A Cycle of Cathay, or China, South and North with Personal Reminiscences 中国 – 甲子

Author: William Alexander Parsons Martin 丁韪良
Date: 1897
Publisher: F.H. Revell Co.
Origin: http://books.google.com.hk/books?id=lJq7sfYaihEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=a+cycle+of+cathay,+or+China,+South+and+North+with+personal+reminiscences&hl=zh-CN&ei=BntaTMq0Jo-WuAO3wKntAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Description: Wartin was one of the American missionaries in Beijing during the AB time. He acted as translators sometimes between the Qing Dynasty officials and the westerners

In P. 374, he depicts the farewell party of AB in Beijing when his term of the U.S. embassador ended.
In P. 374-375, he depicts how AB went to Robert Hart’s residence after the farewell party, telling him about the possiblity of acting as Chinese embassador. Hart not only thought it was a good idea, but prepared himself to help AB make it happen.

Taken from the book:

P. 374-375
Mr. Burlingame, having filled two terms as minister, was about to return to the U.S. to resume his place in the political movements of the day.Packed for the voyage, he called at the Yamen to take leave of Prince Kung and his colleagues, the prince inviting me to act as interpreter. After professions of regret, which were profuse and sincere on both sides, Mr. Burlingame offered to serve them by correcting misapprehensions.

“There is a great deal to be done in that line,” said the prince. “Are you going through Europe?”
Mr. Burlingme answering in affirmative…Wensiang, always the chief spokesman, enlarged on the nature of the representations to be made, and added, “In short, you will be our minister.”

“If it were possible,” interposed the prince, “for one minister to serve two countries, we should be glad to have you for our envoy.”
This remark, uttered half in jest, was the germ of the Burlingame mission. It struck Burlingame as opening a pleasing vista of possibilities. To a temperament like his prospect of being the first to introduce the old empire of the East to the courts of the Western world was irresistibly fascinating.

On one hand, to draw China out of her shell; On the other, to have her represented abroad by a man of tact and experience, backed by the influence of a powerful nation.

P. 222

In the Zenith of manhood, of medium height and stout of frame, his broad brow stamped with the impress of intellect, and a ripple of humor playing about his lips, the whole aspect of Mr. Burlingame was winning and impressive. He and his charming wife welcomed me as if I had been and old friend, and insisted that I should lodge with them instead of returning to town. They were at Sanshanan (Temple of the Three Hills) or the Tremont Temple, as the name was happily rendered to keep alive their memories of Boston, a Temple which for thirty-three years has continued to be the summer home of the American legation.

P. 227
In an afternoon, Burlingame proposed an excursion to a rocky eminence overlooking the temples. He and Bruce (British minister) led the way, while I helped Mrs. Burlingame to climb the rugged steep. At the top we were joined by two or three young men, one of them charge d’affaires for Russia. Burlingame suddenly mounted a stone and began a speech, in which he extolled the deeds of all the Bruces…concluded by dubbing the bold promontory “Mount Bruce.” We threw up our hats with a shout, and, a passing cloud contributing a few drops, the christening was complete.
Bruce was not an orator, yet he managed to stammer out his acknowledgements, and, pointing to a higher peak at the head of the valley, gave it the name of Burlingame. The two peaks in foreign usage still retain the appellations of the pioneer ministers, though the Chinese continue to call one “Tiger’s Head” and the other “Green Mountain.”

P. 233
One morning in October Mr. Burlingame came in with grave concern depicted on his usually bright and cheerful face. He informed us that, a serious difference having arisen between the British minister and the Chinese government, the former had struck his flag and broke off communications, adding that we might be compelled to quit Peking at an hour’s notice. We had seen the war renewed in 1859 by the same minister, on grounds which, in the eyes of many of his own countrymen, were utterly inadequate. We now supposed that he was seeking an occasion for a new rupture.

The dispute was concerning the disposition of a fleet of seven gunboats purchased for the Chinese in England by Mr. Lay, inspector-general of customs. Intended to operate against the rebels on the Great River and neighboring sea-coast, they arrived too late for that particular service, Gordon’s victories having so far broken the rebel power that the reduction of Nanking, their first and last stronghold, was only a question of time. Had they been required they could hardly have been used in those waters, as Commodore Osborne refused to take orders from provincial authorities, showing an agreement that he should be bound by nothing that was not countersigned by Mr. Lay.

That Gentleman’s “presumption,” as they called it, in making himself master of the new force was greatly resented by the Chinese ministers. Their dissatisfaction was increased at finding that they were saddled with an expenditure of seventy thousand ounces of silver per mensem, which to them, in the low state of their finances, appeared an enormous tax for a superfluous, if not dangerous, armada.

Happily there was a peacemaker on the ground. The Chinese laid their grievance before Mr. Burlingame, who, being a man of tact and ability, succeeded in warding off the danger.

Wensiang (Chinese spokesman) solemnly assured him that “sooner than submit to having the fleet forced on them, the Manchu government would retire beyond the Great Wall.” He accordingly brought the question in all its gravity before Sir F. Bruce (British minister), and after three days of discussion the latter abandoned his position. Pacing the floor near midnight in the United States legation, he suddenly exclaimed, “the fleet may go.” The crisis was passed. Details were easily arranged. The ships were sent to India and sold.

P. 377
In England and France the mission was courteously received and made a long halt, but nothing was concluded. In a letter to me from London, Burlingame expressed himself as confident of eventual success. His last communication was a telegram, via Siberia, addressed to me for the Tsungli Yamen, reporting a favorable reception at Berlin: “Concluded negotiations with Prussia. Strong declaration by Bismarck in favor of China. Now to Russia!”

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