The Government of Spain had early relations with Siam, through the Spanish colony in the Philippine Islands and on one or more occasions there was an interchange of courtesies and good offices between Manilla and Ayuthia. But the Spanish never had a foothold in the kingdom, and the occasional and un important intercourse referred to ceased almost wholly until, during the last fifty years, and even the last twenty, a new era of commercial activity has brought the nations of Europe and America into close and fa miliar relations with the Land of the White Ele phant. The relations of the kingdom of Siam with its im mediate neighbors have been full of the vicissitudes of peace and war. There still remains some trace of a remote period of partial vassalage to the Chinese Empire, in the custom of sending gifts — which were originally understood, by the recipients at least, if not by the givers, to be tribute to Peking. With Bur mah and Pegu on the one side, and with Cambodia and Cochin China on the other,there has existed from time immemorial a state of jealous hostility. The boundaries of Siam, eastward and westward, have ﬂuctuated with the successes or defeats of the Siamese arms. Southward the deep gulf shuts off the country from any neighbors, whether good or bad, and for more than three centuries this has been the highway of a commerce of unequal importance, some times very active and remunerative, but never wholly interrupted even in the period of the most complete reactionary seclusion of the kingdom.