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XVI. LIFE IN ENGLAND, 1860 . . . .53

XVII. EN DISPONIBILITE, 1861-1862 . . 75

XVIII. ATHENS, 1862-1863 ..... 103


1864 ....... 128

XX. BERNE, 1864-1866 ...... 155

XXI. LIFE AT BERNE, 1866-1868 . . . .188

XXII. ST. PETERSBURG, 1868-1869 . . .228

XXIII. LIFE IN RUSSIA, 1870-1871. . . .263

XXIV. CONSTANTINOPLE, 1871-1873 . . .299

INDEX . .341




MARCH soon came round, and, with it, the time ap-
pointed for our departure for the East. On the nth
we left Paris by the morning express to Marseilles.
Mr. Bruce, Alexander Bower St. Clair (second Paid
Attache to the Legation), and Hugh Wyndham l
(Unpaid Attache), then still quite a youth, made up
our party, and we also had with us " Punch " Vyse,
whom Lord Malmesbury had just transformed from
a captain in the Blues into a Vice-Consul in Japan.
Admiral Sir James Hope, who was going out to take
command of the China station, also travelled with
us from Paris with his flag-captain, Willes, and
the rest of his staff. The superstitious might have
noted that our commencing the journey on a Friday
was ominous of the ill-success that was to attend
our expedition. Early on the I2th we were on
board the Ellora P. and (). steamer, and on our

1 Sir decree Hugh Wyndliam, K.C.M.O., C.B., late Minister at



way to Alexandria. Lovely weather we had, the
dreaded Golfe du Lion treating us exceptionally
well for the time of year, and we had hardly shaken
down in our berths before we found ourselves off
Malta on the evening of the I4th. It was late when
we landed here, and Valetta, with its marvellously
picturesque bastions and ancient buildings, and its
staircase-lanes and streets, looked its best in the
broad moonlight. We spent the greater part of the
night chaffering at Jew stalls for local rubbish,
supping with hospitable officers at one of the
Alberghi, and rowing round the line-of-battle ships
that lay slumbering in the Great Harbour, cast-
ing the inky shadows of their giant hulls and
all the delicate tracery of their spars and rigging
on the rippling silver about them. With daybreak
we were once more on our way, three days of
roughish weather bringing us to Alexandria on
the morning of the i8th.

Of the well-beaten track we were now following,
I will only say that it stands out in my memory as
a fragment of some gorgeous dream, so splendid in
colouring and so unreal appeared the world into
which I was now ushered. Those alone who tread
the soil of the East for the first time can form any
conception of my impressions. The railway from
Alexandria to Cairo and Suez has, of course,
deprived the passage through Egypt of most of
its Oriental glamour. Yet, even set in the com-
monplace frame of a railway-carriage window, the


changing views of the most mysterious of rivers,
the Arab villages nestling in clumps of date-trees,
the strings of camels in single file sharply cut out
against a background of crudest blue and ochre
blazing sky above and sun-baked sand below-
made up a succession of pictures not to be for-
gotten. Ineffaceable, too, is the recollection of our
drive up to the Citadel just about sunset ; when
the beautiful Mosque of Mehemet Ali was being
lighted up with myriads of coloured lamps in
honour of some high festival ; when the faithful
came flocking up in every variety of Eastern garb ;
and, down below, the fairy city and the boundless
tawny plain that girdles it were darkening fast as
night sped onwards from the land of Goshen and
the wilderness of Sinai.

Our party was now completed by De Normann,
our first Paid Attachd, who had come round by the
direct steamer from Southampton, and who, poor
fellow ! was to meet, a brief eighteen months later,
with so tragical a fate. A morning at the Pyramids
and an afternoon in the Bazaar completed our ex-
periences of Cairo, and the next day at noon we
were struggling units in the strange motley mass
of humanity that crowded the decks of the Calcutta-
bound steamer. The Simla was a large vessel of
famous speed in those days, and we favoured ones
were well berthed on board of her, but from the
torments of thirst we underwent in her from Suez
to Point de Galle may my worst enemy be preserved !


By some gross neglect the supply of ice had not been
renewed at Calcutta on her last trip, so that, all
down the suffocating Red Sea, and across the swelter-
ing stretch of the Indian Ocean, every drop of liquid
we imbibed was nauseously tepid. We touched, of
course, at Aden where I got half a sunstroke
and, in the small hours of April 6, anchored in the
roadstead of Point de Galle.

I rubbed my eyes doubtless roused by the
clatter of boatmen's tongues and, looking through
the cabin port, experienced a singular sensation. In
front of me lay a long, low line of land, clothed and
crested with foliage of a luxuriance to which my eye
was perfectly unaccustomed. The buildings on the
shore were new to me in shape and aspect ; so were
the trees most conspicuous amongst them the
feathery cocoa-palm ; so were the strange outrigger
canoes plying to and fro on the glittering water ;
so were the semi-nude, dusky, womanish creatures
who clustered round the ship in their boats, grinning
and chattering ; so were the fruits and wares that
filled their baskets mangoes and bananas and man-
gostcens, trifles made of porcupine quills and plaited
straw and ivory and ebony ; so was, in short, each
distinctively tropical feature in this most tropical of
scenes. Yet, as I scanned the prospect and took it
all in, it seemed to me familiar even in its details ;
I felt somehow that I knew it all. Not in the ordi-
nary way in which we recognise objects once seen
and then forgotten ; but with that sudden, vivid sense


of remembrance with which a new place we come
to, or a word said or heard, the accidental grouping
of persons, the slightest action, the mere turn of
a sentence, flashes upon us as belonging to some
former period of existence. Most persons have ex-
perienced the strange sensation without perhaps
pondering over its mysteries. Of course, in the
present case, the explanation was not far to seek.
The first four years of my life had been passed in
India amidst similar surroundings, and although I
had lost all recollection of the scenes on which my
infant eyes had gazed unconsciously, no doubt the
memories which for five-and-twenty years had slum-
bered in some corner of my brain were now suddenly
evoked by the sight before me.

Ceylon was a place of no ordinary interest to
me, for here I owned a few acres of land which
I had never as yet visited. Mr. Bruce kindly sug-
gested that I should remain in the island till the
departure of the following China steamer a fortnight
later, and as St. Clair was still suffering from a sharp
attack of dysentery which had developed in the Red
Sea, it was further arranged that he too should stay
here for the same period to recover ; carte blanche being
given me to bring him on with me or not as I thought
most advisable. At Galle we found II. M.S. Furious
waiting for us with Lord Elgin on board of her. To
one of his staff, Laurence Oliphant, we brought the
sad tidings of his father's death. The Envoy brothers
passed a day in consultation over the affairs of the


Empire which the one had just left and to which
the other was bound, and next morning departed on
their several ways Lord Elgin for Suez and home,
and Mr. Bruce, with De Normann and Wyndham,
for Singapore, where the Magicienne, steam frigate,
Captain Nicholas Vansittart, was waiting to take
the Mission on to Hong-Kong. As for me, I
left St. Clair installed, and well looked after,
at the Queen's House at Galle, and, accompanied
by my faithful Italian valet, Perrini, took coach
up country.

Next to Java, Ceylon is reputed the most pic-
turesque and luxuriant of tropical islands. The old
road from Galle to Colombo, and from Colombo to
Kandy, certainly abounds in beautiful prospects, the
European eye being at first quite dazzled by the rich-
ness of colouring and lavish wealth of the vegetation.
In those days, too, the journey afforded all the
charms of coaching, with a spice of risk to one's
bones into the bargain which must have contented
the most blase of travellers. So vicious and ill-broken
were the horses, that at most of the post-stations it
took at least five minutes to start them, after which
they were almost beyond control for the rest of the
stage. One of these wretched, plunging, jibbing
brutes doubtless maddened by a long course of ill-
usage at the hands of mongrel Portuguese drivers-
jumped clean over the wooden parapet of a bridge we
were crossing, and, remaining suspended by his collar,
was only saved from strangulation by everything being


cut away, and his being allowed to drop into the
shallow stream below. Another deliberately ran at
a tree by the roadside and upset the coach with all
its contents into the ditch below. We were none of
us hurt, and fortunately the vehicle was very light
a kind of open break, or char a bane, with a roof to
it for we had to raise it ourselves, not one of the
lazy Cinghalese who crowded round us vouchsafing
to lend a hand. At Colombo I was the guest of
Messrs. Wilson & Ritchie, and at Kandy of Mr.
Simon Keir, of the house of Keir, Dundas & Co.,
estate agents, who had the general superintendence
of the property I had come to visit. Ceylon is
essentially a Scotch colony, and, beneath its glowing
skies, the hospitality dispensed by the shrewd, hard-
working merchants and planters attains proportions
unknown even in the land of cakes.

It is but a few hours' drive from Kandy to
Pusilava, in which then most favoured of coffee-
growing districts lay the Melfort Estate in which I
was interested. Pusilava lies a few miles above
Kandy in a hilly range rising to 1500 or 2000 feet,
the lower slopes of which, at the time I speak of, were
covered by a succession of coffee plantations, since
entirely destroyed by the fatal leaf disease. The
effect of great masses of the beautiful shrub, covered
just then with blossom of snowy white, and over-
shadowed by splendid clumps of tropical forest trees,
with the white buildings and stores belonging to the
different estates dotted about here and there, was


quite enchanting, while the trimly-kept roads and
the various signs of careful husbandry made a most
pleasing contrast with the grand, luxuriant scenery
in which they were set. A quaint, middle-aged
individual, of the name of Martin (a Scotchman, of
course), was then the resident manager of Melfort,
and lived there in a tumble-down bungalow which
offered so little accommodation that I had to seek
quarters in the comfortable house on the adjoining
Delta estate belonging to one of my relatives.
After spending two or three days at Delta, which
I employed in riding over the different adjoining
estates, I went up the magnificent Rambodde pass
to Nuwera Ellia, where I called on Sir Henry Ward,
at that time Governor of the island. On April 21 I
was back again at Galle, the following day being
appointed for the departure of the China mail

I had left my pet bull-terrier, Ben, in the charge
of St. Glair, and, on entering the Queen's House, on
the morning of my return from Colombo, the first
thing I espied was the poor beast tied to the leg of
a table, his head enveloped in a canvas bag, with
convenient holes for the eyes, and his hind-quarters
and delicately tapering tail symmetrically marked by
a row of ghastly, and scarcely healed, scars or abra-
sions. His spirits, for that matter, were as carnaval-
esque as his masquerading disguise, and his joyful
yelpings at sight of me showed him to be in thorough
good case. Lost in amazement at his appearance,


which I at first supposed must be the result of a
severe encounter with some of his own species, I
sought an explanation from the Cinghalese servants,
but from all their gibberish could only make out the
words " De fiss ! " I sallied forth in quest of St. Glair,
whom I found engaged at billiards with some of the
officers of the Ceylon Rifles. As soon as he saw me he
exclaimed : " Have you seen the dog ? I am so sorry ! "
His story, which I give as he related it, was that the
valorous Ben had followed him, on the day of my
departure, to a shallow creek near the lighthouse,
entirely enclosed by rocks, which was accounted the
only safe bathing-place at Galle. There the dog
had gone into the water after sticks and stones (he
had a perfect passion for diving, unusual in dogs of
his breed, of which he was later on to give still more
signal proof), and, just as he was landing on a ledge
of rock, and still half immersed, had given a howl,
plunged again beneath the surface, and, after what
seemed a sharp tussle, reappeared streaming with
blood. As we were talking over the incident, some
natives came on the scene with a small shark,
which, after patient angling for a fortnight, they
had caught on the very spot. It was difficult
not to believe that this was the offender. The
shark had evidently nipped, or rather scraped, Ben
with his teeth just as he was getting out of the
water, but not getting a good purchase of him, had
beeu made to relinquish his hold, the biter, in fact,
in this case, having been probably himself severely


bitten. Few dogs, I imagine, have gone through such
peril and lived to wag their tails over it.

The Pekin, an old paddle-wheel steamer of 1000
tons, commanded by an officer of the name of Burne,
took us on to Penang, Singapore, and Hong-Kong.
On board of her we found Mr. Ward, the newly
appointed United States Envoy to China, and his
brother. I struck up a great friendship with these
Americans, who were excellent specimens of the
Southern gentry. Mr. Ward was a Georgian, and
had been Mayor of Savannah. He made no secret
to me of the view he took of his mission. " I am
going to Peking like yourselves to ratify a Treaty,"
he said, " but well know I shall never get there
except under cover of your guns." This accurate
forecast of the trouble that awaited us forcibly re-
curred to me afterwards. When we reached Hong-
Kong on May 9, in oppressively hot weather, we
found that our chief was away at Canton in the
Magicienne. I was welcomed on landing by Wade
afterwards Minister at Peking and at that time
Chinese Secretary to our Mission the most eminent
perhaps of living Sinologues, 1 and at the same time
a man of the most varied accomplishments whose
friendship and delightful companionship were in-
valuable to me throughout our cruise.

The h'rst impressions produced by China are,
of course, those of absolute novelty and unbounded

1 Sir Thomas Wade, long since gathered to the majority, was
beloved by all who knew him.


amazement, but, as far as goes my very limited
experience of a country of which I, so to speak,
only touched the fringe, these feelings, however
keen, were soon blunted, and made room for a sense
of unutterable weariness. To my European eyes all
Chinamen appeared exactly alike (possibly a China-
man might think the same of Europeans), and the
thought that there existed some three hundred and
fifty millions of these intensely conceited beings,
all cast in the self- same mould, and that they
constituted a full fifth of mankind, acted upon me
like a nightmare and induced profound dejection.
Nevertheless, the coming into contact with these
extraordinary creatures, the first sight of their dwel-
lings and dress, their shops and junks, of their
gimcrack ornaments and tawdry art, and the sense
of actually living in a willow-plate pattern world,
must be reckoned among the most curious experi-
ences that can be derived from travel.

Hong-Kong, too, in itself, presents a most strik-
ing and, indeed, imposing appearance. The magni-
ficent harbour, the handsome European buildings
rising tier above tier up the almost precipitous sides
of the mountain how those slender, small-boned
Coolie chairmen contrive to carry corpulent British
majors or brawny corporals up and clown them at a
dog-trot, with such ease, quite passes one's compre-
hension the crowd of shipping and strange-looking
native craft ; the painted eaves, pagoda roofs, and
fantastic sign-boards of the native town ; the bustle


of the quays ; the juxtaposition of Chinese decay,
slovenliness, and filth, with English order and trim-
ness ; the very odours of the place a vile compound
of the incense of burnt joss-stick, lacquer varnish,
tainted fish, and other nameless abominations-
combine to make it the most original as well as
the most pestilential spot in that chain of posses-
sions with which England girdles the world. I
engaged a room at the very comfortable club-house,
pending the return of the Magicienne, and frater-
nised with the ist Battalion of Royals (Colonel Hay-
thorne), who had made us honorary members of
their mess. Altogether we were "in clover" in
China. Nothing could exceed the hospitality of
the merchant princes of those days ; and to us of
the Legation they were lavish in their attentions.
Jardine & Co. and Dent & Co. kept house, both
at Hong-Kong and at Shanghai, on the grandest
scale imaginable, and of Jardine's it was said that
they spent ,40,000 a year in entertaining alone.
It is sad to reflect on the ruin that has since over-
taken some of the China houses.

The Magicienne presently came back from Can-
ton, and I installed myself on board of her, excellent
quarters having been prepared for us on her main-
deck. My cabin had a large port, whence the gun
had been removed, where I sat courting cool breezes
that never came, and whiled away the tediousness
of ship-life in reading the wonderful Jesuit accounts
of the reigns of the Emperors Tschun-tche and


Kang-Hi, and otherwise " getting up " China, We
remained three weeks at Hong-Kong, where a great
deal of business connected with the superintendency
of trade had to be settled before we could take up
our residence even temporarily in the far North.
At the risk of a tedious digression, I must endeavour
here to show how great was the change to be created
in our dealings with China by this removal, and
what momentous consequences it involved.

The right of residence at Peking or, at any
rate, the right of access to that jealously guarded
capital was the cardinal point of the policy which
Lord Elgin had the year before brought to a suc-
cessful issue at Tien-tsin. The other conditions of
the Treaty of June 26, 1858, such as the opening up
of the Yangtse-Kiang, and even the right of free
circulation in the provinces however important
could not for a moment compare with this conces-
sion, wrung from the Imperial Court in a moment
of dire distress and prostration. But the permanent
residence at Peking of a duly accredited Minister of
her Majesty implied yet more unpalatable conditions.
That Minister would have to be received in solemn
audience by the Emperor, and would there deliver
his credentials without any of the degrading for-
malities hitherto invariably exacted from every
person, of whatever degree, admitted to the Im-
perial presence. The Chinese, as is well known,
claim universal dominion for their sovereign ; hence
the value attached by them to a ceremonial emble-


matic of the homage which the whole universe owes
to the Son of Heaven. Practically these absurd pre-
tensions had debarred us from direct intercourse
with the Emperor and his Government, and had left
us to deal with insolent and irresponsible provincial
magnates, such as the notorious Yeh a fruitful
source of trouble of which the " Arrow " lorcha case
had been the culminating instance. These and
similar considerations made the right of residence
at the capital the fundamental point of our policy,
as I have said ; for by its assertion alone could we
symbolise, and bring home to every Chinaman from
the Emperor downwards, our equality with the
Chinese as a nation, and our denial of their ridi-
culous pretensions to supremacy.

Unfortunately, we had too long given them
reason to believe that, in the end, we might not
insist on the most hateful clauses of the Treaty, and,
leaving them a dead letter, might content ourselves
with such advantages as we had obtained for our
trade. "Throughout many generations of our inter-
course with China," wrote Mr. Bruce to Lord
Malmesbury at this time, " we postponed consider-
ations of national dignity to our commercial interests,
and the statement that ' the barbarians care for
nothing but trade ' appears again and again in their
official papers as the key to our character and the
principle by acting on which we are to be soothed
and controlled." Even Lord Elgin himself, vigorous
and determined though his policy had been, cannot


wholly escape the reproach of keeping alive this
belief in the Chinese mind, for, in his last negotia-
tions with the Imperial Commissioners at Shanghai,
he had been induced to surrender the point of
permanent residence at Peking in exchange for
their sanction to a voyage which he was desirous
to make up the Yangtse-Kiang River. We were
soon to learn what use these same Commissioners
would make of this deviation from a line of rigid
enforcement of the Treaty.

Such being the condition of affairs on the arrival
in China of our Mission, it was not hard to foresee
that serious difficulties were in store for it. Mr.
Bruce was fortunately authorised in his instructions
to take with him, on his journey north, a force
sufficient to deter the Imperial Court from actively
opposing his progress to Peking. The French and
American Ministers were going on the same errand
as ourselves namely, the exchange of ratifications
of Treaties concluded at Tien-tsin the previous year
on the model of our own. M. de Bourboulon and
his staff were to be conveyed north in the corvette
Le Duchayla, Captain Tricault ; Mr. Ward going
in the Powhattan, frigate, which carried the fla^
of Commodore Tatnall.

By June 2 our arrangements at Hong-Kong were
completed, and we weighed anchor for Shanghai in
company with the Duchayla. Early on the 6th we
were off tho Saddle Islands at the mouth of the
Yangtse, and the turbid waters soon showed that we


had entered that giant of rivers. In strange con-
trast to the intense heat we had suffered from in
the south, we found here cloudy skies and drizzling
rain. I put on clothing I had not worn since Suez,
and felt as though we might be off the Nore instead
of in the estuary of " the girdle of China." In the
afternoon we passed Woosung, and were steaming
slowly up the intricate channel of the river of that
name, against a current of four knots, carefully
sounding as we went, when suddenly a cry was
raised of " dog overboard ! " (Ben of course). I
happened to be standing on the bridge at the time,
with Mr. Bruce and Vansittart, peering through the
mist for the first glimpse of Shanghai, and, rush-
ing to the side, saw my friend, already long astern
of us a white speck on the yellow tide but strik-
ing out undauntedly. Fortunately we had a few
minutes before passed a sailing-vessel (the Diana
of Greenock), beating up stream with a boat in tow.
Ben steered straight for her, and, before the captain's
orders to stop and lower a gig could be carried out,
we could see the adventurous animal safely taken on
board. lie had been watching the leadsman on the
paddle-box, and could not resist the temptation of
going in after the lead. Next morning the Diana
anchored in Shanghai harbour, and Master Ben was
fetched away in triumph from her by a boat's crew
under the orders of young Anstruther, our captain's
nephew. Both this and bis shark adventure are so

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