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but their exactions are so great, that it | legs fall through the meshes, and two men is impossible to guess how much they carry him off, squealing somewhat, we may actually receive.
suppose, but unable to do himself any The greatest part of the cultivated soil personal injury. The contrivance is equally is employed in raising food for man. ingenious and humane. The camel is in Woolen garments and leather are little use in western China ; one species is used used, and cotton and mulberry occupy but to carry light burdens and messages across a small portion of the soil. Grass is never the deserts of Gobi, and is called fung-kiohraised. Horses are very little used. The to, or wind-footed camel, on account of its few cattle feed on the waste grounds, and swiftness. Singing thrushes are kept as butter, cheese and milk are hardly known. pets by the Chinese gentlemen, parties of The principal food of the people is pork, whom are not unfrequently seen with ducks, geese, poultry and fish, of which their cages seated on the grass, or ramthe latter is a great item.
bling over the fields for grasshoppers. A Wood is scarce in China, and coal is the favorite song bird is a species of the lark, general fuel. All the common metals which is called peh ling, i. e. “ hundredare abundant, but the processes used in spirit bird,” from its activity and melody. manufacturing them are little known. A Sparrows and crows are common about native dealer in iron at Canton, for example, Canton. They have also the cuckoo, can communicate no information as to how which is called kuku, as with us. it is smelted or forged; it is enough for So many kinds of fish are brought to him that it sells. Lead is imported from the market of Macao, that if one is able the United States, and the lining of a tea to eat all that the Chinese do, he may chest may have made the voyage from have a different species every day in the Galena to Canton, and back to St. Louis. year. Gold fish were introduced into
Chinese writers on natural history are Europe from China about the end of the almost as curious observers as ours were seventeenth century. The effects of a few centuries ago. Of the bat, which culture and domestication in changing the they style heavenly rat," "fairy rat," natural form of this fish are as great as is “flying rat," “ night swallow,” &c., they sometimes seen in animals : specimens are write, It is shaped like a mouse ; its often seen without any dorsal fin, and the body is of an ashy black color; and it has tail and other fins tufted and lobed to such thin fleshy wings, which join the fore- a degree as to resemble artificial appendlegs and tail into one. It
appears in the ages or wings rather than natural organs. summer, but becomes torpid in the winter; The eyes are developed till the globes proon which account, as it eats nothing ject beyond the socket like goggles, during that season, and because it has the presenting an extraordinary appearance. habit of swallowing its breath, it attains a Some of them are so fantastic, indeed, that great age. It flies with its head down- they would be regarded as lusus nature, wards, because the brain is heavy,” &c. were they not so common. Specimens Cats they call “ household foxes.” One two feet long have been noticed, but usuitem in the description of the dog is, that ally they are no longer in China than in it “ can go on three legs.” The maltese- Europe." One species of fish has the colored, hairless buffalo is their beast for faculty of darting a drop of water at infarming, and hence the picture of a country sects on the bank, and so catching them. lad astride one's back playing the flute, is Oysters and all sorts of shell fish are a favorite pastoral image. The Chinese abundant. The Chinese manufacture pearls pig is the clumsiest little lump of fat by inserting small mother-of-pearl beads imaginable. His disposition, however, so into the shell, which in a year are inmuch resembles that of his western crusted. brethren, that the people do not attempt There is a species of spider so large and to drive him through their narrow streets. strong as to successfully attack small birds They place a loosely woven cylindrical on the trees. On the hills eastward of basket before an opening in his pen, and Canton are found immense butterflies and pull his tail till he runs into it; then lifting night-moths. One of these insects (Bomit by a pole passed through the top, his byx atlas) measures nine inches across the
wings. Common crickets are caught and sofas for various uses of convenience and sold in the markets for gaming, the prac- luxury in the house. The mattress to lie tice being to fight them in bowls. The upon, the chair to sit upon, the table to Chinese naturalists describe the nests of dine from, food to eat, and fuel to cook it bees, ants, &c., very accurately. “The with, are alike derived from it; the ferule composition of the characters for the bee, to govern the scholar and the book he ant and musquito, respectively denote the studies both originate here. The tapering awl insect, the righteous insect, and the barrels of the Sang, or organ, and the lettered insect, referring thereby to the dreaded instrument of the lictor—one to sting of the first, the orderly marching make harmony and the other to strike and subordination of the second, and the awe; the skewer to pin the hair and the letter-like markings on the wings of the hat to screen the head ; the paper to write last. Musquitoes are plenty in all parts on, the pencil handle to write with, and of China, and gauze curtains are considered the cup to hold the pencils; the rule to by the people as a more necessary part of measure lengths, the cup to guage quanbed furniture than a mattress.”
tities, and the bucket to draw water; the The bamboo is cultivated about villages bellows to blow the fire and the bottle to for its pleasant shade and beauty, and a retain the match ; the bird-cage and crabgrove furnishes from year to year culms net, the fish-pole and sumpitan, the waterof all sizes. Its appearance is extremely wheel and eave-duct, wheel-barrow and rural, oriental and elegant. It is applied hand-cart, &c., are all furnished or comto so many uses that it may be called the pleted by this magnificent grass, whose Chinese national plant. The tender shoots graceful beauty when growing is comparare used for food. “The roots are carved able to its varied usefulness when cut into fantastic images of men, birds, mon down.” keys, or monstrous perversions of animated The buckwheat is much used in China ; nature; cut into lanthorn handles or canes, it is called by a name which signifies “trior turned into oval sticks for worshippers angular wheat," a title perhaps quite as to divine whether the gods will hear or appropriate for it as ours. The Chinese refuse their petitions. The tapering culms consider the rest of the world dependent are used for all purposes that poles can on them for tea and rhubarb, and foreigners be applied to in carrying, supporting, pro- forced to resort to them to relieve thempelling and measuring, by the porter, the selves of an otherwise irremediable costivecarpenter and the boatman; for the joists ness. Commissioner Lin once actually of houses and the ribs of sails; the shafts made use of this as an argument for cerof spears and the wattles of hurdles; the tain trade restrictions, supposing foreigners tubes of aqueducts and the handles and would be compelled to purchase of them at ribs of umbrellas and fans.
any price. Pea-nuts are extensively cul“ The leaves are sewed upon cords to tivated, but whether used as an accommake rain-cloaks, swept into heaps to paniment to dramatic performances we form manure, and matted into thatches to are left uninformed.
Pawpaws are eaten cover houses. Cut into splints and slivers after being cooked. Dried bottle-gourds of various sizes, the wood is worked into are tied to children's backs on the boats, baskets and trays of every form and fancy, to hold them up when they tumble overtwisted into cables, plaited into awnings, board. and woven into mats for scenery of the
he The Camella Japonica is as much adtheatre, the roofs of houses and the casing mired at home as abroad, though the outer of goods. The shavings even are picked barbarians have invented several new variinto oakum, and mixed with those of rattan eties. It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to to be stuffed into mattresses. The bamboo remark that Chinese gardeners are also furnishes the bed for sleeping, and the acquainted with the China aster. The couch for reclining ; the chopsticks for tree pæony, with its large and variegated eating, the pipe for smoking, and the flute flowers, is much admired. But their great for entertaining; a curtain to hang before favorite is the jasmine, whose clusters of the door, and a broom to sweep around it; flowers are often wound in their hair by together with screens, stools, stands, and the women. In the north-eastern provinces,
around Ningpo and in Chusan, the hills are one pound, because it was contrary to covered with gorgeous azaleas. " Few,” | Aristotle. says Mr. Fortune, can form
idea of The Chinese government, as is well the gorgeous beauty of these azalea-clad known, is in theory purely patriarchal. hills, where on every side the eye rests on The emperor is the sire, the nation his masses of flowers of dazzling brightness household. But it owes its stability not so and surpassing beauty.
Nor is it the much to its form as to the prevalence of azalea alone which claims our admiration; the Confucian philosophy, which has for so clematises, wild roses, honey-suckles, many ages directed the minds of its peoand a hundred others mingle their flow- ple. This has led to a state of minute orers with them, and make us confess that ders and degrees which pervade all ranks China is indeed the “central flowery of society, and make each man at once his land.”
neighbor's supervisor and dependent. In The Chinese materia medica is full of valu- such a condition no man dares oppose unable information. For example, there are in less he has a majority of strength on his one work twenty-four sections on the history side, and thus all are disposed to quietness. and uses of the horse. The first explains Thus also a form of government which, the character which stands for its name ; under a progressive philosophy and aided the second goes into the varieties of the by the Christian religion, might be warmed animal, and gives brief descriptions of them. into genial life and combine perfect stabil“The pure white are best for medicine. ity with the largest liberty, is under paganThe age is known by the teeth. The eye ism a congealed democracy. The system reflects the full image of a man. If his of allowing all an equal chance to rise in teeth be rubbed with dead silk-worms or the State, and promoting all in the exact black plums he will not eat, nor if the ratio of desert,could not work badly under a skin of a rat or wolf be hung in his man true learning and a true religion. Even as it ger. If a monkey be kept in his stable is, the fact of such an immense people going he will not fall sick.” The third section along for so many centuries with so little goes on to speak of the flesh as an article interruption, shows how much may be acof food. Our author recommends “almonds complished in the world by one true idea and a rush broth, if a person feel uncom- | against the downward tendency of man's fortable after a meal of horse flesh. It unenlightened, unchristianized nature. should be roasted and eaten with ginger Although the emperor is the father of and pork; and to eat the flesh of a black this great family, he is bound to rule it achorse and not drink wine with it, will cording to the published laws of the land. surely produce death,” &c. “ The heart This is the Ta Tsing LiuhLi, i. e. Statutes of a white horse, or that of a hog, cow, or and Rescripts of the Great Pure Dynasty, hen, when dried and rasped into spirit and and contains the laws of the empire arso taken, cures forgetfulness; if the patient ranged under seven heads, viz.: General, hears one thing he knows ten.” “ Above Civil
, Fiscal, Ritual, Military and Criminal the knees the horse has night eyes (warts) Laws, and those relating to the Public which enable him to go in the night; they Works; and subdivided into 436 sections, are useful in the tooth-ache.” One natu with modern explanatory and limiting ralist rather smiles at another, who reported clauses. A new edition of these is pubthe metamorphosis of an oriole into a mole, lished by authority every five years. A and of rice into a carp: “It is a ridiculous review of a translation of them in the story," says he ; " there is proof only of the Edinburgh says, “We scarcely know a change of rats into quails, which is re- European code that is at once so copious ported in the Almanac, and which I have and consistent, or is nearly so free from inalso seen myself.” Natural science would tricacy, bigotry and fiction.” Its faults are appear to have advanced in China about that it is too minute upon social and relaas far as physical had in Italy, when tive virtues, that in a Christian State would Galileo experimented before the philoso- be left to the admonitions of the pulpit. phers of Pisa, and they refused to believe The present Emperor is the sixth of the that a piece of lead, ten pounds in weight, Tsing or Pure Dynasty. He ascended the would not fall ten times faster than one of throne in 1821, and is now in his 67th
year. He has two brothers and three 3. The Li Pu, or Board of Rites.
The right of succession is in the 4. The Ping Pu, or Board of War. male line, provided the Emperor does not 5. The Hing Pu, or Board of Punishnominate, as he may do, his successor. ments. The only hereditary nobility is that of the 6. The Kung Pu, or Board of Works. imperial house or clan, which is divided After these come several important into twelve orders, and governed by a dis courts :tinct court under the emperor.
1. The Li Fan Yuen, or Court for the The next principal legal distinction in government of Foreigners, commonly callsociety is the eight privileged classes which, ed the Colonial Office. with the imperial family, constitute the 2. The Tu-chah Yuen, i. e. “ All-examnine ranks of civilians. These ranks are ining Court or Censorate," a kind of pernot hereditary but honorary distinctions, petual Grand Jury. and the privilege affects only the degree of 3. The Tung-ching Sz', a small body of punishment of offenders in eachrank. six officers to receive memorials from pro(The word mandarin is from the Portu- vincial authorities, or popular appeals from guese, and is applied by foreigners, without their judgments, and present them to the any authority but wrong usage, to all Cabinet. ranks and officers in the empire.)
4. The Ta-li Sz', or Court of JudicaBesides these distinctions the mass of ture, a kind of Supreme Court, whose juthe people are further subdivided into dif- risdiction is mostly criminal. ferent clans, guilds, societies, professions 5. The Hanlin Yuen, or Imperial Acadand communities, all of which in some de- emy, which is intrusted with the drawing gree assist them against a corrupt magis- up of national documents, histories, and tracy, and enable them to preserve their other works. proprietary if not their personal rights tol There are also the Taichang Sz' or erably secure.
Sacrificial Court; the Taipuh Sz’, or SuperThe Emperor is assisted in his delibera- intendent of H. I. M.'s Stud; the Kwanghih tions by the Nur Kon, or Cabinet, which Sz', or Banqueting House; the Hunglu Sz', consists of four ta hioh-sz', or principal, and or Ceremonial Court; the Kwohtsz' Kien, two hiepan la hioh-sz', or joint-assistant or National College ; the Ken Tien Kien, or Chancellors, half Manchus and half Chi- Imperial Astronomical [including Astronese. Under these are ten assistants called logical] College ; and the Tai l Yuen, or hioh-sz’, or “ learned scholars." The first
The first Supreme Medical Hall. of the four Chancellors is esteemed the
The other courts of the capital appear Premier. The present premier of China to have been subdivided and multiplied to is Muchangah, à Manchu of great influ- a great degree to give employment to ence and power, and probably an able Manchus and to graduates who come from man; he has held the station twelve every part of the empire, and thus to years.
strengthen the power
of the throne. The The Kuin-ki Chu, or General Council, total number of civilians in employ is esticomposed of princes of the blood, Chan- mated at fourteen thousand, but those deeellors of the Cabinet, the presidents and pendent on government are many times vice presidents of the six Boards, and this amount. chief officers of all the other courts in the Besides this general government, the capital, selected at the Emperor's pleasure, eighteen provinces of the empire are incorresponds somewhat to a ministry. The corporated under eleven governments, over King Chau, i. e. Court Transcripts, usually which are eight tsungtuh or governors called the Peking Gazette, is compiled from general, fifteen fuyen, nineteen treasurers, the records of the General Council
, and is eighteen judges, seventeen literary chanequivalent to our “official organ."
cellors, fifteen commanders of the forces, The principal executive bodies in the and 1740 prefects of districts. The higher capital under these two councils are the grades of these provincial officers report Luh Pu, or Six Boards :
themselves every month to the throne, 1. The Li Pu, or Board of Civil Office. sending his majesty a salutatory card on 2. The Hu Pu, or Board of Revenue. yellow paper in a silken envelope, wishing
him repose. The Emperor or his secretary | mate object, but it is at an infinitely greater replies with the vermilion pencil, Chin- waste of labor. All departments with ngan, i. e. Ourself is well.
them are more corrupt. They suffer from The appointment of officers in China petty exactions. Men are often robbed being theoretically based on literary merit, among them, houses burnt and women stothe hioching or chancellor of a province is len. Justice sells at a cheaper rate than
high officer, and ranks next to the fuyen. here. The reports of their trials are sumBelow the district magistrates come a host mary. Substitution is allowed for punishof subalterns in all departments.
ment, and whoever can pay may even In the administration of the laws there find men who will suffer death in his is so much jealousy of superiors and in- place to procure a provision for their famiferiors, and such a complete system of es lies. Torture is still used in their courts. pionage as tends to destroy honorable fidel They have riots and insurrections worse ity and make bribery, corruption, and extor- than those of Philadelphia. But it is after tion thrive. Yet on the whole it is gene all a great fact in the world's history that rally the honest and equitable officers who snch an immense pagan population should rise. The bad ones get pasquinaded by have gone on so long, and subdued and replacards stuck up in the streets, while the plenished so large a portion of the earth's good become extremely popular. The surface. higher officers are generally able men. It shows how a single conservative
Their peculiar manner of appealing to principle, that of reverence for the past, ultimate truths in their state papers is will sustain a people under all the pressure sometimes quite amusing. Commissioner of sin, and dimly enlighten their path for Lin, whose only fault was the universal ages through the thick darkness of natural national bigotry, thus began a letter to the religion. The same principle that lies at Queen of England respecting the interdic- the foundation of their government also tion of opium : :-“Whereas the ways of points out the only road to ambition under Heaven are without partiality, and no it. Reverence for the past has perpetuated sanction is allowed to injure others in order a test of merit never applied in any other to benefit one's self, and that men's natu nation. The Chinese are a race of pedants. ral feelings are not very diverse (for where Their whole mind turns backward. With is he that does not abhor death and love a reverence for learning that has led them life ?)—therefore your honorable nation, to make scholarship the chief means of though beyond the wide ocean, at a dis- attaining distinction, they cling to old tance of twenty thousand li, also acknowl dogmas with a tenacity that leaves no edges the same ways of Heaven, the same strength for original thinking. From their human nature, and has the like perceptions earliest years the writings of their ancient of the distinctions between life and death, sages are the only study. Their schools benefit and injury.”. The Commissioner are very strict. Boys 'acquire in them made the old mistake of supposing too their strange language and their classical much moral perfection in humanity. How taste at the same time; and it is probable differently spoke Lord Melbourne in a sub that the classic writings are so far a key sequent debate in the House of Lords : to the difficulties of their tongue that each
We possess immense territories peculiar helps to perpetuate the other. ly, fitted for raising opium, and though he There are four literary degrees. The would wish that government were not so first, siulsai, is flowering talent. To obdirectly concerned in the traffic, he was tain it the young student must pass through not prepared to pledge himself to relin- three examinations. The first is held under quish it,” &c., &c His Lordship evidently the hioching of the district, who assembles saw the subject in another light.
the candidates in the hall of examination, On the whole, there is perhaps the same selects a theme, and gives one day to inferiority in the Chinese administration of write the essay. When the essays are justice as compared with that of our own, handed in they are submitted to a board that exists in their social and moral condi- of examiners, and the successful names tion. The machine with them is ingenious, are pasted upon the walls of the magisbut works clumsily. They effect the ulti-trate's hall : this honor is called hien ming,