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Hang-fuh would have understood that message.
It has, in fact, something of the Chinese style
about it; at any rate, you may feel convinced
of this:—that that enlightened provincial governor
would think twice about the matter before
he ever endeavoured again to palm off any falsehood
upon me.

But you will say that we are going to do
matters in the right way this time; that Lord
Elgin is close to Pekin, with some powerful
persuaders, in the shape of Armstrong guns
and Minie rifles; and that he will be able to
dictate, to that effete old emperor Hien-fuh, any
terms we please. I hope so; but I don't feel at
all satisfied upon this point. I read in the newspapers
that two mandarins arrived at Tung-chow
with a flag of truceprobably our Tien-tsiu
friends Tsai-wan, President of the Imperial Court
of Punishment, and Mu-hyn, President of the
Council of War. This looked bad, and turned
out so. Some of our people went to meet them;
were caught in a trap and treacherously made
prisoners. I will suppose that what the correspondents
say is correct, and that Lord Elgin
will refuse to have anything to say to the Imperial
trickster until the prisoners are released,
and a heavy sum of money paid. This isn't
enough for me. I would have no treaty that is
not signed inside the walls of Pekin. An extramural
treaty I don't build much upon. The
value of any treaty which Lord Elgin would conclude
would be worth as much, and no more, as
he could manage to squeeze out of it upon the
spot,—and that wouldn't be much short of Pekin

Just contrast Lord Elgin's plans with my brilliant
method of doing business. Imagine me
for a moment on the march to Pekin and meeting
with Tsai-wan and Mu-hyn on the way. Lord
Elgin is no doubt an excellent and highly intelligent
person, but I have a spice of the Jehu in
me. I am a little more fiery and decided, and
I flatter myself that if Tsai-wan and Mu-hyn
came, with the purpose of playing us any
tricks, he would find in me rather a difficult customer.

The first thing that I should do would be
to seize upon those two mandarins, and say,
if they prated of peace, "What hast thou
to do with peace? turn thee behind me;" and
I would have them sent to the rear to be taken
care of accordingly. I would do more than
this. I would have that Grand President
of the Imperial Court of Punishment carefully
searched and examined, and if I found
on him, as I most probably should, any traces of
deceit and double-dealing, I would furnish him
with an excellent example of the British method
of executing the duties of his office, and he
should be made acquainted with the punishment
of which we generally consider prevaricators to be
deserving in this country. Don't you see the
advantage of this vigorous plan of dealing with
these Celestials? Don't you think, when I had
once given out, that I refused to have any communication
on any subject, save with the Emperor
Hien-fuh himself, and had given a pledge
of the sincerity of my statement by administering
condign punishment upon Kweiliang, and every
other commissioner pretended or not who endeavoured
to deceive me, that I should not be
much longer troubled with these crafty, shifty,
faithless, perjured, lying mandarins?

I have no patience when I think of the manner
in which we have allowed ourselves, from
time to time to be cheated by this curious
people. What do we mean by going to them
with our hats in our hands, and treating
with all the civility, and courtesy, and diplomatic
niceties of European courts, a nation who
have deceived us, and broken faith with us, on
every possible opportunity, and who scarcely
take proper pains to conceal the fact that they
are desirous of treating us in the same manner
now? What do we mean by allowing a coarse,
ignorant debauchee like Hien-fuh, to shield himself
behind commissioners, and presidents, and
lying functionaries of all kinds, and to keep at a
distance, and treat with insolent contempt, the
best, and bravest, and noblest of our land?
What do we mean by going out to China, year
after year, with our costly fleets and armies,
merely to gain barren victories, and to conclude
treaties which turn out, six months afterwards,
to be of the exact value of so much waste

If the British government will only send me,
Chapman, out to China, and give me carte blanche
to do as I please, I promise to remedy all these
perplexing difficulties in such an effectual manner,
that they shall never, by any possibility, occur
again. I shall not require any assistance beyond
that which I have already stated. If I must have
an interpreter, I will only consent to have one,
on this condition, that he shall interpret any
proposals which I may think well to make, into
Chinese, but that he shall be prohibited, at the
risk of instant annihilation, from interpreting any
Chinese answers in return, beyond the simple
affirmative and negative, "yes" and "no." I
dare say that even this would not be an easy
business; for no doubt those wily diplomatists
have a word which, on occasion, serves for both.
There was a fellow, I remember, at Cambridge,
of a Celestial type of countenance and low algebraic
intellect, who was able to write a peculiar
sign, something between "plus" and "minus,"
and which, in doubtful cases, would serve for
either one or the other. I reserve to myself the
power of dealing with the Chinese, in an opposite
manner to that in which the examiners dealt
with the deceitful Cantab. The Cantab was
only plucked; but my ambiguous Celestials shall
be tarred and feathered.

Suppose me then set down on these conditions
at " seven miles from Pekin"—as one newspaper
correspondent datesand with full powers.
What would I do? Well, it is evident that
the emperor cares no more about the thrashing
of his armies than he does about the thrash-