841, Page 15


-Tnavass, Six Menthe with the Chinese Expedition ; or Leaves from a Soldier's Note-Book.

By Lord Jocelyn, late Military Secretary to the Chinese Mission Murray. The Spas of England. and Principal Sea-bathing Places. By A. B. Granville. M.D., F.It.S.. Author of "The Spas of Germany." "St. Petersburg." &c. Colburn. Semi. Ecotoint. A Practical Introduction to Life and Fire Assurance: showing the method of calm- latiug the values of Annuities, Reversions, Assurances, Policies, Bonuses, &c.; with numerous useful Tables: together with a comprehensive Digest of the Dis- tinctive Features of the Assurance-Offices, and also a Description or Fire-Risks, with the Rates of Premium demanded thereupon. By Thomas H. Millar. Ac- countant Simpkin and Mars/soil; Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh.

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LORD JOCELYN accompanied that part of the Chinese expedition which sailed from Calcutta, and acted as Military Secretary till the arrival of the Commander-in-chief, by whom.his appointment was confirmed. In this capacity he was present at the taking of Chu- san, and accompanied the fleet in its diplomatic voyage to the north • but his health failing on its return, he was sent home with tire despatches, and wrote down his reminiscences of the expedition to beguile the tedium of a sea-voyage from Canton to Bombay.

In his preface, Lord JOCELYN is anxious to have it understood that his book emanates entirely from himself, and not in any way from the authorities : which we can readily believe, for its plain unvarnished narrative puts the Opium War in a far more revolting light than it has yet appeared in, by bringing its murderous work distinctly before the mind. He also jeprecates criticism on "the rough pages from a soldier's note-book " ; but without necessity. The book is all that it pretends to be—a passing sketch of such circumstances as fell under the writer's observation, with such reflections as they were calculated to excite. But, though his work is designedly brief and slight, there is nothing incomplete or superficial about it. His remarks are distinguished by plain sense ; his descriptions are lively ' and graphic without any ill-judged attempt at fine writing.

Although Lord JOCELYN saw but little of the Chinese, yet that little was under very advantageous circumstances for developing character, as he beheld them in difficulty, danger, and a novel position and the result of his observations is favourable to them in every way—in their natural as well as in their social capacities. The military officers at Chusan, though aware that resistance was useless, determined upon that resistance as a matter of duty, with -ati much self-devotion as ever characterized European chivalry, 'and argued the case with much more reason than chivalry is wont to display. The superior officers, and, with a few exceptions, the people at large drew a marked distinction between the public and personal characters of the individuals in the expedition. Although invaded in a manner which they appeared to consider- -and with reason—as very little better than buccaneering, when individual invaders fell into their bands they seem to have treated 'them as favourably as European nations treat their prisoners ; nor did the people at large display any of that savage and wild- animal hostility towards opponents which characterizes the "outer nations," not excepting our own most moral people. The fur- niture, dresses, domestic economy, and general arrangements both public and private at Chusan, impressed the officers of the expe- dition with a much higher idea of Chinese civilization than is prevalent in India : and, to drop to particulars, one single fact illustrates the extent of education in China,—on approaching Chusan, the expedition was boarded by some fishermen, but the provincial patois was unintelligible to the interpreters ; communi- cation was therefore carried on in writing. To judge from some occasional remarks, and the reason of the case, the expedition does not seem to have been discreetly planned by the home authorities—a sort of Walcheren, in fact. Two plans appear to have been open to them, or a combination of both,—an attack upon Canton, as the offending city, where the injuries and insults were offered, and where the British were well known, and which would therefore seem the most proper place to have written " a moral lesson" in blood ; or a direct action upon Pekin the capital, where the alleged guilty parties would also have been the sufferers, with a prospect of speedy termination to the war, by an action on the fears of the rulers. Innocent, and, as it happened, pestilential Chusan, was fixed as the point of attack by the home authorities, (whether in ignorance that the Company formerly had a factory there which they abandoned because the trade did not pay for its -expenses, does not appear); and no discretion seems to have been given to their commander. The result is—the possession of Chusan 'somewhat after the fashion of the French possession of Africa, and a loss of life through:pestilence, very much greater than what we have inflicted upon the Chinese.

Still, the slaughter of the Chinese strikes one as really the most shocking part of the whole ; because it was gratuitous and use- less—productive of no advantage, leading to no results—in short, wholesale murder. We quote freely from Lord JOCELYN'S ac- counts.


In the afternoon of the 4th July, I accompanied Captain Fletcher, com- mander of her Majesty's ship Wellesley, on board the Chinese Admiral's junk ; - Which we recognized by its more numerous pennons and three tigers' heads painted on the stern. Our orders were to summon the town and island to surrender within six hours.

As we shoved alongside the Admiral's junk, they ran their gangway-gang out ; but before they could make any preparation for resistance, (if they had intended it,) we jumped on board, with our interpreter ; and were surroundedlly swarms that seemed to gather from every crevice of the vessel : and when It was seen on shore that we were on board the junk, numbers waded off from the town.

They showed not the slightest =ark of hostility, but -received as with great civility; Informing us that the Admiral was on shore, with the ether great offi- cers of the district, but they had sent to apprize him of our arrival. During the visit, they handed round tea ; but not such as ladies in England would approve of, for the Chinese always drink it so weak that the water is barely tinged, and the leaves of the plant form a necessary part of the nauseous mix- ture. in the course of half an hour the Chumpin and suite arrived : he was an -old man, and bore in his face the marks of opium ; he wore a red button in his cap, and the other officers mounted blue and white, according to their different grades, these being the distinguishing marks of rank from the Emperor downwards.


We opened the summons, and they read it in our presence, and indeed be- fore the assembled troop. The deep groans and increasing pressure of the people warned us that we were amongst a hostile multitude; and from that moment I have ever doubted the fiction, no industriously circulated throughout India, of the hatred and dislike of the natives in China to their Tartar rulers ; for it appeared, as far as we had an opportunity of judging, to be without the slight- est foundation.

The summons addressed to the people stated that no injury was intended lo them, bat it was against their rulers and their servants we had come to make war for their unjust acts. Of this they seemed perfectly aware ; but they hated the invading barbarians more bitterly than thew Tartar rulers; and their clenched hands and anxious faces proved to us how false was the idea that we were come amongst a people who only waited for the standard of the foreigner to throw off a detested and tyrant yoke.

After some conversation, they agreed to accompany us to the flag-ship; and, upon our proposing to remain as hostages on board their junk, they simulta- neously relused, and begged we would take a seat in their boat to the Wel- lesley.

All was here repeated to them, to the same end as what they already knew ; and the reason and purport of our present hostile movement on the place was explained. They complained of the hardship of being made answerable for wrongs that we had received at Canton; and said, naturally enough, "Thom are the people you should make war upon, and not upon is who never injured you : we see your strength, and know that opposition will be madness, but we must perform our duty, if we fall in so doing."

Sir Gordon Bremer entreated them to consider well before they attempted to defend what they owned was impracticable : they promised to do so, and he gave them until the following morning to confer and think over it. Their last words before quitting the ship were, "if you do not bear from Us before sun- rise, the consequences be upon our own heads," Whilst on board the vessel, they showed no marks of astonishment at her size or guns, except one man, whose fate I shall afterwards mention ; and se- fused to take any refreshments during the conference, except some sweet wine,, which they seemed to be well acquainted with.


None can deny that every leniency was shown, and every endeavour made, compatible with his position, by the Commodore commanding, to save an effusion of the blood of these infatuated people.

In the first place, as they most justly observed, it seemed hard that they should be made to suffer for the sins of the Canton Government, and we had no injuries to revenge personally upon them : in the second place, our force was numeri- cally so much superior, that they would lose nothing in their own eyes by being defeated when victory on their part was impossible : thirdly, more was likely to be gained at a spot which it was then hoped might prove at a future day an eligible seat for our commerce, by conciliation and gentle endeavours, leaving no rankling reminiscences on the minds of the people. If a blow became necessary, it would have far more effect if struck at some point where the Chinese considered themselves most invulnerable, and where, therdbre, it would become more awakening to their vanity and self-opinion.


The dawn of day brought much the same spectacle as the precedin,g, except- ing that a few guns were mounted on the Jos-house hill, and the Mandarin& were seen actively employed running about along the wharf Soon afterwards they were remarked to take their different stands with the troops; one among them, with his party in the marten) tower, being particularly conspicuous. The war-junks were drawn up and crowded with men. The British men-of-war were lying in line with their larboard broadsides towards the town, at a distance of two hundred yards from the wharf and foot of the hill. They consisted of the Wellesley, .74; Conway and Alligator, 28; Cruiser and Algerine, 18; and ten gun-brigs. At eight o'clock, the signal was hoisted to prepare for action : still, however, time was given by the Commo- dore, hoping to the last they would repent ; and it was not until two o'clock that the troops left the transports in the boats of the squadron, and took up their position in two lines in rear of the men-of-war, to land under cover of the tire. At half-past two the Wellesley fired a gun at the martello tower: this was immediately returned by the whole line of junks, and the guns on the causeway and the bill then the shipping opened their broadsides upon the town, and the crashing of timber, falling houses, and groans of men resounded from the shore. The tiring lasted on our side for nine minutes ; but even after it had ceased, a few shots were still heard from the unscathed junks. When the smoke cleared away, a mass of ruin presented itself to the eye ; and on the place lately alive with men, none but a few wounded were to be seen ; but crowds were visible hi the distance flying in all directions. A few were distinguished carrying the wounded from the junks into the town ; and oar friend the Chumpin was seen borne from his vessel by a faithful feta, having lost his login the action by around-shot. It is as well here to mention that he was taken to Ningpo, a town on the opposite island; and although honours were heaped upon him for his gallant but unavailing defence, he sur-

vived but a few days to wear them. * • *

We had landed on a deserted beach ; a few dead bodies, bows and arrows, broken spears and guns, remaining the sole occupants of the field. The men arriving from the boats formed along the causeway in line, and the Eighteenth advanced up the steps leading to the temple on the hill. On reaching the summit, we distinguished the inner town, which had hot been visible from the shipping : it was situated in a hollow in rear of the mount, and the bird's-eye view was very picturesque. On the walls were seen the banners of the Chinese soldiery, whilst the men crowded along the ramparts, beating their tomtoms and gongs, beckoning us with their hands to the attack as the troops became visible to them on the hill. They opened their wretched wall- pieces, which, from their construction, can neither traverse nor be depressed, and which, being charged with a bad description of powder, did no damage to the force. In the course of two hours from the time of leaving the ships, the Madras

Artillery had four guns in position, and fired a few shells into the town; the advanced *pets were posted ; and the Chinese fired upon the reconnoitering parties from the walls wherever they became visible. The evening began to 'Close ; and the commanding-officers were desired to seek covenng for the men, as Brigadier-General Burrell bad determined not to attack the town before the following morning. Until ten o'clock that night, the Chinese kept up a dropping fire, under cover of which they afterwards appeared to have deserted the town.

During the evening, the civil magistrate and some of his officers were killed hy our shells ; and the Governor drowned himself in a tank, when accused of cowardice by his people.


On board the Admiral's junk, to which we had borne the summons, were -found five wounded men, who had been unable to make their escape with their comrades : the decks were covered with clotted blood, and the Admiral's papers, bowls, and chopstichs, were still in his cabin, where be had taken his last meal : two of the men were dead, and upon two of the others some medical men of the fleet had already performed amputation: but the fifth, a young -Mandarin who had accompanied the Admiral in the visit to the Wellesley, was writhing in agony ; and seeing the operations that the doctors had performed, he pointed to his shattered limbs, and clasping his hands implored them by signs to do something for his relief; but it was too desperate a case, and past -all human remedy, so that in a few hours he breathed his last. This was the young man who had caused more interest on board the flag-ship than any of -the rest, from the curiosity and frankness that he showed about every thing.

" Cocknies of London, hluscadins of Paris, Just ponder what a glorious pastime war is."

And all this perpetrated under the plea of humanity ! To avoid bloodshed, we are not to attack Canton, where we had been at- tacked, and more than once ; so our soldiers are ordered to Chusan, to carry death and desolation amongst those who had never come in contact with us.

Let us turn to the social character of the people to whom war was thus ruthlessly brought, and to the city whose inhabitants, at least whose respectable inhabitants, were banished and ruined by the invasion. The following is Lord JOCELYN'S sketch of the PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ECONOMY OF THE CHINESE.

The interiors of some of the houses were found beautifully furnished and carved: one that is now inhabited by the Governor, and believed to have been the property of a literary character, was, when first opened, the wonder and admiration of all. The different apartments open round the centre court, which is neatly tiled; the doors, window-frames, and pillars that support the pent- roof, are carved in the most chaste and delicate style, and the interior of the ceiling and wainscot are lined with fret-work, which it must have required the 'greatest nicety and care to have executed. The furniture was in the same keeping, denoting a degree of taste the Chinese have not in general credit for with us. The bed-places in the sleeping-apartments of the ladies were large dormitories, for they can hardly be called beds : at one coiner of the room is a -separate chamber, about eight feet square, and the same in height ; the exterior of this is usually painted red, carved, and gilt ; the entrance is through a circular aperture' three feet in diameter, with sliding pannels ; in the interior is a couch of large proportions, covered with a soft mat and thick curtains of mandarin silk ; the inside of the bed is polished and painted, and a little chair and table are the remaining furniture of this extraordinary dormitory.

Many of the public buildings excited great astonishment among those who fended they were in a half-barbarous country. Their public arsenals were found stocked with weapons of every description, placed with the greatest neat- ness and regularity in their different compartments ; the clothes for the soldiers were likewise ticketed, labelled, and packed in large presses; and the arrows, which from their size and strength drew particular attention, were carefully -and separately arranged. To each arsenal is attached a fire-engine similar to 'those used in our own country.

The Government pawnbroker's shop was also a source of interest : in it were found dresses and articles of every kind, evidently things belonging to the upper as well as to the lower classes, for many of the furs here taken were of valuable descriptions: each article had the owner's name attached, and the date of its being pawned. This is another of the plans of the local government for raising their supplies.

Other passages, equally characteristic in their way, are before us; but we must close our notice of this agreeable and instructive little volume, with a sketch, from Singapore, of the effects of the drug which originated the whole war. We should remark, however, that Lord JOCELYN seems to have drawn his general conclusions from extreme cases.


One of the objects at this place, that I had the curiosity to visit, was the opium-smoker in his heaven : and certainly it is a most fearful sight, although perhaps not so degrading to the eye as the drunkard from spirits, lowered to the level of the brute and wallowing in his filth. The idiot smile and death- like stupor, however, of the opium debauchee, has something far more awful to the gaze than the bestiality of the latter. Pity, if possible, takes the place of other feelings, as we watch the faded cheek and haggard look of the being abandoned to the power of the drug; whilst disgust is uppermost at the sight of the human creature levelled to the beast by intoxication. One of the streets in the centre of the town is wholly devoted to the shops for the sale of this poison; and here in the evening may be seen, after the labours of the day are over, crowds of Chinese, who seek these places to satisfy their depraved appetites.

The rooms where they sit and smoke are surrounded by wooden couches, with places for the bead to rest upon, and generally a si.de-room is devoted to *ambling. The pipe is a reed of about an inch in diameter, and the aperture an the bowl for the admission of the opium is not larger than a pin's head. The drug is prepared with some kind of conserve, and a very small portion is sufficient to charge it ; one or two whiffs being the utmost that can be inhaled from a single pipe ; and the smoke is taken into the lungs as from the hookah in India. On a beginner, one or two pipes will have an effect ; but an old stager will continue smoking for hours. At the head of each couch is placed a small lamp, as fire must be held to the drug during the process of inhaling; and from the difficulty of filling and properly lighting the pipe, there is gene- rally a person who waits upon the smoker to perform the office. A few days of this fearful luxury, when taken to excess, will give a pallid and haggard look to the face ; and a few months, or even weeks, will change the strong and healthy man into little better than an idiot skeleton. The pain they suffer when deprived of the drug, after long habit, no language can explain ; and it is only when to a certain degree under its influence that their facultiea are alive. In the houses devoted to their ruin, these infatuated people may be seen at nine o'clock in the evening in all the different stage : some entering half distracted to feed the craving appetite they had been obliged to subdue during the day ; others laughing and talking wildly under the effects as first pipe; whilst the conches around are filled with their different occu-

pants, who lie languid with an idiot smile upon their countenance, too much under the influence of the drug to care for passing events, and fast merging to the wished-for consummation. The last scene in this tragic play is generally a room in the rear of the building ; a species of dead-house, where lie stretched those who have passed into the state of bliss the opium-smoker madly seeks— an emblem of the long sleep to which he is blindly hurrying. .