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with India and China found great favour with Henry the Fourth ; but, notwithstanding the desire of the sovereign to increase the trade of the country, the scheme proved abortive, and resulted in nothing. Nor was an attempt, made more than a century later, in the year 1728, to establish commercial relations between the French possessions on the Mississippi and China more fortunate, although the very boldness of the idea should avail to preserve the name of its author, M. Duvaleur, from oblivion. The right was given to the French merchants, on payment of a small sum, to land their goods at Whampoa, the river port of Canton ; but notwithstanding this concession and the general favour shown to all enterprises promising to develop the industries and commerce of France by Louis the Fourteenth and his minister Colbert, the commercial intercourse between France and China always remained limited in its extent and of an unimportant character.
But if the growth of commercial relations proved slow, and if the result attained was only partial, more satisfactory progress could be reported in establishing between the two countries a sympathetic feeling in the sphere of intellect. The first two Chinese subjects who visited Europe came to France in the year 1763, and their return to China was the first means of opening the eyes of the Pekin Government to the fact that the kingdoms whence the Christians came were as civilized and powerful as their own. The letters written home to Paris from the Chinese capital, and the attention first given to Chinese literature by Frenchmen, also served to strengthen this connection and to establish a link of sympathy that had not been present in the case of any other country. The translation of the Emperor Keen Lung's verses by
• The principal of these were his “ Eulogy of Moukden" and his poem on " Tea." Voltaire's poetical letters will be found in his collected works. A passage referring more to Keen Lung's position as an Emperor than as a writer may be quoted :
"Occupé sans relâche à tous les soins divers
D'un gouvernement qu'on admire
Est le meilleur lettré qui soit dans son empire."
Père Amiot attracted the notice of Voltaire, and drew from his pen an epistolary poem asking certain questions of the Imperial author as to the difficulties and requirements of versification in Chinese. Keen Lung was undoubtedly flattered by the implied compliment to his poetical talent in the attention of the great French writer, and could not have remained callous to the delicate attentions of the courtier of Sans Souci.
The most important incident, however, in Keen Lung's relations with European Powers, was undoubtedly the arrival and reception of the British embassy under Lord Macartney. Up to that period the English intercourse with the Chinese had been of only a fitful and unimportant kind. It had had an inauspicious commencement more than a century and a half before in the bombardment of Canton by Captain Weddell ; and after that event ships had come singly and at long intervals, sent either by the East India Company from Calcutta or by private venture from England. The growth of British commerce in China was hampered by numerous vexations, as well as by the hostility of the official classes ; but so far as its acts and protestations went, it could not be said that the Government of either Kanghi or Keen Lung was inimical to the foreign trade, although we have already seen that its private views and opinions were less favourable than its language. Long before the opportunity offered itself, it had become one of the main objects with the English merchants to secure some means of approaching the central authorities, as they were likely to act more fairly by them than the Canton mandarins, who were in receipt of constant bribes from the Portuguese to exclude all other Europeans except themselves from the benefits of the trade.
The campaign in Nepaul had procured the Chinese the information that the English, who were known as suppliants for trade at Canton and Amoy, had established a supreme authority in Northern India; and while the news had no doubt enhanced the importance of our power in the eyes of the Imperial Government, it had also contributed to increase the apprehension with which the European States were regarded, and which furnished the true clue to the policy that
found most favour at Pekin. That sentiment was to acquire intensified force when the suspicions of General Sund Fo, as to the part we had taken in supporting the Goorkha "robbers," became known and appreciated in the Chinese capital.
But before the Chinese commander, who had overthrown the Goorkhas and given security to Tibet, returned to Pekin, the preliminary arrangements had been made and settled for the despatch of a British embassy to that city. At the last moment some delay had been caused by the death of Colonel Cathcart, the envoy who had been first selected for the post; but a suitable successor had soon been found in the person of Lord Macartney. As this was the first occasion on which a British ambassador received permission to proceed to the capital to have audience with the Emperor, some detailed notice * is called for, especially as we have already seen that it had been preceded many years before by embassies from the Czar of Russia, who in this matter anticipated the other potentates of Europe.
Every care was bestowed upon the proper equipment of this embassy. Chinese interpreters were sought for and procured after a difficult scarch. The presents for the Emperor were selected with the double object of gratifying his personal whims and inclinations, and of impressing him with a sense of the power and magnificence of England. The harshest or most cynical critic could not declare that in either one respect or the other there was anything deficient or open to animadversion. Even the names of the vessels that bore this mission to the shores of China were, whether by accident or design, singularly appropriate-the Lion and the Hindostan.
• The reader is referred for the fullest information on this subject to Sir George Staunton's " Authentic Account of an Embasy to the Emperor of China,“ London, 1797 ; and reference may also be made to Mr. Anderson's narrative of the same mission, published in the year 1795 in London. The name of Sir George Staunton cannot be mentioned without making a passing tribute to the solid and enduring work which he performed towards the better understanding of China. He was certainly the first Englishman who regarded the subject from an intelligent and comprehensive point of view. His translations from the Chinese, particularly his "Laws of the Manchus," remain a permanent monument to his memory. VOL. I.
The embassy sailed from Portsmouth in September, 1792– the very month when the fate of the Goorkhas was being decided at Nayakot—but it did not reach the Peiho until the month of August in the following year.
The Earl of Macartney was the great-grandson of George Macartney, of Auchenleck, in Kirkcudbrightshire, who settled in Belfast in 1649, and who, according to Benn's “ History of Belfast,” was the principal person concerned in laying the foundation of the future greatness of that city. According to Playfair, the family of Macartney is of great antiquity, having received from Bruce a grant of lands in Galloway still called by the name of Macartney, or Marcartney, in return for their services in the wars which, after many defeats, led to his accession to the crown of Scotland. About the beginning of the sixteenth century the family divided into three branches-Auchenleck, Leathes, and Blackets. From the first were descended the two members of the family whose names are so intimately connected with China-Earl Macartney, the first ambassador from England to China, and Sir Halliday Macartney, the well-known councillor to the Chinese Legation in London, of whom much more will be heard in the second volume; whilst from the Blacket branch was descended the General Macartney who acted as second to Lord Mohun in the duel, fatal to both parties, which took place between him and the Duke of Hamilton in Hyde Park in 1712. From the Blacket branch are also descended Sir John Macartney, of Lisk, the present baronet, and Mr. Ellison Macartney, M.P., secretary to the Admiralty. In former times several of the Macartneys would seem to have been lawyers, and to have acted as such to the monasteries. From Sweetheart Abbey, Dulce Cor, the Leathes branch, extinct since 1780, received a grant of the property of Leathes in 1549, whilst that from which Lord Macartney and Sir Halliday Macartney are descended held for many generations the small estate of Auchenleck in fee from the Abbey of Dundrennan.
In the course of his official career Earl Macartney held many important appointments. He was ambassador from England to Catherine II. of Russia, with whom he was a persona gratissima, especially from the time when, in a courtly