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A BANQUET AT HONG-KONG.
“Ashuelot” came around the point in view of Macao a slight sea was rolling, and a mist hung over the hills.
As soon as our ship was made out from the shore the Portuguese battery flashed out a salute of twenty-one guns, to which the “ Ashuelot” responded. About five o'clock we came to an anchor, and the aide of the Governor came on board to say that the illness, and, we were sorry to hear, the serious illness, of the Governor prevented his doing any more than sending the most cordial welcome to Macao. The General landed and drove to a hotel. In the evening he strolled about, and in the morning visited the one sight which gives Macao a world-wide fame—the grotto of Camoens.
Senhor Marques, the present owner, had built an arch over the entrance with the inscription, “Welcome to General Grant.” The grounds surrounding the grotto are beautiful and extensive, and for some time we walked past the bamboo, the pimento, the coffee, and other tropical trees and plants. Then we ascended to a bluff, and from the point we had a commanding view of the town, the ccean, and the rocky coasts of China. The grotto of Camoens is inclosed with an iron railing, and a bust of the poet surmounts the spot where, according to tradition, he was wont to sit and muse and compose his im
General Grant inscribed his name in the visitors' book, and, accompanied by Senhor Marques, returned to the “Ashuelot,” which at once steamed for Hong-Kong.
On the evening of our return to Hong-Kong, Governor Hennessy gave General Grant a banquet, and at the close delivered an address, proposing the health of General Grant. "It is now," said Governor Hennessy, “a matter of history that in both houses of the British Parliament there were foes and friends of freedom; but we may recall with pride the fact that two men so diverse in person and disposition and party relations as John Bright and Benjamin Disraeli, were sagacious enough to know that the honor of their own country and welfare of the world were bound up in the cause for which Ulysses Grant was contending. Whilst Bright was repairing the blunders of one or two eminent men of the Liberal party, the great
Conservative chief was, to my own personal knowledge, laboring night and day to counteract unreasoning prejudice amongst his own followers; and it is ever to me a source of intense satis
faction that, though in a very humble way no doubt, I was one of those members of the House of Commons who loyally supported his prudent and patriotic policy. But this is not the only personal reason that is present to my mind to-night. I
am a citizen of Cork; I come from that corner of the whole world nearest, and not least dear, to the United States; and on behalf of my fellow-citizens I now assure General Grant that in no part of the civilized globe would he have received a heartier welcome, if he had honored us with a visit, than in my native city.”
At the close of this address the band of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, which was in attendance, played “Hail Columbia.” General Grant responded as follows:
“Your EXCELLENCY, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : I am very grateful to you for your kind address, to which I would be happy to respond, but there is so much personal and flattering to myself that I find it impossible. It is only a continuance of the kindness that I have received, not only in England, but in India, in the British colonies, wherever, in fact, I have met Englishmen. I have met nothing but courtesy, hospitality, good will to myself and my country. As you have said, I am about to leave the British and pass into the Chinese empire. I have met no gentlemen so kind as the gentlemen of England. For their reception, more especially for the reception in Hong-Kong, I am grateful, and I do not know that I can say anything which is nearer to my heart, now that I am leaving the British empire, than to ask you all to unite in this sentiment: “The perpetual friendship and alliance of the two great English-speaking nations of the world—England and America.'”
At the close of the dinner there was a reception, and the grounds of the Government House were illuminated. Sunday was spent quietly with Governor Hennessy, and on Monday morning General Grant took leave of his brilliant and hospitable host. Before leaving, Colonel Mosby, the consul, presented a deputation of Chinese merchants, who delivered an address. After the reading of the address the General and his party, accompanied by the Governor and his party, took chairs and proceeded to Murray's Pier to embark for a cruise along the coast of China. Governor Hennessy took his leave of General Grant on board the “Ashuelot,” and as his Excellency left the vessel a salute of seventeen guns was fired, with the British flag at the fore.
Our cruise along the coast of China was exceptionally pleasant, so far as the winds and the waves were concerned. There was a monsoon blowing, but it was just enough to help us along
upon us all.
without disturbing the sea. Then it was a pleasure to come into cool latitudes. Ever since we left Naples we had been fighting the sun, and our four months' battle had begun to tell
It was a luxury once more to tread the deck and feel the cool breezes blowing from the north, to roll yourself in your blanket and lie upon deck, to take pleasure in rooting
your warm clothing, and to realize that life was something more than a Turkish bath.
On the morning of the 28th of May we came to Swatow. Swatow is one of the treaty ports that were thrown open to the world under the treaty of Lord Elgin. The Chinese forts saluted and the ship
ping in the harbor dresse d. C. C. Williams, our Consular Agent, came on board to welcome the General, and in his com
pany we land
ed and spent
an hour in
threading the old Chinese town. The streets were narrow, and our way was rendered more difficult by a company or two of strolling players, who had erected a kind of Punch and Judy show. The apparition of the foreigner, however, injured the show business, for the audience gave up the music and merry-making and followed us over the town. In the afternoon we bade farewell to our hosts and steamed out amid several salutes from the forts to Amoy. While in Swatow the Chinese Governor called in state, and said that he had orders from the government to pay all possible attentions to General Grant. It was the custom of the country in making these calls to bring an offering, and as nothing is more useful than food he had brought a live sheep,
six live chickens, six ducks, and four hams. While the Governor was in conference with the General the animals remained outside. There was nothing for the General to do but to accept the homely offering and present it to the servants.
Amoy is another of the treaty ports open to foreign trade. It is on the island of Heamun, at the mouth of Dragon River. It was one of the ports visited by the Portuguese, and has practically been open to trade for three centuries. The island is about forty miles in circumference, and the scenery as we approached was picturesque. All the batteries fired, and there was a welcome from one of our own men-of-war, the “Ranger,” commanded by Commander Boyd. N. C. Stevens, the ViceConsul, came on board and welcomed us to Amoy. Here we met Sir Thomas Wade, the British Minister to Pekin, who was on his way to the capital, and with whom the General had a long conversation about China. We went on board the " Ranger” to attend a reception. You can never tell what can be done with a man-of-war in the way of flags and lanterns and greenery. Certainly the “ Ranger," under the inspiration of the officers, was transformed into a fairy scene, and nothing could have been more kind and hospitable than the captain and the officers. Mrs. Boyd assisted her husband in entertaining his guests. At seven o'clock, as the sun was going down, we took our leave of the brilliant gathering in the “Ranger” and steamed to Shanghai.
While steaming along the Chinese coasts over the smooth, inviting seas, it was pleasant to resume the conversations with General Grant, the remembrance of which forms so pleasant a feature in our journey. “I am always indulgent,” said the General one day, “in my opinions of the generals who did not succeed. There can be no greater mistake than to say that because generals failed in the field they lacked in high qualities. In the popular estimate of generals, nothing succeeds but suc
I think in many cases—cases that I know—much hardship is done. Some of the men who were most unfortunate in our war are men in whom I have perfect confidence, whom I would not be afraid to trust with important commands. It is