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LETTERS OF JOSÉ IGNACIO DE ANDRADE
Letters Written from India and China date to the first half of the 19th century and are undoubtedly an enormous contribution to a better understanding of the way the Portuguese viewed the Far East, and China in particular. The information and experience the Portuguese accumulated during their long sojourn in the Far East were vital in shaping a universe where Portuguese culture plays an unquestionable part. It extends beyond the narrow confines of language as history has left us other forms, one in which we may still trace the passage of all manners of men who travelled the four corners of the world on their ceaseless discovery of new things. The Portuguese world today is an amalgam of styles, whether in architecture, cookery, music or countless other areas.
As far as the Far East was concerned, the Portuguese were to get to know the lands and peoples of the Indian and Pacific oceans between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The twin powers of crown and church usually set the objectives, which were then achieved by missionaries, sailors and merchants and their Luso-Asian descendants. They came into direct contact with new places and their peoples, studied and reflected on them and disseminated knowledge in their written works, some of which were descriptive in character while others were more scientific. We thus helped build up a bank of scientific knowledge by providing a source of information on Asia.
From the nineteenth century onwards, the Portuguese influence in the Far East changed completely due to transformations taking place all over world on very different levels: economic, social, political, scientific. The attitude of the Westerner towards the "other" also changed, so it is important to know what some Portuguese writers, who are not necessarily known in the history of Portuguese literature, had to say. They remain, however, outside the sphere of investigative study and analyses on Portuguese "Orientalism" today. A great deal has been written and published on Camilo Pessanha, Venceslau de Morais, Eça de Queirós and Antero de Quental, while others are omitted; however, they could make important contributions to a more thorough analysis of how the Portuguese looked on China. We regret that although some work has been carried out on this subject, no systematic work exists on the views, thoughts, and even - why ever not - the feelings this area of the Far East has kindled in all those who have spent an important part of their lives investigating and getting to know distant China.
We shall focus on that Imperial nation and endeavour to draw four "portraits" of China that the ordinary man may still see today, filled with all its historical legends and myths. We may with all modesty say at the end of the project whether there was (or not) a "Portuguese view" on China.
José Ignacio de Andrade
The Cartas Escriptas da India e da China by José Ignacio de Andrade are without any doubt an invaluable help to find out more about the way the Portuguese looked on or viewed the Far East, and particularly China. They are thus the material we draw on for our first "portrait".
José Ignacio de Andrade was born in the Azores in 1779, and was an unexceptional civil servant in the colonial administration. He was councillor at the Lisbon City Hall between 1836 and 1839 at which time he became Lord Mayor and director of the Bank of Portugal. He was married twice. Maria Gertrudes de Andrade was his first wife and he addressed most of these letters to her.
José Ignacio de Andrade was a man of his times; culturally and ideologically influenced by liberal humanism and individualistic views on the world. He spent many of his eighty-two years reflecting on, learning and writing in a sensitive manner about the Far East. He left behind his Letters, which form a set of a hundred short impressions, first published in two volumes by the Imprensa Nacional in 1843.
He demonstrates his wide understanding of China, gleaned during his twenty years in the Far East, in his long written work of close to 370 pages recently published by "Livros do Oriente". These hundred letters are filled with descriptions and thoughts about what he observed and studied, and are divided into two parts: the first fifty letters (volume one) focus on the start of his journey to India, some aspects of Indian civilisation, his voyage to Macau and China, and finally on Chinese ancient history. In the remaining fifty letters which make up volume two, the author looks at different characteristics of Chinese civilisation and pauses to reflect on other topics. They help us understand his line of thought as they make a comparison between the West and what he was learning about China.
The voyages of José Ignacio de Andrade
When a Portuguese author undertakes to make a description of China, he is expected to embark on a whole range of experiences and voyages: one in distance and space to visit the places he observes, to collect information and reflect on it: another in time, if he brings historical information about the places he visits and wants to consider in some way the frame of time in which his voyage took place; and then another as he comes across other habits and customs, ways of behaviour and thinking of the different peoples he meets, and he must travel from himself to reach the other. Voyages directed at getting to know the ways - in this case those of the Orient - by pausing to ponder on differences and similarities, but mainly giving importance to the special features of the people and places visited. These voyages are accounted for in letters that likewise travel, and this is how the author wants to make his ideas known and allow the reader to feel the full range of all the other journeys.
José Ignacio de Andrade goes on all these journeys and narrates them in his Letters. He takes us, his readers, down faraway roads in space and time, and also along narrow paths that lead to his inner world which at times reveal the man.
Although Ignacio de Andrade refused to be considered a traveller or a wise man, this work does blend facts and information with observations of the world during his journey. As he looks on the sky, the earth, and the sea, the author elaborates on what he has learnt and translates his thoughts into reason - several ideas in my head - his sentiments - too many feelings in my heart. These are the limits Ignacio de Andrade puts on his work and he presents in his Avertência (Warning) in which he also tries, rather unsuccessfully, to introduce himself modestly to the readers.
Curing the course of his letters, Ignacio de Andrade leaves Lisbon for India, then goes to Macau and China, and finally returns to Lisbon all in a period of twenty years. But, let us focus for the moment on his first journey to Calcutta, which takes up the first five letters. We are invited to accompany him on his sea journey and his thoughts on the history of Portugal in his Sahida de Lisboa [Departure from Lisbon] as he passes Madeira and crosses the equator. These letters become a form of travel literature, which is not a mere description of what he observes with the passage of time and distance
His first letter begins with the anguish that all travellers feel when they start on a long journey, that is to say, he fears there will be no return. It seems as if a deep abyss opens up in the wake of the ship which will prevent me from returning for ever. What gloomy thought! He quickly drives such ideas away, and directs his attention back to Lisbon as it slowly grows more distant, to Sintra and the poet Camões who celebrated it and best represents the universality of Portuguese culture. Andrade must have remembered him not only because of Sintra but also because he is the poet whose works most closely identify with the imagery of ever-present voyages. So Ignacio de Andrade begins by contemplating the universe, and remembering all things that exist in the vastness of the earth. And from the earth he goes back to the sea on which he is travelling and praises the seamen who brought together the worlds of the world, despite their homesickness, deprivations and constant dangers. This is followed by his journey to Madeira. Ignacio de Andrade makes a brief incursion into the history of the archipelago and writes about Prince Henry the Navigator. He places him on a sacred promontory as the personification of all the efforts the Portuguese made in their long sea voyages. Crossing the equator, he starts to contemplate his inner world in the light of a new question, this time the adventure that he might encounter during his long journey just started. The line of the equator was obviously a good place to start to think deeply about the two worlds - the stoical and the libidinous -, which he saw as a balance between the negation of feelings and the pleasure of exciting feelings. He then returns to the initial theme, the balance between reason and feelings, and suggests finding a point of harmony between these two inner worlds, divided along a line very similar to that of the equator. An imaginary line that separates different civilising worlds, but where a balance can be struck and which, in the last instance, is to be found inside man himself. The adventure of man lies in himself: it comes from his heart, and consists of moderating his wishes, and goes on to conclude that feelings must be subordinated to the dictates of virtue: this is where the adventure lies: "Serenity and contentment", said Zeno, "are the accessories of good."
The voyage continues southwards to its last obstacle before India: it must double the Cape of Good Hope. A passage to the world which will become a favourite point for José Ignacio de Andrade to examine and study. A passage to a new world of hope, opened by Bartolomeu Dias and located in the Orient. This is where he presents his Introduction, in the two worlds that are to fill an important part of his life: India and China.
For four hundred years the ocean was an intercontinental link that joined peoples by way of constant commercial, cultural and political exchanges. An exchange, too, of information that circulated by way of the sea, and which Ignacio de Andrade selects as his favourite topic in his introduction. He stresses its essential role in advancing knowledge among all people who contact other peoples. The sea that had been an obstacle to overcome until technology, in particular mathematics, came to their help. They then were able to obtain the things that are necessary in order to enjoy life, and the author again emphasises the need to find a balance; not only what is good is useful, what is beautiful has also got a useful side.
José Ignacio de Andrade presents his aims in this Introduction and the methods he will use to achieve them. His goal is to investigate the customs of his fellow men that live in other places and in other historical times, that is to say, within the frame of their own history. As for methodology, Ignacio de Andrade resorts to travelling in physical distance - to the Orient - and to remote periods of time by writing letters. Why letters? He was concerned not only in the knowledge but also in how it was transmitted. It was his contention that writing was born in the character of the person and his elegance of mind and is transformed by fine feelings in the act of writing. What better means was there of transmitting the highest number of things in the least number of words than in a letter where knowledge and feeling mingled harmoniously to produce a more complete message?
In India… with the British
India is the first eastern world that José Ignacio de Andrade writes about in his letters. As he sails into Calcutta, he starts off by describing it as the capital of India, or then the centre of English power in Asia. And so he sets the tone in which he will acquaint his readers with India in a description where British colonisation is the negative side of the picture.
After the city of Calcutta, José Ignacio de Andrade reflects on the Indians and their religion, especially on the transmigration of souls, which he compares with Pythagorean philosophy. He expresses his admiration for this religious phenomenon: On examination of its principles, I feel I am among ruins: but they are ruins of immense buildings erected on the most ancient sacred book of Brahma, the lawgiver. He devotes the whole of his seventh letter to this book and transcribes parts of it to explain the basis of Indian religion. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the main figures in a religious system that also explains the creation of the world. He later takes up this topic again and adds more information on Indian mythology and religious sects - Sikhs, Brahmenes and Buddhas - as well as the religious orders of India and their social functions in Indian temples.
Ignacio de Andrade makes cross-references in his letters to Indian religious systems and their social organisation (based on four castes: priests, warriors, commoners and labourers) as well as the laws that govern it based on a moral code embedded in man’s nature.
After nine letters devoted to Indian social and religious orders, Ignacio de Andrade draws the reader to the negative side of this Eastern region to examine British colonisation through the East India Company. His criticism of the British in India is violent at times. He denounces their expansion into the interior of the subcontinent and the British government’s abuse of power. But José Ignacio de Andrade goes beyond that and compares the British colonisation to the Mongol invasion and occupation. That a barbarian conqueror murders his vanquished enemies should not be considered unusual; it is the custom of the uncivilised and savage; but the British company of India should be detested for destroying an empire and murdering most of its inhabitants…
The way Ignacio de Andrade refers to the English contrasts sharply with his description of Indian society and religion: an Eastern world of harmony with its superior civilisation in comparison to a British Western world which is to blame for the decadence of India because of Britain’s overwhelming ambition and repressive power. In truth, I see things in the English capital of India which if I were to describe, you yourself would doubt. They are so hideous and outlandish!
We thus come across one of the most consistent features of his work: a feeling that permeates the whole of Portuguese society in the first quarter of the nineteenth century which had for a long time been dominated by British troops and the supremacy of British foreign policy. Anti-British feelings that had even spread to the African and Asian colonies, specifically Macau, had grown more acute after the 1802 and 1808 crises and reach its peak during the first Opium War. In no way does Ignacio de Andrade hide how influenced he is by these feelings and has no qualms in expressing them plainly and simply to his readers in his letters.
What more must be said to judge English benevolence? That they rage constant war throughout the world? That they have killed six million Indians in the Benguella region? That they have committed acts of horrendous piracy, taking ships that should have been safe from them (…). These barbaric acts cannot be described without the pen failing in the horror…
Apart from the Western-Eastern conflict of civilisations that Ignacio de Andrade reflects in his correspondence, there is also the matter of the British-Portuguese colonial rivalry. He ceaselessly denounces this political and economic rivalry, contrasting British greed with the Portuguese attitude in the same places.
José Ignacio de Andrade provides information about the Punjab, trade and industry. He gives special importance to anfião - the opium he refers to again when he makes a description of China. The last letter - Jardins de Calcuttá [Gardens of Calcutta]- is written on the eve of his departure for China, via Malacca and Singapore.
Passage to Macau
Once more on his way, José Ignacio de Andrade makes a broad description of the two towns on route to China. He marks his arrival in Macau in his letter Estabelecimento dos portuguezes na China [The settling of the Portuguese in China] and tries to make a brief summary of the history of the Portuguese in Imperial China. Ignacio de Andrade remembers former undertakings, and attributes the origin of the Cidade de Macau to the persistence of the Portuguese along the coast of China, and the fact that they were tenacious in their efforts. He follows the path of history taken by Fernão Mendes Pinto, who he carefully refers to with the corroboration of the old manuscripts that I managed to find in the notary office at the Senate.
Following this detailed report on its history, Ignacio de Andrade returns to the present time to describe the town: its geographic location, the fortifications built to defend the settlement against foreign attacks, forms of government, population and administrative departments. At that time, there were three parishes with twenty two thousand, five hundred souls, all in a space of just a league in circumference.
In Macau, Ignacio de Andrade comes up with four basic remarks: a critique on the way the government of the settlement has evolved, a word on Luso-Chinese relations, further declarations against British policy in the East and anti-Jesuit feelings.
With regard to the first issue, Ignacio de Andrade makes a comparison in his 31st letter between the noble spirit that inspired the foundation of the town and the men who in one way or another were tyrannising the settlement: the captains-general who opposed the government by the citizens. Ignacio de Andrade, imbued with liberal ideals, loudly defends the authority of the senate which was in jeopardy if just one tyrant questioned it and thus endangered the prosperity of the town, and sometimes even its very survival. Francisco Mascarenhas, Diogo de Pinho Teixeira, António José Telles and Mendes da Cunha are the names he gives as examples of men whose policies were harmful to Macau. The necessary reforms were either not started at all or else carried out in such a manner that they ended up inflicting even more damage on the settlement. This was Ignacio de Andrade’s critical view of how Macau was being governed, especially after the crisis that had come to a head in mid-seventeenth century. It was a critical view and politically directed at encouraging people to participate and share in a government of Macau based on the senate so that a government of honest citizens may oppose the tyranny and despotism of the captains-general.
The remarks on the Chinese-Portuguese relations were written in the Grotto of Camões, an inspiring place to come up with some considerations about the state in which he found Macau, in the heels of his criticism of its government. His attention goes to issues that have existed throughout the history of Macau and Luso-Chinese relations: the limits of Portuguese sovereignty marked by a number of prohibitions such as, for example, admitting Japanese into Macau, buying subjects, erecting new buildings; depending on China specially with regard to food. Ignacio de Andrade defends that just as the Chinese government is special, so should the government of this town be, as it depends on China for everything. He recommends three lines of action: 1- we must get to know Chinese customs properly so that we do not cause offence: 2 - we should exercise great prudence and tolerate those that suffer and support strangers in their land: 3 - we should have few but good soldiers; that is to say, tough and disciplined. In any other place a good-sized corps for its brute force would be fitting, but in Macau it would not do any good as it would be an added expense the town cannot sustain; it would also offend Chinese. Although these are not original ideas, they are in fact very relevant considering they are mentioned in a work such as these Letters. Apart from their contents, which spell out how a good government must know how to maintain an open and sincere friendship with the Chinese authorities, these proposals are also in line with the general opinions of the author with regard to China as well as his constant criticism of British policy, which was incapable of achieving this entente and preferred to impose itself through imperial arrogance.
In his letter Defeza dos macaenses [Defence of the Macanese], Ignacio de Andrade keeps at arms length from some British writers on Macau and the Portuguese in China. He refutes what they say about the Portuguese and Chinese, who, in this letter, appear both as victims of British policy, the true usurpers. He gives his account of the Orient not only by praising the Portuguese in Asia but also through his assertions about other Western powers, in this case, the British.
Finally, the missionaries in Macau and China are on more than one occasion exposed to his severe criticism, especially in relation to the divisions that reigned between the religious orders and their national origins. Once again the superiority and dignity of Chinese authorities are held up as examples when, thanks to the prudence of the Mandarins, a rumour is squashed that the missionaries intended to place Father Caetano on the throne of Imperial China, or when the Emperor Kang-Hi accepts to receive on four occasions the Patriarch of Alexandria, Mezza Barba, which reveals the disputes of Christian policy in China.
A portrait of China
José Ignacio de Andrade devotes nearly half his letters to China. In the first - Viagem de Macao a Cantão - he interestingly sets out what his aims and concerns are and recalls the censor Catao-yu-se and the advice he gave the Mandarin, Chan-pi-pi, when he came to Europe on a visit. Each portion of the world has its own history; examine that of the Europeans; you will find an image of their customs in it. However, that is not enough to assess the characters of the inhabitants: history only relates the great events and men could become known in less important causes that occur about them. Then the Mandarin is given a number of points he should observe in order to guide him. This is what Ignacio de Andrade wanted to do for himself when he got to China, although he was aware that it was easier for a Chinese to make such an inquiry in Europe in three years than a European to conduct one in China in thirty years.
After an account of his voyage to Canton, which took sixty hours, Ignacio de Andrade describes the city and quoting Mr Laplace he says that this floating Venice offers an important lesson to Europeans as to what real civilisation is. Canton is astir with commerce and people (their numbers are reported variably between five hundred thousand and the million and a half, which Ignacio is inclined to favour), and wealth is distributed among more than twenty thousand houses of rich merchants. The doors are laid open to the writer’s sincere admiration for the civilisation he is about to investigate and write about in the letters that follow, and he starts off by giving the ancient history of Imperial China.
Ignacio de Andrade then begins the saga of the Chinese dynasties he knows: the first emperors, legends, beliefs, myths and characters to whom he gives body and credence. However, even before he begins an account of Chinese dynasties and their main emperors, he clearly defines his purpose, which is to demonstrate that the Chinese have done good for mankind. He thus admonishes others who despite their universal prestige (Montesquieu, for instance) had written about China without ever visiting it, while he applauds others who had undergone the journey - Gaspar Correia, Pereira and Magalhães - and examined the laws, customs and habits of this ancient Oriental empire. His experiences carry more weight than any pure scientific speculation, though it is evident from his letters that Ignacio de Andrade can develop brilliant arguments on what he observes and consequently is perfectly qualified to write truthfully on the empire that he is visiting.
As Chinese dynasty after dynasty file past in his letters, Ignacio de Andrade also leaves impressions on which he sketches his basic outlines of China. From the very first dynasty, in which he writes of the great works of Yu, he describes how its end was sealed because of the tyranny of the last emperor and how it set a standard that was to remain throughout the history of the empire: that is to say, a people would overthrow their emperor if he failed to do his duty. When we look into the origins of imperial dynasties, we see the link that binds a king to his people, and their right to overthrow him should he forget his duties. This is the principle that prevails throughout the Chinese Empire. This principle, one that directed the people of China’s political lives, sets Ignacio de Andrade pondering about power and the tyrants that exercise it and their relations with the people they govern. However, he ends up putting the blame not on the oppressor but on those who let themselves be dominated. The king who practices such shameful abuses of power is less to blame than those who tolerate them. Yes, for where there are no slaves, there can be no tyrants. Just as when he criticised the captains-general of Macau, Ignacio de Andrade once again praises any system of government that allows the governed the means to decide upon how they are governed. In China these means were clearly in the hands of the people who had the possibility to revolt against their emperor if he failed in his obligations.
José Ignacio de Andrade undertakes a more or less thorough, albeit brief summary of the whole of Chinese history and he gives credit to the more positive contributions of each dynasty. However, he never fails to point out the emperors who were tyrants, ambitious or bloodthirsty, and violated the rights of the people. Whenever this happened, the people would rebel and subsequently open the way for the start of a new dynasty.
The history of China comes to an end with the first volume of letters. The second volume starts with a description of the physical and psychological characteristics of the Chinese, though he first feels the need to find evidence to corroborate his statements. He finds what he seeks in the first Portuguese who came in contact with the Chinese: Afonso de Albuquerque, Tomé Pires, Gaspar da Cruz and Fernão Mendes Pinto are called to testify because they tell the truth. Thus, Ignacio de Andrade finds the support and credibility he wants for his own views in old documents. On the other hand, his letters, now with added insights and research, in their turn validate the ancient records, in particular those that had previously raised a few doubts. Present and past opinions confirm one another and the writer now feels free to continue his research.
The Chinese is seen as the "other" different from all "others", because of his physical appearance (high forehead, well-shaped mouth, broad white face, black hair tied at the back) as well as his psychological characteristics (passive, sensible and restrained; superstitious, industrious, patient and temperate). They also had one very lofty virtue: a love for their country and the power to thwart tyrants. In what country do such sublime virtues exist? In Europe? No. Historians in their petty interest sell their nation’s honour to the tyrant to enslave it further.
José Ignacio Andrade then starts his descriptive account of China, in the different everyday things that together make the sum of any people and any civilisation. The same admiration, or rather, the same praise for Chinese civilisation either in itself or then in comparison with another Western state comes through in each description. At times, his writing shows how that admiration could very easily become an acknowledgement of the superiority of that Oriental civilisation, the most flourishing empire in the world.
Phrases like these are strewn in nearly all his letters on virtually all the subjects he broaches: it is truly an advance in civilisation, the fairness which the Chinese observe when they determine their taxes… Chinese laws about the fair sex are strict… in Europe they are barbaric… I assure you that considering the amount of inhabitants, there is more virtue in China than in any other part of the world… The Chinese have for over four thousand years respected and venerated men who are distinguished for their virtue and learning: in Europe, oh the shame!…
High praise for China, indeed… even at table. A meal offers an occasion to demonstrate the sophistication of Chinese civilisation by way of the delicacies served as well as the number of servants, the specially prepared settings to the meal, and even in the gracious manner friends are humbly welcomed in the homes of those who know how to receive their guests. Ignacio de Andrade’s account of what happened in the home of Saoqua serves as an example of all this, specially in the profound way in which his host returned the good wishes for happiness and prosperity that Andrade had first made: I thank you all for the compliments that I have just received; and I have great pleasure in telling you that if my fortune does exist, I owe it in part to Senhor Andrade.
Another source of admiration and further praise for the Chinese people and their empire is the way they practice their agriculture, which is ecological. It is contrasted to the global devastation wrought by industrialisation and the way the Chinese manage to delay the progress of this destruction. Agriculture shows a nation’s strength and it is the economic activity around which revolves the population and their food, arts, trade, navigation, etc.
The subject of tea now appears in relation to agriculture. A "portrait of China" would be incomplete if it failed to mention the beverage that spread throughout the world. Ignacio de Andrade writes five pages on the production, preparation and commercialisation of tea, which become such a symbol in the history of the Chinese empire. Tea is a mark of sophistication of their civilisation, and though tea-drinking is practically a sacred ritual, it is also considered a basic necessity.
In the sweep of economic and cultural thinking of the eighteenth century, work appears as a civilising factor at the centre of any notion of progress. Ignacio de Andrade hold to that idea when he devotes one of his letters to trade in China. Following Adam Smith when he dethroned gold and silver, our letter-writer’s thoughts turn to China which creates the nation’s wealth with its agriculture, industry and trade; that is to say, with its labour. He commends these activities in contrast to the ownership of metals, which though synonymous with wealth are unproductive. Subsequently, it is of no surprise that in China there is abundance of the first two, while trade is practised in the interior of the country and to acquire foreign goods and thus energy radiates through the whole of society.
Ignacio de Andrade ends these letters in which he has drawn a "portrait of China" with some lines devoted to the arts: poetry, music and painting are excellent means for him to show his feelings rather than his thoughts about this civilisation. Poetry has an important place here which is understandable when we recall that this is the art, par excellence, that expresses feelings, that is to say, the language of passions, according to the work by Chou-King. But it also reflects social behaviour such as, for instance, the respect children have for their parents, which is central to the ode Ignacio de Andrade quotes to illustrate Chinese poetry. The song of the philosopher Lean is an example of creative writing where philosophy, poetry and customs intermingle to reveal Chinese habits in the intimacy of the family.
All my wishes and all my hopes are contained within me. Rivers run into the sea and do not disturb it: the same happens with my heart. I have truth and reason for my compass and moderation is my rudder should any wind blow; they all are proper for my destiny.
***
Generally speaking, we construct an identity in opposition to another. It can but reflect well on all when praise is attributed to a different civilisation with which historical, cultural and economic relations have been maintained. On the other hand, it is easy to understand the natural fascination of a journey such as the one Ignacio de Andrade took, and that he was stirred to sing the praises of more positive aspects of the peoples and places he visited. However, we contend that that José Ignacio de Andrade went beyond being a simple traveller or just a Westerner who viewed the Orient from the standpoint of their simple domination.
Ignacio de Andrade was successful in his endeavours to recognise the importance of the other as opposed to himself. He managed this through a frame of reference of the Western world’s civilising factors, which he used either to criticise things or then support his arguments (Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Abbot Reynal, Hobbes, Fernão Mendes Pinto, Gaspar da Cruz, Jerónimo Osório, Tomé Pires, among others).
We cannot but remark on the scholarly depth of José Ignacio de Andrade’s wide range of knowledge, which seems outstanding even today, as well as the manner in which he used both his reason and his feelings at the service of the civilisation he visited. He was to surrender to the overwhelming exoticism of the Orient before he had yet fully discovered it.
José Ignacio de Andrade looked at China through Western eyes and succumbed to the beauty of Eastern knowledge and sentiments. He acknowledged the superiority of the Chinese in many of the areas he investigated, thus celebrating the fact that he was an eyewitness to such a rich civilisation and extolling Portugal’s centuries-old relationship with China in contrast with that of the British. He allowed himself to be influenced by the lessons the Imperial civilisation had to offer the West. Ignacio de Andrade responded to the unavoidable confrontation with knowledge, admiration and the recognition that the Portuguese in Macau depended on their respect for Chinese civilisation… and not on war.


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