Illustrations of China and Its People/Volume 4

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Confucian Temple, Peking








"Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
With sails and wind their cany waggons light."

Milton, Paradise Lost, Book III.







[All Rights Reserved.]




Plate I. i Shen-kwe-fen, Tung-sean, and Maou-ching-he, Chinese Ministers of State. Plate II. 2 Wen-siang, Manchu Minister of State.

3 Li-hung-chang, Governor-General of Pej-chih-li.

4 Ciieng-Lin, Manchu Minister of State.

5 Paou-keun, Manchu Minister of State. Plate III. 6 Ciiefoo Settlement.

7 Tientsin Men.

8 Ruin of the Sisters' Chapel, Tientsin.

Plate IV. 9 Entrance to the Kwo-tsze-keen, or National University, Peking.

Plate V. 10 Peking Observatory.

Plate VI. 11 Peking Observatory.

Plate VII. 12 A Mandarin's House, Peking.

13 Reception Room in a Mandarin's House.

14 An Inner Court in a Mandarin's House. Plate VIII. 15 Chinese Ff.male Coiffure.

16 Manchu Female Coiffure.

17 Manchu Female Coiffure.

18 Manchu Female Coiffure.

19 Manchu Female Coiffure.

20 An Old Mongolian Woman.

Plate IX. 21 The Central Street, Chinese City of Peking. Plate X. 22 The Bell Tower, Peking.

23 The Drum Tower, Peking.

24 A Pekingese Silk-Mercer's Shop.

25 A Living Tomb.

Plate XI. 26 A Pekingese Chiropodist.

27 A Pekingese Peep-Show.

28 Dealers in Curiosities.

29 A Pekingese Costermonger. Plate XII. 30 Ancient Bronzes.

31 Ancient Chinese Porcelain Ware. Plate XIII. 32 Manchu Ladies.

33 Manchu Bride and Maid.

34 Manchu Ladies.

35 Manchu Toilet.

Plate XIV. 36 The Great Confucian Altar, Peking.

37 Native Professor of Mathematics, and Pupils.

38 A Pekingese Pai-lau.

39 Funeral Bannermen.

Plate XV. 40 The Marble Cenotaph, Peking. Plate XVI. 41 The Open Altar of Heaven, Peking.

42 The Temple of Heaven, Peking. Plate XVII. 43 Manchu Soldier.

44 Manchu Archer.

45 Mongols.


Plate XVIII. 47 Great Marble Bridge, Yuen-Ming-Yuen.

Plate XIX. 48 The Bronze Temple, Yuen-Ming -Yuen.

Plate XX. 49 Stone Animals, Ming Tombs.

Plate XXI. 50 Tomb of Yung-lo.

Plate XXII. 51 One of the City Guard, Peking.

52 A Collector of Printed Scraps.

53 A Pekingese Camel.

54 A Mule Litter. Plate XXIII. 55 The Nankuw Pass.

Plate XXIV. 56 The Great Wall of China.

57 The Old Arch, Nankow Pass.

THE Government of China may be divided into central, provincial, and extra-provincial. The first division comprises the holders of high office in Peking; the second the governors of the eighteen provinces in which China proper is comprehended, and of the three provinces of the district loosely termed Manchuria, which stretches north-eastward of Peking. In the third class we may place the officials resident in those vast regions known as Inner and Outer Mongolia, in the country between Mongolia and Thibet, and lastly In Thibet itself. Every Manchu mandarin of high standing has military as well as civil rank. The Manchu army, which conquered China in 1644, was divided originally into four corps, distinguished by the white, red, blue, and yellow banners under which they respectively fought. Four bordered banners of the same colours were subsequently added, and, in course of time, eight similar corps of Mongols, and eight of Chinese who had sided with the invader were established.

The chief commands of these (which it must be observed are of a mixed civil and military organization, where all are liable to bear arms, but by no means all are paid as soldiers) are shared among high officers of the three nationalities, the Manchu on the whole being the predominating class. Prince Kung is general of one banner, Wen-siang of another, Paou-keun and Cheng-lin of the third and fourth. Each of these officials, however, is also the head of some principal department in the central administration. As for the Great Council, it is an excrescence on the original establishment, but still it is the chief among the courts, for it confers upon its members the highest rank attainable in the civil service. The Grand Secretariat is made up of four chief and two assistant chancellors or secretaries, these posts being shared in equal proportion between the Chinese, the Mongols, and the Manchus. Wen-siang is an assistant Grand Secretary, but it is only lately that he has been appointed to that post. Membership of the Secretariat, as will be seen elsewhere, does not render residence at the capital obligatory, indeed distinguished provincial governors are often raised to that dignity, only so, however, when vacancies occur. Next in degree to this office, and of far more practical importance, are six boards representing as many departments in the administration. These are the Board of Civil Service; the Board of Finance; the Board of Rites, Obligations, and Observances (including public institutions and state worship); the Board of War, having charge both of the military and naval services; the Board of Criminal Jurisdiction; and, lastly, the Board of Public Works. Each of these six boards has two chief officers, or, as we should style them, Presidents, at its head, one of them is always a Manchu, and the other a Chinese. The ministers of the Tsungle Yamen possess a fair proportion of these appointments. Thus Paou-keun is the Manchu President, and Tung-sean the Chinese one over the Board of Finance. Shen-kwe-fen is the Chinese President over the Board of War. Maou-cheng-he (properly the Chinese President over the Board of Works) is acting for an absentee on the Board of Civil Office; while Chung-lun, now eighty years of age, is the Manchu President of the Board of Works, and at the same time President over a court by us termed the Colonial Office, though really having charge not of tributaries like Corea and Cochin China, but of dependencies such as Mongolia and Thibet. The ministers Wen-siang, Paou-keun, and Shen-kwe-fen enjoy, however, a position even higher than any of the above roll, for, like Prince Kung, they are all of them members of the Great Council. This Council, in which the real power of the central government may be said to reside, has been already described as an excrescence upon the regular establishment. In point of fact it was introduced shortly after the foundation of the dynasty, and is composed of Manchus selected not on the recommendation of the departments of state, but by the emperor's own choice. The number of its members has never been a fixed one. At this moment, Prince Kung included, it contains no more than five. The fifth is the emperor's private tutor, while the other four, as has already been stated, are all members of the Tsungle Yamen. It will thus be perceived that what is really the central government is thoroughly identified with the administration of Foreign Affairs.

In the provinces the civil and military establishments are more distinct than at first sight they might appear to be in the capital. A province usually has a governor at the head of its affairs; but there are some exceptions to this custom. Thus we find in two instances a Governor General, or Viceroy, but the title translated as governor is borne by an official who has two, or, in one case, three provinces under his rule, and governors below him to conduct the affairs of each province.

Thus Li-hung-chang is Governor-General of Peichihli, the province in which Peking lies. Tseng-quo-fan (who is but lately dead) was Governor-General of Kiang-su, Ngan-kwui and Kiang-si, while Jui-lin is Governor- General of Kwang-tung and Kwang-si. Of the officers just referred to the first is a Chinese, and is an assistant Grand Secretary; the second also a Chinese, and the third, of Manchu blood, are both Grand Secretaries. The GovernorsGeneral and Governors have each a small body of troops at their disposal, but they do not command the naval or military forces of the provinces. In particular places, generally the provincial capitals, as well as in the maritime and inland frontier provinces, permanent Manchu garrisons, under Manchu officers of very high rank, are established. In Canton, Chang-fang, brother-in-law to the Princess Kung, commands the Manchu garrison, whereas the Chinese forces of the province are under a separate general officer, after whom comes a series of subordinates, with ranks as numerous as those of our own army if we count from ensign to major-general. These officials all draw pay, but the troops or constabulary assigned to them exist principally on paper.

The civil functionaries play a part that is much more real. A province is divided into a number of districts, each about the size of a small English county, and officered by magistrates and assistant magistrates, with the occasional aid of the literati and people of character and substance. A group of districts forms a department, and this is ruled by a prefect, or sub-prefect. A number of these departments again makes up a circuit, of which there may be two, three, four, or five in a province. There are again under-intendants, but the working officers are the prefects and magistrates, the bulk of the work falling more especially on the latter. Add to the above list a commissioner of finance, who is also a sort of dean of the civil establishment, one of criminal justice, one of the commissariat, and one of the salt revenue (the latter with a large staff to help him), and you have, without pretension to minute accuracy, a fair risume of the machinery by which the government of China and its dependencies is supposed to be carried on.

The Board of Foreign Affairs holds its meetings in the Tsungle Yamen, which corresponds to our English Foreign Office. This new department of Chinese administration sprang out of the close and important treaty relations now existing between China and Western nations. Its creation was one among the train of events which followed the ratification of the treaty of Tientsin, in 1858. Up to that time all foreign diplomatic correspondence had been conducted through the Colonial Office to which I have already alluded, and, in consequence of this circumstance, the great powers were practically placed on a level with native dependencies. An able writer in the New York Herald claims for Mr. W. Reed, at that time American minister to China, the credit of having been the first to protest against the indignity offered to his nation by classing it with such lands as Corea and Lewchew. Be that as it may, the establishment of the Tsungle Yamen, in 1861, was an important and startling concession on the part of the Chinese, more especially when we consider that its members are ministers of the highest rank in the Empire, and as it implied a permanent recognition of the independent sovereignty and equality of the treaty powers. Prince Kung presides over this council, and is ably supported by the following members : —

Wen-siang, a Manchu, born at Mukden in 1817. He ranks next to Prince Kung on the Board of Foreign Affairs, and has held the position since 1861. He is also a member of the Grand Council, President of the Board of Civil Service, and member of the Imperial Cabinet (plurality of offices is, therefore, by no means disapproved of in China). His rare intellectual powers (Sir F. Bruce pronounced him one of the strongest minds he had ever encountered), coupled with his long experience in the functions of high office, cause Wen-siang to be looked upon as the most influential statesman in China. Formerly he was esteemed exceptionally liberal in his views, but of late years he has discovered symptoms of a reactionary tendency. His portrait is given in No. 2.

Paou-keun (No. 5), a Manchu, and member of the Grand Council, is one of the Presidents of the Board of Finance. He is now sixty-five years of age.

Cheng-lin (No. 4) is the youngest member of the Foreign Board, being not yet more than forty-five. Three years ago he, occupied for a short time, the post of superintendent of trade, vacated by Chung-hau during his mission to France.

Shen-kwe-fen (left figure in group, Plate 1), President of the Board of War, and member of the Grand Council, is a Chinese, fifty-six years of age. He was lately governor of the province of Shensi, where he distinguished himself by an effort to suppress the growth of opium.

Tung-sean, Chinese President of the Board of Finance, is a celebrated scholar, and the author of numerous works, notably one of an historical and topographical character. His last publication (a treatise in forty-eight volumes) on the Hydrography of Northern China, was iust issuing from the press when I left Peking. Tung-sean (central figure in group, Plate r), is sixty-one years of age.

Maou-cheng-he, a Chinese, is fifty-six years of age, and President of the Board of Works. Formerly he held the position of First Vice-President of the College of Censors (right figure in group, Plate 1.)



LI-HUNG-CHANG stands foremost among the viceroys of the eighteen provinces of China as the man who exerts, probably, the greatest influence on the progress and destinies of the Empire. Foreigners generally know him best as the associate of Tseng-quo-fan, and Colonel Gordon, in dealing to the Taiping rebels their final blow; but more recently he has established the Nanking Arsenal, the first of the kind in China, and has, besides this, been familiarizing the Chinese soldiery with foreign discipline and drill. To his influence also, direct as well as indirect, the country owes the comparative security which, for the present, she enjoys; and the other indications to be found of growing progress in the unremitting labours of her various arsenals and training schools, as well as in her fleet of steam gun-boats and iron-clads, which, built by native skill, and launched from native dockyards, manned, and officered, too, by native crews, are lending security to trade both on the rivers and along the coast.

These home-built vessels have been armed with modern weapons of the finest make, and are ready at all times to defend the interests of their flag in the China Sea.

On land, advance in the same direction is no less apparent, troops trained in vast numbers in the modern arts of war, and armed with the best-known weapons, have already done good work in suppressing rebellion, and in extending the influence of the central government. According to the latest accounts they have cleared Chinese territory of the Mahometan insurgents, who, until recently, held some important strongholds in the Empire.

It is commonly, and let me add erroneously, supposed in England that little or no progress is being made in China. All eyes are turned towards Japan. There it has become the fashion to discover the pet example of Eastern advancement. Out of the darkness of semi-barbarism, Japan has shot up, planet-like, in search of a wider orbit and a brighter sun. While China, seemingly only faithful to the gravitating influences of ancient tradition, is, too, undergoing a gradual process of transition and development. Yet she esteems the philosophy of her sages as highly as in former days, and maintains her belief in the old institutions which have supported her in proud isolation and independence for so many centuries. For all that, and notwithstanding the obstacles to progress presented by her Feng-shui, or Geomancy, from sheer necessity, and the instinct of self-preservation, she is drifting slowly towards our Western ways, adopting our sciences, educating her sons at our universities, remodelling important branches of her administration, and making concessions to meet the friendly requirements of closer foreign intercourse. Nor is this all. Her merchants can now boast of their Steam Navigation Companies, and, a fact perhaps less gratifying to us, they are so thoroughly masters of what they have undertaken in this direction, as to be competing successfully with foreign companies in the carrying trade on the coast and rivers of their country. In process of time the same remark will apply to every branch of their trade and industry. China will then be able to supply not only the staple material grown on her own soil, but skilled labour and machinery to produce the fabrics which she is now obliged to import, and upon which our own trade mainly depends. Her plains are teeming with millions of poor, patient labourers, ready to turn their hands to any industry that will furnish them with the simple necessaries of life, men capable of being trained to engage in the highest branches of skilled labour. Her mountains abound in metals and minerals, and her vast coal-fields are stored up to kindle the fires of a coming age of steam and iron. Western nations have woke the old dragon from her sleep of ages, and now she stands at bay, armed with iron claws and fangs of foreign steel.

It may be a long time yet before she will take her place among the powerful nations of the earth, but the civilizing agencies which now operate on the Central Flowery Land all tend to further the accomplishment of an end which, in the Chinese interest, is so much to be desired. The tide of civilization, too, which now annually carries labourers by their tens of thousands towards other shores, is not without its influence on the parent country. For abroad the Chinaman is quick to learn, so quick and so successful, indeed, as to make him a formidable rival to the artizans and operatives of the West, and he invariably returns to his native town taking home with him the knowledge as well as the capital which he has acquired abroad. I need no excuse for introducing details regarding the life of a man such as Li-hung-chang, who occupies the most prominent position in China, and thus exerts a powerful influence on the well-being of nearly one-third of the human race.

Li-hung-chang (see No. 3), the second of five sons, was born two years after the accession of the Emperor Tau-kwang, in the province of Ngan-whui. His father was an obscure literary man, who, notwithstanding poor circumstances, yet managed to give his children a liberal education. Young Li, the subject of these notes, succeeded in passing the different degrees at the Government examinations, and in 1848, being then twenty-six years of age, became a member of the Han-lin College. When the rebels invaded his native province he raised a local regiment, and placed himself and his troops at the disposal of the Viceroy of the two Kiang. Li joined Tseng-quo-fan, under whom he was advanced to the rank of Taotai, and subsequently to the command of a division of Tseng's Grand Army in Chch-kiang.

In 1861, the first year of the Emperor Tung-che, he was recommended by Tseng-quo-fan to be acting-Footai of Kiangsu, and then, by the aid of Colonel Gordon, with his Ever-victorious Army, he cleared the province of rebels. On the fall of Soochow he (it is said, but opinion is divided on the subject) ordered all the rebel wangs (Kings) to be beheaded, in defiance of his guarantee that their lives should be spared; the condition on which the city was given up. I have been informed by an officer, who was present at the time, that the massacre of Soochow was not an act of treachery on the part of Li, the order came from another and a higher quarter. Li-hung-chang was, however, greatly incensed, when, the day after the capitulation, the rebel kings visited him wearing their rebel robes, and the long hair which was a badge of rebellion. He must have assented to the massacre, and the central government approved the bloody and treacherous deed, and confirmed Li-hung-chang in the office of Footai. In addition to this the Emperor conferred on him the "Yellow Jacket," one of the highest rewards bestowed in China for eminent military services, and also gave him the title of Fai-tsze-shaou-paon, or Inner Guardian of the Throne. Li-hung-chang .now removed to Soochow, and as the rebels had destroyed the residence of the former Footai there, established himself in the palace of the " Chung Wang " (or " Faithful King "), a splendid edifice which had been erected by this rebel chief. Here he remained till Nanking had fallen in 1864, and he was then ordered to proceed to that city as Viceroy of the Two Kiang. He was at the same time created a noble of the third class, and decorated with the double-eyed peacock's feather for conspicuous services. In 1866, Tseng-quo-fan and Li-hung-chang changed places, the latter proceeding against the Neinfei rebels, whom he succeeded in clearing from the north. In 1867 he was appointed Viceroy of Hupeh and Hunan, and from there he was dispatched with an army against the Mahometan rebels, who for some years back had set up the standard of revolt in the western provinces of the Empire. After the Tientsin massacre, Li was replaced by his elder brother in the government of Hupeh and Hunan, and appointed Viceroy of Peichihli. His proper title is now Li-chang-tang, for he was raised to the rank of a second noble about three years ago. He is now the greatest son of Han, and in appearance the finest specimen of his race which it has been my lot to come across. He stands six feet high, his bearing is erect and noble, and his complexion exceedingly fair, while dark, penetrating eyes, and a mouth shaded by a dark brown moustache, betoken inflexible determination.

At the risk of being deemed impertinent, I may add, for the information of readers who have not had the good fortune to come in contact with educated Chinese, that Li-hung-chang possesses the cultivated polish and graceful courtesy which are invariably the attributes of a gentleman. But these, indeed, are qualities he shares in common with all mandarins of rank.

Although thoroughly Chinese by sympathy and education, Li-hung-chang has an intense admiration for our sciences, and for the inventive faculties displayed by the races of the West. He is also ever ready to admit the

superiority of our arts and appliances, and eager to advocate their practical introduction into China.

Wen Xiang.jpgLi Hongzhang.jpg



IN my last volume I left the reader to find his way back to Shanghai from the rocky gorges of the Upper Yangtsze, and in order to beguile the time which he may be supposed to spend in the monotony of a downward voyage, I have introduced to his notice the high magnates of the Empire, some of whom, although exercising so wide an influence over the greatest people of Eastern Asia, are wholly unknown to European fame. It takes about three days to go from Shanghai to Chefoo, the passage being not un frequently a rough one, for this part of the northern coast is subject to breezy and boisterous weather. The harbour of Chefoo offers safe anchorage for the largest vessels, and its port — on the northern side of the Shun-tung promontory, and known to the natives as the town of " Ycntai " — is the only one open to foreign trade all along the coast, from the river Yangtsze as far as the Peiho. I gather from the Official Customs Report for 1872 that the trade of Chefoo, ever since the port was opened to foreign commerce, has been making steady progress, and more especially in the exportation of silk. Thus the Pongee silk, for which the place has now become noted, has regularly increased in quantity as a leading article of export, 650 ptculs of this commodity having been shipped in 1868 and 1,175 piculs in 1872. In like manner the wild raw silk has risen from six piculs in 1868 to 977 in 1872, and yellow silk from 289 in 1868 to 301 in 1872, while foreign imports, although they do not show so marked an advance, are still in steady demand. The duties collected during 1872 amounted in the gross to 330,972 tls. Of this sum British trade contributed considerably over one-third; and from these facts it will be seen that Chefoo, like all the other treaty ports of China, is a place of great importance to our own home trade. The spot is also a favourite resort for Shanghai foreign residents during the hottest months of summer, for cool breezes and sea-bathing may here be enjoyed in one of the finest bays on the coast of China; and close to the sloping sandy beach there is a foreign hotel, conducted on a scale suited to the requirements of the wealthy Shanghai merchants and officials who flock to this welcome sanitarium when jaded with toil and exhausted with the fierce midsummer heats.

The town of Chefoo, or rather the foreign settlement there, is not very picturesque in itself, and (see No. 6) I agree with Mr. Williamson in his opinion that the site, in so far as trading facilities and the comfort of foreign residents are concerned, has been badly chosen, being "exposed to the full blast of the north-west wind." [1] I had my own bitter experience of that north-west wind. When I executed the illustration which I introduce to my readers I was standing in eighteen inches of snow drift. The thermometer being very low, I should say near zero Fahrenheit, I had engaged a group of coolies to hold my dark room down, for the wind threatened every moment to hurl it off its legs. When washing the plate free from cyanide of potassium the water froze on its surface, and hung in icicles around its edges, so that in order to save the picture I was forced to take it to a neighbouring native house, and there to thaw the ice above a fire.

The climate of Shun-tung to some extent resembles that of the more northern countries of Europe, although during two months of summer the maximum of heat is higher, while during winter the temperature is frequently very low. Nevertheless the seasons are so well defined as to enable the farmer not only to raise the fruits and cereals grown in warmer climes, but also to produce those common to colder latitudes, such as pears, apples, wheat, barley, and so forth. Some parts of the province are exceedingly fertile, and yield to the tillage of the labourer three or four crops a year.

The province of Shun-tung is about equal in area to Great Britain and Ireland, but it is not yet well known to foreigners, although the classic land of China. Here the labours of the great Yu were in part performed; Confucius was born in Shun-tung in 550 B.C., 2 and so also was Mcncius, i 79 years afterwards. Thus the one of these celebrities was cotemporary with Pythagoras, and the other with Plato. It is also interesting to note that Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha, the great reformer of Brahmanism and the founder of the Buddhist faith, is supposed to have died just seven years before the birth of Confucius. " It is now generally agreed upon by European scholars that the year 543 b.c. is most probably that in which Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha died." 3 We thus find two men flourishing at about the same epoch, whose religious and moral teachings have exercised for so many centuries a most powerful influence upon the Chinese.

The father of Confucius is said to have ruled over Yen-chow-foo, and the direct descendants of Confucius and Mencius are still to be encountered in the province of Shun-tung.

Taking steamer again to Tien-tsin, a short run across the Gulf of Peichihli brought us to the mouth of Peiho, where I visited the famous Taku forts, which command the entrance of the river. These mud strongholds have been often and well described. During the time of my visit the guns within their ramparts were badly mounted, and the foreigner in charge of the steamer-signal-staff informed me that the native artillery practice was extremely defective. Since then, however, a battery of Krupp guns has replaced the old smooth-bores, the forts have been properly garrisoned, and undergone thorough repair. This information I have received on the best authority, otherwise I should feel inclined to discredit it, for at the time of my visit, forts, batteries, and garrisons presented a miserable makeshift appearance. Doubtless at that conjuncture there was a very sufficient reason for the disorganized condition of these important defences of the river by which we approach the capital. The fact is a great flood had laid waste the lower portions of the province between Taku and Tien-tsin, and the starved-out inhabitants, clamorous for food and shelter, had flocked in overwhelming numbers to Tien-tsin. Hence the presence of an efficient military force at that city was essential to secure public safety. The scene which presented itself as we steamed up the river can never be effaced from my recollection. The country was under water, and the native trading craft were sailing in direct lines for Tien-tsin, over fields and gardens and the ruins of homesteads. The villages and farm-houses, built mainly out of mud and millet stalks, had settled down into damp, dank mounds, and their_ occupants, with their furniture and cattle lashed to stakes, were to be seen perched on the fallen roofs of their houses, fishing with assiduity and success. Fish indeed were caught in such abundance as to sustain thousands, who would otherwise have perished from starvation. As we n eared Tien-tsin we passed a vast burial ground, where men were engaged mooring the coffins to trees and posts, while many corpses were drifting away towards the sea.

The central government exerted itself to mitigate the sufferings of the people by a supply of food, clothing, and shelter, and, much to the credit of the Chinese, private contributions for the same humane object flowed in from the coast and from different parts of the Empire. This is one of the benefits conferred by rapid steam communication along the coast. It is a matter of regret that, while we note with satisfaction the unmistakable signs of progress in China, more especially in those parts which have been brought face to face with the civilizing influences of Western intercourse, we at the same time cannot avoid remarking the equally manifest symptoms of decay which too frequently present themselves in the interior of the country. There we find bad roads, bridges and embankments broken and abandoned, and a poverty-stricken population. Much of this state of affairs is attributable to the niggardliness and rapacity of the officials. It would probably be a sounder policy on the part of the centra! and local governments of the Empire if attention were earnestly directed to improving the old trade routes of the country, by repairing and strengthening the river embankments, so as to secure the people from the misery of constantly recurring inundations. If, in short, by honesty and fair dealing, the people could be inspired with a conviction that their government and social condition were matters worth defending. As it is, the authorities are assiduously studying the modern tactics of warfare, and arming a poorly-paid soldiery with the deadliest weapons. During last year the Hood in Peichihli was repeated, notwithstanding the fact that a large sum of money had been granted by the central government for the survey and repair of the river embankments. The task was inefficiently performed, and, as might have been foreseen, the horrors of the inundation occurred once more. It almost seems that the embankments of the streams in North China have fallen into such a bad state as to defy the skill of native engineers.


TIEN-TSIN is the capital of the prefecture of that name, which extends along the coast in a south-east direction, as far as the Shun-tung promontory, and comprises one inferior department and six districts. The city lies at the junction of the Grand Canal with the Peiho river, and next to Peking is the most considerable in the province of Peichihli. Previous to 1782 it was nothing more than a military station for the protection of the river traffic, but at that time it was raised to the status of a prefectural city. Its present estimated population is about 400,000, of whom perhaps one-half reside within the walls.

No. 7 represents a group of Tien-tsin labourers, as I found them engaged in removing the ddbris from the Chapel of the Sisters of Mercy, who had been massacred on this spot in the preceding year. Of the chapel itself nothing had been left standing except the bare walls (see No. 8); but I need hardly offer further remarks 011 this subject, as doubtless the harrowing details of the bloody event are still fresh in my readers' recollection. As we look from this point up the reach of the Peiho we see the ruins of the Roman Catholic Cathedral, by far the most striking object in Tien-tsin, and I could not help thinking at the time that, from what I know of the Chinese character, this noble structure must have been a dreadful eyesore to the natives, towering as it did high above any of their most sacred buildings, and drawing down evil influences from the sky. Just above the chapel we encountered an interesting specimen of a floating bridge, a section of which had to be drawn up to allow my boat to pass through.

There is at Tien-tsin a small foreign settlement of well-built houses, but many of these residences had suffered from the floods. Thus the gardens which surrounded them were under water. The English Club, and the Joss-house in which the treaty of Tien-tsin was signed, could only be reached by boat. The solitary hotel in the settlement, called the Aster House, well-nigh conceals its modest proportions beneath a huge signboard inscribed with its name. This hotel had been built of mud, and now a window on one side had fallen out, and a wall on the other had fallen in. 1 had a look at the accommodation of this unpromising interior, and also held some conversation with its proprietor, an Englishman. I found him lamenting the wreck of his property, of which only two apartments remained. In one there was a good billiard table, and in the other a bar. Two of the bedrooms had dissolved, and could be seen in solution through the broken wall, with sundry limbs of furniture sticking up to mark its resting-place. The stables at the rear had taken a header into the water, and the place which had known them in dry weather was dimly seen through a cloud of mosquitoes, which were the pests of the settlement. There is at Tien-tsin a manufactory

of gunpowder on the foreign model, where a number of loreigners are constantly employed.

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WEST of the Yung-ho-kung, the great Lamasary, where a living Buddha rules, stands the college attached to the Confucian temple and known as the Kwo-tsze-keen. In this building, prior to the reign of Kien-lung, the ancient classics were expounded. But that monarch determined to imitate a much more ancient structure, and accordingly built the edifice known as the Pi-yung-kung, or Hall of the Classics, which we can here discern through the archway in Plate No. 9. The building is a square, and its three remaining sides correspond with that shown in the photograph. Its upper roof rests on a series of carved wooden brackets; pillars of wood also support the lower one, and the whole is crowned with a gilded copper ball. The base is marble, and the edifice is approached by four bridges of the same material, spanning a marble-walled moat, surrounded with white marble balustrades. The hall stands in the centre of a court, and on the right and left of it, in long open verandahs, there are about 200 tablets of upright stone. On these tablets the complete text of the nine classics has been engraved, an idea repeated from the Han and Tang dynasties, " each of which had a series of monuments engraved with the classics in the same way." [2]

In front there is a yellow porcelain triple archway, or pai-Iau, having the inner portion of its arches built of white marble. It was through the centre of this structure that the picture here presented was taken.

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LATHER LE COMTE visited the Peking Observatory in 1688, just after the death of Father Verbiest, under whose directions the new instruments had been constructed there. Le Corate seems to have formed but a poor estimate of the ancient Chinese instruments, which had been already removed and stored in an obscure hall, in a court below the wall. He describes them as buried in dust and oblivion, but he only saw them "through a window close set with iron bars."

Among those rejected instruments was the one I have here shown, and which has since been set up at one end of the court I have no doubt had this devoted missionary seen it, even in its present condition, he would have arrived at a much higher appreciation of the beauty and comparative finish of its workmanship.

The old Chinese astronomical instruments, although constructed with an amazing degree of skill and exactness, would now be perfectly useless; for the mode of taking astronomical observations at that time was widely different from the system in use at present, besides which the circles are inaccurately divided.

The instruments, constructed under the superintendence of Father Verbiest, do not show so marked a superiority over those of the Chinese astronomers as I had expected. They are undoubtedly finer and more accurate; but they too were constructed by Chinese artificers, and Le Comte says of them, " 1 would rather trust to a quadrant made by one of our good workmen in Paris, whose radius should be but one foot and a-half, than to that of s.x feet, which is at this tower." The divisions of the circles, though more accurate than those of the old instruments, are still defective.

I have in my possession a Chinese narrative wherein Verbiest describes the rude appliances which he had to work, and my only surprise is that he should ever have been able to construct instruments such as those I have pictured in No. 10. We are shown in the volume referred to, how the castings of the great circles appeared in the rough; how they were sawn into shape; and how finally they were turned upon a horizontal lathe made like an ordinary Chinese flour mill, with a donkey to drive it. It pictures, in addition, the mode in which the celestial globe was turned. This globe was simply laid into its frame, upon an axis having one extremity fitted with a handle, like that of a large circular grindstone. Motion was next imparted to the globe from this handle, and from the' feet of an operator treading upon the upper surface of the metal sphere, while the hand of an operator was used to steady the turning tool in order to dress the metal, and render it perfectly globose and true on its axis. All the appliances are of the same primitive sort. The dividing of the circles must have been done by hand in some open shed; whereas in Europe, at the present time, we find it necessary, when an important circle is to be divided, to have the dividing engine built upon a rock and enclosed in a chamber where the temperature is kept uniform until the process of dividing the circle has been completed. By this device we avoid contractions and expansions of the metal circle, which would otherwise mar the perfect accuracy of the divisions.

The globe is described by Le Comte as follows—"^ Celestial Globe. This in my opinion is the fairest and best fashioned of all the instruments. The globe itself is brazen, exactly round and smooth; the stars well made, and in their true places, and all the circles of a proportionate breadth and thickness. It is besides so well hung that the least touch moves it, and though it is above 2,000 lbs. weight the least child may elevate it to any degree." This globe, seen on the left of the illustration (No. to), is still in a perfect state of preservation, although it has been exposed in the open air without covering for full two centuries. The stars on this celestial globe are all raised brass, and distinguished according to their magnitude, for the convenience of feeling on a dark night. The old Chinese method of division is abandoned on these instruments, the circle being divided into 360", and each degree into sixty minutes, as in Europe.

Armillary sphere on the terrace of the Observatory at Peking, No. 10. This is also one of the instruments made under the directions of Father Verbiest. The circles are divided, both in their exterior and interior, by cross lines into 360", and each degree into 60 minutes, and the latter into portions of 10 seconds each by small pins.

I am greatly indebted to Mr. A. Wylie for valuable information regarding the Observatory and other places of

interest in Peking.

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PEKING consists of two cities: one the Tartar or Manchu city, with the Imperial palace in its centre; the other, the Chinese, containing the altars of heaven and earth, where the State worship is carried on.

The Tartar city is enclosed by massive walls, nearly in the form of a square, each side measuring about three miles and a-half. These walls are pierced with nine gates; three on the south side and two on each of the others. The Tartar city is supposed to contain nothing except the Imperial palace, the abodes of the nobles, and the barracks for the accommodation of the bannermen, already described, who form the body-guard of the Emperor. Several causes, however, have contributed to alter this the original state of things; the most prominent of which are, the long residence of these bannermen in the capital; their familiar intercourse with the less warlike Chinese; their proud disdain for trades or handicrafts of every sort; and the inadequate support which the government allowances can supply. Many of the old families of the Manchu bannermen have thus become impoverished, and the lands allotted to them at the time of the conquest have been sold, and have passed to Chinese proprietors; so that now there is a considerable Chinese population to be found within the Tartar city.

The Chinese city adjoins the southern wall of the Tartar city. It is also walled, in the form of a parallelogram, and covers an area five miles long by three broad. Access to this division of the metropolis is gained through seven gateways; two on the north, one eastward, one westward, and three others on the southern side.

The Chinese town is thinly populated, and a great portion of the enclosed area is under cultivation. MrEdkins estimates the entire census of Peking at something over a million, whereas, he says, the Chinese set it down at two millions and a-half.

Having ascended one of the well-built slopes of stone which conduct to the summit of the city walls, I found myself traversing a paved surface thirty feet in width, and commanding a view of the capital from an elevation of about fifty-five feet.

The prospect from the walls is by no means a striking one; the eye ranges over a multitude of low roofs, and brick walls enclosing the pleasure grounds of the rich, with shrubs and trees overhanging them; or over the mud hovels of a multitude of poor, proud, bannermen, divided by broad thoroughfares in well defined lines, and cut across also by narrow lanes of communication to the walled-in dwellings.

When one gazes upon a Chinese city, such as Peking, one cannot help being struck by its labyrinth of walls. You must first mount the ramparts to see them, and, this done, you may descry beneath your feet countless lanes hedged in with high brick walls, where every dwelling of any pretensions is shut in round about by brick enclosures all its own. Thus each family seems fortified against vulgar or offensive intrusion.

The houses are so arranged that the inner family dwelling is isolated in a sort of sacred seclusion. The only approach is by a small outer doorway, through a dead wall, leading into a court and outer chamber, beyond which a stranger may not intrude. Next to this succeeds a reception room for guests, and further in are the apartments devoted solely to the family circle.

I cannot help holding it to be a defect in the national character, which renders such formidable barriers necessary. Moreover, when I looked towards the centre of the city, my eyes caught the light reflected by the yellow roofs of the Imperial palace, and I found the idea of family isolation carried out in the strong walls and moat which encompass the grounds of the "sacred purple capitol," within which the Emperor and his family reside, and his eunuchized retainers are condemned to dwell in splendid misery. In addition to the palace of the Emperor and the abodes of the Princes, a few stately temples rear their heads close by, and break the monotony of the prospect.

Near to the palace, and on the east side of the Tartar city, rising a considerable height above the battlements, the Observatory is to be seen. This Observatory was erected during the Yuen or Mongol dynasty, towards the end of the thirteenth century, Ko-show-king, one of the most renowned astronomers in Chinese history, being chief of the astronomical board at the time. The instrument shown at No. i [, constructed under his directions, now stands below the wall at the east end of the court. It is of huge dimensions, cast in solid bronze, and is of the most beautiful workmanship. The stand of this piece of mechanism has a mythological significance, and its design is of remarkable artistic excellence. Four of the dragons, which play such an important part in Chinese geomancy, are there seen chained to the earth, and upholding the spheres. The perfect modelling and solidity of the metal proves that the art of casting was well understood in those days.

A substantial metal horizon, crossed at right angles by a double ring for an azimuth circle, forms the outer framework. The upper surface of this horizon is divided into twelve equal parts, marked respectively by the cyclical characters, " tsze, chow, yin, maou, chin, szi, woo, wei, shin, yu, seih, hae," being the names applied to the twelve hours into which the Chinese divide their day and night.

Round the outside of the ring these twelve characters appear again, paired with eight characters of the denary cycle, and four of the "book of changes,'" designating the points of the compass, thus, "jin-tsze, kwei-chow, kan-yin, kea-maou, yih-chin, seuen-szc, ping-woo, ting-wei, kwan-shin, kang-yu, sin-seih, keen-hae."

The inside of the ring bears the names of the twelve states into which China was anciently divided : every part of the empire being supposed to be under the influence of a particular quarter of the heavens.

An equatorial circle is fixed inside this frame, within which a movable series of rings turns on two pivots at the poles of the azimuth circle. The latter consists of an equatorial circle, and a double ring ecliptic, an equinoctial colure, and a double ring solstitial colure. The equator is divided into twenty-eight unequal portions, marked by the names of so many constellations of unknown antiquity. These are, " keo, kang, te, fang," &c. &c.

The determinant points of each of these constellations are used for so many meridian lines, from which all distances are measured, just as we use the vernal equinox for right ascension.

The ecliptic is divided into twenty-four equal parts, into which the year is portioned out. Inside this, again, there is a double revolving meridian, with a double axis; and in it a tube is fixed, turning on a centre, for taking sights.

All these circles are also divided into 365^° corresponding to the days of the year, and each degree is subdivided into a hundred equal parts; for at that time the centenary division prevailed for everything less than degrees, and was only abandoned on the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century.

At the corners of the base, and outside the dragons, are four miniature rocks in bronze, with the respective inscriptions, "keen shan, north-west or celestial mountain; kwan shan, south-west or terrestrial mountain; seuen shan, or south-east mountain; kan shan, north-east mountain."

These are probably symbolical in reference to an old tradition.

Note. — Owing to the difficulty or procuring the Chinese cyclical and other characters in England, I have given the sounds of the characters

in English.

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NO exhaustive or thoroughly satisfactory description of the domestic architecture of the Chinese house has, so far as I am aware, ever yet been given. A principal reason for this omission is the lack of anything like complete acquaintance with the subject. The fact is, the country is in itself a vast one, and its domestic architecture, though remarkably similar throughout, yet presents wide divergences of construction, designed to meet the varying requirements of climate and position.

A second difficulty arises from the strong dislike entertained by the people against admitting strangers into the inner courts of their dwellings; for these they hold to be sacred and inviolate. To such an extent, indeed, has this idea of privacy and family isolation been carried, that Chinese homes have for ages been constructed, on all occasions, after a model which seems to aim at perfect family seclusion from relatives even, and friends, no less than from strangers.

I cannot venture to describe here all that I have myself observed with respect to the architectural styles adopted in different provinces of the Empire. I must limit myself to a few general remarks, such as bear more especially upon the illustrations numbered 12, 13, and 14.

I enjoyed exceptional advantages for gleaning information about the inner life of the Chinese wealthy classes, and the arrangements of their households, inasmuch as I never let slip an opportunity of volunteering to take family portraits, in order that while thus engaged I might obtain for myself such groups and interiors as those which I have here represented.

The dwelling to which I am about to introduce the reader is that of Mr. Yang, a gentleman enormously rich, and holding an official rank in Peking. His abode, like all others of its kind, is walled around, and can be entered only by a plain doorway through a high brick wall which skirts an obscure alley. Within the door were two silk lanterns, dangling from supports above, and daubed with the name and titles of Yang. About six feet from the lintel was a movable partition designed to conceal the inner court, as well as for purposes of geomancy. Having entered the first court within the wall, I was brought to a stand-still by the porter and his huge dog, a shaggy brute, who fiercely showed his fangs. The porter conveyed my card to Mr. Yang, and the latter thereupon came to the threshold of an inner court to meet me, and conducted me through a quaint, narrow passage, overgrown with a grape-vine, into a sort of Chinese paradise. In this paradise was a miniature lotus lake, spanned by a marble bridge. A small marble pagoda embowered in vines and fruit-trees, rose on the one side, while on the other an artificial rockery had been constructed, and ferns and flowers were growing out of its mossy crevices. Passing along a marble-paved pathway, roofed over, and open in front, to this half-garden, hah -quadrangle, I came next to the reception-hall. It is the interior of the reception-hall which is shown in No. .13, and I must own that never during my wanderings in China had I fallen in with anything more quaint and pretty than the view from this apartment into the second smaller court, to be seen in No. 14. Symmetry, as nearly perfect as possible, had been observed in the design of this establishment, as well as in its details; and the interior of the reception room will convey a very just impression of this feature in Chinese dwellings. One exception only to this rule of severe symmetry was to be discovered, and that was the central window, whose frame had been filled with irregular forms, and glazed with sheets of European glass. This last circumstance was due to the excessive predilection for foreign appliances entertained by Mr. Yang, of which we shall have more to relate further on. The other windows were regular in design, and were covered with white paper, as in most houses of this class. This paper, one might suppose, would have the advantage of preventing the curious from seeing what is going on inside. But such is not really the case, for the ladies, who are so strictly secluded in China, have devised a means of seeing through it, while they themselves remain unseen, and thus they make themselves acquainted with the appearance and manners of the guests of their lord. Their plan is to steal up noiselessly to the window, and applying the moist tips of their tongues to the paper, the soft substance yields silently to the little weapon, and thus a hole is made through which a bright eye surveys the interior of the forbidden chamber, and a quick ear drinks in the delicious tones of the prohibited conversation.

The seat of honour in the reception-hall has its place beneath the central window, facing the highly-carved and ornate pillared entrance; while the seats for the use of those inferior in social rank are ranged right and left along the sides of the apartment. Above the window an inscription, always to be found in a similar position, conveys some words of welcome or classical phrase. In the present instance it ran thus:—"The hall of joyful fragrance."

My friend furnished a choice repast, of which grapes formed one of the chief attractions. Here, indeed, as in many other parts of China, I was treated with the greatest courtesy and kindness. I had occasion to repeat my visits in fulfilment of a promise I gave Mr. Yang, to show him how to make for himself certain photographic chemicals with materials which he could procure in Peking.

No. 12 will convey an idea of the kind of buildings which divide one court from another, and also of the grotesque elegance of their ornamentation. It will show, too, how well the design has been suited to the exigences of a climate such as that which prevails at Peking, where the summer heat recalls the tropics, and the winter reminds us of Iceland. The heavy roofs of tiles reflect the heat and keep out the cold, while the verandah can be thrown entirely open, or kept closely shut; thus provision is made against the two extremes of temperature. The walls are built of grey bricks; the beams, joists, pillars, and panels being constructed out of hard wood, and thickly varnished to improve their appearance, as well as to prevent decay, and the inroads of destructive insects. The pierced ornamental brackets, equal in their strength to solid material, impart the additional charms of grace and lightness to the whole design.

Here, however, I cannot venture on a more detailed account of Chinese houses. I may have scope for this and other subjects of no less interest, should I decide on publishing a full narrative of my travels. The group in No. 12 represents my friend, his son, and a party of the ladies and younger children of his household.

His love of foreign machinery led him to erect a steam pump in one of the courts in the ladies' quarter. For this purpose some of the marble slabs were removed; the pump was then sunk till it met the water, and there this strange, rusty monument still stood. Once and for all had its owner succeeded in starting the steam-engine; and seemingly he could not stop it again in time, for the pump, which had worked nobly, flooded the quadrangle, and the overflow had not subsided up to the time of my visit.

A narrow, dark passage led to another part of the ladies' quarter, a chamber containing a splendidly-carved square bedstead made of hard, black wood, furnished with varnished wooden pillows, and draped with richly-embroidered silken curtains. The roof of this apartment was panelled and covered with a ceiling of cloth, stretched flat and whitewashed. Here, on a long table of carved black wood, was arranged an array of chemical and electrical apparatus, interspersed with ancient Chinese relics, classical books, and copies of one or two of our modern scientific treatises, which missionaries had translated into Chinese. Indeed, on this table were brought face to face the two principles that are now struggling for the mastery in China, and among the nations of the East. In the old relics and older books could be discovered the deep-rooted veneration for the wisdom of by-gone ages, and in the modern scientific appliances the elements of that living progress which is day by day affecting the destinies of the civilized world.

My friend Yang was groping in darkness with many of those things, although he had an intense desire to grasp their proper uses. He had made many mistakes. Thus, in an adjoining court or poultry yard, he had set up a saw-mill, a planing machine, and a steam-engine on wheels. As to the mill, he said that it was a wonderful contrivance, for which he had, at great trouble, procured a quantity of wood, but he added with regret that the machine had only been in use one day, in which space of time it had got through a surprising amount of work; having, in fact, sawn up everything he could think of to feed it with. The contrivance had, however, proved too much for the Pekingese. Alarmed by the hissing and throbs of the engine, and by the whirr of the saw, the citizens procured ladders, and scaled the walls in such numbers that the house-top was a black mass of chattering spectators. Besides all this, a number of the fowls, shocked and disheartened at the sad turn which affairs had taken, died off in a fright, or else poisoned themselves by drinking photographic water, tainted with cyanide of potassium.

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IN China, as in other countries, we find dress obedient to the shifts of capricious fashion. Yet by no means slavishly so, as is the case among ourselves. The principal changes known to the Chinese may be reduced to the casting aside of winter costume, and the putting on the summer dress. The style of dress worn during these two seasons is much alike, frequently all that is done is to render the summer coat a warmer one by padding it with cotton for winter wear, or else it is lined, sometimes with sables, sometimes with inferior sorts of fur. In these last cases the fur is turned inside and the silk which, with us, would serve as a lining, forms, with the- Chinese, the outside surface of the garment. Besides the above variations, there is also a special style of dress to be used on marriage; and one of another kind is the only costume permitted at funerals. The full robes of a Chinese lady or gentleman of the better classes are highly picturesque, and remarkable also for the richness and beauty of their materials. The costume, besides this, is ample, graceful, and well adapted to the requirements of any climate, light in summer, and warm enough in winter to do away with the necessity for the artificial heat of an in-door fireplace.^

Le Comte who was in China about two centuries ago, thus describes the dress of Chinese ladies, and his account is a fitting description of the costumes in vogue among them even at the present day. « The ladies wear, as men do, a long satin or cloth vest, red, blue, or green, according to their peculiar fancy; the elder sort habit themselves in black or purple; they wear, besides that, a kind of surtout, the sleeves whereof are extremely wide, and trail upon the ground, when they have no occasion to hold them up. But that which distinguishes them from all the women in the world, and does, in a manner, make a particular species of them, is the littleness of their feet.

Le Comte names only three colours as being fashionable for dresses, but the hues adopted by the Chinese ladies nosv-a-days are infinite in their variety and shade; I may add that delicate and quiet tints are most ,n favour. Red is used as a bridal dress; blue is slight mourning; and a white spotless robe denotes the deepest sorrow.

Plate No 15 shows another variety of dressing the hair common among the ladies at Swatow, while Nos. .6, ,7 ,8 and 20 represent the coiffure of married Manchu or Tartar matrons. Of this last head-dress, which differs widely from anything Chinese, Nos. ,6 and , 7 show respectively the full front and the full back views so perfect y as to enable any of my fair readers to try the experiment with their own tresses if they so please. The basis of the device consists of a flat strip of wood, ivory, or precious metal about a foot in length. Half of the real hair of the wearer is gathered up and twisted in broad bands round this support, which is then laid across the back of the head. I confess myself unable to explain the mysterious mode in which the tresses have been twisted, but careful study of the illustrations will, I doubt not, reward any lady who may desire to dress her hair " a la Manchu. The style is simple and graceful, and must have been designed, one would almost think, to represent horns enabling the wearer to hold her own against her antagonistic husband. It might be called the trigonometrical chignon, for, ,t will be observed, that if we produce two lines from the point of the chin to the tips of the chignon, an equilateral triangle is obtained, whose three sides support the axiom, "Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other; » and my fair reader is quite at liberty to deduce, as a just consequence, that a lady ,s quite equal to her lord Joking apart, I would seriously advise the ladies of our land to try this chignon, as ,t would be a deeded improvemedt upon those now in vogue, and should their husbands or brothers be devoted to artistic or literary pursuits the basis could easily be procured in the shape of a limners brush, a ruler, or a paper-knife, while the flowers and other ornamental accessories would be readily found where ladies always obtain them.

The old dame presented to the reader in No. , 9 , shows still another style of head-dress, one worn by Mongol women during the winter months. The cap is of fur. We might, at a first glance, suppose that we see here the lady's own hair, devoid of the bonnet we are used to in some elevated positions. The whole is, however, m reality the bonnet, or hat, of the wearer, who has an eye to comfort as well as to adornment. The jewels or ornaments which are indispensable to the gentler sex of every clime, are, in this instance, fixed principally to the lobes of the

ears. The face, with its high cheek bones, is one thoroughly characteristic of the Mongol race.



THIS view (No. 21) is taken from the city wall of Peking, close to the Ching-yang-men, or central gate, between the Chinese and Tartar quarters. It is in a direct line with the ' centre of the palace, and is the route which the Emperor traverses on his way to the Altar of Heaven.

In the foreground we see a white marble bridge which spans a kind of city moat. This street, like all the thoroughfares in the Tartar city, is a very wide one, and is a place of great concourse and traffic.

The lofty triple roof of the Temple of Heaven appears in the distance. The brick wall on the left is a portion of the great building which has its counterpart over every gate in Peking. These edifices were originally intended for storing ammunition, but the one shown here served for many years as a depository for the engraved wooden blocks employed in printing books. Formerly it contained the complete blocks for the collection of the Buddhist Scriptures, numbering over six thousand volumes, but these have been recently removed to a Buddhist temple in the north-east angle of the city.

Wheeled vehicles arc forbidden to cross the centre of the bridge, this being reserved for the sole use of the Emperor. It is, however, a favourite resort for beggars — one among many such — and is known, therefore, to the European residents in Peking as the Beggars' Bridge. Here we may see these beggars gambling in groups, or stretched upon the pavement to expose their sores and nakedness to the public gaze. Many of these unfortunate and homeless beings are annually cut off by the keen frosts of early winter, and are found dead on the Imperial Bridge.

There are a great number of stalls scattered along the principal streets, some of which are built like the old booths of the High Street of Edinburgh. In the centre of each street a raised causeway has been made, broad enough to accommodate two carts abreast, and intended for the carriage traffic. Between this raised causeway and the shops on either side of the road run broad spaces taken up with booths, tents, and stalls so closely packed as only to leave a narrow footpath close to the shops on the one side, and a chasm of deep mud pools on the other. From these pools material is taken for plastering and repairing the raised causeway. Most of these pools are stagnant and extremely polluted.

One of my most disagreeable experiences during my visit to Peking was a ride along the road whilst the mud from these putrid pools was being ladled on to the highway to lay the dust. The dust, indeed, was laid, but fumes like those of the decomposing dead were raised in its stead. It would have been still worse had I, as some natives have done, lost my footing in a dark night, and been drowned in the mire. The verge of this slough teems with interesting life.

Those who traffic in the stalls find many eager customers to buy their costly wares. I have seen one of these little booths, no better than that of some London costermonger, laden with over a thousand taels worth of jewels. The booths attract the attention of pedestrians. One finds in them all sorts of commodities for sale, and here and there are closely-packed crowds listening to the clever harangue of some auctioneer, who, with rare and ready wit, is extemporising rhyme in praise of cast-off silks, satins, or furs. In one I recollect a Mahometan butcher was plying his trade : the smiling follower of the prophet, encircled by carcases of sheep, ghastly heads, and entrails, stood behind a small wooden counter, knife in hand, giving a tender cut to a blooming slave girl, whose swarthy face was radiant with smiles, and whose cheeks were adorned with patches of rose-coloured paint. At another counter in this butcher's booth, a care-worn mother, with a nursing child in her arms, was fondling some miserable bones, and pleading with a greasy assistant for a bargain; but, frightful to behold, in the shade of the booth, my attention was riveted by a pair of gleaming blood-shot eyes, not indeed those of some ghastly head spitted on a meat-hook, but the hungry orbs of a street beggar, stark naked but for a thick coating of mud with which his body was smeared. A group of Peking street Arabs were tormenting this wretched being, until at last I saw him seize the ringleader, and daub him over with a ball of moist mud which he carried as a weapon.

Adjoining this booth there was the tent of a dramatic reader, or story-teller, entertaining a well-dressed audience, seated before a long table on two rows of forms. At my approach he laid down his lute, and had a sly thrust at the loitering foreigner, which convulsed his hearers with laughter.

Close by this was a cook's shed, with a series of brick ovens and fire-places in front. From these a powerful savour of roasting meats arose. Above a reeking caldron, puddings, spread on a clean board, were temptingly displayed. A group of boys and beggars were gathered in front to enjoy the pleasures of contemplation. The presiding genius of this cuisine, as he stuffed his puddings with their savoury contents, each time announced the fact in a shrill voice to the neighbourhood. His assistant was engaged with his left hand in kneading dough, while with his right hand he twirled his rolling-pin on the board, so as to attract the notice of his customers. The agonized shriek of the master, and the twirling of the pin by the servant combined to maintain a constant stir and apparent bustle, which told upon purchasers. I presented a small boy with two cash. This gift enabled him at once to realize his fondest hopes. He invested in a reeking pudding, and, after a brief but affectionate look, devoured it with a relisii that was truly gratifying.

The footpaths, close to the shops, exhibit a scene of great interest. One has frequently to follow along a narrow space left by a number of coal-laden camels, whose drivers are refreshing themselves at the nearest tea-shop, or else to make a dttottr to avoid damaging the wares which some shop-keeper has spread out upon the ground. Occasionally we brush past the cloth-covered sedan of some high mandarin, whose bearers and followers are shouting that the way must be cleared for the approach of The Great. After this, perhaps, a Tartar lady is encountered, rich in her Jewels and her silken attire. Her face, we can see, is carefully enamelled, and her lower lip is finished with a ravishing spot of vermilion, and behind follow her slave women, who add their own charms to their lord's seraglio, and who bear their mistress's purchases and the ills of their lot with equally stolid indifference.

The liveried servants, or Yamen runners, hurry past in their conical extinguisher hats and red feathers, wearing in their faces an expression of sneaking contempt for the foreigner.

Handicraftsmen ply their trades on every vacant space; and well-dressed merchants bustle to and fro, each intent on business of his own; whilst at every hundred steps at least an equal number of natives pass, who possess

no distinctive characteristics, and of whom all that a foreigner can say is that they resemble their neighbours.



BELLS appear to have been used in China from the earliest times. It is reported in the Shoo-king, or " Classic Historical Documents," that during the reign of Chung-kang, 2159 B.C., every year, in the first month of spring,[3] " the herald with his wooden-tongued bell goes along the roads proclaiming," and at the present day in China we still meet the counterpart of this ancient prototype striking his bell with its wooden tongue or mallet. We can thus invest the office of town-crier or bell-man, whose occupation in England is now all but gone, with a splendid classic antiquity. During my stay in Peking, accompanied one of our attaches to a shop in « Curiosity Street," where I saw a small bell, reputed to be the most ancient in the empire. It partook to some extent of the modern bell shape, but besides having an inscription in the most antique Chinese characters, it was adorned externally with a series of knobs so arranged that a sort of gamut was produced by striking each in succession with a mallet It is thus possible that the herald of antiquity may have proclaimed the orders of his imperial master in rhyme, and charmed the cars of the people with a harmonious accompaniment on his single bell.

The Bell Tower of the illustration (No. 22) is situated about a quarter of a mile beyond the Hou-Men, or north gate of the capital, and contains one of the five great bells cast when Yung-lo of the Ming dynasty occupied the imperial throne. Each of these bells weighs about fifty-three tons, and its proportions, according to Verbiest, are, width 13 feet, circumference 40 feet, and height 12 feet. One bell is in the palace beside the Tai-ho-tien; another, cast with the entire text of a Buddhist liturgical work on its outer face, now hangs at a temple outside the north-west gate of Peking; a third is here, while a fourth lies half buried in an obscure lane near this tower, and there is a fifth in some other temple. These bells are slightly conical and dome-shaped at the upper end. The fourth one was rejected on account of a flaw, but the others are as perfect examples of the art of casting great masses of metal as we could produce in Europe at the present day, and the like indeed may be said of the astronomical instruments belonging to the same period, and which I have already described. The Tower bell has a rich mellow tone, which can easily be distinguished, when the watches are struck at midnight, all over Peking.


THE Drum Tower of Peking stands a little to the south of the Bell Tower, and is also a structure dating from the beginning of the fifteenth century. When first erected it contained (so Mr. Edkins assures me) a clepsydra for determining the time. A clepsydra of this sort consisted of four cisterns, together with a little automaton time-beater, and I saw at Peking the remains of an ancient instrument in one of the halls of the "old Observatory. It is difficult to say where the Chinese obtained their water-clocks. Sextus Empiricus[4] says « that the Chaldeans divided the zodiac into twelve parts, which they supposed to be equal, by allowing water to run out of a small orifice during the whole revolution of a star, and then dividing the fluid into twelve equal parts;" whereas Beckmann[5] asserts "that this ingenious machine, which we know at present under the name of a water-clock, was invented in the 17th century;" and he was evidently unaware that water-clocks were in use in Peking during the 1 5th century. The Tower now contains a drum such as is commonly to be found in all Chinese cities, for marking the time, sounding alarms of fire, and similar purposes. Drums also were anciently employed in China in connection with state' ceremonials. One eight feet long is noticed as existing during the Chow dynasty, that is, about 2,500 years ago;

the probable date also assigned by scholars to the ancient stone drums of the Confucian Temple, Peking.

IN describing a Peking street, I purposely omitted the picturesque appearance of the shop fronts, of which No. 24 affords a very good type. There are many which are much more elaborate and imposing in appearance than this one, and many more which are 111 every respect inferior. The foundation and flooring of the shop are of granite, and the walls, to a height of about three feet, consist of the same material, while the upper portions of these latter are built of well-fired bricks. The shops of Peking differ in many respects from those in the cities of southern China. The former, as will be seen from the present example, are closed in front with ornamental partitions of hard wood, having narrow arched doorways. Above these doorways are blinds, or sunshades, which can be raised and spread out horizontally in front of the shops. The balustrade above presents always some Chinese design, very pretty, both in its open lattice-work and in the huge characters which denote the name and occupation of the tradesman. We gather, from the large gilt characters above, that cotton and Manchester goods are imported, and, from the sign-boards below, that silk, satin, and other fabrics may also be bought here; while the pedestal in front supports the announcement that the great foot measure is alone used in this establishment.


WHEREVER the Buddhist faith prevails it is deemed a work of great merit to erect a new temple, or to restore an old one, and more especially so if the accomplishment of these objects involves acts of self-denial or penance. In Siam, where the Buddhism is of a type purer than in China, the rich make it their custom to rear new temples and monasteries, in order that the soul of the builder after death may transmigrate into some being of a still higher and holier mould. In China few new monasteries or temples are now-a-days erected, those already in existence being more than sufficient for the wants of the priestridden population. Here, therefore, the Buddhist devotee is forced to confine himself to renewing or restoring the old edifices,

I remember falling in with a Bonze, in a lane in Peking, who was wandering from door to door raising contributions to repair a shrine. This wretched being sought to awaken the slothful souls of the citizens to charitable acts by beating a gong. He was a ghastly object to behold, for he had passed an iron skewer through his cheeks and tongue, and strode the streets in mute agony, with blood-besprinkled robe and a face of death-like pallor. Le Comte narrates some stories of the deception practised in his time by these Bonzes. " Two Bonzes, seeing one day in a rich farmer's yard two or three large ducks, fell on their faces before the door, and sighed and wept grievously. The good woman, seeing them out of her chamber window, came down to see what was the occasion of their tears. We know, said they, that the souls of our fathers are transmigrated into these creatures, and we are in fear lest you should kill them. It is true, said the good woman, we did intend to sell them, but since they are your fathers, I promise you we will keep them." The good men so wrought upon the feelings of the woman that she finally presented them with the ducks, and that very evening they enjoyed a feast on their degraded fathers. In another passage he tells of a Bonze who stood erect in a sedan, " the inside of which was like a harrow, full of nails," and these nails set so close to his body that he could not stir without wounding his flesh. Two men carried this devotee from house to house, and everywhere he assured the citizens that he had been shut up in that chair for the good of their souls, and was resolved never to quit his confinement till they should have bought up all the nails, to the number of 2,000 or thereabouts. I told him that he was very unhappy to torment himself thus in this world for no good, and counselled him therefore to come out of his prison, to go to the temple of the true God to be instructed in heavenly truths. He answered calmly and courteously, " that he was much obliged for the good advice, and would be much more obliged if I would buy a dozen of his nails." This mode of doing penance is still in vogue in China.

The subject of the illustration (No. 24) is a small tower in front of a monastery in the outskirts of Peking. This tower has been built over a living Buddhist priest, whose only means of communication with the outer world is through the four small windows. When I saw him he had been shut up for many months, and intended so to remain for years if necessary, until he had collected funds enough from the charitably disposed to repair the ruined monastery in the rear. His sole occupation appeared to be tolling a bell at regular intervals, by means of the cord to be seen issuing

from the aperture in front.




THE practice of medicine in China dates from a very early period. We find the Emperor Woo-ting, who reigned 1300 B.C., noticing the effect of medicine upon a patient, and counselling Yue, one of his ministers, in the following words : " Be you like medicine, which, if it do not distress the patient, will not cure the sickness." (Shoo King, Book VIII. i, 3.) [James Legge, D.D.]

This idea of causing a patient inconvenience by exciting a pain or irritation in one part of the body, in order to cure a malady in some other part, still obtains in China. It is customary, for example, if a person suffers from a severe headache, to pinch the back of the neck till it becomes black and blue; and the irritation caused by this process sometimes effects a cure.

Dr. Dudgeon, in a series of interesting papers, which appeared in the "Chinese Recorder," in 1870, gives an account of the ancient and modern practice of therapeutics prevailing in China.

During the reign of the great Kubli Khan a college was founded in Peking for the instruction of medical students. This institution comprised thirteen departments, where the following branches of study were taught : — Diseases of men, or the doctrine of the pulse in relation to adult males; miscellaneous diseases; diseases of children; wind diseases; female diseases; eye diseases; diseases of the mouth, teeth and throat; dislocation; wounds; ulcers and swellings; acupuncture; charms or prayers, which we may call spiritual medicine; and, lastly, pressure and friction. This medical course, however, in our day actually consists of the first, third, sixth and seventh of the above-enumerated branches, with the addition of the practice of surgery, a science not included in the foregoing list. After all, however, the medical art in the Celestial Empire is bound up to a remarkable extent with the Chinese scheme of physics, expounded by Sir J. Davis; who shows that the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury are supposed to rule the five viscera, the elements, the colours, and the tastes.

In the college of the Yuen dynasty acupuncture was taught by means of a model human figure, cast in bronze, and punctured with holes over the blood-vessels. On examination-days this figure was covered with a layer of paper, and the professional skill of the students was determined by the accuracy with which they hit the position of the pin-holes in the figure beneath.

The Chinese doctrine of the pulse is characterized by Sir J. Davis as a " mere mass of solemn quackery," while Le Comte says, when treating of the same subject, that in this respect they have something extraordinary, nay, even wonderful. He, however, adds the caution that " a man should always mistrust them," because, in order to preserve their reputation, "they make use of all means imaginable to get themselves secretly instructed concerning the patient's condition before they pay him a visit."

It is possible that the great Kubli, who gave a kind reception to the missionaries sent out by Innocent IV., and whose history has been recorded by Marco Polo, was induced, by the foreigners who visited his capital, to establish this college of medicine. Although the institution has been neglected for centuries, and though the metal figure has fallen into disuse, there appears at the present time to be a brighter future in store for the science of medicine, and, indeed, for every other branch of knowledge. This is indicated by the recent foundation of a chair of anatomy in the Peking College, and the appointment of an English professor to fill it. In addition to this circumstance the medical missionaries (such as Drs. Lockhart, Dudgeon, Maxwell, and many others) have laboured effectually to extend knowledge among the native practitioners who have assisted them in their exertions.

Notwithstanding all this, there still remains an army of quack doctors, tens of thousands strong, holding their ground against foreign innovations, and prepared to cure or kill their deluded patients by the arts of geomancy, or by potent pills. These pills frequently contain a little of almost everything, and their compounders trust to the principle of elective affinity, by which the disease will elect its own remedy from the heterogeneous compound. Empirics such as these are to be found all over the country, and their small yellow posters disfigure the walls of all the great cities. Even the meanest street-barber professes a certain curative skill. Turning up the eyelids of his patients, in order to cleanse and dress them, he removes the lubricating mucus, and thus gives rise to a class of eye-diseases common among the Chinese. He is also frequently seen pummelling the back of his patient with his fists in order to cure or prevent rheumatism. Many of the Chinese city quacks compound their medicines at the street corners, under the public gaze; and there they deliver eloquent harangues to their customers on the virtues of their pills and plasters.

While at Peking I sent for a dentist, who brought with him a case of ivory fangs, and offered to fix in a felinelooking incisor for about one shilling. It was to be attached by wires to the neighbouring teeth. I declined the ornament, but paid him a fee for his advice.

The subject of the illustration, No. 26, is a travelling chiropodist, operating upon a corn, and dressing the toe-nails of a customer; while a second patient waits placidly until his own turn arrives, smoking the pipe of peace from a broken window.


IN all Chinese cities there are to be found a great variety of itinerant showmen, jugglers, fortune-tellers, play-actors, and peep-show men. Besides these we have ballad-singers, and a host of story-tellers and public readers, who frequent the tea-shops and favourite haunts of the leisure-loving Chinese. There are still other places of public resort, where the citizen may spend his leisure in gambling or opium smoking, or where he may go to feast with his friends to the accompaniment of lute and guitar, and the shrill piping voices of painted female musicians. Some of these lady performers must appear supremely enchanting to the male frequenters of their musical dens, viewed as they are through the illusive vapour of hot wine, the fumes of opium, and the flare of smoky lamps. Seen from a little distance, these damsels, many of them, look simple and pretty, but a nearer glimpse is much less satisfactory, as they are daubed with enamel and dressed like dolls in the most tawdry tinsel. They appear, indeed, to have heads which resemble those of cleverly-made clay figures, and capable of being lifted out of the tine silk and satin robes in which they are set. This reminds me that the natives of Tientsin make painted images out of clay more life-like than any which I have ever seen elsewhere. Each image is a perfect work of art, and the artist is about as poorly paid as if he were an ordinary tiller of the soil.

Puppet-shows, exactly like our street Punch and Judy, are common in China. The motion is imparted to the puppets by introducing the fore-finger into the head, and the thumb and second finger into the sleeves of the figure, while the heads, too, can be adroitly changed, in order to bring a number of different characters on the scene, and to suit the requirements of the play.

There is another sort of puppet-show, a night one, to be met with at fairs and festive gatherings. In an exhibition of this kind the shadows ot the puppets are thrown upon a white screen by means of a lamp behind.

The peep-show also (see No. 27) enjoys a large share of public favour. It is fitted with a series of lenses in front, through which the eye of the spectator beholds the wonders of the world. Foreign pictures share the attractions with Chinese representations and moveable figures, the showman delivering a running commentary on the mysterious scenes as he introduces them, and dexterously manipulates the whole by means of a series of cords. Some of the subjects are of the most indecent character.

The stand, and indeed the whole apparatus, is extremely light and ingenious. The stand is made up of a series of iron rods, linked together, so that they may at once be folded up beneath the box; and this done, the showman will shoulder the whole, and march off to some new field.

The figure of the showman, here represented, gives a perfect specimen of the winter dress of a Pekingese labourer. It is made out of coarse cotton cloth, and is lined with sheepskin, or padded with cotton wool. The smallest figure is that of a young Tartar or Manchu girl, and depicts one sort of shoe worn by Manchu women, who never compress their feet The third figure is that of a poor Manchu bannerman in his regulation sheepskin coat.


IKE all foreigners who visit Peking, I had been but one night in the metropolis when I found myself waited upon by half a dozen dealers in curiosities, introduced to my notice by a servant whom I had engaged at Tientsin.

These curiosity-mongers spread out before me sundry specimens of old china, and a variety of articles such as those shown in No. 28, and for all these they demanded the most extortionate prices. However they seemed by no means anxious to sell their goods. I had been warned beforehand to be careful in my dealings with these gentlemen, but after all I was more than once taken in. It is customary for dealers of this sort to effect an arrangement with a foreigner's servants, undertaking to share with them the profits of a sale, so that they must, of necessity, charge high prices in order to make the thing pay. These vendors of " articles de vertu" come from three streets in the Chinese city. One is occupied by booksellers, another by picture dealers, and a third consists of old curiosity shops. They are most interesting shops to visit, not only on account of their miscellaneous stores, but also because the shop-keepers carry on their business in their own most peculiar style. Thus, if you enter one of their shops, the proprietor treats you with the utmost degree of unconcern, smoking his pipe without interruption, and retaining his seat behind the counter. You may try to put him off his guard by looking at every article except the one which you want, and by inquiring, in an off-hand sort of way, the price of the piece of goods on which you have set your heart; but your dissimulation is all in vain, for the vendor seems to know instinctively what it is you are seeking, and asks treble the fair value of his wares; and then tells you, with an air of supreme indifference, that this thing has been sought after by some of the first collectors of Peking, and that he has now a very good offer for it. You make a bid, and he simply resumes his pipe with a shake of the head, and allows you to depart in peace. But the placid face of the rascal, and the atmosphere of intense respectability generated by his careful dress, his polite but careless mien, and his well-ordered establishment, bring you back again the next day. You find the place and the man just as you left them; but somehow the rare object of your affection has grown in your estimation. You buy it at the seller's own price, and carry it away, feeling grateful to the polished rogue by whom you most probably have been done.

A lady, for many years connected with one of the Protestant missions in Peking, after having, for some time, lost sight of two or three ordinary foreign-made plates, discovered one of them, when passing through the Ia-sha-lan, exposed for sale in a shop. On inquiry, she was informed that it was a rare gem in its way, a specimen of ancient porcelain ware, and to be bought for six taels, or ,£1 15^. of our own currency.

There are shops of course in this street, as in all others, of the highest respectability, where a foreigner, conversant with the language, can purchase articles at their fair market value. Indeed, taken as a whole, and judging from my own experience, I believe that, in upright dealing, the shop-keepers in Chinese cities are not inferior to those of Europe. I cannot say that they are as honest and truthful, on principle, as the traders in Christian lands; but they deal fairly because they find it pays. This applies with greater force to the Chinese commercial classes, and will be borne out by the experience of our own merchants, who have colossal interests at stake in China.

Plate No. 29 is a type of a Pekingese costermonger, one of the lower orders. This man carries his shop on his shoulders; and we see him here informing the dwellers in a narrow lane that he has brought to their doors the choicest grapes of the season. When he succeeds in getting a customer, the latter accosts him, armed with a stick resembling a yard measure, but in reality a portable lever weighing-machine, and with this he secures his fair weight of the fruit. This rod is in common use all over the land, so that light weights are but little known



ART DEALERS.jpgPekingese costermonger.jpg


THE art of making vases of bronze, of gold, and of silver, was practised by the Chinese at a very early period, and is said to have been lost in modern times, as both the metal used, and the workmanship of the most ancient vases and tripods are esteemed superior to anything which the artificers of the present day can produce. There are, and indeed there always have been in China, native collectors of objects of antiquity, some of whom have left valuable works, copiously illustrated with careful drawings of ancient bronzes, and facsimiles of the primitive characters cut or cast upon their outer surfaces, which enable the modern antiquary at once to identify the specimens of different periods. Thus we have an ancient Chinese work entitled the Po-koo-too, which extends to sixteen large volumes, and contains several hundred plates of sacred vases, Sec. Sec, of the Shang Chow and Han dynasties,[6] Chinese scholars are, I believe, divided in opinion regarding the genuineness of the ancient inscriptions on these vases. The accession of the first emperor of the Shang dynasty carries us back to 1760 n.c, and during his reign many of the finest sacrificial vases and tripods were produced.

The ambitious Hwang-ti, the builder of the Great Wall, in his attempt to establish a new era, and unwilling that the ancients should afford a model for his new government, ordered that all memorials of antiquity should be destroyed, and that all documents should be consigned to the fiamcs. Notwithstanding the characteristic determination with which he carried out his plans of destruction, the members of the literati frustrated his endeavours by concealing copies of the ancient classics, and burying the sacrificial vases and tripods, many of which exist in China to the present day.

The high vase standing in the centre of the upper row (No. 30) is of great antiquity, while the others grouped around are more or less modern, and are such as are used in Chinese Buddhist shrines. A comparison of the design and workmanship of the ancient and modern bronzes here presented to the reader will bear out what I have said above.


THE finest China porcelain is supplied from a district east of the Poyang Lake from "The celebrated manufactories of Kingteh-chin, named after an emperor of the Sung dynasty, in whose reign, A. D. 1004, they were established." [7] This mart still supplies all the fine porcelain produced in the country, and upwards of a million workmen are said to be employed in its manufacture. Many of the articles made are also painted in the district, while others are left plain, and are subsequently painted and glazed in the districts to which they are exported. "The central vase presented in the upper row {No. 31) affords an excellent example of landscape painting during the early part of the present dynasty, probably of the reign of Kanghi (a.d. 1662-1722). The next vase to the right, set on a stand of wood, is probably the finest example in the collection, exhibiting flowers of the characteristic blue colour of the Ming dynasty on a pure white ground. The period is indicated by the six characters at the top, Ta Ming chia ching nien chih, i. e. 'Made during the chia ching reign of the great Ming dynasty,' a.d. 1522-1566. A vase of the same character and period occupies the centre of the lower row and is ornamented with the five-clawed imperial dragon surrounded by a pattern of curved lines representing the waves of the sea. To the left is a curious and elaborately ornamented vase : the bowl is perforated work, through the interstices of which is visible an inner concentric bowl covered with delicate painting of the Kienlung (1736-1795) period. The other specimens have their dates inscribed on the under surface in the seal character. The covered tankard with curved handle, in the lower row, shows the influence of Western art during the Kienlung period. To the extreme

right of this there is a model of a dagoba commonly erected over graves or relics in Buddhist temples." [8]




THE Manchu or Tartar lady may, on the whole, be said to approach more nearly than her Chinese sister to our Western notions of female beauty and grace. The former enjoys greater freedom, and her feet, which are never compressed, appear to be naturally small and well-formed. Their rich dresses, too, are always elegant, but their faces, alas ! they paint to imitate the natural peach bloom ol health which heightens the beauty of our English belles. Although these Tartar ladies are probably less secluded than the Chinese, yet these coatings of paint serve like veils to conceal their true complexion from the outer world, and we may, perhaps, say of them in the language of Moore : —

" Oh ! what a pure and sacred thing

Is beauty, curtain 'd from the sight
Of the gross world, illumining

One only mansion with her light."

In Manchu families, when a son has reached the age of fourteen or sixteen years, his mother selects him a partner, and the latter will be brought into the family, and entirely subjected to her new parent's rule; so that should the young bride have a hard-hearted mother-in-law, she may look forward to spending the first years of married life in a state of abject slavery, and is even liable to be beaten by her mother-in-law, and husband too, if she neglect to discharge her duties as general domestic drudge. It is therefore always deemed fortunate by the girl's friends if the mother of the bridegroom be already dead.

The sons of the rich are married at an earlier age than are those of the poor, but no Manchu maiden can be betrothed until she is fourteen years of age. Usually some elderly woman is employed as a go-between to arrange a marriage, and four primary rules exist (though they arc by no means regularly followed) to guide the matron. First, the lady must be amiable. Secondly, she must be a woman of few words. Thirdly, she must be of industrious habits, and lastly, she must neither want a limb nor an eye, and, indeed, she ought to be moderately good-looking. The matter is discussed by the aged go-between and her employer over a cup of tea, and the former then describes in detail the accomplishments and prospects of her son. When an eligible girl has at length been found, a geomancer is called in to fix a lucky day for an interview with the young lady, and an examination of her work. On this occasion she is trotted out before her future mother-in-law and carefully inspected. If found suitable, the geomancer is again consulted, and he settles a lucky day for receiving the presents and the betrothed. He is guided in his reckonings by the na*nes of the contracting parties, and by the dates of their births. He also determines whether they are suited to eac^ other. On the morning of betrothal the young lady is informed of her fate, and is dressed in a simple red cotton or silk robe borrowed or bought, according to her station in life. She is then placed sitting upon the Kang, or bed, there to await the bestowal of gifts from her future lord. The suitor's mother next places a bracelet upon the left wrist of the bride elect, and a lady friend binds another bracelet on the right wrist, and they, as they bestow the presents, wish her long life and happiness. After this formal betrothal, the lucky day is fixed for the marriage, and until the consummation of that joyous event the lady is supposed to seclude herself from public gaze. Her trousseau begins with the making of shoes, for of these she must possess from seven to thirty pairs, many of them richly embroidered. Her father or brothers look after furniture, which probably consists of three tables, four wardrobes, four trunks, four boxes, two looking-glasses, two brass wash-basins and stand, cloths, rails, chairs, and footstools. Teapots, cups, kettles, dressing-case, and an imposing array of boxes for odds and ends, flower-vases and trays, and a glass globe for gold fish, are also essential to complete the collection.

The dress varies according to rank. A month before marriage another set of presents is despatched by the bridegroom to his bride. These commonly are four pigs, four sheep, four geese, and four jars of wine, besides twenty loaves of bread; also a number of changes of dress, with ornaments for the hair made from the feathers of the kingfisher, together with about one pound of silver called « pin-money." Materials for bedding, two mattresses and two coverlets, are included in the list. These commodities are carried in procession through the streets by hired bearers, headed by one or two domestics. A woman who has had sons and daughters is always selected to make up the material for bedding — a duty which widows or childless women are never permitted to fulfil.

Ten days before the marriage invitations are issued. These are printed on sheets of red paper about a foot long and half a foot broad, and enclosed in envelopes of the same gigantic proportions.

On the day before marriage the bride's plenishing is carried through the streets in procession to the house of the bridegroom's father, the escort being composed of bearers to the number of eight, or some multiple of eight up to 120, which figure denotes the highest rank. Ten official gentlemen are invited to accompany these goods, and to add to the pomp and display. When the bride enters her sedan, she must turn her face in a certain direction, and when she quits it she must look in a certain other direction. The bride's sedan is covered with crimson cloth. Her veil is also crimson, and richly embroidered. Midnight marriages are most fashionable among the Manchus.

Many other tedious details too numerous to mention follow, and are the essential accompaniments of the dreary monotony of a Manchu marriage, in this respect more irksome and painful than the prolonged ceremonial of a Manchu funeral, and fully as uncertain to terminate in peace. The most sensible thing the assembled guests do is when they take leave of the married couple by drinking to their united happiness in a parting glass of wine. The newly-married pair sit down to a repast, but the lady quits the table, and her lord is supposed to breakfast alone, a form very soon over.

On the ninth day after marriage the wife wakes up to industry, and makes a pair of nether garments for her husband; and this practice she adopts because the character for " treasury " in Chinese has the same sound as that which denotes " trousers."

MANCHU LADY AND MIAD.jpgManchu-Tartar Bride and Maid b.jpg



THE broad paved approach to the Hall of Confucius is shaded with avenues of venerable cypress trees, and forms one of the most imposing scenes in Peking. Having ascended a double flight of white marble steps, divided into two by a sloping marble slab, upon which the imperial dragon stands in high relief, you reach a broad marble terrace in front of the hall. Within, the lofty roof is supported by solid teak pillars fifty feet in height, and the tablet of the great sage faces you as you enter the hall. In front of this tablet there is a simple altar surmounted by a bronze censer, and flanked by bronze candelabra. The tablet itself consists of the plain strip of wood, which is shown in the centre of No. 36, and is inscribed with these words in Manchu and Ciiinese, " The soul of the most holy ancestral teacher Confucius." There are also the tablets of his four chief disciples ranged on each side of his own. The inscription above is in large letters of gold, and runs thus, " The teacher and example of ten thousand generations." This hall contains in less prominent positions the tablets of twenty-two other followers of Confucius as well.

Sacrifices are offered at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes in honour of the tablet of the great sage; oxen and sheep are then slain, and the carcases stripped of their skins are placed upon stands in front of hts tablet. It is the spirit of the sage supposed to reside in the tablet that is thus honoured.

There is a temple devoted to the worship of Confucius in every Chinese city. One of these halls, the finest I have seen, was at Foochow; but they are to be met with, indeed, over the length and breadth of the land, each adorned with tablets inscribed with the names of the sage and his most distinguished disciples.


LE-SHEN-LAN is professor of mathematics in the Imperial College, Peking, and is now about sixty years of age. In his youth he studied thoroughly the native mathematics, reading the Jesuit translations, and the works of native authors as well. More than twenty years ago he visited Shanghai, and there made the acquaintance of the English missionaries. He remained for many years, translating works on mathematics and natural philosophy. Had it not been for the valuable aid afforded by Englishmen connected with the various Protestant missions, China could not have boasted such a mathematician as Le-shen-lan. a man who has reaped the advantage of Wylie's translation of Euclid's Elements, or rather his completion of the work which Ricci had begun when he translated the first six books about two centuries before; of the Tae-soo-heo, a treatise on algebra; and of the Tae-we-tseih-shth-keTh, or the Elements of Analytical Geometry, Differential and Integral Calculus, and other similar works. Some five or six years since, Le-shen-lan was recommended to the notice of the Emperor, and appointed to fill the post of professor of mathematics in the Peking College. He has compiled several small works on mathematics, for the most part original investigations, and appears to have a mind thoroughly adapted for mathematical study, being a minute and close reasoner, and accurate and rapid in calculation.

He is presented to the reader, surrounded by his pupils, in No. 37.


THIS Pai-Iau, or Chinese honorary portal, is erected at the gate of the Ta-ka-tien temple which the Emperor visits when he prays for rain. Structures of this sort are very numerous in Peking. Many of them span the widest thoroughfares, and, when Jreshly painted, break the monotony of the scene with their bright colours and imposing proportions. A man may obtain permission to erect a Pai-lau in honour of himself or children; many erect one in honour of deceased parents; or a widow who has not ceased to mourn for many years for the loss of a loved husband may perpetuate the memory, not of her dear husband, but of her own virtues, by erecting such a monument, and receives from the Emperor an honorary name to be inscribed over the centre of the structure. Anciently, Le Comte tells us, these triple gates were to be met with crossing the trade routes of the interior, when they were inscribed with directions for the traveller regarding the route to be followed, and the distance to different towns.


THE Manchus, like the Chinese, deem it their duty when they are advanced in years to make provision for their own decease. Accordingly they themselves determine what ' kind of coffin shall carry their remains to the grave, and will have one, if they can afford it, made of Szechuan wood, costing sometimes as much as three hundred pounds of our money. The aged owner takes a great interest in the varnishing and finishing of this his last resting-place; and he also takes care to purchase his own grave-clothes. These are, with the rich, of red silk, lined with light blue and thickly wadded, having a mattress also, and a pillow, to accompany them; and in the case of a mandarin, a suit of his finest official robes, which will be placed over his body, in what is euphemistically termed his " longevity case." This sort of phraseology is adopted because the people do not admit the idea of death; the close of one's days is simply the passage from life to life, from one world into another, or from one state of existence into a different one. When the hour of dissolution approaches, the body is laid upon a stretcher which the undertaker supplies, and surrounded with a pall of black satin, and then the dying person is dressed in his most costly robes. They have a belief that if the body were to be dressed after decease instead of before that event, the soul would pass naked into the next world, whereas, if decked out while life is still present they suppose that it will carry the robes and rank of the wearer along with it in its flight. Nor do they in Peking allow a person to die upon his bed, lest the spirit should haunt it afterwards. If a female, her ornaments of gold are worn in the hair, but her bracelets are laid by her side and never put on, for fear that Yen-wang-yen, the prince of hell, should use them as shackles to bind her in the other world. For the same reason a mandarin never wears his necklace.

Pillows in use with the Manchus in the north of China are generally filled with small millet husks, but those for the dead are stuffed with paper, each small husk being supposed to represent a period of time, which for many ages would prevent the entrance of the spirit into another body; on the top is a cover on which a quotation from the classics has been woven. This aids the spirit's flight to the southern heaven, and for the same purpose the ancestral tablets and idols are covered, and neglected for the space of one hundred days. A J pearl wrapped in red paper is placed between the lips of the corpse, or with the poor, a little tea instead. This is held to act as a charm against decomposition for ever. They never use worsted or furs in dressing the dead, lest the spirit should transmigrate into the sheep or animal to which the fur coat belonged. If it be a parent who has died, the children kneel and howl in a discord of distress, then undoing their hair, and cutting off about two inches of it, they place the shreds, if it be a mother, in her right hand, if a father, then in his left. The geomancer next foretells the day on which the spirit will quit the house, and places a paper surmounted by a small mirror on the breast of the corpse. On the day foretold, some sounds are heard which indicate that the spirit is about to depart. Then the geomancer is again called in and determines the day of burial, and the position of the grave. The day must fall on one of the odd numbers, as the fifth or seventh of the month, and not the sixth or eighth. The mourners wear robes of white coarse cotton, white shoes, and white thread plaited into their hair. Musicians sit at the door on the day of burial and announce the arrival of a gentleman by beating a drum, or of a lady mourner by blowing a trumpet.

Guests frequently contribute to defray the funeral expenses of poor relations. Buddhist and Taoist priests preside and chant prayers. Heavy debts are thus at times contracted, for there is no limit in the north of China to the outlay on mortuary rites.

Paper model residences and furniture, horses, carriages, and servants of the same material are burned in front of the dwelling, the fire transforming them into the spirit residence and retinue of the deceased.

The funeral procession is elaborate and costly, the coffin may be borne by sixty-four men, and perhaps the canopy which covers it is of richly embroidered white satin.

The women of the household follow, waiiing, in carts covered with white, The hired bannermen who take part in the procession are shown in No. 39. They are commonly beggars dressed up by the undertaker for the purpose. The funeral of the wife of a salt merchant in Peking was said to have cost ,£40,000.

When a bride dies they frequently burn her expensive trousseau for her use in the spirit world.

The banners and paraphernalia used by the Manchus are quite different from those in fashion amongst the Chinese. Each Manchu bannerman has a small allowance from government to meet his funeral expenses.

Three years is the customary period of mourning for a parent, and where the sons are mandarins they may not hold office until the period of mourning has elapsed. This is an exceedingly ancient custom in China. We are told in the "Shoo-king" that when Yaon died he was "mourned for as a parent for three years," [9] and that his successor did not ascend the throne until the three years of mourning had expired.




THIS monument, which is probably the most magnificent in Peking, stands more than a mile beyond the north wall of the city, in the huge pile of buildings known as the Hwang-she. It is said that formerly it was the site of a royal palace, and its history goes back for nearly a thousand years. Last century it appears to have been used as a Thibetan Lama temple, and was then fitted up for the reception of the Banjul Lama towards the close of the reign of Kien-loong.

The Banjin is second only to the Dali Lama, and is also looked upon as a lesser incarnation of Buddha. As Thibet owes an allegiance to China, the Emperor conceived a jealousy of the friendly reception extended to the English by the Banjin, and therefore courteously invited his holiness to visit Peking. The latter is said to have been most unwilling to set out, pretending a dread of small-pox, or some less doubtful poison. Seeing, however, that the missive, though clothed in all the suavity of court etiquette, was far too peremptory to be disobeyed, he reluctantly started from Lassa on the 15th of Jul) - , 1779, and reached this temple early in the following year. His worst fears were realized. After being feted as a divinity, and worshipped in person by the Emperor, he was in due time attacked with small-pox (so the story goes) and died in the chamber adjoining his reception hall, or, as the Chinese phrase it, his spirit changed its abode, and went to animate a body of tender years in Thibet. It has been strongly suspected that he was poisoned at the Emperors suggestion.

The remarkable monument seen in this picture (No. 40) was erected at immense cost to commemorate the Lama's visit, and is built of white marble, after the Thibetan model. The- bell-like cupola and the upper ornaments are of gold, and the whole is most elaborately carved with allegorical subjects; the sides of the lower octagon portion represent, in relief, as many scenes in the mythical life of tins divine personage, and four handsome turrets at the corners of the upper platform are inscribed with Sanscrit mystic prayers engraved in Chinese characters. The two side entablatures of the facade also bear sentences in the ancient Devanagari characters, and on the columns are inscriptions in Chinese. The erection is carefully preserved, and the steps inside the wooden gate are decorated with flowers. The body of the Lama was taken back to Thibet, but it is said that his clothes

have been buried in this spot.



THREE miles to the south of the Imperial Palace, in the Chinese quarter of Peking, is an extensive park-like enclosure, containing the temple and the open altar of Heaven shown in Plates Nos. 41 and 42. In the enclosure here referred to are two altars, one to the north and the other to the south, protected by triple walls, of which the outermost is nearly three miles round. The northern altar, commonly designated the Temple of Heaven, is shown in No. 42, and is, as nearly as possible, a counterpart of the open or southern altar. Both are built of marble, and both have triple terraces, surrounded by marble balustrading. The north altar, however, supports in its centre a building with triple roofs, covered with light blue tiles, and symbolical of heaven (the altar in its original form had no such superstructure), while the south altar presents on its top a plain round marble platform open to heaven, where the Emperor offers sacrifice to Shanti, the Supreme Lord of Heaven and Earth, at the winter solstice, on December 218t. Such altars as these seem to be relics of an extremely ancient and primitive form of worship in China, when monotheism was probably the prevailing faith. Here, as Le Comte asserts, we possibly see the purer form of patriarchal worship practised by the Chinese before the advent of Confucius, and before the Buddhist missionaries had appeared. The ceremonials connected with this state worship, when the Emperor officiates as high-priest, are still followed out with the strictest minuteness of detail. Le Comte says, " Fohi, the first Emperor of China, carefully bred up seven sorts of creatures, which he used to sacrifice to the Supreme Spirit of Heaven and Earth, and at the present time special breeds of animals sacred to the temple are reared in the adjoining parks, and subjected to the scrutiny of the Emperor before they are offered in sacrifice. The bullocks arc black, and are chosen with the greatest care, so as to be free from blemish; no less pains being taken with the smaller animals. I visited the slaughter-house, where the victims are put to death and prepared. This building, which is reached through a cloister 700 feet long, had fallen out of repair, but I was assured that all would be set right in time for the winter solstice."

" The south altar," says Mr. Edkins, " is the most important of all the religious structures in China." He also gives very interesting details of its dimensions, as well as of the symbolic numbers of the stones which form the upper platform, of the terraces, the balustrades, and even of the flights of steps. Nine and multiples of nine make up, in every case, the most prominent combinations, for nine is the favourite number in Chinese philosophy. " The altar consists of a triple circular terrace 210 feet wide at the base, 150 in the middle, and 90 at the top. On these notice the multiples of three, 3X3 = 9, 3 X 5 = 15, 3 X 7 = 21, &c." The platform is laid with marble stones, forming nine concentric circles, the inner circle consisting of nine stones, cut so as to fit with close edges round the central stone, which is itself a perfect circle. Here the Emperor kneels and is encompassed, first by the circles of the terraces and surrounding walls, and then by the circle of the horizon. He thus seems to himself and his court to be in the centre of the universe," and so on, the same symbolism being carried on throughout the details of the altar.

The sacrifice at the time of the winter solstice takes place before daybreak; three huge lanterns swing from high poles, casting their lurid light over the scene, while the air is filled with the smoke of burnt offerings, and the sound of music. For further details on this point, I refer my readers to the interesting account of the Temple of Heaven given by Mr. Edkins in the concluding chapters of Mr. Williamson's " Journeys in North China." There are other altars devoted to the worship of Shanti, the Supreme Lord of Heaven and Earth. To one of these, which I visited in Foo-chow-foo, the local representatives of the Emperor annually repair to pray for rain. The altar in this instance conveys to my mind the most correct impression of what the Altar of Heaven really was in its most primitive form. Le Comte[10] tells us of a certain Emperor who offered sacrifice to God on the summit of a mountain; and here in Foochow we find a simple stone altar on the top of a hill in the city. This will explain the meaning of Nan-tan, or Southern Mount, the old Chinese name by which the southern altar of Peking is known. It is, indeed, nothing more than an artificial mound raised above the level plain upon which the city stands. A theory has been advanced that this altar may have been originally a burial mound, but I believe I am right in saying that there is no classical evidence to support the hypothesis. These old Chinese altars were in early times erected on mounds or mountains, just as Servius tells us the ancients set up altars intended for the celestial and superior divinities on

substructures or mounds, and, as in the patriarchal times, altars were consecrated to God on mountain tops.

Southern altar, Temple of Heaven.jpg

Northern altar, Temple of Heaven.jpg


I HAVE already had a good deal to say in these pages about Chinese soldiers, and about the weapons which they use in modern times, but upon their military competitive examinations I have not yet touched. These examinations take place periodically in the chief cities of the Empire, and by their agency an incentive is held out to the soldier who, by his personal prowess and by his skill in the use of arms, may rise to the higher grades in the army. The Chinese, however, or rather the Manchus, notwithstanding the fact that the system which admits of promotion by prowess and skill is a good one, will have to remodel their military examinations, if they would maintain their ground against the nations that are growing up around them. The tests of bow and arrow and muscular power must become things of the past, and be replaced by tests of engineering knowledge, of the art of disciplining troops and marshalling them for the field of battle, and, indeed, of whatever we understand in Europe as the modern science of war. At present, in addition to exercise in the use of the old weapons, military candidates are required to write out a short treatise on Chinese military tactics.

Nos. 43 and 44 are fair types of the Manchu soldiers of the north of China. On September 18, 1871, I witnessed the review of an army of men such as these on the plain that stretches away northwards outside the Art-ting gate of the Tartar city. Many of the troops assembled there were armed with bows and arrows, and many more with the old fuse matchlocks shown in No. 43, while in the belt a row of breech-loading cartridges was stored. The subject of No. 44 held military rank, and was also a dexterous marksman.


THE Mongols here shown (No. 45) belong to the nomadic and pastoral races inhabiting the steppes of Mongolia. They visit Peking in great numbers during the winter months, and bring with them herds of cattle, quantities of frozen game, as well as the rich furs for which their country is famous. There is a Mongol market at the back of the British Legation, and there they congregate and pitch their tents. I found that this old lady's family had rented a Chinese dwelling, and, strange as it may seem, had stabled their mules in the dwelling-house proper, while they pitched their own tents in the courtyard outside. This is no uncommon practice with them, and shows how habit among these nomads has become a second nature. Dr. Williams gives us a correct description of the physical appearance of these Mongols. He says: — "The Mongol tribes generally are a stout, squat, swarthy, ill-favoured race of men, having high and broad shoulders, short broad noses, pointed and prominent chins, long teeth distant from each other, eyes black, elliptical, and unsteady, thick short necks extremely bony and nervous, muscular thighs, but short legs, with a stature nearly or quite equal to the European."

They seem now-a-days to have forgotten the art of war, and, indeed, to have changed their whole nature since the

time of Genghis Khan.

COREANS is one of the nations tributary to China, and although her king may be esteemed an independent sovereign, he yet sends an annual embassy of tribute-bearers to Peking. I happened to be in that capital in 1871 when that embassy arrived, and I was lortunate in obtaining a single picture (No. 46) of two of the officers. I was much struck with what I may term the European type of their countenances, and, judging from the ambassadors and their retainers whom I saw at the Corean quarter, the facial characteristics which I then remarked would seem to be common to their race. I was also favourably impressed with the spotless purity of their garments, which were almost entirely of white. The apartments in which they dwelt were also so scrupulously clean that one was reluctant to set down a dusty foot upon the white shining straw mats. The walls, too, were covered with paper tough in texture, and of the purest white. The gentlemen of the embassy seemed timid about holding intercourse with Europeans. On one occasion, I found an American ambassador there engaged in a discussion with the chief Corean minister. They could not understand each other's language, and for reasons of their own they had not employed a Chinese to interpret, so that the conversation was carried on in Chinese writing.

Judging from what we know of the pluck of the Coreans, the Japanese, if it be true that they are going to war with them, will have hot work before them. Chinese who have visited Corea describe the country and people in glowing terms. Its inhabitants are said to be skilful as tillers of the soil, as traders, and as workers in metal. The Corean swords are remarkable for their temper, and their guns and armour for dexterity in workmanship.

Williamson tells us that the Emperor of the Tang dynasty (a.d. 645) had hard fighting to expel the Coreans from the country east of Lian-ho district, which they had occupied for 260 years.

They still live in isolation, only holding fairs at fixed localities outside a definite barrier line, and they repel all attempts at closer trading relations even with their neighbours the Chinese. The soil of Corea is said to be

productive, and her numerous mountain chains abound in mineral wealth.




THE imperial pleasure grounds lie about eight miles to the north-west of Peking, and Yuenming-Yuen is the name by which they are most commonly known, although belonging strictly to that part of them only which were walled in and kept sacred to the Emperor. Wan-showshan is probably the hill which, with its surroundings, is the portion best known to foreigners. This summer retreat, with its palaces, lakes, and gardens, covers an area of twelve square miles, and was laid out by the Emperor Kunghi. It must, at one time, have been a most fascinating spot, and even as I saw it, in its ruins, and as the allied forces had laid it waste and left it, there was a charm about it all its own. The whole presents us with a Chinese landscape garden; white marble bridges span lakes bedecked with lotus flowers (see No. 47), where summer pavilions rise among the islets on every side. The hills, too, are crowned with temples and pagodas, and herds of deer and other sorts of game wander in the woods that shade many a ruined palace.

The marble bridge of the picture contains seventeen arches, and is the finest I have seen in China or, indeed, anywhere in the East; and I can picture to myself what the scene must have been when the lake was ablaze with the pink flowers of the lotus, and the air laden with their fragrance,

" A perfume breathing round
Like a pervading spirit; "

while pleasure parties in their light canoes skimmed the surface 01 the lake, and lent the rich colours of their costumes to enliven the scene.

Father Ripa gives an interesting account of the Emperor's summer retreat as he saw it when he was attached to the court, about the beginning of the last century.

The hill descried in the distance is Wan-show-shan, and is surmounted by a temple built of white marble and porcelain. This temple, like the bridge, has been left almost uninjured, although two lions of white marble, and colossal in size, which stand at the base of the stone-work, have been destroyed by fire. There are many hills in this vast enclosure adorned with palatial retreats, and designed for the enjoyment of the Emperor and of the princes attached to his court. But the whole place remains as it was left by the allies. Nothing has been attempted in the way of restoration. Indeed, I suppose that the Chinese have had neither the spirit nor the funds to enter upon such an arduous undertaking, or that the place is left ruinous and desolate designedly as one means of keeping the hostility of the nation active, and as an ever-ready witness to the wanton barbarities to which foreigners will resort Many of the educated Chinese have this feeling, and look upon our conduct as an act of heartless vandalism, and say that we might have brought pressure to bear upon their government in

some way more worthy of our much vaunted civilization.

Marble Bridge Yuen-Ming-Yuen.jpg


THIS picture, No. 48, presents to the reader one of the most interesting buildings in the grounds of the Imperial Summer Palace, standing at the foot of Wan-show-shan upon a basis of white marble, and constructed — doors, windows, pillars, roofs, and all — entirely of solid bronze. It is a very perfect example of Chinese temple architecture, showing, as it does, the most minute details of construction, and the skill with which the Chinese can work in metals, and adapt them to almost every use.

The picture is taken with the instrument facing the sun, or against the light, in order thus to obtain for the temple a bold and clear outline, and at the same time to give a soft, and unobtrusive pencilling to the objects of the distant landscape, and by this means heighten the pictorial effect.

During our visit to these Imperial pleasure grounds we put up at the monastery of the Sleeping Buddha, and I was so fortunate as to have for my companion one of the foreign residents, a gentleman well known in Peking, and a native member of the Chinese Civil Service, who was studying the photographic art. The imposing buildings of the monastery, the well-paved courtyards shaded with fine old trees, and adorned with an array of flowering plants in ornamental pots on porcelain stands, the rows of clean cloisters, the kindly disposed abbot and monks, these all contributed to make our visit agreeable as well as interesting. One of the priests told us that the establishment had not been very well supported for some years past. Indeed, the profitable occupation of this body of poor and devout-looking Buddhists all but departed when the Summer Palace was destroyed. They have lands, but not sufficient to support them. They also enjoy a small grant from the Imperial treasury, and they are occasionally called out to attend the marriage or burial ceremonies of members of the Imperial clan. But more marriages, and more funerals, and the more frequent visits of devotees to the shrine of the Sleeping Buddha were much needed to swell the revenues of the establishment. Theirs is a beautiful retreat, nestling in quiet seclusion beneath the brow of a richly wooded hill; and when I gazed upon it I felt as if I should have liked to try a few months of this perfectly retired life— an uneventful, dreamy existence, nourished on the fruits and vegetables of the earth, and almost an incarnation of the vegetable kingdom itself.

The surrounding hills were crowned with buildings of porcelain and marble; one of them, not far from the monastery, and buried in the recesses of a wood which covered the summit of a hill, must have been a princely edifice not many years ago. We reached its ruins along a path cut through a group of rocks wrapped in ivy and fern, and came at last upon a marble basin in one of the inner courts. This was still filled with clear cool water, and teemed with fish. Here, perhaps, the ladies of the establishment beguiled the hours in their dreary days of solitude. The adjoining apartments had once been lofty and imposing, but little of their former magnificence was now to be seen. Ivy had cast a mande of green over the charred and battered walls, creeping

in and out of the broken balustrades and wreathing many a marble ornament with its tender leaves.

The Bronze Temple, Peking.jpg


THE tombs of the Ming Emperors of China stand about thirty miles north of Peking, and in their general design resemble those of Nanking, which I have already described. They are, however, in their dimensions still more imposing than even the tomb of Hung-woo, the first sovereign of the dynasty.

In this valley of tombs, which is backed by a crescent-shaped range of hills, having a radius of from two to three miles, the mausolea of thirteen Ming sovereigns are to be found. The first interred there was Ching-tsoo (better known as Yung-lo), the third monarch of the dynasty, and who succeeded in driving his nephew from the throne.

I have chosen the illustrations for this subject from the tomb of Yung-lo partly on account of its historical interest and partly because it affords the finest example of these funereal monuments to be found in China. They are interesting besides because they show the durability of monumental and sacred architecture among the Chinese. There are in China no architectural remains which can boast of a very remote antiquity; the reason for this has never been clearly explained, some writers attributing it to political convulsions, and others to the constant use of materials less durable than stone. It seems strange therefore that they should have preserved their ancient classical books, written many of them on bamboo. In this perhaps we may see something of the practical common sense of the people. Their sages uttered imperishable truths and imparted wise councils, which have had an important influence in keeping the nation together; hence they perhaps set the less store upon useless stone edifices, which can do nothing except perpetuate an empty fame. Many of their sages and emperors esteeming no honour so great as to have their deeds handed down in living tradition through endless generations. The monument which has the greatest antiquity is the famous wall erected as a barrier against their nomadic foes.

The tomb of Yung-lo is approached first through an avenue of animals, sculptured out of white lime-stone, and then through a double row of stone warriors. The latter present much the same characteristics as those erected in front of the tomb of Yung-lo's father at Nanking, twenty-four years earlier; and art does not appear to have made much progress within that period of time. All the figures wear an expression of tranquil repose, thoroughly in keeping with their duty as the guardians of the dead. As to the animals there are two pairs of each kind, two of which are kneeling and two standing upright. Thus we first meet two pairs of lions; then two pairs of unicorns; these are followed by two pairs of camels, one of which is shown in the foreground. Two pairs of elephants succeed, and

beyond these are two pairs of fabulous animals called " keaon," and still further on are the mail-clad warriors.



BEFORE the great Sacrificial Hall of Yung-lo is reached the visitor has to pass through an outer hall and a marble-paved court into the second or sacrificial quadrangle where imperial offerings are still made to the emperor of a former dynasty. The illustration here shewn (No. 50) was taken from the marble platform of the outer hall, and gives a front view of the Court and Hall of Sacrifice. This hall, in common with the majority of Chinese temples, faces the south; a rule which also obtains to a great extent among all the dwelling-houses in China, although many exceptions are to be met with in different parts of the country.

The Manchu emperors, though we thus find them sacrificing to the departed spirits of the Ming sovereigns, bestow but little attention upon the buildings at their tombs. Weeds grow in rank luxuriance over the marble pavements, on the steps, the balustrades, and the roofs. Notwithstanding all this, the substantial nature of the structure has defied the ravages of time.

The hall has a splendid interior, and the thirty-two teak pillars from Yunan, which support the lower roof, must have been kings of the forest. Each of these pillars is four feet span and thirty-two feet in height. The upper roof is again thirty-two feet above the lower one, and the hall measures seventy yards long by thirty broad. The sacrificial table, and the tablet of the Emperor Yung-lo, are similar to those of Confucius, shown in No. 34. The outer roof of this building is covered with yellow glazed tiles, and the eaves project ten feet outside the walls. Beyond the main edifice there is still another court, and to the north of that a well-built tunnel, thirty yards long, conducts through the burial mound to the doorway of the tomb; a second passage runs at right angles in the form of a T, and a flight of steps at the extremity of each arm leads to a terrace on the top of the tumulus. Arrived at the summit we find the tombstone inscribed with the posthumous title of Yung-lo — " The Tomb of Ching-tsoo-wen Whangti."

The trees in the courts and on the mound are cypress and oak.



THE subject of this picture (No. 51) is an old Tartar bannerman, a humble member of the Manchu camp, who kept watch at the gate of the French hotel by night; and although in the pay of the government, and allowed a salary sufficient for his own support, yet, by the time the amount reaches his hands through the official channel, it dwindles to about six shillings a month, and a regulation sheep-skin coat once a year. Old Wang, for I believe that was his name, was perhaps an unfortunate specimen of the soldiers of the standing army, the bold conquerors who once subjugated China. Wrapped in his sheep-skin coat, and in an underclothing of rags, he lay through the cold nights on the stone step of the outer gateway, and only roused himself at times to answer the call of his fellow-watchman near at hand. This call is supposed to be passed from watchman to watchman all round the city. Wang employed also a wooden clapper to let the inmates of the house know he was astir, and to scare away thieves. It is not uncommon, when a thief is discovered on the roof of a house in Peking, for the people within to open a door in the court below, and hold a good-natured parley with the intruder, telling him that it would be much more to his advantage if he were to go on to the next house. Often the ruffian will bid his friendly advisers a polite adieu, and, descending his bamboo ladder, will march off to have a trial in some other quarter. No. 52 is a picture of a literary agent, as we may call him. So great is the veneration of the Ch inese for letters, that men such as our old friend here are employed to collect scraps of printed paper, which are afterwards burned before some shrine. This is however only one branch of the old man's business— he picks up rags and bones from the dust-heaps as well, and disposes of his miscellaneous collection to some dealer when the day's work is done. He can exist on very little, poor old fellow, and he has no expenses to speak of. He never removes his coat unless on a warm, sunny day, and then it is with an eye to business, for as he suns the garment, he coaxes out his tiny enemies and slays them.

Poor and miserable as he seems, he is not without a family and friends of his own, and his old age gains him respect.


AT certain seasons of the year, camels may be encountered in tens of thousands crossing the desert of Gobi, laden with brick tea, on their way to the Russian frontier. This brick tea, in the absence of metallic currency, forms the circulating medium in Mongolia, Siberia, and Thibet. When in the province of Peichihli I witnessed the departure of a train of 2,000 of these camels laden with brick tea to be sold in the Russian markets. These beasts are also employed in transporting coal, and other commodities, from one part of the province to another, and they are highly esteemed by the Mongols, as they can be easily managed, and can accomplish long journeys in arid regions with scant supplies of food and water. As many of my readers are aware, the camel is physically adapted for traversing the sandy plains of Asia, where they are found in the greatest numbers. The stomach is supplied with bladders which enable the animal to carry a store of fresh water, and in like manner the humps are furnished with a store of food in the shape of fatty matter which may be absorbed in case of need.

The Pekinese mule-litter is shown in No. 54. It is the usual conveyance adopted by the Chinese, if they wish for ease and comfort, when they visit localities outside the great wall. Two long shafts support the litter, and are harnessed at the ends to the backs of two mules. It was to this chair that I consigned myself on the occasion of my journey to the Great Wall. 1 had formed a high opinion of the sagacity and patience of Pekingese mules; but I was, if possible, still more favourably impressed with their docility after the experiences of the Utter. The defile known as the Nankow Pass is extremely rugged, and the path runs sometimes over rough, precipitous, and dangerous hillsides, sometimes over jagged rocks and boulders; yet the mules planted their steps with care and precision, never stumbling, and only slightly incommoding the occupant of the litter. The shafts of this mule sedan, as may be observed on a close inspection, are long enough to act as springs, so as to do away with the hard

jolting, which is a leading characteristic of the Peking cart.

Old Wang.jpgLiterary agent.jpg

THE PEKINGESE CAMEL.jpgThe Pekinese mule-litter.jpg


WE enter the Nankow Pass at about thirty miles distance from Peking. This pass is a bold, rocky defile, separating China proper from the lands of the barbarians beyond. I visited the place, and the Great Wall also, in the company of Mr. Wylie, a gentleman who, some years ago, brought to light the remarkable Buddhist inscription found in the arch at Kew-Yung-Kwan. There is a small hamlet at the Chinese end of the pass. It is here that we see the first spur of the Great Wall, or rather an inner wall or fortress which, in ancient times, would form the final barrier to the invading hordes. When we enter the defile, we are struck with its rugged and picturesque appearance, and with the absence of any road save the little that remains of the old Mongol causeway, which must have been a splendid work in its time. But its time has long past, and the ordinary trade route now-a-days lies along what looks like the bed of a stream, and over boulders into which steps have either been cut or worn. There are, however, some few parts of the ancient road which are still in comparatively good order. Here we find blocks of porphyry, marble of various colours, and granite polished with the traffic of generations long gone by. As we penetrate the pass, limestone rocks crop out on every side; but it is not till we are within four miles of the Great Wall that we come upon the scene presented to the reader in No. 55. At this point the pass narrows down considerably, and makes a sharp bend. On a rocky peak to the left rises a picturesque little edifice, dedicated to Kwei-Sing, the god of literature; on the opposite side of the ravine Is a small two-storied temple, approached by a steep staircase cut into th'e face of the rock. The lower story is consecrated to Kwan-te, the god of war, and the upper one is called the cave of Kwan-yin, the goddess of mercy. Inscriptions in Chinese, Thibetan, and Sanscrit characters are cut on the surface of the rock below.

One would imagine that the defile was all but impassable in some places which I have not pictured. Vain delusion! There is a constant traffic at the very worst parts. We look at them, and nothing whatever is to be seen save huge angular rocks jutting out of cairns, and patches of sand. We look again, and in a moment the scene is alive with donkey-men and muleteers who, leaping from rock to rock as they guide their sure-footed beasts through clefts and out of pit-falls, disappear at last among the stones; and so the traffic goes on from year to year, and

no attempt is made to improve the route, or to help the weary trader on his journey.



A DOUBLE line of wall rises from the village of Kew-yung-kwan, and, running up the mountain side, unites with another wall that sweeps across the crest of the hill. This point is considered one of the most important in the Nankow Pass, and it is the spot where, it is said, Genghis Khan was successfully routed in his attempt to enter the north of China. There is at this village a very remarkable marble arch (see No. 56), erected apparently during the Yuen dynasty, and said to have oricrinally carried a pagoda on its top. This pagoda was taken down shortly after the Ming Emperors got possession of the throne, and this was done to propitiate the Mongols, who were deterred by superstitious fears from passing beneath the shrine. The arch is remarkable on account of its octagonal form, and also for the strange figures from the Indian mythologies with which its surface is adorned. These ornaments very closely resemble many of the sculptures found on the ruined temples of Cambodia. I was at once struck with the similarity when I first saw the arch, and having since compared its entablatures with the photographs which I took in Cambodia in 1866, I find my original impressions confirmed.

It will be observed that the key-stone carries a mythological figure flanked with two others wearing crowns of a seven-headed snake, while the bodies of the snake flow into the ornamentation on either side. The date of the erection of this arch would be about 1345 a.d., at any rate, that is the date of an old inscription on its inner surface. Mr. Williamson mentions a fine arch and marble bridge near Kal-gan, ornamented with marble figures of monkeys, elephants, &c. These structures may prove to belong to the same period, and may point to some connection with Cambodia beyond what we can trace in the style of their ornaments. 1 have obtained further evidence regarding the knowledge possessed by the Chinese of the ancient Cambodians which throws light on the greatest period of their history, or more probably on the epoch when they had ceased to conquer, and were showing unmistakable marks of decline by raising great stone monuments to perpetuate their memory. But as this subject is somewhat foreign to my present work, 1 cannot introduce it here.

The interior of the arch is also elaborately sculptured, and two of the kings of the Devas in Buddhist mythology are to be seen on both its inner sides. As to the upper surfaces, these are covered with a great multitude of small images of Buddha carved in bas-relief. Between the two Deva kings is a Buddhist inscription in Sanscrit, with translations into the characters of five other languages, i.e. Thibetan, Mongol, Ouigour, Neu-chih, and Chinese. For a full notice of this inscription see Wylie's Translation, " Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society," vol. v. Part 1 , pp. 14 seq.


MY readers doubtless share with me in feeling that no illustrated work on China would be worthy of its name if it did not contain a picture of some portion of the Great Wall. This wall is an object neither picturesque nor striking. Viewing it simply as a wall, we find its masonry often defective, and it is not so solid or honestly constructed as one at first sight would imagine. It is only in the best parts that it has been faced with stone, or rather, that it consists of two retaining walls of stone, and a mound of earth within. In other places it is faced with brick, and there are again some other parts, of the highest antiquity, as is supposed, where we find it to consist of an earthen mound alone. Not a few travellers regard this wall as the greatest monument of misdirected human labour to be met with in the whole world, and those who have no sympathy with the modern scientific theories regarding the great pyramids, would make these no exception to this view. But I think that the Chinese can claim something more for their wall than the Egyptians can for their pyramids. The wall was built to save the country from the raids of the nomadic northern hordes, and this object it actually attained, more especially when the country was under a stable government. Thus Genghis Khan himself was repulsed before the inner wall. The erection of the Great Wall, which has a length of 1,500 miles, was the last great work of the Emperor Tsin-shehwang, b.c. 213. This monarch has been called the Napoleon of China, and he is said to have carried out other famous and probably more useful enterprises during his reign, erecting public buildings, cutting canals, and making roads, undertakings of a kind much needed in China at the present day. He too it is who has the memorable fame of having attempted to destroy all the ancient records of the Empire.

The Great Wall seems to me to express a national characteristic of the Chinese race. All along that people loved to dwell in their own land in seclusion, pursuing the industries and the arts of peace, and to them China has ever been the central flowery land. Within it everything worth having is concentrated, and outside of it, on narrow and unproductive soils, dwell scattered tribes of barbarians ever bent on predatory excursions into the paradise of the Celestial Empire. These outer barbarians, among which we ourselves are still secretly included, have always been an endless source of trouble, now beyond the wall on the north, now along the coast on the south and east, and at other times in the mountain regions to the west.

This view was taken from the north of the inner wall, at a place called Pata-ling. The inner wall stretches across the northern end of the Nankow Pass, and climbs in many places almost inaccessible steeps. It has been repaired at different periods, and was built originally about a.d. 542, when the Emperor Woo-ting of the Wei dynasty was on the throne. It is about 500 miles in length, and at its extremities joins on to the older outer wall. The granite and limestone with which it is faced abound in the rocks of the Pass. It is furnished with square watch-towers, at short distances apart, in the passes, and at longer distances in less accessible regions. In the background of the view (No. 56) we see one of the many inner spurs of this wall sweeping across the Pass. When emerging from the gateway seen on the right, one cannot fail to be impressed, with the massiveness and apparent strength of the structure.

The height of the wall is over thirty feet, and it is about fourteen feet broad on the top.

To venture upon any further description of this ancient barrier would only be to repeat an oft-told story with which my reader is, perhaps, already well acquainted. I will conclude, therefore, by expressing the hope that the work will convey a faithful impression of the places over which my journeys extended, and of the people as I

found them, so that my five years' labour may not have been in vain.




  1. Journeys in North China. Rev. A. Williamson. Vol. i.p. 89. s The Chinese Davis, p. 222. 1 "Three Lectures on Buddhism." E. J. Eitel,
  2. "Journeys in Mongolia, &c.," Rev. A. Williamson, stq. by Rev. J. Edkins, vol. ii.
  3. The Shoo-King, III. iv. 3, Jas. Legge, D. D.
  4. Inventions, Beckmann p. 32.
  5. History of Inventions, Beckmann, page 83.
  6. See Thorns' "Ancient Chinese Vases," Journal Royal Asiatic Soc, vol i.
  7. "Middle Kingdom," vol. ii. p. 92, Williams.
  8. Note by Dr. Bushcll, Peking.
  9. Shoo-king, bk. i., ch. iii., 13, J. Legge, D. D. I am indebted to Mrs. Edkins, wife of the Rev. Josh. Etlkins of Peking, for the information regarding funerals and Manchu marriages
  10. "The Empire of China," page 322.