Imatges de pÓgina

[We have quoted the preceding principally for the sake of its reference to the very interesting custom of strewing flowers over the graves of departed relatives and friends.]

day's walk across it, or a whole day's ride round it. Though the court has long quitted Nanking, it is still the highest seat of learning; and its environs are finely laid out in gardens, which, as the Chinese study economy in their horticulture, are as useful as they are beautiful.

(Concluded from page 108.)

THE province called Nanking, by Europeans, contained, before its division, according to the Chinese accounts, a surface of more than 81,000 square miles, and a population of seventy millions, or ten millions more inhabitants than the whole Russian empire. Of this province, the eastern section, though rather small in respect to surface, is still the most populous in China, (containing upwards of thirtyseven millions,) and is traversed thoughout by the imperial canal, three miles in breadth. In this province, are the principal green-tea districts; in noticing which, Mr. Mudie infers the green tea to require rather a colder climate than black; and he is inclined to consider the plants producing black and green tea not as species, though often described so, but climatal varieties, or the same plant grown in different soils; and this inference is illustrated by the excellence of the spirit obtained from the barley of the Scotch Highlands, in comparison with that obtained from the Scotch Lowlands, and the rich valleys of England. Of the tea-plant, it is added: "In the hedge-rows of the low and hot districts in the south of China, the infusion of it has very little flavour; and the leaves are not used, even by the humblest classes of the people. In situations a little more elevated and cold, we have bohea and other inferior teas; in those a little colder still, we have the better black teas; and in the coldest, we have the green teas, which naturally run smaller, both in the plant and the leaf, than any other of the varieties. The Chinese are, however, so very dexterous in the management of trees, that they can contrive to make almost any species arrive at apparent or even real maturity, at almost any height they please. A good deal must, however, depend on the soil, and not a little on the method of treating the plants."

The name, Nanking, means the southern capital of this province, just as Peking means the northern one; the termination, king, meaning that the place is the seat of the Emperor and his court. Nanking is still, Mr. Mudie thinks, as populous a city as any on the globe; so that he rejects the commonly received belief, of Jeddo, the secular capital of Japan, being more thickly peopled. The Chinese description of ancient Nanking, we know, represented it to be sixty miles in circuit,a good

In noticing the large supply of fish from the province of Shan-tung, it is stated that a considerable portion of it, as well as of the fish from Canton, is sent fresh to Peking, and covered with ice in the boats. Preserving fish for a time in ice, has long been practised in China; although, when

salmon was first sent from Scotland to the London market, preserved in this manner, it was looked upon as a new and important discovery."

Of the twelve border provinces of China, six have sea-coasts, and six are inland, (the latter being surrounded by territories subject to the Chinese, excepting the west and south-west of Yun-nan); and there is no great danger of invasion from that quarter, the Birmese power being very inferior to that of China. Mr. Mudie then observes:-"It is thus only from the sea that China is at all vulnerable; and though a naval array there might annoy and injure the towns and cities on the coast, and hurt or suspend the coasting trade for a time, yet such an armament could make but very little impression on the empire itself; nor is there anything in the law of civilized nations which would justify such an outrage against a people who never interfere with other nations, or send one ambassador to a foreign court. Even on the land side, though the dependencies of China extend, as has been remarked, to the summits of the grand mountain ridges, these countries cannot be said to have been conquered by the Chinese from the ordinary motives of desiring an increase of territory. The object appears invariably to have been to put an end to those predatory inroads of the hordes of the desert, by which the Chinese were so frequently disturbed and plundered, so long as they had not a control over these hordes. This is proved by the fact, that in all their conquests of Tartary, the Chinese left the people in possession of their own laws and customs, and imposed restraint upon them no further than was necessary for keeping them at peace. It may seem that Thibet is an exception to this, but such in reality is not the case; for though the inhabitants of Thibet had not much facility or disposition for making inroads upon the Chinese provinces; yet the Chinese, being naturally jealous of foreigners, probably from the continual inroads of the Tartars, and having that jealousy strongly excited by the spread of the British power in India, and

especially by the humbling of Nepal and Birmah, were, no doubt, apprehensive that in time this British power would find its way to the western frontiers of the empire; and, by armies there, and fleets on the coast, the celestial empire would be gradually overturned, and a government by British viceroys substituted in its stead. This inference very naturally follows from the circumstances of the case; and the precaution of the Chinese, in getting hold of the whole frontier territory, must be regarded as an act of great foresight and prudence on the part of a people whose general policy it is to live quietly in the possession of their own, without invading their neighbours, for the purpose either of civil and military rule, or religious conversion."

Five provinces, which do not reach the frontier, either landward or seaward, remain to be noticed. In Ho-nan, near Ho-nan-foo, among craggy mountains, is the ancient tower which, according to the Chinese annals, was the observatory of Chow-kung, an astronomer, the supposed inventor of the mariner's compass, a thousand years before the Christian era; which, Mr. Mudie considers, 66 may be true, but is not very probable."

Of Hoo-pih, the fifteenth province, the capital, Woo-chang-foo, on the Blue River, is a great resort for Chinese merchants; with so great a number of vessels in its harbour as to resemble a sea-port, which, in the very centre of the land, is an advantage scarcely possessed by any other country but China. The river is wider than the Thames, and six miles in length of it are sometimes covered with vessels. This port is the great granary of the empire, and here the Chinese may rest in safety; for, taking the windings of the river, Woo-chang-foo is between 500 and 600 miles inland; and thus "completely out of the reach of any invading fleet, the conductors of which were, as they would be, ignorant of the shoals and other dangers of the navigation; and when it is considered through how dense a population such a fleet would have to pass, the idea of reaching this port is an absurdity."

The province of Keang-se has the finest porcelain manufactories: at one place is a triple row of barges, two or three miles in length, engaged in this trade. In this province, too, is manufactured the blue Nanking china; and the females here have not their feet cramped and distorted, as in other provinces, so that they may take a share in the labour.

Mr. Mudie thinks the Chinese have been unjustly accused of exaggerating their population, and that we are warranted to conclude, from even the slightest topo

graphical survey which can be taken, that the Chinese are the most numerous nation, and China the finest country, on the face of the earth. Not only this; for if we take the collected annals of China, which are continuous for nearly 3000 years, and if we bear in mind that from the beginning the Chinese have been, not only a writing, but a printing people, and a people printing, not in symbols of sound, which are mutable in every alphabetical language,-we must see that there are elements of veracity in the annals of China, which are not found in those of any other country; - if we take those annals, we find that, though there have been changes of dynasty, and unions and separations of provinces in China, though proportionally fewer than in any other country, yet the country itself, and the people, in the essential parts of their characters, have been one and the same during this very long period.

The next section relates to the physical characters of China, shewing that she has the physical, and might have the intellectual capacity of maintaining herself, upon her own ground, against the oppressions of every nation upon earth. This is one side of the grand China question; and the remaining sections glance at the government, regulations, customs, arts, occupations, and learning and language of the country, shewing how they operate upon the intellectual energy and moral courage of the people. The whole, we can assure the reader, is as interesting as it is important for him to acquire, if he wishes to pass muster in well-informed society. The volume is, altogether, cleverly executed, and contains, in its 200 pages, the substance of many quartos. It is illustrated with two large maps-China and Assam.


The Aborigines of New Holland regard the firmament more than civilized man would generally suppose. They know the fixed stars by name, and believe them to be other worlds, inhabited.

Patriots, (says Walpole,) are easily raised; I, myself, have made many a one. "Tis but to refuse an unreasonable demand, and up springs a patriot.

Popular Antiquities.-Every old building, the origin of which is buried in obscurity, is attributed to Cæsar or the devil.-Dulaure's Paris.

Public and Private Conduct. The following sentence, from Hobbes's Leviathan, is an admirable piece of everyday philosophy: "Of those men that, in the councils of the commonwealth, love to shew their reading of politics and history, very few do it in their domestic affairs, where their particular interest is concerned; having prudence enough for their private affairs: but in public they study more the reputation of their own wit, than the success of another's business."

Literary Men.-Godwin had a saying, that literary men should be born with two heads, one for literature, and the other for common affairs.

[blocks in formation]

Continental Railways.-On the other side of the Rhine, there are 200 leagues of railroads, either already brought into use, or on the point of being So. Further undertakings, some of which have obtained a guarantee of the minimum of interest, will afford conveyance, by this means, to the extent of 400 leagues more, within a few years. Of the lines finished, or near being so, those in Holland run thirty leagues, Prussia fifty-one, Austria fifty, Bohemia eighteen, Bavaria eighteen, Saxony twenty, Frankfort, Nassau, and Darmstadt eleven, Brunswick two and a half, Duchy of Baden four leagues. Most of these roads have only one line of rails.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Dressing for a Masquerade.-Those who united genius with good looks, were studying how to make themselves funnily frightful for this occasion; whilst others, neither handsome nor witty, were lost in dreams of finery, which would not oblige them to say or do anything.-Playing About.

Female Genius.-A young lady, upon whom intellect had not beamed with unmitigated effulgence, being in conversation with a literary beau, was asked by him, in an attempt to display his own acquirements: "Are you fond of good writing?"

Yes, sir, I like writing very much." "Ah! do you ever write?" "Oh! yes, sir, often." "Indeed! do you sip of the Castalian spring, or keep to the dull regions of prose?" "Sir?" "Do you prefer prose or poetry? which do you write ?" "I writes fine hand, sir."

Australian Seasons.-Spring begins about the end of August; summer, of November; autumn, of February; winter, of May. In the hottest months, the thermometer frequently stands as high as 1300 in the sun, and within doors, about 100o.

Eccentricity.-It is all very well for a Young, a Kemble, a Scott, a Sir Isaac Newton, a Sir Thomas Lawrence, to behave like commonplace gentlemen. Yet talent would cease to astonish the many, if some of its possessors did not assert its rights to such originality as breaks through all musty rules. A Kean, a Byron, a Maturin, a Harlowe, should now and then rise, "in a fine frenzy rolling."Playing About.

A new Percussion Musket has been tried at Brussels, with infallibility in firing during rainy weather. The cartouche was previously thrown into water, where it remained for some time previous to the musket being charged. The musket was also dipped in water, and the barrel filled with water; when nothing impeded the firing and the ball going to its destination.

A Plain Woman, who cannot sing, dance, play cards, is live lumber in company.-Playing About.

The Duke of Wellington.-The late Earl of Mornington married Anne, daughter of Arthur Hill Trevor, Viscount Dungannon, of Brynkinalt, in the county of Denbigh, descended from Tudor Trevor, Earl of Hereford, founder of the sixteenth tribe of North Wales. The Wellesley family is of English origin, but resident for ages in Ireland; from this union of the nations is Arthur, Duke of Wellington, and of this marriage the fifth son.

The Two Smiths.-There were once, in the Liverpool theatre, two Mr. Smiths, one a serious, the other a lively actor, who, to distinguish himself from his namesake, always had the initial of his sponsorial John attached to his patronymic, in the play-bills. The grave actor falling ill, a wag wrote up in the green-room,

"If tragedy Smith should chance to die, Then comedy Smith will lose his I." Playing About. Colonial Slang.-At Sydney, sitting in the stocks is called taking it out in timber. Yellow paint, and, indeed, anything of a yellow colour, is unsaleable at Sydney, on account of the convicts having a yellow stripe on their clothing, which they call the government livery.

A Good Master.-"The only difference betwixt master and man is, that one comes in by the front door, and t'other down the hairy steps.”—Playing About.

Malthus anticipated.-The multitude of people, (says Sir Walter Raleigh,) is such, that if by wars or pestilence they were not sometimes taken off by many thousands, the earth, with all the industry of man, could not give them food.-Hist. World, B. I., chap. viii. 84. (See Edin. Rev. No. 143, p. 68.)

The late Duchess of St. Albans was a pious, charitable woman, called capricious and intemperate, perhaps, by those who envied her fortune, and her two husbands.-Playing About.

Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh.-Few, if any, ever on a scaffold kindled such a blaze of powerful emotions-of pity, wonder, and admiration. His deportment throughout the prolonged scene evinced a degree of mental strength, self-possession, calmness, and superiority to the fear of death, that might be described as godlike. His devotion appeared sincere and elevated, and tempered a courage which nothing could shake. "He was," says the Bishop of Salisbury, who attended him officially, "the most fearless of death that ever was known, and the most resolute and confident, yet with reverence and conscience."-Edinburgh Review.

Laporte.-I appeared in a French character for Laporte's benefit: he dined with us, just ere his starting for England, and said, with tearful grimacing gesticulations, "Au revoir, donc, my kind friends! croyez moi, I shall nevare rem-embare your goodness to me." He kept his word. - Benson Hill; Playing About.

The Australian Bee is no larger than the common fly, and hives in a tree, whence the natives take the honey to sweeten water for drinking.

"Here goes for a lark," as the hawk said when he dropped into the corn-field.

Pastoral Elegy. By Drummond, of Hawthornden : Shepherds on Forth, and you by Dover rocks, Which use to sing and sport, and keep your flocks, Pay tribute here of tears; ye never had To aggravate your moans and cause more sad; And to their sorrows hither bring your mands, Charg'd with sweetest flowers, and with pure hands, Fair nymphs, the blushing hyacinth and rose Spread on the place his relics doth inclose; Weave garlands to his memory, and put Over his hearse a verse in cypress cut: "Virtue did die, goodness but Heaven did give, After the noble Alcon left to live: Friendship an earthquake suffer'd: losing him, Love's brightest constellation turned dim."

Royal Society.- Mr. Gardiner notes: "After the readings were over, the royal president and company ascended to the library, where tea and coffee were served. The Duke, who was in a rich suit of velvet, laden with court appendages, complained that he was d-d hot in his fine dress, and begged leave to withdraw for a few minutes to change. ✦ ✦ ✦ I was shewn the book containing the names of the fellows. Charles II. stood first, as the founder, but the neatly written name of Newton blinded me to all the rest."-Music and Friends.

Kean. I was Oswald to Kean's Lear. His memory was lost for the time. Instead of saying, "Who am I, sir?" he asked me, "Who are you?" luckily, not then a slang expression. I brought round his next speech, by answering, "I am your daughter's servant, sir; and you are-my lady's father." Far from cuffing me for "a knave," he squeezed my hand, muttering, "Bless ye! you've saved me !”— Benson Hill; Playing About.

Comet of 1811.-Sir John Herschel states the head of this comet to have been sixty times the diameter of the earth, and the tail more than one hundred millions of miles in length. When Halley's comet was expected, in 1835, a shoemaker, named Joseph Mills, in Leicester, set about tracing the path of this comet through the heavens. This he did by drawing its orbit upon his house-floor, from which he made a diagram that more accurately represented the course of the comet than any that had been previously published. On being questioned how he had calculated the disturbing forces, so as to come so near the truth, he replied, that he could not tell, further than that he had performed it by the common rules of arithmetic.

Trap-door Spiders are a species so named from their inhabiting cylindrical tubes covered with a moveable trap-door.

Roman Urns.-Some workmen, in lately removing what appeared an accidental heap of stones, on the top of one of the Lammermuir hills, the property of Mr. Borthwick, of Crookston, found underneath this heap, or cairn, a trough, consisting of hewn stones of a square shape, in which were placed, under a stone cover, a number of urns, of about the size of ordinary flower-pots, ranged in rows, and filled with ashes and pieces of bone. Some of the urns are in the possession of Mr. Borthwick, and are in as perfect preservation as if they had been recently made; though they are evidently genuine specimens of the ancient terra cotta, and must have been deposited in this Roman sepulchre many centuries ago.Caledonian Mercury.

Herschel was a good musician; and such was his ardour for discovery, that, in some benefit concert which he gave, he had his telescope fixed in a window, and made his observations between the acts. Emery.-A Yorkshire farmer set up a stone in his garden, inscribed with,

"Sacred to the memory Of poor Jack Emery."

Maunday Money.-These small pieces are, by an order of Government, declared current coins of the realm; no one, therefore, can legally refuse to take them if they are tendered in payment, although they are not in reality intended for that purpose: as a proof of this, the new groat will be found, on examination, to be from the die of the Maunday threepence, that is, the head side; but it has a different reverse, and is thicker, and, of course, of the weight of the Maunday fourpence. They are struck chiefly as presents for various officers attached to the Crown, as well as to others.- Till's Essay on the Roman Denarius, &c.

LONDON: Published by GEORGE BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand. Printed by WHITEHEAD & Co. 76, Fleet Street, where all Communications for the Editor may be addressed.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]



[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][merged small]
« AnteriorContinua »