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the same order, as the distribution of suicides perpetrated in the five divisions in respect of the amount of population.
In the explanation which is appended to the table just alluded to, the author shews, that, of the suicides committed in the department of the Seine, where they are most numerous, there appears to be one suicide for every three thousand six hundred inhabitants; whilst, in the department of the Haute Soire, where the crime is less frequent, this proportion does not amount to more than one in one hundred and sixty-three thousand inhabitants ! A singularly curious inference is to be drawn from a consideration of the facts presented in another of the author's graphic representations, namely, that which arises from the circumstance, that, from whatever confine of France an inquirer proceeds to the capital, he will find, as he approaches it, that the number of suicides increases by a regular gradation; so that, in those departments which are near the Seine and Marne, the traveller will discover that more suicides have been committed than in those more remote from the metropolis, such as the departments of Lower Seine, of Aube, and Soiret. The same observation applies as forcibly to Marseilles, which is, in some measure, the capital of certain departments in the South of France. The more these districts are in the vicinity of Marseilles, the greater the amount in them of suicides as compared with the number of the population.
A curious fact has been elicited in the examination of the French registers of crime, from which it appears that those divisions of the kingdom of France in which the most frequent attempts have been made to commit murder, are those divisions exactly where the crime of suicide is most rare, and it has been further proved that precisely the reverse of this law takes place in other departments, namely, that, where suicides are numerous in proportion to the amount of the population, there the number of murders committed by individuals on others is considerably diminished. One peculiarity is mentioned by the author as being connected with cases of suicide, which is, that we
are much oftener enlightened as to the cause of it than we are upon
the motives of most others, and it is rarely the case that any person sets about the crime of self-destruction without leaving in writing, or in some other way the expression of his last wishes, together with an explanation of the causes of the rash act, which most generally he seeks to justify.
It will be seen from this slight sketch, that the work of M. Guerry forms a very valuable contribution to the important science of criminal statistics. The performance abounds with all the tokens of ability, judgment, ingenuity, and industry; and we sincerely hope that the example of the author will succeed in provoking men of corresponding faculties in other countries to apply their minds to similar inquiries.
ART. IV.- Report of Proceedings on a Voyage to the Northern
Ports of China, in the Ship Lord Amherst. Extracted from papers, printed by order of the House of Commons relating to
the Trade with China, 1 vol. 8vo. London: Fellowes. 1833. It were to be wished that the publishers of this volume had preceded the present Report by some explanation of the origin and objects of the voyage to which it relates. All that we can possibly glean indirectly from many parts of the work, throws very little light upon this subject, or rather tends very much to perplex us in our speculations as to the real cause and bearing of the expedition. The sum of what we can collect upon this head is simply this, that the Amherst, with Mr. Lindsay and the Rev. Mr. Gutzlaff on board, sailed from Bengal in February, 1832, for the Northern ports of China; that she was laden with a cargo of broad cloth, camlets, calico, cotton, and other goods; and, from some passages in the Report, it is also to be inferred that the vessel was. fitted out by the authority of the East India Company, for the purpose of an experiment, which had for its object to ascertain generally the state of the country, and particularly the disposition of the Chinese people to trade with foreign nations, in spite of the prohibition which had been immemorially established by the obstinate government of that empire. It is exceedingly probable that this is the true view of the case; at least, there is no circumstance stated in the report which can be deemed inconsistent with such a view; nevertheless, it would have been only proper in the publishers to have taken the little pains that might have been necessary to remove all doubt upon a point which was so obviously essential to the whole purpose of the publication. Assuming, therefore, for a certainty, that we have made out a conclusion as to the nature of the expedition, we proceed at once to the very curious, and we believe they will prove ultimately very important, details of this voyage to the Northern coast of China.
After the party had gained sight of the coast for which the ship was destined, they met with a series of very adverse weather, which obliged them repeatedly to anchor in convenient positions near the coast. On all these occasions they landed and made excursions into the adjoining country, and, upon the whole, were greatly pleased with their reception. They either walked in a body, or proceeded up the rivers, in boats, to the cities or towns, and in the coolest manner, not only entered them, but walked up to the Mandarin's house for the purpose of explaining who they were. Now, the general notion which we had hitherto entertained of any attempt on the part of a foreigner to get into the precincts of China, was, that at once he met with an obstacle, and was driven back by main force. Perhaps the impression all over the world that this was actually the case, may explain the infrequency of such attempts ; for, that they were very rare is readily proved by the fact that wherever the party from the ship made its appearance before the inhabitants, it was looked upon with utter amazement, and was followed by crowds through the streets, as a spectacle entirely new and inexplicable. It occurs, however, uniformly, that the Mandarins and other Chinese individuals in authority, showed the greatest uneasiness at the presence of the “barbarians” as they were every where designated; and the party never failed to be told by these officers that they must depart without delay. The two gentlemen, Messrs. Lindsay and Gutzlaff enjoyed the extraordinary advantage of a knowledge of the Chinese, and it was to this circumstance that the whole of their unparalelled success was owing; for, it was by their remonstrances and threats, firmly and manfully made, that they induced the Chinese to listen to them: and the proofs which they met with of the facility of making an impression on the inhabitants, present us with an entirely new and auspicious view of their character. It was altogether by this acquisition of the language that the party were able to guide their ship through the dense mass of junks stationed round the ports, and in which they found Chinese officers always ready on their arrival to insist upon their departure, but also exceedingly disinclined, after a few moments expostulation, to carry their menaces into effect. However, in all cases without exception, the party found that any spirit of opposition by which they were annoyed, was wholly confined to persons in authority; the great body of the people in the towns and villages which they visited, not only not joining in acts of hostility, but actually emulating each other in efforts to conciliate and compliment the strangers. Thus, at Shin Tseun, a walled town, built on the left bank of a considerable river of the same name, where the party remained for several days, they were every where surrounded by crowds of wondering inhabitants, whose demeanour was uniformly kind and polite. The little they had was readily offered to the party; and in the villages it was frequently a contest among them who should prevail on the strangers to enter their cottage and partake of their humble fare.
The villagers seemed quite suprised when told the party would be delighted to see them on board their ship; and, the day after their arrival, many availed themselves of our offer, bringing off fish and vegetables. Both here and at Cup-chee several poor people profited by Mr. Gutzlaff's medicines.
The various excursions to which we have been hitherto alluding, were made on a line of coast which circumscribes the northern portion of the province of Canton. The Amherst proceeded forwards, and came at length to the island of Namo, which is the second Chinese naval station of Canton. The island itself is divided geographically into two divisions, the one being in Canton, and the other in the province of Fokien. Here the party met with the strongest proofs of the jealousy and suspicion of the
mandarins. Wishing, says Mr. Lindsay, to go on board one of their war-junks, we were refused admission, under pretence that the admiral had issued positive orders that no one should hold the slightest communication with us.' There were several large trading vessels wind-bound here, and on sailing past one we went on board by the express invitation of her commander, an intelligent and respectable person, who received us with the greatest cordiality. We had been here but few minutes, before no less than three small war-boats with mandarins joined us, and at first commenced angrily upbraiding the captain for entering into communication with barbarians. An interesting and amusing conversation followed, in which we soon found, that, though our opponents were very ready to commence with violent and angry words, yet that a mixture of independent and good-humoured
argument very soon lowered their tone, and they ended by apologizing for the uncivil reception we had met with: the blame they threw entirely on their superiors; and we then spent half an hour talking on various subjects in the most friendly manner.
The point which seemed to puzzle them most, and indeed gave them most uneasiness, was hearing foreigners converse in their own language, and show some knowledge of their local institutions and geography. It was, however, decided among them that Mr. Gutzlaff was a Chinese from Amoy; and one of them asked me, in a confidential way to confess that their surmise was true. I took some trouble to explain to him, that, far from such being the case, the gentleman had only been six years out of Europe, and previously to that was perfectly unacquainted with the language. Having given all the information required for a report to the mandarins, we parted on friendly terms, the chief man saying to me, " We shall report you to be well-disposed persons, who thoroughly understand the rules of propriety.” Much regret was also expressed at their not daring to avail themselves of my invitation to visit the ship.
In short, wherever the party landed, or to whatever place they proceeded from the coast, they received marks of kindness from the natives. Those whom they met from time to time in the province of Canton, made repeated inquiries of them for opium. The calicoes appeared to attract most notice amongst the poorer classes. The party proceeded from the coast of Canton to that of Fokien, and cast anchor within a mile of the town of Amoy, a celebrated emporium of commerce. The district where this enterprising town is situated, is one of the most barren in China, and is dependent for the necessaries of life on the neighbouring island of Formosa- this being aptly denominated the granary of the eastern coast of China. The arrival of the party at Amoy created a great sensation amongst all classes; and scarcely half an hour passed from the time the ship weighed anchor, before three separate parties of mandarins, sent by the authorities, visited the Amherst, to inquire into the objects which had brought her to their port. They showed a strong desire to resist the strangers in their attempt at landing, but still were so influenced by the sharp remonstrances of Messrs. Lindsay and Gutzlaff, that they excused themselves by saying they were messengers of a communication in the spirit of which they did not sympathize. However, the messages to the ship, and the warnings and threats still continued from day to day, and additional war-junks and boats were sent down to strengthen the state force which was to prevent the strangers from carrying their avowed purpose of landing. But the latter had the prudence to persevere, and they subsequently visited the town without any great opposition, and were welcomed by the numerous inhabitants, who surrounded them in great crowds, and were most kind in their manner. They soon received a government proclamation commanding their immediate departure; but, as they appeared unwilling to move, some mandarins informed Mr. Lindsay, that, if he wished to have an audience of his Excellency the Tetuh of the province, he should be gratified. An interview was accordingly appointed, previously to which Mr. Lindsay sent up a petition to explain the character and objects of the mission. At the hour prescribed for the interview, a messenger from the mandarins came to request the attendance of the strangers, who accordingly proceeded to the place already agreed upon, which was a temple on the shore fronting the ship. The description of the proceedings of this meeting is highly interesting, and we shall therefore insert it in the language of Mr. Lindsay himself.
About 500 troops were drawn up along the beach, making as great a display of numbers as possible, most of them being in a single file. A vast crowd of people covered the beach and the sides of the adjoining hills, presenting a very interesting and animating spectacle. We were received by Le Laouyay, and several other mandarins with white and gold buttons, and by them ushered through a double line of troops to the principal hall of the temple, where a party of ten mandarins were seated in a semi-circle to receive us. The outer hall of the temple was filled with military officers in full uniform, with bows and arrows. The party seated consisted of the tetuh and tsung-ping, both military mandarins, with red buttons; the funfoo, a civilian of the sixth rank; and several others, with blue buttons, of military rank.
• The tetuh was a stout old man, with a weather-beaten countenance and an open good-natured expression. I delivered my letter into his hands, which he opened, and commenced reading with the funfoo who sat next to him. We withdrew to a little distance, and, seeing that no chairs were offered, I signified my intention not to remain standing before the tribunal, on which we were requested to go into an adjoining apartment, were tea and refreshments were handed to us. In a short time we were requested to return, and the tetuh then addressed me, stating, that it was their wish to treat us with the greatest kindness, as our two nations were on friendly terms; but that we could not be permitted to remain where we
VOL. IV.NO. I.