Charles Gutzlaff [Carl F. Gützlaff]. Journal of Two Voyages Along the Coast of China, In 1831 and 1832 : with Notices of Siam, Corea and the Loo-Choo Islands. New York: John P. Haven. 1833.

Charles Gutzlaff [Carl F. Gützlaff]. Journal of Three Voyages Along the Coast of China, In 1831, 1832 and 1833 : with Notices of Siam, Corea and the Loo-Choo Islands. London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis, Stationers' Hall Court. 1834.

Charles Gutzlaff [Carl F. Gützlaff]. Journal of Three Voyages Along the Coast of China, In 1831, 1832 and 1833 : with Notices of Siam, Corea and the Loo-Choo Islands. 2nd edition, 1834. London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis, Stationers' Hall Court. 1834.

Journal of the Second Voyage, Chapter VI.

        July 17. A stiff breeze brought us in sight of Corea. A merciful Providence has brought us through many dangers, along the coast of China, and oh that we were truly grateful !
        Before entering on any details of our transactions with this singular nation, I will give some account of the country.
        Corea, called by the natives Chaou-seen, as well as by the Chinese, who besides name it Keaou-le, is separated from Mantchou Tartary by a wooden wall. The waters on the western coast are overstrewn with islands, which on the charts of the Jesuits have been blended with the main land, so that the longitude of this peninsula is placed two degrees too far westward. Those parts of the country which we saw were very fertile and well watered; but thinly inhabited, and still less cultivated. Though this was, indeed, but the outskirts of the kingdom, we cannot think the interior is as thickly inhabited as the maritime provinces of China. Their state of barbarism, cherished by the odious system of exclusion, which has no where, by a maritime nation, been carried farther than at Corea, does not admit of a numerous and flourishing population; nor do we think there are any large cities to be found.
        The king may well be styled "the sovereign of ten thousand isles,” for the whole coast is studded with islands, of every shape. Though his kingdom is powerful enough to maintain itself independent, he has long submitted to pay tribute to the Celestial Empire, four times a year.
        The kingdom was known to the Chinese as early as the times of Yaou. At different periods they attacked the "middle kingdom,'' and often proved victorious. It was natural that they should early adopt the Chinese writing character, the use of which prevails among them to this time. Several domestic broils, which seem to have been fomented by Chinese policy, together with the variety of tribes inhabiting the country, seem to have kept this kingdom in barbarism, from which it did not emerge; while their neighbors, the Chinese as well as the Japanese, made rapid advances in civilization. As soon as the Ming dynasty ascended the Chinese throne (A. D. 1368), the Coreans sent an ambassador to Hung-woo, the emperor, desiring the inauguration of their king with the imperial seal. This was readily granted, and Corea was henceforth considered a tributary kingdom. During the reign of Tai-kosama, the warlike emperor of Japan, Corea was repeatedly invaded by the Japanese, and finally conquered. The Chinese tried in vain to expel the Japanese, for they maintained themselves with the utmost bravery; and so far from yielding up Corea, they disquieted all the Chinese coast with their fleet. It was at this time that Christianity, or rather Popery, was first promulgated in Corea; for the generals of the Japanese, and many of the soldiery, were Christians. When Tai-kosama died, the Japanese general in chief withdrew to his own country (1598), after the war had raged seven years. Thus were all the fruits of the repeated victories lost to the Japanese. The Chinese did not fail to establish their authority as supreme masters, to whom all the earth should bow. Since that time the country has undergone little change. The king cannot reign without the imperial sanction, nor can he himself confirm the choice of a colleague or successor; all these must be sanctioned by the court of Peking. In other respects it is an independent kingdom, and the Chinese meddle very little with their internal administration. Its subjects are not allowed to visit other countries, nor are even Chinese admitted to settle among them. They trade with the frontiers of Japan at Tuymataou, which is opposite to the Corean island of Kin-shang. Their trade with Chinese and Tartars is carried on at Fung-hwang-ching, the frontier town of Mantchou Tartary. This traffic is conducted with great secresy and circumspection, lest one nation should spoil the other, and thus tend to subvert their ancient regulations. Nothing is more ridiculous than to see the people so tenacious of ancient and useless forms, rather than desirous to keep pace with the march of improvement.
        We could never discover the staple articles of export from this country. Judging from the climate and from what we have seen, we think there must be a great variety of the productions which we find in southern Europe. The natives were very desirous to persuade us that their country produced nothing for exportation; but their trade with Japan and Mantchou Tartary proves the contrary. Full allowance should, however, be made for the uncivilized state of the country. Instead of allowing the Chinese to come over from Shan-tung to cultivate a large quantity of waste but arable land, they choose to live on salt fish rather than to have intercourse with foreigners. As long as this system of exclusion, of which they boast, continues, they must always remain in the lowest rank of nations.
        We came to anchor at Chwang-shan, an island north of Basil's Bays. The silence of the desert seemed to reign every where. We ventured towards the shore, and the first thing we met was a fishing boat, miserably constructed, with two natives in it, clothed in rags. Though we could not communicate with them orally, yet we could use the Chinese character in writing. We gave the old man a few books, and lion buttons, which highly delighted him. As soon as we had landed on a small island, several natives came down from a hill, wearing conical caps of horse-hair, with jackets and trowsers similar to the Chinese, but wider and without buttons. Nothing could exceed the gravity of their look and demeanor. An elderly man, who held a staff, bade us sit down by repeating several times “tshoa." After complying with his request, he made a long harangue, of which we understood not a syllable, but in which he seemed very earnest. From his unequivocal gestures, and from a young man whom we had the happiness to find, who understood a few Chinese words, we afterwards learned that he was pointing out to us the regulations of his country, and the duties of strangers on their arrival.
        They thought to be able, by persuasion, to keep us on the beach; but how great was their astonishment to see us hastening up the hill! When we turned in the direction of their dwellings, they made a firm stand, and would by no means permit us to proceed. What suggested this precaution of not allowing us to look at their miserable clay hovels we could not find out; however, we desisted from the attempt to intrude. On the hill we found a species of lily and rose growing wild, but no appearance of the least cultivation, though the soil was evidently fertile. When we descended, they offered us pipes and tobacco, and seemed satisfied with our obedience. They inquired very minutely into our ages, our sirnames, and our country. The old man was anxious to impress us with the grandeur of Keaoule-wang (king of Corea), that every body ought to fear him, and to be inspired with awe at the mention of his name.
July 18. We started for a village which we saw yesterday from a hill. As soon as we stepped ashore, some persons took the trouble to conduct us to their village. Many of them wore large brimmed black hats, most elegantly platted. Their frocks, made of a sort of grass cloth, reached down to their ankles, and had very long and wide sleeves, which served also as pockets. Most of them wore stockings and shoes, very neatly fitted to their small feet. They are not tall, but of middle stature, have Tartar features, and the most symmetrical shape. They tie their hair on the crown of the head, and if married put a conical cap over it; but unmarried persons wear long queues, like the Chinese, but do not shave the head. The females, whom we saw at a distance, wore short jackets, and had the hair platted in a different way; and in appearance they were inferior to the males. Considering the degrading state in which they are kept by their husbands, it is no wonder that they are destitute of those attractions which belong to the sex in enlightened countries.
        Among the people who came to us was a man with a matchlock of European manufacture. He had also a powder-horn, and seemed well acquainted with the use of fire-arms. We could not make out from whence he had gotten this piece; it seemed very old, and of a superior quality. If we might conjecture that some European ship had stranded on this coast, and the natives had thus possessed themselves of some European articles, it might account for the indifference with which they examined some of our curiosities. More than two centuries ago, a Dutch ship was lost upon this coast, and the crew detained for several years, till one escaped and published at Amsterdam an account of his sufferings.
        A few Jesuits were also permitted to enter the kingdom during the last century, but we do not remember that any European nation has traded to this peninsula. Some priests proposed to the late queen of Portugal to send an embassy hither, with some gentlemen versed in mathematics, that they might benefit the country both in a religious and scientific way. There were at that time men of high rank at the court of Corea, who had professed Christianity, and would have used their influence to promote the objects of a foreign power in establishing commercial intercourse. The plan never succeeded. According to all accounts which we could collect, there are at present no Europeans at the capital, and Christianity is unknown even by name. We do not know how far we may credit the detailed accounts of persecutions which the Corean Christians endured, and endured with heroic firmness. If so many thousands as is said had been executed on account of their belief, Christianity would live in the recollection of the natives at least as a proscribed creed; but we could discover no trace of it The same misanthropic system of restriction is continued till this day, nor do we know when it will please Providence to remove these insurmountable obstacles.
        We were anxious to walk up to the village, but were stopped near a miserable hovel, where several Natives, in a respectable dress, met us. We were desirous to barter for some cattle, which were abundant here, and were inquisitive to know the residence of a great mandarin, to whom we might hand a petition addressed to his majesty. On the plea of bearing a letter to the monarch, we wished to be treated with civility. They wrote down "Please to communicate to as the contents." Answer, "How dare we communicate the affaire of so great a king to his subjects?' They replied, "Report it to the mandarins, and they will report it to the king." We then desired them to call a mandarin of the first rank, to whom we should communicate our intentions. They pointed out to us the residence of such an officer, who lived only a few miles to the north, and bade us get immediately under way, to free them from so troublesome company, and to gain our object. Another told us plainly, if we did not immediately retire, he would call soldiers to drive us instantly away, and our lives would be endangered. I asked him what rank he held to entitle him to use such language, and threatened to report his insolence to the mandarins. This softened him, and he asked simply, "What time do you think to depart?" Several natives made the sign of beheading when we offered some trifles for their acceptance; others secretly pocketed some buttons, and one received a book, and immediately returned it, exclaiming, "pulga," which we interpreted to mean fire or burn it ! There was very little chance of giving books in a direct way.
        Their conduct formed a contrast with the behavior of the Chinese. Had we now left the peninsula, we should have reported to the world, in addition to the accounts of other travellers, that the Coreans were the most misanthropical people in the world, with courage enough to repress every intruder, so that threatening and injury were all which could be obtained there. From our first interview with them, I very much doubted this, but had no sufficient reasons to urge in supporting my opinion of their cowardice, and willingness to yield any thing firmly demanded. Though they very plainly showed their inhospitable feelings towards us, we could yet perceive a conflict in them while treating inoffensive strangers like enemies; for the native feelings of humanity which are in the breast of every mortal, can never be entirely eradicated.
        We got under way again and visited a large fishing boat which was at anchor. The structure of these boats is very rude, and in a high sea, they are entirely unmanageable. We could not conceive how they could hold together, as no iron, not even a nail is used to unite the parts. There is neither order or cleanliness aboard; they are as slovenly in their persons as in their boats. As the boatmen were under no restraint from the observation of their countrymen, they showed us a great deal of cordiality. Unable to repay a present of books which we made them, they gave us tobacco leaves, highly delighted that we condescended to accept them. Every place where we afterwards met with Coreans alone, we found them as good-humored and obliging as these fishermen. Thus we ought to ascribe the hostile feelings shown towards strangers, to the iron rules which the government inculcates. We cannot think that those signs of decapitation, made by the people on shore, were merely for pretence, but begin to believe, from the universal adoption of this gesture, that government would punish every transgressor with death, who dared to cultivate friendship with strangers.
        July 23. — After coming to anchor between rocks and numerous islands, we visited one of the peaks near us. When we had left Chang-shan, we examined some picturesque caves formed by the dashing of the waves. There were pillars, many of them as regular as if formed by art, which were composed of a very hard, brownish basalt. Some parts had the appearance of a regular church, built in Gothic style, but in ruins; many formed small niches, and others were like the fragments of pedestals and cornices. We amused ourselves a long time among these wonderful works of nature, till some seals, which were frisking about in the bay, caught our attention. They feared no assault from us, whom they had long eyed with a great deal of curiosity; we shot and caught one, which furnished a great quantity of oil for consumption on board.
        During all this time the fogs were very dense, rendering the navigation among the numerous rocks and islands dangerous. The wind often blew very fresh, and dispersed the mists for a short time, after which we were again involved in impenetrable darkness. During the afternoon, it cleared up a little, and some fishermen came from a village to the right of our anchorage, to make us a visit. They invited us to come ashore. We accepted their invitation, and hastened towards their wretched dwellings to partake of a collation, which they offered us. When we had overcome their scruples, we ascended a hill and seated ourselves on a sloping spot in front of their houses. But to render the visit as harmless as possible, this house had been previously evacuated, and we only caught by chance the sight of a woman, who ran up the hill at full speed. We were regaled upon dried salt fish, and a sour liquor, in common use among the Tartars. But before entertaining us, they partook of the fare themselves; they were greatly troubled, therefore, that our Lascars would not taste the things offered them. They would not believe that it was religious superstition, which caused them to refuse this present; for, possessing very few religious feelings themselves, they find it hard to believe that others are guided by them. During all the time, we made many inquiries about the country, the residence of the mandarins, etc., but had the mortification to find that though we amply satisfied their curiosity, they gave us no satisfactory answer to the most trivial questions. All this conversation was carried on by writing the Chinese character, which, though differently pronounced by the Coreans, conveys to them the same meaning as to the Chinese.
        July 24. A large boat came along side, and before the people came on board, they sent up a slip of paper, expressing their sympathy with us in our hardships from winds and weather, and assuring us they did not come to intimidate us. Those who entered the cabin, called themselves mandarins and made very free with the rum. They inquired politely our country, and remarked that we had anchored in a very dangerous place, adding, we will bring you to a bay called Gan-keang, where you may find safe anchorage, meet the mandarins, adjust the affairs of your trade, and obtain provisions. We did not follow their advice in going to-day, because the weather was very hazy, but promised to follow their direction to-morrow.
        The principal man of this company was very communicative; yet he would not tell us the name of the king, but simply said that he had reigned thirty-six years, and ruled over three hundred cities. They know the Chinese money, "cash," which they said was also current among them, but they had never seen a dollar. "In our country," said they, "there is silver as well as copper found." One of them explained to us a Chinese classic in his own native dialect, reading very fluently. We showed him a Chinese statistical work, which stated that the king of Corea sent a tribute four times a year to China, and asked him whether this was true. He answered without hesitation, this is the fact.
        July 25. The clouds dispersed, and we enjoyed again a little sun shine; our friends also returned and brought pilots aboard. When their excessive desire for spirits was satisfied, we got under way, and with wind and tide favoring, soon reached Gan-keang, and found very convenient anchorage, sheltered from all winds. Our pilots were numerous and clamorous, since all wished to command, but one only understood the way. As soon as we had anchored, several mandarin boats came along side. A brisk little fellow, named Yang-chih, who styled himself a mandarin, set down all the questions and answers which Teng-no, the man who came yesterday, had already recorded. All seemed cheerful and happy that we had come, and promised that we should soon have an audience of the great mandarins, to whom we might deliver the letter. The capital was stated to be only three hundred lees distant, so that we might expect a speedy answer. They were particularly anxious to gain our friendship and gave us great hopes that we had not come in vain.
        July 26. Fresh boats came along side; and the same questions were repeated till the two great mandarins arrived. They were both elderly men of venerable aspect; in their dress no way distinct from the common people, except a small piece of bamboo hanging down their side, on which their rank and station were written. Both of them wore cloaks, made of transparent skin, well adapted to protect from rain; their large hats were also covered with the same material. They inquired particularly the time we sailed, and came purposely to console us for the hardships endured in so long a voyage. We had to explain to them why England was called Great Britain, and why India was called Hindostan. Their questions were very brief and imported little; we were therefore glad that they left us shortly afterwards. How surprised were we, when about dinner time, small dishes were handed aboard, containing dried fish, soy and liquor, which were placed upon low tables, and we were requested to sit down and partake of a meal. This peculiar mark of hospitality we regretted that we were obliged to refuse, since it was absolutely nauseous to our taste. All the sailors were invited, but nobody dared to touch what the natives themselves must have found difficult to swallow.
        As we intended, as soon as possible, to deliver the letter and presents to his majesty, we employed a great part of this day in packing them up. Mr. L. very kindly requested me to make up a set of the Bible and of all the tracts which I had, to send them in the present to his majesty. I had hitherto enjoyed the great satisfaction of seeing the people who came aboard, receive our books gladly; and now I strongly hoped that the ruler of so secluded a country might be benefited with the perusal of the oracles of God. Could he receive a greater gift than the testimonials of God's love in Christ Jesus, offered to sinful creatures ? I highly rejoiced to have an opportunity of communicating to him those doctrines, which had rendered me happy for time, and, I hope, for eternity.
        Accompanied by our two negotiators, Tengno and Yang-chih, we set off with the presents, consisting of cut glass, calicoes, camblets, woollens, &c., and the letter written in Chinese character, and wrapped in red silk. Arriving in front of a paltry village, we were told that the great mandarins had gone out, and that we could not expect an audience. Then, we replied, we shall wait till their return; and proceeded towards one of the lanes which lead through the village. There we were met by a soldier, wearing a large-brimmed hat, with a great quantity of red hair hanging down. He held a trumpet and as soon as he perceived us, began to. blow upon it, both to give notice of our arrival, and to frighten us away. Mr. L., who was by no means intimidated by this martial music, entered into one of the houses. Meanwhile, the two mandarins, one of the military class, whose surname was Kin, and the other of the literary class, surnamed Le, both made their appearance, sitting on an open sedan chair, carried by four men. They immediately ordered that the sentinel stationed at the lanes, who had suffered us to proceed so far, should be punished. The poor fellow threw himself down upon the ground before the chair, and awaited his punishment, which was to be inflicted by blows with an instrument similar to an oar. At this critical moment, we interceded, and told the mandarins, that if this innocent man was punished on account of us, we should immediately withdraw. Such an interposition had the desired effect, and the soldiers desisted from inflicting the punishment. The spectators were delighted with this act of humanity, and we were now going to transact our business. But the mandarins ordered that a shed should be set up on the beach, mats spread on the sand for us to sit upon, whilst our hosts had seated themselves on tiger skins. We very soon explained to them, that such incivility, in not permitting us We very soon explained to them that such incivility, in not permitting us to enter a house to settle public affairs, quite surprised us; and that, if our letter and presents could not be respectfully received, we were ready to withdraw. This had the desired effect. They sent one of their creatures to empty a house, and finally introduced us to the outside of one, where we squatted down upon the "sloping place." Before we entered, a poor fellow was seized, laid prostrate before the mandarins, and received two strokes over his thighs, under the pretence of improper behaviour in public business, but, in reality, to impress us with due awe of mandarin authority.
        After our formally delivering the letter and presents, they handed us raw garlic and liquor, and promised speedily to forward the things entrusted to their charge. Meanwhile, they sent us two pigs, and a little ginger and rice, aboard; a very satisfactory proof of their good intentions. Though apparently their laws do not permit foreigners to enter their dwellings, we met every where with as much friendship as could well be expected from barbarians.
Tengno and Yang-chih came during the night, to make further inquiries. They were anxious to know how many kingdoms a ship must pass, in coming from England to Corea? Of how many cantons and districts the English dominions consist? "How far does your relation with China extend? Are you also tributary to the ‘middle kingdom’?"
        On inquiry, we found that their whole system of government is on the Chinese model. They have the same examinations, the same ranks and offices. Anxious to ascertain how soon an answer from the capital might arrive, we were told, there was some chance in thirty days, for it was now one thousand lees distant, (yesterday it was only three hundred.) To show them the incorrectness of this assertion, we showed them the map, and pointed out the capital. Astonished at the knowledge which foreigners possessed of their country, they confessed, after some evasions, that they had told us a falsehood. Lying seems to be as common a vice here as in China. The behaviour of their mandarins is equally inconsistent as the Chinese, if not more so. When we beg, nothing is granted; when we demand, every thing is obtained.
        July 27. The names and ages of all our ship’s company were again noted down with great precision. We were informed that all these things would be properly stated to the king, though we could not find the reason that his majesty was so anxious to know the name of every Lascar. They asked most minutely what communications we had at Chang-shan, why we had not delivered our letter there, and how many people we had seen. These two chiefs dined with us: the inferior one behaved very rudely; but Kin, the military man, showed much decency. We found some difficulties in procuring their permission to go on shore. As soon as we stepped ashore we were met by a soldier, who intended to stop us; but when he saw that we hurried on, he made the sign of beheading, and ripping open the belly, as the unavoidable punishment awaiting him if he suffered us to proceed. However, our guide Tengno upbraided him, and his sour face forced itself into a smile. We walked over the whole island, of which only the small part in the immediate vicinity of the village is cultivated. The greater part is overgrown with grass and herbs, and would furnish excellent pasturage for goats; but we saw not one. In point of vegetation, the coast of Corea is far superior to that of China, where barren rocks often preclude any attempt at cultivation; but here, where the land is fertile, the inhabitants do not plough the ground. The field for botanical researches, in this remote part of the world, is very rich. On the top of the hill, we saw a stone building, which we afterwards ascertained to be a temple. We walked over the silent habitations
        We walked over the silent habitations of the dead, which are here merely mounds of earth, thrown up without any regularity. A very venomous serpent, which infests this place, was shot by Mr. L. The natives showed great dread of them.
        About nine o'clock, our usual examiners, Yang-chih and Tengno, arrived. They desired to know of what wood the ship was made, the height of the mast, the number of cabins, &c. &c. "What do you intend to do with all your cargo? We wish to sell the whole. "What do you wish to receive in return?” Either gold or silver, copper, drugs, or any other commodity which would suit our market. To this they replied : "Our gold comes from China, our copper from Japan: we have very little silver; but iron we have. For Chinese commodities, we give paper and straw cloth." From their statement, it appeared, that the tenets of Confucius were the popular belief. They have temples erected in honour of the founder; believe his doctrines infallible; and, though they worship idols, they detest Budhism, and are unacquainted with Taouism.
        In avowing their belief of the immortality of the soul, they did not explain themselves upon this important point, but grew angry when we expressed our doubts of their entertaining any serious thoughts upon so consolatory a doctrine. We never discovered in their houses any traces of idolatry, nor did we ever witness them performing any religious rites. From all it appears that they are a very irreligious nation, and by no means anxious to become acquainted with the salutary doctrines which may afford consolation in life and death. We had frequent opportunity of speaking to them of the Saviour of mankind, whilst we explained to them the time of the commencement of our Christian era. They heard and read repeatedly, that Jesus Christ, God over all, was also their Redeemer; but their affections were never roused. Such callousness of heart bespeaks great degree of mental apathy, which seems to be very characteristic of the Coreans. Yet I provided those who were willing to receive the Gospel, with books, and they promised to bestow some attention to the subject, and took great care to keep possession of their books. To my great sorrow, our visiters were afterwards prohibited by the mandarins from receiving any more books, or any thing whatever, so that they did not dare take even a button. Previous to the issuing of this order, however, all the officers and clerks had received the word of life. At the same time, I had given them small treatises on geography and history, and I feel confident that the prohibition will enhance the value and increase the eagerness to read the books. At all events, it is the work of God, which I frequently commended in my prayers, to his gracious care. Can the divine truth, disseminated in Corea, be wholly lost? This I believe not: there will be some fruits in the time appointed of the Lord. It is highly interesting to know, that the people even of the lowest classes, can read, and delight in reading. They seem, by no means, so bigoted to their own, as to be jealous of the introduction of another creed. When the people saw that their chiefs received the books, they pressed forward to obtain the same gifts. This encourages us to try again to devise ways to introduce the Gospel amongst a nation apparently almost devoid of any religion. Our Almighty God will remove those political barriers, and permit us to enter this promising field.
        Our friends were greatly apprehensive that we might tell the mandarins, what we had learned from them of their king. They said repeatedly, "should they hear that we told you he has one wife, and that the capital is only three hundred lees distant, we shall lose our heads." By promising the most profound silence, we induced them to ask several things about our capital; but they were highly dissatisfied that we could not give the exact number of military officers stationed there.
        July 30. Two mandarins, of whom one was a general by the name of Kim, and stationed at the Tsee-che-to district, came to visit us in order to console us for our hardships. Both of them were dressed in most elegant silks. Kim wore a string of amber beads to fasten on his hat, in which was stuck a peacock feather. They showed a great deal of dignity of behavior, and never interfered in any business which did not concern the immediate object of their missions. Our old friend, Kin, meanwhile prepared a dinner, consisting of cakes, vermicelli, honey, pork, melons, salad, vinegar and rice. This time, they had taken all possible care to make the whole palatable, and we did not fail to enjoy their hospitality. They were greatly delighted with our cheerfulness, and that we did not refuse the well-meant though scanty dinner of Corea. After dining, we requested the honor of their company to our table to-morrow. To this invitation they gave no decided answer. These men had quite the appearance of courtiers, and we did not doubt, had been sent from the capital to examine our affairs. Though we expressed this opinion to them, they always denied it.
        This afternoon we went ashore to plant potatoes, giving them in writing the directions, necessary to follow, for insuring success. Even this act of benevolence they at first strenuously opposed; for it was against the laws of the country to introduce any foreign vegetable. We cared very little about their objections, but expatiated upon the benefits which might arise from such innovation, till they silently yielded.
While we were engaged in explaining our motives in walking around, one of the guard in attendance on the general, who had been negligent of his duty to drive away the surrounding populace, was about to be punished in front of the place where we were sitting; but at our request he was immediately released. It seems their maxim to impress foreigners with the rigor of their discipline, that they may know how to respect such powerful mandarins.
We visited, to-day, the temple on the hill. It consisted of one small apartment hung around with paper, and salt fish in the middle. There was no other idol visible but a small metal dragon which rested on the ground. From the inscription on the outside, we learned that the temple was erected in the third year of Taou-kwang; the names of the contributors, with their several sums, were carefully noted down in Chinese taels.
        July 31. General Kim came to-day to prohibit us from going any more on shore, because he had received the strictest orders from his superiors to prevent us. "You are our guests," said he, "and guests ought to conform to the rules the host prescribes." We quoted some passages from the book of rites, which enjoin the host to give his guest the fullest liberty to walk about and to be at ease. When he read this he exclaimed "hota, hota !" (good, good,) and never touched that point again. We began now to grow impatient at receiving no answer to our petition, nor the provisions which we had been desired to write down. The general only told us, that we ought to wait quietly till an answer from the capital arrived.
        We took a sail to-day in order to ascertain whether we were near the continent, or among the islands. The spot which we visited was covered with wood and the most excellent timber in every direction, but we saw scarcely a human being in the neighborhood. So long as we have been here, we have not seen an orchard or garden. To-day we found peach trees growing wild in the jungle, and some days since discovered wild grapes. It is astonishing that the inhabitants do not plant these useful trees; yet in all our rambles, we never saw more than one peach tree reared by the hand of man. They are ignorant of wine, though they occasionally eat the grapes, which are rather sour. I described the mode in which we cultivated this excellent plant, and the pleasant beverage made of the juice of the grape. This they could hardly believe, for the wine, they said, which they had drank on board, was sweet, and therefore could not be extracted from sour grapes: On the whole, the food of this people seems to be very scanty; they eat every thing and swallow it voraciously. It is most lamentable that so fertile a soil in so temperate a climate, which might maintain its thousands, now scarcely subsists a few hundreds.
        August 1. There is a marked change in the behaviour of mandarins and people who visit us; all of them are very reserved, and cautious, in answering any questions. Formerly we had made them sundry presents, which they gladly and gratefully received, but now they try to force them back. We suspect that some prohibiting orders from the capital have arrived, but we cannot come at the truth. Mr. L. had been daily collecting words for his vocabulary, but now they refuse to give the shortest sentence. For they fear that by learning their language, we may converse with them and influence them to adopt sounder policy. Now and then we grow impatient at their childish reserve, and again are reconciled, for no strangers ever enjoyed such privileges here as we do.
        In our excursions we came to several houses lately deserted. There were generally two apartments in each, shaped like ovens. The kitchen was a separate building adjoining the house. To heat the room in winter, they had a large hole under the floor, by burning a proper quantity of wood in which, the whole apartment was kept warm. Every house is surrounded with a fence of dry bamboo: these cottages are generally built very compact and in squares, having small lanes between the squares. Such are the dreary abodes where the Coreans pass their life amidst filth and poverty.
        We met with many individuals whose skin was regularly incrusted with dirt; many had not washed themselves for months, and were covered with vermin, which they did not hesitate to catch and to despatch in our presence. They scarcely possessed any thing; their utensils were clumsy; their vessels made of earthen ware, of the coarsest kind imaginable; and besides these they had nothing else. As long as we have been here, we have never seen one copper coin. Since their mandarins are so elegantly dressed, and possess all the conveniencies which their limited world affords, the people must needs be conscious of their wretchedness. In their intercourse with us they always showed a great deal of soundness of judgment. We cannot charge them with laziness, but we fear they want the necessary stimulus to exertion. Government does not permit them to enjoy the fruits of their labors; they are therefore indifferent to the possession of any thing beyond bare necessaries of life. Would their present state have been what it is, had they been allowed intercourse with foreigners? "Exclusion" may have kept them from the adoption of foreign customs, but has not meliorated their condition. Walking over these fertile islands, beholding the most beautiful flowers every where growing wild, and the vine creeping among weeds and bushes, we accuse "the lord of nature," man, of shameful neglect; for he could have changed this wilderness into an Eden. Let the Gospel penetrate into these regions, and as far as it is accepted in truth, misery will cease.
        August 2. New boats from the capital arrived very early, and we received a hint that a great mandarin was coming to make us a visit. He proved to be a literary mandarin of the third rank, wearing under his chin a beautiful string of amber. In his haughty deportment he showed all the ignorance of the peasant, and the arrogance of the barbarian. Woo, a commissioner sent to treat with us, followed him very soon. He had a very pleasing countenance, was cleanly and elegantly dressed, but discovered very little ingenuity in his questions, and was exceedingly reserved. Our visiters to-day were more numerous than on any previous day; among them were several conceited young men, who used very impertinent language. I have hitherto had constant applications for medicine. To-day I was requested to furnish a sufficient quantity for sixty old persons, all suffering under a very severe "cold."
        August 5. Woo is so minute in his inquiries, that it is difficult to answer them all. He insisted upon examining the chests of the Lascars, and. all the cargo which was aboard. We gratified him in the former demand, and would have done so in the other, if he had only brought one hundred thousand dollars aboard to purchase it. In the enumeration of kingdoms passed in coming out, he insisted on the most exact catalogue, asked the time required to return to England, and come back again, &c.
        August 7. Old Kin brought back the letter and presents in a state of the utmost agitation. He said that he had endangered himself by receiving them and promising to deliver them to the king. “In a very short time a mandarin of high rank will arrive, who will settle the whole business." We did not receive the things returned, but sent the old man disconsolate away.
        We took a cruise to ascertain how far the bay where we were at anchor extended inland; for on the Jesuits' charts it is marked as entering very far into the peninsula. After having passed our usual limits of excursion, the bay became broader and broader, the country less inhabited, and the scenery very wild. We went in a north-west direction, where the bay again opened to a great extent, but the limits of which we could not discern, though we ascended a hill whence we could survey all the country around us. The people were so exceedingly shy, that they ran off in great haste as soon as they perceived us; but from the opposite shore they came off to us, and gladly received a few books. We finally ascertained that the large projecting point was an island, and separated from the main land only by a stream which disembogues into the sea. Had we gone in a northeast direction, we should very probably have arrived at the capital, or at least have approached it so near as to reach it within a few hours; for all the boats with the great mandarins came from that direction; and when stating to some of the clerks our conjecture that we had been near the capital, they first wanted to deny it, but afterwards admitted that it was true.
        August 9. We finally had the pleasure to see the royal commissioner come on board. He stated that he was sent by the treasurer, and after some introductory remarks said : "To receive your letter and presents is illegal; we ought to ascribe the mistake to the great age of the two mandarins whom you charged with this business; but as an illegal business, we cannot represent your affairs to his majesty, and accordingly returned all to you. Our kingdom is a dependent state of China; we can do nothing without the imperial decree; this is our law. Hitherto we have had no intercourse with foreigners; how could we venture to commence it now?" In our turn we asked why they had retarded our departure so very long, always requesting us to wait for the royal answer? It was true that they had never had any intercourse with foreign nations except the Mantchou Tartars, Chinese, and Japanese; but we came hither for the purpose of bringing on such an intercourse for the mutual benefit of both nations. Besides, Corea is no dependant state, but only tributary to China; it has its own laws, and is by no means ruled by the decrees of the Celestial Empire. It reflected very little honor on a public functionary to degrade his own country in the eyes of foreigners, in order to evade giving a direct refusal to their request. This remark touched him to the heart; he was ashamed of himself, and would have retracted the assertion that Corea was a dependant state, had he not written it upon paper.
        The conduct of the mandarins has been most inconsistent. At first they were anxious that we should enter the harbor, and deliver every thing into their charge. And when we designed to leave immediately, they besought us to remain and await the royal answer. Finally, they told us that they had not reported us to the king, though they had repeatedly assured us that it was done. Our principal regret was at the loss of time, incurred to no purpose.
August 10. We obliged the principal mandarins to become sureties for the deliverance of the provisions which they had promised, but never sent. It happened that some people came along side, whom they caught, and cudgelled most cruelly.
        We ascended the hills of the largest islands near our anchorage, and inspected a fort built on the peak of one of them. It consists of a stone wall, and the interval filled with earth, but without any guns or martial apparatus. This inland is densely inhabited, and the best cultivated which we have seen. When the inhabitants saw us, they were much alarmed lest we should see their fortifications, and great numbers ran up the hill, and surrounded us on all sides. When they found that we would enter their villages, they escorted us strictly, and turned us several times out of the right way. It seems they have received orders to do so, for at first they were very friendly, and rendered us every little service in their power.
        August 11. We heard that the people who brought the provisions had great trouble to procure them all. However, we were well satisfied with the stock which they furnished. After a desultory conversation, we handed to some of the principal mandarins a paper, descriptive of their tergiversation, and of the English character, which did not brook any disgrace. Such plain language had the desired effect; they became humble, and began to regret their assertions of the day before. Woo, the royal commissioner, lost all courage; he had committed himself too much, and could find no excuse for his faults. We stipulated that whenever an English ship came hither in distress, they should immediately furnish her sufficient provisions. To this they readily agreed, with the single condition that they should not receive pay for it. If any ship should be wrecked on their coast, we requested them to send the unfortunate sailors back by way of Peking, to which they agreed also.
        We went ashore, and stated the conditions on which we hoped to leave them; but as they seemed little disposed to hearken, we left them, and visited a Corean junk in the harbor. They do not carry above two hundred tons, and seem quite unmanageable in a tempest. Even the little skill displayed by the Chinese, in the construction of their vessels, is wanting here.
        Kim made the last attempt to return the letter and presents; but when he saw that we did not receive what we had once given, and what had been accepted, he praised our rule of conduct as most consistent and commendable. He lamented the mean shift to which Woo had betaken himself, by declaring his country dependent on China. He expressed his regret at our parting, and was almost moved to tears. Again we requested that any English ship touching there might be treated with civility, and supplied with provisions, to which he agreed most fully, and solemnly took his leave. Among all the officers who came on board, none behaved with such politeness and dignity as Kim. He had something commanding in his aspect; he was always grave, and answered and asked questions generally to the point. His observations were just, and his objections usually unanswerable. He expressed his deep regret that strangers should not be permitted to have any intercourse with his country, but remarked that it was not at the option of the mandarins, but could be authorized only by the king. This was nothing new to us, who well knew that in every despotic country the will of the monarch is the law of the country.
        As cattle are abundant, ships touching here can always be supplied with beef; and to this the mandarins will make no objection. It is not likely that any trade of importance could be carried on with this peninsula. Though there are spacious and secure harbors, among which, Gan-keang, the place of our anchorage, holds the first rank, there are perhaps few productions for exportation, and little money to pay the surplus of imports. One should not be too positive, however, in such assertions, for a country not sufficiently known, may not be sufficiently valued. We have an instance in the Sandwich islands, where a flourishing trade is now carried on, which a few years before was considered a matter of impossibility. Those parts of Corea which we have seen, have in themselves great resources; and we think that the interior is far more cultivated than the islands of the coast. Doubtless there would be a demand for British goods; for we saw they invariably prized the calico and the woollens, cloths entirely unknown among them. Nor, as the natives would have us believe, do we think that the country is so entirely destitute of silver, as to be unable to purchase annually some cargoes of European merchandise. How could the king, otherwise, pay so large sums in silver to the court of Peking?
        Never did foreigners, perhaps, possess so free access to the country as we enjoyed. We hope that the communications which we transmitted, will suggest to the rulers a different line of policy from that which they have hitherto followed.
        The inhabitants seem to possess sound understanding, but with great pride and apathy of feeling. The majority indulge to excess in spirituous liquors, but they swallow great quantities without becoming intoxicated. Unnatural crimes seem to be very common among them. Our notions of decency differ very widely from theirs; however, they are not so entirely lost as not to feel that they do wrong. In the great plan of the eternal God, there will be a time of merciful visitation for them. While we look for this, we ought to be very anxious to hasten its approach, by diffusing the glorious doctrines of the cross by all means in our power. The king of Corea may be said to have a Bible, which he at first refused to receive; and whether he now reads it, I am unable to say; but all the official persons about Gan-keang, and many of the common people, accepted them. The scripture teaches us to believe, that God can bless even these feeble beginnings. Let us hope that better days will soon dawn for Corea.
        August 17. We passed many islands, of every imaginable shape. The most southern, Ouelpoert, (lat. 32º 51', long. 126° 23',) is a charming spot. It is well cultivated, and so conveniently situated, that if a factory was established there, we might trade with the greatest ease to Japan, Corea, Mantchou Tartary, and China. But if this is not done, could not such an island become a missionary station? Would it not be giving a fatal blow to those hateful systems of exclusion, by establishing a mission in so important a situation? I know not how far the Corean government exercises control over the island; but I should think, that a missionary residing here, would be less subject to dangers than those in New Zealand, and the first harbingers of the glad tidings in Labrador and Greenland. One thing is true, these islands are not inaccessible to Christianity.