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668. Mountains and Rivers. We have no precise information respecting the Chinese mountains. The best maps of that country represent two central ranges of mountains running east and west, between the two great rivers, and other chains between the Kian-ku and the Ocean on the south. Among the numerous rivers of this empire, two deserve particular notice. The Hoangho, or Yellow river, springs in two lakes in the north of Tibet, and in a part of the country called Kokonor, and winding northward several degrees of latitude, returns to the latitude of its sources, and runs eastward to the Ocean, or a bay called the Yellow Sea. Its length is about 2100 miles. The Kian-ku rises westward of the sources of the Hoang-ho, and bending southward and then eastward, enters the Ocean after a course of 2200 miles. These are among the largest rivers on the globe. 669. Lakes and Canals. There are several large lakes in China, some of them afford excellent fish, and the Chinese have the singular custom of training certain birds to plunge into the water, and take fish in their bills for their owners. But China exceeds all countries for its canals. The imperial canal is conducted in a winding course, so as to unite the waters of the two great rivers. Its length is 500 miles. It is said to have been begun in the 10th century, and to have employed 30,000 men for 43 years. The other canals are too numerous to be described, but the whole country is intersected by canals, go as to facilitate navigation from every part of the empire. 670. Minerals and Animals. China produces gold, silver, iron, copper, quicksilver, loadstone, and marble in abundance. In the northern provinces, the mines of fossil coal Sre inexhaustible. Tutenag, a mixture of zink and iron, seems peculiar to China, as is a species of white copper called fletong. The Chinese musical stone is a species of black marble. The animals of China are such as abound in other parts of the east—tigers, buffaloes, wild boars, camels, deer, rhinoceroses, and domestic animals of all kinds, many of them of peculiar shape. The musk deer is also found in China. The birds of that country are too numerous to be described, but many of them are distinguished for beautiful forms and elegant plumage. 67 l. Forests and Plants. In a country where almost severy aker of cultivable earth is appropriated to agriculture, there are no natural forests except on mountains, but some extensive woods are preserved near the royal palaces for the use of the prince. China is, however, -rich in plants, tho its botany is little known. Among its productions are the camphor tree, a durable timber, -from the root of which is distilled the camphor of our shops; the tallow tree, from which is procured a green wax for candles; two species of the tea tree, the greer, and the bohea, whose leaves constitute a principal export from China; the bamboo, the stem of which is “pr -plied to a multitude of purposes. In the southern provinces are raised all the best tropical fruits, and China is the native country of many of the most beautiful shrubs and flowers which embellish our gardens. 672. Agriculture. The soil of China is various, and agriculture carried to the utmost point of perfection; for such is the population of China, that with the utmost skill and industry, the land will produce no more grain - than is barely sufficient for the inhabitants. The consequence is, that a failure of crops is followed by famin, and multitudes perish by hunger. The economy, as well as the industry of the Chinese, is remarkable. Steep declivities are formed into terraces, and rain water saved in reservoirs upon the tops of hills, is conveyed down the sides to water plants on the terraces. Old men, women and children are employed in collectii," every particle of manure, on the roads and public places, with a basket in one hand and a small rake in the other. Neither sod nor weeds are permitted on the land, and the plow has no colter. In the southern provinces, lice is the principal grain, 673. Poshulation and Religion. The late accounts from China, collected by the English embassy under Lord Macartney, make the number of inhabitants in China upwards of 300 millions, an astonishing population, and almost incredible. The primitive religious system of


the Chinese is said to correspond, in many respects, with that of Moses, being founded on the belief of one supreme God, the creator and preserver of the world, omnipotent, eternal and independent. Sacrifices were performed in the open air, or on a mountain, upon a heap of stones. In Pekin are two temples, dedicated to to the Chang-ti, or eternal spirit, in which sacrifices are performed with a splendor and pomp of ceremonies which exceeds all description. The emperor and grandees prepare themselves for this exercise by fasting and retirement; marriages, funerals and rejoicing are forbidden. When the emperor appears at the temple, he is attended with a vast number of his lords, and all the utensils employed are of pure gold ; but the emperor, to show his humility before the Chang-ti, rolls himself on the earth, and manifests the most abject abaseTnent. 674. Changes of Religion. Confucius, a philosopher, introduced a new sect, about 500 years before the christian era. Another sect arose, at an earlier period, which founded their religion chiefly on the suppression of all violent passions. In the first century of the christian era, the followers of the idol Fo introduced a new system from Indoostan, which inculcatesthe doctrin of transmigration. Fo is said by his followers to have come to save men and expiate their sins. The bonzes, or priests, are however represented as very ignorant and vicious. The Chinese have temples in which they worship, but their religion has degenerated to rank idolatry. There is a considerable number of mahometans in China. 675. Government and Army. The emperor of China is an absolute monarch, but in the administration, the government retains much of the patriarchal spirit. The emperor considers himself as the father of the people ; the empire is governed by fixed laws, and acts of oppression are rare. The officers of government, called mandarins, are regularly educated for public employments. There are eight orders of mandarins, the principal of which are those of letters. To the mandarins of letters is committed the chief administration of affairs;

their number is said to be 14,000. The mandarins of arms, who superintend the inferior departments of government, are about 18,000. The armies consist of nearly two millions of soldiers, of which a million are infantry, and the remainder cavalry. Their pay is about four cents 6 mills a day, with a small quantity of rice. Their arms are a helmet and saber, and a lance for horsemen, and for the infantry a pike and a saber; some however have fire arms, and others bows and arrows. 676. Manners and Customs. The Chinese, in color and figure, resemble the aboriginals of Americasonearly, as to demonstrate them to have had a common origin. But the Chinese are highly cultivated, mild, affable, and submissive to government. Marriage is conducted by the parents, and the bride is never seen by her intended husband till married. Divorces are permitted in certain cases, but are not common. It is not permitted to bury the dead in towns, but the bodies are deposited on some barren hill not capable of cultivation. Mourners clothe themselves in white, and the period of mourning is three years, but usually shortened to 27 months. The father of a family is accountable for the conduct of his children and domestics, and a son is a minor until his father dies. 677. Houses and Dress. The houses are built of clay bricks, but usually wood, and ornamented with columns and open galleries. The articles of furniture are few. The dress of the Chinese is a long garment with large sleeves, and a flowing girdle of silk. The shirt and drawers vary with the seasons. In winter, furs are much worn, from the skin of the sheep to that of the ermin, and fuel is so scarce in many parts, that the people have no fires in cold weather, depending on furs alone to defend them from cold. The head is covered with a hat like a funnel, but it varies according to rank. The chief amusements are dramatic exhibitions, which are often on stages in the streets; and fire works, in which they excel all the world. 678. Punishments. The slightest punishment is the bastinado. For greater crimes, the culprit is compelled to wear a wooden collar, day and night, for a certain

time, which collar is heavy, and so made that he can neither see his feet, nor put his hand to his mouth. Robbers, peace-breakers and gamblers wear it three -months, without permission to enter a house during that period. Banishment to Tartary is the punishment of certain crimes, and some criminals are condemned to drag boats on the canals. Disrespectful treatment of parents is punished with 100 blows. Homicide is punished with death. Beheading is reserved for desperate ‘assassins and murderers, as the most disgraceful punishment that can be inflicted. State criminals are doomed to be flayed alive and then cut in pieces. 679. Absurd Customs. In China a practice prevails of confining the feet of female infants, to prevent their growing to full size. This is done by wrapping the feet in tight bandages, till they cease to grow. Females submit to this painful constraint for the sake of having handsome feet, for a small foot is deemed a great beauty. “To such a degree is this absurd practice carried, that the shoe of a full sized female does not exceed six inches in length, and on feet of such a size, the females rather hobble and totter, than walk with ease or grace. It is a practice in China to expose infants, some of which perish ; others are saved and provided for by goovernment. This practice originated in the poverty and necessities of the people, or in superstition. 680. Ceremonies and Entertainments. To foreigners, the ceremoniousness of the Chinese is extremely irksome. Even an invitation to dine is repeated three several times. The master of the house introduces the guests into the hall, and salutes them ; he then orders wine, takes the cup with both hands, bows to all the 'guests, then advances to one side of the hall, casts his eyes to heaven, and pours the wine on the ground. Then he takes more wine, and, after many ceremonies, places the cup before the person who is to drink. Entertainments are begun by drinking wine—the master of the house, falling on one knee, invites the guests to drink, then all take their cups in both hands, raise them as high * the forehead, then bring them lower than the table, *n raise them to the mouth altogether. Each guest

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