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What is the good
Can buy us house or food.
Even the flame
All sunshine is the same.
Our skill and wit
Nature, the Infinite.
The same in all.
There is no great or small
No grand or mean-
And see not through Heaven's screen.
Some light we cannot miss
Gives toil its worth;
Of mingled heaven and earth.
Only what creeps
The oak's unconscious deeps ;
While south-winds sift, And light pours subtle health through myriad leaves, And the gnarled regent of the woods receives
The air's benignest gift.
What the soul needs It takes to itself ;-aromas, sounds, and sightsBeliefs and hopes ;-finds star-tracks through the nights,
And miracles in weeds ;
It leaves for manlier cares.
And by the light
purpose brooding o'er our acts,
And gain the trust
Gathers the stars as dust.
COMMERCIAL PROGRESS IN CHINA.
In the year 1786 a vessel of three As the years rolled on, trade with hundred and fifty tons burden sailed China increased; the merchants, of all from an American port for Canton. classes, found that foreign gold and She was the first to carry the flag of the silver were desirable things to gather United States to the shores of Cathay, into their possession, and that the teas and to begin a commerce that has since and silks and porcelain of the empire assumed enormous proportions. Euro- brought a remunerative price from those pean nations had carried on a limited who came to purchase. For a long trade with the Chinese before that time, time the foreigners trading with China but they were restricted to a single port, had no direct intercourse with the Genand their jealousy of each other prevent- eral Government, but dealt only with ed their adopting those measures of co the local and provincial authorities. It operation that have recently proved so was not until after the famous “ Opium advantageous.
averse to War” that diplomatic relations were opening her territory to foreign mer opened with the court at Peking, and a chants, and regarded with suspicion all common policy adopted for all parts of their attempts to gain a foothold upon the empire, in its dealings with the outher soil. On the north, since 1727, the er world. Considering the extremely Russians had a single point of commer conservative character of the Chinese, cial exchange, and by the treaty be their adherence to old forms and custween Russia and China all the trade toms, their general unwillingness to do between the two nations was to be con differently from their ancestors, and the ducted there. Two small cities, one not over-amiable character of the majorthoroughly Russian and the other as ity of the foreigners that went there to thoroughly Chinese, were founded, and trade, it is not surprising that many grew up, side by side, for the purposes years were required for commercial reof international commerce.
The name lations to grow up and become permaof the Chinese city (Maimaichin) signi- nent. The wars between China and the fies" place of trade." Along the whole Western powers did more than centuries northern frontier of the Celestial Empire of peace could have done to open the there was no other settlement of its Oriental eyes and teach the oldest naname or character. In the south was tion of the world that its superiority in the single point open to those who came age had not given it superiority in every to China by sea, while along the coast thing else. Austria's defeat on the field line, facing to the eastward, the ports of Sadowa, whose cannons' echoes are of the empire were sealed against for- still ringing in our ears, advanced and eign intrusion. Commerce between enlightened her more than a hundred China and the outer world was ham years of peace and victory could have pered by many restrictions, and only the done, at her old rate of progress. The great profits derived from it served to victories of the allied forces in China, keep it alive. But once fairly estab- culminating in the capture of Peking lished, the barbarian merchants taught and dictation of terms by the foreign the slow-learning Chinese that the trade leaders, opened the way for a free interbrought advantage to all engaged in it. course between the East and West, and Step by step they pressed forward, to the immense advantages that an unreopen new ports and extend commercial stricted commerce is sure to bring to an relations, which were not likely to be industrious, energetic, and economical discontinued, if only a little time were people. allowed to show their value.
With a river-system unsurpassed by
that of any other nation of the world, tures annually as by the old system. China relied upon navigation by junks, Probably there is no people in the world which crept but slowly against the cur- that can be called a nation of shoprent when urged by strong winds, and keepers more justly than the Chinese; lay idle or were laboriously towed or thousands upon thousands of them are poled by men when calms or head- engaged in petty trade, and the compebreezes prevailed. Of steam applied to tition is very keen. Of course, where propulsion, she had no knowledge, until there is an active traffic the profits arc steamboats of foreign construction ap- small, and any thing that can assist peared in her waters and roused the the prompt delivery of merchandise and wonder of the oblique-eyed natives by the speedy transmission of intelligence, the mystery of their powers. The first money, credits, or the merchant himsteamboat to ascend a Chinese river self, is certain to be brought into full created a greater sensation than did the use. For the first few years the steamClermont on her initial voyage along vessels in Chinese waters were owned the Hudson or her Western prot type, by foreigners, who derived large profits several years later, among the Indians from the native trade; but very soon of the upper Missouri. The Chinese the Chinese merchants conceived the very speedily saw the advantages of notion of purchasing steamers and runsteam-navigation on the great rivers of ning them on their own account. No the empire, and were quick to patronize accurate statistics are at hand of the the foreign invention when it was fairly number of foreign steamers now in established. In 1839 the first steam China, but well-informed parties estiventure was made in China. An Eng- mate the burden of American coasting lish house placed a boat on the route and river-vessels at upward of thirty between Canton and Macao, and adver- thousand tons, while that of other natised it as ready to carry freight and tionalities is much larger. Steamboats, passengers on stated days. For the first with a burden of more than ten thousix months the passengers averaged sand tons, are now owned by Chinese about a dozen to each trip-half of merchants, and about half that quantity them Europeans, and the rest natives. is the joint property of Chinese and The second half-year the number of na- foreigners. In managing their boats tive patrons increased, and by the end and watching the current expenses, the of the second year the boat, on nearly Chinese are quite equal to the English every trip, was filled with Chinese. The and Americans, and sometimes display trade became so lucrative, that another an ability to carry freight upon terms boat was brought from England and that are ruinous to foreign competitors. placed on the route, which continued Foreign systems of banking and into be a source of profit until the busi- surance have been adopted, and work ness was overdone by opposition lines, successfully. The Chinese had a mode just as the same kind of business has of banking long before the European been overdone on the Hudson and else- nations possessed much knowledge of where in America. As soon as the trea- financial matters; and it is claimed that ties permitted, steamers were introduced the first circulating-notes and bills-ofinto the coasting-trade of China, and credit ever issued had their origin dursubsequently upon the rivers and other ing a monetary pressure at Peking. inland waters. The Chinese merchants But they were so unprogressive that, perceived the importance of rapid and when intercourse was opened with the certain transportation for their goods in Western World, they found their own place of the slow and unreliable service system defective, and were forced to of their junks, but the advance in rates adopt the foreign innovation. Insurwas overbalanced by the increased facil- ance companies were first owned and ities and the opportunities of the mer- managed by foreigners at the open chants to make six times as many ven- ports, and as soon as the plan of secur
ing themselves against loss by fire or with a railway-system to connect the other casualties was understood by the principal cities, and especially to tap Chinese merchants, they began to form the interior districts, where the watercompanies on their own account, and communications are limited. Railways carry their operations to the interior of in India, where the population is dense, the empire, where foreign trade had not have been found profitable, and the penetrated. All the intricacies of the promoters of the scheme are confident insurance business – even to the for- they will prove equally so in China. mation of fraudulent companies, with There is no system of mail-communicaimaginary officers, and an explosion at tion in China ; the Government transa propitious moment-are fully under mits intelligence by means of couriers, stood and practised by the Chinese. and when merchants have occasion to
By the facilities which the advent of communicate with persons at a distance foreigners has introduced to the Chinese, they make use of private expresses. the native trade along the rivers and Foreign and native merchants, doing with the open ports has largely in an extensive business, keep swift steamcreased. In this respect China has only ers, which they use as despatch-boats, followed the rule that everywhere pre- and sometimes send them at hundreds vails where men engage in commercial or thousands of dollars' expense to pursuits. On the rivers and along the transmit single messages. It has hapcoast the steamers and native boats are pened that, on a sudden change of actively engaged, and the population markets, two or more houses in Hong of the open ports has largely increased Kong or Shanghae have despatched in consequence of the attractions offered boats at the same moment; and some to the people of all grades and profes- interesting and exciting races are resions. The greatest increase has been corded in the local histories. Some of in the foreign trade, which, from small the native merchants have expended beginnings, now amounts to more than much money in purchasing and mainnine hundred millions of dollars annu taining their despatch-boats, and occaally. As this is all from the open ports, sionally, when business is dull, they get it naturally follows that the domestic up private races, on which respectable trade, tributary to those ports by means amounts of cash are staked. of the numerous canals and rivers, and The barriers of Chinese exclusion coming from a population of more than were broken down when the treaties of four hundred millions of people, must the past ten years opened the empire to be enormously large. Where formerly a foreigners, and placed the name of dozen or more vessels crept into Canton, China on the list of diplomatic and during each year, there are now hun- treaty powers. The last stone of the dreds of ships and steamers traversing wall that shut the nation from the outer the ocean to and from the accessible world was overthrown when the court points of the coast of the great Eastern at Peking sent an embassy, headed by a Empire. America has a large share of distinguished American, to visit the this commerce with China, and from the capitals of the Western nations, and little beginning, in 1786, she has in cement the bonds of friendship between creased her maritime service, until she the West and the East. It was eminow has a fleet of sailing-ships second nently fitting that an American should to none in the world and a line of mag- be selected as the head of this embassy, nificent steamers plying regularly across and eminently fitting, too, that the amthe broad Pacific, and bringing the East bassador of the oldest nation should in closer alliance with the West than first visit the youngest of all the great she has ever been before.
powers of the world. America, just Railways will naturally follow the emerged from the garments of childsteamboat, and an English company is hood, and with full pride and consciousnow arranging to supply the Chinese ness of its youthful strength, presents
to ruddy England, smiling France, and -but several friends of the deceased the other members of the family of na Oriental set a rumor afloat that one of tions, graybeard and dignified China, the foreign couriers had descended from who expresses joy at the introduction, the wire, and caused the native's death. and hopes for a better acquaintance in A Chinese mob very soon made short the years that are to come.
work of the telegraph-line. During the time of his residence at In this the Chinese only followed the Peking as minister of the United States, example of the Southerners referred to Mr. Burlingame interested himself in in the preceding paragraph. When the endeavoring to introduce the telegraph telegraph-line from Cincinnati to New into China, and though meeting with Orleans was built, some of the people opposition on account of certain super- along the route supposed it would affect stitions of the Chinese, he was ulti the fall of rain and injure their crops. mately successful. The Chinese do not A drouth confirmed them in that opinunderstand the working of the telegraph ion, and a great many miles of wire —at least the great majority of them do were torn down in consequence. not-and like many other people else To avoid all possibility of interference where, with regard to any thing incom with the proposed line in China, Mr. prehensible, they are inclined to ascribe Burlingame suggested that it be placed it to a satanic origin. They believe the out of harm's reach by laying it in the erection of poles and the stretching of form of a submarine cable along the wires would disturb the currents of coast. The Government readily adoptFung Shucy (good luck), just as some ed the suggestion, as it would prevent of the residents of Tennessee and Ala
any disturbance by superstitious or illbama, ten or twelve years ago, believed disposed persons while the line was the telegraph-wires caused a lack of being tested; as soon as the people rain. Hence their opposition to the were accustomed to its workings and construction of the telegraph; and it satisfied of its harmlessness, the conremains for the prejudice to be over struction of land-lines could be vencome before electric communication in tured. The concession granted by the China will be a success.
Government was accepted by an AmeriSome years ago, as the story runs, can company, which is empowered to some Americans erected a line fifteen or lay submarine cables, connecting all the twenty miles long, between Shanghae treaty ports from Canton to Peking. and Woosung, the place where all deep- Quite likely, the submarine telegraph draught vessels approaching Shanghae will astonish John Chinaman a great are obliged to anchor. The Chinese deal more than a land-line; if intellimade no interference, officially or other gence can be flashed instantly along the wise, with the line during its construc bottom of the ocean, where there is no tion, and allowed it to work for some apparent communication, he will be weeks, which it did very successfully. compelled to admit that a visible, tanThey did not investigate its operations, gible wire on land is a safe and feasible but supposed the foreigners employed route of communication. While the active and invisible devils to run along cable is in deep water, out of reach the wires to convey messages.
Had of anchors, and only to be touched by these bearers of despatches confined the apparatus specially designed for its themselves to their own affairs, their recovery, it will hardly be liable to highway would not have been dis the calamity that befell the Shanghaeturbed; but, unfortunately, a Chinese Woorsung line. Nobody will bave a died, one day, in a house that was local habitation in its vicinity except crossed by the telegraph-wire, and ac where it is brought to shore, and even tually touched by one of the poles. It should it be charged with the death of is not an unusual thing for a Chinese to some unfortunate native, the next of die—thousands of them do so every day kin and the neighbors and friends of the