Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes/Volume 12/Book 2/Chapter 8

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[III. ii. 405.]

Chap. VIII.

A continuation of the Jesuits Acts and Observations in China till Ricius his death and some yeares after. Of Hanceu or Quinsay. An Extract of Monfarts travell.

THus having with Pantogias eyes taken some view of the Kings Palace, and with Ricii Expedition. l. c. 13.Ricius of their whole Government, I hold it fit not to leave this China Apostle (so Ricius is called) till wee have seene some fruits of his labours untill and after his death. He tels us that three dayes after they had beene shut up in the Palace of Strangers as yee have read, they were brought forth into the Kings Palace to performe the wonted Rites to the Kings Throne. This is done in Atrium. a large and glorious Court or Porch, where 30000. men might be contayned; at the end whereof is a high Chamber, under which by five great doores is a passage to the Kings Lodgings; in that Chamber is the Kings Throne reverenced and guarded. Kings Throne, where anciently he sate to heare and dispatch businesses and Embassages, and to receive the Rites of Magistrates, rendring thankes for their Preferments. But in the present solitarinesse of the King, those Rites are done to the Empty Throne, many there gratulating the King every day. In this Court, environed Elephants.

  • See the like

sup. 23. Rites to the Throne Kings politike pietie. Their libertie and allowance.


with stately Workes, 3000. Souldiers watch every night, besides others watching in Towres without, a stones cast from one another. In each of the five Gates is an Elephant, which with the Souldiers goe forth when it is day: and those are admitted which come to gratulate the King. These come in a peculiar Habit of Red, with an Ivory Table in their hand to cover* their mouth, and exhibit their kneelings and bowings to the Throne, as they are taught by Officers of Rites or Masters of Ceremonies: one crying out to that purpose at the performance of each gesture. The Governour of Strangers having shut them up, first petitioned the King sharply against Mathan the Eunuch and them, but seeing no answere, he petitioned more gently but would have them sent from Pequin; which the King liked not, yet without Petition from the Magistrates would not detayne them. The Eunuches also laboured their stay for feare the Clockes should miscarry beyond their skill. The Kings Mother hearing of a selfe-striking bell sent for it, and the King sent it, but to prevent her asking it, caused the Wheeles to be loosed, so that not seeing the use, she sent it againe.

When the Rituall Magistrates could get no answere to their Petitions, for not touching their stay at Pequin; the Præfect sent to Ricius that he would make a Petition to give him leave to stay there in pretence of Sicknesse and Physicke, which hee did, and the other presently answered, giving him libertie to hyre a House; continuing also his former allowance, with foure servants to bring it every fifth day, (Flesh, Salt, Rice, Wine, Hearbs, Wood,) and another servant in continuall attendance: so that now they recovered libertie and credit. The Eunuches also told them of the Kings approbation of their stay; and they had out of the Treasurie eight Crownes a moneth, which

their goeth much further then heere: and the Captayne of Strangers by open Sentence gave them full libertie. One of the Colai, and then the onely, became their great friend, with his Sonne, after some European Presents, which hee bountifully rewarded: likewise the supreame
Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes Volume 12 - MAP OF CHINA.png

PURCHAS HIS MAP OF CHINA

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are ready to bee spunne, which is done as they gather Apricocks: for indeed a farre off they appeare to bee so, and is a very fine sight to behold : they use a strange kinde of Fishing with Cormorants. They tie their neckes a little above their stomackes, lest they should devour the Fish they take: then comming to their Master, hee pulleth it alive, out of their throates: Likewise for water Fowle, they make use of great Bottles with two holes, which they leave floating up and downe the water a good while, to acquaint the Fowles therewith: then some fellowes will wade up to the necke in the water, thrusting their heads into those Bottles, and having a bagge underneath, come as neere the Fowle as they will, taking them with their hands, without the rest being afraid of it.