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Chinese scroll with illustration of the iron steamer Nemesis and a British man-of-war,
with a 55-line Chinese poem and handwritten English translation (ca. 1840)

British Library [scrll_nemesis_D40019-320F1]
The handwritten English translation that appears
on the original scroll reads as follows:

1 The English foreigners raising revolt
2 Rebelling against the laws of Heaven
3 On the third day of the fourth moon
4 Assailed as rebels the city of Yang (Canton)
5 The holy gods of the Emerald Space
6 Stranded then ships on the Dragon Rock
7 And when they entered the Ne-Ching
8 Their vessels of war went all aground
9 The devil soldiers were routed thus
10 And so delayed till the sixth of the moon
11 They shot at the city with arrows of fire
12 But ere their cannon had sounded thrice
13 There came from Heaven a red-colored rain
14 And utterly quenched the fire of their guns
15 The men of the villages north of the town
16 Took courage at once and advanced in pursuit
17 On the summit then of this white cloud hill
18 The masters of Heaven sent down the rain
19 The foreign devils in hundreds then
20 Were put to death and they perished all

21 The head of their chief was cut off and shown
22 The name of that chief was called Pih-mih [Bremer?]
23 The foreigners’ livers and hearts grew cold
24 Routhed they threw off their clothes and fled
25 Our people rousing their valour up
26 On all sides cut them to pieces small
27 All all were punished and quite cut off
28 The foreign ships to afar withdrew
29 And went to beyond the Tiger’s Gates (Bocca Tigris)
30 How vain to contend ‘gainst the laws of Heaven!
31 By water and land these men fell sick
32 By fierce disease they died of themselves
33 Give thanks for theis to the gods of Heaven
34 A general peace will follow on this
35 In quiet and glory each one will live
36 The men of the province willhave much joy
37 The fire ship is of a war ship’s make
38 Its length is three hundred cubits and more
39 Its height and breadth are thirty and more
40 Through its iron case it is strong and firm

41 Its body is colored all round with black
42 It is like a shuttle that weaves the cloth
43 On each of its sides it has frixed a wheel
44 Which is moved by the use of burning coal
45 And turns around like a galloping horse
46 It has sails of white cloth of two different kinds
47 If the wind before or against, it can go
48 At the ship’s head is the god of the waves
49 From head to sail it is girt with guns
50 Its shape and fashion astonish mankind
51 The holy gods of the Emerald space
52 On the rocky Dragon grounded the ships
53 And showed the strength of the laws of Heaven
54 These foreigners having no success
55 Greatly delighted the hearts of all.
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