sexta-feira, 13 de novembro de 2020

"Views in the East; Comprising India, Canton, and the Shores of the Red Sea": Robert Elliot (1833)

"Views in the East; Comprising India, Canton, and the Shores of the Red Sea with Historical and Descriptive Illustrations by Captain Robert Elliot", é um livro de dois volumes, da autoria do capitão Robert Elliot publicado em 1833 pelos e
ditores londrinos H. Fisher, R. Fisher e P. Jackson.
A obra aborda as viagens marítimas de Elliot (1790-1849) entre 1822 e 1824 pelo Nordeste da África e aPenínsula Arábica, e ainda Índia e China com passagem por Macau em 1824.
Este oficial da Royal Navy (marinha britânica) produziu uma série de desenhos em Macau que seriam reutilizados posteriormente, nomeadamente em versões a cores e em ilustrações de artigos de imprensa um pouco por todo o mundo, com destaque para os desenhos que fez da baía da Praia Grande (ver imagens abaixo). Neste livro surgem meia dúzia de ilustrações relativas à China e Macau. Os editores do livro recorreram aos melhores ilustradores da época (são mais de seis...) que se basearam nos desenhos originais de Elliot. 
Os textos são baseados em vários relatos de  várias viagens (incluindo de outros comandantes).
O título da obra em português é o equivalente a “Vistas do Oriente: Incluindo a Índia, Cantão e as Margens do Mar Vermelho: Com Ilustrações Históricas e Descritivas”. 
Seguem-se alguns excertos realtivos ao capítulo sobre Macau.
The Portuguese settlement at Macao is well known as the only spot of ground that Europeans have ever been allowed to hold within the confines of the Chinese empire. This place is said to have been granted to its present possessors as far back as the year of our Lord 1586 in reward for some service that the Portuguese were able to render the Chinese government in opposing the outlaws that had established themselves on the islands that lie about the entrance of the Tigris and which are called the Ladrones in consequence of their occupation by those pirates.
Until within these very few years past when they were entirely extirpated these depredators were a constant source of terror and annoyance to the Chinese and did much injury to the trade both within and without the mouth of the Canton river. Nor were their attacks confined to the vessels of their own countrymen alone European ships have occasionally fallen into their hands.
Macao is built upon a piece of land that forms a peninsula and it appears to be well chosen if the Portuguese had any choice in the matter for the sake of defence but the same circumstance of situation that renders it defensible on the one hand admits of its being easily blocked up on the other. A wall extends across the isthmus and the strictest precautions are taken by the Chinese that no European shall pass the boundary which only allows a short space of clear ground beyond the houses and gardens that lie on outskirts of the town.
A small Chinese fort is erected sight of the barrier wall and upon any slight with the Portuguese the governor of this fort will stop supply of provisions from entering until the within choose to yield submission. Nor is it from only that the Chinese exercise control over the Portuguese they have also established a restrictive power within keeps these colonists in complete subjection. Nothing exceed the humiliating circumstances under which Portuguese are content to retain possession of Macao.
This settlement lies in latitude 22 13 N and in 113 32 E forty or fifty miles from the entrance of Tigris. There is a narrow channel between Macao and main land though in passing through the roadstead the mouth of the river it appears to be part of the coast. The water is shoal for several miles from the shore so ships of heavy burden lie at anchor a considerable from the land and there is some difficulty in getting regular.
Portuguese traders when lightened to the utmost into the inner harbour that runs up at the back of the town. The bay of Macao is said to be gradually filling up mud on one side of it there is a basin formed by islands where Lord Anson's ship the Centurion was up to repair and certainly now there is not water enough allow of a vessel of that size being brought into the same place.
The roads of Macao are protected in some degree by cluster of the Ladrone Islands that lie without but East India Company's ships avoid anchoring there when they arrive in the months of August and September which times those violent gales of wind known by the name of Typhoons are liable to blow.
The European members of the factories retire to Macao during the period of the year in which their services are not required at Canton and excepting the continued feeling confinement it forms on the whole a pleasant place of residence.
The sea breeze blows during the hot season right in upon the houses of almost all the English inhabitants that stand either on the beach in the bay a part of which is represented in this plate or upon the face of the hill that overlooks the ocean.
The wives and families of Europeans remain altogether at Macao not being allowed to go up to the city of Canton this is a restriction that it is not easy to account for without indeed it forms a part of the Chinese system of making a residence in China as uncomfortable to Europeans as it is possible to render it with a view of discouraging the settling of strangers among them. This jealousy of the Chinese is a constant subject of complaint but it is not to be marvelled at that they should be upon their guard respecting foreigners when we know that little more than two centuries have elapsed since the merchants of England were preferring humble petitions to the sovereigns of Hindoostan to allow them to trade with their dominions. When the Island of Bombay was ceded by the Portuguese to Charles the Second as part of the dowry of Queen Catherine in the year 1661 it could never have been contemplated that by this time Hindoostan would have become a colony of England.
The Chinese have the grand example of India before their eyes and however we may suffer from their caution when living amongst them we ought not upon reflection to be either surprised or aggrieved at the distrustful way in which they are accustomed to view all our proceedings.
A Praia Grande desenhada por W. Purser tendo por base o desenho original de Robert Elliot.
É a principal representação de Macau na primeira metade do século 19.
A gravação em chapa de cobre é de W. Floyd 
Destaco dois aspectos nesta "Praia Grande" inspirada nos esboços de Elliot: as fachadas rectilíneas e praticamente sem varandas dos edifícios (o que viria a mudar na segunda metade do século 19, inclusive após o grande tufão de 1874) e o que me parece a manifesta desproporção com que a fortaleza e ermida da Guia são representadas.
Gravura muito semelhante à referida acima e incluída
na edição de 25.10.1856 d'"A Illustração Luso-Brazileira"* 

The town is built on both sides and over the hill towards the extremity of the peninsula and it has all the picturesqueness that distinguishes Portuguese and Spanish places. The churches, convents and forts occupy conspicuous places and add greatly to the beauty of the landscape. 
This bay in miniature has been compared to the bay of Naples there are certainly points of view that would make a large and beautiful picture the mountainous islands of Lantow and Lintin forming the distance. The view that forms the subject of this plate is taken from nearly the centre of the bay looking in the direction that the Bocca Tigris lies.
The sketch was made from the veranda of a house occupied by Sir James Urmston who was chief of the factory at that time and the larger buildings that appear are the public buildings of the East India Company.
The house of the Portuguese governor is also seen and the Chinese chop or custom house distinguished by the Mandarin pole. There is very little communication between the English and Portuguese families at Macao the distinctive manners and customs of each country being very completely maintained they do not particularly suit each other.
A visit of ceremony to the governor is all that is required and all that usually passes between the English visitors at Macao and the nominal authorities there are frequently invalids from India staying at this place.
In the north east monsoon the weather is cool enough at times to make fires very agreeable throughout the whole day the wind commonly blows fresh and is sharp and piercing during the cold half of the year. The public administration is vested in a senate composed of the bishop the judge and a few of the principal inhabitants but as the Gazetteer remarks the Chinese mandarin is the real governor at Macao.

*A Illustração Luso-Brasileira: jornal universal” publicou-se em Lisboa em 1856, 1858 e 1859.

Nota: Um outro título, editado em 1835, inclui a mesma ilustração mas o texto é diferente. A obra, também dois volumes, intitula-se: "Views in India, China, and the Shores of the Red Sea; Drawn by Prout, Stanfield, Cattermole, Purser, Cox, Austen, &c. From Original Sketches by Commander Robert Elliott, R.N. with descriptions by Emma Roberts". Abordarei o tema noutro post.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário