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In the interest of peace it will not do for the missionaries to be demanding restitution of any chapel they may choose to indicate. During the last few years the restitution of chapels in every province has been insisted upon without any regard for the feeling of the masses, the missionaries obstinately persisting in their claims. They have also pointed out fine handsome houses (belonging to, or occupied by, the gentry or others) as buildings once used as churches, and these they have compelled the people to give up. Places even the surrender of which was a question of dignity improper (probably Yamêns are meant), with meetinghouses, clubs, temples—all such places being held in high respect by the gentry and people of the whole neighbourhood—they have forced from them for the benefit of the Church in lieu of other lands or buildings. Buildings which were once used As chapels have been in some cases sold years ago by Christians ; and, having been sold and resold by one of the people to another, have passed through the hands of several proprietors. There is also a large number of buildings which have been newly repaired at very considerable expense, of which the missionaries have insisted on the restitution, refusing at the same time to pay anything for them. On the other hand, there are some houses which have become dilapidated, and the missionaries put in a claim for the necessary repair. Their conduct excites the indignation of the people whenever they come in contact with each other, and it becomes impossible for them to live quietly together.
The only wonder would be if they could live quietly together; for such proceedings in any other country would lead to insurrections, if not to a revolution, by a general uprising of the people against the Government that attempted to enforce such a concession to a foreign Power, and at its bidding.
In this evil state of affairs the imperative necessity for measures that may afford some reasonable hope of improvement, if not a permanent and effective remedy for the common interest, must be manifest. In what direction we are to look for a remedy, the knowledge of the true causes of the hostility of a whole population, exceeding in numbers and in the area it occupies the whole of Europe, should suffice to indicate.
The chief cause of the existing hostility and all the mischief it works in its manifestations in increasing frequency and intensity, it can hardly be doubted, lies in missionary propagandism; and not so much in the attempt to introduce a new religion as in the procedure adopted by the Roman Catholic missions, and the ingérence of the French Government in the exercise of an assumed protectorate which has no warrant in treaties.
In this policy, and its effects on the temper and national feeling of the people, so constantly outraged by the missionaries on the one hand, and by the intervention of the French authorities in the support of their pretensions on the other, lies the common danger, because in this isolated action, in which none of the other Treaty Powers are disposed to join or approve, the solidarité of interests ceases, and is only exchanged for a community of danger. That is all that remains, if not in principle, in actual practice. And if this be so, it is no less
plain that without a modification of such policy on the part of one there is no practical remedy. We hear a good deal of French susceptibilities, and the respect that should be shown to them. But is it to be assumed that other nations have no susceptibilities for which they are entitled to an equal regard from France ? The Chinese are certainly not without theirs, though it has been too much the habit to treat them with contempt. ' To what other nation in the world would such an affront be offered as to build a cathedral for an alien religion in the precincts of the palace of the reigning sovereign, and against his protest ?
Nor is there any provision by treaty to justify a claim on the part of missionaries or foreign Powers for the exemption of proselytes from the obligations of their natural allegiance and from the jurisdiction of their constituted authorities. Yet such things are done, not avowedly, but very certainly not the less to the humiliation of all in authority, and with scandal to the whole population.
We are told it is in the interest of religion ; but if this were the single object of the protecting Power, or if it was the real object of French policy in China, it would still be a question whether it could be advanced by such means. Can other Powers forget -- it is certain the Chinese cannot and will not—that the actual presence of the French in Annam and Tonquin, and in such close proximity, can be traced to missionary initiative as far back as the reigns of Louis XIV. and Louis XVI., who each, at the incitement of missionary bishops, sent military and naval expeditions and took possession of ports and territory in Saigon, Siam, and elsewhere; while in these later aggressions and annexations to enforce indemnities, &c., missionary ingérence has never been wanting. For the Chinese to believe that religion, and not a political object, directs French policy, must be very difficult.
The course followed by the Republican Government in France, in the persecutions and injuries inflicted upon the Catholic Church within their own country, bears strong evidence of the absence of any profound regard for its interests or that of the religion it professes. So at least many of the French themselves think, and the four Algerian bishops, in a remonstrance they lately addressed to the Senate and Chamber, bear similar evidence, when they urge that • the persecution of Catholicism at home becomes an argument against the French protectorate of Catholic missions abroad.' M. Paul Bert, fresh from his expulsion of the clergy from their schools and churches, with other injurious dealings, would hardly have been chosen, if they had been consulted, by the Romish missions in Cochin-China as the protector of their interests and the Catholic religion. The protectorate under these circumstances is illusory in a double
It does not protect the missions from outrages; on the contrary, it is the chief cause of hostility; and it does not advance religion and the work of the missionaries, but constitutes the greatest obstacle.
The Pope has no armies or fleets wherewith to threaten war or attack, but for that reason would be all the more likely to make his intervention acceptable where Christian communities were concerned ; and a French war dance at the Tsung-li-Yamên is not calculated to predispose the Chinese Government to encourage missionary settlements in their midst.
We may remember that M. de Freycinet, in a public speech lately delivered at Toulouse, told his constituents that the foreign policy of his Government was to maintain its relations with all the foreign Powers on a footing of mutual consideration;' and an appeal to this principle, and for its application in China, should not be disregarded to the detriment of all the chief Powers of the Western world, old and new. They have the strongest claim on any French Government not to conduct its relations with China so as inevitably to create a state of popular feeling incompatible with the maintenance of peaceable intercourse, fatal to the security of life and property in the country, and threatening ruin to the commerce and material interests of all other nationalities.
That the Great 1851 Exhibition should not have realised all the expectations of its projectors is no great matter for wonder. Few schemes do realise the expectations of their projectors. Of the sixteen thousand inventions for which during the last calendar year their authors sought the protection of a patent, how many will justify the hopes of their inventors ? Certainly not ten per cent.---probably not five. Fortunately, however, inventors, projectors, saviours of mankind, and all their enthusiastic genus, are blind to the lessons of experience. They never learn the hard truth that their invention—their project—is at most one of the wheels of the machine which is to renovate society-not the machine itself--and that they have done a good day's work if they have shaped their cogs so deftly that the wheel will run smoothly when it is fitted to its place, or that they are luckier than their fellows if they have found a place for it at all. Those who invented exhibitions were unduly, sanguine as to the outcome of their project; but, if they had not been, probably they would never have invented exhibitions at all, and the world would have suffered a very decided loss. Enthusiasm is a terrible nuisance, and enthusiasts are terrible bores, but we should lose a great deal if the cult were extinguished.
The first World's Fair did not inaugurate a reign of peace. The modern successors of Trygæus found that the goddess was not to be bribed by commercial advantage more easily now than in the days of Aristophanes. Still, it did its work well for all that. If, like Acts of Parliament and many other human devices, its energy was principally effective in directions not wholly foreseen by its promoters, yet it was effective. If it did not cause the swords and spears to be wrought into plough-shares and reaping-hooks, it led to the former being drawn by steam instead of by horses, and substituted reaping-machines for the latter. Its political influence, its direct effect on the comity of nations, was inconsiderable; but its influence on industrial progress, especially on the industrial progress of England, cannot easily be over-estimated. It gave rise to many industries of a wholly new character-notably to the entire group of artistic industries. Of the great industrial firms now at the head of British trade no small proportion trace, if not their origin, certainly their first rise to a leading position to the Exhibition of 1851. But for it we should have had to wait another decade for the beneficent reform of the Patent Law, which was actually effected within a twelvemonth of its close, a reform which reduced the cost of a patent from 2501. to 25l., and swept away the cumbersome and ridiculous formalities which were almost as great hindrances as the cost in the way of an inventor anxious to obtain due legal protection for his ideas. This Act of 1852 worked admirably for thirty years, and might, with a few of the modifications naturally suggested by experience, have worked well for another thirty, had not our legislators found it easier two years ago to pass a merely popular measure than to consider carefully the points really wanting reform. But for the Exhibition and its educational effect, Parliament would certainly never have passed the 1852 Act in its actual shape, and, if this had been its one solitary result, the labour and money spent on the Exhibition would have been repaid over and over again.
Coming as it did at a time when the world was full of the new discoveries of science; when the railway had just got its web of lines fairly spread over the country ; when the telegraph was commencing to stretch across the sea as well as over the land ; when chemistry was meditating the conversion of enormous masses of foul waste into products of use and beauty, and photography was ceasing to be a mere scientific curiosity-the Exhibition taught men how enormous were the powers for their use and benefit which nature and the knowledge of nature placed at their disposal. Segnius irritant animos; the philosophers had preached to men for years in vain ; but when they opened a big shop and spread out specimens of their wares for all to see, the people came, saw, wondered, and went away wiser; readier, at all events in some degree, to accept the benefits of science instead of scoffing at them ; inclined, at least to some extent, to treat the searcher after knowledge with admiration instead of wholly with contempt.
Thus the public were educated to purchase, and the manufacturer was taught to produce. Those manufacturers who were quick enough to see this found their advantage in new and extended markets, so that they soon left behind those of their rivals who were content with the more ancient methods. To English manufacturers the collection of foreign examples was at the time an almost unmixed benefit. The English stores of coal and iron, then practically unrivalled, rendered our people careless of competition in the manufacture on which all other manufactures are based—that of iron. In the principal textile industry—the spinning and weaving of cotton-England was first, and there was no second. But in all trades depending on any branch of the fine arts she had everything to learn, and, vacua, could chant as loudly as she pleased in the presence of the foreign copyist, baffled by the absence of material for