A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
assembled, and the troops had been under arms to receive him; and that the viceroy was highly offended at the disappointment, and had sent the commodore’s linguist to prison chained, supposing that the whole had been owing to the linguist’s negligence.  This plausible tale gave the commodore great concern, and made him apprehend that there was some treachery designed him, which he could not yet fathom; and though it afterwards appeared that the whole was a fiction, not one article of it having the least foundation, yet (for reasons best known to themselves) this falsehood was so well supported by the artifices of the Chinese merchants at Canton, that, three days afterwards, the commodore received a letter, signed by all the supercargoes of the English ships then at that place, expressing their great uneasiness at what had happened, and intimating their fears that some insult would be offered to his boat, if he came thither before the viceroy was fully satisfied about the mistake.  To this letter Mr Anson replied, that he did not believe there had been any mistake, but was persuaded it was a forgery of the Chinese, to prevent his visiting the viceroy; that, therefore, he would certainly come up to Canton on the 13th of October, confident that the Chinese would not dare to offer him an insult, as well knowing it would be properly returned.

On the 13th of October, the commodore continuing firm, to his resolution, all the supercargoes of the English, Danish, and Swedish ships, came on board the Centurion, to accompany him to Canton, for which place he set out in his barge the same day, attended by his own boats, and by those of the trading ships, which, on this occasion, came to form his retinue; and, as he passed by Whampoa, where the European vessels lay, he was saluted by all of them but the French, and in the evening arrived safely at Canton.

SECTION XXXII.

Proceedings at the City of Canton, and the Return of the Centurion to England.

When the commodore arrived at Canton, he was visited by the principal Chinese merchants, who affected to appear very much pleased that he had met with no obstruction in getting thither, and who thence pretended to conclude that the viceroy was satisfied about the former mistake, the reality of which they still insisted on; they added, that as soon as the viceroy should be informed that Mr Anson was at Canton (which they promised should be done the next morning,) they were persuaded a day would be immediately appointed for the visit, which was the principal business that had brought the commodore thither.

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