Page:Inside Canton.djvu/119

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have drawn them better. Toun, the obtuse Tartar soldier, had a pan-che of rock crystal, as transparent as the button of his cap. Clasps of quartz stones are also made, which would be very successful in France, if the ladies of our nation had the bad taste to dress themselves like the Roman women of the first empire. The Emperor of China, who has taken upon himself the puerile task of regulating his officers' costumes, has decided upon the shape of the buckles of their belts. That of Ki-In was of jade, on account of his rank as viceroy; but none of the mandarins who assisted him had a right to wear a similar one.

The Chinese not only make you-i, snuff-boxes, bracelets, clasps, and rings with the hard coloured stones, but they also make use of them to execute pictures, which amongst us belong exclusively to painting. By means of fragments of jade, quartz, lapis-lazuli, and cornelian, they form landscapes, grand compositions, in which the men, houses, plants, and mountains are of stone; they are mosaics in relief, which render the lapidary style of their poets quite palpable. These singular pictures are excessively dear; and without exactly knowing why, they are liked and much sought after. Certainly these designs have no truth in them, as regards colour and arrangement, but if I may venture to give utterance to such heresy, I should say that it is