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Title: Picturesque Representations of the Dress and Manners of the Chinese
Author: Alexander, William
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration:

  THE

  COSTUME
  of
  CHINA

  by
  W. Alexander
  F.S.A. &c.

  CHINA—PLATE 1
]



------------------------------------------------------------------------


                              PICTURESQUE
                            REPRESENTATIONS

                                   OF
                         THE DRESS AND MANNERS

                                 OF THE
                                CHINESE.


                             ILLUSTRATED IN
                       FIFTY COLOURED ENGRAVINGS,

                           WITH DESCRIPTIONS.



                         ---------------------

                         BY WILLIAM ALEXANDER.

                         ---------------------



                                LONDON:

                             --------------

               PRINTED FOR JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE-STREET
                  BY W. BULMER AND CO. CLEVELAND-ROW.
                                 1814.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                          LIST OF THE PLATES.

                         ---------------------


             Plate
                 1 The Title. A Stand of Arms.
                 2 Kien Lung, the Emperor.
                 3 Fishermen.
                 4 Man Servant.
                 5 Mandarin in his Court Dress.
                 6 Young Bonze sacrificing.
                 7 Juggler.
                 8 Children collecting Manure.
                 9 Watchman.
                10 Lady and her Son.
                11 Bonze.
                12 Lantern Seller.
                13 Soldier with his Matchlock.
                14 Porter carrying Goods.
                15 Mandarin in his Common Dress.
                16 Boat Girl.
                17 A common Sedan, or Chair.
                18 Mandarin’s Servant on Horse-back.
                19 An itinerant Musician.
                20 Ensign of the Bowmen.
                21 Mendicant.
                22 Barbers champooing, &c.
                23 Bookseller.
                24 Soldier of Infantry.
                25 A Raree Show.
                26 Mandarin’s Page.
                27 A travelling Smith.
                28 Mourners at a Tomb.
                29 Vender of Rice.
                30 Female Comedian.
                31 Sedan Bearer.
                32 A man selling Betel, &c.
                33 A Horse and Cart with the Driver.
                34 Seller of Pipes.
                35 Waterman.
                36 Tradesman reckoning on his Swanpan.
                37 Women winding Cotton.
                38 Soldier of the Cavalry mounted.
                39 Punishment of the Cangue.
                40 Groupe of Children.
                41 Chairman with a Sedan.
                42 Vessels near a Town.
                43 A Lady of Rank.
                44 Nursery Maid and Children.
                45 Stage Player.
                46 Trackers regaling.
                47 Mandarin’s Officer.
                48 Punishment of the Arrow.
                49 Woman selling Chow-chow.
                50 Groupe of Soldiers.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                PLATE I.
                             FRONTISPIECE.


EXHIBITING the various kinds of weapons, offensive and defensive, in use
among the Chinese infantry, cavalry, artillery, and bowmen, arranged on
a stand or frame of wood. One or more of these frames are commonly to be
met with at the military posts and at the depôts of arms and
guard-houses, close to the gates of their walled cities.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 2
]



                               Plate II.

                               KIEN LUNG.


KIEN Lung was the fourth Emperor of the Tartar dynasty, which now
possesses the throne of China. When the annexed Sketch was taken he was
eighty-three years of age, but had all the appearance of a hale,
vigorous man of sixty. Indeed his whole life had been spent in the
active discharge of public business, and in the violent exercise of
hunting and shooting in the wild regions of Tartary, which he continued
with unabated zeal almost to the period of life above mentioned. He
always commenced public business at two or three in the morning, and
gave audience to foreign ambassadors at that early hour, whether in
winter or summer, and he generally retired to rest at sunset; and to
this invariable habit of rising and retiring at an early hour, he
attributed much of his healthy and vigorous constitution.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 3
]



                               Plate III.

                        THE FISHING CORMORANTS.


THE Leu-tzé, or fishing cormorant of China, is the _pelicanus sinensis_,
and resembles very much the common cormorant of England, which, we are
told by naturalists, was once trained up to catch fish, pretty much in
the same manner as those of China are. They are exceedingly expert in
taking fish, and pursue them under water with great eagerness. They are
taken out, on the rivers and lakes, in boats or bamboo rafts; and though
sent on the chace after long fasting, they are so well trained that they
rarely swallow any of the fish they take until they are permitted to do
so by their masters. Many thousand families in China earn their
subsistence by means of these birds.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 4
]



                               Plate IV.

                             A MAN SERVANT.


WE have little to observe on this figure. His dress is pretty nearly
that of the class of people to which he belongs. The Chinese are
excellent domestic servants, and when honest, which is a quality not
common among them, they are invaluable. They are rather slow, and do not
like to be put out of their way, but they do their work well and neatly.
Every European resident at Canton and Macao has Chinese servants, which
on the whole, are preferable to any other race of Orientals. They are
sometimes brought over to England, but are seldom happy till they get
back to their own country, which has the same kind of charm to them as
the vallies of Switzerland had to the natives of that once happy
country.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 5
]



                                Plate V.

                               A MANDARIN

                          IN HIS COURT DRESS.


ALL officers of state, whether civil or military, from the highest to
the lowest, have been named by the early Portuguese writers _mandarins_,
from a word in their own language, _mandar_, to command; and this name,
improper as it is, has preserved its ground ever since. The figure of a
bird on the embroidered breast-plate of the annexed figure points him
out as a civilian. A military officer wears the figure of an animal
resembling the tiger. The degree of rank, whether civil or military, is
marked by a small globe on the top of the cap, opake red coral
distinguishing the highest, and brass the lowest rank: the intermediate
colours are transparent red, opake and transparent blue, opake and
transparent white. As a mark of imperial favour, one, two, or three
feathers from the tail of the peacock are appended to the back part of
the bonnet. All officers, whether civil or military, invariably wear
thick-quilted boots, and, when in their court-dresses, embroidered
petticoats. Most of them wear chains of coral, or agate, or coloured
glass round the neck, as in the annexed figure.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 6
]



                               Plate VI.

                       AN OFFERING IN THE TEMPLE.


THE figure kneeling before the deities mounted on pedestals is a priest
of the sect of Fo. He is burning incense, or rather paper that is
covered over with some liquid that resembles gold. Sometimes, in lieu of
this, tin foil is burnt before the altars of China, and this is the
principal use to which the large quantities of tin sent from this
country is applied. On the four-legged stool is the pot containing the
sticks of fate, and other paraphernalia belonging to the temple, and
behind it is the tripod in which incense is sometimes burned. These
superstitious rites are performed several times by the priests every
day, but there is no kind of congregational worship in China. The people
pay the priests for taking care of their present and future fate.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 7
]



                               Plate VII.

                               A JUGGLER,

                      PERFORMING TRICKS WITH JARS.


THIS engraving exhibits a posture-master balancing two large China
vases, and throwing himself into most extraordinary attitudes; he
exhibited a variety of curious postures before the Ambassador, at his
lodgings opposite to Canton, and played with the large jars precisely in
the same manner as the Indian jugglers, in Pall-mall, toss about the
large round stone of twelve or fourteen pounds weight; but those who
have seen both are inclined to give the palm to the Chinese.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 8
]



                              Plate VIII.

                      CHILDREN COLLECTING MANURE.


THE collecting and preparing of manure of various descriptions, and
making it up into cakes for sale, occupy a very considerable population
of the lowest class of society, and for the most part is the employment
of the aged and children. No agriculturists, perhaps, understand the
value of manure better than the Chinese, and certainly none are so well
skilled in the economical distribution of it. It is quite ridiculous to
see the avidity with which young children follow a traveller on
horseback for the chance of catching what the animal may emit, which is
immediately caught up, and thrown into the basket; and if the traveller
himself should contribute his portion, it is considered as more valuable
than that from the animal.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 9
]



                               Plate IX.

                              A WATCHMAN.


THE police is so well regulated in all the large cities of China, that
disturbances rarely, if ever, happen during the night. The watch is set
at nine, and continues till five in the morning. A gate is placed at
each end of the cross streets, which are all streight, and at right
angles with the main streets; from each gate a watchman proceeds till he
meets his brother watchman about the middle; at every half hour he beats
the hollow bamboo tube, in his left hand, with the mallet in the right,
striking the same number of blows as there may be half hours elapsed
from nine o’clock: the blow gives a dead, dull sound, sufficiently
audible, and to a stranger sufficiently disagreeable. Each watchman is
also furnished with a paper lantern. At the great gates of cities, and
at certain distances in the main streets are guard-houses, at which a
party of soldiers are stationed to aid the police, if necessary; but
this is rarely the case, as, in addition to the common watch, every
tenth housekeeper in every street is made responsible for the orderly
good conduct of his nine neighbours. In the day time there is plenty of
noise, and quarrelling and scuffling among the lower orders of the
Chinese.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 10
]



                                Plate X.

                          A LADY, AND HER SON.


THE annexed print is the representation of a Chinese Lady, and her Son,
of a certain rank in life, from which no high ideas will probably be
entertained of the taste in dress either of one or the other. Our modern
notions of a head-dress, however, approximate those of the Chinese;
though it is to be hoped that our ladies will never be brought to
imitate the small and mutilated feet of the Chinese women, which
disqualify them from the free use of their limbs.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 11
]



                               Plate XI.

                                A BONZE.


THE priests of _Fo_ in China are the same as the priests of _Boudh_ are
in India, from whence their religion passed into China in the first
century of the Christian æra. The temples and the monasteries of China
swarm with them; and they practice, ostensibly at least, all the
austerities and mortifications of the several orders of monks in Europe,
and inflict on themselves the same painful, laborious, and disgusting
punishments which the faquirs of India undergo, either for the love of
God, as they would have it supposed, or to impose on the multitude, as
is most probably the real motive. In China, however, they are generally
esteemed as men of correct morals: and there is reason to believe, that
the calumnies heaped upon them by the Catholic missionaries are for the
most part unfounded, and were occasioned by the mortification they
experienced in finding their ceremonies, their altars, their images,
their dress, to resemble so very nearly their own.

It is scarcely necessary to observe that our umbrellas are borrowed from
the Chinese. The poorest person has one of these machines to keep off
the rain; but in China they are made of paper, and the wood part is
entirely of bamboo. The hats of the common people are in fact a kind of
umbrella; they are generally made of rice straw plaited, and so large
that they equally defend the face from the rays of the sun and cover the
shoulders from the rain. That which the priest carries under his arm is
small in proportion of some of those worn by the peasantry. In moderate
weather a Chinese, though close shaved, except as to the little lock of
hair growing from the crown, generally goes bareheaded.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 12
]



                               Plate XII.

                         A VENDER OF LANTERNS.


THERE is no nation so fond of illuminations and fire-works as the
Chinese, and no nation has exerted its skill so effectually in the
multitude of contrivances to exhibit light. Their lanterns are as
various in shape as in materials. The most common are of painted paper.
The most beautiful and ornamental of silk gauze, finely painted and
stretched on frames that are not deficient in carving and curious
workmanship, and decorated with tassels of silk of various colours.
Other lanterns are round and cylindrical, and of one single piece of
thin transparent horn, sometimes of an immense size. At certain times in
the year, but more particularly in the month of February, they celebrate
what has been called the Feast of Lanterns, when every body in the
street carries some transparency or other made in every possible form:
some of them like fishes, some like beasts of various kinds, and others
birds. Some resemble trees and shrubs, with flowers and fruits, each in
their appropriate colours. Those lanterns borne by the man in the print
are of the most ordinary kind.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 13
]



                              Plate XIII.

                     A SOLDIER WITH HIS MATCHLOCK.


THE military of China differs, as every thing else differs, from that of
all other nations, in the nature of its establishment, its occupation,
and its dress. They have two distinct armies, if they may be so called;
the one composed entirely of Tartars, who are stationed in the several
provinces on the Tartar frontier, and occupy all the garrison towns of
the empire; the other composed of Chinese, who are parcelled out in the
smaller towns and hamlets to keep the peace, by acting as constables,
subordinate collectors of the taxes, guards to the granaries, and
assisting in various ways the civil magistrate. Along the public roads,
canals and rivers, are placed, at certain intervals, small square
guard-houses, at which are stationed from six to twelve men, who are
employed in settling disputes upon the rivers or roads, and also in
conveying the public dispatches. When a foreign ambassador or any of
their own mandarins travel, these soldiers turn out in their holiday
dresses with their streamers stuck in the back, as in the annexed
figure. The breast-plate and shoulder-guards are nothing more than
cotton stuffed with wadding, and the helmet, which looks so fierce, is
made only of paste-board. The Chinese matchlocks resemble so much the
old common matchlock of the Portuguese, that it has been supposed these
people first introduced them into China, where however it is
sufficiently determined, gunpowder was in familiar use many centuries
before any communication was known to exist between this country and
Europe. In some of the larger matchlocks there is a fork to support the
piece, and by sticking it in the ground to give it the degree elevation
that may be required.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 14
]



                               Plate XIV.

                        A PORTER CARRYING GOODS.


IT has long been known that the ingenious Chinese, taking advantage of
the constancy with which the wind blows in the same direction, applied a
sail to assist the progress of their land carriages; but the late
British Embassy has furnished us with the precise manner in which these
sails are applied, and it appears that they are meant only to aid a sort
of wheelbarrow, different however in its structure; that in the present
drawing resembling very much the same machine which is used in the
Western world, and differing from that which has already been given in a
former volume exhibiting the Costume of China.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 15
]



                               Plate XV.

                               A MANDARIN

                          IN HIS COMMON DRESS.


THE official habits in which all the mandarins are compelled to appear
in public being made of the thickest silk, are exceedingly cumbersome,
and not well adapted for the summer months, which are excessively hot
even in the most northerly provinces; they therefore in private take
every opportunity of throwing off their ceremonial garb, and assume a
thin loose gown, tied with a belt round the waist. Their summer-hat is
also made of light rice straw. The head is not encumbered with hair,
which all ranks and ages shave close off, leaving only a small lock
hanging down behind. The use of fans is universal. Even the military,
when drawn out on parade-duty, make use of fans. It will be observed in
this figure, that the spectacles worn by the Chinese are considerably
larger than ours: they are made of cristal, glass being a species of
manufacture unknown in China.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 16
]



                               Plate XVI.

                              A BOAT GIRL.


ON all the rivers and canals of China a vast number of families live
entirely in their boats, and the women are generally quite as efficient
navigators as the men, particularly in rowing and steering. Their dress
differs very little from that of the men, except about the head, on
which the hair is suffered to grow freely, and is sometimes plaited
behind like that of the men, as in this figure, but more frequently tied
up in a knot upon the crown of the head. Among persons of this
description the feet are allowed to grow to their full size, and they
are almost invariably without shoes or other cover. They smoke tobacco
and chew the betel and areca nut with as much avidity as the men.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 17
]



                              Plate XVII.

                         A COMMON SEDAN CHAIR.


THIS is one of the most common of sedan chairs, used by the peasantry;
though there are others still meaner, and without any covering over
head. The wages of labour are so low, and the price of provisions so
cheap, that any man above a common labourer can afford to be carried in
his chair.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 18
]



                              Plate XVIII.

                   A MANDARIN’S SERVANT ON HORSEBACK.


THE annexed is a portrait of a true Tartar horse, which seems to be
pretty much of the same breed as those of the Cossacks. The Chinese
horses are precisely of the same kind. In fact, no pains whatever appear
to be taken either for improving the breed, or by attention to their
food, cleanliness, or regular exercise, to increase the size, strength,
or spirit of the animal. A currycomb, or any substitute for it, is
unknown in China. Indeed horses are not much in use. Wherever the nature
of the country admits of canals or navigable rivers, travelling and
conveyance of every kind are principally performed on the water. A
single horse suffices to draw a mandarin’s carriage, which is nothing
more than a little covered cart without springs.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 19
]



                               Plate XIX.

                         AN ITINERANT MUSICIAN.


THE Chinese have full as great a variety of musical instruments as most
other nations, but they are all of them indifferent, and the music, if
it may be so called, produced out of them, execrable. The merit of our
travelling musician consists in beating a sort of tambourine, or rather
a shallow kettle-drum, with a mallet held between the toes of one foot,
while he strikes a pair of cymbals with the other, and, at the same time
plays upon a sort of guitar accompanied by his voice. It would seem also
that he is equally skilled in wind instruments, of which a flute and
trumpet make their appearance out of the mouth of his bag; a pair of
rattles connected by a piece of riband lie on the ground, and near them
a hollow piece of wood, nearly heart-shaped, which, when struck with a
mallet, emits a dull disagreeable sound, like the hollow bamboo carried
by the watchman, for which this is sometimes substituted. A Chinese band
always play in unison, and never in parts: this indeed is an art they
have not yet reached, and those few who have heard European harmony
pretend to dislike it. A Chinese ear is best gratified with the sounds
of noisy instruments, as gongs, kettle-drums, shrill trumpets, jingling
bells and cymbals, or with the faint and reedy tones, scarcely audible,
of a little bamboo organ, which swell and die away not unlike those of
an Eolian harp.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 20
]



                               Plate XX.

                   AN OFFICER OF THE CORPS OF BOWMEN.


THE original weapon of the Chinese, which by the way seems to be the
offensive arms of most savages, is the bow. It is still preferred by
them to the matchlock; and the Tartars are so fond of it, that it forms
an essential part of the education of the young princes of the blood.
Their bows are large, and require a considerable degree of strength, as
well as a peculiar knack to string them. Even the Emperor wears a ring
of agate on the right thumb for the string to press against in drawing
the bow, which is the weapon he uses every summer in hunting tigers and
other wild beasts in the forests of Tartary. When the troops are drawn
out on parade-duty, not only the superior officers carry colours, but a
small flag is stuck on the back of every fifth, seventh, or ninth man.
The characters on the flag generally designate the rank of the bearer
and the name of the corps.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 21
]



                               Plate XXI.

                          A CHINESE MENDICANT.


BEGGING is by no means a profitable trade in China, and few therefore
pursue it except the monks of Fo and Tao-tzé, and a few impostors who go
about pretending to foretell events and predict good or ill fortune. The
annexed is the representation of a beggar of a different description.
The piece of hollow wood in his hand is struck to draw attention, and
the label on his back describes his condition, which is not exactly such
as in other countries would excite much compassion. It states his
unfortunate situation, as having no children to take care of him, to
console him in affliction, to give him food when hungry, or medicine
when sick. The want of children is considered in China as the greatest
of all misfortunes, and is in reality so, as by the moral precepts of
that nation, which have all the force of law, filial piety is looked
upon as the first of moral virtues; and, however poor a child may be, he
is bound to share his earnings with his aged parents.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 22
]



                              Plate XXII.

                   CHINESE BARBERS CHAMPOOING, _&c._


THROUGHOUT all the East, in India as well as in China, the luxury of
champooing is enjoyed by all ranks of men; it consists of pulling the
joints until they crack, and of thumping the muscles until they are
sore; it is generally an operation performed by the barbers, who at the
same time cleanse the ears, tickle the nose, and play a thousand tricks
to please and amuse their customers, to whom and the surrounding
audience they tell their gossiping stories. Of their merit in this
respect we have abundant information in the Arabian Nights
Entertainments.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 23
]



                              Plate XXIII.

                             A BOOKSELLER.


IN so arbitrary a government as that of China, it would scarcely be
supposed that the press should be free; that is to say, that every one
who chooses it may follow the profession of a printer or a bookseller
without any previous licence, or without submitting the works he may
print or expose for sale to any censor appointed by government; but then
he must take his chance to suffer in his person all the consequences
that may result from the impression that may be made on the minds of the
civil officers as to the tendency of the work. A libel against the
government, an immoral or indecent book, would subject both printer and
publisher to certain punishment both in his person and purse. The
Chinese have not made any great progress in literature, and still less
in the sciences: they most excel in the history of their own country, in
morality, and in practical jurisprudence. Their dramatic works are
constructed on the same model as those of the Greeks, to which it is
hardly necessary to add they are infinitely inferior. Their novels and
moral tales are better; but the works in most esteem are the four
classical books supposed to be written or compiled by Confucius. Their
printing is not performed by moveable types, like ours, but by wooden
blocks the size of the page; and this mode appears to have been in use
long before the Christian æra.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 24
]



                              Plate XXIV.

                         A SOLDIER OF INFANTRY.


THE annexed figure, either from the striped dress, or the furious
looking head painted on the shield, has been called a tiger of war; but
he is not so fierce as he appears to be, or as the name would imply;
indeed the Chinese admit that the monstrous face, on the basket-work
shield, is intended to frighten the enemy, and make him run away; like
another Gorgon’s head to petrify those who look upon it. This corps of
infantry, in its exercise, assumes all kinds of whimsical attitudes,
jumping about and tumbling over each other, like so many mountebanks.
Indeed the whole of the Chinese military tactics are as absurd as they
are ridiculous. When an army is drawn out, it must represent the
heavens, or the earth, or the moon, or the five planets, or the
five-clawed dragon, or mystical tortoise. Père Amiot, a French
missionary, has been at the trouble of collecting or composing the
military tactics of China, which fill a large quarto volume.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 25
]



                               Plate XXV.

                             A RAREE SHOW.


THERE is every reason to believe, that Punch and his wife were
originally natives of China; and that all our puppet-shows were brought
from that country. The little theatre, above the head of a man concealed
behind a curtain, is precisely Chinese. _Les ombres Chinoises_ still
bear the name of their inventors; but the annexed representation of a
puppet-showman is somewhat different from both, and is the simple origin
of the _Fantoccini_, which consists in giving motion to the puppets, by
means of springs attached to particular parts of the figures. These
little dancing puppets are not merely exhibited for the amusement of
children; they furnish entertainment for the Emperor and his court, and
more especially for the ladies who, from their recluse mode of life, are
easily diverted with any kind of amusement, however childish. We find
from Mr. Barrow, that a puppet-show was one species of entertainment
given to Lord Macartney and his suite at the Emperor’s palace of Gehol
in Tartary.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 26
]



                              Plate XXVI.

                           A MANDARIN’S PAGE.

WE have not much to observe with respect to the annexed figure. He is
the page or body servant of a mandarin, to carry his papers, his writing
apparatus, the cushion on which he sits, or lays his head; he takes care
of his areca-box and his tobacco pipe, attends him on all occasions,
fans him while asleep; and, if report speaks truth, serves him for other
unworthy purposes. Every mandarin has one or more of these kind of boys
whom, even in public, they treat with a familiarity which is not quite
decorous. The upper vest, worn by the person in the annexed figure, is
of fur, which in all the northern provinces is found to be absolutely
necessary in the severe cold of the winter months.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 27
]



                              Plate XXVII.

                          A TRAVELLING SMITH.


IT is a peculiar feature in all the Oriental nations, that the most
beautiful specimens of workmanship in the various arts are made with the
most simple and at the same time most clumsy tools. The artificers
moreover are rarely fixed, or settled in a workshop convenient for their
purposes, but generally travel about the country carrying their shop and
apparatus with them. The annexed figure represents an itinerant smith,
who has more tools than almost any other artificer of China, and yet
performs his work the worst. Their cast iron is light and good, but
their manufactures of wrought iron are very indifferent: they can
neither make a hinge, nor a lock, nor even a nail that can be called
good. The bellows of the smith is a box with a valvular piston, which,
when not in use, serves as a seat, and also to contain his tools. The
barber also makes a seat of his basket; the joiner uses his rule as a
walking-stick, and the same chest that holds his tools serves him as a
bench to work upon: such are the expedients which thousands resort to,
both in India and China.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 28
]



                             Plate XXVIII.

                   VISIT TO THE GRAVE OF A RELATION.


FILIAL piety in China extends beyond the grave. Every year at certain
periods dutiful children assemble at the tomb of their parents or
ancestors, to make oblations of flowers, or fruit, or pieces of gilt
paper, or whatever else they consider as likely to be acceptable to the
manes of the departed. Their mourning dress consists of a garment of
Nanquin cotton, or canvas, of the coarsest kind. Some of the monuments
erected over the dead are by no means inelegant; like their bridges and
triumphal arches, they are very much varied, and made apparently without
any fixed design or proportion. The semicircular or the horse-shoe form,
like that in the print before which the mourner is kneeling, appeared to
be the most common.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 29
]



                              Plate XXIX.

                           A SELLER OF RICE.


ALMOST every necessary of life, and many articles that are not of that
description, are carried about the streets for sale, and the invariable
mode of bearing burthens of this kind is in baskets or boxes suspended
from the two extremities of a bamboo lath, swung across the back part of
the shoulder. If a Chinese should only have one basket to carry, he is
sure to get a log of wood, or a large stone to counterpoise it at the
opposite end, thus preferring to carry a double weight rather than place
it on the head, or the shoulder, or across the arm. The Chinese are in
appearance far from exhibiting any signs of great muscular powers, but
in lifting, or carrying a load, they are probably not excelled by the
porters even of Ireland.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 30
]



                               Plate XXX.

                           A FEMALE COMEDIAN.


IT is, perhaps, more proper to call the annexed figure, the
representation of a person in the character of a female comedian, than
“a female comedian,” as women have been prohibited from appearing
publicly on the stage since the late Emperor, Kien Lung, took an actress
for one of his inferior wives. Female characters are now therefore
performed either by boys or eunuchs. The whole dress is supposed to be
that of the ancient Chinese, and indeed is not very different from that
of the present day. The young ladies of China display considerable taste
and fancy in their head-dresses which are much decorated with feathers,
flowers, and beads as well as metallic ornaments in great variety of
form. Their outer garments are richly embroidered, and are generally the
work of their own hands, a great part of their time being employed in
this way. If it was not a rigid custom of the country, to confine to
their apartments the better class of females, the unnatural cramping of
their feet, while infants, is quite sufficient to prevent them from
stirring much abroad, as it is with some difficulty they are able to
hobble along; yet such is the force of fashion, that a lady with her
feet of the natural size would be despised, and at once classed among
the vulgar.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 31
]



                              Plate XXXI.

                            A SEDAN BEARER.


WHENEVER the Emperor of China goes in state to transact public business,
to receive ambassadors, or to hold a court, he is carried in the same
kind of a sedan chair as are commonly used in Europe, and which, as well
as umbrellas, have obviously been first introduced from China. The soft
luxury of an Indian palanquin is unknown to the Chinese. By means of
poles attached to each other the Emperor’s chair, on grand occasions, is
carried by eight pair of bearers, sometimes by four pair, but on
ordinary occasions he has no more than two pair. They are generally the
stoutest and tallest men that can be found, and are dressed in a long
yellow vest, which is the colour assumed by the imperial family.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 32
]



                              Plate XXXII.

                       A MAN SELLING BETEL, _&c._

THE practice of smoking tobacco is not more common, at least in the
southern provinces of China, than that of chewing the areca nut, mixed
with chunam, or lime made of shells, and wrapped up in a leaf of the
betel pepper. Indeed this compound masticatory is in universal use
throughout all India, the Oriental Islands, Cochin-china, and Tonquin.
In addition to the little purse which every Chinese wears suspended from
his belt as an appendage to his tobacco pipe and to hold the ingredients
for smoking, whether tobacco, or opium, or both, he generally carries
another to contain areca nuts broken into small fragments: the other
materials, the betel leaf, and chunam are to be met with in every little
eating shop, and on almost every stall in the bazar, or market, and are
among the most common articles carried about the streets for sale. The
areca tree is one of the palm tribe, with a tuft of leaves surmounting a
stem as straight and beautifully shaped as the shaft of a Corinthian
pillar. It requires a warm climate, and grows freely in the southern
provinces of China, but is common in every part of India and the
Oriental Islands.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 33
]



                             Plate XXXIII.

                          A CHINESE CARRIAGE.


THIS machine, like a baker’s cart, is the kind of wheel carriage which
is most common in the country, and such as even the high officers of
state ride in, when performing land journies in bad weather, and the
driver invariably sits on the shaft in the aukward manner here
represented. They have no springs, nor any seat in the inside, the
persons using them always sitting cross-legged on a cushion at the
bottom. In these carts the gentlemen of Lord Macartney’s embassy who had
not horses, were _accommodated_, over a stone pavement full of rutts and
holes. When ladies use them, a bamboo screen is let down in front to
prevent their being stared at by passengers, and on each side, the light
is admitted through a square hole just large enough for a person’s head.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 34
]



                              Plate XXXIV.

                       A MAN WITH PIPES FOR SALE.


THE very general use of tobacco throughout the whole extensive empire of
China, and the still more extensive regions of Tartary, would seem to
contradict the commonly received opinion, that this herb is indigenous
only in America. One can hardly suppose that the Chinese, who are so
remarkably averse from the introduction of any thing novel, would, in
the course of three centuries, have brought the custom of smoking into
universal use; yet so it is; men of all ranks and all ages; women,
whatever their condition in life may be, and children even of both sexes
of eight or ten years of age, are furnished with the necessary apparatus
for smoking tobacco. In walking the streets, in almost all the
occupations of life, the tobacco pipe is seldom out of the mouth. When
not in use it is placed in a small pouch suspended from the girdle; and
another appendage is a small silken purse generally attached to the pipe
for containing opium, areca nut, or some other masticatory. The tube of
the pipe is generally made of bamboo, and the cap or bowl of the metal
called tutanague or porcelain. The shape and structure of this machine
are strongly marked with originality, being unlike those in use among
any other people; but the plant itself is, we understand, of a different
species to any of those found in America, which is perhaps the strongest
proof of all, that the custom of smoking has existed in China from time
immemorial.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 35
]



                              Plate XXXV.

                        A WATERMAN IN HIS BARGE.


SOME millions of Chinese live entirely on the water, in boats and barges
of various kinds, some occupied in carrying articles of provisions and
merchandize, others in conveying passengers, some in feeding and rearing
ducks, and others in fishing. Some of these vessels have masts and
sails, others are forced forwards with large sculls or pushed on with
poles, some are dragged along by men, and others, but very rarely, by
horses. Near the head of each vessel is suspended in some convenient
place, one of those noisy instruments well known in this country by the
name of gong, which is used to regulate the motions of the trackers, and
to give notice to other vessels of the approach and intentions of the
one that beats the signal. Where a large fleet is about to come to
anchor or make fast for the night, there is a tremendous crash of gongs
from all quarters; the meaning of each of which is distinctly understood
by the Chinese, from the peculiar mode in which each is struck.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 36
]



                              Plate XXXVI.

                     A TRADESMAN WITH HIS SWAN-PAN.


THE Chinese merchants and tradesmen are most expert and ready reckoners;
but they perform all arithmetical operations mechanically, by means of a
table divided into two compartments, through which pass iron wires; and
on these wires are strung in one compartment five, and in the other two,
moveable balls. The principle is something of the same kind as that of
the _abacus_ of the Romans, and is with some little variation still made
use of in Russia. It has been observed, that in weighing several
thousand chests of tea, or bales of goods, at Canton, the Chinese
accountant can invariably name the sum total long before the European
can cast up his account.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 37
]



                             Plate XXXVII.

                            FEMALE PEASANT.


BLUE or brown cotton frocks with green or yellow trowsers are the
ordinary dresses of the female peasantry, all of whom, except such as
labour in the field or the fisheries, have the vanity to cramp their
feet, in imitation of their superiors. Those in the print are employed
in winding cotton yarn. They are, in general, ill featured, and their
countenance void of expression.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 38
]



                             Plate XXXVIII.

                           A TARTAR DRAGOON.


OF the Tartar horse another specimen has been given in this work. This
represents a Tartar dragoon armed with the common instruments, the bow,
and a short sabre. This corps is probably of little use beyond that of
carrying dispatches, and assisting in the imperial hunts in the forests
of Tartary. All the cavalry that were seen by the British Embassy had a
mean, irregular, and most unsoldierlike appearance.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 39
]



                              Plate XXXIX.

                  PUNISHMENT OF THE _TCHA_, OR CANGUE.


THE punishment of the cangue may be compared to that of our pillory,
with this difference, that in China a person convicted of petty crimes
or misdemeanours is sometimes sentenced to carry the wooden clog about
his neck for weeks, or even months; sometimes one hand, or even both
hands, are inserted through holes, as well as the neck. The annexed
representation is not a common one, and far less painful than the plain
heavy tablet of wood, the whole weight of which must be supported on the
shoulders; whereas in this it is mere confinement, without the person
being compelled to carry a heavy load. The nature of the offence is
always described in large characters, either on the edge of the cangue,
or, as in the present instance, on a piece of board attached to it.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 40
]



                               Plate XL.

                      CHILDREN EATING THEIR MEAL.


AMONG the peasantry and labouring people of China, all are cooks. A
little earthen-ware stove and an iron pan is all that is required. Rice
is their principal food, which is simply boiled, and then a little fat
of pork or a salt fish put into the pan to mix with it and give it a
relish; they drink little else besides water, which is usually carried
about in a gourd slung on the back; and they require no table nor
chairs. Each person has his bowl and his chop-sticks, and squatting down
on his haunches before the pan, he makes a hearty and contented meal. It
is quite gratifying to see a party of youngsters making their dinner in
this way in the open air.

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 41
]



                               Plate XLI.

                             A SEDAN CHAIR.


THE vehicles of this description are nearly as various in the different
provinces of China, and among the different ranks of inhabitants, as
their boats and barges are. The one here engraved belongs to a person in
a certain rank of life, probably an inferior mandarin. It will be
observed that, instead of carrying the poles in the hands, as we do, the
Chinese carry the chairs on the shoulders by means of a cross-bar fixed
to the poles by straps: but different kinds of chairs are carried in
different ways.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 42
]



                              Plate XLII.

                        VIEW ON THE GREAT CANAL.


THE grand canal of China, or rather the water communication between the
northern and southern extremities of the empire by a succession of
canals and rivers, is certainly the first inland navigation in the
world. The multitude of vessels, of every size and shape, is not to be
estimated. The large one in the print is one of those which carried the
British embassador and his suite up the Pei-ho to the neighbourhood of
Pekin, which were in every respect comfortable and commodious. On
passing bridges, which are very frequent in the neighbourhood of all
towns and villages, the masts are usually lowered down; but many of the
bridges are lofty enough to admit the smaller kind of barges to pass
underneath with their masts standing. The bridges are almost as various
in their shape and construction as the barges, and some of them by no
means destitute of taste.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 43
]



                              Plate XLIII.

                        A CHINESE LADY OF RANK.


IF we except the unnatural custom of maiming the feet, which swells and
distorts the ankles, and wrapping the latter up in bandages, the dress
of Chinese ladies in the upper ranks of life is by no means unbecoming.
In the head dress, in particular, they sometimes exhibit great taste,
and great variety; and the materials of which their garments are made,
and especially those parts of them which consist of their own
embroidering, are exceedingly beautiful. Confined by education in their
mental acquirements, a great part of their time is employed in works of
this kind, in looking after and cultivating plants growing in pots which
decorate their apartments and inner courtyards, and in attending to
birds, which are either kept for singing, or some particular beauty of
form or plumage. The buildings in the back ground form part of a view of
Pekin, near one of the western gates.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 44
]



                              Plate XLIV.

                    A NURSERY MAID AND TWO CHILDREN.


THE annexed are portraits of a female servant, and of a male and female
child, which will give a tolerably correct idea of the dresses worn by
them respectively. That of the maid servant differs in nothing from her
mistress, but in the materials; the latter generally wearing silk, and
the one in question cotton. A Chinese woman of the meanest condition
would feel herself degraded if not allowed to mutilate her feet.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 45
]



                               Plate XLV.

                            A STAGE PLAYER.


BY the military emblem on the breast-plate, the annexed figure of a
stage player must be intended to represent a great general or some
military hero famous in the annals of China. Noisy music and extravagant
gestures are the characteristic features of the Chinese stage, of which
it would lead us into too long a detail to convey any intelligible
account; and we prefer, therefore, to refer to the curious and
interesting descriptions which have been furnished on this subject by
Lord Macartney, Sir George Staunton and Mr. Barrow. We have only to add,
that the figure was sketched from the life.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 46
]



                              Plate XLVI.

                           TRACKERS REGALING.


THERE is little to observe on the annexed engraving. It represents a
groupe of the common peasantry of the country eating their rice. The
particular employment of these, here designated, is that of tracking
barges on the canals; the pieces of wood lying by them being those which
they place across the chest to drag forward the vessels. It will be seen
from the other prints, that the common mode of carrying burthens is that
of swinging baskets from the two extremities of a bamboo, which is laid
by the middle across the shoulders.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 47
]



                              Plate XLVII.

                         A MANDARIN’S OFFICER.


THIS gentleman is a sort of appendage to a man in power. Some half-dozen
of them generally precede a mandarin of rank when he goes in procession,
but more especially when he attends a tribunal of justice. Their
peculiar province seems to be that of keeping off the crowd. The
feathers they wear in their tall conical hats are from three to six feet
in length, and are apparently the tail feathers of a peculiar species of
pheasant, which is represented as very scarce. Some of them wear the
tail feathers of the argus pheasant.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 48
]



                             Plate XLVIII.

                PUNISHMENT FOR INSOLENCE TO A SUPERIOR.


PIERCING the ear with various sharp instruments is among the punishments
of the Chinese. A man who had been insolent to one of the suite of Lord
Macartney’s embassy, was sentenced to receive fifty strokes from the
pant-zee or bamboo, in addition to having his hand pinned to his ear by
an iron wire, which was said to have been inflicted immediately after
the bastinade.

The middle figure is an inferior officer of the police, who holds a
painted board on which the crime is exhibited to spectators; the other
personage is a mandarin reproving the culprit.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 49
]



                              Plate XLIX.

                        WOMAN SELLING CHOW-CHOW.


THERE is little more to be observed of the present engraving than this:
that whatever wares, goods, or merchandize are exposed to sale in the
open air, which in the open plains, as well in the broad streets of
cities, is very much the case, the vender and the articles themselves
are, during the summer months, protected from the rays of the sun by a
large umbrella, which is generally square, like that in the print. Some
hundreds of similar stands and umbrellas were displayed on a plain near
the spot where the embassy disembarked, within the mouth of the Pei-ho;
the little booths, if they may be so termed, being generally well stored
with sweet-meats and sliced water-melons laid upon ice. The poorest
peasant in China carries an umbrella, either to defend him against the
rays of the sun, or heavy rains.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration:

  CHINA—PLATE 50
]



                                Plate L.

                            A MILITARY POST.


AT certain distances, more or less remote according to the nature of the
country, along the roads, and the banks of the interior navigations, are
placed small parties of soldiers from five or six to a dozen, and
sometimes more. They are employed in conveying the public dispatches,
and in assisting the magistrates to quell disturbances. The immense army
of China is for the most part parcelled out in this way. Near each of
these posts is a tall wooden building from whence they can see and
communicate by signals with the next stations. The men till the ground,
and perform other kinds of labour; but are always expected to turn out
in their holiday dress when an embassador or any of their _ta-zin_ or
great men happen to pass the station, on which occasion they generally
fire three little petards stuck into the ground with the muzzle upwards
as a salute.


———————————

    London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co.
             Cleveland-row, St. James’s.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).





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