MR. BURLINGAME’s ADDRESS 《美使蒲安臣致总署大臣徐继畬函》

Mr. Burlingame in his address to SEU-KI-YU, said: “It is now nearly twenty years since you published a geographical history of the countries lying beyond the boundaries of China. You brought to the work great labor, a sound judgment, and the marvelous scholarship of your native land. You passed in review the great men of the countries of which you wrote, and placed Washington before all the rest. You not only did this, but you placed him before the statesmen and warriors of your own country, and declared that he recalled the three dynasties whose serene virtues had shed their light along the ages for 4,000 years. Those words have been used and translated by the grateful countrymen of Washington. To show their appreciation of them, the President requested the Secretary of State to have made by a distinguished artist this portrait, and to send it over land and sea to be place in your hands. When you look upon its benignant features, do not recall with sorrow the eighteen [sic] years of retirement endured by you on account of your efforts to make Washington and the countries of the West better known; but rather, exult with us that an enlightend Government has for the same reason placed you near the head of the State, to aid in controlling the affairs of 490,000,000 of people; and what is better by a kind of poetical justice, you have been placed at the head of an institution whose purpose is to advance the views for which you were censured, and to instruct your people in the language and principles of Washington. By doing this you will please all the nations, for Washington belonged not to us alone, but to the world. His life and character were such as to peculiarly commend him to your countrymen. Like them he honored agriculture; and like them he was for peace, and only fought in defence of his country. Like them, he believed that every man is entitled to the inspiration of fair opportunity, and like them he held to the doctrine of Confucius, spoken 2, 300 years ago, that “We should not do to others what we would not that others should do to us.” This great truth came to Washington, not negatively but positively, from Divinity itself, as a command unto him, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. ” Why should we not exchange our thoughts? Why should we not have the moral maxims of Confucius and Mencius, and you the sublime doctrines of Christianity? Why should we not take your charming manners, your temperance, your habits of scholarship, you improvements in agriculture, and your high culture of tea and silk, and you our modern sciences, our railroads and telegraphs, our steamboats? Why should not this great nation, the mother of inventions, whence comes paper, printing, porcelain, the compass, gunpowder and the great doctrine that “The people are the source of power,” follow up their inventions and principles, and enjoy them in all their development? Why should not the discoverers of coal have the wealth and strength derived from its use, and those who made the first water-tight vessels guided by a compass, use the great steamers which swiftness makes us your near neighbors, and which carry a thousand men on their decks? I present this portrait, with all good will, in the name of the people of the United States, hoping it may ever recall to you and yours their enduring friendship for your country, and their love and regard for you, its worthy representative.”

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