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To paid Mr. Rooney's claim by order of his excellency Mr. Burlingame.
Dr. Williams's order on treasurer received.
Commission, two and a half per cent. on amount collected as indemnity ac count, $740,720 35...
May 4, 1865. To balance in hands of receivers, carried down...
As per accounts rendered January 4, 1862, June 30, and August 19, 1963, and October 27, 1864:
By interest allowed by mercantile bank on deposits, as per our account rendered
By amount of interest collected from Oriental Bank Corporation, Hong Kong....
2,440 98 3,040 00
SIR: I have the honor to submit an account of my last interview with Prince Kung, prepared by Dr. Martin, who acted as interpreter with Dr. Williams, and who forwarded it to me at this place. It is so full that I content myself with sending it without further explanation than to inform you that the anxiety of the Chinese officials to relieve themselves from the charge of disrespect to the foreign legations grew out of a pressure we brought to bear upon them for closing one or two places against the legations. From the tenor of the despatches of one or two of my colleagues, they were left to infer that their action might lead to a withdrawal of good will; hence their desire, as expressed in their appended note, to have their intentions explained.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
MR. BURLINGAME'S LAST INTERVIEW WITH PRINCE KUNG AND THE OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN BOARD.
I.—Preliminary interview with Hangkee at the United States legation, February 24, 1865. HANGKEE. It is with much regret I learn your excellency is about to take leave of our capital. The prince regent entertains the same sentiment. He feels that he is losing a tried friend, and desires to give you an expression of regard by inviting you to a farewell entertainment. I am commissioned to inquire what day it would be convenient for you to meet his highness.
Mr. BURLINGAME. The kind feeling expressed by the prince and all the members of the foreign board I cordially reciprocate, and will be happy to call on his highness on either Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
HANGKEE. In the case of other ministers we have always waited for a formal notice of their intended departure. In deviation from our customs, and coming beforehand to solicit the favor of your company, the prince is bestowing a special mark of confidence and respect. He has not forgotten the numerous instances in which you have employed your good offices in our favor; of which not the least was your aid in relieving us of our embarrassment with the English flotilla.
Mr. BURLINGAME. Perhaps I may still have the opportunity of rendering you some other service after leaving your shores; and you may rest assured that I shall always be happy to promote the welfare of your empire by all the means within my power.
HANGKEE. It would be gratifying to us if your excellency could delay your journey long enough to be present at a review of the troops we have had trained in the foreign drill.
Mr. BURLINGAME. If I cannot, I assure you it will not be from any want of interest in that enterprise, for I look upon the introduction of foreign arms and discipline as a measure of the first importance for the security of the empire.
HANGKEE. In organizing this force, our first object is the restoration of order in our interior provinces. Our next is the protection of our-seaports and of our foreign trade.
Mr. BURLINGAME. Allow me to give you a parting suggestion in regard to the officering of these troops. Let foreign officers be employed to drill them thoroughly in camps of instruction, but let none but natives lead them in the field. You will thus avoid international jealousies, and save yourselves from endless embarrassment.
HANGKEE. The British chargé, Mr. Wade, gives us the same counsel. As to the necessity for introducing foreign discipline, I was deeply convinced the first time I saw a review of foreign troops, which was at Canton, some years ago. I was stationed there as port collector, and sent up many memorials in respect to foreign officers. My counsels were defeated for the time by those ambitious princes, Suschur and Twantiwa, (put to death in 1861;) but they have been acted upon since the reins of power came into the hands of Prince Kung.
But, to change the subject, have you heard that a couple of Englishmen committed acts of violence, a few days ago, at the Temple of Everlasting Peace, beating the gate-keepers, and breaking a lock in order to effect an entrance?
Mr. BURLINGAME. Yes; I am acquainted with the facts. It was a gross outrage, and I have reason to believe that Mr. Wade himself views it in that light. I have no doubt he will bring the offenders to justice.
HANGKEE. I know he has despatched officers to apprehend them, but he throws the blame of the occurrence on us, because, forsooth, we put locks on the gates of our sacred places, instead of allowing them to stand open for the gratification of promiscuous visitors. He even seizes on this occasion, inopportune as it is, to press a demand for the removal of such restrictions. This is just as if an Englishman should cut a Chinaman across the neck, and Mr. Wade, while profuse in his regrets for the unfortunate occurrence, should recommend us to wear iron collars as a safeguard. Or I may give you another illustration, more amusing, but not less truthful. This appendage (holding up his cue) you are not accustomed to wear, and deem it of little value, while we regard it as the very seal of honor. A man who loses it is disgraced forever, and one who cuts off the cue of another is liable to be punished with banishment. Now, suppose an Englishman had cut off the cue of one of our people, Mr. Wade would admit he had no right to do so. But what if he should proceed to counsel us to cut off all our cues, and dispense with a useless member, as the best means for securing ourselves against future insults?
The conversation threatening to become personal, Mr. Burlingame declined to pursue it in that direction, but availed himself of the introduction of the subject to bring forward some suggestions of a general character. They related to three points-the sovereign right of the Chinese government to legislate on its own domestic affairs, the importance of comity and generosity in international intercourse, and wisdom of dealing with individual peculiarities. Under the first he remarked that the Chinese bad an undoubted right to withdraw from us every privilege not expressed or implied in the stipulation of the treaties. But would it be either wise or honorable to press their authority to its extreme limit? Under the second he dwelt especially on the privileges usually conceded to diplomatic persons, and intimated that, though the public generally might be excluded from their several places, it might not be improper to make some exceptions in favor of envoys and their suites. And, in the third place, he assured them that Mr. Wade is, at heart, one of their best friends, and advised them to comply with his wishes as far as possible.
HANGKEE, (after noting down these leading ideas.) We are liberal in the concession of privileges, and we have no wish to retract them; but some of those which are demanded we cannot by any possibility comply with.
In regard to some of these several places, we cannot even make an exception in favor of envoys; nor is this owing to any want of respect as an evidence of the great honor we put on the office of an ambassador. I may remark that though none of us dare stand or sit on
the same level with Prince Kung, yet his Highness holds intercourse on terms of equality with representatives of the treaty powers.
Our sentiments are identical with yours, though they are expressed by different signs; and our religious principles are the same as yours, though they are clothed in different -forms-i. e., what you mean by "Lord" we call Heaven. It is not a firmament of stone or vapor that we worship, but the Spirit who dwells in Heaven. In the popular idolatry we put no faith whatever; but the Emperor makes us use it, as an auxiliary power in governing the people. The teachers of every creed agreed as to the principles of virtue; any one of these systems will suffice to deter men from the perpetration of secret crimes, which the law of the land would be powerless to prevent.
Mr. BURLINGAME. You are right in extending the freest toleration to every form of religion. All truth is in one, and in the end the truth will entirely prevail.
HANGKEE. As a proof of our liberality, I may mention that we are even now inviting Christian missionaries to become the teachers of our children; and if Christian churches ever produce better citizens than Buddhist, or Christian schools better scholars than the Confucionists, we shall gladly acknowledge their work. Our Emperor's respect for the forms, and unwillingness to allow their temples to be invaded, is neither superstition nor intolerance, but merely a politic arrangement by which he holds the Tartar tribes in willing subjection.
In conclusion, Hangkee begged Mr. Burlingame to use his influence to induce Mr. Wade to withdraw his demand, or at least to defer pressing it.
II.-Interview with Prince Kung, at the Foreign Office, March 3, 1865.
Mr. BURLINGAME. In taking leave of your Highness, it is pleasant to recollect the kindness and confidence with which I have been treated by your government since my residence among you.
PRINCE KUNG. It is not without sincere regret that we part with one whom we have found to be our true friend, and I cannot refrain from asking is it necessary that you should leave us? Are you recalled by the authority of your sovereign?
Mr. BURLINGAME. I am going home on temporary leave.
PRINCE KUNG. O, then we may expect to see you back again. Your President has a second term, and you ought to have another; as the books say, we like to change our clothes, but not our friends.
Mr. BURLINGAME. I certainly would return if I thought I could render your government any signal service.
PRINCE KUNG. But we will take no denial. We wish you to pledge yourself to return to us. If you are willing to resume your mission, you will join me in draining a glass in token of consent. (Mr. Burlingame, after a brief pause, takes the glass.) The covenant is ratified; friends are not allowed to forget a promise sealed by a glass of wine.
Mr. BURLINGAME. Perhaps, in my absence, I may serve you as effectually as I could if I were here.
PRINCE KUNG. We have been indebted to you on many occasions, and especially with regard to the English flotilla.
III.—Conversation with Tung Ta-jen, at the legation, March 6, 1865.
The day being slightly overcast, Prince Kung supposed it would be unsuitable for taking a sun picture, and deferred his visit until the next day. At an early hour, however, TungSeun came in; somewhat late he was joined by Hangkee and Chunlun. Before the arrival of the two last Mr. Burlingame gave Tung Ta-jen a few hints for the benefit of his govern
In the event, he said, of difficulties arising between the Chinese government and any representative of a foreign power, there were two methods by which they might be prevented from issuing in serious consequences
1. To make sure that they were in the right, and then to send copies of the whole correspondence to each of the other resident ministers, with a request that it might be published in their respective countries. The fear of public opinion would prove a wholesome safeguard against violent or unjustifiable proceedings.
2. To send a diplomatic mission to the west. Both of these Mr. Burlingame illustrated with considerable detail, and Tung Ta-jen appeared to appreciate their value.
In regard to the last, he remarked that his government is convinced of the necessity of sending envoys to western nations, and that some of the youth in the government school now receiving instruction from Tien Sien Hang (Dr. Martin) were expected to become qualified for serving as interpreters and secretaries to such embassies. Mr. Burlingame closed the conversation on this topic by wishing Tung the good fortune to be appointed chief of the first embassy to the western world. Certain it is that few among its great officials would represent the empire with more intelligence or dignity, or be more disposed to profit by what they might see in foreign lands.
Tung has taken a leading part in promoting the publication of Dr. Martin's translation of
Wheaton's International Law, and gave its pages the benefit of his own finished scholarship. On this occasion, when three mandarins sat for their photographs, Tung held in his hand a volume of the Chinese Wheaton, apparently ambitious of having his name associated with this work.
TUNG TA-JEN. You will be able to speak a word in our behalf, and correct misapprehensions that may exist concerning us in the countries through which you pass.
WEUSIANG. An impression seems to have gone abroad that we treat the envoys of foreign powers with a want of consideration. You will be able to testify that we heap on them all the attention which it is possible for us to bestow on our most honored guests.
TUNG TA-JEN. This impression has arisen from some of them having asked concessions which are contrary to our customs, and which we hesitated to comply with.
PRINCE KUNG. On many points our customs and those of the west are at variance so widely that is impossible to reconcile them.
TUNG TA-JEN. The ancient sages made it a maxim, when they visited a foreign state, to make careful inquiries, lest by chance they should transgress some of its prohibitions, or enter some places to which they were not allowed access.
Mr. BURLINGAME. I know what you refer to, and regret that there should be any misunderstanding in regard to it. It is not for me or any other foreign minister to dictate your internal policy, but a magnanimous and generous course will do most to extend your reputation and conciliate the good will of foreign countries.
WEUSIANG. The Prince's policy has never been otherwise than liberal and magnanimous. Mr. BURLINGAME. If, however, a case should occur in which you find it impossible to agree with the envoy of any nation, I am satisfied it would always be safe for you to submit the question to the judgment of a third party, and America, you know, is bound by treaty stipulation to act as your umpire in cases of international difficulty.
WEUSIANG. You are right in saying that we should be safe in submitting such questions, because we certainly should not venture to refer them to arbitrators unless we were sure of the soundness of our own position.
Mr. BURLINGAME. On the occurrence of such disputes you would do well to guard against mistaking an impatient or imperious manner for indications of hostile feeling. The kindest feelings are not inconsistent with some degree of outward irritation.
PRINCE KUNG. That is the reason why the ancients have cautioned us not to judge men by their outward aspect.
Mr. BURLINGAME. In leaving your capital I haye great pleasure in assuring your Highness that you will find in Dr. Williams, whom I leave to act in my stead, a true friend, on whom you may rely at all times-one who has devoted his life to the good of China.
PRINCE KUNG. Dr. Williams has been known to us for many years. He stands in no need of recommendation. We greatly prefer him to any stranger you might send us.
HANGKEE. He is patient and considerate. On one occasion we spent four hours at a stretch consulting with him on a single subject.
Mr. BURLINGAME. May I inquire for the health of his Majesty?
PRINCE KUNG. Be kind enough when you see the President to inform him that we return the compliment.
Mr. Burlingame now took leave, after fixing on a day for the Prince to make a farewell visit at the legation and arranging to have the Prince's likeness taken on that occasion.
IV. The Prince at the legation, March 7, 1865.
The Prince came, attended by all the members of the foreign board except one, who is at present somewhat under a cloud. He remained there three or four hours, but the time being consumed in having the likeness of himself and suite taken by Dr. Pogochoff, of the Russian legation, little was said worth recording. An incident, however, not unworthy of note, which offered us a pleasant relief from the commonplace of official visits and the monotony of business, was a poetical contest between two of the Prince's most distinguished followers-one a Chinese and the other a Manchu. Prince Kung having his attention attracted by a book of engravings, was desirous of knowing their meaning; and when told that each one was the subject of an ode, which was printed on the opposite page, he requested to hear the translation of one of these odes. Its leading ideas having been rendered orally by Dr. Martin, the Prince ordered Tung Seun to turn it into Chinese verse. Tung was not long in executing his task, and his neat little ode turned into English prose reads as follows:
FORGET ME NOT.
(Describing a picture.)
Two girls on shipboard sing a parting song: "Hearts are deep or shallow, constant or feeble: say not that friends are all alike;
For the true friend is only he
Of deep and enduring sympathy."
The Prince seemed pleased with the performance, and called for another ode, commanding Pan Yuen, a Manchu, and one of the highest officials in the government, to try his talent at verse. Pan's subject, selected by the Prince, was
THE WATER LILY.
(Also describing a picture.)
The theme was not so appropriate for the occasion, but in poetical merit his production was not inferior to that of his Chinese antagonist; it was as follows:
"We dwell together in a flowery clime;
The Red Lotus and White Lily,
Are alternate, trained about our bower.
Attests that we are children of immortality."
On taking leave, Prince Kung again reminded Mr. Burlingame how much he expected from the favorable representations he might be able to make in the different countries through which he would pass on his voyage homeward, and requested that he would allow three of the members of the foreign board to call again the next day.
V.-Visit of Weusiang, Tung, and Hangkee, to the legation, 8th, 1865.
These officers came, in accordance with their arrangement of the preceding day, and Mr. Burlingame commenced the conversation by producing a circular letter which he had published for the direction of our consuls in China. A part of this was rendered into Chinese, intheir hearing, that they might gather from it the leading principles of a policy agreed upon by the ministers of the treaty powers. It contains the following paragraphs:
"You will perceive that we are making an effort to substitute fair diplomatic action in China for force; that we seek to do justice that we may have justice, and thus co-operation becomes the rule in carrying out these relations.
"The policy is briefly this: To consult and co-operate in all material questions; to defend the treaty ports so far as shall be necessary to maintain our treaty rights; to support the foreign customs service in a pure administration, and upon a cosmopolitan basis; to encourage the Chinese government in its efforts to maintain order; to neither ask for, nor take conces sion of, territory in the treaty ports, nor in any manner to interfere with the jurisdiction of the Chinese government over its own people; nor even menace the territorial integrity of the Chinese empire."
These sentiments the Mandarins carefully copied, remarking that they quite anticipated the object of their visit, and comprehended the topic on which they had desired to confer. They accordingly soon took their leave, but not until they had placed in the hands of Mr. Burlingame a memorandum, once more protesting their innocence of any disrespect towards any foreign ministers, and again invoking his aid in correcting misapprehensions which might exist in countries he was to pass through.
Hangkee declared that, while the Chinese government treats all the ministers with respect, it had never given such a demonstration as in the present instance, in which the Prince Kung, and the highest officials had waited day after day at the American legation, and Weusiang and Tung, in parting with Mr. Burlingame, quoted the last line of Tung's sentimental ode
"For the true friend is only he
Of deep and enduring sympathy."
P. S.-The undersigned having acted as special interpreter on this occasion, has made the preceding notes from memory, and believes them to be substantially correct.
W. A. B. MARTIN.
PEKING, March 27, 1865.
NOTE FROM WEUSIANG, TUNGSIEN, AND HANGKEE. The Chinese government would not presume to treat anybody with disrespect, and their conduct towards the ministers from foreign countries has been even more respectful, and has been in the highest degree such as holds between equals. If we, as Chinese officers, should fail to treat them as we would honored guests, our minds would not be easy, (i. e. we should reproach ourselves for want of courtesy.) However, seeing that the customs of various nations differ more or less, and fearful that some of those who have intercourse with China may have the idea that she has not fulfilled all that courtesy requires, we very partic ularly request your excellency, on your way to the United States, to speak in our behalf in this respect to those various nations, and clearly explain to them that the Chinese government has not the least intention to trespass the rules of courtesy in their intercourse with them.
29 D C *