• I. The Voyage of Peter Kolben, to the Cape of Good Hope.
  • II. A Voyage of China, by Lewis Le Compte.
  • III. Anecdotes of the Elephant, [...] Travels.



A Collection of Voyages and Travels.

The Voyage of Peter Kolben, A. M. to the Cape of Good Hope; with an account of the Manners and Customs of its Inhabi­tants.

I EARLY felt an ardent desire to tra­vel; and, embracing an opportunity that offered, I embarked on board the Union, one of the Dutch East India ships that lay in the Texel.

On the 8th of January, 1705, the Union set sail, with eight more of the company's ships, bound to the East Indies; and, on the 15th of March, steering round St. Jago, one of the Cape de Verd islands, we had a distinct view of the rocks and mountains, and of the situation and extent of the city of the same name.

On the 10th of June we discovered the Cape of Good Hope; and the next day ar­rived safe in the harbour. Being introduced to the governor, that gentleman, on sight of my recommendatory letters, treated me in a very friendly and affable manner; and soon assig [...] me a very commodious abode.

Th [...] Cape of Good Hope was discovered [Page 2] so early by the Portuguese, as the year 1493. They attempted a settlement in 1498, but a party of them being cut off, they abandoned the place.

It does not appear that any Europeans af­terwards landed at the Cape, 'till the year 1600, when it began to be visited by the English, French and Dutch, in their voy­ages to and from the East Indies. But in 1650, a Dutch fleet anchoring before it, mr. Van Riebeek, a surgeon on board, ob­serving that the country was well stocked with cattle, the soil rich, the harbour com­modious, and the people tractable, digested his observations; and, on his return to Hol­land, laid them before the directors of the India company, who, after a grand consul­tation, resolved to attempt a settlement at the Cape, without loss of time. Accord­ingly, four ships were immediately ordered out on that design, with all the materials, instruments, artificers and other hands ne­cessary for such an expedition. The surgeon Van Riebeek was appointed governor and commander in chief of the intended settle­ment, with power to treat with the Hotten­tots, in what manner he should think fit.

With these four ships, Van Riebeek ar­rived safe at the Cape; and so captivated the natives by his address and good humour, and with the presents he brought them of brass [Page 3] toys, beads, tobacco, brandy, &c. that a [...]reaty was instantly concluded: and on his giving them toys and commodities to the va­ [...]ue of fifty thousand guilders, they granted the Dutch full liberty to settle there, resign­ed to them a part of the country, and a trade was established with them, on a good and solid foundation.

After these wise regulations, in which so just a regard was paid to the natural rights of the inhabitants, mr. Van Riebeek raised a square fort; and built in it, dwelling-houses, ware-houses, and an hospital for the recep­tion of the sick. To this fort he added pro­per outworks, to secure himself from any at­tacks of the Europeans.

Every thing prospering i [...] such a surpriz­ing manner, the company offered sixty acres of land to every man who would settle at the Cape; provided he could not only maintain himself upon it within three years, but also contribute at a certain rate to the support of the garrison: but every one was left at li­berty at the end of that term, to sell or make over his land, and to leave the settle­ment▪ Encouraged by these proposals, and by [...] [...]stance given to those who could not [...] [...]selves provide utensils, tools, and instrument [...] agriculture, great numbers went to the Cape, [...] the settlement soon began to make a considerable figure: but all [Page 4] this while there was a growing evil, against which no provision had been made. Eu­ropean women were very scarce; and those they had, were wives, who had settled there with their husbands: while the plantation swarmed with young fellows, each settled upon his farm, and in a way of thriving, but wanting wives as much for the sake of issue and domestic help, as for sensual gratifica­tions; and yet they had not the least incli­nation to marry the Hottentot women. But an account of this grievance being dispatched to Amsterdam, a fine troop of young women were levied, who, on their arrival at the Cape, were bestowed by the governor on such as wanted wives, with all the indulgence that could be shewn on such an occasion, to their several fancies and inclinations.

The settlement being thus firmly esta­blished, it increased to such a degree, that being still joined by other settlers, the Dutch, in a few years, extended themselves in new colonies along the coast.

The greatest part of the country about the Cape is full of rocks and mountains, which, long after the discovery, being only viewed at a distance, were considered as bar­ren: but their spacious tops are covered with rich meadows, every where enamelled with a variety of flowers, of uncommon beauty and fragrance, and abound with delicious springs, [Page 5] running in many streams into the valleys. These mountains are in clear weather seen at sea at the distance of fifteen leagues. On their skirts are interspersed groves, that afford excellent wood for the joiners and turners. The plains and vallies are all delightful mea­dow lands, where nature appears with such a profusion of charms as to ravish the eye of the beholder. They every where smile, and are adorned with beautiful trees, plants and flowers, that fill the air with the sweetest odours, among these are the aloe, and other curious trees and herbs.

The soil is so rich, as to be capable of every kind of culture; it bears all sorts of grain, and every kind of fruit-trees. The country abounds with salt and hot baths of mineral waters, that have been found salu­tary in many diseases. The regions about the Cape are, however, subject to boisterous winds, that generally blow from the south­east, while the sun is in the southern signs, and from the northwest while in the nor [...]he [...]n signs. These winds, however, though they frequently do much damage to the trees and corn, are of service in purging the air, and contributing to the health of the inhabi­tants; who, after a calm of a week or ten days, generally complain of the head-ach, and other disorders, which vanish, when the winds blow again.

[Page 6]Some authors have said, that the Hotten­tots are so brutal, as to be in a manner, in­capable of reflection, having no sense of re­ligion, nor any notion of order or decency, and scarcely possessing the least glimpse of rea­son or humanity: but this is far from being true. I have known many of them who understood Dutch, French, and Portuguese to a degree of perfection; and one I knew, who learned English and Portuguese in a very short time. and having conquered the habit of pronun­ciation contracted from his native language, was said by good judges to understand and speak them with a surprizing readiness and propriety.

They are, perhaps, the most faithful ser­vants in the world. The Europeans, at the Cape, are so fond of them in this capacity, that they are loth to part with them. Though they are infinitely fond of wine, brandy, and tobacco, and will, at any time, part with the most valuable things they have, to purchase them, yet they will neither dimi­nish, nor suffer any one else to diminish the least drop or part of those commodities, when they are committed to their trust. It is surprizing to see the care and fidelity with which they acquit themselves on these occa­sions. They are even employed by the Eu­ropeans in affairs that require judgment and capacity.

[Page 7]Notwithstanding what has been said, the Ho [...]tentots seem to place their whole earthly happiness in sloth and indolence. They can think to the purpose, if they please: but they hate the trouble of thought, and look upon every degree of reasoning as a torment­ing agitation of the mind: they therefore never reason but in case of necessity; that is when it is requisite to remove some pressing want of their own or their friends. If the Hottentot is not roused by some present ap­petite or necessity; he is as deaf both to thought and action, as a log; when urged by these, he is all activity; but when these are gratified, and his obligation to serve is at an end, he retires to enjoy again his belov­ed idleness.

Some authors have said, that all the Hot­tentots devour the entrails of beasts, un­cleansed of their filth and excrements, half broiled; and that, whether sound or rotten, they consider them as the greatest delica­cies in the word: but this is not true. I have always found, that when they had en­trails to eat, they turned and stripped them of their filth, and washed them in clean wa­ter. They then boiled them in blood of the beast, if they had any; if not, they gave them a thorough broiling. This, however, is done in so nasty a manner as to make an European loath their victuals.

[Page 8]But, uncleanly as their manner of dressing their provisions is, those of them who keep to the diet of their country, have few dis­eases, are seldom sick, and live to an extreme old age. But those who drink wine, brandy, or other strong liquors, suffer diseases before unknown to them, and shorten their days: even the meat dressed and seasoned after the European manner, is very pernicious, with respect to them.

What chiefly renders the Hottentots a nas­ty generation is a custom, observed from their infancy, of besmearing their bodies and apparel, (which is only a skin thrown over their shoulders, and another round their waist) with mutton fat, marrow, or butter, mixed with the foot that gathers round their boil­ing pots, they being naturally of a nut or olive colour. This custom is repeated as often as the grease is dried by the sun or dust, if they are able to get either fat or butter. The meaner sort are mostly obliged to make use of that which is rank; but the more wealthy always besmear themselves with the freshest and choicest that can be had. No part of the body, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, escapes this paint; their skins are thoroughly daubed with it. The richer they are, the more fat and butter they employ; for this is the grand [Page 9] distinction between the rich and poor; but they abominate the fat of fish.

This rubbing and greasing promotes the suppleness of the body; and the Hottentots though a lazy race, are, perhaps, the swiftest of foot in the world; for they not only dart away from the swiftest European, but frequently out-run a very fleet horse. Be­sides, living almost naked in a region where the sun's heat is very great all the year round, by closing their pores with grease, they pre­vent that excessive perspiration which would, in all probability, exhaust and destroy them.

What renders them most disagreeable, is their suffering their woolly hair to be matted together with fat and dirt; their offensive smell, arising from these uncleanly customs; and their abominable lousiness. Add to this, their language is a composition of the strangest sounds that ever were uttered by any people, and their pronunciation depends up­on such collisions of the tongue against the palate, and upon such strange vibrations and inflections of that member, as a stranger can­not easily imitate, and neither they them­selves, nor hardly any one else, can describe.

These people are, however, neither so small of stature, nor so deformed and wrink­led as they have been described by some au­thors: for most of the men are from five to six feet high; but the women are a great [Page 10] deal less. Both sexes are very erect and well made, keeping a due medium between being fat and lean. There is not a crooked limb, or other piece of deformity to be seen among them; which is the more remarkable, as they do not take near so much care of their children as the European women. Their heads being generally large, their eyes are so in proportion. Their general mien is so far from being wild and terrible, that it is sweet and composed, and declarative of the highest benevolence and good nature. The worst features they have are their large flat noses, and their thick lips, especially the up­permost; however, the flatness of their noses is not natural, but caused by art. Their teeth are as white as ivory, and their cheeks have something of the cherry; but from their continual daubings, it is not easily discerned. The men have large broad feet: but those of the women are small and tender. Neither the men nor the women cut the nails of their fingers or toes. But what is very extraor­dinary, all the Hottentot women are distin­guished by having a broad callous kind of flap growing to their bellies, which seems intended by nature to hide, what other nations are taught most carefully to conceal; and some of th [...]m have it so large, that it can hardly be covered by the piece of sheep­skin they wear before them, it being often [Page 11] seen below it. This no Hottentot considers as a deformity; but through their nastiness and daubings, it is always in such a condition as to make an European loath the sight of it: yet for a little tobacco they will suffer you to handle and examine it. Thevenot in his travels, says, the negro, Egyptian, and the women of some other nations, are sub­ject to the like excrescence; but that they stop the growth of it very early by searing: this may probably be done from their con­sidering it as a deformity.

In hot weather, the men constantly go without any other covering on their heads, than the composition of fat, soot and dirt, with which their hair is matted together: for they say, that the fat keeps their heads cool under the fiercest sun beams; but in the cold seasons, and in wet weather, they wear caps made of cat or lamb skins, which they tie on with two strings; but the face and fore-part of the neck of the men are al­ways uncovered. About the man's neck hangs a little greasy bag, in which he carries his pipe and tobacco, with a little piece of wood of a finger's length, burnt at both ends, as an amulet against witchcraft.

Their krosses, as they term them, or the mantles they hang over their shoulders, are worn open or closed according to the season. The krosses of the most wealthy are of tyger [Page 12] or wild cat-skins: and those of the commo [...] people of sheep-skins: in winter they tur [...] them outwards. They lie upon them in th [...] night, and when they die, they are tied up and interred in them.

Three rings of ivory they generally wea [...] upon the left arm; these they form from the elephants teeth they find in the woods, which they cut into rings, and finish with such art and exactness as would surprise the ablest turner in Europe. These rings, or bracelets, serve as guards when they fight against an enemy, and when they travel, they fasten a bag to them for the convey­ance of their viaticum, which they fix so cle­verly, that it is hardly any incumbrance. Round their waists hang what they call a kull-cross, a square piece of the skin of a wild beast, generally of a wild cat, tied o [...] with the hairy side outward. When they drive their herds to pasture, they put on a kind of leather stockings to secure their legs from being scratched by briers and thorns. When they are to pass over rocks and sands, they put on a kind of sandals, cut out of the raw hide of an ox or elephant, each consisting of only one piece turning up about half an inch quite round the foot, with the hairy side outward, and fastened on with strings.

The women wear caps all the year round, [Page 13] made of the skins of wild beasts, that point up spirally from the crown of the head. They generally wear two krosses round their shoulders, which, like those of the men, co­ver their backs, and sometimes reach down to their hams. Between these krosses, they fasten a sucking child, if they have one, with the head just peeping over their shoulders. The under krosse serves to prevent their bo­dies being hurt by the children at their backs. About their neck is tied a string, to which is fastened a leather bag, which they constantly wear, from morning till night, both at home and abroad; it contains some kind of food, a pipe, tobacco, &c. The girls, from their infancy to twelve years of age, wear bulrushes tied in rings round their legs, from their knees down to their ancles. These bulrush rings are then laid aside, and their place is supplied with rings of the thickness of a little finger made of slips of sheep or calf-skins, from which the hair is singed; for the Hottentot sheep have no­thing like wool. Some of the women have above an hundred of these rings upon each leg so curiously joined, and so nicely fitted to the leg, and to each other, that they seem like curious pieces of turnery. They are smooth, and as hard as wood, and make a clattering noise in dancing. These rings are kept from slipping over their heels, by [Page 14] wrappers of leather or rushes about their ancles; and as the women are obliged every day to walk through bushes and brambles to gather roots and other things for food, they preserve their legs from being torn by the thorns and briers. These rings are one great distinction of their sex, and are considered as very ornamental; for the more rings they wear, the finer they are reckoned: but this is not all, they are provisions against an hour of hunger and great scarcity; for when that arrives, they pull them off and eat them.

But the principal part of the finery of both sexes, among the Hottentots, are brass but­tons, and plates of the same metal, which they buy of the Dutch, and then polish to an amazing lustre; these dangle in the men's hair. They are also extremely fond of bits of looking-glass, which they likewise fix in their hair, and consider as very splendid or­naments. Diamonds are not more admired in Europe, than these trinkets in the Hot­tentot nations. They wear small ear­rings, made of brass wire, which they always polish very neatly, and to these rings the most wealthy and eminent hang bits of mother of pearl, to which they have the art of giving a curious shape and polish. These are advan­tages in point of ornament, of which they are extremely proud; for they imagine they [Page 15] draw upon them the admiration of all who behold them.

To their commerce with the Europeans they owe likewise several other ornaments for the body, as brass and glass beads, of which they are extravagantly fond. Hardly a Hottentot of either sex can be met with, who is not adorned with some of them. But the preference is universally given to beads of brass, because they are not so liable to break as those of glass. They wear them in neck­laces, bracelets, and girdles; of which every one has more or less according to his ability. They chuse the smallest beads they can meet with for the neck and arms. The large ones they wear about their waists. Some wear half a dozen necklaces together, and others more, so large that they fall very gracefully to their navels. They likewise cover their arms with bracelets from their elbows to their wrists, which are the largest they can get, and stained with various colours. For these ornaments the Hottentots part with their cattle very freely. If they serve the Euro­peans, they always stipulate for some ear-rings, if they are not already provided: and whenever one of them serves a European, though it be but for a week or a day, he hardly ever fails in the bargain to article for beads.

It is an invariable custom among the men, to wear the bladders of the wild beasts they [Page 16] have slain, blown up and fastened to their hair, where they hang as honourable tro­phies of their prowess.

But with all this finery, the men do not reckon themselves completely dressed, unless their hair be also lavishly powdered with a pulverized herb called Buchu; and this be­ing done, they are beaux and grandees, and appear in their utmost magnificence. As the hair of the women is constantly hid under their caps, they lay this powder as thick as they can upon their foreheads, where, being rubbed into the grease, it sticks very firmly. The women also paint their faces with a red earth, with which they make a spot over each eye, one upon the nose, one upon each cheek, and one upon the chin. These red spots they consider as striking beauties, and therefore this is their constant practice, when they are called to mirthful assemblies, o [...] in­tend to make a conquest: but whatever the Hottentot men may think of women thus painted, they appear frightful to an Eu­ropean.

Each of their nations has a chief, whose office it is to command the army, and with­out whose consent, they neither make peace nor war. His office is hereditary; but he i [...] not permitted to enter upon it, till he ha [...] solemnly engaged in a national assembly, no [...] to attempt the subversion of the old form o [...] [Page 17] government. He was antiently distinguish­ed only by the beauty of the skins of which his krosses were composed: but the Dutch, soon after their establishment at the Cape, made a present of a brass crown to the chief of every nation in alliance with them, which they wear upon solemn occasions. However, in time of peace, the chief has little else to do but to govern the kraal or village where he resides.

The captain of a kraal preserves the peace, and administers justice; and in time of war has, under the chief of the nation, the com­mand of the troops furnished by his kraal. His office is also hereditary, though he can­not execute it till he has solemnly engaged before the people not to alter or deviate from the antient laws and customs of the kraal. These kraal captains were likewise anciently distinguished only by the fineness of the skins they wore, which were those of tygers, or of wild cats: but all of them have now a cane with a brass head, given them by the Dutch, which descends along with the of­fice. But neither the chiefs of the nations, nor these captains, have any revenue from the public, or any perquisite attending the execution of their office.

The captain of a kraal decides all disputes of right and property, and tries and punishes for murder, theft, adultery, and other crimes [Page 18] committed within his jurisdiction, being as­sisted by all the men of the kraal; and from his sentence there lies no appeal: but state criminals are tried by a chief, assisted by all the captains of kraals.

Whenever a dispute about property arise, the captain summons all the men of the kraal into the open field, who squat down in a circle. The plaintiff and defendant plead their own causes, and the witnesses on both sides are heard. The depositions being finished, the captain, after some debate, collects the voices, and immediately pronoun­ces the decree according to the majority; when full and quiet possession is instantly secured to the party in whose favour the de­cree passes.

The criminal matters which employ the kraal courts are murder, adultery, and rob­bery: for adultery is punished with death. When a Hottentot is known or suspected to have committed any of these crimes, notice is given to all the men of the kraal to which he belongs; who, considering themselves as officers of justice, look out sharply in order to seize the suspected party; and it is in vain for him to think of finding sanctuary in any other Hottentot nation, for he would be ta­ken up as a fugitive or a spy. The criminal being apprehended, he is secured till the men of the kraal can assemble, which is done the [Page 19] very day he is brought back to the kraal. The court sitting squat upon their hams in a circle, the prisoner is placed in the middle; because the Hottentots say, that in an affair in which a man's life is at stake, he ought to have the best situation for hearing and being heard. The prisoner being in this place, the charge against him is pronounced by the prosecutor, and the prosecutor's witnesses give their evidence. Next the prisoner makes his defence, calling his own witnesses, who are heard with the greatest indulgence. Then the captain, after some debates on the evidence, collects the voices, a majority of which acquits or condemns him. If he is acquitted, the court assigns him damages out of the prosecutor's cattle. If he is con­victed, and judged worthy of death, sen­tence is immediately pronounced: the court rises, while the prisoner stirs not a limb: for a minute or two, all is silent; when suddenly the captain flies at the prisoner, and with one blow on the head with his stick lays him sprawling on the ground. This is followed by all the rest, who rush forwards, and strik­ing him with all their might, he in a moment expires. They then bending the corpse neck and heels, wrap it up in his krosse, and bury it with every thing they find about it, except his ear-rings, and other ornaments of cop­per or brass, which are given to his family [Page 20] or his heir, who suffer nothing either in name, privilege, or property. His family, relations, and friends are treated with the same respect as before: and every thing proceeds as if no such misfortune had hap­pened. Even the memory of the criminal is so far from being insulted, that his corpse is interred with the same ceremonies, and as much pomp as is shewn at the funerals of the richest and most virtuous among them.

All the riches of the Hottentots descend to the eldest son, or, when a son is wanting, to the next male relation; and the youngest sons of a Hottentot, who are at home and unprovided for at the death of their father, are at the courtesy of the eldest, both with respect to their fortune and their liberty. Marriage with first and second cousins is for­bidden, and punished by being cudgelled to death: but yet a Hottentot may have as many wives as he can maintain though the richest seldom exceed three. A man may be divorced from his wife, and a woman from her husband, upon shewing such cause as shall be satisfactory to the men of the kraal. But one of the most extraordinary of their laws is, that a widow, for every husband she marries after the first, is obliged to cut off a joint of a finger, which she presents to her husband on the wedding-day, beginning at one of the little fingers.

[Page 21]The Hottentots have no lawyers; and the only public officers, besides those already mentioned, are the physician and the priest. In every kraal there is a physician, and the large ones have two, who have some skill in botany, surgery, and medicine. They are chosen out of the sages of each kraal, and appointed to watch over the health of the inhabitants. This they perform without fee or reward, the honour of the employment being judged a sufficient recompence for their trouble. They suffer none to see them gather and prepare their remedies, for all their preparations are kept a profound secret; and if a patient dies under their hands, they constantly assert that all their medicines were rendered ineffectual by witchcraft.

The priest is, at the Cape, inferior to the physician. His office is also elective; but he is neither to pray for the people, nor to instruct them in religious matters. He pre­sides at their offerings, and has the ordering of all ceremonies.

As the chief of a Hottentot nation pre­sides over the captains of the kraals, so the Hottentots call the supreme being the great or supreme captain, whom they be­lieve to be the creator of all things and the governor of the world, and that he is endowed with unsearchable perfections. They commonly call him Gounja Gounja, [Page 22] or Gounja Tiquoa, the God of all Gods; and say that he is a good man, who does nobody any hurt; and that he dwells far above the moon: but it does not appear that they address any act of devotion immediate­ly to the supreme God. Their adorations are paid to what they call inferior deities, dependent upon him; for the most sensible of them, when they are in the humour to answer the questions asked them on this sub­ject, say, their first parents so grievously offended the God of all Gods, that he curs­ed them with hardness of heart; therefore they know little of him, and have still less inclination to serve him.

The moon with them is an inferior visible God. They call this planet Gounja, or God; and say that it is the subject and re­presentative of the high and invisible. They assemble for the celebration of its worship at the change and full, and no inclemency of the weather prevents them: they then throw their bodies into a thousand different postures, scream, prostrate themselves on the ground, suddenly jump up, stamp like mad creatures, and cry aloud, "I salute thee; thou art welcome: grant us fodder for our cattle, and milk in abundance." These and other addresses to the moon they repeat over and over, singing ho, ho, ho, many times over, with a variation of notes, accompani­ed [Page 23] with clapping of hands. Thus in shout­ [...]ng, screaming, singing, jumping, stamp­ [...]ng, dancing, and prostration, they spend [...]he whole night in worshipping this planet, which they consider as the distributer of the weather.

They likewise adore as a benign deity a [...]ertain insect, said to be peculiar to the Hottentot countries. It is of the size of a [...]hild's little finger; the back is green, and [...]he belly speckled with red and white: it has [...]wo wings, and on its head are two horns. Whenever this insect appears in sight, they [...]ay it the highest tokens of veneration; and [...]f it honours a kraal with a visit, the inhabi­ [...]ants assemble about it with transports of de­ [...]otion. They sing and dance round it, troop [...]fter troop, in the highest raptures, throw­ [...]ng to it the powder of buchu, with which [...]hey cover the area of the kraal, and the [...]ops of the cots. They likewise kill two fat [...]heep as a thank-offering for this high ho­ [...]our, and fancy all their past offences are [...]uried in oblivion. If this insect happens [...]o alight upon a Hottentot, he is looked [...]pon as a man without guilt, and ever after [...]evered as a saint. The fattest ox is imme­ [...]iately killed for a thank-offering, and is [...]ten in honor of the deity and the saint, [...]ho feasts alone on the en [...]ails, which are [...]oiled, while the men devour the meat dres­sed [Page 24] the same way, and the women are rega­led only with the broth. He is obliged to be very careful of the fat, and to anoint his body and apparel with that alone, while any of it remains. But the most extraordinary part of the ceremony is that the caul well powdered with buchu, and twisted like a rope, is put in the manner of a collar about his neck; and he is obliged to wear it day and night, till it rots off, or till the insect at another visit, lights upon another inhabi­tant of the kraal, when he is at liberty to remove it. The case is the same if the in­sect settles upon a woman: she commences a saint with the same ceremonies; only he [...] the women feast upon the meat, while th [...] men are only regaled with the broth.

The Hottentots will run every hazard t [...] procure the safety of this animal. A German, who had a country seat about six mile [...] from the fort, having given leave to som [...] Hottentots to turn their cattle for a whil [...] upon his land there, they removed to th [...] place with their kraal. A son of this German was amusing himself in this kraal, whe [...] the deified insect appeared. The Hottentots flew tumultuously to adore it, while th [...] young gentleman went to catch it, in ord [...] to see the effects such a capture would pr [...] duce. He seized it in the midst of them but how great was the general cry and agon [...] [Page 25] when they saw it in his hand! They stared at him, and at each other, with looks of distraction. ‘See, see, see, cried they; What is he going to do? Will he kill it? Will he kill it?’ Mean while every limb shook with fear. He asked them why they were in such agonies for that paltry insect. ‘Ah, Sir, (they replied with the utmost concern) 'tis a Divinity. 'Tis come from heaven: 'tis come on a good design. Ah! do not hurt it; do not offend it. We shall be the most miserable wretches upon earth if you do. This ground will lie under a curse, and the crime will never be forgiven.’ He appeared unmoved by their petitions, but seemed as if he intended to maim or destroy it. On which they started, and ran about like people frantic, asking where was his conscience? and how he dared to think of perpetrating a crime that would bring upon his head all the curses and thun­ders of heaven? But this not prevailing, they all fell prostrate on the ground, and, with streaming eyes and the loudest cries, be­sought him to spare the creature, and give it liberty. The young man now yielded, and let the insect fly, on which they capered and shouted in a transport of joy, and, run­ning after it rendered it the customary honours.

The Hottentots also pay a religious vene­ration to their deceased saint [...] and men of re­nown, [Page 26] whom they honour, not with tombs, statues or inscriptions, but consecrate woods, mountains, fields and rivers, to their memory. On passing by one of these places, they stop to contemplate the virtues of the deceased, to whose memory it was dedicated, and to implore his protection for them and their cattle. Mean while they stand with their heads muffled up in their krosses or mantles; and sometimes they also dance round these places, singing and clapping their hands.

The Hottentots likewise worship an evil Deity, whom they consider as the father of mischief; the source of all their afflictions, and the instructor of the wicked Hottentots in the cursed arts of witchcraft, by which they believe that innumerable mischiefs are done to the persons and cattle of those who are good. They call him Touquoa, and say he is a little crabbed inferior captain, whose malice will seldom let him rest, and therefore they woshrip him in order to avert it, and wheedle him by the offering of an ox or a sheep.

The Hottentots believe that the soul sur­vives the body, and therefore upon the death of any man, woman, or child, remove their kr [...]als to a new settlement; from the opini­on the dead never haunt any place but that in which they died, unless any thing that belongs to them is carried out of it, and [Page 27] then they apprehend the departed souls will follow a kraal, and be very troublesome: they therefore leave the huts they died in standing, and in them all the utensils belong­ing to the deceased.

This is the absurd system of the Hotten­tot religion, of which those people are so fond, that I never heard of one of them dying a christian. Though the Dutch have sent missionaries among them, who have under­gone numberless fatigues, and taken the greatest pains to make proselytes, it has been without effect, and they have been compelled with sorrow to abandon the generous design, without leaving the least trace of it on the minds of the Hottentots. Of this the fol­lowing incident may serve for a proof. Mr. Vander Stel, governor of the Cape, took an infant Hottentot, whom he educated in the knowledge of the christian religion, and after the genteel manners of the Europeans, allowing him little or no conversation or in­tercourse with the Hottentots. He became well versed in the mysteries of religion, and in several languages; he was always richly dressed, and his manners were formed after the best European models at the Cape. The governor seeing him thus qualified, en­tertained great hopes of him, and sent him with a commissary general to the Indies: he remained employed in the commissary's [Page 28] affairs, till the death of that gentleman, when he returned to the Cape. A few days after, at a visit among his relations, he strip­ped himself of his European apparel, and equipped himself in the manner of his coun­try, in a sheep-skin. This done, he packed up his cast-off cloaths, ran with them to the governor's, and presenting himself before his patron, laid the bundle at his feet, and addressed his excellency to the following purport: ‘Be pleased, sir, to take notice, that I for ever renounce this apparel. I likewise for ever renounce the christian re­ligion. It is my design to live and die in the religion, manners, and customs of our ancestors. I shall only beg you will grant me (and I am persuaded you will grant me) the collar and hanger I wear. I will keep them for your sake.’ Here he stop­ped, and turning his back, fled swiftly away, and was never more seen in that quarter. This man I frequently conversed with, up in the country, and found, to my great a­mazement, that he had a surprising stock of christian knowledge. But though I made use of the most persuasive and endearing language, to call him back into the fold of Christ, he continued deaf to all my reason­ing and remonstrances.

We shall now take a view of those ce­remonies that are generally considered as [Page 29] of a religious nature, and begin with the marriages of the Hottentots. If a bache­lor or widower has a mind to marry, he discovers his views to his father, and if he is dead, to the next authority of kindred; who if he consents, attends him to the woman's relations, whom they regale with a pipe or two of tobacco, or of dachu, which they all smoke. The father of the lover then opens the business to the woman's father, who hav­ing heard it, generally retires to consult his wife, and soon returns with a final answer, which is generally favourable. If the lover's father receives a denial, which rarely hap­pens, nothing more is said about it, and the lover at once tears his choice from his heart, and looks out for another. If it be complied with, the lover chooses two or three fat oxen from his own herd, or his father's, and drives them to the house from whence he is to take his destined bride, accompanied by all his re­lations of both sexes who live near him: they are received with caresses by the woman [...] kindred; the oxen are immediately slain; and the whole company besmear their bodies with the fat, and then powder themselves all over with buchu; while the woman spot their faces as already described, with a kind of red chalk. The men then squat on the ground in a circle, the bridegroom squatting in the center; the women at some distance [Page 30] also squat in a circle about the bride. At length the priest who lives at the bride's kraal, enters the circle of the men, and com­ing up to the bridegroom pisses a little upon him. The bridegroom receiving the stream with eagerness, rubs it all over his body, and makes furrows with his long nails, that the urine may penetrate the farther. The priest then goes to the other circle, and evacuates a little upon the bride, who rubs it in with the same eagerness as the bridegroom. To him the priest then returns, and having streamed a little more, goes again to the bride, and again scatters his water upon her. Thus he proceeds from one to the other till he has exhausted his whole stock, uttering from time to time to each of them the follow­ing wishes, till he has pronounced the whole upon both: "may you live long and hap­pily together. May you have a son before the end of the year. May this son live to be a comfort to you in your old age. May this son prove a man of courage, and a good huntsman."

The nuptial ceremony being thus over, the oxen are cut into many pieces, and the whole dressed; some pieces being boiled, and the rest roasted in the following manner. A large flat stone is fastened in the ground in the manner of a hearth, and a brisk fire made upon it, which burns till the stone is [Page 31] thoroughly heated. The fire is then remov­ed, the stone cleaned from the ashes, and the meat placed upon it. It is then covered with a flat stone, as large as that upon which the meat lies; round which a fire is kindled, as well as upon the upper stone, by which the meat is soon roasted, or rather baked. The provisions being thus dressed, the men and women sit in different circles, the bride­groom alone eating in company of the wo­men. They are all so nasty as to use the lappets of their greasy krosses or mantles for plates; but their spoons are sea shells. Din­ner being over, what is left, is set by, and they go to smoking; each company having one tobacco-pipe. The person who fills it, after taking two or three whiffs, gives it to his or her neighbour, and thus it goes round: the best part of the night is spent in smok­ing and merriment, till the bridegroom re­tires to the arms of his bride, and the com­pany separate. The next day they again assemble, and feast and smoke as before; and this is continued every day, till the pro [...]isi­ons dressed on the day of marriage, are con­sumed. Upon these occasions, they have neither music nor dancing; and they have only their ordinary drink, which is milk and water.

A Hottentot never has a hut of his own, till after his marriage: and then his wife as­sists [Page 32] him, not only in erecting it, but in get­ting the materials, which are all new, and in providing the furniture. This being done, he abandons to her the care and toil of seek­ing and dressing the family provision, except when he goes a hunting or fishing: she also bears a part in attending the cattle.

At the birth of a child, the parents have a solemn feast by way of thanksgiving, of which all the inhabitants of the kraal par­take. But upon the birth of the first son, the rejoicings are far superior to those atten­ding any other birth. The parents slay cat­tle very liberally for the entertainment of the whole kraal; and every one, on such an oc­casion, is particularly zealous to congratulate them on obtaining an heir. If, at any time, a woman has twins, and they are both boys, they kill two fat bullocks, and all their neigh­bours, men, women, and children, rejoice at their birth, as a great blessing. The mo­ther alone is excluded from the entertainment, and has only some fat sent her, to anoint herself and her infants. However, if the twins are girls, there is little or no rejoicing, and all the sacrifice they make is at most a couple of sheep. On these occasions, they often give the lie to those thanksgivings by a cruel custom, practised indeed by other na­tions, but contrary to every sentiment of rea­son and humanity. If the parents are poor, [Page 33] or the mother pretends that she has not milk for both the twin girls, the worst featured of the two is either buried alive at a distance from the kraal, cast among the bushes, or tied on its back to the under bough of a tree, where it is left to starve, or to be devoured by the birds or beasts of prey.

An exposed female infant is sometimes found by an European, when, if it be dead, he generally stays to bury it: but, if it be alive, he always takes it home; and, if he is not willing to breed it up, he easily finds those that are. These children always re­ceive a good education; and great care is ta­ken to instruct them thoroughly in the know­ledge of christianity, and to secure them from falling off to the Hottentot nastiness and idolatries; but these generous labours have never produced any lasting effect. Not once has it appeared that a Hottentot mind is to be deprived of its native bias: for those unhappy females no sooner come to years of maturity, than, flying to their own people, they constantly renounce the christian religi­on, with the European manners and appa­rel, embrace the religion and customs of their ancestors, and remain with the Hotten­tots ever after.

At eight or nine years of age, the young Hottentot is with great ceremony, deprived of his left testicle; but the poverty of the [Page 34] parent sometimes makes it be deferred till the youth is eighteen years of age; this cruel ceremony being attended with some expence. This is supposed to contribute to the agility of the Hottentots: they have also a prevail­ing opinion, that a man with two testicles constantly begets two children; and was a young man to try the experiment, both he and the woman would lie at the mercy of the rulers, and the woman would, for so great a crime, be perhaps torn to pieces by her own sex.

This is one act of legitimation for the mar­riage of the males; but is not the only one. Till they are about eighteen years of age, they are confined to the tuition of their mothers, and live and ramble about with them: there is therefore a second act of legitimation, by which they are made men. When the father, or the generality of the men of a kraal, re­solve to call a young man into their society, all the inhabitants assemble in the middle of the kraal, and sit upon the ground in a circle. The young fellow to be admitted, being with­out the circle, is ordered to squat down upon his hams, and then the oldest man of the kraal rises, and asks, whether the youth without shall be admitted into their society, and made a man? To this all answering "yes, yes," he leaves the circle, and stepping up to the youth, informs him, that the men [Page 35] having thought him worthy of being admit­ [...]ed into their society, he is now to take an [...]ernal farewel of his mother, the nursery, [...]nd all his puerile employments: that if he [...] but once seen talking to his mother, and [...]oes not always carefully avoid her compa­ [...]y, he will be considered as a child, and [...]nworthy of the conversation of the men, [...]rom which he will be banished: that all his [...]houghts, words, and actions must now be [...]anly. This he repeats, till he judges that [...]e has fixed these admonitions on his mind. The youth having before well daubed him­ [...]elf with fat and soot, the old man bedews [...]im plentifully, in the manner before men­ [...]ioned, in the account of their marriages. The youth receives the stream with eagerness [...]nd joy, and making furrows with his long [...]ails in the fat upon his body, rubs in the [...]riny fluid with the quickest action. The [...]ld man after he has done, utters aloud the [...]ollowing benediction: "Good fortune at­ [...]end thee. Live to old age. Increase and multiply. May thy beard grow soon." The [...]outh is then solemnly proclaimed a man, [...]nd all the men feast upon a sheep, part [...]asted, and part boiled.

If after this the young man is seen eating [...]r drinking with the women, he is treated [...]ith the utmost contempt; he becomes the [...]est and derision of the whole kraal, and is [Page 36] excluded from the conversation of the men, till the ceremony is performed over again.

A Hottentot, thus freed from the care of his mother, may be so brutish and unnatural as to cudgel her, to shew his independence; and it is common for a young fellow on his be­ing admitted into the society of the men, to go and abuse his mother, and, as a testimony of the sincerity of his intentions to follow the admonitions given him, to insult and triumph over her, on his being discharged from her tuition.

I have already observed, that some of the Hottentots have a kind of honourable dis­tinction in wearing bladders tied to their hair as trophies of their valour. He who has singly encountered and slain a lion, tyger, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros or elk, is considered as a hero. Such a person o [...] his return home, squats down; but is soo [...] visited by an old man deputed by the rest o [...] the kraal, to thank and congratulate him upon so beneficial an exploit, and to acquain [...] him that the men of the kraal expect him immediately to receive from them the ho­nours that are his due. The hero instantly rises, and attends the messenger to the mid­dle of the kraal, where all the men wait fo [...] him, and squatting down on a mat sprea [...] for him, all the men squat round him while the hero's face is flushed with joy▪ [Page 37] The deputy then marches up to the hero and sprinkles him plentifully as already related, pronouncing over him certain terms, which I could never get explained. The hero, as in other cases, rubs in the stream upon his face and every other part with the greatest eagerness. This done, the deputy lights his pipe, and having taken two or three whiffs, gives it to whoever he pleases in the circle; who, having taken the same solace, gives it to another; and thus it goes round, till on­ly ashes remain, which the deputy shakes upon the hero, who rubs them into the fat on his body with an eager motion, as if he would not lose one particle of it. The cir­cle then rises; he does so too; and every one congratulates him on the high honour he has received, thanking him for the service he has done his country. The hero now consi­ders himself as raised to the highest summit of human glory; and by the bladder of the beast he has killed, which he wears fastened to his hair, and the majestic port he ever after assumes, demands the homage and re­spect which Hottentot custom assigns to his high dignity, and which all his countrymen constantly pay him.

The death of no wild beast gives such joy to a kraal, as that of a [...]yger. The Hotten­tots are infinitely fond of the flesh, which, [Page 38] indeed, I found to be most delicious food, and much superior to the finest veal.

I now come to the last ceremonies, that have a reference to a private person; those that attend and succeed his departure out of life. A Hottentot man, woman or child, being in the agony of death, the friends and relations assemble and set up a terrible howl­ing: but the breath is no sooner out of the body, than they join in so dreadful a chorus of screaming, howling, yelling, roaring, and clapping of hands, that it is impossible for an European to stay in the kraal with safety to his brains. The corpse is instantly wrapt up neck and hee [...]s together, much in the posture of a child in the womb, in the krosse of the deceased, so close that not the least part of it is to be seen. The grave is almost always either a cleft in a rock, or a hole made by a wild beast; for the Hotten­tots never dig one when either of these is to be found at a convenient distance. About six hours after the death, the burial is per­formed. When the corpse is ready to be brought out, all the men and women of the kraal, but such as are employed about the corpse, assemble before the door of the hut, and squatting in two circles, the men in one, and the women in another, they clap their hands, crying in doleful accents, bo, bo, bo, or father, father. The bearers are na­med [Page 39] by the captain of the kraal, or by the relations of the deceased, and carry the body in their arms. When it is brought out, the circles before the door rise and follow it to the grave, the men and women in separate bodies, all the way wringing their hands; howling out bo, bo, bo, and putting them­selves in such ridiculous postures, that it is diffi­cult for an European to be present and for­bear laughing. Having put the corpse into the hole, they fill it up with the mould of ant-hills, that it may be the sooner consu­med, and cram stones and pieces of wood into the grave to prevent its being devoured by wild beasts. This being done, they return to the kraal, squat again in two circles before the door, and for about an hour longer con­tinue their lamentations, till the word being given for silence, two old men, the friends or relations of the deceased, enter into each circle, and sparingly dispense their stream upon each person, so that all may have some: all the company receive it with much eagerness and veneration. This being done, each steps into the hut, and taking up a handful of ashes from the hearth, comes out by the passage made for the corpse, and [...] the ashes by little and little, upon the whole company. This, say they, is done to humble their pride; to banish all notions of distinction; and shew them, that old and [Page 40] young, rich and poor, the weak and the strong, the beautiful and the ugly, will all be alike, and reduced to dust and ashes. If the deceased left any cattle, the heir now kills a sheep, and some of his nearest relations, if they are able, do the same, for the enter­tainment of the kraal. The caul of the sheep killed by the heir, is well powdered with buchu, and put about his neck, and he is obliged to wear it till it rots off. The other relations wear likewise about their necks the cauls of the sheep they kill on this occasion. These cauls are the mourning the rich Hottentots put on for the dead. But if the relations are so poor, that they cannot afford to kill any cattle for the entertain­ment of the kraal, they shave their heads in narrow stripes, alternately leaving a stripe of hair, and another shaved.

But they have a most horrid custom with regard to those of both sexes who are grown superannuated. So long as an old man or woman is able to fetch in a stick a day, or can perform an office of kindness, care is taken to render their lives as easy as possible: but when they can be of no manner of service, they are by the consent of the kraal placed in a solitary hut at a considerable distance, with a small stock of provisions without any one to assist them, to die of hunger, or to be devoured by the wild beasts. Cruel as this [Page 41] custom is, they consider it as an act of mercy; and are filled w [...]h amazement at hearing the Europeans speak of it with horror.

It may here be proper to describe the man­ner of building their huts, and disposing of their kraals. The huts are all oval, about fourteen feet the longest way, formed of sticks; one end of which is fixed in the ground, and the other bent over the top so as to make an arch: but they are rarely so high as for a man to stand upright within them. The arches being fixed by tying bent sticks with a kind of rope made of rushes, the whole is covered with mats, which are made so fast to each other and the sticks, as not to be removed by the wind or rain. Those of the wealthy Hottentots have also a covering of skins: they have no other opening but at the entrance, which is also arched, and o [...]y about three feet high; on the top of which is fixed a skin to be taken up and let down, in order to keep out the wind; and this is the only passage for the smoke. Their furniture consists, of earthen pots for dressing their victuals, and several other vessels for holding water, milk, and butter. Their fire-place is a hole made in the middle of the hut, and their bed a skin spread in a hole sunk a little below the surface of the ground. A kraal consists of twenty or more of these huts, placed near each other in a circle, [Page 42] leaving an area in the middle; each kraal containing from one to three or four hundred souls. The huts of the wealthy are often hung with beautiful skins: and a variety of trin­kets: but though all the Hottentots huts are narrow, dark, and filthy, harmony reigns continually in almost every one of them; that heavenly charm, so rarely to be found in the palaces of Europe. When a difference hap­pens between a man and his wife, it is soon accommodated. All their neighbours instant­ly interpose, and the quarrel is speedily made up. The Hottentots run to the suppression of strife, when it has seized a family, as we do to put out a fire that has seized a house, and allow themselves no rest till every matter of dispute is adjusted.

The cattle of a kraal run all together, and the meanest inhabitant, who has but a single sheep, has the privilege of turning it into the flock, where as much care is taken of it, as of the sheep of the richest and most powerful of the kraal. They have no par­ticular herdsmen or shepherds, for driving their cattle to the pasture, and guarding them from wild beasts. This office they take upon them by turns, three or four of them together; the women milking the cows morning and evening. Between five and six in the evening, they generally drive them home. In the area of the kraal they lodge the [Page 43] calves and all the small cattle, and on the outside range their great cattle, tying two and two together by the feet. These are in the night guarded by the dogs, of which every hut has one or two.

The Hottentots have what they call backe­leyers, or fighting oxen, which they use in their wars, as some nations do elephants: those gore, kick, and trample the enemy to death with incredible fury. Each army has a drove of them, which they take an oppor­tunity to turn upon their foe [...] ▪ The courage of these creatures is amazing, and the disci­pline upon which they are formed, does not a little honour to the Hottentot genius and dexterity. They are also of great use to them in the government of their herds at pas­ture, for upon a signal they will fetch in stragglers Every kraall has at least half a dozen of these oxen, and when one of them dies, or grows so old as to be unfit for ser­vice, the most stately young ox is chose [...] out of the herd, and taught to succeed him. The backeleyers know every inhabitant of the kraal; but if a stranger, especially an Eu [...] ­pean, approaches the herd, without having with him a Hottentot of the kraal to which they belong, they make at him full gallop; and if he is not within hearing of any of the Hottentots who keep the herds, if there is not a free which he can immediately climb, [Page 44] or if he has not a light pair of heels, or a piece of fire-arms, he is certainly demolished. But they no sooner hear the whistling of the keepers thro' their fingers, or the report of a pistol, than they return to the herd.

The Hottentots, have likewise great num­bers of oxen for carriage, whom they break with such art that they render them as obedi­ent to their drivers, as a taught dog in Eu­rope is to the commands of his master.

The Hotttentots are very expert at several arts. They point their weapons with iron, which they even draw from the ore: for this purpose they make a hole in a raised piece of ground, and about a foot and a half on the descent make another of less extent, to receive the melted iron, which is to run into it by a channel made from one hole to the other. They then kindle a fire in the upper hole, and when the earth about it, is thoroughly heated, put in the iron stones, and make a large fire over them, which they supply with fuel, till the iron runs into the receiver. When the iron is cold, they take it out, heat it in other fires, and with no other implement but stones, beat it out, and shape it into weapons, after which they grind and polish it so nicely, upon a flat stone, as to render it a valuable piece of work, both for use and beauty. This inge­nuity is not inconsistent with their habitual [Page 45] laziness: for a poor Hottentot having made a set of arms for his own use, and another for sale to a rich one, by which he has got two or three heads of cattle, can hardly ever be induced to set his hand to the same labour a third time.

The-dexterity of the Hottentots in dis­charging an arrow, and throwing what they call the hassagaye and rackum-stick, is very astonishing. A Hottentot arrow consists of a small tapering stick, or cane of about a foot and a half in length, pointed with a small thin piece of iron bearded, and joined to the stick or cane by a barrel. Their bows are made of olive or iron wood, and the string of the sinews or guts of beasts, fastened to a strong wooden or iron Look at each end of the bow. The quiver is a long narrow bag, made of the skin of an ox, elk, or elephant, and slung over the shoul­der by a strap fastened to it; but to the up­per end of the quiver is fixed a hook, on which the bow is hung, when they go to war, or to the chace. The hassagaye is a kind of a half pipe; the shaft is a taper stick the length and thickness of a rake han­dle, armed at the thickest end with a little thin iron plate tapering to a point, and very sharp on the edges. The rackum-stick is a kind of dart, little more than a foot long, made of hard wood. In the use of these [Page 46] weapons, the Hottentots shew such quick­ness of eye, and sureness of hand, as I be­lieve no people upon earth have besides themselves. If a Hottentot sees a hare, deer, or wild goat within 30 or 40 yards of him, away flies the rackum-stick, and down falls the animal, generally pierced through the body. They are not less expert in the use of the bow and arrow, for if there be no wind, they will hit a mark no bigger than a silver penny, at a considerable distance. They are equally expert in throwing the hass­agaye, and slinging a stone. In all these cases they stand not, as the Europeans, like statues, to take their aim, but while they gather it, which they are not long in doing, they skip from side to side, and brandish and whirl the weapon about in such a manner, that you would take the whole for idle flou­rish; but on a sudden away it flies to the mark. Their dexterity on these occasions is quite incredible, and can hardly be con­ceived.

When all the men of a kraal are out upon a chace, and discover a wild beast of any considerable size, they endeavour to surround him, which they generally do very soon, tho' the beast, of whatever kind, betakes himself to his heels. If thus they en­compass an elephant, or rhinoceros, they at­tack him with hassagayes, the hardness and [Page 47] thickness of his hide fortifying him against a shower of arrows. If they do not lay him dead upon the spot, and he is able to return the attack upon the Hottentots, they form as large a ring as they can make, so as to reach him with their hassagayes. The creature be­ing wounded, runs with great noise and fury at the person who threw the weapon. Then others attack him in the rear. He turns about, to attack the last assailants, and is again attacked in the rear. Again he turns about, and is again attacked. The hassagayes multiply upon his body. He roars, tears up the ground, and has some­times as it were a forest of hassagayes upon his back before he falls.

When a lion, tiger, or leo [...]ard is thus en­compassed, they attack him both with hassa­gayes and arrows. With flaming eyes and the wildest rage he flies upon those who discharg­ed them. He is nimble, they are nimbler: and avoid him with astonishing dexterity till they are relieved by others. He leaps to­wards one so quick, and, as you would think, with so sure a paw, that you shuddder for the fellow, expecting to see him in an i [...] [...]orn to pieces: but the man in danger [...] away in the twinkling of an eye, and [...] beast spends all his rage upon the ground. He turns and leaps towards another, and ano­ [...]her, and another; but still in vain: they [Page 48] avoid him with equal quickness, and still he fights only with the air. All this time the arrows and hassagayes are showering upon him in the rear. He grows mad with pain, and running and leaping from one party of his ene­mies to another, and tumbling from time to time to break the arrows and hassagayes that are fastened in him, he foams, yells, and roars in the most terrible manner. Nothing in the world can be more admirable than the activity and address with which the Hotten­tots escape the paws of the beast, and incredi­ble speed and resolution with which they re­lieve each other. If he is not quickly slain, he is soon convinced that there is no dealing with so nimble an enemy; and then he makes off with his ut [...]ost speed; but having by this time a multitude of arrows and hassagayes on his back, some of which are commonly poi­soned, he soon falls.

But the Hottentots do not often engage an elephant, a rhinoceros, or an elk after this manner: the elephants, going always to wa­ter in troops in a line, make a path from their haunts to the water side. In this path [...] Hottentots, without spade or pick-axe, [...] [...]hey have no such tools, make a hole [...] six to eight feet deep, in the middle of which they fix a strong stake tapering up to a point almost to the top of the hole. When this is done they cover the hole with small [Page 49] boughs, leaves, mould, and grass, so that no man living would suspect the trap. The elephants keeping pretty close to the track, one or other of them is sure to fall in with his fore feet, when his neck or breast being pierced by the stake on which his whole body rests, the more he struggles, the farther it penetrates. The rest of the elephants imme­diately make off as fast as possible. Mean while the Hottentots seeing the elephant thus caught, issue out of their covert, get upon the neck of the beast, and either break his skull with heavy stones, or cut his large veins with their knives. The carcase is then cut in pieces and carried to the kraal, where all the inhabitants feast upon it very jovially. The rhinoceros and the elk are also frequently ta­ken in the same manner.

The Hottentots are likewise very dextrous swimmers: this they perform in a different manner from other nations; they beat the water with their feet, and, raising themselves erect, paddle along with their necks and arms above the surface. Thus they cross deep ri­vers, and proceed with great swiftness in the sea, dancing forward without the least appre­hension of danger, in the manner which the European swimmers call treading the water, rising and falling with the waves like so ma­ny corks. They are also extremely expert at fishing.

[Page 50]I have already observed, that the wealth of the Hottentots co [...]sts in their cattle, and it is never to be seen in any other kind, unless it be in elephants teeth, of which they get a great number, though they bring but few to the Cape. Generally speaking, however, they part with their cattle, both to the Euro­peans and to one another, at so cheap a rate as is almost incredible. I never offered a pound of tobacco to a Hottentot for an ox, half a pound for a large sheep, and a quarter of a pound for a fat lamb, but the offer was accepted; tho' I had the bargain the sooner, if I offered to crown it with the present of a dram.

The wild beasts of the country are extreme­ly fierce and savage. The lions here, are re­markable for their strength. When they come upon their prey, they knock it down, and never bite it till they have given it the mor­tal blow, which is generally accompanied with a dreadful roar. When the lion is pinched with hunger, he shakes his mane, and lashes his side with his tail. When he is thus agitated, 'tis almost certain death to come in his way; and as he generally lurks for his prey behind the bushes, travellers sometimes do not discover the motion of his tail till it is too late; but if the lion shakes not his mane, nor lashes himself with his tail, [Page 51] a traveller may pass safely by him. The flesh of a lion eats something like venison.

The leopard and tyger, which nearly resem­ble each other, are next in fierceness to the lion. The tyger is much larger than the leopard, and is distinguished by rings of black hair inclosing spots of yellow: but the black streaks of the leopard are not round, but formed with an opening in the manner of a horse shoe. They will neither of them eat the flesh of any beast they have not killed themselves.

The Cape elephants are much larger than those of any other country, and their teeth are from 60 to 120 pounds weight. The fe­male is much less than the male, and her dug [...] fall from her breast between her fore­legs. I am certain those authors are mista­ken who say that they sleep standing; for I have many a time seen very perfect impressions of th [...]ir bodies on the ground where they have slept. Their ordinary food is grass, heath, roots, and the tender branches of shrubs. They have no hair, and their skins have a multitude of scars and scratches, which they receive by pressing through thorns and bushes.

The Cape rhinoceros is of a dark ash-colour approaching to a black. His skin is also without hair, and so hard that it is diffi­cult to pierce it with a sharp knife. He is [Page 52] represented as armed all over with scales: but at the Cape he has really none, though the numberless scars and scratches on his hide, make him look at a distance as if fenced with scales. His mouth resembles that of a hog, and upon his snout grows a solid dark grey horn near two feet long, somewhat bent, with which, when he is angry, he will tear up the ground, and throw stones a great way over his head; and on his forehead is another horn, about six inches in length, hollow and in the form of a half [...]owl inverted. His ears are small, and his legs shorter than those of the elephant. With that animal he is at perpe­tual enmity, and whenever he surprises him, he rips open his belly with the horn on his snout. He catches the scent of any creature that is to the windward of him, and marches towards it on a right line, grunting and tear­ing his way thro' all opposition of trees and bushes. He never attacks a man unprovoked, unless he wears a red coat, in which case he rends and destroys every thing that stands be­tween him and the object of his rage; if he seizes him, he throws him over his head with great violence, and then feeds upon him by licking the flesh off the bones with his rough and prickly tongue. His eyes are very small, and he only sees strait forward: though he is pretty swift of foot, he is very slow and auk­ward in turning. The way therefore to avoid [Page 53] him is to suffer him to come within eight or ten paces of you, and then to slip a few paces aside, by which means he loses sight of you, and it costs him a great deal of aukward trou­ble to get you again in view. He feeds chief­ly on shrubs, brooms, and thistles.

The buffaloes of the Cape are larger than those of Europe, and of a brown red. Their [...]horns are short, and their skin so hard and tough, that it is difficult to kill them without very good fire-arms. They are also enraged at the sight of any thing red, and at the dis­charge of a gun near them: on these occasions they roar, stamp, tear up the ground, and run with fury at the offending party.

The earth hogs in the Hottentot coun­tries are not unlike the hogs in Europe, only they are somewhat red; their heads are longer, their snouts more pointed, and they are quite toothless. The tongue of this ani­mal is very long and sharp. When he is hun­gry he looks out for an ant-hill, and placing himself near it, he stretches out his tongue to a great length, when the ants mount upon it in vast numbers, where they are held by a glutinous matter; and when it is well cover­ed, he draws it in, swallows them, and then [...]ays out his tongue for more. His legs are long and strong. He scratches holes in the ground, in which he hides himself, and is very expeditious at his work. If he gets but [Page 54] his head and fore-legs into the earth, he holds so fast, that the strongest man cannot pull him out. His flesh tastes much like that of a wild hog.

The porcupines of the Cape are about two feet high, and three long. The body of this animal is armed with a sort of black and white quills very sharp at the out-points, and not unlike goose quills stripped of the feathers. Those on his back are about six inches long; but the longest are on his hind part: and these he darts at his pursuer, whether man or beast; but never does till they are pretty near him, and sometimes does it so effectually that they stick in the flesh, and cause a vio­lent pain and inflammation. His head and feet are like those of a hare, and his ears re­semble those of a man. His flesh is whole­some and well tasted. This animal does great mischief in the gardens; and therefore, when the breach is discovered by which he enters them, a musket is planted against it charged and cocked: to the trigger is tied a string, which runs close along by the barrel to the muzzle, where a carrot or turnip is fastened. The porcupine on seizing this bait, pulls the trigger, and is shot.

The baboons at the Cape are very nume­rous, and frequently enter the gardens and orchards, they being great lovers of fruit. On their entering them, they set a party to [Page 55] watch upon the fences, and a number of them begin to strip the trees, while the rest stand at a distance from each other, in a line from the orchard or garden, to the place of rendezvous on the mountains. The fruit, as it is gathered, is tossed to the baboon at the head of the line, and it immediately passes from paw to paw up to the mountains; they being so very nimble and quick sighted [...]s hardly ever to fail catching in their paws the fruit that is thrown to them. All this is done with great silence and dispatch. When the baboons upon the watch discover any body approaching, they give a loud cry, and the whole troop scowers away, as if destruction was at their heels, the young ones jumping up on the backs of their mothers. It is sup­posed they punish neglect in the sentinels with death; for when any are taken or shot before the alarm is given, a quarrelling noise is heard among them on their getting back to the mountains, and it is not uncommon to find the bodies of some of them torn to pieces on the way.

One of the most extraordinary animals at the Cape is called by the Dutch stinkbingsem, or stinkbox; stinking being the grand defence nature has given this creature against all its enemies. It is shaped like a ferret, and is of the size of a middling dog. When its pursuer, whether man or beast, is come pretty near, [Page 56] it pours from its tail so horrid a stench, that it is impossible to endure it. A man is almost knocked down by it before he can get away; and a dog, or other animal, is so strangely confounded by it, that he is obliged every minute to stop, to rub his nose in the gra [...]s, or against a tree. The stinkbingsem having thus stopped his pursuer, gets a great way a-head of him before the chace can be renew­ed; and if he comes up with him a second time, he gives him another dose, and by that means escapes again. Thus he proceeds till his pursuer is stunk out of the field. This animal is sometimes shot by the Europeans, but they are obliged to suffer it to lie till it rots; for it is no sooner dead, than its body contracts all over so nauseous a smell, that if you do but touch it with your fingers, they retain [...] stench, that you can neither endure nor easily get off by any kind of washing.

Ostriches are so numerous, that a man can hardly walk a quarter of an hour in the coun­try without seeing one or more of them. The feathers of some are black, and of o­thers white. The head is very small in pro­portion to the body, which is the largest in the feathered world. The neck is long, the legs thick and of great strength; and the feet, which are cloven, resemble those of a goat. The weight of the ostrich's body prevents her being able to fly; but when she sees herself [Page 57] [...]n danger, she runs, and promotes her speed by [...]lapping her wings, proceeding with such [...]wiftness, that a man must be well mounted [...]o overtake her. If she finds she cannot es­ [...]ape her pursuer, she hides her head, and [...]tands stock still, till she is shot or seized. Ostrich [...]s will swallow pebbles, or pieces of [...]ron, but void them whole, without any re­markable change. They are easily tamed, [...]nd their eggs are so large, that one of them will give a pretty good meal to three or four [...]ersons. The ostriches at the Cape do not [...]eave their eggs to be hatched in the sun; or the male and female sit upon them by [...]urns. They lay them in the sand; but if my one touches them, even without doing [...]hem the least hurt, the ostrich will forsake [...]hem. The young ones are not able to walk [...]ll some time after they are out of the shell, [...]nd are therefore attended by the old one till [...]hey are in a condition to take care of them­ [...]elves.

Among the reptiles at the Cape, there are [...]everal sorts of serpents, of which the tree- [...]erpent seems one of the most singular. It is [...]bout two yards long, and three quarters of [...]n inch thick. This serpent winds itself about [...]he branches of trees in such a manner, as to [...]e hardly distinguished from them. All the [...]ifference in point of colour is its being a [...]ttle speckled. While persons are gazing [Page 58] at the tree, it darts its head in their face [...] ▪ and sometimes wounds them. It immediately draws its head in again, and always end [...]a­vours to abandon the tree; but it descends so slowly, that it is easily killed before it comes to the ground.

The dipsas, or thirst-serpent, is so called from its bite causing a burning thirst. It [...] frequently to be met with in the Cap [...] coun­tries, and is about three quarters of a yard long.

The Cape hair serpent is about a yard long▪ and three quarters of an inch thick. [...] more dangerous than any of the other serpents▪ its bite causing immediate death, unless ther [...] be a remedy at hand.

Scorpions are very numerous at the Cape and harbour mostly among the stones; on which account the Europeans are very cautious of re­moving the stones with their hands, for fear of being stung. Their sting causes intolerable pain, and frequently endangers life. A Cape scorpion is from two and a half to three inches long, of a dark green, speckled with black. It resembles a cray-fish, only its tail is longer and narrower.

There are several sorts of sea snail [...], among which the nautilus, or pearl snail, is mo [...] worthy of notice. It is no small pleasure to observe them on the surface of the wa [...] in calm weather, when their shells serve th [...] as [Page 59] [...]oats. They erect their heads considerably [...]bove these natural vessels, and, spreading out [...] kind of sail with which nature has furnished [...]hem, move along in a manner very diverting [...] the spectator. If when they sail they find [...]hey are in danger, they draw themselves close [...]to their shells, and sink out of sight. Ma­ [...]y of these shells will hold near a quart, and [...]e used at the Cape as drinking cups. The [...]ape Europeans put to them a foot of silver, [...]ory, or wood, and some are curiously em­ [...]ellished with ornaments engraved on the out­ [...]de.

I have now given an account of the most [...]aterial circumstances relating to the nations [...] the Hottentots, and shall therefore only [...]d, that on the 9th of April, 1730, I em­ [...]rkedon board the company's ship the Stadt­ [...]use for Holland, and after an agreeable [...]yage, in which nothing remarkable hap­ [...]ned, arrived on the 22d of May at Am­ [...]erdam.

A voyage to, and description of CHINA, by Lewis Le Compte, with an Account of the Manners and Customs of its Inhabitants.

THE French king having resolved to send six Jesuits to China, under the character his majesty's mathematicians, I was appoin­ [...] one of them. In the beginning of the [Page 60] year 1685, we all set sail in a ship which car­ried an ambassador to Siam, and had a very agreeable voyage.

At this time a rebellion broke out at Siam, from which we set sail in a small Chinese vessel. And after a navigation of six and thirty days, which the continual dangers and hardships to which we were exposed, had rendered very tedious, we came within sight of the city of Nimpo where we landed. It is situated in the most eastern part of China, and has a very difficult entrance; but from thence a very con­siderable trade is carried on to Japan. Thi [...] city is one of the first class; it is walled round, and very populous.

From Nimpo we travelled to Pekin, which signifies the north court, and is the chief city of China, and the usual seat of the emperors▪ it being thus named to distinguish it from Nankin, or the south court, where the empe­ror formerly resided, it being in the finest and most commodious situation of any city in the empire; but the continual incursions of th [...] Tartars obliged the emperor to settle in one o [...] the northern provinces, where he might b [...] always ready to oppose them. Pekin was th [...] place fixed upon for this purpose, it being situated in the 40th degree of north latitude at a small distance from the famous Chines [...] wall. Its neighbourhood to the sea on th [...] east, and the great canal on the south, affo [...] [Page 61] it a communication with several fine provinces, from which it draws part of its subsistance.

The city of Pekin, which is exactly square, was formerly four leagues round: but the Tartars settling there, forced the Chiness to live without the walls, where they soon built a new town, which, with the old one, com­poses an irregular figure. Thus Pekin con­sists of two cities, one called the Tartar's, be­cause they permit none else to inhabit it; and the other the Chinese, which is as large, and more populous than the first; both together being six leagues in circumference. So that the city of Paris, which is 10,000 paces round, is but half as big as the Tartar's town, and but a quarter as large as all Pekin. In­deed their houses are generally no more than one story high, and those of Paris are, one with another, five. The streets of the former city are wider; the emperor's palace, which is of a vast extent, is not half inhabited; besides, there are in that city magazines of [...]ice for the support of 200,000 men, and large courts filled with houses, in which those who are candidates for their doctors degree are examin­ed; which alone would form a very considerable city. But on the other hand the C [...]se live so close together, that twenty or more of them dwell in as little room as ten persons at Paris. The multitude of people in the streets is quite [...]zing; even those that are widest [Page 62] are not free from confusion; and at the sight of such numbers of camels, horses, mul [...] ▪ waggons, chairs, passengers, and rings of one or two hundred persons gathered here and there round the fortune-tellers, one would imagine, that some unusual shew had drawn-all China to Pekin. The most populous cities in Europe appear a wilderness to this. Hence some have imagined, that as only the men are here to be seen, the number of the inhabitants of both sexes must amount to six or seven mil­lions of souls.

This is, however, a very erroneous compu­tation; and I think I shall not be very wide of the truth, if I allow the inhabitants to a­mount to two millions.

Almost all the streets are built in a direct line, the largest being about 120 feet broad, and a league in length, and the [...]ops, where they sell silks and China ware, which general­ly take up the whole [...]reet, form a very agree­able vista.

However, the ho [...]e [...] are neither well built, nor of a sufficient height; and besides, are always incommoded with mud or dust. There i [...] so mu [...]h of the latter, tha [...] the city is gene­rally [...]ed with a cloud o [...], which makes its way into the closest closets, and notwith­standing their striving to allay it, by continu­ally sp [...]ling the streets, it is not only offen­sive, b [...] p [...]judicial to the health.

[Page 63] [...] surprizing to see the perfect tranquili­ty [...]ained among such infinite numbers of Ch [...]e and Tartars; for it seldom happens i [...] ma [...]y years that a house is broke open by thieves, or any murder committed. Indeed such strict order is observed, that it is impossi­ble such crimes should be committed with impu­ [...]ity. All the great streets, which are drawn by a line from one gate to another, have seve­ral corps de garde. Day and night, soldiers with their swords by their sides and whips in their hands, are ready to chastise those who make the least disturbance, and have power to take into custody whoever raises any qu [...]rel. The little streets that come into the greater, have gates made in the form of a lattice, which afford a view of all who pass along: they are guarded by the corps de garde pla­ced-over against them in the great street. The latti [...] gates are sh [...] at night by the corps de garde, and are seldom opened but to persons known, who carry a lantern in their hand, an [...] give a good reason for their going out. As [...]oon as the first stroke is given by the watch on a great bell, a soldier or two must go from one corps de garde to another; [...]nd as they walk along, they pl [...] conti­nually on a sort of rattle. Whoever [...] walking in the streets in the night, is [...], and if his business is [...] of a [...] [...]ordinary nature, he is taken into [Page 64] custody. To this it must be added, that the governor is obliged to take his rounds when [...]st expected; and that the officers who keep guard on the walls, and on the pavilions of the gates, where the watches are, beat on great drums of brass, send subalterns to ex­amine the quarters belonging to their respec­tive gates; and that the least neglect is pu­nished the next day, and the officers broke. By this beautiful order, peace, silence, and safety reign throughout the city.

The emperor's house is the only one at Pe­kin that deserves the name of a palace; the othe [...] are extremely mean, and those of the grandees, like all the rest, but one story high; however, the great number of rooms for themselves and their servants, make some amends for their want of beauty and magni­ficence. The nobility of China are, indeed, like those of other nations, fond of making a great appearance; but they are curbed by the customs of the country, and the danger of being taken notice of. While I was at Pekin, one of the chief Mandarines built himself a house somewhat more lofty and magnificent than the rest. For this crime he was accused before t [...] emperor, when, being afraid of the consequence, he pulled it down while the affair was under examination.

The halls in which they plead, have little advantages above the other houses. Indeed [Page 65] they have spacious courts and lofty gates, sometimes embellished with tolerable orna­ments; but the inward halls and offices [...]e neither magnificent nor even cleanly.

In treating of Pekin, it would be doing that city great injustice to pass-over in silence its noble gates, and stately walls. The for­mer are not like the other public buildings in China, embellished with statues or other cary­ing, all their beauty consisting in their prodi­gious height, which at a distance has a fine appearance. They consist of two large edifices, built separately, but bound together by two thick and lofty walls forming a square suffici­ent to contain above 500 men in battle. The first building which resembles a fortress, faces the road. There is no way thro' it; but you enter in at the side wall, where there is a gate proportionable to the rest; you then [...]urn to the right, and meet with the second [...]ower which commands the city, and has a gate like the former; but the gateway is so [...]ong that it grows dark in the middle. There [...]hey constantly keep a guard, and a small magazine of stores. Tho' these gates are [...]estitute of the embellishments of architecture, [...]et on approaching Pekin, these immense [...]uildings have an air of magnificence preferable [...] our ornaments. The arches are built with [...], and the rest with very large bricks, [...] with excellent mortar.

[Page 66]The walls are answerable to the gates, so lofty that they hide the whole city, and so thick that sentinels are placed upon them on horseback. Square towers are raised at the distance of a bow-shot from each other. The ditch is dry, but very broad and deep, and the city is as regularly defended by a strong garrison, as if the people were under the continual apprehension of a siege.

Among the most sumptuous buildings of China, we ought not to omit their temples or pagods, erected to fabulous deities by the su­perstition of the princes as well as of the peo­ple. Of these there are a prodigious number, the most celebrated of which are built in bar­ren mountains, to which, however, the in­dustry of the people has given the beauties and advantages denied them by nature: the canals cut at a great expence to conduct the water from the heights into reservoirs made for that purpose, with gardens, groves and grottos made in the rocks, for shelter against the excessive heat of the climate, render their solitudes delightful.

These temples consist partly of porticos, paved with large square polished stones, and partly of halls or pavilions that stand in the corners of courts, and communicate by long galleries adorned with statues of stone, and sometimes of brass. The roofs of these build­ings shine with beautiful tiles japanned with [Page 67] green and yellow, and at the corners are a­dorned with dragons of the same colour, pro­jecting forward. Most of these pagods have a great tower standing by itself, and termina­ting in a dome, to which they ascend by a handsome stair-case that winds around it. A square temple commonly occupies the middle of the dome, which is often adorned with Mosaic work, and the walls covered with stone figures of animals and monsters in relievo. This is the form of most of the pagods, and these are the habitations of the bonzes, or the priests of the idol.

The frontier towns, especially those near Tartary, are fortified with good bulwarks, towers, brick walls, and large and deep ditches filled with running water: in these all the skill of the Chinese engineers consists, which is no wonder, since none else were known in Europe before cannon were in use. Their most singular fortification is the great wall, which extends from the eastern ocean, to the province of Chansi, and, if all its windings be reckoned, is no less than 500 leagues long. It is fortified with towers, much like those of the cities; and where the passes might be more easily forced, they have raised two or three bulwarks one behind another, of an enormous thickness; these with the forts that command all the avenues, [...] guarded by a great number of forces, [Page 68] protect the Chinese from all attempts on that side. As China is divided from Tartary by a chain of mountains, this wall has been carri­ed not only through the valleys, but over the highest hills: it is every where of a great height, but rather lower than the walls of their cities, and only four or five feet in thickness: it is mostly built with brick, and bound with such strong mortar, that tho' it is 1800 years since it was built, it is scarce the worse. This work was at once one of the greatest and the most ridiculous ever made by man: for notwithstanding its being extremely pru­dent thus to guard all the passes and the easiest avenues, how absurd was it to carry this wall to the top of some precipices which the birds can scarcely reach with their flight▪ and to which it is impossible that the Tartarian horse should ever ascend? besides, if they could fancy it possible for any army to clamber up thither, how could they imagine that so thin and low a wall could be any de­fence. Yet it is amazing how the materials were conveyed thither, which was not done without a vast expence, and the loss of more men than would have perished by the greatest fury of their enemies, 'Tis said, that during the reigns of the Chinese emperors, this wall was guarded by a million of soldiers; but as that part of Tartary now belongs to China, [Page 69] they are contented with manning well the worst situated, but best fortified parts.

There are in China above a thousand for­tresses of the first rate; but though the rest scarcely deserve the name, they are all well garrisoned, whence some judgment may be formed of the vast armies constantly kept on foot.

But what is far more astonishing is the number, the largeness, and the government of their trading towns. These are generally di [...]ided into three classes, the first consisting of above an hundred and sixty, the second of two hundred and seventy, and the third of near twelve hundred. Besides, there are near three hundred walled cities, which they con­sider as not worth notice, though most of them are populous, and places of trade. The largeness of these cities is not less amaz­ing than their number. Pekin is not to be compared to Nankin, or, as it is now called, Kiam-nin, which was formerly enclosed with­in three walls, the outermost of which was sixteen leagues round; and though this city has lost much of its former splendor, yet in­cluding those who live in its suburbs, and on the canals, it is still more populous than Pe­kin. The streets are of a moderate breadth, and very well paved; the houses are low, but cleanly, and the shops richly furnished with silks, and other costly goods. Thither all [Page 70] the curiosities of the empire are brought. There the most famous doctors, and the mandarins out of employment, usually set­tle, on account of the convenience of several libraries filled with choice of good books. Their printing is fairer, their artificers more skilful, the language more polite, and the ac­cent smoother than elsewhere. Besides the ri­ver Kiam on which it is situated, is the lar­gest, deepest, and most navigable in the whole empire.

Nankin is famous for what is called the China tower. Of which it may be proper to observe, that there is without the city a house named by the Chinese, the temple of Gratitude, built 300 years ago by the emperor Yonlo. It is erected on a massive basis built with brick, and surrounded with a rail of unpolished marble. Around it are ten or twelve steps, by which you ascend to the lowermost hall, the floor of which stands one foot higher than the basis, leaving a walk two feet wide all round it. The front is a­dorned with a gallery and some pillars. The roofs, which in China are generally two, one next the top of the wall, and a narrower over that, are covered with green shining tiles; and on the inside the cieling is painted, and formed of little pieces differently wrought one within the other, and this the Chinese esteem very ornamental. Indeed such a med­ley [Page 71] of beams, joists, rafters, and pinions, ap­pear surprisingly singular from our judging that such a work must be very expensive: but it only proceeds from the ignorance of the workmen, who are unacquainted with that noble simplicity, which renders our buildings at once solid and beautiful.

The hall has no other light besides that admitted at the doors, of which there are three very large ones, that open into the Chi­na Tower. This last structure joins to the temple, and is of an octogonal figure, each side fifteen feet wide. A wall in the same form is built round it, at the distance of two [...]athoms and a half, and being of a moderate height, supports one side of a penthouse which [...]ues from the tower, forming a pretty kin [...] of gallery. The tower is nine stories high, each story being adorned with a cornice three feet wide at the bottom of the windows, and distinguished by little penthouses like the former, but narrower, and, like the tower, decreasing in breadth as they increase in height. The wall, which, at the bottom is at least twelve feet thick, and above eight feet and a half at the top, is all over incrusted with coarse China ware, which has in a great measure retained its beauty, though the tower [...]as been erected 300 years. The staircase [...]ithin is narrow, and the steps high. Each [...]tory has a room with a painted cieling, and [Page 72] in the walls of the upper rooms are several small niches, in which are carved idols gilt. The first floor is the most lofty, and all the rest of an equal height. This tower, from the bottom of the base to the top of the cupola, rises at least 200 feet from the ground. Towers of the same kind are erected in almost every city, and are some of their greatest or­naments.

Nankin was once famous for the largeness of its bells; but their weight brought the whole steeple to the ground. One of these which is still entire, is eleven feet in height, and that of its ear is two feet, and its out­ward circumference is twenty two feet. But this is nothing, when compared with seven bells at Pekin, cast 300 years ago, each of them weighing 120,000 pounds; these are eleven feet wide, forty round, and twelve high, besides the ear, which is at least three feet: but as much as their bells exceed ours in size, ours exceed theirs in sound; perhaps chiefly owing to their clappers being o [...] wood. These bells are used to distinguish the watches of the night, of which they usu­ally reckon five. They begin the first with striking one, which they repeat a few mo­ments after, and thus continue till the second watch; when they strike two strokes; at the third watch they strike three, and so on; so that these bells serve as so many repeating [Page 73] clocks, which every minute inform you of the time of night. For the same purpose they in the same manner beat very large drums.

Of all the public works in China, none do the people such honour as their canals and bridges; nor is any thing more worthy of the attention of the curious. By means of these canals the whole trade of the empire is carried on, with the advantage of water car­riage, and in this manner one may travel from Canton, the most southern city, to Pekin the most northern, without travelling above one day by land. This, which is called the great canal, is 160 leagues in length. The num­ber of these canals is very surprising; they are often lined on each side to the height of ten or twelve feet with fine square stone, and in some places with a kind of marble of the colour of slate. The banks of some of them are 20 or 25 feet high on each side, and some extend above ten leagues together in a straight line. But what most charms the eye is the great number of beautiful [...]mperial barks, loaded with the best productions of different provinces; many of them 80 tons burthen.

As in an extent of 400 leagues in length, the earth cannot be every where, level, there are several cataracts, where the water is precipitated with greater or less violence, ac­cording [Page 74] to the difference of the level; but the industry of the Chinese has found out a means of remedying the inconveniences that might arise from them with respect to navigation. At each of these waterfalls live a number of men who are employed in raising the barks. These having drawn cables to the right and left, to lay hold of the vessel, in such a man­ner that it cannot escape from them; they have several capsterns, by the help of which they raise it by little and little, till it be in the upper canal, and in a condition to conti­nue its voyage.

In some places where the waters of two ca­nals have no communication, they have a me­thod of making the boats pass from one to the other, though the level may be above 15 feet different. At the end of the canal they have built a double sloping bank of freestone, which uniting at the top extends on both sides to the water of each canal. The bark is hoisted up the slope by means of several capsterns, till being raised to the top, it slides down the other bank, like an arrow shot from a bow, and entering the other canal skuds away with prodigious swiftness. There are no such obstructions in the grand canal, and, indeed, the emperor's barks, which are as large as our frigates, could not be thus raised.

These canals are at proper distances covered [Page 75] with bridges of three, five, or seven arches; that in the middle is sometimes 36, and even 40 feet wide, and so high that barks may pass through without taking down their masts; those on each side are seldom less than 30, and diminish in proportion to the slopings of the bridge. Some of these bridges have but one arch, which is sometimes semi-circu­lar, and built of arched stones five or six feet long, and only five or six inches thick. These arches not being thick at the top, can­not be strong; but then carts never pass over them; for the Chinese make use of porters to carry their bales. Several bridges have three or four great stones from 12 to 18 feet long placed on piers, like planks. There are a considerable number of this sort neatly built over the great canal, whose piers are so nar­row, that these bridges seem to hang in the air.

Many of these bridges are very handsome: one two leagues and a half from Pekin, was one of the finest that ever was seen, before part of it was b [...]oken down by a land flood. The whole was of white marble. On each side were seventy pillars, separated by car­tridges of fine marble, curiously carved in flowers, foliages, birds, and several sorts of animals. On each side of the entrance at the [...] and were two lions of an extraordinary size▪ on marble pedestals, with several lions of [Page 76] stone, some climbing on the backs of the great ones, some getting off them, and others creeping between their legs. At the west­end stood on marble pedestals, the figures of two children, carved with the same skill.

One of the most extraordinary bridges is built over the point of an arm of the sea. It is 2500 Chinese feet in length, and 20 in breadth. It is supported by 252 strong piers, 126 on each side. All the stones are of the same bigness, as well those laid from pier to pier, as those that are laid crosswise. It is difficult to conceive how stones of such an enormous size should be placed with such re­gularity, or even raised to the top of such high piers.

In the way leading from Han-tchong-fou to the capital, the Chinese have levelled mountains, and made bridges from one moun­tain to another, and when the vallies were too wide, they erected pillars to support them; these bridges which form part of the road, are so high, that one cannot look down with­out horror: four horsemen can ride abreast upon them, and for the greater security, they have rails on each side.

Kircher observes, that in the same pro­vince is a bridge of one arch, extending from mountain to mountain, whose length is 400 cubits, and its perpendicular height 500 a­bove the Saffron river, which runs under it.

[Page 77]To these extraordinary instances of industry, it will be proper to add, that the road from Signanfu to Hamtchoum, is said to be one of the strangest pieces of work in the world. I have been told, that upon the side of some mountains that are perpendicular, and have no shelving, the inhabitants have fixed large beams into them, upon which they have form­ed a kind of balcony without rails, extending along the sides of several mountains. Those unused to these kind of galleries, cannot tra­vel over them without great apprehension; but the people of the place who have mules used to these roads, travel with as little fear and concern over these steep and hideous pre­cipices, as they could do in the plainest heath.

One cannot imagine the care that is taken of the common roads: these are as fine as possi­ble, and are generally near 80 feet broad. At about a mile and a half distance from each other, are erected wooden structures about 30 feet high, resembling triumphal arches, with three gates, over which is wrote upon a large [...]neze, in characters of an extraordinary size, the distance from the place you left, and how far it is to the town to which you are going.

The origin of the empire of China is as obscure as the source of those rivers that can scarce be discovered. The vulgar history of [Page 78] its monarchy is indeed manifestly false, since forty thousand years are supposed to have pass­ed since its foundation: but according to their regular history, which none of their learned men ever questioned, China has had its kings for above four thousand years. It seems probable that the children or grand­children of Noah dispersed themselves into Asia, and at length penetrated into the most westerly part of China, where they lived at the beginning in families, and the kings were fathers, to whom a long succession of years, abundance of flocks, and other pastoral riches, added authority. The foundation of the mo­narchy was laid by Fohi, whose wisdom, power, reputation and virtue, together with his great age, made the people listen to him as to an oracle. He regulated all private, as well as political, and religious affairs: thus the state soon became in a flourishing conditi­on. His subjects at first possessed the province of Homan, and some years after all the lands and territories that extend as far to the south as the sea.

The people now principally applied them­selves to the education of their children, and to agriculture, for which they had the high­est esteem; they were laborious to excess. The judges and governors of provinces were grave and sober, and by the equity of their decisions gained the love and respect of all the [Page 79] people; while the emperor placed his high­est felicity in rendering his subjects happy, and did not so much consider himself the sovereign of a grand empire, as the father of a numerous family. By this means the Chi­nese acquired such reputation, that they were considered by all the neighbouring nations as the oracles of wisdom; and it is probable that from their first origin they considered themselves as superior to all other men; an opinion which they still entertained after they had suffered as great revolutions in morals as in politics; and became so vain, that they fancied heaven had placed them in the centre of the universe to give laws to mankind, the wretched outcasts who had been placed on the extremities of the creation, and who had scarcely the human form. But perceiving the Europeans instruct­ed in all sciences, they were struck with a­stonishment. How can it be possible, said they, that a people so far remote from us, should have any wit or capacity? they have never perused our books; they were never in­structed by us, and yet like us, they speak and reason right. On seeing our stuffs, clocks, watches, and mathematical instru­ments, their surprize encreased; for they had imagined that expert artificers were no where to be found but in China. They saw that we were not so barbarous as they had imagined, and in a joking way, cried, ‘We supposed [Page 80] all other people to be blind, and that na­ture had bestowed eyes upon none but the Chinese; that is not universally true; for though the Europeans do not see so clearly as we, they have at least each of them one eye.’

The countenance, air, language, disposi­tion and manners of the Chinese, differ not only from ours, but also from those of all o­ther nations. Of the persons of the Chinese in general we may form a pretty distinct idea, by considering that they entertain of beauty. They would have a man tall and fat, with a broad forehead, small eyes, a short nose, great ears, a mouth of middling size, a long beard, and black hair. They are naturally as fair as we, especially towards the north; but their faces being continually exposed to the sun, commonly renders them tawny as the Portuguese in the Indies. Those in the southern provinces are of an olive complexion. The learned, especially if of base extraction, never pare the nails of their little fingers, let­ting them grow an inch long or more, to shew that they are not driven by necessity to work for their living.

The men shave their heads all over, except the crown, where they suffer a long lock to grow; but they continually wear a bonnet or cap, which civility forbids their pulling off. That worn in summer is the form of a cone, [Page 81] round below, and terminating in a point. It is lined with sattin, and the top covered with a fine mat, much worn in the country: to which they add a piece of red silk, that falls round about it and reaches to the edges; but when they walk, this silk slows irregularly on all sides, and the continual motion of the head gives it a particular pleasing grace. Sometimes instead of silk they wear long hair of a vivid shining red, and this is more especi­ally used when they ride. This hair grows upon the legs of certain cows, and is natu­rally white: but they give it a tincture that makes it dearer than the finest silk. In win­ter they wear a plush cap, bordered with sa­ble or fox-skins; the rest is of fine black or purple sattin, covered with a flake of red silk [...]ike sattin. Nothing can be handsomer than their caps; but they are so shallow, that they always discover the ears. When the Manda­ [...]ins are dressed in their formalities, the upper part of the bonnet has a diamond, or some other precious stone ill cut, but inchased in a gold button very curiously wrought.

Their habit consists of a vest that reaches to the ground, the skirts or sides of which are folded before, in such a manner that the [...]ppermost is extended to the left side, where it [...] fastened by four or five gold or silver but­ [...]ons. Their sleeves are wide towards the [...]houlder, but grow narrow to the wrist. [Page 82] They in a manner cover the whole hand, leav­ing nothing to be seen but the fingers ends. They keep the vest close about the body with a broad silk sash, the two ends of which hang down to their knees. The Tartars stick a handkerchief to it on each side, with a sheath for a knife and fork; a purse, a tooth­pick, and other things. In summer they have the neck quite bare; but in winter they cover it with a sattin collar fastened to the vest, or with a tippet of sable or fox-skins, a­bout three or four fingers broad, fastened be­fore with a button.

Over this they wear an upper garment with short wide sleeves like those of the barrister [...] gowns; the students wear them very long but the gentlemen, and especially the Tar­tars, have them short. As for their under­garment, they use in summer, only a single pair of drawers of white taffety, under a very broad short shirt of the same stuff; but in winter they have a linen shirt, and under i [...] breeches of coarse sattin, quilted with cotton or raw silk. But what appears more extraor­dinary, the Chinese are mostly booted, and when any one pays them a visit, they mak [...] them wait till they have drawn them on. Th [...] form of these boots is somewhat different from ours: those made for riding long journeys are of leather, or thick, black, pinked cotton but in the city they usually wear them of sat­tin, [Page 83] with a coarse border of plush or velvet upon the knee; besides they have no heels. These boots are so extremely hot and cumber­some in summer, that no people besides the Chinese would be able to endure them, and indeed the working people scarce ever wear them. These people in public, and persons of quality within doors, instead of shoes, wear [...] kind of slippers of black linen, or some [...]retty silk, made to fit close to the foot by a [...]order that covers the heel. Besides their [...]sual garments, they sometimes travel in an upper coat of a kind of green oil-cloth made of [...]oarse taffety. The mourning habit is some­what singular, the bonnet, vest, surtout, [...]tockings and boots being made of white [...]en, and from the prince to the handicrafts­ [...]an, none dare wear any other colour.

Ridiculous as this dress may appear to us, [...]urs appears much more extravagant to them; [...] particular the large curling peruke is a con­ [...]ant subject of ridicule; on this account they [...]ook upon us as no wiser than a foolish set of people, who for want of beard, should get an artificial one clapped to their chin, that should [...]ach down to their knees. This fantastical [...]ead-dress, say they, with that prodigious [...]eap of curled hair, may be proper upon the [...]ge, for a man that would represent the de­ [...]: but no person can have the form of a [...]an who is thus disguised. On the other [Page 84] hand, nothing can persuade them that the dis­covery of long shanks, with a stocking draw [...] strait, and close breeches, can look either grave or handsome,

As to the women, they all have little eyes short noses, and pretty fair complexions which they take great care to preserve. A little col­lar of white sattin fastened to a vest, cover the neck all over. Their hands are alway [...] hid in long sleeves. Their head-dress usually consists of several locks buckled up, and interlaced with flowers of gold and silver. They as well as the men, wear a long vest of red blue or green sattin or cloth of gold; but the elderly ladies dress in purple or black. Ove [...] this they have an upper garment, the sleeve of which are extremely wide, and trail upon the ground, when they have no occasion to hold them up. But what distinguishes them from all the women in the world, is the smallness of their feet, in which lies the most essential part of their beauty.

The girls are no sooner born, than th [...] nurses take care to tie their feet extremely hard, for fear of their growing; but wha [...] appears most surprizing is, that this violenc [...] offered to nature, does not seem to impa [...] their health. Their shoes of sattin, embro [...] dered with gold, silver, and silk, are extremely neat; and tho' they are exceedingly small yet they study to shew them as they walk [Page 85] for walk they do, tho' one would scarce be­lieve it possible, and indeed would willingly walk all day long, had they the liberty to go abroad.

When persons of quality pay visits, when they are upon journeys, or when they wait upon the emperor, they always appear with a grandeur that fills a stranger with astonishment. The mandarins richly dressed, are carried in an open gilt sedan, upon the shoulders of eight or sixteen persons, accompanied by all the officers of the tribunal, who surround them with umbrellas, and other marks of their dig­nity. Some walk two and two before them, bearing chains, rods, and escutcheons of var­nished wood, upon which are in large gold characters all the titles of honour annexed to their places of trust, with a bason on which they beat a certain number of strokes, accord­ing to the rank they bear in the province. O­ther officers follow in the same order, and sometimes four or five gentlemen on horse­back bring up the rear.

Those that belong to the army commonly go on horseback, and if they are of conside­rable rank, appear at the head of 25 or 30 men well mounted. The princes of the blood [...]t Pekin, are preceded by four of their offi­cers, and followed by a squadron of troops [...]hat march without order. The domestics [...]ear no liveries, but according to the quality [Page 86] of their master are dressed in black sattin or painted linen. Though their horses are nei­ther fine nor well managed, their trappings and harnesses are very magnificent; the bit, bridle, and stirrup are gilt, or else of silver. Instead of leather they make bridles of two or three twists of coarse pinked sattin two fingers broad. Under the horse's neck hang two great tassels of that curious red hair they wear on their bonnets, which are fastened to two very large brass buttons, gilt or washed with silver, hung at rings of the same metal.

The mandarins appear with the greatest magnificence when they travel by water: their barges are of a prodigious size, adorned with carving, painting, gilding, and decorated with their arms, flags, and streamers.

The emperors of China never appear in public without that splendor that may be ne­cessary to attract the respect and veneration of the people. They formerly seldom shew­ed themselves; but the Tartars, who at pre­sent possess the throne, take more popular measures. The present emperor never mar­ches, but at the head, or in the midst of an army, accompanied by all the lords of the court. Nothing is to be seen but silks, gild­ings, and precious stones: the arms, the harness of the horses, the umbrellas, the strea­mers, and a thousand other badges of the royal dignity, or of the particular quality of [Page 87] the princes, sparkle every where. Every one, on these occasions, knows his respective rank, and that man would lose his head, or at least his fortune, who should presume to discompose the order of the march.

When he takes a progress through the pro­vinces of the empire, he commonly rides post, attended by some officers who are his confi­dents and a few guards; but in all the cities, and at all the difficult passages, so many troops are drawn up in order of battle, that he seems to ride post haste through an army.

[...]e sometimes goes into Tartary to take the diversion of hunting, when he is attended by an army of 40,000 men, who endure great hardships, and in one of these toilsome huntings there sometimes die more horses than he would lose in a pitched battle; but he esteems the loss of 10,000 horses as nothing. He is sometimes attended by thirty or forty petty Tartarian princes who come to pay him tribute, and on these occasions the train, ha­bits, and tents of the Mandarins are surpri­singly magnificent.

In nothing does the emperor display [...] ­ter splendor than in the pomp with [...] goes to the temple, to offer sacrifices [...] [...] ­ven. The particulars of the procession are the more worthy to be repeated here, as the ord [...] observed in all public ceremonies in China, is so regular, that the very emperor dares not [Page 88] add or diminish the least article. It begins with 24 trumpets, adorned with gold coro­nets, and 24 drums, each ranked in two files; 24 men with staves six or eight feet long, varnished and gilt, follow in the same order. Then come 100 soldiers bearing halberts, on each of which is a semicircle of iron, in the form of a crescent, followed by 100 serjeants at mace, and two officers bearing pikes pain­ted with red varnish, with flowers, and fi­gures in gold. Then appear 400 lanterns curiously wrought, 400 flambeaux of a gilt wood that flames like our torches, 200 lances charged with huge tufts of silk, 24 banners, on which are painted the signs of the Zodiac, and 56 others that represent the celestial con­stellations: there are also to be seen 200 large fans, with the figures of dragons and other animals; 24 umbrellas still more magnificent, and a kind of beaufet filled with utensils of gold, and borne by the officers of his palace. The emperor then appears on horseback, richly dressed, surrounded by the white horses, whose harness is covered with gold and precious stones, and by 100 of his life-guards and pa­ [...] [...]o bear an umbrella that shades him and to [...] and dazzles the sight with all the orna [...]ts that man could possibly invent. The emperor is followed by all the princes of the blood, by the mandarins of the first order, by the viceroys and principal lords of the [Page 89] court, all in their formalities. After them ap­pear 500 young gentlemen of quality, atten­ded by 1000 footmen, dressed in carnation silk bordered with flowers, and spotted with stars of gold and silver. Immediately after appear 36 bearing an open triumphal chariot, and 120 bearers support another close one, so large, that it might be taken for an entire apartment. Then come four chariots, the two first drawn by elephants, and the other two by horses: each of these carriages is guarded by a company of fifty men: the charioteers of the four last are richly dressed: and the ele­phants as well as the horses are covered with embroidered housings. At length this pomp­ous calvacade is closed by 2000 Mandarin officers, and 2000 officers of the army, all in rich habits, and marching with a solemn gra­vity. It is not necessary for the court to be at great expence for this pomp; for whenever the emperor is pleased to make known his at­tention to offer sacrifice, they are always ready to attend him.

But notwithstanding this parade, the houses of the great have neither looking-glasses, tapestry hangings, nor wrought chairs: and even gildings are only used in the apartments of the emperor and the princes of the blood: all their magnificence consists in their cabinets, tables, and varnished skreens, in their pic­tures, which are not very extraordinary, and [Page 90] in having several pieces of white sattin inscrib­ed with a moral sentence on each in large cha­racters, hung here and there in the chamber. Besides these, porcelain or China ware is the ornament of every house; it is found on the tables, side-boards and even in the kitchen; for these are the ordinary vessels, out of which they eat and drink. There are likewise ma­ny huge flower-pots of it. The very architects cover roofs with it, and sometimes make use of it to incrust buildings.

The Chinese painters are very deficient in the art of drawing, particularly of human fi­gures, and they have a very imperfect know­ledge of perspective. Though strangers are not admitted into the bed-chambers, yet their beds are very fine; in summer they have taffe­ty curtains powdered with flowers, trees, and birds, in gold, silk, and embroidery. Others have curtains of the finest gauze. In winter they make use of coarse sattin worked with dragons, and other figures; and their coun­terpanes are in the same taste. They sleep on thick cotton quilts instead of feather beds; and their bed-steads are of joiner's work, sometimes finely wrought in figures.

The emperor's authority is unbounded: he is almost adored by his people, who stile him the son of heaven, and the only master of the world. His words are considered as oracles; he is seldom seen, and never spoken to but on [Page 91] the knee. In which posture the grandees of the court, the princes of the blood, nay, his own brothers, bow to the ground, not only when he is present, but even before his throne. All places in the empire are at his disposal: he confers them on whom he thinks fit, and none of them are ever sold; honesty, learning, long experience, and a grave and sober beha­viour are the only qualifications in the can­didates; but if he dislikes their management, he dismisses them without ceremony. He has even the liberty of chusing his successor, whom he may nominate not only from the royal fa­mily, but from amongst the poorest of his sub­jects. The old law-givers have from the first foun [...]ion of the government, made it a [...] maxim, that a king is the father of his people, and not the master of slaves. This title they therefore esteem the greatest honour.

Yet every mandarin may tell the emperor of his faults, provided it be in a submissive manner: and if he has any regard for his re­putation, the manner in which their histories are written, is alone sufficient to keep him in due bounds. A certain number of men, who from their learning and impartiality are cho­sen to this office, observe all his words and [...]ctious: having separately wrote their remarks without consulting each other, on a loose slip [...]f paper, each puts it through a chink into an [Page 92] office appointed for that purpose. ‘Such a day, say they, his behaviour was unseason­able and intemperate; he spoke after a manner that did not become his dignity. The punishment he inflicted on such an offender, was rather the result of passion, than of justice.’ Or else, ‘He gave such and such marks of his love to his people. Notwithstanding the commendations of his flatterers, he was not puffed up, but be­haved with his usual modesty; his words were tempered with sweetness.’

That these men may be neither biassed by fear nor hope, this office is never opened du­ring the prince's life, nor while any of his fa­mily sit on the throne: but when the crown goes to another line, which often happens, these loose memoirs are gathered together, and by comparing them, they compose the history of that emperor, to propose him as an example to posterity, if he has acted wisely, or to expose him to the public censure, if he has been negligent of his own duty, or the good of his people.

The emperor has two sovereign councils; one composed of the princes of the blood alone, and the other into which the ministers of state are also admitted. Besides these, there are at Pekin six sovereign courts, whose authority extends over all the provinces of China, and who have different departments [Page 93] assigned them. One presides over all the man­darins; another has the management of the treasury, and the care of raising the taxes; another has the care of religion, arts, sci­ences and foreign affairs; another presides over the army; another over the public buildings and palaces, and another takes cognizance of all criminals. In each of these courts is a censor, who, though he is not of the council, is pre­sent at all assemblies, and accuses the manda­rins for the faults they commit both in their private capacities and in the execution of their office. Tis said, that he who undertakes this office can never accept of another, that the hope of preferment may never tempt him to be partial to any one, nor the fear of losing his place deter him from accusing the guilty. Of these officers even the princes of the blood stand in awe.

The province [...] are under the immediate in­spection of two sorts of viceroys; one sort has the government of only one province; and the other have under their jurisdiction, two or three, and sometimes four provinces, all of whom have courts of the same nature as those of Pekin, but are subordinate to them. The viceroy, in whom resides the imperial autho­rity, convenes the principal mandarins of his province to take cognizance of the good or bad qualities of the governors, lieutenants, and inferior officers, and privately informs [Page 94] the emperor of those who misbehave them­selves, who are either deprived of their of­fices, or cited to appear and justify their con­duct. On the other hand the power of the viceroy is counterpoised by that of the great mandarins, who may accuse him when he acts inconsistently with the good of the public, and even the people when oppressed by him, may petition the emperor for his removal. The least insurrection is laid at his door, which, if it continues three days, he must answer for at his peril. It is his fault, say the laws, if dis­turbances spring up in his family, that is, in the province over which he has the charge.

Causes are generally decided and sentence given by a single mandarin, who, after a short process, and the examination of both parties, orders the loser to be bastinadoed, either for carrying on an unjust prosecution, or main­taining a cause contrary to equity. This is the common punishment for the meaner sort; but cannot be inflicted on a mandarin, till he is deprived of his office.

The next punishment is a collar, made of two pieces of wood hollowed in the middle, and smaller or greater, according to the na­ture of the crime; this is put on the delin­quent's neck, and sealed with the seal of the tribunal, with a piece of paper denoting the nature of the crime, and the duration of the punishment.

[Page 95]These, except imprisonment, are all the punishments, which the Chinese laws permit the mandarins to inflict on criminals: they may indeed condemn to exile; but their sen­tence must be examined by the supreme courts. The capital punishment is strangling. Mean and ignoble persons are beheaded; for in Chi­na the separation of the head from the body is disgraceful. On the contrary, persons of qua­lity are strangled, which is a more honourable death: but if their crimes are great, they are punished like mean persons, and sometimes their heads are cut off, and hung on a tree in the highway. Rebels, traitors, the children who murder a parent, and the servants who murder their master, are cut in pieces. After the executioner has tied them to a post, he cuts the skin of their foreheads, and tears it by force till it hangs over their eyes, that they may not see the torments they are to endure. Afterwards he cuts off the flesh from their bodies wherever he think fit, and when tired of this barbarous employment, he leaves them to the tyranny of their enemies, and the insults of the mob.

As the emperor is considered as the father of his people, the greatest respect is paid to the parental authority, and one cannot ima­gine how far this first principle of nature is carried. There is no submission, no point of obedience which a father cannot command: [Page 96] he is an absolute sovereign in his own family while he lives, and at his death, is honoured as a God. He is not only absolute master of his estate, which he may distribute to whom he pleases; but also of his concubines and children, whom he may even sell to strangers, if their behaviour displeases him; and if a fa­ther accuses his son of any crime before a mandarin, there needs no proof of it; for if a father complains, they make no doubt but that the son is in the fault. If a son is so wicked as to mock his parents▪ or if he arrives at such a height of madness as to lay violent hands on them, the province where it is done, is alarmed; the emperor himself judges the criminal; all the mandarins near the place are turned out, especially those of that town, who have been so negligent in their instructi­ons. The neighbours are all reprimanded for neglecting, by former punishments, to stop the iniquity of the criminal before it arose to such a height; for they suppose that such a diabolical disposition must have shewn itsel [...] on other occasions, and that it is impossible to arrive at such a pitch of wickedness at once. As to the criminal, they cause him to be cut in a thousand pieces; they burn his mangled corpse, destroy his house to the ground, and even those that stand near it, and set up mo­numents and memorials of so horrid an acti­on.

[Page 97]TO preserve peace and order, the utmost modesty and civility are inculcated; they have prescribed forms of salutation and address, and in paying visits a great number of trouble­some ceremonies, kneeling, and cringing gestures are to be observed. Their feasts are ceremonious even to the most extravagant and ridiculous excess.

Every guest has a separate table without table-cloth, napkin, knife or spoon; for eve­ry thing is ready cut to their hands; and they never touch any thing but with two little in­struments tipped with silver, which the Chi­nese handle very dexterously. They begin their feasts with drinking wine, which is given to every guest at one and the same time, in a small silver or china cup, which all the guests lift with both hands as high as their heads, thus presenting their service to each other without speaking, and inviting each other to drink first. After the first cup, a large vessel of hashed meat is set on the table. Then every one observes the motions of the master of the feast: according as he gives the sign, they take their two little instruments, brandish them in the air, and after twenty different motions, strike them into the dish, from which they bring up a piece of meat, which must neither be eaten too hastily nor too slowly: in all this you must observe time, that all may begin and eat at once. Soon wine [Page 98] is again brought, which is drank with th [...] same ceremonies as before. Then comes a second mess, which they dip into as in the first, and thus the feast is continued, drink­ing between every mouthful, till there have been twenty-four different dishes at table, and they have drank as many cups of wine; but they drink as little as they will at a time, and their wine is small. When all the dishes are served, no more wine is brought, and the guests may take out of any one of the dishes before them; but it must be done when the rest of the guests take out of some of the dishes; for order and uniformity are held sa­cred. At this time they bring in rice and bread; for as yet nothing but meat has been brought; they also bring fine broths made of flesh or fish, in which the guests may mingle their rice. They sit at table grave and silent, till the master seeing they have all done, gives the sign to rise, on which they retire into the hall or garden; but in about a quarter of an hour return, when they find the tables cover­ed with sweetmeats and dried fruit, which they keep to eat with their tea. This enter­tainment is followed by the entrance of a company of strollers, who act a long tedious play.

Notwithstanding the excellent constitution of the Chinese government, which teaches all the rules of civility, the people are far from [Page 99] being remarkable for humanity and integrity. Tho' gaming be forbidden to persons in all ranks, it does not hinder the Chinese from [...]laying so long till they have lost all their estates, their houses, their children, and their [...]ives, which they sometimes hazard on a [...]rd; for there is no degree of extravagance [...]o which avarice will not carry them: but [...]hey take great care to conceal their gaming.

The men do not follow their own taste in [...]he [...]oice of a wife; for they never see her [...]efore-hand, but take her parents word, or [...]hat of some old women, who are a kind of [...]spectors, and are employed for the purpose; [...]ut are in general in fee with the girl's parents, [...]ho reap an advantage from their daughter's [...]eing thought beautiful, witty, or genteel: [...]r as the Chinese buy their wives, they give [...]ore or less, according to their supposed [...]ood qualities. The parties having agreed [...] the price, the contract being made, and [...]e money paid down, both sides prepare for [...]e marriage. When the day arrives, the [...]ide is carried in a sumptuous chair, prece­ [...]d by hautboys, drums and fifes, and follow­ [...] by her parents, relations and friends. All [...]e portion given by her father is her clothes, [...]d some houshold goods. The bridegroom [...]ands at his door richly dressed to receive [...]er: he opens the sedan, and having conduc­ [...]d her into a chamber, delivers her to seve­ral [Page 100] women invited thither for that purpose, who spend the day together in feasting and sports, while the husband entertains his friends in another room. This being the first time in which the bride and bridegroom fee each other, both, or one of them frequently dislik­ing the bargain, it is a day of rejoicing to their guests, but of sorrow to themselves. The woman must submit, though she don't like the man; but the husband is not always so complaisant; for some on opening the chair to receive the bride, repulsed by her shape and aspect, have shut it again, and sent her back to her friends, chusing rather to lose their money than take possession of so bad a purchase.

A husband cannot divorce his wife, except for adultery, and in a few other cases that seldom happen; the husband may then sell his wife; but if he disposes of her without just reason, both the buyer and seller are se­verely punished; yet the husband is not oblig­ed to take her again. The Chinese are gene­rally so extremely jealous, that they will not suffer their wives to be a moment in private even with their own brothers. The men may have as many concubines as they please, and their children have an equal claim to the es­tate; they are indeed esteemed the children of the wife, and they accordingly call he [...] mother. She indeed is the sole mistress of the [Page 101] house; and the concubines serve and honour her.

Yet the people who are distressed by want, are permitted to expose their children. Thus when the family feels the distress of penury, when the mother falls sick, or when she has [...]o milk, it is common to condemn the poor helpless innocent to perish in the streets: and frequently they are so void of humanity as to engage their midwives to stifle the females in [...] bason of water, as soon as they are born. In all this the Chinese, notwithstanding their boasted politeness, are as savage as the untu­tored Hottentots.

As the whole frame of the Chinese govern­ment is founded on filial piety, they pay the greatest honour to their deceased parents. The usual time of mourning is three years; but it is commonly reduced to 27 months, during which they cannot exercise any public office; so that a mandarin is obliged to quit his government; to live retired, and give himself up to grief. The mourning colour is white. The funeral is pompous and expen­sive, and a son will sometimes sell himself to buy a magnificent coffin for his father. They [...]re prohibited from burying their dead within [...]he walls of a city, but are permitted to keep [...]hem in their houses, which they often do for several months, and even years, enclosed in [...]heir rich coffins daubed on the inside with [Page 102] pitch, and without japanned: however, if a son does not, at last, cause the corps of his father to be laid in the tomb of his ancestors, however distant it may be, he will lose his reputation.

The Chinese are pagans of several sects: one of the principal of which is composed of the worshippers of Foe or Fo; a religion brought from India. These believe transmi­gration, and their bonzes, or priests, who are frequently great hypocrites, grosly impose on the credulity of the people. Two of these bonzes one day seeing two large ducks in a rich farmer's yard, fell on their faces before the door, and bursting into bitter lamentati­ons, the good woman, who saw them from the chamber window, came down to ask the cause of their affliction. They informed her, that the souls of their fathers inhabited the bo­dies of those creatures; and that the dread of her killing them, was what they could not support. The woman answered that she in­tended to sell them; but as they were thei [...] fathers, she would keep them safe. But, per­haps, said the bonzes, your husband will no [...] be so charitable, and then if any acciden [...] should happen to them, it would kill us. A [...] last, after a long discourse, the good woman was so far moved by their tears and importuni­ty, that to comfort them, she committed th [...] two ducks to their care, and allowed them to [Page 103] keep them for some time. They took them with the appearance of the greatest respect; and prostrated themselves before the uncon­scious ducks; but that very evening made an entertainment for some others of their order, and the ducks were eaten for supper.

They likewise get money from the people by public acts of penance, which are sure to procure them the esteem and compassion of the ignorant multitude. I have seen them drag­ging a long iron chain, as thick as one's arm, and about 30 feet long, fastened to their neck or legs. Thus it is, say they, at every door as they pass, that we expiate your faults; and sure this deserves some alms. Others in pub­lic places strike their heads with large bricks, till they are almost covered with blood. One day I met in the middle of a town, a young bonze, of a good mein, and with such an in­genuous and modest look as might easily move compassion. He stood upright in a sort of se­d [...]n, the inside of which was like a barrow, full of nails with the points sticking inward, so that he could bend no way without being wounded. Two fellows were hired to carry him from house to house, while he endeavour­ed to excite compassion, by telling the people that he was shut up in that chair for the good of their souls, and was resolved never to leave it till they had bought all the nails, of which there were above 2000, at the value of six-pence [Page 104] each; the smallest of which, he said, would derive incomparable blessings on them­selves and families; since their charity would be bestowed o [...] the God Fo, to whose honour they were going to build a temple. The bonze directing his discourse to me, I advised him to leave his prison, and go to the temple of the true God, to be instructed in heavenly truths, where he might submit to penances less severe, but more wholesome. He calmly replied, that he was obliged to me for my advice; but would be much more so, if I would buy a do­zen of his nails, which would certainly pro­cure me a good journey. Here, hold your hand, said he, take these, on the faith of a bonze, they are the best in all my sedan, for they prick me the most, yet you shall have them at the same rate, at which I sell the others. The tone in which he uttered these words would, on another occasion, have made me laugh: but I left him with a mixture of pity and contempt.

The Chinese are, however, sometimes wea­ry of paying useless addresses to their idols, which are very numerous: for it often hap­pens, that if after worshipping them a great while, the people do not obtain the blessing they desire, they use them in the most re­proachful manner; some load them with hard names, and others with hard blows: we lodge you, say they, in a magnificent temple, we [Page 105] cover you with gold, and offer to you food and incense, and after all you are so ungrate­ful as to refuse our requests. They then tie the idol with cords, pluck it down, drag it along the streets, through all the mud and dunghills. Yet if they soon after obtain their desire, they then take the idol, and with great ceremony carry it back, and place it again on its niche, after they have washed it clean, fall­en down before it, and made excuses for what they have done; promising that if it will for­get what is past, they will gild it again.

These sects are, however, only tolerated; the religion of the court, and that of the mandarins, consists in following the precepts and doctrines of Confucius, an excellent moral philosopher, and those of the other sages of antiquity; which they have intermixed with many idolatrous and superstitious customs. They are far from abstaining from flesh: and almost all the people not only feed on the animals that are usually eaten in other coun­tries; but on cats, dogs and horses, and even on such creatures as die of themselves; though their principal food is hogs.

The Chinese in writing do not use pens made of quills, like the Europeans, nor canes or reeds like the Arabians, nor crayons like the Siamese; but only hair pencils. When they sit down to write, they have upon the table a piece of polished marble, with a hollow at [Page 106] one end, that contains a little water, into which dipping a stick of Indian ink, they rub it upon the smooth part of the marble, and into the liquid ink thus made, dip their pen­cil. Every word has a different character; for they have no idea of expressing sounds on paper, by the letters of an alphabet. They write from the right to the left, and end their books where we begin ours; so that our last page stands in the place of their first.

The Chinese paper is made of the inner bark of the bamboo, which is soft and white: this they beat in clear water; after which it is formed into sheets by being taken up in long and broad frames. Some of these sheets are ten or twelve feet long; they are exceed­ing white and smooth, and each sheet is dip­ped in allum water, instead of size. They have also paper made of cotton, which is, in­deed, the whitest, finest and most used.

Printing, which is in a manner in its infan­cy in Europe, has been used from all anti­quity in China: but their manner of printing is very different from ours. As they have no letters, they are obliged to cut the marks which stand for words on even blocks of wood. He who intends to print a book, has it fairly wrote, and then the wood cutter glews each leaf upon an even smooth pear-tree board, and cuts out whatever is not to appear when [Page 107] printed, leaving the characters as perfect as those of the original. Having thus prepared the block, they rub it over with a brush dip­ped in ink, and placing the paper upon it, they rub a dry brush gently over the back of the paper, pressing it down a little, that it may imbibe the ink▪ and take the impression. All this is done with great expedition. They print only on one side of the leaf, and finish a whole book in the manner here described; after which it is bound, and covered either with a neat sort of grey pasteboard, or with fine sattin or flowered silk, which costs little, and some are covered by the binders with red brocade, interspersed with gold and silver flowers.

The Chinese have a variety of books on morality, medicine, on agriculture, on plants, on the military arts, on history, astronomy, philosophy, and the mechanic art, romances, comedies, tragedies, and abundance of treati­es composed by the bonzes, on the worship of the deities of the country: so that some of their public libraries are said to contain 40,000 volumes.

The Chinese are well skilled in the manage­ment of the silk-worm, and in raising and ma­nufacturing the richest silks; in making cabi­nets resembling those of Japan; and are parti­cularly famous for their porcelain, so well known in Europe by the name of China.

[Page 108]Among various instances of their ingenu­ity, that practised in fishing appears not the least extraordinary. Besides the line, nets, and the ordinary instruments used in Europe, which they employ as well as we, they have two methods that appear extremely odd. The one is practised in the night by moonshine they take two long strait boats, and nail on the sides from one end to the other, a board about two feet broad, painted white, and finely varnished. This plank slopes outward and almost touches the surface of the water in order to answer their purpose, they turn i [...] towards the moon, that the reflection of that lu­minary may encrease its brightness: when the fish playing and mistaking its colour, for that of the water, spring up towards it, and eithe [...] fall upon it, or into the boat. So that th [...] fishermen with very little trouble soon fill their boat.

The second manner of fishing seems at fir [...] equally surprizing: as the Europeans and others breed up hawks to fly at the game, and catch birds, the Chinese train cormorants t [...] catch fish: one fisherman can easily look after a hundred of them: he keeps them perche [...] on the sides of his boat, waiting patiently fo [...] their orders, till they are come to the plac [...] designed for fishing in, and then at the fir [...] signal, each takes its flight, and flies the wa [...] assigned it. 'Tis pleasant to see them divi [...] [Page 109] amongst themselves the whole breadth of the river, or of the lake: they seek up and down, they dive, come up again, and hover over the water till they perceive their prey; when they instantly dart upon it, seize it with their beak, and bring it to their master. When the fish is too big, they help one another interchange­ably, one taking it by the tail, and another by the head, in which manner they carry it to the boat, where the men hold out long oars or strong canes for them, on which they perch with their fish, which they do not part with till they go in search of others. When they are weary, they let them rest a while; but give them nothing to eat till the fishing is over; during which time the throat of each [...]ormorant is tied with a small cord, for fear they should swallow the small fish, which might prevent their having any inclination to return.

As the land of China is incapable of main­taining its inhabitants, the dread of want puts every body in motion, and they have a thou­sand methods of getting money, which other nations would never think of. If, indeed, they would accompany labour and natural in­dustry with a little more honesty, especially with respect to strangers, they would make complete merchants; but they seldom fail to [...]heat whenever it is in their power. They [...]alsify almost every thing they sell; and in [Page 110] particular they are said to counterfeit gam­mons of bacon so very artfully, that people are often mistaken in them, and when they have boiled them a long time, they find no­thing, when they sit down to eat them, but a piece of wood under a hog's skin. 'Tis cer­tain that a stranger will be always cheated if he buy alone, let him take what care he will: he should employ a trusty Chinese, who knows all the tricks of his countrymen; and indeed even then you will be very happy if he that buys for you, and he that sells, do not col­league together to your cost, and go shares in the profits. They have the art to open the breast of a capon, and, taking out all the flesh, to fill up the hole, and close it so nicely, that the cheat is not perceived till the fowl comes to be eaten. These tricks, however, are sel­dom practised on any but strangers; and at a distance from the coast, the Chinese them­selves will scarce believe them.

The following instance will perhaps give a more perfect idea of their character. An [...] English captain having bought some bales o [...] silk of a merchant of Can [...]on, on opening them he found that they were almost all filled with r [...]tten silk; upon which he reproached the Chinese in the severest terms, for his dis­ing [...]nuity and [...]very; while the other heard him very a concernedly, and only mad [...] this reply: blame, sir, your rogue of an in­terpreter; [Page 111] for he protested to me, that you would not examine the bales.

Their subtlety in deceiving is still more ex­ [...]raordinary in their thieves and robbers, who break through the thickest walls, burn gates, and ma [...]e great holes in them, by the help of a certain engi [...]e that fires the wood without [...]ny flame. Thus they penetrate into the most private recesses, and having, it is said, a cer­tain drug, the fume of which stupi [...]ies the senses, and casts persons into a deep sleep, they enter into the very bed-chambers with­out being perceived; and when the people awake in the morning, they are amazed to find their bed without curtains; their cham­ber unfurnished; and the tables, cabinets, [...]offers, and every thing removed without any [...]race being seen of the thieves but the hole in the wall, at which they went out with all the noveables of the house.

There are, howe [...]er, some few exceptions [...]o this general character of the Chinese: ho­nesty and disinterestedness are sometimes to be found among them; but the examples are [...]ery rare.

China being of great extent, the nature [...]f the soil is different, according to its si­ [...]uation. The land, like all others, is divided into [...]ills and plains; but the latter are so even, that [...]e would imagine that the Chinese have ever [...]nce the foundation of their monarchy, been [Page 112] employed in nothing but levelling them; and their manner of meliorating their ground be­ing to let water through it, they could not think of a better way of rendering the whole country fertile, than that they have taken; for was it not for their numerous canals, those parts that lie highest would have been subject to continual drought, and the rest have lain always under water. Their mountains are cut out like a pair of stairs, from the top to the bottom, that the rain-water may spread equally, and not wash down the ground with its seeds. A long series of such hills, sur­rounded with such terrasses, losing in breadth as they gain in height, afford a very entertain­ing landscape.

Their mountains are, for the most part, less stony than ours, and covered with a mould that is light, porous, and easily cut; and what is most surprising, so deep, that in most provinces you may dig three or four hundred feet in depth before you come to the hard rock. Nature, however, has not every where equally distributed her favours; for some pla­ces are naturally so fertile, as to yield two crops a year; while others owe their fruitful­ness to the indefatigable labour of the hus­bandmen. They have mountains, that pro­duce gold and silver, iron, tin, and mercury. Their silver mines are not now worked; but as for their gold, the torrents wash great [Page 113] quantities of it into the plains, and a number of people are solely employed in looking for it among the sand and mud, where it is found so pure as to need no refining.

The mines of common copper supply the empire with small money. But the most ex­traordinary sort of this metal is white copper, which is of that colour when dug out of the mine, and more so on the inside than without. It appears by many experiments made at Pe­kin, that its colour is owing to no mixture: on the contrary, all mixtures diminish its beauty; for when it is rightly managed, it looks exactly like silver; but there is a ne­cessity of mixing a small quantity of some o­ther metal with it, to soften it and prevent its brittleness; and therefore those who would have it keep its fine colour, mix it with a fifth part of silver.

There are in China also many mines of pit-coal, of which there is a very great consump­tion. In the mountains are found lapis arme­nus, cinnabar, vitriol, allum, jasper, rubies, rock crystal, load-stones, porphyry, and quarries of different kinds of marble.

The canals of China have been mentioned among the works which shew the art and in­dustry of the inhabitants; and the rivers from whence they derive their sources are very con­siderable. The river Kiam rises in the pro­vince of Yunnan, and after having watered [Page 114] three other provinces, and run a course of 400 leagues, discharges itself into the eastern sea. The Chinese have a proverb, that "The sea has no bounds, and the Kiam no bottom:" and indeed in some places they have found none; but as their pilots never carry a cord of above fifty or sixty fathoms in length, the impossibility of finding a bottom with their ordinary plummet, probably gave rise to this hyperbole. This river is in many places extremely rapid, and the passage along it is very dangerous.

China abounds with lakes, one of which named the Jau, is thirty leagues in circumfe­rence, and is like the sea, subject to storms: indeed almost every province, has lakes of a prodigious extent; these have a communica­tion with the rivers and canals, and are well stocked with fish.

The plains are extremely beautiful, they are all cultivated, and so afraid are the inhabi­tants of losing an inch of ground, that they have neither hedge nor ditch. All the nor­thern and western provinces bear wheat, bar­ley, several kinds of millet and tobacco, with black and yellow pease, with which they feed their horses, as we do with oats: the plains to the south, being a watery country, pro­duce rice. The husbandmen first sow it like other corn, and when it is grown about two feet from the ground, pull it up by the roots, [Page 115] and set it in strait lines, checquerwise, in small parcels like sheaves, that the stalks may sup­port each other, and the easier resist the wind.

The soil is proper for all manner of fruits; it produces apricots, peaches, pears, apples, sigs, grapes of all kinds, and especially excel­lent muscadines. There are also pomegra­nates, walnuts, chesnuts; and in general all that we have in Europe; but as the Chinese are strangers to the art of grafting, they are for the most part inferior in goodness to ours, and there is no great variety among each dis­tinct sort.

In the southern provinces grow other fruits that are in greater esteem among the natives; for besides oranges of several kinds, lemons and citrons, which were many years ago brought into Europe, there are other fruits that have a fine taste and flavour, that seem peculiarly natives of the country; particularly what they call the linchi, which is of the size of a date, and has a soft pulp of a very agree­able taste, which it partly loses on its becom­ing dry and wrinkled like a prune. Ananas, gauvas, bananas and cocoas have been trans­planted from the neighbouring islands. Be­sides these there is a tree which bears a small fruit that in shape, colour, shell, and taste, is extremely like a pea. This tree is common in several provinces, and in respect to its [Page 116] height, its spreading branches, and the thick­ness of its trunk, is excelled by few.

Among their trees are the four following. The first is the varnish tree, which is of a small size, and has a leaf resembling the wild cherry: a gum distils from it drop by drop like the tears of the turpentine-tree; and if an incision be made in it, it yields a greater quantity of liquor; but then it soon destroys the tree. The varnish is much used, and is greatly esteemed by the artificers: it takes all colours alike, and if it be well managed, neither loses its lustre by the change of the air, nor the age of the wood to which it is appli­ed.

There is also another tree from which a liquor is obtained that differs but little from varnish.

Another is termed the tallow-tree. This is as large as a high cherry-tree: the leaves are of a lively red, and the shape of a heart; the fruit is contained in a rind, which, when ripe, opens in the middle like a ches­nut: it consists of white kernels of the size of a hazel-nut, whose pulp has the proper­ties of tallow, and of which candles are ac­cordingly made.

The white wax-tree is no less extraordina­ry. It is not so tall as the tallow-tree; and has longer leaves and a whiter bark. A small kind of worm fixes itself to the leaves, and [Page 117] forms a sort of comb, much smaller than an honey-comb, the wax of which is very hard and shining, and of far greater value than the common bees-wax.

They have most kind of woods that are to be found in Europe, and several others, a­mong which is the tse-tam, or rose-wood, which is of a reddish black, and full of fine veins that s [...]ems painted. This wood is fit for the finest sort of joiner's work.

Among the shrubs, the most extraordinary is that of tea, which is distinguished into se­veral different sorts. One of the principal of them is the song-lo, which we call green tea. It is planted in the manner of vines, and if not cut, will grow seven or eight feet high. The flower is white, and in the shape of a rose, in the autumn; when it drops off, there appears a berry in shape of a nut, a little moist, and of no bad taste.

There is another sort of the tea shrub which grows in the province of Fo-kien, and is call­ed vui, or bohea. The only difference be­tween this tea and the former, is, that the leaves of that are longer and sharper pointed, and those of the latter of a darker colour. This last being esteemed more salutary is most generally used throughout the empire

From this shrub are prepared three sorts of tea; the first, of the tender leaf when newly planted, which is seldom exposed to sale; but [Page 118] serves to make presents of, and to send to the emperor: this is called man-cha, or imperial tea. The second consists of leaves of a sen­sible growth, and is esteemed a very good sort. The remaining leaves are suffered to arrive at their full growth, and this makes a third sort; and a fourth is made of the flower itself.

There are also several other kinds of teas: but they are very little different from the two principal sorts, except in what is owing to the nature of the soil in which they are plan­ted.

The flowering trees and shrubs are very numerous throughout the empire. In th [...]se the Chinese have the advantage of the Euro­peans, as the Europeans have of them with re­gard to the flowers that spring from seeds, and small roots. Large trees are to be seen there that perfectly resemble tulips; the flowers of others are like roses, which intermixed with the green leaves, make a very beautiful ap­pearance.

Among the animals is an odoriferous deer, which is without horns; the hair is of a blackish colour; and its musk-bag is com­posed of a very thin skin, covered with ex­ceeding fine hair; the flesh is good to eat, and served up at the best tables.

Among the other animals horses, which are very indifferent, small asses and mules, [Page 119] some cows and buffaloes, white goats and black hogs, which last are excellent food, greatly superior to the pork of Europe. There are also a prodigious number of bucks, does, wild boars, elks, hares, rabbits, and squirrels.

In the southern provinces are parrots of all sorts, exactly resembling those brought from America. They have the same plumage, and the same aptness for talking: but they are not comparable to the bird called the golden hen. There is no bird in Europe any thing like it. The liveliness of the red and yellow, the plume on the head, the delicate shadow­ing of the tail, the variety of colours in the wings, together with a well shaped body, render it the most beautiful of the feathered kind; besides, the flesh is more delicate than that of the pheasant.

I cannot conclude this account of China without mentioning a singular method by which all kinds of fish are dispersed into diffe­rent provinces even before they have life. About the month of may the Chinese draw mats across the great river Yang-tse-Kyange in order to stop the spawn, which they know how to distinguish at first sight, tho' the water is scarce altered by it, with this water mixed with spawn, they fill many vessels, which they sell to the merchants, who go thither at that season in great numbers to buy [Page 120] it, and transport it into different provinces. This they sell by measure to those who have fish-ponds belonging to their houses. In a few days the young fry begin to appear in lit­tle shoals; but the different kinds of fish can­not be soon distinguished.

[Page 121]

ANECDOTES of the ELEPHANT. Extracted from the Adventures of Wolf.

THE elephant, of which I have seen seve­ral six ells high. That they are not all of this size, it is needless to inform the reader.— A young cub does not measure more than one [...]ll in height, but goes on thus increasing pro­ [...]ortionably, till it arrives at its full growth. This animal is not only the largest, but likewise [...]he most acute of any. Had it the gift of speech, [...]t would be found equal to many of our dull race [...]f blockheads in point of understanding. At [...]east, such is the opinion and open declaration of [...]ll those who are thoroughly acquainted with the [...]ature and properties of the elephant, and have [...]ad to do with him for a number of years. Even [...] the business of generation he imitates man; and, indeed, considering the particular frame of [...]he females, it could not be otherwise. For [...]his purpose, the male makes a pit, or hollow [...] the ground, and assists his consort to lay her­ [...]elf on her back; and, in case he finds her per­ [...]ctly compliant and agreeable, very complai­ [...]ntly helps her up again after the business [...] finished (for she cannot possibly rise of herself) [...] throwing his trunk round her neck. But if­ [...] at first stood shilly shally, and gave herself [Page 122] prudish airs, he then even lets her lie, and goe [...] away about his business.

How long the female goes with young, is no [...] as yet ascertained. I have been at some pains to come at the truth on this point, but without success. That this animal is capable of arriving a [...] a great age, I am very well assured, from wha [...] I have myself observed in the case of a tame one which was caught on the island, in the yea [...] 1717, and was still living in 1768, and was even then used with advantage for the breaking in o [...] the wild elephants that were just caught. They keep together in great droves, and every mal [...] has his peculiar female belonging to him, which none of the others dare approach. On the othe [...] hand, the males always quarrel and fight together, till each has his appropriate female. If i [...] so happens that one of these is beat out of th [...] field, and is obliged to go without a consort he instantly becomes furious and mad, killing ever [...] living creature that comes in his way, be it ma [...] or beast. One in this state is called ronked [...] and is a greater object of terror to a travell [...] than a hundred wild ones. It is generally a [...] firmed, that the Elephants of Ceylon, are th [...] best and the first in point of rank, as they hol [...] their heads as well as necks, higher than the [...] that come from other parts; and it is reporte [...] that when they chance to meet together, the [...] latter give them the pass, and shew evident t [...] [...]s of submission and respect. But of this la [...] [Page 123] report I can say nothing from my own experi­ence. These animals are distributed into three classes, males, majanis, and females. The two former are of the masculine gender, and differ only in this circumstance, that the first have these two large and long tusks, while those of the majanis are but small. The females have none at all: on the other hand, they have two breasts between their fore-feet; by means of which they suckle their young. They do not walk or run in a diagonal manner like other quadrupedes, but rather sideling, lifting up the two feet, which are on the same side, from the ground at once; in consequence of which, they do not run very fast. It is almost superfluous to mention here, that the elephant's skin is of an ash grey colour, smooth▪ and without scales; and that there is only one part of him in which he is vulnerable by a mus­ket shot, and that is, between the eye and the ear. But the m [...]nner in which he is caught and [...]amed is, I believe, not so well known; for which reason I shall give a description of the different methods in this place.

I. A certain korahl has been used for these many years past, in which most of the elephants in Ceylon are caught. In order to have some idea of this korahl, you must imagine to your­self a large fishing net, with two flaps standing [...]ut wide from each other, and terminating in a bag Now this snare consists of a collection of [Page 124] stout and vigorous trees, partly growing wild on the spot, and partly planted there for the pur­pose. These trees stand very close and near to each other; and where there is any gap, very strong palisades are brought to fill it up, so that the elephants cannot by any means get out. As soon as the hunters have given information that they have discovered a tolerable numerous troop of elephants, the principal people of Ceylon are obliged to bring together several thousand men. By means of these the whole drove, thus inclosed is driven slowly towards the first opening of the korahl, that takes up an enormous space. When they have got them thus far, the game is, as it were in their hands. The whole train of hunts­men and country people now unite, and draw up close into this opening, and making a great noise and uproar, as well by their cries as instruments, which they carry with them for the purpose, they contrive to get the elephants, who keep to­gether in one drove, like a happy and peaceful family, into the smaller space, which is called the sporting korahl. Here there is likewise formed a palisadoe (as it were) of six or seven thousand men, who make a large fire, and at the same time an intolerable din with shouting, drumming and playing on the hautboy of that country, so that the elephants are frightened; and instead of going backwards, move forwards towards the smallest space, called the f [...]rl [...]rn hope. This [...]rait is closed likewise with a large [...]i [...]e, and a g [...]eat clamour is made as before; by [Page 125] which means the elephant being seemingly stu [...] [...] as it were, looks round about him, on all si [...] either see if he can obtain his freedom, which h [...] a great to arrive at by means of his great bodily st [...]h side. He tries each side of the korahl's fence, bu [...]h his that with his strong trunk, he is not able to [...]ell the stout trees that are planted there; in conse­quence of which, he begins to be in a passion, in­flating his proboscis with all his force. He now observes, that the fire comes nearer and nearer to him; accordingly he ventures into the small out­let of the korahl: and seeing the tame elephants stand at the end of it, imagines that he has at length obtained his freedom. This narrow pas­sage, through which one of these animals only can pass at a time, is covered at top: on this top are placed some expert huntsmen, who drive the elephant to the end of the passage with a stick, to the top of which is fastened a sharp-pointed hook. As soon as they have got him here, they take away the beams which close the end of the passage, and leave the opening free. Now the elephant rejoices like a prisoner just broke out of his confinement. Accordingly he takes a pretty large [...]eap; but just at that moment he finds, standing by his side the two tame elephants (called hunters, and more commonly cri [...]ps) who oblige him to stand still, and keep him fast between them. If he refuses to stand and be obe­di [...]nt, they begin to discipline him with their tr [...]nks; and by their master's orders, thresh him [Page 126] [...] these slagellatory instruments in such a man­ [...] [...] that from the mere pain he is forced to eva­ [...] [...] [...]he contents of his body. Now, when at [...] [...]e finds that he cannot escape from the [...] of these unre [...]enting beadles, he gives the [...] up, and with a good grace allows himself to be led to a tree at a small distance, to which he is bound by the hind-leg with a stout thong of untanned elk, or buckskin, and where they leave him, and take the tame animals back again. When one of these beasts has thus been led out of the korahl, the others follow more willingly, being all in hopes of obtaining their liberty, as they have seen nothing to make them suspect the fate of the first that went out. When the hunt is quite finished, and all the elephants are seen fast bound to trees. In that manner they are to stand several days, being all the while kept low in point of food, in order that they may know that they are not now their own masters, but subject to the will of others. Attendants are placed by the side of each animal, who give him his food by little and little, to the end that he may learn to distinguish, and grow acquainted with mankind. At first he looks very sour on an attendant of this kind; in the course of a few days, however, he becomes more resigned to his fate, and allows the former to come near him and handle him. He likewise soon comes to understand what his governor says to him; and even suffers a strong rope to be thrown round his neck, with which [Page 127] rope he is coupled to a tame elephant, and so led into the stable. This is performed in the follow­ing manner. A tame elephant has, on either side of him a wild one; and, if he is of a great size, he has even two smaller ones on each side. The kornack sits on the tame animal with his sharp-pointed hook, with which he turns the creature by the head the way he would have him go, and thus leads his captured elephants to their stables, in which are driven down stout poles, or trunks of trees. To these they are fastened by the hind leg, at some distance from each other, so that they cannot come together; and thus they are suffered to stand, being fed daily with cocoa-nut leaves, and once a day led to water by the tame ones, till the proper time arrives for taking them to market and selling them. It is easy to imagine, that this kind of hunting is attended with more trouble, noise and tumult, than those which are set on foot by our princes and great people in Germany, as neither dogs nor fire­arms can be used here. But what is most to be admired in all this affair is, the great boldness of the huntsmen, who know how to manage this animal, in itself so terrible, as readily as a skil­ful huntsman in our country manages his hounds. These kornacks or huntsmen, have a trifling pen­sion; but the country fellows that help to drive the elephants together, have only that one day taken off from the number of days on which they [Page 128] are obliged to labour, as vassals, on ordinary ser­vices.

II. Another method of taking these animals, is that which is practised (in the countries re­spectively subject to them) by the orders of the seven tributary princes, whom I mentioned in a cursory manner, when I was treating of the ex­tensive power of the governor. They have pits, some fathoms deep, in those places whither the elephant is wont to go in search of food. Across these pits are laid poles, covered with leaves, and in the middle baited with the food of which the elephant is fondest. As soon as he sets eyes on this, he makes directly towards it, and on a sudden finds himself taken unawares. His new situation at first sets him almost mad; at length however he becomes cooler, and bethinks him­self what he shall do in these disagreeable cir­cumstances. Accordingly, having first thrown from him the materials of his snare, which had fallen in with him, he makes some endeavours at getting out; but finding himself too heavy to accomplish this, he cries out for some of his own species, to come to his assistance. At length he sees some of them coming towards him, and flatters himself that they are come to help him out. This, in fact, they do; but being of the tame, domesticated kind, as soon as they have pulled him out by means of ropes, they make him prisoner, and deliver him up into the hands of their leader. If he appears discontented at this [Page 129] treatment, and endeavours to regain his liberty, he gets well thrashed; and is disciplined in this manner, till he submits with a good grace to be fettered and led any where, just as his driver pleases. That he may be got out the easier, the pit is made rather shallow, and shelving on one side, so that he can in some measure help him­self out; otherwise it would not be possible to draw out such a large and heavy animal, with­out doing him some damage.

III. The third and last species of capture, is that practised by the Moors (as they are called in those parts, from their following the doctrines of the Koran) who by these means are enabled to pay their rents to the lords of the manor, the Dutch East India Company. It consists of the following manoeuvres: in times of drought, when the elephants, being in want of water, are used to haunt certain particular spots, where they know they shall find water to quench their thirst; these people (a strong and hardy race of men) go a hunting in parties, consisting of four men each, accompanied by some stout young lads, their children, whom they have brought up to this business; and in this manner search the wood through, till they have found a herd of elephants. Having attained this point, they pitch on the largest of these animals, and keep­ing continually hovering about him, endeavour to get him away from the rest. The elephant, on his part, wishes for nothing so much as to get [Page 130] rid of these troublesome visitors, and accordin [...] ly strives to drive them out of the wood. O [...] the other hand, the boldest and most expert [...] these fellows, with an ebony stick, which [...] carries with him, about two feet long, begins [...] sham fight with the elephant, who bangs t [...] stick heartily with his proboscis. But the Mo [...] parrying the strokes, and taking care to av [...] coming to close quarters, by leaping nimbly fr [...] one side to the other, the elephant grows e [...] tremely angry, and does every thing in his po [...] er to disarm this strange fencing-master, a [...] take his life. But besides this more adventure enemy, he finds he has two more to cope wi [...] one on each side of him; and while he is [...] gaged with these, comes a fourth behind hi [...] and watching his opportunity, throws a ro [...] made into a noose, round one of his hind le [...] At this instant, the lads, knowing that the a [...] mal has work enough cut out for him bef [...] him, and that his whole attention is taken by the stick, approach him with the grea [...] boldness, and fastening the noose as quick possible round his leg, drag him on till they [...] a tree fit for their purpose, to which they fa [...] him, and let him stand. In the mean time [...] of the men run home, and bring a tame elepha [...] to which having coupled the wild one, they [...] them together to the stable.

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