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Art. IX.-Journal of Three Voyages along the Coast of China,

in 1831, 1832, and 1833; with Notices of Siam, Corea, and the Loo-Choo Islands. By Charles Gutzlaff. London. 12mo.

1834. IN N this little unpretending volume of the honest German, there

is abundance of new and curious matter, which, in the hands of one of our modern travellers, would most probably have swollen out into the size and shape of a portly quarto. But Mr. Gutzlaff is as entirely free from the art of amplification, material or thetorical, as he is from the ambition of fine writing: avoiding all learned disquisitions and elaborate descriptions, he contents himself with plain and simple statements of facts and occurrences, and with brief details of his conversations and intercourse with the people he visited, and among whom he occasionally resided. His extraordinary aptitude for acquiring not merely a knowledge of most of the ultra-Gangetic languages, but also of their various dialects, enabled him to converse freely with all descriptions of persons, from the highest to the lowest ranks; to the former of whom, some proficiency in the healing art gave him a more ready

Like to those well-intentioned men, who feel it a paramount duty to abandon their country and connexions, as voluntary exiles into foreign lands, to instruct the heathen in the principles and precepts of the Christian religion, Gutzlaff never suffered worldly matters to interfere with this duty, which he considered the great and primary object of his life; yet he appears to have been less scrupulous than some of his religious brethren in the means he employed to accomplish his ends. The Rev. W. Ellis, the author of the well-known Polynesian Researches,' informs us that

• Mr. Gutzlaff is a native of Stettin, in Prussia. In early life he gave indications of a spirit of adventurous enterprise, which was the means of procuring royal favour and patronage, which opened before him the fairest prospects in his native land; but these were to him less attractive than the privilege of preaching Christ to the heathen. Before proceeding to his distant field of labour, he visited England, became acquainted with many friends and supporters of missions, and among them Dr. Morrison, then on a visit to his native land, and displayed the most commendable diligence in seeking information likely to be useful in his future labours. The great Head of the Church appears to have endowed him with qualifications peculiarly suited to the important work to which his life is devoted. To a good constitution, and a frame capable of enduring great privations and fatigue, he unites a readiness in the acquisition of languages, a frankness of manner, and a freedom in communicating with the people, a facility in accommodating himself to his circumstances, blending so much of what appeared natural to the Chinese, with what was entirely new, that, while they hailed him in some parts of the coast as “ the child of the Western ocean," they professed to recognise him as a descendant of one of their countrymen, who had moved with the tide of emigration to some distant settlement.'— Introduction, pp. lxxxiii., lxxxiv.

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Mr. Gutzlaff left Singapore for Siam in the year 1828, and having passed six months there, returned to the former place, where he united himself in marriage with Miss Newell, who had been employed under the London Missionary Society in the superintendence of female schools. This lady appears to have been a second Mrs. Judson, and in all respects suited to be the companion of the joys and toils inseparable from the life of a missionary. In the year 1850, she accompanied him to Siam, where she entered cordially and successfully into all his pleasant pursuits-studying the languages of the people around them, administering to the sick, translating the Scriptures, and teaching both the rich and poor who came for instruction.' But in the course of one short twelvemonth, death removed this amiable woman from the side of her afficted husband. The great loss he bad sustained in the death of his beloved partner, a severe illness, and other circumstances, made him ansious to proceed on an intended voyage along the coast of China.

• The churches (says Mr. Ellis) of Christendom are under lasting obligations to this devoted missionary, for the exertions he has made to enter the empire of China, and to facilitate the more direct and extended communication of the gospel to its inhabitants. The enterprise was perilous in the highest degree ;--danger, not imaginary, but actual and imminent, threatened: he embarked alone, amidst coldblooded, treacherous barbarians; he went, emphatically, with his life in his hand ;—but his aim was noble; his object, in its magnitude and importance, was worthy of the risk; and its results will only be fully realized in eternity. No Christian will read the account of his feelings and views, when entering and pursuing his first voyage, without becoming sensible of the efficacy and the value of the motives which could impel him onward in such a career, and the principles which could support him amidst the trials it imposed. - Introduction,

p. lxxxvii.

A trade to a considerable extent is carried on in Chinese junks, of about three hundred tons' burden, between the coast of China and Siam, owned chiefly by Chinese residents at the latter place. In one of these junks, Mr. Gutzlaff took a passage, being the first European, we believe, that ever embarked in such a machine ; and the account he gives of the internal management and arrangement of these ancient craft of the Celestial Empire' is so novel and interesting, that we insert the whole :

• Chinese vessels have generally a captain, who might more properly be styled a supercargo. Whether the owner or not, he has


charge of the whole of the cargo, buys and sells as circumstances re, quire; but has no command whatever over the sailing of the ship. This is the business of the ho-chang, or pilot. During the whole voyage, to observe the shores and promontories are the principal objects which occupy his attention, day and night. He sits steadily on the side of the ship, and sleeps when standing, just as it suits his convenience. Though he has, nominally, the command over the sailors, yet they obey him only when they find it agreeable to their own wishes; and they scold and brave him, just as if he belonged to their own company. Next to the pilot (or mate) is the to-kung (helmsman), who manages the sailing of the ship: there are a few men under his immediate command. There are, besides, two clerks ; one to keep the accounts, and the other to superintend the cargo that is put on board. Also, a comprador, to purchase provisions; and a heang-kung, or priest, who attends the idols, and burns, every morning, a certain quantity of incense, and of gold and silver paper. The sailors are divided into two classes : a few, called low-muh, or head men, have charge of the anchor, sails, &c.; and the rest, called ho-ke, or comrades, perform the menial work, such as pulling ropes, and heaving the anchor. A cook and some barbers make the remainder of the crew.

• All these personages, except the second class of sailors, have cabins ; long, narrow holes, in which one may stretch oneself—but cannot stand erect. If any person wishes to go as a passenger, he must apply to the tow-muh, in order to hire one of their cabins, which they let on such conditions as they please. In fact the sailors exercise full control over the vessel, and oppose every measure which they think may prove injurious to their own interest; so that even the captain and pilot are frequently obliged, when wearied out with their insolent behaviour, to crave their kind assistance, and to request them to show a better temper.

• The several individuals of the crew form one whole, whose prin. cipal object in going to sea is trade, the working of the junk being only a secondary object. Every one is a shareholder, having the liberty of putting a certain quantity of goods on board; with which he trades, wheresoever the vessel may touch, caring very little about how soon she may arrive at the port of destination.

• The common sailors receive from the captain nothing but dry rice, and have to provide for themselves their other fare, which is usually very slender. These sailors are not, usually, men who have been trained up to their occupation; hut wretches, who were obliged to flee from their homes; and they frequently engage for a voyage before they have ever been on board a junk. All of them, however stupid, are commanders ; and if anything of importance is to be done, they will bawl out their commands to each other, till all is utter confusion. There is no subordination, no cleanliness, no mutual regard or interest.'-pp. 54-57. Though the Chinese are in possession of their own original


compass,--the property of the magnet having been well known to them, as it would appear, ages before the discovery of it in Europe, —their navigation is still confined to the practice of coasting from one headland to another: they have no sea charts. In contrary winds or stormy weather, their chief trust is in the goddess of the sea, who is named Matsoo-po, and with whose image every vessel is furnished. Carefully shut up in a shrine, and before it a lamp perpetually kept burning, cups of tea, and other offerings, are daily ministered. The care of the goddess is intrusted to the priest, who never ventures to appear before her with his face unwashed. The gross superstitions of the seamen, in which they have been educated, may admit of palliation ; but the worthy missionary's account of their immoral character and conduct places them in a most disgusting point of view :

The Chinese sailors are, generally, from the most debased class of people. The major part of them are opium-smokers, gamblers, thieves, and fornicators. They will indulge in the drug till all their wages are squandered; they will gamble as long as a farthing remains ; they will put off their only jacket and give it to a prostitute. They are poor and in debt; they cheat and are cheated by one another, whenever it is possible ; and when they have entered a harbour, they have no wish to depart till all they have is wasted, although their families at home may be in the utmost want and distress.'- p. 61.

Gutzlaff describes his cabin as a hole only large enough for a person to lie down in, and to receive a small box.' His six fellow-passengers were all gamblers, opium-smokers, and versed in every species of villany. The principal officers of the ship were also in a constant state of stupor from inhaling the fumes of opium. It is only surprising that any of these floating machines, considering the ignorance, the confusion, and disorder that are said to prevail therein, ever arrive at their place of destination; no wonder that vast numbers of them are wrecked every year. The one in question, however, succeeded in coasting up to the Tartarian gulf of Leau-tong, and returned in safety. On reaching Namoh, on the coast of Fokien, the following heart-sickening scene was exhibited :

* As soon as we had anchored, numerous boats surrounded us, with females on board, sone of them brought by their parents, husbands, or brothers. I addressed the sailors who remained in the junk, and hoped that I had prevailed on them, in some degree, to curb their evil passions. But, alas! no sooner had I left the deck, than they threw off all restraint; and the disgusting scene which ensued, might well have entitled our vessel to the name of Sodom. The sailors, unmindful of their starving families at home, and distracted, blinded, stupified by sensuality, seemed willing to give up aught and every thing they possessed, rather than abstain from that crime which entails misery, disease, and death. Having exhausted all their previous earnings, they become a prey to reckless remorse and gloomy despair. As their vicious partners were opium-smokers and drunkards by custom, it was necessary that strong drink and opium should be provided; and the retailers of these articles were soon present to lend a helping hand. Thus, all these circumstances conspired to nourish vice, to squander property, and to render the votaries of crime most unhappy.'--p. 88.

Mr. Gutzlaff, however, consoles himself, in some measure, that, amidst such abominations, the feeble voice of exhortation was not entirely disregarded, and that some individuals willingly followed his advice-penetrated with a sense of guilt, and covered with shame. His visitors were very numerous : to some he distributed medicines, and to others the word of life. On shore, he observed most of the inhabitants in a state of great poverty, and many famishing for want of food, who greedily seized, and were thankful for, the smallest quantities of rice. Many, again, urged on by extreme poverty, had no other resource left than to become pirates, with whom the whole coast of China is infested, and who, during the night, frequently rob and plunder the trading junks in the harbours. We could not have imagined that anything so deplorable could exist in the general condition of the people in the maritime provinces of this great empire, along such a great extent of coast—an empire in which, according to the often-quoted eulogy of the Jesuit missionaries, 'the hungry are fed, the naked clothed, the aged honoured ; and wherein all is happiness and harmony, under the most wise and benevolent government on the face of the earth, whose rulers watch over the people committed to their charge with parental solicitude. The authors of the Encyclopédie des Connoissances Humaines, carried away by the florid and laudatory reports of the Catholic missionaries, persuaded themselves, or wished to persuade the world, that

the Chinese, who, by common consent, are superior to all the Asiatic nations in antiquity, in genius, in the progress of the sciences, in wisdom, in government, and in true philosophy, may, moreover, in the opinion of some writers, enter the lists, on all these points, with the most enlightened nations of Europe.' The sagacious Pauw of Berlin, however, took a very different view of the Chinese character; and the embassy of Lord Macartney stripped it of much of that false glare which had been thrown around this paragon of nations by the Jesuit missionaries at the court of Pekin.

If tried only by the single test of their conduct and feelings with regard to the softer sex, the Chinese,' on this ground alone, could not be considered in any other light than as barbarians.


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