China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  It is obvious that,
with a view to the attainment of this object, the establishment of direct
communication with the - Page 350
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It Is Obvious That, With A View To The Attainment Of This Object, The Establishment Of Direct Communication With The

Imperial court at Pekin would be most desirable." The two points of radical disagreement between these views were that the

Chinese wished to deal with an official who thought exclusively of trade, whereas Lord Napier's task was not less diplomatic than commercial; and, secondly, that they expected him to carry on his business with the Hoppo, as the Company's agents had done, while Lord Napier was specially instructed to communicate with the viceroy, whom those agents had never dared to approach.

If it was thought that the Chinese would not realize all the significance of the change, those who held so slight an opinion of their clear- headedness were quickly undeceived. Lord Napier reached the Canton River in July, 1834, and he at once addressed a letter of courtesy to the viceroy announcing his arrival. The Chinese officers, after perusing it, refused to forward it to the viceroy, and returned it to Lord Napier. Such was the inauspicious commencement of the assumption of responsibility by the crown in China. The Chinese refused to have anything to do with Lord Napier, whom they described as "a barbarian eye," and they threatened the merchants with the immediate suspension of the trade. The viceroy issued an order forbidding the new superintendent to proceed to Canton, and commanding him to stay at Macao until he had applied in the prescribed form for permission to proceed up the river.

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