174 DRAMATIC MOMENTS
have no more real knowledge or appreciation of the Chinese than has the total stranger. They know their trade and resources, but not one Chinese intimately, and the history, philosophy, deep convictions, and proud dig- nity of the Chinese, are matters of indiffer- ence to them. At that time those were con- sidered hardly more than an insult, interfer- ing as they did with the divine right of busi- ness, and the advance of profits. This ele- ment made the loudest claims upon diplomacy and created the world problem, not yet solved, which Anson Burlingame was called upon to meet.
This European advance guard was undoubt- edly composed of men of a strong strain and daring dispositions, risking much in a new field to gain much. There was nothing wicked about them. They held a philosophy still prevalent in commercial circles — a philosophy which has goaded every foreign office for a hundred years, and only reached its logical con- clusion in the efficiency and f rightfulness on the