Excerpt from The Far East and the New America, Vol. 4: A Picturesque and Historic Account of These Lands and Peoples
In the sixth century, when the glorious Tang dynasty was in its youth, Chinese arms battered down the wall separating Cathay China's ancient name from Europe. ... In the thirteeth centurv the great Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, penetrated the Chinese court. He laid the foundation of what might have been a splendid edifice of mutual esteem between the Chinese and the outer world. But the Portuguese, who made their first appearance in 1516, by their cruel aggressions destroyed his work, and in its stead established the base of the recent structure of anti-foreign hatred. Later the soldiers of Spain were guilty of a massacre of Chinese in Manila. Not as barbarous, the English were not tactful in their efforts to open the door of Chinese trade. The glories of the East which Marco Polo described upon his return to Venice, and the con firmation of his reports by later travellers and traders, fired England with a desire to share in the advantages of contact and commerce with the Oriental Empire. Queen Elizabeth despatched a commission to Pekin. Disaster overtook it before it reached its destination. English traders became England's diplomats. Then of course war. In 1637 the Chinese forts which protected Canton were bombarded and occupied, and their evacuation by the belligerent foreigners did not occur until the latter had disposed of the cargoes their ships had brought.
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