Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vultures, Beasts and Dogs

An amusing statement that came out of a large public meeting in Canton in 1842 against the Western barbarians from England. I got it from this excellent Fordham University site:
Behold that vile English nation! Its ruler is at one time a woman, then a man, and then perhaps a woman again; its people are at one time like vultures, and then they are like wild beasts, with dispositions more fierce and furious than the tiger or wolf, and natures more greedy than anacondas or swine. These people having long steadily devoured all the western barbarians, and like demons of the night, they now suddenly exalt themselves here.

During the reigns of the emperors Kien-lung and Kia-king these English barbarians humbly besought an entrance and permission to deliver tribute and presents; they afterwards presumptuously asked to have Chu-san; but our sovereigns, clearly perceiving their traitorous designs, gave them a determined refusal. From that time, linking themselves with traitorous Chinese traders, they have carried on a large trade and poisoned our brave people with opium.

Verily, the English barbarians murder all of us that they can. They are dogs, whose desires can never be satisfied. Therefore we need not inquire whether the peace they have now made be real or pretended. Let us all rise, arm, unite, and go against them.

We do here bind ourselves to vengeance, and express these our sincere intentions in order to exhibit our high principles and patriotism. The gods from on high now look down upon us; let us not lose our just and firm resolution.

Ah well, I guess things don't always go as planned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um, I don't get it. Is there anything inaccurate or wrong about the said statement? Were the Brits not like "vultures and coyotes and dogs"? I don't know, maybe living in New England has been messing with my head, but I thought that's how the WORLD viewed the Brits...