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A RESIDENCE AMONG THE CHINESE:
INLAND, ON THE COAST, AND AT SEA.
BEING A NARRATIVE OF SCENES AND ADVENTURES DURING A THIRD VISIT TO CHINA, FROM 1853 TO 1856.
INCLUDING NOTICES OF MANY NATURAL PRODUCTIONS AND WORKS OF ART,
THE CULTURE OF SILK, &c.; WITH SUGGESTIONS ON THE PRESENT WAR.
BY ROBERT FORTUNE,
HONORARY MEMBER OF TEE AGRI-HORT.
SOCIETY OF INDIA,
AUTHOR OF "THREE YEARS' WANDERINGS IN CHINA,"
"A JOURNEY TO THE TEA COUNTRIES," ETC.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
IT is now nearly fourteen years since I landed in China for the first time, in the capacity of Botanical Collector to the Horticultural Society of London. From 1848 to the beginning of 1851 I was engaged by the Honourable Court of Directors of the East India Company in procuring supplies of tea-plants, seeds, implements, and green-tea makers, for the government plantations in the Himalayas. In the end of 1852 I was deputed a second time by the East India Company for the purpose of adding to the collections already formed, and particularly of procuring some first-rate black-tea makers for the experimental tea-farms in India.
The present volume gives an account of my last travels amongst the Chinese — from 1852 to 1856 — which it is hoped will be found as interesting as my former 'Three Years' Wanderings,' and 'Journey to the Tea Countries.'
During my first visit my investigations were chiefly confined to the coast near the five ports at which foreigners are permitted to trade. In my second book I described some long journeys to the green and black tea countries; and in this one I have endeavoured to give the reader a minute account of some extensive districts of country
which lie between the coast-line and the points formerly reached. For the talented sketches which illustrate the work I am indebted to my friend Mr. Scarth.
In keeping a journal of the ever-varying scenes which passed daily in review before me, I have not been unmindful of a friendly hint which I received from some reviewers of my former works. I have, therefore, endeavoured to describe more minutely the characters, manners, and customs of the Chinese in those districts in which I lived for a length of time almost like one of themselves. And with regard to this part of the performance I can only say that the figures on my canvas are such as I daily met with in the course of my travels, and are true to nature. The reader is left to draw his own conclusions; but it is hoped that those who have been inclined to form their estimate of the Chinese character from what has been written about the low rabble of Canton, will, after the perusal of these pages, look with a more favourable eye upon the inhabitants of China when seen from other points of view.
The natural productions of the country which came under my notice, whether simply ornamental in their character, or articles of commercial value, have been fully described. During a sojourn of some months in the heart of the great silk country I had an opportunity of seeing the cultivation of the mulberry, the feeding and rearing of the silkworms, and the reeling of the silk; and these interesting operations are now described, I believe, for the first time by an English eye-witness.
The concluding chapter gives the author's views upon the late disturbances at Canton. It shows how these might have been avoided, and suggests a line of policy by which our future relations with the Chinese may be placed on a more firm and satisfactory basis. These suggestions are of importance, not to England only, but to all civilized nations in the West who trade with China, or who may be interested in her future welfare and progress.
The remarks on the climate of China, with reference to the health of our troops, are the results of long experience, and, in the event of our going to war with that country, ought to be carefully considered by those who have the direction of the expedition.
Having thus given a general idea of the scope of the work, I have only to express a hope that, while it may add to our knowledge of the people and productions of China, it may, at the same time, enable us to look with more kindly feelings on a large portion of the human family, far more ancient as a nation, and as industrious, if not so civilized, as ourselves.
Brompton, April, 1857.
Arrival at Shanghae — Kindness of Mr. Beale — An earthquake — Chinese superstitions — Hairs said to come out of the ground — An examination and the result — Reports of a sunken village — Preparations to visit it — Contradictory statements — The truth at last! — The Chinese rebellion — Its rise and progress — Taking of Nanking — Alarm at Shanghae — Means taken for protection — Taoutai's request for foreign aid — Sir George Bonham proceeds to Nanking — Arrogance of the insurgents — War-vessels of America and France visit them — The religion of the insurgents fanaticism — An extraordinary official statement — Future prospects as regards Christianity
Objects in visiting China — My boat and boatmen — A groundless alarm — Chinese pilgrims — Chair-bearers — Road to Ayuka's temple — Crowds by the way — Shyness of ladies — Description of scenery — Wild flowers — Tea-farms — Approaches to temple — Ancient tree — Hawkers and their stalls — Scene in temple — Visit to high priest — Shay-le or precious relic — Its history and traditions — A picnic — Character of the people for sobriety — An evening stroll — The temple at night — Huge idols — Queen of Heaven and child — Superstitions of Chinese women
Tea-gatherers and their wages — Food of Chinese labourers compared with the food of the same class in England — Old city of Tse-kee — Streets and shops — Market — Mode of skinning frogs — Temple on hill and fine scenery — Lake near north gate — Temples and priests — My servant's mode of answering questions — Chesnut-trees discovered — Introduced to India — Chinese tombs and ceremonies -- A widow comes to worship — Beggars and coffins — Different customs in different countries — Reflections
Entomology — Chinese ideas respecting my collections — My sanity doubtful — Mode of employing natives to assist me — A scene on returning to my boat — Curious tree — Visit from a mandarin — An endeavour to explain my objects in making collections of natural history — Crowds of natives — Their quietness and civility — Return mandarin's visit — My reception — Example of Chinese politeness — Our conversation — Inquisitiveness of his ladies and its consequences — Beauty of ladies at Tse-kee — Our luncheon and adieu
Visit a collector of ancient works of art — His house and garden — Inspect his collections of old crackle china and other vases, &c. — Fondness of Chinese for their own ancient works of art — Description of ancient porcelain most prized by them — Ancient enamels — Foo chow enamels — Jade-stone — Rock crystal — Magnetic iron and other minerals — Gold-stone — Red lacquer and gold japan — Porcelain bottles found in Egyptian tombs — Found also in China at the present day — Age of these — Mr. Medhurst's remarks
Boat-travelling — Unsettled state of the country — A midnight alarm — Old quarters at Tein-tung — A good Buddhist priest — Chinese farmers — Their wives and families — Chinese women's passion, and its effects — Woman's curse — The author is seized with fever — A native doctor and his mode of treatment — Method of taking honey from bees — Mosquito tobacco — Its composition and manufacture
Difficulty in procuring black-tea manufacturers — Return to Shanghae — City taken by a band of rebels — Chief magistrate murdered — Strange prejudices of foreign residents — Their professions of neutrality — Chinese warfare — Dr. Lockhart's hospital and patients — Value of medical missions — Public opinion changes — Shanghae evacuated by the rebels — Entered by the Imperialists — Cruelty of soldiers — Effects of the rebellion on the face of the country
Return to the tea-districts of Chekiang — Mode of making collections of seeds amongst Chinese peasantry — Messengers sent to Mooyuen and Ping-shut' — Ping-shuy teas — Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India — Varnish-tree — Wax-insect tree — Soap-tree — Death and funeral of a Buddhist priest — New blue dye — Its cultivation and manufacture — "Green indigo" — Its introduction to India and Europe
Journey to the Snowy Valley and waterfalls — Kong-k'how pagoda — Adventure with a blind man — Elaborate carving — A new acquaintance, Mr. Achang — Iron-ore — Mountain stream — Its rafts and cormorants — The temple of the Snowy Valley — Description of the falls — Our dinner and guests — How Mr. Achang enjoys it — His lecture on medical botany and lucky spots for graves — A Buddhist recluse — Continue our journey across the mountains — Natural productions — Fine variety of bamboo — Its introduction to India — Romantic glen — Arrive at our boats and bid adieu to Mr. Achang
Collections shipped for India — Success attending this year's importations — Visit Canton — Method of scenting teas described — Flowers used in the operation — Their scientific and Chinese names — Their relative value — Prices paid for them — Manufacture of "caper" described — Inferior ditto — "Lie capers" — Orange pekoe — High character of foreign merchants in China — Howqua's garden described — Its plants, ornamental doors, and alcoves, &c. — Polite notices to visitors worthy of imitation
Visit the port of Foo-chow-foo — Its foreign trade — The advantages and disadvantages of the port — Steamer "Confucius" — Sail for Formosa — An amateur watch kept — Sea-sickness of mandarins — Appearance of Formosa from sea — Land on the island — Rice-paper plant — The natives — Productions of the island — Suggestions to the navy in these seas — Sail for Shanghae — Spring and spring flowers
Return to Chekiang — A journey to the interior — Chinese country fair — Small feet of women — How formed, and the results — Stalls at the fair — Ancient porcelain seal same as found in the bogs of Ireland — Theatricals — Chinese actors — Natural productions of the country — Liliaceous medicinal plant — "Cold water temple" — Start for Tsan-tsin — Mountain scenery and productions — Astonishment of the people — A little boy's opinion of my habits
A dinner audience — Adventure with a priest — Sanatarium for Ningpo missionaries and others — Abies Kæmpferi — Journey to Quan-ting — Bamboo woods and their value — Magnificent scenery — Natives of Poo-in-chee — Golden bell at Quan-ting — Chinese traditions — Cold of the mountains — Journey with Mr. Wang — A disappointment — Adventure with pirates — Strange but satisfactory signal — Results
Season's collections shipped for India — Ancient porcelain vase — Chinese dealers — Joined by two friends — Inland journey — City of Yu-yaou — Fine rice district — Appearance and conduct of natives — Laughable occurrence with an avaricious boatman — Soil and rooks of district — Village of Ne-ka-loo and Chinese inn — Shores of the bay of Hang-chow — Salt and its manufacture — Curious moonlight journey — Rapid tides — Passage junk — Voyage across the bay — Chinese sailors — Arrive at Kan-poo
The Tsien-tang river — Its eagre or "bore" — Appearance it presents — Effects it produces — Superstitions of the natives — City of Kan-poo — Mentioned by Marco Polo — Its decay as a maritime port — Another source of wealth — Its inhabitants — Village of Luh-le-heen — Engage canal boats — Pass through borders of silk country — City of Yuen-hwa — Supposed emporium for "Yuen fa" silk — Geology Of isolated hills — City of Ping-boo — Way to manage Chinese crowds — Shops and gardens — A dangerous position — Arrive at Shanghae
Leave Shanghae for the silk country — Melancholy results of the Shanghae rebellion — Country and productions about Cading — Indigo and safflower — Bamboo paper-making — Insects — Lakes and marshy country — Visit the town of Nan-tsin in the silk districts — Its shops and inhabitants — Producers of raw silk and silk merchants — Description of silk country — Soil — Method Of cultivating the mulberry — Valuable varieties — Increased by grafting and not by seeds — Method of gathering the leaves — Hills near Hoo-chow-foo — Temples and priests
Enter the city of Hoo-chow-foo — Chinese crowds — Description of the city — Richness of the shops — Fans and silks — Rich dresses of the people — Raw silk and hongs — Flowered crapes — Chinese play and audience — How I perform my part! — Leave the city — Charming scenes in the country — Thrown silk — Silk villages and their inhabitants — Temple of Wanshew-si and its priests — Taou-ehang-shan pagoda — Glorious views from the pagoda hill
Ascend the Lun-ke river — A musical Buddhist high priest — Hooshan monastery — Its silk-worms — Mode of feeding them — General treatment — Their aversion to noise and bright light — The country embanked in all directions — A farmer's explanation of this — Town of Mei-che — Silk-worms begin to spin — Method of putting them on straw — Artificial heat employed — Reeling process — Machine described — Work-people — Silk scenes in a monastery — Industrious Buddhist priests — Novel mode of catching fish — End of silk season — Price of raw silk where it is produced
Leave the silk country — Adventure at Nanziang — A visit from thieves — I am robbed of everything — Unsuccessful efforts to trace the robbers — Astonished by another visit from them — Its objects — My clothes and papers returned — Their motives for this — A visit to the Nanziang mandarin — Means taken to catch the robbers — Two are caught and bambooed — My visit to the mandarin returned — Arrive at Shanghae — Report the robbery to Her Majesty's Consul — A portion of the money recovered — The remainder supposed to be kept by the man
Tea-makers from Fokien and Kiangse engaged for India — Ningchow tea country — Formerly produced green teas — Now produces black — How this change took place — Difficulty in getting the men off — One of them arrested for debt — All on board at last and sent on to Calcutta — Coast infested with pirates — Ningpo missionaries robbed — Politeness Of the pirates — Their rendezvous discovered — Attacked and destroyed by the 'Bittern' — A mandarin in difficulty — The English "don't fight fair" — Liberality of the Chinese and English merchants — Captain Vansittart's reward
Return to the interior — Curious superstition — Adventures with a priest — Journey in searoh of new trees — Mountain scenery — New Rhododendron — Valley of the Nine Stones — Fine trees — Yew and golden pine — Curiosity of the natives — A dark and stormy night — We lose ourselves amongst the mountains — Seek shelter in a hut — Alarm of the inmates — Morning after the storm — Return to Ningpo — A fine new plant discovered — Adieu to the north of China — Engage scented-tea makers, &c., at Canton — Sail for India — Complimentary letter from Lord Dalhousie — Ordered to visit the tea-plantations in the Himalayas and Punjab — Return to England
ON THE PRESENT WAR.
Dispute with the Chinese about the lorcha "Arrow" — Lorchas and their crews — Abuse of the English flag — Right of entrance into the city of Canton — The Chinese outwit us in diplomacy — True causes of our position in Canton — We have ourselves to blame — The policy which ought to be pursued — The city of Canton must be opened — Foolish restrictions on foreigners and their trade ought to be abolished — Direct communication with the court of Peking — Method of carrying out these views — Remarks on the climate with reference to the health of our troops — Conclusion
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. Method of making "Caper" Tea
2. Boats used on the rivers in China
3. Ladies and Children on a Pilgrimage to Ayuka's Temple
4. Remarkable Tree
5. Curious pilgrim-shaped Bottle, enamelled with butterflies
6. Porcelain Vase enamelled with figures of animals and plants
7. Vase of sea-green crackle
8. Oviform Bottle of rare turquoise color
9. Gourd-shaped Bottle of yellowish stone colour crackle
10. Ancient porcelain vessel
11. Ancient Vase enamelled on metal
12. Bottle, same as found in Egyptian tombs
13. Rain Cloak — Hemp palm
14. Wax Tree
15. Tea-Picker — Canton
16. Foo-chow Countrywoman
17. Ancient porcelain Seals
18. Larch Tree
19. View on the Grand Canal, with mulberry trees on its banks
20. Mulberry Tree
21. Mulberry Tree
22. Curious method of Fishing