Note on the condition and government of the Chinese empire in 1849

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Page 83 - And, writing immediately before the present rebellion broke out, Mr Wade says, " With a fair seeming of immunity from invasion, sedition,, or revolt, leave is taken to consider this vast empire as surely, though slowly, decaying. It has, in many respects, retrograded since the commencement of the present dynasty, and in none that we are aware of has it made any sensible progress.
Page 91 - ... 1842 ; and the inhabitants of many a country-side wage real and endless war with their nearest neighbours. A revolution would but transfer the present form of government to other hands, as the Chinese are unacquainted with the nature or merits of any other, and complain neither of the present mode of government, nor of the laws, in which they are not stated to discern any defect, but simply of the abuse of the latter.
Page 23 - ... subscriptions for the sufferers opened throughout the empire. Nevertheless these appliances fell far short of remedying the evils, and many governors of provinces sought to conceal their incapacity by a timely resignation. " Your servant," says one styled Woowan-yung, in his memorial to the Emperor, " has set up altars in all places ; and, followed by his subordinates, has gone hither and thither, sacrificing early and late, shedding bitter tears, and crying aloud for grief; but he has been unable...
Page 26 - But if it again appears," says the Emperor, " that he does not know how to exert himself, and that his administration is, after all, so unsuccessful as to send the people wandering to the streams and ditches, [to drown themselves ?] his crimes will of course be severely dealt with. When Our word has once gone forth, the law follows it; and We shall assuredly not allow the least mercy to be shown him. Tremble and attend ! Respect this !" Old Taou-kwang was a sad miser.
Page 84 - remain but as monuments of an originality which seems to have exhausted itself by its earlier efforts. They appear never to have investigated the principles of the discoveries by which the requirements of their agriculture, architecture, or navigation, were first satisfied. The means which their genius suggested to meet their immediate wants they adopted, and, without the aid of theory, perfected — in some instances, to a degree not surpassed, if attained, by the most scientific of nations : but...
Page 25 - ... absurdity, and audacity ! He has had the sense only to accuse himself of a fault, but has not thought of discharging his duty to the utmost. If, whenever there were a season of difficulty, all those upon whom devolves the personal charge of our dominions were to act like Woowan-yung, what would become of the misery to which the myriads and tens of myriads of the black-haired race are exposed ? " The luckless Governor is then deprived of his button, but ordered to remain at his post — with the...
Page 23 - River and the Yangtse-keang burst their embankments, and inundated to a frightful extent the level country through which they flow, and which is the very garden of China. " The rains have been falling for forty days...
Page 23 - Hong-Kong, 1850. food ; during the night, as he hears the rain falling, he wanders about his dwelling. He knows not what measures to adopt, and beats his breast at hisowuiucouipetency.
Page 22 - One occurred in 1848, towards the north (Hu-pih,) but it was less, severe, and did not prevent the carrying of the grain harvest. This year the floods have risen, in the south of the province, to a height of seven palms above what was ever known, traditionally, in times past. In the cities of...
Page 33 - ... predecessors, and eight ex-directors of the Gabelle, accused of collusion with the salt monopolists, and general abuse of their trust The Minister of Finance was also implicated." The governor of Shan-si was exiled in the early part of the same year, on account of the extortion of a relative of his, and others in the province ; but his misdeeds were so eclipsed by the rapacity of his successor, that he was recalled and promoted. Similar instances of peculation might be endlessly multiplied ;...

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