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No doubt the preservation of Cracow is a question of profound European importance,-nay, one of the most important of European questions. Her institutions were guaranteed by solemn treaties, and cannot be abrogated, save by common consent of all the contracting parties. To the protecting Powers she was of importance enough to lead them, at the Congress of Vienna, to give her an independent existence, that the balance might not be disturbed between their respective states. To England she both was and is of importance, even in no higher than a commercial point of view; and the interests of England, which have fallen with the destruction of her franchises, would rise with their reestablishment. The annual amount of English imports into Cracow falls not far short of eighty thousand pounds at this moment. And if the importance of Cracow in diplomatic or commercial respects is great to other European powers, what must it be to Poland, who sees in the Republic the last lingering traces of her own vitality, the last vestiges of a Polish nationality, everywhere else trampled down beneath the hoofs of a conqueror ?
One of the last important parliamentary demonstrations in favour of Cracow took place exactly a year ago. The French House of Peers, contrary to its usual custom, inserted a paragraph in defence of the rights of the republic, in the address carried in answer to the king's speech: one of the last Foreign Ministers in France, the Duke de Broglie, thought fit to renew the declaration, that the Government of France had protested against the violation of the indestructible rights of Poland and Cracow : that such remonstrances from one cabinet to another are not empty words, or such protests mere waste-paper; that they sanction the complaints of the oppressed and convert them into rights the moment the favourable opportunity occurs ; that they authorize the action which, without them, could not be permitted to take place; that they authorize us to refuse what otherwise we should be compelled to grant; and thus, step by step, we recover the lost ground, -seeing that true political wisdom consists in understanding how to proportion means to ends, the sacrifice made to the advantage to be gained, and knowing how to conquer with the least loss of men and money. (Moniteur Universel, Dec. 28th, 1838.) On the sth of January, 1839, one of the present French Cabinet Ministers made a similar
declaration in the Chamber of Deputies. On the 13th of +
January in the same year, Count Molé, President of the Council, on being warmly pressed, announced to the Chamber of Deputies his firm hope that Cracow would speedily be evacuated; and on the 18th, the ex-president of the Council, M. Thiers, reminded the Chamber of Deputies of the promises made by the Three Courts at the time of the occupationwhich was only to last for a few months. Could all this, we now ask, have occurred, had France and England, instead of
meagre demonstrations in their own popular assemblies, an + accredited organ in the Republic itself, -could their voice be
there made known by means of representatives, whom they have a perfect right to send? And let it not be forgotten that Cracow was to enjoy all the privileges of a Free Town; that according to the tenor of the treaties, she was to be even more independent of the Residents, than Frankfort is of the Germanic Confederation : now Frankfort not only has Residents, but has even concluded treaties of commerce, in direct opposition to the wishes of the Prussian Envoy.
On all these grounds we still do and shall continue to insist upon the immediate appointment of an English Resident at Cracow. If in 1856 even Lord Palmerston admitted the necessity of this step, and admitted it so far as to engage himself to make such an appointment, it has become only the more urgent in 1840, when successive encroachments have destroyed almost the last traces of nationality in the republic. Let us hope, for the honour and the material interests of this country, that the Government will not persist in abjuring the solemn rights which England herself has guaranteed; that it will no longer remain a passive spectator of the ruin of Cracow, and that it will send a diplomatic agent to that city. It is high time for us to redress the wrongs which have resulted from our almost total and most culpable ignorance of the si
tuation of affairs in Poland, and which we again assert is * mainly owing to our neglect of establishing official channels of
communication with Warsaw and Cracow.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN
1. The Canton Register. 1839. 2. The Canton Press. 1839. 3. Address of British Merchants trading at Canton to the
Right Honourable Lord Viscount Palmerston, Secretary
of State for Foreign Affairs. Canton, 23rd May, 1839. 4. The Iniquities of the Opium Trade with China ; being a
developement of the main causes which exclude the Merchants of Great Britain from the advantages of an unrestricted Commercial Intercourse with that vast Empire. By the Rev. A. S. THELWALL, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. London: W. H. Allen and Co.,
Leadenhall-street. 1839. 5. The Opium Question. By SAMUEL WARREN, Esq., F.R.S.,
of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. London: James
Ridgway, Piccadilly. 1840. 6. The Chinese Vindicated, or Another View of the Opium
Question; being in reply to a pamphlet, by Samuel
and Co. Leadenhall-street. 1840. THE commercial relations of Great Britain with China (for political relations she cannot be said to have any) are of so anomalous a kind, that, before entering upon the more immediate subject of this article, it will be necessary to make a few preliminary observations respecting them.
VOL. X.-No, XX.
In all other parts of the globe to which the spirit of commercial adventure has led us, finding nations or tribes of men in all degrees of civilization, one of two things has happened. We have either gone on trading with them till, some quarrel having arisen, our superior knowledge has enabled us easily to subdue them; or, finding them in a stage of civilization equal to, or not far short of our own, we have continued the commercial intercourse, regulated by certain rules recognised by a considerable portion of the nations of the earth which style themselves civilized. The former of these events has happened in the case of the nations of India, as well as of some African and American tribes; the latter, in the case of the European nations, and some of those of Asia and Africa which border on the Mediterranean. The case of the Chinese differs essentially from all these.
Our first intercourse with China dates as far back as the year 1637, only about twenty years later than that with India. It is unnecessary to trace, step by step, its history from that time to this. It will be sufficient to state the result, viz. that in those two hundred years we have rendered ourselves in India sovereigns of a country containing a population equal to more than half that of all Europe ; while in China we have not acquired a foot of territory, the acknowledgment of a single commercial relation on a footing of equality, nor the privilege of being viewed in
other light, or treated on any other footing by the government and people of the self-styled Celestial Empire, than as a pack of intrusive, mean, pedling, pettifogging barbarians. We do not use these terms rhetorically or for the purpose of calling up feelings of animosity towards the Chinese; to do so is not our object, as will sufficiently appear in the sequel. But we use them simply because they indicate a fact-and a fact which, with other facts, it is necessary to know, in order to understand the various bearings of the question which we are about to discuss.
It is very important towards arriving at right conclusions on this question, to form, as far as possible, correct notions respecting the condition of the people with whom we have to deal. The tendency is at present in this country rather to underrate the Chinese; the Jesuit missionaries who furnish
ed the early accounts of them greatly overrated them; and, as is usually the effect of a reaction,-because they and those who followed their accounts ascribed to the Chinese a very high degree of civilization, of advancement in wealth and power, and the sciences and the arts which tend to humanize life,—succeeding generations have gone to the opposite extreme, and have pictured to themselves the Chinese as a horde of miserable barbarians. This view is perhaps as far from the truth as the other.
We are not concerned to know for our present purpose what may be the particular attainments of the Chinese in literature and science; our business is with their social and political condition; to know, namely, whether that is sufficiently bad to warrant any interference on the part of the British Government with the view of improving it; for this after all is the question. There is no doubt but we could very much incommode the Chinese by blockading their coasts; that we could bombard some of their towns, demolish their forts, and destroy their shipping (such as it is); nay, that we could even march to Peking, and reduce it to a heap of ruins. But cui bono ? is the question that immediately arises. What should we get by it except a certain loss of ready money, and a contingent loss of many things besides ? Moreover, are we prepared to undertake, in addition to the hundred millions of our Indian subjects, the government of some three hundred millions of human beings, who now obey the Chinese Emperor, in such manner as to ensure them a larger portion of happiness than they now enjoy under the rule of his Celestial Majesty ? Among the Chinese, though the standards of enjoyment and knowledge may be, according to our notions, not very high, yet the means of both enjoyment and information, such as they are, are perhaps more equally distributed than among any people on the face of the earth. They are a most industrious people; and, what is particularly worth noticing, they are cheerful and happy in their industry. These facts, if they can be substantiated, are so important, that it seems worth while to adduce the best testimony that can be procured in regard to them. We therefore make the following extracts from Mr. Davis's work, which, from the long residence of the author in China, and his