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artists in iron and copper, as also in silk and cotton. From this country we derive the name of japanned ware. Their principal edifices display great magnificence, and the imperial palace, like that in China, consists of a great number of buildings, occupying an immense space. The pillars and ceilings are of cedar, camphor, and other valuable woods, but the only furniture consists of white mats fringed with gold. The emperor, when he gives audience, is seated on a carpet.. · The roads in Japan are kept in excellent repair. The principal trade is with China, consisting in the exchange of raw silk, sugar, drugs, copper, lackered ware, &c, The Dutch seem to have monopolized the trade of Europe to Japan.
716. Chief Towns. The capital of Japan is Jedo, situated on a bay, on the south east of Nipon. The inhabitants affirm this city to be 60 miles in circumfe. rence ; but the extent is certainly great, and its popula. tion doubtless equals that of the great cities of China. A fire in 1772 is said to have consumed the city for six leagues by three in extent. The harbor is shallow, the city is intersected by a river and canals, and many of the houses are magnificent. Miaco is the spiritual cap. ital, 160 miles from Jedo, on a great plain. It is cele. brated for its manufactures and commerce. Nogasaki is the port to : which alone foreigners are permitted to resort, and this privilege is confined to the Dutch and Chinese.
TUNKIN. · 717. Situation and Description. Tunkin, which is of, ten written in the French manner, Tonquin, is situated at the south west of China, south of Yunnan, and north of Cochin China. The extent of this country is so little known to Europeans, that some authors say it is 1000 miles in length ; others allow only 500 miles for its length and 400 for its bredth. The center of it is near the 20th degree of north latitude. The inbabitants in color and shape bear a general resemblance to other eastern Asiatics. The country produces the tropical fruits in abundance ; rice is the principal food of the in.
habitants, and the clothing, as in China, consists of silk and cotton. The houses are small and low, formed mostJy of bamboo, and mud walls, covered with thatch, but a few of them with bricks. The country is full of villages, surrounded by trees. The capital is said to contain 20,000 houses.
718. Manners and Commerce. The Tunkinese are said to be dextrous and ingenious, and their manufactures, especially of silk and lackered ware, are excellent. They are so addicted to gaming, that when they have lost all their property, they will stake their wives and children. They are courteous to strangers, but the great men are said to be haughty, and the poor thievish. They buy their wives, and the rich are indulged in po lygamy. In times of scarcity, the men will barter their wives and children for rice. When a man dies, he is buried on his own ground, and if he was the master of a family, a feast is made. The religion is paganism.-Their chief trade is with the Chinese, English and Dutch, and their principal commodities are gold, musk, silks, calicoes, drugs, earthen and lackered ware, and salt..
COCHIN CHINA. . 719. Situation and General Description. Cochin China, or Western China, lies south of Tunkin, between the Ocean on the east, and a chain of mountains on the west, which separate it from Camboja. The extent of this country is not exactly known, but it is said to have 700 miles of sca coast. Cochin China, as well as Tunkin and Camboja, was formerly a part of the Chinese empire, but these revolted in the 13th century, when the Monguls invaded China, and have since been governed by their own kings. The shore has numerous harbors, filled with junks, which are vessels of a particular structure, and considerable trade is carried on with China, Japan, and the weighboring isles.
720. Productions of the Country, Manners. Rice is the principal grain cultivated for food ; yams, sweet potatoes, melons, sugar, and all the tropical fruits are in abundance. The exports are chiefly gold in dust or bars, copper, silk, sugar, ebony, and bird's nests
These nests, which are esteemed as the greatest delicacy upon a Chinese table, are made by a species of swal. low in that country, in China, and on the neighboring isles. They are of the size of a goose egg, hemispherical, and found adhering to the rocks. The material of them is not ascertained, but the substance is viscous,resembling isinglass, and when dissolved in broth, becomes a jelly of delicious flavor. The inhabitants resemble the Chinese in their persons, dress and manners. Their houses are made of bamboo, covered with rushes or straw, and stand amidst groves of oranges, limes, plantains and cocoa trees. They use spoons of porcelain, and instead of a knife and fork, they eat with two porcupine quills.
CAMBOJA AND SIAMPA. 721, Situation and General Description. Camboja is a territory of 4 or 500 miles in length, west of Cochin China, peopled by Malays, and inhabitants who resemble the southern Chinese. The country is fertile, and in addition to the grain and fruits of similar climates, affords indigo, camphor, opium, various drugs, ivory, gold and precious stones. This country also furnishes the cam. boge, a gum yielding a fine yellow tint. Through this country runs the great river Macon, called also Japanese, which descends from the mountains of Tibet.
Siampa is a country south east of Camboja, upon the sea coast, whose inhabitants, climate and productions resemble those of Cochin China and Camboja. But our accounts of it are very imperfect.
LAOS. 722. General Description. North of Camboja, and between Tunkin and Siam, lies Laos, an interior Country, of which little is known. The inhabitants resemble the southern Chinese in person, but their manners and religion bear an affinity to those of the Siamese. This country is said to afford the best benzoin and lac, with excellent musk, and some gold and rubies. The inhabitants have the reputation of remarkable integrity, faithfulness and civility, but are very indolent and super
stitious.' The country is environed by mountains and forests, and penetrated by the large river Meinam, or Maynam, on which stands the capital, Mohang Leng.
.. SIAM. 723. Situation and Boundaries. Siam, or more correctly Shan, is bounded on the east by a chain of mountains, which separate it from Laos and Camboja, between the 10th and 19th degrees of north latitude. On the south it is bounded by the ocean, on the west by mountains which separate it from Pegu, and on the north by China. Its length is not precisely known, but is about 5 or 600 miles, and its medial bredth about 240.
724. Mountains, Rivers and Animals. Siam is, in a manner, inclosed by high mountains on the east and west. Through the country runs the large river Meinam, which is equal to the Elbe, with low banks, which are annually overflowed by the autumnal rains in September. The lands by the river are sown with rice, and the crops reaped in boats, the straw being left in the water. In this, as in all the neighboring kingdoms, elephants are common, and those which are white are held in particular esteem. Poisonous serpents also infest this country, and fire flies are said to be very numerous.
725. Religion, Government, &c. The religion of the Siamese is idolatry, similar to that of the Hindoos ; the chief idol, Codam, is the same as the Boodh of Hindoostan. " The government is despotic, and the prince is held in great veneration. Punishments are said to be very severe. The Siamese have small persons, coarsc brown complexions, mixed with red, narrow foreheads, hollow cheeks, large mouth, thick pale lips, teeth blackened by art, features of Tartaric origin. In dress, manners and food, the Siamese bear a resemblance to their neighbors.
726. Language, Literature, Amusements. The Siamese have two languages, the vulgar and the learned ; the latter is called bali. The vulgar language contains 37 letters, all consonants. The vowels and dipthongs constitute a distinct alphabet. The bali resembles the language of the Birmans. Education is not neglected in Siam ; children are instructed by the talapoins or priests, in the more useful branches of knowledge, reading, wri. ting and accounts, and the people have books of history, poetry and fables. The amusements of the Siamese are dancing, dramatic representations and pantomimes, ox races, sailing matches, combats of elephants, cock fighting, tumbling, wrestling, rope dancing and fire-works.
727. Houses, Manufactures, Trade. The houses of the Siamese are small, constructed of bamboo, and in the low lands set upon pillars above the water of inundations. Temples and other public edifices are built of brick and stone, and are more magnificent. The Siamese, tho in. dolent, are ingenious, and excel in the manufacture of jewels. The climate prevents the necessity of much clothing. The avarice of the government destroys industry, for every subject owes six months service to his sovereign. The productions of this country, which form its wealth and the basis of its commerce, are grain, cotton, benzoin, sandal and other valuable woods, antimony, tin, lead, iron, load stones, gold and silver, sapphires, emeralds, agates, crystal, marble and tambac. The latter, called also aloes wood, is the heart of a tree, which is used for incense and perfumes, and is so much esteemed in India, as to be worth more than its weight in gold.
MALACCA. 728. Situation and Extent. Malacca, or Malaya, is a peninsula, or narrow projection of land, between the gulf of Siam and the bay of Bengal, extending south nearly to the equator, where it is separated from Sumatra by a narrow strait. Its length is nearly 600 miles, and its me. cial bredth about 150. It is washed by the ocean on three sides, and on the north is bounded by Birman.
729. Character of the Malays. The Malays are of small stature, à tawney complexion, with large eyes, flat noses, and long black shining hair. They are ferocious, restless, fond of navigation, war, plunder, and desperate enterprizes. Their piratical vessels scour the şeas, and often attack and seize European ships. Those