Imatges de pÓgina

rations making for quitting the island; the wonted hilarity of the lower orders was quite gone,' and even children were affected. A little sextant had been given to the Prince, who put it into the hands of Madera that he might learn the use of it. A more hopeless enterprize,' says Captain Hall, 'could not have been proposed to any man' but as Mádera was a man not to be thrown into despair by difficulties, he persevered in making his observations, and in a few hours was perfectly master of the mere practical operation of taking angles and altitudes. This extraordinary character hurried on board the Alceste the day before their departure, when every thing had been embarked.

While we were at dinner, Mádera came into the Alceste's cabin for the purpose of asking some questions about the sextant. He had not been aware of our being at dinner, and looked shocked at having intruded; and when invited to sit down, politely, but firmly declined. From the cabin he went to the gun room, to see his friend Mr. Hoppner, the junior lieutenant of the Alceste, with whom he had formed a great friendship. Mr. Hoppner gave him a picture of the Alceste, and some other presents; upon which Madera, who was much affected, said, "To-morrow ship go sea; I go my father house, two day distance: when I see my father, I show him your present, and I tell him, me, Henry Hoppner, all same (as) brother," and burst into tears.'-p. 199.

We scarcely remember a more affecting scene than that which took place on bidding a last farewell to this highly interesting and amiable people.

Sunday, 27th of October.-At day-break we unmoored, and the natives, on seeing us take up one of our anchors, thought we were going to get under weigh immediately, and give them the slip, which was not at all intended. This alarm, however, brought the chiefs off in a great hurry; not in a body in their usual formal way, but one by one, in separate canoes. Old Jeema called on board the Lyra on his way to the frigate; he was a good deal agitated, and the tears came into his eyes when I put a ring on his finger. He gave me in return his knife.

The other chiefs called alongside on their way to the frigate, but went on when I told them that I was just going to the Alceste myself. In the mean time Mádera came on board, with the sextant in his hand; he was in such distress that he scarcely knew what he was about. In this distracted state he sat down to breakfast with us, during which he continued lighting his pipe and smoking as fast as he could; drinking and eating whatever was placed before him. After he had a little recovered himself, he asked what books it would be necessary to read to enable him to make use of the sextant; I gave him a nautical almapack, and told him that he must understand that in the first instance: he opened it, and looking at the figures, held up his hands in despair, and was at last forced to confess that it was a hopeless business. He therefore put the sextant up and bade us farewell. Before he left the Lyra he gave Mr. Clifford his pipe, tobacco pouch, and a crystal orna


ment; saying, as he held out the last, “You go Ingeree, you give this to your childs."

Mr. Clifford gave him a few presents in return, and expressed his anxiety to be considered his friend. Madera, with the tears streaming down his cheeks, placed his hand several times upon his heart, and cried, "Eedooshee, edooshee!" My friend, my friend!

To me he gave a fan and a picture of an old man looking up at the sun, drawn, he said, by himself: he probably meant in his picture some allusion to my usual occupation at the observatory. After he had put off in his boat, he called out, "Ingeree noo choo sibittee yootoosha,” I shall ever remember the English people. When he went to the Alceste, one of the chiefs remarked that he had neither his hatchee-matchee on nor his robes, and told him that it was not respectful to wait upon Captain Maxwell for the last time, in his ordinary dress; particularly as all the others were in full array. Mádera, who, poor fellow, had been too much concerned about other matters to think of dress, was shocked at this apparent want of politeness, and went immediately to apologize to Captain Maxwell, who took him by the hand, and gave him a present, telling him, at the same time, that he was always too happy to see him, to notice what dress he had on.

'On going into the cabin, I found the chiefs seated in a row, all very disconsolate, and apparently trying to conceal emotions different, in all probability, from any which they had ever before experienced. Captain Maxwell had made them his parting present, and I therefore gave to each chief some trifile, receiving from them in return, their knives, pipes, pouches, and fans. In the mean time the anchor was hove up, and every thing being ready for making sail, the chiefs rose to take leave. Ookooma wished to say something, but was too much affected to speak, and before they reached their boats they were all in tears.

Mádera cried bitterly as he shook hands with his numerous friends, who were loading him with presents.

"The chiefs, as well as the people in the numerous canoes which had assembled round the ships, stood up, and continued waving their fans and handkerchiefs till we were beyond the reefs, and could see them no longer.'-p. 200--203.

The narratives of Captain Hall and Mr. M'Leod are well calculated to make an impression highly favourable to the character and happy condition of the Loo-choos. Their conduct to Captain Broughton, when wrecked near Taypinsan, (one of the group of islands,) gave the same idea of the humane and friendly disposition of these islanders. The Chinese and the Japanese agree in speaking of them as a cheerful and happy people. Kæmpfer says, 'the inhabitants, which are for the most part either husbandmen or fishermen, are a good natured merry sort of people, leading an agreeable contented life, diverting themselves, after their work is done, with a glass of rice beer, and playing upon their musical instruments, which they for this purpose carry out with them into the fields.' With all this it seems evident, that in their jealousy of strangers, they are perfect Chi


nese; nor perhaps ought we to wonder at it. While we give them full credit, however, for the dexterous management of that suspicious vigilance which they exercised without giving offence, we must not withhold the praise due to Captain Maxwell for the patience and forbearance exemplified in his own person, and which influenced the conduct of all those under his orders. It was an instance of no slight degree of self-denial, to remain for a whole fortnight patiently on board, when anchored close to the shore, after a long voyage, or to refrain from entering the town, close to the gates of which they were quartered for a full month. Such conduct in the officers and crews of two ships of war is above all praise; and the good effects of it cannot fail of being experienced by such English vessels as may hereafter touch at Loo-choo. The British flag is not likely to meet with that rude repulse here which Captain Pellew, of the Phaeton frigate, is said to have experienced in the bay of Nangasaki, when he exacted from the Japanese that which they could not well spare, and the payment for which they refused with an observation, that all they asked was that he would leave their coast and never come near them again.

In conclusion, we are not quite sure that the two accounts of Captain Hall and Mr. M'Leod, though perfectly correct in every thing that came under their own observation, are not calculated to raise the national character of the Loo-choos somewhat above its proper level. Limited as the intercourse of our navigators was to a few persons especially appointed to superintend their wants and observe their movements; ignorant altogether, for some time at least, of the language, and communicating only by means of a Chinese servant, speaking broken English and provincial Chinese, it cannot be supposed that they enjoyed the means of obtaining either very extensive or very accurate information. The narrative of Su-poa-quang, a learned Chinese, who was sent by Kanghi, in 1719, to Loo-choo, with instructions to note down every thing curious or interesting with regard to those islands and their inhabitants, may probably therefore be considered as the most accurate account which has yet been given of these islanders. It was published at Pekin in two volumes; and as it differs in some respects from that of Captain Hall, it may not be amiss to notice one or two of these points of disagreement.

Captain Hall observes, that the tombs of the Loo-choos are, like those of the Chinese, generally in the form of a horse-shoe; that the coffin is placed in the vault under the tomb, and remains untouched for six or seven years, by which time the flesh is found to have separated and wasted away; when the bones are collected and put into jars, which are ranged in rows on the inside of the vault. Burning,' he adds, 'is never used at any stage of the proceedings, nor under any circumstances.' Su-poa-quang says that


"they burn the flesh of the dead bodies, and collect and preserve the bones.'

Polygamy,' says Captain Hall, is not allowed in Loo-choo as in China'they invariably spoke with horror of the Chinese practice, which allows a plurality of wives, and were much gratified on learning that the English customs in this respect were similar to those of Loo-choo.' Su-poa-quang asserts, on the contrary, that polygamy is allowed as in China; but that the young men and women see each other before marriage, and chuse for themselves. The complete state of degradation in which the females are, from both accounts, placed, detracts not a little from the many good qualities of these islanders; and the contempt and ridicule with which the priesthood appears to be treated is an unfavourable trait in the national character.


Captain Hall says, they appear to have no money, and, from all we could see or hear, they are even ignorant of its use'-' they set no value upon Spanish dollars.' The Spanish dollar is as little known in China beyond the province of Canton as in Loo-choo; and that extensive and populous empire has no other current coin than their base metal piece, which is the thousandth part of six and eight-pence; and which, as appears by Su-poa-quang, is carried away from the eastern coast of China in great abundance. Captain Hall further says, 'We saw no arms of any kind, and the natives always declared that they had none.' Yet Su-poa-quang says, they manufacture arms as an article of commerce, and that a military board forms one of the departments of government. We rather incline to the Chinese writer:-that a people should subsist in a high state of civilization without money or arms, appears altogether so extraordinary that we cannot wonder at the degree of scepticism with which the account has been received. When Lord Amherst mentioned this part of the Loo-choo polity to Buonaparte, he broke forth-No arms! Sacre! how do they carry on war then?' When the same circumstances were related to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he is said to have exclaimed, money! Bless me! how do they carry on the governinent?? During our intercourse with these people,' says Captain Hall, 'there did not occur one instance of theft; and he adds, this degree of honesty is a feature which distinguishes the people of Loochoo from the Chinese.' Is Captain Hall aware that, of the many thousand articles which the labouring Chinese transported both in Lord Macartney's and Lord Amherst's embassies-in the former, several hundred miles by land into the mountains of Tartary and back again-not a single article was missing? We have heard indeed that he had himself an example of the honesty of the Chinese on the coast of Pe-tche-lee, where, having through forgetfulness left

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his watch among a crowd of Chinese in a town at some distance from the coast, on sending for it the following morning, he immediately recovered it. The common Chinese of Canton, it is true, are addicted to thieving and cheating; but are our own countrymen on the Point of Portsmouth, in Wapping, or in Houndsditch, quite immaculate in these respects? Do all foreigners who visit the port of Canton deal honestly with the Chinese? We refer to Mr. Barrow's book for an answer. Su-poa-quang, however, agrees with our navigators, and affirms that the Loo-choos are enemies to falsehood and dishonesty; yet we believe that, had Captain Maxwell put into any of the northern ports of China, under the same circumstances as into Napakiang, his reception from the Chinese would not have been very different from that which he experienced at the hands of these good people.

In fact, though originally Japanese or eastern Tartars, the Loochoos for the last thousand years or more have been so completely under the influence of the Chinese religion, government, laws, and customs, that they may be said to differ very little from them. Not long since a Loo-choo junk, on her voyage to Fokien, was driven to Macao, and we have been informed by an English gentleman, who went on board the vessel, that the Chinese of that place were delighted to see the crew, and hailed them as the descendants of the ancient Chinese, their dress and mode of pinning up their hair on the top of the head being the old costume of their countrymen, before they were conquered and shorn by the Tartars. If, therefore, they are found to excel the Chinese in virtue, it is not improbably to be ascribed, in some degree, to their seclusion from the rest of the world, and to the limited extent of their numbers, which requires a less rigid and a less suspicious administration of the government, than that which prevails in an empire containing the largest mass of population which exists, under the same code of laws, in the whole world.



ART. III. Foliage; or, Poems Original and Translated. Leigh Hunt. Svo. London. 1818. INTER has at length passed away: spring returns upon us, like a reconciled mistress, with redoubled smiles and graces; and even we poor critics, in populous city pent,' feel a sort of ungainly inspiration from the starved leaflets and smutty buds in our window-pots; what, then, must be the feelings with which the Arcadian Hunt,

'half-stretched on the ground,

With a cheek-smoothing air coming taking him round,'-p. lxxxi. must welcome the approach of the 'fair-limbed' goddess to his


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