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e impression moving, or soat eventful period, every
selves, for what they doubtless thought a most justifiable cause, brought violence in return; and the bloody, protracted strife of nearly eight years succeeded. So far as the events of war are concerned, that struggle does not fall within the range of present considerations. But we may, with truth, appeal to every patriot,-yes, to every human heart, —whether, in all that eventful period, there are any scenes so moving, or so well adapted to fix an indelible impression of the greatness of that cause,—that truth which was then sustained, -as the scenes of suffering there evinced. We can but allude to a single one, nor does it need a minute delineation. It was the time when Philadelphia was possessed by the army of the enemy, the Congress of the Colonies dispersed, and the miserable huts of Valley Forge contained all that could be relied on as defenders of the country, and they were in circumstances such as beggars the power of language to describe its wretchedness. Starving for food, shivering in unclad nakedness, and leaving at each step their tracks of blood, from feet bared to the rough, frozen ground! Let the father, who would give to his children some deep and abiding sense of the estimated worth of civil liberty, lead them to view the scenes of Valley Forge; and a more salutary effect will be wrought by it, than by the spiritstirring chronicle of glorious war, its battles, victories, and triumphs. There will he see the American Fabius, in that darkest hour of the night which gave a nation birth. He, too, the noble, princely Virginian, born and nurtured in affluence, with the bright scenes of wealth and honor all opened to him in another direction, voluntarily turns from them all, and, with the humblest of his soldiers, grapples with privation and suffering, bearing thus his martyr testimony. To our eye and heart, he is then more dear, more noble, than when the proud Cornwallis was humbled at his feet, and the exulting shouts of a young and grateful nation hailed him as conqueror and deliverer. We will produce but one instance more; and that,-so unpatriotic is our present mood,-shall be taken from a foreign land. He was the son of one of England's valiant and noble lords, distinguished for deeds of high renown in the bright annals of the proud mistress of the sea. This princely scion of a noble stock begins his career in acts of goodness; and, wonderful infatuation !
man was hises of men colon, Patrimony Can it Beises, see
he seems bent on martyrdom in its promotion. Persecutions, imprisonments, the royal frown, and, what would be more keenly felt by an ingenuous mind, a father's reprobation, cannot deter him from the strange frenzy, that "it is better to save men's lives than to destroy them." His plan of life, and all his enterprises, seem formed on the same wild infatuation. Can it be credited ? he even lavished an ample patrimony, in the quixotic scheme of planting a colony in a remote region, and among a race of men reputed, by most, ferocious. So great was his short-sightedness, and his ignorance of human nature, that he seems to have expected, or perhaps barely hoped, that half naked and blood-thirsty savages would understand his benevolent disposition, and not molest him and his followers. He actually gave up his own life to this danger, to leave a beacon monument to deter the rest of the world from ever acting on his impracticable and absurd principle “of not fighting, but suffering.” That man was William Penn. Near where we pen these lines, stood the venerable elm, the treaty tree. The second city of this great nation, in all its beauty, and order, and incipient magnificence, was the scene of his peaceful counsels; and the noble Commonwealth that bears his name, with her million and a half of free, prosperous, and happy citizens, is the tangible memorial of the wisdom and efficiency of the martyr spirit. B.
1. Die Erdkunde von Asien, von Carl Ritter, Band I,
pp. 1143; Berlin, 1832. II, pp. 1203; 1833. III, pp.
1244; 1834. IV, — 1838. The Geography of Asia. By CHARLES RITTER. 4 vols.,
8vo. Berlin, 1832–1838. 2. Taschen-Bibliothek der wichtigsten und interessantesten Sec-und Land-Reisen durch China, mit Landkarten, Planen, Portraits, und anderen Abbildungen, verfasst von Mehren Gelhrten und herausgegben, von J. H.
Jäck. Theil I, Nurnberg, 1827–1829. Theil II, 1830. Pocket Library of the most important and interesting
Travels and Voyages in China, with Maps, Plates, foc., prepared by several Authors, and edited by J. H. JÄCK,
Royal Librarian at Bamberg. 2 vols. 1827—1830. 3. The Chinese; a General Description of China and its
Inhabitants. By John Francis Davis, Esq., F. R. S., &c. In 2 vols. pp. 383—440, in Harper's Family Library. New York. 1836. 4. China; its State and Prospects, with especial Reference
to the Spread of the Gospel, containing Allusions to the Antiquity, Extent, Population, Civilization, Situation and Religion of the Chinese. By W. H. Medhurst, of the London Missionary Society. pp. 465. Boston. Crocker & Brewster. 1838.
THERE are three general sources of information respecting China,—the accounts of early travellers and the Jesuit missionaries, those of modern ambassadors, protestant missionaries and Canton merchants, and the newly opened treasures of native Chinese literature. In mentioning the last by itself, we do not intend to imply, that it has, in point of fact, been entirely distinct from the two former; but that the modern French and Russian schools of Chinese literature under such men as Remusat, Klaproth, Humbolt, and Schmid, have a depth, variety, and completeness in their researches, to be found no where else, and have thrown a flood of new light upon China, not afforded by the incidental and insulated labors of their predecessors. It is to the joint results of these three classes of productions, that we are indebted for any clear and comprehensive views which we may entertain of China. We ought not, as inquirers after truth, to be prejudiced against either of these sources of our information; and, for ourselves, we are far from sympathizing with any of those residents or missionaries, at Canton and its vicinity, who affect to smile at the laudatory strain of the Jesuit accounts of China. It should be remembered, that those great men, who carried science, if not religion, to Pekin, were so kindly received, and so highly honored at court, as to lead them naturally, and even necessarily, to see the bright side of things. Later observers at Canton and Macao have been treated with such indignity, and have suffered so much odium among that part of the Chinese with whom they have had intercourse, as to cause them to charge their picture of China with far deeper shades. Froin what we know of human nature, we may assume it as true the world over, that travellers or residents in a foreign country will interweave, in their descriptions, blessing or cursing, very much according to the treatment they have personally received. The two English writers under review are among the few nobler spirits which can rise above those influences that generally produce an unfavorable bias.
There are many respects in which the early travellers and missionaries had a decided advantage over those of the present age. Nor must we allow ourselves to be blinded by the remark, that some of our recent authors have been residents in China for more than twenty years. It would be as true, were it said that they were excluded from China, during those twenty years. Have not they, in common with all other Europeans, been kept from the heart of the empire, and confined, under very great restrictions, to Canton and a few small islands ? Even the embassies to Pekin are nothing but a repetition of the same journey on the imperial road from Canton to the capital; and when voyages have been made along the coast,
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nearly all the intercourse with the inhabitants has been at brief intervals, and by stealth. Besides, the vigilance of the whole government, with an unparalleled system of police, is concentrated upon that single point of contact with Europeans at Canton. What can be learned of China, as a whole, and especially of the interior and western parts, by those who are thus kept in a constant state of quarantine? Shall an estimate be made of Chinese character, from such a specimen as the Hong merchants, those licensed speculators, who are authorized to regard the barbarians as fair game? As well might a foreign traveller make his estimate of our social condition, judging by the boatmen he might see on our great western canal. Another kindred error is, that of having intercourse with intriguing mandarins,-a most extraordinary, and altogether unique class of individuals,—and of applying epithets that are descriptive only of them, to the whole nation. There is no more resemblance nor sympathy, between the artificial and fraudulent mandarins, and the plain, simple, and honest-hearted people, than there is between the nobility and the common people of Europe.
These errors have generally arisen not so much from the fault of the writers, as from the infelicity of their position. Now compare all this with the opportunities of Marco Polo and the early catholic missionaries, who were treated by the government as favorites, who travelled in all directions, and observed every form of society and lived in the interior of the country; and it will appear obvious, that their accounts of China would naturally be the fullest and most satisfactory. A proof, that the facts are as might be anticipated, appears in the circumstance, that there has not been information enough respecting the interior, even to follow and understand M. Polo; and after all that Marsden, the ablest of his commentators could do, it remained for Klaproth to learn the truth from Chinese and other oriental authors, and thus confirm and illustrate the statements of the noble Venetian, and refute many of the conjectures of the English commentator. The fact here stated, is but a fair sample of the relative state of Chinese learning in England, and on the continent of Europe. France and Russia have had their schools of Chinese literature, and have raised up native and German