« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
er to describe each apart. ment, in the manners, and other circumstances, that it will be propand important, but are so radically different in the form of gorernarranged in the following table, from Hassel, are not only so wide gular and interesting region of Tibet. These countries, which are Tributary Dominions, embracing, among other countries, the sinMandshurs, Monguls, and Cashgar, on the N. and W.; and lastly, that of China Proper; Chinese Tartary, or the territory of the
This empire, therefore, consists of three principal divisions; of China, about lat. 21°, being 29° of latitude, nearly 2030 miles. computed from the Uralian mountains, lat. 50°, to the southern part to nearly 4900 miles. From N. to S. this vast empire may be a space of 81°, which, taking the medial latitude of 30°, will amount nese and Japanese seas, to the rivers Sarasou and Sihon in the W.
II. Chinese TARTARY,
| The Mongul Empire 2 Country of Tungusers, or Mandshurs
a. Province of Leatong
b. The Territory of Sisan 3 Cashgar, or Little Bucharia III. TRIBUTARY DOMINIONS,
1 Kingdom of Corea
a. Empire of the Delai Lama
e. Kingdom of Setchuen
a. Cambodia b. Siam
c. Cochin-China 4 Kingdom of Tunquin 5 The Leoo-Keoo Isles
Extent and Boundaries. CHINA PROPER extends from the great wall in the north, to the Chinese sea in the south, about 1330 miles. The breadth from the shores of the Pacific, to the frontiers of Tibet, may be computed at 1030 miles. In square miles the contents have been estimated at 1,297,999.* On the east and south, the boundaries are maritime, and 10 the north they are marked by the great wall, and the desert of Shamo; by Tibet on the west.
Antiquities. The chief remain of ancient art in China is that stupendous wall, extending across the northern boundary. This vork, which is deservedly esteemed among the grandest labors of art, is conducted over the summits of high mountains, 'some of which rise to the height of 5225 feet, across the deepest vales, over wide rivers, by means of arches; and in many parts is doubled or trebled to command important passes, and at the distance of almost every hundred yards is a tower, or massy bastion. The extent is computed at 1500 miles; but in some parts of smaller danger, it is not equally strong nor complete, and lowards the N. W. is only 3 rampart of earth. For the precise height and dimensions of this amazing fortification, the reader is referred to the work alrcady quoted, whence it appears, that near Koopeko the wall is 25 teet in height, and at the top about 15 feet thick : some of the towers, which are square, are 48 feet high, and about 50 feet wide. The stone employed in the foundations, angles, &c. is a strong, grey granite ; but the greatest part consists of bluish bricks, and the mortar is remarkably pure and white.
Religion. According to Du Halde, the ancient Chinese worshipped a supreme being, whom they styled Chang Ti, or Tien, which is said to imply the spirit, which presides over the heavens ; but in the opinion of others, is only the visible firmament. They also worshipped subaltern spirits, who presided over kingdoms, provinces, cities, rivers, and mountains. Under this system, which corresponds with what is called Shamanism, sacrifices were offered on the summits of hills.
About A. D. 65, the sect of Fo was introduced into China from Hindostan. The name was derived from the idol yo, (supposed to be the Boodh of Hindostan,) and the chief tenets are those of thc Hindoos, among which is the metempsycosis, or transmigra. tion of souls from one animal to another. The priests are denominated Bonzes, and Fo is supposed to be gratified by the favor shewn to his servants. Many subordinate idols are admitted; but as the Jesuits found the followers of Fo the most adverse to Christianity, they have without foundation called them Atheists.
A Jewish colony appeared in China, under the dynasty of Hary who began to reign in the 206th year before Christ. It was re:
Macartney's Emb. iii. Appen.
+ Sir G. Staunton, ü. 560, 8va
duced to seven families, when F. Gozani, a Jesuit missionary, visited it; which families were established at Cai-long, the capital of the province of Honan. They had a synagogue, in which were thirteen tabernacles, placed upon tables, each surrounded by small curtains. The sacred Kim of Moses (the Pentateuch) was shut up in each of these tabernacles, twelve of which represented the twelve vibes of Israel; the thirteenth, Moses. The books were written in a neat, distinct band, on long pieces of parchment, and folded on rollers. In the middle of the synagogue stands the chair of Muses, in which every Saturday, and on days of great solemnity, they place the Pentateuch, and read some portions of it.*
The Holy Scriptures are now in a course of translation, by seva eral hands, into the Chinese language. Chrisiian missionaries are sent to some parts of these vast and populous dominions, and hope is entertained that these people, who have so long sat in darkness, will receive and enjoy the light and blessings of the Gospel. An edict was issued in 1812, by the emperor of China, against Christianity, making it death for any person to embrace or propagate i..
Government. The government of China is well known to be patriarchal. The emperor is indeed absolute; but the examples of iyranny are rare, as he is taught to regard his people as his children, and not as his slaves. All the officers of government pass through a regular education, and a progress of rank, which are held indispensable. Of these officers who have been called mandarins, or commanders, by the Portuguese, there are vine classes, from the judge of the village to the prime minister.
The governors of the provinces have great and absolute power, yet rebetlions are not unfrequent. Bribery is also an universal vice ; and the Chinese government, like most oliers, is more correct in the theory, than in practice.
Popularjon. See table.
As the Chinese laws permit no native to leave his country, there can be no colonies properly so called.t
Army. The army has been computed by Barrow, at 1,000,000 infantry, and 800,000 cavalry. Hassel, however, from Desguignes, estimates them only at 600,000 infantry, and 210,000 cavalry.
Revenue. Sir George Staunton estimates the revenue £ 66,000,000 sterling. This is also the estimate of Barrow; who adds, that when the expenses are deducted, only 12,000,000 sicrling are lcft for the treasury of the empire, out of which the expenses of the empire being paid, the surpius goes into the crown treasury. Des. guignes fixes the highest amount of the revenue, at more than a third less than the estimates of Staunton and Barrow.
Manners and Customs. The Chinese, in their persons are middle sized, their faces broad, their eyes black and small, their nose rather shorte The Chinese have particular ideas of beauty. They
• Abbe Grosier, vol. ii. chap. 7, p. 259.
+ Yet the number of Chinese ai Batavia, and other situations in the Oriental Archipelago, many of whom pass as traders to and from their country, shews chat these laws are little regarded,
pluck up the hairs of the lower part of their faces by the roots with tweezers, leaving a few straggling ones by way of beard. Their Tartar princes compel them to cut off the hair of their heads, and like Mahometans, to wear only a lock on the crown. Their complexion towards the north is fair, towards the south, swarthy, and the faiter a man is, they think him the handsomer. Men of qual. ity and learning, who are not much exposed to the sun have delicale complexions, and they who are bred to letters let the nails of their fingers grow to an enormous length, to shew that they are not employed in manual labor.
The women have little eyes, plump rosy lips, black hair, regu. lar features, and a delicate though florid complexion. The smallness of ineir feet is reckoned a principal part of their beauty, and no swalling is omitted, when they are young, to give thein that accomplishment, so that when they grow up, they may be said to totter rather than to walk.
Language. The language of the Chinese is of a regular and systematic formation. Their alphabet is composed of 214 elementary characters, or letters. By the various combinations of these ele. ments, all the other characters or words in the language are formed.
All the words of the Chinese language are monosyllables. They have selected 36 characters for initial, and 14 for final sounds. The initial sounds are all consonants, the final all vowels, liquids or nasals. By combining these are formed 432 monosyllables, and by variously nodifying the sounds of the finals, together with the application of accent and quantity, the whole number of monosyllables has been extended to 2178. The whole number of characters or words in the language is 35,000. Dividing this by 2178, the number of monosyllables, it will be readily seen, that the same pronunciation is used for sixteen different words. This is an inconvenience peculiar to the Chinese language, and in colloquial discourse must sometimes prove a serious embarrassment
Education. The schools of education are numerous, but the .children of the poor are chiefly taught to follow the business of their fathers.
Cities and Towns. The chief cities of China are Pekin and Nankin, or the northern and southern courts. Pekin occupies a large space of ground; but the streets are wide, and the houses seldom exceed one story. The length of what is called the Tartar city according to Staunton, is about four miles, and the suburbs are consiilerable. The population was computed at 3,000,000. The houses indeed are neither large nor numerous; but it is common to find three generations with all the wives and children under one roof, as they eat in common, and one room contains many beds. The neatness of the houses and various furniture and goods of the shops delight the eye of the visitor.
Nankin, which was the residence of the court till the fifteenth century, is a yet more extensive city than Pekin, and is reputed the largest in the empire. The walls are said to be about 17 miles in circumference. The chief edifices are the gates with a few temples; and a celebrated tower covered with porcelain, about 200