英国历史课本:中国印象(3)

马戛尔尼伯爵:拜见乾隆皇帝(1793年)

英国的这本新历史教科书,第二册里,有关中国的重点是:“清朝:人们遗忘了的帝国? ”。(教科书:History in Progress, 第二册,出版社Heinemann)

使用这一册的学生,上八年级(12-13岁)。

课文提到英国派出了马戛尔尼伯爵(Lord Macartney)出使中国,场面浩大。

课文简介了清朝有个朝贡制度(tributary system),各国使节要向乾隆皇帝叩头。“要下跪叩头三次,然后,脸部朝地,额头着地三次。这样,皇帝才会接受赠礼。(kowtowing – (kneeling) three times, then lying fully face down on the floor and touching the ground with your forehead three times. The emperor would then receive gifts.)

课文刊出了两段文字,节录自马戛尔尼返回英国后,乾隆皇帝写给英格兰国王乔治三世的信。其中一段文字如下:

“况西洋诸国甚多,非止尔一国。若俱似尔国王恳请派人来京,岂能一一听许?” (白话文:“欲与本帝国建立贸易关系的野蛮异邦,不只英格兰一个。试想想,如果诸国都模仿英格兰的恶行,要本君主赐予土地做贸易,本君主岂能同意?”)

(“England is not the only barbarian land that wishes to establish trade with our empire. Supposing that other nations were all to imitate your evil example and ask me to present them each and all with a site for trading purposes, how could I possibly agree?”)

课文用这段话来总结:中国人克尽地主之谊,英国的使命,却失败了。(Although the Chinese were good hosts, the mission failed.)

学生要回答两个问题。根据课文的举例,请说出(1)中国人对帝国的看法;英国人对帝国的看法,(2)两国的看法有何相似和差异之处?

根据以上的图片(马戛尔尼伯爵拜见乾隆皇帝),回答下列问题:

1)马戛尔尼伯爵如何拜见乾隆皇帝?

2)你认为,马戛尔尼伯爵又是如何拜见他自己的(英格兰)国王乔治三世的?

3)马戛尔尼伯爵说,如果一个和他级位相等的中国人,向乔治三世的图片叩头,那么他才会向乾隆皇帝叩头。中国人不答应。如果马戛尔尼伯爵真的叩头了,和乔治三世的权力相比,这将如何说明中国皇帝的权力?

(Lord Macartney said he would only perform the kowtow if a Chinese person of his rank kowtowed to a picture of King George. The Chinese refused. If he had performed the kowtow, what would this have said about the power of the Chinese emperor compared to the power of King George?)

Published by

Janet Williams 張玉雲

I am Janet Williams, an academic living in the southeast of England. I blog about culture, history, languages and my community. I created Chandler's Ford Today. During my spare time, I make Origami. Thank you for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s