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THIS Work was commenced in 1846, and about fifty of the following pages appeared in a series of papers, published in the Dublin University Magazine, under the same title; and feelings of diffidence might have prevented us from launching our bark upon the troubled sea of public opinion, did we not hope to be instrumental, in some measure, in awakening the Legislature of Great Britain, to the disgrace and iniquity of connecting the name of a Christian
country, and powerful nation, with the opium TRADE.
Should the fruit of our labors meet with the disapprobation of some, we shall neither be surprised, nor disappointed, all we solicit is the kind indulgence of our perusers, disclaiming other motives than an anxious desire to be useful to our fellow-men, by the diffusion of simple truth, and drawing attention to
the nefarious traffic in Opium.
There is much in these pages relative to this hateful trade, which must prove distasteful to the British merchants in China, and, although we have some valued friends amongst them, we consider it a duty we owe to the religion we profess, and the sovereign to whom we have sworn allegiance, to declare publicly, the sentiments which we have inva
riably expressed on this topic in private.
To prove that we are not singular in our views, connected with this nefarious traffic, and other important and interesting subjects, we quote authors of standing and celebrity. The object has been, to convey as much useful information as practicable, relative to this peculiar country, and, at the same time, to render it as entertaining as possible to the general reader. Some information, it is believed and trusted, may be found beneficial to the trader, by whom, comparatively, little appears to be generally known, of the articles of commerce adapted to the trade of China; and, consequently, consignments are frequently made, wholly unsuited to the wants of the
inhabitants of the empire.
We have endeavoured to show and prove Hong
Rong to be an unhealthy, pestilential, and unprofitable, barren rock, whilst Chu-san is both productive and salubrious, and, from its geographical position, it would be most eligible and advantageous, for our political and commercial interests, to obtain the latter for a British colony. Although we cannot coincide with a literary friend of ours, in saying, that “Chusan is the Great Britain of China,” still manifold would be the advantages, which would accrue to the parent country, could a British colony be formed
upon the island of Chu-san.
3, New Square, Lincoln’s-Inn, London, March, 1849.
ERRATA TO WOL. I.
Note to p. 14, line 13, for “fineness” read “fierceness.”
60, 95, 171, 224, 336,
11, for “mandarins” read “mandarin.”
9, for “full-green” read “full-grown.”
CONTENTS TO WOL. I.