Delivered at Pekin by Peter de Goyer and Iacob de Keyzer Ao 1655.

W. Heller fecit. 1655.

AN EMBASSY FROM THE East-India Company OF THE UNITED PROVINCES, TO THE Grand Tartar Cham EMPEROR OF CHINA, Deliver'd by Their Excellencies PETER de GOYER and IACOB de KEYZER, At His Imperial City of PEKING WHEREIN The Cities, Towns, Villages, Ports, Rivers, &c. In their Passages from CANTON to PEKING, Are Ingeniously Describ'd, By Mr IOHN NIEVHOFF, Steward to the AMBASSADORS.

ALSO An Epistle of Father IOHN ADAMS their Antagonist, Concerning the Whole Negotiation.

With an APPENDIX of several REMARKS taken out of Father ATHANASIUS KIRCHER.

English'd, and set forth with their several Sculptures, By IOHN OGILBY Esq His MAIESTIES Cosmographer, Geographick Printer, and Master of the Revels in the KINGDOM of IRELAND.

The Second Edition.

LONDON, Printed by the Author at his House in White-Friers. M.DC.LXXIII.

A Description of CHINA Taken by the Author M. Iohn Neuhoff in his Iourneys with the Batavian Ambassadours, from Canton to the Emperours Court at Peking.

A General Description OF THE EMPIRE OF CHINA.

Of the Government and several Chief Officers in China.

OUR Statists in Europe, and most else that follow Sci­ence and Literature, are not ignorant in the least of the three Forms of Government, viz. That of Mo­narcy, or the absolute Power of a Single Person; Aristocracy, being the Authority of the Nobles; and Democracy, the Sway of the Multitude.

Now the Kingdom or Empire of China hath been Govern'd from Age to Age, in a series or long pre­scription of Time out of mind, by a Single Person, the Supreme Authority being always Monarchical; for both the Power of the Nobles and that of the Po­pulacy are so altogether unknown to the Chineses, that we had a difficult Task when we were at Peking, to make them understand what our Government of the United Provinces was, and what were our High and Mighty Lords, the States General.

The Emperor of China Commands over the Lives and Estates of all his Subjects, he alone being the Supreme Head and Governor; so that the Chinese Government is absolutely Monarchical, the Crown descending from Father to Son; and for want of Issue-Male it comes to the next of Blood, the eldest Son first resuming the Paternal Throne; only we read, That two or three Kings in old Times disinherited their Children, being held unfit to Govern, and put the Scepter into the Hands of Strangers, no way related to them. It has also [Page 142] often hapned, that the Subjects have by force wrested the Government out of the hands of their lawful Prince, for being too severe, harsh, and cruel in his Reign, and conferr'd it on one more agreeable to their Humor, whom they have acknowledg'd for their lawful Prince. Yet herein are the Chineses to be commended, that many amongst them had rather die honorably, than sweat Fidelity to any Prince that gets the Crown by force of Arms, having no just Title to the same; for they have a Proverb amongst them, That an honest Wo­man cannot Marry two Husbands, nor a faithful Subject serve two Lords.

When the Heir (which generally is the eldest Son) comes to the Crown, the rest of the Children are Treated with Royal Dignity and Honor; but they must not use any Regal Authority. The King allots to each of them a City, with a Royal Palace, where he lives in Princely State, being serv'd and waited on with extraordinary Pomp and Splendor, but has no Command in the least over any of the Inhabitants; neither may they depart from that City without the King's special Licence.

In this Government are found no old Laws, as among those of Europe; no Imperial Edicts, which had their original from the ancient Romans: but those that are the first Founders of their own House, and have by Conquest, or otherwise, resum'd the Government, make new Statutes according to their pleasure. This is the reason why the Laws which were in use before this last Invasion of the Tartars, and are in part observ'd to this day by the People, are of no longer standing then the Emperor Humvuo, whose Race, for his most heroick Actions in the Expulsion of the Tartars, was call'd Tamin, which sig­nifies Great Courage. This Emperor made several Laws, and confirm'd others made by his Predecessors.

Their Emperor is commonly call'd Thiensu, which signifies The Son of Hea­ven; and this Name is given him, not that they believe he had his Original from thence, but because they believe he is better belov'd, by being preferr'd to so great a Dignity above all other Mortals, for his eminent and natural Vertues, and because they adore and worship Heaven for the highest Deity; so that when they name The Son of Heaven, 'tis as much as if they said, The Son of God. However, the Commonalty call not the Emperor Thiensu, but Hoangti, The Yellow Emperor, or The Emperor of the Earth; whom they name Yellow of co­lour, to distinguish him from Xangti, which signifies The highest Emperor. Two thousand six hundred ninety seven years before Christ's Birth, their first Prince Reign'd, who bore the Name of Hoangti; and because of his extraordinary Vertues, and valiant Deeds, the Chineses have ever since call'd their Emperors Hoangti.

None are chosen or employ'd in the Government and Management of Pub­lick Affairs, but such as are held capable, and have the Title of Doctors of the Law, Men of great Learning and eminent Parts; for whosoever is preferr'd in China to Places and Offices of Trust, has given a clear testimony of his Knowledge, Prudence, Vertue, and Valour; neither the Favor of the Prince, or Grandeur of his Friends standing him in any stead, if he be not so extraor­dinarily qualifi'd.

All Magistrates, both Civil and Military, are call'd in the Country Idiome, Quonfu, which signifies Men fit for Council: They are also call'd sometimes by the Name of Lavie, which signifies Lord, or Master. The Portuguese call these Magistrates in China, Mandorins, it may be from the Latin word Mandando; by which Name the Officers of that State in that Country are also receiv'd and understood by us of Europe.

[Page 143] And although I said at the beginning, that the Government of this Kingdom or Empire consisted of one single Person; yet it will appear by what has been said, and what shall follow, that the Government has also some Commix­ture with that of Aristocracy: for although that which the Magistrate con­cludes, and fully determines, must afterwards be ratifi'd by the King upon Request made to him; yet he also finisheth nothing himself in any Business, before he is thereunto first desir'd by his Council.

It is also very certain, That it is no way lawful for the King to confer any Office, Dignity, or Place in the Magistracy, upon any, unless he be first re­quested by one in special Authority: But yet he hath Power to present his Courtiers with some special Gifts; and this he often does, according to an old Custom, whereby it is free for any one to raise his Friends at his own Charge.

The Publick Taxes, Assessments, Impositions, and Revenues, are not brought into the King's Treasury; neither may he dispose thereof at his Pleasure: but they are deliver'd either in Money or Goods into the Treasury and Granary of the Empire; which Income dischargeth the Expence of the King's Family, consisting of Wives, Concubines, Sons, Favorites, and the like.

There are two distinct Councils in China; one whereof not only officiates in Affairs of State at Court, but has likewise the Care of the Kingdom: The other is made up of Provincial Governors, who Rule particular Provinces and Cities. A Catalogue of which Officers fills up five or six large Volumes, Printed every Month, and to be sold at Peking, where the Court resides. In these Books are mention'd only the Names of Provinces and Cities, and the Qualities of those who for that end are employ'd in the Magistracy through the whole Empire.

These Books are always re-printing, in regard so vast a number of Altera­tions happen daily; for some die, others are laid aside, and new ones cho­sen in their Places, or else preferr'd to higher Offices; so that there is hardly an hour but some Change happens amongst them.

The Grand Council divides it self into six other great ones: The first is call'd Pu, or The Council of State; for they nominate and chuse all the Magi­strates of the whole Nation: these, as they are most powerful, have also the greatest Parts, Persons able to judge of whom they confer such Dignities; for they must be all qualifi'd with Philosophical and other Learning, that come to any Place in the Magistracy; the general Maxim there being, To prefer none but meerly upon Merit; and whosoever happens to be degraded for any Misde­meanor, they never admit him to his Place again.

The second, call'd Hopu, hath the Management and Inspection over the King's Exchequer, pays the Armies, and other Charges of the Kingdom.

The third they name Limpu; this takes care of the common Offerings, Temples, Priests, the King's Women, Schools, and publick Places of Learn­ing, to see that all things be done in order; likewise orders their Holy-days, and the Obediences which are to be perform'd to the Emperor, upon certain Times and Occasions; also disposes and confers Titles of Honor upon such as deserve them, takes care for the encouragement of Arts and Sciences, send­ing and receiving of Ambassadors, and the writing of Letters into all Parts.

The fourth Council is call'd Pimpu, or The Council of War, to whom is left the management of Peace and Military Affairs; wherein however they are not to conclude any thing without the consent of the Emperor. They dispose [Page 144] of all Places and Offices in the Army, and confer Titles of Honor and Dig­nities accordingly upon such as behave themselves bravely in Conduct, and valiantly in Battel.

The fifth Council, call'd Cumym, has the care about Buildings committed to it; and also appoints Surveyors to look to the Repairs of the Edifices and Pa­laces belonging to the Emperor, his Favorites and Magistrates: they also look after the building of Vessels, and the equipping of Fleets.

The sixth Council, call'd Humpu, Examines and Iudges all criminal Causes, and appoints their Punishments.

All Affairs of the whole Kingdom are dispatch'd by these six Councils; wherefore they have in each Province and City, Officers and Notaries, by whom they are inform'd of all Transactions which happen in each Quarter; so that they are all continually busie about weighty Affairs: but the number and good order of the Officers very much facilitates their Work; for in each Council is a President, whom they call Ciu, who has two Assistants, one on his right side, call'd Coxilam, and another on his left, term'd Yeuxilam: These three, both at Court, and through the whole Empire, have the highest Dig­nity, except those who sit in the supremest Council, call'd Colao. Beside these three Principal Councellors, there are belonging to each Council ten others, who differ but little in Dignity from the rest, being always employ'd, toge­ther with a great number of inferior Officers, as Notaries, Scribes, Secretaries, and Clerks.

The Iesuit Semedo, in his Relation of China, mentions several other Coun­cils, whereof some have a like Authority with the before-mention'd six; all which are call'd in the Chinese Tongue, Cien, Cim, and consist of several Offices, belonging particularly to the King's Houshold.

The first of these is call'd Thai Lisu, that is, The Council of the great Audite: This Office seems like the great Chancery of the Kingdom, and therein all weighty Affairs receive a determination; it consists of thirteen Mandorins, one Councellor, two Assistants, and ten under-Officers.

The second is call'd Quon Losu, and provides for their Imperial Majesties Tables; and for all the Expences of the Emperor's Court. This Council has one Councellor, two Assistants, and six Officers.

The third, call'd Thaipocusu, has the Power of the Emperor's Stables, and makes provision of all Post-Horses for publick Use and Service. It consists of one Councellor, and six Officers.

Beside all these, there is yet another Council higher than all the rest, and of the greatest Dignity, having Place next the Emperor in all publick Solemni­ties. Those that sit in this Council are call'd Colaos, being seldom above four or six in number, and the most select Persons of all the other Councils, and of the whole Empire, and are honor'd and reverenc'd accordingly. No private Affairs are brought to them, for they only mind the Publick Good and Go­vernment, sitting with the Emperor in private Council; for the above-men­tion'd six Councils intermeddle not with the Affoirs of the State, as to make any Conclusion upon them, they being only to Debate and Consult, and af­terwards by way of Petition to offer their Advice to the Emperor, who either altereth or confirmeth what they have done, according as he sees cause. But in regard he will not seem wholly to relie upon his own Iudgment, some of the chiefest Philosophers always attend upon this Colaos or Council, and come daily to the Palace to answer Petitions, which are brought continually to the [Page 145] Emperor in great numbers. This last Conclusion the Emperor Signeth with his own Hand, that so afterwards his Command may be Executed.

There are yet two Councils more, whereof the one is call'd Choli, and the other Tauli, each consisting of above sixty Persons, all choice Philosophers and wise Men, whose Fidelity and Prudence both the Emperor and People suffi­ciently have approv'd, and therefore they hold them in great honor and esteem. With these his Majesty adviseth upon all extraordinary and weighty Affairs, but more especially when any thing has been committed against the Laws.

Beside these, there are several other Councils, whereof the chiefest is call'd Han Lin Yven, where are employ'd none but Learned Men, who busie them­selves with no Affairs of the Government, yet exceed all in Dignity, except such as sit at the Helm. Their Charge is to take care of the Emperor's Wri­tings, to compile Year-Books, and write Laws and Orders. From among these are chosen Governors and Tutors for the Princes; they only are con­cern'd in Matters of Learning, wherein as they grow more and more excellent, they mount by several Steps to the highest degree of Honor, coming after­wards to be employ'd in Places of the greatest Dignity in the Court; neither is any chosen into the great Colao, who hath not first been of this Council. They delight in Poetry, and get a great deal of Money by their Writings, as in making of Epitaphs, Poems, and the like, to pleasure their Friends; and very happy he esteems himself that can obtain such a favour of them.

The Government of the City Nanking, where the Chinese Emperors formerly kept their Courts, is the same with that of Peking, save that at Nanking the great Council of the Colao is not in being; but the Esteem and Authority of the rest of the Councils here is as much eclipsed for want of, as at Peking 'tis advanc'd by the Emperor's Presence.

Thus far we have spoken of the Government in general: In the next place we will treat of particular and Provincial Iurisdictions. The whole Empire is divided into fifteen Provinces; in the principal Cities whereof the chiefest and supreme Courts of Iudicature reside, differing little in Method and Rule from those of Peking and Nanking, and so not consequently one from another. The Regiment of each Province is committed to the care and fidelity of two Persons, whom they call Pucinsu and Manganzasu; the first whereof inter­meddles only with Civil Affairs, and the other is altogether concern'd in Cri­minal Matters. They have both their Seats of Iudicature in the Chief Cities of their Province, and live in great Magnificence, having beside several Officers assistant unto them, as also the chiefest Magistrates call'd Tauli; who in re­gard they Command over some other inferior Cities, it often happens that they are absent from the Metropolis of the Province, to take care of their Employments.

All the fifteen Provinces, as has been already said, are subdivided into se­veral other less Portions, which the Chineses call Fu; over each of which is appointed a Governor call'd Gifu. These Divisions are again proportion'd into great and small Cities, the first whereof they call Ceu, and the last Hien: each hath a particular Magistrate, which in the great Cities are call'd Ciceu, and in the less are nam'd Cihien; for Ci signifies To Govern. Every Principal Governor of these Cities is aided by three Councellors, who assist them with Advice in all their Affairs and Undertakings: The first is call'd Hun Chim, the second Chu Phu, and the third Tun Su, and have their particular Courts and [Page 146] Iudicature; but the Governor over the whole Division has no more Autho­rity in the Place of his Residence, than in the other Cities under his Com­mand: True it is, he may condemn a Malefactor to die; but he cannot put the Sentence in Execution, without the consent of the rest that are join'd in Com­mission with him.

But in regard an Account must be given of the whole management of Af­fairs, and the Transactions of all the Provinces, at the Court at Peking; there­fore in each Province there are appointed two other great Officers by the Court, who in eminency of Honor, and Grandeur of Commission, exceed the rest. The one of these always resides in some of the Provinces, and is call'd Tutang; the other is sent yearly from the Court at Peking, and call'd Chayven: the first has a superintendent Power over the other Magistrates and Subjects, Commands the Soldiery, and is concern'd in all the chiefest Offices of the Empire, by reason whereof he is not inferior to the greatest Vice-Roys in Eu­rope, either for Power or Pomp. He continues three years in the Employ­ment, and all that time has constantly Couriers going to, and coming from Court; and this because he must daily give an Account of what passes in his Province. At his first going from Court, several Persons of great Quality (who also are of his Council) are sent to wait upon him to his Palace: The Inhabitants of Cities and Towns, through which he passes, go out to meet him with great Respect, and accompany him good part of his Way, both on Horse-back and on Foot, with great Honor and Reverence: At length, when he is arriv'd within three Miles of the Capital City wherein he is to make his Residence, the Garrison of the Place, excellently accommodated, meet him, to guard and conduct him; after whom follow the Magistrates, with the chiefest Citizens.

The Office of the second, call'd Chayven, which signifies An Examiner, is like­wise a Place of great Trust and Command; but (as is said) expires with the Year. This Officer receives so large a Commission from the Emperor, that he may supervise and inspect all manner of Affairs, as well Civil as Military; and this he doth, giving an Account thereof to the Emperor, who thereupon immediately sends him further Orders what to do therein. He alone, amongst all the Magistrates, causes the Sentences of Life and Death, and other corporal Punishments, to be put in Execution through the whole Province; so that all Persons equally fear and reverence him.

Besides these great Officers of the Emperor, there is another Examiner, call'd likewise Tutang; but he is sent by the Empress from time to time, and his Business is only to visit the Prisons of the Province, with a full Power to release all such from them, as have been put in for trivial Matters. He hath a very great regard to the Poor, his chief Office being to perform Deeds of Cha­rity, and extend Compassion.

In every Province is also a Treasurer, who takes care of the Royal Revenues arising within the whole Province: He receives his Commission from the Rix-Council appointed for the Emperor's Revenue. With him are join'd two Assistants, who both reside in his Palace: And he has under him twenty six Mandorins, who are employ'd in several Offices: He receives and takes an Account of all the Tolls, Impositions, and Royal Taxes; takes a special care of all Weights and Measures, and determines all Causes and Differences that arise about the Emperor's Revenue: He is the Person that pays all Salaries, Wages, and Annuities, whether it be to the Magistrates, the Emperor's [Page 147] Kindred, or Soldiers; and likewise disburses all Moneys to be laid out for repairing of Bridges, Streets, and common Edifices, such as the Palaces of the Mandorins.

The fourth Council is Gan Cha Sci, whose Business is to inflict, or pass Sen­tence for corporal Punishments.

The fifth-Council takes care to improve and reward Learning and Know­ledge.

And thus I have given you an Account of the several sorts of Rix-Councils in China; but before I conclude with their method of Government, it will be worth our labor to make some mention of the strange and unusual Customs us'd amongst them, which other Nations have hardly heard of. And first of all, it is very observable, That the whole Kingdom is sway'd by Philosophers, to whom not only the People, but the Grandees of the Court yield an awful Reverence, insomuch that they submit with all humility to receive Correction from them, as Children from a Master. By these Philosophers are all Mili­tary Affairs order'd, over which they are appointed as Overseers; and their Counsel and Opinions make greater Impressions upon the Emperor, than all the most admirable Observations of the Commanders themselves, who are very seldom, and then but some few, taken into the Council. But that which will appear yet more strange, is, that these Philosophers far exceed the Mili­tary Commanders in Courage and Fidelity, and will hazard their Persons be­yond any of them in the most imminent Dangers, for the good of their Prince and Country.

Secondly, But that which indeed to our European World will seem most admirable, is the Good Understanding and perfect Unanimity which is con­stantly held between the High and the Inferior Magistrates; as also between the Governors of Provinces, and the Rix-Councils, and between those and the Emperor himself; declar'd by that mutual Respect and Affection which they bear to one another, in making Visits, and sending Presents upon all occasions for the continuation of this so well knit Correspondence: and yet notwithstanding this constant and strict Amity, the inferior Magistrates never speak to the chief Ministers of State but upon their Knees, and that with sin­gular Civility, and profound Respect. With like Respect and submissive Car­riage the Subjects behave themselves to the Governors and Rulers of Cities.

Thirdly, No Person continues in Office through the whole Empire, longer than three years, unless he be confirm'd anew by the Emperor; which hap­pens very seldom, because, as every Man merits by his upright Carriage and Deportment, he is still advanc'd to higher and more noble Promotions. And certainly this is done upon great and Political Reasons of State, as to prevent any such Governor from contracting near Friendship with the Inhabi­tants, whereby to draw their Affections to a by-Interest on his part, to under­take Factions or Novelties against the Interest of the Prince. For the better bringing to pass whereof, all the chief Governors of Provinces, Divisions, and Cities, are bound to appear every third year at the Emperor's Court, to do Homage and Obedience to him; at which time a strict Account is taken of their Carriages and Behaviours in their several Places: and after a through Examination of all Matters, the Emperor and his Council determine who are fit to be continu'd, who to be cashier'd, who to be preferr'd, and lastly, who to be punish'd; and this without any respect of Persons. Likewise, it is not in the power of the Emperor to make any alteration in what is concluded by [Page 148] the Council and Iudges upon this Examination, which is so severe and impar­tial, that for the most part only the greatest Persons offending are punish'd. And to this purpose we read, that in the Year 1607. so strict an Examination was made, that four thousand principal Magistrates, who had misbehav'd themselves, receiv'd Rewards justly due to their demerits.

The Persons so condemn'd are divided according to the quality of their Crimes, into five Ranks: Under the first are comprehended such as take Bribes, and enrich themselves out of the Emperor's Treasury; these being turn'd out, are for ever made incapable of bearing any publick Office. Under the second Rank are set down those who are too cruel in their Punishments; these are likewise turn'd out of their Places, and sent home to live as private Persons. Under the third are reckon'd such as are decrepit, and too far stric­ken in years for Government, or else such as are too remiss in their Offices; these, though they are put by the Exercise of their Offices, yet enjoy all their Privileges as they were wont when they were in their Places, so long as they live. In the fourth Rank are put down such as have been too hasty and rash in passing Sentence, acting without any forecast in the Affairs of the Empire; these are degraded, and put in some inferior Offices, or else employ'd else­where upon less weighty Affairs. In the last place, all such as live impru­dently, and unbecoming the greatness of their Station and Employment, are not only depriv'd of their Places, but also of their Liberties and Privileges for ever. The like general Inquisition and Examination is made every twelfth Year amongst the Rix-Councils, as also amongst the Military Officers.

Besides, the Mandorins and Assistants are oblig'd once a day to give an Ac­count to the Governor of their City, of their own and other Persons Transacti­ons under their Iurisdictions, as also what has past either in City or Country; and if they forbear to give notice of any thing that tends to the prejudice of the State, which afterwards comes to be known, they are most severely pu­nish'd, without any delay, or respect of their Persons; an instance whereof hapned at Canton when we were there, the old Vice-Roy causing one of the chief Mandorins to be kill'd in his Presence for such a Crime, and would not de­lay the expiation of the Criminal's Offence by his Blood so long, till the Exe­cutioner could be fetch'd to behead the Offender, according to the Custom of the Country.

Fourthly, None may in the Province where he was born take upon him the Office of a Magistrate, but is admitted to be a Field-Commander; the rea­son whereof may be, lest he who sits in the Place of Iustice should favor his Relations; but the Soldier being at home in his own Country, will Fight pro Aris & Focis, and the more valiantly defend it. The Sons of such as are Magistrates, are not permitted to go much abroad, that so they may not be corrupted with Bribes.

Fifthly, The Chineses will not suffer any Stranger to continue in their Coun­try, who has an intention to return home into his own native Soil, or is found to hold any Correspondence with forein Kingdoms; neither is a Foreiner permitted to come into the heart of the Empire: And this is the cause that no Stranger dares venture into China, otherwise than under the pretence of an Embassy; which is not only to be understood of such as are far distant from China, but also of their Friends, Allies, and Tributaries, who pay Taxes to them; of which sort are the neighboring Islanders of Corea, who for the most part observe the Chinese Laws; and if they discover a Foreiner to have liv'd [Page 149] privately in China, they restrain him from returning into his own Country, upon pain of death.

Sixthly, No body is suffer'd to wear any Arms within a City, nor the Sol­diers nor Commanders, nor the Learned Philosophers, unless they are upon the March, and going to the Wars. Neither are any suffer'd to have Arms in their Houses, or to ride Arm'd, otherwise than with a Dagger to defend them­selves against High-way-men.

In this Empire all Magisterial Officers whatever, whether Philosophical, or of the Council of War, are rank'd into nine Orders; according to which each has a monthly Allowance paid him, either in Money or Rice out of the Publick Revenue; which in regard of the State and Garb they live in, is not sufficient to defray the Charge and Expence they are at; for those of the highest Order, have but a thousand Crowns yearly, yet some of them grow to be very rich Men, but certainly not by what is given them under-hand for Courtesies done, notwithstanding all the Examinations aforesaid.

All the Magistrates, as well superior as inferior, wear for a Badge and Mark of Respect and Dignity, one sort and fashion of Hat, which none else is suffer'd to wear: These Hats or Bonnets are made of black Silk, and have on both sides two oval Flaps which cover the Ears, and are made fast to the Bonnet that they cannot fall off: In which manner and Garb when they ap­pear in the Streets, they walk with great gravity, not differing from each other in the rest of their Habit, save only that they have distinguishing Marks upon their Clothes, whereby their Qualities are known to the Inhabitants, and to what Order they belong.

Lastly, you must know that the Chineses, though the Tartars have made them­selves Masters of this Empire, yet sit every where in the Councils; they en­joy their old Laws, Customs, and Privileges as formerly; and it seems the Tartars suffer this, in regard they find the Chineses have more understanding, and are better vers'd in Governing the Country and People than themselves; who on the other hand are fitter for War, and more able by force to Conquer, than by Policy to Rule Kingdoms.

Of the Characters, Language, Writing, and Literature of the Chineses: And in what manner the Learned in China arrive to the several Degrees of Knowledge.

THE Chinese manner of Writing differs very much from the Language they speak; for there is not one Book in all China which is writ in their Mother-Tongue. All the Words in the Chinese Language, without exception, are Monasyllables: neither have they fewer Letters than Words; for each Letter is with them a Word: and though there be some Chinese Words which comprehend several Letters, yet every one of those Let­ters signifies a particular Word.

And although the Chineses have as many Characters as Business, yet they are so skilful in joyning them, that they make about seventy or eighty thou­sand; but about the certain number Writers seem to differ. The Iesuit Athanasius Kircher reckons them eighty thousand, in all which they must be [Page 150] knowing and expert, who will aim at the highest Degree of Learning; al­though any one that knows but ten thousand of them, may perfectly un­derstand the Language, and be able to write their Characters. M. Martinus, in his Prologue to the History of China, says, That the Chineses have above sixty thousand Characters, which have several distinctions and significations. This is confirm'd my Mandelslo in his Persian Voyage, though others raise the num­ber to One hundred and twenty thousand; and which is worth observation, notwithstanding this almost infinite variety and difficulty, yet such is their di­ligence and industry, that all these words are found in a large Dictionary call'd Holpien, which signifies The Sea. Of this so great difference in the num­ber of the Chinese Letters no other reason can be given, but that the original number hath been increas'd from time to time.

For the better understanding the method of the Chineses Writing, I conceive it not amiss to declare more plainly the form and difference of these their so varying Characters.

And to that end and purpose, in the first place you are to take notice, That the old Chinese Characters or Letters differ very much from those in present use: for at first the Chineses characteriz'd their meaning in a kind of hierogly phick shape, as of four-footed Beasts, creeping Creatures, Fishes, Herbs, Boughs of Trees, Ropes, &c. which were variously made and contriv'd, as the Fancy of the User thought meet: But after-Ages, by a long series of time, and a constant practical use thereof, finding a great confusion in such a vast number of differing Creatures and Herbs, imitating the form of some of the Ancients in their Characters, made or added some little Points and Lines about them, to distinguish them one from another, and by that means reduc'd them into better order, and a less number, and those are the Letters they use at present.

Of the old Chinese Characters, there are to be seen seventeen sorts: The first and most ancient was invented by the Emperor Tohias, and compos'd of Dragons and Snakes, most strangely interwoven one within another, and cast into several forms. For this reason the Book which the same Emperor Tohias writ of Astrology, is call'd The Book of Dragons; but at this time those Chara­cters are quite worn out of use in the Countrey. The second sort is fram'd out of several things belonging to Husbandry, and us'd by the Chinese Empe­ror Xinnung in all Treatises concerning Tillage. The third sort consists of the several parts of the Bird Fumhoan, and was invented by the Emperor Xan­hoan, who has likewise writ a particular Book of Birds in these Characters▪ The fourth sort of old Characters is compil'd out of Oysters, and small Worms. The fifth, of several sorts of Roots of Herbs; and in this kind of form the ancient Chineses have writ several Books. The sixth sort is drawn from the Claws of Cocks and Hens, and other Fowl, and invented by King Choam. The seventh is compos'd of Tortoise-shells, and had for their first Founder the Emperor Yoo. The eighth is shewn in small Birds and Parrots. The ninth▪ in Herbs and Birds. The tenth is of Co, invented only for a token of remem­brance. The eleventh is of Stars. The twelfth, of several other Letters, ser­ving for Privileges and Immunities. To the thirteenth belong the Letters Yeu, Can, Chi, Cien, Tao. The Characters of the fourteenth sort are call'd the Letters of Rest, Mirth, Knowledge, Darkness, and Clearness. The fifteenth sort is of Fishes. The sixteenth sort is not yet known to us in Europe, nor indeed to any besides themselves, and not to all them neither. The seventeenth sort is us'd in sealing up of Letters, and writing of Superscriptions.

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That the Reader may more clearly understand the matter, I will set down some of the old Characters, with those now in use.

As for Example, the Character number'd with the Figure 1. signifi'd with the ancient Chineses, a Mountain or Hill; at present as the number 2. does ex­press. The Sun was demonstrated formerly by a round Circle or Ring, with a Speck in the middle, as the number 3. declares; but now it is express'd as in number 4. A Dragon was formerly depicted with the Figure, as is express'd in number 5. but now as it is by the Figure, number 6. A Scepter with one Eye, as is express'd in number 7. signifi'd formerly the King's Name, but now it is shewn with the Figure, as in number 8. A Bird, Hen, or Cock, were formerly express'd in full shape and posture, as is mention'd in the numbers 9. and 11. but at present those Creatures are describ'd as in number 10. and 12.

But the Chineses at present use no more such Characters to express the form of any such things, but only some certain Lines and Marks, which however different in form, in some sort obscurely resemble the Characters of the An­cients, which represented the shape of things. For a clearer demonstration of the Character in use at present among the Chineses, I have thought good to in­sert one of the Figures, mark'd with the Letter M.

Out of nine several Lines or Marks the Chinese Characters of these Times are compos'd, so that by adding or omitting of one Line or Mark, another sig­nification properly arises; for example, a straight Line, as by the Figure a up­on the left side of this Print, signifies One, or The First; with a Line drawn through it, as at b, denotes Ten; and with a Line underneath it, as at c, it signi­fies Earth; with another put over the down-right Line, as the Figure d, it speaks King; with a Point on the right side, as by the Figure e, it signifies A Pearl; but such a Point on the left side, as at Figure f, signifies To Live; Lastly, with a Point upon the head of it, as at Figure g, it signifies Lord.

Now though all the Subjects of the Empire use several Characters in their Language, yet in speaking there seems to be little or no difference in them, all their words sounding alike, notwithstanding the difference of form and signi­fication in Writing; and this is the reason that there is no Language which has so many double-meaning words as the Chinese, being only distinguish'd by some sound or expression in use amongst themselves. Out of the double sig­nification [Page 152] of these words there arises a great Inconvenience; for no Person can transcribe any thing out of that Language which is read unto him, nor can any Book be understood by hearing another read it, because the double meaning and various sound of the words cannot be distinguish'd by the Ear, and are only to be known by the sight, or not otherwise to be understood; so that it often happens in common Discourse, that they are necessitated to put their Minds in Writing, else one cannot understand the other what he means, though he speaks very clear and plain. This double meaning is in some sort taken away by five several sounds now in use, which yet are very hard to be distinguish'd; so that many times very great mistakes happen between those that have not been us'd to these sounds from the very Cradle. An Italian tel­ling a Chinese, That in Europe there were Ships to be seen as big as Mountains, he gave the word wherewith he would have denoted A Ship, the same sound that ex­presses A Tyle upon the House. The Chinese taking it according to the sound, seem'd to admire very much his Saying, and at length began to laugh at him, as though he had told them incredible things; asking him withal, To what use they put a Tyle of such bigness? and saying, That it must have been a very large Oven that could bake such a Tyle. By which appears how necessary it is, and withal how infinitely troublesom it is both to Strangers and Natives to learn these differences of Sounds and Pronunciations, or to be ignorant of them. The Iesuits therefore who are sent to propagate the Gospel in China, have found out five Points of five Marks, which they put over every word, and thereby know how to express the highness or lowness of the Sounds; which are as follow: [...] By the help of these Marks must the same word which is writ­ten in our Letters, and mark'd with these Marks, be severally pronounced, and then they intend several things. As for Example, Y'a with this Mark ouer it signifies God; and with this Mark over it, Yá, A Wall; and with this Mark signifies Dumbness. Yet notwithstanding all these Helps, the Chinese Language is very difficult to be learn'd and understood, as well in regard of the double signification of the words, as also because that in this Language there is no certain number of Letters, but every Business and Intention of the Mind must be express'd by a particular Character; which gives not only an infinite trouble to those that will learn it, but causes a vast expence of time, taking up ten or twenty years before a man can attain to the Art of speaking and writing this mysterious Language, wherein the Natives themselves know far better how to express their Minds in writing, than by speaking.

But in regard I have now spoken of the Character and Writing of the Chi­neses, I will add in a few Words in what manner they place them: And herein they quite differ from the Custom of Europe, and almost all other Nations. Hereof Peter Iarcius thus, in his Treasury of Indian Things: The Chineses (says he) do not write from the left hand to the right, as the Europeans; nor from the right to the left, as the Hebreans: but they begin from the right side above, and write down to the bottom; so that they put the one Character under the other, and not one after ano­ther, as we in Europe: And when the Line is full from top to bottom, then they begin again at the top of another Line, and by degrees go down again to the bottom. And in­deed (which is worth observation in this Particular) the Chinese differ from all others, who absolutely write after another manner; for at this day there are in all the known World but four several ways of Writing, upon the Ac­count of placing the Letters: The first is from the right to the left side, and in this manner are written the Books of the Hebreans, Chaldeans, Syrians, Ara­bians, [Page 153] and Aegyptians. The second is from the left to the right side; and after this manner the Greek and Latin Books are writ, and so write at present all the People of Europe. The third sort of Writing is in the Greek call'd Bustro­phedon, which signifies to Plough with Oxen; and this manner of Writing is done just as the Oxen make Furrows with the Plow, namely, to begin the second Line where the first ended: This way of Writing (as Pausanius relates) was us'd by the ancient Grecians; and so (as is reported) were writ the Laws of Solon. The fourth and last way of Writing is from the top to the bottom; and this manner of Writing, as has been said, the Chineses use, and some of the Salvage Indians.

But although this manner of Writing (whereby each thing is express'd by a particular Character) is very burdensom to the Memory, yet it is of very great use and advantage to the People, who differ very much in Language from each other; for hereby they are able to read the Books and Letters of each other (if they use common Characters in Writing) though the one doth in no wise understand the other in speaking. And in this manner it is that those of Iapan, Corea, Couchen-China, use one and the same Books, though they differ so very much in the Pronunciation, that one cannot understand a Word the other says; yet they bear the same sence to the understanding of the most indifferent Reader, no otherwise skill'd than in the vulgar Idiom of his Mo­ther-Tongue: And which is yet more of wonder, that although the several Natives in the Empire of China differ infinitely each from other in their seve­ral Dialects, so that their varying of Languages makes them seem as Stran­gers among themselves, their Tongues being useless Members to their Inte­lect; yet in their Books one General Character is us'd, so that the same are equally intelligible throughout the whole Empire.

Notwithstanding the great Confusion of Languages in the several Provin­ces, as is before declar'd, there is yet through the whole Empire another Common Tongue, by the Chineses call'd Quinhoa, which signifies The Court or Mandorin Chinese; and this at first took its rise from the Magistrates, or Mando­rins residing in the respective Provinces, whereto they were sent with a Su­perintendent Authority; for coming thither as Strangers, and esteeming it below their Greatness to be necessitated to learn any other Tongue, this C [...]urt­ly Mandorin Language was introduc'd through the whole Empire, wherein not onely all Affairs relating to the Laws are dispatch'd, but likewise all Per­sons of Rank or Quality use the same; so that it is as common, and as much in use with them, as Latin in Europe, or Lingua Franca among the Turks; and this is the Language that Strangers, Merchants, and others learn, when they come into those Parts.

This Court-speech, though it exceeds all the others for number of Letters, yet it consists of no more than 362 Words; so that the shortness or concise­ness of this Courtly or more Modish manner of speaking, makes it flow so pleasantly from the Tongue, that it passes for sweet Elocution, almost all other Languages yet known: As for Example, When we will express the manner of taking a thing, either with the whole Hand, or with one or two Fingers; we are enforc'd to add the word Take; but the Chineses do express the same quite otherwise: for each Substantive, as a Cup or Pot, signifies the thing to be done, as likewise the manner of doing it. Thus Nien signifies to take with two Fingers, Tzo with one, and Chua with the whole Hand. The same is likewise observ'd in the word Stand; we say, To stand in the House, to stand Eating, to stand [Page 154] Sleeping; but they have a Word which denotes the Infinitive Verb To Stand, and the manner of standing. So likewise when we will express the Leg of a Man, or of a Bird, we always add the same word Leg; but the Chineses ex­press it all in one: for Kio is a Man's Leg, Chua a Birds, and Thi the Foot of any Creature.

Amongst all the several noble Arts and Sciences wherewith the Europeans are enobled, the Chineses have only some insight into that of Philosophy; for the knowledge of natural things is much more obscur'd among them by seve­ral interpos'd Errors, than any ways enlightned.

The greatest Philosopher of all that Nation, was one Confutius, born four hundred and fifty one years before Christ's Incarnation, and liv'd in such a manner for above seventy years, that not only by Example, but also by his Writings and Conversation, he stirr'd up all others to imitate him in a ver­tuous and orderly Course of Life; whereby he gain'd so great an Esteem amongst the People, that they believ'd him to have far exceeded in Vertue, Learning, and Integrity, all other Mortals that ever liv'd upon the face of the Earth: And certainly, if his Works, which are extant in Chinese Books, were minded with a due regard, Men must acknowledge him to have been a Person of great Learning and Vertue: In respect whereof the Chineses have to this day so great an opinion of his Name, that whatsoever he has writ is ne­ver call'd in question, but by all maintain'd for good, having gain'd to it self the authority of Ipse Dixit in the Schools. And not only the Learned, but the Kings also have ever since his Death perpetuated his Memory, and recorded his Name in their Annals, as a Reward of the Vertue and Learning they re­ceiv'd from him: And such of his Posterity as yet remain, are to this day highly respected by all, and not without reason: for the Emperors of China have Enobled the Heirs of the Family with great Titles of Honor, and exem­pted them from paying any Publick Taxes or Impositions.

Nor doth the Knowledge of the Chineses end here; for they are great Pro­ficients, in the Art of Astrology, and in several other Arts and Sciences; as also heretofore in that of Arithmetick, in the understanding whereof they have of late years much decay'd, insomuch that now the Shop-keepers use Boards to tell upon, which are full of Holes; yet they are so ready at it, that with a Peg they know how to cast up an Accompt with as much Method and Expe­dition, as the most skilful European with Counters. In the division of the He­misphere, Stars, and Constellations therein, they differ very much from us of Europe, having added to their number more than are known to the most criti­cal of our modern Astronomers. The Star-gazers are chiefly employ'd in prognosticating the time of the Suns Eclipses, and to observe the various Course of the Planetary Motions. But herein they are like themselves and Brethren in the same Art, full of Errors and Mistakes; as also in their Astro­logical Observations, Calculating of Nativities, Horary Questions, or the like; concerning good or bad Fortunes in their Lives, as well as present Suc­cesses in their Emergent Occasions; together with the Fruitfulness and Bar­renness of the ensuing Year: for they take it as a main Article of their Be­lief, That all things which happen here upon Earth, depend upon the Influ­ences of the Stars, and are directed and order'd by the various Signatures of their several Configurations.

Of this Fortune-telling Part of the Art of Astrology, Trigautius the Iesuit gives this following Account in his History of China.

[Page 155] The present Emperor of China has strictly forbidden this kind of Learning to all but such who have a Right by Inheritance, or are otherwise appointed and cho­sen thereunto: And this Prohibition at first sprung from fear lest any having ob­tained to the exact knowledge of that Art, should by pretence thereof have an op­portunity to erect any Novelty in the Empire. Yet that the Art, and the Masters of the same, may not seem to be utterly lost or neglected, the said Emperor maintains several Star-gazers, at a very great Charge, for his own use; and they are of two sorts, namely, the Celubden, who live within the King's Palace, and the Imperi­al Magistrates, who live without. Both these have at present at Peking two Ben­ches, the one entituled The Bench of the Chineses, which is employ'd about making of Almanacks and Prognostications, the Suns and Moons Eclipses: The other is of the Saraceners, whose Studies tend to the same things, and are Methodiz'd according to the Grounds and Rules of the Western Astrology. After a time the Iudgments of both these Benches are compar'd together, and any difference or mistake of either, or both, is then rectified. Both these Societies have a convenient Mansi­on provided for them, upon a very high Hill, that they may the better view the Stars, and raise Observations from the same. Several old Astrological Instruments, made of Copper or Brass, are kept in this Place: Every Night one of the Profes­sion remains here, to observe whether any new Star appear in the Firmament, which might fore-tell some Novelty; and if any such thing happen, he immediately gives notice thereof to the Society, and they communicate the same to the Emperor, and con­sult with him what it may p [...]rtend, and how relate to good or evil. And this is the Office or Duty of the Astrologers at Peking.

As to Physick and Chirurgery, they are very expert therein, and their Rules of Art differ not much from those of our European Physicians: for first, they feel the Pulse like them, and are very skilful in discovering by the same the inward Distempers of the Body: in each Hand they take notice of six distinct beatings of the same, namely, three high, and three low, which, as they conceive, have some secret Coherences with certain Parts of the Bo­dy; as that of the first, to the Heart; of the second, to the Liver; of the the third, to the Stomach; of the fourth, to the Spleen; of the fifth, to the Reins, &c. And therefore that they may with the greater certainty of Iudg­ment deliver their Opinions, they are at least half an hour in feeling the Pulse of the sick Person.

When by the Pulse they have found out the Distemper, then in order to the curing of the Patient, they apply and make use of several Simples and Roots; to say the truth, they are generally very well experienc'd in the knowledge of the several Vertues of all kinds of Herbs growing among them. And this is observable, that there are no Schools in all China for the learning of Physick, but every Master of Family teaches his Servant. And true it is, that although in both the Imperial Cities of Peking and Nanking, the Degree of Doctor of Physick is not granted but after Examination; yet this Degree, when obtain'd, doth advance neither the Honor or Respect of the Person. And for this reason it is probable, that few or none Study Physick but the meaner sort of People, because the very Profession thereof (which is so ho­norable in other Places) is there is no esteem, nor adds the least Reputation to him that gains it.

But it is quite otherwise with such as Study Philosophy; for whosoever hath attain'd to the Perfection thereof, is by them accounted to have arriv'd at the highest pitch of humane Happiness attainable in this World.

[Page 156] The above-mention'd Confutius, the Prince of the Chinese Philosophers, has collected into order all the Writings of the Ancients in that kind, and con­tracted them into four great Books, to which he added a fifth of his own: In which Volumes are taught Rules Oeconomical and Political, as well the way to Live as to Govern well; as also the ancient Examples, Manners, Of­ferings, and several Poems of ancient Authors. But beside these five, there is another great Volume writ by some of the Disciples of Confutius, and is divi­ded into four Parts, and call'd The Four Books. The last Volume, thus subdi­vided, treats of the same Subject with those other five: And these nine Books are all that are to be found in China amongst the Booksellers, out of which all others are compos'd: And certainly therein are contain'd most excellent Rules and Directions for the well ordering of all Civil Affairs, and such as have pro­ved to the very great advantage of the Empire of China. For which cause a Law was made by the ancient Kings, That whosoever would be a Learned Man, or so reputed, must extract the principal Ground-work of his Learning from these Books: Nor is it enough to understand the true meaning and sense of the same; but he must likewise get them by heart, and be able to repeat a considerable part thereof, if he will be thought to have arriv'd at an eminent pitch of Learn­ing.

There are no Publick Schools in all China (though some Writers have erro­neously told us the contrary) but every Person chuses his own Master, by whom he is taught in his House, at his own Charge. And in regard of the great difficulty in Teaching the Chinese Characters, in respect of their vast num­ber and variety, it is impossible for one to teach many several Persons; and therefore every Master of a Family takes an Instructer into his House, for his Children, of whom, if there be two or three to learn, they are as many as one Tutor can well teach.

All such as are found upon Examination to have made good Progress in Philosophy, arise to Promotions by three Degrees of Learning: The first is call'd Sieucai, the second Kiugin, the third Cinfu.

The first Degree of Learning, call'd Sieucai, is given in every City by a certain Eminent Learned Person, appointed by the Emperor for that pur­pose, and according to his Office bears the Name of Tihio. This Tihio goes a Circuit through all the Towns of his Province, on purpose to Promote Learned Men to this Degree: As soon as he is come into any City, he makes known his arrival, whereupon all such as stand for this Preferment address themselves unto him to be examined; and if he find them qualified, he im­mediately prefers them to this first Step of Learning: and that their Worth may be taken notice of, for a particular Badge of their Dignity they wear a Gown, Bonnet, and Boots, in which Habit none are permitted to go, but such as are in this manner become Graduates. They enjoy likewise several Honorable Privileges and Immunities, and are preferr'd to considerable Employments in the Government.

The second Degree of Honor to which the Learned Chineses are preferr'd, is call'd Kiugin, which is given with much more State than the former, and is conferr'd only upon such as they judge to be most deserving; and this Pro­motion is made but once in three years, and perform'd after this manner:

In each Capital City is a great and well-built Palace, encompass'd with high Walls, and set apart only for the Examination of the Scholars. In this Place are several Apartments and Mansions for the use of Examiners, when [Page 157] they come to Supervise the Scholars Works. Beside these Apartments, there are at least a thousand Cells in the middle of the Palace, but so small, that they will only contain only one Person, a little Table, and a Bench: In these no one can speak to his Neighbor, nor be seen by him.

When the King's Examiners are arriv'd in the City, they are lock'd up apart in this Palace, and not suffer'd to Discourse with any whatsoever while they are there. When the time of Examination is come, to which are ap­pointed three whole days, namely, the ninth, twelfth, and fifteenth Days of the eighth Month; then are the Writings of the Scholars with great Iudg­ment narrowly Examin'd, and several Questions propounded to be resolv'd by them.

The third Degree is call'd Cinsu, and is equal with that of Doctor of Divi­nity, Law, or Physick in Europe; and this is conferr'd likewise every third year, and to them only in the Imperial City of Peking. To this Honor can only three hundred out of the whole Empire arrive, and the Examination of them before they are chosen, is perform'd by the King's Examiners in the same Method and State as the former. And such as attain to this heighth of Honor by their Learning, are preferr'd to the highest Places of Dignity in the Empire, and are had in great Esteem and Reputation by the People.

Of several Chinese Handicraft-Trades, Comedians, Iuglers, and Beggers.

THe Chineses are not altogether without some Experience and Skill in Architecture, although for neatness and polite Curiosity, their Build­ing is not to be compar'd with that in Europe; neither are their Edi­fices so costly or durable, in regard they proportion their Houses to the short­ness of Life, building as they say, for themselves, not for others: And this surely is one reason why the Chineses cannot comprehend nor imagine the costly and Princely Palaces which are in Europe; and when they have been told, that some of the said Edifices have stood for many Ages, they seem as it were ama­zed thereat: But if they consider'd the true Reasons of such continuance, they would rather applaud and imitate, than wonder; for that which makes our Building last so long, is, because we make deep Foundations; whereas in China they dig no Foundations at all, but lay the Stones even with the surface of the Ground, upon which they build high and heavy Towers; and by this means they soon decay, and require daily Reparations: Neither is this all; for the Houses in China are for the most part built of Wood, or rest upon wood­den Pillars; yet they are cover'd with Tyles, as in Europe, and are contriv'd commodiously within, though not beautiful to the Eye without; however, by the curiosity of the People, they are kept very clean and neat.

Their Temples are most curiously built, some whereof in solitary places near the High-ways, to the great accommodation of Travellers. They are hung full of Images, and heavy Lamps, which burn continually, in memory of one or other that liv'd well, and died happily.

These People have made no small progress in several Sciences, by their early being acquainted with the Art of Printing: for though those of Europe do there­in [Page 158] exceed the Chineses, having reduc'd the same to more exactness and certain Method; yet says Trigautius, in the fourth Chapter of his first Book, The use of the Printing-Press was much sooner in China than in Europe; for it is most certain, that the same has been in use amongst the Chineses for five Ages past; nay, some stick not to affirm, that they us'd Printing before the Birth of Christ. Mercator, in his great Atlas writes, That the Printing-Press, and the use of Cannon, are of so great Antiquity in China, that it is not known who was the Inventor of them. All which, if it were taken for granted, yet nevertheless they are too large in saying, That That Printing has been us'd by them ever since their Country hath been call'd the Empire or Kingdom of China. But how ancient soever it is, they use quite another manner and method therein than the Europeans: for in regard of the great number of Characters, they are enforc'd to cut them upon a smooth Board, made of Pear-tree or Apple-tree. Upon this Board they paste the Wri­ting that is to be Printed, scraping the Paper so long when it is dry, till the Characters, by reason of the thinness, begin to appear through; and last of all, they bore the Board with an Iron, that only the strokes of the Characters are left standing: This done, they Print with this Board the Writing, which stands already Engraven upon it, upon other clean Sheets, but with so much ease and quickness, that one Man is able to Print five thousand Sheets in a day; and in the boring of the Boards they are so dextrous, that they will cut out one almost as soon as an European Compositor can make ready a Form to the Press. This manner of Printing is much more commodious for the Chinese Characters than for ours, theirs being great in substance and form, our Letters small, and consequently unfit to cut upon a Board.

Neither doth this Peoples Ingenuity end here, but dives into the quaint Fancies of the Painter's Art, arriving sometimes to great skill in Painting of Pictures; only herein they fall very much short of those who use that Art in these Parts, in regard they neither understand the making of Shadows, no [...] have learn'd to temper their Colours with Oyl. This is the reason why all their Pictures look so dull and dead, resembling rather inanimate Bodies, than lively Images; and yet they have as good Colours in that Country, as in any other part of the World, wherewith they depict all sorts of Birds and Herbs to the life.

They have also some little insight and skill in the Art of Carving or Gra­ving of Images, and in Casting of Copper into the Portraicture of Birds, and all manner of other Creatures, with which they adorn the Cielings of their Houses; their Temples are likewise beautifi'd with Images of Copper, or other Pieces of Carv'd or Engrav'd Works. Their Bells, which for the most part are made of Brass, have woodden Clappers; for they cannot bear the striking of an Iron one, by reason of their brittleness; so that for sound, they fall infinitely short of the European Tuneableness. Why these People, who are ingenious and witty enough in other things, are so dull and unexperienc'd in these, proceeds in all probability from their general averseness to deal with Foreigners; it being a Rule among them, to prohibit them entrance into their Country, at leastwise not to admit them farther then Frontires.

Several sorts of Musical Instruments are to be seen in China, the most where­of are loud Musick or Wind Instruments, to all which they use Snares made of Raw Silk; but they have neither Organs nor Harpsechords, nor any other the like Instruments, though there be some that have a great resemblance of our Virginals in Europe.

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Their Vocal musick consists of one Note and Tone as it were; for they know not how to alter or raise their Voices higher or lower, nor is it in use amongst them; notwithstanding which, they brag very much of their sweet Voices; which happly to their Ears, accustom'd thereto, may seem pleasant; but sure I am, to ours they are both harsh and untunable.

They have very few Dyals, or Iustruments to shew the Hour of the Day; and such as they have, are made to operate by the means of Water or Fire: Those which shew the Hour with Water, bear a kind of resemblance to some great Hour-glasses for their shape; but such as shew the Hour by means of Fire, are made of perfum'd Ashes. They have some other kinds of Instru­ments amongst them, to know the Hour of the Day by, somewhat like our Clocks with Wheels; and they are made to turn with Sand, as Wheels of Mills with Water; but they are not to be compar'd to our Clocks in Europe, for they seldom go true. Some inkling they seem to have of Sun-Dials; but they are ignorant, and desire not to be inform'd in the use of them.

They are very much addicted to Shews and Stage-Plays; and herein only do they exceed those of Europe. Their Comedians are for the most part young and active, and very numerous throughout the whole Empire; some of them travel from Place to Place, and others resort to the Chiefest Cities and Towns, to be employ'd at Weddings, and other great and solemn En­tertainments.

The Comedies which they Act are either Satyrical or Comical; but true Relations of the present Times, or new Inventions of their own Fancies, to make the People merry: and the greatest part of them boast Antiquity; for although it be facile inventis addere, yet they seldom add to, or refine what is old, much less invent any thing new. And by this means they are al­ways in a readiness to act their Plays, whensoever, or how oft soever they are desir'd by any Company; for the better satisfaction of whom, they al­ways carry about them a Book, wherein the Names of their Plays are writ­ten, of which, when they are call'd out by any Persons, which frequently happens at times of Publick Feasting, they Play all the while Dinner lasts, which is sometimes seven or eight Hours, in which time their manner of Acting is such, that nothing therein proves tedious to the Company; the

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cause whereof may seem to be, for that one Play is no sooner done, but they begin another; all their Actions being various, attended with their Singing Parts, and using strange expressions to amuse the People.

There are likewise a great number of Iuglers and Hocus-Pocusses, who are very dexterous in their way: Some of them have Rats and Mice in a Cage, fastned to a Chain, which they have taught to Dance in several Po­stures: Others thrust Threds into their Eyes, and pull them out at their No­ses. One I saw creep into a narrow Basket, while his Camerade ran thereat with his Sword so fiercely, that he pierc'd it through; whereupon the Blood ran down, as if the Fellow therein had been wounded in several Places; but immediately coming forth, it was evident he had receiv'd no hurt at all.

The People of China are great Lovers of Seals and Coats of Arms, where­with they not only Seal their Letters, but make Impressions upon all manner of Writings, Verses, Pictures, and other things. But upon these Seals is no Device, as among the Gentry and Nobility of Europe, neither any thing besides the Name, Sir-name, Degree, and Quality of the Proprietor; and to make the Impression, they neither use Wax, nor any thing like it, but only colour it with a certain red Paint; to which end the chief Persons in China have a Box of these Seals always standing upon a Table, upon which are Engraven several Names, every Chinese appropriating to himself divers Denominations. These Sigils or Signets are either Engraven in the best and richest sort of Wood, or else in Marble, Ebony, Copper, Crystal, or the like; for the per­forming thereof, there are several Engravers very skilful in this Art, who are much respected by the People among whom they carry the repute of Learned Men.

There are not in this Country any swarming of Writers; but such as do write are esteem'd Artists of the best qualification. Their Ink is made of cer­tain hard Cakes, which when they will make use of, they rub upon a smooth Marble Stone, with a few drops of Water, till the Colour comes off, into which they dip their writing Pencils, being made of Hair, and fairly appro­priated to the writing of the Chinese Characters; and the making of these Pencils, but especially of the Ink, is amongst all there reputed a particular and ingenious Calling.

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Other Handicraft-Trades there are in China, among which the Fan-maker is not of least use and credit. These Fans are of such general use to cool the Face in the heat of Summer, that no Person, of what Degree soever, goes abroad without them: And of these there are several sorts, some being made of Reed or Wood, others of Ivory, Ebony, Silk, Paper, or perfum'd Straw; nor is their variety greater in substance, than their difference in fashion; for some are round, others four-square, &c: Such as are worn by the Grandees, are made of white Paper gilt, to open and shut at pleasure; with one of which it is customary among them to Present each other, as a token of Love and Friendship. These Fan-makers also as aforesaid, are employ'd much in the making of Quittesoles, which are a kind of folding Canopies; carried over the Heads of the Grandees by their Servants, being made of the same Stuff with Fans, and Lin'd with Silk or Linnen.

The Ruffians Travel through all parts of the Country with Women in their Companies, and where by chance they find any handsom young Maids amongst the common sort of People, they use all art and means to entice them away, neither sparing Money or good Words; whom if they prevail upon to follow them, they afterwards teach to Dance and Sing, so making them fitter for the Entertainment of their Hectoring Blades, and wild Gallants. When they are thus instructed, the Male-Bawds endeavor to sell them, either to the Grandees out-right, or else to prostitute them for Money for a certain num­ber of days, which turns to a considerable advantage; for every of these Bro­kers for impudence, have several Women that belong unto them, according as their ability is able to afford them a Maintenance: They seldom stay long in a Place, but go from Town to Town, and there residing longest where they can meet with the best Markets. Whosoever hires one of these Women for a Nights Lodging, must receive her in the publick manner hereafter described, viz. She is set upon an Ass, and so conducted with a Hood over her Face to the House of him that sent for her; and when she is come to his House, she casts aside her Hood, and then he receives and conducts her into the House.

The Beggars here are generally not only bold, but troublesom; for they ask with great importunity, yea, and often times threaten such as refuse to give them: They are for the most part very ill featur'd and mis-shapen Creatures,

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for not one of hundred but is mangled or deform'd in some part of his Body; whereof the Natives give this reason: That these Lazars take their Children in their Infancy, and break their Arms and Legs, or otherwise de­form them, that so they may grow up in a mis-shapen form, on purpose to become fit to be bred up in their way of Begging. Besides these enforc'd De­formities▪ they are many times full of running Sores, that the very sight of them is enough to breed a loathing in the most setled Stomach: And all this misery is done and suffer'd by them on purpose, to stir up some pity and com­miseration in such as pass by. Some there are that appear outwardly sound of Body; but such use another Art in Begging, which is, to knock their Heads together like distracted Persons, so that Spectators would believe that their Brains were ready to flie out, or themselves to fall down dead on the Ground; for such is their customary Humor, that they will never cease beating till they have prevail'd with you to bestow something upon them. There is likewise another sort, who in stead of knocking their Heads toge­ther, as aforesaid, strike their Foreheads so hard upon a round Stone four Fingers thick, which lies upon the Ground, that it makes the Earth seem to rebound with the blows; by means whereof many of them have contracted such terrible Swellings upon their Foreheads, that they can never be cur'd of them.

In the Yellow River a certain Armorer shew'd himself to us, coming Abroad our Barque from a small Chinese Boat call'd Tsiapam, which is an open Boat, flat before, and with a little Mast in the middle. This Armorer sat quite na­ked, only a Cloth cover'd his Privities, and drivell'd like a Man possess'd with some evil Spirit; and to make himself appear the more dreadful, he had run a sharp Dart through one of his Cheeks, which made him look with a Coun­tenance full of terror. He carried likewise two sharp Darts in his Hands, wherewith he threatned either to wound or kill himself if nothing was given him. Next to him sat one of the Country Priests, who had a Book in his Hand, wherein he said every Person that gave him something was to write his Name; but the Ambassador's refus'd so to do. There were some Tartars with us, who all appear'd to be afraid; but some of them were so very much frighted, that their Hair stood an end at the sight of such an extraordinary

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mad Creature; and (whether out of fear or folly it matters not) they gave him several Presents, that they might have good Weather, and a speedy and safe Passage: at which simplicity of the Barbarians some of our Com­pany could not forbear laughing, and departed away without giving him any thing, saying, That they feared God, but not the Devil; and would have nothing to do with his Adherents.

There is also another sort of Beggars here, who set fire to a combustible kind of Stuff upon their Heads, which they suffer to burn there with such ex­cessive pain and torment, till they have extorted some Charity from the tran­sient Company with their howling and crying, enduring very great misery all that while.

And lastly, Upon every publick Market-day there are to be seen whole Troops of blind Beggars in the several Cities and Towns, who beat them­selves upon their naked Breasts most furiously with great round Stones, till the very Blood drops from them.

Besides what is mention'd before, there are several other Trades in China, as the Baking of Porcelane, or China-Ware; the Gumming and Painting of Chests, Trunks, and Boxes; as also the Weaving of Carpents, Damasks, Cottons, and several other Stuffs, which I have thought fit to omit in this Chapter: First, in regard the same are already mention'd in the first part of our Relation; and also because the Chineses do so infinitely abound in all manner of Arts and Handicraft-Trades, that it would take up too much time to give a particular Account of the whole.

But notwithstanding this abundance of Trades in China, a great Defect and Abuse is observ'd in most of the Commodities which are made there, and it is this, that they only appear and seem fair to the Eye, but are really for the most part very sleight; and for this cause they may well be afforded much cheaper to the Merchant.

Of some strange Customs, Fashions, and Manners, in use amongst the Chineses.

THE ancient Chineses, call'd their Kingdom or Empire in old Times by the Name of Courtesie or Civility, and other known Manners; yea, and which is more, Civility or Courtesie is held with them for one of the five principal Vertues; amongst which, as chief, all others are com­prehended. The nature of this Vertue consists, as they say, in the shewing of mutual respect: Now to be compleat herein, and to be Masters of Ceremony, they spend no small time to accomplish themselves; yet some of them of a higher Speculation, viewing humane Vicissitudes, lament themselves that they cannot reject and shun these Complemental Formalities, although they do therein far exceed those of Europe. Wherefore in this Chapter I shall shew in what manner they Salute one another when they meet, and afterwards Treat of some other Manners and Customs in use amongst them, wherein they differ from others, or amongst themselves.

It is held for no point of Civility amongst the Chineses to take off the Hat, or to make Legs, as it is usually term'd, much le [...]s to embrace any Person, or kiss his Hand, or make any outward shew of Complement. The most gene­ral and common way with them of shewing Civility, is done after this man­ner: They carry their Hands when they walk (unless they are to Fan them­selves, or otherwise to use them) always folded together in the Sleeve of their upper Garment, which is made for that purpose; so that when they meet, they raise their Hands on high in the Sleeve with great Devotion, and then let them fall again after the same manner, Greeting each other with the word Cin, which signifies Nothing.

When one comes to visit another, or if two Friends meet in the Street, they bow (with their Hands in their Sleeves all the while) the whole Body, and their Heads three times to the Ground; and this manner of Salutation is call'd Zoye. In the performing of which Ceremony the Inferior always gives place to his Better, and the Party visited gives the upper Hand to him that makes the Visit: But in the Northern Parts of China the Visitant is plac'd on the left-hand: Oftentimes also, after they have done bowing, they exchange Places, and go off from the left to the right-hand, and from the right to the left; which is done for this reason, that so the Party that is receiv'd in the highest Place should shew some Respect to the other again. When this Cere­mony happens to be in the Street, both Parties turn themselves side to side to­ward the North, and within Doors to the upper end of the Hall; for it is an old Custom amongst them, to lay the Threshold of the Palaces, Temples and other Edifices, to the South; so that in regard this Ceremony is perform'd in the Hall next to the Threshold, they turn their Faces to the upper end, and and then they look toward the North. If so be both Parties meeting or visit­ing have not seen one another in a long time, or perhaps never before, and have a desire to bestow extraordinary Civilities upon each other, then after performance of the first Ceremony, they fall upon their Knees, touching the Ground with their Foreheads; and this they do three times together. But when this Civility is to be shown by an Inferior to a Superior, a Child to his [Page 165] Parent, or a Subject to his Prince, he receives the Honor done unto him either sitting or standing, and only bowling a little when the other falls upon his Knees. With the same, and no greater Reverence and Honor they pay their Religious Duties to their Gods and Images, as well at home in their Houses, as in their Churches before the Altars. Moreover, if a Master speak to his Ser­vant, he stands next to him; but when he gives an Answer, he falls upon his Knees.

They use likewise several particular Forms and Methods both in Writing and Speaking: for in Speech they never use the second Person Thou; neither when they speak of themselves must they ever use their Proper Names, unless the Master speaks to his Servant, or a Superior to his Inferior. In their Dis­course with their Betters they have several forms of Speech, by which, toge­ther with their submiss Behavior, the Reverence they give them is known: Amongst which the courtly and polite modish way of Speaking, is never to mention himself but in the third Person, as not I, but He, or Such a one; where­as we in Europe use the word I, or Pronoun in the first Person: and whate­ver a Man's Reputation may otherwise be, yet he is never thought, or thinks himself to have attain'd the Pinacles of Honor, wanting the most accurate ways both of Speaking and Writing.

When any makes a Visit, the Party visited is oblig'd in convenient times to make a return of the like Civility, modo & forma. Also when they send Presents, (which is very frequent) they write them down in a Book, with the Name of him to whom they are Presented, which are either receiv'd, or civilly sent back with a Complement: And if they are accepted, he Enters their Re­ceipt likewise, and makes a Return accordingly, which he also Registers. It is also very common there for Presents to be made in Money, though not so usual with us in Europe.

Such as are preferr'd to any Place in the Magistracy, or have attain'd to be Learn'd in the several Arts and Sciences, put on distinct Habits when they go a Visiting, each according to his Place and Degree; and hereby he is known, al­though it differs not much from his daily Habit. And according to this Or­der, such as are not Learn'd, nor of the Magistracy, but yet are Persons of Qua­lity, put on a distinct Habit when they make Visits, which however differing little from the ordinary Garb, is satisfactory to him that is visited, whereas the contrary is ill resented. And for this reason the Iesuits in those Parts, in point of prudence, Habit themselves in other than their common Vestments, when they are to Confer with the Grandees about any Affairs.

If several Persons are visited in one House, the chief among them places the Chairs in the best part of the Room, wiping the Dust off with his Hand, though made never so clean before; then he invites his Friends that came to see him to sit down, and taking a Chair (seeming to wipe off the Dust) seats himself: The Visitors being thus plac'd, presently after comes one of the Houshold Servants in a long Gown, bearing in his Hand a very next Board, fill'd with Cups of Cia, or Liquor made of Beans (of which I have already made mention) in each a piece of Bisket, and a little Silver Spoon, lying by as a Nicety. The Servant Presents to each his Cup, but to him first that sits uppermost, and so going till he comes at last to his Master, who sits at the lower end of the Room, and then exits: If they continue any time together, the Servant re­turns and fills the Cups the second, third, and fourth time, and a fresh piece of Bisket is put every time into each Cup.

[Page 166] The Entertainment being in this manner ended, they take leave of each other after the usual manner, with bowing and lifting up of Hands, and be­ing attended by the Master of the House to the Door, there again they bid farewel, for the last time, after the same manner: And now upon their de­parture the Master is very importunate with them to see them in their Chairs, or on Horseback, as they came; but they civilly excuse it, and desire him to return into his House: Hereupon he goes back to the Threshold, and there again bows and lifts up his Hands, to which the Guests make a sutable Return; and thus they part, without any other kind of Complement or Ceremony: It may be as they are riding away he will suddenly come again to the Door, and perform the last Complement, in using the word Cin, putting up his Hands on high, and then down again; in all which Actions the same Return is made by the Guests, who, notwithstanding these Formalities of Courtesie, make no stop nor halt by the Way: Last of all, he sends his Servant to see how they got home, and to Salute them in his Name; and this is likewise done by the Guests, who send their Servants to return him Thanks.

Thus far we have treated after what manner the Chineses Salute, Visit, and sends Presents to each other. Now we will speak of their more solemn En­tertainments, wherein they are much concern'd; for they dispatch most of their Business and Transactions at Feastings and Topings, (not only such as live a well order'd and more private Life, but the very Priests themselves) and count the greatness of the Friendship, by the value of the Entertainment of their Friends; and these indeed may rather and more truly be stil'd Drinking. Meals, according to the ancient Custom of the Greeks, than Eating-Meals; for though they sip but a little at a time, yet they sip often, and that for seve­ral Hours together.

They neither use Spoons, Forks, nor Knives at their Meat, but round Sticks about half a Foot long, like our Drum-sticks, wherewith they are very dex­terous to take up Meat, and put it into their Mouths, without once touching it with their Fingers. These Sticks are made of Ebony, or other hard Wood, and tipp'd at the end with Gold or Silver. But here you are to take notice, that all forts of Flesh are brought to the Table hasht, cut in small pieces. They drink their Liquors, which are generally made of Beans, Zia, or Water, boiling hot in the heat of Summer, Wine only excepted, which is drunk as it is naturally: and they find by experience, that such hot Liquors are very good and comfortable for the Stomach, being very great Cordials, and much strengthening the inward Parts; and to these Means they attribute their long Lives and Healths, being very brisk and lively at seventy or eighty years of Age. And indeed by this means I conceive the Chineses are preserv'd from the Stone in the Bladder, wherewith a very great part of the People of Europe are very much afflicted, and which divers Learned Men have believ'd to proceed from no other Cause than their continual drinking of cool Drink.

When any Person is invited to a great Entertainment, the Inviter sends to his Guest, two or three days before, a Book, wherein is contain'd, beside the Inviter's own Name, the usual Form of Salutation in few words; then is declar'd, That he is preparing a Feast of green Herbs, and has rinsed his Bowls to Entertain them at such a Time and Hour, which commonly is in the Night; and therefore doth entreat him to do him the favor to give him a Meeting. On the outside of the same Schedule is fix'd a piece of red Paper, upon which is written the chiefest Names or Attributes of the Guests, (for, as [Page 167] we said before every Chinese has several Denominations) with their Titles and Dignities; and in the same manner is ever individual Person invited. In the Morning of the Feast-day the Guests are again all sent to, with a further En­treaty, not to fail to meet him at the time appointed. Lastly, an hour before the Entertainment he sends the third time, which (as they say) is only done out of civility, to conduct the Guests to his House: whereinto being receiv'd, and having perform'd the usual Complements of Salutation, they are requested to sit down in the first Hall, where they are Entertain'd with the Bean-Liquor, or Cia; that perform'd, they are conducted into the principal Room of En­tertainment, which is richly adorn'd and furnish'd, not with Carpets, as among those of the East, (for they are not in use here) but with Pictures, Flowers, Dishes, and the like Houshold-stuff: Each Guest is seated apart at a four-square Table, well furnish'd with Dishes upon Chairs, laid over with Gold in a most rich manner, in several Shapes and Figures. Before they sit down, the Master of the House takes a Bowl in his Hand of Gold or Silver, fill'd with Wine, and Salutes therewith those that are to sit uppermost, in the usual manner of bowing and holding up his Hands; which done, he goes out into the Court-yard, where first bowing, he offers up the Bowl, with his Face turn'd to the South, and pours out the Wine as a Libation upon the Ground: then bowing the second time, he returns into the Dining-room, takes another Bowl, and Salutes him that is to sit at the upper end, bowing to him but once only, and then leading him by the Hand, places him at the Table which stands in the middle of the Room; then invites the rest to sit down after the same manner: When all the Company is seated, the chief Guest receives a Bowl full of Wine from the Servant of the House, and drinks to the rest of the Guests, and to the Master of the Feast; whereupon they all bow in manner as aforesaid. And here observe, That the Table of the Inviter stands in the lowest part of the Hall; but with his Face he looks upon the chiefest Table, where he sits that is accounted the prime Guest of the Feast.

And in regard the Chineses do not touch the Meat with their Fingers, they neither wash their Hands either before or after Dinner. During the Repast, the Master of the House often calls for a Bowl of Wine, and drinking thereof, invites his Guests to pledge him, who likewise call for Wine to do him reason at the same time. They make several small Draughts before they empty their Cups, after the manner of Drinking in Holland; and this is duly observ'd, as well when they drink Water as Wine; for whatever the Liquor be, they do but sip it off by degrees, never Potations, as we say Pottle-deep.

Whilst the first Glass is passing about, Meat is brought to the Table; then the Master of the Feast performing the usual Ceremonies of bowing and put­ting his Sticks into the Dish, they all begin to fall to, and take two or three bits of a Dish, being the most they eat of one: all the Company hold their Sticks in their Hands till the chief Guest has first laid down his, and when that is done, the Servants fill into every ones Bowl fresh Wine; then they all drink, having first bow'd to one another. The greatest part of the time they squander away rather in drinking than eating; and so long as the Meal lasts, which is generally protracted to a great length, they use no other than merry Discourses, or else have Plays or Musick to exhilarate and revive their Spirits.

At these Feasts the Tables are generally furnish'd with such Meats as are eaten in Europe; and though they cannot Cook them with European Curiosity, yet they know how to dress them to please the Palate: neither are the Dishes [Page 168] cramm'd full, but of each sort a Modicum is only brought to the Table; so that the Magnificence of a Feast in China consists in the multiplicity and man­ner of Dishes of several sorts, with which they always fill the Table.

The Epicurean fashion of dressing Fish and Flesh at a Meal, is in use with them, as in Europe; but herein they greatly differ, for after once a Dish of Meat is brought to the Table, it is not taken away till the Dinner is ended, so that they pile up the Dishes one upon another, that the Table in a manner resem­bles a Castle. No Bread is set before the Guests at these great Feasts, nor Rice, which they use in stead of Bread, only at some ordinary Dinners perhaps they do, but then it is only at the end of the Meal; and if at any time Rice is brought to the Table, they eat of that before they drink any Wine. Neither are their Feasts lengthned out only by Eating and Drinking, for the Guests play at several Games, whereat whosoever loses, is oblig'd to drink. And this Custom is observ'd with so great delight by the whole Company, that they laugh and clap their Hands for joy.

After the Treatment is ended, they generally ply the Bowls with Wine; yet no Person is forc'd to drink more than he pleases: and though all their Cups are equal in bigness, they never pressingly urge one another to Pledge. The Wine they drink is Brew'd or Boyl'd as our Beer, but is not at all heady; yet nevertheless, such as drink too great a quantity of it, will find its strength so operate upon them, that here and there one may be heard of that hath been drunk with this Wine, which has one good quality, sufficient to encourage Ebriety, that it does not make the Head ake the next Morning, like the Wine of Europe. Notwithstanding all that hath hitherto been said, these People are very moderate in eating; for they always rise from the Table with an Appetite, so that is no marvel why they eat so often, as five or six times a day: but they never eat of the same Dish a second time, what­ever is left being given to the Servants.

Most of these great Invitations or Feastings are made in the Night, and con­tinue very frequently till late next Morning.

The ordinary or daily Meals are made by the Chineses very early; for they have an Opinion, That if they should fast till Noon, some Misfortune would befal them that day. They are not curious in their Diet; for they eat all manner of Flesh without difference, as well that of a Horse, as of an Ox. They are great Lovers of Swines Flesh, which they praise as the most delici­ous of any, and prefer before all other Meat: But the more ordinary sort of People will feed upon any Carrion, either of a Horse, Mule, Ass, Dog, or any other Creature. They are likewise greatly delighted with dried Sweet-meats, which they know very well how to order. The Mandorins have always Comedians to Act, and Musick to Play, whilst they are at Din­ner, to excite them to chearfulness.

Their ordinary Drink is Hot Water, wherein Thea has been steep'd, which (as they do all other Liquors) they sip off warm. But the best of their Li­quors is that which they call Cia, and is made after this manner: They take half a handful of the Herb Cha, and boil it in Spring-water; when it is well boil'd, they put to it four times as much New Milk, with a little Salt. This Liquor drunk warm, as they generally believe, has more vertue than the Philosophers Stone.

As to the rest of their Civilities, Manners, and Fashions, they consist chiefly in the Honor, Duty, and Obedience which is shewn to the Emperor: [Page 169] and that is extraordinary; for he is Obey'd, Honor'd, and Serv'd more than any Spiritual or Temporal Prince in the whole World beside. No Person, of what Condition or Quality soever, may speak to him, but only the Gelub­den, who wait upon him in his Chamber in the Palace, and his nearest Kinred, as his Sons and Daughters that live with him in the same Palace. All the Ma­gistrates without the Palace (for the Gelubden have their Degrees of Orders and Preferment) are only to speak to the King in Writing, in the manner of a Petition, wherein their Desires are set forth with the most humble Ex­pressions imaginable.

When it is the new Year, (which always begins with the new Moon be­fore or after the ninth Month of October, at which time also they begin their Lent) an Ambassador is sent from every general Province to Salute the King. This Duty is perform'd every third year with greater State, and such humble Submission, that it seems in a manner a servile Obedience.

So upon the first day of the new Moon the Magistrates, every one in his own City, meet, and bow to the Royal Throne, which is adorn'd with Pi­ctures and Images; then with exalted Voices pray, That the King may live ten thousand years; and this is loudly seconded by the redoubled Echoes of the People purposely met together. The same Honor is done to the Emperor upon his Birth-day through the whole Empire; and upon the same day the Magistrates of Peking, and the Ambassadors which are sent from other Pro­vinces, as also the Emperors nearest and chiefest Friends, come into the Em­peror's Presence, to let him know what Day it is, and to confirm their good Wishes for his long Life, by the greatness of the Presents which they then bring unto him.

All such as are preferr'd by the King to any Place of Magistracy, or other Office, are summon'd to appear early in the Morning before the King's Throne, to return Thanks for the favor shewn: At which time they are Cloth'd in red Sattin, with Silver-gilt Turbants upon their Heads; in both Hands they hold an Ebony Board four Fingers broad, and a Foot long, which they put before their Mouths as often as they speak before the Emperor or his Throne.

When formerly the Emperor intended to appear upon his Throne, he shew'd himself first out of a large Window, in the highest Room of the House, holding an Ebony Board in his Hand before his Face, and another over his Head; both which Boards were beset with so many Precious Stones, and of that bigness, that they cover'd his Face, and hindred any one from having a perfect sight of him: But how the Tartar Cham appears in this Age, we have already related.

It is only lawful for the Emperor to be array'd in Yellow, that Colour be­ing forbidden to all others: his Raiment is chiefly Embroider'd with Dra­gons; and not only are these Dragons upon his Garments, but likewise En­graven upon the Vessels of Gold and other Plate belonging to the Palace, as also upon all the other Furniture thereof; insomuch that the very Tyling of the Palace is of a yellow Colour, figur'd with the shapes of Dragons, which has given occasion for some to believe, that the Roof of the Palace was either of Gold or Copper; whereas in truth it is only cover'd with Tyles colour'd yellow in the Baking, and fastned with Nails, whose Heads are gilded, that so every thing outwardly seen may resemble the Emperor's Apparel: And if any Person should be so audaciously presumptuous as to venture to wear [Page 170] this Colour or the Dragons, unless he be of the Royal Blood, it would endan­ger the loss of his Head, such an Offence being esteem'd criminal as Treason, and the Offender would suffer as a Traitor.

The Royal Palace has four Gates, toward the four Quarters of the World: All that pass by these Gates are oblig'd to alight, whether on Horseback or in a Chair, and to go on foot till they are beyond them. This is done by all the Chineses in general, but much more orderly, and with greater Reve­rence, by the Grandees; for they perform this Ceremony while they are yet at a good distance from the Court: and this is duely observ'd, not only at Peking, the present Imperial Residence, but also at Nanking, (the ancient Seat of the Emperors) though of late years deserted by the Court.

The Emperor oftentimes, for some certain Reasons and Causes best known to himself, doth confer Titles of Honor upon the Ancestors of the chiefest Magistrates, by a certain Writing formally drawn up by his Majesties Philo­sophers: They put a high value upon such a Writing, and think nothing too much to give or do to purchase the same; which once obtain'd, they lay up carefully for their Posterity, as a Holy or Sacred thing. They likewise set a very high value and esteem upon other Titles, which are express'd with two or three Characters, and are granted by the Emperor to Widows, that in their old Age subject themselves again to Matrimony, or to any other extraordi­nary ancient People.

These Marks of Honor they hang over their Doors, to be as a Testimonial for them; and when any Magistrates have done their Country good Services, Statues of Marble are erected in their Honor, at the Charge of the Publick,

Whatsoever through the whole Empire is rare of costly, is sent to the Em­peror at Peking; the Magistrates whereof appear with far less State and Magnificence abroad in the Streets than those of other Places; for unless it be some of the chiefest and more noble, the rest must only ride on Horseback, and not be carried in Chairs; and whosoever is permitted to keep a Chair, must use no more than four Chait-men to carry him. Without the Imperial City, the Magistrates thereof may appear abroad in a more glorious Gran­deur; but their lowly Demeanor at Peking is done in submission to their So­vereign there resident. Every fourth year, at four distinct times, all the Em­peror's Council assemble at the Tombs of the ancient Kings and Queens, and there offer up rich and costly Presents, with great Humility and Reverence; but the chiefest Honor is given to King Hunvuus, who deliver'd the Kingdom of China out of the hands of the Tartars, and restor'd the same to Peace and Honor.

Next to the Emperor they observe and reverence their Superiors and Magi­strates, which they do in particular forms and manners of Speech, as also in stately and noble Visits; neither is access free to them all, but only to such as have born some Office of Honor or Trust in the Kingdom, or serv'd abroad in some honorable Employments; for such when they return into their own Countries, are had in great esteem, as well by the Magistrates as People.

If any one has done his Country considerable Service, behav'd himself well in his Office, hath been preferr'd to some higher degree of Honor and Trus [...] than ordinary, or for some Reason of State or Policy happens to remove from the City, he is Presented by the Country in his Passage with great Gifts; but at his departure he must leave behind him his Boots, Marks of Honor, &c in perpetual remembrance of this Favor: His Boots are lock'd up in a Chest, [Page 171] kept on purpose for such uses, with great care and respect. Others of a higher Quality have a Pillar of Marble erected to their Honor, to preserve their Me­mory and Fame to Posterity, by inscribing thereon in the most legible Cha­racters, the great Services they have done for their Country. Some indeed are more magnificently Signaliz'd, having Temples erected in Honor of their Names, at the Charge of the Publick, with Images of the Party deceased, drawn to the Life by the best Artists in the Country, and plac'd upon the Al­tars: nor is that all, but there is Incense, Vessels, Torches, and Persons ap­pointed to look after the same, that they may always be kept Trimm'd, Per­fum'd, and Burning; which to accomplish the more readily, they have great Vessels of Copper provided to burn in, as is us'd in their Idol-Temples; only there is this difference between the Worship of the one, and the Veneration of the other: for in that of their Gods they are always Desiring or Praying for one thing or other; but in this, appointed to the Memory of a deceased Party, they are always shewing their grateful Respects for the Benefits receiv'd by him. But it may be very soberly conjectur'd, that the ordinary Man, not able by the narrow scantling of his Iudgment to discern this duplicity, makes no difference between the two Worships; and this seems the more probable, for that great numbers of People resort thither, and there bow and kneel, and Offer up what they have, with the same zeal to the one as to the other.

All the Chiness Books which treat of Manners and Fashions, contain no other Instructions but in what manner Children are to obey their Parents: and certainly herein these blind People are highly to be commended; for there is no Place in the World to be compar'd with them in this Particular, for the Honor and Reverence that is by Children yielded to their Parents, they being neither suffer'd to sit near them, or opposite unto them, but in some low place of the Room, and that with great Submission and Reve­rence. The like respect is shewn by Scholars to their Masters; neither do Children speak to their Parents, but in the most submissive Terms imagina­ble; and if perhaps either the Father or Mother, or both fall into want in their old Age, the Children freely work night and day to provide for them, and stint themselves, pinching their own Bellies, to fill those of their Pa­rents: An Example truly well worth both imitation and praise, although, to their shame, not much practised by Christians. Such is their Behavior to their Parents living, however qualified; and it ends not with their Lives, but follows them to the Grave, attending their Funerals, not only in their Mourning, wherein they differ very much from other People, but likewise in the Coffin wherein the Corps is enclos'd, which is made of the richest and most durable Wood that is to be purchas'd in their own or the Neighboring Countries.

Every Person in China observes his Birth-day as Sacred, bestowing Pre­sents upon his Friends, and withal making great Entertainments for them. Now although every Anniversary Birth-day is thus observ'd, yet there is one especially celebrated with a more Festivous Solemnity, which is when they live to the Age of seventy; for not till then are they reckon'd amongst the Old People: and then are the Walls of the Houses hung with Pictures and Verses, fill'd with Eulogies to the Party whose Birth-day is to be commemo­rated. There are also two others more remarkable than the rest, one where­of is that of the tenth Year; but this wants much of the Ceremonies of the former: The other, which is much honor'd by them, is that upon which [Page 172] they put on the Virile Hat, as formerly at Rome the Young Men did the Tog [...] Virilis, or Manly Gown; and this is when they have attain'd twenty Years of Age.

But with far greater Splendor, and more extraordinary State, is New-years-day solemniz'd through the whole Country, to wit, upon the first day of the New and Full Moon; for that is the Emperor's Festival, on which day eve­ry Man lights in his House great store of Artificial Candles, made of Paper, Glass, and Cloth, which are sold in the Markets in great quantities. These being lighted, and the Rooms hung therewith very thick, make a shew as if the House within were all of a light Fire: And as an addition to their Mirth, they run up and down the Streets, with the like Candles in their Hands, whooping and hollowing like mad People.

The Chineses, like the old Romans, have several Names by which they are distinguish'd: for first, they have a Sir-name, which is ancient, and never alter'd; then a Christian Name; and lastly a Proper Name; and this is still newly invented, and signifies one thing or other, as their Sir-names most commonly also do. This second Name, which the Father bestows onely up­on his Sons, is always writ with one Character, and pronounc'd with one Syllable; but the Women have no such Name, being call'd by their Fathers Sir-name, and by the number of Place in which they stand in regard of their Birth among the Sisters.

When a Child is put out to School, he receives from the Master a new Name, and that is call'd the School-Name, whereby he is call'd by the Master and the Scholars onely. Again, when a young Man puts on the Virile Hat, or is Married, he is presented by some Person of Quality with a more Hono­rable Name, call'd The Letter, by which any Person may afterwards call him, except his Servants. Now when he is grown to Years of perfect Man­hood he is presented by some other Person with a very honorable Name, call'd among them The Great Name: By this Name he is call'd by all without any distinction, except his Parents, who think him unworthy of that Honor, and continue to call him onely by the Name of the Letter.

If any Person embraces a new Sect or Opinion, the Doctor who intro­duces him bestows upon him a new Name; and therefore the Iesuits have a higher Name given them than what they receiv'd in Baptism.

All manner of Antiquities are of great value and account among them, such as old Vessels made of Chalk, Wood, Marble, or Copper; but especial­ly Pictures that are well Drawn, as also the Characters and Writings of fa­mous Pen-men, writ upon Cloth and Linnen; and these two last they reckon as most precious. All the Magistrates wear a distinct Badge or Mark to be known by, as to their Offices and Employments, which they preserve with great care; for if they should unhappily lose it, they would not only be turn'd out of their Employments, but also be severely punish'd; therefore whenever they go from home, they nail it up in a Chest, and seal it with their Seal.

Men of great Places and Dignity never go on foot, but are carried on Mens Shoulders in Chairs, made close round about, so that they cannot be seen by such as walk the Streets, unless they draw open one of the Curtains [...] and this difference there is between them and the Magistrates, who are carrie [...] in open Chairs. The Women are also carried in close Chairs, but something different from those of the Men.

[Page 173] Coaches, Wagons, and Sledges, are not to be us'd in that Country, but only at Peking where the Court resides, as I have already said.

The School-masters there are in higher esteem than in Europe; and though a Scholar has been under the Tuition of a Master but one day, yet he calls him Master as long as he lives, and respects him as such, according to the Custom of the Country, in giving him the upper hand.

Neither is there among the better sort any kind of Gaming; but among the Vulgar, Cards and Dice are sometimes us'd. The Nobles and other Great Persons divert themselves with this Recreation: They play upon a Board which has a Hole in the middle, and three hundred little Houses circularly plac'd about it, with two hundred Pegs, the one half whereof is white, and the other black; which being divided betwixt the Play-mates, each strive to force the others Pegs into the Hole, and to get to himself all the Houses; for herein consists the winning or losing of the Game; but although he cannot attain all, yet if he can get the most Houses, he still wins the Game. With this sportive Diversion the Magistrates themselves are much taken, and spend much time at it; and if they play with Iudgment, sometimes they spend a whole hour or more before they make an end of one Sett. And such is the Humor of this People, that whosoever are very skilful herein, are highly honor'd and respe­cted, though they are excellent in nothing else.

Marriages are solemniz'd here with great State; and although the Parties are oftentimes Betrothed to each other in their Nonage, or rather Infancy, by the Parties of both sides, who never ask their Childrens Consent till all is concluded and agreed; yet such is their Obedience and Submission, that they comply with their Desires in this Particular. There is great variety of Cu­stoms in this Business; for Persons of Quality for the most part Marry with their Equals, only for Wealth and Honor, reserving besides what Concubines they please, which also is allow'd for others to do; and of these the hand­somest of Face and Body carry the precedency, and are ordinarily bought for a hundred Crowns, and sometimes for less. The Commonalty and inferior Degrees of People buy themselves Wives, and sell them again when they please; but the Emperor and his Children neither look after the Birth nor Extraction of the Person, but only to the comely Shape, and extraordinary Beauty of the Face.

The Emperor has one more select and peculiar Consort, who only is call'd the lawful Wife, and is his Empress; yet he is also Married to nine others, who are of a more inferior Condition than the first; and likewise to thirty more of a third Degree, who are all call'd his Wives. There are several other Women that belong to him, but they are only stil'd Queens, which is a Title below that of Empress. Amongst all this variety of Women, such of them as are fruitful, and bring him Children, are most highly respected and belov'd by him; but she more especially that bears the first-born Son, in regard he is to succeed his Father in the Imperial Throne. And this is not only observ'd by the Emperor and the Royal Family, but all the Grandees through the whole Empire by that Pattern, set an Estimate on their Wives, according to their fertility.

The Empress, which is his first and lawful Wife, sits only with him at the Table, while all the rest attend her, and are not permitted to sit down in her Presence, but must stand at her Elbow, as ready upon all occasions to serve her.

[Page 174] It is generally observ'd through all China, That none may intermarry with a Wife of his own Name, though there be no kind of Relation between them; but they may freely and legally couple, if they be of differing Names, not­withstanding any vicinity of Blood whatsoever; by which means it comes to pass, that a Father will marry his Child to the nearest Kindred of his Wife.

Whatever Houshold Goods any Maid or Woman is possess'd of in her own Right before Marriage, must not devolve to the Bridegroom; but he pur­chases them of her the day before the Wedding: yet she is oblig'd to bring with her a Nag bridled and sadled, four Maid-servants, and two Boys. But the Bridegroom is to furnish the House with Provisions of all sorts; and du­ring the Treaty of Marriage, he presents the Bride with several sorts of Silks and Linnen; in return whereof, as an acknowledgment of a grateful dispo­sition, and in token of an inviolable Love, she sends him a rich Suit of Cloth of Gold, or Silk. The Bridegroom, in the next place, gives to the Father of the Bride 100 Toel of Silver, and 50 Toel to the Mother; which Ceremo­ny perform'd, and Presents on all sides given and accepted, they proceed to the Consummation of the Marriage: After which, the Bridegroom first so­lemnly Treats and Feasts the Bride and her Friends eight days together at his House; and then the Bride re-invites the Bridegroom and his Friends, and Feasts them for three days together in great State and Splendor. Yet not­withstanding all this Feasting, the next day after the Marriage the new mar­ried Woman is not neglected to be attended home to her Spouse, by the chief­est of her Kindred and Friends, who all the way are waited upon by the best Musicians they can get.

They are not so full of Circumstance and Ceremony in the foremention'd things, as they were heretofore remiss in the punishing of Theft, or other notorious Crimes; for they us'd not to put any to death for simple Stealing, unless to accomplish their Villany they us'd Force and Violence: If any ta­ken the second time were found guilty of Robbery, he was branded upon the Arm with a hot Iron, with two Characters: If the third time, he is brand­ed in the Forehead; but if he committed the like Fault the fourth time, he was then Whipp'd and Banish'd. This neglect of punishing Rogues for Stealing, was the cause why China did swarm so very much with Thieves and Vagrants: But since the Tartars have been Conquerors of this Empire, they have with great prudence and strictness redrest those Abuses, and put the Laws in force against all Offenders; insomuch that when I was in China, Petty Offences were made Criminal; for he that was found guilty of the least Fault, was punish'd with death: In the execution of which Sentence, as soon as any one is condemn'd to die, his Hands are bound behind him, with a Board upon his Back, whereon is writ his Offence; and so bound he is led by the Sheriff into an open place, according to custom, either within or without the City; and there he is beheaded without any further Ceremony. If it happen that any are Pardon'd, and have their Lives spar'd them, they are punish'd with that extream severity, that oftentimes they chuse rather to die, than to undergo the Torture which they must suffer to preserve their Lives, which is after this manner: Two lusty Fellows are commanded to beat the Criminal upon the Calf of his Leg, till all the Sinews and Nerves are misera­bly torn and bruis'd, if not broken. And this is their ordinary method of Punishment, which is inflicted without any distinction of Persons.

[Page 175] Now as the Punishment is severe, to prevent all Disorders and Robberies which stir up this severity, there are strict Watches kept every Night in the Streets, which go the Rounds through the City at certain Hours, as the Guards [...] us'd to do in the best Govern'd Cities of Europe.

Of their Ceremonies, and manner of Burials; and of their Tombs or Monuments.

BY what hath been said in the former Chapters it may appear, That the Chineses may be compar'd, in many things which concern their manner of Living, with the Philosophers, and Virtuosi of Europe; but they dif­fer very much in things relating to Funerals; among which this may be rec­kon'd the first, That those of Europe seldom think of their Mortality, and so consequently take little or no care of their Burials while they are living; but the Chineses are in nothing more serious and sollicitous, than to provide for their Interments whilst they live, and are in perfect health; and that igno­rance may be no excuse, they put down in Writing how they will have the same perform'd, strictly charging their Children upon their Death-beds, and and even at their last gasp, to observe their Orders. Now there is one Custom through the whole Country inviolably observ'd, which is, never to bury any one without a Coffin, though it be a Child but of two days old; for every Person, according to his Quality, is laid into a Coffin, made of the best sort of Wood their ability will reach to: But Persons of more Eminency are at far greater Charge for a rich Repository for their poor Carcasses.

The first Ceremony they observe, when they perceive the Patient to lie a dying, is this; they take him and lay him upon a Mat, carry him into the out­ward Hall of the House, there to breathe his last. And this Custom, though it carries somewhat of Barbarism in it, is observ'd through the whole Empire by the Commonalty; but for what reason I could never learn, notwithstanding all the diligence of my curious and prying Enquiries. But among the better sort, a Person of equal Quality with themselvs is suffer'd to die in Bed. Ano­ther phantastick Humor here is, whilst the sick Party is breathing forth his last, the eldest of his Sons puts on his Bonnet or Cap, and coming to the Bed in a distracted manner, tears the Curtain, and covereth therewith the dead Body, which after it hath lain a convenient time, is wash'd according to the Custom of the Country, and wrapt either in very fine Linnen or Silk: Some are yet more extravagant, and will dress out the Corps with new Clothes, and after they are Embalm'd, set them at a Table well furnish'd with Provisions of all sorts; and this a great, but not much commendable Fashion amongst the Grandees. The nearest Relations of the Deceased are invited to this solemn, though mournful Entertainment; who entreat him to eat and be merry with them, as if he were living. In the mean time the Priests are busied in Sing­ing▪ and performing the other usual Ceremonies.

As to the Mourning Habit, it differs from all Countries that I have seen, not onely for its Colour, which generally is white, but for the form and shape of it: for Sons, when they Mourn for their Fathers, they Clothe them­selves for the first Month in a course stiff Habit, hanging down to their Heels, [Page 176] and tied about the Middle with a Cord, after the manner of the Monks of the Franciscan Order. But although they lay aside that Habit then, yet it is a con­stant Custom for Children to Mourn three years for their Parents; the rea­son whereof they alledge in their Books to be this, because that Parents carry their Children for the three first years of their Infancy in their Arms, with great care and trouble; and therefore the Children ought to requite their Affection and Kindness, by shewing their Duty in Mourning after this man­ner. But the time of Mourning for other Friends is much abbreviated; some­times it lasts a Year, otherwhiles but three Months, according as they stand related or affected to one another.

The legal time of Mourning for the Death of the Emperor or Empress, was formerly three years; and this outward shew of Sorrow extended even to the furthermost Confines of the Empire: But now, with the Emperor's consent, which is openly proclaim'd, the Months are turn'd into Days, so that at the present they Mourn but only one Month for his Death; but still the extent reaches over all his Dominions. All the Funeral Ceremonies are written in a large Book, which those concern'd peruse when a Person of Quality dies, whereby they know how to order his Burial.

As soon as any Nobleman is dead, the Son, or who is next related to him in Blood, signifies the same by a Book to all his Kindred and Friends, upon the third or fourth day, wherein the Mourning is set forth in the usual terms. At the same time the Corps is incoffin'd, and plac'd in the Hall or Chamber, which is hung with white Linnen; in the middle whereof is erected an Altar, whereon is plac'd the Corps and Portraicture of the Deceased. Into this Room come all the Kindred and Friends upon the third or fourth day, clad in Mourning, and bringing Incense and Wax-Lights to the Altar, which being once lighted and burning, they tender their Respects to the Dead, in bowing and falling upon their Knees four times, a while before burning a little In­cense over against the Coffin and Picture. While these Ceremonies are per­forming, one or two of the Sons of the Deceased stand on one side of the Cof­fin in their white Mourning, with great modesty, and shedding tears plenti­fully. Behind it sits the Mother, with the Daughters and others of the Rela­tions, in Mourning also; but they are so reserv'd in their manner of Lamen­tation, that they have a Curtain drawn before them, that so they may not be seen. In the Hall stand two Trumpeters, and at the great Gate of the Court within, two Drummers; over the Gate hangs upon a Board, a long Scrowl of Paper even to the Ground, wherein is to be read who it is that is deceased, and what he had done in his Life-time for the Service and Benefit of his Country.

It often hapneth that the Children keep their Bodies three or four Years unburied in their Houses, in all which time they are never offended with any Scents proceeding from the same; the reason whereof may be their extraor­dinary skill in Embalming, and closing the Crevices of the Coffin: and so long as they keep them thus above-ground, they set before them Meat and Drink daily, as if they were living: During all which time, the Sons take not their Places, but sit upon a long Bench cover'd with White; and as a further Testimony of their obedient Sorrow, they sleep not upon Beds, but upon Matrasses of Straw spread upon the Floor near the Cossin, abstaining likewise all that while from Flesh▪ or any compound Meats, or drinking Wine, or using any Baths: and, that which is yet more to be taken notice [Page 177] of, they forbear to accompany with their Wives in any way of Natural Affection. And this for the generality is voluntary; but what follows is for­bidden, to wit, They may not go to any publick Invitations abroad, nor so much as be seen in the Streets for so many Months; but if their Occasions be such as call them out of doors, they are carried in a close Chair, cover'd over with Mourning. Although formerly, to the commendation of the Country, these things were perform'd; yet in this present Age few or none are found amongst them that are so strict in the observation of these Ceremonies.

Upon the day appointed for the Funeral, all the Friends meet, who are in­vited by another Book to accompany the Corps of their Friend to his Grave. The Solemnity is order'd and perform'd after the same manner as the Roman-Catholicks make their Processions at certain times of the Year. Several Images of Men, Women, Elephants, Tygers, Lions, and such like Beasts, made all of Paper, and Painted with several Colours, are carried before the Coffin, and at last burnt at the Grave; among whom also go some that carry Incense in large Copper Vessels, and Wax Torches burning: The Priests and others that belong to the Idol-Temples, follow after these with Drums and Pipes; After whom, next in place, is the Coffin, most curiously beautifi'd and adorn'd, born up by at least forty or fifty Persons, all very richly Habited. Behind the Coffin come the Sons on foot, but seeming to support themselves with Sticks in their Hands, as if Grief and Sorrow had brought them into a weak Condi­tion: Then follow the Women in close Chairs, cover'd with White, so that they cannot be seen.

If sometimes it happen that the Fathers die when their Sons are from home, the Funeral is deferr'd till their Return, and notice thereof sent them; which as soon as they receive, they immediately put on Mourning upon the very Place where they are, and then hastens home with the first opportunity, to perform the Ceremonies in order as we have related. But this is not all; for a Son is oblig'd by virtue of the Laws, though he is in the highest Office of the Kingdom, and one of the Colaos, to return home, and there to Mourn for the space of three entire years; in which time he is totally forbidden to return to his Charge: Yet this is only to be understood of Mourning for Parents, and not for other Friends. Nevertheless the Soldiers and Military Officers are not subject to this Law.

If it chance that any dies either in Travel, or Employment, out of his na­tive Country, he to whom the Charge and Care of his Funeral is committed, uses his utmost diligence to procure the dead Body to be brought back, that it may be buried in the Grave of his Ancestors; in the preserving whereof they are very curious, insomuch that none else are admitted to be Interr'd there: And therefore every Chinese who is able, erects a Vault with a Tomb over it, without the Walls of the City, in the Suburbs, to remain for a Burial-place to him and his Posterity, it being dissonant to the Grandeur of Noble Persons to have their Sepulchres within the City. They are generally of Mar­ble, sometimes of other Stone, contain'd in a portion of Ground, according to the Greatness of the Person, and commonly Wall'd about; within whose circumference some make several little Rooms, which, together with the said Wall, are surrounded with artificial Groves of Cypress-Trees. Upon the top of the Grave lies a large Stone, rarely adorn'd with curious Images Engraven round about it; and upon its Surface are Engraven the famous Actions of the Deceased.

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They whose Wealth raises them to the highest pitch of humane Felicity and enlarges their Pleasures beyond the limit of a Satisfaction in this Life, such as the Gelubden, bestow vast Sums of Money upon their Tombs, building them little inferior to Palaces, with several Apartments within, and Trium­phal Arches standing before them.

In the Province of Xansi, upon the Mountains, are several of these famous Sepulchral Monuments. Near to the City Taming is a very noble Piece of Anti­quity in this kind, built by the Emperor Cavus, about 4000. years since, as they report. So likewise near to the City Cinon, upon the Mountains are built very sumptuous Tombs, as well of Kings, as of other Great Lords.

I my self saw some of these Sepulchres, very artificially built upon some so­litary Hills, which were not the Products of Nature, but, to make the Work the more stupendious and considerable, were cast up with the Spade, and rais'd to almost an incredible height. In the middle of Wall was a Gate, through which we entred into the Sepulchre (to which belong commonly three such Doors) and ascended by easie Steps up to the Mouth of the same, which was Plaister'd on the insides and had Benches about it.

At certain times of the Year, the surviving Friends come and visit these Graves, bringing store of Provisions with them, and then express their Sorrow afresh, shedding Tears, and using other Lamentations for the loss of their dear Friends; nay, some of them do with such reality of Grief and Affection oftentimes take it to heart, that they will by no means be drawn thence, but desire to be reckon'd among the Dead.

Without the City of Nanking (heretofore the Court and Imperial Chamber of the ancient Princes) but not far distant from the Walls, grows a very plea­sant Wood, full of Pine-trees, Wall'd in, and containing twelve Italian Miles in circumference; in the middle whereof rises a Hill, whereupon are to be view'd several well-built Tombs, and divers other very famous Works; among which a certain Idol-Temple may be accounted the chiefest Master-piece, for thereby doth sufficiently appear the great esteem these People had of their Burying-places, not only in regard of the pleasant solitariness, but of the al­most infinite Cost bestow'd upon it. It is situate upon an high Hill, and built all of Wood, except the Walls, which are of Stone. The Entrance into this [Page 179] Temple is by four large Marble Staircases, each having several Steps, with Gates opening towards the four Quarters of the World; between which are four Princely Galleries, supported on all sides by curious Carv'd Pillars of Wood, each being at least four yards thick, and thirty six Foot high; all the Cielings being most exquisitely, and with great Art Painted and Gilded. The Doors are most admirably wrought with Imagery, and Painted; the outward Galleries and Windows have as it were a covering of Wyre-work, to keep the Birds from roosting upon, or fouling them, which is made so thin, that it doth not in the least darken the Temple.

In the middle or more inward part of the Temple stand two Thrones, wrought with extraordinary rarity, and adorn'd with all manner of Precious Stones. Upon these stand two Chairs, in one of which the Emperor sits when he Offereth, which in this Place is forbiden to all Persons, of what Condition soever, but only himself; the other continually remains empty, to be as it were a Seat for the Deity, suppos'd to be present and ready to receive the Of­fering; yet they permit no Image to be set before it. In the open Air, or as we say, sub Dio, stand several Altars of red Marble, by which the Chineses sig­nifie or denote the Sun, Moon, Mountains, and Floods; and these things, as by them is reported, are erected without the Temple, because none should worship them; and that every one should render Worship and Honor unto nothing, but what is venerated and ador'd by the Emperor in the Temple. Round about are several Cells, wherein formerly were Baths for the Emperor to wash himself before he went to Offer; leading to which are several broad Ways, planted on both sides with Pines, by them esteem'd so Sacred, that no Person is suffer'd to break a Bough from them, upon pain of death; all which, as well in the Walks as on these Hills, are said to be Planted.

Much more might be voluminously writ of the Tombs and Burial-places in general, but especially of those which the Emperors have caus'd to be Built near the Royal City Peking, the present Place of their Residence: But these, and most of the rest, have undergone one and the same direful Fate, not escaping the fury and rage of the Tartars, who in their late Invasions de­stroy'd and utterly laid waste all that was rare or worthy of Remark in this Empire.

And after this manner Persons of Quality, and such as are Rich, for the most part provide themselves Burial-places in their life-time; but the or­dinary and vulgar sort of People have a Place deputed within the City, where they Bury promiscuously, and without any Ceremony or Charge.

Of the Form, Shape, and Make of the Body, and the Fashion of their Clothes.

THE Chineses, for the greater part of them, are almost as White of Complexion as the People of Europe; though indeed some of them, who live in the Southern Countries, somewhat near the Line, are so scorch'd with the heat of the Sun, that they are of a Swarthy Colour. The Hair of their Beards, though thin and short, is yet very stiff and harsh, and long be­fore it appears; so that a Man of thirty years of Age there, looks as young as

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one of twenty in Europe: The Colour of their Hair is generally Black, which they wear of a reasonable length; but if any happen to have Red Hair, which is seldom seen, it is a discredit to wear the same long. Their Eyes are little, somewhat long, yet inclining to round, and black of colour: Their Noses small, and not rising very high; yet their Ears are of the largest size: but in the other Parts of the Face they differ very little from those of Europe. This Description reaches not all Parts of China; for in some Places the Peo­ple have flat and almost four-square Faces. In the Provinces of Quantung and Quangsi the greatest number have upon the little Toe two Nails, which is common likewise to those of Couchinchina; the Reason whereof haply might be, that they had formerly on each Foot six Toes.

All the Women are short, and low of Stature, and their chiefest Beauty (as they imagine) consists in the smallness of their Feet; and therefore when they are young, they bind and swath their Feet, they keep them from growing to their natural bigness, and by that means they become generally very small: But this is not all the care; for they are taught very young, That it is a principal part of modesty to keep within doors, and not to be seen fre­quently abroad in the Streets: and therefore they account it, especially in Persons of Honor, a great shame to appear openly in the Streets; yet they are brought up to Dance, Sing, and Play upon such Musical Instruments as are in use amongst them.

They are for the most part Handsom, Complaisant, and Ingenious, and exceed in Beauty and exact Symetry of Body all other Heathenish Women; their Complexion tends to whiteness; and their Eyes are brown: All their natural Beauties and peculiar Excellencies they heighten with Gold and Painting. But amongst all the rest, they have this one single Humor pro­per to themselves, that they never pare the Nails of their left Hand; and I my self saw a Gentlewoman at Peking, who wore a Case made of Reeds about her Fingers, to preserve her Nails from breaking. Such as are rich are tenderly Educated, observe Set-times of Eating and Drinking, but with great mode­ration, being stinted to a Measure which they must not exceed; and by this strict manner of Living, most of them grow very slender and handsom.

Heretofore both Men and Women in China wore long Hair upon their

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Heads, never permitting it to be cut, only the Youth of both Sexes cut off all theirs, but one Lock upon the Crown, till they were fifteen years of Age; then they began to let it grow till they came to be twenty, at which time they put on the Virile Hat; and all the time before-mention'd they wore it as the ancient Greeks, or modern English, hanging down about their Ears; but then they tied it up, and wore it under their Hats, or else Caps made of Horse-hair, Mens-hair, or Silk. This Hat had a Hole in the Crown, through which the longest Hairs, neatly pleited, were seen.

The Women wore no such Hats, but went in every respect as they do at this time, with Hair neatly pleited, and curiously adorn'd with Precious Stones, Gold, Silver, and Flowers: But since this famous Empire fell under the tyrannous Yoke of the Tartars, and became subject to them, they have al­so submitted to the Tartarian Mode of cutting and wearing the Hair: for now the Chineses do cut off all their Hair after the manner of their Conqueror, reserving only one Lock, which hangs down behind. But certainly, had they not been reduc'd into the meanest Condition of Servility, they (who took so much pride in wearing long Hair, that thousands of them suffer'd themselves to be put to Death, rather than have their Hair cut off) would not now un­constrain'd have alter'd their Minds; and this I the rather believe, for that they have a superstitious Fancy, that they are to be pull'd up into Heaven by the Hair of the Head.

The Fashions of their Apparel alter as well as here in Europe: At present they generally wear long Gowns of a blue Colour, which reach down to their Heels, wherein the Men wrap themselves when they go abroad; but the Women tie them close about their Wastes with a Girdle. Both sorts are made with large Sleeves; but those for the Women are much larger at the Hand, whereas the Mens are made fit for their Wrists and Arms. These Forms of Apparel are worn by all without difference, but only in substance they mate­rially differ; for those of the nobler sort are made of the richest Silks, Em­broider'd with Dragons, whereas the Commonalty wear them made of ordi­nary Stuffs.

The next observable part of their Apparel is their Shoes, wherein they dif­fer much from the other Parts of the World, both for the Fashion and Stuff.

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The Women commonly make their own Shoes of blue or red Silk, with sharp Toes, deck'd with Pearls and Rubies, and stitch'd with all manner of Flowers. The Commonalty only wear Shoes made of Leather, colour'd yellow; but Grandees are so far from wearing Leather, that the very Soles of their Shoes are made of Cloth.

The Learned, such as they term Philosophers, wear four-square Caps or Hats; but the illiterate are forbidden to wear other than round ones, made of Horse-hair; only in Winter they have of them made of Silk or Wool, with an Edging about it of Sables. They use no Linnen Shirts, as the Europeans do, next to their Skins, but only a Frock made of white Cotton, which is so made, that they tie it above the Ancle with a Ribband.

They often wash and bathe themselves, and spend the greatest part of a Morning in Combing and Dressing their Heads: When they go abroad, they skreen themselves from the parching heat of the Sun, with large Quittesol [...], (in Italy call'd Umbrella's) which are carried over their Heads; but the ordinary sort of People make use only of Fans.

Thus far of the Customs of the better sort of People, and Citizens; from whom the Country People do not altogether differ: for they likewise wear short Hair, with a long Lock hanging down behind. They are very labo­rious, and excellently skill'd in Husbandry and Tillage: When they Plow their Land, a Man and a Woman help to draw the Plough with an Ass, and another Man goe [...] behind to guide it: And this kind of toilsom Life, in regard of the great Profit it brings to the Publick, and that it conduces so much to the Benefit of Mankind, is much encourag'd by the Chinese Empe­rors, who have granted several Immunities to such as make it their Employ­ment; which Privileges have so far prevail'd, that by continual Practice, and experimental Observation, they have brought that Calling to great per­fection, and have left very little Ground untill'd in all China. Barren Ground they know how to improve, by Dunging, or other ways of Manuring. Such Lands as are scorch'd up in Summer for want of Water, they plentifully supply, though with much labor and industry, conveying Water to the same from remote Places, by Trenches and Aqueducts cut for that purpose; by which means one may pass by Water through most Parts of this Empire, to

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the great accommodation of the Inhabitants, and the wonderful advance of Traffick and Commerce through the whole Country.

The Country Women in China wear Breeches, which they tie about their Knees: And some, that they may lose no time, go commonly Spinning about the Streets, Fields, or other Places, which arises to such Profit, that thereby onely a great number of Families make shift to get a competent Subsistence.

Of some Superstitious Customs, Fashions, and other Errors in use amongst the Chineses.

IN this following Chapter we shall treat of some Superstitious Fashions and Erroneous Customs which are in use among the several Sects of the Chineses: And first we shall take notice, That they are generally very much inclin'd and addicted to observe Times and Seasons, and have so great an esteem for Sooth-sayers, Fortune-tellers, Astrologers, Star-gazers, and the like, that they believe whatsoever they foretell; insomuch that they govern all their Transactions according to the Sayings of those People, whose Ad­vice is taken and follow'd in their Affairs from time to time; their Books, much like our Almanacks, being in general request: besides which, there are other Books of their Writing, which treat of far deeper and conceal'd things. So prevalent is this Science among all sorts of People, that there is a vast multitude of Masters that teach it, who have no other livelyhood but what they get by directing those that come to them the Day and Hour in which they may with great hopes of Success go about any Business: And indeed they are so infinitely possest with an opinion of the Knowledge and Wisdom of these Men, that they never undertake a Iourney, go about to erect a Building, or do any thing else of consequence, but they first con­sult with them about it, and observe to a Tittle whatsoever they direct; so that neither Rainy, Stormy, or Tempestuous Weather, such as would even [Page 184] fright a Satyre, can hinder them from beginning their Iourney upon the Day prefix'd for the same, though they go but out of sight of their own Dwel­lings: or if they are to Build, they will dig a little way into the Ground, or make some entrance or beginning into the Work, let the Weather be never so bad, that it may be said they began upon that Day which was foretold them should be successful to their Undertaking.

Over and above these humorous Niceties, they are great Observers of the Day of any ones Birth, by which they confidently undertake to predict to them the good or bad Fortune likely to befal them through the whole Course of their Lives: and in truth, this inclination of their Nature is the cause that no People in the whole World are more easie to be deluded with the fallacious Fancies of such as assume to themselves the Title of Wizards and Sooth sayers, whose Cunning hath devised various Ways to cheat the Ignorant, and to make them pass for Oracles.

In the former Chapter we treated of their Sepulchres, and the ordering thereof, wherein they are not more careful, than curious in making choice of the Place for that purpose, which they make to resemble the Head, Tail, and Feet of a Dragon; which sort of Creature they fancy to live under Ground. Upon this doth not only depend, as they firmly believe the good and bad Fortune of particular Families, but the very well-being of Cities, Countries, and of the whole Empire: And therefore when any publick Building is to be Erected, the Learned in this mysterious Art are first consulted with, concern­ing the good or bad success that will follow upon it, that they may thereby chuse the better Lot.

There are abundance of People here, who not able to restrain their licen­tiousness, though in the meanest degree of Poverty, sell themselves for Slaves to the Rich, upon condition that they may take to Wife any of the Maid-Ser­vants: But note, That whatsoever Children come of these Marriages become Slaves for ever. Othere there are, who being well to pass, and of ability, pur­chase them Wives for their Money; but when their Families increase in num­ber, and Means begin to fail, they sell their Sons and Daughters for two or three Crowns apiece, not caring what becomes of them afterwards, nor ever taking notice of them, though they are made Slaves for ever, and may be put to what Employment the Purchaser thinks good. Many of this kind are bought up by the Portuguese and the Spaniard, and carried out of their native Country into Forein Parts, where they live in perpetual Slavery during their Lives, without any hope of Redemption. This cannot in Civiliz'd Nations be accounted other than a piece of Heathenish Barbarism.

But yet they commit a far greater and more horrid Inhumanity, which is this: In some Provinces they drown the young Infants, especially Females, for no other reason, but that they mistrust they shall not be able to maintain them, but be forc'd to sell them to unknown People. This liberty they take to themselves, from a belief, That the Souls of the Deceased transmigrate into other Bodies; and therefore they would seem to infer, That this their Cru­elty is necessary, at leastwise convenient, and so no ways dreadful unto them; averring, That they do the Children great advantage in taking away their Lives; for by that means they deliver them the sooner out of a miserable Condition, to settle them in a better: And therefore the poor Children are not made away clandestinely, or in private, but aperto sole, openly, before all People.

[Page 185] But this unnatural Cruelty is not all; there is yet more inhumanity pra­ctis'd amongst them: for some, out of despair of Good Fortune, or because they have sustain'd great Losses, will voluntarily lay violent Hands upon themselves; others, if they cannot find a means to revenge themselves upon their Enemies, will kill themselves, thinking thereby to do them a mischief; for (as 'tis said) great numbers both of Men and Women destroy themselves every year, either in the Fields, or else before the Doors of their Adversaries, by strangling, drowning, or poisoning themselves.

Another sort of Barbarism they are guilty of in the Northern Provinces, towards young Children, which is by Gelding them; whereby, and no other­wise, they are made capable of Service and Preferment in the Emperor's Pa­lace: And these they call in their Language Gelubden, besides whom, none are admitted to wait on the Prince; and which is more, the whole Government of the Empire is in their Hands and Management. There are at least ten thousand of these Gelubden in the Palace, who originally are all mean Persons, without Learning, &c. brought up in perpetual Slavery; by reason whereof, and their ignorance, they are of a dull and heavy Disposition, and unfit for any Business of Concern.

The Magistrates have in effect an Arbitrary Power over the Subject, whom they oftentimes condemn unheard. The manner of punishing Offenders, is to lay them flat upon their Faces on the Ground, with their Legs bare, upon which they give them several Blows with a Whip made of twisted Reed, which fetches Blood at every Blow. And the great Motive that induces to this more than common Severity in punishing Offences, is for that the Chineses are infinitely addicted to Robbing and Stealing.

There are two extravagant Humors that the Grandees in China are much guilty of: The one is the Transmutation of other Metals into Silver, about which they often break their Brains, and consume their Estates: The other is an Opinion they have of obtaining an Immortal Being in this World, while they are clad with Flesh and Blood; that is to say, they fancy such means may be us'd, as will preserve them from falling into that common Bosom of Na­ture, the Grave. Of both these Mysteries there are an innumerable company of Books both Printed and Written; and few or none of the Grandees but, as it were by Obligation, betake themselves to the Study of these distracting and destructive Sciences. To this purpose there is a Story in the Chinese Books, of one of their ancient Emperors, that was so intoxicated with this Prensie, that with the danger and hazard of his Life he endeavor'd after an unattainable Immortality; the maner thus: This Emperor had caus'd a certain Drink to be prepar'd by some deceitful Masters of this Art, of whose Rarity and Perfection he had so great confidence, that he believ'd when he had drunk it, he should be immortal; and from this conceited Imagination he could not be dissuaded, nor could the strongest Arguments of his nearest Relations divert him from his Humor: At last one of his Friends, seeing that no argumenta­tive Ratiocinations would prevail with him, came one day to Congratulate the Emperor's Health, whose Back being turn'd, the Visitant took the Bowl and drank a good Draught; which the over-credulous Emperor perceiving, fell immediately into a great Passion, attended with no less than reiterated threats of Death, for depriving him of his immortal Liquor. But the bold Attempter answer'd him with an undaunted courage in these terms: Do you suppose that you can deprive me of my Life, now I have drank of the Immortal Cup? sure [Page 186] 'twere great madness in you so to think: But if in truth you can despoil me thereof, then I aver that I have not done any thing amiss; for either by participating of your Drink I am become equally Immortal with you, or else you are equally Mortal with me: If you can take away my Life now, I have not robb'd you of your Immortality, but shall make you sensible of the Deceit and Guile wherewith you are abus'd. The Emperor hearing this, was pre­sently pacifi'd and highly commended the Wisdom of his Friend, in extrica­ting him so ingeniously out of the greatest Folly and Madness imaginable. But though there have not wanted wise Men in China, that have always endea­vor'd to confute this phantastick Principle, and to cure this Distemper of the Mind, which in it self is no better than a Fit of raving Madness; yet they could never so hinder this Disease from increasing or taking head, but at pre­sent it overspreads the whole Country, and generally gains belief among the Great Ones.

Of several Sects in China: Concerning Philosophy, and Idol-Worship.

OF all the Heathen Sects which are come to the knowledge of those in Europe, we have not read of any who are fall'n into fewer Errors than the Chineses, ever since the first Ages; for in their Books we read, That these People have from the Beginning worshipp'd the Highest and One God-head, whom they call The King, or with another and more common Name, The Heaven and the Earth: Hence it appears they were of opinion, That Heaven and Earth were inspir'd, and so they worshipp'd the Soul thereof for the highest Deity. But beside this Supreme Deity, they deviated into the wor­ship of several Spirits, to wit, of Hills, Rivers, and such as Command over the four Quarters of the World. In all Transactions the ancient Chineses were wont to say, That Men ought to hearken to the inbred Light of the Understanding, which Light they have receiv'd from Heaven. But as to the Supreme Deity, and the Spirits which wait upon him, we do not find in any of their Books that they did ever broach such licentious Doctrines, to the support of Vice, as were invented by the Romans, Grecians, or the Egyptians, who in the committing of all manner of Filthiness, did implore the assistance of their debauch'd Gods.

It likewise appears by the yearly Book, which comprehend the Transactions of four thousand years, that the Chineses have perform'd several brave Works for the Service of their Country, and the Publick Good. The same is also to be seen by the Books of the ancient and wisest Philosophers, which were all in being before the last Invasion of the Tartars; but then in the general Con­flagration of the Country were most of them burnt, wherein were writ good and wholsom Doctrines, for the Instruction of Youth in the Ways of Vertue and Goodness.

These Books mention only three Sects to have been in those Times in the World: The first of which is the Sect of the Learned: The second is call'd Sciequia: And the third Lancu. The first of these three Sects is follow'd by all the Chineses, and the adjacent People which use the Chinese Characters, as the Islanders of Iapan, Corea, and Couchinchina, and by none else, and is the anci­entest of all the Sects that were ever heard of in China. Out of it, about which a [Page 187] very great number of Books are writ, generally are chosen such Persons as are fit for the Government of the Empire; and therefore it is honor'd and esteem'd above all others. The Doctrine of this Sect is not learn'd all at once, but they suck it in by degrees when they learn to Read or Write. The first Founder of this Sect was Confutius, the Prince of the Chinese Philosophers, who is to this day honor'd by all the Learned with the Title of The most Wise. This Confutius, as the Iesuit Semedo relates in his History, was a Man of a very good Nature, and much inclin'd to Vertue; Prudent, Subtil, and a great Lover of his Country: His Writings are to this day had in great honor and esteem, as being the Ground-work of all the Learning at this time in use amongst them. What concerns his Writings, which are contain'd in four large Books, we have already made mention.

Several other Books have been written by the Followers of this Sect; some whereof have been brought out of China into Europe, the Titles and Con­tents of which I thought good here to mention; and are these that follow:

  • 1. The first treats of the Original of the whole World, of the first Creator and Preser­ver of all things. Out of this Book are most things selected which relate to Na­tural Knowledge.
  • 2. Of the Eternal Middle.
  • 3. Of the Doctrine of the Full Growth. These two Books are reputed to con­tain all Natural Knowledge, and selected out of the first Book. And they firmly believe, that no Person beside themselves are able or fit to comprehend the Marrow and Pith of these mysterious Books, though in truth and substance they are no more difficult to be understood, than the Writings of Titus Livius, and Cicero.
  • 4. Of the Course, Condition, Influx, and Operation of the Erratick Stars; as also of the other Heavenly Lights.
  • 5. Of the Casting of Figures, and making Conjectures; which are us'd about things that have an uncertain and doubtful issue.
  • 6. Of Palmestry and Physiognomy.
  • 7. Of Natural Witchcraft.
  • 8. Of the Rise, Names, and Worship of Idols.
  • 9. Of the Deeds, Miracles, Deaths, and Burials of the Chinese Saints.
  • 10. Of the Immortality of the Soul, and its future State; as also of Mourning Ha­bits, and in what manner they are to be worn.
  • 11. Of several Books of Physick and Chirurgery.
  • 12. Of the State and Condition of Children in the Womb, and of such things help for­ward, or hinder the Birth.
  • 13. Of Arithmetick.
  • 14. Of Husbandry.
  • 15. Of what belongs to a Farrier in the Cure of Horses.
  • 16. Of War and Military Discipline, with the Weapons belonging thereunto.
  • 17. Of the Signs whereby to know a fruitful Year.
  • 18. Of the Art of Writing, and how to make Characters.
  • 19. An Exact Description of all the Provinces in China.
  • 20. Of the Age of the Chinese Empire and Government.
  • 21. Of the Command, Majesty, Revenues, Palaces, &c. of the Emperor.
  • 22. Of the Offices of the Emperor's Servants.
  • 23. Of the Laws of the Empire.
  • [Page 188] 24. Of the Acts and Deeds of the Chinese Emperors.
  • 25. Of those Nations that are known to the Chineses.
  • 26. Of Musick, both Vocal and Instrumental, in use among them.
  • 27. Of Poetry.
  • 28. Of several sorts of Plays.

Moreover, this first Sect of the Learned, whereof we have thus far made a Description, is absolutely against the Worship of Images, neither will they suffer them to be in their Temples. The Adherents and Fautors of this Sect acknowledge and worship One God onely; induc'd thereunto, because they firmly believe that all these Earthly Things are Preserv'd, Govern'd, and Di­rected by him: they also render a certain Veneration to Spirits, but with less Adoration and Respect. Some among them teach, That the World had nei­ther Creator nor Beginning, but sprung immediately from it self. There are others among them, but not so Learned and Famous, who are possess'd with Dreams and Phansies of a multitude of incredible things, and many impossible Im­pertinences relating thereunto.

In the Doctrine of this Sect there are many Lessons, teaching the Reward of Good, and the Punishment of Evil: and this seems to insinuate to us, That the Ancient Chineses did not doubt of the Immortality of the Soul: But the Learned among them at this time are of opinion, That the Souls of the Departed perish and come to nothing with the Body, thereby endeavor­ing to invalidate the Belief of Future Rewards and Punishments: Yet some think this too hard, and therefore maintain, That only the Souls of the Iust remain alive; because, as they say, the Soul of a Man is so united and re­new'd through the Exercise of Vertue, that it will live for a long time after its separation from the Body: but withall they conclude, That the Souls of the Wicked die as soon as they are divided from the Body, and vanish like Smoak.

And although the Learned, and Dependents of this Sect, acknowledge the Highest and One Deity, yet they erect no Temple for him, nor have any par­ticular Place for his Worship; neither are there any Priests, nor setled or due Form of Worship, nor Commands to observe, other than such as they may at pleasure break. There is no High-Priest amongst them, to punish such as offend against the Law, or to propagate the Doctrine taught concerning him; therefore they Offer unto him neither Prayer nor Sacrifice, in Publick or in Private, believing that it is only free for the King to Offer up unto, or Adore this King of Heaven. And if any body else should be so adventurous to un­dertake to make such an Offering, he would be held for a Traitor, and pu­nish'd accordingly. For this purpose has the Emperor two famous and well-built Temples in both the Imperial Chief Cities of Nanking and Peking; the one Dedicated to Heaven, and the other to the Earth; in both which them­selves formerly in Person made their Offerings: but now the chiefest Magi­strates Officiate in their behalfs, and Sacrifice several Oxen and Sheep to Hea­ven and Earth.

The chiefest Matter wherewith the Professors of this Sect trouble them­selves, and wherein as well the King as the People is concern'd, consists in the performing of certain Ceremonies towards the Dead, whereof we have already spoken at large; for they conceive it a principal part of their Duty, to honor their deceased Parents and Friends, as if they were stil living: Yet these [Page 189] People (although they set Viands and the like before them) are not so blind and ignorant to believe that the Dead eat, or have any need thereof: But they give this reason for such their Doings, which in it self indeed is of no weight, viz. because they can shew their love unto them no other way. The wisest among them affirm, That those Customs were introduc'd more for the Instruction of the Living, than Honor of the Dead, to wit, to teach Children how to honor and respect their Parents and Superiors when they are alive, whom they see honor'd and respected by so many Persons of Quality and Worth after their Deaths.

We now come to speak of the Doctrine Confutius left behind him, and which is in such esteem amongst the People.

This great Doctrine, or rather the Doctrine of this Great Man, is made up of these Heads or Positions, viz. That every one bring himself first to Perfe­ction, and afterwards others, that so all may arrive at the possession of the Supremum Bonum, or Highest Good: But herein Perfection it self consists, That every Person blow up the Natural Light in himself, and make it clear, so as he may never err from the Law of Nature, or from the Commands and Rudiments which are naturaliz'd unto a Man by that Law: And in regard the same cannot be done without an insight and inspection into things; there­fore it is requisite Men should betake themselves to the Study of Philosophy, whereby they may learn what is to be done and avoided. By this Knowledge (say they) we are taught how to order our Affairs aright, and to rectifie our Desires by the Rule and Square of Reason; and herein consists the Perfection of Body and Mind.

This most short and perfect Comprehension of the Chinese Wisdom and Doctrine, comprehends in it the Beginning, Means, Rule, and Benefit (which at last arises from thence) of Perfection, as well relating to our selves as others. The first Beginnings of this Perfection are said to arise from an Intrinsick Light, kindled by a diligent Observation and Scrutiny into the outward Grounds and Rules of Natural things, and so gradatim brought to Maturity. For the better accomplishing whereof, are presently added the Means leading to this Perfection, consisting in Acts, as well of the Operation as of the Will: The Rule of both is call'd here Reason; which is, That we shall not desire or will any thing, but what is consonant to Reason. Lastly, The Advanta­ges are set forth that accrue thereby; and that a double Perfection, of the Body in the first place, and then of the Mind.

The second Sect, call'd Sciequia or Omtofe, is call'd by those of Iapan, Sciacca and Amidaba. This Doctrine was brought out of the West among the Chineses, in the sixty fifth Year before the Birth of Christ, from the Kingdom of Tienci and Scinto, both which are known at this time by the general Name of Indostan, and are situated between the Rivers of Indus and Ganges. The Chinese History mentions, That one of their Emperors was admonish'd in his Sleep, to send Ambassadors thither for that Discovery, which (according to the over credu­lous humor of that Nation) believing, he accordingly did: They arriving in the Country, and delivering their Message, were receiv'd with Applause, and in convenient time return'd to their Prince with the Books, and some of the best skill'd in those Languages, to Interpret them into the Chinese Tongue; wherein are maintain'd several Opinions of the old Heathen Philosophers, as, That there are several Worlds; The Transmigration of Souls; That three Gods unite and grow in one Deity; That the Good shall be rewarded in

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Heaven, and the Wicked punish'd in Hell. Such as are great Admirers of this Sect, reject a Married, and commend a Single Life.

If any among them be found to transgress their Rule, he is not only blam'd and despis'd by all, but likewise severely punish'd: As a proof whereof, I saw at Cunningan, a Priest whom they had found and taken amongst Light Wo­men, for which Offence they bor'd him through the Neck with a hot Iron, and so hung upon him a Chain of ten yards long, with heavy Bars: And thus ac­coutred, he was led through the City, to the derision of all the People, till he had begg'd ten Toel of Silver for the Benefit of his Cloister: He was not suf­fer'd, as he pass'd along, to bear up the Chain with his Hands to ease himself; but it hung down loose behind him, so that the whole weight fell upon his Neck. And that every Person might take notice of the Punishment, one of his Brethren of the same Order follow'd him with a Whip in his Hand, and lash'd him all the way he went upon his naked Body, till the Blood ran down his Skin. This Spectacle going by the Ambassador's Lodgings, mov'd in them so much compassion of his Misery, that they bestow'd on him a Largess to help to pay his Ransom.

After a strange manner also are the Priests here Dress'd, being Cloth'd each in a particular Habit: Some wear a long Gown upon the left side only, black, with a four-square Cap or Bonnet upon their Heads, and a Chaplet of Beads. Others wear another sort of Gowns and Caps, but as uncouth as the former. But the most strange Garb is that of the Begging Priest, who has com­monly a Gown on of several Colours, and full of Patches: Upon his Head he has a Cap, which on both sides hath long Feathers to defend him against the Sun and Rain: In his left Hand he carries a Bell, upon which he continually strikes till something is given him, or that you are gone out of sight. They seldom go about Begging, but sit upon the Ground with their Legs across, like our Taylors.

The Cloysters of these Priests are divided into several Apartments, accord­ing to their bigness; in each of them is also a Supervizor and head, in whose Place his Scholars succeed after his Death. Each Head is diligent to contrive as many Cells as he can for his Scholars, because they let them out to Travel­lers for a piece of Money at any time; so that indeed they serve as well for Inns, or Hostries for Travellers, as Cloysters for the Brother-hood.

[Page 191] And though these Fryers live thus in a mean Condition, and contemptible; as to the outward appearance, yet they are invited to Burials frequently, and other Publick Ceremonies, as the making free of wild Deer, Birds, Fish, and four-footed Creatures. Some of the greatest Sticklers of this Sect buy these Creatures alive, with design only to set them at liberty; and in so doing their Service is meritorious, and such for which they believe they shall be rewarded. This Sect is very much increas'd of late years; and the greatest part of their Followers are the Gelubden Women, with a company of other simple Crea­tures.

The third Sect, call'd Lanzu, has its rise from a certain Philosopher, con­temporary with Confutius, of whom the Natives fancy, that he was carried eighty years in his Mothers Belly before he was born; and therefore they call'd him Lanzu, which signifies The old Philosopher. The Iesuit Martinus writes in his fourth Book of the Chinese History, That he was call'd Lanxu Laotanus, and taught, That there remain'd not any thing of us after we were dead, the highest Happiness of a Man consisting in Pleasure; in imitation of Epicurus. The Fable concerning his Birth, had its rise from the number Nine; for as this number is held for the most perfect, and again multiply'd, makes eighty one; so has Nature in the product of this famous Man, been so many years in Tra­vel and Labor. This Philosopher left not any one Book behind him of his Doctrine, being unwilling, as it seems, to introduce any new Enthusiasms; but after his Death his Sectators made a Collection of several Doctrines, out of the Books of divers Sects, and compil'd them into one.

Those that are in their Cloisters live unmarried, and buy their Scholars, but obtain among the People no respect, nor have any sense or fear of God among themselves. Yet others of the same Gang betake themselves to a Mar­ried Estate, and live in a more orderly manner.

They Worship the Lord of Heaven, whom they represent in the Form of a Man, and say that he has much wrong done him: yet beside him, they have made to themselves two other Gods, whereof Lanzu, the Head of this Sect, is one; so that these two Sects, though in a different manner, adore each three Gods. By the Followers of this Sect is the Place describ'd where Men after this Life are either rewarded or punish'd: but concerning these Matters, there is between this and the foregoing Sects no small difference; for the Heads of this Sect promise to their Tribe, that they shall possess Heaven with Soul and Body: And the better to demonstrate the same, they expose to sight in their Temples the Images of several People, who (as they say) went to Hea­ven in that manner: And the more certainly to obtain to this Happiness, they teach their Followers several Postures and Prayers, and exhort them to Deeds of Charity.

The Office of the Priest consists chiefly in dispossessing such Houses as are infested or haunted with the Devil, by their ungodly Prayers and Curses, which they effect commonly after this manner: They paint frightful Faces, and Postures of Devils, upon Yellow Paper, and fix them to the Walls of the House; then they bawl and skream so terrible loud, that they seem to be like so many Devils themselves: And this is the utmost height of their Con­juration.

There is another Office and Art which they ascribe to themselves; for they boast, That in dry Weather they can cause Rain, and at their pleasure make the same either to abate or cease again. And they profess to be skill'd in several [Page 192] other strange Arts (but in truth meer Delusions) wherewith they deceive the whole Empire; yet notwithstanding, these Priests have their Residence in the Royal Temples dedicated to Heaven and Earth, and are always assi­stant at the Offerings (whether the Emperor himself be there present in Person, or only the Magistrates in his behalf) whereby they grow famous, and are had in great esteem, not by the Common People alone, but the Grandees also; to all whose Burials they are invited, and help to perform the Ceremonial part of the Funeral, attir'd in very costly and rich Habits; and go before the Corps, playing upon Flutes, and other Musical Iustruments.

All this Sect are under the Command and Iurisdiction of one Prelate, call'd Ciam, whose Dignity always descends upon one of his Posterity, which hath been observ'd for above a thousand years.

It seems that this great Dignity or Office had its first rise from a certain Sooth-sayer, who liv'd in a Cave in the Province of Quangsi, where his Po­sterity continue at present, and practise the Delusions of their Ancestors. This their High-Priest Ciam is for the most part Resident in the Imperial City of Peking, and very highly honor'd by the Emperor, having an allow'd Access into the middlemost part of the Palace, to Bless and Consecrate the Rooms, if at any time they are suspected to be haunted, or molested with Evil Spirits: He is carried through the Street in an open Chair, in as great State as any of the most principal Magistrates, and receives yearly a good Revenue from the Emperor.

And thus I have given you a Description of the three Chief Sects in China, out of which the ignorant and blind People have broach'd and set on foot so many hundred sorts, differing from one another in point of Worship.

The Emperor Humvuus, the first of that Race, that at the beginning of this Age had the Soveraignty over China, gave express Command that those three Sects, for the Defence and Honor of the Government, should be strictly ob­serv'd, by which he did infinitely win the Hearts of the Followers; but yet though he mention'd all, he so order'd the matter, that the Sect of the Learned only should haue a share in the managing the great Affairs of the Empire, and also should have Authority over the other two: And this probably may be the Reason why the one Sect doth not wholly endeavor to abolish and extir­pate the other; because the Emperor carries an equal hand to them all, re­specting the one as much as the other, and makes use of them alike, as he has occasion; sometimes causing an old Temple to be repair'd, and sometimes a new one to be built, for one or other of them, as he thinks it expedient. But the Empress affects that Sect best that maintains the Worship of Images, and is very bountiful to the Priests thereof, bestowing large Annuities, and great In­comes upon them.

The great number of Idols which are found in China is incredible; for not only the Temples, and such like Places of Worship, are hung very full, but also all Houses, Streets, Ships, &c. are adorn'd with them. And this is one of the great Abominations that at first appears to all that come into China.

Amongst the rest, the Idol that represents Immortality, is in great Veneration, whose Description is this: It is in the shape of a thick fat and Person, with his Legs across, and a Belly that sticks at least two Foot out; on its right side stands commonly a Stag, a Creature of a long life, looking upon his Lord with a pleasant Countenance. The Image it self sits with his Hand in his Sleeve, and his Doublet unbrac'd, so that his fat Body may be the better seen:

[Page 193]

His Looks are very grim and stately, and his Habit rich and Majestical. This Image is the Patron for Travellers, and call'd upon by them when they make any long Voyages, for Protection, Preservation, and Success in their Under­taking.

The next is the Idol of Pleasure, which they call Minifo, and is compos'd and made after the same manner as that of Immortality, but much bigger, being commonly cast of Brass, hollow within and twenty Foot high; it carries a very pleasant Countenance, and, like the former, is very thick and corpulent, with a Belly sticking out; and that his gross, and fat Members may be the better seen he sits with his whole Body almost naked.

Betwixt these, sitting in a Chair, is an Image thirty Foot high, made of Plaister, having a Crown upon his Head, gilded all over, richly Apparell'd, with several other strange Ornaments. They call this The great Kingang, and give it a Respect in the highest manner.

Beside these there are two others; the one is the Goddess which at Linain (as it is already related in our former Description) stand upon the Temple Dedi­cated to her; it is thirty Foot high, very richly gilded, and hath stood in that Place ninety six years and upwards.

The other sits in a Chair richly adorn'd, resembling one of the Chinese Go­vernors, who had done his Country very good Service, for which they honor him since his Death after this manner: At his Feet, as a sign of Victory, is Pourtrayed a certain Country; and in his Hand, to shew his Authority, he holds a Scepter.

In the Province of Quantung, near to the noble City of Chaoking, in a well-built Temple, stands another Statue of a certain Governor of a Province, who had done his Country extraordinary Service six years together; and as a return of thankfulness for the same, the Inhabitants, according to the Custom, erected this Image and Temple, and Dedicated it unto him.

In Cuchiung, near to Hangan, there is a great Stone above a hundred Foot high, call'd Xinxe, and signifies The Holy Stone, which they cover yearly quite over with Gold, and then worship it. This piece of Idolatry was commanded by the Emperor Mung.

Near to the City Cioking, upon the Mountain Xepao, is a great Stone Column, [Page 194] with the Image of the Idol Fe, and an Elephant, Lion, and Drum, cut out of Stone, each of which is of several Colours; but whose workmanship they were, or who brought the same thither, is altogether unknown.

In the Province of Suchuen, near to the Chief City of Chunking, is a very strange great Hill upon the side of the River Feu, between this City and ano­ther call'd Tunchuen; and on this Hill is a mountainous Idol, call'd Fe; it is made sitting with his Legs cross-ways, and his Hands clapt over one another before him. How incredibly large the same is, may be guess'd at by this, that Travellers can plainly see his Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Mouth, at two Miles distance.

Of Idol-Temples.

ALL this Country doth infinitely abound with Idol-Temples, which are built at very great Charge, and most commonly situate without the Walls of their Cities, in solitary places; and in these the Traveller may find Accommodations answerable to his desire. Adjoining to these Tem­ples stands commonly a Tower, with a smaller Edifice of the same kind, but no less costly than artificially built. These Idolatrous Places are fill'd with Images, and hung round with black Lamps, burning night and day, in me­mory of such who liv'd well, and died happily. When any Governors of Pro­vinces are to be admitted into their Offices, they are Sworn in these Temples▪ That they shall faithfully perform their Duties. I took an exact view of one of these Structures, of which I thought it not amiss to give this following Ac­count: The sides of it were built with Timber, and the Roo [...] Tyl'd; the Floor was in some places Earth, and in other of gray Stone; and on each of the sides stood several great Images in a row; but at the entrance was one most dreadful to behold, being a Horn'd Devil, in a most terrible and frightful shape, with a wide Mouth, and Hands like the Claws of a Griffin, in such a posture as if it would have seiz'd those that entred. Within, in the middle stood an Altar, upon which was erected another great Image thirty Foot high; behind which stood a great number of small ones: Before the great one there stood upon the Altar a thick hollow Bambo's, upon which was writ­ten some Chinese Characters, that foretold things that should come to pass. On the sides stood several Vessels with Incense burning, and in the middle was a woodden Dish, with several Offerings in it, which the Priests, when they would know or foretel any thing, bring to the Altar and Offer up to this Image. Now the chief Offerings at such times, are either Rice, Wine, or the Entrails of Beasts, which being ceremoniously dispos'd, the Priest draws some Reeds out of the Bambo's Basket; and if they are in his opinion portentous of Ill, he draws out others, till he has drawn such as he believes prognosticate Good. In this interim the Incense burns, and at last the Priest falls upon his Knees, and mumbles one thing or other to himself, whereby he intends to pa­cifie the Idol, and get him to favor his Suit.

In the Province of Peking, near to Chingting, is a very large and most mag­nificent Temple, a hundred and sixty five Foot high; within which stands a thick and prodigious Image, a hundred six Foot and a half high call'd Quonin,


[Page] [Page 195] curiously wrought in the form of a Virgin. Behind this Temple is erected a spacious Palace.

In the Province of Xansi, in the City of Ta [...]ven, is a Temple Dedicated to Siangus, the wisest of their Emperors, and of the Family of Chaus. It is reported in their Histories, that this Image, which is made of very precious Stones, being finish'd, rose up of it self, and went to the place which was appointed for its Station.

At Leugan, upon the Mountain Peco, which signifies The Mountain of Fruits, is founded a Temple in honor of the Emperor Xi [...]ungus; near which stands a famous Well. Now (according to the Sa [...]ing of the Chineses) Xinnungus receiv'd divers sorts of Seeds from an unknown Person, and receiv'd Directions in what manner he should Sowe the same to gain a plentiful Harvest; which he having experimented, taught to his Subjects: for which Benefit they erected this Temple to his Memory at very great Charge.

In the Province of Xensi, in the City of Hanchang, are five Temples, where­of one is Dedicated to the Emperor Cangleangus, because he had caus'd a Way to be cut through the Mountain; and in perpetual memory of this his great Undertaking this Temple was erected.

In the Chief City of Kingang are three Temples full of Images; and in the Province of Xantung, in the Chief City of Cinan, are several.

Near to Yencheu, in the City of Ceu, are fifteen stately Temples, Dedicated to Helvutius, and other renowned Heroes.

In the Province of Suchuen, in the Chief City of Chingtu, is one built to the Memory of King Cancungus, because he taught the Inhabitants of that Kingdom the Art of raising and preparing of Silk-worms.

In the Province of Huquang, near to Kiun, is a large Hill call'd Vutang, up­on which are erected several Structures, with Cloisters for Priests; and the reason thereof may be, for that here all Priests receive their Introduction, who follow and teach the inward approv'd Doctrine of the separation of Soul and Body.

In the Province of Nanking, near to the Chief City Ningque, stands a very high and beautiful Edifice call'd Hiangsin, that is to say, The well-scented Heart, and Dedicated to five Virgins, who being assaulted by such as would have ravish'd them, rather chose to die than have their Virginity violated: in ho­nor of whose Chastity the Inhabitants erected these Temples.

In the Province of Chekiang, and in the Chief City of Hangcheu, are found very many of these Buildings, to which belong several thousands of Priests.

At Nanking, on the Mountain Ni, stands one of these Fabricks, that hath at least a thousand Images to it, and to every Image ten Priests.

And indeed (to shorten this Relation) there is hardly a Mountain or Hill in China of any Note, but has a Temple upon it, with Priests belonging to it.

In the Province of Fokien, near to the City Cinggan, lies a great Hill call'd Vay, which has several Temples and Cloisters upon it, abounding with Priests and Fryers, most whereof worship Idols, shave their Crowns, and despise all Earthly Riches, Possessions, and Honors. But that which is fullest of admiration is this: It was said, that amongst these Priests, one of the chief, call'd Chang, who had two Chappels under his Command, being convinc'd of the Error of his Way, coming one day into his Temples, broke all the Idols in pieces, exclaiming bitterly against the Priests, for having thus long deceiv'd him, and keeping him in blind Ignorance; from thenceforth embraceing the Christian Religion to the utmost period of his Life.

[Page 196] In the Province of Fokien, near to the City Civencheu, is a Temple call'd Caiy­ven, which is worthy of admiration, both for its heighth and largeness: The outsides of this sumptuous Edifice are all of Marble, and the inside most richly adorn'd with Idols of all sorts. Among others there are some that exceed, which are either cast in Copper, or cut out of Marble, made for Madam Fee, having such curiosity of Workmanship, that the Chineses say they were not made with mortal Hands.

Without the Imperial City of Nanking I was my self in one of the three Idol-Temples, where Hell (so as Virgil describes the same in the sixth Book of his Aeneids) was so curiously Painted to the Life, and adorn'd with rare Ima­ges of Plaister, that it is enough to fill all Persons with admiration that look upon the same.

Of Towers and Sea-Marks.

CHINA is very full of brave and well-built Towers, whereof some are nine, others seven Stories high, many of which are only for Or­nament; but upon a great part of them call'd Ceuleu, stand their Clock-workss and in others, especially at Nanking, are kept the Astrological Instruments: Upon the Clock-house Turrets stands an Instrument, which shews the hour of the day by means of Water, which running from one Vessel into another, raises a Board, upon which is Pourtray'd a Mark for the time of the day; and you are to observe, That there is always one remaining there, to take notice of the passing of the time, who at every hour signifies the same to the People by beating upon a Drum, and hanging out a Board with the Hour writ upon it in large Letters. This Time-Drummer likewise gives no­tice if he discovers any Fire; whereupon the People all rise to quench it: In whose House soever the Fire happens through carelesness, the Master there­of is punish'd with Death, because of the fright and hazard he put his Neigh­bor in, whose House joyning to his, and built all of Timber (as all Habitati­ons there are) was in very great danger of being likewise consum'd; for all the Houses stand very close. And this in truth is the cause of so great severity shew'd against such, whose Houses are burnt through carelesness.

Upon the top of the Mountain Hiaiken stands a very ancient Tower, which is very much decay'd, but yet keeps the heighth of a hundred and eighty Paces; but that which is most to be admir'd therein, is, that it is built of Stone, which with infinite Labor, Industry, and Expence, they must bring thither, and then, together with the Mortar, carry up so great a heighth to build such a Tower.

In the Country of Huquang, near to the City of Hanyang, is a Tower call'd Xelonhoa, which far excels all other such like Structures in Art and Costliness. It is said to have been erected upon this account: There was a certain Daugh­ter, who was worthy remark for her Obedience to her Mother-in-law; she having one day a Pullet for Dinner, invited her Step-Dame to the eating part of it; who accepting the Invitation, and coming to participate thereof, had no sooner tasted of it, but she fell down dead: The Daughter was immedi­ately apprehended, brought before a Iudg, and accus'd of poysoning her Mother-in-law, and the matter of Fact being so clear, was condemn'd to die: [Page 197] As she was going to the Place of Execution, she hapned to pass by a Pome­granate-Tree then in Blossom, which holding fast in her Hand, she Pray'd (as is said) after this manner: If I have poyson'd my Step-Mother, may the Flowers of this Branch now in my Hand wither; but if I be innocent, let the Branch live, and bring forth Fruit immediately: Which words were hardly pass'd her Lips, before that Branch which she held in her Hand hung full of Pomegranates. In re­membrance of which so famous Miracle the Inhabitants built this Tower, and call'd it Xelenhoa, which signifies A Pomegranate-Tree.

In the Province of Chekiang, in the Chief City Hangcheu, are four of these Towers, each of them nine Stories high; and in the great City Niencheu is ano­ther of the like heighth.

Near to the City Vencheu lies a Hill call'd Paocai, upon whose top stands a Tower nine Stories high, which serves for a Land-Mark to the Ships and Ma­riners Sailing at Sea.

Lastly, in the Province of Chekiang, near to the City of Hangcheu, lies a Mountain call'd Funghoang, upon the top whereof stands a like Tower of nine Stories high.

Triumphal Arches.

MOst of the Cities in China, both small and great, are adorn'd and beauti­fi'd with Triumphal Arches, stately Towers and Pyramids, made of Stone or Marble, with great Art, Cost, and Ingenuity, and adorn'd with Ima­ges, being generally erected in honor of some famous Act, Thing, or Person. Those who have done their Country any signal Service, have some of these set up to eternize their Memory, almost after the same manner as was formerly practis'd by the ancient Romans. So also if any have been more excellent in Learning, or if any Magistrate hath signaliz'd himself by his good behavior in his Employment, in honor of such, Arches, Towers, Pillars, or Pyramids are built, and commonly plac'd as Ornaments in the chiefest Streets, and most populous places. Their fashion is this; they have three Roofs, the biggest in the middle, and on each side a small one, underneath which Men pass as it were through a very broad Gate; the sides are adorn'd with Lions and other Images, curiously cut out of Marble, and fix'd thereto, or otherwise very arti­ficially bor'd through, and sometimes adorn'd with small Images cut out of Stone; so that it is indeed a thing deservedly to be admir'd, which way they can bore through such great Stones, and cut Images out of them, as they lie fix'd in the Building. The whole Arch for the most part consists of three Stories, and is on the Front and Back alike for fashion; so that when you look upon the one side, you have in effect seen both sides. Upon the top of all lies a blue Stone, upon which the Emperor's Name, in whose Government the same was erected, is curiously Engraven in Letters of Gold: In the mid­dle also lies a very large flat Stone, upon which is writ in gilt or blue Letters, the Name, Country, and Dignity of him in whose behalf this Edifice was erected.

Of Rivers, Channels, High-Ways, Bridges, Ships, &c.

THrough the Province of Suchue runs the River To, as far as Sinfan, being a Branch brought from the River Kiang, by the Command of the Emperor Ivos, to hinder the overflowing of that River.

In the Province of Chekiang are most of the Rivers which come from the North, made by Art so useful, as if they had been naturally so. It is highly to be admir'd, and meriting the highest Commendation, to consider with what labor and pains they have effected such vast Undertakings; for in some places there are very large Channels, running far up into the Country, which have been digg'd, and are pav'd on both sides with Stone: Over which Channels lie many great and heavy Sluces, with several Bridges, convenient for Travel­lers, either by Land or Water.

In Ningpo, the ninth City of the Province of Chekiang, both sides of the arti­ficial Rivers, for several Miles together, are made up with Stone: At the end of every River lies a Sluce, through which all Vessels must pass before they come into it,

In the Country of the City Xaohing is an artificial River toward the East, three days Iourney in length, both sides whereof are made up with Brick, to prevent the Earth from falling in, to choke or clog up the same.

Common Ways.

THE common Passages, or High-ways in China, are contriv'd as much for the convenience and ease of Travellers, as in any Place or the World. We begin in the Southern Provinces, where most of their Ways [...] even and smooth, the very Hills being made passable, and a Way hewn [...] through the Rocks by the labor of Mens Hands. Upon these so commodi­ous Ways, stand several Marks of Stone, which declare the Distances of Pla­ces from one another; and every ten Miles there is a Post appointed to c [...]ry the Emperors and Magistrates Letters and Commands, which being [...] receiv'd, are deliver'd with extraordinary speed; so that there happens no­thing in any part of the Country, but it is presently known through all the Empire.

At every eighth Stone, which is a days Iourney, you have one of his Maje­sties ordinary Houses, built on purpose to receive and treat at the Emperors Charge, all Governor's and Magistrates that travel that way upon the Empe­ror's Service; but before their Arrival they send a Messenger to certifie what day they intend to be there; so that the Governor or Magistrate arriving, finds all things in a readiness for him, to wit, Provisions, Horses, Chairs, Track­men, and, Vessels of all sorts, if he need any; for whatsoever he desires, is gi­ven notice of by him in a Letter.

The Banks of the Rivers are no less well contriv'd for the ease of Passengers, than the common Ways; for they suffer no Trees to grow within eight Foot of the Rivers side, lest they should be a hindrance to the Boats that are Tow'd along by Ropes.

[Page 199] In the Province of Fokien, near to the City Hinghoa, the Ways are well and strongly pav'd with Stone, for above four Dutch Mile in length.

Near to the City Hoanting lies a deep, small, and darkish Valley, through which runs a pav'd Way two Miles in length.

Upon the Mountain Mechi (which is in truth a Wilderness) lies a firm, but very narrow Way, made by Art for Travellers to pass over; and upon Co is a very steep Way, at least ten Dutch Miles.

Near to the City of Kiangxan there is a great Mountain call'd Civen, at least three hundred Furlong in length, over which is the direct Road to Fokien, and has several good Inns upon it for the Entertainment of Passengers.

Bridges or Sluces..

IN the Province of Xensi, over the River Guei lies three Sluces, namely, one Easterly, the second in the middle, the third towards the West; all of them built very strong, with many great and very high Arches of square Stone, cu­riously adorn'd, and carv'd with divers sorts of Images, as Lions, Dragons, and the like.

In the Province of Queicheu, in the fourth Chief City Ganxin, are three Slu­ces of great bigness; but the third call'd Tiensing, that is to say, the natural Sluce, is well nigh a thousand Rod long.

In the same Province, near to the City Hanchung, is a most admirable piece of Work, so great a Master-piece in its kind, that the like thereof is hardly to be found in the World, whose Description I will give you as follows: Between this and the Chief City the Way was formerly altogether unpassable; and the Inhabitants were constrain'd to fetch a great compass round, by reason of the high and rough Hills, and steep Passages; sometimes necessitated to travel toward the East, to the Frontiers of the Province of Honan, and then again to turn towards the North; so that they went at least two thousand Furlongs, whereas the direct Way over the Mountains was not much more than five hundred: wherefore at the end of the Race of Cina, when Licupangus made War with Hiangyus for the Empire, all these steep Hills and Vales were levell'd by order of Changleangus, the General of Licupangus, to make his Army with the more ease to pursue the flying Enemy. And certainly, with great and incredi­ble labor and industry was this stupendious Work effected, in which he em­ploy'd no less than his whole Army, with at least a hundred thousand Men more, by whose Labor a Way was at last perfected through the same.

On both sides of the Way are Walls made out of these Mountains, so high, that part thereof toucheth the very Clouds, and thereby obscures the Passages in some places. In others he caus'd Planks to be laid, to serve as Bridges to pass over from one Mountain to another, on purpose to shorten the Way, which is generally so broad, that four may ride abreast, and has Conveniences enough to accommodate Passengers: And lest the People should by chance receive any mischief as they pass over the Bridges, both the sides thereof are Rail'd in from one end to another.

In the same Province, near to the City Chegan, is a Bridge call'd Fi, reach­ing from one Mountain to another, and having but one single Arch, which is six hundred Foot long, and near seven hundred Foot high, through which the Yellow River runs▪ It was three years in building, and is call'd by the People, The Flying Bridge.

[Page 200]In the Province of Honan, in the City Queite, lies a Sluce made of four-square Stone, over the Mere or Lake call'd Nan.

In the Province of Huquang, near to the City Chyangang, is another Sluce of Stone, having several Arches, erected by King Guei.

In the Province of Kiangsi, in the little City of Gangin, there is a Bridge worthy to be spoken of, and call'd The Bridge of Obedience and Subjection; the Story of it goes thus: A Daughter of rich Parents Married a Husband who soon after died; and in regard it is held in China a great dishonor to honest Women to Marry the second time, she went and liv'd with her Father and Mother, that by the enjoyment of their Company she might the better and more easily forget the loss of her Husband: but not long after, her Father and Mother hapned to die, by whose loss being left comfortless, she upon serious debate within her self, laid out her Estate upon building of this Bridge, which stands upon several Arches; and when she had finish'd it, being yet troubled in her thoughts, she came early one Morning to take a view of the Structure; which having done, and imagining her Memory would be Eterniz'd thereby, she flung her self headlong into the River, where she was drown'd.

In the same Province, in the City of Cancheu, where the River Chang and Can meet in one, is a very long Bridge, built upon a hundred and thirty Boats, fast­ned to one another with Chains, upon which lie the Planks and Timber that compile the Bridge; one or two of which Boats are so contriv'd and order'd, that they easily remove to open or shut, and so make passage for Vessels at pleasure, after they have paid their Toll, for the receipt whereof there stands a Toll-house at the foot of the Bridge.

In the Province of Chekiang, near the fifth Chief City Xinhoa, from the top of the Mountain Fanguien, is a very large Bridge made over a Vale, which is so stupendious a Work, that it fills all People with great admiration that ever saw it.

In the same Province, in the City Luki, is a Bridge consisting of Stone Pillars and Woodden Planks, which is a hundred Rod in length.

In the Province of Fokien, in the Chief City Focheu, is a very stately Sluce of a hundred and fifty Rod long, and half a Rod broad, built over an Inlet of the Sea, of yellow and white Stone, with a hundred very lofty Arches, adorn'd and beautifi'd with Sculpture of Lions and other Creatures. The like lies near to the City Focing, and, according to the relation of the Chineses, is a hun­dred and eighty Rod long.

In the second Chief City Civencheu may be seen a stately Bridge, call'd Lo­yang, the like whereof is hardly to be seen in the whole World, whose Descri­ption a certain Chinese Historian gives after this manner: Near to the City Bur­rolilicum (says he) lies over the River Loyang, the Bridge by some call'd also Lo­yang, but by others Vangang. The Governor of the City, nam'd Cayang, caus'd this Bridge to be made, which is three hundred sixty Rod long, and half a Rod broad: Before the erecting thereof People were Ferried over in Boats; but in regard every year several Boats were cast away by foul Weather, the Governor, for the preservation and safety of the Inhabitants, resolv'd to build this Bridge, which he did of black [...] Stone; it rests not upon Arches, but has at least three hundred large Pedestals or Columns of Stone made after the fashion of Boats, which are sharp before, the better to withstand the force of the Current; and to prevent any danger to such as pass over, the sides are Wall'd in with Stone to a good heighth, and beautifi'd in several places with Images of all sorts, according to the fashion of the Country.

[Page 201] In the third Chief City Cangcheu there is to be observ'd another very stately Bridge made of Stone, with thirty six very high and great Arches; it is so commodiously broad, that Shops are made on both sides, and yet room enough for Passengers either on Horse or Foot.

There are several other famous Bridges in many Ports and Cities of this Empire, which to particularize, would take up too much time, and make this Book swell into a larger Volume than was at first intended; therefore to pass them by, we will proceed to give an Account of the fashion of their Ships.

Of Ships.

THe Royal Ships, and those of the Governors of Provinces, exceed the rest, and are built after such a manner, that few or none will scarce give credit to the Account I shall give of them, unless they had seen them; our Vessels in Europe being in no wise comparable to those, for they lie upon the Water like high Houses or Castles, and are divided on both sides with Parti­tions: In the middle is a place like a Hall, furnish'd with all manner of Houshold-stuff, as Tables, Chairs, &c. The Windows and Doors are made in the fashion of our Grates, wherein, in stead of Glass they use the thinnest Oyster-shells they can get, or else fine Linnen or Silk, which they spread with clear Wax, and adorn with several sorts of Flowers; and this keeps out the Wind and Air better than any Glass. Round about the Ships are made Galle­ries, very commodious for the Seamen to do whatever business they have, without prejudice to the Rigging: The outside of the Ship is Painted with a certain sort of Gum, call'd Cie, which makes it glitter, and appear very glori­ous at a distance, but within it is most curiously Painted with several Colours, very pleasant and delightful to the Eye. The Planks and Timber-work are so curiously rifted together, and jointed, that there is little or no sign of any Iron­work. In length they differ not much from those in Europe, only they are lower and narrower, and the Passage up into them is by a Ladder twelve Foot long; the Stern of the Ship, where the Trumpeters and Drummers stand, is like a Castle. When any of these Ships of the Governors meet one another at Sea, they Salute, and give place according to their Qualities, which are writ in great Letters behind their Ships, so that there never happens any Dispute about Precedency. When it is a Calm at Sea, and little or no Wind stirring to fill their Sails (which are made of Mats) there are certain Men appointed to Tow the same: At such time also, and as a farther help, they are very dexterous in the use of their Oars, wherewith they can Row without pulling them out of the Water.

The Ships which carry the Fish call'd Saull, and the Silks, to the Imperial Court, are so extraordinarily curious and rich, that no others can compare with them; for they are gilt within and without, and Painted red; and such is their esteem, that all other Ships strike Sail, and give place to these, whenso­ever or wheresoever they meet them.

In the Province of Nanking, near to the Chief City of Sucheu, may be seen several Pleasure-Boats or little Ships, which the Inhabitants keep only for their Pleasure; they are very richly Gilt and Painted, and may more properly be compar'd to Houses than Ships: Some of the Chineses are so profusely in love with them, that they will spend their Estates aboard these Vessels in Eat­ing and Drinking.

[Page 202] There are a vast and incredible number of Ships and Boats that pass daily from one Place to another, by which means there is so great Accommoda­tion by Water, that Men may pass from the City of Maccao to the City of Pe­king, except one days Iourney by Water. Also Men may travel by Boat from the Province of Chekiang, through the whole Province of Suchue, from East to West. And to say the truth, there is hardly any considerable City but what has access to it by Water; for the Natives have with Art and Industry digg'd Channels through most of the Provinces, and let in the Rivers, on purpose to carry their Goods and themselves by Water, by reason of the extraordinary Hills and Desarts which they meet with in a Passage or Iourney by Land; of all which we have already made mention in our General Description of China.

In the Province of Fokien are such an innumerable company of Vessels, that the Inhabitants proffer'd the Emperor, when he intended to make War upon those of Iapan, to make him a Bridge of Boats, which should reach from thence to the said Island of Iapan.

The Courts of the Governors of Provinces.

IN each Chief City are at least fifteen or twenty great Houses belonging to the Governors; which is regard of the Magnificence of their Building, may compare with Kings Palaces. In other less are eight or nine great Hou­ses, and in every small City four, which are all alike in fashion, only they dif­fer in largeness, according to the Quality of the Governor. At the Front of each Palace are three Gates, whereof the biggest stands in the middle, adorn'd on both sides with great Marble Lions: Next to this Plano, or Court-yard Pail'd in, Painted with Gum, which they call Cie. In this Plano stand two small Towers or Pyramids, curiously adorn'd, and furnish'd with several Mu­sical Instruments, upon which certain Persons play as often as the Governor goes out or comes in. Within the Gate is a large Hall (and generally every great Palace hath four or five) where the Governor gives Audience to any that comes about Business to him; on the sides of this Hall are several small Apartments inhabited by inferior Officers. Here are also two particular Rooms for the Reception of Persons of Quality that come to visit the Gover­nor; when you are past these two Rooms, you come to three Gates more, which are seldom open'd, but when the Governor sits upon the Bench of Iu­dicature. The middlemost of these Gates is very large, through which Per­sons of Quality are only suffer'd to go; other People pass through the Gates on each side. Then you come to another large Plano, at the end whereof is a great Court built upon Pillars call'd Tang, and here the Governor administers Iustice; on Both sides thereof the Courtiers and inferior Officers have their Dwellings, who never remove with the Governor, but live there continually, in regard they are maintain'd at the Charge of the Country. Next to this is an inward Court, but far exceeding the former, and is call'd Sutang, which signifies Private; and in this Court only may the nearest Relations converse with the Governor. To these Places appertain also several Gardens, Orchards, Ponds, Rivers, Warrens, and the like, as well for Pleasure and Ornament, as Profit. And here observe, That the Emperor furnishes the Governor not only with these Palaces, but likewise with all manner of Houshold-stuff, Provisi­ons, and Servants, at his own Charge: And when a Governor (which is yet more remarkable) happens to depart to the Rule of another Province, or else [Page 203] to lay down his Employment, which falls out commonly every half year, it is allowable for him to take all the Houshold Goods with him, and then the Court is to be furnish'd anew for the succeeding Governor.

In Cingtu, the first Chief City of the Province Suchue, famous for Trade, there liv'd formerly a certain Great Prince or Governor of the Family of Ta­minga, who in Power and Imperial Title could only be said to give place to the Emperor; for in all things else he liv'd like a King. This Kingly or Royal Person had a large and stately Palace, which was at least four Italian Miles in compass, adorn'd with four Gates, and stood in the middle of the City; be­fore it, toward the South, lay a large broad Street, full of costly and artificial Triumphal Arches.

Near to Hinghoa, the seventh Chief City of the Province of Fokien, at the foot of the Mountain Chinyven, runs a large Water call'd Chung; on the side whereof stands a large Palace containing ten Courts. In this Palace is a great Won­der taken notice of; for infallibly there is heard a noise against Wind or Rain, like unto the sound of a Clock, of which (although diligently enquir'd after) no natural reason can be given.

Concerning the incomparable, stately, and costly Structure of the Impe­rial Palace of Peking, I have already given a particular Description in my for­mer Relation.

Of Rivers, Waterfalls, Lakes, &c.

HAving spoken at large of the chiefest things which the Hand or In­dustry of mortal Man has produc'd, we shall now proceed to particu­larize such things wherewith Nature has abundantly furnish'd the Chineses out of her rich Store. Under which Name I comprehend Rivers, Pools, Aquaducts, Hills, Wells, Earth, Plants, Trees, Animals of all sorts, and the like, which are mention'd in the following Chapters.

First of all, There are in China two famous large Rivers, namely Kiang, and the Yellow River.

The River Kiang, which is also call'd Yangeukiang, signifying The Son of the Sea, divides all China into a Northern and Southern Tract: It flows from West to East, and receives several Names, according to the Provinces through which it runs: It was first call'd Minkiang, from the Mountain Min, whence it hath its source. These Mountains stretch themselves Westward of the Pro­vince of Suchue, very far toward Prester Iohn's Country, and come towards the North not far from the Chief City of Guei. After it is got from this Moun­tain, rushing forward with great violence, it divides it self into several Bran­ches, which turn and Wind through most of the Provinces. From the City of Sincin it is call'd Sinkiang; afterwards receiving a great many Rivulets into its Bosom, it runs before the City of Sui, into the River call'd Mahu. From the City of Liucheu it receives the Name of Liukiang, and running from thence to the City of Chunking, joyns with the great River Pa, and embraces its Name: Being gotten beyond the City of Queicheu, it falls into the Province of Huquang, and regains not far from the City Kingcheu, the old Name of Sinkiang: Thus far it runs with many crooked Meanders, and a great force of Water, through [Page 204] Vales, terrible Rocks, and dreadful Precipices, which the Natives knowing, do avoid and shun with great dexterity. Being past the City of Kincheu, it be­gins by degrees to run more gently, and falls toward the North into the Mere or Lake call'd Tungting, from whence it takes its course before the Chief City in the Province of Kiangsi, and from thence to the Sea Foum, which is above a hundred Dutch Miles; and all this way it runs so gently, that Vessels may with ease Sail against the Stream; and the ebbing and flowing of this River is ob­serv'd so far up in the Country, that it is in a manner wonderful to relate, especially at the New or Full-Moon: In this place it is at least two Miles over, watering and making fruitful the whole Province of of Nanking. And lastly, being pass'd the Cities of Nanking and Chinkiang, it falls into the Ocean it self, through a great Mouth, in which lies an Island and City well Guarded, and provided with Soldiers and Ships.

The Yellow River, by Strangers so call'd from the colour of the Water, occa­sion'd by the yellowness of the Ground, is nam'd Hoang in the Chinese Lan­guage, and seems at first to be very Morish; but the swiftness and great force of its running makes it appear quite contrary; for with so incredible a swift­ness doth this River run, that no Ships are able to Sail up against its Stream, but are Tow'd along by the main strength of a great number of Track-men: which may proceed from its being contracted within so narrow Bounds; for in some places it is but half a Mile broad, and in others little more; but in length it extends above eight hundred Miles. By this it appears, that this Ri­ver, next to that of Kiang, is the biggest and most famous of all China; and though it is naturally no other than a Foreiner that has invaded the Country, yet doth it not stand in fear of their Laws (which will not permit a Foreiner to live among them) but as their Revenger insults over them, by often laying their Country under Water in a most lamentable manner. The Hills Quenlun, from whence it has its source, are in my opinion the Amazion Hills, being situate not far from the Kingdom of Laor or Tihet; and that which is more, the very Situation of those Places and Countries do demonstrate, that from the same Hills the Rivers Ganges in Cengala, Mesor in Laor, and several other fa­mous Streams, which water the Parts of Sion and Pegu, have their rise: for the Chineses believe, and so report, That there are very many great Rivers Southward, which take their rise from these Hills.

But to return whence we have digress'd; After this Yellow River is pass'd beyond the vast Territories of Sifan and Taniju, which doth not in the least be­long to the Empire of China, it runs before the City Lingao, not far from ano­ther call'd King, in the Province of Xensi, in the Empire of China, to the place where the Great Wall (made to prevent the Invasions of the Tartars) reaches to­ward the East, which it likewise washes; Then it runs with great fury, as well toward the North as the East, by one side of the vast Wilderness call'd Samo, at least two thousand Furlongs, and then turns toward the South, where it passes through the Gate Se, which is in the Wall, and so divides the two Provinces of Xensi and Xansi: Thence it runs into several other Provinces, whereof I have formerly made mention in the Description of our Iourney to Peking. The Water of this Yellow River is very thick and muddy, the Pople re­port it will not grow clear in a thousand years; and therefore when they speak of any difficult Undertaking, they use as a proverbial Speech among them to say, When the Yellow River is clear. But notwithstanding this Report of theirs, it is well known, that the Sea-men which frequent this River have an Art to [Page 205] make the Water clear, by flinging Allom into it, which being dissolv'd there­in, makes the Mud sink to the bottom.

Of Water-Shoots and great Falls of Water.

IN the Province of Xansi, near to Pingiao, is a great Fall of Water, which makes such a noise, that it is heard some Miles distant.

In the Province of Kiangsi, hard by the Chief City Nanchange, is the Moun­tain Pechang, which signifies The Mountain of a hundred Rods, because the Waters there run so far with great impetuousness.

In the River Chuem, which runs near to Xunking, through steep and cragged Rocks, are thirty six great Water-falls, which continually rore with a most hi­deous noise.

Near to the tenth Principal City of this Province, is a River call'd Xemuen, or Heng, which runs with great boisterousness from a Water-shoot that falls into it.

The River Yao in its Passage by the City Liniao, makes so great a noise, as if it Thunder'd.

From the Mountain of Taye are Cataracts that fall with great force, at least four hundred Rods.

Near to the City Tau, is so plentiful a Water-fall, that it has caus'd a Mere or Lake.

Near to the Chief City of Choxang is a River call'd Xangyung, wherein is so great a fall of the Waters, that when at any time a Stone is but flung into it, it causes Rain and Thunder; which may well be esteem'd a Prodigy.

Near to the City Hoeicheu lies the River Singan, which has at least three hun­dred and sixty Water-shoots falling into it, between Vales and Rocks.

In the Province of Fokien, near the City Tingcheu, is a River which runs to Ienping, which hath many of these Water-falls, and dangerous Sands and Rocks, insomuch that when any Vessels Sail down with the Stream, the Skippers, to avoid Shipwrack, fling out great Bundles of Straw beforehand, which stop­ping against the Rocks, preserve the Vessels that strike against them from beating themselves in pieces.

Near to the City Kiegan lies the River Can, where the dangerous Rocks call'd Xetapan take their rise; it is very hazardous to Sail down the River from this City, by reason of blind Cliffs and Sands, which have destroy'd many Vessels; for the Sands are not easily discoverable, the River running with great swiftness over them; and therefore whatever Skippers Sail that way, take with them always an expert Pilot from this City.

Near to the City Ce lies the River Tan, which signifies Red, because the Wa­ter thereof looks like Blood. They report, that this Water was formerly very clear and white, but that it receiv'd this colour by means of one Pei, a very faithful Governor of his Country, who for some reasons unknown kill'd him­self upon the side of this River, and ever since the Waters have retain'd a bloody tincture.

There runs a River before the small City Cu, in the Province of Suchue, call'd The River of Pearls, for that in the Night it glitters and sparkles as if it were full of Precious Stones. Also before the City of Iungcheu runs the River Siang, whose Water is of a Crystal clearness, so that though it be several Fathoms deep, yet one may see plainly any thing that lies at the bottom.

[Page 206] Near to Foming runs a small River from the Mountain Talao, the Water whereof turns blue in Harvest; at which time the Inhabitants wash their Clothes in the same, to give them that colour, which it doth with as good ef­fect as any artificial Dyer could do.

The River Kiemo, near to Paogan, is said to have such an occult Quality, that it will bear no Vessel of Wood, but as soon as it comes upon it, it sinks as sud­denly as if it vanish'd in the Air.

The like is the River Io, near to Kancheu, which is therefore call'd The Weak River, because it will bear nothing that is heavy.

Near to Chingtien, upon the Mountain Cucai, is a small River, whose Waters are very sweet and well scented.

Near to Choxan is the River Cungyang, whose Water takes Spots and Stains out of all sorts of Cloths, and is so naturally cooling to the Air, that it tem­pereth the Heat of Summer; and therefore the Emperors of China have built a Palace over this River, to which they frequently resort, to avoid the extraor­dinary Heats.

The River Kinxa, or The River of Gold, is so nam'd, because the Inhabitants find great quantities thereof in the same.

Near to the City Pezan runs the River Che, but more peculiarly call'd Ho­anglung, that is, The Yellow Dragon; for the Inhabitants fancy, that they saw a yellow Dragon therein in the time of the Race of Hana.

The River Siangyn, which runs before Mielo, is famous, because it was the occasion of the observation of the Feast Tuonu, which is observ'd and kept through all China upon the fifth Day of the fifth Month, in memory of a cer­tain faithful Governor, who drowned himself in this River, to prevent some Traitors that were plotting to take away his Life; he being a Man well be­lov'd by the People over whom he Rul'd, they to this day, as an honor to his Posterity, and to continue his Fame, make great Entertainment.

In the Province of Kiangsi, near to the City of Vucheu, runs the River Lieu­fan, from whence the Chineses fetch the Water which they use in Hour-glasses, in stead of Sand, because this Water is of all others the least subject to altera­tion either of Time or Weather.

Near to Kiegan is a River call'd Senting, which signifies A Pipe or Flute, be­cause the Water running very swift through Cliffs and stony places, makes a very musical and delightful noise.

Near to Xincheu is the River Xo, which doth infallibly cure several sorts of Diseases.

In the Province of Chekiang, near the Chief City of Hangcheu, runs a River, which in regard of its Course, is call'd sometimes Che, sometimes Cientang, and in some Places Cingan. This River causeth upon the eighteenth Day of the eighth Month, such a very high Tide before this City, that it extremely puz­zles the Philosophers themselves to find out the meaning, or give the reason thereof; for upon that Day the Water riseth Higher than at any other time of the Year: by reason of which so very famous is this Day, that the whole City about four a Clock makes toward the River to behold the wonderful Operation.

Of Springs, Wells, and Fountains.

IN Chinting, the fourth Chief City of the Province of Peking, lies a Mere, which hath its rise from two Springs; the Waters of the one are very hot, the other cold, and yet they lie but at a small distance asunder.

Upon the Hill Ganlo, near to the City Iungchang, is a Stone in the form of a Mans Nose, and from his Nostrils arise two Springs, whereof the one is warm, the other cold.

In Tengcheu, the Chief City of the Province of Xantung, is a Spring call'd Hanuen, which is a Miracle in Nature, for it bubbles forth Water both hot and cold at the same time, which separate and divide themselves.

In the Province of Xensi, in the City of Lincheng, is a Fountain as clear as Crystal, being scarcely five Foot deep, yet the top thereof is very cold, but the bottom so hot, that there is no enduring to touch it with ones Foot.

In the Province of Quangsi is a Spring, the one half whereof is clear, and the other muddy; although any Person take of the Waters and mingle them, yet nevertheless they immediately part and divide, each receiving presently their former Colours.

Near to Iungping is a Spring whose Water is so hot, that it will boil an Egg.

Near to the City Hiqoy is a Hill call'd Caotung, upon which are several warm Baths and hot Springs.

Near to Iungcheng is a Hill call'd Gailo, upon which is a very deep Well, which serves the Inhabitants, by observation of its rise or fall, for a sign of a fruitful or barren Year.

There are several other Springs and Waters in many other Places of China, which are very remarkable for their Qualities, and have great esteem among them, because they have had sufficient experience of their Vertues; wherewith we shall no longer detain the Reader, but proceed to what follows.

Of Hills and Mountains.

VEry curious, and indeed nice, even to Superstition, are the Chineses in the choice of Hills; for they say and believe all their Fortune depends upon it, being places inhabited, as they imagine, by Dragons, unto whom they attribute the cause of all their good Fortune: And for this cause, when any of them intend to erect a Tomb (which is generally done among the Mountains by rich People) they diligently examine the shape and nature of the Hill for its situation, and are very sollicitous to discover a happy piece of Earth; and such they esteem so which has the resemblance of the Head, Tail, or Heart of a Dragon; which once found, they imagine that according to wish, all things shall go well with their Posterity. And this Fancy is so gene­rally prevalent with them, that there are many who profess the Art of telling Fortunes by the form of Hills.

In the Description of Hills and Mountains, I shall not only mention their largeness, heighth, &c. but likewise their Nature, Shape, Form, and the Beasts that live upon them.

[Page 208] The Mountain Lungciven, near to Kungyang, is about two Miles and half big.

Suming, near to Xaohing, fills a place of seven Miles and a half.

Lofeu, near to Polo, is in its circumference eighteen Miles and a half.

Tiengo, near to Pinkiang, is thirty one Miles in extent; so also is the Moun­tain Quanghia near to Nanking.

The Heng, near to Hoenyuen, is fifty Miles large.

The Yen begins at Iotyen, and teaches sixty three Miles in length.

At Kinhoa, near to Yu, lies the Mountain Kiming, which is the largest in ex­tent of all the Mountains of China.

The Ximus, near to Taigan, is three Miles and a half high: It is said, that upon the top thereof, at the first Crowing of the Cock, the Sun may be seen to rise.

The Tientai is five Miles high.

The Vempi, in the Province of Queicheu, reaches with its top above the Clouds.

At Sintien lies the Mountain Pie, which is the highest of all Hills, and rea­ches far above the Clouds.

Near to the City Xefan lies the Mountain Tafung, which seems to touch the very Skies.

Near to Cangki is a very high Mountain call'd Iuntai, which they entitle The Throne of Heaven.

The Hocang is so high, that it ascends ten thousand Foot above the Earth, and never any Rain or Snow was seen to fall upon it.

The Kiming, near to the City Yn, requires nine days Travel to the top of it.

In Quangsi, near the City Ieyang, lies the Mountain Paofung, whose top rea­ches to the very Clouds, and yet hath a Stone House built upon it.

There are very many other wonderful Hills and Mountains in the Provin­ces of China, which we shall omit to mention for brevity sake, and shall pro­ceed to speak of their Shapes and Nature.

The Hills of Umuen show as if they hung in the Air.

In the Province of Quangsi is a Hill which bears the shape of an Elephant.

The Mountain Utung resembles the shape of a Man standing upright, with his Head bowing downward.

Near to Paoki is a Hill call'd Chincang, whose concave parts are such, that before stormy Weather or Thunder it will rore in so fearful a manner, that the noise may be heard two Miles.

Near to Sinyang is a very high and pleasant Hill, whose top against Rain is always cover'd with a Cloud.

Near to Pingchai lies the Mountain Pequi, of which it has been observ'd, that the melting of the Winter Snow upon its top is a sign of a plentiful Year; but if it continues all Summer unmelted, it is a bad sign.

Upon the Mountain Kesin, near to the Garrison-Cities, it is extraordinary cold.

Near to Nanking is a great Hill nam'd Quanglin, which in the fairest Weather is always so very much cover'd with Clouds, that it is hardly to be seen at any little distance.

Near to Xaicheu lies the Mountain Lingfung, upon which if any Rain do fall in the day-time, a great flame of Fire appears in the Night, but in dry Wea­ther there is seen no such appearance.

[Page 209] The Mountain Hoo is call'd The Fiery Mountain, because in the night-time cer­tain Lights appear upon the same, as so many burning Candles: Country People speak them to be a sort of Glow-worms, which creep out of the River by Night, and shine after this manner.

Near to Munghoa lies the Mount Tienul, call'd The Ear of Heaven, famous for a notable Echo.

The Mountain Quan is stor'd with brave Hawks and Kites, which the Great Ones use for their Recreations.

The Chinese Historians relate, That near to Sinfung lies a very great Hill, upon which such wild Beasts and Men live, whose likes are not to be found in any other Place.

Upon the top of the Hill Fungcao (as is said) the incomparable and seldom seen Phenix hath her Nest, under which is found an extraordinary Precious Stone.

In the Province of Xensi, upon the Mountain Holan, is a great Race of wild Horses; and upon that of Liniao breed several wild Oxen, Tygers, and other Creatures.

In the Province of Chekiang, upon the Mountain Cutien, an incredible thing to be told, are Tygers who have left off their fierceness, the nature of the Soil being of that Quality, that if any are brought thither wild from other Places, they become tame in a short time: the same thing happens to Snakes.

Near to Cinyven, in the Province of Iunnan, is the Mountain Nilo, where is great abundance of Tygers and Leopards.

In the Province of Suchue, near to Cungkiang, upon a Mountain call'd To­yung, are Monkies which very much resemble a Man.

Near to the City Changcheu lies the Hill Cio, upon which is said to lie a Stone of five Rod high, end eighteen Inches thick, which of its self rolls and moves up and down against foul Weather.

Near to Lioyang, upon the Mountain Yoinea, which signifies The Mountain of the Rich Woman, is to be seen a Statue of a very beautiful Woman, not made by Art, but grown there naturally.

Near to the City Iengan, in a certain hollow place of the Mountain Ching­leang, is to be seen a whole Herd of strange Idols, to the number of above a thousand, being Images cut out of one hard Stone, and made by the Command of a King, who liv'd all his Life here in solitariness.

Near to Vucheu, upon the Hill Vangkiu, stands a strange Image, in shape and proportion resembling a Man, but attended with this peculiarity, that according to the several tempers of the Air, it receives several colours; by the change whereof the Inhabitants know whether they shall have fair or foul Weather.

The Emperor Xius employ'd five thousand Men to dig a Passage quite through the Mountain Fang; for he had heard of the before-mention'd de­ceitful Mountain-gazers, who promise to foretel every Persons Destiny by the shape of the Hills; some of whom had given out, That they foresaw by this Hills shape, that another Emperor should reign; wherefore Xius, to fru­strate his approaching Fate, caus'd this Hill to be cut through to alter its shape.

Near to the City Cing, upon the Mountain Loyo, stands the Statue of a great Lion, out of whose Mouth gushes Water continually.

Near to the City Xeu, in the Province of Nanking, upon the Hill Cuking, was [Page 210] found a great lump of Gold, which they say had the Vertue of curing several Diseases.

The Hill Kieuquan is call'd The Hill of seven Palaces, because the Sons of King Cyugan caus'd seven Palaces to be built upon it, in which they resided, and stu­died several Sciences.

The Hill Lin, near to the City Tauleu, is very famous for the expert Archery of one Hevyus, who in this place shot seven Birds flying, one after another.

Near to the City Ceu is the Mountain Changping, very much noted for the Birth of the great and admir'd Philosopher Confutius. Here also may be seen the Ruins of some City or Town that formerly stood upon it.

Near to the City Kioheu lies the Hill Fang, not a little frequented, by rea­son of the Tomb of the Ancestors of Confutius.

The Hill Kieuchin, near to Hanyang, has its Name from nine Virgins that were Sisters, and liv'd thereon, studying Chymistry.

Near to the City Cu lies the Mountain Cu, where Report says King Ci bu­ried much Gold; and afterwards, because he would not have it discover'd, put to death all those that were employ'd in hiding it; but by chance a young Son of one of the Workmen taking notice of what his Father was doing, and bearing the same in mind, when he came to years of discretion went and took it away, with the cause of his Father's Death felicitating his own Life.

Upon certain high Hills of the Province of Suchue, where it borders upon the Province Honan, lies a Kingdom call'd Kiug, absolute of it self, and no ways subject to the Emperor's of China; only upon the account of Honor, and the maintaining of a good Correspondence, the King thereof receives from the Chinese Monarch his Crown and Scepter. These High-land People will in no wise suffer the Chineses to come amongst them, and very hardly to speak to them. The People of this Kingdom are the Issue of them who fled out of the Pro­vince of Huquang, to avoid the Outrages of the Enemy of the Race of Cheva, and betook themselves to these high Mountains for safety, where ever since their Posterity hath continu'd, possessing innumerable brave Vales, and in­comparable good Lands, which are secur'd against the Invasion or Inroads of any Enemy.

Upon some of the Mountains in China are great store of wild People, who by reason of the narrow and difficult Passages to them, are not to be brought under Subjection to the Emperor, notwithstanding great Endeavors have been us'd to effect the same.

Of Mines of all sorts, as Metals, Stones, &c.

VVIthin the spacious Continent of this Empire, and chiefly upon the Mountains, are found many rich Mines, as well of Silver and Gold, as other Metals, in great abundance; yet to dig for Gold or Silver out of any of them, is forbid, although it remains free for any Person to seek for Gold upon the sides and Banks of Rivers, where the same is also found in great quantities, with which all the Country drive their Trade, by Bartering and Exchanging it away for other Commodities.

Upon the Mountain Yocheu is digg'd up a green Stone, which being beaten [Page 211] to Powder, affords the Painter a most delicate Vert. There are also several excellent Stone Quarries, among which, some of Marble, whereof they make Tables, and other curious Ornaments for their Houses, it having such strange, yet natural Veins, that by their concentring, the shapes of Hills, Waters, Trees, Flowers, are so admirably figur'd upon the same, as if the most exqui­site Artist of the World had depicted them with his Pencil.

In the Province of Peking is found very clear white and red Marble, as also Touchstones, and several other sorts of Stones, which for colour and hardness are much valued. And upon the Mountain Xaitung, in the Province of Xansi, the Iasper of several colours is found; as also in Xensi, upon the Hill Io, are very clear Stones, which for their lustre and sparkling resemble Diamonds.

Out of Mount Kiun is digg'd red Marble.

In Suchue, on Mount Tiexe, grows a Stone, which being burnt in the Fire, yields Iron very fit to make Swords.

The Hill Cucay, near Chingtien, brings forth Trees and Stones red of colour; and in the Province of Huquang, all the Products of the Hill Hoan (which sig­nifies The Yellow Hill) even to the Earth and Stones, are of a Gold colour.

There are several other Hills which produce strange and Precious Stones, as the Hill Xeyen, so nam'd, because after Rain there are found Stones upon the same resembling Swallows. Many other produce variety of Stones, held in great Esteem by reason of Experiments which have been made of them in the cure of several Diseases, as all sorts of Agues, Fevers, Calentures, &c. And as in some places are such variety of rare and Physical Stones, so in others are Earth and Medicinal Drugs; namely,

In the Province of Quangsi, near to the City Cincheu, is digg'd up a certain yellow Earth, which is a powerful Antidote against all manner of Poison.

In the Iurisdiction of Huquang there are several Places where they gather great store of Manna, which the Natives take for frozen Dew.

In the Province of Xansi, upon the Mountain Tape, they dig up a certain Earth so red, that they use it for Vermilion to Print their red Seals; whereas upon the Mountain Nieuxu the Earth is so white, that it is us'd by the Women in stead of Paint; for being dissolv'd in Water, it strangely embellisheth the Face which is wash'd therewith. Here also they have Mines of Coals, which are like those in Europe.

There is also in divers Places throughout the whole Empire, a certain sort of Lime, which they press from the Bark of a Tree, being tough, and sticking like Pitch; of this, which I suppose I may call a Gum, they make a certain sort of Paint, wherewith they colour all their Ships, Houses, and Houshold-stuff, which makes them to shine like Glass; and this is the reason that the Houses in China and Iapan glitter and shine so bright, that they dazle the Eyes of such as behold them. This Paint also lays a shining colour upon Wood, which is so beautiful and lasting, that they use few or no Table-cloths at their Meals; for if they spill any Grease, or other Liquor upon the Table, it is ea­sily rubb'd off with a little fair Water, without loss or damage of Colour.

Of Roots, Herbs, Flowers, Reeds, Trees, and Fruits.

THE vast and large Territories of this Empire, which reach not only very far from East to West, but also from South to North, occasion­eth that in no part of the Universe so great a variety of Fruits is pro­duced; the true and natural cause whereof is the several tempers of the Air (which must of necessity be granted in so immense Territories) it being by ex­perience known, that some grow best under a hot Climate, others under a cold, and some under a well temper'd Air; all which are to be found in this Country.

The Learned among themselves have describ'd at large in their Books what each Province doth produce; by the view whereof, and other particular Re­lations, this may be affirm'd for truth in general, That all things necessary for the sustenance of Man, as well as for delight, are to be had there in great abun­dance, without being beholden to their Neighbors. And thus much I dare from my own knowledge affirm, That whatever is to be had in Europe, is like­wise found in China; and if in truth there want any thing, Nature hath supply'd that single defect with divers other things beyond those we have in Europe. Now that it may be obvious to every Understanding, with what a copious Harvest of Fruits and Vegetables mild Nature has bless'd this Empire, and the Inhabitants thereof, I shall briefly discourse thereof as followeth.

In Iungping (the Chief City of the Province of Peking) grows a very excel­lent Root, and of great esteem, call'd by them Ginseng, but by the Islanders of Iapan, Nisi: The reason of the Chinese Name seems to be deriv'd from its shape, in regard it artificially resembles a Man; It is not much unlike to the Man­drake of Europe, only it is much less; neither do I much doubt but it is a sort of Mandrake, in regard it has the same shape and vertue. This Root being dried is yellow of colour, and sweetish of taste; but being chew'd, it seems to be mingled with a little bitterness: it is a great enlivener of the Spirits of a Man, and therefore such as are of an hot and strong Constitution, endanger their Lives by using it, in regard of its strengthning Nature and Quality; whereas Persons weak and feeble through Sickness or otherwise, find great ad­vantage in the use thereof; for such is the soveraign Vertue of this Root, that it has recover'd some that were brought to Deaths door; for which its most rare Qualities it is become of so great Price, that it is commonly sold for thrice its weight in Silver.

This Root also hath made notable the City of Leao, in the Province of Xansi; which Province produces abundance of incomparable medicinal Roots and Herbs, especially Rhubarb, which doth not grow wild, as some report, but is rais'd and increas'd with great care and diligence: The Root is not hollow, but very firm and knotty, the leaves thereof in some sort resembling our Cab­bage-leaves, but much bigger. The Chineses make a Hole through the Roots, and hang them to dry in the shade; for the Sun-beams extract their Vertue from them. From hence, and from Suchue, comes for the most part all the Rhubarb which is brought into Europe by Sea, or through the Kingdoms of Cas­car, Tebet, Mugor, and Persia. Ignorant therefore altogether are they in Affairs,

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that will have Rhubarb to grow in those Parts, whereas in truth we only re­ceive it from thence; b [...]t they buy it of the Chineses, and drive a Trade there­with into Europe.

In Queicheu, near to Liping, grows the best Root of China; there is of two sorts, the true and counterfeit, yet both natural; the true grows near to this City, and in other Places the counterfeit, or, to speak more properly, the wild Root, and is that which is brought generally into Europe: It is of a red­dish colour within, but neither so big, nor of so great Vertue as the true, which grows and increases under Ground, almost after the manner of Potatoes in India, and especially in old Pine-tree Woods, from whence they say this Root proceeds, first of all from the Gum or Iuice of the Pine-tree, which falling upon the Ground, takes Root, and brings forth an Herb, which by degrees spreads it self upon the Earth, and grows under Ground with knotty Roots, in shape, bigness, and colour, not unlike to the Indian Coco-Nuts, but thinner and softer, which they use in several Medicines. This Root was first known in Europe in the Year 1535. when the Chineses brought the same to be sold in the City of Goa in India; and although the like Root may grow in other parts of India, as also in the West-Indies, yet is it much inferior in goodness to that of the East; the best whereof is tastless, heavy, sound, and firm.

This Root hath a particular Vertue, according to the Relation of Garcias, for the Cure of the Spanish Pox, and is soveraign against the Itch, Tremblings, Aches, Gout, &c. It is also very good for a weak Stomach, Headache, the Stone in the Bladder proceeding from Cold.

Acosta gives this Description of the China Root, That whosoever useth the same for the cure of the Pox, may eat all manner of Food, either Flesh or Fish, without any hurt to themselves, or to the Operation of the Medicine; which by the Chineses and Indians is thus us'd: They take two Ounces of the Root, and half an Ounce of Parsly, and boyl it in two Quarts of Water, to a third part, which they reserve in a Pot for use; and when any are sick, they drink a good Draught, and then go and lie down upon their Bed, covering themselves warm; two hours before Supper they drink another Draught: but for their daily Drink they take it cold. Some take every Morning and Evening the fourth part of an Ounce of it beaten small, and p [...]t into Wine; which is so

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innocent in operation, that they may go abroad about their Affairs without any inconvenience.

Here grows also great store of Ginger in this Country, so purely, and with such celerity, as exceeds all in other Countries; though it is true, in several other Parts there is great store of Ginger to be had, as at Bengala, and upon the Islands Molucco, &c. which is for the most part brought into Europe. Of this Root there are two sorts, Male and Female; which last is smaller of Leaf and Root than the first; the Leaves are very like those of Reed, so that whosoever never saw any Ginger grow, would take them to be Reeds. The Leaves of the Male sort, through which run some greater Sinews or Veins, rise not much higher than three Foot above Ground: The Roots are of several weights and bigness, whereof some have the length of four Spans, full of Knots, and shoot­ing not deep into the Ground, but like Reeds grow upon the surface of the Earth, and are digg'd out of the Ground when the Leaves are wither'd, which is about the middle of Summer: when they take them up, they break off a piece, and fling it into the Ground again for an increase. The Roots fresh ta­ken up, by reason of their abounding moisture, are not so hot of taste as the dried, which are laid a little into the Sun to harden; thus prepar'd, they fling Mold or Clay upon them, to prevent them from being Worm-eaten, which this Root is very subject to; it increases very fast, as do all other Spices which grow in such Places as lie near the Sea. And though the Chineses and others Plant Ginger amongst the rest of their Herbs, yet however it grows also wild, but falls short of the goodness of that which is cultivated. When they intend to prepare this Commodity for Sale, they first pare it, and then put it imme­diately into Pickle or Vinegar for an hour or two; afterwards they take it out, and lay it in the Sun to dry for the like space; then they take it again into the House, put it up into a dry place, and there let it lie till all the moisture is drawn out; which done, they put it into Pickle, with good store of Sugar: And this kind of ordering makes it pleasant to the Pallat, and abates much of its heat. And this is generally known by the name of Green-Ginger, which as a Sallet is us'd by the Chineses among other Herbs. It is very soveraign for several Distempers, as pain in the Belly, Cholick, Flux, &c. but Persons of a hot Constitution ought to use it moderately, it being apt to inflame the Blood.

[Page 215] Most of the Provinces of China abound as well in all manner of Eatable, as Medicinal Herbs. We will descend a little to Particulars.

In the Province of Xensi, near to the chief City Kingyang, grows a Herb call'd Kinsu, which for its resemblance to a Tuft of yellow Hair, the Chineses call The Golden, or The Gold Thred of Silk-Worms; it is of a bitter taste, and ra­ther of a cooling then warming Quality; it cures all manner of Scurf of the Body.

Here also grows another Herb call'd Quei, good against Melancholy, and occasioning joy and gladness of Heart, if taken inwardly.

Near to Cingcheu, in the Province of Quantung, lie some Islands, wherein grows an Herb call'd Lungsiu, which makes Horses strong and swift if they eat of the same.

Also near the same City grows The Herb of a thousand years, so commonly call'd; but they farther affirm of it, That it is immortal, and never dies. The Water wherein the same has been infus'd, being drank, makes white Hair black, and is very good to prolong Life. There are besides these several other incomparable Herbs, which are us'd amongst them for the cure of Distempers of all sorts.

In the Kingdom of Tanyeu grows a certain Herb very high amongst the Rocks, which will not burn when flung into the Fire, and there kept for some time; only it will turn a little red, but as soon as out of the Fire, presently recovers its pristine and natural colour; yet although it resist Fire, it immedi­ately turns to Dirt being put into Water.

In the Province of Quantung, near to Kiunchen, grows the Herb Chifung, so call'd, because it shews which way the Wind blows; the Seamen say they can discover by the same what stormy Weather they shall have, before they go to Sea.

In the Province of Quangsi, near to Chincheu, the Inhabitants make a kind of Cloth of a certain Herb call'd Yu, which is esteem'd far before Silk, and much dearer.

But in the Province of Queicheu, near to Liping, they make Cloth of an Herb very like Hemp, and call'd Co; which is very commodious in Summer.

The Chinese Physicians say, That upon the Mountain Tiengo grow above a hundred sorts of Simples, all of very soveraign Vertues.

But amongst all others, China is famous for an Herb call'd Thea or Cha, and whereof the Natives and other neighboring People make their Liquor call'd Thea or Cha, taking its Name from the Herb.

Of all the Places in China, this Herb grows fastest, and in greatest abundance, in the Province of Nanking, near to the City of Lucheu: and indeed the same is only found in China, Siam, and Iapan: The Leaves thereof are very like those of Sumack; and that this is a sort of Sumack none need to doubt: however it springs not wild, but by manuring; 'tis neither Tree nor Herb, but a Bush or Shrub: they Plant it upon little Hills three Foot asunder, and it grows as high as a Rose-tree: the Branches thereof are full of Flowers, and thin Leaves of a dark green colour, which though they differ not in shape, yet they are of several sizes; for upon one Shrub are at least five several degrees in bigness; the first and biggest grow upon the lowermost Sprigs; next to them follow those of the next size, and are lesser than the first, and so by degrees grow all the other sorts. But so much as these Leaves decrease upward in bigness, so much the more they increase in Price; for a Pound of dried Leaves of the first

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bigness is worth five Shillings; those of the second, ten Shillings; of the third, ten Guilders; of the fourth, fifteen Gilders; and of the fifth and last big­ness, fifty, yea, sometimes a hundred and fifty Guilders a Pound, if well pre­par'd. Upon the Branches grow small green Buds, which produce little Flow­ers with white Leaves, yellow within, and in bigness, fashion, and colour, very like the Flower of Sweet-Briar, but different from it in smell. After the Flow­ers are shed, there remains a Husk which contains a blackish Seed, which be­ing sow'd in the Ground, brings forth the third year new Bushes, from whose Leaves is gather'd every year a rich Harvest, and that in such Places where it Rains and Snows, as it doth in Europe; so that it is probable enough that there might be Bushes rais'd from that Seed, if it were sown in some shady fruitful European Soil. It is full of spreading Roots, which run but shallow in the Ground, and are good for nothing; but the Leaves they gather every day, and drying them in the shade, preserve them for their Drink, which they use in stead of Beer, not only at Tables, but upon all Visits and Entertainments; and which is more, whosoever has any thing to dispatch in the Palaces of the Grandees, is Presented as soon as he is seated with a Cup of this Liquor, which is always drunk, or rather supp'd off hot, according to the fashion of the anci­ent Romans, who esteem'd more of warm than cold Water. If at any time this Liquor proves bitter to the taste, they mingle a little Sugar with it, and drink it to drive away drowsiness: But such especially find the benefit thereof who have overcharg'd their Stomachs with eating, or discompos'd their Brains with too much strong Drink: for it is a very great drier of gross Humors, and dispels Vapors, occasioning sleep; it strengthens the Memory, but in­creases Gall, if drank in too great a quantity: In brief, they extol the Ver­tues of this Drink infinitely, and attribute their not having the Stone or Gout to this (as they term it) Most noble Drink; which we may believe the rather, because in all our Iourney forward and backward, we met with none that were afflicted with these Distempers.

There is a very great difference in the manner of preparing and using this Liquor, between the Chineses and those of Iapan; for that the Iapanners beat the Leaves to a Powder, and mingle it with boiling Water in a Cup, which they afterwards drink off: But the Chineses put the Leaves whole into a Pot of [Page 217] boiling Water, which having lain in steep for some time, they sip off hot, with­out swallowing down any of the Leaves, but only the Quintessence thereof extracted. Others prepare it with Milk and a little Salt mingled with Water, which is not so well approv'd; but however prepar'd, it is not only drunk in China, and other Parts of India, but is much us'd likewise in divers other Coun­tries; and the general consent of all People, that they find much good by it, enhances the Price, and makes the same be sold here at a very dear Rate.

In Xensi, near the City Hacheu, is great store of Hemp; but no Flax grows in all the Empire.

In Kiangsi, near the City Kienchang, grows a sort of Rice, so far exceeding the rest for goodness, that the Emperor himself sends for his own Stores from thence; and for its excellency the Chineses call it Silver-Cron.

In Xensi, near the City Kingyang, grows another sort of Rice, us'd by the People to purge the Body, and cause Urine.

In the Province of Chekiang, upon the Mountain Tienno, near the City Hang­cheu, grow Mushroms in great abundance, which are dispersed into all Parts of the Country, and will keep good a whole year, either dried or Pickled.

This Country produces abundance of Cottons, the Seed whereof was brought thither about five hundred years since: And though this Fruit doth likewise grow in other Parts at present, as in Arabia, upon the Islands of Cy­prus, Maltha, in Sicily, and in Egypt, I think it not amiss (since it is one of the most profitable Commodities for Trade in China) to give this brief Descripti­on thereof: It grows upon a Stalk almost three Foot high, cover'd with a reddish Bark, and full of Prickles, dividing it self into several Branches. The Leaves are not much unlike those of the Vine, and divided into three Parts, which for bigness may be compar'd with those of the Mast-Tree: It bears a Flower which is yellow on the outside, and red in the middle, from which pro­ceeds a round Fruit, about the bigness of an Apple, wherein, when it is ripe, the Wool lies conceal'd, which is afterwards gather'd, sold, and dispos'd of to several Uses.

The Leaves of the Cotton-Tree are generally alike, onely here and there some are smoother, softer, and more even than others.

In some places of China Beans may be seen growing upon Trees, a sort of which near the City Changchang are reputed good against Poison.

The Province of Quantung produces abundance of Osiers, which seem to be no other than Ropes twisted together by Nature; of which there are whole Mountains full in this Province, which are put by the Inhabitants to divers Uses: and in regard they are very tough, and will not easily break, they make sometimes Cordage thereof for Vessels; but their best use is to make soft Mat­tresses, upon which most of the People, the Grandees, and the Emperor him­self lay themselves naked when they go to sleep. Very neat and clean is this Furniture, and withal very cool in the Summer; and though the Mattresses be only spread one the bare Floor, yet they look upon it as a fit place to lie on, having been no otherwise accustom'd.

The whole Island of Hainan is full of these Osiers, especially of the best, which the Portuguese call The white Rota.

Of Flowers.

THere are several rare and well scented Flowers which grow in these Parts, that are unknown to those of Europe.

In the Province of Suchuen, near to Chungking, grows a certain Flower call'd Meutang, in high esteem amongst them, and therefore call'd The King of Flowers. It differs very little in fashion from the European Rose, but is much larger, and spreads it Leaves farther abroad. It far surpasses the Rose in beauty, but falls short in richness of scent. It has no Thorns or Prickles, and is generally of a white colour, mingled with a little Purple; yet there are some that are yellow and red. This Flower grows upon a Bush, and is carefully cherish'd and Planted in all Gardens belonging to the Grandees, for one of the most choice Flowers.

In the Province of Huquang, near the City Tan, is a great Cataract, which occasions a Mere, wherein grow Flowers of a Saffron colour, whose like are no where else to be seen in all those Countries. Several of these Flowers grow upon one Root, being something bigger than the European Lilly, and much handsomer; for fashion, resembling Tulips: The Leaves of the Stalks are large and round, and drive upon the Water, as the Leaves of the Weeds do in Europe, which at their Season they gather and dry, and make them fit to be us'd by Shop-keepers in stead of Paper, to put up their Wares in. There are in some places whole Pools abounding with these Flowers, which, to say truth, grow not there naturally, but have been sow'd by one or other, for that they are in great request amongst them.

But amongst all others, the Chinese Rose must deservedly take place, which changes colour every day twice; for one time its all Purple, and another time as white as Snow; and were the scent thereof pleasant or delightful, it might with merit challenge the World for a Peer.

The Chief City of Queicheu, situate in the Province of Quangsi, takes its Name from the Flower call'd Quei; which although it grows in other Parts, yet no where so plentifully as in this Province, and chiefly under the Com­mand of this City: It grows upon a very high Tree, which has Leaves pro­portion'd like them of a Laurel or Cinamon-tree; but the Flowers are very small, yellow of colour, and have a fine smell: After they are once in Flower, they continue a long time blowing, without withering or shedding, or falling from the Tree; and after they have done blowing, the Tree shoots out again within a Month, and has fresh Flowers, whose colour is so fragrant, that they perfume all those Parts where they grow. The Tartars infuse these Flowers in the Iuice of Lemmons, wherewith they colour the Hair of their Horses: But the Chineses make delicate Confects of them, which are delicious to the taste, and pleasant to the smell.

Near to Kinhoa, in the Province of Chekiang, is a certain Flower, by the Por­tuguese in India call'd Mogorin: It grows upon a very small Tree, is Milk-white, and not unlike to the Iessamy Flower, only it has more Leaves, and exceeds it far for smell; for one Flower is enough to perfume a whole House. This Flower is in very great esteem with them, so that in cold Weather they dili­gently house the Pots in which they grow.

And lastly, near the City Pingyve in Queicheu, grows in great abundance the well scented Iessamy.

Of Reeds.

IN the foregoing part of this Chapter you have had some Examples of the variety of Herbs, Plants, Flowers, &c. produc'd in several parts of China; I shall now say something of the different sorts of Reeds growing there And first,

In Xanhung, near Tengcheu, grows a Reed that is naturally four-square.

In Huquang, near the Mountain, grows a sort of Reed which will last only three years; but like a careful Sire, before it dies it shoots out afresh at the Root: thus every three years renewing by death, and rising again.

In the Province of Nanking, near Hoaigan, is a great Mere, wherein grows very large and high Reeds, greatly esteem'd by the Inhabitants.

In Quanhung, near the City Lochang, upon the Mountain Chang, grows a black Reed, whereof the Chineses make Pipes, and several other things, of as pure a black and shining colour, as if they were made of Ebony.

In the same Province, upon the Mountain Lofen, grows a Reed that exceeds all the rest for length and thickness, the Stalks being at least four Foot thick.

In the Province of Chekiang, near the City of Chucheu, runs a Rivulet, in which grow several sorts of Reed or Cane, as hard as Iron, and oftentimes three Handfuls thick: and although they are hollow, yet are they of strength sufficient to bear a great Burthen without breaking: The biggest grow three or four Rods high; some have green Stalks, others Coal-black: They make a very pleasant shew, not only because of the flourishing Verdure of the Leaves for the most part of the Year, but also because of the several Colours produc'd by the various sorts that grow altogether. Of these, notwithstand­ing their hardness before-mention'd, such as are skilful Artists, and know how to split the same into very thin pieces, make Mattresses, Baskets, Canes, &c. Of the thinner and smaller sort they make Pikes and Lances, which have sharp Irons at the ends. They put them likewise to several other uses, especi­ally for the making of Perspective-Glasses, in regard they are light, straight, thick and firm. The Water that runs from this Reed, when it is laid green up­on the Fire, is found, being taken inwardly, to be very soveraign to drive out of the Body all putrifi'd Blood, occasion'd by Blows, Falls, or otherwise. The young Shoots of it, before they have any Leaves, are boil'd with Flesh like Turnips, and pickled in Vinegar, are kept all the year for Sawce.

The Province of Suchuen produces great store of Sugar-Canes, from whence they draw great quantities of Sugar, and that none of the worst. And though there has grown for a long time great quantities of such Canes in this Pro­vince; yet the Inhabitants never knew how to extract Sugar from them, un­til they were taught by a certain Indian Priest, who accidentally riding with his Ass through a Field of Sugar-Canes, was detain'd by the Owner thereof for spoiling the same, and would not let him pass till he had made satisfaction for what damage he had done; whereupon the Priest, to redeem his Ass, discover'd to that Country-man the way of making Sugar out of those Canes. This Reed or Cane grows very fast upon Morish Grounds, and has Leaves like the Reeds in Europe, shooting six or seven Foot high, and being about two or three Fingers thick, and full of Knots; the Pipes of it are full of white pi­thy substance, out of which they squeeze the Sugar. The manner of increa­sing this Cane us'd by the Chineses, is as follows: The Ground is first plough'd

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up, and laid into Furrows, wherein they Plant the young Shoots, and after­wards fill up the Furrows with Mud. The moister it stands, the better it will thrive, and in a years time to come to perfection; and then they cut down the old, and Plant new ones; but sometimes they let it stand until the second year, which is not much amiss; but if it be not then cut down it will be good for nothing: It will continue for many years, if this course be taken to pre­serve it, and if it be Planted in moist and fertile Earth, and that the Worm get not to the Root; but what of it stands in dry Grounds will hardly conti­nue five years without transplanting.

Amongst these various sorts of Reeds may be comprehended another kind, that grows upon some Mountains in China in great abundance, and is call'd by the Indians, Rotang; but in Europe, Rotting, or Iapan Canes. And though these Canes are us'd in Europe to walk with, yet the young Branches thereof being full of Iuice, are eaten raw by the Chineses. When these Canes are dried, and struck one against another, there will flie Sparks of Fire from them, as from a Flint, and as such they are made use of in some Places of the Indies. This sort of Reed is very tough, and being green, is made use of in stead of Cords to tie or bind any thing withal. The Inhabitants of Iava, Iapan, and other Islan­ders, make therewith Cable for Anchors, which will last longer in salt Water than Ropes made of Hemp; and when any Merchants Ship Trading thither from Europe, need any, they make use of these, they being strong enough to hold the weightiest Anchors. The Fruit of this Rotting or Cane is eatable, and pleasant to the Palate; in form somewhat round, about the bigness of a Ball, having a Shell like a Chesnut, hard, but brittle. Upon every Ioint, from the bottom to the top, sprouts out a small Branch in stead of Leaves, upon which hangs the Fruit in Clusters. Within the Body of this Fruit is a white Kernel, from which they extract an Oyl not only good to eat, but very soveraign in the cure of Wounds, if dress'd therewith; so that the Indian Slaves, if they re­ceive hurt at any time from these Rottings or Canes, wherewith they are wont to be Corrected, they forthwith make use of this Oyl.

Besides these before-mention'd, there are found as well in China as divers other Parts of the Indies, two other different sorts, which are by the Indians [Page 221] call'd Bamboes. The smaller of these is very full of Pith; but the other doth so far exceed all the rest for bigness, that I do not wonder in the least if some Writers, both ancient and modern, have sometimes call'd it a Tree. This kind, call'd Bamboes, grows in Morish or Fenny Grounds, and is very straight; but in its growth they bend it on purpose to prepare it for their use, which ss to make Chairs of, such as they are carried in. Of the Body of this Tree the Chineses sometimes make their Wherries, in which they Row with great swiftness upon the Rivers. The Leaves hereof are somewhat like those of the Olive-Tree.

Of Trees.

THis Empire doth also very much abound with Trees; not only such as grow in Europe, but several others of a more strange nature, not known in these Parts of the World.

In the Province of Suchue, in the small City of Kien, stands a certain Idol-Temple, wherein is a Tree call'd Cieennien, that is to say, The Tree of of a thou­sand years; which is so prodigiously large, that two hundred. Sheep may stand in covert under one Branch of it, without being seen, though you come very near to it.

In the same Province likewise grows a sort of Beans upon a Tree, which are so exceeding hard, that the People, by reason thereof, have given them the Name of Stone-Beans.

In the Province of Huquang grows a Tree, nam'd The Tree of Sleep; for that (as some report) a Branch of this Tree applied to any part of the Body, causes a sweet and pleasant Sleep.

In the Province of Chekiang, near to the small City Singhiang, grow such ex­traordinary large Trees, that fourscore Men are not able to fathom them about: Nay further, there are some of those Trees (ni fallit fama) of that vast bigness, that one Branch will cover at least forty Men.

In the Province of Macao is a Tree by the Portugueses call'd The Iron-Tree, in regard the Wood thereof, both for colour, heaviness, and hardness, resembles Iron, and sinks immediately when put into the Water.

In the Province of Quantung, near Chaoking, grows great store of sweet and well-scented Wood, whereof the Inhabitants make Tables, Chairs, Chests, and the like.

In the Province of Quangsi the Inhabitants make Linnen Cloth of the Leaves of Trees.

In the Province of Chekiang are several Woods consisting of Mulberry-Trees, which the Inhabitants cut every year, that so they may not grow up to any largeness; for they find by experience, that the Leaves of the lower Trees make the best Silk: so that by this only means, all that keep Silk­worms know very well how to distinguish the first Spinning of the Silk from the second, because the first is the product of the soft and tender Leaves, which shoot forth in the Spring, and are then eaten by the Worm; but the hard and sowre Summer-Leaves make the second Spinning; which altera­tion of Food doth occasion so great a difference in the Work of these small Creatures. And such is the infinite abundance of Silks in this Province, that ten Suits of Silk may there be bought cheaper than you can buy one of Cloth here in Europe.

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In the Province of Quangsi, near the City Cincheu, is great store of Cina­mon-Trees, which differs only in this from that of Ceylon, in that it is stronger of scent, and hotter upon the Tongue. The Tree upon which it grows, is about the bigness of an Orange-Tree, and has many long, thick, and straight Branches, whose Leaves have some similitude with those of the Lau­rel: It bears a Snow-white and well-scented Flower, from whence is pro­duc'd a smart sort of Fruit, which being neglected by the People, is eaten up by the Birds and Monkies. From this Fruit drops a Iuice which has the taste of Cinamon, but not so strong: The Wood of the Tree has neither smell nor taste, insomuch that Nature seems to have depriv'd all the parts of this Tree of its Vertue, and only bestow'd it upon its Bark, to raise it to the higher esteem, and draw from thence the greater advantage. This Tree, as all others, has a double Bark; the first is a very pleasant kind, and so thin, that it can­not be distinguish'd from the other, but by its greenness: for afterwards when it is dry, it sticks so fast to the innermost Bark, that it can neither be seen nor tasted, nor peel'd off. The green inward Bark, when this outward Rind is ta­ken off, is slippery and smooth: Being thus peel'd off and cleansed, it is cut into four-square pieces, and laid a drying in the Sun, it is afterwards roll'd up, and put into Barrels, and so Transported into Europe in the same form as we have it, and see it sold in all Parts. After the Bark is peel'd off, the Tree will stand two or three years naked, without getting a new Bark; but after that time the Bark will re-increase, and become fit to be new peel'd. The Inhabitants say, that the Root of this Tree produces a Sap not unlike to Camphire. The Chineses, and likewise those of the Island of Ceylon, distill from the green Bark and the fresh Flowers (almost after the same manner as those of Europe make Cinamon-water) a certain Liquor, which they apply to seve­ral Uses.

In the Island of Ceylon these Cinamon-Trees grow in such abundance, that they supply all parts of the World with their Bark, and would produce more than could be spent, if the Islanders did not sometimes burn whole Woods. But this may be observ'd, That as this Island is very fruitful in the product of Cinamon, so on the other Hand, neither Cloves nor Nutmeg-trees will grow upon it.

[Page 223] In some few Places of China there grow Cloves, Pepper, and Nutmegs, but in small quantities, so that most of those Spices are commonly brought from other Places.

Now in regard it will not be unpleasant to the Readers, to peruse the Na­ture of these Trees and Fruits, I shall declare in a few words what I have ob­serv'd concerning them, whereof no mention has been made by any other former Writer.

The Tree upon which the Cloves grow, is as big as an ordinary Pear-tree, and grows after the same form: The Leaves hang upon long Stalks, and grow sometimes single, and sometimes in clusters: It has several greater and lesser Branches, each whereof end in very thin Shoots, upon whose top grow small Stalks, where sit the Cloves in clusters: within the head of the Cloves grows also a Flower which yields a very pleasant scent, as well as the Fruit, but is much more fragrant in dry Weather than in wet; upon which also depends the fruitfulness or unfruitfulness of it: for in a dry Year there is more Fruit than Leaves upon the Tree. But although extraordinary Heat be the most seasonable Weather for these Trees; yet they do not always yield a like plentiful Harvest; for about the second or third, and sometimes about the seventh Year, the Crop is much worse. The Cloves are first red of co­lour, but afterwards turn black, and are gather'd in the Months of September, October, and November, either with the Hand, or else beaten off with a long Reed: Such as are left upon the Tree grow much bigger than those that are gather'd, and fall off of themselves the next year; which though they are not altogether so sharp of taste, yet are held much dearer, and are us'd for Seed: And this is the reason why the Indians name the same The Mother of Fruits. These Seeds grow up to a compleat Tree in eight or ten years time, and then bear store of Fruit. The Cloves, when they are first gather'd, are blackish, and to make them blacker, they lay them to dry in the Sun; but to preserve them from being Worm-eaten, they lay them to steep a while in salt Water, and then again dry them in the Sun: Being thus prepar'd for keeping, they are Transported into most Parts of the World. And here ob­serve, That though the Clove-trees are only cherish'd for the sake of the Fruit, yet there is an Aromatick soveraign Vertue in the very Leaves, Flowers, and Branches.

I shall not need to say any thing of the Excellency of this Spice, it being so well known to all Persons; only this I shall add, as worthy of observa­tion, because thereby may be understood the subtilty of the Indians, That when they are to sell their Cloves, they will be sure to soke them well before­hand with Water, to make them weigh heavier.

Out of the Flowers and green Cloves the Indians extract a certain Water or Spirit, which is exceeding pleasant of smell, and also very good for several Distempers.

The best Place for these Clove-trees to grow in, are the Molucca Islands, where they are more fruitful than in any other Place, and naturally delight to grow upon high places, and so thick together, that the Sun is not able to pierce through them.

Now observe, That as the Cinamon-tree prospers no where so well as up­on the Island of Ceylon, nor the Clove, as upon the Moluccaes; so the Nutmeg­tree takes the greatest liking to the particular Island of Banda, which is one of the chiefest of the Moluccaes.

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The Tree upon which the ordinary Nutmegs grow, and call'd by the Inhabitants Bongopolu, resembles an Apple or Pear Tree, and springs often­times of it self, without Planting. It is always green, full of Blossoms, and laden with Fruit, whereof some are full ripe, and others but half ripe. The Bark is swarthy, the Wood hollow and pithy, and the Leaves (which grow in Clusters upon the Stalks) are green of colour, thin and smooth, which being rubb'd between the Fingers as they are pull'd from the Tree, do not only smell very strongly fragrant, but retain also, when they are dried, their sharp and strong Aromatick scent and vertue. The Flowers or Blossoms are for big­ness and colour much like the Pear or Cherry-tree, dropping easily off with­out any great scent: The Fruit which succeeds the Blossoms, grows scatter­ing up and down about the Ioynts of the Boughs. When the Blossom is fall'n off, the first Shell of the Nut at the beginning is green, tough, and somewhat thick; but as it grows ripe, it becomes full of yellow and purple Specks. This rough Shell being soon split, the Nut appears, about which sits the Mace in the form of a Net; afterwards, when the Fruit is ripe, this rough Shell falls quite off, in the same manner as the Shell of a ripe Walnut drops off; and then the Mace appears of a delicate red colour, but afterwards turns yellow, and includes that Kernel which we properly call the Nutmeg; so that the Nut­meg is cover'd with three Shells; the outermost green and thick, the middle­most is thinner, of a Gold colour, and very hard; and lastly, the innermost, which is a hard Rind. This Fruit is very much spoil'd and eaten up by Birds, especially a certain kind of white and small Pigeons, whose Flesh being eaten, taste very much of the Mace: They are by those of Europe call'd The Nutmeg-Eaters.

These Trees bring forth Fruit two or three times in a year, which never­theless are not to be gather'd till they are through ripe, lest they should grow light and worm-eaten. When they are first taken out of the Shell or Husk, they are laid a drying in the Sun; then taking off the Mace, they wash the Nutmeg in Lime-water, which preserves it from perishing; insomuch that they may be transported into all Parts of the World without taking any harm. Those Nuts are counted the best which are of an Ash-colour, mixed with [Page 225] white Streaks. It often happens that some Nuts differ from others in bigness and colour, as is to be seen by the Nuts in Europe. Such Nuts as are by the In­dians call'd Palajava, are us'd in Medicines, not amongst their Victuals.

But the Mace that covers the Nutmeg is taken by the Indians before it be through ripe, whilst it is of a very deep red colour, and put into Vinegar and Salt, and so brought to the Table, and eaten before the Meat, to sharpen the Appetite. When the Mace is ripe, it is taken off the Nut and dried in the Sun, and laid up carefully. The Indians say, That as well the Nut as the Mace cures shrunk Sinews, and other Aches of the Body, caus'd by Cold; and for that end every one has Oyl in his House made of the fresh Fruit: And as there comes from the Mace mnch less Oyl than from the Nut, so on the other hand, the Oyl of Mace is much stronger than that of the Nutmeg. The Inhabitants esteem and value the Mace so much higher than the Nut, in regard they can sell the Mace almost fifty times dearer than the Nut. The green and unripe Nuts are put by the Grandees of India into Vinegar or Sugar, and so brought to the Table in stead of a Banquet. And of late years some European Merchants have brought over of these Nuts order'd after this manner, which are us'd not only in Physick, but as a Delicacy. Some put the outward Shell or Husk into Sugar, and prefer it before the Nut, because of its most delicate smell and taste. There is another sort of long Nutmegs, which are by the Indians call'd Pala Metfiri: These are accounted the best by the ordinary People, but without any reason; for though they they are bigger than the round, yet they have not that Aromatick vertue: neither is the Mace of this long Nut in that esteem amongst the Indians (though perhaps of a better colour) as that of the round Nutmeg, there being very little vertue in it; and the very Trees upon which these long Nuts grow, are reckon'd amongst the wild and worst sort, so that the Indians think it not worth their time or trouble to gather them, there be­ing little or no vertue in them. And to say all in one word, the Tree upon which these long Nutmegs grow, differs more in vertue and strength then form or shape from that of the other.

The chiefest sorts of Pepper are two, the one round, and the other long: The round Pepper grows chiefly in some Molucca Islands, as Iava and Sumatra, shooting up very high, and is supported with Poles, as Hops in Europe. If the Seed of this Fruit be sown in a fertile and rich Soil, it will bring forth a very plentiful Harvest in one year; but if sown in a more barren Ground, it will require longer time before it comes to bear. If shoots downwards into the Ground with its Root, which is full of small tough Strings: The outside of the Leaves are of a deep, but the inside of a more pale Green. The Fruit hangs like Currants, only the Branches are much bigger and longer.

The Berries or Pepper-corns are at first green, but grow black of colour as they grow ripe, which is in the Summer-Months. The ripe Berries are ga­ther'd and dry'd in the Sun, which makes the outward Shell so full of shrivles: But when this black Shell is taken off, before it is dry'd in the Sun, it makes another sort of Pepper, which is commonly call'd White Pepper, and is sharper, harder, and pleasanter of taste than the black, and often us'd in India by Persons of Quality in stead of Salt with their Meat. The peeling of this outward black Skin is done when the Pepper is over ripe, and after it has been steep'd in salt Water; for by this infusion the outward Skin aforesaid swells, so that the white Pepper-corns within may be taken out with little or no trouble, which are afterwards dry'd again in the Sun. And if the lazy Indians were not so

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averse to Labor, there might be much more white than black Pepper. And here note, that not only the Berries, which are properly call'd Pepper, have a fiery hot taste, but also the Leaves, and the whole growth, have the same Ver­tue; for when they are chew'd, they burn upon the Tongue, like the Root of Costus and Berethram.

Besides this, there grows in India a sort of long Pepper, call'd by the Indians, Pimpilim, which is never us'd about Meats, but only in Medicines, especially in Treacle and other Antidotes against Poyson: And this seems to be done not without great reason, in regard it has a very great strength, which single Qua­lity makes it to be sold at a dearer Rate than the other. This long Pepper grows in great abundance at Bengala, and is Transported from thence into Europe. In shape (except the Fruit) this Plant is like unto that of the round Pepper, only it either creeps along upon the Ground, or runs up against lower Poles than those of the other Pepper. The Leaves thereof are more ten­der, and of a darker Green, and have long Stalks: There is little difference between these two sorts; that is, the Fruit is gather'd when it is green, and dry'd before it is ripe; and though it is not so hot upon the Tongue when it is first dry'd, yet afterwards by lying, it gathers as great strength, and is as hot of taste as the round Pepper.

The Indians use this in Salves against the Griping of the Guts; and also for an Antidote against Poyson, Giddiness of the Head, &c.

Though the Chineses have an extraordinary opinion of themselves and their Country, and have a very great aversion to all forein Manners and Customs; yet the Inhabitants of some Quarters have learn'd of their Neighbors to chew the Root Betel, the Leaves whereof are generally so us'd by the Indians: It grows after the manner of Pepper, or Hops in Europe, and at a distance can hardly be distinguish'd from Pepper. The Leaves, which hang upon a long Stalk, are very like the Leaves of an Orange-Tree, but not quite so sharp at the ends, smooth, of a dark Green, thin, and full of Veins, and increasing very fast in a well temper'd Soil, but apt suddenly to wither if too much handled. They are in the eating harsh and gravelly, insomuch that when the Leaves are chewing, it is just as if one had so much Sand between his Teeth. These

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Leaves are chew'd in some of the Southern Countries, Mornings, Noons, and Nights. But in regard of their extraordinary bitterness; they mingle one thing or other to sweeten their taste, as Licium, Caphur de Burneo, Aloes, Musk, or some other Spice: and being thus prepar'd, it proves pleasant, and makes a very sweet Breath. In some Places these Leaves are sold very dear, by reason of their frequent use; for whenever they make any Visits, they Treat one ano­ther with Betel, mingled with some pleasant Ingredient to make it agreeable to the Palate. When they use it, they chew first a little Areca, and presently after a Leaf of the Betel, which after it is chew'd a while, yields a Iuyce or Sap as red as Blood, which they spit out; after the red Iuice follows another, which they swallow down. The Indians believe that it is good to preserve their Teeth, and strengthen the Stomach. The Leaves are hot and dry in the second degree. Some esteem the ripe Leaves the best, others the dry ones, be­cause they make the greatest noise when they are chew'd. Notwithstanding this general Custom, at some certain times, to wit, when their near Relations are dead, or upon some Holy-days, they forbear chewing these Leaves.

In some Places of China grows a very wonderful and strange Tree, which by some, because it bears a Fruit like Figs, is call'd The Indian Fig-Tree; but others give it the Name of The Tree of Goa, because it was first found out there by those of Europe, and grows no where so well as upon that Island. This Tree grows up very high with its main Body, and spreads its Branches round about, from which proceed little thin Strings, which hanging down to the Ground, take root, and grow to be young Trees; and thus they sometimes encrease to a large Wood, wherein it is difficult to distinguish which is the Mother of all these Off-sets, but only by the largeness of its Body, which frequently is so thick, that three Men cannot fathom it. When the Inhabi­tants will make a Passage through this Tree, they cut away all the under­growing and smallest Shoots, and so make convenient Places to shelter them­selves in from the Heat of the Sun, whose Beams are not able to pierce it, by reason of its thick growth: Nor is that all; for it is sometimes of so great an extent, that it will afford Covert for 3000 People. The Leaves of the young Branches are very like those of the Quince-tree, and much eaten by the Elephants: they are green on the outside, and whitish on the inside, with a

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little Wool thereon. The Fruit in shape resembles a small Fig, is of a redd [...] colour, and full of Seed, like the ordinary Fig, and as wholesom to eat, but not so pleasant to the taste.

Here grows also in many Places abundance of Coco-Nuts, which the N [...] ­tives call Coquoeiro. The Tree which bears them seldom grows straight, i [...] commonly four or five Foot thick, and above fifty Foot high, with the Roo [...] lying very shallow in the Ground, which causes great admiration how it can be supported so high in the Air, with such a heavy Top, hanging full of large Fruit, against high and stormy gusts of Wind, and not be over-turn'd▪ And indeed this is the more admirable, if it be consider'd, That the lowe [...] part of the Body of this Tree is no thicker than the upper. The Bark of it is of a swarthy colour, and of little use, though sweet and juycie. About the Body of the Tree grows never a Branch; but on the very top of it stand up fifteen or sixteen large Leaves, like a Plume of Feathers, each being about sixteen Foot long, and a Foot thick at the bottom, consisting of several other Leaves, which stand one against another in a row. Between each Leaf on the top of the Tree is a Rent or parting Cleft of two Foot long, which is at first green, afterwards red, and opens of it self. Before this Cleft opens, there appears within a very fine Stem of a Foot long, and three or four Fin­gers thick, with several Branches upon it, upon which grow certain three [...]corner'd Blossoms, as big as Almonds, white of colour, and are the begin­nings of the Flowers and Nuts; for when the Rent breaks open, then the Branches spread, and the yellow Flowers appear. After the Flower is off, the Fruit succeeds, which grows each upon a short Stem, about the bigness of a Goose-quill. The Fruit of this Tree is heavy, hard, and as big as a Man's Head, hanging in Clusters at the top. On the out-side of these Nuts is a thick, stringy, and tough Shell, which, if gather'd green, yields a very pleasant Iuyce, good, being drank fresh, against the Dropsie. When the Nuts are thorow ripe, and dry, the Kernel proves very sweet of taste, and are often eaten by Travellers for refreshment, no Nuts in Europe being to be compar'd with them: and the Sea-men that go long Voyages provide them­selves with these Nuts, which they eat as Medicinal against the Scurvy, and [Page 229] as a Restorative when they are grown weak and faint. It is warm and moist in the first degree; and of the Kernels is made an Oyl, not inferior to that of Almonds for strength and vertue, and is generally us'd in the East and West-Indies, both in Meats and Medicines. Taken inwardly, this Oyl cures the Rup­ture, and most inward Wounds and Bruises. Of the stringy Stuff which grows on the outside of the Shell of these Nuts they make Ropes in several Parts, that will last a long while in salt Water, which is so well known to the Portuguese, that all the Anchor-Cables and other Ropes (which is very observable) us'd about their Kings Ships, are made of this Stuff. A certain Historian, Lucuna by Name, makes mention in one of his Books, that in some Places in India, they weave Carpets of this hairy Stuff that grows about the Shell of the Coco-Nut. Of the hard Shell are made Drinking-Cups, which are often tipt with Gold or Silver. The Leaves serve, and are us'd in stead of Paper; nay, some Indians make themselves Clothes of the same, which will last many years before they go to decay and wear out. The Wood it self is good for, and put to di­vers uses, whereof, in regard others have written at large, I shall omit to make any mention.

Near to Kingyven, in the Province of Quangsi, grows a Tree call'd Areca, brought thither out of India, in shape like that of the Coco-Nut, but not so thick, and has small Leaves: Its Fruit is also call'd Areca, being so hard, that it cannot be parted or divided, but with a Knife or some sharp Instrument.

Of Fruits.

BEsides the Fruits which grow in several Parts of Europe, the Chinese Terri­tories likewise produce yearly a rich Harvest of several other sorts.

In the Province of Quantung grows a sort of Fruit, which by the Chineses is call'd Venku; by the Portuguese, Iamboa; and by the Hollanders, Pompel-Moes. This Fruit grows upon a Tree beset with Thorns, like the Lemmon-tree, but exceeds it for bigness, having a white Blossom, well scented, and whereof they make a sweet Water: The Fruit is much bigger, being generally as large as a Man's Head. The Shell resembles that of the Gold-Apple for Colour. The Pap within is reddish, and sowre-sweet, and tastes as a Grape not ripe, so that they make a sort of Liquor of there, as it is usual in Europe to do of Cherries and Pears.

In the Province of Peking grow very excellent Apples, Pears, Plums, Wheat, and Rye; as also Figs, Grapes, and several other sorts of things; but the In­habitants however make no Wine, being better pleas'd with their Liquor made of Rice, which indeed is very pleasant of taste, and preferr'd by all that Trade there, yea even by those of Europe, before Wine. In Xansi grows a sort of sweet Grape, which doubtless would make very delicate Wine; but the In­habitants dry them to make Raisins of them, which are brought to be sold through all the Country.

In the same Province also grow very large Chesnuts; but in that of Suchue is another sort that will melt in the Mouth like Sugar.

In the Province of Honan grow all sorts of Gold-Apples and Pomegra­nates. But in that of Huquang only one sort, which the Chineses call The Winter-Gold-Apple, because they are ripe in the Winter, and are sweet of taste: There is in Fokien the best sort of them, which differ not much in bigness from the Apples in Europe, but are like unto the Muscate Grape for taste and smell. [Page 230] This Fruit dry'd and confected in Sugar, will keep a whole year, and is a very delicate Sweet-meat.

In the Province of Chekiang drops from the Trees a certain fatness, whereof they make very white Candles, much better than those of Tallow; for they neither foul the Fingers when put out, nor are of an ill smell. The Tree is very large, and in its Leaves and shape is not unlike the Pear-tree in Europe: It has white Blossoms as the Cherry-tree; after the Blossom follows a round Berry as big as a Cherry, but with a brown and thin Skin, under which lies a white Substance, which when the Fruit is ripe, and the Skin bursts, is seen; and then they gather the Berries, and boil them in Water, which when hot, smell like Flesh, but when cold, it feels like Tallow. The Leaves of this Tree are very fat, on which the Sheep and Cows feed, and therewith become fat in a short time.

In the Province of Xantung grows the Apple call'd Sucu, which dry'd as we do Figs in Europe, will keep good a whole year together, and is as a Delicate sold in all Parts of China. It is bigger than the ordinary Apple in this Coun­try, and of a deep red colour: the Kernels do not lie in the middle, but stand upright on one side, being uncertain in the number; for in some there are found ten, fifteen, or more, according as they are in largeness, while in others there are none at all. It is red within, and pleasant of taste when ripe. Here also are some Apples, green of Skin, and hard, and are eaten after the manner as the Apples in England. This last sort of Fruit grows no where but in China.

In the Province of Suchue grows the Fruit Lichi, which being ripe, as a Ra­rity is brought to the Emperor's Court. The greatest quantity thereof is found in the Southern Parts of Fokien. The Portuguese at Macao call it Lichas. It grows upon very high Trees, whose Leaves are like those of the Laurel. Upon the tops of the Branches grows the Fruit in Clusters as Grapes, but is very like for fashion unto a small Heart, and about the bigness of an Acorn, with a rough Shell as the lesser Pine-Apple, but not so thick, being easily pull'd off with the Finger. Its Kernel is full of Iuice, white of colour, pleasant of taste, and smells like a Rose, and being ripe, receives a purple Colour. It is a very pleasant sight to view the Trees, then shewing as if they hung full of small Hearts; so that with great reason may this be call'd The King of Fruits, being both so plea­sant to behold and taste. Through the whole Empire of China there grow no Pine-Apples, but only in this Province. There is also another sort of round Fruit call'd Kungyen, that is, Dragons-Eye, not much unlike the former, only it is somewhat smaller and rounder, being for the bigness much like our Cher­ries in Europe, but harder of Skin. This Fruit is dry'd and sold every where in Markets; but it is much better eaten fresh from the Tree. Here also grows the Fruit Muiginli, that is, The Plum of the fair Woman, being round, and exceed­ing the Damas Pruine for bigness and goodness.

In the Province of Quantung grow every where the Indian great and small Nuts, as also a kind of Fruit much esteem'd for the bigness, and by the Indians call'd Iaca; by the Arabians, Panaix; and by the Persians, Funax: It grows not upon the Branches of Trees, but upon the very Stock or Body, as if they were afraid the Boughs would not be able to bear up their weight without break­ing. The Skin or Shell of it is so hard, that it cannot be open'd but with an Ax. Within it is full of little Holes, containing a yellow Pap, wherein lies a Nut, which when it is ripe, eats very sweet, like a roasted Chesnut. The Tree that bears it is very high and broad, having very large Leaves, of a pale Green,

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through which in the length runs a thick and hard Sinew. The best sort of this Fruit grows upon the Malabase Coast, and is larger than the biggest Cab­bage when it is ripe, and of a pleasant smell. There are two sorts of this Fruit, the least whereof is call'd Baria, the other Papa, and is the worst. The Nuts which grow in them, if eaten raw, fill the Body with Crudities; but if roasted, and eaten after the manner of Chesnuts in Europe, they have a pleasant taste, and increase Seed.

In this Country grows likewise in several Places a certain Fruit call'd Du­riones, which, though of an ill taste, are yet very wholesom. It is dry in Ope­ration, causes Sweating, and is good against the Wind and Dropsie, provided it be eaten moderately, for otherwise it will over-heat the Liver. Most Men at first fancy this Fruit to smell like rotten Egs; but after they have once eaten of it, they change opinion, esteeming it to be the sweetest that ever they did eat of. The Grandees make account of this Fruit as a great Delicacy, and think they can never have enough of it. The Leaf or the Herb Betel (which we spoke of before to be so chew'd by them) has so great an aversion to this Fruit, that it spoils and rots the same, if it lie near unto it; insomuch, that if at any time any Person eat too much of that, the Betel is a present Remedy against the same.

Here grows likewise a well-tasted Fruit call'd Ananas, which was at first brought from the West into the East-Indies, where it is now to be had in great [...]bundance: It is about the bigness of a Citron, of a yellow Colour, and well scented, full of Iuice, and pleasant in taste, if eaten when ripe; for it is much like Strawberries with Wine and Sugar: Upon the top it is crown'd with a Cluster of Flowers and Leaves, and at a distance is not unlike an Artichoke, but hath no Pricks at the corners: The middlemost Stalk being the biggest, upon which the Fruit grows, is about two Foot high, and has fifteen or sixteen Leaves, Round about this Stalk grow other lesser ones, with young Fruit up­on each. Whosoever will eat of this Fruit, must first of all take off the out­ward Skin, and then cut it into pieces, and so infuse them in Wine or Water, to draw out the biting Quality that is in it, otherwise it will make Blisters upon the Tongue: nor is that all, for it is very dangerous to eat of it, be­cause

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it is apt to put one into a Bloody-flux. And though this Fruit be hot, yet the Leaves thereof are cooling, having a sowre and corrosive Quality, which is only found in cooling Herbs; and the main hazard is produc'd by its pleasantness, which is such, that it will melt in the Mouth like Sugar.

In Quantung is a certain Fruit call'd Musa: The Tree whereon it grows is very delightful, as well for height as its large spreading Arms, and call'd by some The Indian Fig-Tree: The Leaves are nine handfuls long, and two and a half broad; the one side of a brown Colour, and the other Green. It shoots forth several Branches, upon which hang the Figs, which are of several kinds; for some are yellow, long, pleasant of taste, and well scented; others green, long, and well tasted; but both hard of digestion: nevertheless it breeds good Blood, and cures the Cough. And the Bark of the Tree is good against Agues and other Distempers.

Of Animals.

AS kind Nature hath abundantly provided and bless'd China with all manner of Trees, Bushes, Herbs, and Fruits; so it has made the same no less fruitful in the product of all sorts of irrational Creatures, as Beasts, Fishes, Fowls, &c.

Of Four-footed Creatures.

THe Sheep in China are like those of Persia and Tartary, having long and thick Tails, which they drag after them, weighing forty or fifty Pound: their Flesh is very sweet.

Near the Garrison of Tieki is great store of Cows, having very long, thick and curl'd Tails, which the Chinese Soldiers wear for Ornament in their Caps in stead of Feathers.

[Page 233] Near to the Cities of Cingcheu and Tengcheu, there is found in the Maw of a Cow a Stone call'd Nienhoang, which signifies The Yellow of the Cow, by reason of its Colour: It is of several sizes, and sometimes as big as a Goose Egg: And although it be not altogether so firm and close as the Bezoar Stone, and consequently lighter, yet is it by the Chineses valued and esteemed much before it: It seems outwardly to be Chalk, and is much commended for se­veral uses.

In the Province of Quantung is a Creature which the Chineses call The Swift Cow; for it is so nimble of foot, that it can run more than three hundred Miles in a day.

In Cincheu is a certain Beast very like a Cow, having Horns much whiter than Ivory, which is an exceeding great lover of Salt; and therefore when at any time the Huntsmen go abroad to take any of them, they carry Bags of Salt with them, which they lay as a Bait; and on this they will feed with such greediness, that they rather suffer themselves to be kill'd, than leave off their so dearly beloved Prey.

In the Province of Kiangsi, and especially in the City of Nanchang, the In­habitants feed their Hogs as well within the City as without, by means whereof there are such great and swarming Herds continually kept in the Streets, that they are hardly passable; yet they are always kept very clean, great numbers of People being continually employ'd in taking away the Filth.

In the Province of Peking there are some Cats with very long Hair, as white as Milk, and having long Ears like a Spaniel: The Gentlewomen keep them for their Pleasure; for they will not hunt after, or catch Mice, the reason per­haps being for that they are too high fed: Yet they have store of other Cats which are good Mousers.

In the Provinces of Iunnan and Suchue are the best Horses. And in the Pro­vince of Xensi, upon the Mountain Holan (three hundred Miles large) are many wild Horses. Their Horses are generally but of a mean stature, yet well set, broad Buttock'd, and strong for Service.

Near Siven are yellow Mice, very large, whose Skins are in much request amongst the People.

In all Parts of China, especially in the Province of Quantung, are abundance of Stags, Bucks, Hares, &c.

In Xantung are many ravenous Wolves: And in Xensi abundance of Bears, the Fore-feet whereof are held in great esteem by the Natives.

Near to the Chief City Linyao lie some Mountains, upon which are bred wild Oxen, and Creatures like Tygers, with whose Skins the Inhabitants make their Clothes.

In the Province of Suchue, near the City Po, is a Creature call'd The Rhino­ceros: It is of a swarthy hue like the Elephant: the Skin is full of Wrincles, and so hard withal, that it can scarcely be pierc'd with a Sword: It has a Snout like a Hog, but sharper; and above the Nostrils stands the Horn, which is generally black; now and then there is one white, but very seldom, and that is sold much dearer than the other; and indeed one is larger than the other, according to the age of the Beast.

In bigness and thickness of Body the Rhinoceros differs but little from the Elephant, only it has much shorter Feet; and that's the reason why it is not so comely to the Eye. This Creature is of that temper, that it will hurt no

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bod, unless it be first assaulted, and then it falls on with great fury, not only upon him that gave the Offence, but upon every thing that comes in its way, which he will never leave till he hath destroy'd it. When he has got a Man down, he kills him with a lick of his Tongue, which is both sharp and rough; afterwards tears off his Flesh to the very Bones; but his ordinary Food is thorny Bushes. He is always at enmity with the Elephant, to whom before he goes to gives Battel, he whets his Horn against a Stone, and in Fight endea­vors to wound him in the Belly, which he knows to be the weakest part. He makes a noise like the Grunting of Hogs. The Moors eat his Flesh; but it re­quires good Stomachs as well as Teeth to feed upon him. Some use the Horn as an Antidote or Preservative against Poyson.

There are great store of Tygers in the Province of Chekiang, mischievous and fierce, according to their Nature: But upon the Mountain Kutien are some that will not hurt a Man.

In several Parts of China also are Elephants bred, but the best are in the Pro­vinces of Nanking and Iunnan: I shall only add a few words concerning them, so much hauing been already said by several Authors. Their bigness is vari­ous: At Constantinople was one seen, which from the Eyes to the furthermost part of the Back, was eleven Foot, and from the Eyes to the end of his Snout, eight Foot long. In heighth some are twelve, others thirteen and fourteen Foot. They are generally black; but some Chinese Writers affirm, that the King of Nazaringa had a white one. Their Skin is like Net-work, but so extraordinary hard, that it will turn the Edge of a Sword; yet it is harder upon the Back than the Belly. For the chewing of their Meat, they have four Teeth within, besides those that stick out before, which stand crooked in the Male, and down-right in the Female. The nether Iaw-bone is only mov'd in chewing, the upper always rests. In that part where the Nose is plac'd in other Crea­tures, the Elephant has a long Trunk or Snout, which reaches to the Ground, and has a Slit at the end: This is both pliable and slippery, which they make use of in stead of a Hand; for they can take up any thing with it either moist or dry, and put it into their Mouths.

Of the extraordinary Docility of this Beast there are several Examples to be found, both in the ancient and modern, as well Chinese as other Writers.

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Pliny writes, That they fling up Arms into the Air, and that they Fence with one another. Of the time and manner of Copulation there is great variety among Historians; Pliny says, That the Male and the Female at ten years old begin to couple: But Aristotle gives them a longer time, ascribing twenty to them both, the Female at twelve, and the Male at eight years. This Act of Generation they do most commonly in the Water, as being most easie for them both; and that in the most private Recesses they can find out, and but once in three years; neither doth the Male make use of one Female any more than once: After they have done Coupling they grow wild and furious, doing much hurt where they come. How long they go before they cast their Young is uncertain; some speak of a Year and six Months, others say three years, and some ten. They bring forth with great pain, leaning backward upon their hinder Legs. Some write, that they bring forth but one at a time, others four: As soon as it is brought forth it sees, goes, and sucks with the Mouth, and not with the Snout, till it is eight years old. They wage War with the Rhinoceros, Lion, Snake, Tyger, Ram, Hog, and Dragon, as also with some Colours, and with Fire.

In the Province of Iunnan, the Hill Nalo is full of wild Tygers and Leopards; and so also is the Mountain Xepao. In the Province of Quangsi, they are much fiercer than Lions, and very hot and eager in the pursuit of Men, Women, and Children. But Nature has in some sort provided a means whereby to avoid the cruelty of this Beast; for it is always accompanied with a small Creature, which with continual Barking gives notice of its coming; upon which noise every living thing endeavors to get out of the way by flight, or otherwise. The People of Bengala stand in very great dread of this Beast. The Tyger and Rhinoceros (as Bontius writes) are great Friends to one another, conversing much together; the reason whereof the Islanders of Iapan told me, was, as they suppos'd, and which is not improbable, because the Tyger is altogether a de­vourer of Flesh, which must of necessity occasion a weak Stomach; whereas the Rhinoceros feeds only upon Green: therefore the Tyger follows him for his Dungs sake, which he eats for a Cure when he is out of order, as the Dogs Grass, and the Cats Nip or Cats-mint.

In the Province of Quangsi are very large Hogs, with great and strong Bristles [Page 236] of a Foot and a half long, which by a particular and strange motion of the Body they know how to dart toward any one, and that not without great pre­judice of those they hit.

In the Province of Xensi is found the Creature call'd Xee, from whom pro­ceeds the Musk; and which is very strange, if at any time it be carried out of the Kingdom of Lu, into the adjacent Kingdom of Laos, it dies immediately, as a Fish out of the Water.

In the Kingdom of Gannan is a certain Creature call'd Tese, which in shape comes very near to a Man, having long Arms: he is black and hairy upon the Body, swift of Foot, and laughs aloud like a Man, but is of so voracious a nature, that whomsoever he meets with he instantly devours.

In the Province of Suchue lies a Mountain call'd Toyung, upon which are Monkies or Baboons, which for bigness and shape are very like a Man. These Creatures are more than ordinarily addicted to Venery, so that they often at­tempt to surprise Women on purpose to satisfie their beastial lust, and have their wills on them. The Indians call them Wild Men, and the Indian Women are in such fear of them, that they dare not come near those Woods where they frequent.

Of Fowl.

IN the Province of Xantung are Hens and fat Capons to be had very cheap▪ as also great abundance of all sorts of Fowl, as Pheasants, Partridges, &c.

In the Province of Xensi, about Mincheu, are Cocks and Hens having Wool upon them in stead of Feathers.

In the Province of Quantung are an innumerable company of Ducks, which the Inhabitants take great delight to breed and increase. They never suffer the Duck to sit upon her Eggs to hatch them, but put them into an Oven mode­rately heated, or else bury them in a Dunghil, and so hatch the young ones.

In the Province of Huquang, near to the City Hanyang, may be caught great store of Geese.

There are several other sorts of Fowls and Birds in other Provinces, where­of we have already made mention in the former part of the Description of China.

Of Fish.

IN the Province of Xantung the Pools and Rivers do so abound with Fish, that for the value of a Peny you may buy ten Pound weight thereof.

In the Province of Kiangsi is a great abundance of all manner of Fish, espe­cially of Salmon, and the like.

In the Province of Huquang are caught many dainty Lampreys in the River Lofeu.

Near to the City Kiagan is the Pool Mie, in which is bred a sort of Fish as sweet as Honey.

In the Province of Chekiang, near the City Canghoa, lies the Mountain Cien­king, upon which is a Pool, famous for the yellow or Gold-Fish that is in it: It is but a small Fish, about a Fingers length, with a forked Tail; but is in very great esteem at the choicest Tables, so that the Grandees have them com­monly in their Fish-Ponds for their Pleasure and Use.

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In the Province of Honan, near to the Chief City Namyang, runs the River Tan, wherein at the beginning of Summer, but never else, are taken red Fish; before and after which time they are not to be had, in regard they hide them­selves.

Near to the Island Hainan are caught Whales, after the same manner as the Hollanders and English take them in the North about Greenland, whereof they make Oyl which serves for several uses. Of these commonly some are a hun­dred and twenty Foot long; the Head whereof is reckon'd for a third part of the whole Body: Upon the top of the Snout are two round Holes, by which means they will take in a great quantity of Water, and spout it out again with a mighty force. In stead of Eyes they have two thin Skins which stick out, and are three Yards long, and a Foot and a half broad, and cover'd over with Stuff like unto Flocks. On each side of the Head it hath an Ear, which is much smaller without than within, whereby they are very quick of Hearing. It hath a very large Mouth, with Lips of so great a thickness, that they have sometimes five or six thousand weight of Fat upon them. The Tongue, which is about eighteen Foot long, and ten broad, rests upon eight hundred small and great Pegs or Teeth, which are all cover'd with Stuff like Horse-hair, to preserve the Tongue from being hurt as it lies upon them. They feed upon Fish, and the Froth and Scum of the Sea. There was once one taken that had forty Cod-Fishes in her Belly. The Tail is at the end almost twenty eight Foot broad, and two thick. The Male hath a Pizzle about fourteen Foot long. They bring forth but one at a time, and that in the Harvest, which stays by the Female under the protection of her Fins, till it is grown of a large size. It stands in great fear of the Sword-Fish, which is a mortal Enemy unto it, and who with its sharp Saw endeavors to rip open the tender Belly of this Prodigy of Nature. The manner of killing them has been sufficiently descri­bed by others, and therefore I shall forbear to trouble the Reader with a Re­lation thereof.

Of Creeping Creatures.

NEar Fungciang is found a sort of black Snakes, whose Flesh is made use of in the Composition of Medicines that are prescrib'd as Antidotes against Poyson.

In the Province of Honan, near the City Hangang, are Snakes with white speckled Skins, whose Flesh having for a convenient Season been infus'd in Wine, makes the same a very soveraign Remedy against Lameness.

In the Province of Huquang is a sort of Snake, which Physically us'd is very good against the Scurf and Itch.

Of Vermine.

THE Province of Xensi is subject, among many other Inconveniences, to this, that it hath more want of Rain than the other Northern Parts; and this occasions every where such infinite swarms of Grashoppers, that they continually devour the growth of the Fields, notwithstanding all the Care and and industrious Diligence of the Inhabitants to prevent the same: And this is the true cause why there is very seldom any green Grass to be seen in that whole Province. But these very Vermin supply the Defect they cause, by be­coming good Food, insomuch that of these Grashoppers the People make a delicate Dish for their Tables.

The whole Country of China hath great numbers of Silk-worms, but in no part are they in so great abundance as in the Province of Chekiang, the Inhabi­tants whereof spend the greatest part of their time in tending, looking after, and taking care to increase them,

In the Province of Xantung the Trees and Fields hang sometimes full of Silk, which is not spun by the fore-mention'd Silk-worm, but another sort, and consisteth of long Threds of white Silk, which being carried by the Wind upon the Trees and Houses, is gather'd together. Of this sort they weave Stuffs, but it is far courser then that which is wove of the former; but this is recompensed by its durableness; for it is much stronger.

In China are also found several strange Creatures, which live as well upon the Land as in the Water; namely, in the Province of Huquang, in the River of Siang, lives a certain Creature like a Horse, only in stead of Hair it has Scales upon the Body, and Claws like a Tyger. It is of a very fierce and cruel Na­ture, and will fasten upon any thing when it comes out of the Water, whether Man or Beast.

In Quantung, near the City Hoeicheu, is a Creature which is neither Fish nor Fowl, but between both; for all the Summer it is a Bird of a yellow Colour, and therefore call'd Hoangcioya, and keeps upon the Mountains; but in the Winter it turns Fish again, and betakes it self to the Water. The People eat of it with great delight and satisfaction.

Near the City Caocheu, in the River Co, are abundance of very mischievous Crocodiles: they are by the Indians call'd Caiman, having an Hide as hard as Iron, and only soft upon the Belly. This Caiman has a broad Forehead, and a Hog-like Snout, with a very wide Mouth: Its Teeth are large, white▪ and strong, fix'd in both the Iaws, whereof only the uppermost moves; for the lowermost is fix'd and immovable: It has no Tongue, but only a Ski [...] [Page 239] that cleaves to the lower Iaw, being much like a Tongue: It has large round black Eyes: The Legs are strong, and the Feet Arm'd with sharp Nails: The Tail is as long as the rest of the Body: It is said, that he can live four Months without eating; but at last being hungry, he howls or cries out like a Man. These Serpents are very swift of foot, but cannot so well wind and turn, by reason of their stiff Back-bones. They are not onely found here, but in other parts of India, Africa, Asia, and America, especially in the River Nyle in Egypt. They live upon Fish or Flesh, and when they come Ashore they prey upon Cattel: When they Couple, the Male lays the Female upon her Back, other­wise by reason of the shortness of his Feet he could not Copulate. The Female lays sixty Eggs, of the bigness of a Goose Egg, and is hatching of them sixty days. There is no Creature to be found, that from so small a beginning grows to such a largeness; for some are thirty Foot long. They are at enmity with the Tyger, Serpents, Scorpions, &c. but at amity with Hogs, which they suf­fer to pass by them unregarded. In the Day this Creature lives upon the Land, and in the Night in the Water. When it is gorg'd with eating, and is fall'n asleep with his Mouth full of Meat, a small Bird call'd Trochicus, and in Italian, The King of Birds, comes to him as he lies with his Mouth open, and cleanses his Teeth with picking and scraping; wherewith the Crocodile is so highly pleas'd, that he opens his Throat as wide as is possible, that so the Bird may scoure the same: for which kindness it bears it much friendship. The Chineses eat the Flesh thereof with great delight. It is reported, that Termus King of Egypt swam amongst them stark naked, having his Body only anointed with the Grease of them.

In the River Chaoking is a Fish call'd The Swimming Cow, which comes often out of the Water, and fights at Land with the tame Cows, to their great ha­zard, till its Horns grow weak by staying out of the Water, which may be discerned by their turning yellow; then with all speed it returns into the Water, where the Horns grow hard again.

Near to Caocheu there is to be seen a strange kind of Creature in the Sea, ha­ving a Head like a Bird, and a Tail like a Fish: In its Belly are found some Precious Stones.

Between this City and the Island Hainan are taken a sort of Crabs, which as soon as they are out of the Water become petrifi'd, and immediately turn into Stones. The Portuguese and Chineses make great use of them for the Cure of Agues.

In the Province of Suchue near the City of Chunking, are great store of Land-Tortoises of several sizes; some very large, and others very small, which the Inhabitants keep in their Houses for their Pleasure.

But in Quantung, near to Hoeicheu, there are caught in the Sea such very large Tortoises, that they look like little Rocks at a distance. The Land as well as the Sea-Tortoises engender after the manner of the Adder-Snake, the Male getting upon the Female. They lay Eggs like Hens Eggs, but lesser, and more oval. It is said of them, that they live under Ground in the Winter without eating: They are afraid of the Eagle, which makes a prey of them taking them up, and letting them fall till they break. They make but little noise, yet louder than the Snake. Whether they are to be reckon'd amongst Flesh or Fish, is still to be determin'd. Some account them amongst Fish, and eat them in Lent; others think the contrary, because they have Feet, and draw Breath.

[Page 240] The Land-Tortoise Shells are very hard, and like Ebony, nor will they bend like those of the Sea; but they are full of Knobs upon the top, and most of them of fine Colours, yellow and brown, as if they were Painted with Crosses, Stars, and other Figures. They thrust out their Heads and Feet, which when they draw in, as they can at pleasure, they seem to be immovable: They differ very much in bigness, some being no bigger than a Man's Fist.

In Virginia are Tortoises of three and four Foot long, with two Heads; which are very malicious, and given to biting.

In the Island Mauritius are some Tortoises so large, that they will carry four or five Men standing upon them. Their Shells are of so capacious an extent, that ten Persons may sit in one of them. But the Sea-Tortoises are much larger than those of the Land. Iohn de Lery writes, That there was one taken by their Fleet, which gave eighty Persons their Bellies full. Their Shells are much smoother and flatter than the other, and very curiously wrinkled. In hot Water they will bend into any shape, which the other cannot do by reason of its hardness; so that Artificers make Combs and Boxes of them. In stead of Feet they have Fins, wherewith they swim as other Fish; but they lie much upon their Backs, and swim sleeping upon the Water. The Flesh of this Crea­ture is luscious, and tastes like Veal, being interlarded with yellowish Fat. The Female lays her Eggs by Night, and buries them in the Sand, which are hatch'd in six Weeks by the heat of the Sun.

Of some things more than Natural, and strange Pools.

IN the last seven Chapters I spoke of great and admirable things, yet such as are not beyond the ordinary Course of Nature; but in this I shall treat of some more wonderful, which are hard to be credited, though the Chine­ses do firmly believe the same.

In the Province of Xensi, near the City Vucung, is a Hill call'd Taipe, where­upon if a Drum be beaten, presently followeth Thunder, Lightning, and stormy Weather, insomuch that the Magistrates have forbidden all Persons upon pain of Death, to beat any Drum there.

The River Tan has red Fish, with whose Blood (as the Chineses write and fancy) whosoever anoint their Feet, they may wade over this River without sinking; adding further, That if the Water of this River be but stirr'd, all the Fish presently rise and swim upon the top of the Water, and make it look as red as Fire: from whence in probability it had its Name; for Tan signifies Red.

In the Province of Xantung, near the City Niuyang, is a Spring in high esteem amongst the Inhabitants; for they verily believe, that whosoever drinks of [...] it makes them long-liv'd.

In Suchue, near the City Chingtu, is the most large and extensive Mountain Chingching, upon which, according to the vain belief of the Chineses, the immor­tal Men meet to Converse.

In the Province of Huquang, upon Mountains of an incredible heighth and bigness, inhabit none but wild and unciviliz'd People.

Near to Liencheng, a City of Quantung, lies a great Hill call'd Uhoang, where [Page 241] grows a sort of Fruit whose like is not to be found any where else; for you may eat as much as you please, but you must carry none away, and while you endeavor so to do, you can never find the way down.

In the Province of Iunnan, near the City Chinkiang, is to this day a great Stone to be seen, where Simulo, who possess'd the Kingdom of Mung, gave Audience to the Ambassadors of another King, who upon the delivery of their Message not satisfying him, he arising in anger, and taking his Sword naked into his Hand, struck with it so violently upon the Stone, that the Blow pierc'd above three Foot into it, and with threatning words said to the Ambassadors, Go and acquaint your King what Swords I have. This hapned in the Reign of Iliaouvus, the Founder of the Race of Hana, which incorporated the powerful Kingdom of Mung to the Kingdom of China.

Near the City Munghoa, in the Province of Honan, lies the Mountain Fung­hoang, which tooks its Name from the Phenix, because it died upon the same, after it had sung there a while most deliciously. The Chineses relate, That there is a general Assembly of Birds once every year upon this Mountain, to lament the Death of the said Phenix; of which time the Inhabitants taking notice, climb up by Night with Lights, and catch abundance of them.

Near the City Fuencheu is the Mountain Vanhu, which is reputed the highest of all Hills; and this Name was given to it, because ten thousand People, in the time of the Inundation of the World, got upon the top of this Mountain to avoid the danger of drowning.

Near to Tingcheu is a Mountain call'd Kin, upon which are three Pools, which turn Iron that is flung into them, into Copper immediately.

There are several other strange Pools, Springs, and Wells to be found in China, some whereof are very soveraign for the cure of several Distempers of the Body.

On the West side of the City Caifung, in the Province of Honan, lies a Pool call'd Kinning, which the Imperial Race of Sunga caus'd to be digg'd for the disciplining and training up Sea-men, to make them expert in Sea-Fights, which was very much us'd by the Emperor Taicungus. This Pool is so very pleasant, that round about the same are built several brave Palaces of the Gran­dees, besides divers Idol-Temples.

Of the Chinese Kings and Emperors, which have Govern'd in China before and since Christ's Birth.

BEfore I make mention of the Wars between the People of China and the Tartars, I shall speak in short concerning the Genealogy of the Kings and Emperors who have Reigned there before and since the Birth of Christ.

First then observe, That before Christ's Birth, between the Years of the World 2207. and the Year 2952. eight hundred succeeded one another in the Government of that Empire, which took not the same by Inheritance, but af­ter the death of one, another was elected by plurality of Voices. But after that time the Government became Hereditary, and the next Heir to the pre­ceding King succeeded after his death.

[Page 242] The first eight Elective Kings were Fohius, Xinnungus, Hoangtius, Xaohavus, Chuenhious, Cous, Yaus, and Xunus. All the Transactions during the Reign of these eight Elective Kings, and the following Imperial Races, before and af­ter the Birth of Christ, are not in the least doubted, but firmly believ'd by all the People, in regard the Histories of those Times are faithfully transferr'd to Posterity by the then Chronologers: for it has been a constant (and without doubt) a most laudible Custom amongst them, that the new Emperor doth ap­point and order some of the most Learned Philosophers to write the Deeds and Actions of his Predecessor at large, without fraud or flattery. Out of this voluminous Work, which comprehends in general all the great Transactions of the whole Empire, the Chineses, for ease of Memory, have made an Extract or Epitome of the most remarkable Passages. But as to what pass'd before the eight elected Emperors, the Chineses themselves are very doubtful, because the Books of those Times are full of ridiculous Stories, as well relating to the Age of the People, as the Years of the Governors: for according to the phan­tastick belief of those Writers, the World must have been created some thou­sands of years before the Flood.

But before I proceed to the Lives and Actions of these eight Emperors, I shall in a few words declare what Kings and Princes are feigned to have had the Rule over China, before the Government of Fohius the first of them.

The Chineses feign, That the first Man, whom they also own for their first Governor, was call'd Puoncuus, and had his Original out of a confus'd Lump, as out of an Egg; though some of the more Learned in Europe are of opinion, That Cainan or Kenan, the Son of Enos, was the first Man that with his Follow­ers Peopled China, and that from him they all had their rise. They also add, That this Cainan was preferr'd to the Government when he was five hundred years old, and that after him the eight Elect Emperors Govern'd those Coun­tries and Inhabitants, as hath been and shall be more fully related: Yet they tell us, That after the decease of this Puoncuus, one Tienhoangus succeeded in the Government; of whose Time a certain Chinese Historian speaks thus: [...] that time the Spirit of Heaven cover'd the Face of the Earth, and by degrees introduc'd good Manners, and taught the People, being then very decible, Civility and Morality; but especially when the great Dragon was kill'd, which had molested the whole World by ming­ling Heaven and Earth together: after his Death, every thing receiving a more illustrious form and Dignity.

After him, they say, succeeded one Th [...]angus, who was very skilful in the Course of the Stars, distinguish'd the Day and Nights by Name, and ordering every Month to consist of thirty Days. When he was deceased, they write, That nine other Princes succeeded; but they are altogether ignorant both of their Names and Actions.

After these nine follow'd, according to their Legend, Ginhoangus, with nine more of his Family. He divided the Country into nine Parts, whereof one was given to the People to inhabit, and the other eight he appointed for Husban­dry: and by this means he brought the People, who at first, as wild and un­civiliz'd, liv'd dispers'd, to bring their Habitations near together, though yet they had no Houses. His Reign, they say, was a Golden Age for the Earth brought forth Fruit of it self without much Labor. This Prince cared for his Subjects with more then a Fatherly Love, who on the other hand honor'd and serv'd him, as dutiful Children obey their Father.

After him follow'd one Yeus, who instructed the People that had long liv'd [Page 243] in Holes and Caves of the Mountains, to make Huts and little Edifices of Wood, to defend themselves against the fury of wild Beasts: for till this time they were ignorant of most things useful for the support and sustenance of Life; for they had not so much as heard of Husbandry, nor knew how to strike Fire, wherewith either to dress their Victuals, [...]r to refresh the Body; but they liv'd only upon wild Herbs and Fruits, and devour'd the raw Flesh of wild Creatures, and drank their Blood, going for the most naked, or at the best wearing only the undress'd Skin of some wild Creature they had kill'd, about some part of their Body.

After the death of this Yeus, Sujus Reigned, who was very skilful in Astro­logy. He taught, that there were five Elements, as Metal, Wood, Earth, and Fire; which last he observ'd in the Air. He was also the first that made the discovery of Fire, by rubbing one piece of Wood against another. There was no kind of Money or Coyn, either Silver or Gold in his Days; but they ex­chang'd Commodity for Commodity, by way of Barter. Thus far their hardly-believ'd Histories proceed; which whether true or false, shall be no Task for me to discover; but leaving them as they are, I shall return to speak of the eight Elect Emperors before-mention'd, the first whereof was Fohius, whom the Chineses call'd Thiensu, that is, The Son of Heaven; and by this Title they still call all their Emperors. They say, and haply believe it, that he was brought into the World by his Mother without a Father; for as she was walk­ing by the side of the Pool which runs through the City Lanthien, in the Pro­vince of Xensi, she trod accidentally (as Fame suggests it) in the Foot-steps of a Man which was in the Sand; upon which, being immediately with Iris or the Rain-bow, she prov'd to be with Child, and at her full time brought forth this Fohius in that Province, who took upon him the Government two thousand nine hundred and fifty two years before Christ's Birth, and Reigned a hundred and fifteen years.

This Emperor was a Man of a most upright and vertuous Disposition, very well skill'd in Astrology, seeking thereby as well to know and understand the Motions of the Heavens and Stars, as to be fam'd for the well managing of Earthly Affairs; and indeed he made discovery of several things relating to Astrology, and introduc'd very good Laws, whereby he kept his Subjects in awe, reducing the same into Writing, having for that purpose invented the first and most ancient Chinese Characters.

Till this Princes Time there was in China among the Men and Women no difference, either of Habit or Manner; neither did they know the civiliz'd Limits of lawful Wedlock, but liv'd as Beasts, in common one among ano­ther. Both these things he reform'd, ordaining the sacred Rites of Marriage, and ordering the Men to wear their Clothes distinct in fashion from those of the Women.

Xinnungus was elected Emperor after the death of Fohius, by reason of his eminent Vertues, and Reigned a hundred and forty years. He first invented the use of the Plough for tillage of the Ground, and taught the Inhabitants the use thereof, who finding the Benefit thereof, began to manure the Land of their own accord, which required their Industry with a plentiful Crop of Fruit for the better sustenance of Life; and for this reason they call'd him Xinnungi, which signifies The Ingenious Husbandman. He was also a diligent Searcher into the Vertues of all Herbs and Plants, making Experiments thereof upon his own Body. After he had Reigned a hundred years, one Hoangtius, a petty [Page 244] King, his Neighbor, made War upon him, and after having defeated and kill'd him, won also the Kingdom. The Defeat was receiv'd upon the Moun­tain Fano, in the Place where now the City Peking is situate, in the Province of Peking; the Inhabitants of which Place still retain some memory of that War, it being, as they say, the first that ever was wag'd in the World. And thus by force of Arms Hoangtius came to the Empire, who nevertheless for Vertue, goodness of Mind, and comely shape of Face and Body, was hardly ever to be paralell'd. He made several good Laws, and particularly order'd just Weights and Measures: But all these Vertues were in some measure sullied by his seeming Tyranny; for he always kept an Army on foot, wherewith he kept the Rebellious in awe: And indeed there was nothing blame-worthy in him but this, and his treacherous falling upon the foregoing Emperor, and taking his Kingdom from him: However, he Govern'd very prudently, and had a particular care of the Welfare of his Subjects; one testimony whereof appear'd in his advancing Commerce, which hitherto had been hindred by unpassable Ways: for effecting whereof to the best advantage and accommodation of Trade and Travellers, he caus'd Ways to be digg'd through Hills and Mountains, by the same means likewise enlarging the Territories of his Em­pire.

He was the first in this Country that introduc'd the Imperial Crown, and other Ceremonies and Marks of Majesty, using blue and yellow Clothes, in imitation of the two Colours of Heaven and Earth. He invented the Art of Dying several Colours, and then commanded the more Wealthy People to distinguish themselves from the Poor, by wearing Apparel different in co­lour. Where Rivers were great and broad, for the better and more easie trans­fretation, he caus'd the Trunks of Trees to be hollow'd out in the form of Boats; but over the smaller, and such as were narrow, he order'd Bridges to be made: And finding that difference in Commodities hindred Dealing, for promotion of Trade he order'd Brass-Money to be Coyn'd; and to defend both it and themselves against an Enemy, he not only found out the Inven­tion of Arms, but taught his Subjects how to handle them. There is a Report (which is certainly strange, but how true I will not decide) That in the Hall of his Palace there grew an Herb of that Nature and Vertue, that if an unjust Person came into the same, it would turn and bow towards him, as the Sun-Flower doth to the Sun.

He had by his Wives twenty five Children, amongst which were fourteen lawfully begotten, and liv'd to see them at Man's Estate: nay, which is more, they report he never died, but was receiv'd amongst the Xinsien, that is, The Immortal: and doubtless this may with great Reason be said of him, for his Name was immortaliz'd for his Vertue; all the Chinese Emperors since his Time taking to themselves the by-Name of Hoangtius, as the Roman Emperors after the first Caesar assum'd the Name of Caesars. After his death his Son Xaohavus succeeded him in his Throne (being nothing inferior to his Father for Vertue and Goodness) in the Year 2597. before the Incarnation: He Reigned eighty four years, and was the first of all the Emperors that caus'd a distinction in the Degrees and Dignities of the Mandorins or Magistrates, by their several bear­ings of Birds and Colours; for it is a Custom to this day, for every Magistrate to wear a particular colour'd Habit, whereby his Place and Employment may be known: to which end they bear a Bird, or some other Mark, embroider [...]d with Gold and Silver, both behind upon the Back, and before upon the Breast, [Page 245] that so every one that meets them may know what Place and Dignity he en­joys: which Notes or Badges of distinctions are easily known; for such as have any Employment in the Civil Magistracy, have always tame Birds for their Cognisance; but the Commanders over the Armies have Dragons, Lions, Tygers, and the like wild Creatures, which declare the destructive nature of War. The Emperor Xaohavus made choice of Birds for this use be­fore any other Creatures, because at the beginning of his Reign, the Bird of the Sun appear'd, which was a sign of much prosperity of the Empire: for if these Birds are long before they come, the Chineses firmly believe, that the Im­perial Race will not be of long continuance, but that there will be Wars made upon them. What sort of Bird this is I could never understand, but ac­cording to its shape, as they describe it, it is not unlike an Eagle, only the Fea­thers are very curious, as well for singularity of Colours as other beauty. But in regard it so very rarely appears, it may be suppos'd to be the Phenix, by them call'd Fughoang.

This Emperor having Reign'd many years, to the great satisfaction of the Inhabitants, and by reason of his Age not being able any longer to take care of the Affairs of his Dominions, one Chuenhious, Nephew to Hoangtius, upon the account of his extraordinary good Qualities, was Substituted to the Admini­stration of the Government in the Year 2513 before Christ's Birth, and Reigned seventy eight years. He continu'd the vertuous Courses of his Ancestors, both in Religious and Worldly Concerns. Amongst others, he caus'd a Law to be made, That no Person, of what Quality soever, should be admitted to Offer to the Gods, but the Emperor only; so great an esteem they had in those days of Ecclesiastical Employments, that they were not to be Exercis'd by any but the greatest Princes.

No sooner wat Chuenhious dead, but his Nephew Cous succeeded him, being as his Predecessors, very eminent in all manner of Vertue and Goodness: He was chosen Emperor two thousand four hundred thirty five years before Christ's Birth: He Married four Wives, which was very rare in those Days, and had four Sons by them; one of them, nam'd Cious, he procur'd by performing some Promise to the supreme Emperor of Heaven. Another of his Wives bore a Son call'd Kius, who was said also to be given to her by the Gods, through importunity of Prayer, having been always barren before. The third Woman had a Child in the fourth Month of her Marriage, which was call'd Yaus, ha­ving first seen in her Sleep a red Dragon, which is held by the Chineses for a sign of great Prosperity. The fourth had a Son call'd Cheus. This last was preferr'd to the Throne by his Father Cous before all the rest, being observ'd by him to be the most inclin'd to Vertue and Goodness: But the good old Man was much mistaken; for he was no sooner in the Throne, but he fell into all manner of Debauchery, giving himself up so much to Women and Drinking, that he neg­lected the Affairs of the State: And being often admonish'd by the Magistrates to take better care of his Government, but continuing still in his lewdness, the Subjects (who had been for the most part Govern'd by just and vertuous Prin­ces) judg'd that he was unworthy to Reign any longer, so that they depos'd him in the ninth Year of his Reign, and set up his Brother Yaus in his Place.

This Yaus, who began to Reign in the Year 2357 before Christ's Birth, and Govern'd ninety years, is renown'd in all the Chinese Histories for a most ver­tuous Prince: and certainly if regard be had to the greatness of his Actions, and the whole course of his most exemplary Life, he may, for honorable, [Page 246] Atchievements, be compar'd with the best of Princes that ever sway'd that Scepter. A certain Book call'd Xu, publish'd in his Reign, mentions in short his Fame, in these words: The Noble and Heroick Actions of Yaus have fill'd the whole World with Admiration; such was, his extraordinary Diligence, that he was esteem'd by all Men for his Worth, Understanding, Civility, and quickness of Apprehension, according to the grandeur of his Merit; and such his good Fortune, that whatsoever he undertook was brought to pass by him. The Chinese Histories tell us, That during his Govern­ment, the Sun did not Set for the space of ten days, and great fear possess'd the People, that the World would have been destroy'd by a general Conflagra­tion, in regard there had hapned several great Fires at that time. They like­wise report, that at the same time several strange Monsters, as Snakes and Dragons, crept out from under the Ground, and that this Yaus in these dismal Times, and notwithstanding all those dreadful Accidents, carried himself with so much Piety and Care for the Welfare of his Subjects, that he was look'd upon by every body as the Redeemer and Deliverer of his Country.

To descent to Particulars concerning this Emperor; he was very much addicted to Astrology, being instructed therein by the two famous Men, H [...]us and Hous, Persons more than ordinarily expert in that Science: But he was not alone eminent for Knowledge and Industry; for his Wife the Empress taught other Women how to breed and raise Silk-worms, and the Art of pre­paring and weaving of Silk. When he had th [...]s civiliz'd the People, by his own and Wifes Instructions, to the knowledge of Manufactures, he forthwith new modell'd the Government, and introduc'd the six Iudicatures or Ben­ches of Iustice, to wit, Sipu, Hopu, Limpu, Pimpu, Cumpu, and Humpu.

When he had thus setled the Affairs of his State in order, he depos'd himself, and transferr'd the Government in his Life-time upon another; in which more than ordinary Action he had more regard to the Good of the Publick, than to the Welfare and Affection of his own Children and Relations, all whom he voluntarily pass'd by, although no ways inferior to him in Know­ledge and uprightness of Life, and surrendred the Empire to a Stranger in Blood, not for respect of his Princely Alliance, but only the Eminency of his Vertue and Integrity.

And as a singular Testimony of this his Zeal for the Good of his Country, I shall onely give you this one Example; namely, Discoursing once with one Fangius, an Eminent and Learned Person of his Council, he told him, That he was in a very great suspence whom he should chuse to be his Successor. The Coun­sellor made him this Answer; There is one of your own Princely Family, your Eldest Son Chus, and rightful Heir, upon whom you may settle your Empire; the goodness of whose Nature, extraordinary Prudence, quickness of Wit, treading in your Royal Steps, and imitating your laudable Exemplar, merits no less: And if your Servants Counsel be acceptable to your Ears, I shall advise you to settle in the Government this your Eldest Son, and no other. But Yaus interrupting his Discourse, said, You know, Fangius, that I take as much distaste at the commending of Bad, as I do at the discommending of Good People: My son is unready of Speech, and slow of Tongue, his Words and his Deeds not agreeing; true it is, he knows in outward Gestures how to behave himself as a Wise Man, but inwardly he is nothing.

Not long after, being about the seventieth Year of his Reign, he sent for one Sungous, one of his greatest Favorites and Counsellors, to whom he spake in this manner: I find the Weight of a Crown too heavy for my aged Head, and there­fore intend to surrender up my Empire to you, having in all my time observ'd none so fit [Page 247] for it, either for Vertue or Wisdom. But Sungous, unacquainted with Ambitious Thoughts, absolutely refus'd to accept of it, modestly protesting his Insuffi­ciency for so great a Charge, for that he was not not furnish'd with those Qualities wherewith an Emperor ought to be provided; and so neither wor­thy of that Honor, nor able to undergo the Burthen. When Yaus saw him persisting immovably in his Resolution not to accept of the Government, he demanded of him, whom he judg'd worthy of the same; to whom Sungous, in the presence of the Emperor's Council, made this Answer: Since you are pleas'd to inquire of me, O King, whom I judge worthy to be a Successor in your Empire, though there are many others better able to advise in a Point of so high a Nature, yet I shall acquaint you with that which I suppose and hope may tend to your own and the Em­pires Good. There is (said he proceeding) a Husbandman, your Subject, and a Batchelor, look'd upon by all People for a very honest Man, who for his Piety, Vertue, and good Disposition, is so belov'd and respected among his Neighbors, that they will give or lend him their Monies, Lands, and Houses, without asking: And so great is their Opinion of his Prudence, that upon all Occasions they ask his Advice, and follow it. His Name is Xunus, who by his Vertuous and Exemplary Life hath reclaim'd many vicious and debauch'd Persons, and brought them to be Imitators of his Goodness and Sobriety; although his Misfortune is great in this, that his Father (call'd Cassus) is a Fool; his Mother a pertinacious Woman, and full of Tongue; and his Brothers proud, haughty, and wilful. The Emperor Yaus having heard this Relation, told him, that he would send to inquire concerning the Abilities of this so unfortunate­ly [...]extracted Wise Man, which not long after he accordingly did, causing him to be brought to the Court: At his first arrival he was entrusted with the Government of the West Country only, that thereby the Emperor might be satisfied of his Ability and Honesty: And, according to the Character given of him, herein Xunus so well behav'd himself, that every Body, but especially Yaus, did with admiration reverence him; and finding him every way extraordinarily qualified, the Emperor soon after took him to his Assi­stance, and cast the Care of the whole Government upon his Shoulders: In which high Estimation and Grandeur he continu'd for the space of twenty eight Years, that the Noble Prince Yaus liv'd.

But at last Yaus, being over-laden with Years, and ready to die (in the Year before Christ's Birth 2257.) admonish'd Xunus upon his Death-bed, to accept of the Government, in these or the like words: Draw near to me, and hear these my last words; I have tokens enough of your Vertue and Honesty, and that your Words and Deeds are correspondent each to other: Therefore you must accept of the Scepter, which is due to your Vertues and Services. Take care of the Welfare and Good of your Subjects as a Father, and remember that you must serve, not enslave the People, and so they will love, and not fear you; for this reason a King exceeds all his Subjects, because he alone is to take care, and to watch over all the rest. Having thus said, he yielded up the Ghost, for whom Xunus Mourned, not as one Friend for another, but as a Son for his Father: for according to the Custom of the Country, where Sons lament their Parents Death, he left the Government wholly to his Council, and continu'd three whole years at the Grave of his Prince, without removing from it.

This Solemnity of Grief being past, and Xunus return'd to the Exercise of his Government, he quickly gave Proofs of his Prudence and Clemency, which caus'd him to be very much belov'd by his Subjects. It is reported, that in each Eye he had two Balls or Apples, which was, and still is held by the Chine­ses for a sign of extraordinary Fortune.

[Page 248] Being now setled, he divided the Inhabitants into several Companies, and gratifi'd each according to his Worth and Parts with his Offices; he either made new Laws and Customs, or reform'd the old. The six Benches of Iudi­cature erected by his Predecessor Yaus, were reduc'd by him into a better Form: Afterwards he divided the whole Empire into twelve Provinces, which he vi­sited yearly in Person, and whatever Learn'd or wise Men he found, them he cherish'd and preferr'd above all others. He gave in charge to the Governors and Mandorins of Provinces, to promote Agriculture and Tillage above all other things; that they should accommodate and shew themselves kind to all Stran­gers and Travellers; to put into Offices only such as were able, and of known and approv'd Integrity, and give credit to honest and good People. He de­vis'd likewise five sorts of Punishments, according to which Malefactors were to suffer, as the greatness of the Crime did deserve: which were, 1. Loss of Life. 2. Cutting off the Nose. 3. A Foot. 4. A Hand. and 5. Pulling out the Teeth. He introduc'd likewise the Custom of banishing Malefactors, the chiefest whereof were to be exil'd out of the Limits of that Empire, and to be forc'd to live and reside amongst Forein People. Another thing yet very ob­servable of him, is this, That during his Reign he forbad that any should obey him meerly for fear of his Authority, because he was Emperor, but ra­ther for love of his Goodness, because he order'd that which was Iust and Right.

During his Government, the Tartars (of whom never any mention was made before in the Chinese Histories) broke into China, plundering, and making Inroads into most of the Provinces: But the good Prince, who only car'd for the Welfare of his Subjects, having rais'd a great Army, march'd against them with it, and by main force subduing the Enemy, setled his Empire again in Peace and Quietness. But since that time, which is many Ages since, the Tar­tars never left molesting and disturbing the said Countries, till now at last in our Days they have made themselves Masters of the whole, as I shall mention hereafter.

At the time of this Invasion, as Fluctus fluctum sequitur, one Evil seldom goes alone, the Emperor was full of trouble, by what means to repel the high Wa­ters which threatned to overflow the lower parts of the Country. After many Experiments, he gave order at last to one Quenius, to cast up a Bank against the same; but he not being able to perform it, and leaving the same imperfect, the Charge of the Work was committed to his Son Yvus, who in the space of thir­teen years effected it, to the great accommodation of the Inhabitants, follow­ing his Design all that while with such earnestness, that he would hardly eat or sleep. Some part of this great and stupendious Work may be seen to this day, as the Royal Channels, in which great Vessels pass and Sail from one Place to another: For the making whereof the Workmen were compell'd to dig through Rocks in some places, and to divide or cut great Rivers into two or three, and make Inlets for them into the Sea: by which Industry great store of Ground was drain'd, and recover'd from the Water under which it had lain immerged ultra memoriam. This great Labor, Diligence, and Dexterity of Yvus, us'd in the accomplishing this stupendious Work, so far prevail'd upon the Af­fection of the Emperor, that he made him his Fellow and Companion in the Government, passing by his own Son; so that they two, without any ambiti­ous Emulation or Envy to each other (which is a very strange thing) Govern'd seventeen years with equal Power and Authority. At the end of which time [Page 249] Xunus hapning to die, and his eldest Son, taking it ill thas Yvus should be pre­ferr'd before him, in regard he took it for granted, that the Scepter did by he­reditary Right belong unto him, he endeavor'd to seat himself in the Imperial Throne by force of Arms: But what Stratagems, Policy, or Force soever he us'd, all prov'd vain; [...]or he could not prevail, the generality of the People adhering cordially to Yvus, in regard they judg'd him most deserving of the Crown; which accordingly was setled upon him, though not without some trouble.

This Yvus was the Founder of the first Chinese Imperial Race, which he caus'd to be styl'd Hiaa, and the last of the elected Emperors: for when the Royal Chair after his Death became void, his Son was unanimously admitted to suc­ceed him, and from that time the manner and custom of Election was chang'd into an hereditary Succession from Father to Son.

This Royal Race or Family, which had its beginning in the before-menti­oned Yvus (in the Year 2207 before Christ's Birth) sway'd the Imperial Scepter four hundred forty one years in a continu'd Line of seventeen Emperors, who succeeded each other in the Government of China.

This Race being extinct for want of Issue, arose the Family of Xanga, whereof the Emperor Tangus, in the Year 1766 before Christ's Birth, was the first who call'd it Xanga, from a Lordship of the same Name he possessed. This Family produc'd twenty eight Emperors, who sat upon the Throne suc­cessively for six hundred years and upwards, to the Year 1122 before the Birth of Christ.

This Line being extinct in the before-mention'd Year, there arose a third call'd Cheva, whose Founder was one Faus, who at the beginning of his Reign, changing his Name, call'd himself Uvus, that is, A Warriour. Thirty seven Em­perors proceeded out of this Family, and all successively sway'd the Scepter: which ending the Year 246 before Christ's Birth, the fourth Race call'd Ciua stood up, whose Founder was nam'd Chingus; but altering his Name, was call'd Xius. This Race, which gave its Name to the whole Empire (as I have already related) was yet but of short continuance, there having sprung but three Emperors from thence, who Reigned forty years, and extinguishing about the Year 206 before the Birth of Christ, the fifth Race, call'd Hana, got into the Throne: the Founder whereof was one Leupangus, whose Successor in a direct Line held the Sovereignty of the Empire of China till the Year 264 after Christ's Birth. This Family being brought under, the sixth Race, call'd Cyna, stept into the Throne, and Govern'd till the Year of our Lord 419. within which compass of Time there were no less than five Kings at once, who were all call'd Utai, and wag'd very cruel Wars one against another for above four hundred years. At last having miserably worried and weakned each other, they were all subdu'd by the seventh Race call'd Tanga, which seized upon the whole Empire, and Reigned with his Posterity till the Year of Christ 618.

No sooner was this Race of Tanga at an end, but the eighth, call'd Sunga, succeeded, in which the Government continu'd till the Year of our Lord 1278. when the Tartars, after a long and tedious destructive War with this Family [...]unga for seventy three years, conquer'd the whole Empire, extirpating the whole Family, and set up a new one call'd Ivena, which Reigned over the Chi­neses till the Year 1368. But in the same Year appear'd a Priest call'd Chu, who with the assistance of his Country-men expell'd the Tartars, and setled [Page 250] himself in the Throne, assuming the Name and Style of Hunguvus, which sig­nifies The Warlike Soldier; from whom sprung the Race of Taicinga, which held the Crown two hundred and eighty years, but at last was brought under, and wholly rooted out in the Year 1644 by the Tartars, who once more conquer'd and over-ran the whole Empire, and erected a new Generation of Royal Blood call'd Taicinga, under its first Founder Xunchius, who was born Great Cham of Tartary. And thus having led you as it were by the Hand to the Tartar Government, it will not be amiss to shew you, as briefly as the Subject will bear, as well the cause as the manner of that terrible Devastation, which not only extirpated the same Family, but brought the whole Country to the slavish Subjection of their unciviliz'd Barbarism.

The Tartars, who for Antiquity go beyond all other People in Asia, and from whom many and several Nations are sprung, did in the Year 2158 be­fore Christ's Birth, make very bloody Wars against the Chineses, wherein they were sometimes Conquerors possessing the Land, and at other times conquer'd and driven out again. Now it is to be observ'd, That under the Name of Tar­tars I understand here, those People that have their Habitations on the North side of that most renowned and famous Wall, in former times built against the Invasions of those Barbarians, and reaching from East to West three hundred Dutch Miles in length.

For what cause or reason these People have born for so many Ages so much Malice and Hatred to one another (as appears by the bloody Wars they have made) the Chinese Histories make no mention: But others who would seem to be curious, and understanding Inspectors therein, ascribe it to the difference of Customs and Manners of these two Nations; for as parity of Manners is a conceal'd beginning and introduction of Friendship; so on the other Hand, a difference therein is the original and true occasion of Enmity. Now how much the Tartars and Chineses differ in their Customs and Manners, will easily be made appear by the daily Employments and Actions each of them affects from the Cradle. The Chinese is of an affable and peaceable Disposition, ad­dicted to Husbandry, and loving all good Arts and Sciences: But the Tartar, on the other Hand, delights in nothing so much as Hunting, being very cun­ning and deceitful, lusting after War, and of a very loose and uncivil Com­portment. It is true, both endeavor to shun Idleness, but with Intentions very incoherent; the one to live temperately and honestly; but the other only to range abroad in a wild and beastial Barbarism.

It cannot be denied, but that the Tartars and Chineses have wag'd War one against another for many Ages; yet I dare be bold to say, we read of none so terrible as those in this our Age: for thereby the Tartars have not only made themselves Masters of all the said Empire, but extirpated the last Royal Line, that there is not any Vestigium or Trace left of them in being. In short, that the occasion of this last War may be the more fully and clearly understood, I shall relate unto you the two first Conquests of China, by way of Proemium.

You must first then take notice, That the People of West-Tartary, after they had brought under their Power almost all Asia, which is the fruitfullest part of the inhabited World, fell upon the Empire of China, about the Year 1206 be­fore Christ's Birth; which was continu'd (as is before hinted) for above seventy three years with so great animosity, that at last in the Year 1278. the whole Empire was subdu'd by them. The Tartars after this so total a Conquest, set­led a new Linage of their own Country in the Throne, call'd Ivena, whose [Page 251] Offspring for nine Generations brought forth successive Emperors, who Go­vern'd the Empire peaceably one after another.

The Tartars having thus long peaceably enjoy'd the whole, grew at last to degenerate through the Pleasures and Plenty which they found there; so that by degrees they forgot themselves, and pedetentim Inch by Inch as it were, inu­red themselves to the Chinese Customs and Manners, neglecting their Places of Strength and Forces, till at last, in stead of warlike Soldiers, they were grown effeminate Chineses.

And though these Tartar Princes did Govern with great Care and Prudence, yet the Chineses could not forget the great and horrible Slaughters of their An­cestors, whose bleeding Carcases lying as it were before their Eyes, excited them to Revenge; and being likewise inwardly stimulated with a desire of Liberty, they had now already gotten the same in their thoughts, which was yet far off, and with great hazards to be sought: for although the People were every where ready to revolt, and shake off the Tartar Yoke, yet there was not one of the Grandees or Men of Eminency durst lead the Dance or break the Ice. But what Providence ordains to be done, shall never want Means to be effected, as will plainly appear by the sequel; for while the Great Ones durst not, and the Commons with a Leader could not do ought, at last a poor despi­cable Fellow appear'd, whose Name was Chu, and the Servant of a Priest: This Chu, who took compassion of the miserable State of his oppressed Coun­try-men, and a displeasure in his own despicable Fortune, being of a high, lofty, and ambitious Spirit, left his Cloister and Cell, in which he had liv'd for some years, upon a high Mountain, and betook himself to a secular Life amongst Robbers and Highway-men, among whom in a short time he became the vilest and most wicked, not fearing to act what some Spirits would trem­ble at the thoughts of; so that for his great courage and boldness, they began to look upon him as the Person that should deliver their oppressed Country. This Imagination of his Associates elevating his Valou, and being withal of a fluent and voluble Tongue, very quick of Apprehension, and of great Un­derstanding, he never fail'd of Courage, Conduct, nor Success; so that in a short time he grew so considerable in Power and Credit amongst the Rabble, that chusing him their Leader, he was able to bring some thousands into the Field. Being gotten thus into a Posture, not only to defend himself, but to of­fend his Enemy, he resolv'd to shew himself in the Field for the deliverance of his Country from the Tartar Vassalage under which they groan'd, and there­upon began to forsake his Holes and Fastnesses upon the Mountains, and to ap­pear with his Army upon the Plain; the Fame whereof once noised, made his Forces increase daily in number, among whom, with his good Conduct and Courage, he so prevail'd, that he won their Hearts, so that they thought no­thing too much to do for him: And to shew as well his Providence as Valour, he caus'd the Hills and Mountains to be plough'd and manur'd, to keep him­self and his Army from starving, in case he should be overpower'd by his Enemy, and forc'd to retreat thither again.

Chu at last, encourag'd by these fortunate beginnings, draws his Army to­gether, makes towards the Enemy, and fights them, who not expecting such an Onset, were soon beaten, and afterwards overcome in several Fights, in which he was still victorious; yet notwithstanding the Soldiers fury, and rage of War, he still spar'd the native Chineses, promising to restore them to their ancient Privileges and Liberties, if they would forsake the Tartars, and [Page 252] adhere to Hun: by these Means, and his continual Spies which he had every where to give him Intelligence, he discover'd the Designs of the Destroyers of his Country, whom he so closely pursu'd, that they were at last forc'd to quit the Country, and leave it to the ancient Inhabitants: which Redemption was effected in the Year 1368.

When now Chu, from a mean Servant, had thus rais'd himself, by driving those insulting Tartars out of the Empire, he erected in that Year a new Race, which he call'd Taicinga, and changing his own Name according to Custom, he call'd himself Hunguvus, that is, A great Warriour.

He was no sooner setled in the Throne, but the People out of all the Provin­ces came to acknowledge and Salute this their Deliverer; the whole Coun­try being overjoy'd, that they had once again got one of their own Natives, though of mean Extraction, to be their Head and Governor, (for it is the na­tural temper of that People, to hate and vilifie all Foreigners, but highly to esteem of their own Country-men) humbly requesting of him, that he would take care as a Native of China, with such Prudence to Govern and Protect the Chinese Throne, that they might not be necessitated hereafter to call in a Foreiner.

Hunguvus thank'd them for their Affections, and taking into his own Hands the whole Soveraignty, seated himself in the Imperial City of Nanking, where he behav'd himself with so much Honor, that in a short time he so setled the Affairs of his Empire, that the People liv'd under him in great security and freedom. But this Settlement he knew would not long continue, unless he provided to secure all from abroad; therefore to prevent future trouble from his now vanquish'd Foe, and that the Tartars whom he had thus driven out, might not rally and make Head again, he follow'd his Advantages and Con­quests, and with a considerable Army entring Tartary, overcame them in se­veral Battels, and so ruin'd their Country with Fire and Sword, that they were forc'd to lay down their Arms, with a Promise to pay him Tribute. These were those Tartars, who after the Overthrows given them, as before related, fled into the Country of Ninche: And indeed after those of Ninche had made their Peace with the Emperor, they brought yearly their Presents unto him, as his Subjects and Friends, and were permitted to Trade in his Domini­ons as his Vassals; and since that time have never had any thoughts of War, but rather were fearful to give any Offence, left they should draw thereby any ill will upon themselves, and so fall into new Troubles: for in the last Wars, they were reduc'd into most miserable Extremities. And thus we see the Vi­cissitudes of Fortune, and uncertain Events of War, in those Tartars who were not long since Masters of China, but now are become Vassals and Subjects to that Empire, to whose Prince they seek for Friendship and Protection.

In this Posture stood the Affairs of these Countries for a long space of time, till these People of Ninche increased so very fast in Power and Multitude, that they concluded to form themselves into a distinct Commonwealth, and to send some of their People as Colonies to inhabit other Parts. Thus at last they divided the whole District of Ninche into seven Principalities or Govern­ments, who for a while agreed among themselves, without any grand Distur­bance, or pretence of Warring with each other; but at length upon some oc­casion Quarrels arose, which broke forth into a long War, wherein the Victors assuming to themselves absolute Principality, turn'd their Commonwealth in the Year 1600 after Christ's Birth, into a Monarchy, and call'd it The Kingdom of Ninche.

[Page 253] This Ninche (which is properly East-Tartary, and as yet very little known to those of Europe) is bounded on the North and North-East with another Tartar Kingdom call'd Niulhan; towards the East lies the Kingdom of Yupi, likewise under the Tartar Yoke, and surrounded with the Sea, between Iapan and East-Tartary: on the South it borders upon the Island Corea, and by the Great Wall it is divided from the Province of Laotung; but more towards the West separa­ted by the great River Linhoang, flowing between this Kingdom of Ninche and Kilangho. The antiquiety of this People appears in the mention made of them in the Race of Hana, which began in the Year 206 before Christ's Birth: They are known to the Chineses and Neighbors by the Name of Kin, which signifies Gold, and commonly are call'd The Lords and Masters of the Golden Mountains, it being a common opinion, That China is full of Gold-Mines, which we will not dispute, but dare knowingly affirm, That it has Rivers, upon the sides whereof great store of Gold is taken up daily.

It is to be observ'd, that the Tartars of several Parts have at divers times War­red on China; but the People of Ninche above all have always been their great­est Enemies, having during the Reign of the Race of Sunga given so great Overthrows to their Forces, and made such Depredations upon their Land, that they were forc'd to flie out of the Northern Provinces into the Southern, the Ninchians having subdu'd and brought under their Subjection the Pro­vinces of Laotung, Peking, Xensi, Xensi, and Xantung; and without all doubt, at that time would have conquer'd the whole Empire, if the neighboring Tar­tars of the Kingdom of Samarcand, who envied their great Success, after the Conquest of a great part of Asia, had not through the Western and Southern Provinces fall'n into the Empire of China, and put a stop to their Victories by their irresistible Armies; which was the occasion of a cruel and bloody War between them. These Tartars of Samarcand drove those of Ninche not only out of China, but pursu'd them into East-Tartary, their own Country, whereof they took a considerable part from them: And since that time the Samarcandians, who possess'd the Northern Provinces, out of which they had beaten the Nincheans, have made many and sharp Wars against the Emperors of the Sou­thern China, and at last subdu'd the whole, and erected a new Race call'd Ivena, as is before said, which continu'd till it was brought under by the same Hun­guvus.

The Chineses, out of a natural Emnity to the Tartars, say in derision of them, That they live in Holes and Caves under Ground: which is not so; for they keep in very strong and well-wrought Tents, which they use in stead of Hou­ses, being for the most part made of Silk or Stuff, and so curiously Painted, that they shine in the Sun like Looking-glasses, and keep out the Rain, so that none drops through. Of these Persons of Quality have several, which yet are so contriv'd, that they seem but one: In some parts of which the Wife and Chil­dren remain, in others the Servants; and some are for necessary uses, as Kit­chins, and the like.

They relate, That during the Reign of the Race of Ivena, there were a hun­dred and twenty four Cities in this East-Tartary; but whether there are so ma­ny now I cannot affirm, in regard the Tartars themselves in China were not able to inform me. All their Towns and Places are in a manner movable (which the Latines call Horda) with which, and the Cattel and Families, they remove from place to place, changing according to the Season of the Year, and pitching where the best Accommodation is to be had.

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The Clothes of the poorer sort are made of Skins, but the richer go clad in Silk and Cotton, though there grows neither in the Province of Ninche; but such among them as Trade, come and buy it of the Chineses, or exchange other Commodities for it, as Skins of Wolves, Foxes, Beavers, Otters, Sables, and the like. The Men wear long Coats down to their Heels, with narrow Sleeves; and about their Middle is a broad Girdle, with a Cloth fastned to it, where­with they wipe their Faces. At their sides hangeth a Knife, and two little Pu [...] ­ses, wherein they put Tobacco, which is taken by them with great delight, in­somuch that the noblest Visitants are Treated with the same, it being brought them lighted by a Servant of the House. On the left side they wear a Hanger or Zable, with the Edge turn'd forward, and the Hilt behind, insomuch that when they are on Horseback, they can draw their Zables with great dexterity, by laying the right Hand behind over their Backs upon the Hilt, without holding fast, or so much as touching the Scabbard. In the Summer-time, for coolness, they wear Hats of Straw; but in Winter, Caps which come down over their Ears, with an Edging of Fur about it.

The Soldiers wear commonly Iron Helmets upon their Heads, differing very little in fashion from such as are us'd in Europe, only they have no Fence for the Face. In stead of Feathers they wear either a Horses Mayn or Tail dy'd red. Their other defensive Arms are Iron Breast-pieces, not made of one Piece, but of several Plates fastned together with Nails, so that they make a hideous noise when they are upon their March, but especially the Horse. Their offen­sive Arms are a Bows Arrows, and Hanger; for Guns or Muskets are not in use amongst them. The Horse-men are generally clad in Black, to make them look terrible, having Boots on made of Horse-leather, with thick Soles, but no Spurs.

There are among them very few Foot-Soldiers; for being generally good Horse-men, they turn all their Forces into Cavalry, who when they march, observe this Order: First two Horse-men, with Colours upon their Backs. Next to these follow two other Horse-men with Colours. Then comes the Commander in Chief over the Cavalry. After him five others, the middlemost whereof carries the Emperor's Standard. Then march all the rest of the Troop in order, five a breast.

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The Chineses have a high estimation of the Tartars for strength, because there­in they exceed them, although they fall far short in the same to those of Eu­rope. They are whitish of Complexion, not talkative, but silent, and well compos'd, bred up to Arms from their Cradles, which makes them such ex­cellent Soldiers: But at shooting with the Bow at a Mark, they are so extra­ordinarily dexterous, that no People in the World are to be compar'd with them.

The Tartar Women are generally Cloth'd in black Garments, which hang loose about them; but Persons of Quality wear generally Silk, whereas the ordinary sort are content with Cotton. Their Hair is neatly plaited and turn'd up, only a few Locks hang down: And those of the better sort wear upon their Heads, Hats curiously wrought.

These Tartars eat whatsoever they can get, but chiefly Flesh, and that half roasted or boil'd, being not curious of what sort it is, whether of Camels, Horses, or other Creatures. They take great delight in Hunting, and have very swift Hounds for the Game. But when all is said that almost can be, we must add, That they are in effect a Nation of Plunderers and Robbers, being naturally inclin'd to those Vices. And no wonder, for they live generally without the Profession of any Religion: But especially they have a great ab­horrency to the Religion of Mahomet, and possibly therefore hate the Turks as the Factors of that Religion; but a more probable reason may be, because the said Hunguvus, Founder of the Race of Taicinga, expell'd the Tartars out of China by the assistance of the Turks.

They burn the dead Bodies, after the manner of the Indians, upon very high Heaps of Wood: on which Funeral Pile are also laid the Women, Servants, Horses, and Arms of the Deceased. Notwithstanding all which Heathenish blindness, they are however very careful and sollicitous about the state of their Souls, as whether they are to expect after this Life another, or whether they do not presently die with the Body; by reason of which many of them are very ready to embrace Christianity, and divers of them after the Conquest of China, were converted to the Catholick Religion.

As to their Language which they speak in the Kingdom of Ninche, it is not so difficult to learn as that of China, but more resembles the Persian Tongue: [Page 256] Some of their Letters, both for fashion and pronunciation, are like the Arabick, which in all are above sixty in number, and do not much differ in the pro­nunciation and spelling from those in Europe, but very much in the form and make. In Reading and Writing they proceed from the top to the bottom, af­ter the manner of the Chineses, and not from the left to the right side, as we do in Europe; nor from the right to the left, as do the Arabians and Hebrews.

In this Kingdom of Ninche are found excellent Rubies and costly Pearls, be­sides other Precious Stones: Also very large Cattel, especially Cows, which exceed those in Europe for bigness, but have no Horns.

The Western part of this Country is very full of Rocks and Hills, between which lies most fertile and pleasant Valleys, and fruitful Fields. The biggest Mountain of all is call'd Kin, which signifies Gold.

There is also the Mountain Changpe, which reaches a thousand Miles, and in the middle of which is a Sea-like Mere at least eighty Miles long, from whence two Rivers take their rise, the one call'd Yalo, running to the South, and the other Guenthung, taking its course to the North.

And thus much shall suffice for the Description of East-Tartary, or the King­dom of Ninche, whose Inhabitants, in manner afore-mention'd, the Chinese Em­peror kept in awe: But on the contrary, to the West-Tartars, which possess the Kingdom of Tanyn, the same Emperors sent Presents and Tribute yearly, that they should not make War upon them; for they hold it no Scandal to pre­vent a War by that means; nay, they hold it altogether unlawful to enter into a War, so long as the Country can be kept from Invasions by any other means.

But yet although the Chineses on the one Hand kept under their Enemies by force of Arms, and on the other bought a Peace with Presents and Tribute, yet they liv'd in continual Fears and Mistrust, insomuch that they always kept the Great Wall which divides China and Tartary strongly guarded with at least a Million of Men.

But to return from whence we have digressed: The Throne of China be­ing setled in the Race of Taiminga, was by the same enjoy'd in peace and qui­etness two hundred and fifty years, when Vanticus the thirteenth Emperor, a just, prudent, and upright Prince, came to Reign, which was in the Year 1573 after Christ's Birth: But herein he was unfortunate, that he (as most Princes secur'd by long Peace) trusted too much to his Governors and Mandorins, and suffer'd the whole weight of his Affairs to lie upon their Shoulders.

During this time the Tartars of Ninche, as is before-mention'd, being form'd from a Popular Government into a Monarchy in the Year 1600. their first King was a Man of so great Courage and Magnanimity, that all their Neigh­bors, and especially the Chineses, began to be afraid of him; for he manag'd the Affairs of his State after such a politick and prudent manner, that in a short time his Subjects became not only very numerous, but formidable for Strength to all their Borderers; and being sensible of their own Greatness, and that their Fame began to grow terrible, they began to call to mind the an­cient Glory of their Conquests, and to consider how shamefully they had been heretofore driven out of the possession of the honorable Acquisitions of their Ancestors; and observing likewise the great Miscarriages and Neglects of the Chineses in the management of the Government, they resolv'd upon some sud­den and great Undertaking against them: therefore weighing with themselves the Yoke of Servitude they lay under, as a fit occasion of Quarrel, they began [Page 257] first of all to shake off the same, and to refuse to pay Tribute, and shortly after to appear in their true Colours, by publickly opposing the Authority that was over them.

The Chinese Governors (whereof the most in Leaotung, the Province border­ing nearest to the Kingdom of Ninche, are Military Commanders) hearing of this, concluded very unadvisedly to misuse the Tartars in the most cruel man­ner, thereby the more to incite them to War, so hazarding their Countries Weal for their private hoped for Lucre; for by the War they thought to have a fairer opportunity to enrich themselves, as well upon the Tartars as Chineses. These indeed might be, and questionless were great Motives to the War: But the chiefest Reason of all, was the base Murder committed by them upon the King of Ninche; for they looking upon him with an envious Eye, seeing him increase his Kingdom so very much in Power and Strength (which they fancied would be at one time or other employ'd against them) consulted and conspir'd to make him away, which they contriv'd, and in a most barbarous manner they thus effected: They came one day, upon pretence of a Visit, to the King with a feigned Affection, who not having the least suspicion of their wicked Design, they easily surpris'd him, took him Prisoner, and put him to death: but the better to gloze over the Villany, gave out that he died sud­denly of an Apoplexy.

This done so closely, as they suppos'd, they presently imagin'd they had Weather'd the Point, and overcome all Difficulties: but they were not a little disappointed in their expectations; for his Son, who, like his Father, was of a Princely and Warlike Spirit, being substituted in his Place, as soon as setled in the Throne, and at Peace with his Neighbors, rais'd a great Army, with an intention to Invade China in revenge of his Father's Death. The chiefest Gran­dees and Councellors of his Kingdom encourag'd him in this Design: where­upon in the Year 1616 he came with a very great Army to the Great Wall of Partition between Tartary and China, with hopes to pass there, which succeeded according to his desire: for after a sharp Skirmish, the Chineses betook them­selves to flight, leaving to the young King a free Passage into China with his victorious Army, with which he first fell into the Province of Leaotunga, and made himself Master of the City Tuxung or Cayven, which lies near Tartary, and the River Yalous (the place where the Great Wall begins;) and here he Planted himself to carry on the War: And this he undoubtedly did to this end, that he might be able to save himself by flight by Sea, in case the Chineses should have fall'n upon him and blockt him up, and so have endeavor'd to have cut off his Passage from getting back again; but if he were able to make good, and stand his Ground, then he foresaw it lay coveniently for him to receive Succors out of his own Country, and from others his Allies, whereby with continual Reinforcings he should be the better enabled to over-run that Em­pire, which he had already conquer'd in his Eye.

Thus we see the King of Ninche safely got with his Army into his Enemie's Country, where having pitch'd and fortifi'd himself, as afore-mention'd, he began to consult with himself of his Undertaking; when considering what a small Force he had to conquer so powerful an Empire, and that on the other hand he might be easily set upon by the Forces which lay in the Cities of the Provinces of Leaotung and Peking, and destroy'd before he could be well se­cur'd; he thought it best to add the Foxes Tail to the Lions Skin, and so re­sov'd to send a civil Letter to the Emperor of China, to complain of the wret­ched [Page 258] and inhumane Murther committed upon his Father, to lay open the de­ceitful Carriages of his Governors in many Particulars, but chiefly in the mis­usage of his Subjects in their Trade and Commerce, and the like. He like­wise desir'd, that the Emperor would not harbor a hard Opinion, but pass a just Censure upon his Actions and Undertaking, and cause condign punish­ment to be inflicted upon his Governors. Last of all he desir'd, That the Em­peror would quit him the yearly Taxes which he paid, to defray the Charges of this War: And upon performance of these things, he promis'd to quit the City he had taken, and to retreat with his Army beyond the Wall, and that the Inhabitants of China should be receiv'd and treated in Ninche as Friends and Allies.

For the Bearer of this Letter the King of Ninche (to make it the more accep­table and effectual) chose a certain Priest, whom the Tartars call Lama, with Command to deliver the same in a most submissive manner, and seriously to lay before the Emperor and his Council the great quantity of Blood that was like to be spilt, if not timely prevented by a friendly Accommodation between them.

The Emperor Vanlieus, to whom the King of Ninche sent this civil Letter, though in other things he was a wise and prudent Prince, yet in this Business (whether through his great Age he began to dote, or that the greatness of hi [...] Power and State had stupifi'd his Brain) shew'd not his wonted Prudence and Conduct: for as he could not but very well understand by the Contents of the Letter, that the Complaints of the King of Ninche were grounded upon weighty Reasons, and not without great Cause, yet he took the Business so lit­tle to heart, and judg'd it of so small consequence, as not worthy to be Deba­ted in his Presence, and so referr'd it to the Consideration of some of the Coun­cil, or rather truly to some of his Governors and Commanders, who had la­bor'd all they could at Court, that it might be transmitted to them, that so they might shew their Pride in not answering the Letter of a Tartar King; for to that heighth was their insufferable arrogance grown, that they thought it an undervaluing to their Honor and Grandeur, to return any Answer unto it; but in stead thereof signifi'd their high Displeasure, that People subject unto them, and who paid Taxes yearly to the Emperor, sho [...]ld take upon them to come and complain of Injuries unto him. Nor ceased they here, but mocked and revil'd the King of Ninche with bitter words, never considering that great Army wherewith he had invaded their Empire, or so much as gathering any Forces together to oppose him.

The Tartar King finding himself thus slighted and scorn'd, changing his anger into madness, burst out into cursing and swearing, that he would re­venge the Murder of his Father with the death of two hundred thousand Chine­ses: for (as we said before) it is a Custom amongst the Tartars, that when any Persons of Quality die, in honor of the Dead they fling into the Funeral Fire where the Deceased was burnt, some Men-Servants, Women, Horses, Bows and Arrows, as if the Dead stood in need of these things hereafter; and here the Vow of the King signifi'd, that so many thousands should attend his Fa­ther's Funeral. But they have very much left this barbarous cruelty since their Conquest of China, insomuch that they now there bury their Dead after the Chinese fashion, without burning, though in their own Country perhaps they observe still the same Ceremony.

The King of Ninche being thus incensed, marches forward with his Forces [Page 259] immediately, and suddenly laid Siege to the Chief City Laoyang, in the Pro­vince of Leaotung: The Place was strongly fortifi'd, and there was a Garrison of Soldiers within it, all well Arm'd with Muskets, whereas the Tartars use nothing but Zables, Bows, and Arrows: for prevention therefore of the slaughter by Bullets, which the Tartars were very fearful of (for this sort of Arms was then altogether unknown to them) they invented a Stratagem, which might render the shooting of Bullets ineffectual unto the Chineses, which was this: Their King caus'd a great number of thick Planks to be made rea­dy, and caus'd each Foot-Soldier that march'd in the Van to carry one, where­with he secur'd both himself and the Horse that follow'd behind. Being thus provided, having lain a while before the City, whose Inhabitants were unwil­ling to yield, it was concluded to Storm the Place: To this end the King divi­ded his Forces into four Divisions, to Storm the City in four places at once: He commanded the Foot to march with their before-mention'd Planks in the Front, next to them the worst Horse, after whom follow'd those that carried the Scaling-Ladders: At last march'd up the Prime of his Army, which con­sisted of the Stoutest and ablest Soldiers of his Kingdom.

Having thus put his Army in Battel-array, he fell upon the City immedi­ately with an undaunted Courage. Those within made very stout oppositi­on at first; but the Tartars pressing upon them furiously, got the better, and at last drove them from the Walls, to which fixing their Scaling-ladders, they quickly became Masters of the same, such was their ex [...]raordinary nimble­ness and Courage. And now the Chineses, finding themselves unable any longer to oppose the Enemy, fled out of the City; but the Tartars kill'd a great number in the Pursuit.

After the taking of this City, the Tartar march'd on with his Army without any stop or hinderance, taking by Storm whatever other Cities oppos'd him; but such as submitted, he commanded that none of the Inhabitants should suffer either in Body or Goods.

When now the King of Ninche had fill'd the Inhabitants of the Province of Leaotung with fear and dread of his Army, and had totally Conquer'd the same, he march'd forward with the Flower of his Army into the Province of Peking, making no haste till he was come within seven Miles of the Imperial City, and there finding several Chinese Armies to lie round about him, he pitch'd his Camp in a very rich Quarter, not daring to advance any further up into the Country; whereas if he had march'd on, he had in all probability carried all before him, and might undoubtedly have taken the Imperial City, the People being generall consternated, and their Hearts dead with Fear, inso­much that the Emperor himself had already concluded to abandon the City of Peking, and with his whole Family to retire toward the Southern Provin­ces; but he was dissuaded from it by his Council: yet notwithstanding, the Inhabitants of both these Provinces were so fill'd with Fear at the approach of the Tartars, that they left their Habitations both in City and Country, and fled into the Woods and Mountains with what they could well carry with them; the Enemy in the mean time laying waste several famous Cities, and putting all to Fire and Sword where he came.

The Ninchean King, who, as we said, durst not adventure to march against the Imperial City of Peking, having got good store of Riches out of the other Conquer'd Cities, retreated back with his Army to the Chief City of the Province of Leaotung, which was a very goodly City before he took it, both [Page 260] for strength, situation, and fairness of Building: but being told by his Sooth­sayers, that to let the old Walls stand after he had won the Place, could bode nought but Misfortune, he caus'd them thereupon to be raz'd to the Ground, and new ones built.

There are but two Great Cities in all this Province, which are Leaoyang and Ningyven; the rest are of a smaller Circuit, yet are they both Populous and Rich: But with Places of Strength, which exceed some Cities for bigness, it exceedingly abounds.

The Inhabitants of this Place are very dull of Understanding, and so al­together incapable of learning any Arts and Sciences; but very healthful of Constitution, and strong of Body, therein much exceeding the other Chineses: And the cause may be, for that they are bred from the Cradle to Wars and Hardship, by reason of their vicinity to the Tartars, who are perpetually ma­king Wars upon them. As to their Manners and Customs, they resemble very much the Tartars; which comes to pass by the great Intercourse that [...]s daily between them.

The Country is in some places very Hilly and Mountainous, and in others plain and even for many Miles together; yet every where very fruitful in the product of all manner of Cattel, both Wild and Tame; as also in Tree [...] and Fruits of the Fields, wholesom and medicinal both in their Bodies, Leaves, Fruits, and Roots; amongst others, here grows that incomparable Root G [...] ­seng, whereof mention is made before. There are also to be had store of Rich Furs, as Sables, Bever, &c. which they wear in Winter to keep them­selves warm, and Traffick with likewise into other Provinces. It also pro­duces curious Pine-apples, excellent Wheat and Barley, but no Rice; yet a great abundance of Figs, Apples, Pears, Grapes, and several other sorts of Fruits: Which extraordinary Plenty of all Necessary Things of its own Growth, renders it both pleasant and cheap to live in; but much more, in regard of its Situation upon the Sea, from whence it is furnish'd with all manner of Commodities from other Countries.

Their Religion is very little different from that of the other Chineses, being great Promoters of the Doctrine of the Transmigration of Souls out of one Body into another.

Thus the Tartars having made this Place the Seat of War, whereby they could at pleasure Invade the Neighboring Provinces, the Emperor and his Council began to consider which way was the most likely for them to drive the Tartars out of their Territories, and at last they concluded to raise an Army of 600000 Men; over and above whom, the King of Corea sent to their Assistance 12000 valiant Bow-men, who were not inferior for Skill to the Tartars. In the mean time the Ninchean King was not idle, but drew out of his Kingdom as many Forces as could possibly be spar'd, to joyn with him. Being thus prepard for Wars on both sides, the Chineses in the Year 1619 march'd with that formidable Army against the Enemy; who hearing of their approach, set forward from their Camp to meet them, which soon hap­ned; but then such was the inveterate malice of both Parties, that as soon as they saw each other the Battel began, which was valiantly fought for a long time by both Armies, so that the Victory hung in suspence, nor could any judge who would have the better, till at length the Chineses running away in great disorder and confusion, the slaughter was very great among them, both of Commanders and Soldiers, upon the Spot, those that escaped carrying the [Page 261] news of the Overthrow to the Emperor. This great Victory the Ninchean King pursu'd with that expedition, that he took several Cities and Towns, some whereof they laid in Ashes, and put the Inhabitants to the Sword, har­rassing and plundering up to the very Walls of the City of Peking, though they durst not lay Siege to it, there being a Garrison of eighty thousand Men, and and the Place well fortifi'd with great store of Cannon upon the Walls: Not­withstanding which Provision, such was the fear of the Pekinger, that if the Tartars had but attempted, they might have been Masters of that great City without any very hazardous opposition; for the Emperor was again fully resolv'd, as before, to quit it, and to retire to the Southern Provinces: But some of his Council, now too late grown wise, alter'd his Purpose, by telling him, that it would encourage the Enemy, and not only put the whole Em­pire into confusion, but hazard the ruine, if not the loss of it. The Tartars by this means being put to a stand, having enrich'd themselves with Booty, de­stroy'd some thousands of poor Creatures with the Sword, and burnt down their Dwellings to the Ground, retreated back to their old Quarters in the Province of Leaotung.

During these Troubles the Emperor Vanlieus died in the Year 1620. After whose Death his Son Taichangus, a valiant and prudent Prince, succeeded; who by the Conduct of his Affairs, in a short time gave sufficiently to understand what good Services his Country was to expect from him, had he not been un­fortunately cut off by an untimely Death in the fourth Month of his Reign: To whom was Successor his Son Thienkius, a gallant Person, and no ways in­ferior to his Father for Vertue and Courage.

This Monarch finding the unsetledness and danger of his Affairs, made it his chiefest Concern to contract Friendship, and support his Government with the Favor and Affection of his Neighbors: for he had taken notice by experience, how much the Empire of China had suffer'd by living always at great variance with the Tartar Kings of Ninche, which border'd upon him: In the first place therefore he endeavor'd to win the Favor of the King of Corea, who had formerly sent to his Grandfather a Supply of twelve thousand Men to aid and assist him in this War; but they being most of them kill'd and wounded, he doubted lest this might make him take part against him, and joyn with the Tartar; for prevention whereof, and to satisfie the King in every scruple, he immediately sent an Ambassador to him, to return him thanks for those great Succors he had sent; and withal signifying his extraor­dinary Grief and Sorrow for the great loss which had fall'n upon the afore-men [...]ion'd Aids in that War; but that he hoped in a short time to retaliate upon the Enemy the Wrongs they had done to him and his Kingdom. And that his Embassy might be the more grateful, he likewise sent several rich Pre­sents and promis'd him his Assistance, where and whensoever he should have occasion to make use of it. But this friendly Message look'd not only for ver­bal Returns; for it was design'd as a Motive to procure more Succors from him: which without doubt he had reason to endeavor, in regard the People of this Island of Corea, which lies very near to Iapan, have out of the Neighbor­hood far greater Strength than the Chineses.

And now craving leave for a little digression, which may not be imperti­nent, in regard there has been often mention made of this Island of Corea and the Inhabitants thereof, I shall describe the same in short, and all that is worth observation in the same.

[Page 262] It is unto this day doubted by those of Europe, whether Corea be an Island or firm Land; but according to the opinion of the best Writers, it is a hanging Island, surrounded with Water on all parts, except the uttermost part, which is joyn'd to the firm Land; for though Trials have been made to Sail round about, yet it could never be done, as some People seem to affirm to us from their own experience, though some there are that affirm the contrary. But this Error proceeds from a mistake of a certain great Island call'd Fungina, situa [...]e to the Southward of it, to be Corea. However it be, this truth is most certain, that all the Chinese Writers affirm Corea to be firm Land, and joyning to the Kingdom of Ninche in Tartary. Another mistake may arise from the varie [...]y of the Name given to it; for the Chineses call it Chaosien, therein following the Iapanners, though by us of Europe it is call'd Corea.

Toward the North it borders upon the Kingdom of Ninche, on the North-West it has for Confine, the River Yalo; the rest is surrounded and wash'd with the Sea.

The whole Island is divided into eight Provinces or Counties: The mid­dlemost, and accounted the first, bears the Name of Kinki, wherein is situa [...] the Chief City of Pingiang, the Court of the Kings. The second, toward the East, is call'd Kiangyven, but heretofore Gueipe. The third, situate toward th [...] West, is now known by the Name of Hoangchui, but was formerly call'd Ch [...] ­sien, the Name at this day proper to the whole Island. The fourth, situate [...]ward the South, now call'd Civenlo, was formerly nam'd Pienhari. The fi [...]th, also Southerly, but inclining to the East, is call'd Kingxan. The sixth, toward the South-West, is Changing. The seventh, toward the North-East, has the Name of Pingan.

In these Counties are several populous and rich Cities, which for fashion and strength differ very little from those in China, and built for the most part four-square.

The Country is very well Peopled, throughout the whole having but one Form of Government; not at all differing in Habit, and using one and the same Form both of Speech and Writing. Their Religion is the same with those of China, holding the transmigration of the Soul out of one Body into another. They all adore one Idol call'd Fe, whereof I have already made men­tion.

The Bodies of their dead Friends they bury not till three years be fully elapsed, and then they put them into very fine Coffins, after the manner of the Chineses, glu'd up so very close that no scent can strike through.

They give a greater liberty to their Women than the Chineses; for they ad­mit of them into any Company, whereas the other will hardly suffer them to stir abroad. Here also the Son or Daughter may Marry whom they think fit, without asking the consent of Father or Mother: which is quite contrary to the use of the Chineses, and indeed all other civiliz'd People.

This Island is very fruitful in the product of all manner of Fruits necessary for the sustenance of Life, especially of Wheat and Rice, whereof there are twice a year plentiful Harvests. Here also are made several sorts of Paper, and curious Pencils of Wolves Hair, which the Chineses and other neighboring People as well as themselves use in Writing. Here grows likewise the Root Guiseng, and (as is reported) are several Gold-Mines. But notwithstanding all these Advantages of natural Commodities wherewith this Place abounds, yet the Inhabitants thereof drive no Trade with any other forein People, but only [Page 263] those of China and Iapan. And thus much shall suffice to be spoken of Corea; we will now return to give an Account of the sequel of the Wars.

The Chinese Emperor, after his Embassy to the King of Corea, to prevent the further Invasion of the Tartars, and the better to oppose them, muster'd several Troops rais'd for his assistance out of the fifteen Provinces or Kingdoms of the Empire, and sent very great Armies towards Leaotung: And the better to fur­nish such vast Armies with Provisions, he caus'd an extraordinary great Fleet of Ships to be Equipp'd in the famous Port of Thiencin, which were wholly employ'd to carry Provisions by Sea from all parts of China for their supply; by the exact performance and observing whereof they had no want of any thing.

Amongst other Martial Commanders and Governors of Provinces that had the Conduct of these Armies, there was a certain Woman who may very justly be call'd The Chinese Amazon; for she came with three thousand Men out of Suchue, which is the furthermost Province of China toward the West, and shew'd by her Courage a manly Heart; and she fought several Battels successfully against the Tartars, having always the better of them: In remembrance of whose good Services, the Emperor conferr'd several Titles of Honor upon her.

And now at last the Emperor Thienkius, being come in Person into his Army in Leaotung, and having in manner afore-mention'd taken care to have it fully supply'd with all convenient Necessaries, drew up the same in Battel-aray, and on a sudden fell furiously upon the Tartars, beat them out of the Field, and recover'd the whole Province with less difficulty than was suppos'd or expected, in regard the Inhabitants, who had been miserably handled by the Tartars, joyn'd with their Country-men the Emperor's Forces; by which addition being come far more numerous than the Enemy, and having advan­tage of revenge, they fell upon them with great rage and fury, stirr'd up there­to by having before their Eyes the lamentable Condition into which they had brought their Country by Fire and Sword: And to say all in a word, it was their good fortune, that at this time the King of Ninche was so unfortunate, that the Mutinies of his own Subjects at home hindred him from recruiting his Army, which in divers great Battels had been much wasted, and he could get no Forces from thence to re-inforce himself; so that at last being every where worsted by the Emperor's Supplies, the incroaching Ninchean was fain to save himself by flight, and to leave the Province of Leaotung to the con­quering Sword of its just and lawful Emperor.

Of the last Chinese and Tartar War, wherein the Tartars over-ran and conquer'd the whole Empire of China.

ALthough by the means mention'd in the last Chapter, the Chinese Empire was a while freed from the fury and destroying Sword of the wasting Tartars; yet it was not long before it fell into far greater Troubles than ever, by those their old Enemies, who once more renew'd the War, and never left it off till they had brought under the whole Empire. The manner as followeth:

[Page 264] The Chineses suspecting the return of the Tartars after that they had quieted their domestick Troubles, and setled their Affairs, in the mean time took care to supply the Frontier Places with strong Garrisons, and raise more For­ces for the security of their State: which was scarcely perform'd before it hapned as they imagin'd; for the Troubles and Mutinies being appeas'd in Ninche, that King returns with a mighty Army into the West of Leaotung, ha­ving given order to seventy thousand Horse (whom he sent before) to block up the Chief City of Leaoyang, assuring them he himself would follow with the main of his Army. These Horsemen, to shew their Courage and Valour, no sooner approach'd, but they Storm'd the City, and in two days time became Masters of it, before their King came up to them with his Forces. There wa [...] no Courage wanting on either side; for it was manfully fought out by both, till at least thirty thousand Men were kill'd on the part of the Chineses, and no less on that of the Tartars (wo had never lost so many Men before in any one Fight in this Quarrel;) yet at last they took the City, not so much by their own Strength, as Treachery hatch'd within it: for they had Brib'd one of the Com­manders with Money and promise of Preferment, to set open the Gate com­mitted to his Charge: which he performing according to the Agreement, the Tartar came rushing into the City, and won the same in the space of a few hours, laying it level with the Ground in a most miserable manner. The Tu­tang or Governor having understood the Treason, took it so much to heart, that he hang'd himself presently, that he might not live to see the ruine and deso­lation that was coming upon the City and its Inhabitants. The Emperor's chief Councellor had undoubtedly follow'd his Example, and undergone the same Fate, had he not been prevented by the Tartars, who took him and sav'd his Life, only out of design that he should be serviceable unto them in disco­vering the Condition of the Country: But he not valuing his Life, scorn'd to give the Title of KING to the Tartar, and would in no wise be persuaded to falsifie the Oath, and betray the Trust reposed in him by the Emperor. The Tartars wondring at the Courage, Stability, and Constancy of this Man, gave him afterwards both his Life and Liberty, thereby to let the World know, that they understood how to reward Vertue and Integrity. But he, more cruel to himself than the Enemy, knowing very well what Reward (according to the Chinese Law) would fall to his share, depriv'd himself at last of his own Life, which his Enemy had spar'd, by following the Example of the fore-men­tion'd Tutang: for it is a known Law and Custom in China, though very un­reasonable, That all Generals and Commanders of Forts and Garrisons, though they behave themselves never so well, if they come off unfortunately, forfeit their Lives when they return home.

The Tartars after the taking and destroying of this City, immediately issu'd out a Proclamation, That the Inhabitants of no City should s [...]ffer any Da­mage either in Life or Estate, if they would cut off their Hair, leaving only a single Lock behind; and pull out all the Hair of their Beards, except their Mustachio's, and likewise go Cloth'd after the Tartar Fashion.

Although this Command was strict, yet it carried with it some shew of Favor, and consequently gain'd a kind of Love, until the Tartars, by some barbarous Acts they committed afterwards, were very much hated and abo­minated. The Story goes thus: There being at that time several Merchants come to the City with Commodities from other Parts of Chi [...]a, to Trade withal, the Tartar at their Request gave them free leave to go and come; [Page 265] whereupon these innocent People, not apprehending the dangerous mis­chief that was design'd against them, departed with their Riches and Goods: But they were hardly got three Miles out of the City, when the Tartars lying in wait for them, fell upon and kill'd them every one, taking as free Plunder all they had, which they brought with them into the City triumphantly, as if it had been the Spoil of an open Enemy. Which barbarous usage being heard of, occasion'd a great amazement amongst the Inhabitants, who knew no other but that they might be serv'd every moment after the same manner. But notwithstanding all their salvage cruelty, they were at present necessitated to make a halt, in regard of the great loss they had sustain'd before this City of Leaoyang; nor durst they venture to march further up into the Country, or lay Siege to any Place of importance, till they had first recruited themselves; for they found all the Frontier Towns and Places of Strength well fortifi'd and guarded.

Amongst all other Chinese Commanders who signaliz'd themselves in shew­ing their Courage in their Countries behalf against the Enemy, was one Mao­venlung, who did very great execution upon them in several Encounters: He was a Native of the Province of Quantung, where he had learn'd and under­stood in his Conversation amongst the Portuguese at Macao, several things con­cerning their Military Discipline: From thence he had likewise brought with him several great Guns, which he purchased out of a Netherland Ship that was cast away there, and those he Planted upon the Walls of the Chief City of Ningyven.

The Eastern part of Leaotung, and the Chief City of Leaoyang being thus lost, in this new made Chief City there hapned to be at the same time the Tutang or Vice-Roy of Leaotung with the whole Chinese Army. The Tartars having many times had trial, to their sorrow and cost, of the Courage of this Maoven­lung, having often been routed by him, durst not adventure any further to Cope with him in an honorable way, but bethought themselves of some Stra­tagem or politick Device, whereby to wound the Integrity and Vertue of this brave Person; and they suppos'd the best means to assail him with, would be fair words and high Promises: Wherefore to put in execution this their De­sign, they offer'd him by a private Letter (which they caus'd cunningly to be deliver'd to him) half the Empire of China, if he would desert his natural Prince with the Flower of his Army, and help them to conquer the Empire. But Maovenlung, who would neither forfeit his Honor nor Oath, courageously refus'd these high Offers, and return'd for Answer, That he had rather lose his Life, than betray his Prince and Country.

The Tartars finding that this Plot of theirs would take no effect, and that the Chineses had well provided against their coming, resolv'd to desist, and to make no further progress in the present War, which wholly ceased till the Year 1625. when suddenly it breaking forth again, they came and besieg'd the Chief City of Ningyven. This greatly startled the Chineses, who thought they had overcome the greatest difficulty and danger. But Maovenlung came time enough to the rescue and relief of this Place, and fell so furiously upon the Besiegers, that they were forc'd to raise their Siege, with the loss of at least ten thousand Men that were slain upon the Spot, amongst whom fell the King's own Son; whose Death was so highly resented by the surviving Tar­tars, that they in a great rage and madness made over the Ice (for it was in Winter,) and getting into the Island of Theyoven (whereof they quickly [Page 266] made themselves Masters) they put every living Creature they found to the Sword (which were a very great number) in revenge of the young Prince; which having done, they immediately left the Province of Leaotung, and re­treated into their own Country, not with an intention to be quiet, but only to recruit themselves with more Forces, and then to return again at a conve­nient time.

And hereupon follow'd a Cessation of Arms, till the Year 1627. when the Chinese Emperor Thienkius hapned to die, being but a young Man, whose Death prov'd to be the loss of all China; although the Tartar King of Ninche call'd Thienning, who had destroy'd so many thousands of People by Fire and Sword, did not long survive, but as an Attendant on his Corps, died the same Year.

Thienkius was succeeded by his Brother, who was very unfortunate in all his Undertakings, and at length, through the treachery of his Subjects, had both an unfortunate Reign and Death, as by the remaining part of the History will appear.

The Tartar King Thienning had for his Successor in the Throne his Son Thientung, who quickly chang'd the salvage and barbarous Manners and Cu­stoms us'd by his tyrannizing Father; insomuch that he did not pursue the Chineses so fiercely, but began to treat them with more Civility, which pro­duc'd a very great Change, and caus'd all his Affairs to become more accepta­ble. And certainly this prudent and politick Prince had effected great things, had he not been cut off by an untimely Death, his mildness having gotten so great renown withal, that the Council who had made choice of him, thought themselves happy in the Change, and withal learn'd from him by Example, that the Chineses would sooner be reduc'd and brought under their Govern­ment by Clemency and Civility, than by force of Arms.

In this Year 1627. the Commanders and Officers of General Maovenlung, who by reason of the quietness of the Tartars, had no Enemy to Encounter, began much to molest, and be injurious to their Friends and Allies of Core [...], by making Inroads and Incursions upon them; nay, by degrees they grew so very insolent and troublesom to all Parts adjoining to their Quarters, espe­cially the Inhabitants of the Province of Hienkien, who were so intolerably oppress'd by their Rapines, that out of revenge and hatred they put themselves under the Protection of the Tartar, advising him to re-invade and fall into China with a mighty Army; which he (not willing to let slip so fair an oppor­tunity) immediately did; so that a very great Army was in the Field ready to assail the Chinese Forces, before they had any thoughts of an Enemy, and when they least dream'd of their coming; who by this means lying carelesly dis­pers'd up and down in the Provinces, were soon destroy'd. Maovenlung how­ever rallied, and by the addition of some new Leavies and Recruits being grown into a strong Body, he fought several doubtful Battels with the Tar­tars; but they at last growing superior to him in Strength and number, Mao­venlung the Chinese General was constrain'd to quit the Field with the gross of his Army.

Yet neither the loss of the Army, nor greatness of the Victory obtain'd by the Tartars, did make any great impression upon the Chineses; nor indeed were they troubled at it, when they understood that their General had sav'd himself out of the Island of Corea. But the Ninchean Commanders imagining that those of that Place had been instrumental in helping to convey the General Maoven­lung [Page 267] away, with their Army fell into it, plundering the Inhabitants, and ruin­ing the Country by Fire and Sword. This Act was highly disapprov'd of by the Tartar King himself, because it stirr'd up the King of Corea to Arm against him, and joyn his Forces with those of the Chineses, which Maovenlung had been gathering together, and with them was marching towards Corea to revenge himself upon the Tartars.

The Tartars having thus inhumanely, and without reason turn'd their Arms upon the Countries of Corea, were setting forward with their Army against the Royal City thereof, and were arriv'd at the beginning of the Mountains (through which the Way runs to the City) being about seven Miles from the same. Here the King of Corea, in the narrow Way, had pitch'd to receive them; and the